Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Gift in the Mail

Last week I was able to check my personal emails at the hotels after we were done for the day.  Imagine my surprise to read on one blog I follow regularly that I'd won something!  Constance Rose does wonderful fabric collage with her hand dyed and shibori fabrics, and she gave away a small piece as a prize for the 50,000 visitor to her blog.  Wow!

This is what I found in m mailbox on Saturday--


There's a bit of a story that makes it even more special, beyond me being happy to have an addition to my fiber art collection.  Constance lives in Fortuna, in Humboldt County, California.  It's on the coast, almost up to the Oregon border.  I'm familiar with the area, because I lived there while completing the last two years of my bachelor's degree at Humboldt State.

I grew up in southern California, but after doing two years of college close to home, and then spending a year traveling in Europe and northern Africa, I knew  I wanted to finish my college education away from home.  Far, far, away from home!  So I picked Humboldt, because it was as far away from home as I could get, and still stay in California for our then-ridiculously cheap college tuition.

I never regretted the decision.  Humboldt county is out of the way, with gorgeous mountains and beaches.  It had a bit of a counter-culture flavor in the early seventies-big enough to have fun, small enough so you didn't feel lost in the crowd.  It was my first exposure to the environmental movement, with logging being a major industry in the area, and fights about the spotted owl.  When we weren't studying, we'd hit the beaches- long, deserted beaches with plenty of room to explore.  The beaches were a someplace to celebrate the return of warm weather, and the end of the long, dreary, gray winter- we didn't call it the Humboldt blues for nothing!  I especially remember Patrick's Point, a state beach north of Arcata, with wonderful rocky beaches and cliffs. 

I've only been back once since I graduated in 1973, and that was with my kids in 1990.  The freeway was expanded, but that bit of counterculture still lingered.  Logging and fishing were no longer the big industries they had been, and the economy wasn't all that hot.  It was fun showing my children a bit of my past, and seeing how the area had changed.

So how does all this relate to this little piece of fiber art?  The digital picture on fabric is from another beach in the area, framed by some of Constance's gorgeous shibori.  So now I have a lovely reminder of a past era of my life hanging in my studio.  It just feels like this was fated to come home to me!


Barbara C said...

Hi Beverly, Debra sent me a link to your lovely post because I live in Arcata and teach at HSU. Humboldt has changed little from the way you remember it. It is still remote and beautiful and there is still a strong counter culture streak here.

What a lovely gift you received, and what strong memories it stirred up.

Libby Fife said...

What a great story and a wonderful piece of art to go with it. Very lucky all the way 'round.

Karen S said...

I grew up in So Cal -- my BFF, who still lives there, has a son that goes to Humboldt. He loves it.