December 2, 2014

Say Hello to My Co-Conspirators in Creativity

Part One... Introducing Gaia

Gaia Graduating by Gaia R.
Yes, it is December. Christmas is looming much closer than I am actually comfortable with under the circumstances. Those circumstances being that, as always, I have too much to do and not enough Time or energy to get it all done. I have, however, nearly finished with my Christmas shopping. This is unprecedented. I am a procrastinator of the highest caliber, and I have never before completed fulfilling my gift list much before the holiday itself. Though I have undoubtedly overlooked someone or something yet, I take heart that I have at least accomplished this. The Christmas boxes have been retrieved from the attic and the house is about 30 percent decorated.

For me, that is indeed something, so I will take a little break from being overwhelmed to acquaint you with my Girls. My daughter Gaia, and in a post to follow in a week (or 2 at most) my granddaughter Kaylah will be introduced. For the record, my life is pretty much overfilled with female relatives— aside from my Mother, Step-Mother, and several aunts, I have three sisters, three daughters (and one son), and at last count four granddaughters.  Each and every one of them is beautiful, remarkable and special to me, but Gaia and Kaylah share my love of photography, arts, crafts and other creative pursuits. Both of them are talented, and far more gifted each in her own way than I ever will be. They are also a delight to spend time with, and have both taken an interest in starting a creative business with me.

Gaia tending succulents in the Garden House

 As this year is quickly drawing to a close, I am setting my sights on getting our new enterprise up and running early in the New Year. It is long in coming, but perhaps as with all things, I have to accept that it will happen when, if and as it is supposed to.
Gaia-- Summerluv

Gaia is the youngest of my three daughters at 20, and Kay the eldest of the granddaughters at 19. Gaia is Kaylah's Aunt, but they were great friends as children and remain complete opposites in most every way.

Gaia and Kaylah growing up
Gaia on the Left and Kaylah to Right!

 Gaia is quiet, studious and a perfectionist. Kaylah is very verbal, spontaneous and inquisitive. While Gaia spends her time sewing, playing video games, reading and working in the house and garden, Kay enjoys photography, fashion, travel, decorating her space and visiting friends. They both love the beach and the casual Florida lifestyle. At present, neither has any interest in settling down or having children of their own. Both of them hope to pursue their creative talents and perhaps make at least part of their living doing things they are passionate about.

Gaia Collage

Gaia has long been one of my favorite (victims :-) photographic subjects. As I struggled to learn more about Photoshop and image manipulation, she was always a handy model. She is a lifelong fan of Anime, and has been interested in cos-play since High School. She was both determined enough and lucky enough to get to attend a pilot Early College High School when we lived in North Carolina. It was a great experience for her. Her fellow students were motivated, unique and more accepting than the teenagers you usually find in mainstream schools. They bonded on a deep level, and their interests covered a range that usually can only be found in much larger institutions. She graduated right after her eighteenth birthday with not only a high school diploma but an Associate of Arts Degree. She is still not certain what she ultimately wants to do, so for the present she is devoting herself to her creative endeavors.

Gaia as the Mad Hatter
 As you might guess, Gaia loves it when we put together one of our Celebrations here at the House. Not only is she an indispensable help to me but she never lets an opportunity to dress up pass her by. She was the Mad Hatter at last spring's Alice-in-Wonderland Birthday Party, an Oriental Princess at our last All-Hallows Barn Party, a Terry Pratchett character and Mad Scientist on previous years. She has dressed for school plays, for my crazy photo shoots and just about any time there is an excuse.

She collects, among other things, hats. I do not know how many there are of them— everything from bowlers to stovepipe, berets to bonnets, chullos to coonskin— she has fedoras, at least three witch hats, various baseball and patrol style caps, a tricorne, santa hats, kitty ears on a knit cap and more. Thus, she is always ready for the next adventure with the proper millinery.

Gaia's imagination is as vast as her hat collection. She began sitting in on craft classes at the shop I owned when she was eight or nine years old. Bead-work did not really interest her, but she was quite taken with polymer clay and even sold some of the tiny fantasy creature figures she created. Though she enjoyed working with the clay, she was more fascinated by sewing and various forms of needlework, and with a bit of help from the constant flow of creative adults she was around at the store, she began hand stitching small dolls and other figures.
Gaia's Creation

She loves to draw as well, and her creations are influenced by her love and admiration of popular Japanese art forms like manga and anime. She has collected, studied and played the Pokemon games since she was small. She sketches equally well with pencil or stylus, enjoys doing pixel pictures and is exploring the use of shading in contour and shape.

Meanwhile, her sewing has progressed from the small, completely hand-stitched dolls made from craft felt, to the greatly expanded options the use of a sewing machine allows. She draws her own patterns and is currently working on a new line of dolls with moveable arms and legs, beautifully expressive embroidered faces and custom designed clothing. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Gaia's Children

She calls her line of dolls, some of them fashioned after nature, others purely sprung from her mind and imagination— Gaia's Children. Since she was named for that ancient goddess that is embodied by our own Mother Earth, it seems only fitting that she should be the creative mother to these small folk that populate her world.

This is just a peak into Gaia's creative life. She will have a lot more to show you in the year to come. It is my hope that she will help with the blog writing chores, that she will perhaps share some of her patterns and ideas, and help you with some of your own.

Till next time...

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