Monday, March 1, 2010

Légère relatives "light" up our family tree

Click photo collage to see an enlarged version.

My entry for the 7th edition of the Festival of Postcards, with a theme of "light," (mine is postcard-inspired mail art) is "Légère family of Louisiana."

"Légère" in French means "light," and my Légère relatives have brought joy and light into my life by being the connection to both my Acadian and French-Canadian roots. They have a real lightness of heart, a joie de vivre, and I've pictured the family members who embody that for me. (They also happen to have been the storytellers of the family, especially my late father.  He died last month, and I wrote recently of his passing [before knowing about this carnival] that I felt "like our family had lost its spark.")

My grandma Elia Légère Hall is pictured in the center photo lighting candles for a 1950s holiday meal in Louisiana.  The only letter I own that was written by her is the background, and her signature cropped from the letter is at the bottom right.  I put a photo of her with my grandpa Robert B. Hall in the photo as though it were displayed on the side table.

Clockwise from the top are the following photos:
  • My dad, George Hall, with brothers John and Bob and their dog, c. 1924, Beaumont, TX.  Dad told me stories of their childhood that evoked "The Little Rascals," delighting me as a child.
  • Yours truly with my dog Dotty c. 1974, Sulphur, LA.  I seem to be keeping the Légère family flame alive by being the storyteller and history keeper for my generation, a responsibility I hold sacred.
  • Cousin Allen Légère, 1980s, Sulphur, LA, the night he told some great stories at my parents' house in LA.
  • My dad who, from his gesture, I just know is telling a Cajun joke to cousins at my wedding last October in California.  Dad couldn't resist entertaining whenever he had an audience. :)
  • Dad and cousin Ashton Légère clowning around with a big jug pretending to drink moonshine, c. 1945, Sulphur, LA. The same jug is used for prop humor in at least one other family photo.
  • Dad with cousin Thelma Légère Sonnier a few years ago in Lafayette, La., when I taped her relating family stories for at least two hours--and who told one of my dad's favorite jokes [unbeknownst to her] to us, to our delight.
  • Grandma Elia as a young woman, c. 1906, Lafayette, LA.

This is the first time I've played with photo collages in Picasa and also the first digital scrapbooking I've tried. I'm really pleased with the result and am looking forward to making some time to explore more options for digital art. I have had some ideas for art-making with my family tree, but I am not gifted at drawing or painting. Digital art could be fun, though, so I'll have to play with it more.

Got any digital scrapbooking or Picasa tips?  (I use a Mac and iPhoto.)  Leave me a comment!

Photo collage and text copyright 2010 by Liz Hall Morgan.


  1. This is so terrific - and by the way, one my 4 main lines is the Leger(e)so we are "kissing cousins"!
    At the moment I'm publishing my Theriault and then Lagace/Mignier information but by this summer I should be at my Legers and then watch out - there's alot coming!
    It's nice to have you participating and I'm especially excited to receive artwork.
    Evelyn in Montreal

  2. I think you did a fantastic job with the digital art! I enjoyed the article very much.

  3. I love your collage - I must learn how to do that!


  4. Thanks, all! :) It was rather easy, just took some time. I used Picasa (a free download from Google), which is photo software that has a "collage" feature.
    I clicked on the letter to use it as background, placed my center photo, used Picasa to add the writing, and also used the standard photo editing features to change color to sepia or b/w and add borders or not (the old Fox border was already on a photo).
    The collage option has built-in features to rotate and size your photos to any size/angle you like. It was surprisingly easy; I did it without consulting any tutorials--just played around with it.
    (If I can do it, ANYONE can! :) ) Thanks for the compliments, though!

  5. Evelyn, my Leger(e) line is:
    Liz (Hall) à George à Elia (Legere) à Constant à Hypolite Paul à Paul à François à Jacques (dit Larosette). :)

  6. Wonderful! I haven't tried that Picasa feature, but I think I will now.

  7. Thanks! I found it fairly easy. You just have to be brave enough to play around -- or patient enough to read help pages. :)