It took me years to realize my parents were probably artists. Mother the hairdresser sculpting styles with pin curls, father with melodic voice, playing the harmonic by ear.. Growing up mom would polka dot old lamps or revamped a piece of furniture with a coat of paint. Her first self indulgence as an adult was a brand new singer sewing machine bought in the 1940’s, used to tailor her suits. (I still have that machine too!)
She made me a coat out of dad’s old clothing, many dresses, shorts and blouses.
Although dad had very little education, I’m embarrassed to say elementary level; he bought a how to book and built a house, in his thirties.A few years later made me a playhouse to match! Both parents were Jacks of all trades. What one couldn’t do the other would try. Tenacious in nature Mom went into labor six weeks early with my brother while painting her living room. Together they built a cozy home.
Dads dancing abilities wooed the women, who fought to have him as their partner. Years after he died women still spoke of his incredible dancing skills. Athletically he was profound, cliff diving in his youth; he also bowled, curled, swam, could skate, and perfected his golfing skills to always being one of the best. You name it; he could do almost anything he set his mind to. Yet he had a deep seeded insecurity, stemming from his low level education. Extremely wise, with amazing common sense, he became an avid reader in his mid years, making up for any previous deficiencies.
Mom with the rolling pin, her sister, and best friends!
Along with sewing, mom could have been the Rachel Ray of today with her envied cooking skills and perfected pies. There was always a soup on the back burner, a book on the table and some creation ready to emerge. My mother was a spitfire go getter like my daughter. She made things happen, working full time while still being a dedicated homemaker too! When I was thirteen she crocheted me two gorgeous dresses,that I loved . She saved them for years in her sewing trunk, silly me I let them be carted off to Big Brothers. I feel sick about it now! I could kick myself for being so nonchalant about such craftsmanship! There are no photos of them, only memories.
A similar style to this one, except the top was
empire waist,completely crocheted and lined,
in this exact stitch and color!
The second dress was the same pattern
in variegated purple wool.
I think I come from a long line of creative souls. My maternal grandfather was a carpenter who played the fiddle at dances and told jokes. My paternal grandmother played the piano. My mother’s mom made crafts out of what ever she could find, was an incredible cook and loved gardening. I often wonder if there were a few gypsies in the mix on her side.
Would my parents ever have thought of themselves as artists? NEVER…and they would have thought it frivolous to chase such a dream. Introduced into poverty at a young age, both parents, raised by single mothers, felt making a decent living should always be priority! Because I spent years chasing a buck, on a fast treadmill of life, got sick doing so, was forced to change, I now have a different philosophy. Do what you love, love what you do, the money will come secondary! Now that's where I come from!