Dogtown Dance Theatre is on a mission to grow and expand by helping regional artists…
Lynda Vaughan’s crafts fill her workroom and overflow into the garage just steps away. While she makes crafts year-round, this year her efforts have accelerated.
“I use my crafts and workroom to get my mind off the pandemic,” says Vaughan, who lives in Henrico.
The pandemic has affected the work she’s doing in various ways. “I usually go to yard sales to get furniture to paint, but the pandemic hurt that part because I’m not going to yard sales now,” she says. “There isn’t anything more fun than taking something that’s old and repainting it to make something new out of it.”
Vaughan doesn’t limit her creative talents. She does everything from painting and repurposing furniture to making decorative items for the home; from making dresses for her two daughters and granddaughters to painting wall murals.
Growing up in Lakeside
Vaughan’s passion for making anything and everything started with Mickey Mouse when she was four years old. “In kindergarten I started drawing Mickey Mouse’s head everywhere I could find a surface. I drew it from memory,” she says.
One day she discovered her father, Bobby Vaughan, had taken one of her drawings and traced it onto plywood. He cut it out and used her crayons to color it. He then cut a hole in Mickey Mouse’s nose to make a light switch.
“My daddy could do anything,” she says. “He started at a young age, too.”
Vaughan picked up her decorating abilities from her mother, Agnes, who had a flair for interior design. “I was lucky enough to get skills from both of my parents,” she says.
After she married and had her son, Kenny, Vaughan ordered a sewing machine out of a magazine and taught herself to sew so she could make clothes for her son.
She continued sewing and made both of her daughters’ — Jenny and Rachel — prom dresses. She’s also made seven wedding gowns and clothing for her grandchildren. She also painted murals on her kids’ and grandkids’ walls.
“I’ve also painted murals in classrooms. I’ve painted everything from KISS to Star Wars,” she says.
Wood-crafting was the next skill she added to her toolbox. “I would make my own patterns after seeing pictures in magazines,” she says. “I went out and bought myself some power tools.”
It didn’t matter whether it was her birthday or Christmas, Vaughan would always ask for power tools so she could continue her woodwork. “Kenny would always say that everyone else could go to a store like Dillards for gifts [for mom], but for you I have to go to Lowes,” Vaughan jokes.
When she was working full-time in health services, friends and colleagues would ask her to make everything from slipcovers to centerpieces for them and she would comply.
Her own home reflects her talents as well. She used the table of a repurposed sewing machine she bought at an estate sale and made it into a vanity for her bathroom. The sewing machine became a lamp. “I took the drawer from my dad’s old toolbox and made it into a curio shelf for my wall,” she says. “I got the knack for salvaging from my daddy because he never threw anything away.”
Ribbons of All Colors
When she finally retired in 2015, she knew she couldn’t just sit around and binge watch television. Her mother urged her to enter some of her crafts in the State Fair of Virginia. Over the years, she has won more than one hundred ribbons.
“It was fun doing all those different things,” she says. “I love the challenge.”
She started painting furniture while she was competing in the fair. One of the items she entered was a table she painted for her mother. She drew a picture of her mother at the age of two in the drawer along with a picture of an envelope that held a love letter her father sent her mother when he was in the Navy.
“That won an award at the fair. Mama was so proud of it. That meant a lot to her,” Vaughan says.
The first big showing of her work was last November at Christmas at Granny’s Craft Show at The Virginia Cliffe Inn. “I had so much fun, and I met so many nice people. It was a homey kind of feeling,” she says.
She took 120 craft items to the event and sold ninety. Based on her success, she immediately started making crafts for this year’s show (see details below).
Making crafts brings Vaughan much joy, something everyone could use use right now. “If I didn’t have a creative outlet, I don’t know how I would survive the pandemic and being quarantined,” she says. “I thank God for blessing me with these gifts.”
To contact Lynda Vaughan about purchasing crafts, email email@example.com
Christmas at Granny’s
For more information on the Christmas at Granny’s Craft Show, Wednesday, Nov. 18 through Sunday, Nov. 22 at Virginia Cliffe Inn, visit christmasatgrannys.com. Tickets are required to attend the event to allow for social distancing. Masks are also required indoors.
Christmas at Granny’s is located at The Virginia Cliffe Inn, 2900 Mountain Rd, Glen Allen, VA, 23060 in Historic Glen Allen.