Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winter Wonderland Block

Meadow Snowman wm

I am realizing that I love snowmen. I say this because many of my wintertime/holiday projects include snowmen. This particular mixed media project is a board that my husband cut for me, approximately 6 x 5.5 x 1.5. I covered all sides with gesso and then placed images that I had cut from chipboard. I painted everything with heavy body white titanium paint (to add even more dimension) before painting with acrylics.

meadow snowman 1 wmmeadow snowman 2 wmmeadow snowman 3 wmmeadow snowman 5 wmmeadow snowman 6 wm

(There’s that song again, with the family tradition behind it (see previous post).

Monday, November 25, 2013

Vintage Christmas Cowboy {Tinting Old Photograph}

cowboy 3 wm

Well now, I could not leave out my only brother, in the vintage holiday photograph tags! At Christmas of 1958, Keith was age 4. This picture was taken at my Mamo and Grandad’s home, THE location for the “big Christmas” for us as we were growing up. Each of the grandchildren (I was the oldest, thank you very much) had a stocking with our name (or an abbreviation of the name—mine said “Barba”). The stockings would have basically the same contents each year: nuts, some candy, and always an orange in the toe.

To my knowledge, many (if not all) of us have continued the “stocking tradition,” and the stockings over my fireplace now have the names of my four grandchildren (ages 20, 20, 18 and 7), the great-great grandchildren of my Mamo and Grandad.

I could write a book about the memories from my grandparents’ Christmases, and many of the memories are traditions carried on today in my own home, like the stockings. Not many feet from where Keith was standing was the baby grand piano, where I first started “banging” on the keys as a child, around which we sang Christmas songs, with my aunt playing (and later, me). Now I have my own baby grand piano, and the same songs are sung now by the three succeeding generations.

This year I put my Tag Tree up early, and it has been fun to take some of the tags I am making right now and put them directly on the tree. I would expect this particular Vintage Christmas Cowboy tag will be on its way to my brother’s tree, after my siblings come to my house for our “family Christmas” this year.

keith christmas 58

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Vintage Winter Wonderland {Tinting Old Photograph}

Trying some of the techniques Tim Holtz taught in Creative Chemistry 102, I always love working with vintage photos. I prefer to use my own, since there should be SOME up-side to having real, vintage photos of one’s childhood!

vintage wonderland wm

Here’s the original photo:

bk janene snowman

I do not remember this picture being taken. I would guess our ages as about 4 and 3, maybe. That would make the picture more than 60 years old. I am on the left (in my pre-bangs days, which lasted about 4 years of my life), and my sister Janene, 15 months younger than I, on the right. I believe this picture was taken at my grandparents’ home in Helena, Arkansas. They had a huge back yard. I had never seen this picture until a few years ago when one of my aunts shared some of her family photos during her last months.

I printed the photo on glossy photo paper, tinted some of it with Distress Ink Markers (using colors that we often wore—I never wore red, as I was a redhead, and redheads never wore red—still a rule I follow). I “aged” it with other inks and placed it on a tag with “Winter Wonderland” music. That song was a special one for my sister and me, as it was one of the “numbers” we would perform when we made up acts for our own Talent Show (with ourselves as the audience).

And here’s how it looks on my Tag Tree (yep, already up this year).

vintage wonderland on tree wm

Linking to Frilly and Funkie Christmas Preparations Challenge.

Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK Assassination: 50 Years Ago From the Diary of a 16-year Old

my diaries

I had just begun my junior year of a high school, in a very small rural school in Missouri (47 students in my graduating class). My father was my history teacher and my principal. He was also my pastor.

It was a Friday, not unlike other Fridays. I was probably wearing my cheerleader sweater, as we had a home basketball game that night and often wore our sweaters on game days (it was also sometimes allowed in my public school to wear slacks on Fridays, rather than the usual skirts or dresses, so it was a good day for me—sweater and slacks—yes!).

I was sitting in my English class with a wonderful, soft-spoken teacher, when I heard the familiar click of a microphone being turned on, followed by the blowing of air through it (as people did “back then” to make sure the microphone was on). Following was my father’s voice, “Boys and girls, may I have your attention. We have just received word that President Kennedy has been shot, and Governor Connelly wounded, in a parade in Dallas, Texas.” [For the rest of my high school, whenever I heard that microphone click, I got a knot in my stomach.]

Though I was not, at that time, terribly interested in national affairs, I always had a sense of the importance of time and place in history, and as such, I made an entry in my diary, noting that I might someday want to remember a 16-year old’s accounting of the day of a presidential assassination.

The following entry is copied from my 1963 diary:

November 22, 1963

"Nation in shock because of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Lee Oswald."

