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04/18/2010


Now My Heart Sings Daily • by Lovey


Where does my story begin of art saving my life? It all started about ten years ago. My love for digital photography became a reality when I had my first son. With his birth, I wanted a way to capture his growth just like so many mothers having a child for the first time. I was excited and overwhelmed with wanting to create some type of art (I wasn't sure at the time what ... but I knew something would come to me). I wanted to detail his life and ours as a new family in a way that was beautiful and unique to me. I bought my first digital camera. It was a Fuji point and shoot. It had about 3 mega pixels and I was thrilled! I immediately began taking pictures of my son and all his firsts. As I collected more images of him, I felt compelled even more so to preserve those precious moments outside of my digital camera.

My Journey into Art
I started reading books on decoupage and scrapbooking. I fell in love with both concepts and so I bought all the necessary materials to get me started. I made decoupage boxes of my son and husband, and created scrapbook pages of them as well. All my son’s firsts, good or bad were being preserved in books and boxes. I was happy. I was having fun. Creativity was flowing. It was great. At the time my mom was living in another state and couldn't see my son as often as we'd both like. My solution was to send her scrapbook pages and decoupage boxes about her number 1 grandson, Samuel. She was always so excited to receive trinkets and pages from me. I enjoyed sending them. She became my muse. I wanted to keep her up to date with everything about our lives and she reciprocated the gestures whole heartedly.

Tragedy and the Death of my Muse
In 2006, my mom, my best friend and muse passed away after a four year fight and long battle with cancer. “Oh My God ... what will I do?” I thought to myself as I tried to cope with her being gone. Such an empty space now inside me. How will I go on without her in my corner? Who will I share my life with? Who would care outside of her? During what was surely the hardest time in my life, I found out that I was pregnant with my second son. I was happy and sad at the same time yet torn over not having her to share his birth, his life with. My best friend Angela was struggling with her own battles as she was diagnosed with cancer the year prior but died nine months after my mom. My heart was completely broken. My art stopped. No more boxes, no more books, no more desire to create.

My Soul is Sparked with Fabric Collage
I was surfing the web in June of 2009. I was interested a little in mixed-media but not sold completely on it. Somehow I came across a site entitled “Collage Camp by KC Willis.” I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about this online camp. I joined the site and began exploring all the beautiful art collages with upholstery fabrics, aged photos, and doodads. Oh my God, could it be? My heart was beginning to sing a song again! I explored more. Bought KC's online videos, her books, articles about her art, and there was a spark inside my soul. I could feel the burdens of my loss subsiding enough to feel the joy churning on the inside of me. I felt alive again.

My Art Saves
I began creating my own fabric photo collages. I came up with my own ideas of beauty and art and what it meant to me. My love for anything vintage and photos of vintage African American women found their way into everything I did, and continue to do. My collages speak volumes to me. I love collecting the photos, aging the fabrics, laces and trims. I love finding broken rhinestone jewelry to use on my collages. My heart sings daily I started a blog (fabricphotomemories.blogspot.com) where my life has intertwined with so many other gifted and talented people and artists around the world. They support and encourage me! I'm alive again.

My heart sings to a beat of creating vintage photo fabric collages ― not of my children, not necessarily for my children, my mom or my husband ― but for me and I'm feeling good about Life, love and my muse ... what's in me!

Art does save ... it saved me!

Lovey is an artist who lives in Washington, D.C.. To learn more about her, visit her blog at fabricphotomemories.blogspot.com. She may be reached by e-mail at fabricmemories@gmail.com.

Comments

Lovey, what a wonderful testimony! You had to travel through your sometimes sad journey to get to where you are now. I think the more we experience in life, good or bad, the more our art becomes richer--loved this!!

Thank you Diane. You are right. Sometimes we have to go through things in life that completely shapes us into who we are...I know I'm a better person for it. And my art is filled with my journey...from my heart.

I love hearing (reading ;) people's stories. Thank you for sharing yours!

Thank you for listening to it...smiles and hugs Nathalie.

Love that you shared your story, Lovey.

You know I admire your work - but I also enjoyed learning more about you.

And, it's fun to hear that another member of that first collage camp group was so inspired by it!

Thanks Tristan...much appreciated! You know that I feel the same about you. Yes...I was completely inspired in that first group...and I got the opportunity to meet all of you! Smiles my Tristan...

Lovey,
Oh girl, your story touched me so. We have much in common. In 2007 I lost my own sweet Mother to Cancer, as well as my Father & Step Father. At the time my triplets were 2 years old. I also thought 'how will I go on'? It was art that saved me too. Most of my work is centered on family & my heritage as a way to remember them. KC's workshop taught me so much about my 2 biggest loves, fabric & antique photos. Lovey, I'm going to check out more of your work now. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Lisa

Wow...Lisa, I know your hurt all too well. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's amazing though how God gives us something just for us to help us heal. I'm happy to know that you have a love for fabrics and antique photos as well...it's such a great combination...I know our love for this craft will continue to blossom...smiles and hugs
Lisa.

