I grew up in a log cabin, yes a real log cabin, near Hood Canal. I walked a quarter mile to catch the school bus, and the nearest kid for me to play with was a mile away. Needless to say I was in need of things to do such as ART's & Craft's, Sewing, building things.
I have been sewing for over thirty years. My mother, who was self-taught from the age of 13, taught me. During my youth I was in Campfire where I learned about Native American beadwork and costuming. I have been performing on stage since the age of six in ballet, modern dance and tap. My mother made my earlier costumes but performing gave me the appreciation of presentation. In my latter youth, I made a lot of my own clothes, basically from the age of ten. My mother would make me rip out things and redo until they were perfect.
In High school, I attained the rank of Honor Thespian, of which my diploma bears the seal. In junior college I was involved, a little, with community theater. I took a break from heavy sewing while in college studying to be a marine biologist. After it became nearly impossible to get a job in the world of Marine Ecology I went back to my sewing roots to pay the bills. I worked in many factories learning about a variety of industrial machines.
In the early 90's I hooked up with a costumer at a convention and started competing regularly. In the first convention I attended, I came there just to watch and wearing a Catwoman costume like what Michelle Pfeiffer wore in the Batman movie. At the next convention I won Best of Show for the same costume. From there it was Best Novice with my Snow White and the Five Dwarves (two were hiding where no one would think of looking). This costume featured the outfit and all seven Dwarves of proportional size, all made from scratch with, nylon hose sculpted and painted faces. During this period, my fellow costumer and I formed a small performing company. We did shows for local libraries and malls, in costume, primarily Disney stories, and a U.S.O. radio-style show for retirement homes. We also performed "A Christmas Carol" during the Christmas season. We were still competing feverishly as well. I won Best in Master category for a transformation costume where Cinderella's Ball gown turned into rags on stage and we took Best Journeyman and Best of Show for a presentation called "Awakening Spirit" which featured an Aztec Goddess Costume and a sleeping peasant being changed onto a god. Previous to this my costuming friends and I had taken several awards for presentation with such costumes as "National Velvet in the Original Black and White", an ocean related presentation, Rhett and Scarlett, "Elvis and the Conehead" and an "Obsessive Compulsive Beading and Sequinning" Award for my human-sized Barbie "Goddess of the Sun" costume. I've also taken an award for Best Journeyman at an international convention for my eighteenth Century Barbie and Ken costumed dolls. All these awards can be viewed in my "Awards" section.
The performing group has since temporarily disbanded but I have joined up with a costumer's guild. We have annual events and do a lot of community activities to promote wearing and viewing of costumes. We attended the Titanic Artifact exhibit in Seattle in period costumes and a play in 18th Century garb. We hold an annual costumed ball and are very active in working the local and national costume conventions both teaching, running events, and performing.
I currently teach clinics on doll restoration, millinery and costuming for mini-conventions, and teach programs for club meetings. I love costuming, Haute Couture and Millinery both for dolls and humans (it's just a matter of size). Beadwork is my passion and I have worked in sizes from Kelly to Cissy.