Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Welcome back to the Art Kitchen! I got moved into my new space and celebrated by making a pillow to donate to a local group, Kansas Advocates for Better Care, in their Chair-ity silent auction. This pillow is 12" x 16".

"Elegant pillow in autumn colors created using an improvisational sewing/piecing method. One of a kind, bright and lovely, good to cozy up with in your favorite chair. Marion has been making art quilts and pillows for over 15 years and delights in looking for ways to play with color, pattern, and composition."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Grandmother Mabel with her grandmother Mary Ann Jones Eaton

My Grandmother's Grandmother

I didn't even know I had this image. I found it in grandmother Mabel McNaughton Cain's Wedding Book from 1923 with no identification on it. At first galnce, I didn't know who it could be. I realized the younger woman was grandmother Mabel. So this must be one of her grandmothers. The older woman wasn't great great grandmother Phebe McNaughton...

I compared the younger picture of Mary Ann Eaton, I began to see the resemblance: small woman, smiling eyes, high cheekbones, even the way she wore her hair. Ah ha, it is Mary Ann!

I was "over the moon" as great aunt Alicia used to say. Here tucked away all these years, was this sweet picture of our Grandmother with her grandmother.

Mary Ann lived with her daughter, Annah, so grandmother Mabel would have know her well. If this picture was taken about 1912, Mary Ann would have been about 87, and Mable about 15. Mary Ann was born in Mass. and came to Kansas with her husband Nathaniel H. Eaton, as pioneers about 1873.

Was Mabel's older sister Lucy taking the picture? Mom said that Lucy was the picture taker of the family. If not Lucy, then probably great grandmother Annah.

As a side note, there is a chalk X on the front gate. A friend of mine was wondering if it was a hobo sign. Great aunt Alicia had some stories about hobos coming to the door and being given food in exchange for work. The hobo's would make markings, letting other hobos know if a house was friendly.

I believe that this is the little house great aunt Lucy lived in next door to the bigger house of the great grandparents in Tonganoxie. It doesn't look like the front or back door to the big house anyway.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Spent the Day Feasting on Old Photos...

A poem of sorts
In honor of turning 50

I Spent the Day Feasting on Old Photos.
I created a portfolio of my sketches and art ideas.
I made a display of the best of the best of my photos for my digital album.

I arranged old family photographs and artifacts on my dresser.
I started a slideshow of my friends.
Lots of cropping and correcting.
Lots of memories.
Missing my dear ones that are not here.

If only we could crop and correct the past. Undo the things we wish hadn’t happened, and go for the life we wished we had.

What I wasn’t doing was cleaning my house….
Nor hacking away at my “to do’s,”
Although a considerable amount of dusting and

organizing was occurring.
Never mind the sink, the tub, the carpet, the LAUNDRY.

My friends can now look at the photos instead of the dirt.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Great great grandmother Phebe

I had a great time at the KCGS genealogy conference. The highlight was meeting Maureen Taylor, the “Photo Detective” http://blog.familytreemagazine.com/photodetectiveblog/.
She was interested in my picture of great great grandmother Phebe McNaughton.

Maureen pointed out that Phebe has a wig on and that it looks like she had very thin hair underneath, almost bald. I have looked at this picture many times now and had not caught that. When I got home, I looked at the picture I have of Phebe’s sister Mary, and she has a wig too!

I did not know the McNaughton family history past my great grandparents until this year when I started scanning and researching these pictures. I am always hungry for any information about female ancestors since they are so elusive, and so this was a stellar discovery.

Here is Mary:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quick Photography Fun

Finally had a minute to play this afternoon with some photography....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lansing House and Presbyterian Church

I loaded old photos into Flickr today from my 2007 Artist in Residency at the Mendocino Art Center.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WabiSabi Fall

WabiSabi Fall
Originally uploaded by mdyerstudio
Fall is here and it's time for hot cider with cinnamon, and curling up with a good book. Unfortunately instead of getting to curl up, the outside world is demanding my attention. The US is on the verge of an historic vote to change the way health care is handled in this country. So I am attending to the process of humanitarian change instead of my artistic process for now.

This photograph was taken on a walk in the woods as I was crossing a bridge. The Chickadees were calling, and this pile of early fallen leaves caught my attention. I used a Creative Commons texture to accentuate.

It's nice to be able to do photography, even when I feel too busy to get other art done. FEEDS THE SOUL!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lovely Wabi Sabi

Lovely Wabi Sabi
Originally uploaded by mdyerstudio
Have you tried Flickr yet? I just opened an account because I had photos from a political rally to put up for others from the group to enjoy. Then I moved onto family photos and finally got inspired by a photographer that also took some pictures at the rally. He was using free creative commons filters from Flickr. That was a blast to find and play with.

Then I discovered Flickr "Groups" -you can join groups and post your photos to the group. My favorites so far are "Girl Photographers," GhostWorks," and "Wabi-Sabi"

I found the Wabi-Sabi group and the Ghostworks group found me and asked me to join based on a couple of my family photos at the ocean. Ones that I had used the creative commons filters on.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Photoshop fun -my family at the ocean

family at the ocean
Originally uploaded by mdyerstudio
Image from this summer's family time. This is a fun free texture from creative commons. I'm missing my family and feeling nostalgic as fall advances.