Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Marie Sardalla-Davis

All the other flowers have peaked, but we're popping out multiple blossoms like a floribunda. This is what I'd tell my 20-something stay-at-home mom self.  "Is this all there is?" my 20-something self had asked, staring at the dirty laundry. Little did I know!
"Am I all washed up?" my 44-year-old self had lamented, driving home after losing my job as a well paid speech writer and editor.
"How did I live this long and not know I could do this?" I ask my 49-year-old self almost daily.

After being unchained from my desk and adjusting our lifestyle so we could live on just my husband's income, I focused on becoming the best ballroom dance teacher and choreographer I could be. It had been my evening job for two years prior.  To save on costumes for annual performances, I design and sew my and my partner's costumes from thrift store finds. I have never taken a sewing class and still don't own a machine. Everything is handsewn. To think I hated my home economics classes!

I really enjoy the challenge of reinventing clothing discards. They've been dismissed as has-beens—we have that in common. I see a has-been as a will-be, waiting for someone to see the beauty it can be. This passion led me to open an etsy shop of upcycled women's clothing. I haven't bought any new clothes for myself in three years, but my dance students often express astonished delight at what I wear. I plan to sew a series of prayer flags and chuppahs, too. 

My Facebook business page and blog are a way for me to brighten someone's moment with whimsy or cause them to notice something meaningful. It's amazing and so gratifying to have the opportunity to encourage someone I have never met in person. This month I began to widen my local circle of encouragement by training to be a yoga teacher specializing in baby boomer health needs.

Blooming late means I have the luxury of focusing on my husband, our Maine Coon cat, and me. Our three daughters are grown and well adjusted, and we have two grandsons to enjoy. 

I think back and chuckle that back when I worked at a desk, I was denied a three percent raise because, as the temporary vice president put it, "All she does is write." She may have been right at the time, but she isn't now.

You can watch a video of one of my dance performances at

I blog at Scrollwork: Quirkyisms from a Tropical Transplant at

My upcycled wearable art shop is Swoosh by Scrollwork at

Come get your daily quirky at

Thank you for this opportunity to tell my story, Teresa!


  1. I really enjoyed reading this. I can relate. I think I was also a late bloomer. I was shy through my teen years and into my 30's before I began to gain confidence in myself and felt that I could do so much more.

  2. This was so inspiring! I used to jazz up my clothing when I was younger but somehow got out of the habit. You've inspired me to get out some of my boring clothes and embellish them. Thank you so much!! I love your etsy shop.