Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goals for 2009

Today, I got another of Sommerset's publications - "Life". In it were some ideas to contemplate for 2009. They were penned by artist Becky Shander. She is going to try to seek every day to:

* listen truly

* smile often (I kind of have that down, right?)

* practice patience (I am an extremely patient person, but not at home nor with loved ones. Only strangers).

* avoid greed (I am not greedy, but I do carry around a lot of resentment). I will try to work on that. There is a favorite quote that puts me and my attitude in perspective: "Expectations are plannned resentments." So, in a nice voice, I need to start letting people know what I expect of them before I get angry and don't understand why they aren't mind readers.

* maintain balance - the last line of editor Jenny Doh's letter to Sommerset readers is "And by doing all the above, perhaps we find the secret to maintaining balance.

Let's see how long I can try to consciously and deleberatly better my life and those who I am in contact.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Down Memory Lane

This year, I decided to use a photo from my dad, Harry Keller's stash of negatives, but, how to use it? My friends said I needed to make a black and white card - but, a total black and white card wasn't me or Ernie for a Christmas card. So, I took their idea and mounted it all on a really great red linen card stock from Kelly Papers. I got the last of this background fabric from JoAnn's - so 1/2 the cards have dots and then I went back and got a black and white striped fabric that worked just as well. 100 cards in all were made.

This particular card was my sample so the fabric is a little catawampus and the Swarovski crystal rhinestones are not showing up. The Swarovski crystal rhinestones really made a difference and made the card sparkle. Sloppy zig-zag stitching seems to be all the fashion so I just zoomed along with my old sewing machine.

On the inside, I had a little story that told people what the photo on the front was and a little history of what was sitting right in front of the tree. Here is what it said:

I found this very old 2"x4" negative in my dad, Harry Keller's "stuff". In 1923 my dad was 25 years old and living at home. This is actually my grandparent's home on Kostner Ave. in Chicago.

After coverting the negative in PhotoShop and brightening up the very dark photo, I noticed a vacuum cleaner in the foreground and decided to do some research.

I found on the web that in 1923 the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner cost $75 with a down payment of $5. The same year a new Ford cost $300.

Today, would you pay about one thrid of what a car cost for a vacuum cleaner?


This is the stamp I used on the right side of the card. The stamp is made by Inkadinkado.

Here is photo of our Christmas tree this year, 2008.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happenings - good and sad

Where to begin. . . from Dec. 12, I was up in the Los Angeles area 3 times in 6 days. The first two were turn around trips for funerals.

Growing up, I had 3 wonderful examples of woman who were non-judgmental in their approach to life. The first was Nadine, my mom from when she married Harry, my dad, in 1954.

The second person was Genevieve Butler, who lived across the street from us on Randolph in Glendale. Religiously, she was a "fundamentalist". She was my refuge from life at home. My dad always said, "If you want to know what Sally is thinking, just listen to her." So across the street I would go where Mrs. Butler listened and did not pass judgment.

The 3rd remarkable woman in my youth was Mrs. Pat Pope. It was her funeral I attended on Friday, Dec. 12, in Long Beach. She too was non-judgmental and accepted people as they are and didn't try to change them.

Mrs. Pope 1918-2008

Now with all theses examples, up close and personal, how did I turn out to be an "arrogant, judgmental, and a $%^&#"? I need to reflect on that this coming year.

On Monday, Dec. 15, in the pouring rain I did another turn around trip to Los Angeles to another funeral. My dear friend's son died suddenly and totally unexpected. He would have been 43 years old on Christmas Day. Mike had baby-sat my two kids when they were really young. I gave him piano lessons. Talk about someone always smiling. He always seemed like such a "big kid." And, he was. He stood 6'4". He was like Wikipedia regarding anything television or music. Remember to always make sure that the people you care about know how much they are loved. Luckily, Mike did know how much his sister and her family, his mom and his aunt loved him.

On Wed. Dec. 17, Ernie and I returned to Glendale. Again, it was pouring. It was my girlfriend's annual Christmas Dinner. In the past we have always gone to the Tam O'Shanter. This year we had reservations in Pasadena at Becham's. Like the Tam O'Shanter, they have the Currier & Ive's carolers. It was wonderful and we laughed and had a really great time.

