Friday, August 8, 2008

Mind Wide Open Challenge #2

Here is my entry for the second "Mind Wide Open" artistic challenge. There are many beautiful entries to provide you with an insight on how one simple image can inspire different forms of making one's art. Please go look at them and VOTE for your favorite. You have until August 14th to cast your vote.

My entry is so very personal to me that I almost didn't want anyone to see it! It's based on my ever-tatting Grandma! She was my father's step-mother, but she was the only grandma I ever knew. When I was growing up, I was lucky to have her live in the house next door! My family would go over to visit Grandma & Grandpa every Sunday after church. I was greeting by a pink- speckled cup of warm coffee with half & half, and cookies wrapped in a napkin. During the week, I'd skip over to visit often. We'd settle in the rocking chairs with Grandpa to watch the "Edge of Night" and Grandma, always with a hankie in her breast pocket, would work on tatting her doilies.

Grandma's house held a collection of porcelain giraffes on the mantle, a box of "toys"; her old purses, powder compacts, Grandpa's old silk ties, wooden thread spools, vintage baby rattles and a few Little Kiddles for my sisters, brother and I. There was always something good cooking in the kitchen and always a TV Guide around with a crossword puzzle that needed finishing.
"All you can do is your best." She'd told me when I was 16 and I was nervous about my first job. She was always rooting for me in everything I did. When I was 17, Grandpa died and Grandma moved away to be closer to her daughter, in Mountain View.

We would write often. The letters were full of things about her grand kids, the weather, her thoughts on the world around her, and my then boyfriend who became my husband. She died shortly after finding out about my boyfriend, never getting to meet him. These letters became the background on the 16" x 20" canvas. The wood piece with peeling blue paint was a door panel from a house in Napa where they lived before I was born. On it is a glass doorknob like the one the door originally had, flanked by vintage millinery flowers. Under the knob, is the image of a door plate provided for the challenge, with a vintage key and an image of Grandma as a young girl in the keyhole. "SECRET" was the word provided to aid in further inspiration. Using Grandma's words from her letters, I spelled out "Her secret to life was to love always." under the door plate. The white edging is some fine needle work from a vintage hankie, and a green tatted doily peeks out from behind the sides of the wood panel.
This project really "hits me where I live" and I hope Grandma likes what I've created from the memories in my heart!


  1. I just LOVE your new Blog Banner! It turned out simply Elegant! Love it!

  2. I love what you made to honor your grandma. you are so clever :)

  3. I also love your new banner for your blog. So cute :) Maybe I should start up a blog too? It looks so fun :)

  4. Oh Jan,

    This entry is stunning!:Even more so because of the meaning behind it. It's a tribute to a very wonderful grandma.

  5. Oh I love all the changes up in here! And that gorgeous piece of art is just perfect!

  6. Thank you for visiting my blog and entering my give away. I love your entry in the MWO challenge. I love all the vintage details!