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Welcome, Natasha! January 26, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. I’ve been housebound with a really rotten cold (courtesy of our friend Ben; thanks, Ben!) for the past week, and have spent most of the time sleeping, sniveling, hacking, and sneezing, doubtless causing a local run on Kleenex as panicked consumers noted that the shelves were suddenly stripped of boxes. Yuck!

Even OFB was feeling sorry for me, so last night, he proclaimed that I appeared to have passed the sniveling wretch stage and we should take advantage of the comparatively mild temperatures to get me out of the house for a bit. Our ultimate goal was supper at a favorite local restaurant, but we decided to run a few much-needed errands in the nearest little town, Kutztown, before heading off to eat.

“Ben, let’s stop in at that new thrift store that’s opened by the grocery,” I suddenly announced, much to OFB’s chagrin. “Just for a minute,” I pleaded, discreetly coughing to remind him of my weakened, consumptive state. We were parking in front of the shop in two coughs, and OFB considerately accompanied me inside.

I was exclaiming over a Corningware dish that would actually fit in our toaster oven but was big enough for a lasagna (a huge challenge, since our oven died a couple of years ago and most of my ovenware’s too big for the toaster oven), a pair of beautiful handmade pysanky Easter eggs, and a pair of cardinal ornaments for our Christmas tree, when I suddenly saw her: Natasha! I’d been looking for her for weeks, hoping against hope to stumble upon her, and sure enough, there she was. The price was right, and soon OFB was escorting her to our car and I was in an exalted mood.

Mind you, Natasha’s not much of a conversationalist. But that’s not her fault, since she doesn’t have a head. Her mobility is somewhat limited as well, since she has no legs, or arms, either, for that matter. In fact, she’s a slim but shapely neck-to-hips body mannequin, discreetly cloth-covered and set on her own three-legged wooden stand.

I’d been looking for just such a mannequin since I started planning to launch a handmade wearable art business this year. I’d need one to photograph my wares for displays and online, and if I’m lucky enough to be accepted into any crafts shows, I’d need her to be part of my booth or table so people could see how my creations would look. How phenomenally lucky to find her just like that and for that price, especially after pricing mannequins, even second-hand ones! Fortune smiled.

Why Natasha? I’m so glad you asked. It seems to me that shopping for accessories and indulgences should be fun, delightful, and playful, since, after all, it’s something you’re doing for pleasure. And creating a setting for your shopping experience should be fun, etc. for me, just as creating the wearables you’ll be viewing (and hopefully buying!) is.

Natasha sounds like a supermodel to me. I love the idea of writing descriptions of my creations that go something like “Natasha is modelling Mandarin Moonlight, an opulent knotted silk halter with entarsia designs in flame and jade.” Needless to say, I just made that up. But the point is that it amuses me to show a torso mannequin and write her up like a runway model. (Admittedly, I’m easily amused.)

I still need a white, cream, or black wool turtleneck minidress for Natasha, since one of those would show off my creations to best advantage. If anyone knows where I can get one on the cheap, please let me know! Needless to say, I’ll keep checking the thrift stores around here and hoping to luck out.

Meanwhile, Natasha is sporting a white ribbed Salvation Army turtleneck and one of my favorite pieces to date. And so far, she’s managed not to attract the attention of our black German shepherd, Shiloh, or our three cats. Whew! Maybe it’s her undemonstrative nature.

Welcome, Natasha! I feel very lucky to have you. 

                  ‘Til next time,

                               Silence

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