Friday, September 30, 2011

The Burning House - day 4

Name: Carolyn Peeler
Location:  Langley, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation:  Sr. Creative Director for Melissa Frances

I was initially overwhelmed when Paula emailed and asked me to participate in this burning house project. What would I really make an effort to save? What things mean or represent the most to me? I thought I would have a list a mile long, and it's true. If I had hours to save things, I would certainly spend it dashing through the house and grabbing this and that. But, if I only minutes to save my favorite things, these are the items I'd try and grab (in no particular order - although the dogs would be #1).

1. Chandelier - Of all the objects in my house, this is my favorite. My husband and I bought this in Turin, Italy from a tiny antique shop. Believe it or not, we didn't break one crystal shipping it home! I can just picture how ridiculous I will look yanking this thing out of the ceiling, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.
2. My puppies - My husband and I have two Bichon Frise dogs (I could only get one to sit still for the photo). I love these two girls to death, and they would be first things I'd save from the fire.
3. Scrapbooks - Photos and memories are priceless. These (and many other) albums would be tossed out the window to save them.
4. Wedding Rings - My husband and I do not wear our rings to bed, so if the fire happened at night, I would want to grab these from the counter.

Name: Paula Cheney
City: Santa Maria, California
Occupation: gatherer, collector, all around gypsy girl

  1. First I would go for my favorite Orla Kiely stem print bag.  Not because the bag couldn’t be replaced, but it’s so big I could put everything else inside it as I go.
  2. Letters my mother and father wrote to each other the summer before they were married.     I never knew my parents as super lovey dovey but these letters prove it.  My mother kept them in an old See’s candy box and I can't seem to part with it.
  3. My mothers handwritten recipe cards for favorite family recipes and her measuring spoons that we all learned to cook with.
  4. My iphone to call for help.  It seriously is the greatest invention ever.
  5. Of all my collections, my red tomato pin cushions mean the most.  The collection started with this little beat up one that was my mothers and then mine.  It’s been stitched together so the sand won’t escape more than once.
  6. Trixie Belden, girl sleuth.  I keep these books in a stack right by the front door so I am sure I could get at least one in my big purse.  This was the first book of the series I ever read (sometime around 3rd or 4th grade) and I so wanted to be Trixie, mostly due to the outfit she was wearing on the cover.
  7. Old Photos.   In my family, I am the keeper of all my parents photos now that they are gone...note to paula: time to digitize!
  8. My first 7gypsies project - circa 2005.  My life literally changed direction because of this project. I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I just did what I liked.  I figured if I liked it, someone else would too.  Still my favorite project I have ever created.  
I hope you have had a thought provoking week reading this series of posts...what would I save? What really doesn't mean much at all?  There is just one more post that I have saved for tomorrow, so please visit us one more time for the final episode of the Burning House.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Burning House - day 3

It took me quite a while to decide what I would run and rescue if our house were burning.   This came at a good time as we are currently downsizing and are almost empty nesters.  We’ve made so many memories in this house, but in the end, what’s inside of it is ‘things’.  The people and the memories are what we carry with us.  Our pictures and documents are backed up off site.  The following items hold a lot of personal meaning for me.  No insurance policy can replace them.

Name: Anita Tymburski
Location:  Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Occupation:  Interior Designer

  1. Teddy Bear.   Handmade Mother’s Day gift from our 18 year old son 11 years ago.
  2. My grandparents wedding gloves, tie, boutonni̬re and Christmas card Р1939.
  3. Suitcase of pictures.  Including my grandmother’s baby picture of me, my mother’s well-loved porcelain doll, my parents wedding proofs and my mother’s report cards and pictures up till she married.  This was recently given to me and I haven’t digitized them yet.
  4. Painting.  A watercolour picture of my garden painted on a scrap piece of wood by our 21 year old daughter 15 years ago.
  5. My MacBook Pro.  Our lives are in there!
  6. Inuit sealskin Ootpik and soapstone sculpture.  Souvenirs from when my family lived in the Northwest Territories of the Canadian Arctic – early 1970’s.
  7. Metal sculpture.  Our 20 year old son made the metal plaque for Mother’s Day last year.
  8. Smurf.  Given to me by my husband on our first date – March 19, 1981.
  9. Door.  Which has measurements of our family and friends over the last 18 years.  We recently upgraded and replaced it, but will never get rid of it.

