Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sarah's Home

The theme this week at The Three Muses is architecture and here is Sarah's home:



This is a place that I regret not going to when I had a chance , when  I was in San Jose, California.  It's the Winchester House built by Sarah Winchester.  She was widow to William Winchester who was the son of the founder of the Winchester Arms Company.  Needless to say, she was a very wealthy woman.  She only had one daughter who died at infancy and her husband later died of tuberculosis.  Because of this, she felt that she was cursed and after visiting a psychic, she moved to San Jose.  The reason being, is because the psychic told her  that indeed she was cursed by all of the spirits that were killed from the Winchester rifle.  And she told Sarah  that she needed to build a home in the west for her and the spirits, and that if she ever stopped building, she would die


So that's what she did sometime in the 1880's,  for 38 years--24 hours a day--365 days a year


She really did build it--she was the architect who designed it, even though she had no formal training.  Some say that's why the house is so screwy, like the doors that open into walls, the staircases that lead to nowhere, or the windows that look into other walls.  But MOST believe that this was her intent--to confuse the ghosts. She very rarely would  stay more than 2 nights in the same bedroom for fear that the spirits would find her. The house was so complicated, that the servants used a map to find their way around.   To say that this lady was a tormented soul is putting it mildly.  There are other interesting facts about the house.  Sarah was fascinated with the number 13 (go figure), so there are 13 bathrooms, 13 chandeliers, all of the windows have 13 panes and so on and so on.

In 1920, it was opened to the public for tours. Now.... they say that there have been sightings of Sarah's ghost  roaming the grounds and also her home and you better believe that I believe it.



This is Sarah Winchester, or should I say her spirit watching over her home.  I love this kind of stuff--it just fascinates me.  I'm the one that watches all of those TV shows--  "most haunted places", and of course Halloween is my favorite time of year.

And I also wanted to show you the background of the collage--

I was inspired by KC Willis to make this fabric collage.  She makes the most beautiful fabric collages, and last year I joined  her Collage Camp  workshop, and she shows you how she makes these wonderful collages from start to finish.  In the one video, she gives you a tour of her studio, and you just drool over all of the treasures she has there.  You can see her art at Lipstick Ranch, and believe me, it's worth the trip!!

46 comments:

Janet Ghio said...

Love your Winchester house. I visited there-probably 20 years ago and it was so interesting!!Love KC Willis's artwork-I've known her for twelve years--she is very creative and what an entrprenauer-I know-I spelled that wrong! Love all the little details on your piece!!

PiecesofD said...

This is beautiful... I believe too... My uncle had a house that was haunted. My brothers and I, as well as my parents have witnessed many unexplainable events there.tweredn

Lori Saul said...

I have been to the Winchester house and it is very bizarre-it shatters a lot of architectural rules(so to speak) but it is interesting. I imagine that the design mirrors her thinking process which was confused and limited. Your fabric collage is stunning- very elegant. Great post!

Ellen said...

a fascinating story, poor woman.

I love your background as well, so delicate

Ozstuff said...

Whooooosht! That was me being blown away. I love the story of Sarah Winchester and her buildings, although I would probably have strangled the person who gave her such ghastly advice!
Wonderful artwork and a superb story. Standing ovation from me!!d

Betzie said...

Lovely Diane...love that door knocker at the top!
Scary place, don't think I'd want to spend the night there, but your piece is very pretty!

indybev said...

I love art accompanied by a story, and I love mysteries. This just filled my cup! Beautiful art. I'd heard the story before, but not the details you brought us. Thank you so much!

Janet said...

The Winchester House is fantastic. She used lots of things in series of 13....13 holes in a drain cover, 13 windows in a room, 13 in all sorts of places. It was fun to try and find the 13 in each room.

I love your piece.

Emelie said...

I knew none of this and found it so intereting, another great story and post of beauty, thanks for the story and intereting visit.

Janine said...

Not even the Winchester house and the story behind it is phantastic, so is also your absolute awesome and enchanting collage.
I love all the little details you added and of cause the lace wich looks so beautiful.

Judy said...

Hope everyone to take time to enlarge your piece, lovely collage & an original way to display it!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I saw a documentary on the Winchester House on PBS one year. It was a fascinating and rather sad commentary on Sarah's life. I so love this piece that pays homage to her. I really like how you conceal edges of paper with pearls, flowers, etc. They make the piece so interesting, while hiding the mechanics.

