September 16, 2010

"Seeking out a connection"

 It's the start of "The Creative Connection Event" in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A three day conference featuring creative women from all over the world.  This got me thinking, where my creative connection began. . .
 At 21, I was a stay at home mom with a husband 2 small children, a house and a dog.  My grandmother decided to pass down her treasured sewing machine to me. I watched her sew all my life and even made several projects of my own. But, now I was on my own. I began sewing, sewing and sewing. I made everything from my children's clothes to curtains, place mattes and Christmas ornaments.
 When the kids got a little older I thought it was time for me to get a part time job working evenings and weekends. So, off I went to apply at a place called Minnesota Fabrics. I was full of confidence. I wore, what I thought, a beautiful pair of slacks that I had  designed and created.  I was sure I would get the job! I walked up to the manager and asked for an application, which he handed me right away.  But, I could not miss the overall look he gave me, nor could I miss the fact he didn't quite like what I was wearing. He gave me the application anyway. After filling it out, I was then to take a test to see if I could measure, cut fabric, and attend to other activities in the store. At that time, being self taught I was completely out of my league, and I failed.  Needless to say, I was not hired. However, I was determined  not go home without a job.
 As I was leaving, I noticed the Jolly's Hobbies and Craft Store next to the fabric store. So I walked in and spoke with the nicest lady. I told her all about my interview and then explained my experience. I told her I spent many hours painting with my grandfather. I helped him build ships. We did scrap booking and I sewed with my grandma. They were not hiring at the time but, she said she needed me there, so she hired me. I loved that job. I got to do everything from stocking shelves displays and creating sample items. But, do I dare say it. The really best part, every time I opened or closed the store I got to look over at the manager of the fabric store and smile. Now 30 years later, I look back on what an impact that made on me then and today as an artist.
 This weekend while I am attending The Creative Connection Event in Mpls Mn., where hundreds of women, like me, will gather together to inspire, learn, connect and share, I will think of all of you and I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts and ideas about this unique opportunity Jo Packham and Nancy Soriano, as creative women are offering to us.
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