Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Time for Father's Day

Last year I put together the center portion of the photo above, the box with many small cubbies.  I entered an enlarged photo in a calendar contest sponsored by one of my art quilting magazines.  My entry wasn't one that was selected for the calendar, but of course I've kept the filled box (which once was a children's beading kit), knowing that someday I would put it into a shadow box frame and hang it in my craft room.  So, just in time for Father's Day, here is the completed shadow box.  The contest theme was "Life is a box of ____________" and my entry was titled  "Life is a box of memories of Daddy." (Click on the photo to see it enlarged.)
I've taken some close-ups of sections of the shadow and inner box and will focus on each of these.  This next photo didn't turn out as well as I would like.  At the top left is one of my all-time favorite pictures of Daddy.  Below it, a too-faded picture of little sister Martha; both of these glued to fish fabric, to symbolize his favorite leisure activity--fishing.  In the top left of the inner box you can see a rising sun.  This is symbolic of Daddy's always rising before dawn, making coffee and his own breakfast, before coming in to awaken each child and our mother.  A shovel for the gardening he loved, a book because he was a voracious reader, more tools beside the book.  The curled paper in the upper cubby beside the sun will need no explanation for my siblings:  these came from the Big Black copy pencils Daddy brought home from the office, which all of us kids loved!  The dog stands for the three dogs I recall our owning:  Pluto, Chocko, and our beloved Inky, a dog I bought for a quarter downtown in Austin, a mongrel who lived the longest of all of our dogs!

Next a picture of Daddy and Joe digging, glued to newspaper fabric, symbolizing of course his career as a newspaperman--a career that began at age 14 and continued until his death.  Below the picture of father and son is one of those Big Black copy pencils I mentioned.  A typewriter charm is tied with a red bow.  We siblings all can recall how fast Daddy typed with just two fingers!  The pansy button symbolizes Daddy's love of flowers, as do the flower pots and more gardening tools.  The baseball and bat and other sports balls fabric:  Daddy loved all spectator sports. A favorite summer pasttime was his taking us children to see the Austin Senators play.  The picture of Daddy with oldest sister Kathy is in front of our house in Austin at 2504 Spring Lane.  This picture is glued to fabric of children fishing.

Finally, in the lower right of the shadow box, a picture of Mother Alice with newborn baby Alice.  More gardening tools are glued to the sides of the inner box, and then a silver fishing pole and fish charm are in the bottom right cubby, and the fabric below the inner box is a gardening print.
This blog posting, then, is in honor of my beloved Father, David Anderson Cheavens, who died far too young in 1970, at age 63, when I was only 31 years old, 7 months before the birth of Susan, our third child, who never got to know her Granddaddy. 

A happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Arkansas Reunions/A Journal Quilt

Last weekend Bob and I flew to Arkansas for his 55th high school reunion. For part of the weekend, however, I journeyed on to Ft. Smith to visit dear friends Sherron and Charles.  I decided to construct a crazy quilt journal this time, and practice some of the techniques I learned in a recent class.  Crazy quilts aren't traditionally quilted, but of course decorative stitching plays an important role.  The colors of the quilt were chosen deliberately:  Central High's school colors are "old gold" and black; the green fabric is for Sherron's favorite color.  The black center portion is Route 66 fabric; this symbolizes all the far-flung places from which the graduates of the class of 1955 came.  In the lower right corner are a lion and a tiger.  The tiger is for the LRCHS's mascot.  The lion in honor of friend Sherron, who was part of a committee to select a sculpture for the University of Arkansas, Ft. Smith (where she formerly taught English).  Their mascot is the lion, and Sherron and her committee worked long and hard and selected an excellent sculptor to depict a ferocious lion.  The freehand "55" is self-explanatory!

Finally is the applique of the happy little girl flying a kite, with the words "I 'heart' today."  This symbolizes my friend Sherron, who indeed loves every day!  She is the most optimistic, upbeat person I know.  This has always characterized Sherron, ever since we met as college freshmen. Spending time with her is always a joy, and I always come away feeling as uplifted as that kite!

Below, some pictures from my Ft. Smith visit and some close-ups of the journal quilt.  Sherron and I together, eating a delicious lunch at Hardscrabble Country Club; the lion sculpture; and then Sherron and Charles with their Crazy Quilt pillow, which project has been the subject of one of these posts.