Friday, November 30, 2012

my twin grandgirls, the sisters of my little grandson. I had a huge problem
telling them apart in the beginning but then it finally clicked: Willow has blue eyes, Brynne brown ones. (paternal twins). They are a riot and you can see their sense of fun in their faces. I do hope my son or dear daughter-in-law will see these pictures, though I am not holding my breath. Time seems to be a huge factor for anyone finding time.
 




 







 



the perfect pose
 
 
 
on the way to visit Nana


 


 
 
don't you just love this expression?
 
 
 
Little Rosebud

Needless to say that I love them all so very much. Sadly, I have only seen the twins
twice so far, and they are now five years old. Our grandson is ten years old and I have seen him three times. The world is getting smaller - so they say, but when experiencing it personally, it sounds like a lot of nonsense (not to say poppyc......) because here we are, in Canada and there they are in the States. Some 8 hours of driving and 660 km or circa 400 miles away, which would normally not be a problem except that we now need health coverage to travel and that is an almost impossible dream for anyone with 'pre-existing' conditions. So we keep dreaming and I keep creating digital pages.....and hoping for great photos, tid bits, updates, anything.....Lol.


I am trying to catch up on what ought to be uploaded. If I duplicate a few, I apologize but it really is a pain to sort what can be uploaded to my blog and what should not be shown in case one of my kids object to it. You know, privacy and not exposing too much to the world....It's really unfortunate how the world has changed. Anyway, here are some that will be part of a book to be printed. My darling grandson John Bair....
 
Most of the photos are not crisp or in a size that I can work with but well, (sigh), one manages with what one is given....right? right.
 



 





 





 





 





 



Thursday, November 29, 2012

memories last forever.....I did not know just how important it is to create 'memories' until I got older.....

Le Coure, Siorac, France. (a dream come true)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I am so proud of myself.....I took one of my scrap albums and had my husband cut it down to a more reasonable size i.e. instead of the 14" x 12 1/2" it is now 10 x 10 3/4 inches. It's amazing what difference the size makes. Then I covered it with a light linen fabric and wrapped the fabric around the spine but left the edge frayed.
 
 
 not sure what I want to use the journal for, so I kind of kept it casual yet with a
touch of romance...



 


sorry, the background really not flattering but now that I uploaded it, it will have to do. Lol. Maybe I take a different shot with a plain background. But well, you get the idea no doubt. I plan on adding tons of pages, of course, so I just added a strip of
muslin - in case I have to tie it to keep it together.......you never know and I might really get busy with a hybrid project instead of using my beloved digital software and my computer.
 


I am not sure if I want to keep the binder clip like this, but I am still experimenting....so that's it for now. Can't wait to start using my paints and dies and stencils to work on some kind of REAL page....Who knows, I might even LOVE it....
I certainly had fun working on the cover to the point that I am planning another bookcover for a different theme.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

 

my grandpa Eberhardt was an artist. He painted in oils and pastels. Until recently I had no idea how gifted he was because I have always understood from my mother's stories that he played the violin beautifully, but did not know about his passion for painting. How well I understand his passion. Maybe some of it got passed down to me.
 
my grandmother's diningroom
this page was inspired by the above photos....I am so fortunate to have his photo
because he died at age 59 due to cancer a few days before the end of
World War II. (the photos are from ca. 1944 and I purposely left them so. Didn't want to tamper with them.
 
my grandfather, the artist
 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

it would be nice if all of my life had been one great journey of laughter and positivity but alas, not so......looking through my journal, it strikes me that there has been a lot of sadness in my life but out of sadness grows strength and looking at your glass always half full rather than half empty. If you don't maintain that attitude, it will drag you down and make you into a miserable human being. Lol, something I always strive to stay away from. Misery destroys. 
 


 
text:Much has been written about World War II, but unless you have lived through it and been a part of it, you are in no position to write anything about it other than a factual account. Of course I don't remember much of the first few years of my childhood in Essen, other than they were very traumatic and had a huge impact on my life. World War II had started just a few weeks after my birth and with it came tears, screaming, helplessness, even hunger and great fear.

I vaguely remember those times when I was pulled out of my cot and taken to a bomb shelter. All our neighbours would be in this room, which was not really a shelter as you know it nowadays but part of the basement in a four or five story apartment building with no fortified walls. However, the door was heavy steel resembling one of those doors in a bank vault which would give you a sense of some security.

 I remember the fear of all the noise, the sirens howling and my mother pulling me along the street and me resisting. I did not want to come. I was frightened and would call out to anybody passing us on the street: 'Help", please 'help' but of course nobody did because they all had their own children or parents to attend to. Unable to walk, my legs would buckle and my mama had to drag me along. Somehow.she had to get me to a shelter, no matter what but I could neither run nor walk. Sometimes she would have to pick me up and carry me or simply drag me along..

