Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The International Collage Box Project...

Some of my most pleasurable swaps are the international ephemera swaps hosted by LaWendula. The Collage Box Project is one that was especially fun. A collage box travels around the world to seventeen people. When you get the box, you take out twelve pieces of ephemera and add at least twelve more. Then you create a collage and post it.

When I got the box, I started humming a song I once heard on a children's record called "Peace Is The World Smiling" so that is what I titled my collage. To be honest, I have not done a lot of collage. At all. I focused on using layers for the background, gesso first, then several kinds of tissue paper, then stamping white acrylic through some sequin waste. A whole lot of gel medium in between. (Love that stuff!) I used a Caran D'Ache crayon to go around the globe and some of the circles made by the sequin waste then worked the black in with my finger.  I also made a border of black musical Tim Holtz tape (it's about a song, right?)

On the left, we have smiling women from different countries and different eras.

On the right, we have examples of different languages, included snippets of unique computer "faces" from a German ad.

I was pretty pleased with how the background turned out. I wasn't so pleased with the pictures. They seem to "sit" on the canvas like scrapbook pictures...rather than be integrated into the whole picture.

I enjoyed the process so much. I learned something and I love mucking around with paper and goopy products. I added about twenty snippets of ephemera to the box, signed the little guest book and sent the box on to New York.

I was smiling as it went on its way. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Anniversary Pink...

I bought this vase for Jud when I was on vacation in Rapid City (the beautiful Black Hills) and he was home tending our new flower garden. I found it at a wonderful store called Prairie Edge, where outstanding works of local and national Native Americans are featured. I loved the shape and the two heads together. It spoke to me and represenst our relationship. Though we are separate in some ways, at the end of the day, we are truly "one." He is the one that I can speak most comfortably with about all my joys and sorrows, the father of my dear daughter and is truly the love of my life. Indeed, he is my soulmate. 

The vase is filled with some pretty good imitation tulips and some sparkle lights, given to us by our dear friend, Donna. See those little sticks. They are fairy lights! You can see that the wall behind is soft pink. I thank God that I am married to a man who loves color and is comfortable with a pink family room. It is a lovely color to live with, and we have lived with pinks, grays and eggplant for thirty years. 

This is the first time I am hooking up with Pink Saturday. I think it one of the greatest ideas because 
I Love Pink!!!

This is linked to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dressing my doll...

One of the greatest pleasures in my life is having a daughter. I still remember when she was born. I secretly wanted a daughter, though I would have never said it out loud!  Many of you will understand how that "secret preference" thing goes. She was born in the seventies. Those of us who came of age in the crazy sixties were determined to raise our girls as strong women who would have careers and the possibility of being president and our boys as sensitive souls who knew "it's all right to cry, crying gets the sad out. (Remember "Free To Be, You and Me"?).  Katie* was dressed in overalls and very, very rarely in pink frills, in hopes of creating this perfect androgynous child. 

Well, as many of us learned despite our lofty thoughts, there is something to say for "boys are boys and girls are girls." When it came to clothing, I got a more of a girly girl, definitely a girl with her own sense of style. Too quickly, her clothing decisions were made by her. Her favorite early outfits were old flower girl outfits we bought at rummage sales ("No, Katie, you can't wear that flower girl outfit to kindergarten.")

When Katie became a teen, we gave her a clothing allowance, trying not to produce a Spoiled Only Child (also known as an "S.O.C."). We carefully figured out what she would need for coats and boots and summer and winter clothes and gave her a rather small amount. Well, my daughter discovered Estate Sales. I should say, we discovered Estate Sales. She quickly learned that she could get a really outstanding original outfit for a fraction of what she paid at the mall and thriftily gain a very large wardrobe. I will never forget the day she got three cashmere cardigans, beautifully embroidered and embellished, for a dollar each Thus began a lifetime of fun for both of us. Katie, being slim like the Reaney side of the family, could fit into many of these old treasures. Me, being on the chunky side, like the Gillis side of the family, could get a strange vicarious pleasure out of watching my daughter look so pretty in these vintage fashions. I started to call this "dressing my doll." 

When we were in South Dakota, Jud, his sisters and mom, went through some of his their old family belongings. Katie and I headed for the antique stores, of which there are many. At the Yankton Mall, Katie found this darling rayon dress. It fit her like it was made for her and I not only enjoyed seeing her look so cute but also wanted to take pictures of her. So we came home and I made her try it on once again. 

"Smile, Katie!"

"Oh, dear. Not that come-hither look!" (You are, after all, only thirty-one!). 

"OK. Look sweet!"

"Ah, yes. Good shot." What a cute dress. Perfect shape. Great detail. Darling peplum waist that is a little hard to see and a black mesh insert at the neck. Twenty dollars! She can wear it to work! (Yes, she is intelligent and capable, too!)

This old pattern is so adorable. Roses and love letters! 

Sigh. It is such a pleasure being the mother of a daughter!

* Katie is "Kat" now. The Kat in Katsui. One of my favorite adults. But as hard as I try, she will always be Katie to me!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Snoopy Suz finds some sweet cups...

It's another sleepy morning and I drag myself out of bed for my mission...
I am off to the dining room sideboard where I find some beautiful treasures!

Oh, my! A silver samovar! Gorgeous, but not the kind of treasure I seek.

I find myself distracted by this lovely silver butter set. It even has a place for ice on the bottom. Did you ever think you came of age in the wrong century?

Aha! This is what I was looking for. It's a cocoa set. Have you ever seen anything so precious in your life?

Each little cup is so sweet and has its own special flower. This one, I believe, is a cherry blossom.
Tell me if I am wrong. I have never really seen one. I have just imagined them.

This one is, of course, my favorite. A pink rose! I wish I could have a cocoa party and invite my tea cup friends. We would have cocoa made from "scratch," like my mother used to make. Then we would top it with billowy whipped cream. Mmmm. I am almost longing for Winter.

And even though it would be very hard, I promise to share the rose cup with one of you...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Suz goes hunting again...

Ah, it's six in the morning again. The house is quiet and I am snooping...well, just looking around. And I have permission, right?

Ooooooh. Another wonderful shelf to explore! These teacups have not only one handle, but two. Maybe    
they are for the clumsy, like me, who like to hold their tea with two hands.

Here is the other side of two-handled teacup shelf. Aren't they lovely? 

OK, I admit it. I am not that naive. I know these aren't really teacups but are boullion or consomme cups for soup. (I believe these larger cups are boullion cups but anyone is welcome to give me more information!)

These are very special to me. Mom had started her own collection and told Jud and me that she would like more. We were off and running, on a mission. All year, we would search for a beautiful cup for her collection and surprise her with our new choice on her birthday. It was my first "adult" look at beautiful china. I truly fell in love and was sad when her boullion cup shelf overflowed!

Can you imagine why I chose to show you this one first? It is because of the PINK ROSES!!!

Isn't this beautiful? I love the soft green and the real gold that surrounds the flowers.  The green is so gentle, a nice Spring green, and the scrolls and flourishes of gold are such a stunning accent. 

Here is the saucer. I am not as crazy about the saucer and think it is a little busy. I am learning that I like a simpler saucer, 

Guess what. I forgot an important part of my mission. I forgot to turn it over. I am going to check with Mom later and have her check the bottom, but for now, just enjoy. 

Such loveliness! Sigh!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I borrow a teacup...

We are in South Dakota at a family reunion. It is six in the morning and I have a mission. 
I am going to borrow a teacup! I sneak down to the living room of the family home and head to the breakfront in the upper right hand corner. This is where some magnificent teacups live!

I peek in the right side of the teacup shelf....

I peek in the left side of the teacup shelf...

and I pluck out my beauty.

Sigh! Isn't this lovely? Look at the glorious shape of the cup?
The pink handle is so pretty and that same soft pink is around the rim of the plate. 
 Do you see the inscribed flower on the plate. The roses are so soft and sweet and are 
outside and inside of the cup. 
I love this one!

Ah! It has a name! This is Bridal Rose. It was made in England by Shelley. 
Does that ring a bell to anyone? 

My mother-in-law (my other mother) let me borrow it for the picture. She has
so many beautiful things and she knows so much about them. We were so busy this
weekend. I wish I had a chance to ask her more about this. 

Kat and I searched five antique stores. We found some nice treasures, 
but no teacup has spoken to me.
The search continues...

Linked to http://artinredwagons.blogspot.com/ and http://artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com/.