Tuesday, March 31, 2009

flower garden quilt

this week for grandma julie's treasure chest tuesday i've selected this vintage flower garden quilt made by my grandma farmer. this was one of a pair made by grandma and i remember one of them was always on the twin bed in her spare bedroom. the flower garden pattern is also known as grandmother's flower garden or french rose garden. i've always loved all the tiny hexagon shapes that are pieced together to form the larger hexagons.

i did a little research and this pattern was revived in the 1920's from the hexagon mosaic pattern from the 1830's. in the late 1920's there was an american quilt revival which incorporated a new color palette of pastel prints. quilts made from these fabrics are sometimes referred to as depression quilts. the flower garden quilt pattern is supposedly still the most popular quilt pattern today.

my grandma, fannie cain farmer, was born in 1904. her mother, zora ballenger cain, was a quilter and i assume grandma learned the art from her mother. i wish i knew at what point in her life grandma started quilting and about what year she made this quilt of mine. i remember there was always a quilt hoop or rack near grandma's chair in the living room where she and grandpa read and watched tv. she had 17 grandchildren and each of us received at least one hand-pieced and quilted blanket from her. she did all the cutting and sewing herself unlike many women who enjoyed the piecing part but then would pay someone to do the quilting.

i bought this quilt at the sale my parents had in the summer of 2007. you can read about it here.

the second quilt of grandma's that i own is the fannie's flag pattern. it is a delightful quilt, but oh, let's save that one for another tuesday, shall we?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

standing tall on shadow shot sunday + 1 year anniversary!!

yesterday was my one year anniversary of blogging. woo hoo! words can't describe how much enjoyment i get from my blog. it has opened up a whole new creative outlet for me, makes me feel fulfilled and has helped me to develop a whole new bevy of skills. i'm proud of what i do and walking tall!!

i've been thinking about how to commemorate this one year anniversary for some time. yesterday i stumbled across hey harriet's blog where she started the shadow shot sunday post and each week invites others to participate. since i've so enjoyed capturing shadow shots this past year i thought it would be great to showcase some of my favorite shadow shots. if you'd like to participate in shadow shot sunday just click on the link on my sidebar! i'm going to make this a regular weekly sunday feature on my blog!!

and, finally, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who reads my blog, leaves comments and offers such wonderful support. it means the world to me!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

blooming fresh





images and verse (c) 2009 julie king

Friday, March 27, 2009

my art is featured in a treasury and more!!

the lovely and talented cassandra featured my "sweet evening song" collage in her bird song treasury!! what a thrill and an honor! click here to see the treasury (for the life of me, i can't figure out how to post a picture of the treasury page in this post! annoying!) and click here to check out cassandra's blog. she does some wonderful features on uber talented etsy artists!

to check out the above "sweet evening song" collage as a fine art print in my etsy shop, click here.

in other news, after about 10 days of increasing pain in my chest, back and upper right arm i went for x-rays today. i have 2 broken ribs and severe bruising of the cartilage in my chest. how did this happen???!! hmmmmmm . . . i did fall in the florida room on st. paddy's day (and there was no green beer involved!!). i did lift a heavy travel system (stroller and car set combination) into the back of my van to take to a photoshoot on 3/20. i did continue to lift, tote, work and trudge in spite of the pain for all this time. i did learn my lesson and have promised to slow down and take better care of myself. well, at least until the pain is gone. hee hee

i promised you spring photos today. please come back for a visit tomorrow and i'll have some pretties posted!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

altered expectations

around 6:00 this evening i set out for a long walk around the neighborhood thinking it would be fun to capture the first signs of spring. i saw tress budding out, crocus in bloom and a few purple finches singing their joyous refrains from the tip tops of trees. but the images that totally captured my creative eye were the dead remains from last fall. in the above photo tall willowy grasses stand sentinel against a fading afternoon sun.

i was amazed at the number of old bird nests i saw high up in trees. do the same birds come back year after year to roost here? is there a territorial battle among pairs of birds to claim these vintage homesteads?

just as many of us are wanting to shed the extra pounds we accumulated during our winter hibernation, these birch trees are shedding the extra bark that protected them from the frigid arctic air. i could almost hear them sighing a soft whisper of delight -- "that spring sunshine feels wonderful"!!

winter-weathered seed pods and flowers have a special beauty all their own. they glow in the sunset and rustle their goodbyes to a gorgeous day.

this bird nest in the very small tree in our front yard is only 4 feet off the ground. it's a surprisingly large nest and i'm going to watch closely for any nest-building activity.

i find that life is a lot like today's walk. we awake in the morning with expectations of a certain kind of day. we expect things of our mates and our children. and, most of all, we have certain expectations of ourselves to be a certain way or become our heart's desire. but often, if we can put the expectations aside and relax into living life for what it is, there is beauty to be found and surprises to be experienced. it's in the relaxing and the ability to see beyond the disappointment that we truly relish life.

