2 Mary With Love

I tell people that I am not interested in scrapbooking and yet I seem to do a whole lot of "scrapbooking"!!! I have seen awesome ideas from other paper/fabric artists where they have used clever ways to create their own way of preserving special memories. I have made previous posts of papersack books, fabric books, and boxes with "card" inserts that I have made and the list continues on. I have in my possession of "someday" stuff, a dress from the 1920's that I am going to turn into a modern twist of a scrapbook.

This is my second altered cigar box and this was made for my sister, Mary. I took a class in St. Charles, Missouri a few years ago where I learned all kinds of techniques. The techniques were so simple and yet it made my ponder as to "why didn't I think of that?"!! What I remember most was the fun I had in the creating process and it was the same this time around

Just so you know and you won't panic, no originals were harmed in the making of this box! I have favorite photos that I use over and over and some new ones that found their home on these pages.

What is most precious to me is the photo of my brother-in-law, Len, who passed away suddenly and is so very dearly missed. He was the love of my sister, Mary. Whenever I am making any kind of "scrapbooking" album, his photo finds its way onto the page and the quote of "whenever possible, choose adventure". That pretty much sums up the beyond amazing man he was.  

Len traveled all over the world in his business, loved people and new experiences!
The group of women include my Dad's mother and sisters.  I did not get to know them very well as they were scattered throughout Iowa - one in NYC and most had huge families themselves.  The youngest Aunt was my god mother and I only remember seeing her a few times.  However, Mary knew all of them quite well as she was the first born in our family.
Isn't amazing just how large families were!  My dad was the "middle" child of a family of eleven and my grandfather is on the far left.  His brother, Leo had fourteen children, Hugo had ten, and we had eight.  I lost count of cousins after sixty-three!
I love this school photo of my mom.  I have used this particular picture in a lot of my artwork as the size is perfect.  I like using my rubber stamp quotes when I use photos too.
Again, this is another one of those photos that is easy to use in art projects.  The baby is my mom.
I remember the driving segment of this trip because to me it took "forever" to arrive to our destination.  I also remember quite well that I was allowed to stand on the "hump" in the middle of the car's floor in the back seat to get a better view of the road.  You can't do any of that anymore for sure!

There are still two brothers that haven't been born yet.  I am not sure how old I am in this photo, perhaps around five years old.  My dad must have been taking the photo because he is not in it.

Aunt Lucille was one of my sister's favorite Aunts. (I am not 100% certain, but I think she had ten children)   She was married to Sam who worked for the US government and we had fun of saying that Uncle Sam worked for Uncle Sam!
This photo was one that I had not seen before and I am so glad that the photo was marked with the year and the activity or I would not have known.  This is the first time I have used this image and already I know I will use it a lot.  I can not believe how young my dad looks!
I think my grandmother and mom looked a lot alike.  I colored the b/w photo in the background.  I do not remember my mother's father as he passed away when he was 52 years old.
Here is another photo that gets placed in my artwork numerous times.  Mom and dad were actually on a double date with his brother Leo and his future wife.  Both were farmers living in Iowa.
The photo is my dad's parents celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary.  I remember my grandmother and remember most about her is the amount of ready food that was available in her kitchen and always feeding us well.  It wasn't until adulthood that I understood why.  With eleven children, I guess it was natural to have a whole "grocery store" of baked goods in your kitchen to eat.  She also taught my sister how to crochet and knit when she was little.  The memory that is most present for me about my grandfather is how he appeared one day for a "visit" to our farm and was making the rounds to all his children.  What was amazing was that he was way past 80 when he did this and driving an antique car!
Chuck is my mom's brother.  His wife Dorothy was the most amazing woman I have ever known.  I think she looks a bit like Gina Davis.  They had a farm about fourteen miles from ours and we visited each other at least once a month and always on a Sunday!  I would have to say that everyone in our family absolutely adored them!  (This is their wedding photo)
It was a wonderful surprise to find this glossy black and white photo of mom.  I think it was taken for a farm magazine as a promotion for updated appliances.  We never had a dishwasher until all the kids left home and then mom got a dishwasher.  The joke in our house was that "we" were the dishwasher!
There is fourteen years between mom and her sister Joan.  My sister Mary is the baby.  I decided to place this particular photo onto fabric that I had dyed and stenciled with spray inks.  The clear letters were altered using alcohol inks and then glued onto the fabric.  The heart charm was sewn in place.  I really like how this page turned out.
It took a bit of research to find her name and the photo was marked "Aunt Ruth" .  I am assuming that she is my Great Aunt and other than that, I have no idea exactly who she is.  I plan on solving the mystery!
I love these two photos of my sister Mary taking during the 1940's.  Dad had made her tricycle from scrap iron that was not sent to the government for the war effort.  The toy tractor looks like a wooden toy.  I can see the faces of my sister's children in her face....precious!
I don't know much about this woman except she was called by mom as "Aunt Emma".  I have a few photos of her and can not resist using them with my rubber stamp collection of quotes.  Apparently she must have had a sense of humor because I don't have a problem adding some humor to her photos!
I took a photo of Mary sitting in a chair that was taken outside on an upholstered chair and removed her image from the chair and placed her in a nest.  I thought it worked so well that I will probably do it again.  The "house" image that was added to this page was one that I had made for another project and it fit this theme well.
I am pretty sure that if you have followed any of my artwork, you have seen this image bunches of times.  I sewed the numbers onto the paper that were designed by Tim Holtz.  He has so many cool products and ephemera to use in projects....love Ranger products and his blog.
This is the inside of the cigar box covered with the fabric that I painted with a stencil.  I added fabric "tabs" to each of the pages which makes it easy to pull a page out of the box.