Alice, Julie, Carole, me and Patty

Winter Symphony

Friday, Ernie and I headed home via the Honda Center in Anaheim where our Christmas Present from my kids awaited us - Sarah Brightman's Winter Symphony. The seats were excellent. Sarah was amazing. What a drama queen! That's what makes the show so special - the drama and Sarah's voice. . .

Have you seen her Symphony in Vienna on PBS? All I can say is "Wow". Below is just one of theatrical sets. There is a GIANT screen behind her where interesting backdrops were projected.

Sarah perched on a swing from the ceiling

It wasn't fun getting there, though. What should have taken about 45 minutes to get from Glendale to Anaheim, took over 3 hrs.

Erik, Kari and I had seen Sarah Brightman Christmas 1983 at the Music Center in Los Angeles. We sat in the 11th row and she was singing all the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. At the end of her concert they made a surprise announcement: Andrew Lloyd Webber was there and he came out on stage to a standing ovation. It was so very magical, just like Sarah's concert at the Honda Center.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday

Erik and Shannon's kitchen with Kari

Wow, is my family good to me, once again, for my birthday! First off, we had my birthday party at Erik and Shannon's in Oceanside. Ernie and I finally got to feast on their Prime Rib which they dry aged themselves in their own refrigerator. It was wonderful. Kari was also there to help in the kitchen.

Erik bringing in the cake with Kari holding door.

Then, dessert ablaze! Shannon and Kari decided to put all 64 candles on my cake. The dinner was finished off with Erik making Cafe Latte's for everyone. And the present, which is for my birthday this year, Christmas and Mother's Day next year, from the entire family including Ernie and Todd, was a 40 inch Sony Bravia and BluRay player for my computer/art room. Yea! (I only wanted a little 32 inch flat screen but, I'm not complaining.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Back to Scrapbooking

Today I finished - 3 - two page layouts covering Aidan's summer, 2008. The first one is pictures Staci took after inflating his Blow Up Pirate Ship to help deal with the hot summer they had up in Montrose.

Here is a close up of Aidan's face and the reason the title on the second page is "Oh, no" where the ship's gun is pointed at Aidan. So Funny!

Aidan is so photogenic. Staci took Aidan to Montrose Park along with her camera and shot theses darling photos. I used my Pazzles paper die cutter to cut out the title in paper that matched the layout. The Pazzles also cut out the shadow behind the title. The Pazzle is the neatest die cut machine since it cuts any paper of your choosing and any design you so deam to use. You can change the size of anything!

Lastly are the pictures when Aidan went with his dad to visit his paternal grandpa in Kentucky. Aidan's grandpa has a ranch there and raises race horses.

The layout looks better in person but the placement of the title leaves something to be desired. The background was made at Club 52 at Scrapbook Your Life's once a month get-to-gether. The yellow paper on the right is for Staci to write about his trip to Kentucky with his dad.

Aidan has lots of memories of his summer, 2008. Now comes Halloween!
p.s. all theses photos were taken with my cell phone since right this moment, I don't have the apparatus to download from my Sony CyberShot. Not bad for a cell phone, huh?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Continuing the Tradition

I am 63 years old, just short of my 64th in November. When I was 46 years old, I was going through some sort of crisis, dealing with severe depression, a divorce of my choosing and weighing only 100 lbs.

When my mom, Nadine, was 46 years old, she was embracing a new family. She had married my dad and took on this active, tom boy - me - who was only 9 years old and had my dad’s exclusive attention since I was two years old, being raised by he and his German mom who died when I was 5 years old. (ok, take a breath) TMI?

Wedding photo 1954

Five years later, she had a teenager to try to fashion into some sort of socially acceptable young adult, teaching me etiquette, and instilling in me her strong work ethic (you do not play until you work is done. If you don’t have any work, we will find you something to keep you busy until noon.) None this hurt me and in my opinion was beneficial to my upbringing and making me who I am today.

While a teenager, I realized my mom had a group of strong female friends. They were all professionals and that was how they had met, through the International Global Organization - Zonta -, a women’s group of executives and professionals .

My mom had been a Zonta president. She was co-owner of Burbank Travel Agency with another woman. Even though she was a brittle diabetic, she traveled the world and went places many had yet to go. I have a certificate for when she flew over the North Pole. We don’t give that a second thought but back them it was an event. She had another certificate for crossing the International Date Line on her travels. In her diary she tells of her tromping through the mud after her bus had bogged down in Honduras. She and her fellow passengers had to trek back to the city they had come from.

