In the late 1980′s I started creating my “charm jacket.” I worked at a small architectural textile company called BannerWorks (owned by Koryn Rolstad) where we used large numbers (and sizes) of swivel hooks to install fabric banners. I somehow got the the idea to put the swivel hooks through the seam along the back of my denim jacket. Then I attached odds and ends to the swivels. My collection includes many odd earrings (some 18k gold), cat licenses of long dead kitties, keys of past abodes, and things I found on the dance floors of various and sundry clubs in the Seattle area.

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Dancing in my charm jacket in 1990.  The back of the charm jacket.  The back of the charm jacket.

At a team off-site, we were asked to share something that other team members might not know about us. I am quite a large woman now, so it would be unlikely that anyone would suspect that I was in Swan Lake with the Royal Ballet.

I love ballet and danced through my twenties. While I was an exchange student in Japan, one of my friends there shared an opportunity to be extras for the Royal Ballet. Jamie, Jane and I were hired (at some abysmally low fee) to fill in during the court scenes for Swan Lake. It was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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The Royal Ballet Program

The Royal Ballet Program – Swan Lake

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Jamie’s costume

Me in my costume

One book that I adored as a girl was “Jacqui’s Ballet Book,” checking it out over and over again from the library. Later, thanks to eBay, I found a copy in Australia to purchase.  Jacqui Tallis was one of the dancers on tour. I finally was brave enough to ask her for her autograph.

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Jacqui’s Ballet Book

Jacqui Tallis’ Autograph