Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tea in memory of my friend Gina

Today I'm having a cup of tea in memory of Gina Wise, my dear internet friend who died last Friday. I hope this small memorial to her will help me, and possibly a few of her close art friends, find some closure in this absolutely unfair way that Gina was taken from us. As mentioned above, Gina died last Friday from a heart attack she suffered on Monday night. Cards and letters may be sent to her family by requesting her address from me. My e-mail is on my profile page.


Gina and I were in many swaps. Many of them were ATC swaps. I didn't have time to dig out the ATCs Gina made, but I took time to find the art she made that I found in some of my bound books. From left, the 6th Anniversary Swap, the 7th Anniversary Arches swap, and the Houses swap, all on ABC (Altered Book Club), and the Halloween stand alone page she sent as part of a hostess gift during the 12 Days of Christmas Swap. Today, along with Kimmie and the rest of the tea participants found on Kimmie's sidebar, I'm honoring Gina in the best way I know how: through her art.


Gina made two Arches for this swap. This one was witty and humorous.


For the Houses swap, I believe Gina told us this was a photo of her parents. Gina's photo is the one of the angel who sits on the roof, blessing the house.


I was never able to get a good photo of the other Arch Gina made for that swap.

On the left is one of 25 ORIGINAL zentangles Gina made. Although they were all very similar, there were minute differences in each.


Gina had one extra hand left from the swap. When she learned I was making a "Hands" themed book, she told me she was going to send it as soon as she found it. She laughed when she finally found it, and put the date she mailed it on the bottom. The back was actually made in June, 2009 and she sent it in November, 2009. I didn't care. I would have waited forever on Gina's wonderful art!


I'm not sure what swap Gina was in, but she made this "extra" one for me, because she knew I had a Halloween themed AB that had tip-ins in it. As soon as I get the Halloween book back from Dana, I will add it to the book.


Something you won't see on the table, because I only decided to show it after some gut wrenching moments. On Friday I received a package from Gina with a "thank you" written on it. When I opened it, inside was this note: "I'm sending you the prototype Mendhi hand I made for Patty. I thought you'd enjoy having it!" It was haunting seeing the hand written message on the same day I learned of her death.


But Gina was like that. Once she knew you, she was so generous, so sweet, so supportive.


And although the light was streaming onto my dining room table, Gina, at age seven, looked almost surreal, much like the angel she now is. Rest in peace, Gina, and teach everyone in Heaven about altered art. You sure influenced me.

Ironically, Gina left me a message a week ago Friday, after I showed the last of the Teal journal. She said she had not yet worked in the book I made for her, but planned to. Having left the message with her blogger icon, instead of as "anonymous," I was able to track down her blog. I was especially delighted because this is what she wrote when asked if she had a blog in a private swap group we were in:
I started a blog in the middle of the night a couple of years ago and have
re-visited only once so, no I don't. For quite a while I couldn't remember my
password! Elizabeth is always encouraging me to get back to it but I haven't
invested the energy yet.
So today, please take about five minutes while enjoying your tea to visit Aunt Gigi's House. And if you want to see more of Gina's art, please visit Patty's tribute to Gina here.

31 thoughtful remarks:

Marie Young (Young Creative) said...

This is a beautiful tribute. I'm sorry to have discovered her work to late to get to know her.

Healing Woman said...

Elizabeth, this is such a beautiful tribute to your friend, Gina. Her art was beautiful and I know she must have been very generous. How sad it must have been to receive the gift and message from her on the day she died. I'll go now to see the tribute to Gina at Patty's.

Toucan Scraps said...

beautiful tribute

Yvonne said...

Such a thoughtful and touching tribute to your friend. I'm sorry I didn't know her. I will check out the links. Thanks for sharing all of this.

~*~Patty S said...

just beautiful Elizabeth...thank you for sharing so much of Gina's creativity with us...I am really touched and I feel honored to have some of her art here with me...I feel sure she is smiling down from her altered art cloud in heaven...so very sorry she had to leave us so soon...sniff sniff
Take care my friend...I was going to send you this privately and then thought with your many readers...it may be a comfort to others as well:

And if I go, while you're still here
Know that I live on, vibrating to a different measure
Behind a thin veil you cannot see through.

You will not see me, so you must have faith.
I wait for the time when we can soar together again,
Both aware of each other.

Until then, live your life to its fullest.
And if you should need me,
Just whisper my name in your heart;
I will be there.
Author Unknown

oxoxo

ooglebloops said...

What a touching memorial!!! I learned of her passing thru the "In This House and Garden" group. I have to look thru the playing card swap to see if Gina participated in that. I remember seeing that beautiful Mendhi hand on Patty's blog not too long ago. We should lift our teacups in tribute to Gina- she lives on forever in her art........

Michelle V. Alkerton said...

My deepest condolences on your loss. I'll think of Gina while sipping my tea and smile that you shared her friendship and art with the rest of us who didn't have the pleasure of knowing her.
Stay inspired!
Michelle

Halle said...

Such a wonderful tribute to Gina! I dug out a couple of the ATC's I have from her yesterday. She was always such a sweet and generous person. She is greatly missed.

Doone said...

So hard Elizabeth,

to sit and share whilst the tears fall, and you feel the physical as well as psychic sense of loss,

but i agree that to do so is healing, and often if you create with Gina in mind then some of your art will be hers too...forever.

Dx

*jean* said...

such a loving tribute...i am so sorry..

Kiki aka Victoria said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend! HUgs and blessings to you and those who loved her..she sounds like a special soul thanks for sharing her wonderful spirit here!
hugs
Victoria~

olive said...

sorry to read about your friend Gina, her artwork is beautiful. Good memories Elizabeth. xxxx

Miss Kitty said...

