Sunday, May 27, 2018

A preview of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a federal holiday in the United States.  We celebrate it tomorrow, Monday May 28 this year.  It appears we in the U.S. are the only country to honor our dead on this day.  It is always celebrated on the last Monday of May.

Many countries celebrate Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, or Veterans Day, which is celebrated on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls.  We in the states call it Veterans Day after a bill in Congress in June, 1954 replaced "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day ever since.  Remember, it is Veterans, not Veteran's or Veterans'.

The difference is, Memorial Day celebrates and honors those brave men and women who died for our country, especially those who died in battle or the result of wounds resulting from a battle, while Veterans Day celebrates all men and women who have served our/their country, whether living or dead, and whether they served in battle or not.

The practice of celebrating Memorial Day can be traced to the end of the Civil War, but after World War I, the day expanded to honor those who died in all American wars.  In the drawing above, two men, depicting survivors of America's Civil War, one from the south and one from the north, join together to see a baseball game.

Celebrating Memorial Day in 1923, after WWI.

Another print taken at the same time as above (1923).

A third shot taken from the stands at the same location (no location specified) on Memorial Day, 1923.

Memorial Day, 1918 from an unknown location.

Memorial Day poster for May 30, 1937.

Gloucester, Massachusetts on Memorial Day, 1943.

Memorial Day in Morrill County, Nebraska in 1908.

All images, photos, and drawings above are from the Library of Congress web site.

I created this piece awhile back after I read the poem In Flanders Field by Canadian poet John McCrae.
In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
In the States, the poppy is traditionally worn on Memorial Day, not Veterans Day to honor the dead.  According to The Farmer's Almanac:
The origin of the red poppy as a modern-day symbol of this day was actually the idea of an American woman, Miss Moina Michael.  
Also per The Farmer's Almanac:
In war-torn battlefields, the red field poppy (papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to grow. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground is disturbed—as it was by the very brutal fighting during World War 1.
If you live in the United States, I wish you a happy Memorial Day tomorrow.  If you live in the U.K., I wish you a lovely Bank Holiday.  If you live outside the U.S. or U.K., I wish you a wonderful Monday.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Destination Vietnam

Many of you remember I interviewed five men who served in Vietnam.  However, it has been awhile and I have many new followers and readers.  Therefore, I'm going to show the pages I made in the past and provide links in case you want to see more on each.

I began with a Vietnam War Timeline (the OSS is now the CIA or U.S. Central Intelligence Agency). This is side 1

and this is side 2.  See it up close here.

You can read "Barry's" story here.  Be aware, all names are fictitious.  Their stories are not.

You can read "Jesse's" story here.

The third person I interviewed was Ted.  You can read "Ted's" story here.

You will find "Jim's" story here.

You will find "Ralph's" story here

All that is left is a wrap up and my story.  For that, I'm joining Try it on Tuesday where their theme is Destinations.

You can see I reinterviewed all but one of the men who I spoke with before.  This time I wanted to follow up because of a few things I had learned, or questioned.  That is why each participant was given the same questions.

I'll let you read the questions and responses, but if anyone needs me to translate, I will do so on YOUR blog.

As I  was creating this, I realized I had room for an extra question, so that is why the questions appear out of order here.

This is side 2 and it includes my feelings on the war.

Some days I ask myself why I am so proud to be an American.

The history books don't do much better either.  This geography book, copyrighted 1979, talks briefly about Vietnam.  I tried to highlight the best parts with washi tape.

How could such an important time in the history of our country, when so many young men died, appear to be not much more than a footnote in the chapter on the Orient.  It seems Jefferson Airplane's words of wisdom summed up that war!

Thank you beyond belief for following me through this long diatribe today.  I greatly appreciate your staying so long.  If you have thoughts on this war, I would love to hear them in the comment section, too.  I will also be at Try it on Tuesday, too.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Smiles : A belated birthday gift that went awry

I'm once again starting off this Friday with a few jokes, quotes, and laughs I found while cleaning my office a few months ago.  I'm sure you are aware I'm here for Annie's Friday Smiles.


