Thursday, July 26, 2007

Through the Eyes of a Child

I am struggling with intense grief today as I write this. Three of my youngest son's friends were killed in an accident when the SUV they went off-roading in flipped and rolled yesterday afternoon. The driver had been in my home just the day before eating pizza and joking around with me as we chatted. His last words to me as he left were that he would be seeing me tonight. He ususally came for dinner and a Bible study here on Thursdays.

Interestingly, yesterday I had been hard at work on finishing the artwork I shared with you on my blog my last post, asking for comments. (And thank you all for your very insightful remarks. I appreciate every one. ) I have it finished, and I have titled the piece -- now a triptych -- "Through the Eyes of a Child."
Even though the boys who died were 20, 18, and 15, they were still really just children -- so filled with awe and wonder that they thought it was a lark to go off-roading through a tall field of grass. They had no way of knowing there was a rock in the way that would flip them into the air. Some people have been leaving comments on the website here in Colorado (see the link under links if you wish to read the story) speaking of their stupidity. Did they make a wise choice? No, probably not. But, they were seeing life through the eyes of a child yesterday -- and I personally want to remember them that way so I don't become embittered and lose my own ability to view life with awe and wonder.

I am praying for the families of these lost sons. As a mother of six sons, my heart goes out to them knowing how often my own have taken risks in their pursuit of a thrill. I am posting the finished artwork in their memory and as a reminder that life will always be too short. Even so, may we count every moment precious -- and view it through child-like eyes -- with awe and wonder. Steven L. Sweet, Jacob Pyte and "little brother of K" may you rest in peace and may your joyful child-like laughter fill heaven's fields of grass and echo against the mountain's majesty there. Steven, especially, you were a treasure I look forward to meeting again one day when the Lord calls me home.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A new art technique I'm trying. . .

I am working on making more ACEOs this week, and decided to try out a new technique. Instead of my usual "soft" little 2.5" x 3.5" crazy quilt ACEOs (which by the way, stands for "Art Cards, Editions, and Origionals"), I am trying to add a little more firmness so they are more card-like. I would really like some feedback on which people like better. For that reason, you see one of the type I have been doing and selling on Ebay -- the first picture, and the new try -- the second picture. Let me know what you think, please.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vintage Happiness Quote

A wonderful quote in one of my antique books from 1891 is entitled "Happiness." No author is mentioned, and I've seen various renditions of it in more than one of the antique sources I have. It inspired my latest piece of art on Ebay (I've put up a picture here for your viewing pleasure -- and if you are interested in the piece, I have provided a link on the blog under "A little More About my Passion on the left"). I have memorized the quote and used it in one of the dramatic monologue scripts I wrote and enacted over a fourteen year period. It inspires me yet today. Hope you find it valuable!

"The idea has been transmitted from generation to generation that happiness

is one large and beautiful precious stone -- a single gem so rare

that all search after it is in vain, all effort for it hopeless.

It is not so. Happiness is a mosaic, composed of many smaller stones.

Each taken apart and viewed singly, may be of little value,

but when all are grouped together and judiciously combined and set,

they form a pleasing and graceful whole -- a costly jewel.

Trample not under foot, then, the little pleasures

which a gracious God scatters in the daily path, and which,

in eager search after some great and exciting joy, we are apt to overlook.

Why should we keep our eyes fixed on the distant horizon,

while there are so many lovely roses in the garden in which we are permitted to walk?

The very ardor of our chase after happiness

may be the reason she so often eludes our grasp.

We pantingly strain after her, when she has been graciously brought nigh unto us."

Friday, July 13, 2007

Let the Flowers Speak!

I have been busy transferring vintage botanical prints and great poems onto fabric for my newest altered fabric book -- and as often happens to me -- I got sidetracked by one print that just called out to me to be altered on its own. I absolutely adore pansies and have a bunch of them in my garden. Their happy little faces never fail to raise my spirits and I almost think they have personalities! It's no wonder they have such a variety of names. The name "Pansy" is an English way of saying the French "Pensée," meaning "thoughts." These little velvet treasures were bred in Victorian times from wild pansies often known in Shakespeare's time as "Love-in-idleness." I love the name little children of that era gave pansies -- "Tickle-my-fancy!" They do just that, in my opinion.
More than anything, they are a reminder to me that I am in control of my thoughts - I can choose how to think! I combined the simple words of a favorite scripture (Philippians 4:8) with the vintage picture to create my latest 5"x7" altered crazy quilt wall hanging I posted for sale on Ebay. While I work on other artistic endeavors, I have it hanging on a knob of my roll-top desk where it inspires me to "Think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable." It already has a bid on it, so I know I will have say good-bye before long, but I pray it will also bring inspiration to its new owner in a similar way. Hope the picture I'm posting of it here makes you smile too! -- Judi

Monday, July 9, 2007

Altered Mixed Media "Recipe" for Wedded Bliss

I belong to a great online group -- FabricinAlteredArt -- and I just completed a project for a swap of altered mixed media recipe cards based on an article in "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" magazine for May/June. This was a really fun project!

With two sons getting married in the last couple of months, I had provided each bride with a recipe book of family favorites and included a pithy page of marriage advice for husbands and wives from one of my 1883 books, "Our Home."
It was perfect for this project! I took the quotes, copied a graphic from another vintage advice book and, along with antique lace, ribbon, and confetti, made the cards, front and back to the 4"x6" dimensions of a recipe card. I also transferred a ghostly image of a turn-of-the-century wedding onto Lutrador and glued it down over some fancy white brocade fabric. Then I stitched the front and back together, encasing them in vinyl with a fun fiber edge. I'm pleased with how they turned out. Now, of course, both my daughters-in-law want a copy of this version as well. I'm including a picture here. The advice I'll save for another blogging day as I got inspired for another mini book! -- Judi


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