Saturday, March 24, 2012

Old love, new rendezvous...

Oh My!

I don't remember my first encounter with fashion but it has something to do with my Grandma (Smith) who lived with us when I was growing up and was an icon in every sense. Everything about her was put together, from her bright silver hair to her lavender scented clothes. She was something else. Strong. Opinionated. Outspoken. Gracious & Generous.

Her name was Alice. My name is Alison.

We're very different in many ways and very similar in others, namely we know a good entrance when we see one and we love clothes; Alice was tucked (put together) I'm un-tucked (not put together) and it really doesn't matter very much.

Grandma (Smith) & Nana (Howard) both made lovely things. Grandma knitted and Nana sewed and embroidered, it was a very important part of their lives as women, wives and mothers during both the first and second world wars.

As I was growing up they both made lovely clothes for my baby doll (Jane) and my Sindy doll (Sindy!), Mum (Lilibo) did too, and in fact Mum packed my Sindy wearing some of her very best outfits in her 'Sindy-Wardrobe' and sent them along with all my other belongings across the Atlantic to meet me (by then aged 30-and-a-half) in Minneapolis when I decided that this was where I wanted to live (at least for now).

I loved making clothes. Going to 'Sew Easy' the fabric shop in Ware, buying fabric and a pattern and spending hours sewing, pressing and finishing in what used to be Grandma's sitting room. How fitting.

My speciality was evening and bridal wear. Never one for an understated garment and at the period when Lady Diana was in her heyday - it was a wonderful time to grow up as a budding fashionista. I was commissioned to design and make a wedding dress as a 14 year old, I did it and it was lovely.

Years past, I attended the London College of Fashion where I loved the fashion bit, but knew something was missing...and years later here I am in America, working in Human Resources in a The Best Coffee Company on the Planet...and a member of PINTEREST.

Where once again my love of fashion has been ignited, the looks, colours, shapes and textures are awesome. It feels like coming home.

In my not-very-humble opinion, people are too literal with fashion. They wrongly believe that if you like it you should wear it and I don't see it like that at all. Fashion is a deeply spectacular adventure into art. Art you could wear, but sometimes (perhaps even often) someone else should wear it in order to provide the perfect canvas for a piece of wearable art.

 Thank you Pinterest.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Time Flies

Happy Almost-Spring Fabulous Ones!

I can't quite believe that exactly a month ago I woke up at 2am and headed to Wooddale where at 3am we left on our Guatemalan adventure; it was my first time ever on an American school bus (SUPER EXCITING!) and thus even at that early hour i was compelled to take my first trip picture!!

Over the last few weeks we've been back from Guatemala photo sharing has been a big thing for our team - thank goodness for facebook :-) Each person's pictures show their unique perspective of our trip, everyone saw things that no one else did and so the combined story told by our pictures is fairly epic. One of our team members Myron is a photographer, and he faithfully recorded most of what went on especially the work of the different ministry teams as we went out an 'did our thing' around Lake Atitlan. His pictures are wonderful and really capture the spirit and essence of our trip, click here to see them
(scroll down the page to the Guatemala 2012 folder which includes 14 galleries of fab photos!)

Lots of you have asked me what impact Guatemala has had on me and whilst i'm a fairly slow processor, a few things are clear...

1. I'm amazed how God worked in the hearts of complete strangers and formed them together into a team that made huge efforts and did extraordinary things for him. To us it was normal, to others not so much.

2. I'm thankful, embarrassed and humbled by 'how good i have it'...this tension gives me pause when i find myself falling back into the western materialistic ways of thinking (yes even in the face of Anthropologie!)

3. I have a different perspective on what's important and whats not. Just last week my colleague Barrrrb and I experienced something which previously would have sent me into a downward spiral, but with my new perspective it was just not worth bothering about. I need to save my energy for things that ARE worth bothering about.

4. I'm so very grateful to YOU for being such amazing supporters and to Bill, Steve and Susan our trip leaders, which gets me back to point 1 about how God works in our hearts to bring us together to do his work. YEAH GOD!.

So what happens next?

COME AND BE APPRECIATED! by the entire Guatemala team at a SUPPORTER APPRECIATION EVENT on Sunday April 1st between 6:30-8pm at the Wooddale Church Eden Prairie campus, in the Chapel  we would love, love, love to see you all to share more photos, tell you about our adventures and generally have fun with all the folks who helped us physically, monetarily and spiritually :-)

Time has flown again, and i look forward to the time when i get to see you - hopefully very soon.

BEST Blessings