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What's Your Hidden Talent?

March 08, 2022

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For the past few weeks we've been in the middle of a small, but disruptive renovation around here.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've caught a glimpse of the giant sofa in my kitchen.

It's a bit squishy in that room, but it is what it is.

Floral sofa in the kitchen

Along with the pretty updates, and the musical chairs we've been playing with furniture, all the redecorating has forced me to clean out the hallway closets.

Unearthing a lot of long forgotten memories.

This weekend, as I was rummaging through bags of baby clothes, I was reminded of something that happened last year, so I thought I'd share.

You see, this summer we did a lot of cleaning up and cleaning out, too.

The basement was bursting with old toys, outdated decor items that were way beyond upcycling and too many Christmas decorations to count.

So I gathered the troops and we opened boxes and bins to sort it all out.

Talk about unexpected treasures!

There were letters from my uncle to my mom, when he was stationed overseas in WWII.

My Victorian style dollhouse furniture, nestled in a box with my husband's childhood stamp collection.

And several pieces from my high school art portfolio.

Yup. I was going to be an artist.

Way back then, somewhere in the middle of the 1980's I was on my way to becoming a fashion designer.

Black Ink Fashion Design drawing woman in hat

After a burst of discovery, regarding my artistic ability, something I had no idea I had, I was accepted to a college program where I planned to spend three years at a traditional countryside university and the last one in a bustling metropolis.

Learning all the ins and outs of the fashion industry.

FIT in NYC was my destination.

Until it wasn't.

But for a couple of years there, I was sure that was my path.

The kids were aghast when they unzipped my big black case. How did they not know about this?

How had they not seen these pieces before?

Art Portfolio Pieces On kitchen floor

Frankly, it was a mystery to me. I mean hello...I'm a big talker, they knew the story.

They'd heard about how I'd never drawn more than a stick figure, for a good game of Hangman, until late in my high school career.

Then one art class later, a filler in between gym and French, I was hooked.

I spent days and nights drawing and painting everything that came into my view.

They'd seen my award for Most Outstanding Senior In Art.

Fashion Pencil Drawing woman with scarf overhead

And heard the tale of how I was horrified, embarrassed and given quite an education when I claimed my prize, that turned out to be a free figure drawing class at the local art school.

Complete with a naked male model.

Yeah.

Well, turns out that part of the story they do remember...probably because even now my cheeks turn bright red when I recount the details.

Oh boy.

They also recall the end of the my artsy journey. The part where I go off to a college nestled in a very cold, but very charming town in upstate New York.

A town that was voted one of the top 10 places to be on Halloween by Playboy magazine while I was there.

A town that was filled with best friends, great times and some really interesting classes that had nothing to do with art.

It was all just way too hard to leave.

So I didn't.

Coincidentally, that town that was also filled with so very many amazingly talented artists. Artists that I couldn't really compete with...

Heart Swan Painting

Unless it was in my public speaking class where I was the belle of the ball and discovered that maybe, just maybe, fine art wasn't my calling.

Oh, I didn't abandon my craft completely. It's just taken on different shapes over the years. 

In the classroom, as a teacher, in the theater world, as a costume mistress and in my home.

As a DIY decorator. Or paint by number enthusiast

Ballerina Painting

Sure, there'd be many, many more paintings and drawings. Some are up in the attic right now. More pieces the kids have never seen.

Snow White. Mickey Mouse. Horror movie hands. Landscapes and a terribly inaccurate self portrait.

They're probably next to my old toe shoes and my kickline pom poms. Mementoes from the days before pencils and paints, when I was practicing a different art.

And sure I was going to be a professional ballerina.

Another old talent I don't talk about...don't often display.

Living only in my memories.

And in those boxes.

Hidden away from public view.

And apparently my kids.

What's your hidden talent? 
  1. Wow Kim so talented. These are truly amazing

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    1. Thanks Cindy! Some of them are rough, first attempts, but I just has so much fun making them all.

