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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Let It Bee

The Muse has been planting seeds.
More ART will bloom over the weekend.
*laguna beach, california - copyright 2007 - jolenemarie photography*

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Daily At Your Door

How many of my blog readers in southern California remember the Helms Bakery delivery trucks in the 1950s and 60s?

Gone, like our Good Humor Ice Cream man, the Helms Bakery truck was a part of my growing up in a small suburb in So Cal.

I don't remember our Helms man's name...but I can still...50+ years later remember exactly how he looked. He was tall with olive colored skin and jet black hair...with a wide smile and sparkling eyes. And so kind to everyone.

Mr. Helms-Man would pull on a handle inside the truck that would sound the whistle announcing his arrival on Rex Road...and all the moms, children, and anyone else who was home that day would stop what they were doing and come outside to the truck. There the neighborhood people stood like a Norman Rockwell painting.

The 'magic' happened when Mr. Helms-Man leaped from the truck, swung open the double back doors and the deep drawers slid out filled with candy, donuts and freshly baked bread! Two of my favorite candies were the Pixie Sticks (paper straws filled with a Kool-Aid type powder like filling that would make your lips pucker and produce an instant sugar rush!), and the waxy bottle shape containers filled with a fruity juicy drink -- we would bite off a piece of the wax, drink the juice, then chew the waxy container!

What a healthy group of neighborhood kids we were..wired on sugar :)

When I was home from school sick (but not THAT sick) Mom would go out to the Helms truck and buy us each a chocolate donut to have as we watched I Love Lucy or Sheriff John's Lunch Brigade on television.

I would love to own a vintage Helms truck today...I would probably make it a traveling 'arts and crafts supply' truck...blowing my whistle and selling art supplies from the large wooden drawers ...Daily At Your Door...what at-home-artist wouldn't love that?! OK, and maybe Pixie Sticks! :-)

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Finding Keys To My Past

My Grandma Lorenza's house keys hang in my home on a door I have distressed, antiqued, and 'altered' with rests in a corner near our table in our kitchen-dining area.

My memories of Grandma Lorenza (Lombardo) Mamola are vague...but I am thankful for the ones I have. I was around age four when she passed away. I remember it was a cold and rainy night on the day of her funeral. My siblings, cousins and I all stayed at our home. It was so cold that the older cousins made fudge candy and set it out on our front porch to cool and harden rather than the refrigerator. And this was southern California!

My most vivid memories of Grandma Lorenza are two things:

1. Her height - or lack of it... she stood 4' 9".

2. I can still see her attaching a hand-crank meat grinder to our pull-out bread board in the kitchen and grinding beef to make her meatballs for the pasta dinner we would have that night.

Grandma was born in Palermo, Sicily. She came to America by way of Ellis Island, N.Y., arriving on the ship named Verona...
on July 29, 1913 at age 30.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Grandma's Singer

Grandma Burich's Singer has been with me for many years now. Handed down from my Mom to me...and it will continue to my daughter.

Mom and her sisters Katherine and Marie all made their clothes on this Singer growing up. In the photo above the Singer is their sister, Helen, who died very young-- I doubt she ever did any sewing, but I felt it was the proper place to display her photo above the sewing machine where Grandma probably made the dress she is wearing.

My Mom was a wonderful seamstress, although she would probably deny it if she were here to hear me say it. Thinking back I can recall so many dresses and blouses she made for me during my school years, as well as many 'sew-crafty' items for my daughter and granddaughter.

I never learned to sew.
I tried.
But in my Home Economics class I failed both sewing projects miserably.
The first, a simple pillow case. How can one mess up a pillow case? Easy. Sew both ends SHUT. Yep. That's what I did! :-)

The second project was to make a 'gathered' skirt.
Oh I gathered it all right....all to one side! :-)
Mom would laugh.
She knew I was much better with a drawing instrument in my hand than a needle and thread.

Soon my daughter is going to begin the Fashion program at our local college. She is following her passion...and I am so happy for her. She's always been a lot like her Nana...knitting, crocheting and a flair for fashion.

Grandma Burich would be happy to know the old Singer still inspires.

EDIT**** I need to clarify that Jill uses a new Singer when she is a link to show you...scroll down when you get to: WHERE JILL SEWS.
She keeps and uses Nana's red sewing basket right next to the Singer :)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Quick Thoughts & Images From Today...

* I have replaced the previous slideshow with a slower, calmer one ;-)

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Cold Remedy: Make Art!

So, when you are feeling lousy and would like to hide from the world....a good remedy is to make least you feel better emotionally even if it doesn't help the fever and sniffles ;-)

The other night to feel better I sat at my art table (aka: The Studio...ha!ha!) and put on The Beatles '1' CD...and this is what happened...

**click to enlarge**

*my text reads: cellophane flowers of yellow & green towering over your head....and...everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers that grow so incredibly high....both of course lines from 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' of my all time favorites. The image of John Lennon is a rubber stamp I carved.*

*the junk mail used in this piece are the butterfly and the words 'A Revolution' (it actually said "A Mexican Revolution" an advertisement for a local Mexican restaurant!).

When Kelly and I were emailing last night I mentioned to her that I made art - but not dinner!

Right after that I went to see what junk mail had arrived that day (as I now look forward to junk mail!). And there it was... just what I needed to illustrate my new summer mantra...

