Meet three interesting and inspiring women
A couple of months ago at a Bernina Artisans reunion, I met two women, Tracy and Allison Stilwell. They are sisters, also known as the Artgirlz. They were a sight to behold, and I felt inspired just by looking at them. They both had spiky hair, one was wearing striped socks and had purple hair, and the other was wearing camouflage pants with rhinestones and appliqués. I was already a fan before meeting them because I like their wares; Allison and Tracy sell felt beads in many sizes and spectacular colors and silly little charms of hands and legs and faces and a lot more. Their kiss-life-on-the-mouth attitude makes me smile and feel good and want to do everything better.
They gave each of us a tiny cellophane-wrapped envelope that read: “Peas on Earth Economic Recovery Package.” It contained a make your own felt pea pod kit and an “Artgirlz Nation official membership card and life altering tool.” On the back of the card we are told to create the unexpected, break the rules, enjoy the difference, use your blinker, and eat chocolate along with other great suggestions.
It wasn’t until I sat down to write this piece that I remembered a time well over ten years ago. I was in a high end fabric store when Elinor Peace Bailey came in with a gaggle of students. She was larger than life, wearing a bright orange silk satin top hat. As I recall, her jacket was chartreuse and fuchsia, her high-water pants were equally bright and electric, and she had about twenty dolls hanging around her neck. I walked up to her and said, “You remind me of a parade.” Elinor makes, and teaches how to make, dolls. During our brief conversation, she told me she doesn’t use fabrics containing black because it muddies the palette. Over the years, I have often referred to her advice. Then not long ago I discovered that she is also a wonderful gifted poet.
These women have inspired me just by being themselves. While they are coloring their own lives, they are also coloring the lives around them. Who has changed your attitude?
Artgirlz beads come in many sizes, from pea to plum. they make great lightweight jewelry.
Peas on earth. During rough times, smiling helps.
This is my pea pod with a couple of charms I have yet to apply.
Color, one of the best inspirations. Here with Artgirlz beads and felt.
Elinor Peace Bailey is a woman of many talents, artist, doll maker, poet, mother.