Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day June 21st, Lovely Post....

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day in the UK. My daughter sent a text to Jim's phone, but of course, as Buster has eaten it, he didn't get it! The thought was there. My father died in 1987, my mother in 1980. So long ago. They were 'older' parents and I am the youngest and I envy people who still have their parents - take care of them, one day you will miss them as much as I miss mine. My Father was a wonderful man, Reginald Barker was his name and he started his working life as an engineer in a factory but played in his own band at weekends. Eventually the music took over and through huge talent and a series of leaps, he ended up a professional musician playing at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for 25 years. I wish I'd asked him more about his early life, do it now everyone, before it's too late.

He was born and lived in Leytonstone, East London and his father was an entertainer too. It was in the blood. Daddy also had a great bass singing voice and could play most instruments he picked up. He originally played the trumpet in his own band but mostly played timpani and percussion. We had a whole room at our house filled with his instruments. Huge kettle drums, tubular bells, a xylophone and glockenspiel, cymbals, all sorts. He had a wonderful bird whistle that you filled with water. You had to blow down it and it made a marvellous sounds. I loved it.
His nickname for me was Whizzer. Sadly he developed Parkinson's Disease in his later life and it robbed him of a happy retirement and the medication made him miserable and depressed. So unfair for a man who had so much talent. I could write much more about him, maybe another time. I still miss his raucous laughter and his deep resonant speaking voice.


I've had such a lot of lovely post recently. Some expected, some a total surprise. As you may know, I am a member of a group of 10 and we are making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) going through the alphabet. I have recently received these:

C for Carp from Mim. I just love the subtle, soft colours she has used in this.

D for Desert Rose from Marianne. Isn't this just so pretty?

This interesting card was from Marianne, together with 2 pretty 'stickers', shown below

These are both Mandalas - (look it up Adrian!!)

E for Energy from Lynn. Wow, this stitched ATC is certainly full of energy and fun and pizazz! I love it.

I also love this amusing card Lynn sent! 'half cocked owl'!! Taken by herself too

We are on 'F' this coming week and Lolo has already sent me this wonderful ATC. F for Feel Free. This is so joyful and certainly conveys the feeling of freedom to me. I love those feet.

This is the super card from Lolo. How great to have such wonderful Bloggy friends:

Achieve Balance, I'll do my very best Lolo

I sent Mildred from Nalley Valley an ATC of 'Madam Butterfly' as she is a big fan of butterflies and dragonflies. She has sent me this wonderful ATC, her first. If this is her first, she must definitely keep on doing them. It's terrific:

This is so pretty, thank you Mildred. And for the lovely card accompanying the ATC

And Mildred left the card blank, so I can use it!!

I have recently been in contact with a blogger from New Zealand and she sent me 2 fabulous ATCs and a felt brooch. Here they are:

A Maori ATC. So unique and fabulous feathers

This ATC is Marama (Moon). Such great textures. Also on the back of each card is something. The first one has a Kereru (Wood Pigeon) in paper cutout. This one has a coin with a butterfly and 10 on it.

This is the brooch, it has a pin on the back for attachment. Isn't it something? I'm so lucky.

Thank you so much Flower.

Lastly, I have just done my 'G' for green, although it's not 'official' until 29th June, here's a sneak peek!

I am quite pleased with this one. There's even the symbol for 'Green bucks'! I think that's what they've been called at times, anyway. My 'G' ATC will go to Mim in the USA.

Now for the big surprise. I received a mystery parcel. I poked and prodded at it but couldn't decide who it was from, though I could see it was posted in the UK. Jim got fed up with my procrastination and opened it. Inside was a bag full of wonderful toys for me!! Material, bias binding, gold thread, silver thread, ribbons of all sizes and colours, sequins, little gold leaves, silver rik rak. And much more besides. The great card inside was from Nikki, my friend from Nat West Bank days in Bakewell (she comments on my blog as anonymous - but I know who she is)!!! Her little note said 'Having a sort out - found a pile of stuff that used to go on carnival costumes - wondered if they are of any use for your cards? If not, no worries, your bin is as good as mine.'

Oh Nikki, I'm so glad you didn't throw them away and were thoughtful enough to send them to me. I am thrilled to pieces. Thank you, thank you. Isn't it great to have friends? Nikki's card is a hoot:

Do read the words! Click on it to enlarge if you're myopic like me!

