I have always loved glitter and sparkley things.  There is something about the sparkle of those tiny little pieces of foil and sequins.

The love of glittery things has always been inside of me,  since I was a very young little girl.  My mother taught me, by example, to be a “girly girl” and sparkle and glitter were part of what she gave me to play with or wear and what I saw and what I wanted to have.   As a little girl, I used to play dress up all the time and put on my mother’s high heels, fancy hats (they wore hats back in the 50’s) and all of her sparkly rhinestones and other glittery jewelry.  I was always the one who wanted the sparkley kiddie high heeled shoes with glitter baked into the plastic, the glittery little girl purse, the glittery mirror, the glittery tassles on my tricycle and my bicycle.

I have also always been creative. When I was a teenager,  my father turned our attic into a little art studio for me to express myself. At the time, I was mostly working with pastels and charcoals and occasionally some oil paints. I’m not sure why I didn’t ask him for glitter to do glitter art.  Pursing art was an option I was considering after high school.  Unfortunately, I had a greater love of learning foreign languages and putting that to use, so my life took another direction.  Creativity and art took a secondary place in my life. The desire never left me, but it became a hobby that I only dabbled in from time to time.

I would have loved all my clothes to be glittery and my entire house to be glittery if I could have gotten away with it and lived in an artsy world with artsy people.  For most of my life I have had to keep my glitter love “in the closet”, so to speak, and stifle my love of glitter and sparkle because I led a bit of a conservative life.  I spent a lot of my past professional life as a Director/VP of Human Resources always requiring me to dress conservatively, usually in business suits.

At the ad agency I worked at, during my first day of work, when I was given a tour, we walked into one of the art director’s office’s and she was sitting there working, in a long black dress, black boots, a black hat that resembled a witches hat and one of her cheeks was the canvas for something she had designed to express herself or give her inspiration that day at work.  I was a bit taken back by the sight, but was told that even though, as the Director of HR I was responsible to police our company dress code, I was never allowed to question anything the creative staff was wearing ….”just leave them alone” I was told.  I secretly wished I lived in a world that would allow ME to put glitter on my cheeks if I felt like it that day, without people thinking I was crazy.

When I developed and managed my own French themed restaurant and bakery, later in my life, I stayed away from glitter.  It didn’t go with my heavy country French theme. But I’d sprinkle the edible kind of glitter on top of our homemade muffins or on top of a small bowl of consume or soup, whenever I’d get a chance. 

 I surrounded myself, for many years, with husbands and people who were a little more conservative than not and/or well, glitter would have raised too many eyebrows. I did use it on some fancy spoon hors d’oeuvres, made with champagne, at a very upscale dinner party I held at my home one time. And I’d mix hot apple cider with some Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnaps, just because I loved the sparkly gold glitter floating in the bottle.  But, for sure, neither of my prior husbands embraced my love of glitter.  And I didn’t have any friends who seemed to be into glitter, at all.  At the time I worried about “what people would think of me” if I gave in to making my entire world sparkle and glitter. So I learned to temper it, stifle it, hide it, by necessity. I satisfied my glitter urge by wearing glittery jewelry a lot.  Diamonds seemed to satisfy that love of glitter. 

Fast forward to the present.   A few years ago, my husband, Jeff, and I moved next door to a lovely family.  The wife is a wonderfully talented jewelry designer with a fabulous studio here in Naples,  very close to where we live.  She LOVES glitter,  LOVES sparkle… She uses the phrase “helping you sparkle, shimmer and shine” in her business advertising. She even created a 501(c)3 charitable foundation called the Glitter Foundation to bring Art and Art Therapy to children.   She’s all about spreading glitter and sparkle all over the world. It’s a big part of her life and business theme.  I love that!!  She could have been my younger sister.   Getting to know her and living next door to her has opened doors —and windows into the sparkle in my soul and sort of given me unspoken permission to finally express MY love of glitter and sparkle, here in my home, in the clothes and other things I buy. 

Fortunately I have a wonderful husband who encourages my creativity and embraces all the sparkle I’ve added to our little world.  I still have to temper it a little when we’re outside the house if we’re attending the same social event or occasion as my neighbor. She knows I’m a glitter lover, doesn’t realize how many years I had to be in the closet about that passion,  but that’s part of her business theme.  The world and her clients know her as the beautiful woman in Naples who is spreading glitter wherever she goes and  I don’t ever want her to think I’m copying her glitter idea or stealing her thunder.   Truthfully, surrounding myself with sparkle and glitter was my idea long before it was hers.  I was born first. 

