Jan 19, 2017

94 Years Ago !

Hello and Happy New Year !!  I hope wonderful art for all of you this year ! And for me, too ;)

This post doesn't really have much to do with art but it is of another subject close to my heart. 
Years ago I started to collect and compile notes on the many branches of my family. Wow ! We are the combination of so many others !!!  
Very soon, though, I became over-whelmed by the drawer full of written notes, computer print-offs, old photos, copies of emails from long, lost cousins, etc.  Daunting stuff when it came to compiling my burgeoning drawer into a comprehensive document. I jst couldn't get to the job at hand.
But last Novemeber I got the push required to get my butt in gear and start the process. My American cousin was writing his memoirs and I felt he needed to have the facts of his Canadian heritage ;) So, I got involved tackling the many boxes of photos, letters and keepsakes that I have been fortunate to inherit. This is where something fabulous and fascinating came to my attention !
In my grandfathers' box was a large envelope that contained a lock of hair,  and a dried bridal bouquet and boutiniere !! And so well preserved after almost 94 yrs !
Grandmother's 3 Red Carnations with white & pink satin ribbons
Grandfathers' Boutiniere 
detail of pink & ivory satin ribbons ribbons

The dried flowers are my grandmothers bridal bouquet and my grandfathers boutiniere from the day they were married March 13, 1923, when she was 17 yrs. old and he was 27 yrs. old. 
These treasures were clean and did not even smell musty !
The lock of hair was from the day she died of stomach cancer in 1947 when she was 42 yrs. old. They raised a family of 3 boys and 5 girls.

One branch done and sent off to 4 cousins ;)

In my long journey with genealogy I even had my own mtDNA done ! Turns out I'm directly related to a woman that lived 11,000-12,000 yrs. ago ! (speaking of years ;))

Dec 16, 2016

It's Starting To Look A Lot Like Christmas ;0

This Christmas display caught my attention 
as I entered our local Stone Road Mall for a little pre-gift-buying 'look-see'. 
It helped a little towards getting some Christmas spirit,
 except for the fact that it was still a daunting task ! 
But, I've got a good start now and just a few gift certificates to get for the 4 (10-15 yr. old) gr.sons. Hubby is done ... easy-peasy ... just load up on books !
December 4, 2016 .
.. before the snow came ... the annual Xmas Tree Hunt was on 
with 2 daughters and sons-in-law, 
5 of the youngest gr.children (one grumpy Gert that day), 
a dear friend and Hubby & I. 
Another year under the belt ;)
We did get a trip into the McMichael Gallery again this year. 
Always so inspiring to see such great paintings by Canada's iconic 
... soon to celebrate their 100th Anniversary !
Merry Christmas to all my blogging buddies ! 
Wishing you, and yours, all the best in the New Year !!!

Nov 9, 2016

Geeze ... It's Almost Christmas !

Did I just say that ?????? Omg !
Time flies so quickly these days ... but not near fast enough to get that damned election over with ! 
I do not like the result one little bit but I am glad that farce is over with. 
Good Luck America !

Anyway, back to Christmas. It's so very close ! I have begun to shop 'though it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy for grandchildren ranging from ages 0-21.
I'm just glad to have something very nice to focus on these days ... like this new baby girl. She was born in September and she is fascinating. Very alert and very talkative and probably our last gr.child ... 12 is lots ! :)
Hannah Josephine, at 1 month

Work on 'Weathered By Time' has come to almost a standstill, for no other reason than I've just been so damned lazy since my month in Killbear.  But some small steps in the finishing have begun.  I just ordered a stretcher frame for it ... and they will assemble ... so nice to have the store do this for me ! 
I will pick it up tomorrow, finish the edges and hand stitch the 'rebar' on. The whole 'finishing' will have a new twist this time because the canvas is too thick to wrap around the stretcher frame and other finishing ideas have been suggested by some colleagues. I'm game to try, will let you know how it turns out ;)
Weathered By Time

I did have an opportunity, yesterday, to see a portion of the World Of Threads Festival (in Oakville) yesterday and have been very much inspired to get cracking ... what a great amount of excellent, international art there ! I feel I have fallen way behind ! I have never entered this show but wish I did ... maybe next year ;)

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet ? Tell me what you are doing ;)

Oct 7, 2016

Study of a Ruin

As promised, a few more pics that show some progress from previous post, Almost Couldn't Get Here !
The fabric that I am working on is a 'freebie' from a pile of stuff that was offered to my group, Connections Fibre Artists, years ago when an artist had passed away and her spouse wanted to offer her 'stash' to other artists instead of throwing it all away. 
As a rule, I hardly ever take advantage of these offerings because the fabrics are mostly printed commercial types that I personally don't use. BUT, There was one piece (and I'm using the whole piece here) that intrigued me. It was plain, looked like canvas, but was actually painted muslin ... by painted, I don't mean fabric paint ... seems more like beige latex wall paint !! 
The fabric feels harsh and is a bit rubbery. It's a challenge !!

