Sunday, December 28, 2014

Irish Dreamin'

Irish Dreamin'
Funny how prolific I am on using this technique for making postcards.  I was up at 4:00 this morning and even before I had juice or English muffin I was creating.  I think I am now at my limit and will move on to something else.  I am not tired of the process but now want to see about a twist on it. There are several more of the postcards in this format coming though.   :-)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

American Gothic

American Gothic
I do love the original American Gothic.  It has a sense of humor about it and really does represent "middle America".  My American Gothic represents the ethic community that Seattle is famous for. Much of Ballard, a  Scandinavian founded neighborhood, a part of Seattle, is rich in culture.  This piece included a reference to Finland.  I frequently get stamps on mail from Finland which I covet and include in collages.  Finnish stamps are quite creative.  This particular one is circular with a second portion that pulls out as a second stamp.  I love that it leaves a negative space on the round stamp.

Friday, December 26, 2014

You're In the Army Now

You're in the Army Now
You might be surprised to know I was in the army for six years.  It was during the Vietnam era but fortunately I served in several state side locations only.  I have so many memories of basic training. It was the best of times and the worst.  I caught pneumonia during the eight weeks of basic.  We were told that if we missed a week's training we would be recycled.  That meant we would have to start all over again from the beginning.  I was in the hospital for five days.

When I left the hospital I was weak but determined that I would not be recycled.  I was picked up from the hospital and immediately returned to where my unit was training.  As it would be on that particular day we were being driven on a forced march by the drill sergeants.  I don't know how I made it through that day, only pushed forward by determination, but I did.

Part of being in basic training is that there are friends and family at home waiting on your return.  I lived for mail call hoping that there would be letters.  Getting a letter provided a little bit of escape from the present situation.  I would sit on the back barracks steps, a quiet place, to read the letters.

You're in the Army Now reflects the feel of that eight week period of my life.  It was a situation I was forced into but also a time when I was in my best physical shape ever.  I thought I would not survive but I did.  Reflecting back on it I really can not believe I actually lived that part of my life.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Memories

Memories

Can't you just see Grandma and Grandpa sitting in their rocking chairs on the front porch?  Both are lost in thought of days gone by.  Perhaps this woman was a dancer in her youth.  Grandpa came each night to her follies show.  He fell in love and asked Grandma out.  Now it is all history.  What story do you want to tell about Grandma and Grandpa?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Family? or Riverside Library

Happy Family? or Riverside Library
So many GLBT of my generation spent a great deal of time either in the closet or married and unhappy.  What a change it has been this year for marriage equality rights!  I never thought in my life time I would see such change and at almost lightning speed at that.  Many might disagree about the speed but what has happened over the last few years is truly amazing.  Just look at marriage equality maps on the internet.  Compare those maps to just a few short years ago.

It is so sad that we continually have to fight the same battles over and over in this country.  Equal rights are guaranteed under the Constitution yet we seem to be continually fighting for those rights in the courts, rights that should be a given not open to interpretation.

Happy Family? or Riverside Library illustrates those in the GLBT minority who married and lived a heterosexual life because that is what society dictated.  It is a life of the wife, the husband, and the lover.  So many men I know or knew lived that life, married and unhappy occasionally finding happiness on the side. They lived a double life.  Thank goodness change has come and is still coming. No one should be unhappy and hiding because of who they are.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Patriotic Cow

Patriotic Cow
Tim and I lived in Germany during 911.  We spent the whole year after that fateful day overseas. When we returned to the US for a visit we were hit with patriotism everywhere.  Flags were flying from cars and were in store windows.  Everywhere we turned there were flags.  In Seattle, where I live  now, we only see the 12th Man flags flying along with Seahawk flags.  I find it interesting how we channel our feelings at any one moment.

I have begun a new series called Memory Lane.  For some reason I am going down that road and so beware you will be seeing references culled from my memory for awhile.  I called this piece Patriotic Cow!  Who knows where that came from but that is what it is!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Santa Claus?

Santa Claus?
Here we are just minutes away from the Winter Solstice!  The days will be gradually getting longer as we head toward summer.  Somehow the darkness has not bothered me this year.  I guess because I spend so much of the waking hours being able to see the light.  That was not the case when I was working full time.

