Hey, do any of you remember Betsy McCall? When I was a small child we lived in Washing DC for a few years and my mother must have picked up the habit of buying McCalls Magazine, a monthly American women's magazine that enjoyed great popularity through much of the 20th century, peaking at a readership of 8.4 million in the early 1960s. It was also responsible for the McCalls Patterns, still available in places like John Lewis.
When we returned to the UK in the mid-fifties, my mother took out a subscription (it must have seemed incredibly glamourous and indulgent in post-war Britain) and every month I would wait with bated breath for Betsy's latest fashions, always situated at the back of the mag and full of stylish outfits that I could only dream of. She may strike us now as just a stereotypical 50s icon, but she really was my first "style-guru" and after tiring of cutting out the published "Betsy" I would design my own paper-dolls, complete with cutting edge wardrobes. Hours and hours were spent with only paper, coloured pencils and a pair of scissors; and memories of blissful times absorbed in creating has inspired me to find inspirational workshop leaders for next year whose skill, creativity and teaching skills are second to none.
For example, take a look at the work of Rachel Hazell on her website: www.hazelldesignsbooks.co.uk/ Every time I visit it I find more and more exquisite works that she has created over the years.
Some of her "works" are so delicious I want to eat them, and I'm hoping that if I hang around at least some of the time she is teaching here in August, some her magic may rub off on me. And if your New Year resolution is to let the artist in you out, remember remember what Tamara de Lempicka said, “There are no miracles; there is only what you make.”