Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Alex the Desert Dog

I have an Australian Shephard I adopted from the pound five years ago. He is an amazing dog and as a companion, you could not ask for better. But Alex hates water. All forms of water. Especially if it falls from above. Bath time is a disaster and always done outside where he has a running chance of escaping and I avoid mopping up copious quantities of water dumped on the floor when he attempts to escape.
But it's cold outside. And Alex picked this date to sneak into the garbage and forage around for goodies to eat that even my cat, Amazing Grace, turns his nose up at. If it remotely smells like food, Alex will eat it. With sometimes disasterous results. Such as today, when his bowels wrecked vengenance on his stomach's insatiable need to eat. I heard the telltale whine that signals an emergency request to be let outside - too late - he had annointed my new wool area rug along the entire eight foot length. At which time he turns to me and does a very good imitation of the Marley Mambo - oops, mom, sorry about that!
Never fear - I have carpet cleaner especially for these embarrassing moments. After carefully covering my hands with impervious rubber gloves, I decide to read the instructions - not something I do often and now I know why. The instructions state, "Not for use on wool rugs" - well, Alex did not hit the linoleum. He did not even poop on the carpet I would so dearly like an excuse to replace. No. Only on the wool rug. But when push comes to shove, what's a few spots on my rug compared to the mess that is currently filling my house with an aroma that appears to result from eating something that had decayed for at least two weeks. Probably rolled his eyes in ectasy while he ate it. I ignore any directions I might have been foolish enough to read and start scrubbing.
Once the rug is clean, I return to Alex who is looking at me with forlorn eyes and a hanging head because he KNOWS what comes next - his entire back end is covered with unmentionable nastiness and he has to be washed before he can have contact with anything in the house again - and it's cold, did I mention that? I can't wash him, I know I am about to undergo the bath from hell with the dog that hates water in my bathroom. I get what I need and get the water running in the tub. But Alex is ahead of me on this one. He hides. I find him and drag him into the bathroom and close the door. He stands and looks at the tub. I stand and look at the tub. Will this 60 pound dog willingly step into the water? Not if his life depended on it.
Now comes the dance of the drenched....I pick up his front half and put it in the tub - I reach for the back half, and as I lift it in, the front half has escaped. This is repeated a few times until I realize that the only way he is getting in the tub, is if I lift him in, climb in after him and straddle him with one hand on his collar while I desparately try to get his hind end wet and soaped. This is easier written than done. Soon I notice that I have more water on me than he does. And you could put koi in the pond that has formed on my bathroom floor. I finally manage to do the wash and rinse and make the mistake of letting go of the collar to turn off the water. Whereupon Alex promptly jumps out of the tub and shakes to rid himself of the hated water. There is now enough water on the bathroom walls to create a steam room.
But Alex is happy. He no longer stinks, he has a nice cushy, warm bed to lay down in and I am so busy cleaning up, he knows he is out of the doghouse for now.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to you all and may the New Year bring you good fortune, good health and many adventures!! I hope Santa brought you all that you wished for!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Cold Little Hummer

It's taken a week to catch this hummingbird sitting still long enough to take his picture. I would never have believed that a hummingbird would stick around in temperatures that have rarely reached freezing over the past week, but here he is. I have been rotating two feeders in and out of the house to make sure he has access to unfrozen nectar. What a wonderful winter treat!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Snow

Woke up to a beautiful, snowy day and called in for a vacation day to enjoy it. We don't get many snow days here in the Northwest, but have had more than our share this year. Instead of struggling to work on icy roads, I decided to take a moment to appreciate the rare beauty of a landscape trimmed in the most delicate of lace, lazily floating through the air and perching upon objects that were once ordinary and now a work of art. Our birds are not used to this weather (below freezing for days at a time), so I have made sure the feeders stayed filled and have been rewarded with visits from house finches, Oregon juncos, Anna's Hummingbirds, scrub jays and my resident squirrel, still playing with the cat through the window. I thought I would share a bit of their day with you. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baby It's Cold Out There

Couldn't resist posting the photos I took this morning as the artic storm came through SW Washington - the wind is blowing so hard that it temporarily took the curl out of the squirrel's tale.

Cat Television

For weeks I have watched this squirrel through my patio window. He watches my cat watch him, fully knowing that he is protected by the window. And every now and then, he runs up and slaps at the cat's face through the window and then runs away. The cat, not nearly as bright as the squirrel, immediately leaps for the squirrel, slams into the window and then looks very puzzled as to why he can't get that squirrel. I tried several times to photograph them, but my digital camera does not shoot fast enough to catch the moment. So I decided to bring them together in Photoshop for my Fauna assignment for Nature Gathered. This is a composite of two photos, taken just minutes apart, blended with the watercolor brush and color adjusted.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down
-who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed,
how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Day of Sharing Words

I just received this notification on my Photo Art Journal Yahoo group, passed on by Michelle Unger from LK Ludwig. LK has had a great idea of having a poetry exchange via the blogsphere. on next Wednesday, November 19th. If you want to join in, the instructions are as follows:

We have words that touch us, move into our hearts and resonate, creating a feeling, taking us some place- past, present, future- perhaps some place we have never been and may never go, but for whatever reasons, the words pulse in our blood. Meeting new words, new poets, new poems, new ways for my heart to beat, is an intruiging concept. Want to go on this adventure with me? It will be easy to travel along.Many of us already do this sharing; this idea is just to help us find each other and hear the words we have to share.

