Monday, March 26, 2007

Altered Ancestors?

Here's my submission for an Altered Ancestor swap that I recently completed. The requirements were to submit a 5x7 altered photo and add a bio on the back. Meet Samantha Elisabeth Englehart---my faux ancestor. Her bio is below. Sound like fun? It was!

“Samantha Elisabeth Englehart was a woman of strength, passion and courage, an American patriot, a loyal and dedicated friend”, so read the Kansas City Tribune upon her death on July 4, 1994.

Born to Elisabeth and Roderick Englehart on April 1, 1923, curiosity and adventure shown on her face from the day she was born. Being an only child and looking much like her father, she toddled around behind him as soon as she was able to walk. Having a daughter when he fully expected to have a son, Roderick called her ‘Sam’ and taught her as many things as she was willing to learn… to bait a hook, how to fix the tractor, how to shear sheep and how to fly. Roderick, Elisabeth’s ‘Flyboy’, had fuel or petrol in his veins. The single engine crop duster housed in the barn had been the catalyst that set him on his course. When he was 18, he pledged his oath to his country and promised Elisabeth he would return home safe and sound at the end of his tour of duty. He survived his missions in France during WWI and lived up to his promise to his betrothed. Elisabeth and Roderick were married in a simple ceremony on August 1, 1919. The thrill of flying and the love of the skies did not end with the war. He passed on his passion to little “Sam” and whether she knew it or not, the inherited petrol in her veins would fuel her to great adventures.

She was 12 when she flew the crop duster for the first time. She never forgot the feeling of the sun setting and the colors that washed the clouds into a beautiful painting as she dipped up and down in the two-seater. The pockets of warm air blew through her long wavy brown hair as she flew from one side of the farm to the other. Her father was so proud.

In 1941, when she was 17, most of the boys in the Kansas City area headed for the different branches of the service in WWII. At graduation, Sam thought to herself, “what could I do to help my “Uncle Sam”?” A high school teacher had suggested she apply for clerical work with the government. She knew that she wouldn’t last a day sitting in an office, typing letters and telegrams to the families of lost servicemen. She longed to fly and simply joining the ranks of the women building the planes wouldn’t be enough either.

She started off with them at the local factory where military aircraft was built and quickly showed her superiors that he was more than a riveter. She knew the planes, inside out and backwards. She was given the chance to prove it when planes were needed at other bases and men to fly them were in short supply. It would be a day she would never forget. This time, the sun was rising, the colors were more pastel but the clouds were still washed in them just like in the painting in her mind from the first time she flew the crop duster. There was no wind to blow through her now short bob of wavy hair. The noise of the propellers took its place and the power she was controlling was invigorating. Landing required all the strength she could muster. As soon as she was on the ground, she hopped onto a transport plane or train back to her home base in Kansas where she could get a short rest and fly the next plane to its destination. She flew anywhere from 2-4 planes each week, depending upon the destination for the mission. Sam never tired of the routine, even after four years. Her ‘tour of duty’ ended in the spring of 1945.

But like her father, her passion for flying did not end with the war. She scouted out the opportunities for pilots but being a woman, her options were limited. She flew for the U.S. Mail postal service delivering from city to city and made her home base in Chicago. Her free time was spent working on restoring a WWII Mustang that she bought from surplus. She quickly found that being a pilot for so many years did not make her the mechanic that she needed to be for the project. She networked with other pilots and mechanics who put her in touch with Charlie “Ace” Wright (no relation to the Wright brothers), who was both a pilot and mechanic extraordinaire. It was love at first sighting. Both could sense the fuel in their veins and knew that their future lie ahead in the skies, soaring to great heights.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Time for Us

Heard this music today and it reminded me of the movie from 1968....loved it. Oh how I wanted to be Olivia Hussey. Ü Funny how sounds, smells, sights can take you back to something in your past (good or bad).

Saturday, March 10, 2007

An Art Journal just for me!

This week I started an art journal. Never having officially done this and never captured my doodles in one place, I decided I would give it a shot. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to put in it yet but I've scouted out the internet and found a lot of writing 'prompts' to help me. Here are the first two pages. It was so much fun and relaxing!

Rhonda's Birthday

Here's another attempt at a tunnel card, this time with Paula Best's stamps. I love her style and the way it makes me feel like I'm coloring in a coloring book.