Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ethel Smith~The double crosser~watercolor

This is a watercolor of a photograph that I came across awhile ago and it was an average small wallet sized photo but the back had in man's bad handwriting,"Ethel Smith, double crosser". You could tell he kept it the rest of his life, probably in the back of his wallet. Maybe even his first true love that broke his heart. I am not sure I did Ethel justice as she was a beautiful yet simple woman about 25 and with a look that many men might not be able to resist. A country gal that probably stood out from the crowd at bbq's and almost demanded the rest of the women be jealous of her. I found it touching too that this man kept the photo despite what she had done to his heart, because at one time she might have loved him and for that, he was glad.
I love the little stories one finds in old photos. They are there whether real or unreal, somehow I seem to hear the voices and imagine the stories they would tell if they could talk.
I would like to do more portraits and may list them.

Monday, June 29, 2009

PAletas~ and the Front page! Etsy!!


I was out walking the dog. I didn't really have the motivation, it was 9 am and already about 90 degrees outside. I immediately saw Elsie. She is 85 and walks Otis a long hair chihuahua that jumps in the air up and down when he sees my big black lab, Blue. We chatted about the heat and went our separate ways.
I walked through the park and surprised to see one couple and their baby and child under the covered swings playing with the kids. We walked on and for 30 minutes more braved the broiling sun looking for any chance of shade but alas it had gone.
With only a few more blocks to go I got a call on my cell from Rita, "guess who's on the Front PAge.. mom you are!" that was a good call, it gave me the strength to talk to her for a few more minutes and head home. It was a nice front page too and I was happy for the half our of fame I could give for those folks including Rita who has been working very hard building treasuries and trying to get her store looking better.
Well the end of the month has finally come and soon we head into July, the next wonderful summer month where we should get some monsoon rains.
Lastly I want to add my latest new addiction for the summer...
PAletas from the local mexican store that carries everything you might want or need but mostly every flavor of unique popsicle. Paletas - Mexican ice pops - include such flavors as mango con chile, cantaloupe, corn, chamoy, strawberry and rice. The handmade ice pops are based on flavors traditionally found in Mexico and can be water- or cream-based.
find a Mexican store in your area and try the many wonderful flavors.. honestly I am hooked! A refreshing way to savor the sweet and hot frozen treats of summer.
I borrowed this image from another site as it was the perfect image. Photographer Carlos Chavez from LA Times.

Friday, June 26, 2009

An outing worth noting!

Yesterday with camera in hand off I went to leave the car at the repair shop and walk from there to get my hair cut. Along the way many wonderful colors spoke to me. Flowers are really in bloom now in the desert as this is the coolest summer for many many years and it keeps flowers who would otherwise be dead from the heat, blooming!
I found so many wonderful daisies and other unknowns and kept snapping away. My 10 minute walk turned into 25 after stopping every few feet.
I have so many I want to share but for now there are a few up in my Etsy store if you click here you will be taken to the store and the photo above to click on and see it a bit larger. Most of all I love this image as it reminds me that nature in its infinite complexity has designed that which no human could ever imagine an almost kaleidoscope of color and intricate woven infinite detail which even if we looked for hours- would never even have a true glimpse of it, in its smallest minutia. I am humbled by nature and in particular those wonderful flowers who always are able to fill my heart with joy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

show and tell~my first prize of summer oh gladiola!

