Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween *Murder *Mystery

*You decide*

Promised you a story and what better day to report than on Halloween 2012?

Great Grandmother Eunice (Nicey) Anderson's home as it looked 1977. Secret room behind trees.

Back in the hills of Western Virginia - circa 1920/30's - many tales were echoed back and forth between the mountains. These stories were a way for the locals to get information as well as entertainment since most homes did not have electricity or even running water. 
My Great Grandmother Eunice (Nicey) Anderson was a true mountain woman.
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Strong willed but with always a twinkle in her eye, you were drawn to her but intimidated at the same time.
There was one room in her home no one was allowed to enter. No one did. Naturally this became a contender for whoppers as stories were whispered about as to why she would keep this room private.
This is the story I heard at a very impressionable age:

Great grandpa Morgan (Nicey's husband, whom she has born nine children with) had been in a 'bar fight' and crawled all the way up the mountain while full of gunshot wounds. Mountain women were sometimes as apt to be able to remove bullets as any of the horse and buggy country doctors around there. She got him into their feather bed and story goes she tried to remove them but there were too many and he began to beg her to finish him off. No 911, no hospital, no help before it would be too late. I was told that she refused at first but with his continued moaning and begging for mercy and her conviction that no living thing should have to suffer, she slit his throat with her kitchen knife and held him softly until he bled out there on the bed. The same bed that was still in the secret room until the day she died. 
These were Nicey's garden shoes and fork still on the porch in 1977. She died in her garden  Dec. 16th, 1967.

O.K. Hard to believe. But I did for years. It was a very hushed tale and I felt privileged, if not horrified, to know the story and never asked questions as this happened way before I came along. She was left to raise 9 children and had a very hard way of life - who was I to inquire?

Woodstove main source of heat or to brew a mean pot of coffee.

Brother Rod on Nicey's front porch 1977. The house was torn  down shortly after this photo was taken.

Great Grandpa's Obit

Granny Julies's cement well for her water pump and where she did  the laundry once a week.

About six months ago my niece posted this on Facebook:
Morgan T Anderson the Dickenson Star

Now this explains what really happened - at least to sheriff's and court records. It chills me to know the man who shot my great grandfather could be alive and well and maybe living near us. But this still does not explain what happened so long ago in the cold dark night in the mountains in that feather bed.

Happy Haunting!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Old Slides and Negatives and Family History...

Oh, the things I have discovered that I can do with my iPad and new HTC Sense with its cool digital camera. I have thousands of old slides and negatives that I have put off purchasing a slide/neg scanner for but now I do not have to! You can also use a light table but the iPad acts like one with a little app called Hello Photo which works quite well with my HTC cell phone camera.

This is a slide strip of my daughter Julie that is over 25 years old.

This is cropped, tweaked and enhanced. Not very good for making prints straight on but might make a nice transfer and other mixed media. 

Since most of the negatives I have were large, I used my Light Tracer table for these. I grouped them together and took the photo with my phone camera.

This was a photo negative that I cropped out of the group.

This is what I got after inverting image in Photoshop:

Again, images are not crystal pristine but I am loving what you can create even with the negatives themselves!
In my very next post (maybe later today) I will show how and why I got involved in going through my stacks of slides in the first place.
Hint: It involves the murder of a family member and is a spooky read for this time of the year! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Summer Shadows

Woke up this morning to a cool 68 degree clear blue sky day. Summer is officially over in the desert. 
I have a thing for shadows. Big or small, on concrete, wood, snow or water...

Reflection (a palindromic poem)

Still waters, deep, 
surface like glass reflecting green above; 
and below are trees, sky, 
shadows, leaves, sunlight, 
moving and motionless.
Here silent images shimmer now, 
and - air breathing suddenly - break.
Unbidden feelings confuse
reality and fantasy.
Which is which? 
Fantasy and reality confuse; 
feelings unbidden break, suddenly breathing air; 
and now shimmer images, 
silent here, motionless
and moving....
(sunlight leaves shadows) .
Sky, trees are
below - and above -
green, reflecting, glass-like surface.
Deep waters, still. 
Paul Hansford

I say goodbye to summer shadows...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Puddles everywhere...

This is what we have seen in our sky the past two days:

These led to these:

Which led to today, a day of this:

Yes, it is Monsoon Season here until the end of September

A perfect day to do this:

Also a good day to make a little video showing the first one I made from inspiration in this online class:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rewinding, Recycling and Rebounding...

The WSOP is over, all the out of town guests back home and although it is still in the 100's here I can feel fall right around the corner - maybe it is the change in the light. 
Today is my birthday - a big one - I am now officially enrolled in Medicare. For the week leading up to today I have spent in my art cubicle reflecting and making A Remains of the Day Journal because somehow it just seemed fitting even though there are a zillion things I want to do. I like the words Remains of the Day, Recycled, Re-purposed and Rebound. It fits, somehow it just fits me right now.

