Thursday, September 26, 2019

A story about Kate

Once upon a time…
in a faraway land named Massachusetts, there lived an evil innkeeper, his wife, and there two lovely daughters. The wife cooked and cleaned and worked very hard. When she had spare time she taught herself to paint. Not just walls but pictures to hang on those walls. You see she loved unusual things, which at that time were very hard to come by.  She had always loved working with her hands and creating art.
Nine years passed...
 one beautiful spring day the innkeeper decided to move his family back to their childhood land, Pennsylvania. There they settled in a little village called Allison Park. As the children grew, Kate worked and learned how to fix and maintain their new home. Which made her very skilled in many trades.
One cold December evening the evil innkeeper grew tired of the family life and off he went, never to be seen from again. What was Kate to do? “Aha!” she said. Maybe the village would also enjoy unusual items to grace their homes and adorn their walls. Without further ado, Kate started putting her skills to work painting the villagers’ walls and furniture with beautiful designs, exclusive to each one's individual taste. As the years passed the village became a unique and whimsical land.
Then one day while gardening, a passing gnome darted into a patch of thickets, which revealed a briar covered carriage house. Her imagination took off, this would make a great meeting place to sell her wares and greet the village ladies. Again, she worked and worked to make the cottage into an enchanted studio filled with whimsical adornments for the village patrons.
For a few years the village nobility let her sell her wares from the little cottage. Then to Kate’s surprise the village nobels decided that Kate could no longer sell from the Cottage house, her doors closed. Again Kate had to wrap her mind around what to do? She started sculpting whimsical creatures called Winkles to send through the mail and sell at antique markets and festivals. As Kate grew older the festivals grew harder for her to attend. On a windy September day a little bird sat on her shoulder looking for protection from the wind. He whispered, why not use the enchanting means and the mystical powers, called the world wide web. With no hesitation she opened a shop in a town called Etsy and named it Briar Cottage. Another adventure started…Needlework designs! To her amazement through this wonderful, amazing and quite mystical means, her needlework patterns could be flown through the air like magic. Which gave her the ability to not just sell to the the local village…but the world. Kate also started a main shop which can be found at briarcottagestudio.com, here you can find finished artwork for sale and more needle work designs.
Kate now has her studio in her home. Her children have grown and now live in their own separate villages. She now has the freedom to design without any more nobility and dragons crossing her path. As for the evil innkeeper, he was never to be seen from again. You could say she lives happily after after.
The End

Monday, September 15, 2014


Daughter Maggie,   Kate,   Daughter Christa

Briar Cottage Studio

Decorative, Fine Art, Needlework Designs by Kate Gillery

Here at Briar Cottage you will find many different styles of artwork. For 29 years now, I have been  creating artwork to sell to local customers who visited my brick and mortar store. My store is now closed and I have opened a
Main store: https://briarcottagestudio.com
or my
Etsy store at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/briarcottage

If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to email me at: kgillery@gmail.com

Garden Path at the Cottage


" A whimsical sense of life and nature are expressed with remarkable artistic facility in the work of Kate Gillery." (Tribune Review)

Often you will find me relaxing and designing on my front porch..

I would like to thank all my customers; for without you, Briar Cottage would only be a dream!

 Hand painted Home decor
Kate was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Some are born with a green thumb, she inherited an aptitude for art. As she matured, so did her talents. The self taught artist moved to Massachusetts with her family in the early 80's and commenced her career by teaching herself to paint using watercolor. By sketching & painting she increased her awareness of the detailed world around her and to see with an artist's eye. Several years later, Kate returned to Pittsburgh, where she debuted her artwork with the opening of Briar Cottage Studio.

 Kate's designs were well received in the northeast, her unique style quickly spread to other regions of the country. "It was always a dream of mine to make my artwork a career. What a wonderful feeling, to know that my art touches people's lives daily."

My House and studio are now closed to the public. 
I decided about 10 years ago that i would start selling needlework patterns online. Thank you to everyone that has supported and helped me in this venture. Because of all of you I am able to design and keep my dream alive.


Just before my needlework venture I made Paper mache figures to sell at antique shows and venues around my local area. You may find Winkles popping into main shop looking for a new home. you can find my Main store at

Some examples of my Winkles:

Briar Cottage is located on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. I started my business 29 years ago and never looked back. The Cottage and Studio are magical places full of whimsy and inspiration. I tend to the Cottage gardens that surround these magical figures called Winkles. Everywhere I turn there is a Winkle pinching my household trinkets and making them their own. Winkle's are one of a kind, each is hand formed, from papier mache clay. No molds are used. Each piece takes from 3 days to 2 weeks to finish, and holds a piece of my heart. I try to work trinkets into all my sculptures, gathered from antique stores, flea markets and generous friends and family. Most often the trinket tells me where it wants to go, and what Winkle or Winkle's should reside within. Please enjoy, & stop back often to browse for news and Winkle's for sale.

If you would like to view more examples of my Winkles you can find a link at the top of the page:
or click here:


I now spend most of time designing and teaching Punch Needle.
Working on Embroidery, rug hooking and Fiber Arts.

Again Every once and awhile a Winkle visits my Main store looking for a new home.

Thank you for your interest