Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Birthday Totems and Fond Memories

March is my annual birthday collage time.  I have certain themes and totems that appear in many of these birthday collages, but naturally, it's always a different mix. Totems are evocative and perhaps some of these will speak to and for you as well.

Birthday Totems Collage

My cousin Marianne sent me a 1950's photo of our Uncle Carmen with her, my sister and I and cousin Marguerite. I don't know exactly where or when this was taken. The saturated colors were in the original photos.  I often include incongruous elements in my work, but the train here actually has meaning to me, as Uncle Carmen had a large model train layout in his basement. 

Uncle Carmen was my favorite uncle; I always felt close to him. It was interesting working on this collage, as all the feelings of closeness and tenderness would flow, but very few actual memories of events or places with him. I'll happily embrace the feelings sans memories.

Uncle Carmen and The Girls collage

    Till another time.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Cedar Key Adeiu! Leaving you with a visit to the Wabi Sabi Cottage and the Retro Beach Babes Bungalow

Just a few more days of our lovely stay in Cedar Key.  Quite a bit more crowded than other years when we came in January, but more abundant birds and flowers.  Rhododendron were blooming everywhere this week. 

I haven't captured every interesting cottage, shop or building here yet, and continue to be inspired by the vintage coastal architecture.  Some of my collages from the past, primarily businesses, are now 'historic'; as they are no longer here and their buildings revamped.

Wabi Sabi cottage has kept it's aged gray cedar siding and landscape, with a  touch of whimsy in the flower pot bicycle basket.  The Japanese term "Wabi Sabi' refers to an aesthetic concept that finds beauty and serenity in objects, landscapes, designs, etc., that are simple and imperfect.  My amplified color and image abundant aesthetic may not be Wabi Sabi per se, but I think they're having a fun mash-up.

Wabi Sabi Cottage collage - Cedar Key


This purple, yellow and green cottage is as almost as vibrant as in the collage, where I have amplified the colors some.  It echoed for me the colors of my collection of vintage, retro 'beach babes'; a retro term for their male counterparts, 'beach bums'. The colorful bungalow is a perfect gathering place for the them. 

Retro Beach Babes Bungalow collage - Cedar Key

 If you follow my blog, I hope you've enjoyed traveling with me.  Next post sometime from somewhere about something. See you then.



Sunday, February 26, 2023

Cedar Key - Bayou Time!

Cedar Key is indeed a key, an island;  a little corner of Florida on the West Coast that juts out into the Gulf of Mexico.  There are also many inlets, canals and as I like to call them, bayous.

The photos these two collages are based on were taken from both sides of the bridge crossing the Lewis Pass Canal and some of the buildings house clam 'races', where seed clams are raised.  Cedar Key is famous for its clams.

It also became apparent that Pink and Yellow Bayou have decided that they would work very well as a side-by-side pair when they're in mood and don't want to just be the individuals they are.

Pink Bayou collage - Cedar Key


Yellow Bayou collage - Cedar Key

By the way,
Sheila Baby and the yellow boat are Cedar Key residents too.  Sheila has a sister boat, Baby Cakes, who has appeared in other collages.

Our visit is coming to an end here. I have some images that caught my eye, so perhaps another post is upcoming.




Tuesday, February 21, 2023

More Cedar Key-ing

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed I don't post frequently - except during these travel times.  It's interesting working with a focused frame, as it were, using photos from my travels as the anchor of each collage. I call these my 'regional collages'.  Mid-afternoons have become the 'back at the ranch' time from our meanderings and when I collage.  

My friend Perry Fitzhugh once said to me that he thought he would enjoy working for Sesame Street, where you have to be creative with simple themes, like numbers, letters and concepts like up and down and have to stay within that focus. I find there is a different creative feeling to work within the frame of the trip. And at home, I don't have the openness to spend every afternoon at the collage pallet.  Travel bonus!

