"Jamie Ballerina and her Red Tomatoes, Iowa City, Iowa" © Sandy Dyas


Jamie Elizabeth is my youngest daughter. She has been living in Iowa City for the past few years after moving from Chicago. The biggest reason she had for moving back home to Iowa City was her newly found passion for growing things. In Chicago, she and her roomie Constie had a teeny flower garden growing outside of their apartment building. They lovingly tended to the little bed of flowers which was located between the sidewalk and their street. It was Jamie's first gardening experience.

Jamie now has a large array of amazing flowers growing in her yard as well as lots of delectable produce. This past spring and summer, many hours were spent working in her lush surroundings. For Jamie and many others, gardening is entertainment. She finds both solace and pleasure in being able to dig her fingers into the earth, plant seeds and harvest the goods. It is a simple diversion from our overly complex world.

Jamie is also a gifted painter (www.myspace.com/jamieballerina). Without realizing it at the time, my photograph of ballerina Jamie resembles the colorful figures in her surreal, dreamlike paintings. Painting, like gardening successfully combines the mental and physical. Both are means of escaping into one's own world.

Last but not least, Jamie and Jenna (her sister) have owned a vintage clothing ebay store for two years. Dirty Birdies Vintage is a collaborative, lucrative and entertaining endeavor that brings both girls together as creators. Jenna is the photographer and Jamie is her model.