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Teacher creates handmade Christmas cheer

Being a teacher by day and artistic entrepreneur by night takes time, effort and a lot of help.
Beth Wiseman, a career and technical education teacher at Pumpkin Center Middle School, has been creating decorative pillows for 10 years. This year alone she has produced around 500 pillows.
“They’re beautiful and different,” said Nancy Boulware, a friend of Wiseman. “They’re on beautiful fabric. The art is exceptional, very tasteful and the ribbon has glitter and when you put it in any room at Christmas, it adds to the Christmas spirit.”
Wiseman’s Christmas pillow creations have been sold in Raleigh, Blowing Rock and Colombia and Spartanburg S.C., and she has trouble keeping up with orders.
She chooses and cuts fabrics on her own and paints each pillow, but she can’t complete the entire process on her own.
“It would be impossible for me to do that,” she said. “A lot of friends help me. I have friends that cut, friends who sew.”
She even has a friend, Kathye Cochrane, who coordinates all cutting, pick ups and drop offs.
Wiseman enjoys both the business and artistic sides of her chosen craft, and her business savvy has led her to focus solely on Christmas themes for pillows.
“That’s all I do,” she said. “I enjoy doing those – the Christmas trees, the wreaths, and they’re very marketable at the shows where I send them to be sold.”
When Wiseman first started decorating pillows, the only place they were sold were at parties she held at her house.
“I would invite friends and friends of friends,” she said.
These first parties were a big hit, and friends encouraged Wiseman to continue creating.
“It was just a fun thing to do, and then it started growing,” said Sissy Lineberger, a friend of Wiseman. “It just got bigger and bigger.”
Now in order to keep up with demands, Wiseman paints every chance she can get.
“I paint a lot on weekends and at night,” she said. “In the summer, I try to get a lot done.”
The Christmas pillows are very popular and can be seen all over Lincoln County at the homes of Wiseman’s friends. It doesn’t even have to be the holiday season to have a viewing.
“I leave mine out year round,” said Libba Thompson, a friend of Wiseman’s.by Sarah Grano

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