Friday, August 27

Oops

I forgot to include this doorplate that I resined in Susan's class in my last post. It will be added to the cover of a book.

Big surprise.



And I did make a pod.

Tuesday, August 24

Bead Fest

Last week -- for the very first time -- I attended Bead Fest at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

The first class I took was a resin course with Susan Lenart Kazmer of Objects and Elements. Resin is not new to me, but still, I learned some things about using resin that I didn't know before. Susan taught a lot of metal-working techniques too. She was a very generous teacher.

This triangular resin-paper cover will eventually have pages inside and will be a book. The idea was that it would be a book necklace, but I think mine is a bit large for that.
Someone else in the class made this pod pendant. I loved hers, and I will be working on my own pod very soon.
On Sunday, I attended Linda Larson's Journal Necklace workshop. She also works with Objects and Elements. I love their . . . I was searching for some new words here . . . but, I love their objects and elements.
One of the (many) things I loved about this workshop was learning to rivet -- tube rivets and wire rivets -- and of course, the hinge.
It was a good weekend.
It was fun to share the event with my buddy Kecia.
These things are always better shared.

Tuesday, August 17

We're All From Somewhere

I started blogging to create a visual, if verbally spare, history of the events that make up my life. Those events are pretty much non-events to most people, but my family, close friends, and the rest of you lovely people seem to get a kick out of my life from time to time.

I'm also a photographer. I can honestly say I would be a photographer even if I didn't blog, but it helps to have a place to display my photographs. My blog has become my very own gallery — the place where I can show my work and detail my history.

That history was also something I was interested in before I started blogging.Next month I'll be on the West Coast with a handful of family members picking the brain of my father's cousin. He's the one who knows the most about my dad's people. My grandfather died when my father was just 11, so that line didn't extend very far back in their memories.
There are photos we just can't identify. We think this was my grandfather's maternal grandmother, but we don't know for sure, and wouldn't know her first name even then. I've always loved this photograph and would like to sit on this porch in a matching Stickley rocker and chat with her.I use family images in my art much of the time.

I have to be careful about that though, because I get pretty attached to the pieces, and it's hard to let them go.
Things are a little more clear on my grandmother's side of the family. We know that this tiny-waisted woman was Mary Ellen O'Bryan Jones, and that she was my grandmother's paternal grandmother. I loved recently learning her story: She met her husband Joseph Devereau Jones, a Union soldier in the 1st Louisiana infantry, while he was guarding her father, who was a Confederate prisoner of war in New Orleans. (Thank you Michael McGinnis!)

Our heritage has a way of following us even if we don't follow it. Above are photos of my grandfather, my father and my son.

My grandfather — I learned not long ago — was a photographer. I'm grateful for the wonderful pictures of his family left behind.

My dad too was a photographer in the army.
(Well, I guess not. I learned from my dad today that while he was stationed at the Army's European headquarters for photography in Germany in '54-'55, he was working behind a desk and not taking Army photos.)

Are such things in the blood?
My great, great grandmother -- Mary Ellen O'Bryan Jones -- let out her waistband a little here in this photo with daughters Evelyn and Aurilla and my grandmother (the child) Irvilla.Where do you come from?

Sunday, August 8

A Walk in the Woods

Yesterday I visited Tyler Aboretum's Nature's Enchantment display with the Littles and their folks.
Nestled in the trees we discovered the homes of woodland gnomes . . .
And other wee folks.
We saw miniature flowers . . .
Explored a crooked goblin house . . .
. . . filled with gargoyles, bats and giant spiders. (To someone's delight.)
We knocked on the door of the troll's house under the bridge . . .
And when he wouldn't answer, we looked for him from the top of the bridge.
We heard the summer sound of cicadas in the trees . . .
And found one to study more closely.
We saw black swallowtail butterflies . . .
And Eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies.
In the butterfly house, we saw monarch butterflies. We didn't see them outside of the protected area. The population has been devastated because of storms in their winter home in Mexico.
We saw this caterpillar that will turn into a monarch, and we saw several chrysalises.
It was nice to see them.
Kiran thought it was fun to blow on them and watch them fly.
photo by Kim Marsh

As usual, I took lots of photos.
With some interesting results!

Monday, August 2

Class notes

Yesterday I taught my Binding Memories class at Kecia's Lemoncholy Studio , where magic can be found in every corner . . .
In every nook . . .On every windowsill . . .
In the garden . . .
And in her studio.
Kecia is a wonderfully gracious hostess who didn't flinch when it started to rain.
She just moved our bleaching station and drying racks into her kitchen, and covered her floor with towels.She was not concerned by 120+ bleached pages drying over her kitchen floor, not the bleached spots on her towels, not the piles of bleach-soaked leaves and flowers on her table.
In this laid-back and inspiring venue, we bleached pages using natural materials and then bound them into books.
I loved seeing the work everyone produced.
Spending the afternoon with old friends and new.
Attaching faces and voices to folks I've known only through their blogs.
And was so satisfied seeing the stack of beautiful books created in a single afternoon and the smiling faces around me.