Awhile ago I sorted through my collection of old buttons and snapped shots of them to use in collage. I use the term "collection" advisedly, there's nothing much special about my pile except that they were cheap and beautiful. If I gave in to all my collection impulses they'd have me on that program about hoarders, but hundreds of buttons can easily be stored and hidden from view. Just perfect!
In my family, buttons have a story: my sister Joan (pronounced Jo ann), the baby of my sibs, had a revulsion to any kind of button on her clothing. She'd throw a hissy fit if anyone had the temerity to try and dress her with clothing having anything resembling a button on it. We were all thoroughly perplexed but there was no reasoning with an unreasonable and screaming toddler and so, she wore no buttons. That alone may be the reason I collect them, I'm still wondering how such an innocuous notion could put my sister into hysteria. And yes, we have asked her what was up with the buttons, and she says she doesn't remember.
And there you have it, they're round, they're red (my favorite color) and they have a reputation.
20 years ago (or so, years fade and precise calculations are softened) I claimed a discarded book in a pile of throwaways from the middle school library. It was a book on Ohio with endless maps featuring chicken, steel, coal production and railways, highways and just about anything else a state produces. A piece of that is here to mark the geography of the bride and groom. It's where they lived and where I live, an anchor and literally, my ground (their's too, but not literally). The commentary in the book is positive to the point of puffery and like a lot of the stuff I was required to read going through school. I didn't quite know what to think of it then because my mind was on other things and now, it seems so oblivious to the future and what it might bring. Anyway, what I really like about the maps are the dots that are used to mark the site of whatever production they wrote about. Polka-dots are care-free in a way I understand.
This may not be done (I'm thinking a few more gold dots) and it may not even be as topical as the Fresh Show likes but it's my entry and I'm sticking to it. And I even had another idea.....but this was too far along to abandon ship. More on Laura's red dress tomorrow.
The vertical photo portion at center bottom is a torn piece from a photograph my friend Frieda gave me. It was taken in 1941 in Farmville, NY and Frieda has no idea what the picture is about, ergo, I got it and others. There was family in the middle of this laughing and balanced on a sled, but I took them out because I wanted the landscape front and center. The trees look like something out of Bruegel but I made the snow whiter with paint. This part is a past, documented in chemicals, but it stands for today in January: wicked cold and snowy even if it's really somebody else's winter 60 years gone. Let's just say the temperature was 0, it's possible!
Starting with just the hem of my great-grandmother's wedding portrait dress, I'll be exploring the pieces and parts of a set of 6 collages. Admittedly, it is difficult to imagine there's a wedding dress anywhere in this work, but the hem is at top and center. My father gave me the cabinet card to scan and then I altered the dress and colored it red as an example of selective color for my digital photo class. I'm not certain she would approve of the color but we all change what we see, so I have an excuse. I was thinking how formal this photo was, it was a statement confirming their nuptials not unlike Arnolfini's wedding portrait, fast forwarded by 400 years and technology, of course.
That egg is way too early I'm thinking. Another of the quick collages. I'm starting something a bit different on Monday, since my old journals make me blush with embarrassment and the amount of collage I'm storing is likely to topple over and bury me, I'm starting a new variety of both. Part of what I'll be doing will be here in the blog. My ideas keep morphing, but so far, I plan sets of visuals and will be writing about a single part of them per post. We'll see where it goes, with any luck one idea will lead to another......
....frogs watching a trumpet flower very carefully. This was part of a batch of very quick collages I did in December that are finally showing up here. Only because what I'm working on just now is not ready for prime-time. Frogs and flowers are but mere memories on a January night when the temp hits 8 degrees as it now is. We have not been able to catch a break on winter this year, it's been as cold as in the olden days of yore, which was a while ago. Good weather to hole up in the studio and glue!
And this is Bertha's (previous entry) husband Parker who I have very fuzzy memories of, he died in the 50s. I did make a stamp of him once from a photo in which he is sitting on an enormous pig, so he must have had a sense of humor. We don't know much about his parents because they were so desperately poor they had to adopt him out to another family. 100 years ago, that was the social safety net.
In other news, I've decided to stop making cards after (slightly) reorganizing my studio. I'm going to make books instead even though I have an approach/avoidance issue with writing. It will be a penance for all the self-indulgence in my old and soon to be discarded journals! The new year is working on me it seems, I'm either finishing or discarding the old and making new plans.....
This is my great-grandmother on my father's side, Bertha. Here, she looks very formidable but the thing I remember most about her was that she always wore a little lace cap in the shape of a bonnet on the back of her head like the Menonite ladies. Though as far as I know, she was Brethren and I don't know if the cap was a thing the Brethren ladies all wore, or if it was just her personal statement. Perhaps that's why the shell seemed to fit nicely on her head. I couldn't pass up giving her husband Parker a card of his own too....that's for tomorrow.