Summer is half over. So far so good. I get letters and read about gardening and long for my hands in the soil. I planted gladiola bulbs in May and now they have finally bloomed in my back yard clay pots. They have to be watered every day but then so does my tomato plants so the hose goes no matter what.
I chose a bright orange yellow as the color is brilliant and bold and reminds me of what summer is and should be, filled with color and life! I photographed this flower on a piece of Italian lace and also in front of my back yard storage room's blue door and I think this works nicely as the opposite color brings out the best.
Today I have an early start. After sitting through 6 hours of John Adams in the past 2 days for Rita's history credit I have a new appreciation for our country's earliest forefathers and what they went through to give this country independence and freedom from Europe.
I recommend the HBO series as the acting is marvelous and the characters and make up were really spot on. I had to put my MI5 series on hold for this but was glad to do so.
I should be reading a book but after working 12 hours a day it often seems impossible without falling asleep.
I am going to take the car in for a tune up and oil change to my friendly neighborhood car dealer who has kept my old volvo running like a top all these years. Then cross the street and while car is fixed get my hair done. I love my hairdresser Chanel. She is the prettiest and sweetest person I have met in this town and I told my sister Sharon about her and now we both go regularly to her. She is 25 and from a family who has never eaten meat and drank her grandma's goat milk and fresh chicken eggs growing up in Cottonwood, down the road past the desert for 20 miles. She has a beauty baby named Coco. Sharon and I both think she has everything to be a movie star. I will eventually take her photo before I leave Sedona as I want to remember her.

Rita is chipping away at her homework for the summer and soon we will be going to Seattle to the family reunion. After watching that John Adams special I feel that as Americans we move so far from our roots,our homes. IT makes us a nation of wanderers, looking for some pie in the sky when it was our home all along we were looking for. I almost wish I had been born back east in some small new england town. But then I still would have had to roam west as it was in my blood and somehow at 14 I knew I would never live in Michigan once I left. I just felt the WEst call me. Maybe that is how these migrations take place. Something calls us.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the News Boys en Francé-death of the newspaper

this image from one of my very favorite glass negatives, news boys in France holding up what looks like a political paper from maybe the 1920s. I did a treasury today about the death of the newspaper. I have a degree in journalism and my first job out of my graduate studies was at The Good Times newspaper in Santa Cruz, actually that was my second job. First was working for the Menlo Advisor. That was such a nightmare job, I was hired as manager over people who had been there 5 years or more and I was supposed to squeeze more work out of them for the lousy $5-7 an hour they were getting. I cut the tip of my finger one sat and had to be driven to the hospital by a co worker who only said"don't get blood in my car". I was fired after I had a meeting with the owners asking them for a 25¢ raise for one gal and to have a non smoking lunch room. They thought I was an upstart and I was but everyone loved me after my one summer there. The good times had lots of nice people working there and I met one of my best friends ever, Robin, who like myself, worked in the art dept and who was from the midwest and her father a life long artist.

There was no lack of nice people and also rotten power-hungry people as well. There was a 7.0 earthquake one day and trapped inside it for a time we all left and never entered the building again. The building was demolished.
After a short time at the new building I quit. Newspaper business is not the most fun and usually it is about the bottom line or how much you can save. Rupert Murdock bought us out and then I left.
I still think of those boys shouting "read all about it" whenever there was big news like war or stock market crash or titanic or baseball news.. those little boys who were big voices on the street corners, hawking the paper to all the business folks and everyday folks who like to be in the know.
My mom still reads her little Port Angeles newspaper each day and does the crossword puzzle. What is going to happen to our country without the newspaper. I don't know really but it won't be the same.
Link to the Newspaper treasury I did.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Peonies on Day Three

I have been tagged .......

I've been tagged by my friend Kim, otherwise known as slinkymalinkicat. Thank you Kim!

I've been Tagged

What is your current obsession?
vintage photography

What is your weirdest obsession?
kale dip...don't laugh its so good

What are you wearing today?
blue linen top, jean shorts..heh its 88 degrees!

What's for dinner?

What is your favourite book?
Charlottes WEb

What's the last thing you bought?
kombucha drink

What are you listening to right now?

What is your favourite ice-cream flavour?

What do you think of the person who tagged you?
Sweet -creative-kind!
If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
South of France or Santa Cruz California mountains

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour where would you go?
outside PAris .

Which language do you want to learn?