The Date:
Wednesday, November 19.

The Plan:
1. On your blog, post a poem that moves inside you, touches you, reaches you. (quotes and song lyrics also welcome). Include the author (or composer or musician) and source (book, album)- perhaps also the Amazon link if there is one. no explanation required, no other revelation about the poem you are choosing is necessary. One last thing- Perhaps add an image. a photo. a video. a painting. a collage., if you would.

2. Come here to this post on L.K. Ludwig's blog.

3. Add a comment with your link and L.K. will create a typepad page with the links, so others can hear the rhythm of the words, see the image and share in the experience.

The Request:
If you are intrigued enough, post on your blog about this Day of Sharing Words- encourage your friends to post. Who couldn't use a few new poems in their treasury or new songs in their hearts?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Walk in the Woods of Lacamas Lake

I went for a walk in the woods today...oh, not the proper forest, as I could still hear the clap of golf balls being hit on the adjacent course and see the McMansions through the trees....but even so, as I entered the canopy of mixed deciduous trees and Douglas firs, I felt the burdens of civilized life fall away. I drank in the visual banquet around me - leaves in all shades of gold and brown, the burnt umber of the tree trunks, the deep rich green of the moss, the pale white of the berries and rich red of the rosehips. Small mushrooms with steeple tops littered the ground in places looking like fairy lanterns that light the way along a secret path. I could hear a chorus of frogs at the edge of the water and the birds above sang a sweet and melancholy melody telling of the winter ahead. I gethered moss covered twigs and pine cones for art projects that will occupy my time during the cold, grey days ahead. The lake level was low, exposing mud flats not normally seen and the water birds were absent from their usual backwater feeding spots. Though it was only 4 PM, the sun had already begun it's descent, sending weak hues of rose and lavender to tint the clouds near the horizon. I head back with a peace of soul I have not had in days. As I near the parking lot, a young jogger passes by, heading in the opposite direction. He grinned widely, grasping a single long-stemmed red rose in one hand and as he ran by, my thoughts drifted to the young woman at the end of his path, clasping his rose to her heart - her eyes filled with wonder and the stars of the evening sky.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Menucha and the Gorge

I love fall - the colors of the season so bright they almost hurt your eyes. The crisp, cold mornings with a fairy dusting of frost across the lawn and the smell of wood smoke as folks fire up their fireplaces and wood stoves. I don't even mind raking leaves, as long as I get a chance to play in the leaf piles.

Once again, I returned to a weekend at Menucha - nestled in the forested hillside above the Columbia River, it is the perfect place to rest, recoup and make art. This retreat was special as we were allowed to bring guests and several talented artists joined us for the weekend. We stayed at Creevy complex this time which afforded us a much larger workplace, warmed by a fireplace and the company of good friends. The Gorge was spectaculary beautiful, decked in all it's fall glory - gold and orange and green against a sapphire blue sky made quiet walks on the grounds a breathtaking event. The weather cooperated, a miracle at this time of year here and we had clear skies without rain for the weekend. On the last day, a high wind came out of the east, bringing warmer weather and the music of trees as they swayed together in harmony; the leaves falling and gathering in every nook and cranny.

Cradled in the midst of the forest is a labyrinth built this year with a rock mosaic at its center. I was lucky enough to walk the labyrinth at one of the rare times I could do so alone. The walk is meant to be meditative and as you pace the maze, your mind calms and all things seem possible, if only for that short time.

At the edge of the property is a stunning view of the Gorge and the Crown Vista house - built during the Depression, it was just recently renovated and is worth a trip to see - as far you could see down the Gorge, the shores were lined with fall colors, contrasting sharply with the deep blue of the river. As I sat and enjoyed the Columbia vista, I was treated to the sight of a woodpecker flying across the sky directly in front of me and Stellar's Jays squabbling over the chestnuts that littered the ground. Deer grazed the grounds and squirrels seemed to be in every tree.

My 8 X 8 challenge was "Field Notes" for October, so before leaving, I stopped to sketch the vista, as well as a chestnut, pine cone and leaves, - memories I can take out and snuggle into during the grey, wet weather ahead.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Art and Soul

Thank you, thank you to all my wonderful students in my classes!! I so appreciate you taking my classes and even hanging in there when the lights went out!! I have always been blessed with great students, but this year was exceptional. Please forgive me for not posting my thanks sooner but I have been exhausted since A&S ended and trying to catch up with all my deadlines I set aside to get ready for my classes.

I took four classes myself during the week: felting with Gayle Crossman Moore, Copper Enameling with Richard Salley, Dream Pouch from Donna Crispin and Be Still my Beating Heart from Lisa Kaus. All four classes were great taught by instructors who were adept at teaching their subject and generous with their materials and time. I would recommend taking classes from all of them and I was so pleased with what I created in class.