I did order a book from Amazon and that also came. Its title is 'Collage, Assemblage and Altered Art' by Diane Maurer-Mathison. I had a look through it in the bath this morning (I managed to keep it dry) and I'm not itching to have a go. Come on builders, get my room finished soooon.

Wow, I think that's it for postal presents. There's nothing beats snail mail for the pleasure of receiving and sending.

Today - inside and out

I think I must be nesting as I've spent the past 2 mornings cleaning up big style! Today I washed the floor again (Kitchen/diner), trying to scrape off the plaster trail left by the builders. Then I cleaned the top of the kitchen cupboards - they were just hideous. Then I had a bit of a go at the walls too! The line between where I've cleaned and the dirty bit is amazing. It is the wall just above Stanley (our old stove), who often belches out black smoke, so you can imagine it, I'm sure. Even the spiders refuse to set up home there. Now I'm de-scaling the washing machine and kettle. Hey ho. It must be holding all these babies.

It's been hot and muggy today so we did quite a lot of gardening too. I have finished planting everything that Jim has grown. Phew, it was quite a task. Foxgloves, poppies, mixed perennials, wild flowers, delphiniums, hollyhocks, a real mixture. The garden is looking lovely I must say, I think its at its best in June and July. I will take some photos probably tomorrow.

We have quite a long lane leading up to our gate. We own it so have to maintain it. At this time of year it gets quite overgrown from the banks on each side. Brambles and stinging nettles start to hang over the lane and the gorse seems to have almost taken over. One large bush has fallen down. So Jim strimmed and I snipped and pulled and we managed to clear most of it before we both gave up, partly because of the midges and horse flies and partly because we had both come to a standstill! I always find humid days quite draining.

It's been a good few days, the builders seem to be cracking on at last and the garden is blooming, plus all my lovely post.

We have to go to bed by 2am tonight as Jim has to be up early for a telephone conference call at 9am for the Horticultural Society. I have to be there to make sure Buster doesn't start howling or eating something he shouldn't! So we'll have to be up at about 8am I suppose. It'll be like being back at Jason's. I might sneak a quick nap in the afternoon!

Oh, I nearly forgot. Jim and I received a lovely hand made card from Ali, Joe and Poppy thanking us for the pram for Poppy. Just in case you're getting baby withdrawal:

The t-shirt was one I bought for Jim when Ali was still pregnant. It says 'Who Needs Money When I've got Grandad!!'


Jason said...

Ahh nice post. I wished I'd have known Reg more. He seemed a fine fellow. A always remember using his drum sticks and him saying I had natural rhythm. A nice thing to say to a kid, I felt good.

I filled his sweetie jar with butter cashew nut brittle yesterday in celebration.

I got a t-shirt which said "The Boss" which is very nice and appealed to my ego. Kitty threw up on it so i didnt wear for long. lol

Glad things are going well. xx

Carol said...

This is a lovely post!! Your Dad sounds like he was a wonderful man and very talented too!!

Love the ATC have a lot of very gifted bloggy friends :-)

hehehe, that picture of Poppy is very cute :-)

C x

soulbrush said...

what a truly perfect post, crammed full with lotsa lovely arty things,pognancy and that li'l sweetie Poppie. what a great family you have. snail mail is the highlight of my day now. go grab some award on my blog today.

Heather said...

Lovely post Gina - what a fantastic collection of ATCs - so much variety there. I miss my Dad too - he died over 20 years ago aged 84. He was gentle, wise and good company. Mum is still alive but her memory has gone. Physically she's fine at 101 but a conversation with her is hard work as she forgets everything so quickly.

ADrian said...

As Jason says, I wished I'd known Reg more too. I only really know him from what you and mum have said, and I think that's nowhere near enough.

Here's to you then grandad, cheers.

BT said...

Glad you enjoyed it Jason. Love the t shirt, shame about the sick!! Yes, Daddy was lovely until he was ill. That changed him sadly. Lovely about his sweetie jar!

Hi Carol, thanks for your comments.

Why thank you soulbrush, I tried to mix it up a bit! An award! Woo, hoo.

We do miss our parents, Heather, no matter what our age. Your Mum is 101? Wow. Shame her memory has gone. I worry about mine at 60!

Ah, thanks ADrian, Ben doesn't even remember Reg and he knew him when he was young. It is a shame he wasn't around longer in your lives. Thanks for the 'toast' to him.

DK Leather said...

