Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beautiful Songbirds...

Good afternoon, everyone!

Hope it's been a great day for you so far...I had a lovely one at the Park, taking some adorable 2nd graders on a fieldtrip...so much energy, and so much fun!

I have a few things to share with you today...I made a couple of cards yesterday--enjoyed making these so much!  Here's the first one...

I love this beautiful robin image from Crafty Secrets' "Birds and Botanicals" Images & Journal Notes booklet--just a simply regal bird--"The Singer"--which also comes into play later in my post...

This is a fairly simple card, lots of layers, though...some lovely manuscript-looking music paper, black lace and ribbon...and of course, plenty of chunky silver glitter--the real stuff I love so much!

Here's my second...

I LOVE this little girl!  Her very serious face as she attempts to guide all these beautiful songbirds in a song...makes me giggle!  This image is also from the "Birds and Botanicals" booklet--so many pretty ones to choose from!  I used another image, cut it up, and it's now the birdies that are popped up at the top and bottom of the main image.  Lots of Dazzling Diamonds on this one...not showing up too well in the photo, though!

I love that bunch of lilacs behind her--gorgeous!

These beautiful vintage songbird images started me thinking about another songbird that I love so much...

...this is my great-grandmother, Estella Vance Stapley.  I've talked about her in posts before, and probably will again!  So many stories that I'm lucky to have... 

Estella was a singer.  For as long as she could remember she loved to sing--it was a very important part of her life.  I'm told she had a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice...wish I could remember hearing her sing...

When she was a a young girl, in old Mesa, Arizona, her parents decided there wasn't a good place for the young people of the town to get together, so they built the Vance Auditorium in 1906...

...the family actually lived in the theater for a time, in back rooms and upstairs until they built their new home.  They had quite a large family...

Estella was a twin--her sister, Orella (not identical!) is on the center left in the white dress with dark hair...and Estella is on the center right, next to her father with the white dress and blond hair...what a beautiful family!

The Auditorium was used for all sorts of entertainments for the community...dances, concerts, church meetings, family gatherings, and when the first silent movies came along, they were shown there, as well!  Estella and her sister had the opportunity to introduce all the new popular songs of the day to the community--no radio yet in those days! 

There were two swings built on either end of the stage, and Estella and Orella would swing and sing all the newest songs...

"Daisy, Daisy"...was one she specifically remembered singing there, as well as

"Come Josephine in My Flying Machine"...so fun to know some of the actual songs she sang!

Here's how she looked about this time...this is her girls' basketball team photo from Mesa High School around 1912...

...that's Estella on the bottom left...love that smile!

The Vance Auditorium (later called the Mezona) was used until 1971 when it was torn down to make way for a motor lodge...pretty sad, isn't it?!  So glad a couple of old photos of it remain.  I so wish I could somehow have had a seat in that beautiful old theater and seen my Great-Grandmother doing what she loved best...

I hope you have a wonderful evening...sing something you love while you're cooking dinner for your family tonight...there's a songbird in each one of us, I think!

(Had to share the beautiful sunset from last night...just look at those amazing clouds!)


  1. Hi Julie,
    I am finally coming back to our Blogworld!
    What a beautiful post you shared with us. Love birds and you really make them shine our your cards. How wonderful that you have all those personal photos of your family. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Oh you have such a rich family history. Such a shame the auditorium is gone. Why don't we treasure such places more? I wish I knew.

    Your cards are lovely and I couldn't possibly pick a favorite one today. They are both so sweet and cheery.

  3. OH! I saw a robin yesterday here in wintery Colorado! Your clip art just reminded me. Maybe spring will be here soon too! :D

    Beautiful story about your GGrandmother!

  4. Wish my family had kept old, wonderful photos too..so nice to have them! A lovely story-and a great sonbird illustration..once again, thanks!

  5. How I love this post. Your Singer piece is amazing and your great-gram was really beautiful.

  6. Oh my friend, your cards are as gorgeous as ever!! And, you are such a wealth of information and family, vintage photos! LOVE every post and how your share! Thanks too for that lovely sunset ... "so jealous"!! Hugs to ya!

  7. Love the story about your great-grandma! She was so gorgeous, and I would imagine she had a voice that was just as beautiful as she was. Thanks for sharing. :)

  8. Gorgeous songbird cards, Julie!! I know what you mean about a love of singing.. we just returned from my daughter's chorus concert in downtown Raleigh, NC. Still have songs in my head and music in our hearts. Have a wonderful evening!

  9. how neat to know some things about your family history! i love the vintage pictures. what a sweet and innocent time. thanks for sharing with us. beautiful :)

  10. LOVED hearing about your Grandmother..that is truly a treasure to know so much about her life! Your cards are stunning! cherry

  11. thankyou for loving our families history, and for making sure we will always remember the amazing stories of our ancestor's. I love you

  12. Hola Julie, your cards are so, so lovely and really beautiful!!!! You have got my full attention with the story of your great grandmother Estella and I can imagine how nice it feels to be her great granddaughter... hope you have inheritated her voice!!
    Maria Cecilia

  13. Thank you for sharing your rich family history and pictures! How wonderful to read! Unfortunately all my family elders are deceased but oh the stories I've heard about my grandmother and her sisters growing up in Southern California and being Flappers! Oh my! Love all the pics - again thank you for sharing. :)

  14. Lovely birds cards and love the story.


  15. Your cards are always gorgeous. What a beautiful family history you've shared here -- love all the photos -- such an extensive family. It's a crying shame that they tore down the theater just to build a motor lodge. What happened to preserving the past? My Mammaw's name was Estelle and I miss her dearly even after more than 20 years of her being gone. I always wanted to be a singer and my aunt offered to pay for me to have singing lessons. I was always in honor chorus at school and went to competitions. My kids seem to think I don't know how to sing though. HA! Have a great day Julie! Blessings, Tammy

  16. Great birdy cards Julie and what great photos and memories of Estella, TFS!

  17. Hi Julie, what a heartwarming post about your grandmother... I love that old theater and it is so sad it was torn down... but her memories are always with you and I am sure you can just hear her beautiful singing in your heart... thanks for sharing such a precious story filled with love... xoxo Julie Marie

  18. Thanks for visiting our blog at GoldCountryGirls.blogspot.com . I am glad you enjoyed the book I found so much that you ordered it!! Love your blog!!!