How many of you received the flyer from IKEA announcing a summer sale? It had some cool white graphics of furnishings, etc. against a bright red background! It was all I needed to make art! :-)

**click to enlarge**

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Open Your Eyes

*click to enlarge*

I am not in the most creative of moods. I am trying to fight off a cold...but I don't think I am winning.
I did manage to get to my art table last night -- feeling a bit spacey from some over-the-counter cold medication.
I was thinking of when I was a little kid and the amount of time I would spend outside. I was fascinated by grasshoppers. I could stare at them for hours it seemed. These days I rarely, if ever, see a grasshopper. Is it because they are no longer around here where I live on the coast...or is it because my eyes are no longer as 'open' as they were as when I was a kid...missing so much in a hurried world...?
*the junk mail I used in this piece were the words "open your eyes"...the grasshopper is an image transfer I did onto unbleached muslin using clear caulking as the transfer medium.

...And here is a little 'gift' for Marita, my new friend in the words are needed...I know you will 'get it' Marita...these are growing outside the front door of our cottage...

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

It Is A Small World, After All...

No, I didn't spend the day at Disneyland :-) Although, that would have been cool!

The other day on Marita's Southern Valley blog she had been talking about fading borders in one post, and in another how blogs had given her the opportunity to make new friends worldwide.
I was reminded of a postcard I had made last year when my "art-sister" Linda and I did a summer postcard swap we called Archaeological Digs. Linda came up with this groovy idea that we had to 'dig' from our collected stashes of art materials to create running out to buy new stuff. Since Linda and I are both ephemera freaks the challenge wasn't all that difficult...but it sure was FUN!

For one I created...
It Is A Small World After All
which certainly reflects the discussion on Marita's blog.

The postcard was made with a piece of cardstock that I stamped with a rubber stamp image of an old map...I found a textured wallpaper sample that I painted over to give it an old world look.

In my bits of pieces of ephemera I found an old world globe...using an X-acto knife I cut out some portions so the textured wallpaper behind it would be exposed.

Finding a small scrap of torn paper I 'aged' it using an ink pad and stamped EVIDENCE No. 55.

Then on regular notebook paper that I also 'aged' with the ink pad I stamped the words:
it is a small world after all

How many of my readers agree that blogging is bringing us all closer together and making our world 'smaller' ?

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Friday, June 08, 2007


Simon & Garfunkel sang... "Long ago it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you..."

The song was constantly going through my head as I searched through hundreds of old photos the other day...
I found a photo of myself, once again, on the beach...digging in the sand...and it prompted this Visual Journal entry...

The small text at the bottom reads:
...digging through the layers of MEMORIES
as a kid I was always DIGGING the yard around our HOME the sand at the BEACH.
I loved the ANTICIPATION of what I might FIND.
* * * *
* the junk mail used in this piece were the words: MEMORIES and DO NOT DISCARD.
I painted some 140-pound index paper, then stamped with gesso, applied more acrylics and buffed with an old rag...I then randomly tore pieces and adhered them to my pages to create my 'layers of memories'.
Also note: I turned my journal vertically to create this piece - always a rebel :-)

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Where Do The Years Go...?

More ART arriving soon.
I've been replenishing art materials and going through stacks of old photos...
The year, in Germany...on a visit to Italy...23 years young!

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Monday, June 04, 2007


I was in the mood for photography I wandered down to the beach at Little Corona in hopes of seeing something interesting on this gray, somewhat fog swept day...

I noticed that about every 15 minutes a flock of pelicans flew overhead. I sat watching for awhile and noted that each different flock flew the same flight path - swooping around a tree, out over Arch Rock in the water, circling back towards the homes on the cliffs - then right towards me where I was sitting on the path that leads down to the water...

I saw two pelicans heading towards me and quickly focused my camera into a digital zoom mode...
and CLICK.

I didn't know what I had captured until I had arrived home...and that is when I saw this...


I am never one to rave about my photos. But this, in my eyes, is a one in a million moment. This photo was not altered at all...when I saw it I thought of Jurassic Park!

*please scroll down for todays Visual Journal page that I posted earlier this evening*

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Friday, June 01, 2007

And The WINNER Is...

First of all I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who visited The Blue Cottage
this past month of May. It is always cool to see my 'old friends' who stop in often to sit and visit...leaving comments that make me laugh, think, and most of all be grateful for your friendship.

With this little contest I have had the pleasure of making new friends all over the world... I hope you've enjoyed your visits here and continue to stop in and say hello! I've learned much from you - visiting your blogs and getting a glimpse into your worlds. Thank you for that opportunity.

I am planning on having another contest soon -- so check back often!

To be quite honest ...I wish I could have made everyone a winner here. But, alas, only ONE name could be drawn this time now...the moment you have been waiting for...


Tammy, please email me with your mailing address and I will send you an original one-of-a-kind hand bound Coptic stitch journal!

And no, I won't post a photo of it here...otherwise it would spoil the surprise :)

*****(the winning name was drawn by my daughter Jill)*****

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The theme for PhotoFriday today is:

How I See Myself

This photo taken around 1954 has always been my favorite photo of myself because I feel you can see on my face how MUCH I love being at the ocean. I am still that kid (in my mind), with my hands in my pockets spending the day walking along the shore.
(Circa 1954 - Santa Barbara, California)