For 10 years before opening FLOOF Collage pARTy!, I was a maker of multi-media art objects. Mostly I was a milliner, but sometimes I made home decor and costumes. I restored and decorated vintage lampshades, made masks, trivets, treasure boxes and assemblage for wall decor. Holidays, parades and plays called for elaborate disguises. My hats were Yarmulkes (Kippot) for Jewish women, but once my imagination ignited, some of them quickly morphed into Renaissance Hats or Fascinators in the style fashionable in the UK at the time.
Once FCp! opened to the public, I was too busy to make any art myself. I became mostly a facilitator, teacher, guide, muse, inspiration, and brush-washer. Around that time, I was also being a Grandma to 7 grandkids, from babies to teens. I now have 8, and my oldest grandson is 29!
Recently, my Muslim friends asked me to participate in “A Taste of Muslim Culture”, an event in Ithaca to showcase Muslim cuisine from 13 countries, and to raise money for the planned build of a mosque in my neighborhood. The Muslim Community has been meeting in various buildings at Cornell University and rented halls or other places of worship around town. Their rented office building barely had room for a dozen folks to pray or hold classes.
I was eager to help out, so I started making upcycled brooches to fasten the hijabs that I sold, and scarf rings to fasten them at the neck if desired. The event was fabulous – delicious food, lovely and inspiring music and adorable kids admiring my work. I managed to raise almost $50 to donate to the mosque project.
Now I am on a roll to make more “product”. I will be fashioning more Kippot and more pins. This month I will be making a special unique fantasy hat for a retiring Rabbi’s wife to celebrate the family’s retirement, containing memorabilia suggestive of her many life roles.
As I grow older, I look forward to more stimulating and engaging projects to keep my mind sharp and my fingers nimble. My imagination is limitless, and my sense of adventure continues to push me forward. Look out, world!