Welcome to my Folk Art and Fancies Blog

I am a wood crafter artisan from the southwest Missouri Ozarks.I may just ramble on here about my art workings, my life, and my fancies about what I find fun and interesting in this world.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Buried Treasure and the Jealous Aunt

 When I was growing up I had two aunts whom I greatly admired and loved. Here they are ,with my grandpa; Marian on the left, and Janice on the right. They were both unmarried and lived together in Kansas City, and both were artists working at Hallmark Cards. Janice, was in design and Marian, in production art which took great skill. I believe Janice was a real go getter, with a lot of self confidence, and had also been a supervisor, While Marian was more laid back and very sensitive. They were both very talented artists who took advantage of the available art classes in the area.
 The two aunts would often come down to Springfield, MO. to visit us, or we would go to K.C. to visit them (and another aunt--Margaret who had seven children).
 Janice was a diabetic, and in her late 40's she lost sight in one eye, and began to have health problems, so Hallmark let her work at home. At age 50, in I think 1966, she died of kidney failure. I was about 13 years old.
 A few weeks after she died I was visiting at my Aunt Margaret's house and she had a large file cabinet in her dining room. She told me I could look through it if I liked, because it was Janice's art files and she knew I loved art. She also gave me Janice's art books and paint brushes. I started looking at the files and I was amazed at all the drawings, and  little watercolor paintings in those files. I knew some of them were card designs Janice was working on before she died. There were also a lot of clippings she used for references. (I now know that if Janice had not been working at home, all of this would have been left at Hallmark, and I would never have seen any of it.)
 I didn't think much about those files again until the early 90's when after over 25 years of working at Hallmark my Aunt Marian had retired, and moved back home to Springfield. I asked Aunt Marian if she knew if Aunt Margaret still had Janice's file cabinet, and she replied, "no, I have it here in my art room." I said "didn't it have a lot of Janice's art work in it?" Marian said "well,...I don't think there's much of it left. I gave a lot of that away". Aunt Marian was  very sensitive, and I believe she was a little jealous of my asking about Janice, so I didn't say any more about it. I loved her and didn't want to hurt her feelings.
 Dear Aunt Marian passed away about 10 years ago. Her estate was to be auctioned off, (except for any paintings she had). I saw the files, and they were all dumped in a large box, which I bought at the auction for $10.00. Here are a few things I found in this "buried treasure" box. Buried about 33 years!

A lot of these were practice, and some were completed hand made cards, probably prototypes.
 Here is an actual card that she sent me, when I was about 10 years old...and on the right I found this rough sketch,/beginning of the design---
Here's the back of my card, where she signed it. If you click on it you can read her note to me ....(she said this card was featured on TV on the Hallmark program!)
These barely scratch the surface of the files.... How I wished my dear Aunt Janice had lived longer,but she has lived on in these buried treasures, and in my heart!
Here are a few more pieces of her work.... 
              I am going to frame this little group of 3 pansies! I just got 3 frames at a yard sale for them.
      These 2 Christmas cards seem to be complete prototypes, but they are originals and hand painted. The Easter basket has some gold foil pieces glued on.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cabin Tweet Cabin Bird House with Moose and Bear

I've been working this weekend on another cabin bird house. This is one of my favorite designs. My daughter-in-law in California was showing her mother my etsy shop, and her mom really liked my liked my bird houses, and she said "can she make me a northern cabin to take to my cabin in Canada?" (She is from Canada). She liked the pine trees on my winter birdhouse, but didn't want the snow on them.The only other request was that it be blue. So, this is what I came up with.
I took this to work and a co-worker ordered one for her mom too! So I'm making a couple more in case I get another order from my etsy shop.
 Here's the nice feedback my daughter-in-law left me (she's a sweetie)---
"I got the Cabin Tweet Cabin Bird House for my parents (Dale and Sally). I was so happy to get my order so soon! My husband and I were absolutely amazed with all the details and hard work that went into this piece. The birdhouse came out better than the description that I gave to Jennifer! It was honestly the perfect gift for them. Sally was so thrilled with her new birdhouse she actually had goose bumps! Dale enjoys woodworking himself and was truly impressed with with the craftsmanship. I couldn't be happier with mulberrylanefolkart! Thank you so much Jennifer!! :o)"