Saturday, August 28, 2010

Frick And Frack

Yesterday, I had two birthday elves, aka Frick and Frack, at my front door with belated birthday gifts. What a true joy friends are! They say friends are the family that you choose. Please, no offense to my family, they are kind, loving, and funny, mostly funny. I haven't lived in the same town as my family for almost thirty years, so friends have always had to fill in that void. I have friends that I have laughed with, and cried with. Laughing is a lot more fun. I love it when I find out a friend has a crazier family than I do. You know who you are! What a wonderful invention, friendship. After the fabulous and creative gifts were opened, and Frick and Frack had long since gone home, I was still laughing about their visit, and thinking that laughter really is the best gift. Who am I kidding? I love presents! Thanks also to my friends that were brave enough to sing "Happy Birthday" on my answering machine. So here 's to old friends, and new friends. You can never have too many.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Big Swap

In a previous blog, I wrote about the trading cards I made to take to the Long Beach Quilt Show. I've never taken part in a card swap before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Can I tell you, it was so much fun! The idea is to put your card on the wall and trade it with another card from another artist. It's even more fun, if you get to talk and trade with the other artist in person. I came home with cards from all over the country. How cool is that?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

50, Say What ?

I'm writing this on the eve of my 50th birthday. The first thing that comes to mind is the saying " How time flies when you're having fun." Well, I must have been having a blast for the last 49 years, because I seriously don't know where the time has gone. They say that you remember moments not days. Here are some of my favorite moments:
  • Christmas Eve at the Chavez's
  • My Halloween costume made from my Mom's 1950's prom dress
  • Family vacations with Sandra, Jack, Mike, and Jeff
  • The Christmas my Mom made the handsewn Barbie clothes
  • Shoe shopping with my Dad, not so much my Mom
  • Playing jacks on the kitchen floor with my Dad
  • Taking craft classes with my Mom at the Park and Rec
  • Watching "Creature Feature" at Little Grandma's on Saturday afternoons
  • Taco night at Del Taco, ten tacos for a dollar
  • Riding my horse on the beach
  • Pastor James and church choir
  • Living next door to Steve and Suzy
  • Laughing with my adult brother and sister, laughing as kids also
  • Eating clam chowder with my family in Morro Bay
  • Creating in my studio
  • Getting Daisy, our first family dog
  • Every moment with Mitch
  • Almost every moment with my kids
  • Using the ability God gave me to bless others
I look forward to the coming year with great anticipation. I can't wait to see what's in store. I'm sure there will be time spent with family and friends, and a lot of new art. Here's to another 365 day trip around the sun.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Three French Sisters

Once upon a time, there was a lovely shop, in a quaint village, along the coastline of a little resort town, with a funny sounding name, that no one knew how to pronounce. People came from all around to buy unique, quality merchandise from this shop. The shopkeeper gathered products from around the world, or at least from the outlying countryside. Tuesday mornings were especially exciting, because the shopkeeper would return on this day from his buying trip with his latest finds. The village women would drop what they were doing, probably chores, and run to the main road in hopes of catching a glance at the latest fashions, as the shopkeeper drove his wagon back to his store. But the shopkeeper was wise to their ways, and kept a tarp over the new merchandise. The women would have to wait until the shop was opened the next morning, to see what surprises were waiting under the tarp. As the women walked back to their chores, they were all planning how they could get away the next morning, so they could be the first in line, when the shop opened. A few brave souls even wondered if they could bring sleeping bags and lawn chairs and sleep in front of the shop, but they knew that this would not be acceptable. The shopkeeper worked long into the night, arranging all the new styles. There were peasant dresses, sandals and the latest fad, tie-dyed long underwear. But little did the customers know, that there would be a new surprise wanting to greet them the next morning. While on his travel, the shopkeeper come across a straw hut he had never seen before. An old woman was sitting outside the hut making, what looked to be forms of a woman, out of wood and straw. The man jumped down from his wagon and asked the old women why she would be making such a thing. She told him it was all the rage in Paris. The shopkeepers there call them "mannequins". "What are they used for?", the man asked. The woman replied, "The mannequins are dressed and put at the front of the store to show your best and latest merchandise." The shopkeeper was a little skeptical, but he prided himself on being a trendsetter. The thought of one of the new discount stores in the next village over, having mannequins before he did, drove him to make the purchase. So here he was, late at night, dressing these women-like forms. He was quite embarrassed and was thankful nobody was around to see the mannequins in their state of undress. Bright and early the next morning the shopkeeper came downstairs, and as usual, there was a long line of women waiting to enter the store. He could have sworn he saw a few of them flex their fingers while saying, "Open, open, open." He opened the door and quickly stepped aside, so as not to get trampled. But as the women entered the shop, they halted and stared at the three forms that were wearing the most beautiful of dresses. The shopkeeper quickly explained that they were French mannequins, and that there were more dresses in the back. To the shopkeepers amazement, he sold all the new dresses and many pair of tie-dyed underwear that day. People came from near and far to see the "French Sisters" as they were come to be known. Many a husband was hit on the side of the head, right in front of that store, for showing to much interest in the three beautiful sisters. As time went on, the mannequins were copied and put into other shops. Some of the newer versions even had arms added to them, to make them seem more life like. But none could ever compare to the lovely French Sisters.
That was a long time ago. But more recently, three dusty and very faded dressmaker forms were found at a department store sale. Nobody seemed to notice the shabby forms. They were more interested in the more modern manikins, they were no longer called mannequins, but a shorter, less beautiful version of the name. Along came an artist that had been down on her luck. When she gazed over to the unlikely three, something struck a chord in her. Maybe she saw them in their former glory, or maybe she saw their future potential. Whatever the case was, she just couldn't walk away without them.I was that artist and I bought those dress forms over fifteen years ago. I'm sad to say most of that time they were put away in a box. Over the last seven or so years, they have been sitting on a high, out of reach window in my art studio. They were more dusty and faded than ever. Every once in awhile, I would look at them, and think I should do something with them. Well, last Monday was the day, I got them down, washed them off and painted them. With some recently purchased trims, I was able to restore them with a new, modern twist and with some added bling, that really make these little beauties shine. I think the shopkeeper would have to smile and wonder if they were wearing tie-dyed undies.