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  2. Kim, I knew you were talented but I really didn't know how much talent you have. This is quite an accomplishment in such a short life and you continue to amaze me. Whether you are reinventing a ceiling fan or a bag from the dollar store, you are a never ending surprise. You should frame those works of art and displaying them for all to see. BTW, that view of your kitchen, I have never seen from that angle. It looks like that beautiful couch is at home there. That room is so charming and it just makes me feel satisfied. That is the only way I can describe it..Happy Tuesday..xxoJudy

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    1. Judy, you are very sweet! Thank you. I was still a developing artist when I set it all aside, but at the time, I remember having so much fun getting lost in the process. I still feel that way today about my crafting. And that sofa…I adore that sofa, it’s tattered an on its way to being replaced now, but having it in the kitchen makes me smile. It’s WAY too big, you need to shimmy by it, since my desk is right across from it in a narrow space. However, it’s making me think about trying to find something smaller to squeeze in the space. Oh and definitely floral!! Happy Tuesday!! xo

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  3. Kim I knew you had a lot of talent within you. These are amazing. My girls just learned recently that I had several awards for national wins at Tennis when I was in high school and how I was on a national ski team. Something I never shared with them. I think our kids are amazed when they find out hidden facts about our pasts. Your talents do not surprise me at all. You are so creative and crafty. Glad you found those treasures to share with the girls. xoxo Kris

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    1. Kris, that’s amazing!! I love that your girls just found out about your hidden talents, too! Tennis and a national ski team?? You were quite the sporty girl. My mom was a big tennis player in high school. I love seeing the photos in her yearbook. I bet your kids and grands do the same. xxoo

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  4. Well I can tell you that whatever hidden talent I have, it certainly isn't drawing or painting! Did you paint the one of the ballerinas? All are fantastic. You were very good! I could never have done public speaking either.
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks Brenda! I was just getting started with these pieces, but the joy of discovering a new hobby was so exciting. I think you have many talents, decorating and photography are just two. I'm always so impressed with your stunning pictures.

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  5. How amazing your art is. The fashion drawings are fantastic. I bet your girls were impressed. Love the ballerina. In 6th grade, I wrote an essay about John Glenn, the astronaut and won the best in the whole school. I won a trip to the Opera. In high school, I designed a Beatle album cover, also kudos for that. I wish my mom had kept those.

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    1. Linda, that’s amazing! Your prize seems like it was a lot more enjoyable than mine. Haha! It was certainly a lot more wholesome. 😉 And I can always spot your websites, you have a very lovely and definitive style. You may not have the album cover, but your work is forever on display in the online world!

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  6. When going through a renovation like you are cleaning and organizing goes with the territory Kim. I went through the same thing as you! I love all of those drawings and paintings you made Kim. You are so talented and I bet your girls loved looking at your art work. I hope everything is going well with the job. :)

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    1. Thanks Julie! I know you get it, one projects starts so many others! SO far, it’s all coming along nicely and most of the cleaning out is done. Everything feels a little bit lighter, but I’ll be happy when all the furniture goes back where it belongs! Enjoy the week!

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  7. OK Kim, how far upstate NY...Sleepy Hallow? Wish it was CNY because I would grab you to do my house..lol

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    1. It actually was central NY!! That's so funny!! Although back then you wouldn't have liked my style. I was all about movie posters and album covers on the wall!! haha!!

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  8. Wow! Kim, you are so talented! I've always wished I had some art talent. I've recently been trying a little doodling, not anything great but fun. I love how you continue to use your talents, but in another direction.
    I don't know about hidden talents for me, but I love photography and online scrapbooking.

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    1. Mari, you are an artist, your eye for composition and your photography skills are outstanding. I love your Wordless Wednesdays! I also think you are very talented when it comes to organization and execution. I don't think I've ever met someone who gets as much done in a day as you do!! Now that's a talent I'd like to possess!!

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  9. I think with us creative souls, our art takes on different forms as we go through life. I was so sure in my early 20's that I wanted to be an Interior Designer. I wanted to go to Columbia College of Chicago and major in ID. I ordered a catalog and couldn't believe the prices of tuition! That was what crushed my dreams. In those days and being so young, I never thought to ask about loans or scholarships. I still love Interior Design, and have loved decorating every place we've lived in, including apartments. I've helped my mom and some friends with decorating parts of their houses, too. I've also discovered over the years how creative I am with cooking. And the past couple of years I've discovered Art Journaling.

    Your art is beautiful! Perhaps you should frame and hang some of it!

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    1. Thank you and I totally agree, Melanie, our art does take different forms as the decades go by. It's wonderful that you've found a way to keep your passion alive and to use your skills throughout the years. I bet you've inspired more people than you could possibly imagine through your creative blog, sharing your lovely decor and your creative decorating ideas. I think that's amazing!

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  10. Your art is wonderful, Kim! My two youngest sons both had art scholarships and I have their art all over my house. You should frame your art and display them. My sons are now video game artists.

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    1. Wow, Kitty, they sound very talented...and they're making money with their passion. That is the best!! I love hearing that. My mom loved the swan painting. She had it framed years ago and it hung in every house she had. I should put it out somewhere here, since it reminds me of her...enjoy the week!

