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Most of my creative crafting and home skills come from what I learned from my mom: through direct lessons but also from living in a world literally built by her. She is always looking for a way to eek more out of life. This taught us reflect and invent more. Reflect on the wonderful things we have and invent to make other things more effective, beautiful, efficient, or useful. I interviewed her to see what had always inspired her.

1. How would you describe your creative style?

? Minimalist, practical, aesthetic utilitarian???

2. Do you consider yourself to be an artist, crafter or innovator?

Hmmm let me ponder…

a)  I look at what I want to achieve for the overall look, feel and function.

b)  I then inventory what all I have on hand to work with.

c) Finally I go at it.

Thus I believe that because I innovate with what presents itself to me, I am a crafty artist… :- )

3. You’re proficient at a wide range of skills and crafts. This is part of what inspires me to be able to do or make anything I would find useful or enjoy. Can you tell me what has inspired you to learn some of the skills you know?

I would say necessity would be number one, making the best of where I happen to be at. To set the stage for my life, to approximate the movies of my mind. To be able to manipulate my environment to make it more aesthetic and practical for me so that in my every day function I can work smarter, not harder.

I foraged for food to see how little I need to rely on the food stream. My pioneer ancestors were the inspiration, they did so much with so little. Free food is all around us and it is so rich in vitamins and minerals. Last but not least there was an USMC Uncle that would talk about eating “tree roots”, that was always in the back of my mind as I grew up, so I fulfilled that idea once I was older.

When it came to household furniture, decor and clothing…I knew what I wanted, but it was not to be found, so I would make it or fake it! I would build it or revamp found wood and furniture. Paint designs on walls and furniture. Weave or crochet rugs for my color schemes and sew curtains to compliment. I would design and sew clothing, because I did not like the materials and/or designs that were available.

In cooking and foraging it was mentally stimulating trying to be creative and gourmet with regional, seasonal and foraged items. Great Fun! I would also think of different cultures and how they would use certain items historically.

4. Are there some skills that you think of as everyday skills and/or special skills for certain circumstances, or do they all cross over?

Everything I did was to allow me to relax in and enjoy my environment, to feed my spirit and give me energy for everyday life.

5. Can you tell us a story where a craft or skills had a positive impact on your life?

In doing for oneself, beautifying and making a comfortable retreat from the world. Gardening, for example, allowed me to have fruit. House plants allowed me to have cleaner air, flowers for color and fragrance year round.

6. What stick out in your mind as some of your favourite creations?

My babies! Murals I painted for my babies.

A big 6′ oval crochet rug to keep my feet warm in the winter along with the matching wool drapes to keep the winter winds at bay.

A prom gown my baby daughter designed and I made.

The many different ethnic meals or foods I can cook or make (domas, kimchi, homemade pastas and breads, etc.).

The many different theme cakes I can make. Especially the Halloween pumpkin patch with scarecrows (I should have a photo).

My gazebo: a sheltered cove to sit under the grapes.

7. Are there any crafts or skills you’ve tried to pick up but didn’t quite get the knack of? What about those you may be still trying to hone or develop? What might they be?

Knitting… never quite got the hang of or was the one thing that did not hold me…

ALL in ALL: My inspiration was a portion of quote I learned in 8th grade:

“All the world’s is a stage”, so if we are mere players why not set your stage to your liking?

With some additional mental movies from the following people:

#1 – My Dad – (He was a cop)

Built a sitting gazebo for climbing roses down by the white picket fence. Built a 3/4 life size Christmas Manger Scene complete with Camels, wise men, donkey, lambs, hay, Shepherds, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. It was fun to play in. Built large chicken coops and bunny hutch. The bunny hutch was also fun to play in, especially in winter.

Built me a large china cabinet with hutch. Raised poultry, loved to garden. Grew great corn. And could cook things like Philadelphia Pepper Pot, Oyster Stew, Clam Chowder.

Built the biggest (10 x 12 foot) train platform complete with farms, city, mountains and tunnels he kept it up in the basement. He was a fish hobbyist, raised black lace angels. He loved to forage wild berries. He painted the street with games for kids to play like Hop scotch, dead box, etc. The street was only one block long with a total of 12 houses, it was not a busy through-way.

#2 & 3 – My Grandmom (your Nanny Florida) and My Grandfather

She loved to cook hearty, happy family meals. She loved to make cute appetizers and munchies. She grew flowers. She crocheted- baby clothes, etc.

They made tiny crafts for church dinners and bazaars. He loved to garden. He loved to tinker with electric.

#4 – Mom – She would always try to make well balanced, appealing meals. Complete with fruit cups or juice, small salad, desserts, etc.

8. If you were to pick a song to play that inspires you to be creative, what would it be?

The chorus of this song!


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