Dear Elizabeth and Bleubeard,

It has been a while since we last visited and right now after reading this, dad feels like having been stuck in the stomach and everything comes to a standstill.

After a few deep breaths, things are slowly gravitating back to center.

We are very sorry for the loss of your friend and especially for Gina's family loss. We think the tribute to her is a wonderful remembrance and we especially love learning about the the letter sent to you that arrived the same day that you learned about her passing.

Wishing Gina's family peace and a treasure throve of memories and the same for you Elizabeth . . .

Ms K and Egmont

Sue said...

Hi Elizabeth,
so sorry for the loss of your friend, a lovely tribute you have done for her, luv the hand, beautiful work, that must have made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up receiving it on the day you got the sad news.Hugs hun, see you 2moro, sue,xx

voodoo vixen said...

I think you have done her proud Elizabeth, you have the treasured art she made for you as well as the memories. I am sure she will have fun altering the clouds, on special early mornings you will see her vibrant colourings in the sky...

Kimmie said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. I read about it on Patty's blog too ... What a shock, I often wonder how it is that family would know to contact all the virtual friends out here. Especially with everything so password protected. When a blog goes unattended for a long period of time I sometimes worry. This event will make me do something with that worry and send an e-mail to check in. That was such a sweet thing you did for your friend - to encourage her to keep up her blog and stay in touch. I'm so sorry that your friendship was cut short like this ....

Gayle...... that,s me said...

Oh Elizabeth what a wonderful friend you are; you and Gina were obviously kindred spirits, and what and how you have written about her and your relationship is beautiful and very moving. I have never cried while reading a blog post before,but I am having a problem seeing the keys at the moment. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and for your sadness.

oneoff said...

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. That is such a warm and heartfelt tribute to her, and we are privileged that you have shared her art with us.

Steph said...

a truly moving tribute to Gina, E...her art, her graciousness and her kindness will be remembered....

Marlynn said...

What a beautiful tribute to Gina. I went to her blog and it caught me off guard when I saw she featured the sunflower art work she did for me. I will share with you - I left a comment on her blog and wished her the best on her new journey. I didn't know her as long as you but I fell in love with her spirit over the last few months. She was a jewel, a gem, a bright spot in my life. Thank you for sharing more of her art work, Elizabeth! May you be at peace with this loss you have suffered. Hugs, dear friend. Marlynn

sharon said...

Elizabeth...this is such a beautiful post to your friend that I am at a loss for words. Thanks you for sharing it, and honoring Gina, and I am so sorry for your loss.
Thank you so much for the sweetest comment ever that you left me today......the feeling is mutual.

La Dolce Vita said...

oh E !! I did not know Gina, but you have made an important tribute, both you and Patty...and I loved Patty's poem. so interesting that you got the mail and found out at the same time. we are so blessed by each other! I give thanks for you E... xox

Diane said...

Thank you sharing Gina's gift and giving her such a wonderful tribute--I'm so sorry for your loss!

Amanda said...

You have made a beautiful tribute to your friend. And in the sharing of her art, she is now a part of all our memories too. I hope your heart heals soon and your memory only grows stronger with these beautiful pieces you have. Take care.

Dandelion and Daisy said...

How often we are reminded of the fragility of life and yet we take so much for granted! A beautiful tribute to Gina that you have shared with us.
As you know, I am new to ABC and swaps and was so happy to be able to participate in the 12 Days swap. I couldn't stand it, when I read of Gina's passing I had to open her piece....what a gifted lady she was. Wouldn't I have loved to know such a talent, personally.
Maybe, what we create with our hands and our hearts is our touch with immortality. Gina's work will live on with her friends and family for years to come.

artangel said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, she was obviously a lovely and talented lady.

Wabbit said...

I can't believe she's gone. As with you, Gina was one of the delights in my life. I never felt that a swap registration was complete without Gina's name on the list. I have so much of her in her art, but being greedy, I wanted so much more. I thought we were going to get old swapping art together with me talking her into going to art retreats every time she got the credit card paid off from the last one! I'm sorry for all of us who knew Gina because we know what we're missing. Thank you for a lovely tribute to our friend. Marilyn

Poeticthnkr said...

Elizabeth~
Thank you for sharing this with all of us. It is a beautiful tribute indeed. Feeling blessed to own one of her pieces in our 12 days of Christmas swap...will be bittersweet upon opening it. However, I will contemplate on all that she has contributed to our wonderful art community and send blessings her way. Gina's kind and creative spirit will continue to shine through in this world, making her presence known in all the lives she has touched.

Dianne said...

a sweet & lovely tribute. I was looking at the 7th anniversary arches today & smiling at Gina's fun pages...she will be missed.

Cattrix said...

It's always so hard to lose a friend, but she is only gone in the flesh. Her art and family are her legacy and thank you so much for sharing with others your friendship with her and how it touched you.

I didn't know her, and only was in one swap with her. But the card I got from her is one of my favorites.

As long as ones who loved and cared for her remember, she will never truly be gone.

I bet Gina is already trying new techniques out there beyond, maybe using sunbeams and moon motes as paint to enhance the universe.

Blessed Be.

Cecilia said...

I am here in tears reading all the wonderful comments about our amazing daughter. The family is trying to make sense of it all but the bottom line is "it is what is is and we just have to move on." She was and is the best. We always knew it but now others do also. Thank you for that. We are having a final memorial service on Saturday, Dec. 18th in Traverse City, MI. Think of all and say a prayer. The service starts at 11:00 am.