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LESLIE SAGER

Crochet,  Jewelry Designer,  All Around Craft Artist

Jon Doe

“I’m not content to limit myself to one medium. Creativity takes on many forms,” Sager said.

Art is in her blood. Her grandmother and aunt were painters and her dad was a sculptor.

Sager’s first dabbling in art came when her aunt taught her how to crochet. She found it to be therapeutic and now anytime she’s sitting down, whether it’s watching TV, while bowling or at her child’s basketball game, you can find a crotchet needle in her hand.

“I’m strictly a texture person,” she said. “I shop by braille: If I don’t want it touching my skin, I don’t make it for anybody else.”

Her fun, functional crochet creations include ear brassieres (cold-weather ear bands), scarves and crowns for little girls. Upon a suggestion to make a hat to wear on your nose, she started making what she calls “nozy cozies,” which come in a variety of colors to match her ear bands and scarves, and even fun designs like a pig’s snout (she got the idea from her own potbellied pig named Walter). Sager also makes crocheted beards, an idea that stemmed from a request from her son.

In addition to crocheting, she enjoys making one-of-a-kind jewelry. Upon seeing someone wearing a charm bracelet at a festival, she decided she could do that and gave it a go. Her bracelets and anklets feature inspirational charms — she particularly likes angels, fairies and mermaids — along with a meaningful or funny saying; for example, a charm on a mermaid-themed anklet reads “it’s okay to drink like a fish if you’re a mermaid.”

“I like putting it together and then having people say, ‘oh, that’s exactly what I was thinking,'” Sager said.

She also draws her inspiration from unlikely places. One day after taking down some barbed wire fence, she was thinking about what she could do with it and when she went to untangle it she accidently made a bow. Sager decided she liked it and stuck it on her fence and when her neighbor saw it she ask her to make her one too.

Now she uses barbed wire to create a variety of pieces, including hearts for Valentine’s Day, a beautiful cross and even a giant dragon fly. At first the dragon fly was meant to be a butterfly, but then she got inspired by the dragon flies that can be found on the working ranch where she lives with her youngest son and, in her words, a smorgasbord of poultry, a smattering of cats, two spoiled yaks, a dog the size of a small couch and her potbellied pig, who suffers from little, big pig syndrome.

“I get inspired by whatever’s around me; that’s how I work,” Sager said. It’s something she attributes to her father, who was a mechanic by trade, but also a sculptor and built things out of whatever he could find. “We would scavenge junkyards and flea markets and he would just look at something and know what he was going to make.”

Sager’s other creative talents include pressing flowers, stamping and etching, decorating cakes, photography, making wall art out of old greeting cards or sheet music, making book marks and making shadowboxes. Also, this past holiday season her Christmas ornaments featuring fishing lures inside were a popular item at the cooperative.

Her true passion though, is writing, which she says makes her a walking cliché.

“You know the story. Nothing finished and nothing published. Yet still I continue to regurgitate the musings that clog the recess of my tiny brain. Fashioning these snippets of thought into some sort of coherent and entertaining prose with the unwavering hope that, eventually, I’ll be in print,” Sager said.

While most of her artistry is primarily self-taught, she does go to some workshops and conventions to improve her writing.

Sager is adamant that anyone has the ability to be creative in some way.

“I think everyone has their own creativity; it’s just how you decide to express it,” she said, adding that it could be as simple as just being able to put together an outfit really well.

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