Now, as a retired woman, facing my eventual mortality, with a tiny bit of trepidation and looking to leave not just any sign, but a sparkley one,  that says “An was here” , in this world, I find myself looking for ways to express myself, be creative, spread sparkle, embrace glitter,  and f–k those who would say “all this glitter…WOW! it’s a bit much.”  (except for my neighbor)

I’m approaching another birthday in a few short weeks…my 65th birthday, a new rite of passage, dare I say it,  becoming what AARP, Social Security and most movie theaters refer to as a “senior citizen”, (Yikes!) 

I retired a few months ago.  At the time I didn’t really know what I was going to do with the rest of my life.  I still don’t know now, but I refuse to sit out the rest of my life in front of the television.  Now, I’m always looking for my next project, my next way to express myself.  I started this blog as a way to express my thoughts and interests in writing.

When Trump became President, I found myself suddenly interested in politics, transfixed everyday,  on the latest political news and drama and web of lies that he creates daily in this country.   Rather than keeping my thoughts and feeling inside, I have expressed myself freely,something I rarely did over the preceding years. Primarily I do it on Facebook, but when the urge strikes I’ll do it here too.

Sadly, I lost a very dear friend of many years, last year, because I chose to be frank about my anti-Trump sentiments, and said what was on my mind.  She and her husband are obvious Trump supporters.  She couldn’t tell me what she admired about him but I was accepting and respectful of her feelings.  I wanted to understand. But, when I chose to question her reasons why she supported the idiot,  she felt I was overstepping.  Thinking about it now, I think if she was truly my friend, she would have spoken openly with me about the reasons why she loves Trump and respected my feelings of frustration caused by his lies and the terrible things he was doing to destroy our country. But she would have no part of my questioning her thoughts, so she decided our friendship had to end.  It broke my heart, but I have moved on, with my head up for standing for what I believe in. 

Frankly I’ve reached that point in my life where I don’t care what people think of me or what I wear or what I like or what I do and what I say.  Who knows how much longer I will be walking on this earth enjoying this life.

So back to glitter. A few months after moving  into our home, having met the reigning “glitter neighbor” I started branching out and adding some glitter to our home. First, came some sparkley pillows on our bed. 

Then, I decided to add some sparkle to our living room, with the addition of a couple of pillows on a lounge.  The lounge is actually a deeper green, and looks great with these pillows.  Must be the lighting in the living room due to a thunderstorm making it a bit dark.

I couldn’t think of what to do next.  I went out to get the mail one afternoon and noticed our mailbox looked like crap.  I grabbed some outdoor craft paints and all my jars of glitter.  Look at it now!   Kind of hard to see, but it’s full of glitter!  If you look closely at the photos, you’ll see the additional little jeweled stones my neighbor contributed to my work of art. 

 

About a month ago, I was out walking my dog with my neighbor (the younger glitter lover) and her daughter.   It was the night before trash day.  Everyone had their trash out by the curb.   As I was walking, I saw little unpainted wood table in someone’s trash.   I’m normally the one who will make fun of my husband for picking junk out of someone’s trash (that in my opinion we don’t need) and bringing it home.   

I was thinking…hmm, if tonight was the night I was going to start picking things out of the trash, I certainly didn’t want anyone to actually see me do it.  We all looked at the little table and commented on how strange the people were throwing it away.  My neighbor tried to convince her daughter, who’s a budding young artist, to bring it home.  She adamantly told her mother they didn’t have a place for the table and refused to take the table.  

So, there it was….a free table.   Should I pick it out of the trash and take it or not take it.  Hmm.   Technically, we don’t have any room for another table, either.  But, I decided I’d find a place and grabbed the table.   First time in my life that I have ever picked something out of someone else’s trash.

The table had been sitting out on our lanai (screened patio for those of you who live outside of Florida) ever since I brought it home.   A few days ago, I was eyeing that table through the sliding glass door to the lanai, as I was sipping my  morning coffee, and decided that was going to be the day to decide what to do with the table and get it off of the lanai.   

I started by painting it a creamy turquoise. I let it dry overnight.  The next morning, I moved the table inside the house to the dining room and ask I was again, drinking my morning coffee, I was staring at the table trying to decide what I was going to do with it now that it’s painted.   I decided paint wasn’t enough. Too plain.,   I went into my guestroom closet and found my craft box and started rummaging around looking for ideas on what I can add to the table.   Voila! I found a box of assorted beads that I had purchased years ago, when I was making pretty little “jeweled” glittery keychains and purse fobs.   That was the answer!  But first, glitter.   Here’s that table today!  It will look lovely as a side table in my guest room.

I have to say.., there IS something about glitter and sparkley things that brightens the world and makes it nice!

 

 

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