Monday, August 29, 2011

Altered Art and Getting to Know My Grandmother; Born 1860!!

I was introduced to the concept of altered art when I was leafing through a Somerest Magazine at my friend Stacy's house.  I was struck by the intense beauty of many of the projects and asked to borrow the magazine.  Of course I fell in love, that was probably 3 years ago.  I am sad to say that this is my first altered art project, and I am afraid by some standards it is pretty tame.  You can definitely see my scrapbooking roots here. 

I used a miserable antique album that I got at an antique show.  It had seen better days and seemed to be the perfect vehicle for this concept.
My grandmother Ida Alice Dorris (maiden name) was my mother's maternal grandmother.  She was an amazing person, who did what she had to do, because in the late 1800's that is just what you did

Here we see the 'before' cover on the left and the 'after' cover on the right.
This is the title page, with a portrait of my grandmother at 15 when she married.  You can see that I let the gold leaf and flower pattern remain as the background on many of the pages.

On the left of this double spread is a poem that I wrote about my grandmother, based on a phrase I had read in her daughter's journal.  "... and mother went out nursing." - Estella Frisbey

 My Grandmother named 9 of the children by her first husband in alphabetic order.  They were some seriously highfalutin names too.  You can see the red disks with the initials of each child, as I dedicate a page to each.  Well, other than my own grandmother, above left, who gets a double spread of her own.
Here are more pages of my grandmother's alphabetized siblings.

These are their names:  Artesian Bloomfield, Caffel Dorris, Estella Florence, Golden Horatio, Imperial Jesse, Kalla Lily, Mira Nora, Onyx Paul, and Q Royal.  Because her tenth child was born just three months before his father died, she named him for his father.  I have always wondered if he was actually given a name like Siberius Theoloneous, or something and then she changed it when she lost her husband ....

She was married four times.  Her first husband was 23 year older than her, her second was just 6 years older, her third husband was 20 years older than her, and her fourth husband, shown above with her in their old age, was 23 years younger than her. Here is one of the four poems that I wrote about different aspects of her life.

Ida Alice Dorris Frisbey Ross Nielsen Ogden
By her gg granddaughter P. Perkins
My dearest Gram I never knew; though history tells your tale,
I've learned to love and to admire the life you lived so well.
With difficulties so beset, another would be broken
Still others anger would consume; Some failure would betoken.
And yet you did the brave things; Though babes died at your breast
You never set your tools aside; But gave the world your best.
w’dowed not once, nor twice, but thrice; You never threw it in,
You loved your dozen children and you served your fellow men.
You gave your all ne’r resting, until your all was done
E’en carrying your neighbors until the fray was won
Then lately came life’s autumn; with a partner oh so true,
because this gentle husband would be taking care of you.

This project was so fun.  I relied on a few stories my mother had told me about her, asked my sisters what they had heard, looked on line and found lots of cold stats, wrote some poetry about situations she dealt with in her life and then happily found a 6 line paragraph that my mother had tucked away in her own writings that answered some questions that the cold stats had brought to mind.  Like, "How did grandma meet, and why did she marry a man so much younger in her old age?"  My mother said that she had gone to keep house for the 40 something widower and his two teenage sons.  He had fallen in love with her and had begged her to marry him.  She was very hesitant because he was so much younger than she, when they married he was 50 and she was 73.  They were married for 14 years when she passed away at the age of 87.

Doing this project has been a wonderful journey and now I want to do one for other wonderful female relatives.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Baby Shower, Toxic Spill, Fine Dramatics, 'Seafood' and Morning Glory Too!!

Come along on a tour of my strange and yet amazing week!!

 Here we are at my house for my friend Suzanne's baby shower "book club style'.  Suzanne is a member of the Walden Ladies Book Club and is expecting a baby next month.  There were only four of us who had the space in their busy summer schedules, but several others sent gifts and we had a great time discussing the small children and babies who appear in the book 'Sense and Sensibility' which we were reading in honor the fact that it was first published 200 years ago this year.  Did you know that there are two babies born during narration of the book? 

