Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Nov. 13, 2000

Christmas angels, crafts made by hand

By Lynda Jensen

Patience is something that Rose Barberg must have learned as a school teacher, because she knows all about it.

It comes in handy when she works on painstaking, detailed, hand-made craft work.

"For me, it's relaxing," she said of her hobby.

Barberg keeps herself busy making all kinds of creations - anything from bunnies made of white handkerchiefs to Christmas carolers made of wood and fabric - to show at local craft shows.

Local residents may also know her as a beautician at Donna's Beauty Salon.

This time of year finds Rose busy with her sewing machine, making Christmas angels and all kinds of holiday regalia. She finds herself in a room with dozens of tiny eyes made of buttons that seem to watch her work.

She makes Christmas carolers, tree skirts, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, Christmas geese, centerpieces, baby quilts and many other kinds of things.

A Christmas caroler is made of a wooden egg for a head, wooden legs and balls for toes and fabric with faux fur trim The carolers wear felt hats or straw hats she paints.

A customer gave her an old coat with real mink on it and she promptly used it for a pair of carolers, trimmed in mink.

She also makes use of a box of buttons given to her by her mother in law.

Chenille snowmen with fleecy hats also come to life under her fingertips.

The snowmen's eyes are made by Rose's mother, Ardis Lorentz, 87, of Howard Lake. Lorentz makes fanciful flowers from buttons called "yo yo" buttons, although they are not made with any parts of a yo yo.

The snowmen's eyes are actually "yo yo" buttons turned inside out.

"Mom did have a great influence in my sewing," Rose said.

Lorentz also is an avid quilter, making 44 quilts for all her grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren. "She has don't this all after 60 years of age - I think it is pretty remarkable," Rose said.

Rose also benefits from the talent of her husband, Dick, who is a wood carver and former industrial arts teacher in Wisconsin.

Although the couple is originally from Howard Lake and Montrose, they lived in Wisconsin for a number of years, which is where Rose worked as a teacher.

Dick carves grandfather clocks and contributes pieces to Rose's projects, such as wooden legs on her Christmas carolers.

He also milled the cabinets in their home, which are made of red oak. Dick actually harvested the wood by hand from a relative's land.


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