Reflections about the tornado - Oklahoma

I read this in the newsletter from and Bear Makes 3 today and I wanted to pass it on. Since I lived in Oklahoma for over forty years, my heart especially goes to those that experienced this horrific tornado in Moore.

Reflections about the tornado

Amidst the countless posts about the tornado that devastated Moore there was this desperate question posted by one: "Where is God??" This is a very difficult question but I would ask you consider this: God is in the rubble where one was protected. God is in the rescuer whose hand pulls them out. God is in the teacher who sacrificed selflessly as a shield for precious students. God is in the comfort given to one who has lost everything, the tears shed with another as they say goodbye to things and people precious to them. God is in those who rally together to bring help, hope and comfort to those who are suffering. He is in every kind act, every hand outstretched, every tear shed and every prayer spoken. God is the outpouring of love that is rising from the rubble. He is the beauty being raised from these ashes. God is the determination to keep searching for that one, to get through the pain and loss and devastation, to keep digging and when the worst is over--to rise and build again. In fact, it seems it would be far easier to answer where God isn't. I encourage you to step up, be God's hands outstretched to those who are suffering. Be a voice in prayer for those who have no prayer in their heart. Hope for those who at this moment cannot hope. Vision for those who cannot see past their own pain and loss. Cry the tears for those who have no tears left to shed. Give what God has given you to give. Rally together and bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters in Oklahoma. Answer their desperate questions and let them see exactly where God is!!!!

FYI - And Bear Makes 3 is located in the historic downtown of Moore.

A Wee Bit of History...

If you are wondering where I am most of the time these days - it is in the historic Flour Exchange Building. The windows are extra large as this was where flour was graded in the old days. What is so nice is that our office is flooded with lots of natural light. We have offices on the third and fifth floors.


We are located across the street from the Grain Exchange Building. The Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) was formed in 1881 as a regional cash marketplace to promote fair trade and to prevent trade abuses in wheat, oats and corn. This particular building is really beautiful inside and out, however, it could use a serious update! Their trade floor has been officially moved to Chicago. It's very cool that the trade floor has been preserved.
 The Corn Exchange Building also located across the street in another direction was destroyed in a fire in September, 1965. A parking garage was built in its place.  I could not locate any photos of the Corn Exchange Building.

The Lumber Exchange Building was the first skyscraper built in Minneapolis and dates to 1885. It was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style by Franklin B. Long and Frederick Kees and was billed as one of the first fireproof buildings in the country. It is the oldest high-rise building standing in Minneapolis, and is the oldest building outside of New York City with 12 or more floors. 
 Can you imagine years ago how Minneapolis was the center of trading for the Midwest!?!

 What to know how close we are to the Federal Courthouse?.... we share a common wall in our fifth floor suite.  You can see the Flour Exchange Building (12 story structure on the right side)

 City Hall (photo below) is across the street and the clock tower is the view from my office window. With the new Vikings Stadium being built (a couple of blocks east)....it's a great location to work in downtown Minneapolis!

 I almost forgot to mention that the light rail is only block away.

Stain Glass Windows

I love stain glass windows! I purchased a "Lot" of windows that were shipped from England at an auction house in Oklahoma. I sold most of the windows through an antique business that I had. There were seven windows that I could not part with as I thought they were so beautiful. I kept them in their original condition. The house that I am living in temporarily have the perfect window sills to rest my stain glass windows in. This particular window is in the kitchen.