Name: Rachel Greig
City: Bateau Bay NSW Australia
Occupation: Photographer & Rubber Stamp artist, owner- Darkroom Door

(in no particular order)
1. Vintage camera collection - I have a nice collection of cameras including old brownies, 35mm, 120mm, accordion, polaroid etc. Many I have used, many I have just collected.
2. Letters from friends and family - I have three old suitcases full of letters and postcards. Probably way too many to save in a burning fire! But they all mean a lot to me and I love re-reading them. Connecting with friends and family through snail mail is always special.
3. Vintage letter opener - I have about 20 or so different ones (I know, crazy! I mean, I don't receive enough letters to justify this!)
4. My diaries - The one pictured on top is my diary from high school when I first met my husband (sensational reading in that one!), while the one underneath is my diary from my big European trip in 1997. I have actually burned many of my diaries from childhood, but I'd be devastated if I ever lost these two.
5. Kombi curtains - After traveling through Europe for a year in a Kombi van, the only thing I could keep from the van was some remnant material from the curtains.
6. Knitted hat - both my children wore this the day they were born.
7. Photo negatives - I have folders full of B&W negatives taken over the years (before I went digital). A whole body of work!
8. Grandma's sewing supplies - she handed down her pinking shears to me when she had to stop dressmaking. I then inherited her complete sewing collection after she passed away. She taught me so much about sewing as I was growing up (among other things) and I continue to use her supplies.
9. Grandma's watch - my Grandfather gave her this watch as an engagement present and Grandma gave it to me many years ago. It was actually stolen in a house invasion about 10 years ago, but we found it in the forest nearby a couple of days later! It was meant to stay with me.
10. Photographs - need I say more?
11. Passports - Not all who wander are lost, but I'd be lost without my passport! I know they're replaceable, but I love looking through the stamps. Each one represents so much!


Name: Mou Saha
City: Tampa, Florida
Occupation: Memory keeper

Objects: When Paula approached me about this project, I began thinking... I have left everything behind when I got married and came to the US and even though, I missed many of those things in the beginning, I got used to my new life pretty soon. So, possession-wise, it was rather hard to narrow down what I can't live without... because they can all be replaced, really! And the memory that's precious stays in my heart and nothing touches it and only time can wear it. Still, if I could save something from burning, maybe these would be the ones...

1. My first child's baby book because everything about a new baby was so novel and it still is
2. My life in a scrapbook that I put together for my 15-month old daughter when I was threatened by cancer so she would get know me a little if I didn't make it
3. Our passports as they connect us to our family and home in India
4. A brass idol of my God... I brought it with me when I came to the US a decade ago and never parted with it

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Burning House - day 2

Name: Sande Krieger
City: Salt Lake City
Occupation: Graphic designer, traveler and collector of numbers.
  1. Photos. Especially the ones of my dad before he was paralyzed. Irreplaceable.
  2. Mac and hard drives that contain all my digital photos and scans of my old photos.
  3. Scrapbooks. I hope the fire starts small because it's going to take me awhile to get all of these out of the house.
  4. My favorite pjs. I don't sleep well if I'm not wearing them.  Breaking them in was hard work!
  5. My Nikon. I had to use it to shoot these photos so this is just a representation.  It's replaceable but it would give me comfort to have it around.
  6. My travel journals. They remind me of where I've been and help me decide where I'm going.
  7. Ella & Portia. Irreplaceable and just darn cute.

City: Piedmont, California
Occupation: Portfolio Manager @ Williams Sonoma Inc. by day, artist by night.

