Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Catching up with Tammy

This past weekend I had the privilege of serving as a sewing judge for the 4-H Fashion Review at the Hennepin County Fair. Last week also happened to be the first week of the Kids Sewing Camps at Sewtropolis. Both of these events involved young sewers, had a larger number of new sewistas than anticipated and all the sewistas had sewn items that impressed the heck out of me!
So this week I intended to write about how impressed I am with all the young sewistas out there, but then something else happened last week that made me stop and think about the people who influenced me and shaped me into the creative sewer I am today.
Last week, after 30 years of searching, I found my best friend from Jr. High on Facebook. I’ve moved around a LOT (so much that I’ve literally lost count of all the times) and I’ve had a lot of people come and go from my life over the years. Thanks to Facebook I’ve been able to reconnect with some of them, but it was finding my best friend Tammy from Jr. High that literally brought tears to my eyes.
My family lived in Las Vegas when it was nothing but a small, dusty desert town. Tammy lived down the block from us and when Tammy and I met the thing I liked most about her was that she was so creative! She could draw, paint, cook and she could always come up with the CRAZIEST things to do! (and Tammy if you are reading this you know exactly what I’m talking about ;-)) She took all the cool art classes in Jr. High and she created some amazing things. Wanting to be as creative as she was I signed up for every “Art” class offered and ended up being placed in Industrial Arts and Language Arts etc. Eventually though, I learned about dimension, color and balance, skills that I rely on every time I sit down to sew. These skills help me create things that are UNIQUE!
Tammy and her family moved to Kentucky about a year before my family moved to Montana…. And someplace over the years, and many, many moves, we lost contact. Last week I learned that Tammy is now in the U.K. and runs a small business dedicated to inspiring young people to find their creativity. She hasn’t always had it easy, but I will venture to guess it was her art that helped her survive. I know it was my love of sewing that helped me survive.  Without Tammy’s influence I have to wonder if I would have made the jump from "hobby" to "passion"?  From "passion" to trying to make a living from it?  I honestly don't know...
So what’s this got to do with the Sewing Camps and 4-H? These young sewistas have had some type of influence in their lives that made them want to pursue sewing. If it was you pat yourself on the back because sewing is a lifelong skill, one that has helped this sewista survive some pretty tight times.  Continue to encourage them, you never know where their life might lead them or when those skills will come in the most handy! Thirty plus years from now they might just track you down to thank you for it. 
Now please excuse me while I catch up with Tammy!