This week’s photo challenge theme of Express Yourself prompted me to write this post, and upload these photos. As I mentioned in an update to our “About Us” page, Kat moved into her own apartment with her boyfriend, Cam, just a little while back. She’d been gone during her four years of college, and most of the time here lately anyway, so the change hasn’t been too drastic for me. And, since they live in the area, I see her nearly as often as previously. But, drum roll, I converted her bedroom into my art studio, and am so excited at finally having workspace again!!
A few years ago, while living in the Thousand Oaks area (north of Los Angeles, up the coast), I was self-employed as a designer and dressmaker of custom, competition-level Irish Dance costumes. A few examples of my creations are here:
I had a website and shipped my dresses to customers all over the US and Canada. I had a large shop with workroom, including work tables, a few employees, industrial machines, tons of storage space, and most importantly, space! After ten years of fun and exhaustion, I finally closed the business, and took a job as a contracts specialist in the healthcare field (don’t ask me about that major career shift). I couldn’t part with my fabric inventory, though, therefore kept on sewing (much smaller projects), also started dabbling in paints, and jumped into photography with both feet.
Having the extra space once again allows me to display my fabrics. I bought plastic shoe cubbies that are perfect for the small pieces of this and that. Since the fabrics “speak to me” and are a part of my inspiration, they can’t be stashed away out of sight. And, equally important, when I’m in the middle of a project and it’s suddenly bedtime, I don’t have to put everything away. I can simply leave the room. The fabric splatters on the floor don’t bother anyone until I get around to dragging the vacuum in!
This week’s photo challenge was so timely for me. Being able to express myself with hands-on arts once again, and not just photography, is a great feeling. I’m also building an inventory of my new products, and hope to get them up for sale in the near future. ~SueBee