July 4th, Independence Day. Every year on this holiday I am filled with childhood memories of my Grandparents and the many family get togethers spent in their shady back yard; hand cranking homemade ice cream, running through the sprinkler and sitting outside talking in the "cool shank of the evening", as my Nanny always said.
My Grandparents lived seven housed away from us and they were an integral part of my childhood. My Grandfather was a frustrated inventor and there was always something on the drawing board. He was eager to help with a project and I think I gained my "do it yourself" skills from him. I love to tinker at a workbench and nothing gives me greater pleasure than completing a project myself.
I was very lucky to be born into a creative and artistic family. My mother taught gourmet French cooking, was a caterer and loved to oil paint. My sister is a talented crafter, antique dealer and entrepreneur, but the person who had the greatest impact on me as a crafter was my grandmother. Nanny was an avid gardener and taught me to appreciate the beauty of nature. She bought me my first sewing machine and spent many hours teaching me to master that skill. She taught me to knit, to crochet and to embroider, there was always "hand work" to keep her busy. Being around all these talented people was a huge influence on my own creative outlets.
Crafting takes many forms, you try something new, find out it has become a passion and then one day you wake up and you are a professional crafter. I have been a crafter and folk artist for over 15 years, when I look back at my early creations I am always surprised at how my style and techniques have changed. In those early works I see the influence of other artists, but now my work reflects my own individual style. That is the true meaning of Independence, your own imagination is your only limitation. You have freedom to express yourself and you are in charge of where your talent takes you, you never know what fireworks will explode. Stretch your limits and explore your own Tales of Independence!