Talk To Me Tuesday: Holly Hall

Oh, I love the featured artist that I have for you today!  Holly Hall is a wife, a mother, an artist, an entrepreneur and a lemon-squeezer!  I asked her if I could feature her because I love her spirit, her resourcefulness, the way she approaches motherhood, just so many things!  I’m so glad she agreed to write a little something for us today.  Be sure to visit her and leave a comment on her blog and Facebook page, but first, read the great MiniView and the piece she wrote for us today.  How precious is that sweet baby in this first photo here?  Picking out a book for mama!  Thank you, Holly!:  (All photos in this post are courtesy of Holly Hall).

I’m Holly Hall, a mess maker and mama to two little girls living in Northeast Oklahoma. When I’m not homeschooling my oldest daughter, cooking, or nursing my bitty one, I can be found making art, and sometimes making music with my husband and partner of 14 years as one half of  Welcome Little Stranger. I blog sporadically at, and I’m the proprietress of where I sell art prints and candles featuring my line of imaginary patron saints, and The Beauty Saloon, where you’ll find apparel and gifts featuring my vintage beauty and hair styling designs.

Where do you do your art & crafting?
I do the bulk of my art and crafting at my dining room table or at my computer desk, though I do have a small spare room devoted to holding my tools, books and supplies. Perhaps one day it will be clean and organized enough to actually make art in!

What inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere! I’ve always been an old soul, drawn to the past and old-time ways since I was little, so antique items and ephemera are high on the list. I’m very inspired by words and song lyrics, especially old country songs and mountain ballads. I love folklore, old funeral customs, and murder ballads, the more gruesome, the better, and I find I’m repeatedly drawn to Victoriana, religious imagery, vintage hair styles, and flowers. I also really love and admire traditional tattoo art. A huge source of inspiration, both in my art, and in my life, are our strong, inventive foremothers who made the best of hard lives and few resources. Talk about squeezing the lemons!

What are your favorite art supplies?
My favorite supplies are vintage photos and ephemera, fabric, antique embroidered linens, embroidery floss, vintage bits and bobs, and matte acrylic medium.


What is your home like, how is it decorated?
My home is a constantly evolving work in progress. We’ve owned our 100 year old house for about five years, and we’ve made quite a few improvements, but the list of things we need and want to do just get longer and longer. I’ve removed old carpet from every room in the house myself, stripped wallpaper and a hundred years of wallpaper paste from the living room walls, patched old stove pipe holes in the walls, painted nearly every room in the house at least once, installed a new tub and shower with the help of my step father, and I taught myself to hang and finish drywall in the bathroom. Still on the list is stripping and re-papering the dining room, repainting the kitchen cabinets, new light fixtures, refinishing the floors, new kitchen and bathroom flooring, foundation repair, new windows and installing central air. Since money is tight, and I have to do most of the work myself, I’ve definitely had to learn patience, and that it’s okay to live with things in progress. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and an all or nothing type person, so I’ve had to overcome my tendency to not do anything at all if I can’t do it all at once. Baby steps! I don’t know when we’ll be able to afford new windows or central air, or when I’ll finally have time to tackle those dining room walls, but I can still take pleasure in arranging pretty little corners of my home and be proud of the work that I have done. My home may need work, but it’s very charming, too! We fell in love with the wrap around porch, original dark-stained wood trim, the beautiful original light fixture in the entryway, and the huge, light-filled pantry in the kitchen. My decorating style has evolved over the last five years from all 1950’s kitsch and Mid Century Mod, all the time, to a more eclectic, darker folk style. I’ve come full circle and returned to my first love, which is a bit more rustic, handmade, old-timey look, although I still love a bit of 50’s atomic and kitsch, as evidenced by my kitchen and bedroom! I love color, braided rag rugs, twig furniture, old cabin decor, state and Ozarks souvenirs, plaster face wall hangings, 40’s barkcloth, 50’s lamps, folk art, imperfect quilts, vintage Asian collectibles, and anything to do with peacocks.

Where do you like to find your diamonds in the rough for your home?
I find the majority of my furniture and household goods at garage sales, estate sales, junk stores, and the occasional flea market. In fact, the only things in my entire home not purchased secondhand are our sofa and mattresses. Even my dishes and silverware are secondhand. But adopting and finding beauty in other peoples’ castoffs is a way of life for my family that goes back generations. As a child, I learned the thrill of the hunt with my grandma shopping at “rummage sales” and thrift stores, and my mother never let being a poor single mom stop her from having a well decorated home with lots of personal touches. As a kid most of my clothes came from Goodwill and garage sales, just as my family’s do now. I’ve been well schooled in “squeezing the lemons” my entire life.

What is your favorite flea market/ garage sale/ thrift store find and why?
I have so many things that I love in my home, but one of my most favorite junk store finds is my 1940’s bedroom vanity. My mom and I were in a secondhand furniture shop just before my wedding ten years ago, and she spotted it and bought it for me as a wedding present, so it will always hold special memories for me. It’s also a place I try to keep orderly and nicely decorated for myself, with my favorite perfumes displayed on a pretty antique plate. The vintage Asian figure lamps on the vanity are pretty high on the favorites list, too. They were a garage sale find, also with my mom. I like to sit at my vanity to fix my hair and pamper myself a bit before special nights out, although I don’t get too many of those these days. I’m sure the other mamas can commiserate! 

One of my favorite sayings, is “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Our grandparents knew how to make things last and make the best of what they had. That’s what I strive to do, and what I hope I will impress upon my children. We talk a lot about using resources wisely, and understanding the difference between wants and needs. We also spend a lot of time counting our blessings. There are so many things that I want and wish we could afford, but when I start to feel down in the dumps about where we are at this moment in our lives, I try to remind myself how incredibly fortunate I am. Just by having a home, a car, and plenty of food to eat, I am richer than half the people in the world. What a luxury it is to have clothes and shoes, let alone a washer and dryer to keep them clean! I may not have the best of everything, but what I have is good enough for right now. At the risk of sounding cheesy, our family is rich with love. I don’t know many families who say “I love you” as much as we do to one another. In fact, one of my 14 month old’s few words is her baby version of “I love you”, which sounds a bit like “ah boo”. She says it repeatedly because it’s the most common phrase she hears. If we lost our home and everything we own tomorrow, we would still be lucky because we’d have one another.

I think, like many people, I’ve wasted a lot of time letting the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to my home, my art, and my life. If I wait until my house is perfect and decorated to the very last detail to really enjoy it or to have friends over, I’ve missed out on a lot of good times. If I talk myself out of making art because there’s no way I am a good enough artist to make the end product anywhere close to the vision I have in my head, then I’ve forfeited the immense joy that comes when I create. If I wait until I’m 40 pounds lighter and have the wardrobe of my dreams to feel good about myself, I’ve spent a lot of time being mean to my reflection in the mirror, when I could have been enjoying the healthy body that allows me to walk, play, and hold my children. We only get one life to live. Our children only get one childhood. “Using it up and wearing it out” can apply to life, as well.

6 Responses to Talk To Me Tuesday: Holly Hall

  1. Holly says:

    Thanks for your sweet words, Holly!

  2. Heather says:

    Aww, I love Holly! And her creations and her beautiful home. She’s a wonderful person, artist and mama and has amazing style in all she does!~

  3. shelley says:

    I agree that I have let the perfect become the enemy. I love the last paragraph and what it is as the testament of “just be.” Thanks for sharing!!!!

  4. Perfectly enchanting! Holly has mad skill and a great eye. I’ve seen tiny glimpses on her blog but am so glad to finally get a full-fledged tour. Inspiring!

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