What in the world did I do before quilting?
I think I was born a documenter. My siblings did not make scrapbooks and photo albums like I did as a teen-ager, though my sister does today. Nor did they write letters like I did. It's just what I have always done. I wrote volumes home to my friends the year and a half we lived on Panay, The Philippines and then, after one year of college, in Tanzania with my parents and siblings. I even illustrated some of my letters with sketches using colored pencils. My friends faithfully saved these letters at my request.
Here are a few highlights from those early years. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
The Biedler* and Gonzaga family Christmas 1959. My friend Daday and I on the left. The high sleeves of our dresses are called butterfly sleeves. To read more about this type of dress, click here.
I had always had an affinity for history and geography from about age 10 on. Now as our family traveled the world to and from The Philippines, history came alive before my eyes. WWII came to life as I heard stories from those who had personally lived thru the Japanese occupation of The Philippines. As we family camped across Europe on our way home the summer of 1960, we even saw remnants of some of the devastating bombing that the Allies had imposed upon Germany.
We also saw wonderful museums, ruins of ancient historic cities, and visited people in their homes.
Being exposed to so many different cultures during my teens also introduced me to a great diversity of design and crafts, especially in The Philippines. I still have several yards of handwoven jusi from the Island of Panay as well as the barong that my youngest brother wore. This link to jusi, however, doesn't adequately describe the lovely silk-looking fabric that I remember and still have several yards of.
Here is a group of photos I just dug out and scanned that show the various kinds of outfits my sister and I wore on special occasions in The Philippines. Here is a link to a lovely YouTube slide show of gorgeous traditional Filipino national dress.
|With a friend at school.|
|My sister and I with a group of school friends.|
|Here I model my own Filipino dress. I later wore this dress to my Junior Prom....minus the sleeves.|
|Same dress above that I wore at the Filipino fashion show, minus the butterfly sleeves.|
|Mother's blue dress was also made for her while we were living in The Philippines.|
|Double click to enlarge so that you can read this article.|
|Car loaded and ready to roll for our camping trip across the Serengeti spring 1964.|
|The roads were always a bit "iffy" up-country.|
Hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me. It brought back a lot of memories!
Peace, joy and a sense of adventure to you in your daily exploration of life,
PS: Added note 2015