Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crafty and Creative Seniors

When I am an old lady, I shall wear purple...and I'll be a crazy craft lady, too. Seriously!

Mom and Dad, if you don't know, live in a community, of approximately 7,000 homes, for people who are 55 and older.

It used to be that once you reached retirement age, you were shuffled off to your rocking chair and given slippers every Christmas. The Baby Boomers are NOT okay with this, and they make it clear. Several times during Saturday's craft faire, I marvelled to Mom and her friends, "If you live in this community and you are bored, the problem is YOU, not the community!" They just laughed and agreed.

Case in point:

These are two different activty/notice boards. One is small, 4" x 6" cards. The other are 8.5" x 11" papers. Mom is active in the Needle Arts Group. Dad is president of the Veteran's Affairs group. There are car clubs (sport cars, PT Cruisers), ceramics groups, group for every possible interest or hobby. The neighborhood contains two large clubhouses with gyms, classrooms, pools, billiards rooms, take/leave libraries, restaurants, meeting rooms, a ballroom (with a stage), and everywhere you drive, you can see a golf course.

Again, if you're bored living there, the problem is with YOU.

On Saturday, they had the annual Arts and Crafts Faire, which was chaired, this year, by none other than my Spreadsheet Goddess mom. It was an unqualified success, and one vendor wrote on their survey, "Keep Sue Cooper in charge. She is very organized and efficient."

Yes, I'm a proud daughter.

I went home for the weekend to offer any help and moral support Mom might need. The faire ran very smoothly, leaving me a lot of time to chat with people and shop for cute craft items. Following are some pictures from the day, as well as pictures of what I bought.

Madam Chairwoman with her many excellent spreadsheets:

The excellent decorations and the bake sale (my baked goods sold out!):

Look who has a quilt on display in the window of the sewing room!

The ballroom:

A neighbor of Mom and Dad makes these gorgeous bears with her husband. They are quite pricey, as they are made of the best materials, and a collector's item. She only sold two all weekend, but she expected that.

Some beautiful works on display in the painting and ceramics room's windows, made by residents:

Finally, my purchases!

The lady who made this tea towel uses a machine to embroider--it's worth several thousand dollars. Her work was beautiful and she was the sweetest lady. She had two gorgeous blue tea towels on Friday night, but I didn't have money with me. When I went back first thing on Saturday morning, both were gone, as was a lot of her other inventory. I bought this towel because the cat's smile reminds me of mischeivous little Harley. I showed her the picture I have of Millie and Harley on my cell phone, as she is a cat person, too.

The people in the ceramics room obviously have some big-time talent. This egg (which was a whopping five bucks--a steal!) was made by painting the flower design on paper, which melts away when the egg is fired.

Mom loves vintage hankies, and we just adored the angels one lady had made. Mom bought this for me on Friday night, so on Saturday morning I went back and bought one in red and white for her.

I couldn't resist the jar. You can put candy in them, so I might take this to school and keep mints in it or something during December.

Mom bought these two scarves for me. The off-white scarf was $10, which I thought was a steal, until we went to another vendor who was selling her gorgeous work for $5!! You can't even get a five-dollar scarf at WalMart, and goodness knows these ones are made from higher-quality yarn than any old store-bought scarf.

The lady we bought the green one was adorable. She sold most of her stock on Friday night (not surprising, at those prices) and was so pleased. I talked to her again on Saturday and asked if she knits while watching TV, etc. She smiled and said, "Yes. And in the car, and on the plane..." I'm sure it keeps her mind alert.

I spent quite a bit of money, but it seems so worth it to support these awesome seniors and their refusal to retire quietly to the rocking chairs of the world. Plus, I got some cute stuff out of it.

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