Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Meadow Meanderings-Going to the New Grounds-A Peek-a-Boo Project

It’s been years since I have been back to my childhood home, affectionally called “The Homestead” Its been sold just as many years ago and my heart can't seem to “Go Home” anymore , missing my family, my people, my tribe, my heritage. Just past the weathered whitewashed woodshed there was an abandoned area  we called “The New Ground” It was a hilly land overgrown with wildflowers abounding and shrub trees and blackberry bramble bushes. An old well fed an ephemeral pond, in springtime where we collected tadpoles in vintage blue mason jars. It was a magical place. 

Supplies:  GSLC-Little Niche Pointed, Fuchsia and Chartreuse Stencil Butter, Golden Quinacridone Magenta, Transparent Red Oxide, Van Dyke Brown Hue, Green Gold, Paint Brush, Ruler, Metallic Green CardStock, Paper Trimmer, Images From Sticker Books, Scissors, Washi Tape, WeldBond Glue, Recollection Vintage Gemstone Gemms, Matte Gel Medium

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Pre-fold GSLC-Little Niche Pointed, Allowing For Easier Assembly.
  3. With a Wide Bristle Brush Randomly Paint Niches with Fuchsia Stencil Butter, Golden Quinacridone Magenta, Transparent Red Oxide, Van Dyke Brown Hue. I Want Them to Have a Weathered Worn Appeal.
  4. Add Additional Layers with ChartreuseStencil Butter and Green Gold Acrylic Paints.
  5. Use a Ruler to Measure Inside of GSLC Niche and Cut Pieces of Metallic Green CardStock on Paper Trimmer.
  6. Destress Metallic Green CardStock by Gently Folding and Pressing. Dampen to make the Process Go More Easily.
  7. Find Desired Images from Sticker Books and Fussy Cut Using Small Scissors.
  8. Add Depth to Backgrounds By Attaching Strips of Washi Tape with WeldBond Glue.
  9. Assemble Your Vignettes.
  10. Add Washi Tape and Images on Outside of Outside of GSLC Niches.
  11. Assemble GSLC Niches Carefully Gluing with WeldBond and Securing  Corners in Place by Pressing With Your Fingers.
  12.  Once Fully Dry Add Recollection Vintage Gemstone Gemms with Dots of WeldBond Glue.
  13. A Quick Brushing of Matte Gel Medium Will Complete the Pieces.

    Final Thoughts:

We Spent all Seasons in our “New Ground”, it was borrowed land from the neighboring farm belonging to the Schriners. The man of the land was reported to be a Rodeo Clown, and the Lady of the Land Betty had the most beautiful blonde bouffant hairdos. Their cows would often get out and make their way to my momma’s lush gardens and we as kids were given the job of coaxing them back to their homeland pastures.

SpringTime was when the New Ground did its awakening. If one was careful baby grouse could be found along with spring bunnies. Ring Neck Roosters were a rarity but magnificent once discovered. Even rarer still were the Whippoorwills, singing their songs proclaiming their presence chirping out their names almost perfectly. 

Unusual Mosses and Lichens could be collected. Once Collected we would use them to make Moss Gardens for Our Easter Baskets. Sister Nean was a masterful moss menagerie maker, she also used onion peels, pressed ferns and flowers with cheese cloth to dye our Easter Eggs Some Years. Momma was the best at blowing out the inside of the eggs and then decorating them with Shrink Wrap Sleeves that shrank when dipped in boiling water. Many Years we  had an Easter Egg Tree On the front Forsythia tree, tied with bright ribbons. Brother Ralph was always on the lookout for Red-Winged Blackbird, as he declared them the harbinger of Springtime.

As Summer came it was Ralph who go off Blackberry Picking returning with plastic ice cream tubs full of the deepest purple hued berries knowing they were the sweetest. His hands would be stained appearing almost bruised from their abundant juices. Once we used the juices to fake a black eye. I am sure if the berries were ripe Nean would have used them to dye our Easter Eggs too.

Fall was the time for small game hunting in the New Ground off with the 410/22 gauge combo Shotgun Rifle. I wasn’t much of a shooter but did enjoy the quiet misty mornings in the woodlands. Dad, Ralph and Nephew Frank were the big game hunters. Once again momma would cook up their bounty with squirrel potpie, and roasted rabbit, and occasional ring neck rooster feast.

Winter was looking for a pine tree suitable for Christmastime. The Trailing Pine Mosses also made beautiful garlands to hang on the wood living room staircase. A variety of greens and dried flowers made lovely bouquets but sister Joan found out the hard way the white berries were from the dead Poison Ivy Vines, the hairy monkey tails clinging to the trees should have been a clue. A rabbit trail led to the lower swamp land that would freeze over some winters and could be cleared to practice ice-skating. Swamp Berries were gathered to add to our harvested bouquets.  A sledding hill was a bit further on. Hours of our childhood were spent with our plastic toboggans offering entertainment and exercise to ease the times before electronics invaded our creativity. 

Over the Rhine signs of such a place in “Called Home”

Just shy of Breakin’ Down
There’s a bend in the road that I have found
Called home

Take a left at loneliness
There’s a place to find forgiveness
Called home

With clouds adrift across the sky
Like heaven’s laundry hung to dry
You slowly feel it all will be revealed

Where evening shadows come to fall
On the awful and the beautiful
Every wound you feel that needs to heal

And silence yearns to hear herself
Some long lost memory rings a bell
Called home

Old pre-Civil War brick house
Standin’ tall and straight somehow
Called home

Mailbox full of weariness
And a word of hard won happiness
Called home

Leave behind your Sunday best
You know we couldn’t care a less
Out here we’ve learned to leave the edges wild

And stories they get passed around
And laughter – it gets handed down
Read it in the lines around a smile

Our bodies’ motion comes to rest
When we are at last
Called home

I also Like these Over The Rhine Lyrics from “All of it Was Music”

We left the city far behind

We traveled light, we traveled blind

With no idea what we’d find

Or whether we could use it

The rolling fields were lined by trees

Wild flowers brought us to our knees

The poison ivy thick as thieves—

We swung an ax to bruise it

A place where we could rest awhile

Where hummingbirds could thrum for miles

And we could leave the edges wild

And let birds sing through us

Fires where all our sparks could scatter

Midnight stars could drop their ladders

I’m not sure any of it matters

But all of it was music

To those I’ve wronged, please forgive me

I hope this song helps you, believe me

The holding on the letting go

It all get buried soft and low

Don’t ask me how but I still know

All of it was music.

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