Tuesday, March 21, 2017

T Stands for Art Challenge - Day 5

My calligraphy teacher, mentor, and friend, Callinana, invited me to participate in the Five Day Art Challenge meme on Facebook.


This piece comes from my 2011 art journal. It is my favorite journal page even though it was done at a very difficult time in my life. There are times when you have to go through the motions, even though you know what the outcome will be. From Harry Chapin's song Dance Band on the Titanic: "I'm in the dance band on the Titanic. Sing Nearer My God to Thee. The iceberg's off the starboard bow. Won't you dance with me?"

If you're not familiar with Harry Chapin or his music, you can have a listen.



Acrylics with glazes, Zig Painty, Dr. Ph. Martin's Spectralite Silver and whatever pen hit my hand first. A Gillotte 1068A, I think.

Today is the last day of the art challenge. I'm supposed to challenge other people by name to play along. Not everyone likes the memes, but if you're looking for a blog idea, you'll have 5 days of blogging done toot sweet. You can always post to Facebook, too.

And today is also Tea day. While I could show you the mug of cold tea sitting near me as I blog, that would be boring. Instead, a photo of these grande dames I found in my parents' attic when I had to clean our their house and get it ready for sale. There must have been at least one silver tea service on the Titanic.


Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang are up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Art Challenge - Day 4

My calligraphy teacher, mentor, and friend, Callinana, invited me to participate in the Five Day Art Challenge meme on Facebook.

Another piece from the Way Back machine from 1995 or '96. When The Eldest was born, I designed a guardian angel prayer for her room using a cross-stitched angel pattern I found.  I thought I would do the piece in calligraphy for The Young One's room.

This piece is one of the very first pieces I did as a fledgling. It's one of the few pieces I did as a beginner that doesn't make me cringe when I look at it. I was proud of this piece and still am. I can see the progress I have made on my calligraphic journey. Do you look back with pride at pieces you did when you were first starting out on your art journey?

And please pop over to my friend, A's new blog, Artful Journey, and welcome her to the blogosphere.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Art Challenge - Day 3

My calligraphy teacher, mentor, and friend, Callinana, invited me to participate in the Five Day Art Challenge meme on Facebook.

You've heard of NanoWriMo? National November Write a Novel in a Month? This piece from November 2012 is from NanoJouMo, National Journal Page in a Month.

I heard we're supposed to get some more snow this weekend. Since I'm sick of the white stuff, thought this would be an appropriate choice. So far, the weather dudes are saying this storm will go further south of us and we won't get any snow. I hope they're right.

Mixed media collage. I did a similar page last year (2011) for a mixed media class recycling your own artwork. I even used the paper towels I used to blot soupy spots on the previous journal pages.  I'm happier with this incarnation.

"Dear God, If it must snow, can it snow chocolate instead?"


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Art Challenge - Day 2

My calligraphy teacher, mentor, and friend, Callinana, invited me to participate in the Five Day Art Challenge meme on Facebook. Yesterday, was Day 1.

 I thought I'd flourish two birds with one pen so to speak since I cross-post my blog to Facebook. Why waste an opportunity for blog posts? (-;

This piece was done in July 2011 as the title page for a notebook where I scribbled quotes for potential calligraphic fodder.

One of my favorite quotes, supposedly attributed to Michelangelo, Ancora imparo, "I'm still learning." Apropos on many levels. Skills, life lessons.

Acrylic, Ziller Winter White ink, whatever pen point I grabbed first (either Nikko G or Gillotte 1068A)

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. So glad Friday's snow was just a nuisance and didn't prevent me from running errands

2. A sent me this funny St. Patrick's Day card because I'm honorary Irish, love cats, and bad puns,

3. The storm wasn't as bad as predicted. Everyone was safe at home, and we enjoyed Pi Day

4. Went to the town hall to pay a late excise tax bill. Town clerk didn't charge me interest or a penalty fee.

5. An Amazon order was delivered on Sunday!

And today would have been my dad's 98th birthday. Because his birthday was on St. Patrick's Day, Dad considered himself more Irish than the Irish. Buon Compleanno, Padrone!

How was your week?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passed away. They were his attempt to tell the family history. He was in his late 80s or early 90s when he wrote them. Today's chapter:

My mother had two sisters and two brothers, and a sister in Italy.

Zia [ed: aunt] Lucia was the oldest, Zia Filomena was the youngest. Both women were lookers. Zia Philomena was on the husky side and lived a few doors down from us. When she came to America she lived with my mother. Her complexion was peaches and cream. She stayed with us until she married.

Zia Lucia was tall and rather beautiful. Although the oldest, when asked who was the oldest of the women, she would say Fanne [ed: Dad's mother] or Filomena. She had two sons and five daughters.

Carmen was the oldest of the two brothers. Nedio or Ned was the younger of the two. [ed: I have another brother: Earnest found on the 1930 census]

There was Bette and Phyllis the oldest and Mary. The others [ed: names] escape me [ed: Louise, Helen, Mary, Dorothy, and Elizabeth]

Of the two brothers [ed: Dad's maternal uncles] Uncle Vincent was the elder of the two. Uncle Louie, the younger. [ed: According to the records I have found, Uncle Louie was the elder born in 1882 and Uncle Vincent was the younger, born in 1894] Both were barbers and Uncle Vincent was the ambitious one. He decided to become a lawyer and built a nice business. He made a reputation for himself. He also played the violin and taught students.And at some point he became the owner of a genuine Stradivarius violin which cost him $10,000 at the time. It came with expert acknowledgment and papers. He also had a nice singing voice and went to the Conservatory [ed: Boston Conservatory] for lessons. He went for the full course and was an alumni and later became its president.

Uncle Louie was a wonderful man. The type that everyone would like. I remember when he lived in Boston that he would come to visit and he would bring his tools and give me and my brother, Mario, haircuts.

He married but his wife did not seem to fit in the family. She was somewhat aloof and they had two children. Cousin Louie and a brother who would need care all his life as he had physical and mental disabilities. And the mother was blamed for this.

Uncle Louie moved to a small town in New Jersey. It was surrounded by farms. He opened a barber shop and did well even during The Depression. He also developed a custom. The big day in this town was Saturday and since it was surrounded by farms, the farmer came to town on Saturdays to buy and stock up on things they needed.

Uncle Louie would invite the last customer whose hair he cut and his family to have dinner with his [ed: Uncle Louie's] family.

He also had a nice voice. And from a story my cousin Louie told me, it must have been a beautiful voice.

On a Fourth of July evening, he [ed: Uncle Louie] had a cookout with his friends. He borrowed a portable amplifier from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The party broke up about midnight. Uncle was feeling good and also tired. Forgot that the amplifier was still on, he began singing Italian songs and arias. He continued to do so until two or three in the morning.

Later it turned out that he kept the town people awake until he stopped. Yet no one called the house and told him to shut up or send the police to tell him to call it quits.

On the next business day, many townspeople went to the barber shop to thank him for the concert he gave them. While he was being complimented, on the one hand, he was apologizing and embarrassed on the other.