This is a blog about the world of herbs, botanical medicine, natural skin care, and related ingredients, is it not? Well, it’s also about green living. What does that mean, though? When I think about “green living” i am usually thinking about it from the urban standpoint of making eco-friendly choices, recycling, upcylcing, choosing sustainable practices, but just wait until you read about the etsy artisan below and the truly Green (note, capital G) life that she lives. Not only is she giving back to the earth and providing for her community by having a market garden and participating in community 4H via her children, but she is giving back to humanity by caring for so many children and by fostering new little lives at her wonderful homestead in West Virginia.
I was immediately drawn to the amazing felt craft of etsy artisan Nancy Bevins, proprietor of Motley Mutton fom the first moment I saw one of her creations. In fact, I sometimes go to her shop just for a bit of respite when I want to see some exquisitely crafted little felty animals, swinging on swings. How does she do it? I wondered. They are so skillfully created. I love to create and learn how to do new things, but sometimes I feel that it’s nice to just see what people can do with a material that is still a total mystery to me.
Nancy Bevins lives on a farm in West Virginia. She moved from California and with her family and built a house on an old abandoned farm. With four grown children, four more adopted from foster care and two additioanl foster children, needless to say, things have to be pretty busy in the Bevins household! The family homeschools, raises sheep, chickens, and has large garden which enables them to sell at the local farmer’s market. The whole family pitches in and shares in the profits.
In respect to her craft, Nancy tells me, “After first moving here, we tried raising a few different animals, but then my children began raising sheep for 4H. We began using the wool for various things, but then discovered felting. Our wool isn’t the greatest, not the best for spinning, not really soft and silky, so this has been a good fit for our farm. It definately helps pay the bills, and justifies having so many “pets” around the place!
“I began selling on Ebay, but then discovered Etsy and started a regular shop there. I still sell on Ebay once in a while, and once a month I offer larger pieces at the PFATT Marketplace (Pfattmarketplace.com). I’m not crazy about custom pieces because I have so many ideas for things I’d like to make, and every time I accept custom orders I have to neglect my Etsy shop. There’s just never enough time for everything!”
You really ought to check out Motley Mutton …be inspired!