Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Way Back Wednesday (umm, Thursday) - 1992

On the surface that doesn't sound that "way back", but, wow, it was 16 years ago!! - my, time just flies, huh?

These little puffy peeps are part of a silk-screened t-shirt design I did when I was working at the The Gift Solution, a gift and hand-painted clothing boutique in Austin, Texas. It was called "Puffy Chicks", and it was one of my earliest attempts to do silk-screen design (it was a rather involved process and I was not great with technical graphic art stuff). But still, it came out kinda cute...

I worked at The Gift Solution from 1986 - 1994 ; I started out personalizing gift items and t-shirts, and eventually worked my way up to being the chief designer managing 25 amazing at-home cottage artists who painted stock clothing and earrings that I designed for our 12 storefront and kiosk locations around Texas. Here's what the kiosks looked like piled high with hand-painted clothing and general giftware...

This business was a lot of fun - I'm sorry that the hand-painted clothing trend died out - they were so fun to create! I imagine that some of you reading this wore creations similar to these in those days. We painted LOTs of matching t-shirt and legging sets, chambray shirts with matching painted button covers, and my oh my the glitter, glitter, glitter - on everything! All the women in my family were clothed with this stuff for years as I routinely gave painted shirts as gifts for every occasion (though this photo of my Mom, brothers and sister-in-law was pre-1992, you get the idea)...

Working full-time as a designer kept my creative juices flowing constantly and it spilled out onto a lot of other creative endeavors in those days like the fabric "paper dolls" I created for my niece for Christmas circa 1992. Talk about fun to make - I first made a hand-painted little stuffed doll, then, using stiff watercolor paper, fusible webbing and Velcro, I created a series of outfits and accessories with fabric - then cut them out and assembled them into this little wicker suitcase. The little Velcro-backed clothes attached to corresponding Velcro on the doll - it was pretty cute...I wish I had a better photo...

I plan to make more fabric cuties along these lines in the upcoming weeks and months - I have so many ideas rolling around in my head right now...

Oh, and just for fun, here's what I looked like in 1992...

Goodness gracious was that big hair or what!?! Man, the money I spent on perms!!! See, in Texas, it didn't matter if big hair went out in the late 80's, we embraced big hair long past the point when it lost its appeal to the rest of the world. And those GLASSES - wow! I don't know how I wore them, they were so heavy!! Ah but they were stylin' - they were just like the ones my HERO Mary Engelbreit wore back in the day...

I still have those glasses - one of my many bunnies graciously agreed to model them for this photo...(my, what was I thinking back then....?)

I will save more Mary Engelbreit stories for future Way Back Wednesday features - she was such a huge influence on my design/illustration style, as she was, and still is, for so many other illustrators of my era...

So what were you up to in 1992.? How high was your hair? Did you ever wear or create hand-painted clothing! We'd love to hear about it!!

Thanks for coming by for this edition of Way Back Wednesday - next week we'll be heading back to 1981 - don't miss it!!


  1. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Oh my, I think I had thoughs glasses!!

  2. Oh my, in 1992 I was up to my eyebrows in our children's clothing company. Every day was a mad scramble back then - I don't think I could take it now! And I had glasses like those, too - my husband called them my Jackie-O glasses. ::Jill

  3. Oh, Becky... I enjoyed this post!!! I had extremely thick glasses until 1998 when I was lucky enough to have LASIK eye surgery. The hair. A crack up. I am a product of the late seventies, early 80's. I was famous in my high school for having great "feathered bangs"! Worked on them puppies for hours before leaving the house every morning. Plus, get this, I took an "F" one quarter in PE because I refused to swim. I felt I didn't have enough time to put my hair back together before going on to the next class! Now my hair is short and it is brush and go! By the way, I am truly impressed with your artistic talents! Love, Esther

  4. Teehee- Loved seeing all the designs! growing up in Texas and surviving the eighties...we both have several big hair memories!!! We always do it bigger in Texas!! loved the handpainted clothing trend too...

    kari & kijsa

  5. This post made me laugh hysterically!! I hate to say it but in 1992, I had some "big hair" too and I was in the 7th or 8th grade - who cares, I was still cool!! Thanks for the big laughs!!


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