Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More Altered Book Pages

I have 2 altered book projects going simultaneously
and enjoying both
~~no, more than that~~I am addicted to them!!

What's her story?
This page includes:
painted vintage lace,
original ephemera:
(the Paris hotel calling card & uncancelled German stamp).

The hotel card is in a glassine envelope and adhered with mounting squares.

To give the pages texture and dimension,
I layered paint, paper, fabrics and stamping.
This page features original ephemera ~~
advertisement from a Vanity Fair magazine circa early 1930s.

The angle of the photograph creates a wonderfully sensuous feel.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Altered Book Pages
I'm teaching a class in creating altered books at the Rye Public Library. For class samples, I prepared two books. One with only pages removed, others glued and gessoed with a first coat of a light color paint. The surfaces of the other book were prepared in much the same way but for this one I prepared a niche or shadow box at the end and some folded pages in the center of the book and another area that is ready for inserts.
The pages below are not complete and may yet change quite dramatically before they are but I wanted to have samples for the class.

The book isn't terribly old really and the binding is tight. There is an ugly place on the jacket that got chewed up somehow making the book a perfect specimen for an altered book project. I don't have a single theme for this book but am letting some of the original images and text guide me. One of the images was of tango dancers and that lead me to the internet for research and more images.
The title of the book is, The Afternoon Tea and it included a nice history of tea, how to prepare the perfect cup of tea, and all sorts of tea parties from tea dances, to tango dances that featured tea, and garden parties. I maintained some of the images from the book. For example, the small tango dances in the background in the photo below and the Japanese tea ceremony in the photo that follow were kept used as jumping off points.

This is the right side of the first spread. Already I have "repented" (as Lillian Hellman says). This is the second incarnation of this page; the first just wasn't working. Perhaps, that's why I love altering books -- a very forgiving craft!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I am blessed
. . . with Esther, nearly 6, first child of my baby sister (18 years younger than me). A lovely little lady who uses big words, loves tea parties and making pictures. After her first day at kindergarten, her mom asked if school was all that she imagined it would be. Esther answered,

"I had no imagination of it!"

. . . with grandson, Dylan, going on 4 years old:

a little boy with a big boy's curiosity.

Dylan lives in Florida; what a delight to see how much he has grown, learned and discovered between visits.

In between we miss him.

My Victoria ... second grandchild who spent nearly every weekend with us and weeks at a time during the summer.
A bright-eyed child, a beautiful young lady.


Curious &

Ari & Noah.
March, 2006

Esther's little brothers.
Their mothers' precious boys.

Ari & Noah ... a few months later.
Becoming little boys.

A magical physical closeness.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

to daughters, sisters & mothers
in thousands of generations:

women whose skills created
beautiful and bountiful civilizations.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

in Just-spring

when the world is mud-luscious

the little lame balloonman whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come running
from marbles and piracies
and it’s spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer old balloonman whistles far and wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing from hop-scotch and jump-rope
and it’s spring

and the goat-footed balloon Man whistles far and wee

e.e. cummings

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Early 20th Century Linen Figural White Work Heavily Padded Satin Stitch
Outline Stitches Creating the Dance
A Celebratory Cloth ~ Beautiful and Joyous ~

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chocurua, New Hampshire ~we stopped here along Route 16 north on our way to the Mt. Washington Hotel. The weather was warm and almost summer-like on the coast, we packed a little picnic of sandwiches & tea but the high wind made the air temps too chilly to stay long.
We drove up Route 16 and on towards the Mt. Washington Hotel via Route 302 with breath-taking scenery. Spectacular, even. Above is a sign along the roadway showing the elevation of the Presidential Range (of the White Mountains) with Mt. Washington the highest at 6280 feet.
This was our destination, the Mt. Washington Hotel, nestled beneath Mt. Washington, a real beauty and one of the few 'grand old ladies' of the 19th/20th century.
Sunrise over Mt. Washington~~ and the Hotel.
The long drive from Route 302 onto the property of the Mt. Washington.
History has it that the long drive was a great advantage during Prohibition: by the time the 'revenuers' got to the hotel, the guests were drinking tea!

Oh, she is lovely!
Imagine packing trunks of finery and boarding the train for a long summer's stay.Tennis? Snooze on the porch?

Dance in the Grand Ballroom?

Good night, Ladies.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Of Radio Days & Memories

The last few days brought pleasant memories. . .

It was about 1970 . . . . I was a young mom . . . very young by today's standards. . . a stay-at-home mom with two children under the age of three when we bought our first home.

The house was in a tiny village in that little corner of the world where Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts sort-of-meet. A mere 300 souls inhabited that quiet village whose life centered around the village green. Our house joined a few others to surround the green which also had a country inn-past-its-prime, the town hall, general store, post office and library (only opened on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons).

The house had been occupied by the same family for a quarter century and was always called, "the Anderson house" -- even after the Anderson's were long-gone and we were paying the mortgage, re-roofing, and gardening there. It was a large house; we had little money and were grateful to relatives who offered furniture from their attics which I stripped, sanded, painted, stained and recovered. And so we created a home with an interesting, if eclectic mix of styles that we loved; our rooms always brought smiles to the faces of visitors.

One of our prize possessions came from the home of a family friend who had lived in the same house all her married life. Their home was at the end of a short, narrow lane, a small cottage style with seven rooms, two large porches front and back, a wonderful grape arbor, pear and apple trees, French lilacs and the tiniest tiniest garage you can imagine. The husband died first; they had no children; the widow became frail and forgetful. The only relative, a New York city cousin arranged for her to live in a nursing home and asked us to house-sit (and that is yet another story!). Later when we purchased our own home 50 miles away, they offered the contents of the house to us.

The house was packed with the stuff and things of their long life together: Mission and Stickley. Lots of the heavy, ornate oak. The dining room table was claw footed with a matching glass fronted tall chest and buffet typical of the 20s and 30s. Tall, Victorian pressed-back chairs. But oak and other pieces from this period were NOT desireable at that time; you could NOT sell them; it was almost necessary to PAY someone to cart them away.

But we accept their offer.

Among the furniture was a tall floor-model tube radio from the mid-1930s. It was in pristine condition, it's cabinetry was smooth and glistening without a scratch or a dent. The original purchase papers were folded into an envelope and tucked into the back. And, wonder of wonders, it played. And so the radio, along with other treasures from the house moved with us to our new house in the tiny village.

The tall radio stood proudly in the dining room and was often a topic of conversation ~~~ which was, really, all we ever asked of it. But one day a friend and neighbor who had moved to the village about the same time we did stopped by for coffee. I am certain she had seen the radio before but I doubt she'd ever commented on it. On this day, however, she did make note of it and then asked:

"Does it still play the old radio programs!!!!!!!!"