Saturday, January 1, 2011

1 January 1957 “Happy New Year! and The Coming Project”

57voguejan Happy New Year all. I hope you all can say you have had a wonderful year. My Hubby made a nice comment last night at our little party we hosted in our home. He said, “Well, I can say honestly at the end of this year I am not saying Thank God it is Over!” We all laughed and reflected that we have had a rather nice year. With all the changes in the world and the increasing fear of those changes, it was a good year for the pair of us, at least.
As you may know I have been contemplating for the past month on my possible return to the present or to simply walk naturally into 1957. My solution is for the most part, go forward with the 1950’s. HELLO 1957!
Now, with that, I have decided that I want another focus to my year. With my usual continuation of news and research of 1957 and my ever striving for more homemaking skills, I have decided that art and craft will play the major focus for 1957. That is not to say I will limit my posts or my interests only to the art world, on the contrary, it has been the past two years of my varied interests and study that have finally made me want to get back to creating tactile art.
I, of course, consider all the Homemaking skills art. I KNOW a loaf of bread baked to perfection and the shine of a kitchen floor is art and it takes creation and skill, believe you me. Yet, I feel the need to want to digest all that has been happening and will continue to happen in the 1950’s into tangible art and craft I can see, feel, touch.
The coming year, as well, will surely be ripe with many changes.
Music is continuing to grow ‘wilder’ and more beat driven. Here Jerry Lee Louis reminds us that a piano IS a percussive instrument.
And as is usual for me, I will not only focus on the good. I might still wear my rose-colored spectacles, but sometimes there appear smudges on them. The radical changes in our world are increasing.littlerock57 Things like Elizabeth Eckford attempting with 9 other black Americans, to attend a Little Rock AR High School later this year. This will result in some amazingly scary results.
suesscatinthehatTo the happy items such as Theodor Geisel, writing as Dr. Seuss, created The Cat in the Hat.
princessmargaret The art world is increasingly running the gambit from more classical painting, such as this portrait of Princess Margaret by Pietro Annigonni from this year.
picasso57To  this child like sketch indicative of either children’s or mental patient drawings done by Picasso this year 1957.  With that the world of Advertising and the amount of images we are becoming bombarded with create Art in more places than once were. Products, TV commercials, magazines, even a box of detergent can be a thing of beauty. And the increase production in Books and Children’s books creates a boom world for artists pre-computer graphics. So, to me, the expressive arts, 2-D and 3-D are even more relevant.
Add to this the growing craft of Needlework, knitting, sewing. Endless offers are available to the homemaker and crafter to make and create by ordering patterns or easy instructions in magazines. Even paint by number is an expression for the burgeoning middle class to ‘pick up the brush and have an artistic hobby’.
So, how will my project work you might ask? I plan to, each month, propose to myself an ‘art & craft’ task. One month might be to write and illustrate a children’s book to creating and constructing 1950’s inspired wooden/paper dolls. Sewing, embroidery, what have you. I shall, for the most part, allow one month’s task to help me decide what the next should entail. Also the study and research of what is happening in that month in 1957 will most likely greatly affect my view and therefore ‘artistic vision’ for the next month. I hope to fuel my desire to create and nurture into this project even more.
You will also have notice that the blog has changed. After a year of learning, frustration and annoyance with the site and the seeming insurmountable work in it, I have finally figured out the best way to make my blog BECOME my website. This will allow me to have links to all my past posts (which I am still going through but it is SO much faster than trying to redo them all for the site). There will still be the Forum and the Corner Store and hopefully in the future, depending on which direction my ‘art and craft’ takes me, an actual little store of possibly my things for pin money. The site and the blog will become one so that rather you go to or the blog they will lead you to the same place. This will allow me to better make use of what I have, easily file away what I shall write for future use and have the time to focus on my art while still running my home and garden.
I hope all of you will still want to join me on this journey this year. I still can’t believe it has been two years! And so many lovely friends I have made. I would like to get back to my Q & A Sunday’s and still try to blog M-F with Saturday off for any blog tweaks and to focus on my art.
Our once featured Apronite of the month will make a return to the site/blog but I am not sure in what way. As I would like still to feature one of you a month. Perhaps you could suggest what you would like to see in that vein and that will help me to make it happen.
Well, after all that, my first art challenge for this month (which might need to spill into February as well, as it is a shorter month) is to write and illustrate a children’s book. I have been imagining a story around my favorite Hen, “Buttons” for some time. I hope to use she and her comrades as ideas. My first few sketches are greatly influenced by the more simplified forms of the 1950’s illustrators.  Here is a sketch that I started a few days ago to decide what direction I would like to take for this first art project.kidsbook1 Here you can see our little Heroine running about. It is merely a beginning now, but part of my project will be to share sketches and idea’s so you can better see, as well as help me, get to a final piece I am happy with. As always Please give me your opinions good or bad, I want to grow and improve.
Thank you all again for your continued interest in my little project and I hope the coming year of 1957 will keep you at least amused. Again, Happy New Year and as always:
Happy Homemaking.


  1. Happy New Year! Looking forward to visiting you on your 1957 journey! I lurve the new blog design too! Very chic!

  2. First, congrats on two years!

    Secondly, the website looks fantastic! I think this is the best incarnation of the site yet! I only clicked around a little bit, but everything looks lovely, and very cohesive.

    And lastly, as a fellow artist I hope you will share your process with us. Your sketch is lovely, but I would really like to know more about what tools you use and things of that sort as well!

    A happy New Year to you Donna!

  3. I used to live in the town where Jerry Lee Lewis grew up. His sister is still alive and she and her husband own a drive-through liquor store. Yes, a drive-through liquor store. They used to be very common down here.

  4. Happy New Year! I absolutely love what you've done with the site and agree that it makes sense to merge the website and blog into one. I've revamped my blog too and will be adding more posts focusing on homemaking skills as I continue to learn them. I'm going by my real name of Betsy now instead of Gingerella.

    Your sketch is darling, I can't wait to see more!

  5. Gotta love Jerry Lee.... look forward to your blog in 2011

  6. Hi I am a new reader and I am going to enjoy following your year. I hope you have a very successful and happy year in 1957

  7. love the new background! very pretty. looking forward to your new project. what is the medium used for your illustrations?
    happy new year!!

  8. Yay! I'm so glad you're continuing with the 50's! Happy 1957!

  9. I first sketched on simple drawing paper with a 4B drawing pencil. Then erased back some lines on the girl. The simple shapes of the barn and bird and chicken were drawn straight out and left, no altering. Then I did a wash with some water color and gouache to set the color theme. I then scanned the image into my drawing program (The very basic Corel starter program that comes with a drawing tablet) and did the rest on my computer. This can be a little tricky as one has to get used to drawing while looking at the screen but drawing with the hand. I liked the idea of melding the past (old-fashioned techniques) with the modern. This will also help me with this first project of a children's book, as it will allow me to lay it out easily with text and so on. I hope this helps. I will try and document steps and mention tools in the future.

  10. Oh and I also used ink. I love using ink. Ink drawing and washing is great fun to me. My next 'book project' for this art year might feature my more 19th century illustrative style as it is mainly ink and wash.
    This will be such a good creative year!

  11. I love your preliminary sketch. Your ideas for 1957 sound wonderful. (I just began 1952: Can't wait to see what you "craft" this year.

  12. Thanks for sharing Donna, I love seeing how others work, and learning about the different processes each person takes in creating their art. Writing a children's book has been a lifelong goal for me. Maybe your progress will inspire me to get back into working on it!

  13. Shelly I shall have to check that out, another time traveler!
    Cedar:what a fun time to write a children's book too, now that you have your little daughter on the way. What fun!

  14. This is a very beautiful site. Don't you just love that hat the model has on? The wall paper is beautiful, I would love to have the material for an apron or sun dress. I am proud of your ability to write daily and be so creative un like myself. My victory garden nutrition blog will be up again soon with the new nutrition facts and preparing the garden for spring.I am looking forward to your garden again this year.
    And now the new book! You go girl!

  15. Jeanee-Thank you. The background is actual vintage 1950's wall paper that I reworked the color on. The new banner is made from an image I liked from one of my magazines, cut down. Then the coffee cup is a photo of one of my actual Temporama coffee cups I cropped out of a photo. I had fun making it. As this past year had me on the computer more for not only research but also design on my site, I have come to enjoy it as a tool not only for writing and research, but also as an art tool. This will play a role along side the older art and craft tools.
    I can't wait for my garden this year! I am already getting ready to order my seeds. I am starting my tomatoes and a few other things later this month to get a good head start. My compost is doing lovely with my chicken droppings and I plan on adding raised beds this year. I can smell Spring already!

  16. sounds like a great way to continue your project!


 Search The Apron Revolution