Thursday, February 18, 2010

Memories of playin' dress-up


So glad Blogger finally let me on. I've been trying for a while and couldn't up-load any photos.

This is the pattern I ordered from Nanette of Frieda's Hive . It makes me happy just to look at it. If you haven't visited Nanette, don't wait another minute. She's the most delightful talent. The other day I saw that Nedra, of Cactus Quilts had gotten her version back from the quilter and it is so sweet. Scroll down a couple of posts.
Isn't this the most darling quilt? It brought to mind the many hours I spent as a child making paper doll clothes and doll dresses and drawing what, at the time, seemed to me to be very elegant evening gowns. It was the first art I did as a child. I remember spending hours drawing and embellishing those dresses with bows and buttons and lace, etc. I spent most of my younger years wanting to be an illustrator and later a dress designer. Back in my High School years, our school had what was called a Humanities Program. If you maintained a very high average and completed the required work in the basic subjects, you were allowed to spend the bulk of your junior and senior year in whatever program you excelled in. I wanted to go to art school(Parson's School of Design was my passion) so I decided to spend the time making a portfolio to that end. I was really good. I know that now. I can see it in retrospect, even though I had no support or encouragement from family. They didn't believe that they should waste money on sending a girl to college and especially not to pursue art. How I wish I had not been afraid. But that's an old story. Now, I really wish that I had those drawings in that portfolio. My family threw them away one year when they decided to clean out the basement. Along with the portfolio went a number of oil paintings and water colors. Still painful to think about that loss. I didn't find out until months later.

I grew up in the era of flower children and Hippies(1966-graduate) and even though I wasn't really a hippie I had a real flare for designing things that straddled both visions. Not comparing myself to greatness but I couldn't help being blown away by YSLs gypsy period and it's resemblance to things I had drawn not long before. It became an era of draped and flowing designs resembling the whole Jean Harlow look. I really studied the female figure and was often complimented for my drawings of models that wore the clothes I designed. If you can remember-think Mary Quant and Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. I know, dinosaur era....

Those were wonderful and awful times. Mostly I don't think too much of that time because even though it was painful, it led me to my life today. I wouldn't change a moment of that for anything. However, I've been coveting this pattern for a while and today I bought it on Etsy and Nanette downloaded it to me this afternoon. It will be like making paper dolls again and that makes me happy too. So...that's what I will do. Find dress fabric and have some fun.

Our weather is so beautiful today. It's 45 and a bright sunny afternoon. Just a lovely taste of spring.
Time to make dinner now. Talk to you soon.

10 comments:

Janet said...

We must be related somehow!! I spent hours designing clothes for paper dolls and later drawing illustrations of clothes. I, too, wanted to go to art school but my dad thought sending a girl to college was a waste of money! He said there were cheaper ways of finding a husband....as if that was the only reason to go to school.

I don't have any of my drawings either. I don't know what happened to them....probably tossed out during a move sometime.

I love the quilt in the picture. It looks so girlie!

The Calico Cat said...

It sounds like you are truely going to have some fun!

Barbara C said...

I've heard stories like yours so many times, but you kept on creating nonetheless, and it's important to see your current creativity as part of the life of that young girl who wanted to go to art school. I think she and you are going to enjoy this pattern a lot. I might have to get one myself.

AnnieO said...

I'm so sorry your portfolio was thrown out--it would have been a wonderful treasure to look through over the years. Your life took a different path but still your creativity has persevered--and that's a wonderful treasure too. Nanette's patterns strikes all of us who remember playing paper dolls; I did with my sister for hours. Happy memories!

Connie W said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane from a grad of 1965. :)
I well remember those names. I loved reading the post and remembering with you! Big hugs

Cindra said...

Love the quilt and the memories, too. I had the same dream of Parsons, but probably not the talent. My father could see college in my future, but not art, so I understand.
I am glad you wouldn't change a thing, because... we can't. I know many that have spent too much time wishing... and not living. Good for you.

Libby said...

Sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun - I can't wait to see what you do *S*

Sheri said...

Darling Quilt!

Karen said...

Sorry you lost all the art from your past. That it was just tossed makes it that much more hurtful. I was lucky, Art was supported and encouraged in my home. I attended various art classes in all the places I lived in and am so grateful for those opportunities! I have none of my early/student work as I spent so much time traveling and living out of a single backpack. But, as you know, the art has to get out and so you just keep on creating!! I look forward to seeing the dresses you create with that quilt pattern!

Deborah said...

Sorry about the loss of your portfolio. I remember the Mary Quant and Twiggy days.