Artwork at the White House - Easter 2007

I'd been very good - above average to honors often enough in every way  and yet, here I was -injured and disabled and broke and moved to a safe 'she-shack' that would keep me safe at least.  Alone. I thought me done - and praying for grace to handle it nicely.  Online work and coding and new friends online refreshed my soul, and the local church was new and nice too.  Then one day, learning some new skills online I found the WhiteHouse.gov site.   The ancient tales say that dwarves would wrought from the depths and let the results shine at the heights: was this precedent?  I guess that's how this story unfolds - you tell me:

To be a bit clearer:  I'd gotten the children off to college with the last cent of our young estate, after sudden widowhood from my soulmate, and had stopped crying and started dating, and glad of my arts/response duality,  I  had helped a lot with recession crises with  my old group,  American Red Cross and some private ones and the new shelter system, in my homestate Connecticut. Family roots for over a century , a river runs through it to the sea and it cascades along lovely hills, down to the beach. After twenty years away with war and corporate, the day we drove home "for good - for now"  was a lifesaver - I was not healing from the losses and was becoming profoundly frightened by the feeling of "bleeding out" .  But the rush of new life at old home healed me quite bit!

 My future on my own, restarting from broke, still looked fine - still in my 30s -   bright and accelerated, as were both our children,  in school, and now off to college, it was not so bad now.     I'd made new honors, and restored my health and desire to live to be a hundred.  To stay active I found new paths and lots of refreshed skills.  The last cent from the estate sent the children off to a safe start and busy again, a Small bank account balance grew a bit each month.  

But then, a new bad surprise:   a crippling accident at the hands of an ailing loved one "in the throes" - just after the ODS work with ARC.  This time I was furious!  Dear Lord, just what do you think you're doing?    Now, I was Broke and in chronic pain, nearly immobile, burned out and grieving the death of my loved Father.  and hot flashes topped it off.  Benefits, after a bit, found me  moved to a new place - a lovely bungalow of quality construction - sunny, nice, safe, and with a little garden.  Of course, it was strange at first - and even unsafe, till friend found out and helped me get protective arrangements made.  Still I should have been very upset and was not - I was glad I thought to call on the Lord and cashed in on a lifetime of good faith with some calm thru it all and enjoyed happy days, anyway.   An odd new strength and peace descended and acceptance: be still and wait upon the Lord and be content with this permanent disability.   One does. And I did.  

AND then, something unexpected happened - a basketful of somethings!

  • Dad left me a new Apple G3 PowerBook - just one a family of techies - my immobility opened up the world online!
  • Son, Peter, IT super pro,  flew in from parts west and taught me code and helped set up my first website.
  • A disabled friend gave me time at his desktop to do more and learn to web-surf and not panic over freezes and code-mess.
  • New friends offline saw me crushed and heard me and  told me to cut it out with quitting and try again
  • Arts folk worldwide cheered me online, also, to try and try and "get there",  though getting across the room was work
  • New names: Angelfire, Photoshop, Text Edit, hex colors, web-safe, graphic art, extension,suffix, url, Saint Isadore
  • New church at my new bungalow where an apple orchard once stood - with garden- just a few blocks away.
  • The late Father John White - the living Bing Crosby in "Going My Way" for a pastor - truly lit up my life.
  • Mother and daughter for lunch and help a lot
  • Bob'n'Tony, Tony'n'Bob - there will be their page here soon - chef and maestro CoffeeShopGallery sold my art!  
  • The Mill on the Hill - and its amazing waterfall!  And its aging owner - all five feet of her - "you make art - no quitting!"
  • AND ART AT THE WHITE HOUSE - the cherry on top!
  • Medical upgrades and therapies - all nonsurgical, I was thrilled to be again empowered... so grateful! 
  • The Manchester Road Race, when they'd said my injuries would mean wheelchair -  I WALKED it just fine! Praise!
  • 2002 web surfing, I found the White House online and the  State Easter Easter Egg Display -
  • Submitted for three  years - but got no response and then discouragement.
  • Knowing I was fine for it, in 2005,  I applied once more - for the mommies who taught me egg-crafting.
  • They still did not want to let me in, disabled - overqualified or not - NO, I would not acquiesce - not this time...
  • I told my Congressman at the time, Rob Simmons, who suggested to them otherwise and was accepted at the Federal level.
  • Then CPA, the state and the local egg board screened me and approved. 
  • With a cash grant for expenses, to work ( see Technical Notes, below ). Done and shipped in its custom-fit box from AEB.
  • Christmas 2006 and media and travel itinerary to the event done, it was about family fun.
  • April 3, 2007 - daughter and I trained to the White House Opening, luncheon, tour and fun afterward - Sunny Day!

