Saturday, October 8, 2011

Holly Abston

 I can’t wait for you to meet Holly.   Holly is an old and dear friend of mine. Our friendship began almost 10 years ago through the sale of some antique chairs. We clicked immediately, and have remained very dear friends since- almost sister like.
Holly’s husband Brian made me my first website and blog, roughly about the same time Holly started her blog. Holly took it and ran. I cowered down and got scared, too afraid someone in my tiny town might think I was crazy, I quit at post 15. (If you haven’t noticed, I’m over that).

These are the chairs.

Give Holly a Big Rural Women Rock Welcome!
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I was born a city girl. Los Angeles, to be exact. When I was six years old my mom, step-dad and sister packed up and moved to Oklahoma City. We were following work for my dad. My mother researched the schools, and we settled in a nice suburban area. Still city. If you can get to a Wal-mart in less than 5 minutes, it's CITY. We planted ourselves there, and my parents raised all 3 kids in that same house. I went to school in a huge school district. Thousands of kids. When I grew up, got married, and had my first kiddo, I knew I wanted something a little different for my kids. I wanted rural.

I couldn't believe I even wanted it. I was a city girl. I loved the city. I loved the convenience. I loved running to the grocery store at 1:00 am if I needed to. But I loved my kids more. I have sort of a romantic nature, and I envisioned my kids growing up in a Norman Rockwell painting So when our first son was two years old, in the spring of 2005, we moved. We made the jump to Tuttle. Tuttle is a lovely little town. There is one stop light, one cemetery, one small grocery store, a Sonic (oh yes, Cherry Limeade, please), and dozens of churches. There is one elementary school, one middle school, one high school. They all have the same mascot. We are the Tuttle tigers. On Friday nights in the fall, the WHOLE TOWN comes out for the high school football games. It's very serious business. There is an annual homecoming parade where my kids decorate their bikes and ride down main street along with cheerleaders and tractors and Ice Cream Princesses and little league baseball teams sitting on hay-filled trailers. The whole town closes down, schools let out early, and everyone lines the street. Kids wait in anticipation for the buckets of candy hurled from the parade participants.

My kids go to a wonderful school. Almost every teacher, whether they've been a student of that teacher or not, knows my kids and me by name. I bring the Principal, secretaries, and my kids' teachers a cherry limeade from our very own Sonic a few times a year as a thank you, and you would think I am bringing them gold. They love my kids. I mean, they really do. The principal knows the name of every single kid in her care. They are good. When I moved here, though, at first I felt a little isolated. I didn't have any kids in school yet, and I had just had my second baby. I didn't really know a lot of people in the town. By the winter of 2007, I was getting a little stir crazy. Enter the internet. Oh, how I love the internet. I was surfing the web one day... looking for... I don't know what I was looking for. Something. Anything, I wasn't really sure. I stumbled upon a blog. Amy Powers' blog, to be exact. Oh wow. The world was suddenly small. I found what I didn't know I was looking for. Blogs. I voraciously consumed every post on her blog, and then read the other blogs she linked to on her page. It wasn't long until I knew I wanted my own blog.

I've always been artsy. So I knew I wanted an art blog. In February of 2007, I started- wrote my first post. It wasn't long until I learned about etsy (if you don't know about etsy, honey, hold on to your wallet. Awesomeness awaits you there), and the Somerset publications. Somerset is an incredible group of magazines. ALL of their content is reader provided. They had a new quarterly magazine then, called Artful Blogging. I submitted my blog, and what do you know, they wanted to feature me! ME. They thought MY BLOG and MY ART was interesting. After that, different Somerset publications featured some of my crafts, one of my photos (it was a lucky shot. I am NOT a photographer). I sold my artsy crafty stuff on my website and I was doing amazing things. Amazing to me, anyway. Around this time, my oldest started school. And I started teaching some art classes way up in the city. I joined Facebook and started really feeling like I was getting to know my sweet little community. Funny how something like Facebook made it easier for me to get to know the people in my small town. Yes. This is MY small town. I've since shut down that original blog and started a new one. I have changed directions artistically. Instead of crafts, I am doing what has always come naturally to me. I am drawing. Nothing pretentious, nothing amazing. Just sweet little illustrations of children and other things. My work has a nostalgic feel. I think it harkens back to that romantic notion of small moments, small people, small towns. Have you ever noticed that “small” often describes really important things?


I have big dreams for my little drawings. And you know what's amazing? You can live ANYWHERE today and do ANYTHING you want to do! The internet has made the whole world a small town. There are communities for everything you can imagine! Blogs for arts, crafts, mommy blogs, techy blogs (my husband has a computer programming blog!), and anything else you could dream of. If you don't have a blog, you should GET ONE! And get on Facebook, and Flickr, and poke around on Pinterest and stake your claim! This last spring, a couple of professional photographers saw photos of my kitchen on the internet somewhere. Those photographers drove all the way from the Northeast United States to rural Tuttle, Oklahoma to photograph my house for a national interior decorating magazine. Can you believe that? The story is supposed to come out in the spring. It's stunning to think that a photo I put on my blog traveled around the world wide web, and found it's way to the monitor of editors and photographers for national magazines.

 By the way, Tuttle does not have a Wal-Mart. I have to drive to one of the
neighboring towns for such luxury. But you know what? I don't miss it. Not
one bit. It has forced me to slow down. To plan. To breathe.

Rural is a place, of course. But it's also something sort of intangible. For
me, it was always in my heart. I wasn't born here, but I was born to be
here. The world has opened up to me since I've been here. The women here
have become my very best friends. I love Rural. It rocks.


  1. Thanks for the invitation to guest blog, Kasse! Love you, my sweet friend. xo

  2. Dear Holly,
    Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us! You are an amazingly talented woman! Your love for your family and your passion for your work is pure joy. You have inspired me the way that Amy Powers has inspired you! I too am a country girl at heart and appreciate all that God has blessed me with. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your gifts! xoxo Holly Helgeson :)

  3. What a great post!! Holly is such an incredible artist!!! Can't wait to see her home featured in the magazine this spring!

  4. I loved this post and finding out more about this sweet lady! I am in love with Holly's art and enjoyed learning more about her life! Thanks! ♥

  5. Wonderful post groom sweet Holly. Enjoyed it!