~warm smile~ I LOVE the bits about granddad, I've some very fond memories of him. Sat at his feet whilst he waved his arms conductor like to the music. Sharing honey on toast, or alpen (or ginger parkin yuck!) for breakfast. Playing on all those marvellous instruments in the garage in Lancing. He saw Kirsty as a baby too, just once, I still have that photo :-) Lovely memories, I do hope you write more about him some time.

Lots of lovely ATCs too, as someone else said, perfect post!

Bea said...

You are so busy with cleaning and gardening and creating your ATCs. What a wonderful collection of them you are getting. A friend once made me a wall hanging with little clear plastic holders for my ATCs. I could slip them in and out and change the decoration. :)Bea

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, as usual.
Glad the bits may come in handy. Although how you find time to do all these things is beyond me.
I remember your dad, a much more approachable man than mine!!
I am anonymous simply because I have no idea how this works and keep trying to leave a name, push publish and losing the lot!

Note to self, must buy a black-smoke-belching-stanley...spiders dont like it! I wouldn't say the spiders here are big...but they have red eyes, gnashing teeth and "I'm 'ard" tattooed across their chests! Okay, I may be exagerating...slightly!! :)

Nikki said...

ah, so thats how to do it!!

DK Leather said...

~waves~ oh heya Nikki! :-)
Kay x

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

What a lot of lovely ATCs and gifts by snail mail. and a Very homey post today. Dont you just love spring cleaning.. altho is is now summer but you cant tell it by us right now. its still coolish out. Your Grandbaby is adorable.

Stampmaiden said...

BT, great post about your dad. How wonderful that you got along well and shared a great bond.
You're ATC collection is really growing! Where do you keep them all? I love the green one you made for the ABC trades. Unfortunately, I'm not the one getting it. LOL! And I love that brooch. Very cool!

KathyB. said...

What fun you are having with your art cards! I love to make cards, all kinds of cards...

Any father would love the knowledge his children love him and after death, the children miss him terribly and as long as they live, his memory will too. Even better, to pass the memories on to future generations. You are passing on some priceless memories to your family and friends....your family is blessed!

Friko said...

Hello BT - I may have a present for your, an anecdote about your Dad.

I read this post and rushed off to ask the scraper if he had ever known "Reginald Barker".

"Sure,"he says, "knew Reg for many years"

And then he told me this story:

One day, in a break, Reg was sitting in the music library at the Garden, looking at a score. When he had to return to the pit, he took out his glass eye, stuck it on the score and said, " You look at this for me, I've got to get back to work."

BT said...

Oh I'm so glad you have some good memories of Granddad Barker, K. He was very fond of you. We had some fun in Lancing, didn't we? Remember 'Daniel and the Lions?'

what a wonderful friend, Bea. I'd love something liek that. At the moment some of mine are in a small album with black pages, the rest are in a used empty washing tablets box!!

Well done Nikki, so glad you're no longer anonymous! I don't have to work, Nikki, that's the secret! It does make a big difference you know.

Thank you Cris, I am getting quite a collection of ACTs, aren't I? Thaks for your comments too.

Hiya Linda, my Dad was a real character, that's for sure. I often dream about him and my mum. It's odd really. Glad you like my 'G'. I've made 2 Irish ATCs today, one for New Zealand and one for a surprise!

KathyB, you are so right about passing on memories. There is so much I'd like to ask my Mum and Dad now and of course it's too late. At least my children will have my blog to refer to. I must write a list of early memories too. Thanks for coming by.

Nikki said...

Hiya Kay :) Woohoo, the whole family...nearly...but I do hear about Ben from one of his friends!!

I have a question, how big are ATC's, are they standard?

BT said...

Friko, how does the scraper know your Dad - aha, he must be a fiddler!! I used to play fiddle and Daddy talked about 'scraping away'. Was your husband a musician at the ROH too? I want to know more. I am hungry for more.. The story sounds SO like my dad!! He had a very droll sense of humour, very old fashioned too. Oh, I miss him even more after hearing that....

Nikki, ACTs are 6cms x 9cms. That is the only rule. They can be made using anything you like, usually backed onto card of some sort. Anyone can do them. They must, however, never be sold, only swapped. So that's 2 rules!! lol.

Jason said...

Great story about Reg, thats funny. :-)

DK Leather said...

I do indeed remember that mum! Still know most of that too, got a copy many years ago and learnt it, specifically due to that memory!

LOVED the anecdote about Reg, fabulous.