I was not sure 'Beloved Virgin #2' would accept it between her feed dogs and her needle. But, things have gone ok ... some, lets just say 'lots' of paint dust to clean up after every sitting, but nothing has stopped B.V from performing as well as she always does. The punching through this sandwich of painted fabric, muslin backing and an interfacing makes my heart lurch every so often but she keeps on sewing ! More anxiety when we get to sew through the paper 'beams' that are applied on top ! ... and only 1 needle broken due to a catch in the thread !

 At first I was going to add the exposed older brick to the surface ... but I decided to cut away the top fabric and lay the exposed brick work underneath ... now it has that feel of the top 'plastering' falling off ??
Lots more detail to add yet ... fencing (both stitched and applied, painted bamboo sticks), plants and shadows ... but getting there ! 

Oct 5, 2016

"I'm Back !"

26 days in the my favourite park ! I had a great time ... working on my latest project, reading 4 novels, feeding chipmunks, meeting fellow campers and generally resting my a** off ;)
Such a peaceful and simple time.

Hannah Josephine, September 5, 2016

Glad to be back tho' as my youngest daughter gave birth to her 3rd child the day before I left, Hannah Josephine, and now I am much closer to her and can now watch the daily changes in this new little life. Hannah is my 12th gr.child ;)

Pic.s of my project to follow.

Forgot to mention that I finally did get a translation of some comments to my blog a few months ago ... it's Arabic and advertising for a cleaning company !!! my goodness !

Sep 1, 2016

Almost Couldn't Get Here !

Oh, my goodness ! What a hassle ! 
I've been trying for weeks to get back into my blog and ... well, I just hate usernames and passwords !!!!    I guess I should accept that it's nobody's fault but my own ... too many sites to belong to, too many different passwords, too many changes different from other passwords ... too many slips of paper ! Wouldn't it just be easier to have only one username and one passwords for all the sites one joins ?

Well, now that I've ranted a little ... how is everyone ? 
Seems I have been visited, lately, by someone who didn't translate ... which I deleted ... and he/she was irritated enough to post a lot more 'stuff' in my comments. I don't recognize the language or I would attempt to find out how to translate it ... or not.
It has been a busy, hot, humid summer and now that September is here, I am packing up my gear to head off for my annual camping trip ... well, really I live in a very nice little trailer ... for most of the month, by myself, with the occasional visitor. My hubby, of 44 years, will join me for the 1st 10 days ... then 15 days on my own, sewing, drawing, vegging, communing with the forest and its wildlife and the occasional dip in beautiful Georgian Bay !
Beaver Dams Beach
Evening on Granite Saddle Beach

I have 2 projects packed and ready to go with me.  
Another portrait, this time of my maternal grandmother who, it seems, was as unkeen as I am about having photos taken ' cause there is only 2 that I am aware of ! So some work, and imagination, & some guessing will be involved to bring her portrait into the realm that I have been working in with in my own portrait and Esther's own mother, Margaret (see previous posts). So lots of fun ahead !
Esther Irene (Currie) Deacon
The 'architectural' piece is based on a lovely photo taken by Maggie Vanderweit from her trip to Costs Rica, recently ;) A few years ago, I had inherited a piece of painted (?, not sure) muslin and the colour fit perfectly as the plastered 'face-lift' of an old archway that was now falling away and revealing the old brick work underneath. The fabric has a feel of plaster to it. My sewing machine may not like working with it at all !!!! The old brickwork pieces have been laid under cut out sections of the 'plaster' so that, if done the way my minds' eye sees it, it will actually look like the plaster has fallen away. All pieces of the old brick work have now been placed and 'wonder-under'ed under the cutouts.  Wish me luck !

Jul 18, 2016

A Visit From A Red Cardinal

"A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. 
When you see one, it means they are visiting you."

I had never heard this saying until a week ago when I mentioned to a young woman about watching a cardinal and his mate check out my lilac bush that morning, while I worked a jigsaw puzzle in front of my dining room window.
Out of her mouth, instantly, came the above saying. 
That got me wondering ... was it Esther ?(I love old superstitions !)
My next portrait will be of Esther Irene (Deacon) Currie, my beloved maternal grandmother. Was she trying to encourage me ? I had been struggling for days to 'build' a drawing of her from a small photo where the flash had leached out most detail in her face (I have no other picture of her). More of that to follow.

And then I began to wonder ... was it Esther or was it her mother Margaret ? Below
Or was it my mother, Laura ? She is next on the agenda ;)

Let me  introduce you to Margaret Davidson Deacon, my maternal gr.gr.grandmother

a copy of the only known photo of Margaret Davidson Deacon
probably taken on her wedding day
my drawing and mapping of the shadows of this beautiful face
from drawing to watersoluble fabric and the beginning stitches
to finished portrait below


MARGARET is written trough the leaf detail at the bottom of the portrait, as is her birth date, 1880

My apologies for poor photography.
Margaret was born in 1880 and died at 36 yrs of age, 11 days after the birth of her 7th child.
While working on this portrait I made contact with a son of this 7th child (the son whom I hadn't seen nor laid eyes on since I was 12/13 yrs. old !) ... he had always lived in the US. and once all of Margarets children died, contacts were lost amongst cousins, second cousins, etc. ... makes me wonder about these old supertitions !! Why did I attempt to look for this 1st cousin, once removed, after 55 yrs ?? Was Margaret with me throughout the process ;)