And that's all there was to it!   (humor)

Sponsored by the American Egg Board , since 1994, the event appeared indoors at the Visitors Center in tandem with the Historic Easter Egg Roll outdoors, but is inactive at the  moment.  Hope they restore it.   It was a chance for 'The American Artisan' to be represented in Spring - the White House does something similar at Christmas with tree decorations.  Just Splendid!

The presentation and opening of the Display  found each of us briefly personally hosted by First Lady Laura Bush.   I was flattered to see my  egg near the top of the Lucite Pyramid of eggs from each state in the union!    And my daughter with cell phone cam very busy a few feet away .   Security rules there meant clearances but for this moment it was fine and not at all stressed.    My only sorrow was that I was still disabled and in stitches in my mouth, distorting my face and braces under my spring green suit. Still, I would not have missed that moment -ever!

ohhhh.... I don't even look like me in stitches and braces under the clothes - but ohhhhh

ohhhh.... I don't even look like me in stitches and braces under the clothes - but ohhhhh



Some days just glow in the memory - this Sunny Day in Washington, DC was one.

The event included a visit "en group" with each state artisan bringing one to four guests.  Two from CPA and my children, then.   But my son could not leave work across the country at the Chronicle, so we found him on the cellphone to join us virtually at least.  Then  my daughter and I made it girls' day!  She was more thrilled to accompany me than she'd been since puberty.  What fun we had , with a sunny day on the White House tour  and more.

After the luncheon and presentation, and show opening, we strolled the Capitol in April with the famous, newly-upgraded cherry trees and grounds security at the White House - Laura Bush's project.    I called up Memories of trips to the Hirshorn and Phillips and more as a girl.   Then later, I'd take the Eastern Airlines shuttle military standby $20 - to visit my late husband;  at the time -  at nearby Fort Belvoir in 1966, the home of Engineers at the time - he'd signed on, a scientist to help get rid of Agent Orange in Viet Nam - such proud days - and tense with the danger but readying.   And then our Daughter laughing remembering our family trip to Washington ten years later,  for the Capitol's way with the Bi-Centennial!   Oh Yes... every moment pure gold - and sidewalk cafe and ice cream and we were back to Connecticut by bedtime.   Thank yous to all who helped followed, joyfully shared and then "back to normal life".    

And at the White House in memory any time we wish forever after!   

 

Connecticut Egg 2007 photo by White House photographer, Sheila Craighead

Connecticut Egg 2007 photo by White House photographer, Sheila Craighead

Technical Notes:
My design for the 2007 White House Easter Egg, From Connecticut, incorporates state symbols in miniature. 

  • The item is created in a real chicken egg shell. 
  • The outside is done in Connecticut sky blue.
  • A front-facing opening, in the shape of the Connecticut State Armorial Bearings
  • to aid interior light - some of the gold mylar used by NASA- gift from DuPont Dad
  • opening trimmed in tiny real pearls , one for each state - 50. 
  • state and national flags atop, made with stained glass medium.
  • flags enjoy pole finials of real gold nuggets from Connecticut Gem & Mineral Club
  • historic diorama within - mills empowered our independence in 1776 - this one still stands.
  • scene of waterfall that once powered the mills,  and famous New England stone fences
  • scene outlined by flora and fauna in mixed media: paints, papers, foil, glazes, "gallery glass", three glues.
  • scene  gems: danburite,zircon,aquamarine,garnet,chrome diopside, emerald.
  • ...and love - for country, history, the mills that won our American Autonom and ...
  • crafts and the mommies who taught them - in memoriam Julia Maciedulski Feb1906-Sept2003
 

Such events always share an afterglow - I normally do art with honors and for sale as well as I am able to market it.   And my "Art With Heart" is very helpful, now that I do NOT run to Ground Zeros in person.  

 This event was no exception for related things and afterglow - extras:  

  • It helps my health and spirits, and safety, since girlhood, to  "get some sunshine" - always ready to be grateful to all who help on such projects in civic and social and arts.
  • I learned new things about the EGG!  the living symbol of the cell, and life source.  The American Egg Board had complained that badguys were overdoing it re: eggs and health - and AEB won some eggs-oneration, too, sharing more up-to-date reports of the wonders of the egg and wise use not overuse for fine benefits.
  • I found new friends all over the country who do similar work with eggs,  and even the fundamental wax resist things I learned as a girl - the modern eggs are done not with a candle stick and pin as I was taught but with an electric kistka to draw with wax in color.
  • I do up miniatures of eggs in every way, mostly paint and draw right now,  and am always ready to share what I learn. 
  • I was able to show my amazing mommies that I did, too, realize how grand they are, with this event - and told them in action !
one of the watercolor egg mins I do - fun

one of the watercolor egg mins I do - fun

There is more, but let it be enough for now with my gratitude for the opporunity that saved the day - doing it again. 

Visit the AEB site and neat free educational downloads, funthings and a shop where ou can purchase neat eggy funstuff!

 

elle