Monday, August 23, 2010


Cherish: To treat with tenderness and affection; to embrace with interest; to hold dear; to nurture and care for; to protect and aidI first met her on a chance encounter. She was milling around in a box full of strangers. She looked to be no more than 16 years of age. There was an air of sadness hovering around her. The faraway gaze in her eyes as well as the unique perspective of the photo drew me to her.At the time, I wondered who she was. What was she thinking when this was taken? At what far off point did she fix her gaze? What was the occasion for this photo? What was her story? Photos are generally taken to commemorate an occasion or to preserve a memory. It made me sad that she had slipped from someones memory and ended up in a dusty box.Wishing to honor this young girls memory, I chose her as a center piece for a new work of art. While working with the photo I made a discovery. On the back of the photo frame in the faintest of faded scrolling script was a name, address, and city. It was too dim with age to make out with the naked eye. Using an LED jewelers loupe I was able to identify her. Excitement mounted with each discernible letter.Her name was Cottage...Cottage Bealle. Her address was 985 N. W(smudged out and unreadable) Street, Danvers, Illinois. I googled to no avail, I could find no trace of her or even her surname. There are several other spellings of Bealle and I wonder if through the years it was changed as so often happens. I only wish there would have been a date or that the street address was not smudged away. The photo is mounted to the frame so no luck there either.Here is what I think is the wonderful part of her story. I began gathering the fabrics and elements of this fabric collage before I made this discovery. The piece was almost complete and I was ready to attache her when I saw the writing. The entire piece has a cottage feel to it with the faded lightness of fabrics and fibers. How perfect is that?The foundation of this collage is what I learned from my Collage Camp DVD's taught by KC Willis. I love this technique, it is so rich and layered. I can't wait to try out some of her other techniques in future pieces.I tried to use mostly vintage pieces for embellishment; glass, metal, a precious stone, handmade lace, vintage photo and vintage paper frame, and celluloid pieces.I confess that I usually pick apart anything I make and am never quite satisfied. I also have to confess that I really kind of really love this piece. I hope that Cottage, who ever she was, in some way knows that she is now cherished.I embrace with interest little reclaimed pieces from the past for use in my art. I cherish the instant ancestor photos that find themselves cast aside. I hold dear the little bits and bobs that were daily parts of peoples lives in the past. I feel that by using these things in my art I am giving them new life while treating them with tenderness and affection. Protecting them in this manner is my preservation effort. I find nurturing and caring for these abandoned objects an honoring enhancement to my artist process.

I also hope that each of you know how I cherished you and your constant encouragement, friendship, and support. Blog friends are just the best! I am gearing up for a little give away that I'll be announcing in the next week or two. I want to show my appreciation for the sweet support I always receive here. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy a free image of one of Cottage's friends from the box she came in for use in your artwork. Enjoy!Align Center(FREE IMAGE)

Have a wonderful day!

Miss Sandy


Linens Lace and Lattes said...

What a beautiful piece. I too love to save lace, buttons and smalls from years past and love to see how you work them into your artwork. You are a wonderful inspiration to me.

Anonymous said...

Sandy, this is soooo beautiful, soft and if Cottage were alive today I'm sure she'd love what you've created as a frame for her lovely face.

Blessings, dear friend!

Vee said...

Exquisite piece!

"Cottage Bealle" sounds more like a place than a person. And we think that names today are unique!

You've given this beautiful girl lots of love and attention and devotion to detail.

MosaicMagpie said...

Cottage Bealle, I am sure is smiling down at this tribute to her. Such a beautiful piece you have created here. Thank you, for the image and inspiration to enable us to try our hand at this technique.

Sumi said...

Such a lovely beautiful post.I am a new follower and absolutely love your work.

LuLu Kellogg said...

Oh Sandy....this is lovely!!

Thank you for sharing this beautiful image with all of us.

Wishing you a creative week,

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Truly lovely...and a wonderful story to accompany the piece. Thank you for sharing.

Leanne said...

So delicate and lovely. I love how you've used KC's techniques and made them your own!

Thespa McLaughlin said...

Lovely! Just lovely. Such a pretty piece of vintage style artwork. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer ~ Mi Vida Loca said...

Ooohhh Sandy, This turned out beautifully! I really, really love this. Thanks so much for sharing what little you know about your lady and for the free image as well.

Ruth said...

Oh Sandy.... What a beautiful story and your artwork honors the life of Cottage.
Thanks for sharing. This is a post that touches all our hearts.
I live in a historic town in Northeast Tennessee and every day I wonder about the lives of the those that lived in all the historic homes.

Many Blessings to You... Ruth ;)

The Feathered Nest said...

Ohmygoodness!!!!! Sandy!!!! This piece is just GORGEOUS! I so love it girl....the layers, the colors...absolutely everything ~ wonderful artwork sweet friend, hugs and love, Dawn

sonya said...

Oh Sandy, your collage is just beautiful...KC would be proud. I absolutely love this...Thank you for sharing your talent once again.
Have a blessed week,

Rose Garden Romantic said...

Hi Sandy! What a gorgeous piece! I love all the layers!

Wendy said...

This is soooo gorgeous!!! I'm a little late since this was already published in 2010 :)

Wendy (new follower, yay!)

Wendy said...

just now I see the bottle of the flowers, what a great and original detail Sandy!

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