The background building in this collage is indeed vintage and is all gray weathered wood. It has been abandoned for many years and the only unused building on 2nd Street, the main street here. At one point, many little found-art assemblages were nailed to the walls, but this year they are mostly gone with a few new drawings on the walls. 


Here vintage people, with vintage-inspired Mr. Pearl, appreciate Old Florida Cedar Key.

Vintage Cedar Key collage - Cedar Key

I've always liked this funky cottage, with a yard full of Flamingos and the doll who lives on the porch. 

Dolly House Cottage  collage - Cedar Key
And truly, how could one pass up using this chicken shorts gal in a collage. Not me, for sure.

Till next time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Cedar Key Florida 2023 ~ Kayaks, Century Plants and Flamingos

 Kayaking is a popular thing here and these colorful boats can be seen on the beach, in backyards and on tops of cars.  


Those Kayak Girls collage - Cedar Key

 Huge Century Plants are also in abundance.

Among the Century Plants collage - Cedar Key

But what is in most abundance are the birds, and apparently mating season is coming, so the flocks are gathering. Pelicans, Ibis, Herons, Doves and the most unique and wonderful Roseate Spoonbills. Flamingos are very prevalent too, but they are of the plastic lawn ornament variety.

Flamingo Hotel collage - Cedar Key

Now for more roaming out and about.


Thursday, February 9, 2023

Cedar Key, Florida 2023 ~ Our favorite little Gulf Coast Town.

 From the urban, artsy Savannah vibe to laid-back, 'Old Florida' Cedar Key.  Although Cedar Key sports two art galleries, two lovely gift shops and several restaurants, it's still a place for doing nothing, as it were. Our 'nothing' is long walk-abouts through town and sitting by the Gulf.  Our only 'sport' is bird watching from our deck, although the area offers fishing and kayaking. All the 'Old Florida' architecture and island colors are my muse.

We've been coming here for many years now, after being introduced to it by our friend Donna, who lives in St. Petersburg. We stopped by Cedar Key on our way to St Petersburg to see all the assemblage art on the Low Key Hideaway motel. We liked the town so much, we came back on the way home and then the following year, began coming to Cedar Key.

This mural has been here for awhile and this year looked refurbished. A bit of vintage beach photography highlights the welcome vibe.

Welcome to Cedar Key collage

This little cottage, hidden amongst the trees, is definitely a vibrant island house; named by it's owners as the 'Shaby Shax'.   The vibrant Peony is derived from a quilling-art piece by my friend Deb Booth, with her kind permission.

The Pink 'Shaby Shax' collage

Now for some sitting on the deck.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Savannah 2023 finale - Mannequins!!

I've loved mannequins for a long time.  I once had a torso that lit up, which we used as a table lamp.  Once had a full mannequin in the dining room that wore an vintage Mardi Gras costume [she came with it!]  and a Shriner's hat. And I have a wonderful 50's vintage mannequin head who happily lives in my studio at home. So I was especially happy to 'come upon' mannequins on our Savannah rambles.

Moving day appears to be just that; a truck of mannequins on their way to somewhere else.  There wasn't a clothing store or any other kind of shop nearby that might use mannequins.  Perhaps it is a personal collection?

Mannequins On The Move collage - Savannah

This team of mannequins and an array of sewing machines, reside at Number Nine, which houses classrooms for the SCAD School of Fashion.  We came across this diligent woman working by herself one evening. Diligent's fish hat came about in a funny way.  I wanted to add an odd element and had a dream about using fish.  In my collection of fish images, I came across the fish-in-a-cup image I had created some time ago and saw the colors were just right.  As I was positioning-repositioning elements, I made some of the elements in the collage not visible.  When I made them visible again, I discovered that the fish-in-a-cup had positioned itself to perfectly become a hat!!  Serendipity won the day!

Mannequins In Class collage - Savannah

Our Savannah stay is coming to a close. Next time will be from our favorite 'Old Florida' town, Cedar Key, on the Gulf Coast.  

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Savannah, Savannah ~ Poetry, Cake & Bunnies and...

