Shop owner proves anything can be made into a piece of art

March 15, 1995|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer

In Linda Howard's world, an ordinary brick can become a door stop that looks like a cow and a smashed soft drink can become a black crow with a yellow beak dressed in a straw hat with a sunflower tucked inside.

The 47-year-old Glen Burnie woman fell in love with the art of making crafts when she was a little girl, constructing clothespin dolls with which to play. Now, she turns common household items into fanciful art objects.

Mrs. Howard displays and sells her crafts and those of others at her two-floor shop, Luv'N Stuff, which opened in September in the 1200 block of South Crain Highway. She named the shop in honor of her mother, Lovealine Phillips, who lives in Frederick County.

A 4 1/2 -foot-wide, 8-foot tall wooden cow she made stands in front of the shop, to catch the eyes of passers-by. On the porch of the shop sits another cow, on a bale of hay. Its head is an old pot. It is dressed in a pair of old jeans that once belonged to her husband, Bill, 49, and in plaid shirt that her son, Bill Jr., 28, once wore.

Mrs. Howard's son and husband painted the walls of the store, put up lattice work, peg boards, a counter and added new shelves.

Now, Mr. Howard cuts wood for her and other artisans who exhibit at the shop. Her daughter Lisa, 25, runs the shop on weekdays while Mrs. Howard runs a day-care operation in her home.

Mrs. Howard can't make a living from the shop, she said, but it provides "a nesting base" for her and others to display their work.

Carol Owens, 55, is among those who exhibit and sell their crafts at the shop. She used to display her work at different craft shows, but she grew tired of the travel.

Mrs. Owens, of Glen Burnie, said she prefers the homelike feeling that comes from displaying her work in a shop among other crafts.

She makes different kinds of crafts, but cow items are the rage with her customers right now, so she decorates cardboard cut-outs of women with cow bikinis and makes small petticoats and bicycles with cow designs.

Mrs. Owens, who has made crafts for 35 years, said she gets satisfaction when someone takes an interest her work, or that of others.

"It's just the fact that someone walks in and buys something we've created out of our own ingenuity," she said.

Howard Sewell, and his wife Edith, both 73, also display the tiny, wooden cats they make in Mrs. Howard's shop. He cuts the wood. She paints the cats.

"Howard is one of our resident woodsmen," Mrs. Owens said.

Mr. Sewell, who lives in Glen Burnie, cuts wood "for a lot of girls here, cut the wood, and they do their own painting," he said.

Some artisans rent space from Mrs. Howard, while others sell their goods on consignment.

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