She was the proverbial optimist. I have an entire album of hers where she collected positive quotes and poems from newspapers and magazines that I believe she used when she spoke to large groups.

Ok, back to her profession friends – they appeared to have another thing in common. They knitted. Not just scarves like the latest craze, but the most beautiful dresses and skirts and tops. I have two still in my closet, even though I will never fit into them again. I wore one, a mauve dress, to my daughter’s First Communion and another one Christmas. I have the sweaters my mom knitted while watching television that have something called a “butterfly stitch.” This is not my cup of tea. Way to detailed and a giant call for accuracy - not my strong suit.

They got together once a month and knitted together and shared what they were working on and what was going on in their lives. Then, they sat down for a wonderful lunch at whomever’s home where they were “playing..” It was a leader-less group. If my dad was working at home that day, he joined them for lunch if it was my mom turn. All the fine china and silver came out and the food was spectacular.

Well, this week I had another of my art friends “get togethers”. It had to be on Monday when JLo had the day off. She and her sister, Colleen, where here for 3 weeks from Colorado for Jen to teach tons of classes at Scrapbook Your Life. I wanted my friends to meet Jen and also her talented sister who does detailed work in PMC (Precious Metal Clay).


Jen decided whe wanted to try the Uber Self Portrait project that we had done a couple of weeks ago.


My friend Kathie (of the now defunct Expression Magazine) also works in PMC and she and Colleen hit it right off the bat and spent the day working and sharing tips and ideas.


Since my friend Georgia is also a teacher, I sat her next to Jen so they could get to know each other. Bets had already met, played and taken classes with Jen so she and I sat at the end of the table.


I finished up my Uber Self Portrait and Bets painted and worked on a number of projects. (She is sooooo productive in theses groups).

JLo's Uber Self Portrait almost finished

Food wasn’t spectacular. I did make homemade cranberry scones again and my husband's tomato, cucumber, basil, red onion salad to accompany the crescent sandwiches from Von’s. Bets brought her chocolate cupcakes again. We will never have fruit trail mix again for munching. What was I thinking?

It is so much fun to have my friends come together in my home and enjoy themselves. Friends are so important. They need to be feed and nurtured. It takes time and effort to keep friendships alive. You must not take them for granted.

If you want to see Jen's finished Uber Self Portrait, go to her website.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What are friends for, hmmmm?

Pictures of friends can be so much fun. These cards of my four friends from Holy Redeemer School days, were inspired by collages made by Tammie Moore, which I saw on her December 5, 2007 blog (Tammie is currently teaching at Zinnia's in South Pasadena and is such a creative soul).

Carole (born on Christmas Day)

In 1976, Carole and I lived less than a block from each other in Glendale and didn't know it. In retrospect, it was so sad since Erik, my 1st born dob is 7-7-76, and Carole's 1st born, Melinda, dob is 7-14-76, and neither of our babies would sleep through the night. We could have been a big comfort to each other.

We met officially when our kids started kindergarten and there was a welcome event at Julie's home. She was our 1st room mother at Holy Redeemer School

We became even closer when both our mothers were sick and were at Glendale Memorial Hospital. Carole's mom died first and my mom died about six months later. Thank God our children got to know their beloved grandmas, even if only for a short time.

Carole and I have grown so close now that we believe we were twins separated at birth.

Each card that I made for my friends has a piece of my mom's jewelry on it. It was important to me to share a part of my mom with each one of them, since I feel that any goodness I possess came from the efforts of Nadine. Plus, my mom was naturally artistic. Her outlet for her creativity could be seen in the cloths she made for evening like cocktail dresses. She could afford to purchase what ever she wanted but loved the hands on of creating.


Patty, Patty, Patty, with the insane sense of humor and a hilarious laugh to with it and always at your expense :)

We met when our second born, both girls, became the best of friends in kindergarten. While waiting for the girls to get out of school we would talk and talk. She held my hand and listened to all the events leading up to and following my location of my natural mom, Irene, my full sister, Lana and Lana's four girls.

Patty's favorite place to go on vacation with us was the Panamount Mts. She loves hot - NOT!

Her family including Mary, her mom, spent one Christmas Day with us. It was the best Christmas ever. she brought her cream corn. Yummy.

Our girls lived at each other's home. Do we have memories, oh my. But don't listen to her or believe a word she says. You know they're all lies. :)

Upstairs along the width of our home was a long narrow room that had the ironing board and my mom's Singer Sewing machine always at the ready. For my senior prom (I had to be home by midnight) she made me the most beautiful lined satin coat with a huge collar. It was so beautiful and she used one of her pins to decorate the clasp.


Julie and I became the best of friends because our sons were the best of friends. John and Erik started kindergarten together and ended up doing everything together with the Tres Amigo, Dane. All three were so different but best of friends.

Julie discovered working in Holy Redeemer's library, that there were six Apple IIe's just sitting there with no one to know what to do with them. Along comes fearless me who had never seen a computer in my life and we started exploring.

Now Julie is a nurse and a detailed cautious person. I'm this tin man, who doesn't have a brain, plus the fearless lion combined. I'm macro - she's micro. Together we started taking apart the computers and looking at the programs on all the free floopies. We didn't know programming but managed to make education disk for kindergarten through 8th grade. And then we trained the mothers to run the programs we set up. On of my proudest achievements. We could not have done it alone. Together we made a complete brain!


Alice lived just down the street from Carole and about a block and a half from me. She had two older boys. Her youngest was Susie who was in that now infamous kindergarten class along with Carole's - Melinda, Patty's - Tara, Julie's - John and my - Erik. All theses mom's were also trained by Juolie and I to run the computer program that we set up. Three of them are BSRN's (Julie, Carole & Alice) No dim bulbs in our group!

Alice also joined our little Mah Jong group where we ate, laughted and shared famly stories once a month. And stories. . . the end of each school year we would all take our kids the last day of school to the beach. Theses trips went to Zuma, Huntington Beach and "Oh, there's Studabacker Rd, Alice, turn there." What is life but for risk! Our lives continue to be intertwiend, "Till death do us part."

I made a mistake on Alice's cheeks, so I tried to hide it with the hearts and glitter. Bad idea. I'm still learning. . .


Georgia is my first San Diego "friend for life." We met when she was teaching a class I had signed up for. The genealogy dolls I made in that class will show up in a future blog, I'm sure. They are my most favorite things I've ever made and mean so much to me.

Well, Georgia is one crazy lady (and, by the way, also an RN). At sixty she got a tatoo on her breast which she will gladly show you should you inquire. She's been know to flash those breast on the road between San Diego and Phoenisx caravaning with Dawn, Kathie and Hillari on the way to Art Unraveled in her RAV4 with me driving. she has taught me everything I know abou tart. Her specialty is water colors.

How great for the two of us when my son, Erik and his wife Shannon, purchased their first home about 1 mile from Georgia's in Oceanside. We try to have a play date at least once a month at one of our homes.

Next is a picture from a magazine of two gals having a ball sitting next to each other on a fence at the beach and laughing. Georgia and I were going to Art Unraveled in Phoenix that year and I had a folder that contained all my class descriptions and times and supplies needed. That year, AU 2006, I took classes from Gail Russakov, Lynne Perrella, Traci Bunker and the one and only Anne Grgich!

I decided to decorated the cover of this folder for our trip. In Photo Shop, I replace the heads that were there with Georgia and my heads. Then, there is the humble attempt at collaging. Again, still learning but having fun in the process. Needless to say, we had a blast.

Georgia and Sally

Last but not least, I just love Lesley Riley's books and her art. It's fun to find a little sewing project. So for two of my oldest friends come the next two birthday card.


I met Mary when my parents got married and I had to change Catholic schools in Glendale. I went from Holy Family to Incarnation School for my 4th grade. I was terrified. I didn't know anyone and I was kind of an odd kid.

Mary and I were kind of an odd couple. She was tall and slender and I was and still am, short and squatty. We looked like Mutt and Jeff. We became fast friends mostly because of sports. She and I used to play "burn out" with the soft ball and gloves during lunch hour while the rest of the girls ogled the boys and sat around and talked.

Her mom and my mom became the class Campfire Girl Leaders. Mary's mom and dad have many funny stories about me and they think I have a very distinctive walk and laugh.

One story is especially funny to Mary's mom. You know how I LOVE food. Well, I guess I always have. Our Campfire group was away at an over night and we had made our package meal in aluminum wrap and cooked it in the coals from our campfire. On the way to the table to eat it I dropped mine in the dirt and it broke open. I was so hungry that Mary's mom remembers me sitting down and eating as much as I could that hadn't hit the dirt.

Mary's photo is about vintage 1958. She is standing against the garage that housed the outhouse on my parents 160 acres. My dad and his dad had Homesteaded this property that was one mile off the hoop de doo road that goes from Pearl Blossom to Victorville. Doesn't she look sexy?!



Suzanne and I met when our sons were in pre-school at St. George's in La Canada. Our boys were three years old and our daughters were one year old . Our husband even became great friends to the extent that Michael and I bought the same exact motor home as Suzanne and Henry with bunk beds in the back for our kids.

We went on many a vacation and rode motor cycles out in the desert together. Suzanne and I would take the motor homes and our kids to the beach and then our husbands would take the train to where we were or else drive one car up on the weekends and then the men would drive the motor homes back and Suzanne and I would go home without the kids in the car.

Suzanne and I were another odd couple. Nothing at all alike. She is very tall and thin to this day and I, again, am short and perhaps a little on the fat or chubby side at this time. Because of the respect we have for each other including our differences we are still "best buds" to this day. I have yet to get over the fact that they moved to Lafayette by San Francisco when our son's were going into 6th or 7th grade. We just came back from the marriage of her son, Jake and Kacie at the Presidio by the bay.

Suzanne and Sally "hanging out"

Obviously that photo has done double duty for many of my friends. I think it's time I found a new magazine picture to play around, don't you? Plus, I have new friends down here in San Diego. I have to do something artful for them. And then there's Jeannie who brought me 60 individually wrapped presents to my 60th birthday party. Each present had a significance to where we have been together. Just give me time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When the Cat's Away, the MICE WILL PLAY

August 18, 2008

That's right. My DH, Ernie, had to go to Glendale to supervise a project. He left on Sunday afternoon. That night, my DD, Kari, took me to see Mamma Mia. What fun.

Fun? You don't know "Fun!" The next morning the "mice" began to show up for 2 days of "Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll" - NOT!

It was 2 days of Tracy Bunker's "Uber Self-Protrait." I had taken Tracy's class at Art Unraveled in Phoenix, in August 2006. I believe ti was the first time she had taught this class and it was the hit of that years AU. It was a one day class. The "mice" were going to take at least two days or more.

First "mouse" to arrive was Debi from Oceanside at 9:30 am. I checked her supplies and found I had to run back to Kinko's to make some changes to what she had brought. Debi stayed and guarded the fort and played hostess while I was gone.

Debi's work in progress

Georgia was next to arrive. She also lives in Oceanside. After I returned from Kinko's, Bets from Kearny Mesa, arrived about 11 a.m. By 3 o'clock, the only working "mouse", Kathie from down the street, had arrived.

Georgia's portrait in progress

The Project

Take a photo of yourself. Cut it in quarters. Blow each quarter up to about an 8x10. Apply acrylic paint to each quadrant while not looking at your previous quadrant. (Are you keeping up with me?) Tape the four 8x10's back together. Glue then to a 16"x20" canvas. Continue painting and collaging until the canvas is full. Wella! Pop Art. . .

Silly Sally's work in progress

Not everyone decided to follow the exact directions. No big deal. The idea was to get together, eat and have fun. And, we did.

Bets' self- portrait in progress

Drinks? Kathie provided the Margaritas. Georgia didn't drink. She does "drugs".

Happy Days are Here Again

Desserts that evening there was Bets' delicious chocolate cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting with little Hershey's Chocolate bars on top. To the left you see Bets "getting into" her cupcakes. I made the 50's Lemon Jello sheet cake. Both served with as much as you want Cook Whip. Yummy.

Look at Georgia. She appears to have really gotten into the desserts also.

Yes. There was also real food for sandwiches, tons of chips, dips and munchies, diet Dr. Pepper, diet decaffeinated Pepsi, ice tea, etc. etc. Bets made fresh salsa and Debi brought her homemade chili dip.


Georgia and Bets spent the night with Georgia sleeping in "The Cat's "New Recliner and Bets playing musical beds and ending up at 4 am in the family room on the couch next to Georgia.

Kathie showed up in time for the cook (me) fixin' crisp bacon, OJ and my "aunt's" Danish Thin Pancake's. (The day before there were homemade Cranberry Scones and Applesauce Cinnamon Strussel Cupcakes made by "Moi". Debi came right after breakfast.

The weather as always was gorgeous. Tuesday we actually took a little time off from our art and sat outside on my patio in the afternoon and just relaxed.

Finished Projects

Kathie's Metal Embossed house

Debi, Georgia, Silly Sally and Bets (almost done. . .)

So much fun and so many memories. And stories? Oh my! Next time, be there or be square!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What a Mess!

A couple of weeks ago, the wonderful JLo (jen) from Jen-Lowe Designs was in town at Scrapbook your Life to teach a slew of technique classes. While she was here she offered a service (for a very modest fee) to come to your home and help you organize your "stuff" or like the more sophisticated refer to in their homes, "My Art Room."

For one day, from 10 am until 4 pm, Jen and I laughed while she gave much thought and took 16 pages of notes for me. She is so much fun, not matter what you are doing with her.

The photo above is only of one little corner of them room before J-Lo. Just image the rest of the room. Jen is a do-er. She wanted to tak all my books off the shelves, right then and there. Instead we moved the Queen size hide-a-bed couch to one side of the room and the Hope Chest with all the stuff on it to the other side. This was so when I get my additional 72 inch desk extension, it will continue on the side of the room where my L-shaped built in desk already is.

Her second suggestion was to take all my rubber stamps out of the boxes and remove all the rubber with the help of Un-Du (or, in California, Bestine from Dick Blick's). Ouch! What a job. But, that was just the beginning. . .

This was just the beginning. I filled 4 more grocery bags.

Look at all the empty boxes!

Next Jen ordered EZ Thin Black Mounts for me. This is an 8x12 piece of spongy thin black stuff that is extremely sticky on one side and has a surface on the other side that allows it to adhere (not stick) to acrylic blocks. When they arrived, I proceeded to maximize my coverage and not lose any surface while fitting my rubber onto the sticky side.

Next you have to take scizzors that are covered with a tephlon-like material that will minimize (but not completely) how much the "stuff" will stick to your scizzors and you are cutting out each and every stamp (no matter how small) to later be organized.

I still have to stamp with Staz-On all my stamps on the front of the StampN'Stor Tabbed Lightweight Stamp Storage Panels, so I will know what stamps are on the other side. . .

When all is said and done, I will have secured one entire shelft for other art. My stamps will be on white shinny 8.5x11 thin mats with labels at the top that can then be kept in 7 boxes from the Container Store (of course, they only had one and had a month wait on the remaining ones to come in. . .) - all on one shelf!

This all prompted me to clean off the right side of my desk to make room for my new Pazzles and my Revolution - so that they could be at my finger tips. I also organized another entire shelf in my room.

I really can't finish my room until my daughter, Kari, gets her condo and moves out. I will then have her entire closet that goes from wall to wall and has shelves, for my "stuff." Plus, all the drawers in her desk that will now be empty and finally the drawers in her two night stands.

Along with waiting for more EZ thin Mounts and the Container Store and Kari moving out, I am probably 2 months away from some sanity returning to my beloved Computer/Art/Guest room. I can hardly wait!

Mom's Finished Frame

Well, I finally finished mom's frame. I ended up doing a close of mom's face the night before she died for the photo. I got all her jewelry glued using E6000 glue. Then, as Jackie had suggested, I filled in with loose pearls I purchased at Michael's. Now this was a mess to do. Those little pearls jump every where if they are not in contact with the Gem-Tac that I was using to adhere the pearls. Thank goodness the Gem-Tac dries really fast and is pretty thick so there wasn't a problem with the glue dripping. I am so glad I finally found a project to use the last of my mom's costume jewelry and have her near me in my Art/Computer room.

Nadine's Jewelry

Work in progress
Nadine is really the only mom I have ever know, even though I have had 3 mom's. She was my mom from the time I was 9 years old and she adopted me when I turned 21. She died in 1983. She was the most non -judgemental person (an attribute I don't seem to possess) I will ever know.

There was a routine to life back then. Monday was wash day. Tuesday she ironed and ran the mangler to iron sheets and my father's underwear. . . Wednesday was clean the upstairs and Thursday the downstairs and Friday, my mom got her hair done and went grocery shopping. Whether at home or out and about, she always wore earrings. You know, how you can smell a perfume from the past and think immediately about an aunt or grandmother or mom? Well, that is what my mom's earrings do for me. I immediately can see her and hear her soft loving voice.

Well, for the first time last week I was invited to altered art friend Jacikie's garage to play with a bunch of ladies. Jackie was our leader, cheerleader and provider of all things necessary to be sucessful decorating a fan and making it uniquely our own. So much fun. (See the goodies I bought at a garage sale and what we created on Jackie's blog ). Anyway, before leaving I saw this frame she had covered with costume jewelry from garage sales and loved it. She said she had gotten the frame in Poway at Home Goods store. I went immediately there and purchase the frame for $6.99 plus some other stuff. . .

The photos are of the work in progress using only my mom's costume jewelry. I'm not sure what I will use as a background for the photo of my mom. The photo of her in gold is of an earlier cruise she and my dad (who adopted me when I was 3 months old and he was 48 years old) took through the Panama Canal. The photo of Nadine on the right (which I will probably use), is from the night before she died. She was on a 3 mile cruise to no where.

The "back story" - My mom had owned a travel agency in Burbank in the 40's and 50's when women didn't do that sort of thing. She had travel all over the world alone (she was not married at the time). I have a certificate of when she took one of the first flights over the north pole. I have another certificate of her crossing the internation date line in the Pacific when that was a big deal. You have to understand that mom was a brittle diabetic who was diagnosised as being diabetic when she was 19 years old - the year insulin was developed. She spent that year in and out of a hospital as they worked with her and this new life saving drug. But, she never let being a diabetic stop her - ever.

The night she died she was taking a cruise that only went from Wilmington, CA, out 3 miles. It was designed for those who wanted to know if cruises were their thing. A friend had asked that my mom accompany her. My mom had been on cruises all over the world. She was just doing a favor. That weekend prior to the cruise Nadine had been in the hospital. On Sunday night she signed herself out AMA (against medical advise) in order to go on this cruise. Monday night I took her to the Sagafjord - a beautiful Norweigen cruise ship and I tiped her stewardress to make sure that my mom had a snack at 4 every afternoon without her asking for it. (My mom would never want to inconvenience anyone because of her problems). On Wednesday night she because ill and suffered another heart attack on the ship. She died doing what she always had done, thinking more of other's than herself and doing what she loved. I think of her often and wish I could by one tenth the lady she was and yet so very down to earth.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Keller Family 12 x 12 canvases

The first 12x12 canvas I did in a Chris Cozen http://www.chriscozenartist.com/ class at Stamping Details in Poway http://www.stampingdetails.com/. It is of my Aunt Mary taken in Chicago in the 20's. Aunt Mary was married to my father's brother. I enjoyed doing it so much and have a plethora of Keller family photos from the 20's that I wanted to use. Originally they were huge 3x4 inch negatives. FYI: The only scanner that could handle this size negatives was the Canon.

So, I began to look at other photos. My father and his brother were very close to their parents and extended family. On Sundays, they would leave the heat and swelter of Chicago and go for drives in the country. All the photos I have show meriment. There is a sense of humor as they enjoy the out of doors and their camera. I am so lucky that I have theses good times recorded for posterity.

I first printed out the family (my dad, his brother and wife and Grandma Rosa and Grandpa Herman. I then removed them from the background and filled in where they had been, cropped, manipulated and printed out a transparency of the background. Then, I have all theses wonderful old postcards from that same time period. A lot of them are from Germany were Grandma and Grandpa had emigrated in the 1890's (they met and married here in Chicago). The postcard was wonderful declaring "Familie Keller". Perfect!

Then the last is of my dad and his brother down by Lake Michigan. As always they are in white shirts, ties, hats and cigarette in hand. My dad is on the right and Uncle Elmer is on the left. They are maybe 2 feet from the lake. So, I went searching for a piece of sheet music "By the Sea". Found it! Made a transparency of the cover for the back drop and and used the title for my canvas.
I am working on two more. One is of my daddy and I using a letter he wrote to me when I was in Chicago for one year staying with his relativ es. (another story for another time . . .). I used to travel with my dad or other relatives to Chicago or Texas by train, so there is a train on the canvas also.

I am also working on a surprise canvas for one of my friends. It will be a sad time when I give this to her.

The canvases that I have completed are handing on the doors above my computer desk. There is room for 4 more canvases. So far only one of those 4 is in the making. Perhaps I will do one or two of my natural mom and dad. Not sure. Who can say. . . Ciao for now.