Wednesday, March 26, 2008
This past week, reality has finally sunk in, and The Yarn Barn of San Antonio will no longer belong to my good friend Bobbi Ravicz. A major part of my life for the last 36 years will be no more, and I'm feeling awrfully sad. Coincidentally, while looking under the bed for a vial of beads I had dropped, I discovered the box containing this picture - a very long time ago it was taken. I had no idea what was ahead at the time, except my beautiful Jennifer, who was born a few days after the picture was taken. Jennifer is now almost 37, and a mother herself. (and I don't look like this any more) This was the first publicity pic of me just before my newspaper column was published for the first time. It was at the end of July, 1971, and I had not even met Bobbi yet, as at the time she was happily selling Paternayan Persian yarn out of her garage to weavers. A few needlepointers had found her by then, however, and were buying yarn. Inge Woolley was content knitting beautiful garments for the Neiman Marcus Dallas Trophy Room and managing her "Inge's Knit Shop" at Snyder Plaza. What a ride we had ahead of us, and we didn't suspect a thing! I had met Inge while shopping there, and she was the first shop owner to really admire the Imari designs, and understand the elegance of them. She placed a nice order, so I had to figure out quickly how to assembly line copy paint my canvases. Others I had shown them to had told me nobody would ever buy the things. Anyway, my article was published in Abilene in early fall, and by the next spring it went on to the San Antonio Express and then to the Dallas Morning News, where it became "Creative Woman." I wrote an illustrated article about the Imari canvases I was designing and painting, and the flood gates opened. The newspapers in Houston, Amarillo, Phoenix, and Denver had also bought this column - and the demand for the Imaris and other Oriental porcelain reproductions became overwhelming! (Celadon, Canton Rooster, and Rose Medallion) A woman in San Antonio went to Bobbi with the article, and asked her to get the canvas for her - so Bobbi and I met, and soon after, she opened her first Yarn Barn on Broadway street in S.A. We became instant "old soul" type friends the first time we met face to face when I went there to teach a class. I couldn't produce the canvases fast enough, so went back to Dallas, and convinced Inge and her partner at the time in the shop that they needed to form a company to produce and market my designs - so Creative Needle was born. (and so were two more of my children, for a grand total of six.) Shortly afterward, the column was purchased by United Feature Syndicate - and we were off to the races - and what a glorious run we have had. Bobbi is closing, but Inge and I are still playing with our paints and stitching, and she still wholesales - what else would we be doing? We are grandmothers now. Speaking of time passing - all that hair isn't mine. We wore "wiglets" then and also false eyelashes. Oh well. We thought we were pretty cute.