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Thursday, March 2, 2017

We Are Family

For various reasons, I have been thinking a lot about family lately.
Most likely because I just lost my beloved, ancient father in law. Some families are being split apart by politics and others by a member being deported.
When you lose someone, I think you start to realize how important it is to keep your loved ones close.
Your friends, your family, your tribe.

My career and first passion has always been photography. I had a Nikkormat in my hands when when I was just a kid and never put it down.
And, I collected vintage photos, tintypes and old albums for years and years. I just took a bunch of them out to look at some of those faces.
Someday someone at a flea market or vintage paper sale will probably be looking at my old photos someday (hopefully not too soon though).

I have a teeny tintype album given to me by my step-father (now gone) and he was so excited that it was dated March 25 because my birthday is March 26. I kind of have to laugh every time I look at that -- I mean, it is a day off -- so really.....
The rest of that date is 1874 and no, that isn't my birth year.

Don't you just wonder about all these people? What were their lives like?

Another thing that got me started thinking of family and photos is that a member of my mail art group brought a lot of his own family photos to the swap table. He said no one in his family wanted them and he thought (correctly) that those of us in the mail art group would certainly know how to put them to good use.
I used the photos in making collaged postcards and sending Jerry's family members all over the world...

Jerry's family sitting on lawn chairs in Spain -- I bet they didn't expect to find themselves there!

So, now I am inspired -- I've got out a bunch of old photos and glue and scissors and Rolodex cards and passports and I am getting to work.....

I'm sending JB, my lovely FIL, on a long fishing trip.....working on his passport is a good way for me to honor and remember him.

Have passport -- will travel

Thanks to all of you who comments on my last post. Your kind comments -- and the emails and cards -- were all very much appreciated.
It's been a rough few months and I've been sad but having my tribe sending kindness has most certainly helped. A lot.
And making art helps so I'm off to my work table....



  1. What an impressive post. I agree with you about family, because all my blood relatives were gone when I turned 19. I've been alone for so long, I have taken on others as my family. They may not be blood relatives, but they are wonderful friends who I can count on in times of need.

    Several of my "family" members are on different sides of the political beliefs, and I always try to change the subject when it comes up.

    I really LOVE the mixed media art you are making, because it is something I would love to do, if only I had the proper pieces with which to do it. You have an excellent imagination and a great sense for composition. And those old "relatives" are simply out of this world, as is the book your step-father gifted you with. That is priceless!

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth -- you always leave such lovely comments. Relatives don't have to be blood relatives - I totally agree. I'm glad you like my mixed media art and collages. I have a lot of pleasure making them and sending them out in the world.....

  2. I am quite surprised people just "throw out" their family photos. I think it is amazing I have pics of my great-grandmother, I don't want to get rid of them.
    You do make wonderful art with the material you have. I am going to use it as inspiration!

    1. TomoyoHime -- sometimes there is no one left in a family to give the photos to or no one wants them. Kinda sad in a way but really....having art made out of them is really good too. I have a tintype of my great grandmother but there really anyone but me who would appreciate it....

  3. oh dear, so very sorry to hear that he has passed, and I send you my heartfelt condolences.. <3

  4. I love old photos whether of my own family or of others. And, yes, I wonder what their stories were. They make great prompts for creative writing, not to mention, for use in collage. What a perfect tribute for your FIL, creating a special passport and sending him fishing. I'd like something like that when I die which hopefully won't be anytime soon. As always, you have given me lots of inspiration and ideas!

    1. Thanks, cjsrq -- I am looking forward to working on the passport for him and I love old photos too. The stories they tell! Or, don't tell -- we make up our own.

  5. Making art is such good therapy, so nice to have that.
    I think I have to stop looking at old photos as "precious", and just play with them - whether they're mine or found in an antique store. I've always hesitated to use them because of the people behind the pictures, not wanting to do something off character, but I guess with enough collage and storytelling, I can invent my own personas.

    1. Hi tamdoll -- I feel that way about using my own family photos -- it is hard when I know the people, but when I don't? Anything goes! I like to make stories up and imagine things about them....



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