A few days later I wrote, "School was out on day of funeral. Flags at half-mast and everyone wonders what the nation is coming to. Following Sunday: Lee Oswald shot and killed by Ruby. It's hard to believe the President has been shot.”

[On the day of the assassination], Daddy [high school principal] announced over intercom that the President had been shot and Governor Connelly had been wounded in a parade in Dallas, Texas. Later he announced that the President had died. The radio was turned on intercom all day [on the high school wing]. KLIK [the Jefferson City radio station] had prayer followed by playing the national anthem. I couldn't keep from crying. Watched proceedings on TV all weekend and Monday (funeral day). It seems so strange to see him making speeches (taped) on TV and know that he is dead. President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in minutes after the death.

On the evening of Kennedy's death we had a basketball game at our gym. Between the two games, Daddy led the audience in prayer for the nation and for the Kennedy family.

This was my first real interest in and awareness of national affairs.

Note: in the current day of television, videos, etc., it’s hard to imagine that “it would seem strange” to watch videos of someone who had just died. But, I did note that, because it seemed, well, strange, at that time.

My brother was 9 at the time of the assassination. This morning, he and I have been exchanging memories of that day. He was in the elementary wing of the same building where I was.

Here are some of his memories, shared today:

Subject: Re: Today

I was in 4th grade… when Daddy made the first announcement, that Kennedy had been shot. Mrs. L left the room and put me "in charge." I remember [one of the girls] broke the silence by saying, "Poor Jackie!"

Someone else asked if this meant we were going to be at war with Russia.

[I also remember that when the question of, "does this mean we are at war..." was asked, another kid asked if we could be under attack right now.  I answered, "We could be...there could be a missile on its way down on us right now!"  Which goes to show you the level of our nation's awareness of the Russian threat during the height of the Cold War, that a 4th grader would even know anything about Russian missiles.]

Most distinctly, I remember the sound and tone of Daddy's voice.  I remember when he first started speaking, it was so somber that I thought he was going to say something had happened to one of our family!  It scared me. The fact that this was an assassination in OUR time (the first since Lincoln) shook him, I believe.

Remembering historical events that are so shockingly entrenched in our minds is a stark reminder of other things, such as many, many things that have changed during the last 50 years. Though some of those changes are very obvious from my 16-year-old’s account, that whole topic is for another blog post, another day.

On the other hand, although it seems, and is literally, a lifetime ago, that day fifty years ago has a place in my memory that makes it almost seem as if it happened yesterday.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Frosty the Softie Tag

frosty 3 wm layers

One of the things I enjoy about making a “softie” (inspiration from the Art of Holiday Goodness class) is that somehow, with a needle and thread in my hand, I feel closer to my mother, who was quite the seamstress.

I cut a tag, a snowman and a snowflake from felt and just finished it off with simple stitching. It is a nice break to be able to work on a project while I am “watching” TV with my husband, away from the paints, inks, and scrapbooks for a while.

This will join many other tags on my Tag Christmas Tree.

frosty 5 wm

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Combining Hobbies: Gingerbread Man Cookies and Mixed Media Tag

gingerbread house tag wm

For a project in the Art of Holiday Goodness class, I made a Gingerbread House mixed media tag. Using a Graphic 45 tag (very sturdy), I covered it with gesso, painted it with an ivory acrylic and then on the front of the tag, I “built” a gingerbread house from patterned paper and paint. For the snow, I used Ranger Distress Dry Glitter, Clear Rock Candy, on top of heavy body white titanium paint.

As every mixed media “artist” knows, there are two things that are almost impossible to capture accurately in photographs: dimension and glitter. My husband looked at my tag and then at the picture and remarked that it is so much more dimensional and pretty in real life. True.

side view wm

gingerbread house tag back wm

I covered the back of the tag with patterned paper and then adhered the recipe I used for the Gingerbread Man Cookies.

Here is the cookie-making process:









The above picture documents one of the enigmas of life: once you have the time to make special cookies like these, the children you want to make them with (and even the grandchildren) are not here anymore. But my big kid enjoyed them!!

gingerbread house tag on stand wm

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Heart-warming Holidays Art Journal

heartwarming and let it snow spread

Usually in my altered book art journals, I do watercolor so that the text still shows through. But once I started this project, it became acrylic paint heaven. I tend to favor acrylics anyway, and I really had fun with these two projects, combined into an art journal spread. It is still pretty amazing to me that I can actually do some sketching and free-hand cutting and drawing, albeit at a beginner level.

Yep, that’s me there, and I’m taking a home baked pie to someone special, but I have to trek through the snowy woods to get there! Thank goodness for the thick, heavy sweater and scarf!