tomorrow i'll post a few of the budding spring photos i took today. until then, peace, hope, love and joy to all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

tuesday's treasure chest

grandma julie's treasure chest is opening up this tuesday to reveal my first hummel purchase -- "the builder". i fell in love with this hummel the minute i saw it on e-bay as it features a little girl bricklayer complete with her little bucket of hod and her trowel. she's carrying 2 heavy bricks and has already started to lay a brick wall. see how cute she looks all nestled inside the treasure chest next to the tea set my dad bought in japan? click here to read the story of my dad's tour with general mac arthur in post wwii japan and the story of this tea set.

my dad's lifelong trade was a brick mason. his work ethic and a little bit about my love for his work can be read here in a previous blog. when i saw this hummel on ebay and bid on it i was just so thrilled and wanted it so badly. bill saw a second one on ebay and bid on it as well. wouldn't you know it? we won both of them so i have one and i gave the second one to jenna. this was not a big investment at all. i got it for a really good price. i just googled "the builder hummel" and you can buy a brand new one with trademark 8 for $228.00. trademark 8 hummels are in current production, i believe. mine is older and in mint condition and a much better deal than the new one. (patting myself on the back) hee hee

my "the builder" hummel is a trademark 4 which was produced between 1964 and 1972. the trademark is the little v with the bee inside it and the words (C) by W. Goebel W. Germany. my hummel also has the year 1955 stamped into the bottom of it which i think means that the mould for the ceramic casting was made in 1955. the trademark then indicates the actual year it was produced from that 1955 mould.

as i said this was my first hummel purchase and i've treated myself to a few more over the last couple of years, always at an excellent price. my favorite hummels other than "the builder" are the ones with little girls with little head scarves on. it makes me feel so nostalgic. did any of you wear head scarves tied under the chin when you were little? my sister and i did and we have such chuuby cheeks in those scarves!

i hope you enjoyed your first peek into grandma julie's treasure chest. check back next tuesday with another treasured item. until then, enjoy some fresh air!

Monday, March 23, 2009

time to laugh

with all the depressing news in the world these days, it would be quite easy to get down. i admit it, i do let it get to me sometimes. but i am very blessed to have a quirky sense of humor and a funny event or sarcastic comment can keep me smiling for days. here are a few examples. last saturday in a fit of uncharacteristic domesticity, i scrubbed my hardwood floors and put down a thick coat of paste wax. bill used the electric buffer (fantastic invention!) to buff it up to a beautiful shine. the next evening i was puttering around in the art room when i heard presley making this desperate, frantic yelping noise. this was a shock as he is THE quietest dog, hardly ever making a whimper. so, i know you have guessed exactly where this is going. he had fallen on the shiny floor and could not get up. he was flat on his tummy with his legs all splayed out to the four corners of the room, just scrappling away with his feet trying to get some leverage to get up. i'm embarrassed to say that i burst out laughing and then hurried to get him onto safer, carpeted ground. but not before he gave me one of those disparaging that was not funny looks. seriously, presley it was!

the day of baby ben's birth jenna came and spent the night with us. the very first thing she wanted to do was come into the art room to do a messy craft (her words). the first thing we did was a torn paper collage of a cupcake. it was completely orchestrated by me -- i sketched it out on a piece of paper, then gave her a handful of different pinks papers to select from and so on. when we were done i told her that i was going to sit back and watch her make anything she wanted. she could use the paints, the brayers, the chalks, the glitter, the beads, anything. so she started with the paint and brayer. at one point i took the brayer from her and rolled it over an area to get a bit more coverage and without a moment's hesitation she gave me that same disparaging look as presley and said "i thought you were going to just sit there and watch". well, ok, i was put in my place and gladly sat back and let her have her way with the art supplies! above is step # 4 in her process - the black chalk!! whatever floats your boat, jenna!

the above piece is a collage i worked on yesterday for my daughter. it is still a work in process but just to gauge her like/dislike of it i sent her a few photos via e-mail last night. at 6:00 am this morning i read her reply "can you please make my chin look thinner? i'm trying to lose my pregnancy fat." well, that just cracked me up. what a great way to start a monday morning!

and, last, i've started to list a few of the altered photos i've created in my etsy shop. most of them include a little bit of original verse or poetry as well. i'm having fun, my friends; i'm having fun!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

oscar and felix live at our house

oscar and felix? the odd couple? yes, that's right. they live right here in our house! but what might surprise you is that hubbie is felix, the clean freak and i am oscar, the slob. ok, let's qualify that a bit. i am not a total slob altho hubbie might have something different to say on the matter. as with most things being a slob is a bit of a choice for me. when we get home from work i make a choice to work in the art room instead of doing the dishes (bill does them instead). being creative feeds my soul and fills my heart with joy. somehow mundane household chores just do not float my boat in the same way.

my art room is the biggest messy area (of course). my art supplies sit out all over the place, waiting for that moment of inspiration to strike.

