Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Inspiration Incorporated

I subscribe to a quartery magazine called WHERE WOMEN CREATE. I absolutely devour this magazine. I'm always sad when I've finished waaaaaay before the next one appears on my doorstep. I kinda go into WWC withdrawl, that is until the new one is on my kitchen table.

It's a pricey mag to be sure. But I have successfully suggested to my children a subscription for me as a Christmas gift. They never know what to get me. Problem solved.

Throughout the magazine, there are enchanting announcements for shows, conventions, camps, workshops, meetings, retreats, etc. plus visits to the most astonishing women in their own creative environment. But, alas, never one happening in my neck of the woods, though. They take place in romantic locales like California, Atlanta, Houston, NYC, Saratoga Springs, Colorado, etc. As you can see, not one occurring in western NY on the shores of Lake Ontario.

But, what to my wondering eyes should ad for an upcoming event planned at a venue a very short drive from me. Inspiration Incorporated (an event celebrating inspired women who incorporate creativity and business) would take place on a Spetember Sunday in the little village of Honeoye Falls, NY in a 150 year old mill, once powered by those same water falls. A charming building of three floors, with a restaurant - The Rabbit Room - (where this event took place) on the first floor, boutiques, (one of which is Talulah's Fancy, whose proprietor - Tamara Shopinski - was the planner extraordinaire responsible for Inspiration Incorporated) and art studios on the second floor. I did not explore floor three.

As I walked into the building, I was greeted by a warm, welcoming hostess who pointed me to my assigned table, which had already started to fill up. I chose to sit on the side of the table that would afford me the best view of the speakers. All of my table-mates were busily creating their name tags in the most creative way they could. Everyone was intently sewing, clipping, pinning, while chatting all the while. What an ice breaker!!! Even if you were shy and reserved, people were going to be looking at your name tag and commenting, offering suggestions, passing you supplies, asking question of you, etc. The supplies were stored in 6 count cupcake tins, which were transformed into baskets by adding a wire handle and raggedy cloth bows. One of the cupcake spaces held a decorated canning jar filled with fresh flowers. In all the remaining 5 spaces were embellishments for your name tag (buttons, safety pins, needle and thread, bits of lace and string, small cards with sayings on them, even fresh rose petals. These charming little baskets of invention were the table centerpiecs. Three on each table. I counted 9 tables, each with 10 guests. There was a delightful female buzz in the room.

Note: Wouldn't this be an enchanting craft for a little girl's birthday party. All those dressed up little princesses would be thoroughly engrossed in making their name tags to be a charming as can be, instead of tearing through your house, pulling each other's pigtails.

All during act 1, a beverage station and an appetizer table were available.

Presently a lovely lunch was served, provided by The Rabbit Room and then the speakers. Lyn Alinger spoke first. She is the owner of Craft Company #6 in Rochester, NY. The shop is in an old fire house, the brass pole the firemen slid down from second floor on, is still evident. There is even a replica of the horse, which pulled the old fire wagon, standing out in front of the building looking like he's just waiting for that old alarm to ring. This store sells only hand crafted items by various artists. Lyn told the story of how it came about that she and her husband came to be the proprietors of this business.

And the main speaker was Jo Packham, creator and editor and chief of WHERE WOMEN CREATE. She gave a biographical look at how she came to be the editor of WWC. She has a delightful sense of humor and I know you all wold appreciate her stories about the amount of time she puts in on her craft and the resulting $$$$$ per hour she currently enjoys. She says she is up to $1.00 an hour and would like to be advanced to $2.00 an hour very soon. ha ha hah Proof that creativity is a constant, it is up and running all the time, you probably never will receive a comensurate monetary return. It is just something you have to do because that's who you are. You would create even if you never received anything in return. But your home would be decorated with all your projects and so would the homes of all your friends and relatives. And there would probably be a trunk and the end of your bed with carefully wrapped creativity waiting for someone who needed a gift.

I am so happy I had the privilege to be part of Inspiration Incorporated. It's tucked away with my treasured memories.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I am a rabid reader of Victorian novels, the Victorian Era, Victorian architecture, Jane Austen, Mr. Darcy, Louisa May Alcott, Howard's End, Cape May, NJ (in fact) all things Victoriana.

I was so inspired by the presentation given at the Brighton Library on the costumes worn to afternoon tea, that I attended last week, that I did blog about it. One thing that I'll be eternally grateful for is finally discovering what a "reticule" is. I had come across this word countless times in my readings and was mystified and finally saw one up close and personal.

Here is the dictionary definition:
reticule [ˈrɛtɪˌkjuːl]
1. (Clothing & Fashion) (in the 18th and 19th centuries) a woman's small bag or purse, usually in the form of a pouch with a drawstring and made of net, beading, brocade, etc.

reticule - An older term for a small handbag, it alludes to the fact that they were originally made of netted fabric—Latin rete, "net," became reticulum, "netted bag."

ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Noun 1. reticule - a woman's drawstring handbag; usually made of net or beading or brocade; used in 18th and 19th centuries
handbag, purse, bag, pocketbook - a container used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women); "she reached into her bag and found a comb"

Here is a photo of the one which was in the costume presentation...............

The Victorian woman did not need the satchel-like purse like most of us carry around. She had no car, therefore, no car keys, no cell phone, no credit cards, no pictures of kids or grandkids, no packages of kleenex, etc. All she needed when she left her house, was a hankie, her smelling salts (in case she fainted from her compressed lungs due to her corset), a comb, spare change in case she wanted to tip the carriage driver. All that would, indeed, fit into a reticule.

In my dreamy Victorian state of mind, I made one for my sammysgrammy etsy shop. I will tag it for the wedding market. No other woman on earth needs to carry so little to a big event as the bride. Just her smelling salts and hankie.

What do you think?