My name is Pamela Bachmayer, born in Illinois, transplanted to Texas in 1982 with my first hubby and 3 children. I still have the children (and now the grandchildren), but traded up to a great hubby the second time around. I have been involved in some form of creativity most of my life, art, needlework, sewing, painting, etc. You name it; I’ve probably done it at least once. After my family, my next greatest passions are creativity and reading.
Now, before I go any further, let me stop here a minute and admit that I have no college degrees. I became very sick with encephalitis at the age of 13 (back in the late 60’s). If you don’t know what that is, it is infection of the brain. There are several forms of encephalitis, West Nile is the most well known. Mine was the kind transmitted by mosquitos and living so near the Mississippi River. I am very lucky to be alive and a functioning adult. However, there were lasting effects. My memory is hit or miss. I’m not stupid by any means, but it’s hard to do well in college when you show up in class and say “what? There was what due today?” I honestly would forget assignments before I got out the door. I still do that, but I have learned to write things down so I don’t forget and then hope I don’t lose the note somewhere. Those sticky notes on my desktop have been WONDERFUL! I keep an extensive library on crafts, etc. so I can pull them out when I need them. I do forget how to do things sometimes if I haven’t done it in a while. So please bear with me if I seem a bit scatter brained at times.
Back to my creative life:
At one point, I realized that I had no more room in the house for the things I created, nor did I have money to keep creating, so I decided to sell what I made, for the money and so that we had room in the house. I don’t like production work though so it was a challenge to find ways to sell what I did when I was only willing to make one. An article in one of my favorite crochet magazines featured a designer that talked about freelancing so she could stay home with her family. The light bulb went off! I can do that! So I designed my first crocheted sweater, submitted it, and it sold! Thus began my career as a designer.
I spent the next 10 years designing all kinds of needlework for craft publications, yarn and kit manufactures, and magazines. Some of my best sellers were for crafts I had never done before, but I decided I wanted to try it and they were a hit! However, my need to create was constantly being interrupted by the requirement to write the instructions for all of those designs I came up with. Still, it was the only way I had figured out to do what I loved and have it pay for itself
Problem was partially solved when I suddenly became a single mother and had to get a job that came with health insurance. I started working for a local grocer’s bakery and I LOVED IT! Now I know that doesn’t sound very creative, but I eventually got to become a cake decorator and decorate cakes all day long. Another upside to that? The only writing I had to do was to stop and take orders for more cakes! Seeing all my pretty cakes marching out of the bakery every day was very satisfying but all good things come to an end. Or should I say that new journeys begin.
I found a wonderful guy and eventually married him. He, however, did not like the crazy hours I worked, so I quit my job to stay home and help out in the family businesses. His family ranches and his dad owns a cotton gin. Fascinating! I love the peace of living in the country and visiting with the calves and their mommas regularly. However, I don’t get much creating done when we are working at the Gin. 7 days a week/12 hours a day from the first bale of cotton to the last one. Short years are 6-8 weeks. Long years can last from the first of Aug to Dec.
Still, that leaves the rest of the year to figure out what to do with myself. It didn’t take long for me to start looking around for ways to satisfy my creative needs. How lucky was I to discover that there was a world of doll collectors out there that sought out and paid for customized fashion dolls. Yes, like Barbie, Fashion Royalty, Gene, Sybarites, etc. Now, I love dolls, always have, so once again, I dived in without a clue as to what to do.
Another 10 years spent doing something I absolutely loved. There is a wonderful doll artist and collector community out there that took me right in, teaching me what I needed to know and best of all, buying what I made! I loved being a doll artist. I found that the sky was the limit. There were very few craft techniques that could not be applied so I took it upon myself to learn them all. I learned to make molds and pour my own shoes and miniature accessories, to make jewelry, reroot a dolls hair and style it. I learned how to paint realistic faces on those tiny heads, to use a dremel to chop the arms for repositioning, or remove legs to model a mermaid’s tail. I learned to felt with wool and silk and to make silk paper for cloth to make doll clothes. I could go on and on.
I was so lucky! My dolls sold around the world and won numerous international competitions. I was considered good at what I did! That’s a good thing, because I loved doing it and it’s nice to know others like what you’ve done!
Then we decided to build a house and I lost my studio for a couple of years. I have it back; all set up, and have even started sculpting my own doll. I am almost finished with it, but probably won’t ever do so. Fall 0f 2012, right hand (yep, I’m right handed), met up with an electric bush and tree trimmer and lost the battle. I still have the hand, but it will never be right again. Well, it will always be the RIGHT one…it just won’t be RIGHT anymore. haha. I’ve only been able to type again for a couple of months now so be patient with me, I still do a mean typo. I can make a fist again, but the hand is weak. I struggle with scissors and paint brushes. I even struggle with knives when I have to slice veggies for meals (and I so love to cook from scratch!). Once again…a journey ends and a new one begins.
I’m currently finding ways to fulfill my creative needs with my Pazzles Inspiration Cutting Machine and with Digital Scrapbooking. The Pazzles cuts for me, but I’m still pretty messy trying to glue things together. That is very frustrating. To help me solve that problem, I’ve been busy learning how to create awesome (well, I hope they are) scrap book pages with Photoshop. I already know the plan is to design digital kits and hybrid projects, because that’s what I do. Create new things and find a way to make it pay so I can keep doing it and justify the time I spend doing it. So far, I’m having a blast!
I’ve created this blog to share my journey with others, because part of the joy of creating is to share it with others. I plan to share what I’ve done in the past with you, and hopefully I’ll have great things to share in the future as well. I hope you join in this journey with me, maybe learn something, or maybe even teach me something too. If you love creating as much as I do, we’ll have a great time together!
Updating the page: Yep, I’m definitely going to be a designer and have been accepted as a creative team member for Clever Monkey Graphics. Love her designs. In what spare time, I’ve found during this past ginning season, I’ve been practicing creating kits, though most of them are pretty rough. I will probably dust them off at some time and play with them some more until they are exactly what I want them to be! I actually have a couple that I really like, need some polishing up and I hope to be able to offer them soon! Working on getting my store up and running. It will be pretty sparse at first, but knowing me, I’ll fill it up fairly fast.
Another update! (hehee…yes, there will be more!)
Yeah! My first couple of kits (freebies) have met with such a positive response, I know I’m on the right track now and hope you stick around to share the journey with me.