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  11. I enjoyed this post Kim, thank you for the smiles.
    I would love to see your art and talk ballet with you. :-) I do not know a lot about ballet but I would like to learn more about it.
    I really wish we lived closer. ;-)

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    1. I do, too, Carla…you have no idea. ❤️ I would tell you all about ballet and I would listen to you talk about gardening and chickens. We could take turns sitting in each other’s kitchen and we’d eat donuts!

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  12. I was going to pursue art as well. I had won many first place ribbons at Michigan State Fair for my art. Then I went to collage, and my first art class was figure painting. A fully nude female. I was young when I started college. Only 17 years old. I was so uncomfortable that I dropped out of that class. It took 40 years later to start painting again, lol.

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    1. I commented back to Kim that while I understand the importance of figure drawing, a little bit of fabric when teaching students of that age, might be helpful. Glad you picked up a brush again, your work is lovely and it’s easy to see that the process brings you so much joy.

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  13. Kim those drawings are so beautiful. How could you have not mentioned it to your kids. FIT has become very competitive now and trendy! So many talents, you are a renaissance woman!

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    1. Thanks Mary! I definitely mentioned it, I guess since they hadn't seen those drawings with their own eyes, it didn't really register.

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  14. I loved reading your story, Kim and seeing your beautiful fashion drawings. I started out as a ballet major, but an inner ear problem kept me from doing turns so I rattled around and then married and had children. Eventually I became a counselor. Life is always evolving. xo Laura

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    1. It certainly is, Laura. Somehow I think we end up where we are meant to be. xo

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  15. Nice artwork, Kim! You are a woman of many talents! I did time in college as an studio art major also. Thankfully, my class had a nude woman. Still, it was terribly uncomfortable for me as I was a new Christian at the time. What was worse were the young guys leering at her during class! 🙄 Fun times!

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    1. Kim, your class sounds as uncomfortable as mine. Figure drawing is such an important part of art education and the human body is a beautiful form, but at that age, and back then, I think a little coverage in certain areas would've been better! Of course, in today's world of social media, TikTok, etc., I think a nude model in an art class would be nothing to blink at for most kids.

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  16. There is no end to your talents, Kim, I'm glad your beautiful artwork is out of the basement. My hidden talent is ironing, I love it.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thanks Amalia…and you have so many other lovely talents in full view that we are lucky to enjoy every day!!

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  17. In the middle of the 1980's I dropped out of University and was also on my way to becoming a fashion designer - and I did! We have more in common than I ever thought lol! So glad I popped in to read this :)

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    1. That's awesome, Sara! And you're right, we really do!

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  18. Isn't it amazing how things we did years ago totally surprise and amaze our children! I had aspirations to be a nurse all my growing up years, but instead ended up in a different aspect of the medical field, and I loved it so much. You are truly so very talented Kim... perhaps you should try some drawing again, your artwork is amazing! I can't draw much at all, but our daughter is an incredible artist. She loves to paint, and we have her paintings all over our home. Life is amazing, how the journey ends up being so different than what we pictured in high school! Looking forward to seeing all the changes on your renovation journey too :)

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    1. Marilyn, it really is all a big journey with twists and turns we never expected when it comes to careers...and more. I know that if I'd never taken those art classes I wouldn't have chosen that college, taken the public speaking class, picked another major that, after several other endeavors, led me here...and it's lovely to hear about your daughter's artwork. It must make you smile all day. 🥰

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  19. This explains everything - the backstory to your creativity!

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  20. Love, love, love your artwork Kim and the way you share real stories so naturally. It feels like I'm sitting in your dining room just chatting to an old friend. I'm not really sure if I've got a hidden talent, although it does often feel like I'm living in two worlds which never connect. If you ask my work colleagues what my talents are they would say making data dance, and my blogging friends would say something completely different :D So maybe I'm good at compartmentalizing different pieces of me.

    I hope you hang some of your art so more people can appreciate it and good luck with the reno. It's going to look fabulous

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    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! It's been hidden away for too long. I really do enjoy drawing and I should do more of it...and wouldn't it be lovely to chat in person? If only!!

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  21. Wow, Kim, you are very talented!!! My artistic talent consists of stick figures....LOL!!
    As to my hidden talent...I have no idea,,,Apparently it remains hidden...Thanks so much for stopping by!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. Debbie, are you kidding me? You are very artistic. Your home is like a showplace all the time, and after last summer's posts, I would say you have a landscape designer's eye also!! You talents may just not be hidden...and thank goodness, so we can enjoy them all year up long!! Hugs!!

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