We didn’t have TV until I was in second grade. We sat around and listened to the radio. I loved it — I still do — because so much of listening is about engaging the imagination.
I loved to read. As soon as I learned words, I’d pick them out of the newspaper. I still love to read. It inspires the imagination. I can see the story as I read. I worry about future generations. I worry they don’t read enough. Although I do love my Kindle when I travel!
I loved fairy tales, especially Grimm’s, because they were bloody and scary. I had lots and lots of books, including comic books and Little Lulu books. I had a Little Lulu doll.
I went to the library a lot. I remember the librarian, a stern Swedish woman. I wanted to take out the Guadalcanal Diary and she told me it was “not fit for a young lady.” So my brother checked it out and I read it.
I took my son to the library every week. He took out The Old Black Witch every week; he loved that book.
He wanted to take out the Atlas. It was part of the reference collection, and not supposed to leave the building. But one day, the librarian let him check it out. He thought it was wonderful that he was allowed to check out such a special book.
I made doll clothes. My mother taught me how to knit. I knit doll clothes. I knew how to use the sewing machine. I did samplers, in cross-stitch. My grandmother would tat — which is nearly a lost art now. I crocheted.
We would paint-by-numbers in the evenings. I always painted my own way, not following directions! Or we would play games, things that engaged our imaginations.
All of those adventures feed into my inspirations. I can find the roots of my designs in those years of imagination.