Monday, November 29, 2010

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better...

I have this fantastic friend, Marilyn, whom I met at a Civil War reenactment in Alabama some 8 or 9 years ago. (Holy cow! Has it really been that long?!) Marilyn spent her childhood and early adulthood in England. She has this MARVELOUS British accent that even "Southernese" can't override. Anyway, one of the reasons we connect so well is because we are both ridiculously artistic and creative. I was in school for graphic art/animation when I met her, and although she was in school for biology/science education, she always had some painting or something she was doing.

Over the course of our friendship, I've noticed that we feed off of each other's creative inspirations and have developed this sort of friendly competition to see who can be experienced and able in more mediums. It goes something like this:

Except I forgot to add "Quilting" and "Drawing" to both of our lists. And "Photography" to mine. And "Collage" to hers. But you see my point. And it's constantly changing up. Like, the reason Paper Quilling is on her list and Sewing is on mine is because we taught each other. There are things we both want to add (Glass Blowing for her and Calligraphy for me, for starters.) that we haven't been able to get around to yet. There are also the things on the list that we know how to do, we just haven't done it in a long time. (Knitting for me, Paper Quilling for her, I'm sure.)

And what's fun is that even WITHIN the skills there is that secret desire to gain an edge. Take sewing, for example: "Check out this new Civil War ball gown I made!" "Yeah? That's pretty, but look at this Regency day dress I just finished." "Oh, that is nice. But look at this Rev War pelisse I'm doing." (And so it goes, on and on and on. :D)

I love it. I wouldn't be half so talented in all of these creative and visually beautiful arts if I didn't have her right there along side me. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find a class for basket weaving or rug braiding, before her list gets much longer than mine... ;)


  1. Having a friend to bounce ideas back and forth, learn and teach each other is a wonderful gift. My favorite way to learn something new is by example. I watch in awe at the incredible talent someone else possesses ( too many s's?) and then begging-----teach me! Not always easy as my learning curve + ADD is a challenge met with tears and laughter. The joy of artistic friendships.

  2. too late - I've done both of those too! I found a guy at the christmas made in the south who made brooms - didn't realize such skill and equipment was necessary to make an old timey broom! No.....I am not going to do that.... not just yet!
    add: Woodworking, scrap-booking, photography, cross stitch, quilting, soap making, candle making, Metal work (made a ship out of copper sheet for my dad one year!)....You have inspired me that is for sure - I miss the times we had together!

  3. I forgot about the copper sheeting! Yeah, I knew we had both messed around with soap and candle making, but I didn't put them on the list because I didn't know HOW MUCH you had gotten into it. I remember us throwing around the idea of how to make a completely authentic soap making process demo at events without burning ourselves with the lye... ;) There are still a ton of things we haven't done yet. Did you ever learn tatting?