Friday, July 31, 2009

Paper Cowgirl Collaborative Memory Book

I vow to get caught up on all the wonderful things I've experienced over the last few summer months. While I guess I could get bogged down (or should I say "blogged" down?) with discouragement for not being able to keep up with all the things I want to write about, I guess instead I should just enjoy EXPERIENCING them!

One of the great things that happened at Paper Cowgirl at the end of June (the Altered Art / Mixed Media convention in Waxahachie, TX) was my great friend Alisa presented me with a...uh, well... I guess I don't really know the name for it. I call it a collaborative memory book (to henceforth be declared as CMB in my blog posting...if this is the wrong name for it, shoot me.) It really was a most thoughtful gift, as on multiple occasions I had seen such books when shopping together and had emphatically exclaimed, "Alisa! I want one of these! You HAVE to teach me how to make one!" She kept reasurring me that she would take care of me. Oh why did I ever doubt?!

In keeping with the Paper Cowgirl theme, she created this little memory book to which I could later add memorabilia and photos, reminiscient of our Paper Cowgirl experience together. It consisted of multiple pages of varying textures including: paper, chipboard, fabric, antique ledger paper and even BURLAP--now, that's how a girl gets her COWGIRL on. And, as a special tribute, she included photos of both a likeness of the Cackling Poultry With Guns and one of (my many) alter-egos, Pearl Hart.

For those of you who may not know me well, I've always been known as kind of a self-proclaimed renegade. I get that from my mother. While I didn't mean to necessarily become this way, I almost just naturally developed into the kind of "lady" who bucks the system. It's not really that I'm dishonest or a thief...that's where Pearl and I differ. However, I do tend toward the outspoken and strong-willed and am not well-versed in how should I say it...putting up with others' crap. Throughout the years as I've matured I've tried valiantly to learn to share my opinions in a more affable way; however, my miserable attempts at being demure and coy and all those other ill-conceived feminine characteristics have all but failed. Ergo, I wear my badge as Pearl Hart, proud member of the Cackling Poultry With Guns (Society for Displaced Women), otherwise known as the CPG gang.

I so value the time and effort Alisa put into this wonderful little keepsake. From the linen and lace envelope it came in, to the tiny little leather and brass buckle and keys, each detail was a treasure!

So, I've noticed that most people don't post pictures of EVERY page or EVERY little detail of the things they do or recieve. But I can't help it! I just SO love the little details. Not only that, I KNOW how much time (a surprising lot more than one might think) it takes to do something "little" like this, and that's why it's even more special to me. Maybe I'm a nerd, but I waited my whole life to have friends who really "get" this part of creative self. Not only do they "get" it, but they seem to embrace it.

Artists tend to understand the FEELINGS that accompany seeing life through different "eyes" than the more "logical" or less "emotional" kinds of people we coexist with. While I've spent 35 years trying in vain to "overcome" being a person who is full of FEELING and EMOTION (though I can't tell you how many, many times I've wept to have it be differnt), I am finally learning to accept that this IS who I am. God made me this way. Instead of trying to hide my emotions and feelings because others don't understand them or it makes me easier to bruise, I'm finding a community of people who are teaching me that it's okay to be me. It's not just OK. They CELEBRATE people like me. Everyone gets hurt sometimes, and none of us are perfect. But an artist's community seem to be more accepting of the ups and downs we feel and doesn't seem to be as hard on us when we get a little "over" emotional about something. They celebrate the passion and they try to be there for the sorrowful moments.

I don't know if this makes much sense to anyone else, and I am just learning it myself. But that's why I LOVE these little details. To me, each feathered stroke of the pigment ink to "antique" a page, and each special little cut with the "deckle" scissors is an expression of love and acceptance that fills my oh-so-emotional heart with thanksgiving.


  1. Awww... glad you liked it so much!

  2. I am still dreaming of how fantastic Paper Cowgirl was! I love love this wonderful memory book! Hugs! Mendy

  3. I loved your post! What a great friend to make you this book! It is really gorgeous! I have a feeling one day Paper Cowgirl will be as famous as the "famous" Silver Bella, don't you?! Suzie

  4. Cheryl! that a beautiful post!! And what a beautiful piece of work your sister in art gave you!! Thanks for sharing it with us!!

  5. It's absolutely amazing. As I often said that day, "i'm not worthy, i'm not worthy". LOL. Seriously, you are blessed indeed to have such a gift bestowed upon you, and the devil is in the details...for its the little things that make the big difference". It's wonderful!


  6. what a lovely little book~ a real treasure from a very sweet lady~
    have a wonderful weekend...

  7. Hi Cheryl, Beautiful memory book...what a dear friend you have!!
    Thank you so much for leaving your very lovely & sweet comment on my blog! It is so nice to meet you!
    I’m so glad you stopped by and entered in my giveaway, Good Luck!
    Hugs, Carol Anne

  8. Hi Cheryl, I'm posting here because I can't seem to find your email address and you won a $25.00 gift certificate for leaving feedback on what stamp designs you liked best for our future Claer Art Stamp Sets.

    Congratulations and thanks for all your great suggestions! Please email us what you would like with your address.

    Sandy Redburn