About “Little Bird” Pam:
I have loved being creative since the age of eight or so. My mom taught me embroidery, then I learned to sew my own clothing after 5 years of school home economics classes. I learned to make pine needle baskets from my Choctaw grandmother at age nine, which was an on-again, off-again hobby as the years went by. Wood carving came along at age twelve, and hooked me into the field of miniatures for a time.
After learning to to smock and heirloom sew, I started up my own business of heirloom sewing for children. In my late thirties, I had the privilege of being chosen from a group of 2000 to represent women artists from all over Alabama at the “Fine Arts Museum of the South” in Mobile. My hand carved miniature furniture won honorable mention.
The award was the start of a career in miniatures until I lost my son and only child, Jason, in a car accident a short time later. My world collapsed, my marriage ended as well as my miniatures business because I lost interest in everything. I had to decide what I was going to do with myself.
Single and feeling hopeless with no job at that point, I went to work at Walmart in the fabric department. I decided to smock up a few childrens outfits and give a showing for some of the ladies from my church. That career began to blossom, and I started a new business to help me financially. It kept growing, with the help of some friends, into “Sew Special” a couple of years later. It was then that I entered a christening gown into Martha Pullen’s “Sew Beautiful” magazine contest, and won First Place for Best of Show and Originality. I was also featured in “Sew Beautiful” magazine for that christening gown and a 40” long hand embroidered artwork linen table runner, which named Best Original Handwork piece.
A short time later, my business partner passed away from cancer, and then Hurricane Katrina hit our area. The loss of my business partner was discouraging enough, but facing a downturn in business was enough to make me decide to “pack it in”. My new husband and I moved from South Alabama to East Tennessee.
Meanwhile, I had decided to start making pine needle baskets again, renewing a love for a gift I was given by my grandmother. The baskets are made in the style of the Choctaw Tribe of Mississippi. I have been selling my baskets at local events here in the mountains of Tennessee. I am a member of the “Southern Highlands Craft Guild” and I also teach this craft to those who wish to learn.
I also am a partner in Historic Threads, a business of sewing 18th Century and 19th Century style clothing for ‘the serious time traveler’.
Yup, it takes 25 hours a day!
Pam “Little Bird” Etheredge
Traditions by Little Bird