29 July 2011

Art Journal Page 13Jul11

Products/techniques used:
- Gesso is always my first layer.
TIP: I prep all of my pages with gesso first for several reasons. 1) Using a "chip brush" gives me added texture, 2) laying down a solid, opaque white base makes my colors POP, 3) gesso prevents the paint from soaking into the paper so, again, more pigment is visible.

- Several layers of acrylic paint were scraped on with a credit card.

TIP: If you don't want your colors to blend, sometimes creating a muddy appearance or (GASP!) turning brown, then use a blowdryer or heat gun drying each layer of paint completely. This will ensure that each color remains pure.

- Bubble wrap or sequin waste!

- I added the white drips across the top of the page using Speedball white calligraphy ink.
Blowing paint or ink drips with a straw helps to spread it out and pushes the liquid further down the page.

- The butterfly wings are torn vintage ledger paper and are colored with sharpie "metallic" and poster paint pens.

- Just above "take a leap" I applied several strips that I cut out of a magazine ad.

TIP: I always try to use collage for added texture and layers. If you adhere them with gel medium or mod podge, be sure to cover the top as well. After painting over collaged bits, this gives you the option of wiping some of it away allowing some of the image to show through. Clear gesso works also.

- I used a hand-carved petal stamp to make the flowers with black staz-on ink.

- The flower stems and grass are portfolio (water soluble) wax pastels.
For a softer look, you can paint over portfolios with a wet paintbrush. Or you can leave them AS IS, like I did, for more of a handmade, distressed, even childlike effect.

- The text around the butterfly was written using a silver metallic sharpie and outlined with a Pigma micron pen.

- Alphabet stamps for "take a leap of faith" are Sunny Lower Case by Hero Arts.

TIP: When stamping letters, to avoid running off of the right edge of a page, start at the edge and work backwards. To center text or a title, stamp the middle letter and work outwards.

Have fun and be sure to leave a comment if you try one of these tips!
Please feel free to share one of YOUR favorite tricks/tips?

27 July 2011

Butchers, Mummers & Baseball

...are all part of my family's legacy in the greater Philadelphia/NJ area specifically referring to my grandmother, Julia Kelly Cook's father (she eventually marries into the Farquhar clan) and her three brothers, all pictured below.

A copy of a copy, and still legible, is this article from an unknown Gloucester, NJ periodical of an unknown date, yet it's clearly one of my favorite pieces of family ephemera. Not because it's about an entire town's gratitude for my (paternal great-grandfather's) family's contributions - though that's certainly, quite SPECIAL - but because it gives me a clear sense of

who they were,
what they did,
and what they loved
... all in 1900!

Charles Sr, center, with a hat, surrounded by his family!

Charles Sr is absent from this photo but his three sons are here along with his daughter & his wife. Harry is in the bottom row, next to his sister (my grandmother, Julia), Charles Jr. is in the back row on the right and Martin is next to him. My grandfather, Joseph Willis Farquhar, their brother-in-law, is next to martin. Just behind Julia is Charles Sr's wife, Anna, mother of those amazing children!

(Cook is not only my father's mother's maiden name, of German origin & initially spelled K-O-C-H but also my married name, which is Romanian & spelled C-O-C-A.)

19 July 2011

Pinching Myself ~ I Get To Live Here!

MY VALHALLA! The first three photos were taken in New Milford, CT around mid-day yesterday, on a "birthday road trip" with a very dear friend. The last shot was taken at an old favorite fishin hole at Hatch Pond in Kent, CT just before sundown on june 25th. All are less than 6 miles from home.

04 July 2011

Proud to be an American circa 1858

During an annual visit to my favorite aunt (NJ sept 2009), I was able to photograph the document which granted American Citizenship to my great-great grandfather, Thomas Edward Farquhar.

The first few lines read, "BE REMEMBERED that at a Court of Common Pleas _ Camden, in and for the County of Camden, and State of New Jersey, in the United States of America, on the twenty eighth day of January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight, Thomas Farquhar, a native of Ireland, exhibited a petition, praying to be admitted to become a citizen of the United States..."

Citizenship granted 28, Jan 1858

Laura Farquhar Reeve, self-portrait

This is how much I love her!

She has been the inspiration behind my passion for genealogy and, to date, I have 69 people in my family tree and a similar number of corresponding vintage family photos!