  1. My daughter's case of hand made polymer clay pieces (my daughter, Rachel at age 13 made these and more)
  2. My case of cut up images (represents many hours of cutting with precision scissors)
  3. Portable hard drive (many many files, images, pictures, etc)
  4. Itouch (mainly because I can't sleep with out playing a few games of electronic sudoku)
  5. Mannequin of favorite jewelry pieces (many of which I made)
  6. Collection of family recipes (in one of my first albums I made)
  7. Eye glasses (my favorite pair of eye glasses and I can't see with out them)
  8. Complete collection of Columbo (my all time favorite TV show)

City: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: artist, teacher
  1. A travel mirror from Mongolia
  2. My calligraphy pens and nibs
  3. My Bible from my parents
  4. A little set of Beatrix Potter books
  5. My little zebra skin purse from Kruger park
  6. My Orange Leather Handbag
  7. my gold work overlay from India.  
 Why? All these things give me a warm feeling inside.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Burning House

Things to know before you read on:
  1. I take sole responsibility for the order in which the contributors appear.  They are not listed by age as in Huntington's original piece, just by my whim.
  2. Each contributor was responsible for their own photographs and memories.  Most of us are not professional photographers so we just did our best, myself included.
  3. I will not provide any dialog other than what the contributors have provided.  Please feel free to comment.  We would all enjoy hearing if Foster Huntington's original project or our additions have made an impact.
  4. Remember, you can click on any picture to make it larger.
Again, thanks for following along this week, I hope you enjoy. 
Name: Vicki Boutin
City: St. Catharines, ON, Canada
Occupations: Paper artist, author

I have to say that is my house were on fire the only thing that I would really think about after getting my family to safety is my photos.  Everything else is a material possession that could be replaced.  My memories are priceless.

Not is order of importance

1.    My camera…not really the one I use because I was taking the photo with it…but I LOVE this thing.
2.    External hard drive and photo cards.  I worry that this is a good enough protector of my memories all of the time.
3.    Security.  My kid’s favourite possessions.
4.    My purse.  Makes perfect sense to me…if houses my ID, health cards and money.  I think I would need these items in an emergency.
5.    The photos from our wedding.  More memories.
6.    Old photos on disc.  Still haven’t backed them up.
7.    Paper projects.  Still more memories and art from the heart.
8.    My jewels.  Love all of my little trinkets.
9.    Brooches.  Some were gifts and other I bought.  They make me happy.
10.    Time.  I am always aware of it.
11.    My Kindle.  I can’t seem to put it down.
12.    Good ol’hairspray.  A girl needs to look her best when she is running for her life.

Name: Stephanie Hendry
City: San Luis Obispo, California
Occupation: gatherer, Owner - Ruby Rose

photography by jennifer young

1. years of collecting floaty pens
2. memory box, it includes some letters, black & whites, rings, and lovelies from my special people,
    there is a little wand that says 'making magic', and it does!
3. oils. i have a houseful of these, so i could grab them as i run
4. a remington from my dad, it holds his ring
5. linens! this is the newest rug, and i am in love with the colors! it would keep me warm
6. at least one of the saints that guide me.
    Name: Heidi Gauvin
    City: Ellington, CT
    Occupation: Paralegal
    1.  Wedding album: this album means the world to me. I was married for the second time (I did it right the second time around!), in 2004.  It was a simple ceremony on the beach with a total of 28 guests. It was an incredible day and every time I open this album, every memory from that day comes back to me.

    2. Macbook Pro: I probably should just grab the back up but I'd really like to think I'd grab the laptop itself.

    3. Jewelry box:  although this is a little travel box, it contains pieces given to me by my grandmother and mother.

    4. Lunchbox albums: both of my girls have a Basic Grey lunchbox album that contains their school pictures from preschool through 12th grade with a little note about each year. They love these lunch box albums and we've had many laughs looking through them time and again.

    5. Artwork: my older daughter is a graphic design major and she drew this picture for me in one of her art classes. I love it. I had it framed and it hangs in our living room.

      Monday, September 26, 2011

      The Burning House Project

      I subscribe to The Anthropologist, which is an online space that supports the work of inspiring individuals, brought to you by the people behind Anthropologie.