the only way to find that perfect piece of vintage sheet music for a new piece is to spread it out all over the floor. and who can expect a girl to place every tiny piece of scrap torn paper into the trash can??!! it naturally will be falling onto the floor making a quite lovely mess. presley walks thru it and it sticks to his feet and then yes, we do end up having little bits of paper all over the house. does this bother me? not in the least. i am content as long as i'm able to create. hubbie? not so much!!

and, an artistic girl needs her stuff close at hand -- the ribbon, the wire, the beads, the tissue paper, paint, rubber stamps, brayers. the list goes on and on.

i promised the old antique oak dining table currently in my art room to my son. it's too big for the space and although i adore it, it really is time to let it go. but then i ask myself where will i pile all the stuff , all the creative fodder for inspiring great works of art?

so yesterday i cleaned up my art room. i love how it looks all pristine and organized. all the paints and rubber stamps are stored away. all the surfaces are clean and orderly.

today i will mess it all up again. i can't wait. my fingers are itching to dig thru the box of paints, to strew the vintage sheet music across the floor and create, oh yes, create to my heart's content!! sorry, felix, but oscar is still living in our house!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

saturday sunshine

talking to my mom on the phone this week, she told me she had hung clothes on the outdoor clothesline that day. after they were dry she went out to take them down and with each piece she removed from the line, she paused to hold it up close to her nose and take a deep breath. she said it was like breathing in sunshine. i told her i was quite envious since we can't have a clothesline here in our subdivision. i also told her i wish i could have been there with her to enjoy that first fresh air clothes experience of 2009. so today i did the next best thing and put my little portable wooden clothes rack out in the sunshine on the back patio! oh how i will enjoy the wonderful smell of saturday sunshine on my clothes. and, how heavenly it will be to sleep with that fresh springtime smell on my pajamas tonight!

i tend to do my art in batches. i'll spend a few weeks creating the fun collage design work on the fronts of several pieces. then one day i'll be inspired to do the finishing work. this entails collaging torn paper onto the back of each piece of wood, adding my signature and the name of each piece to the back and then adding the little wooden dowel rod peg that makes each piece self-standing. above is the batch of 10 i finished today, all ready to be delivered to the hotel gallery.

oh how that saturday sunshine fills my soul with motivation and satisfaction!

Friday, March 20, 2009

my reflection

i've been thinking about how you know when you're old. is it when your hair turns gray? or when your knees ache from climbing a flight of stairs? do you feel it settling into your soul when you're resistant to change at work? or maybe it's when you start to lose your sense of humor. out for pizza with bill's co-workers tonight (all much younger than us) the conversation turned to bill's feeling a lack of respect from some of the young people he works with. he said one young lady has these words posted on her bulletin board at work: "i see old people". this made me chuckle a bit and i thought i'd truly like to meet her. i have empathy for bill and yes i've experienced a bit of that disrespect out in the world. but honestly i feel very blessed to work with a group of young people who show me a great deal of respect. they seek my opinion and advice. they acknowledge my experience and knowledge. do they treat me like i'm old? yes, sometimes they're a bit quick to take a heavy car seat out of my hands or offer to load a baby gate into my car for a photo shoot. i make the choice to graciously accept their gift of help as a show of respect. i choose not to be offended. i've had a few disconcerting comments like the young lady who said "wow! i can't believe how you and your husband still ride bikes and kayak". of course, this prompted my inner smart aleck to think "good lord, i'm only 56, not 98!!"

for me, life is all about choices. when i choose to think young i feel much younger. when i choose to give into the feeling of being old, then yes, i do feel older. so tonight i continue my quest to think, feel and live as young as i gracefully can. i pledge to be patient with those who don't have my years of experience to guide them. i promise to honor my elders with the respect they are due. may the reflection i project out into the world be one of hope and light, peace and joy. and, may i continue to see that young woman who planned to change the world every time i see my reflection.

what do you see in your reflection?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

grandma julie's treasure chest

i'm sure many of you out there can relate when i say that i like to collect stuff. there are the family heirlooms which have been handed down to me from great grandparents and great-great grandparents. there are things i've bought at auctions and flea markets over the years. i have cherished items that my daughter and i bought together when she was little, things my hubbie or kids gifted me and of course the odd ball item or two whose origin is quite fuzzy. i recall many hours as a child admiring my grandma j's and grandma farmer's pretty dishes. a few of those items are mine today. i so look forward to my granddaughters oohing and aahing over my pretty keepsakes as well. and so the collecting continues, the legacy plays on as i gather a treasure-trove of lovelies in this oak china cupboard. this is the first of what i hope to be a regular feature on this blog called grandma julie's treasure chest. each tuesday i'll give you a sneak peek into the chest and share a special memory . i hope you'll join me.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

28 new prints listed on etsy!!!!!

here's a sneak peek
at a few of the 28 prints
i listed on etsy this evening!!!!

more fun things to come
in the next few days!