Continuing with my Thanksgiving book, this is the "A" page. I'm enjoying putting this book together more than anything I've done in a while.
I like how the background turned out looking like very old wallpaper, so here's how I did it. I started with a piece of inexpensive yellow scrapbook paper. There was a faint woodgrain pattern on it, but that's not really important. I stamped Layers of Color Fleur Heart stamp all over using VersaFine sepia ink. I created the pattern by repeating the stamp vertically down the page. For the next row I moved the stamp down about halfway to make another vertical row. Then I went back up to the original position for the third row and continued this pattern until the entire paper was covered. I dabbed little bits of Ranger Distressed Crackle Paint in Walnut Stain here and there, and then finally rubbed some Distress Inks (Scattered Straw and Vintage Photo) on with a sponge.
As I worked on my arch for this week's theme at Gothic Arches, for some reason I started thinking of an art song I learned and performed in collage, Down Bye Street, by Sidney Homer. The lyrics are from a poem by John Masefield, The Widow in the Bye Street, and recount the tale of a woman's sacrifice for her son by working night and day as a seamstress. The poem reminds me of my friend, Donata. She'll understand why.
The Widow in the Bye Street
Down Bye Street, in a little Shropshire town, There lived a widow with her only son. She had no wealth nor title to renown, Nor any joyous hours, never one. She rose from ragged mattress before sun And stitched all day until her eyes were red, And had to stitch, because her man was dead.
Her little son was all her life's delight, For in his little features she could find A glimpse of that dead husband out of sight, Where out of sight is never out of mind. And so she stitched till she was nearly blind, Or till the tallow candle end was done, To get a living for her little son,
Her love for him being such she could not rest, It was a want which ate her out and in, Another hunger in her withered breast Pressing her woman's bones against the skin. To make him plump she starved her body thin. And he, he ate the food and never knew, He laughed and played as little children do.
So years went on till Jimmy was a lad And went to work as poor lads have to do, And then the widow's loving heart was glad To know that all the pains she had gone through, And all the years of putting on the screw, Down to the sharpest turn a mortal can, Had borne their fruit and made her child a man.
Last Sunday, I went to see our sweet little Bobby (and, of course, his mother Dana) to take some pictures of him in the outfits I made for him before he was born. As soon as I dressed him in this little red and white seersucker suit, he fell asleep! So I propped him up on some pillows and snapped away.
The falling leaves drift by the window The autumn leaves of red and gold I see your lips, the summer kisses The sun-burned hands I used to hold Since you went away the days grow long
And soon Ill hear old winters song But I miss you most of all my darling When autumn leaves start to fall
Last night the trick or treaters came. It was the perfect night for it — cool enough to feel like fall, but still quite comfortable to be outside. Today is an absolutely gorgeous day. So gorgeous that I think I better spend as much time outside as I can. Maybe I'll take some art supplies outside and see if I can create something. The art hasn't been flowing out of me lately, but perhaps today will be the day.
I did manage to work out my design for my Christmas cards this year. For some time, I've wanted to do an ornament that could serve as a card as well, and here it is. Now on to the assembly work of making enough for friends and family.
And I finished the hat to go with the sweater I knitted for Baby G. (Baby G is what we're calling the new grandbaby due in February.) I think it is so cute with that little stem on top. It looks like the stem on a pumpkin to me.
Lastly here's a photo of six-week-old Bobby I took almost a couple of weeks ago now. Isn't he adorable? I'll see him again tomorrow and get some new snapshots. They change and grow so fast at this stage.
Autumn Leaves performed by The Bird and the Bee, lyrics by Joseph Kosma, music by Johnny Mercer