Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tea at Grandma's House

There will always be something special about
being able to come home to Grandma's House.

 Being the oldest of 4 siblings, I have a treasure chest of memories that I go to when I'm ready to write about the past.  I remember sitting on the swing that hung from the big apple tree when we went to Grandma's house. Sometimes it was just my sister and I or my Mom and me.
Other times Grandma and I would sit together and talk.
There were always lots of cousins to play with too.

Time seemed to stand still when we went to see "Nana" and Pappy. I remember the warm sunshine breaking through the leaves overhead and the rhythmic sound of the chain rubbing against the bark of the tree as we swung back and forth into the breeze.  Summer seemed to last forever when we
were kids. My Grandma is no longer with us but my Mom is carrying
on family traditions like "Tea Time".

 Look at the door chime she made out of old serving utensils. My mother has a knack for creating something beautiful out of things that most people would consider useless. 

Looks like the door is open. Come on inside and I'll show you around.

My sister made pumpkin cheese cake. She loves to bake just like Grandma did. Grandma always had a cake or a pie ready to serve just in case company would stop by. My sister has her own recipes that allow us to indulge without the guilt.  She used applesauce instead of butter and low-fat cream cheese.

Mom remembers that Grandma always had fresh flowers on the table.

Using Grandma's antique china, mom created a Three Tier Serving Tray by stacking tea cups between the plates.  Egg salad and cream cheese finger sandwiches, grapes and Gold Fish crackers on paper doilies. Mom loves her lace curtains and table cloths.  Second hand stores are great for these things.

An old sugar bowl makes a great paper napkin holder.

Mom has a collection of cobalt blue dishes and antique bottles. She sprayed some branches white and hung blue Christmas balls on the branches. This beautiful arrangement stays up year round above the china closet.

There is something so special about drinking from Grandmother's antique china.  This was the sweetest cup of tea I've had in a long time.  Continuing a family tradition is a way to keep Grandma's memory alive. Her spirit lives on in my mother.

My sister brought this Victorian carrier filled with different teas.

My Grandmother started this quilt and left it for my mother to finish. Grandma did all the little blue x's and mom pieced it together and quilted it. I love the special touches she gave it. 

A YoYo and a button. What a unique accent!

So now you've had an "Afternoon Tea" at Grandma's house.
Please come back again. 
My mom is always creating something new.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Making of a Painting & a Print

Someone who has a great concern for the future
of our nation drew this and presented to me.

The painting and reproduction prints he wanted
me to create from his drawing included three things:

1. A Church
2. A Sign Inviting People to Prayer Meeting
3. A Scroll with Scripture on it.

The title of the painting is "If My People",
based on scripture from the Bible, II Chronicles 7:14.

If my people who are called by my name
will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,
then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.


After about a week of pondering and praying,
a vision came to me.
So I grabbed a pencil and started to
sketch a church nestled in a grove of oak trees.

Preliminary Sketch for "If  My People"
Copyright © 2011
Wiseman Graphics

My client and I met in my studio again.
With tears in his eyes, he said,

 "It was exactly what I was hoping for".

Several weeks passed as I worked on other commissioned work.
I continued to pray and ask God to show me the colors for "If My People".
I began researching photos of autumn scenes.

 I began to create a preliminary color study.

Copyright © 2011
Wiseman Graphics

After completing the color study and it was approved, 
My vision for this painting was just beginning. 
God revealed so much more to me over the next 3 months.

Copyright © 2011
Wiseman Graphics

At one point I thought the painting was finished

and ready for framing but strangely I had no emotional attachment to the artwork.

So I asked God "What's Missing"?

It was then that the people started to appear
one by one they came out of the mist to the
little white church in the grove of oak trees.

Copyright © 2011
Wiseman Graphics

The church is not a building.
The church is people.
God was bringing His painting to completion.
I was greatly moved by what God had created
through my hands.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Once back in about 1938 as we were playing "ball"in the Rothermels School yard,
someone made a good hit and sent the ball flying along the third- baseline into
the left field.  Our "ball diamond", though was skewed and left field extended
into the Hebe-to-Klingerstown public road.  It so happened that just as the ball
hit the berm of the road and bounced, Allen Rothermel came driving by with his
old International farm truck, with the side curtains rolled up.  As was his habit,
he was going along at only about 15 mph hunched over the steering wheel steering
with his forearms, and not paying much attention to us playing in the schoolyard.

The ball bounced into the truck, then made a few more bounces, but it stayed in
the truck and was carried away.  Several children immediately started running
after the truck shouting, "Stop! Stop!"Finally as the truck was passsing
Andy Schwalm's barn, Millard Boyer who was also riding in the truck, heard
the shouting and asked Allen to stop.  Millard then got the ball and threw it back.
Then the children got into an argument about about how that "home run"should be
scored.  I don't remember how it ended.

Written by Dr. John A. Romberger

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Kitchen Window

Something I created just for the fun of it.  As soon as my daughter saw it she wanted it because it's her favorite spot in the house. Our daughter is the fifth generation to life in the family homestead. When she comes home on the weekend the first thing she does is hop up onto the counter and talks to me with the snack cupboard open.  Some of the most precious times I've shared with my daughter have been in the kitchen. I remember doing the same thing with my mother while she was busy in the kitchen. 

This pastel painting was done from a photo I took when my Grandmother and I were canning together.  I remember coming home to Grandma's house on the weekend when I lived in the city of York. I could feel the stress leaving as I drove up the long winding hill to Grandma's house. Life was always slower and time seemed to stand still in the country. She always had a smile and a fresh baked pie or cake, just in case company would stop in for a visit.  There in the kitchen we would sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy a slice of her wonderful "Sour Cherry Pie" or "Raspberry Custard Pie".  Life just doesn't get any sweeter than a weekend at Grandma's house.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Meloncoly Monday

Grandma's rocker and a Landscape painting
done by my brother Ed Kieffer.
 After a long Monday morning of painting in the studio, I decided to take a break and head home for lunch.  I'm really tired today, so I made some coffee and had a seat in Grandma's rocker.  After a minute of sipping my coffee my eyes came to rest on the most treasured possession in the room, Grandma's antique sewing machine. I can still see her sewing pieces of calico fabric together to make a quilt for my daughter. I'm sure my Mother and my Aunt Evie put a few stitches in the quilt as well.

Grandma's sewing machine and our wedding photo album on the treadle.

A basket of purple iris and a teapot were gifts from my best friend.
Original wallpaper hung over 50 years ago by my Grandfather.

My nieces came for a sleep over on my birthday.
The only quiet moment I remember. This is the quilt Grandma and I made together.
 Grandma always had a quilt in the frame and whoever stopped in for a visit was welcome to try their hand at quilting.  Some of the most precious memories I have are those that were spent with my Grandmother.  Every room in this house has something to say about her meek, gentle spirit. I'm so glad that my daughter had time to learn things from her Gram the way I did with my Grandma.

"The Crochet Lesson"
My Grandma Clara Reed, Mother Charlotte Byerly
and Daughter Jenessa Wiseman (age 8)
Copyright © Deanna Wiseman


My favorite apple is Macintosh. Every fall when the leaves are at their peak, I have my in-laws over  for   our annual fall luncheon. I make apple pie and my sister's award-winning recipe "Potato Soup".

Soon it's time to get ready for Christmas.  This is my memory tree. It's decorated with Cinnamon Applesauce ornaments that my daughter and her best friend Mandy made many years ago.  Each has  a special meaning.  Most of them are hand-made by family and friends.  I'm so tempted to
leave the tree up all year.  It's the end of February and I still haven't taken it down.

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