Saturday, January 17, 2009

Make it Yourself!!!

I grew up with the same affliction many Baby Boomers had.
 When we didn't eat all of our dinner, we'd hear about people starving in China. When we didn't like walking to school we'd hear about walking 5 miles in the snow, uphill, to school. I was raised in an upscale suburb of Chicago, but because my parents had to work hard to keep the bills paid, my clothes came from the thrift shop. The high point was having to wear some other girl's hand-me-down underpants!!!! It was challenging being around classmates who had the latest this and that. When I asked if I could get the latest, I'd hear the response/mantra, "make it yourself."

As a child, I got so upset hearing "make it yourself." Living by that mantra through her own childhood experience, Mom taught me to sew, Mom and I learned to knit at the local yarn shop, and if I wanted to send a greeting card I'd have to design it, often with Mom's help. Oh...did I mention Mom used to be an art teacher in a Jr High School? I need to blog about that some time.

Now that we're in a recession, I hear thrift shops are thriving! Shabby-chic is the way to survive the recession. Did you know "recessionista" is a word defining the people who can find creative ways to dress stylishly while surviving the current tough economy? I much admire the creative knitters who are buying sweaters at the thrift shop, unraveling them, and reconstructing them into new sweaters. What a creative way to get classy yarn! Not to mention the recycling kindess to the Earth they are engaged in.

That make-it-yourself mantra and upbringing led me to get a fashion design degree because I love that space between idea and manifestation called process! Today I teach/coach others how to express through creativity and run a shop/studio with creative supplies and workshops. My hugest pleasure is uninterrupted creativity time in the studio. It never ceases to amaze me that the very things we didn't want to hear or do as a child are the very things that molded our lives today. Isn't it always the things that upset us most that bring the hugest gifts and lessons in time? How else would the lessons get our attention than to be challenging or upsetting? I thank my Mom for teaching me to defy what goes on 'out there' by making it myself.