Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day: Remembering Our Honored Dead


Memorial Day: a federal holiday in the United States that honors those who died in all wars in the service of our country.  It was originally called Decoration Day.

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans (aka Armistice) Day, which is November 11 and honors all service people living and dead!

Memorial Day has a checkered history.   If you want to know the birthplace of Memorial Day, you might be chasing your tail.    Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.   It took President Lyndon Johnson to settle the matter in 1966 by officially declaring Waterloo, NY the birthplace of Memorial Day.   In 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act changed the official May 30 date to the last Monday in May.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear: Memorial Day was a result of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead.   On the first Decoration Day, May 30, 1868, then General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery.  Five thousand participants decorated graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who are buried there.

The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000.  According to Military.com
The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”
If you live in the United States, you may have caught the wonderful annual PBS Memorial Day tribute last night.  Returning co-host Joe Mantegna was joined by Laurence Fishburne, since long-time co-host Gary Sinise presented a special WWII tribute during the program.   It can also be viewed online on your local PBS web site until June 10.   I'm not sure if those who live outside the United States can view it or not, but here is the address: http://www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert/

If you live in the United States, have a wonderful, safe, and respectful Memorial Day.  If you live outside the United States, have a wonderful, safe, and joyous Monday.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Gifts from far and near


This is a scheduled post.  I am out of town putting flowers on my Grandparents graves and will be back soon. 

Today I want to share some gifts I've received recently.  I feel remiss because I simply should have shown them sooner.

I was so mad when I found my postal carrier had marked through these beautiful stamps.  I couldn't understand it, because they had already been canceled.   She told me it was acceptable to mark through ANY stamp with a magic marker, whether canceled or not.  She told me to call the PO and they would tell me the same thing.  The PO wants to make sure they aren't reused.  She did the same thing when I received a birthday gift from Chris in England.  I practically got down on my hands and knees and BEGGED her to not do that again, because some countries charge extra for real stamps, but not metered mail.  And since my friends sent stamps that I could use in art, these were now worthless.  I'll try to get off my soap box, now.  

This package came all the way from Germany, and it was resent after the first one was lost.  It came from Gaby at Colorful Adventures, but more on that soon.

Here are the gifts I have received recently.

I took 12 photos of this gorgeous post card that Cindy at Pink Bird Studio sent me, and it never got into focus.  Not sure why, since everything else came out crystal clear.  I know you can't read the sentiment, but it reads "All too often."  She sent it to cheer me, since it's been such a hard month, and it did!  I simply adore the beautiful abstract she created.  Check out the image above this one to see it clearly.

I actually received this last.  It is from Pamela at Cappuccino and Art Journal.  I think I'm going to start a campaign to eliminate metered mail!  We artists like postage stamps.  However, I DID like the kitty stamps she used.

I won this pen/pencil case when I left a comment on her blog.  She had two different styles she was giving away and, since I visit every time I see her blog is updated on my left sidebar, I must have been lucky.  Of course, Bleubeard and I chose the kitty.

Here are the front and back sides of the case, as well as the front of the envelope she mailed the note in.

She even sent me some awesome masking/washi tape.  Isn't it grand?  Bleubeard loves it.  He thinks Squiggles is on the right at the bottom, but I know Squiggles has a pink nose.

This is the package I received from Gaby at Colorful Adventures.  I was SO lucky to win this giveaway from Gaby's blog.   She announced I was the winner on Feb. 13 and sent all those goodies shown in the photo on her blog a couple of days later. 

We both waited and waited and waited and . . . . well, you get the picture.  At the end of April, I finally concluded the package was lost.  I was sick and so was Gaby.  I know whoever has the package had a field day and must have thought they were receiving manna from heaven. 

Although I told Gaby she didn't have to send anything, I was thrilled when she said she had mailed a second package to me.  I know she took as much time and care with the first package as she did the second one.

I wish I had photographed everything as I unwrapped it, but I was being so careful not to tear the beautiful paper and washi tape she wrapped everything in, it didn't occur to me to stop and photograph each package I opened.

All these beauties were in the incredibly beautiful Match Box.  The pen nibs and the locket were placed carefully and wrapped in tissue.  It was quite obvious I was unable to get everything back in after they were removed.

All these beauties, with the exception of the frozen Charlotte and handmade book, were in the bag to the left (the one with the tiny Monopoly house sitting on it).

Although the lighting is terrible and the glare is unbelievable in my craft room, I simply couldn't believe everything that was included in the one package alone.

And of course, I fell in LOVE with the frozen Charlotte.  I can't wait to use it in some way.

I fell in love with the little handmade book

that is filled with papers I can write on.

Later, as I was putting it on my dresser to display it, I was shocked to see I had been photographing the back before.  Some days my blond is showing!

