What can I say...my grandchildren tug at my heart. They're a pure source of joy and pleasure for me and I am truly blessed. Sunday, my three and a half year old granddaughter, Izabella, had a dance recital at the old Hollywood Ebell Theater on Wilshire Boulevard. My date was my 6 year old grandson James Troy, Izabella's cousin. Izabella has been taking dance for the past year and is very in armored with music, dance and anything related.
I picked James up at 1:00 and we headed out to Hollywood with much anticipation of seeing our little girl perform her dance routine with her class. The Wilshire Ebell Theater is an old theater but still does special performances which include schools, dance companies and the like. I wanted to include the video for my family and friends but it won't download to my disappointment.
There's a huge story connected to my grandchildren that not many people know which makes this day a bit of a miracle in the scheme of things. I can't help but wonder from time to time what might have been.
Bella would truly be a star in my eyes even if she was awkward and tone deaf but she is her father's daughter (he being a talented musician) and has music in her veins. She was terrific and I was awe struck by her little performance, her beauty and that she is my little angel. I'm so proud of her. I'm very proud of James as well.... James also, just had a school performance where he had a solo song, sung all by himself up on the auditorium stage. He was amazing and remembered all his words. He also had a performance at the Wadsworth Theater here in Westwood (UCLA territory) with the Star program, an after school program for L.A. schools. I know what every grandparent says...their little ones are so special and mine are as well. I think the love that is in my heart for these 2 little people couldn't be compared to anything or anyone else.
My grandchildren are adopted...they are my blood but their parents, my sons and their wives, were unable to raise them in a safe and healthy way. I had no choice but to intervene and found 2 wonderfully incredible couples who were unable to have children of their own, who wanted to adopt my grand babies. It is a long story but a very happy one as I remain in their lives and as cousins they are growing up knowing each other. A very unusual and unique circumstance to say the least and a story that should some day be told. I can say with much pride that I can reap the rewards of grand parenthood with an abundance of hope and thankfulness in my heart.
A lovely new client came to me wanting an original framed birthday gift for her mom but it was close to her dad's birthday as well so she wanted a keepsake for both of them. She brought with her photos of mom and dad as children, their wedding photos, and a proposal telegram from when the dad was in the service, 1940's. Asking a little about the couple, I discovered dad was a collector of antiques and mom wrote cook books. My client also wanted me to create a monogram for them. This was quite an interesting challenge for me. Off to the drawing board...as I knew I had lots of elements to incorporate into this original design.
After designing the monogram and getting my clients approval, I created the original piece which turned out quite nice on it's own. I then mounted the copies of photos and telegram, gave them titles and started my layout. There was a dedication from the children that needed to be interlaced somehow, somewhere into this piece...this stomped me. After much brain picking I decided that creating a mock book (the mom being a cook book writer) and putting an original, hand painted illustration of something you would find in a cook book along side the calligraphed dedication would complete the elements for this original collage. I did, however, forget about the dad in all this...so, I went the antique route by suggestion. The fabric I chose for the back drop was a beautifully muted floral pattern on a taupe colored linen. Each element was aged by coloring the edges with a brown ink pad giving them an antique feeling and adding a few silk flowers among the pieces rounded out and completed the design.
I was very pleased with the results and so was my client.
When I was a child I had a challenging time reading. When in the first grade before class actually started each student had to take a turn reading to the kindergarteners until the teacher arrived in the classroom. I remember how terrified I was and how inadequate I felt standing in front of these kids who were younger than me and trying to read a simple story. We're taking about 1953 when everything about educating a girl was so different than today. I don't remember my parents ever being concerned no less interested in my ability to read of lack there of. I struggled throughout school to comprehend but did manage to get by.
It wasn't until my younger son was having trouble reading in first grade that I recalled my memory. I was asked to have him tested at the Children's Hospital. Many of the questions the therapist asked pertained to me and the dad. I told the story of my struggles and found out I was dyslexic. My son had a visual perception problem which eventually worked itself out as predicted but my dyslexia remains with me till today.
Throughout my life I compensated by using my visual ability to work things out as I was never taught how to do it any other way. Today, although I can read well, I still go straight for the visual which brings me to my new challenge...the computer.
I am trying to develop my own website and learn what I need to on Photoshop. I am having a heck of a time teaching myself as I go just by visual adaptation. It's just not happening as fast as I would like as I struggle due to my lack of comprehension. This is a major challenge for me and I'm trying to be patient with myself. I took one class in Photoshop and have friends I can call to help. I try not to be a pest or burden as everyone is busy with their own stuff. However, I'm resigning myself to the fact that it will either take me a long time to accomplish this task or I will have to pull in outside help. And...I thought the computer was supposed to be people friendly, huh! :)
Anyway, I just needed to vent. Today is another day....
I've been wanting to get to blogging for several weeks now and couldn't find the time before now. I've just been doing a lot of different things leaving me with little time to squeeze yet one more thing in before I slept. It's late now, I haven't eaten yet, but I decided to jot down a few words about what I was up to.
My daughter in law, Barbara is the costume designer for "Ghost Whisperer". While visiting the set for the filming of the last season, the show designer, Dorothy saw my jewelry and asked to bring by some of my work when the new season started up which is now. That was very exciting for me so I went home and started making jewelry. This is just a sampling of what I've been doing. Because I have an addictive personality, I've become obsessed with this art form. It's not my usual form of art but it is 3 dimensional so I feel connected to it. I've always loved beads, chain, findings, etc. and have created jewelry over the years so I had a stash of stuff to get started. I keep wanting to put everything away because I've created enough to start my own shop but I can't stop. It must be my obsessive, compulsive personality.
Well okay, I've blogged and now I must eat something and make more jewelry.
I'm so grateful to be able to share my art with others. I'm mixed media and love doing lots of different mediums. My main stay is calligraphy of course and most of my art has words in them, hence "The Word is ART". Hope you like what you see and come back often.
Have a blessed day. Renee
If you like what you see... please grab my button!
I've been a professional calligrapher and designer for over 35 years and have had extraordinary experiences. I am proud to say that my clients are from all walks of life and a handful of celebrities that are faithful to my work. I've been blessed to be able to earn my living by doing what I truly love to do. I will always remain grateful and proud.
Come visit to see some of the calligraphy work that I do and ...