The Fashion World has roared: “Prints are in.”

I was bold in junior high.  I wore various printed tops to class: bright beetles and satin comic-strips.  It got attention.

The chutzpah slipped away in high school, and ultimately disappeared in college.  The mantra on campus was look like everyone else.

Spring 2011 Fashion is not my motivating factor.   {Enter red-head and The Magic School Bus.}

Ms. Frizzle.  The teacher’s fancy frocks remind me of true glamour.

Where does Ms. Frizz shop?  Does she design her own clothing line?  Is she on  Is her first name Fran? Lots. of. questions.

Despite my fictitious admiration for the scientist, I do realize she does not exist. But I do believe that many crafty women carry little pieces of Ms. Frizz’s splendor and philosophy as they roam the streets.

Let the Frizzle wild.  Rock the rhinos.


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Yellow eyebrows

May 20, 2010

“My sister was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease when she was in her early 40’s.  By the time they figured out what she had, they gave her three months to live.  She ended up living for three years, due in large part to her fervent love for her young daughters.

Her name is Kathy.  She was technically my half sister, but was like a mother to me.  I packed up all of my things and moved from Florida to California at her suggestion when I was in my early 20’s.  It never occurred to me that anything ‘bad’ could happen to a young woman in a car alone on a three or four day trip across the country with all of her possessions in her car, including a large television more or less in plain view in the back seat; and nothing bad did happen.

She took me into the fold, made me part of her family.  We would take long walks and she would listen to me rattle off incessantly about whoever I was dating at the time – she was patient with me as I painstakingly dissected every conversation and wrung my hands over every nuance of what was said.

She was home.

So I painted her.  Tried to convey the strength of my love for her and the power of her courage with the color choices.  Most of all I tried to capture the pain in her eyes.  The resignation.  The fear.  And a glimmer of hope in her yellow eyebrows.

It occurred to me long after the painting was done that her eyes were green.  Mine are blue.

I had painted my eyes into her face.”

-Art and story by Lisa Valle, 44, from Portland, Oregon

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Art by Melissa Garrett (daughter) from Bristol, Tennessee

“My name is Melissa. I have always felt like I was born in the wrong area.

I feel that I would better ‘fit in’ in a large metropolitan area, such as New York or LA. However, I went to a very rural high school in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. It was not out of the ordinary for the students of my high school to wear their overalls and roper boots to school, fully adorned in the cow and horse manure from working on their families’ farms early that morning.

Agriculture and Horticulture were the most popular areas of study at my high school. Old pick-up trucks with a dead deer in the back from the owner’s most recent hunting trip were plenteous. I, on the other hand, did not find this aspect of my area’s culture attractive in the least bit.

Each morning when I got ready for school, unlike the others, I did not think of what would be most comfortable to wear that day. I focused on what was stylish and appealing. I spent much of my time with my fashion magazines. My dream job is to be a fashion stylist of the stars (although I am currently in college to become a nurse).

As my picture describes, I treated the halls of my school like a run-way, modeling the fashionable looks that I put together. I did stand-out from the ‘norm’ of my peers, but I didn’t mind. I love expressing myself through style.”

-Melissa Garrett, 20-years-old

Art by Barbie Garrett (mother) from Bristol, Tennessee

“This is a self-portrait reflecting my vision of who I am.  As I was having fun drawing, I was reflecting that this is not how others see me, I think. I started to send a picture of just two green eyes on a white background.  I see myself that way sometimes, on the outside looking in.  And invisible.

This reflects the parts of me I enjoy.  I purposely left out my family, even though that is so much of who I am.  And, I purposely left out my faith, which is also much of who I am.  This is just a simple ‘look at me’.

I spend much of my time out on the porch, working on my laptop in my porch swing.  I am a freelance writer, and this is a lot of who I am. I am the Social Media Examiner for the Knoxville Examiner. I write about many different topics, but it is often cooking and crafts. I am a kitchen gadget addict:  I have 3 bread machines and 3 rice cookers.

I am a church organist and a former piano teacher.  I do a lot of things, but I usually do them on the front porch in my porch swing.

Obviously, I am a philosopher, and not an artist!”

Barbie Garrett, 50-years-old

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My cowboy grandpa

February 25, 2010

Self Portrait in Sub-Mission by Sean Samuel Kelly

“This drawing came to me in a dream, thus the title.  I was having one of those eye-opening episodes we all have in our early twenties.  Trying to find my purpose in the grand scheme of things, the cosmic connections, the wanting heart and desperate brain.  I was feeling kind of low and inspired.

I lived in a little farming community about ten miles outside of Chico California called Capay.  I lived with my grandparents.  My grandpa was an old cowboy who was known for his little doodles and drawings that were scattered about his home and workshop.  Mainly little cartoons of cowboys urinating on a cactus or something silly.

He was watching me one day as I was drawing my self portrait.  He was giggling and giddy about it.  It made him proud to share his creative gift with me.  The piece itself comes from a deep, dark place but humor and balance are evident throughout, like life I guess.”

-Sean Samuel Kelly from Portland, Oregon

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A Seinfeld self-portrait

February 10, 2010

Doodle by Tara Joyce of Rise of the Innerpreneur

Doodle by Tara Joyce, writer, speaker, and creator of Rise of the Innerpreneur, and Elastic Mind.

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Nibble on this

January 22, 2010

As a prelude to an upcoming post on Seth Godin, chomp on this cheese.  Digest.  Like the mouse, you can’t regurgitate this stuff.

If our young men miscarry in their first enterprises, they lose all heart.  If the young merchant fails, men say he is ruined.  If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life.  A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls.  He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not “studying a profession,” for he does not postpone his life, but lives already.  He has not one chance, but a hundred chances.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Mom and pop portrait

January 18, 2010

Portrait by Jonah Trople using Acrylic, Bob Ross Gesso on paper and wood

“I am a 21 year old art student at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Recently I moved into an attic of a single mom of two, ages three and twelve. At first, I was hesitant, I’m more than down with attics – but single moms and kids? The move was necessary though, I couldn’t afford anything else and previous to this I was living out of my rusting VW Bus, anything was better.

I’ve been living in their attic for about two months now, and it has turned out this has been one of the coolest learning experiences ever. Nothing reminds you of what it’s like to be a three year old better than living with one. It’s put a perspective on everything – what an awful three year old I must have been! Since moving in with this family I have reflected on my own relationship with my parents a lot.

My parents had me in their teens, got married, and then went through college while raising me. For some reason, prior to moving in with this single mother and her two children, I never gave a thought to how much work my parents put into my upbringing. Imagine having a kid in your teens AND going through college at the same time!

I will admit, I wasn’t a typical child – I was a real problem – an honest horror story (I still kind of am…) I can’t believe how much love my parents gave to me, how awful I was, and how hard it must have been for them.

I decided to paint a self-portrait while I was still in the womb to explore (and pay respect to) the love my mother and father gave me. I painted them at their wedding and me in my mother’s stomach. After I had finished this painting I decided to paint myself at their age so I could compare how different our lives were at the same age. wow. Thanks mom and pop.”

Art and story by Jonah Trople

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