I have never had real foamy foam.  I've made my own using a cut up garden knee pad, but the purple stuff is absolutely incredible.   I can't wait to try it.  If you aren't familiar with it, you heat the foam, then press various pieces into it.  Once cool, you remove the pieces and the indentations are left.  You then use your dye ink to create a made to order stamp.  Don't like what you got?  Simply wash the product in soapy water and heat.    All traces of the original stamp image is gone.  I look forward to using both of these.

Also shown are what appears to be tiny monocles on the left.  The packages on the right

contain various and sundry items I can use in mixed media or assemblages.  Another thing I simply adore is Gaby separated everything.  That was SO thoughtful.   I especially look forward to using some of the metal pieces.


Each package was carefully wrapped and held together with bits of clear tape and washi tapes.

Since I'm the Queen of Free, I saved every piece, including the mostly postage inspired washi tape.  I know I'll be using it in my 7 Continents altered book.

I am so grateful to Gaby for sending this second package.  Thank you beyond words.  And thanks for my gifts from Cindy and Pamela, too.  And thanks to all my readers for sticking with me through this very lengthy post.  I will be around to visit once I'm home.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Little Asian Girl and a return to the Art and Book Fair


I'm once again joining Gill's Elegance and/or Grunge at Art Journal Journey.

Today we are headed to Asia in my 7 Continents altered book.  Not my usual 7 Continents style, but I feel it fits Gill's challenge.

I took this from the Asian book I purchased recently at the Art and Book Fair.  Although it is in black and white, I felt it was elegant.

The girl, which is part of a tag, I'm not so sure about.  I think she may be either elegant or grunge.

Edit: at Valerie's request, I am adding this page to Tag Tuesday, since it contains this tag.

But I found this image painting quite spooky (except for the deer in the lower right).  I think it definitely qualifies as grunge.

And because the page needed journaling, here is my feeble attempt to recreate one of the words or letters I found on the tag.  Please don't ask what it is or means.  Your guess is probably better than mine!

Materials include my used file folder as a substrate, over which I added some of my shimmering mists, two black and white images from an Asian book, one tag, one recycled card, a Micron ink pen, and red pigment ink applied with a Q-tip to the edges of the papers.

I thought you might like to return to the Art and Book Fair and see the remainder of the booths.  I'll keep my comments to a minimum again, so you can peruse the art at your own speed.





I took this photo because I saw the cats.  I always LOVE to see cats and show them to Bleubeard.  Squiggles doesn't seem to care about art unless I'm making it.  I didn't see the very prominent sign that stated not to photograph the paintings

until the owner came running over to stop me from doing so.  Note that she was at the back of the booth when I took the photo above this one, but made a beeline to me as I was shooting this.  I'm surprised she didn't try to take my camera away.  She gave me a tongue lashing, though.  I wanted to say that could be why there was NO ONE stopping at her booth.  Everyone else had been SO kind, some even pointing out things they thought I might like to take photos of.






I loved how this artist had set up and was ready to paint if there was a lull.

She was busy with customers while I was passing, though.





I never got close enough to take a good photo of the "Keeper of the Plains," though.  The sunset photo on the left shows it on its pedestal on the river.


It was starting to get incredibly hot and the crowds were starting to get larger than I cared to handle.

That's when I knew it was time to head for the building and peruse the books.

You can see a few of the booths set up in the parking lot as I turned back to take this final shot of the day.

Thank you for joining me for this book and art fair.  I am always grateful for your comments.  And of course, it's time to join Gill at Art Journal Journey and Valerie and Chrissie at Tag Tuesday.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Possibly a new direction for my art and a trip to the Art and Book Fair


Recently, an internet friend sent me a link to a web site called Alaaddin's Magic Lamp.  I saw that it was a Tumblr account and since I am not a member there, I was not sure I could access it.  I was thrilled to learn I could view images in this venue.

What was more surprising was

when I found this piece and was taken to Art by M. Johnson.  Per the site, this abstract art is called “Prized.” It is made of oil, cold wax, and metal leaf on canvas.  Don't get your hopes up, though because it has been sold.


I created this for T day when I made 30 abstracts in 30 days in September, 2014.


Although I have given this painting away, I am proud of this first attempt at abstract art.  I just need to refine and improve my process.  I think if I had the right motivation and supplies, I could make art look SIMILAR to the famous artist M. Johnson.

I thought I would take you back to the Art and Book Fair, but this time, show you a few of the art booths.

I'll keep my comments to a minimum, so you can peruse them at your own speed.


I took this for both Bleubeard and my friend Sandra, whose love of cats is well known.  I'm not sure how it will play with the Tabbies of Trout Town, though.  This might be a bit tame for them, since their art is known the world over.



I swear, I think I could paint THIS.






I swear these look like the art my next door neighbor creates.



I fell in love with this one.

That is until I saw the price tag!

This is the kind of art my friend Sally would buy.  She loves prints of animals.



I think that's enough art for one day.  I'll share more over the next few days.  I don't want to overload your internet.

Thanks for visiting today as I looked back on some of my art and looked ahead at the art from the Art and Book Fair.