Who do you want to meet right now?
my grandchildren-Ellen, Ava, Tristan and Miranda

What is your favourite colour?
I have two ..... soft green and sky blue

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
linen skirt-cashmere sweater

What is your favourite magazine?
Smithsonian... but no time to read it.

If you had a £100 now, what would you spend it on?
a massage

Favourite artist/s?
MY daughter Rita

Do you admire anyone's style?
I admire my oldest daughter, never complains about anything except people who are mean to children or women.

Describe your personal style?
artistic- keenly observant-earth bound-nature lover but do not like bugs

What are you going to do after this?
work more on Ebay-my real job

What are your favourite movies?
easy -Star TRek-anything British such as Catherine Cookson- MI5 series from BBC

What is your favourite fruit?

What inspires you?

What music do you like this week?
Classical from Films

What is your dream job?
Consultant- MArketing

What is stopping you?
happy in the home for now

If you could change something in the world to make it a better place what would that be?
get rid of air pollution

Something about yourself that makes no sense?
oops I consider myself very sensible but also too friendly

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day DAd!!!~you mean alot to me!

Happy FAther's day Dad! this is a photo collage of my father when he was six years old and before going to be in a school play as Tom Thumb. This is the story I heard and hope its correct. He is standing with his hands in his pockets, something I remember very clearly as a posture my dad kept the rest of his life. My brothers adopted the same pose and Kevin, who now lives in NZ not only looked like my dad his mannerisms such as hands in the pocket were much like my fathers.
This year just to be different Sharon, Bridget and I sent dad a gift certificate to the local nursery to pick something he wanted for his ever expanding garden. My mom likes to tend the flowers and vegetables and dad prefers building a fence for a dog they are getting in October and also loves putting in pear trees and other foliage so the nursery seemed a logical place to gift give.
His other loves are golfing and painting and has painted hundreds of florals, friend's and relative's dog portraits and also fabulous scenics.
His Tuesday and Saturday golf outings in any weather cannot be denied him. And at 84 years old(85 in Nov.)he is such a great example of what a person who has a full life can be! He is the repair/builder at the ST. Vincent's store that both my parents devote volunteer hours to several days of the week and his latest bit project was building a shelter for the donations in the back of the store. He has helped my family w many building projects, Jenny the youngest sister and Mike the oldest brother both have had many an addition and tiling and remodel from dad in recent years even though he had major surgery recently removing a blood clot from his neck, he was up and back to work shortly after recovering.
I think if there could be one word to sum up my dad it would be "superman". There is nothing he cannot accomplish and his famous words when we 11 children were growing up were"I don't want to hear the words,"I can't", I want to hear"I'll try". And that was it!
I myself have tried to follow my dad in so far repairing a dishwasher and vaccum cleaner just since moving to Sedona. Almost anything can be done if you put your mind to it.
Dad never refused us a trip to the skating when we grew up in Michigan, swimming at lakes in summer and camping at Camp Dearborn every summer, despite the amt of prep to bring a large family on such an adventure. Of course my mother as his right hand woman was his rock.
She was there always preparing his favorite foods for dinners and keeping him on track.
About his painting which he found as a hobby later in life my sister said he told her"If I had known I loved painting so much I wouldn't have done anything else". We all have paintings of my dad's in our homes, I have about 10 of them and love them all from a large portrait of Rita w horses to a beautiful giant painting of tulips I sent as a photo and he duplicated just beautifully!
Thanks dad, for everything, for being the best dad any father could be and most of all for showing all of us that your can do anything you set your mind to. We love you.. and I love you! Happy Fathers day!
here are some additional photos of dad

