Friday, August 08, 2008

Art Day

Bah. It's Art Day but I don't have anything to show you except more bags and earrings. Enough with those things already, I think, at least as far as picturing them every week. Maybe I should get back to painting.

In the meantime, I made a new friend yesterday. This subject loosely fits into the Art Day category because my new friend owns a small fabric shop in town, and she sells very cool batik material that has so far rendered a very cool reusable shopping bag and will next produce a small purse.

I was driving on what I refer to as "the back way" to the mall. It's a winding road that leads from a busy intersection to the outer edge of town, snaking along the river, turning sharply a few times, and then funneling under a narrow and dark overpass that can induce momentary claustrophobia if you're not careful. It was on this road that I stumbled upon a little fabric shop named The Material Girl. I can't imagine how this woman stays in business because her location hardly brings in foot traffic. She's been there for months, though, and seems to be on track for classes and developing a customer base. We'll see.

I decided to stop in and see what kind of store this was that advertised crafts and home decor along with fabrics. I was actually on an errand to replace a crappy coffee maker, so I wasn't in the mindset of fabric hunting. Note: I bypassed Wal-Mart for a potentially more expensive housewares store because I continue to boycott the leaching monstrosity of a retailer.

This little fabric shop holds a great selection of batiks and prints that will make for fun bags with interesting color combinations and patterns, and everything is reasonably priced. I picked up a yard of each of two bolts.

The highlight of this store, though, beyond the fabric selection and the fact that it is locally and privately owned, is that the owner was an instant friend. You know how you can occasionally run across someone like that? You have no idea who they are, but the minute you engage them in a conversation you connect.

Because no one else was in the store at the moment, I felt free to stand at the cutout table and chat away. I'd still be there talking to this woman if I hadn't had other things to do, like buy a coffee maker and make dinner and eventually go to sleep at night.

We talked about how our community's obsession with football has distorted the educational system on so many levels, and about how students lack respect for authority so that teaching has become more of a combative exercise than an instructive one—my new friend used to teach science and chemistry. Then we talked about how finding a student with ambition and goals is like finding buried treasure. I think she was seriously tainted by an unpleasant teaching experience.

We talked about how difficult it is to have children and to work at the same time, and sometimes you have to set your career goals aside or modify them completely for the sake of raising your children. And then we talked about earrings. I love conversations like that. They suit my wandering thought process.

This new friend of mine sells handmade jewelry on consignment and has offered me a space to sell my African bead earrings over the holidays.

I promised to be back, and while I will definitely return to this store for more batiks, I will really be visiting this store for more conversations and laughs with my new friend. I could kick myself for not asking her name.


dive said...

Bah! An art day with no photo!
There's nothing wrong with bags and earrings, Robyn.
The Material Girl is a great name for snagging passing crafty women; it obviously worked on you. And it sounds like you really have found a kindred spirit there, too. Excellent! I eagerly await more gossip from over the counter.

Mme Benaut said...

Well I had to get to the last sentence for the real chuckle! You can spend the next day or so (it won't take longer than that) before you're back again, guessing what her name might be.
She sounds like the perfect friend for you and a viable outlet for your crafts - earrings and bags and purses and even art. You might be able to set up a little corner of the shop for yourself so you can spend half a day a week chatting instead of the odd half hour.
I have an image of you already there Robyn, raking in the money, all of which you will spend buying more fabric! :)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Bags and earrings are friends. ;-)