One might jump to assume that's the celebrated Blarney Stone tonight's Toil Girl, Teresa, is resting her foot on since we happen to be here in Ireland. But it's merely a random rock that's here to help us celebrate Teresa's life and her proud roots.
" I am an Irish-American," says Teresa, "who is very proud of her Irish heritage. I was probably born a century or two too late. I love the uncomplicated way of life. The less hurried rat race of an old Irish Village."
" A quiet walk along the country side, a nice picnic lunch and just being alone with the person you love makes for a perfect day. Curled up on the couch, with a fire in the fireplace and a good book and my hubby at my side is my idea of an ideal night."
My husband and I will soon celebrate our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary and it has truthfully been the best thirty-six years of my life. I cannot picture life without him. We have two grown sons and three grandchildren."
"We will both soon be retiring from our present jobs and hope to be able to travel. We have been to Ireland once, but hope to return and be able to walk the country side like Les has depicted in my portrait."
"When my husband found the Toil Girl website and we both looked at it, I immediately thought 'I want to be a Toil Girl'. I have been a big beautiful women all of my life and I had found someone who could make me look radiant and beautiful in an artistic way."
"I contacted Les and sent him some photos and a concept that we thought was good. Les sent us back some of his suggestions and we fell in love with them immediately. With just a few words about myself and a few photos, Les captured the inner me. I love history and reading historical novels. So the old Irish castle in the background could prove to have hidden history and mysteries inside.
In my humble opinion, cultural diversity is one of the greatest gifts of this planet, so it's always gratifying to receive this kind of assignment. Heck, before corresponding with Teresa, I didn't even know the Irish sported different styles of Tartan plaids which represent the specific county or province of where ones ancestors lived.
Speaking of plaid, I'm proud to say I figured out a new technique to render such complicated clothing patterns as our plaid skirt above. I don't think I could describe it in layman terms--or anyone else's terms--but feel free to email me and I'll attempt to do so if you're a fellow artisan who's curious.
Teresa, when you make that next trip to The Old Country, if you do happen to hike near a handsome ocean cliff and their happens to be the ruins of a castle nearby, please take a picture of yourself in front of it so I can display it beneath your portrait. It would be nice to put an even better perspective on tonight's lovely Toil Girl.
To Teresa, for giving me this rewarding assignment, and for her husband, for digging me up in the first place, may I gleefully say Go raibh maith agat.