Several times we've seen 'those poetry guys'  arrive in Forsyth Park and set up right in the middle of the main walkway.  They bring camp seats and chairs and small old-style manual typewriters, set out the Poetry Shoppe sign and sometimes play bluesy music. Occasionally the guy on the left will try to chat with someone walking by, but so far we've never seen anyone stop for a poem, which I imagine they type for you  in the moment, as they don't offer any printed papers or books.  

Those Poetry Guys Collage - Savannah

I was quite taken by these quirky 'Bunny Girls' and friends in the window of the SCAD shop. Turns out they are the work of a well-known Savannah artist, Ashley Benton,  

I thought it was fun when I discovered myself in the background in this photo of the shop window and was also pleased to find a little enamel 'bunny girl' pin for sale.

Bunny Girls of SCAD collage - Savannah


Another day brought us by the Rum Runner Bakery and their wonderful painted walls. I was drawn to the cake mural and made it my focus.

Wall O' Cakes collage - Savannah

The grand old Telfair Hospital building is on our daily path.  It was built in 1884 and was a hospital for 'females', later adding a children's ward and eventually becoming a general hospital.  Savannah ghost tours report it is haunted by Mary Telfair, the founder, who has been known to appear in the hallways wearing a brown dress. The hospital is now a senior-living residence. 


Telfair Hospital collage - Savannah


I'm enjoying thoroughly my Savannah collage focus.  In February, we'll be heading to our favorite Gulf Coast town, Cedar Key.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

More in Savannah - Forsyth Park to Betty Bombers

The 30 acre Forsyth Park and it's lovely fountain are a major Savannah landmark. The park is near where we are staying and is a big part of our day.  We walk near or through it to get to most places and we walk to it to just sit and people-watch under the Live Oaks.


These lively guys appear to be best buddies and meet up in the park most days. I added a friend to the crew and he  fits right in.

Blue Dog and the Forsyth Guys - Savannah

The gentleman on the bench seemed to be contemplative, striking me as from another time. Our Lady of the Parasol joined him.  The dramatic flower accent is courtesy of Deb Booth from one of her quilled art pieces.

Forsyth Park Parasol - Savannah

Betty Bombers is also in our neighborhood and has become a favorite place.  It is a World War 11-themed eatery [especially love the 40' music that plays] and is uniquely located in the building that houses the American Legion Post 135.  Savannah is famous for being home of the Mighty 8th Flying Fortress B-17 planes during WW11, when the air force was the Army Air Corps. 

My father was in the Army Air Corps and served as a plane mechanic.  I had particular fun working on this collage on my father's birthday and you'll find a little  homage to him in the portrait of the handsome fellow on the right.


Betty Bombers - Savannah

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Savannah 2023 - return to a favorite city

We're on our Winter get-away and this year we are beginning in Savannah - the city with urban vibes in the midst of the many tree-filled city squares and parks and Live Oaks abounding. The greenest city space I know.  It's a unique combination, all amplified by the art vibe of being the home of SCAD - Savannah College of Art and Design - which has a presence all over the downtown 'Historic District'. We are a little south of the Historic District in the Victorian District, named for the wide span of Victorian architecture and a more residential and a bit more 'funky', which suits us well. 

I continue my penchant for using architecture as the anchor of my collage, especially my 'regional' or travel collage.  And Savannah has so much to offer.


J. Christopher's is one of our go-to spots for breakfast or lunch.  Good food, great ambiance and art-filled walls. These two would surely be regulars there.

Meet Up at J.Christopher's - Savannah


Amidst historic homes and Victorian beauties, there are still bits of vintage everyday life like this barbershop.  Elvis Costello seemed a good fit for retro hair.

Barbershop Barbershop - Savannah

The Savannah Theatre has inspired several of my Savannah collages.  The theatre first opened in 1818 and is one of the oldest continually-operating theatres. This is their current offering.


'Menopause - The Musical'  - Savannah