I spent several days last week making a piece of memory art for my friend Betsy. I had so much fun making this that I decided to offer them on my website. I thought I'd share the process with you cuz I actually remembered to take some photos (surprise!).
I start with the keepsakes & photos you provide,
then layer on elements &; a little texture,
color & more elements,
more texture & dimension, more color, more elements,
He shattered it and then helped me put it back together again.
It was thirty years ago tonight that Nathan came into my life and it hasn't been the same since. And I count that as a VERY good thing.
You see, I was single & selfish. I had no clue I was even selfish. My parents lived five hours away. I had married at 20 & divorced at 22. My brother and I had been roommates but I had just moved into an apartment on my own. I only had myself to care for & about so it didn't seem selfish. I worked out a couple hours every evening (body building) then I went to my favorite bar, slept, got up & went to my good paying, tolerable job; repeat. I drank entirely too much and all the men I dated were from "my" bar.
My life wasn't unsatisfactory to me but it was meaningless.
And then, one night, my contraceptive failed and somehow I KNEW the next day that I was pregnant. Back then you had to wait a couple of weeks to take a pregnancy test at the doctor's office.
So I waited.
If you've been there or ever had a scare & thought you might be there, you know all the things that ran through my head. Yet I knew from the onset that I would have this baby. And that I would have to change some things in my life.
I just had no idea how many things.
Flash forward to THAT day. The time exactly 30 years ago now when I'd been having minute-and-a-half contractions for two hours already. My mother was there. My best friend was there. But no one else. You see, when you're living a shallow life only for yourself, you find yourself very much alone in times of need.
12 more hours of hard labor & a million expletives later, I met Nathan. As he lay in the warming bassinet getting cleaned up, he just stared at me.
And that was it.
I was a goner.
I was hooked forever and, whether he knows it or not, he is still somehow holding my heart in his hand.
And I realized over-night how much my mother knew and what I had put her through. I like to say her intelligence tripled that night but we all know that it was just my awareness of motherhood that changed. You see, despite my unwitting selfishness, my parents were ALWAYS there for me. I knew that moment for the first time that I had the best parents on the planet. And that I wanted to be that kind of Mom.
Nathan and I lived with my folks until he was two and then we moved back to Dallas where I got to experience the joys & pains of single motherhood. I remarried. I had a beautiful daughter who also manages to hold my heart in her hand. I divorced. I remarried (you can read all about that story here).
But I never overcame what happened to me 30 years ago.
Nor do I want to.
You see, Nathan was born that day.
And in addition, a mother was born.
And she is much better off than she was before - despite the fact that her heart has to live now in two different places with her children.
I thank God daily that I had my kids.
That He broke into my life and reduced (unfortunately, not removed LOL) the selfishness and replaced it with a love that I could not even fathom before.
My friend Kelley Walker over at One January Day loves her printing plate from Gelli Arts so much that she teaches classes. I couldn't take them cuz of tax season so last week when I was being super lazy, I mean, recovering, I watched a bunch of videos on their site and decided I absolutely had to have one. So yesterday I went to My Heart's Fancy and bought one. Here are some results.
The above were made using a stencil from Tattered Angels - the first one was with the stencil on top of the paint on the plate printed on a magazine page, the second was printed on a map after the stencil was pulled from the plate, and on the third one I brayered the painted stencil on top of another print (pink paint that had been stamped into).
But my favorites are what Kelley calls Messy Seconds (watch her video) and what Gelli Arts call Plan B.
love, love, love the grungy look
like doors with tons of layers of paint wearing off - but with subtle patterns in them
Naturally, there's a mess to clean up. But everything fun is messy.
Not sure what I'll do with these little gems. Art journal pages (ah yes, something else I haven't done in forever) or parts of a collage or maybe the handmade books we're making in art group.
But I do know I'll be pulling this out again. And again.
While I'm waiting for wax to melt in the studio and for the temperature to warm-up so I can go outside to do some sanding and for paint to dry, I thought I'd share a little story about my sweet husband, Patrick with you.
When we built the house we owned last, we included my first studio which I absolutely LOVED.
One day Patrick came home from work to see every horizontal surface covered with plates that I had collaged for a Christmas artisan fair. And he said "I thought when we built you a studio, this wouldn't happen any more." Well, of course, I just laughed and said something about that wasn't in a contract, was it?
Art projects just expand to fill the space alotted and then they overflow. Or maybe explode is a better word for it. I am currently working on some large pieces that just don't fit anywhere but where we should do our eating. But this is "picked up" -- I wish I'd taken the pictures a few days ago when one of the sofas and the ottoman were covered too.
(oh, there's not a picture of the bar becuz it's covered in Halloween decorations, not art projects -- I took them down but I never got them boxed up LOL)