Even today, when something really frightens me I am still unable to move or do or act; it’s almost as if my brain freezes and I cannot think.... This fear has stayed with me for
all of my life...
 

seeking refuge in a bomb shelter...cont’d.
whilst running or being dragged to a bomb shelter, all around me fires were burning, people were screaming, houses were destroyed and above me bombs were
falling, and airplanes flying very low, I could see how the bombs were falling out of their bellies....but worst of all were the fires and people lying in the streets, maybe hurt or dead. I just saw it but did not know...
It might not have been far to run, but one picture is indelibly imprinted on my mind and that is of a small stretch of an unlit street, no lights because of the blackouts, but fires everywhere and the people running down the street with us all looked like black ghosts..And all the time the loud howl of the sirens overhead...All this happened when a child is very impressionable,
I might have been anything from perhaps three years to four years old when extensive bombing started on my city and I have never forgotten. In spite of it or because of it, I grew into a very strong person though I had nightmares for many years long after the war had finished. I used to wake up in the middle of the night screaming and my beloved grandmother used to reach over and just touch me and whisper
gently it’s alright, child’...it’s alright...

We did not have the luxury of 'counselling' in those days unlike today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I always look for old wood. Aged, rough and with imperfections. Then I take it and burn it over the flame of a candle till it changes texture to the point of little flames shooting out from its sides and/or surface. It's a lengthy process because I sand it down in between many stages of burning.


finally I put the picture on it and then again I burn its edges to the point where the actual picture starts burning along the edges.

 
 
 

When I am totally satisfied that it's integrated into the wood, I apply an aging compound, some wax, more sanding, some stain, and more burning over an open flame.
(I forgot to mention its size which is
ca. 6 1/2 inches x 6 3/4 inches x 3/4" thick.)





I like to take my time so it's usually about two weeks before I feel confident enough to put the final touches of wax on it or depending on what I used as a picture, a flat matte finish.


Needless to say I love working with wood but looking at the photo it still does not
look like the real thing. Now I wonder if i should post any of it at all. Lol. It looks so much better when I hold it in my hand, it looks like a light color surrounding the madonna and the sides look awful but it must be a reflection - or the photo is lousy.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

I recently finished writing the first part of my biography and this is one of the pages that will be included. (since this article was written, life took a different turn
and I eventually sold the house. I still think about it often and regret having sold it but as I keep saying - 'c'est la vie'- and life goes on. I have lived in many new homes since then, but nothing can compare....some parts in this page have been blurred out)...
 
 
 Sabina's Port Dalhousie home boasts a dozen Persian rugs from Iran, a 17th century oak server from a monastery in England and a wooden chest, inlaid with silver and pearl, made by nomads in the Sahara desert.
Although the home's original mistress died in 1910, she lives on in Mrs.xxx...'s imagination, guiding her as she restores it to the house which Albert Jones built in 1856..

There are no tears at the loss of items culled from 38 different countries in 12 years of travel. 'When I travelled, I accumulated a lot, because wherever I was, I was desperate to make a home. They mean instability to me,' said the gracious 45-year old woman with a trace of a German accent, as she sat in the rustic kitchen of her Dalhousie Avenue home.

There are two plaques on the outside of Mrs. ...house, one from the Port Dalhousie Quorum designating it historical, the other naming her house 'Solitude'.
Solitude doesn't mean being alone, she explains, it just means being at peace. It is the first feeling of peace and stability she's had in her life.

She was born in Essen, Germany, and endured poverty, bombings and the imprisonment of her father in Siberia during the Second World War. Marriage to ...........xxxxx meant a turbulent 12 years spent travelling the world.
They were friends with members of the Shah of Iran's regime, and were forced to evacuate Iran during the revolution. In Syria, the embassy next door to their house was bombed. In the Bahamas, tragedy struck. Her son was kidnapped, and the youngest of her two daughters was struck with a brain disease, and had to be treated every three months by a doctor in Montreal.

"I have had a very restless life...a very unstable life..." she says without a trace of self-pity. And although she tried to make her family as comfortable as possible every place they went, I have never really had a home."

When she and her husband xxx first came to Canada in 1981, they shunned Toronto for the quiet of St. Catharines, and bought a newly-built $$ 0000000 house overlooking the lake. Sabina says she never felt at home there, and when her husband later left for Iran, she immediately began looking for a real home for herself and her children.

Rather than create a new life for herself, she sought to retreat to another century and recreate a more peaceful, simpler lifestyle. She spent six months searching before she found the house she wanted, in a state of complete disrepair. "When we drove past the house, I said it looked lonely, but very solid and stable amongst the other houses".

Even though it did not look particularly old, she felt drawn to the house. 'When I walked in, it was as if I knew exactly what to do with the house. I said it was waiting for someone to turn it back as it should be."

