Monday, July 5, 2010

Incurable Collector

I'm an incurable collector, almost anything can develop into a collection with me, whatever catches the eye, sparks the imagination, speaks to my Spirit and draws me to it... can amass into more than one... in fact, many!!! A minimalist I'm definitely not, though I can appreciate that discipline of strong editing, my beautiful clutter is comforting to me. If they ever profile a keeper of all things beautiful and uniquely interesting on a segment of "Hoarders" I could be among them! *LOL* Many of my collections are useful and often used, though some serve no purpose other than to be beheld as eye candy.

I enjoy rituals and traditions passed down from generation to generation. The ritual of Tea especially is enjoyed often by my Grandchildren and I as we sip wide varieties of freshly brewed organic Herbal Teas from my collection of mismatched Diner cups and mugs. Hot Jasmine Tea and iced Prickly Pear Tea are my favorites, stirred with the vintage Silver Iced Tea spoon collection. Often enjoyed alfresco in one of our many Bistro styled seating vignettes I've decorated with Salvage architectural finds, vintage linens, Garden Art and Oil paintings discovered at Thrift Stores with a decidedly relaxed European scene reminiscent of our years spent abroad. As I sip fragrant Teas or robust gourmet Coffees from these cups and mugs I imagine all of the past conversations and gatherings spent sipping from them in their past. The History, craftsmanship, individuality and character of these old treasures I've amassed just can't be found in today's mass produced machine-made products. I hardly ever find myself buying new or retail, it's against my sensibilities and just doesn't appeal to me, we've been going "green" long before it was fashionable.

Hand-made and OOAK products are my favorites, my wardrobe is decidedly Gypsy Bohemian Chic, once an old Hippie, always an old Hippie at Heart I suppose! *smiles* I'm an Artist and creating with my hands and imagination is something my Native American Father and Welsh Bohemian Mother encouraged as we were raised... creativity was in our blood... wearable Art our fashion statement. Many of my favorite Artists have also inspired me to stretch and challenge myself and work with new mediums. Necessity is often the Mother of invention, when I could not afford a favorite Designer piece I'd simply make something similar out of my stash of salvaged treasures and put my own spin on it so that it was exactly what I had a vision of and wanted... at a fraction of the price! *LOL*

Making some of my jewelry and bags has given me even more satisfaction than the fabulous hand-made pieces I've acquired and collected from my favorite Artists. I have a penchant for rich vintage fabrics and old gaudy Bohemian jewelry, when Bling and excess was seriously overstated and decidedly costume. Learning to utilize some of the fabrics and jewelry together in wearable Art form has given me a way to pass down some of these treasures in a form that my children and Grandchildren will also utilize and cherish... rather than discard when I'm gone... a legacy left by me in the form of my Art. who knew the old carpet bag style would be such a hit again in 2010 with my Daughters and teen Grand-Daughters! *wink* since I'm always reluctant to overuse my beloved "Magnolia Pearl" bags lest they become damaged and ravaged by time, I hang those as Art in my Home and Design Studio Cottage and use the bags I make daily instead. After all, I can always make another or repair the ones I made that become time worn! It was an honor and flattering when Family and Friends began asking me to make bags and jewelry for them too, after admiring those I'd made for myself. A properly appreciated and loved hand-made gift is worth the time and effort put into the creation of it for the recipient. My label has my favorite photo of my Bohemian Mom when she first immigrated to this Country. She was so ahead of her time, a true original exotic looking Fashionista! Her long wavy Blue Black hair was the color of a Raven's wing in her youth, contrasted by pale Gray-Blue eyes, long flowing bright skirts, roaming free Spirit, she was a dancer in her younger days... as a child I envisioned her stepping out of a colorful Vardo and mesmerizing people with her Dance. A Romanticized version perhaps, but I'm a hopeless Romantic anyway... and why not make your own memories and story as beautiful as possible!? Sadly she gave up her dream of becoming a professional classical Dancer to become a loving Wife and Mother. But, she ALWAYS filled our home with beautiful antiques, exquisite crystal, lace, lush Kasbah Tapestries and rich European fabrics, delicate China, Wedgwood, Religious Art, flowers and spirited Music. Growing up around that abundance of beauty made a lasting impression upon me. Mom is so proud to carry the OOAK bag I designed and made for her with her image on the label and I'm thankful she always believed I could do anything with excellence that I set my hands to, even when others doubted or scoffed.

"But you have no Seamstress experience and don't even know how to use a sewing machine or pattern!" most scoffed when I decieded I'd make my own bags... but I had my hands, my imagination, inspiration from other work I admired and the God given talents passed down through our lineage to be Artistic and creative Souls... and... Mom's encouragement and belief in me. Making it all by hand means you can take it with you anywhere to work upon in the most inspiring locations... the Gardens, a Mountaintop, the Desert, the Lake... you don't have to rely upon machinery or eledctricity when a needle and thread is all the equipment you require to make your Art. Maybe one day I'll learn to use a sewing machine so I can be a more prolific Artist... but its perfectly okay if I don't... profit has never been my motivation to create Art and most of my creations I give away as gifts to those I cherish far more than anythng that can be merely bought or sold. I'd definitely have been the proverbial starving Artist if I'd made a living from my Artl... so perhaps its best I channeled other careers into making a living in the Corporate world! *wink*

Sadly, Dad never lived to see this segment of my Artistic journey. Dad was of Blackfoot and Apache ancestry and he taught me about making things by hand and about a reverence of Nature, the Earth and all life upon it. About making useful and yet beautiful hand-made items and expressing oneself Artistically, especially intricate beaded pieces. I only wish now that I hadn't been such a lazy Youth when he, my Grandmother and Aunts tried to patiently teach me the old ways of Apache beading... now the dying Art of it is forever lost to me since they've all now passed from time into eternity, taking those skills with them that subsequent generations didn't want to bother to learn. *sigh* So, it's no wonder that I love what I love, I am a product of the environment I came from, and a beautiful one it was and still is.

along with the urge to create and collect is another passion of mine, yes, I have MANY *LOL*... the great Outdoors, I'm outside more than I'm inside regardless of the weather. The planting and harvesting and tending of my Gardens isn't work to me, its energizing, Spiritual... witnessing all of Creation connects me to the Creator like nothing else can!!! The sights, sounds and smells of Nature, the Earth and it's bounty, deposits in me that which is necessary after life makes withdrawals and can leave one feeling empty and depleted. Eating the vegetables, fruits and herbs that you have grown, freshly picked from the Garden and Orchard, nourishes not only the body, but the Spirit within each of us... no fast food or junk food can compare IMO.

It is said that if you do the things you love you'll never work a day in your life... I believe this to be absolute Truth my Friends. I hope you've found what you love and take time each day to pursue it? Blessings and continue to Dream and Create Beauty every day... Dawn... The Bohemian

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post! I love the fabrics for the can I get my hand on some of those beautiful fabrics?


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl