TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Favorite Birthday

Today's my birthday. It's one of those which will go down as just another one, no mess, no fuss, nothing to really remember later on. It's freezing cold here in Paducah and in my house, so I'm bundled in woolens and working on all those endless tasks. Later, I'll head on down to 212 Broadway for the African trunk show we're having there. I've gotten some nice calls, e-cards, and feel happy and calm inside.

I remembered the photo above and dug it up... The quality is worse than I remembered, but I always thought it was such a weird posture for a little girl. Precocious, maybe? I think it's birthday #4, definitely in Brazil, looks like Londrina, but I'd have to ask my mother-caretaker-of-all-memories to be sure... Obviously, I don't remember that birthday at all, so it's not my favorite. I just wanted to share the photo.

The favorite one happened in Chicago, probably close to 20 years ago. I have lots of photos of it in a scrapbook that is in a big metal box full of other scrapbooks. Nope, I'm not going to dig that one out. But, it was a great time and maybe some of you will want to use the idea.

I decided that I didn't want any material gifts. I wanted everyone to bring a gift of talent, and unbelievably, they did! There were probably 60 people crowded into a Chicago apartment, all dressed up. My friend Roberta was the MC. She had a parrot on a stick from Pier 1 that she waved around like a wand as she sped the show on. I've always had wonderfully creative friends (partners in crime?) and they all dug deep and came up with great talent. Several sang (one is an opera singer and she made a spoof on something), there was poetry, clogging, craft demos, interactive art projects and on it went. The beauty of it was that each gift was for me, but also for the all that were gathered. We could all enjoy each other and it was so much fun.

So, if you need a birthday idea, especially now when people are so broke, remember this and look around you. I'm sure that you, too, are surrounded by the gift of talent!


  1. Happy birthday! What a great idea to let the gifted give! This is so much easier to do and to keep in mind. Material things can rather become a burden.
    The posture -- I think you just leaned back to wall, maybe out of a little embarrassment -- caught with a finger in the pie? The motion of the right hand seems to say so.

  2. happy birthday dear friend.... and don't be fooled... this birthday is like no other that you will have... and that, in and of itself, is special. you are sharing another year with all of us!

    happy birthday Rachel


  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to you Rayela, I hope your day is beautiful & peaceful. I love your birthday story with your talented friends, would have been so much fun!
    Hugs, Sarah.

  4. Oops! Belated Happy Birthday. That photo is adorable - it looks just like you!!!

  5. Happy Belated Birthday! Love the pic of you as a little one.

    P.S. Turns out I share a birthday with Michelle Obama!

  6. Happy Belated Birthday to you, dear Rayela! I wish you many more and hope that this year will be the best ever!!! Hugs, Diana Bracy


“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

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