I am feeling the Circle of Life and grateful for mine...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Studio Tips Thursday

Love this stuff! If you have baggies or files of clipped snippets you want to use for collage but get so frustrated digging through your stash when in the heat of inspiration then this tip is for you.
-Get yourself some Press'nSeal.
-Dump out file.
-Categorize and slap your stuff onto sticky side.
-Decide if some stuff should be tossed (egads!)
-Once mostly covered they can lay on top of each other and the cling only sticks to itself here and there.
-Be amazed at the stash you have collected over the years.
-Use clipboard to hold and for easy viewing and storing.
Took about 2.5 hours to assemble 12 sheets but it used to take me that long to search through a couple gallon sized plastic bags!

Get out your stamp pads and a rubber stamp - stamp on sticky side - turn over and burnish to newsprint - sew around image (did not gum up the needle) - and viola! You have a transfer decal that you can glue or paint on that will not bleed. This reverses the image however so keep that in mind.

Other uses for cling wrap?
-Quick and easy seal for lost bottle caps.
-Excellent for palettes with raised edges-keeps your paint wet for days.
-It is like having a sheet of re-positional glue - so great for mocking up layouts. Sometimes I scan these mock-ups and print them for use in other ways.
-Dust cover for keyboards and other small electronics.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dreaming Away

Ah, yes, midnight swims are the very best. Especially after a long day in front of the computer organizing photoshop and picture files long overdue. Put my Epson Workforce through a workout as well and made me proud. Will show you soon. Right now its lovely talking to you on my iPad, on my patio right after a refreshing dip in the pool. Wish you were here...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Torn Between Two Lovers

Acting like a fool....

Something I may not have told you before: I am a fool for poker. Specifically tournament no-limit hold-em poker. It gets in the way sometimes of my art and quilting time. Especially this time of the year when the WSOP is in full gear down at the Rio. Fourteen minutes (I counted) from my front door. Seems like I am on the computer more than ever trying to win a satellite to the big games. So in between games I try to squeeze in some Photoshop time so that when things get back to normal (hummm, not sure what THAT is) I will have a few more techniques in my repertoire.

I am using the clipping mask tools with a free mask from Coffee Shop a swell site for great tutorials, frames and masks. Thank you Coffee Shop. My great new Quirky Handpainted Labels from Mary Ann Moss and my brand new BAMBOO that I love.

This is as addicting as the I-pad and Instagram, each one gives me ideas for yet another. 

I ask you - is it wrong to have two lovers?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What would you do?

When you are in Santa Fe and you e-mail an artist you only know from her website that lives here and she invites you to her studio, what would you do? Of course you would!

I so enjoyed and appreciated the visit with Darlene Olivia McElroy. Her home and studio are just as warm, colorful and inviting as she is. There was a huge gold leafed canvas in progress on her easel, pieces in various stages along the walls, shelves to hold supplies and books and a huge work table in the center of the studio. After we talked about art, life, dogs, galleries and ephemera we toured the rest of her home which is a work of art on its own. There is an hand carved mantle from India, a double parasol with tassels over an easy chair (so cool), a sectional with a smorgasbord of colorful pillows. Looking out the French doors to the patio were her four- yes, 4, beautiful dogs. Behind them a vine covered outdoor eating area with a chandelier over a generous dining table. Has to be my favorite, though, is the tin roofed gypsy gazebo where an artist can escape to read, nap and dream.

Thank you Darlene for making my visit a memorial one. She is represented at La Posada gallery right here in Santa Fe. That is where I am off to this morning!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday in Santa Fe

We have arrived at our destination as the accommodations are great as expected. Love the ceilings in our little ranchero.

After setting up shop took a walk to the park in the center of the city. We watched the ballon man make animals for a little girl that giggled at his every move, saw bronze donkeys and cowboys, jewelry and art. That about did us in so we headed back and planned our get away for today. Heading up to Taos as we speak:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Road Trip!

Packed and ready and sweet talking to our cats Mr. and Mattie so they will not be too angry with us for leaving them for awhile. Hitting the old Rte. 66 highway bright and early in the morning.

This is where we will land after 10 hours of driving through Kingman, Flagstaff and the Continental Divide:

Exterior view


No pool at this site so to get our exercise we will be walking the 10 minutes to The Plaza where I hear there are plenty of restaurants, art galleries and museums. No tours for us this time, thank you very much. Just aimless wandering and exploring  - my cup 'o tea. I was shocked to see photos of Santa Fe covered in snow but I do not think we will encounter the white stuff except maybe at the Divide. Taking my I-Pad so will be doing updates on the road. Now back to final packing and cooing to the kitties.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Time and Place

Ok I am still working on setting up my new computer. Files to be moved, saved or discarded. Programs installed and set up. All the while keeping up with the normal attention everyday requires. So last night while doing my usual muti-tasking of tending to e-mails, watching dancing stars, reading Danny Gregory's Peanut on the I-Pad and playing Word with Friends with my mother, I screamed "enough"! So I ran to the studio, grabbed a sketchbook and stuff, went back to my computer and did these in the dark while still watching DWTS.

We are headed to Santa Fe this Friday for a blissful week without computers (well, just the 'pad' - for GPS, you know) where my normal everyday activities will be art galleries, museums, exploring and sketching without so many distractions.