The Suitcase Lady


December 24, 2013, 1:12 pm

My grandmother gave me her elegant little scissors when I was about twelve years old. IMG_1858Any gift from her was significant as she had so little to give. Everything in her house was old, sparse or well worn.

I visited my grandmother Sunday afternoons. And when we weren’t playing cards, I would do art projects on the round dining room table.

My German grandmother did not believe in idle hands. Her sentences often began with the words, “Now we’ll just get to work…”. She knew what she was doing when she let me take the scissors home.

When I went to college, my precious scissors went with me. Sometimes friends in my art classes would ask to borrow it. I would always let them, but with a silent plea in my heart for its safe return. By some miracle, my scissors always came back to me.

I did not teach art until our children went off to kindergarten. Instead, I did free lance art with my scissors at home. I turned out posters and greeting cards with hand cut paper letters and paper sculpture. Abbey Press and Conception Press started buying my free lance designs and continued doing so for the next thirty years.

When asked what kind of art I do, I usually reply, “The kind of art that gets thrown away”. Graphic design isn’t like painting or sculpture; it usually has a short shelf life, thus keeping the artist’s ego in check.

I realized the other day that my very special scissors has had its one hundredth birthday. But it and I are ready for more art projects. Here is what we do when we get together.

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