Since I don't have a picture of the 'toxic spill' I thought this one would do well to illustrate.  This is actually Spencer and his companion 'showing' the treats they received at Sister Mortenson's this week. (thanks for the pics Vicki!!)

The toxic spill refers to the 'Christening' of our new van, not with the traditional bottle of champagne, but with a gallon of paint, which is really much more applicable to my life anyway.  My friend Wendy and I were out 'junquing' and we had picked up a partial gallon of paint for a remodel project, the likes of which we are ever doing.  A quick stop sent it tumbling and the lid came off.  I have never been so thankful that I insist on vinyl flooring in my vans ...  thankfully Wendy's daughter lived just 5 minutes from the 'spill' location, and was willing to donate a towel for rags.  What a memory!!

That evening we had the pleasure of attending the Payson Community Theater's production of Jekyll and Hyde.  It was amazingly well done, but then my friend Suzanne (of the 'going to have a baby next month' fame) is a real theater geek and sang it's praises, then Wendy (of 'spilled paint' fame) went and concurred.  Now I can tell you how well done it was as well.  My DH, a knowledgeable chorus man, said he thought that the lead was 'Broadway Class'.  Wow!!  I thought he was good, and the intimate small theater made his voice feel absolutely intense, but my husband's praises impressed even me, the non-musical one in our family!

Above we are shown with two of the three leads in the play.  Scott is with Stan Peck on the left, (Stan was the Foreign Exchange coordinator when we had our Darling Danny from the Netherlands) and on the right I am with Perry and Carrisa Ewell, who we knew as newlyweds, in our congregation in Orem almost 20 years ago.  I remember hearing that they had met on stage, but didn't realize it was on the PCT stage!!  Very fun!!
Last of all I wanted to show you the morning glory that is dressing up my garden this year.  These were volunteers, self seeded from last year, and I love them.  Of course I am always impressed by volunteers of any kind.  Thank you happy flowers!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trash to Treasure in my Bathroom

Its time again for another Reinvented room in my house.  My upstairs bathroom sports two 'reinvented' items and one repurposed item.  Pretty good for the original bathroom built into a house built in 1894 with plumbing, eh? It is only 4 feet by 8 feet.  It was the first house built with plumbing in my small town.  There were problems though, as the reservoir was not high enough in altitude to accomplish water pressure sufficient to get water to this second story bathroom.  They had to build a cistern and pump the water to the attic to accomplish the magic of turning a handle and 'voila'!!

This little cupboard is my favorite.  As you can probably tell it is made from the cabinet of an antique 'kitchen' clock, popular in the 1880's.  This one was not working and was missing the door, so I ripped out the works, much of which was screwed, nailed and bolted into place.  I added the shelves, and paint and there you have it.  It is supported by a non matching clock shelf of the same period.

If you have a good eye you probably noticed that the crown on this mirror is a different scale than the rest.  Yep, the crown was missing when I bought it at a yard sale for $5.  But I am an old furniture element collector and added the crown from something else.  Not a perfect match, but perfect for the 'shabby' look I love.

See how much it doesn't match in scale?

This is an old bathroom cabinet that I really just painted.  It has a wonderful crackled finish I didn't want to loose so I just painted lightly to add the blue detail.  The wonderful flower detail went on like a dream, showing the crackling right through the flowers.

Last of all, this is the old passenger train luggage rack that I use for my towels.  When your bathroom is this tiny, it takes creativity to fit it all in.

So that was my bathroom tour, hope you all enjoyed it, and saw something that sparked your own creative juices!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trash to Treasure - French Trays

This is my trash to treasure tray project.  I am making these for my upcoming flea.o.logy sale on September 2nd and 3rd.