Why don't you ever see the headline
'Psychic Wins Lottery'?

Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what
they do 'practice'?

Q: What do you get from an Alaskan Cow?

A: Ice Cream!

There were three fathers-to-be in a hospital waiting room, waiting for their babies to be born.

The first nurse comes out and tells the first father, "Congratulations you're the father of twins!" He says, “Great! I am the manager for the Minnesota Twins."

The second nurse comes out and tells the second father, "Congratulations you're the father of triplets"! He says, "That's cool! I work for 3M."

The third father opens the window and jumps out.

The third nurse comes out, and asks, “Where's the third father?"

One of the other fathers said, "Oh he jumped out the window."

The nurse asks, "Why?"
He replied, "He works for Seven Up!"

Now my tale of woe, or how NOT to create a belated gift.

It all began when I was working on a belated Christmas gift.  BTW, I still have two more to make.  My internet friend Kathy wanted to be able to add something to her fabric journal, or possibly wanted to find a way to keep the fabric from fraying.  I really do NOT remember, because it's been awhile ago.  Regardless, I had already covered the back of a quiltlet with stabilizer that had glue on only one side.  No wonder it was so inexpensive.

That meant I needed a "glue" of sorts to hold the two sides together.  I chose Stitch Witchery by Dritz.  It comes in different widths and thicknesses, but this is the type I always buy.  It is called "regular weight" and the size I bought was 5/8 inch (1,6 cm) wide.

This was now ready to be attached to the stabilizer and the front fabric which you can barely see in the background.  You might remember this fabric I dyed using Rit Dye for a Second Thursday Tutorial a few months back.

Fast forward because I forgot to take photos, and you will see I am ready to add holes to the quiltlet.

I also forgot to sew the handmade tag to the back before I attached the back to the front.  I had to use the Stitch Witchery to hold the tag in place.

I further forgot to place a small piece of cardboard in the assembly before I glued the pieces together.  I had NO MORE of the front fabric, so had to use fabric from the back for both the back and front.

Here is the piece with all its mistakes, or as I told Dianne, the recipient, worts and all.   Had I not been so distracted by the Stitch Witchery, I might have remembered to sew the label in place to the back and add a piece of cardboard before ironing the two pieces together.

I originally planned to make this for Dianne for Halloween, since I know she likes Halloween as much as she likes Christmas.

I chose one of Tim's paper dolls for the focal image.  I thought the book in her hand reminded me of a book of spells.

I had these rather "cutesy" decorations I had been given and used them on this quiltlet.

I purchased the fabric specifically with Dianne in mind.

I colored a piece of card stock using both black and green shimmering mists, then punched out a bird.  The bird is holding the spider web string in his beak.

As troublesome and badly created as this was, in the end, I sent it off to Dianne.  I just hope she liked it for what it is (a gift made from the heart), and not what it could have been.  This may not have been funny to me (or to some), at least at the time, but I hope those of you who sew got a smile out of my mistakes.

Thanks for joining me today and thanks for your continued visits.  Now let's visit Annie's Friday Smiles, where it never hurts to begin the weekend with a big smile, just like Annie's.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Come sit with me

I'm sure you can tell that I'm once again joining Jo at Let's Art Journal, our host this month at Art Journal Journey whose theme is flora and fauna.

The sentiment, "Come sit with me," was painted using my beautiful watercolor crayons that are still my go-to coloring tool.

I fussy cut the cat and positioned it on the concrete bench.  She was inviting her friend to join her.

The dog, which I also fussy cut, was not quite to scale, but I was hoping no one would notice.  Finding two animals to scale became a real challenge.

This was created in my large journal.  The focal element was an old calendar page.

Thank you so much for joining me today, and I hope you will join me at Art Journal Journey, too.