Wannabe Art

A place where one old woman shares her daily ups and downs and her attempts at art with strangers and friends out in Internet land.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Penpal Postcards

I volunteer once a week in a third grade class in our area. I go in and spend the day. I am usually doing computer type stuff with the kids, Powerpoint, Word, Research on Internet, Photoshop etc. But today am going to be doing fabric postcards with them. They are penpals with a class in the North who last week had snow, and we are going to make Florida postcards to send them. Sounds a little cruel, they are cold and rather miserable, and we are experiencing lots of sun and even shorts and suntan lotion days. Told the kids maybe this would warm their penpals up...I decided not to bring in the featherweight machine...so everything will be fused and glued. Have pre cut everything so no rotary cutter...so today should be lots of fun. My only worry will be keeping fingers out of the way of the iron and keeping fusible off of the iron. Have my tube of iron cleaner in my bag of supplies.

Just back from a great day. Here are some pictures:

Here is a close up...of one of the cards.

Had two great volunters who did the ironing and 20 kids who had a great time creating great masterpieces. Next week we do the backs of the cards. the kids had so much fun that they asked for a direction sheet with all the supplies so that they can make cards at home.

Bama Research Reveals Famous Folks

Research on Miss Bama is done....traced her Family back to Scotland....it was like an FBI hunt...you find one family member, check that one out...gain a few hints and then using them move on to the next family member....I think that later on this summer will try doing a trace on my own family. What has been so great about Bama...is that she lived in my area and so places mentioned I am familiar with (I can actually get in my car and be there in less than five minutes)....have also met a lot of her "relatives" on line as we seem to be hanging out in the same search forums.

I decided to paint her face...but was unable to enlarge the fuzzy photo I had to really get a good close up...so I went searching for an older face that I could alter a little in Photoshop to be my Bama face....found what I was looking for and now my great great Auntie is looking back at me from my quilt. I really now am tied to Miss Bama. I was even able to use one of the hands of my Aunt to emphasize the age and hard work that Bama had experienced in her life. I remember that my Auntie never went out into the sun without a hat...she always said a lady didn't let her skin turn brown from the sun as it would turn to leather. (she might have been right...maybe all those suntans I had made my skin old and wrinkled and crusty, who knows?) Bama lived in the sun, so sorry Auntie I did turn your face into a rich brown tan.

I am at the point now of designing the backkground so that I can do at least five generations of her family "hidden" into the trees and the other background. Instead of trying to stitch them free motion...am going to letter them in with a stick pen so that they will look kind of old...picked up the walnut ink the other day. My problem is I have to ink in before sewing the piece in...that way if I make a mistake can redo it, plus I need a hard surface to write on and if I tried to do the writing on the quilted surface think my lettering would just squish out....that's my construction challenge at this point.

Another interesting thing happened in the searching of Miss Bama...after you go back so far the search engine is able to use the names and able to generate famous people that your person is related too...usually they are 7th cousins once removed type stuff. Miss Bama, who lived in the woods, worked with her hands, and did without for most of her life has some pretty famous folks in her closet...

Here are a few:

James A Garfield (6th Cousin 2 times removed)
Isaac Newton (2nd cousin 11 times removed)
Jimmy Hoffa (8th cousin)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (8th cousin 1 time removed)

Am hoping to maybe in the border write in some of her famous relatives...those I will do in free motion. Stay tune for more Miss Bama updates.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ms. Bama Love....I love You

I've been bit by the ancestry bug...not so much for myself but for some older pioneer women who lived their lives in the early days of Grayton Beach. I want to do an art quilt series on three of them that have captured my fancy. The first one that has captured my heart with her story is Bama Love. Doesn't the name just grab you...you know hearing that name, that this lady has a great story to tell. Born in Louisiana 1877 and died in 1961...she lived and saw a lot in her 84 years. She was married twice, the first time at age 16. Bama had four children, three which survived into adult hood. She was the medicine woman for the area, she also was the local midwife, and in her spare time she raised vegetables that she sold to the locals. Rumor has it that her husbands were buried in her garden after dying under strange circumstances and that her vegetables were some of the biggest and best in the area. Perhaps it was the fertilizer that she used? Again that is only rumor, (but so far I haven't been able to find any official death notices for these two guys...births yes...death no.) I even came across a photo of her in a book...it is fuzzy, but it shows that even with age she was a strong woman and was still doing and taking care of herself. I think it will be fun to tell her story via an art quilt.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


My small fiber art group decided to have a challenge. We each brought an article of clothing that we had to recycle into "our fabric. " The fabric was thrown on the table and each member cut out a chunk to take home and use. There were silks, cottons, rayons, sheers and even a piece of leather.

We also had to draw a theme from a bag as well as a "found object." These had to be combined with our unusual fabric choices into a piece. We decided that we could make our piece journal size or a postcard size. We had one month to complete our piece.

I drew the theme "lightness" and my found object was a seed pod which was about the size of a walnut. I had to alter the pod as it needed a flat surface so that it could sit on the art quilt correctly and also had to have holes drilled into it so it could be attached.

After some thought...I chose my topic, and my name A LIGHT BITE IN THE SUNLIGHT.
Here are some pictures: