Joni Ulman LewisGrowing up the only child of a musician father and my ‘forever 29’ mother I was encouraged to be independent and to entertain myself with books, exploring the neighborhood on my green bicycle and creative projects. Admitting “I’m bored” was not a good idea.

“I love making my friends laugh until they wet their pants”

As a student I was a solid ‘C’ underachiever. Report cards tattled that I wasn’t working up to my potential and spent too much time chatting up my neighbors. High school caught me rolling my eyes and perfecting the sarcasm that I’d take along to art school where I learned to question authority and favor clothing. Like most art school grads, I waited tables for a lot of years. Other past lives on my resume include Santaland attendant, icing bakery cakes, arts-n-crafts camp counselor, and display window trimmer. Born, bred and buttered in Virginia, I love summer, good manners, convertibles, cats and dogs, shaking my tailfeathers, and making my friends laugh until they wet their pants. I hate onions, litterbugs , and to waste anything. I find my inspirations in thrift stores and at flea markets and I prefer hand-me-downs and ‘broken in’ to anything snap out of a package new. Not surprisingly, I’m sentimental and nostalgic. I am technophobic and prefer to live in the sepia-toned past with books, telephones , thank you notes and birthday cards.

My motto is ’embrace rust, encourage moss, appreciate decay and be patient for eventually the paint will peel’.

Joni Ulman Lewis