Friday, April 23, 2010

Young Queen Victoria page swap, part 2

So where were we? With so many things to show you and so little time to post, I've fallen way behind in the show-and-tell category. But here are two more of my pages sent off to my partners in the Young Queen Victoria book page swap. Everyone's page is a slightly different size, depending on the book she chose to alter. For me, it's still an adjustment to work on this small page scale after years of painting on large canvases. I always have to remind myself to leave some breathing room on the page. :)

For her theme, my sweet young friend Cristina chose "The Beginning of the Longest Reign" and included photos, cabinet cards, and other ephemera to illustrate Victoria's 64-year reign, the longest in British history. Since Cristina's favorite color combo is aqua and cream, I thought this pastel coronation portrait of Queen Victoria would fit her collection. To add more depth to the wallpaper frame, I lined it with gold paper like an old print and stitched around the opening.

During her lifetime, Queen Victoria was an avid letter writer, especially to Prince Albert and her children, so Sandy wished to have her pages dedicated to the theme "Love Letters and Mementos." To add to the romantic appeal, Sandy made a gorgeous green velvet letter pouch to hold her pages instead of a book. Adding another layer of concealment, I constructed a small fringed pocket on the front of her page, tucked a letter into the pocket, and included Victoria's signature on the back.

Now I have only one more swap partner whose page needs finishing. And as soon as I receive my remaining pages, I'll have a wonderful book to share with you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

tonight i'm dining alone

Since my husband travels a lot for business, I often accompany him if there's enough time for me to play tourist in San Antonio or Atlanta or Los Angeles or wherever. Sometimes the trip is too short or the location too isolated. Right now he's in Tucson in some conference hotel sort of in the middle of nowhere, with only business on his mind. So tonight I'm at home dining alone by candlelight.

This painted candleabra is part of my collection of old, sometimes rusty, sometimes crooked, but happily rescued relics that still light up a room with atmosphere and whispers of close conversations or dinner laughter. Some sit on the piano next to the most recently used sheet music. More are in my studio and sometimes double as props for works in progress. This big iron one came from a barn sale here in VA. I picked up the little iron one already painted while junking with Carol in Phoenix and lugged it home in my suitcase.

Meanwhile, the trip to Bangkok has once again been postponed due to all the unrest there. This world certainly remains a turbulent place outside my quiet candlelit corner.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the view from here


Looking out my open windows at the peaceful late afternoon in the rain. Trying to work, but the muted view is distracting. So is the soundtrack -- I love listening to gentle rain softly tap-dancing on new leaves.