Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Betsy Ross -- American Entrepreneur and Patriot

Like schoolchildren across the USA, I've always believed that Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag. I thought of her as an inspirational fiber artist. Historians report that this iconic story about sewing stars and stripes is not fact, yet I do still hold Betsy as an inspiration in my fiber art career. 

The way I see it, this legendary American woman lived a life worth emulating! Having outlived three husbands in a war-torn country, during which time she gave birth to seven daughters, Betsy was strong and independent. She ran a successful upholstery business, and became a symbol of patriotism throughout America and across the centuries. Kudos to Betsy!

I like the part of the Betsy legend that has been passed on by her grandson, William J. Canby, that his grandmother taught George Washington how to make a five-pointed star with a single clip of her scissors!

My flag folk art in progress at Nestle And Soar
Do you believe that Betsy was the kind of American woman you would have enjoyed knowing as a friend? I'll bet she had great stories to tell! All of the political intrigue surrounding her husbands would have been an interesting topic over lunch. Having husbands in leadership positions, one who was a swaggering pirate-type rascal, sounds lively to me! Raising seven daughters, mostly on her own while running a business, sounds like the life of a woman who had high self esteem and strong leadership skills herself.

Many American homes will be decorated with our flag this month, and being a member of the Folk Art Society of America, the decorative use of flag images is a favored artistic source in my work as a fiber folk artist. Like the Betsy Ross I have imagined for all these years, I sew my flag-inspired items using tiny hand-made stitches---1000's of them! I have the calluses on my fingers to prove it. I hope that my efforts as an American woman, wife, mother, entrepreneur and artist leave a legacy that my kids and grandkids will be proud to pass on for generations to come! 

Thanks for stopping by,

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