Sabina said she immediately knew where she wanted walls knocked out, bathrooms installed, windows taken out and doors replaced. She stripped layers and layers of wallpaper and scraped inches of paint to get to the original ceilings and floors. Months of research followed as Mrs. xx began to track down the history of the house. She went to every cemetary in the area to find tombstones and combed museums, libraries and funeral homes.

She was particularly fascinated by Elisabeth Jones, for she found striking similarities with herself. She discovered Elizabeth had died of a heart condition from which she also suffers. She poured over documents in a funeral parlor for hours to discover Elizabeth's coffin was five feet, six inches, while her own height is almost five ft. five inches. And she knows Elizabeth had blond hair like her own.

Sabina has spent countless hours searching antique stores for the right items to fit into her house. She says:  I buy things with the instinct of what should be here....I know what Elizabeth would have had..."

When descendents and people who had once lived in the house showed up on her doorsteps, Mrs. xxxxx learned how uncannily accurate her instincts had been.
Sabina was working on a rocker which she intended to put on the front porch when the daughter of one of the earliest owners of the house knocked on her front door.
When she saw the chair, she asked Mrs. xxx where she had found it, and the hairs on her arms were literally standing on end. It was exactly like her mother's chair, Mrs. xxx says. (The rocker was actually discovered in the attic where it must have been sitting for years...).

Sabina was intent on putting a pump outside where it could be seen from the kitchen window. When an elderly man visited the house, he asked whether the pump was still at the side of the house and couldn't believe it was not the same one he had known as a boy there.

Sabina shakes her head. It's mysterious that the things I wanted in the house turned out to be just as they were back then...(end of newspaper article).
 




the digital page below was inspired by a newspaper article written about me
back in 1980, long before I knew about digital art or scrapping. It shows me sitting on the front porch of my Port Dalhousie home which I was in the process of restoring. Built in 1856, it became a designated historical property. It means that any subsequent owners cannot alter the inside or outside of the original. When I later started writing a book about my life, I ran across these articles and wanted to create more with them than just another typewritten page.......

Here is what I wrote on the page:
My Memories of a Home that i loved
with a passion that I had never felt before about a 'place',
but this is where I found total peace after a life of wars, revolutions,
unrest and many many other places we had lived in....
I had finally found the HOME of MY DREAMS -
or so I thought -

on the right it says:

HOME is having some place to go.....
having someone to live with is family.
Having both is a blessing.
Where is home?
Home is where the heart can laugh
without shyness.
Home is where the heart's tears can dry
at their own pace.
A house is built with boards and beams,
A home is built with love and dreams.
A house is not a home
until you can write 'I love You' in
the dust of the furniture.
You don't choose your family.
They are God's gift to You
as you are to them.

 MY PLACE is my home.

This is me in the photo sitting on the porch, enjoying the ambience of 'OLD' surrounding me.....The photo at the top is a clipping from a newspaper article that was published about me. Lol. Another layout. Like I said, I have so much to write about..
 
  

Friday, November 16, 2012

We say 'in for a penny, in for a pound'  - so I am going to post just a few of my pages that I created for my grandchildren. The one below was done just for fun. I had made two tops for the twins, and really enjoyed seeing them modelling for me. We rarely see them and I have to be content with receiving photos.
 

It's been a few years that I have seen my grandson. Needless to say that I wished I could be more a part of their lives. But after all, my own parents went through the same with their grandchildren, rarely seeing them.
 
 My little granddaughter (below) in Toronto is also growing up but we are staying relatively close to her, babysitting whenever we are needed. I still love working with
older photos when she was a baby or a little girl, so much sweetness, so much innocence. This page was fun. The painting on the wall shows me walking in an English village. And of course, each of my pages has a little sparrow sitting somewhere, my known signature in all of my work.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thinking of all the people still without power or without a home along the eastern coast of the USA, I felt it was appropriate to post this here.....and if Sandy was not enough, it was followed by a snow storm....I simply cannot imagine losing everything as so many people did.
 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

went to a Winery the other day and had some great food.


 My husband is from Italy and is rather critical when it comes to
chosing wine but we found a few good good ones right here in vineland. What better place to explore than the vineyards in Ontario and we live right in the middle of it: Virgil, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Jordan, Vineland....and I am glad that wine is still sold in glass bottles and not in plastic ones. Just imagine holding a bottle of plastic in your hand.....I am sure it would change the aroma. Thankfully the subject has not come up yet.
 


(needless to say that if given a choice, we would much rather sit in the Tuscan hills
and sipping a glass of wine....)


an old winery in Italy

I have been trying to grow these grapes for years but with no success...I guess the roots really don't like to be confined to a pot even though it would be a huge super large pot.