Saturday, August 16, 2014

This story will bring you hope . . . .

“We’re not just sending dresses, we’re sending HOPE!” Little Dresses for Africa's website
Today I learned the inspiring story of Lillian Weber, a 99 year old woman who spends her days sewing beautiful dresses for little girls in Africa.  And once again I think to myself, 'the power of a dress'.
I have attached a video of her and the article from Station WQUAD8 , as well as the link to the charity "Little Dresses for Africa" AND the link to the pillowcase dress pattern they recommend as a dress to make, so you too can join Lillian.

I find this entire story so uplifting and hopeful at this time when news from around the world and home is so grim.  And for those who might scoff at the effects that little girl dresses can have on world matters  . . .
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
Girls are the future mothers of our society, and it is important that we focus on their well-being. Miriam Makeba
Research shows the presence of women raise the standards of ethical behavior and lowers corruption. Hillary Clinton 
In fact I was so moved that I m going to make a pillowcase dress (or more) and send it off, and/or host a dress making party!!  But for now cheer, cheer to Lillian Weber!!

or Click here to see the video

& here is the article from  WQUAD8's website :

Lillian Weber is on a mission.

Every day she makes another dress for a small child she’ll never meet.

“I could probably make two a day, but I only make one,” she says.

The dresses are collected and sent overseas to little girls in Africa by a Christian outreach group called “Little Dresses for Africa”.

“I have to be busy,” says Lillian.

And she’s been very busy.

In the past two years she’s made more than 840 dresses and she plans to make 150 more by May 6th of next year.

You see, by next May, Lillian will turn 100 years old and it will be her one thousandth dress.

“It’s just one of those things you learn how to do and enjoy,” she says.

In Lillian’s Scott County farm house are completed dresses for little girls, made from a pattern, but each with extra stitching and individual details, designed to give each child a little extra pride.

“She personalizes them all,” says Lillian’s daughter, Linda Purcell. “It’s not like good enough that she makes the dresses, she has to put something on the front to make it look special, to give it her touch.”

What started as a hobby has become a daily labor of love.

Lillian says she starts work on a dress in the morning, takes a break during the midday, and puts finishing touches in the afternoon.

“I just think she’s somebody to look up to, somebody whose not just sitting around and frittering her life away,” says Tonya Urbatsch, who nominated Lillian for the “Pay It Forward” award.

“I’m amazed at her every day,” adds Linda. “I’m very, very proud of my mother.”

Family and friends will continue to be proud of Lillian, well after her 1000th dress. After all, 1000 is just a number.

“When I get to that thousand, if I’m able to. I won’t quit. I’ll go at it again because there’s no reason to not do nothing.”

When Lillian is finished with her dresses, her daughters deliver them to a Davenport senior living apartment complex where a group of residents have a weekly sewing appointment to make dresses for the charitable organization.

“Little Dresses for Africa” is a Christian charitable organization founded in 2008 in Michigan.

Its founder, Rachel O’Neill, says 2.5 million dresses have been distributed.

The simple dresses are distributed to orphanages, churches, and schools in Africa.

Rachel says she’s traveling to Africa again in September 2014 and February 2015 and hopes to be able to present to a child one of the dresses personally made by Lillian.

Friday, August 15, 2014

IF: journey

mixed media collage: assignment was night traveling in eastern europe

 a weekly drawing challenge sponsored by Illustration Age, where every Friday a new topic is posted and illustrators from around the globe have one week to come up with their own unique interpretation and share it on the IF home page.

Off and on, over the years, I have participated in this creative illustration challenge. I would do it every week if I had 48+ hrs. in the day.  

IF has always been a touchstone for me, it gave me a opportunity to be creative. I would participate when I was in-between projects or generally at ~ sea creatively, which would accurately describe my current state.  

So when the IF email popped up in my inbox this morning, with the topic of JOURNEY
it felt like a sign.  

I am on a journey, a journey of self discovery and new direction.  I am taking stock to see which and where I go next, how to proceed, especially in the area of occupation, since I was a stay-at-home mom/artist who now needs to support herself and her girls, this is a tricky topic.

One possible career 'trajectory' that has recently been surfacing again and again 
when I ponder said future is:
Yes, even as I write it I feel a quickening.  

Now this is not a new desire, I have wanted to be an illustrator since I was a little girl, soaking up the riches of Richard ScarryMargaret Wise BrownMaurice Bernard SendakGarth Williams, Beatrix Potter and Joan Walsh Anglund (click on her name to go to the world of Joan Walsh Anglund :) to name a few.  

I spent hours racing through the halls and riding the elevators of the Plaza Hotel with Hilary Knight's Eloise, and days accompaning Dare Wright's Lonely Doll, Little Bear and Mr. Bear on their many adventures.

As I got older I realized that illustrations weren't only in books,and  I wanted to follow in the foot steps of Sandra Boyton, Sara Anderson or better yet, Lily Pulitzer, designing bold and colorful fabrics with her name hidden in every pattern - a creative puzzle of sorts.

My love of illustration has never waned, however it was damped by the foreboding reality of how impossible it is to become a financially successful illustrator. I took many an illustration course in New York, only to hear that your success is basically based on the chance that your portfolio lands on the top of the art director's desk the day she/he is looking for your particular style . . . it was grim.  

So I decided to make myself stand out from the sea of submissions by creating a name for myself in other creative fields, which I did, which I have, so . . .   

Now I don't believe that the destiny of being a financially solvent illustrator has changed, however I have changed and I have learned much, so . . .  

For now I am going to let this idea of illustrating percolate more, as I take some much needed time to assess.  But I do believe it was providence that I received this IF prompt today,  as it reminded me of a journey that I wish to take, a path that I long to follow.  

Happy Friday & peace . . . .

Friday, August 1, 2014

a gift for you . . .

Happy August!
Here is a printable calendar for you ~

click on above image and download it to you computer so you can print.
There is a longer story about august and this calendar on my Dailydress Inspiration blog, which some of you follow but for those who don't I wanted to share my dresscalendar with everyone. 

So if you need a calendar for your desk, refrigerator, car  . . . please enjoy this dresscalendar.  
I have loaded the calendar image to this blog at a high resolution, 
so you should  be able to click on the calendar and download it.  or visit my album dresscalendars on my flickr account.
It should fit on an 81/2 x 11 piece of paper, 
however I always click the printing option "scale to fit". 
(see picture below)

Please contact me if you are having problems and I can email it to you?!?! 
I am having a bit of trouble posting the dresscalendar so that others can download?!?! 
always more to learn . . .

so, happy august & let the dog days begin!!