Interview with Stoneybrooke (Introduction)

I am happy to share with you several posts about a great friend of mine, Linda Lee. I first met Linda when her son came to our Junior High class when we were youth pastors at church several years ago. She started helping out and began bringing crafts for the girls to do before service started. The girls (and some of the boys) loved it! She is a beautiful, giving person who LOVES being creative. I have loved seeing her share her different mediums of art and creativity, and I hope you enjoy taking a little peek into her life too.

This is the first of a series of posts featuring Linda Lee, AKA, Stoneybrooke.

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Linda Lee with her Husband, Jon

Who are you?  Describe yourself as a person and as a creative.

Hello! I’m Linda, a reformed perfectionist who is discovering her inner dreamer. I am a Purple Hat Society member in principle, but I’m not into joining clubs. I am the forever loved daughter of my Daddy in Heaven. I’m a lucky wife, who is still madly in love with my high school sweetheart. I am blessed beyond measure to be the mother of four amazing people, that I admire. I am also a spoiled grandma to four sweet grandchildren that keep me a kid at heart.

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Linda with her daughters, Brianne and Heather

 

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Linda’s sons, Jared and Isaac

At 57 years of age, I still think of myself as a student. I would say I am a naturally curious person. I LOVE learning new things, which is handy when the computer crashes or when I’m taking on a new interest in watercolor painting. However, my son in law would agree there is a dangerous down side to my natural curiosity. He remembers our first meeting so much differently than I do. I remember that I was simply delightful and charming, but he recalls the event as akin to an inquisition. Rest assured I have since tried to reign in my curiosity in social settings. Lol

But my curiosity is fully engaged when it comes to anything artistic and creative. I’d say I’m happiest when I’m creating. I can’t get enough of it. I pin ideas with reckless abandon. I fill journal books full of creative ideas I want to try. Most loved ones have received handmade gifts from me. My favorite chair looks like a workshop because it’s where I so often try out my ideas. I work on creative projects daily and until late into the evening. You will rarely find me without a creative project in my hands or in my purse. In fact, my hands are rarely idle.

How did you become known as Stoneybrooke?

I have a name that is so common that using my name on the internet wasn’t an option. So creating an online name was like a fresh start. It was a unique new way to describe the creative side of myself. I also dreamed of opening an Etsy store some day, so I wanted my name to be something I’d like to see on my handmade product tags.

After a lot of thought, I came up with the name Stoneybrooke Cottage. It’s an imaginary place, but it evokes the feeling I have when I create. I see it as a cozy English country cottage with a garden, and a comfy crafting chair snuggled up next to a charming fireplace. It has the best well stocked art supply closet ever! And it’s nestled alongside a stoney brook where I can look out the window and and be inspired by panoramic views of mountains, trees and wildlife. Silly perhaps, but it makes me happy and some things in life should exist just because they make us happy.

How did you first get started with fiber arts?

These days I am knee deep in fiber!  Sheep, alpaca, rabbit, silk, bamboo. You name it, I want to dye it, spin it, and knit it. And I blame it all on my oldest daughter, Brianne!

lindaandbrianneI’m sure everyone is familiar with “Comfort Eating.” Well Brianne taught me about “Comfort Crafting.” I was there the day my sweet Brianne heard the hardest words a Mom will ever hear… “There is no heartbeat.” This loss was another in series of losses that broke our heart and challenged our faith. In my determination to walk with her through this, I asked her “what can we do that would feel comforting right now?” She said she wanted to go look around our local yarn shop.

A local yarn shop? I had never been to one. Didn’t know they existed and frankly I couldn’t imagine why yarn would be preferable to Haagen Daas but I went along just to be supportive. When we entered the store, it was awash in an array of gorgeous colors, comfy seating, and friendly people. Everything was soooo soft and they encouraged you to touch. I left that day with beautiful yarn, knitting needles and a passion that hasn’t waned in 9 years.

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Mannequin in Linda’s studio wearing a handknit shawl by Brianne

Knitting and spinning yarn are big favorites, of course.  They are a core creative outlet for me.
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Handknit sock, handspun hard, and needle punched rug coaster

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My Hansen’s espinner. Linda used to have an Ashford traditional spinning wheel, but the pedaling became too difficult for her. So show now uses an electric spinner.

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Working Yarn Fest in Colorado this year. A National fiber lovers convention.

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A day trip to local alpaca farm, Whirlwind Ranch in Lebanon Mo

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Linda with 3 greats in the world of spinning: Abby Franquemont, Maggie Casey, and Peggy Doney

And may I take a moment to stand up for knitters and crocheters everywhere? We aren’t all little old grandmas knitting and rocking on the front porch. Well ok, I AM, but not everybody is like me. Fiber people are young moms who happily spin at the park while the kids play, or teenage girls who love to knit at the movies. They may have purple hair and tattoos and crochet toys, or wear sophisticated New York black and hand dye fabulous yarn. They are scholars and 5 year olds. They are nerds and famous people. They are even men. They are athletes and couch potatoes.  They are healthy and they are dealing with chronic pain. Some are drawn to the fiber arts for its connection to simpler times and centuries of textile traditions. Some appreciate connecting to the process of fully appreciating where our clothing comes from, from sheep to sweater. And some are cutting edge artists turning fiber into contemporary works of art. We are a diverse group for sure. So if you knit or crochet, you can stand tall!

This is only a small glimpse into Linda’s world of creativity. Stay tuned for the next part of our interview with Linda where we talk about her podcast with her daughter, Brianne.


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