...or, how I got here from there:I love textiles. Period. I love to look at them, I love to handle and touch them, and I love to create them. I also love to take fabrics and turn them into something else-something I have designed in my head and sketched down on any surface (well, usually something that I can take with me for future reference!) My love affair with textiles really never had a "beginning" or start..I just always remember having it. Textiles and ornament have been a part of my life ever since I can remember; my Grandmother (my Dad's mom) was always knitting; my Mom knitted, sewed my Halloween costumes, and loved to do arts and crafts. I particularly remember her making beautifully beaded Christmas ornaments for our Christmas trees throughout the years when I was a child. Another beaded project which stands out in my memory was plastic fruit she embellished with plastic, faceted beads that were the color of the fruit. In the end, the once weightless and artificial fruits became hefty hand fulls, as each bead was adhered to the fruit surface using small steel pins. I can still see the jeweled bowl of fruit catching the sunlight and feel the rough texture the beads presented. It turns out that sewing is just "in my blood," as one would say: an Irish relative was a tailor and brought his talent to New York City in order to escape the great Potato Famine in Ireland, and my Italian Great-Grandma (my Mom's Grandma) was a talented seamstress who, as my Mom informed me, could make any garment from scratch by just looking at it and without any pattern whatsoever. My Mom had always wished that her Nona could have lived in order to make her wedding dress. I started out designing and sewing clothes for a very famous 12" doll (who shall remain nameless here, in order to not have her high-powered attorneys after me) with scraps from a dressmaking studio owned by the spouse of my Dad's employer in Ft. Lee, New Jersey. I usually had the choice of going to either the office with my Dad, or to the hairdresser/beauty salon with my Mom on Saturdays. While the hairdresser's in Hawthorne, New Jersey, provided me with photos of glamorously-gowned stars in the numerous issues of Rhona Barrett's Hollywood Magazine, going to the office with Dad meant I got to play in Irene Marciano and sister's fabric scrap barrel. I will never forget that-it was as tall as me! I was allowed to take any scraps that caught my eye or desired. And these were nice scraps, too-they did custom dressmaking for many well-to-do ladies of the area.Initially, I sewed by hand, then Santa brought me a toy sewing machine, and soon I graduated to my Mom's Singer. Self-taught by reading the pattern directions alone, I made my own clothes and custom-designed prom outfits for myself. I would see various fashions in Seventeen Magazine, walk up to the fabric store, and find a pattern that brought me the same look-but I could make it mine, and better! I just always wanted to be a clothing designer!So naturally, as every individual with aspirations to be a fashion designer does, I attended the University of Kansas (we moved from N.J. to Kansas in my 7th grade year, and I lived in Kansas until 1985) and graduated with a degree in Art History! The art history was a calculated, last-ditch effort to get out of Kansas. I would have stuck with the textile design department (prior to that it was illustration, but the instructor didn't appreciate the quilted fabric pieces I handed in for my illustration projects, so he sent me to the textile department), but I wanted to get out of Kansas so badly, Art History fit my four year time line to do so. Once I moved out to California, i took classes at Canada College in Redwood City under Ronda Chaney in order to study garment construction, sewing technique, and the fashion industry. Ronda encouraged me to enter student fashion design competitions, and in doing so, I received first place in outerear for the Jr. college Division for all of California Jr. Colleges. Through time, first-hand experience, self-teaching, and the encouragement of certain people who will always remain incredibly dear in my heart, I was able to fulfill my dream of "being a clothing designer". I rediscovered the unique beauty of the Japnaese kimono, and started to utilize the gabric from both kimono and oi to make my special coats out of. I say "rediscovered" because as a child, I absolutely loved Japanese dolls, adorned in beautiful silk kimono, that my dad would bring home as souvenirs to me from business trips! Since then, I have explored all kinds of surfce design (in 2000 and 2001, I was awarded Individual Artist grants from the Peninsula Community Foundation to do so), won several prestigious awards, become a wife, a mother, Halloween costume maker extraodinaire, and tutu designer and builder for my daughter's ballet company in Livermore (Valley Dance Theatre, Betsy Hausburg, director, instructor, and INCREDIBLE costume designer and builder!) . The shape of my art or wearables may change over time, but the song remains the same-it will always include beautiful fabric, ornament, attention to detail, and my soul.