  19. Julie, How amazing that you have all of that history.....to know the actual songs, have pictures of the theater is really a gift!
    I loved my Grandma so much and know some of what her life was like but I wish I had her back to learn more...
    I Love, Love, Love that first picture! Are we allowed to use it? I love birds and those are adorable!

  20. Julie, You come from a "show biz" family! If this wasn't "Cheaper By the Dozen" then I don't know my stories! Wonderful, every single word! I hope you can hear me laughing out loud all the way to California. What a funny story you shared! Yes I do remember the little Red Cross buttons! Oh Julie, to think of YOU with one stuck to your head is just too funny! But hey, a girl has to guard her crafting supplies! Thank you so very much for sharing. I can't wait for everyone to read your story! Elizabeth

  21. Oh I LOVE this post!!! Those cute birdies are just adorable!! I love the photos of your Great grandmother! The stories are oh so wonderful!! Your latest cards are a treasure and I could go on and on!!! Where did you find the4 birdies? Can I copy???? Purty please? Love to my friend in California!

  22. Julie, dear, what a love wiev intu your family`s life long time ago. Love the story and the old Theatre, wow to have lived there.-I can only agree with you, taht it is so sad when such beautifull old buildings, are torn away.
    I love your bird card, it is very beautifull, and the lil girl one ,too.

  23. How I love your stories! Magical! Misterious!
    The same I can find in your cards.
    You know, Julie, I think that our cards reflect our nature and when I read your posts and see your cards I find confirmation :)

  24. The songbirds and card are beautiful and I loved reading the story of your great-grandmother and seeing the photos.

  25. Oh Julie, how very much I have missed you!! It is so good to be back online and to be catching up on your posts that I missed! Your work as always has been incredible and I so enjoyed this post today about your Great Grandmother. What a wonderfully rich tapestry of family history you weave for us of your family. I just love reading about them! You are such a dear to share them and the photos so very generously with us. ((((hugs)))) Love and hugs from afar! xxoo

  26. Hi Julie, I'm glad to find you...Thank you so much for your visit and sweet comment!!! I'll follow you by...

    Hugs from Italy, Zaira

  27. I love your cards!! I just bought a bunch of vintage housewife materials from Crafty Secrets and I can't wait for them to arrive so I can dig in and play!!

    I love the story and pictures you shared about your great-grandmother. It is sad that they tore the auditorium down. So much happened there. What a treasure to have the pictures you do have.

    Hoping you are having a beautiful day. I see the sun brightening up our grass, a welcome sign for sure.

  28. Gorgeous vintage illustrations, Julie! I love them all! And your family photos are just amazing. Are you doing any genealogy? Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day!

  29. And she looks like a strong, wise woman as well! Thanks for sharing the family story. You're so very lucky to have them!

  30. I love visiting with you and hearing your family stories, Julie, and of course seeing your beautiful creations!


  31. Hi Julie~
    So glad you found me so I could find you! I love all that you have going on here. And those cabbage roses on your background? Can I say that I just want a couch with fabric exactly like that one it? Beautiful.

    Quite a magical upbringing your great-grandmother had! What history, too bad the building was torn down. Progress, huh??? What a bummer...

    I also adore your sweet cards. I am going to have to check out the Crafty Secrets line. I have stashes upon stashes of "stuff" and I love to add to it! I love the vintage look of their brand.

    Glad to have met ya!

  32. Juuuulllliiiiiiieeeeee!
    (yes, I'm so whining here)
    I love love LOVE to hear (& see) your stories about your relatives from long ago. You speak so passionately about them...you were born in the wrong era weren't you? You are an old soul...I know you are. As I've told you before, you are so fortunate to have all of these photos and handed down stories...these are TRUE heritage treasures!!!! I just love it.

    Thank you for leaving such a sweet comment on my "blogging for newbies" post. You gave some great advice and my girls (& many more out there) have read the comments and are so excited to start up and join us. Fascinating huh? Thanks again Julie...you are a sweetie and a dear friend!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend and keep creating those beautiful cards!!!

  33. That first songbird picture put a smile on my face. So fun! Its so sad when they tear down building with so much past!Its to bad it couldn't be saved! Sounds like your Great Grandmother had some real talent and how wonderful to know so much about her history. A Wonderful post and beautiful cards as well. Your Great Grandma would be proud!

  34. I've just discovered your blog while having a rest from a stressful day it work. I loved hearing the story about your great grandmother. I love to hear stories about my grandad's time in the navy. It's so nice to feel like you own a bit of your family history isn't it?

    Your work is beautiful as well. x

  35. Oh Julie...What a beautiful post! I just loved reading about your great grandmom and her family. Your family history is so rich, and I love how you tell your stories with such pride and love...Your cards are stunning!!! xoxo Paulette

  36. Oh my gosh--I just love your posts! And your beautiful artwork, always!

  37. Hello! My name is Sara Clelland and I came across your blog while searching for more information about my great grandma Estella Vance Stapley! I was just reading the journal of her mother, Sarah Indietta Young Vance, whom I am named after. My name is Sara Clelland and I live in Mesa, Arizona. I just wanted your name to see how we are related.
    Beautiful blog you have!