      Their website states: we expose those who move us in order to move you, knowing that sharing creativity in turn kindles it. 

      I wholeheartedly agree.

      Recently, it was Foster Huntingtons' photographic work that was delivered right to my email box like a fabulous present.  As I read through the explanation of Huntington's piece I was fascinated by the genius simplicity of of it. 
      Photograph items one would save if their house was on fire and they had to leave.  As you read though his work you will notice that he has grouped the 20 participants by age starting with the youngest.  Huntington says, the "20 contributors illustrate, the definition of the word "irreplaceable" is quite subjective, and shifts considerably with age".  A true statement indeed and a brilliant organizational idea.

      After about a week of thinking about this piece and what I would save, I decided to ask some friends to help me document our own Burning House.  So I contacted a people you may know like Vicki, Mou, and Sande and some that you may not... people I have only met through this blog, and then others that live on the other side of the world.  What would we save?  Will it be similar?  Different?  Well, you'll have to follow along this week to find out the answer as we explore our own "Burning House".

      Your assignment for today is to take the time to look through the original photographic series by Foster Huntington here.  Note: If you place your cursor over a photograph the list numbers are highlighted.  I didn't figure this out till the end and it would have been helpful when reading about the items the first time around.  I hope this project is as thought provoking for you as it was for me.

      Again, thank you to Mr Huntington for his excellent piece, bravo.
      And we'll see you back here tomorrow for our first installment of The Burning House.


      Saturday, September 24, 2011

      South Africa - Kichaka

       After the weekend event we flew from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth. 

       We all thought this sign was probably not something you would see in the US.
      It took about 90 minutes to get from Port Elizabeth to Kichaka.  Just enough to make you feel like you are out in the wilderness (probably because you are).  What a magnificent place, really words cannot describe the beauty, the people, and the wildlife, just spectacular.
      Our fabulous host at Kichaka, Jason with Gary and Glenda our hosts for the SA Scrapbook Convention.
       Pathway leading from the car into the lodge.
       Here is the lodge and private bungalows from above.

      So here's the daily schedule:
      5:30am wake up call
      5:45am meet in lodge for a quick bite (not too much liquid at this meal since the only bathroom on the 4  hour drive is behind a bush, and you never know what else might be with you)
       6:00am leave for the game drive.
       We stop to look at fresh Elephant tracks
       We spot a can see why her coloring is so important.
      Lonnie our tracker sits in a chair at the front of the jeep to spot tracks, animals, as well as dangerous road conditions (no one wants to be a sitting duck on a 20,000 acre reserve while they wait for help to arrive). 
       Halfway through the game drive we stop for hot chocolate.
      And meet up with the other's the teaching group with the two guides and trackers.
       Stephanie and Rosanne

      Now back out on the drive...we find hippos submerged in a pond (that's a good place for them since they are so dangerous)

      and a few elephants...this guy was a bit grumpy till he got on higher ground and he could look down on us.
      Game drive is over so we head back to the lodge where breakfast is served.   Oh, this isn't it...this is just a snack to nibble on while you wait for your hot breakfast.
       After breakfast you can go back to your private little house and relax.
       or take a swim in the plunge pool...
       But no, it's time to meet the other down at the lodge for a light lunch (you know, because we just ate breakfast 2 hours ago)
       Then at 3:30 there's afternoon tea and sancks and at 4:00 you're back out on the preserve looking for animals.  This time we saw giraffe (one of my favorites).
       and zebra
      and 3 rhinos....I could have watched these guys for hours.
       Followed by more hot chocolate and a beautiful sunset...are you ready to book a trip yet?
       So many more pictures and stories, but blog world moves on to a different topic on Monday.  If you would like to see more pictures of a few inspirational places I visited while in South Africa,  I will be blogging for 7gypsies on Tuesday the 27th and if not, then I'll see you back here on Monday the 26th for a week long thought provoking project myself and a few friends have been working on. 
      I love suspense...don't you?

      happy weekend,