Local artesans John and Welda Armour presented an interesting and eye opening program at the January 19 meeting of Mason Bluebonnet Study Club held at the Mason County Library Stribling Room. The couple displayed small furnishings and pieces of art created from “scrounged” wood and old furniture that was being discarded by the owner. An old dresser drawer had become a curio shelf with the original knobs at the top; a piece of ornate metal ceiling molding was formed into a small shelf; part of a discarded door was turned into an interesting place to hang keys, etc; birdhouses were made from scraps; and the list went on to include trivits and other small creations. John told the group that when he looks at scraps from a torn down building, his imagination starts working. Welda supplies the perspective of an artist to the creations and also mixes paints to apply. John said that he always looks for glass knobs to add to his creations because they sell well. He called the items “shabby chic”.
John described his work area as a room cluttered with many pieces of old wood and furniture just waiting to be born again in a new life of service and decoration. He said that friends call him when they see something being discarded that might interest him. At one time, a couple of the women in the club had seen a headboard from a bed in the trash. Not being able to get the piece in their car, they called John who came to get it. Swinging doors from a local church were scrounged and made into benches with hinged tops and storage space below.
During his lifetime, John has pursued several careers. He taught business classes, operated a ranch, and was a salesman, but said that this part of his life is really the most satisfying thing that he has ever done. Welda has been an artist all of her career and is the perfect partner in this new career of John’s. She paints in oils, acrylic, and any mediam that catches her interest and adds those paintings to the items for sale. She displayed three of her paintings for the program along with trivits made from her paintings.
The Armours have a booth at Fredericksburg Trade Days located across from the Wildseed Farms. Their booth is number 435.
Members of the club decided that the Armours are conservationists as well as artists. With a new eye for “junk” and resolve to not waste what can be recycled, the group gave a hearty applause of appreciation for the experience of the Armours’ presentation.
Two doorprizes presented by the Armours were won by Tommie Luckenbach (a birdhouse) and Mary Carlman (a trivit).
It was club member Brinda Pape’s birthday, so the group sang Happy Birthday to her.
After a refreshment break, a business session was called to order by president Mary Hemphill. Pledge to the flags was led by Betty Meyer, then the group read in unison the Club Collect. Secretary Julie Harrison read the minutes which were approved as read. Treasurer Mary Ellen Merkel gave the financial report. Federation Counselor Tommie Luckenbach reported that this month’s focus is on rules of order for the meetings and gave a few pointers. A letter of appreciation from The Haven was read into the record by president Hemphill. In the letter, it was noted that the club had filled a vital roll in supplying the needs of victims of domestic violence through last October’s shelter shower and the year long collection of clothing and other items.
Preliminary planning and committee assignments were made for the Alamo District Spring Convention that the club is hosting on March 27 and 28. Another meeting to complete plans was set for February 23 at 2:00 pm at Mary Hemphill’s house.
Hostess for the meeting was Julie Harrison. Others attending were Edna Earle Benton, Mary Carlman, Mary Hemphill, Tonya Lamoreaux, Tommie Luckenbach, Mary Ellen Merkel, Betty Meyer, Brinda Pape, Johnni Rossing, and Sabin Nelson.
The Mason Bluebonnet Study Club is a member of Alamo District of Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs which is a part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, an international service organization headquartered in Washington, DC.
Picture attached: John and Welda Armour show some of the creations made from discarded materials to Mason Bluebonnet Study Club members during the January 19 club meeting.