Runs with Scissors
Hello again. Please be sure to shut the door tightly so we keep the heat out and the air conditioning in. How did we manage without Mr. Carrier’s invention? When I lived in Wisconsin the saying was the 4th of July meant summer was half over. Here in Alabama, it seems summer is just revving up. The Knockout rose bushes are definitely heat stressed and the humidity is a constant reminder we live in the south. The sure sign that it is seriously hot outside is Mr. RWS is now riding a cart while golfing, something he only does when the heat index is above 100.
Happily, I am able to escape the Alabama heat and spend time in the Penny Black studio, playing with the stamps and dies in the new Artistic Endeavor release.
I couldn’t let the 4th of July holiday go by without making a red, white and blue card for the occasion. I used the Metropolitan cityscape die and the Celebrations die set to put together an Independence Day celebration in the city. Those stars came from a die in the Postage die set. I love making a holiday card using non traditional stamps and dies.
Who doesn’t love sunflowers? And a wreath of sunflowers is even better. The Flowers all Around cling stamp is fun to color and can be used for any occasion. I went with traditional sunflower colors after toying with the idea of making them into colorful daisies. Some things are best left in the original. I even thought of fussy cutting the wreath and decided maybe I would leave that up to Birgit. I decided on a two layer wreath instead.
Instead of bold and beautiful I chose pastel and pretty to color the Flower Cascade. First I stamped and embossed in gold, including the sentiment. It became a classic card when I matted it onto the gold mirror cardstock. This stamp will take on any personality you choose depending on the technique and color combination.
The United States is celebrating its birthday this Monday, making it a long holiday weekend for most. For some of us it is also a time to thankfully remember the ancestors who braved the unknown to venture from their homeland for a new life in this country. My maternal grandmother, known to us as “Busia”, left Poland as a young woman to settle in America and changed the course of our family’s history forever.
Years ago my aunt interviewed her mother (speaking in Polish) about that decision to come to America. We are blessed with an incredible story of what it was like to be a young immigrant traveling to a strange country to marry a man she barely knew.
I will let her tell her own story:
“There were 12 children born to my parents, eight survived. We owned an acre of land plus a house for two families. With a family so large as ours, we could not survive on what it produced so we worked for large land owners. I remember at the age of 8 picking potatoes with my father. Schools were not available nor were they compulsory. We had a family friend who had some schooling and he taught me how to read. In my teen years I was put to work as a kitchen helper and as I was a good worker they then hired me as a live-in pantry maid. I slept in a little nook under the main staircase.”
It was about this time that my grandmother received her proposal of marriage from my grandfather.
“Your father had been in America for almost three years at this time. His early life had been spent in what history books call serfdom. Their family lived in the Russian sector of Poland but owned no land and it was only after the government, in 1907, allotted parcels of land to the peasants that they could farm their own land. While you were in ‘service’ your pay was room and board. If your landlord was generous, you survived; if he was cruel, you ran away. For a time he was farmed out to help his uncle and lived in the German sector where a school was available, so he was fortunate to have two years of schooling.
To avoid military service, he hired a guide to get out of the country. Travel outside the borders of the Russian sector was restricted so their travel had to be surreptitious. Avoiding guards, changing his name whenever necessary, he reached his port of emigration. His original destination was Arizona to join one of his brothers but his money ran out on his arrival in Milwaukee.”
And how did the proposal of marriage come about?
“In Poland, my sister had married another of your father’s brothers and our contact with the family had been on a social basis. We did see each other several times while growing up. My sister and brother-in-law instigated the whole arrangement. So with a little anxiety I agreed to leave my homeland and marry your Dad.”
What was the boat trip like? How much did it cost?
“I left Poland with about $60.00; most of that your Dad sent me. The fare, which included the train fare into Germany, the boat trip and the train fare to take me to Milwaukee came to $35.00. All my identification was pinned to my lapel. What with language problems in Germany and America, this was to insure that I didn’t get lost.
Steerage class accommodations were below deck. Areas were relegated for single girls, single men and families. Bunks were arranged in tiers with loosely constructed partitions separating them. We were each issued a kit of utensils. Food was served canteen style. Any food remaining from first class meals was set in boxes and brought down to steerage class and could be purchased.
Seasick passengers would unwisely fling open port holes for want of fresh air and by so doing would create a flood until enough help could be gathered to force the windows shut. This happened often enough to make the entire ten day trip quite damp.
I was so fearful of becoming lost on the boat that I did not leave the steerage level for the entire trip.
I arrived in New York on October 23, 1911 and spent one day on Ellis Island and arrived in Milwaukee on October 25, 1911.”
I will pause here to interject that my mother was born just six years later, the fourth child out of seven.
My mother is the third girl from the left. The only child still living is my Uncle Eugene, the little guy in short pants standing at his father’s knee.
To be continued. (The Wedding and First Impressions)
Ahoy there! This adventuresome pirate is from the mini set Journey and is just right for a child’s birthday card. I am delighted that there is now a die set with the numbers from 1 through 0 as well as other symbols to make celebrating specific occasions easy peasy. The designer paper from the paper pad Golden Moment seemed just right for a wavy ocean background.
I chose this sweet image from the transparent set Adventures to demonstrate how perfectly the designer papers in the Golden Moment paper pad go together. This little cutie does not seem to be in an adventurous mood; maybe she is waiting for the car to get packed before she buckles up in her car seat.
Who wouldn’t love to go camping in a sweet purple tent with your own bluebird of happiness along? This is another of the summer fun stamps in the Adventures transparent set and will be a fun image for many a summer occasion.
You may remember this photo of Cooper celebrating the 4th of July from a previous year’s celebration. I couldn’t think of a better way to combine Cooper and the American flag. And this saved me a treat as Cooper has now learned if he poses for the camera, he receives a treat when it is all done: smart boy, happy doggy mama.
Once again it is time to stash the scissors and clean up those itty bitty scraps from the Metropolitan die. And there are a few little stars sprinkled about, too. I love my itty bitty vacuum for a day such as this.
Last week when I was fresh out of story ideas I did receive a few suggestions for further content, from recipes for tuna casserole to cleaning techniques. Since I am not a whiz at either I will just have to depend on Brain to conjure more inspiration. Sometimes an idea will surprise me by just popping into my head. You can be sure I quickly write it down before it becomes lost in the universe somewhere.
Speaking of ideas, I am stopping by the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery on my way home to be inspired by your work. Be sure to post the projects you’ve made using Penny Black products. I’ve been told the Gallery is air conditioned which might encourage a longer visit.
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black Supplies:
Card No. 5: 30-370 Adventures