When I was eleven years old, my aunt Marie taught me how to sew, knit, and crochet. Money was scarce when she was young, so her mother made all of her clothes. When Marie got a little older, her mother taught her to sew for herself. There were never any store bought patterns. Her mother taught her to make her own patterns with a marker and newspapers.
As I think back on it now, I'm sure that if I'd been a bit older I would have told Aunt Marie that it was just too hard! As young as I was, I listened, followed her directions, and did what I was told. Marie had no formal training, only the skills learned from her mother. She taught me how clothes were constructed, and I learned to make patterns with my own marker and stack of newspapers. That was 40 years ago. I know Aunt Marie would be proud to see that I took the skills she taught me and continued to learn and grow.
My mother was an artist. I wanted to be just like her. As a little girl I was in awe of the way she could pick up a pencil and sketch a portrait that looked so real. She was truly gifted, and I worked hard to copy her. I may not have inherited all of her gifts, but I think I got a few of her traits, including hard work and determination. My mother gave me the confidence to become a self-taught artist. I have worked hard to develop the skills to paint, weave, become a woodcarver, and do woodworking. Although my mother has been gone for 28 years, she still inspires me to create, and I feel truly blessed to be able to share what I have learned with others.