…and so do you
WHY NOT SHARE THE JOURNEY
is where I begin, again.
My entire life I have loved designing and creating. Art, music, writing, sewing, furniture, landscaping, interior design, teaching, learning…any and every opportunity for creativity speaks to me. If I can’t do I learn, if I can’t learn I partake. I surround myself with beautiful sounds and sights. Be it a beautifully landscaped garden, a well-made piece of furniture, a song, a lovely piece of art or a room that is created to inspire or soothe. But mine is not only the beauty of expensive art or, purchased items. I love the worn, the storied the handmade, the resuscitated. I love beauty that is collected, retrieved, repurposed, found, revived, and restored. I also love our beautiful planet and taking care of her infuses what my design choices. Use what you have, don’t throw away what can be repurposed or fixed and save things that someone else might consider a treasure. That often means, I want what someone else has labeled trash.
I grew up in Kansas. The granddaughter of a woman who was one of 11 children raised by their mother on a dirt farm during the Depression. My grandmother never let one thing go to waste. She was a beautiful seamstress, she refinished furniture and I remember her pulling up her own carpet and refinishing her floors using a brick and sandpaper. NOW, that is woman who knew about reduce, reuse, recycle LONG before it became a phrase. I believe I got my deeply rooted sense of scavenging and what I call Upcycling from her strong desire to never waste a thing.
Some of my first designs were clothing for my paper dolls using wallpaper sample books my mother brought home, and my first embellishments for my cigar jewelry boxes were beautiful buttons, fabric and ribbon from my grandmother’s treasure trove of sewing notions. In my teens I loved fashion and designed and sewed clothing, what little of it we wore back in the 60’s and 70’s. I studied art, soaked up the beauty of the Kansas sky at dawn, dusk and storms. Began collecting jewelry on my trips to Santa Fe, NM in the summers. At 15 I purchased my first vintage furniture, a beautiful Jenny Lind bedroom set from the original owner, a 90 year old woman who was moving to live with her daughter. That might have been my first but it surely was not my last. Although my passion for art was encouraged as a playtime activity it was never considered a serious vocational path. In a family, whose roots were in farming, you just didn’t go to college to become an artist. I was told that in no uncertain terms by my grandfather. So I took another path but art and design were never far from my heart or my hands.
If you are an artist of any kind it lives in your bone marrow and it bleeds out in everything you do. You carry it with you into your classroom, the boardroom, your home, often unbidden and sometimes unappreciated. It’s hard to keep an artist down. You see the world in a different way.
My journey has allowed me the freedom to express myself in a myriad of ways.
- as a mother (there is nothing more creative than being a mother)
- as the director of a nursery school where I was able to encourage my teachers to use experiential art with our students
- as a director of International students at the University of Maryland where created programs encouraging cultural exchanges and education for our students and our local community
and I loved it all.
Then I spent 17 years in corporate and I will have to admit that, but for my first job, it nearly choked the life out of me.
All the while I was using the little money I had and my love for design to decorate our home with beautiful colors and plants. Creating rather elaborate curtains out of old bedsheets, learning how to wallpaper, faux paint, make dried wreaths, decoupage, create flower and herb beds and helping out my neighbors and friends with their decorating and landscaping plans while learning from them. I have since used “oops” paint, spent more at yard sales than I sold, hauled sideboards out of deserted houses, fished furniture out of the back of pickup trucks on the way to the dump, and developed friends that call to tell me what cross streets have a large trash haul waiting to be picked over. I have always loved the underdog and that includes furniture. I continue and to live, decorate and preach that we should
I want a different life now. My journey is now taking me back to New Orleans. Back to the city of my heart where my children were born and have returned and where my grandchildren live and new ones are being born. Back to the city of my soul. This new journey will be one where creativity will be my guide. I will be feeding my love for all things creative. It will be fun, full of family, friends, food (the holy trinity in NOLA), design, creation, change, children, paint, furniture, and lagniappe for sure.
Will you come with me? This journey can be ours.