there *can be marbles… in a marble cake

magic grandma

this post is dedicated to my other grandmother, (as opposed to the other one from my original happenstancers post) who died when was 10 or 11 from colon cancer. it was an epic loss. it would be her birthday today.

i owe a lot of who i am as a creative person and as an observer, inventor, ideator and imaginator.
(i don&#39t think that&#39s really a word…but let&#39s just go with it, shall we?)

she was a small town woman, who used her imagination to make the coolest things out of the most humble of resources. yes, she worked for the Sears catalog outpost store in our little town, and sold Avon on the side…but that&#39s not really what she was all about.

she made dolls out of carved, dried apples (their heads)… sewed the grooviest of Barbie clothes, and made side tables out of empty instant coffee jars that she stcked, glued together like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and stained. oh, and the clothespin doll Christmas ornaments. and the &#34balloon sea serpents&#34 on a string, pulling it around the kitchen to entertain me. she gave me classic books, and lots of markers to color with. her basement was a mecca filled with every craft material you coul think of: boxes of sequins…hat pins…yarn, string, styrofoam. It was HEAVEN. she had a jewelry box full of shiny, colorful costume jewelry pins that i loved to play with…and some cool sequin hats. the odd thing is that she wasn&#39t really a very flashy person – but it was all so enchanting. she glued gorgeous glass &#34gemstones&#34 to my Christmas packages, no matter how simple the gift was. i still have them, in a jar.

she taught me to be kind to people, she taught me patience (of which i still have a lot) and that when you had little or no money, you could still:

a) make something
b) entertain yourself.

she never cared if we made a mess, or if a project didn&#39t quite turn out &#34perfectly.&#34 it was the doing that was important.

the best memory of all was when she let me help her bake a cake, and took a Duncan Hines Marble cake mix out of the cupboard – let me help her mix it until it went into the oven, and she sent me off to play while it baked.

when she called me to pull it out of the oven…she ceremoniously sliced it, and, POOF! like MAGIC! in each slice were some beautiful, swirly marbles.
(ok, don&#39t get excited! she didn&#39t let me eat them, i didn&#39t swallow any.)

believing in a little bit of magic never hurt anyone.

i drew this in college with a ballpoint pen for a drawing class with a maniacal italian professor. he pushed me, and i&#39m glad he did. ball point pens? we thought he was MAD.
my fine arts professor hated it; and whined that it was too &#34graphic-design-y.&#34 my other favorite professors loved it, and upon the gallery showing, it brought my father to near tears.

my father is fond of telling me in his Pennsylvania Dutch vernacular:
&#34you&#39re my mother upset.&#34
(which of course translates to meaning that we&#39re just alike.)

May 2013
AUTHOR Lizz DeLera

people, thoughts

COMMENTS 1 Comment

visual meandering…

i had another grandmother i adored (this one, being different to the one on the camel) who was less well-traveled; but very inventive and crafty. she carved dolls&#39 heads out of dried apples, fashioned side tables from old coffee jars, sewed up groovy clothes for my Barbie dolls, whipped up clever things out of strings, styrofoam and sequins that i still can&#39t even fathom – and generally made every visit with her seem like an adventure in fun colors & materials (complete with supplies stockpiled in her basement)

we spent hours & hours together. we only had until i was about 11.

fast forward…many years later; as i walk into Anthropologie…and gasp in delight and nostalgia at the world and house of my grandmother… reincarnated into a retail cornucopia!

it reminds me to always keep visually meandering; and even if you don&#34t love to shop…you should periodically go &#34atmosphere shopping&#34 instead…(ya gotta love happening upon a pitchfork-as-instant-wall decor)

…and see how you can recreate your world with a drawing, some branches, an owl plucked right out of the 70&#39s, something out of your attic, barn, or your closet, or whatever the case may be.

see where it takes you.

do it; it&#39s good for your brain.