Friday, December 27, 2013



Do you think the popularity of silhouettes originated in Paris?  Actually, "silhouette" is a French word named after Monsieur Etienne de Silhouette (1709-1767,) the Minister of Finance, who did this form of paper-cutting as a hobby.


There are three methods currently used to create a profile:

1. Trace a shadow and produce a large profile. This can be reduced to miniature by use of a grid or a Xerox reduction process.

2.  Sketch a person's profile before cutting it, which requires art experience.

3.  Observe and cut free-hand, by using the scissors instead of a sketch pencil The first two methods take considerable tine and do not hold the intrigue and interest of a free-hand silhouette. (To do this, you may need to practice on patterns as well as study the proportions.)

The above techniques for cutting silhouettes have served a purpose in capturing a likeness that can be treasured through the years, and can be considered a work of art. Before the arrival of the camera, many who could not afford a portrait availed themselves of this "cheap" likeness that recorded their image and is now a prized possession and a family heirloom.

In your school years, perhaps your teacher used the 1st means of making your likeness. Have you a large silhouette done in this manner? Silhouettes such as these can hold many memories, but are seldom displayed. Mothers prefer miniature silhouettes rather than a large one traced from a shadow.
Some teachers still cut silhouettes by projecting a shadow on the wall. Many would relinquish this task if they could find a silhouette-cutter (This is where you can HAVE FUN and MONEY.)

In addition to paper, paste and scissors, you'll need two things:
1st, models. That's easy. You will find them at the swimming pool, schools outings, Girl Scouts, parties, etc.
2nd, confidence. Relax you wrists and have no qualms about what comes forth from your "magic" scissors. With practice, from sample patterns that instill observation and concentration, you'll soon get the knack of it. You'll gain confidence before you realize it.

As you can surmise, from the various methods employed by other silhouette-cutters, the object is to obtain a likeness, regardless of the method used. If that is achieved in the eyes of the beholder, you have accomplished your mission regardless of your technique.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PRACTICING, EMAIL ME AT and let me know.  Perhaps we can get good.

Christmas - a time of love

THE TREE OF LOVE  and The Christmas Tree

Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe". Though Victoria’s young life was turbulent, one of her fondest memories was of Christmas with her grandmother, Queen Charlotte, where she was introduced to the Christmas tree. It wasn’t until after she married Albert, however, that the tree became an iconic part of Victorian life. 

Prince Albert wanted to make Christmas very special for his new bride, and finding the perfect gift for a monarch who could have anything she wanted must have been a daunting task.  Because the Christmas tree had always been a part of his Christmas growing up in Germany, Albert decided it would be a perfect gift for his beloved.  After careful planning and preparation, Albert surprised Victoria with his Tree of Love -- carefully selected and lovingly ornamented with delicate and gorgeously intricate decorations made by his own hand.  Victoria was enchanted, and from that moment on the tree became one of her most cherished traditions. 

In 1848, with his wife’s encouragement, Prince Albert allowed the London News to print an illustration of the royal family gathered round their beautiful Christmas tree.  From that moment on, the world became smitten with the tree given from his heart to hers.  It became the rage in London to have a Christmas tree, and the reprinted illustration introduced the royal tree to Canadian and American societies, thus ensuring that the bond between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert would forever be immortalized.  Tragically Prince Albert died just a few short years later at the age of 42. 

Though her reign was a long and prosperous one for England, Queen Victoria never recovered from the shock of Albert’s death.  She mourned and wore black for the rest of her life.  Today, there are still symbols of their deep and abiding love in countless monuments Victoria built to honor Albert.  But of all the monuments that symbolize their love, none is so sweeping or as deeply woven into cultural tradition as that of the Christmas tree ~ their Tree of Love. 

       New activities for 2013 Luminary event included:
·         Booster Model Inertia Nutcracker:  almonds were used (pecans would have been better.) 
      With the Camera Lucinda, attempts were made to make silhouettes, but better lighting will be needed in the future to make this a wonderful activity.
·         Five different St. Nicholas coloring pages were available as handouts for children. 
       Stephen and Faith, taught children about the REAL Santa with the St. Nicholas Echo Story.  These Santa Helpers also helped demonstrate vintage toys. 
·         Lettered slates from A to Z were laid out so children could spell “Christmas” or write on reverse side any missing letters.
·         Homemade cookies given to Santa and church photography crew from Wells Branch.
       Activities from previous years included:
·         The Real Santa board and pedestal on the front porch
·         St. Nicholas word search posters: New erasers and markers
·         One-cut star using 8-1/2" x 11" paper: with green and red pre-folded paper, scissors
·         Vintage toys available for use by the children and even adults
·         Nativity display was prominent as the families entered the Homestead; children could move figures as desired
·         Fires in both fireplaces during each evening; families (and workers) appreciated the warmth as they entered the Homestead
     Decorations and setup  NO PICTURES TAKEN ...  too busy
Advent wreathe and four candles, carpet and quilts,  wood Christmas tree with three new felt storybook figures, gourds, glass vase arrangement, over the mantel angel, stockings, window items, baskets for holding items, taffy candy for children and workers; Bible and prophecy card, the colored paper chain from last year worked again.