Family-themed art is a look into one's living room; it depicts celebration, crises, and the quiet moments of familial interactions.
There is a wall in my daughter's bedroom that is dedicated to the alphabet, but there are no letters. Instead, over the last two years embroidery hoops ranging in size from 4" to 12" have been added one by one to the wall. For the letter 'A', my daughter wanted an astronaut embroidered in pinks and blues. The letter 'B' were blue butterflies on a field of newsprint.
I can proudly say that I have been hijacking my mom’s orange handled scissors since I was eight years old. She kept them hung up high where we children couldn't reach them and they would stare down at me from the wall they hung on, glistening with all their sharpness. She kept it with the other things that stayed out of our reach, like the tiny pen shaped screwdriver, bills that needed attention, and other things we weren’t allowed to touch. She made it known to us that these were her good scissors and we couldn’t use them without her permission. Whenever we did activities, we got the blunt tipped, rounded scissors that could barely cut paper, they were a bright blue, fashioned in plastic and had to be held at a certain angle for any sort of cutting power. When we got older, we were allowed to use an old pair of semi rusted black handled metal cutting shears. And then finally, one summer, we got permission to use those orange handled scissors.
Buried, Forgotten, Remembered
I grew up attending elegant symphonies, wearing my nicest Spanish dress with the black lace, meeting the orchestra members after the show. I awkwardly shake their hands and admire how black their dresses are compared to my faded Spanish lace. They’re playing my great-great-grandfathers music—a famous composer from Switzerland. As a Jew, he fled his country during the war and came to the United States. Agate Beach, Oregon in fact. I was raised not too far from where my great-great-grandfather wrote some of his most prolific pieces. I spent my most formative years in a house filled with photos taken by my great-aunt, a close friend of Frida Kahlo who took many of the most personal snapshots of Kahlo in existence. Another great-aunt, who my mother was named after, was one of the founders of the Lute Society of America in the 70’s. During a violin class, it is noted she told Albert Einstein off for not being able to count to the rhythm properly.
Love for the generations
It started out innocently enough. What could possibly go awry on a road trip? Looking back, it all began with that one simple question from a friend -- “I want to check out this cool fabric store. Want to come with me?” And down the rabbit hole I went. From that one trip, a good friendship became a great one. More stores, more fabrics, more thread and notions, bobbins and patterns. The choices are never-ending. And the colours. There is so much inspiration to be found in each store. And every designer challenges us to bring out the best in our attempts at duplicating the perfection displayed around the globe.
Creating Fun for the Whole Family
Kids love to play. Usually, rainy days curtail that fun quite a bit since we’re relegated to staying indoors. Not anymore! With this fun craft, I’ve created hours of fun for both myself and the kids. So, what’s this magical thing I did? Glad you asked.
Parties in Wonderland
My mom likes to tell the story of me as a toddler, proudly explaining my art. I had apparently used the entirety of a purple crayon, just filling the page. I named it “Real Purple” which was my favorite color through much of my childhood. She would display my artwork on the refrigerator, like most moms do. But she also framed a lot of it. I can recall vividly, the finger painting that hung high above the cabinets in the kitchen with the vaulted ceilings. It was matted, behind glass and hung with loving pride for all to see. My great uncle Seymour painted incredibly, using oil pastels. His art was also displayed around our home. In seeing my own artwork displayed, similar to his, I couldn’t help but feel like this meant I was also an artist. My mother always encouraged my creativity which is probably why an adult, I still enjoy drawing, painting, scrapbooking, bedazzling, singing, dancing and writing. Of course, I still enjoy purple. Now as a mother, I also love sharing my appreciation for arts and crafts. It is rewarding to show my children how you can make something incredible using just your mind and a few simple supplies. It is also quite beneficial to be able to make something rather than to buy it.
From Scraps to Happiness
Well. I sat with bits and pieces of all sorts of crafty off-cuts before me on the table. I fingered tiny beads and shells, ran my thumb over the smooth worn surface of a forest stream pebble, fiddled with the stem of a bark-less twig. Little left-overs from larger projects, each of these I loved, each one made me smile. Little glass bottles - nearly empty - filled a basket. Shiny, colourful variety all playing together here - surely, I asked, there must be something I can do with these?
Sleepy the Kangaroo
It was 5:30am on a Thursday morning and my 4 year old daughter, Imogen and my 2 year old son, Lincoln, were already bickering with each other about pretty much anything and everything. They’re not always like that, but when they are, THEY ARE.
This story that I’m about to tell you is still recounted as an amusing anecdote within my social circles. Though the main beats of the story are consistent, the level of hilarity derived from the tale differs from person to person. For me, on a personal level, it does bring a small modicum of enjoyment, though I cringe every time I relive it. My best friend called me his hero for this story, and I still think he considers this a true statement.
« Zahra means rose» she replied, as Elay scribbled away in his little black notebook. She was amazed by how quickly that reporter could write while staring at her in awe, without flinching. Frail with divine innocence, golden-eyed beauty Zahra - the disobedient one - had just turned sixteen. She was the eldest of four girls. Her mother would only think « good riddance » on her wedding day.
The Flag And The Fountain
“He called today.” June said, addressing the studio more so than her husband. She was not anxious for the man she adored to talk to his brother. “Did you tell him I’m not available, to try back in four years?”
I found it in the baby grand piano my grandmother’s ghost plays in my ex-stepfather’s mansion. A composition book. I’ve plucked it delicately from the strings and hammers beneath the lid - which I have never opened until now - and cradle its binding between my slender fingers. Flicking through each leaf of paper, I see row after row of five-lined staff. Crawling across it are hundreds of scribbled music notes. Spider-like in style, twining stems and irregular dots scratched from top down as a lightning bolt is to sea…There are ninety-six pages of this, I notice, peering at the little numbers dotting each bottom corner. And on the last page, the ninety-seventh, there’s a final line of staff, only two notes inked across it. An unfinished measure. A final bar of mystery.