Thursday, November 6, 2014

Help!!!! I want to be Esther Howland

When I went back to college at the age of 28 I went back to make myself a better person.  I was lucky enough to major in Art.  Through majoring in Art I was able to  explore my life and meaning through creativity.  I was trying to get pregnant at the time and it was my savior.  It let me learn how I had a yearning that was deep inside and needed to be nurtured.  I worked two part time jobs and graduated.  Continued working those jobs and had surgery, we traveled cross country several times that year and finally were able to have a family with Ian and Kaylyn joining our family the next year.

I became passionate for paper at the same time. I was working at Crabtree & Evelyn in Spring Lake at the time.  I loved the owner who has since died. She was my mentor.  She had a family and was able to combine the two.  Under the counter she left books and magazines.  I devoured them.  They were positive, inspiring, beautiful and very influential in  what I still love today.  The magazines were Victoria and Martha Stewart.  The books were Alexandra Steward's Living a Beautiful Life.  I fell in love with old victorian design in Valentines, scrapbooks,  advertising and greeting cards.  

  I started collecting victorian scrap about this time.  I had to collect was and is my nature.  My dad collected rocks and later became consumed by them.  I know, again this was my nature, but never wanted to be consumed by it.  Glen encouraged my love for this when I was a young mother and two of these instances I remember with great fondness.  Once when we went to New Hope together with the twins in their car seats he saw a sign for a shop.  He dropped me off and rode around while I walked into a dream come true for me.  It was a whole store full of just Victorian Scrap.  I had $20 cash and was only able to buy a few pieces.  I was told they just sold their entire collection to John Grossman and I was lucky because they were to close the next month.  The other time was an entire collection of Victorian reproduction papers were up for Auction at Allaire Airport.  It was Judith Winslow's  Papers, a company I was very familiar with.  Back then I would collect catalogues of product of what I would carry in a store, if I ever opened one.  It was the week before Mother's Day and Glen gave me $60 to spend on whatever I wanted.  I ended up buying boxes of papers, that I still sell today.  

 So, now I have a store in Asbury Park.  I work full time commuting to Woodbridge.  I bought the above picture at a flea market in Woodbridge.  It was a picture from Victorian times and etched is the photographer's name and location in Asbury Park.  I try to spend my time as much as possible making cards for the shop.  I have a vision of what I want, again.  But, again time, money and most of all doubt are stopping me.  It is a romance I have with the past that haunts me, but still influences me day by day.  It is the dream of the American spirit.  It is a dream not be Esther Howland, but a modern day version of her.  The dream of making a living  by doing what you love.  You either work for someone else and get a paycheck each week.  This is practical, realistic and probable.  Or you take that Leap of Faith and hope you can make a go of it.  Right now, it is best for me to do both.  I am looking forward  to next year, where I feel I still can combine my job and my shop to feed a  yearning to have my cake and eat it too.  Do you want to know who Esther Howland is? You can read about her by clicking here.

The calling cards pictured above I purchased at a flea market at Barnes Art Foundation in Woodbridge.  One day I went to work an hour early just to ride through and see what Barnes Art Foundation looked like.  They had a flea market that day.  I was looking for and bought a few records  I saw a sandwich bag of calling cards and asked how much.  He told me $2 and I said for each one and he said no the whole bag!!!!  They are pictured with a project I had made at Creative Escape.  It is a business card holder and I thought it was perfect to hold my calling cards.