Hello and welcome to Blue House Studio's blog. Keep up to date on the goings on in my world of art and teaching! Also check out my art and photography that will be posted often!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Grandma's Necklace

I have been wanting to blog all day long, but getting ready for the Digital Scrapbooking Class that I taught tonight at the community college kept me busy all day.  This weekend I took my SOOC, Now to Wow photos as well as my MCP Project 52 photos all before 9 am Saturday morning.  What great light!  I processed the From the Jewelry Box photos all Saturday afternoon while Monkey slept.  It was fun!  I love processing photos.  I use both Coffeeshop Blog actions as well as All in the Details Actions from MCP.  They work so well.  Of course it did create a bit of banding which I didn't realize until today when I was look at them large, but than again, I was looking at 5x7 photos HUGE!  

So lets get to the story behind these photos, because I love photos that have stories!  Now I could tell you tons of stories about my Great Grandma and Grandpa Grady (see why we always had corned beef and cabbage). How they came to Iowa, how my Great Grandpa was so proud to have sold moonshine to Boonie and Clyde.  But this story is about my memories.  

My great grandma's name was Amy, she had 10 children so close together they would sleep in dresser drawers because they didn't have any room in cribs for them.  She was a southern belle, a homemaker, a lady, and best of all a quilter.  She and my great grandfather came to Iowa with literally no money.  They made a life in Iowa from the ground up.  Although she passed away when I was in 3rd grade I still remember her quite well.  I remember her home in Gillmore City.  I remember the light in her narrow kitchen that was so bright, it was a stark contrast from the dark cupboards.  The whole house was like that, an artist light; perfect.  That kitchen produced the best smell in the world.......homemade bread.   Whenever I smell bread I think of great grandma's house.  I remember the stained glass window at the top of the stairs we couldn't climb and the landing that we would play on and read the old school books by grandma had gotten to teach my great grandpa how to read, my mom has those books and my sisters and I played school with them for years.  I remember her smile and her wrinkled, lady-like hands.  They were so graceful even in her old age.    Even then I was a visual kid.

Now, she didn't teach me to quilt, but she did teach my grandma how to quilt. Who in return made a quilt with me every year I was in 4-H, starting at age 9, the summer after grandma passed away.  Quilting has been a part of my life for so long and I love to do it.  It is a part of my art as well, not just in the themes, but in composition as well.  

Last year I painted a portrait of Amy and Dennis's grandfather, Fred, who was 2nd generation church decorator, which Dennis now does.  We were both so connected to them that I wanted a painting that tied the two of them together.  The photo is of her and a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, all hand pieces together, which now covers my grandmother's bed and will someday cover mine.  It turned out exactly the way I wanted it to and that is the painting that is behind grandma's necklace.  

As for the necklace in the photo, don't remember if it was Grandma Amy's or Grandma Polly's necklace, but grandma gave it too me and I keep in the the night stand next to my bed.  The genuine stones cost $6 originally, the price tag was still in the box.  I don't wear it, pink isn't my color, but it ties me to my past, with out her and my grandma I don't believe I would be the artist and teacher I am today.

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