Farm life surrounds us everywhere. The soil is black. It is incredibly rich. Every mile or so, there are farm stands with freshly picked lovelies and a tin box on the honor system, maybe a suggested donation. There are enormous Amish hay wagons, complete with draught horses, laden with corn and an old Amish lady who collects like ten cents an ear. Other times, they sell the hugest cabbages I had ever seen, for a mere fifty cents. Plus, you get to yap with the nice Amish folks, who, in a round about way, find out the "news" of the world and the weather.

We would eventually move further North, away from the Amish, and into loamy (sandy) soil. Since we had Amish connections, we would go on our bi annual pilgrimages to "Mrs. Fisher's", an Amish greenhouse, and buy seedlings, dried peas, beans, and onion sets. From there, we would replant everything in our own greenhouse, then when the time was right, we would replant outside in our fenced off garden in their final home. We have had mixed successes and of course, horrendous failures due to heat, storms, deer, molds, critters, you name it. We still have enough to feed an army, we share with lots of family and friends. We provide fresh food for a pantry nearby, servicing the needy

I realize how lucky I am to have this garden. When we built it, we did not know it at the time, but we would have to rely on it somewhat during the Pandemic. We had food shortages, non deliveries of food, meat shortages, and hoarding to deal with in the grocery stores. It hit home that if needed, we could live off our freezer for meats, make our own vegetable dishes, and bake our own bread. We were quarantined for 2 weeks, and pretty much lived off our pantry.

It is frightening knowing dear friends and family were fighting to stay alive. We lost one dear friend, and now we are dealing with sending our kids back to school in the middle of this whole plague. Our daughter is boarding, and is quarantined on campus for several months. Our son will go mostly online in a "hybrid" version. Every day they have to record their temperatures, and be super aware of sanitation and distancing. On top of this, we cannot resume any sense of normalcy in our personal lives. We cannot worship, we cannot gather, we cannot go to craft shows or concerts. My business, Abra Couture, has completely gone online. No more craft shows for the foreseeable future.

I miss my show "family" so much. My closest friends are those I made while doing the NYC metro area show circuit. I have been doing shows for 30 plus years, some great, some awful, and lived the carny life i suppose. We are public people, basically, in the entertainment business aka show business. We perform the high wire acts mere mortals cannot. They ooh and ahh, as they try on jewelry, clothes, or buy a gorgeous raku pot to add to their home. They can't make it so they buy it. But, they buy "us", too. We are the spirit inside their homes and the essence of bling on their bodies. Our art makes them happy.

When life is volatile, and difficult due to unforeseen circumstances, I have the privilege of going into my little garden, and picking a fresh tomato, slicing it up and eating it. Then, I can forget about life for a little while, in the sun.

Tomorrow, I start "spring fling", where I literally fling myself from show to show. Living out of a suitcase, enjoying treats from local holes in the wall, spending time with show friends, and connecting with my buyers, it is why I do what I do. People wander in, ask me all sorts of questions about my work, and I just stand there and look pretty right?

Wrong! I work my tail off! What people do not see are the late nights in the studio, the sleeplessness from too much thinking, and living off fumes of coffee. They do not see my studio, a wreck after packing and organizing, and my aches and pains from 30 years as a professional schlepper. They do not see how my hands can hurt after filling a last minute order, yet the show must go on.

After 30 years, my ultimate reward is when I see people truly enjoy wearing my pieces. It is so great, when people recognize my work and perfect strangers comment on it. I was told by a prominent social butterfly, who attended the NYC Met Costume Ball, that no one noticed the diamond dappled creatures who swanned around, but the press noticed her Abra Couture Cotton Ball Collar! She was photographed for some media, and featured wearing our work in front of millions.

In the meantime, if you would like to purchase pieces, check out our "Where" tab! Come see me at the studio by appointment, or just stop by one of our lovely stockists to see what is in store! Happy Spring Bling!

My daughter is on break from boarding school. I went to fetch her, a bike, 3 huge bags, with the help of my son, who is a day student. We managed to stuff ourselves with all that, into the car. As we passed a cop car, I told my daughter to scootch down and look like a pile of laundry. Which, as rumpled as she is these days, was not hard. We passed the cop car and wended our way home. Carefully, on the lookout for more cops, and our laundry pile m.o. in place.

Those poor kids. They had 7 exams in 4 days. Plus a diagnostic SAT. All I wanted to do was throw them in the shower, wash their stinky laundry, and feed them a roast beef or Turkey plate. My hubby, an ex chef, and a pretend Jewish mother, was on it. Cooking and roasting and stirring and slicing. He was in his element. I swear he would be whistling a jolly tune if I weren't in proximity. It was a lovely quiet evening, with both of our kiddos at home, hanging around and falling all over each other like puppies. With the whir of the washing machine, and the wafting smells of the magical roast beef eminating from the oven, it was a picture of domestic bliss.

Life at home is a nice change from my chaotic art show schedule. I finished my last show for a while, and I am taking a break from my travels to organize my studio, build my retail website, work on my wholesale website, and get organized for my next round of shows that start in January.

In the Winter, I am like a crazy squirrel gathering acorns and stashing them. I plan. I save. I create. I store meats and prep veg for our ensuing starvation time, for I have no income from shows for 3 months. We eat a lot of breakfasts for dinner, spaghetti, and stir fry. I am a master of making a quarter out a two nickels rubbed together!

We are so glad to enjoy the holidays with our friends and families. Honestly, when you travel and hear the stories of people as they regale you with tales of woe whilst shopping for perky pick me ups, it makes you stop and think. Do you have a roof over your head? Check. Do you have food on the table? Yuppers. Do you have friends and family (who put the fun in disfunction?) Ditto. So in the end, if you can check all that stuff off, consider yourself lucky. Then tuck into a nice tasty Turkey...


Copyright © 2019 Abra Couture Inc. All RIghts Reserved

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon