Wednesday, October 22, 2008

sneak peek

just a quick sneak peek at the piece currently on my art table. the sun was casting wonderful shadows on it thru the vertical blinds today. i love this wonderful play of light and shadow.

this is my last blog for a week or so. we're headed out to the florida panhandle for a much-needed vacation. our batteries are low and we need sunshine, long beach walks, shell-collecting, lazy reading and long naps to get restored. i'll be back soon with lots of pictures!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

a lifetime collection

as promised in my sunday post, here are photos from the sale my folks had last summer. when dad retired from masonry work, he started buying and restoring antique furniture. he was very gifted at it, patient and diligent about taking all the pieces apart, removing old paint and varnish, applying a new finish and replacing broken handles, etc. over the years he filled their home with so many beautiful pieces. in the photo above my daughter megan and i are standing in front of an oak armoire that was one of the very first pieces dad refinished. it was gorgeous. that's my brother, rodger, standing to my left. his big purchase of the day was a shotgun that had been in my dad's family for several generations. i think all three of my brothers and several cousins were in the bidding.

this is the tea set i posted on sunday. i was wrong when i said it was missing a cup. it is actually missing a saucer.

these tables are filled with all the ephemera and wood working equipment from my dad's garage/workshop. there were boxes of old leftover wooden legs and odd ball wooden pieces that were just crying out with stories about where they'd lived in previous lives. i bought two cigar boxes full of old keys and spare handles. i cherish them as items my dad often rooted thru to find just the right item for a project.

while my dad was buying old furniture at auctions my mom was collecting antique chocolate sets, hummels, roseville pottery, hull pottery, and a big menagerie of interesting dishes.

around the time of the sale people asked me if i wasn't just heartbroken to see all these things go. as i said in my sunday post, many of these things were just that -- things. they were gorgeous antiques that my mom had enjoyed collecting and displaying in her home. i bought a few and was happy to see my daughter and the rest of my family buy some as well. as a group we kept a large number of the family heirlooms in the family. but more important than the things was knowing that my mom and dad are still here with us. and, by having the sale we were able to lighten their load a bit if they decide to move off their 3 acres and into something much easier to manage.

on the clothesline behind megan and me you can see a large collection of quilts. these were family heirlooms with a great deal of meaning and emotional attachment. my paternal grandmother was a prolific quilter. and, there were quilts made by her grandmother as well. when these family quilts came up for sale the women of my family stood strong together and we were able to keep all of them in the family. i'll post photos of mine soon.

it was an emotional day and you can see the strain on the faces of my family here. so many memories and family gatherings were tied up in these items up for sale. as your parents age you are so in denial that the day will come when you have to say goodbye. this day felt like a dreaded precursor to that inevitable day.

one item i bid on but ended up not getting was the oak curio cabinet/secretary in the middle of this picture. as i always do at auctions i set a limit on what i wanted to spend and that number came and went very quickly. i would have liked to have it but there's an even nicer one still in the house. maybe one day. i am proud to own a few pieces that my dad refinished. i have a rocking chair he gave me for christmas one year and he redid an old oak church pew for me a couple of decades ago. i'll post photos of these someday soon as well.

one funny thing that happened on the day of the auction was when my niece kyley fell in love with an old child's guitar. it came out of the attic and none of us know where or when dad acquired it. kyley entertained us throughout the day by playing and singing in an old pair of my mom's cowboy boots. (when in the world did my mom ever wear cowboy boots???!!! must have been an 80's thing!!!) kyley was an absolute hoot and gave some wonderful comic relief.

every one of these pieces was in the house before the day of the sale. and, there were two more rows of antiques not in any of the photographs. oh. my. goodness. how did they all fit???

so, here you have it, my blog friends. the story of the farmer family that collected and refinished and salvaged and stored away until the seams of their home burst open. now all these pieces are lovingly displayed in other homes for other grrandchildren to ooh and awe over. memories in the making, memories in the making. i know i'm filling my home with items that my children and grandchildren will want one day. and the circle of life continues.

Monday, October 20, 2008

walk in the park

a picture may be worth a thousand words but there are no words big, beautiful or grandiose enough to do justice to my love affair with nature in the fall!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

sunday morning tea

one of my most prized possessions is the above tea set. it has been in my family since shortly after world war 2. my dad was in general mac arthur's honor guard and served during the occupation of japan after ww2. he was stationed in japan for 2 years and was part of the detail that protected mrs. mac arthur and her son. dad's group traveled with her and accompanied her to all her activities. while stationed in japan he bought the above tea set and sent it home to his mom as a gift. grandma farmer displayed it in her china cupboard and only used it one time. the one time she threw caution to the wind and used it one of the cups was accidentally broken. she was so distraught that she gave the set to my mom afraid that she would break another piece. my mom then displayed it in a curio cabinet and to my knowledge never used it.

the set is noritake and a service for 6 with a sugar and a creamer. it has nippon toki kaisha markings on the bottom. i did a good deal of research a while back but was not able to determine its value. last summer my folks had a big estate sale on their property to sell a lifetime collection of antiques that they had collected and that dad had refinished. since there were 5 of us kids and multiple grown grandchildren dad decided that we needed to bid on and buy anything we wanted. he and mom just did not want to be in a position of deciding who would get what. there were a lot of things i desired but the one thing i could not walk away without was this tea set. i was the only person at the sale who bid on it and it is now mine.

this photo shows my dad in uniform in tokyo during his tour of duty. isn't he handsome?? i am lucky to also have the photo album of photos that he took in tokyo. i plan to scan the best ones and share them with the family some day soon.

look for a post this week with photos from last summer's family antique sale. it was a very sad and nostalgic time in our family's life but i'm so glad to have taken photos commemorating the occasion.

bill and i are off to walk in the park. it's another lovely october day in ohio!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

time to ponder

my husband bill has been working the late shift at his company this week so we've taken a break from carpooling. it has been a welcome break for me. not that i don't enjoy his company because i do. but i also love my alone time, time to just be reflective and ponder life. the early morning commute alone tends to be filled with thoughts of what needs to be done at work that day. lately my mind has been on presley in the mornings as he had taken a turn for the worse for a couple of weeks there. a trip back to the vet brought a possible diagnosis of brain lesions. we've put him on a new medication and he is much better but it is very hard to leave him each morning. i am very conscious of making his final days or months as happy and comfortable as i can.

on my way home i tend to be on the look-out for something interesting to photograph. today i noticed how gorgeous the sky was and snapped the photo above. doesn't it look like the proverbial cloud with the silver lining? and, isn't that really what we're all looking for right now? aren't we trying to see past all the worries and locate the little ways that we are so blessed? don't you just want to grab on tight to your loved ones and sing out loud that life is way too short to get bogged down with worry? that together we can weather anything?

so i drove and pondered all the silver linings in my life. i may be 55 but i'm a very healthy 55. presley's health is failing but we appreciate every minute we have with him. what i've lost in 401K and retirement money is diminished by the hope and faith that sustain me.
losing my last job was sad and depressing but the flood of creativity and renewal it brought about has been so uplifting and gratifying. when so many have lost their homes and jobs, we are blessed to be together and to have stable jobs. All of our kids are independent, self-sufficient, productive members of society who make us so proud every day. my heart is filled with love; my cup runneth over.

what are your silver linings these days?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

sunday in the country

a visit to my parents home today was
filled with beautiful images of fall in the country

golden rays of sunshine and a gentle
breeze put the finishing touch on
my dad's work wear

i never miss a chance to photograph a few shadows

a walk in the field accompanied by the
sound of the wind rustling the corn stalks

tall sentinels soak up the
afternoon sun

more filtered sunlight and shadows

the rock my dad had moved to his front
yard; a brick mason by trade,
he personally added the family name

the home my parents built 50+ years ago.
they say you can never go home but it
feels like i do every time.
home sweet home

feast for our eyes today will be a
thanksgiving feast for birds
come november

Saturday, October 11, 2008

la sirena bella

another fun-tastic day in the art room!! i finished the above custom piece for my co-worker, marcella. she collects mermaids and loves to wear glittery things. so, i added glitter to the collage just for her. la sirena bella is spanish for beautiful mermaid. this piece looks much better in person. it is late and dark and i've lost all my wonderful natural light for tonight.

i also finished up 2 more of the above piece which i posted earlier this summer. the lady i made this for decided she wanted 2 more just like it. so, voila i whipped up a couple more.

my next 2 commissions are a crane in blue marsh collage and then a coffee-themed collage. after that i'll be working on ideas for 2 wedding gifts. a co-worker wants to give a custom collage to each of her daughters who are getting married in 2009. i have a few ideas sketched out and want to present the ideas to her next week.

of course, we have christmas coming up and i'm incubating a few projects to give for gifts.

off to sand some more wood for the next round of collages!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

award and sincere gratitude

the lovely nana trish was so kind and thoughtful in awarding me this "i x o your art blog" award. needless, to say i am thrilled and am so grateful that she thought of me. blogging satisfies a need in me to put into writing what i'm pondering and to display my creativity. it gives me something positive to focus on that doesn't cost anything and is worry-free. plus i enjoy meeting others and reading what they're pondering. lastly, i find blogging very inspirational, a daily lift to the spirits to keep the wind flowing beneath my wings.

it is my pleasure to bestow this award on:

megan coyle's blog -- i am in awe of what megan does with pieces cut from magazines. her collages are so intricate and realistic. i follow her blog so i can say someday that "i knew her when!"

the vintage sister studio -- another wonderful mixed media artist that i adore!!

noodle and lou studio features the funky yet super adorable art of jenn mcglon. her style touches my heart!

please stop in and see these fun and inspirational blogs!

finally, i want to tell each of you how grateful i am that you stop in to read blog, leaving comments that motivate me and keep me coming back to do what i love!! from the bottom of my heart, thanks!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

hope, peace, love

hope peace love
mixed media collage
12 x 9 x 3/4 solid aspen
copyright 2008 julie king

i've been thinking about how our lives are filled with evolving and recurring patterns. there are periods of wonderful goodness and light followed by spells of strife and sadness. if you listen to the news it is easy to believe that we are in one of the latter periods right now. it's easy to be filled with worry and doubts; i know i have been. but, i believe it is the BEST time for us to reflect on how very blessed we are. when we lost electricity here in dayton during the hurricane ike windstorm last month, i certainly counted my blessings for all those things i take so easily for granted -- ice, a strong reading light, the fan that lulls me to sleep every night, fresh-brewed coffee in the morning. i had already dedicated 2008 to an effort to simplify my life. but all of the news, the increased cost of gas and groceries and the lack of electricity for a few days have given me a renewed purpose. i'm again asking myself and my hubby these questions: do we REALLY need that? will that end up in a landfill? wouldn't we be happier and healthier taking a walk or a bike ride? can we not run around all weekend, chasing after things? what can we do to make our parents' lives easier and happier? how are we making the world a better place? maybe by concentrating on the answers to these questions we can find a kinder, gentler way to survive these current troubling times. maybe we can have a renewed sense of hope and offer some peace and love to others.

so, if you're feeling a little troubled and down these days, i wish for each of you these three things -- hope, peace, love!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

tribute to mom and dad

this post is a tribute to my parents, two of the hardest-working people i have ever known. at 82 and 80, they've slowed down a lot the last few years but one thing that has never waned a single bit is the love they have for their family. parents of 5, grandparents of 11, and great-grandparents to 4 (soon to be 5) their biggest joy is spending time with all of us, especially the little ones. i sometimes wonder at all that they've weathered and witnessed in their long lives; the technological advancements alone must seem mind-boggling compared to when they were born. but their constant was always family values, commitment to a job well-done and a simple country life. so this is my thank you to mom and dad for all you are and continue to be to me and all of us. you have been the single biggest influence in my life. i am humbled by your faith and grateful for every moment we spend together.

Monday, October 6, 2008

glorious bike ride

lovely sunday afternoon . . . golden sunshine . . . cool autumn air . . . long bike ride in the park . . . many stops to take glorious photos . . . being one with nature PRICELESS!