Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Introduction; Jan

As I remember there was a request that we introduce ourselves when we announce the next word for our challenge so that means its time to share a bit about myself. My name is Jan, when signing my work I use my full name "Janelle Girod" as a way to acknowledge my parents and their influence in my "creative" life. Growing up I thought everyones' families did what mine did. My parents are both gifted creatively, my mother paints in various mediums, was "green" before it was cool, never knew what she might convert into something beautiful or useful. My father hand carves wood into human forms, animals, creates vehicles out of wood and draws what ever we ask for. I didn't bother to draw much growing up, cause it never looked like their drawings. My paternal grandmother, was always an artist working in whatever was available oil paint, pen & ink, copper relief, bars of soap, watercolor and fabric; these are what I know of. My maternal grandparents always approached life with a creative mind grandmother knitted (rarely did I see a pattern), knocked holes in walls when she decided a change was needed. As a professional welder for a steel company my grandfather used those skills when he could see how they would lend themselves to their lake home or anything well as creating a child's cupboard for his granddaughter because she wanted one....I still have it today and now my grandson can be found digging through it to make us wonderful imaginary meals. I was an adult before I realized this was not how everyone approached life.
Officially I began quilting in 1975 with a class while living in Virginia; however I had played with fiber since I was a child in addition to whatever anyone around me was using to create "stuff". This picture is of my general work area, be it for my machines or journaling. The art work on the walls is mostly done by my paternal grandmother, a family member recently sent me the pen & ink drawing she had done as a teenager, gifting it to her cousin for their dining room where it hung all these years. The other entire wall is a dedicated design wall that I am currently trying to come up with a way to change out the background fabric easily, so that it can be used for photography. Across from this work station is my cutting table, set at a height appropriate for me at 5 feet 12 inches; it is a large wonderful work surface to stand and work at. No backaches here! You notice the "cat bed" in the window....usually no cat in it but my constant companion, Rocket Man, a Miniature Pinscher who ran from the room moments before this picture was taken because someone opened the pantry in the kitchen. For a small dog he has a "Huge" stomach and attitude.
This is a photo of my reference library, computer work station and supplies like beads and stamps. I love having these things within arms reach, not hidden from view. I have to admit that my fabric stash takes up the entire guest room does not fit in this rooms walk in closet..don't ask! The guest room also has an entire wall of shelving for things like paints, dyes, brushes, yarns and papers (everything from our studio space when we had the brick & mortar location). I'm sure my guest really feel crowded, but all those goodies have to go somewhere....besides if they are really feeling creative they could just sit in there and make some great art.
Here is a photo of what I do when I'm not in "my work room", this is a corner of Fiber on a Whim's booth at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium. I co-own this with my daughter, Kristin. We closed the brick and mortar location approximately 1 1/2 years ago when family demands became the number one priority. Now we try to vend at least once a month at a show, preferably twice and we also try to book a guild lecture/trunk show each month. This seems like a lot but compared to driving into the shop each day, this is a breeze; my grandson can work/play with us and we can have "pajama party" days. The traveling also allows us the chance to visit with friends around the country.

Reminder: The new word is "Reminiscense".

Main Entry: rem·i·nis·cence Pronunciation: Function: noun Date: 15891 : apprehension of a Platonic idea as if it had been known in a previous existence2 a : recall to mind of a long-forgotten experience or fact b : the process or practice of thinking or telling about past experiences3 a : a remembered experience b : an account of a memorable experience —often used in plural4 : something so like another as to be regarded as an unconscious repetition, imitation, or survival synonyms see memory

I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this group. Thank you one and all for letting me "play" with you.


  1. Hi, Jan. What a wonderful story. Those creativity genes are clearly dripping right down through the gene pool. Do you see it coming up in your grandkids? BTW, I think your solution to the family needs problem is brilliant and sounds like a lot of fun.
    I'm ruminating on Reminiscence; this is an interesting...and tough..assignment.

  2. What an insightful description of your life right now. Thank you so much for letting us in! And aren't grandchildren worth rearranging your life for? You bet!
    The challenge is a good one. We will all be thinking........................Helen