I started a new technique this past week.  Refining the technique is ongoing and because of the season I decided I would use Santa in this collage.  I love vintage Santa's and I was able to find many in my research.  I love how the black sets each Santa apart from the others.  In today's NY Times there was a reference to Santa Claus and the famous "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."  Hence this piece evolved.

Whether you celebrate or not?  Whether Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, the Festival of the Lights, Kwanzaa, or some other winter holiday is being celebrated by you, I wish you peace and good health in the new year.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Remembering

Remembering
One day recently I sat down with this journal and just started adding blocks of color in a variety of quadrilateral forms.  I had no idea where I was headed but somehow I was propelled in a way that often comes to me.....just moving forward.  I was not spending too much time thinking but just pushing toward whatever thought came my way.  Then I felt like writing and the writing brought back memories from when I was much younger.  The rest just evolved with the final focal point of the young thinking man.  He is a collage of several young men. Perhaps that is what is going to happen now that I am closing in on 65....trips down memory lane!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cup of Tea

Cup of Tea
I found a wonderful book this year at a garage sale that was a history of the US in black and white photographs.  Using some of those vintage memories I created Cup of Tea.  Sometimes we just need a cup of tea and time to reflect on our busy lives which are often packed full without much time for pondering.  Cup of Tea reflects a busy full life that is almost like a tornado of activity at times.  Now that I am retired I have more time to sit each morning reading the newspaper with my cup of tea and for awhile just be.  It is nice!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Virgin Islands ATC Series # 6

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 11

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 12
St. Thomas ATC Series No 13


It was one humid day that we climbed the 99 steps to Blackbird's Castle.  The view was well worth it even though I was soaking wet by the time we returned to our car.  Just looking at all the finished ATCs brings back the wonderful memories of this vacation.  I thought I had made 14 ATCs but I can only find 13.  Perhaps the other one will turn up or not.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Virgin Islands ATC Series # 5

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 9

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 10
Finding ephemera on this trip took me to new places, the breakfast table and the wrist band provided by the sea life park.  In the second ATC above the coded bracelet was not tossed but used in the design.  Looking everywhere for something new to use was challenging.  Even a leaf from a tropical tree found a home on the above ATC.

At breakfast, lemon was served with my tea.  I am a cream person so lemon is never used.  However, the lemons were wrapped in a yellow cheese cloth and I could not resist bringing them back to our hotel room.  You will find the cheese cloth in other ATCs.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Virgin Islands ATC Series # 4

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 7

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 8
On one of our days in the Virgin Islands we took the ferry to St. John.  What a quaint town!  I loved the architecture and the feel of this island.  It seems much more quiet and out-of-the-way.  There is a national park on this island but we did not go there.  We should have taken the rental car on the barge ferry and then we could have explored more.  Did not know that until after we had already visited.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Virgin Islands ATC Series # 3

St. Thomas ATC Series No.5

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 6
While in the Virgin Islands we decided to drive into town and explore.  I really had not read up on the history of the islands and found out that Denmark sold the islands to the US in the early 1900's.  The oldest part of Charlotte Amalie, the main town, was full of alleys and passages.  Pirates had a presence for years in the islands.  Blackbird had a castle which was more like a tower.  We explored until the heat got the best of us.  The main shopping area is packed full of jewelry stores.  The cruise ships dock in the port and duty free reigns.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Virgin Islands ATC Series # 2

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 3

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 4
Funny how I thought I would not find enough ephemera to create ATCs while in the Virgin Islands and as it turns out I made 14 of them. :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

US Virgin Islands ATC Series

St. Thomas ATC Series No. 1
St.Thomas ATC Series No. 2
What a gorgeous place to take a week's vacation!  The US Virgin Islands is definitely a destination now off the bucket list but well worth the excursion.  It took some effort to get there, over eight hours flying time, first to Miami and then on to St. Thomas.  Those airplane seats are not so comfortable for this 64 year old body.  It will take some time for my tail bone to stop screaming!

While in the Virgin Islands I continued my plan to create ATCs from found ephemera along the way. At first I was not finding what I wanted.  However, perseverance paid off and I have come up with this Virgin Islands Series.  You will see over the next week that I was rather prolific.  It was a great adventure but  I am glad to be home.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

St. Thomas - Virgin Islands

Hotel View
We are in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a week.  Totally gorgeous here.  This is the view from our hotel lanai.