dad and his father

mom and dad 35 and 30 yrs old, both so cute~

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ruth Wall Summer 1915

Little Ruth Wall, standing outside of the garden beside her palatial home. She grips a wonderful toy sheep that was pulled by a string and had little metal wheels to move along. But for some reason Ruth must have truly loved this toy for more than a pull toy she has it so tenderly held in her arms. I was scanning images to list tomorrow and this one from a wonderful album from a family named Kahn, an architect who designed homes in Los Angeles in the teens and twenties had this little gal stuck into the album. Her name and date written into the photo's border as all of Mr Kahn's images were so meticulously labeled as a person such as an architect might do.
This one is especially nice and often I have a difficult time listing some items that I think I should keep for my own collection. But then I wouldn't be in business. I do love these long ago dreamy images of children, out of doors, with one toy or playing in the dirt with animals. It seems that it was a moment frozen in time where a child could be a child and have a special soft toy to hold until any age they decided to let it go.
This is so nice I had to share little Ruth Wall with the world.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Blue SKy Desert Day in Sedona

Here are a few shots while driving around down by red rock crossing in sedona last weekend. Could you ask for a nicer day? the temp was around 79 and that is perfect here with a slight breeze. I made a sandwhich and some fruit and got a drink at the park and we drove to the river and had a picnic with our dog Blue who was entertained by fetching sticks.. well almost, he's a lab but not really used to fetching sticks in the rushing river.

The first shot was at the river and the other two were taken out exploring another spot that Rita had gone to with friends before about 3 miles down the road in the last photo here was a swimming hole with a huge rope swing into the river but alas.. too many people and that is no fun for me. The state park was perfect. We got a spot on the beachy rocks with our quilt and stayed for an hour enjoying the day. I was happy I made us get out of the house and do that. It costs $8 to get in but was worth every penny~

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pink Lincoln ~Desert Hotel~ Trip to Flagstaff Arizona

This past SAturday my daughter had to go to take the ACT college entrance exam at NAU(Northern Arizona University), again, and that gave me a good reason to go visit my sister Sheila and to go shopping. After coffee at the new and wonderful New Frontiers bakery/coffee/grocery store there Sheila offered to take me to "old town" Flagg., as the locals call it. There are many old buildings that have been left to wonderfully age without touching them. We walked for 45 minutes and I just snapped away. This Sierra Vista sign was completely washed out in the center and almost invisible and Sheila said,"you could color that in". Well, when I hear something like that I am truly challenged and at the same time inspired to bring back some life to something old, my favorite thing to do.
I have quite a few wall, sign and window photos I will share over the next week.
Basketball ended last night(ok, now what??)with yes... again.. Lakers winning the title. I was so so wanting Orlando to win but they lacked the will after the terrible loss last week.
I guess its on to the US Open soon and that is always fun.
The cactus flowers are in bloom now so today I will take my camera on my walk and snap a few to post. We have had the most unusual and welcomed month of perfect 70s weather here in the desert, usually its in the high 90s every day but lately we have had just a perfect summer.
I finished a watercolor I started which had been something I was staring at every day and soon will scan and post.
Have a wonderful week!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Chameleon~Scientific Illustration

I have always been fascinated by scientific illustration. Early in the 70s when I was studying botany at a community college I loved finding old illustrations that were done in the 19th century by those with a steady hand and a patient confidence in their work.

One of the best known for his scientific illustrations was Ernst Haeckel who was more than just an illustrator of beautiful creatures in our natural world. As with many scientists he had opinions which were outspoken and brilliantly recieved by many. Click on his name to read a little about him and if interested there are some amazing links to his work which can be downloaded and printed to enjoy!

I have mentioned before that my youngest daughter is keenly interested in scientific illustration and has decided to do her senior project at school on this subject. She has drawn many science like illustrations and you can see them here at her ETsy store if interested.

I found this page on a wonderful website and wanted to share it with you. If you have never seen a chameleon go to a pet store where they sell them and watch their eyes. They can follow you in a 180 degree rotation without moving an inch of their body. I am not sure any other creature is able to do that.

I have started to notice that a relative of the chameleon has started to show up everywhere here in the desert, the lizard. They are often seen rustling into bushes or seen sunning themselves in the heat out on rocks. They are the true sun worshippers, the only animal I know that prefers sun and as hot as it can get.

I will continue to bring you more of my finds on scientific illustration as it never ceases to bring me joy that there are and were people with the patience to sit and draw all the creatures of the earth for the wonder of all humans to see. We owe them much as many of our glorius creatures are now extinct or will be so its even more important to know and love and preserve our natural wonders, the animal and plant kingdom.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Colourshoppevintage~Introducing a New Etsy Shop!

I am truly proud and thrilled to announce officially my daughter Rita's shop~Colourshoppevintage on Etsy! She has worked so hard these past two weeks on creating it that I felt it deserved an extra plug. If any of you are making treasuries and think any of her items will work, please consider her store. Of course I have been helping with the photography and although she fought this one being only grey with the shirt in color, she agreed and its in a great treasury right now that I did, great for the fact all the wonderful Etsy artists and Rita are included. I hope she will do well so click on the title or here to visit her store or even here to see it in the treasury. Vintage clothing to a 17 year old means anything from the 80s and 90s and that is the era that seems to appeal to them. For me those years had strange clothes but then again that is what a new generation means, they shun the present and the way back and go for the recent past. I hope you can visit both the shoppe and the treasury before it ends.
Drop her a line and let her know what you think of the shoppe or if there is anything you would like to see in there. She loves convos!
Enjoy this beautiful summer day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Little Ellen Graduates High School-my oldest grandaughter

This is little Ellen. She is the teenager in the middle and the oldest of my grandchildren. She is very tall and very beautiful and a top drawer big sister. These are her two little sisters Miranda on left and AVa on right. This is to me one of my most priceless of photos. I love them all so much and to see Ellen reading for them just warms my heart.
Little Ellen was born on WAshington's birthday and has been a girl with so much personality and like a magnet she attracts people to her. She is smart and witty and like George, a born leader. She was named after my younger sister who was only one year older than my older daughter and a good friend to Ellen's mother(Sara). Thus we have always known her as little Ellen as my sister is big Ellen or as the neices and nephews call her bigellen all in one word.
Little Ellen towers over big Ellen so at family gatherings its always fun to see this.
Ellen graduates from high school this week and I am so so proud of her and all her wonderful accomplishments. She is an amazing cook, dancer and great big sister to these two girls and a brother Tristan(not in picture). I loved Ellen from the minute she was born and will always have a very big spot there for her. She is attending my alma mater, university of Oregon in the fall.
Congratulations Ellen! You did it!! and we are all soooo proud of you!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tennis ~ History of Tennis ~French Open

Ah ...it is that time of year when we all long to hit the courts and smash a few balls back and forth, back and forth. This photo appeared in an album from Portland, Oregon 1917. I was archivally dismantling it and I decided to list this photo of a very elegantly dressed young lady about to play tennis in her fur trimmed jacket.

I wanted to pay tribute to one of my very favorite sports..tennis. I took tennis all through my 3 years in community college and then when I transfered to University of Oregon I played for fun with anyone who would play. I loved watching Nadal get beat by the Swede the other night and then Serena lost. This has been the biggest upset year so far. I have taped all the semi finals and am waiting until Rita returns from her weekend playing a summer tournament for girls basketball, in Phoenix, to watch them as she is as hooked as I am. Basketball finals and tennis at its best on clay in France. I love how when the crowd gets unruly the chair says"merci" in a sweet voice.. he is thanking the crowd for quieting down. I think in the US we say "quiet please". Here is a little history about the sport.

The history of tennis dates back several thousand years. The game was first created by European monks to be played for entertainment purposes during religious ceremonies. To begin with, the ball was hit with the hand. Soon the leather glove came into existence. This was soon replaced with an adaptive handle for effective hitting and serving of the ball.