In the beginning there was a stack of vintage red trays with a printed floral pattern.  I got them from a friend to sell at my flea market.  But no takers.  They were actually sitting in the box to go to a charity store, when this idea hit me and I had to dig them out.
As you see step one was black spray paint.
Step two was finding a French Graphic on  Graphics Fairy
Step three was to trim the paper with graphic to size.
Step four was to decoupage it into place. (I use school glue, like Elmer's, but do not use 'washable' school glue its different, ues it undiluted, with a wet 2 inch paint brush.)
Repeat Step four until you have a nice thick, smooth covering, 3 coats is usually enough. Allow to dry between applications.
Step five, after it is totally dry, you can waterproof it by spraying it with several layers of clear varnish (spray paint)
Caution:  If you don't have thick enough layers of glue, the varnish spray will 'bleed' into the paper around the edges and cause spots.
Here is the final product along with an old tin bread box that has been gathering dust at the antique mall for years.  A new coat of black paint and the same process as the tray and Voila', Frenchy kitchen details !!

A Quick Working Vacation in Idaho

Recipe for a quick and successful move, in state of course.

1.  Take one young mother whose husband in already working in the new location.
2. Add her devoted and hard working father for two days.
3. Don't forget to throw in her mother.  Mothers are always good for taking pictures, toting boxes and entertaining grandkids.

4. One smart and capable kid, Kai in this case, to take charge of things.
5.  A local service oriented work crew of four*, if available, for that capable kid to boss around. In this case Mormon missionaries were perfect to muscle in the big stuff. (plus a million and a half boxes.)
6. One younger brother in training, yep Alex is ready to be taught!  In this case to learn how to disconnect electronics and stow chords.

(Well maybe next time, there is that learning curve after all, and there was the grandma to tidy up the mountains of wire from the computer set ups, so its good.)

7. Oh, and its always good if you have someone on the crew with good spacial ability*.  The Elders asked Scott if he was really good at Tetris.  Nope, just lots of experience packing up his favorite antique dealer for shows.

8. A lively pair of lively boys to keep exhausted Grandpa awake on the two hour drive from Twin Falls to Nampa.

9. A few minutes in the shade for the main mover to regain his strength, while awaiting the key.

10. Instant friends* next door to keep those lively boys occupied.

11. Finally, a crew of 6 new neighbors* ready and willing to help!!  I loved it when new neighbor Jess was hauling boxes into the house, while holding his cell phone with his shoulder, calling other neighbors to come and help too. "Its right across from my house!"

Yield:  With the help of all those great charitable types, we managed to load, drive two hours, and unload all in one day.  In this case the happy recipe ended up with results that served many!! A Special Thanks to the Missionaries and to Britt's new neighbors!

Oh, and a happy side benefit to all the help was that Scott and I were able to get back to Utah in time to stop in Highland and help celebrate the return of our good friend Daniel (shown here with his mother, Robin, and me.) who just got back from Russia last week, after two years of humanitarian work there.  Hmmm I wonder if he ever helped anyone move?

*These ingredients are rare and precious.  They make truffles seem common by comparison, and you don't need a pig to sniff them out, usually.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Utah Shakespearean Festival 2011

 This year was the 50th anniversary year of the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City and it was the Walden Ladies Book Club's third time to attend as a group.

Paula, Sandy, Wendy, Suzanne, Carolyn, Stephanie and Ann

Here we are in front of the replica of Shakespeare's famous Globe Theater.  We attended Romeo and Juliet there our first night.

We also enjoyed several exhibits that were there especially for the 50th celebration, such as the 'golden exhibits' shown here.  There was one for each of the decades of the first 50 years.
The Neil Simon Festival was also in town and we always slip in one of their plays.  This year we saw Barefoot in the Park.

Noises Off and The Music Man rounded out the four plays we experienced this year.  The Music Man was the favorite for most of us, with Romeo and Juliet a close second.  I think we all loved R and J because we had read and discussed the play at our last regular book club meeting in preparation for the festival.

One of our favorite non-play activities this year was going to the costuming seminar and discussion.  The presenter was very knowledgeable, and we loved the stories.  You can see some of us here 'experiencing' the costumes.

 And, we discovered a new restaurant this year as well.  The Pastry Pub had great salads and sandwiches, and of course, amazing pastries, all set inside a traditionally decorated Pub atmosphere, what could be more perfect for us when we are all in the thick of all things  'Shakespeare'?

  Hope to see you all there next year?!