Listen to the music

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hidden Treasures: The Hands Reveal the Heart

Creative hands give birth to the hidden treasures of the heart. Some people just have a knack for using their hands and my dear friend Julie from Gilded Moons is one of them. She is a lovely young woman that I met last summer as a result of stepping into one of the most elegant vintage shops in our city. I learned quickly that Julie not only has the ability to rescue an old button, a scrap of vintage ribbon or a swath of fabric and turn it into a "must have" piece, but has a heart for authenticity in life. Her shop was filled with items that she selected during her numerous trips to Europe along with handmade treasures that she and her friends carefully created using ribbons, vintage jewelry pieces and paper. Here are just some of the lovely things that she has made that I was fortunate enough to get from her; unfortunately, the lighting is not suitable to show the detail of a frame made from two vintage buckles, an invitation to a recent elegant soirée/sale with champagne and handmade earrings that I wear frequently. Please click on the photos. Wouldn't you just feel special receiving such an invitation in the mail? I was at the party with bells on, some change in my pocket and a smile for my friend!

Julie is also an exceptional seamstress. The detail on this chaise lounge is astounding; my mother, who sewed quite well, would have worshiped Julie for her attention to the detail in the back...I was never that neat!

Another person with gifted hands is my husband. He plays guitar beautifully, but also takes pleasure in building and creating the fairytale look. He is a talented gardener and with the exception of several attempts I made to help move some dirt, he single-handily landscaped our entire property. He maintains the pruning of the trees every year and enjoys applying the art of bonsai to the outdoor plants.

His gardening skills and woodwork are show stoppers. The uniqueness of our overhangs, shutters and gate draw the curiosity of walkers. We have made many an acquaintance transforming our home! My husband's talents don't stop outside, however. The entire kitchen and newly remodeled bath are the product of his attention to detail.

Then there are my hands; I write, I draw, I make books, I have sewn costumes on occasion, I play the harp and I make whatever I think is beautiful. However, there is one more person that I want to honor on this day: my mama, mi madre, ma mère.

I regret that I no longer have the hundreds of Barbie doll clothes, prom dresses, and dance costumes that she sewed for me in my youth. All that I have left is something that she made for me while she was dying of cancer 21 years ago and I was 3000 miles away. When I arrived in Los Angeles to see her, I was sick to my stomach from worry. When I got to the house, I apprehensively walked into her bedroom for fear of seeing her in her condition, however, what I saw instead was a beautiful soul, drowning out the stain of illness and beaming with the love of a mother. Never complaining but always thinking of others, the first thing she said to me was, "Hello mijha! (a term of endearment in Spanish). I made something for you and it's in the closet." I took the package out and freed the surprise from its rumpled wrapper. This is what was inside:

I wept. I still do. I have no words to express why everytime I see this little 25 cent plastic doll I totally loose it. Perhaps it is the thoughtfulness of my mother that comes to mind; she had no money and was seldom able to buy me things, so she would make me a toy out of whatever was available. Or maybe it's the thought of her being driven to the closest five and dime and use what little money she did have to buy it just for me, her mijha. I don't know. But what I do know is that sometimes, non-verbal communication is much more powerful than words and the memories stay with you for a lifetime.

My dear friends, for those of you who are mothers, I wish you a happy celebration tomorrow and never forget that the gentleness of your actions and the work of your hands will bless your children for a lifetime.

I love you mama. Anita