yesterday i took a wrong turn in joshua tree and found myself on a dirt road alley. that’s when i saw the sign for the world famous crochet museum.
within seconds i was falling-down drunk on CUTE. the ex foto-mat trailer the museum is housed in, all 40 square feet of it, is crammed full of the work of a thousand little old lady crochet mob bosses.
whatever you can imagine, from tacos to cakes, watermelon, poodles, cats, and dinosaurs have been curated & gathered from far and wide and brought here to live. shari elf is the museum founder and next door is her cozy relaxed gallery & studio.
i had a paradoxical reaction to all of this joy on display. tears. shari rushed off to get me a kleenex while i tried to compose myself.
it’s just that while i was looking around i had this thought that i was standing in the middle of the best, most perfect antidote to hate. i know crocheted monkeys and cookies don’t have magical powers against assault rifles, bombs, and active shooters.
or do they?
remember that rubber stamp from 15 years ago or so…“art saves lives”?
that sentiment is living and breathing in this studio.
and yesterday it grabbed hold of my heart and squeezed.
dear shari elf is spinning paint & words into gold.
i found this video about shari and thought i’d share it with you.
you come to joshua tree. you go see the art queen of the desert. period. tell her the crying woman sent you.
Ms Elf is the antidote to hate. Don’t know how anyone could watch this and not feel the joy. I have collected things made by little old ladies for years…I cannot resist bringing them home. I would love to find a Ms Elf in Miami. Thanks for sharing this…I am passing it along. BTW..do you know who makes that wonderful music on the video of the art installation?
Linda Watson says
Oh, you got me at the crocheted-over-a-bottle poodles. My MIL and her friend used to make those. They were “seated” all around the house next to chairs, like little sentinel dogs. Then husband and I got a real dog, a big dog, a Doberman, and he adored those little poodles. Would pick them up and carry them around my MIL’s house at a trot, with her chasing him, saying sternly, no, no, no, give that back. The Dobie thought it was so much fun, a great game to play. My MIL would just sigh when she finally retrieved the slobbery wet, slightly holier than before poodle, and crochet another one.
Judy H. says
Love it. What a hoot. Antidote to hate, for sure. 🙂
I had one of the poodle bottle covers years ago. I especially love the crocheted cake with slide-out slice.
Elizabeth Woodford says
If we pay close attention, opportunities present themselves when we most need them!! What a total delight!!!
Joy. Thank you for sharing your wonderful discoveries!
Jane S. says
Dotti C says
This is so touching. It also led to another very artful and poignant video:
Love following your blog
PS Love following your classroom adventures too! It’s so good that in a city so full of noise the kids find a good sanctuary in your class!
A treasure in the desert! What a joyful, selfless person is Ms. Shari Elf. The crochet museum is beyond joyful as is this whole post. You found a kindred spirit. You’re not aware of sharing the same kind of joy and art on your blog? C’mon! She’s the mirror image of you Ms. Moss! Ha, I’ll be smiling all day with that tune running thru my mind like a smile.
jacki long says
Thanks Mary Ann! I love watching you have fun as I think we are on the same fun barometer.
I remember this video on KCET, so glad you got to visit first hand. Thanks again! ;o)
Vicki in Michigan says
What a fortuitous wrong turn!
In quilting they sometimes say “if you don’t like the X in your quilt, put in more of it and see what that does” — where X can be a color, a shape, a certain fabric, whatever. This thought apparently works for crocheted poodles……….. 🙂
Love the cakes! The one with fancy cookies on top? The one with a slice out of it, with the slice????? So good.
Agree with you completely — the perfect total antidote to small-mindedness, narcissism, greed, and hate.
Thank you for sharing all of this goodness with us.
Absolutely delightful! Thank you for sharing her video!
This makes my heart so happy – thank you for sharing your lucky direction!
A huge thumbs up for turning down the road less traveled. What an amazing discovery. The world needs more Sheri Elfs!! Thanks for sharing and starting my day off on such a joyous note. MAM, you’re the best!!!
Wow! Such an inspiring entry! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. And the video was really good, too!
Mary Ann Moss says
she has quite a few i discovered. excellent HEART medicine i think!
Jane B. says
What she is doing is everything that is right in this world – how can one NOT become verklempt at the sight of a crochet cake with accompanying slice? Just sweet and pure joy; we all need a lot more where this comes from too. Hugs to you and Shari Elf.
Janet G says
I’m so glad you took a wrong turn!! I hope you will show us what you bought!!
WHAT A GREAT TOUCHING STORY, THANK YOU FOR SHARING IT. I CAN UNDERSTAND YOUR TEARS WHILE THERE. I LOVE THAT SHE IS “JUST DOING HER THING” AND MAKING A LIVING DOING IT. AMAZING. YOU ARE SO LIKE THAT, JUST DOING WHAT YOU DO, GOING ON MINI VACATIONS AND RECORDING IT ALL IN YOU HANDMADE JOURNALS. FREE SPIRITS. I ALSO LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH YOUR STUDENTS. I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR BLOG EVERY DAY FOR A LONG TIME BUT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE COMMENTED. I AM SO TOUCHED.
Lovely. Not a wrong turn!
Robin Sears says
Thank you! What an amazing way to start the day!
Oh my goodness! What a wonderful, life-affirming, soul restoring, uplifting story. My grandmother and great-aunt were two of those old lady art goddesses…making “good and sturdy art” from re-purposed materials many years ago. Thank you for sharing Shari’s story.
Pat P says
So… you didn’t take a wrong turn at all. You took exactly the turn you were supposed to. I may have to print out a few of these “antidotes” for those bad days. And now I know.. my grandmother was an old lady crochet mob boss, because she had a ton of crocheted poodle toilet paper roll covers!
penny mccall says
So glad you got to meet Shari.
Remember you saw her work first at my house:
her angel with necklace sculpture & the large
“Glamour Queen” painting in the blue bathroom.
She’s a treasure!
Mary Ann Moss says
i knew someone had told me about shari before and told me to go see her in joshua tree but i couldn’t remember who! now i do!!!
Barbara M says
Your blog posts always touch my soul, MAM, but this one reached deep into my being. I started shedding tears of joy when she referred to crochet as “old lady art” and didn’t stop until long after the video was over. Thank you. I needed that.
once again, thank you… : )
Love that you found Ms Elf, and love even more how you saw it, the antidote, yes yes yes !
OMG!!! That cake with the slice cut from it… I would have cried too!
Bev Shegina says
You just shared HOPE and JOY! Amen
Sylvia Heacock says
True joy? When a person finds their passion and shares it freely with others. Thanks MAM, you’ve done it again.
…you stumbled upon water in the desert and quenched my soul.
I love her and her sparkling creative spirit – of course you cried! Thank you for sharing, Mary Ann, I’m going to share the youtube on FB. xox
You know, one of those days that makes you wonder how you’ll get to sleep because, while better things are about to take over, right now the Ugly in its death throes and outdoing itself. Plus ordinary life is challenging for so many you love. But then MAM comes through with truth and beauty **and** the crochet museum. Ms Elf’s music is so much fun too. Shared everywhere. Blessings upon all your houses, MAM.
RoseMary King says
She is the BOMB!!!!