Little Art Projects for Christmas

These are some of the projects from my Art of Holiday Goodness class with Junelle Jacobsen. I should say they are “my take” on the projects, actually.

merry little christmas tag wm

  • Tag made from chipboard cut with Tim Holtz tag die then covered with book text
  • Sketched and painted (watercolor and acrylic)

o christmas tree felt tag wm

  • Black felt cut into tag with Tim Holtz tag die
  • Free-hand cut elements (those from felt stitched onto black felt)
  • Snowflakes cut from Tim Holtz snowman die
  • Felt tag then glued onto black kraft tag (using fabric glue)

snowman bookmark completed wm

  • Bookmark for art journal
  • Muslin double layered with stitching and then gessoed to make stiff
  • Sketched and watercolored

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day to My Marine

Always proud of my husband, for everything about his life, honestly. But I’m especially proud of his service to our country, and I celebrate that today. I am also thankful for all who have served throughout the history of this great country.

We were married in 1965, Russell graduated from college in 1967, and he served as an officer in the USMC from 1967-1970. His 13-month Viet Nam tour was 1968-1969.

The saying is really true:


11-10-1968, USMC BDay visiting Bud Harness  in DaNang Steak Cookoutcenter, supply office-rice paddies in bkgrnd where R engaged enemy Feb 23 1969Mtn outside Russells hooch, 1-13, west of Da NangPhoto of Russ Ford and Rich Gleittsman, taken at camp before Russell left for the world 1969

Russ at 3rd MAF HQ, Da Nang in bkgrndRuss at Camp Hansen Okinawa for Embarkation Sch Mar 1969Russ at supply whse 1-13 DaNangRuss Ford at Cook Shack at 1st Bn-13th MarRuss Ford at Da Nang Harbor 1969Russ Ford Capt Gasser Steve Cox on east side of DaNang at ocean summer 1969Russ in compound at 1-13, Inspecting area along the lines-bunker in cornerRuss in jeep in Viet Nam 1969 Driver Cpl Bundick Sgt Flohre in backRuss outside his hooch 1-13 Da Nang 1969Russ Navy Commendation Medal 1969

Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for service in Viet Nam

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fall Blessings Blocks

fall block 4 wmfall block 5 wm

This was a quick one. This is actually front and back of a block (approximately 4x4) cut from a 2x4. I covered the block with gesso and then black paint (using a credit card). Then I did a quick sketch and watercolor of a pear and a pumpkin on book text (adhered to cardstock for stability). This project is another from the Art of Holiday Goodness class with Junelle Jacobsen. I love simple.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Art of Holiday Goodness: Recipe Block Project

I really had fun with this one, as I love to cook, and I have this original chili recipe (made it up in 1991 and modified slightly since then) that I wanted to put on a block for my kitchen.

My husband cut a 2x4 into approximately a 4x6 block for me. I used acrylic paints and paper piecings.

Here is the finished project:

soup block 2 wm

soup block 1 wm

soup block 3 wm

soup block 4 wm

soup block 6 wm

soup block 7 wm

Thanks to Junelle Jacobsen for ideas/tutorials in her Art of Holiday Goodness class!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blessings Board

blessings board take 2

In my inspiring class with Junelle Jacobsen, The Art of Holiday Goodness, one of the projects was to create a Blessings Board. I used an 8x10 deep canvas, covered first with tickets and then several acrylics applied with a credit card. I like having a place where I can clip reminders of blessings. Pictures do not show the dimension, but there is a lot of depth due to the many layers of paint.

blessings board take 2 with blessings

Autumn Drive in Missouri

We enjoyed a Sunday afternoon (after church) drive to our favorite German restaurant in Hermann, MO, about an hour from our home.




We are drawn to that area because of Russell’s German heritage. His FORD family came to the United States during the Revolutionary War, by way of his great great great grandfather William Ford, a Redcoat who stayed in the US and married a girl in Tennessee. William and Phoebe subsequently moved to Indiana, along with their adult son Philip, Russell’s great great grandfather. Philip’s son John served in the Mexican War and was the father of Joseph Shields Ford, Russell’s great grandfather. Joseph was a depot agent for the railroad, and his job moved him from Indiana to Missouri, to the area of Hermann, home to a community of German immigrants. Joseph married Carrie Kallmeyer, whose parents were both born in Germany and are buried in a quaint little cemetery close to Hermann. So, it was through Joseph Shields that our Ford family ended up in Missouri and to whom we attribute the German heritage. Joseph and Carrie are also buried in that area.

I always feel close to family history when we visit Hermann. Of course, it is actually Russell’s family, but we have been married 48 years, so I feel like it’s my family history, too (and it’s certainly the direct-line ancestral history of my children and grandchildren!).