Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Mother, My Mentor

I often sit and just think about my journey into this wonderful world of art and design that I am so fortunate to have inhabited since I can remember. Like anything meaningful in life, I think we always want to attribute such important parts of our lives to people and places that have influenced us along the way. My love for all things beautiful has been fostered by many people and from time to time I will address theme here in my blog
My mother is one of those influences. I'm sure you expect that I will say that she herself was an aficionado of the decorative arts and design. Actually she is the furthest thing from it. She is a practical person who thinks if a lamp she had when she "set up housekeeping" 54 years ago is still functional, then it is just fine with her. But she has always been a master of an art that, to me, may be more rare and elusive than having an eye for design. And that is making a home.
As far back as I can remember, my mother was fully invested in being a mother and homemaker. She excelled at what Martha Stewart now has made trendy. Homekeeping as she calls it. But I personally think my Mother had it going on before Martha ever made her first apron. She was the type who took her curtains down what seemed like weekly, washed, ironed, and starched them to perfection. I can still smell their fragrance fresh from the clothesline. She sewed things for the home as well as her children. She embroidered and embellished modest store-bought pillow cases. Our house was always neat and clean and fresh smelling. She gardened and canned. She was and is a famously good southern cook.
Now I'm not going to lie and tell you I was always this impressed with my mother's homemaking abilities. In fact, during my teenage years I thought maybe she was well suited to being the warden in a home economics prison! While I watched my friends play softball out our picture window, my mother had housekeeping "projects" planned for me every summer. She was bound and determined to change my tom-boy ways and make a decent housekeeper out of me.
Although I learned a few things, I sensed that she was pretty disappointed.
Later when I married and I myself had a home, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Lo and behold, I started to sew my own window treatments, ( a term I'm sure she thought was haughty!). I began to read, observe, take classes, anything I could to absorb as much information as possible. I was bitten by a bug that consumed me. I was hungry for beauty and order, but I think mostly for that elusive thing that makes a house a home.
Now when I work with my clients, the underlying theme to all my work is that one idea. Home.
And that is the gift that my very first mentor gave to me. Thanks, Mom.
( Today is her birthday!)

No comments: