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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cards from my Grandma's past

Hello Friends,

Today I thought I'd share some cards that I found in a box full of family photo's.  Most of them are dated and all of them are sent to my Grandma Stella LeSuer Wakefield.  You might like them, and please feel free to copy any images you see, as they can't be copy righted just because I own them.......I didn't create them!

Enjoy on this lovely, sunny, Sunday here in Gilbert, Arizona:






I will share some more at a later time, but for now, please enjoy these.  Some of them are Christmas cards, but I knew you'd love them anyway.

I'm participating in 3 swaps and have a luncheon coming up in which I have to make something.  You might understand that I've made this a short post, as I also have a show to get ready for in April.

I'm going to share a tiny, little sneak peek at a rose that I made which is on the Tussie Mussie I created for Debra at HopHopJingleBoo, but I can't show the whole thing, or it wouldn't be a surprise to her.  Here's a peek:



She and I are also exchanging paper dolls, so I'm really excited to get this swap going.  I'm also in a "bunny swap" and I have one person I'm sending to, and another that will send to me.......which makes this swap a little interesting.  I'm also in the tag swap with Elizabeth and others over at Creative Breathing.  It's based on vintage kitchen utensils and I'm creating mine as a set of canisters........should be very interesting, and I'll post piccy's after I've mailed them off.

Have a lovely Sunday, and here's lookin' to the comin' week!

Hugs,
Meri

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Art from a special girl!


Hello Friends,

Today, I am highlighting my "special girl," my stepdaughter Abby who is currently 14 years old and in 8th grade.  Abby came into my life about 13 years ago when I met my current husband Chris.  Chris introduced Abby to me, and I was instantly in love.  She's an exceptionally bright child, and as a result of attending a Montessori school since kindergarten (and the exceptional genetics from her father), she has now been accepted into an elite high school program where only students in the top 3 percent are allowed.  Abby has been consistently performing in the top 1% and needless to say, they have invited her to attend their school.   We are very proud of her and her future is open wide.

Last summer, to keep her occupied, we scheduled various projects and activities, one of which was taking drawing and painting lessons from my mom.  Over a period of a month or so, Abby went out to her grandma's house twice a week and learned sketching, perception, shading, how to see, etc., and then went to the next level and did some watercolor painting.  Abby just finished a unit in her upper division class on drawing with the right side of the brain (logic) and shutting off the left side (creativity).  I would like to show you some of her work.......because I'm so proud, and freakin' out about how amazing her work is.

Abby's drawings:
Sunglasses and a zippered bag


A telephone


Her hand

Her shoe

Self portrait

and my favorite of all........a soap dispenser!

Now if you click on these, of course you will get an enlarged version, and you will be able to see the amazing detail and shading she put into these.

Last weekend, we made a trip out to Grandma's where Abby presented her with 4 of her best drawings in honor of Grandma's patient teaching.  Grandma was surprised, and extremely proud and happy to get them.  Abby darling, you done good!

Her father and I are so looking forward to her coming years in high school, not only because of the amazing opportunities her new school will offer her, but because of how amazing she is anyway.  We are going to have so much fun!

Thank you for stopping by.

Hugs,
Meri

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My second commission of my mother

Hi Friends

When I was  a little girl, I used to snoop through everything, in my mother's closet.  One day I happened upon a shoebox full of sepia toned images on heavy card-stock and also black & white polaroids.  So many faces, so many people I didn't know anything about, but I wanted to know. 
This was one of those photos in the box, and for some reason I can't fathom, the little girl in the closeup, fascinated me.  Her face was so soft, so angelic yet soulful.  I'm sorry, but I don't know the identities of these people, I only know they are family.  If and when I get them identified, I'll post about them again.


This little girl fascinated me so much, I just hoped and prayed that some day I'd have a little girl that looked just like her.  I bugged my mom for quite some time, in 1977 when I was 17, to draw a picture of the little girl for me, and she did.  I just knew that some day I'd have a little girl just like her.  Well folks................


This is my little daughter Caitlin, when she was about 4-5 years old in 1993-1994.  About the same age as the little girl in the picture, and don't they look alike?  I got my wish and a beautiful piece of artwork by my mom, too!
My daughter Caitlin is now all grown up and will turn 22 this June, but almost every time I look at her, I see this little girl and remember the drawing and how a dreaming heart got it's wish.  This is Caitlin today:


She's stunning in her natural beauty, and always has a ready smile.  She's currently studying to be a dental hygienist, and should be graduating this coming fall/winter.  I'm very proud of all my children and next up will be my youngest, Abby and some current artwork she's done.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed this little jaunt into my history.

Hugs,
Meri

Monday, March 1, 2010

Something new from me, about something old that's mine!

Hi Folks,

It's been a while, and I'm sorry about not posting sooner.  For those of you in the know, we've had a lot of rain here in Sunny Arizona (so weird) and I don't do especially well in cold or wet weather.

However, it hasn't stopped me from checkin' everyone else's blogs out.....oh yeah, I've been surfin' blogland.  I've noticed a lot of blogs have information about ancestry (Sandy and Elizabeth) and I thought I'd give it a weak shot.  I'm not the best at this history stuff, as a matter of fact I have a cousin and my own daughter (Caitlin) that have our maternal side goin' all the way back to A.D. 700's...............gads, we've been around a long time, even some royalty in there.  Anyway, I've been extremely fortunate to have some of our family heirlooms and today I'd like to post about a few with the extremely limited knowledge I do have.

This is a painting that I used to (and still do) adore, and when it hung at my maternal grandmother's house, I would just sit and stare at it.  There's a face in the picture, and it captivated me, and still does some 45-50 years later.  It's currently hanging in my bedroom, above my bed, and the little "post-it" stuck on it is my oldest daughter, Caitlin's, way of marking it as hers once I'm gone.  I've asked my children to put their names on what they want when I'm gone, so there's no last minute fighting.......I hate that!

Anyway, about the painting...it was painted by my great, great aunt Stella Hoag, from Skillet Creek, Wisconsin.  Story is; She was a teacher in an old one room school house, but she also loved to paint.  This location is in Skillet Creek, just outside Baraboo, Wisconsin, and just a way's away from the school house she taught in.  My whole family has always been artistic, my own mother was once a fairly well known water-colorist here in the southwest, but I've loved this oil painting all my life.  I am fortunate that I have a few items from my grandmothers time; an old original rubber Kewpie doll, some salt & pepper shaker sets (she collected hundreds) an old dresser and an original Jenny Lind spindle bed (stored in the garage).

Now as to the face in the picture, in case you aren't able to see it, here's a graphic of it:


Now scroll back up and see if you can see a face now.  Pretty cool, huh?  Now, here's an actual "Tin-type" picture of the lady that painted it:


This is Edwin and Stella Hoag taken after their marriage in 1873, in Baraboo Wisconsin.  So, that's a little bit of history from my mother's side of the family, but I so wanted to share the painting with you all, as it's very precious to me.  I'd also like to share just a quick image of one of my mother's artwork.  As I said, she used to be quite a well known artist in her day, and her work is scattered around the world in some private collections.  I am blessed enough to have a few of them and this is one of two that I asked her to paint for me.  I'll post later on the other one, as it's ancestral and needs it's own post, but please enjoy this one:




Now this watercolor is of an old house in California, somewhere along the route of the "17-mile Drive" between Monterrey and Carmel.  I don't know the history of the house, but I fell in love with it.  I was in my senior year of high school (77/78) in Visalia, California and my parents, my little sister Jenny and I went for this drive along the coast.  It was one of the prettiest rides I've been on, and I thought this house looked like it was in a fairytale, so I snapped a piccy.  A few years later, I asked my mom to paint me a picture of it, and voila' here it is!  My parents used to own a custom framing business in the late 90's and she custom matted and framed it for me, too!  I'm a very blessed person to be able to have such wonderful treasures from my family.  My mom captured the essence of the picture I took, as it was a misty/foggy morning when we drove around, and there actually was this huge field of yellow flowers leading up to the house, and it actually looked like the roof was either crooked or broken, but there was smoke coming out of the fireplace so, I guess it was habitable.

So that's it for today, but as I mentioned, I will post later about some of the other artwork I commissioned from my mom........until then, I wish everyone a very happy March 1st and hope it's the start of some better weather for those of you back east.

God Bless and Lot's of hugs,
Meri