I have been a fan of KC Willis ever since I started making little art quiltlets. Her work is amazing and I'm glad you provided the link.

Kelly said...

beautiful! love all the details!

Diana Evans said...

oh what a wonderful story about the home....I just got chills....that is so neat that she built it and was the architect!!!

Gayle Page-Robak said...

Awesome architecture! Beautifully presented.

sharon said...

Thanks for the interesting story Diane, I knew nothing of it...and it sounds great! Your oiece is beautiful, I love the combination of elements!

Yvonne said...

GORGEOUS!

Martha Lever said...

Oh wow, what a sad story about Sara Winchester. I would love to see that house! This stuff intrigues me too but sometimes the haunted stuff scares so bad and I have to sleep with the light on, with my husband in bed with me! How crazy is that? So I just don't watch it but it is still intriguing. Also, like have you ever thought about those beautiful crop circles that put up over night in some places around the world??? Creepy!

Sandy said...

OMG your winchester house is stunning. So wonderful creation with many gorgeous details. Perfect.

Hermine said...

Beautifulm collage, great embellishments

Femmy said...

fantastic piece Diane!!!

WrightStuff said...

What an amazing story - that and your piece are both so captivating!!

johanna said...

great piece and VERY INTERESTING story!! thanks for that shiver!!

José said...

Wow!!!! This is beautiful. And such an interesting story. Sad and fascinating. I think the house was used in a movie I once saw. Don't know the name but it was creepy.

AliMayes said...

This is stunning work but the story behind it is so sad!

Heavens2Betsy said...

What a fabulous and amazing story so beautifully depicted by your artwork. Love your work.

Silvia said...

Such a wonderful house, great work.

Buffy said...

Love this,its beautiful even if the story is alittle scary but interesting.

mojca - mka said...

beautiful, beautiful!

Barbara Jean said...

Your art collage is wonderful!
Love the use of so many elements, and pulled together so well

blessings

barbara jean
PS Thanks for coming by.

Janine said...

What a beautiful background piece!

Rosie said...

What a beautiful collage Diane - and such a fascinating woman! I'm not surprised that she inspired you...
And I also wanted to say Congrats to you on your art show Diane - I know how exciting that is. Your work is marvellous and your choice of teachers, excellent!

Eila A said...

Diane, your piece is stunning, and your story about Sarah is fascinating - thank you for telling it! And the back of your piece is truly a work of art as well!

Jackie said...

Such a beautiful piece of art, and an interesting story to go with it!

"MOI" Freubel said...

DEAR ME !!!!
I love reading your blog but about your entry...I KNOW it's NOT a contest !! But this is a WINNER that I had to see twice !!
A standing ovation from me too Diane !

Marlynn said...

Oh, Diane, that is one place I do want to go visit. I love that stuff too! I love your creation and just started watching KC's DVD on her workshop and I too am amazed with the items she has in her studio. I can't wait to try some of the fabric collaging. You are an amazing artist!

Lynifyni said...

Sarah's Home is awesome! I have been there, went through the house and it just is mind blowing! I will never forget the hand laid parquet ballroom...it was the loveliest thing I'd seen in a long time. I can't say enough about it! And I simply love your artwork honoring it...beautiful!!!! LynnF

joyfulploys said...

Wow...new story for me, I didn't know about poor Sarah. Your collage is lovely...I love the fabric collages and really admire anyone who can pull it off...and you do.
Cheers,
Mary

Gaby Bee said...

Love all the details on this! Beautiful colors, great embellishments, perfect with the image! Awesome!

Marilyn Rock said...

What beautiful art that tells quite a story! Such details, too! WOW!

1creativeone said...

This is beautiful, and I love all of the treasures that you have given Sarah's spirit to rest with!

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

This is simply stunning Diane! You are definitely multi-talented!! Glad to have you as my blog friend♥

joanna said...

What a great story! The piece you made is gorgeous Diane!!

Marleen said...

This is stunning handmade work! What a great job, I love it, super!

ShabbyChicShaz said...

What a fascinating story, I've never heard it before. It's going on my mental list of places to visit if I ever make it over to the States. Love your homage to it, it's so textural, it's exquisite

Jonny said...

Hi Diane, I love this collage you did such a beautiful piece with lace, keys, pearls,and how neat to put a door knocker.Very interesting story it makes me want to see the house I love taking those tours of old houses.Thanks, for sharing Sincerely, Jonny

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