I am not just a dabbler in arts, crafts and hobbies. When something catches my eye, be it a fashion design, home décor, or certain landscape, I see the lines, shapes, colors and textures in my mind’s eye.
I began sewing when I was a teenager. I could look at a picture from a pattern I bought and cut the material without actually using the pattern. I am short and petite and found store-bought clothes did not always fit properly. I bought patterns and fabric only after I pictured myself wearing them in my mind’s eye.
My first year in college, after my cousin married her high school sweetheart and became pregnant with her first child, I taught myself to knit. We were close during childhood and I wanted to give her a baby gift. I knitted every night, making a sweater, hat and booties in a cream color since we did not know the baby’s sex.
In continued sewing throughout the next ten years, making “granny” dresses and smock-top sets for my girls and little leisure suits for my son. I learned to crochet, making blankets for my children and dresses for Barbie dolls. I found crocheting to be more relaxing than knitting. I started making decorator dolls out of 2-liter coke bottles, small fashion doll torsos, facemasks and leftover fabric. This craft was a lot of fun, since I made dresses out of calicos, taffeta and velvet in the style of a Southern belle. I could let my imagination run wild with ideas for fabric and accessories.
My most creative moments came making dollhouses from kits when I retired. The first few had four rooms on two floors. As time went on, I purchased kits with more rooms, some having nine rooms on three floors. The kits included walls, floors, doors and windows. Once I built the houses, I decorated each room with a distinctive design in mind. Some rooms had wallpaper, others had paint and wallpaper, and some had painted walls. I added molding around doorways, windows and made beamed ceilings. I bought 8″ x 10″ sheets of faux carpeting, hardwood or linoleum, color coordinated with the walls. I purchased sets of dollhouse furniture from our local craft store. As I progressed, I added siding, glass doors, opening windows, and asphalt roofing. I have made ten houses in eight years and loved the challenge of decorating each differently