Lovey!
What a wonderful story! Mine is similar and isn't it just like life that so many people have similar stories where art saves them and heals them???? Thank you so much for sharing your story. I've loved all the pieces of your soul shared on KC's camp!
HuGGs!
Debi

Lovey, I was reading my Facebook over dinner and here you turned up! You are my favorite sweetie - you know that. Your story is so inspirational and you are a joy! Hugs,

Hi Debi...yes, that's the way life is. Our lives intercept and somehow we end up on the same paths or at least similar ones. It's nice though to know there are others out there that share our love, our passions and even some of our hurts, our pains so deeply. These things bring us together...bridging gaps and establishing friendships that are long lasting. Hugs too..

Oh...my how beautiful are you my Marlynn...You know you are mine as well...my heart to yours as always...and yes, I feel that admiration for you greatly. Thank you for your kind words and your inspiration to me. You know how I feel about you...xoxo!

Lovey amor, Beautiful article on you...when I first came across your name on a comment that you left for someone else...your name caught my attention...when I visited you to see what you were about...your art, well as I have told you before it spoke to my heart...You have such a beautiful spirit and it comes through in eveyrthing that you create...Some of your pieces are sad, others well, they my eyes water because they move me...I believe everyone has it in them to create....But not everyone's art speaks of their spirit...does that make sense? Lovey thank you for sharing your story...I now know for fact what I always assumed, your an amazing woman with a beautiful heart who creates beauty...sharing her spirit and love for art with us all :) Besos to you amor! Rose

Once again I must say...I adore you Rose. Thank you for being you...and connecting with me. Many treasures I have found but only a few do I keep...you are one of the few my sweets.

You have a wonderfully inspiring story. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you Myra for your kind words. Thanks for sharing with me...smiles.

I am so touched by your journey into art Lovey. I am such a fan of all the beauty you create. I know that your mother is so very proud of her lovely daughter and continues to be your muse and will throughout your whole life.
hugs,
June

Oh thanks June...I miss her dearly. I love the idea of her being proud of me and looking upon me with those loving eyes. She was so wonderful in her support of me. The idea that she's still loving on me from Heaven...keeps me strong when I feel weak. Thank you June, as your words are always so thoughtful as are you. I am an avid fan of yours...you know that too! Big Hugs and Kisses...

Thank you everyone for your comments and support! Much love felt! Smiles...Lovey

Thanks for this article.
Lovey you have been through so much and found the beauty of art a comfort and a way of expressing.Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, its so uplifting and inspiring to me. I have had some terrible moments too this last year or so and art helped me too, I feel my muse is somehow in a muddle right now,but your article has touched me and I am inspired to reach further inside and find the magic.
many many many thanks Lovey
hugs June xxxxxx

June, when I read your post on your blog, I felt my heart connect to yours...does that make sense? I felt your hurt. I felt your desire to create and the feeling...of "will I ever create again?" "Where is my muse?" You didn't have to say many words...just the right ones that conveyed those feelings to me. I understood and wanted you to know that everything will be alright. Through our struggles, when we reach the other side...we find that we are stronger and that we soar as better individuals, artists, friends....our lives aren't always cut and dry. Quick and easy. There's some lessons that are tough and some experiences that aren't fair..but if we faint not...we make it...and we're refined and better because of it. Reach...Reach...Reach...past the muddle...reach further...find your joy...find your muse...it's waiting to come out. Tears, pain, sweat...VICTORY! ART....JOY, HAPPINESS, GOD, LOVE, FAITH, ART, BEAUTY! YOU! Got it! Smiles...Lovey...That's how much you touched me too!

I am so sorry for your losses! I am happy that you found a way out of your sadness and used art to spread your wings. Art brings many emotions, but it helps us face them, work through our pain! Your work is beautiful; I think you were guided to move forward and keep your authentic talent alive!

Oh Ellen...thank you for your kind sentiments. Yes, I have felt great loss but I believe you are right when you say I was guided to move forward..."I like authentic talent.." I was definitely put on this path for a reason...meeting all of you wonderful and compassionate individuals speaks volumes to me and really impacts my life. I want to inspire others...all that will listen and see...thank you Ellen for bringing your life shine into mine. Lovey

P.S. Ellen...my moms name is Ella. (See nothing happens by chance...)

Lovey: I have tears in my eyes fronm reading your story. I, like many others, feel the pain of losing their Mother way too soon.

I am glad you found that art that lets you connect thru your heart to something that reminds you of those that went before us.

I love KC's work and how it combines beauty and history. It is great to see how you have evolved to a whole different level making the art your VERY Own.

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