"The French Open was first held at the Stade de France in 1891; at first, it was a closed competition in which only men, and only French residents at that, could compete. It was only later, much later that the tournament took its modern name of Tournoi de Roland-Garros after the stadium it moved to in the 1920’s, and eventually it became open to women and international competitors."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Peony oh peony!~my tribute and informational post

The Peony
I had to do some shopping yesterday and when I walked in the door the very first thing I saw were the peonies.. 3 wrapped up fresh off the delivery truck. A young florist there named Emily is a friend and we often talk about flowers. These might be my favorite flowers for beauty so I decided to pay a tribute to them by featuring a photo session I did yesterday in the back yard, and over the next few days talking about the different aspects of peonies in our lives. Check back tomorrow as I will feature another image and talk more about what I am learning about this not only wonderful but beautiful floral. I am so in love with my 3 stems that every time I go into the kitchen, where they are in a crystal vase my mom gave me for my wedding, many many years ago and I still keep in its box when I am not using it, the 3 stems sit. The blooms so beautiful I cannot help but stop and look at them. This is truly a love affair I was not prepared for when I bought them. I want to share all the different images I took yesterday and start with the inside view of the workings of the flower itself. Enjoy the paragraph below and enjoy Friday as it only comes once a week. And for your own happiness, stop by a florist and tell yourself..yes! I deserve to have a bouquet of beautiful flowers on my table... the amount of joy they bring cannot be disputed! enjoy!!

Peonies in Medicine
Arguably the first use of peonies by people was for their medicinal value. There is evidence that peonies were used extensively in both the Far East and Europe as long as two thousand years ago. Many parts of the plant are purported to have medicinal properties. Roots, bark, seeds and flowers were all believed to be of some medicinal use.

In texts describing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) three peony preparations are well known. The first is Mu Dan Pi, which is made from the bark of tree peonies, and is said to cool the blood as well as have antibacterial properties. Chi Shao Yao is made from the root of the herbaceous peony P. lactiflora and is also said to cool the blood and relieve pain. Bai Shao Yao is made from the same roots but with the bark removed and is said to nourish the blood.

Where as peonies have been used continually in medicine in the eastern world, the same can not be said of the western world. Peonies were used during medieval times. However their popularity subsequently declined and until recently little was heard of the medicinal properties of peonies.

During the middle ages in Europe only two peonies were widely used P. officinalis and P. mascula (know respectively as the female and male peony). Their uses included everything from childbirth to the warding off of evil spirits. Peonies were said to be recommended to cure gall stones, control epileptic seizures, soothe teething pain and cure jaundice.

Peony seeds have been swallowed whole to prevent bad dreams or used in a poultice to relieve stomach aches. Flower petals have been dried and used to make a tea that was reputed to soothe a cough. They were considered a panacea. In the middle ages there where not many ailments that peonies were not thought to soothe!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Alan Aldridge~psychedlic art from 70s

I have a fascination with art & design blogs and while meandering through a few this morning I found and site with a piece on a wonderful man who was very much a part of the 70s art revolution. His art although fabulous and wonderful cannot be separated from this little audio piece that is given by Alan at the Dezeen exposition in October. He was the illustrator for Beatles albums and his story of meeting the Beatles and how he was first made into a designer at his young age by a man traveling door to door with a stereoscope with slides of alice in wonderland. He knocked at the door and said to his mother"6 pence.. for the boy mum..for the boy" if this peeks your interest, go listen to the short audio piece, you owe it to yourself. there is also a wonderful story about meeting the band "CREAM" whom we all knew and loved.
Here is the link, I am certainly glad I found it. Little treasures like these make blog diving one of my favorite things to do. LINK HERE

About Me

My photo
I am a mother of 2 wonderful girls, grandmother of 4, don't worry you will see photos of them one day! I live in Sedona Arizona, a beautiful place, lots of sun and blue blue skies! I listen to politics and my favorite radio channel is Cinemix. I am the oldest of 11 , I love my kids, my parents and my siblings and my friends!!