Thursday, May 26, 2011

Goodbyes and Surprises....

Kyle was home for a little less than a week, but fortunately, part of that time fell over the weekend!

He spent time with us, his brothers, his friends and his dog, Wonka.

We ate well. We had some good laughs. We heard some good stories.

Then the time came for him to depart. Great! Here come the tears and red, swollen eyes. I can't help it! I try to think of things to distract me, like bugs, cleaning the bathroom, traffic, etc., but the dang emotions ALWAYS win!!!

Even Wonka knew he was leaving and wanted to go....WONKA NEVER gets in a car by himself...He knew....

I can keep it together, for the most part, during the first hug and good-byes, but it's always that SECOND and later rounds of hugs that get me, cause I know I'm running out of time!!!

Well, I cried. He welled up. ***GEEZ, WHEEZ! I'm welling up again!!! He's been gone for TWO days. Two days!

That's only the beginning of a LONG, LONG, LONG separation.

ONE YEAR in Korea.

Boot camp was long.... 2 months.

AIT training was longer... 4 months.

ONE YEAR!!! That will feel like forever!!!

EVEN more so, since he won't be coming home AT ALL during that time.

In the last hour before taking him to the airport, I asked him if there was anything he needed or wanted. He said, "Salt Water Taffy!"

We were siting outside of Carl's Jr. eating a quick bite in his car (yeah, that's just how we roll!) and I racked my brain...where to find Salt Water Taffy - FAST???

Hmmmm....I called Harry and David down the street and they had it! Score!!!

A mixed bag of taffy - not exactly sure how many would be black licorice or banana, as he prefers - but I got him a good sized bag and three bags of assorted licorice. That should keep him in candy snacks until he hits Korea...LOL


For balance, yesterday, I checked the mail and Somerset Studio - Gallery magazine was there!!! Yaa HOO.....

My House 13 was there, but the big surprise came when on page 32 ... SO was my Life of Charlotte - 1688 canvas!!!

I hadn't expected that.

I actually had to do a double-take.

My eyes recognized it, but my brain was clearly lagging behind a bit.

This photo is a bit blurry, and for that I apologize, but my phone, sometimes has a mind of its own.

I originally had submitted it for their FEARLESS call for art. Here is the article I submitted, to explain the meaning behind the art....

Title: The Life of Charlotte - 1688

Category: Fearless Challenge


When I think long and hard about the word Fearless, I begin to wonder if any of us truly are?

I am a woman who is brave, stubborn, headstrong and capable of overcoming many obstacles, but does that make me fearless?

Recently, I came across this page in an Outline of Literature journal. It outlines author’s Jean de La Bruyere’s circa 1688 book, Characters, poignant reference on women – a woman, much like my imagined dear Charlotte. Using phrases like “wishes she were a man”, “women are ignorant”, and “sluggishness of their minds”, really moved me. I found myself reflecting on how much has changed over the years and how thankful I am to the many generations of women before me that were truly fearless enough to have their voices heard. They overcame condemnation, defeat, and prejudice enabling me to explore who I am as a wife, a mother, a business partner, a sister, a friend, a daughter. Ever changing. Always dreaming. Continually moving forward on my life’s journey, while still looking back...

I have fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of inadequacy.

Will I be judged by what I am wearing? Or by the fancy label I am not wearing? Where I live or how I live? Will others have negative opinions of my art? The answer is yes, but I will never have to fear being a woman in 1688.


Over the last few years, I have created numerous keepsake canvases with photos of my family. This, The Life of Charlotte, is the first art canvas I have created. Inspired first by the reference text, I envisioned an imaginary life of a woman named Charlotte living in the year 1688. I added a Memoirs element to further my imagination – I wonder what she would have written in her life journal?

Usually, I paint my canvases with acrylic paint. This time, however, I experimented with a new technique – no paint at all. Instead, I used a moss green pigment cat’s eye ink pad and walnut wash dauber. I lightly dragged the moss pad over the surface, daubing the edges of the pad in places, creating oval markings. Next, I added more to the edges to darken them. After that was dry, I used the walnut dauber to add another layer – light on the surface, darker on the edges – leaving some of the white canvas to show through. This gave the illusion of multiple colors.

When that was dry, I used matte finish Mod Podge on the surface. Using a spool of naturally aged vintage thread, I wrapped and tied the edges like a gift box. Then I added a scrap of cotton lace vertically. The edges of image and the text were inked using the moss ink pad. Both were layered and Mod Podged directly to the canvas. I used a vintage word stamp and a date stamp – rolling a 16 and then an 88 – on a scrap of coordinating paper layered onto a scrap of chipboard. A tiny button was added to the centers of the paper flowers and in a vertical row underneath the vintage tag element.

Using the same moss ink, I inked a raw wood clothespin, wrapped the top with thread and tied on a miniature paperclip. Lastly, I added The Life of Charlotte, cut from the same book. The authors name was added to the bottom side of the canvas. I enjoy clipping text and images from old books, though not original antiques, and creating my own story.


Hopemore Studio said...

I love that your dog's name is Wonka and that your son asked for salt water taffy( a personal fave of mine too)

I totally understand that you cry every time you think of your darling son. Have you tried Skype? It is really helping my mom pass the time while my brother is in Afghanistan. Just to be able to see him once a month or so really puts her heart at ease.

Your Life of Charlotte is beautiful, so glad it made it's way in the issue!


Sarah, Three Boys said...

Big hug to you and your family for the next year:( But how proud you must be!!

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