Lisa Kaus' Be Still My Beating Heart (except I failed to follow instructions and created a pumpkin cat instead...)

Dream Pouch from Donna Crispin's class

It seems incredible that you wait with grand anticipation all year for Art and Soul to arrive, but when it does, that week goes so quickly and you never seem to get the time to chat with old friends and get to know new friends better. And now another year of waiting.....I am already looking forward to seeing you all again! May your year be filled with art and peaceful journeys and may your muse always be with you.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Boise and back again

I managed to carve five days out of my increasingly hectic schedule to take a short trip to Boise to visit my son. It's about a seven hour road trip from here to there. You follow the Columbia River east for the first 160 miles. First, through the verdant forest of the Columbia River Gorge, then on to the stark rainshadow desert area beyond The Dalles, OR where this most beautiful and blue river meets the amber grassed, but treeless hills of eastern Oregon. The contrast between the river and desert is unexpected and amazing.

After leaving the river, you travel through the hot and dusty area between Boardman and Pendleton, OR where the wind blows hard across the harsher landscape, no longer featureless as several windmill farms now dot the area with their sleek white blades moving electricity to points beyond in rhythm with the wind.

The stark landscape does not last long as you move into the beautiful, Blue Mountains and the dry pine forests of the area. This is the gateway to the beautiful Wallowa area, full of trails and lakes. As I climbed the steep hills, I wondered how the pioneers were able to drive their slow and clumsy Conestogas over the hills to the promised land at the end of the Oregon trail. Essentially the freeway follows the Oregon trail all the way to Boise and there is a wonderful museum in Baker, OR that focuses on the trials and tribulations of those that traveled the trail. Imagine traveling through hostile lands and facing death each day to start your life in a country you only know through word of mouth!

Between Baker and Ontario, OR, you meet up with the Snake River, much different than the Columbia. Meandering and shallow, home to an amazing array of migrating and breeding birds. What a breathtaking sight to come around a bend in the road and see a flock of snow geese resting in the river! Pelicans and several varieties of ducks joined the geese in searching the river for food. Hawks and eagles fly overhead in the heat thermals that rise from the hills.

At the Idaho border, you again, pass into the desert and the speed limit increases to a swift 75 MPH - you barely register the land around you as you speed into Boise. I lived in Boise for six years, but hardly recognize it now. The growth in the last few years has been tremendous. But the city is beautiful, surrounded by hills and divided by the Boise River, flowing through the heart of the City of Trees. In the summer, kayakers and innertubers float the river, while joggers and bikers ride the adjacent 22 mile greenbelt.

I stayed with one of my art friends and her husband. She graciously allowed me to accompany her to her monthly art group meeting. A delightful group of artists in a variety of mediums: watercolor, photography and pottery among them. They meet monthly and assign a theme for each meeting. Each artist completes a work of art that reflects the theme and then shares it with the rest of the group at the next meeting. It was amazing to see the breadth and scope of the art that reflected the theme that month, a still life of meaningful things.

The next day, I embarked on a moonlight kayaking trip down the Payette River. A group of about 13 folks kayaked and canoed down the river in the evening and camped on an island of sand for the night. We sat around the campfire and admired the Harvest full moon as it traveled across the sky. We shared our trip with George, the cat, whose owner lets him ride the bow of his kayak. George obviously enjoyed the ride, although he was careful not to touch the water, leaping from boat to boat to reach dry land. In the morning, we set out again on the river until we reached the Black Canyon Reservoir, where we pulled the boats from the river. The river was like glass as we floated, enjoying the sight of heron, hawks and a lone beaver who moved gracefully and quickly through the water. A trip I will never forget.

And of course, seeing my son again was a boost I sorely needed. It's so hard to have him so far away. Even a lengthier visit would not keep me from feeling blue as I said goodbye to him and headed back to Vancouver again. He is, by far, the best part of my life.

Now, back to frenetically getting ready for my classes at Art and Soul. YIKES!!! Only two weeks away....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I am in a art challenge with several other talented artists called Nature Gathered. For the next year, we will complete an 8" X 8" canvas with the medium of our choice, all with a nature based theme. I thought I would share my August creation with you and invite you to visit Nature Gathered over the next year to enjoy the interpretation of each month's theme by 15 different artists:


As a child growing up in the Midwest, the droning buzz of the cicada brought anticipation of summers to be and memories of summers past to mind. So this composition came together as tribute to those hot and humid summers, catching tadpoles in the creek, swimming in the lake, riding in the car with the window down for air conditioning, dreaming on the lawn in the evening and the flight of the fireflies at night. I used Golden Liquid acrylics, mixed with their new line, Open Acrylics (they stay wet much longer, allowing more painterly affects). The design was free-handed based on a textbook photo of a cicada and memories from my childhood. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Art in the Mountains

Saturday I had a rare day off to explore the local mountains. Two friends of mine, Tory Brokenshire and Fran Boston, had a booth at the Trout Lake Art Festival near Mt. Adams, a dormant volcano 60 miles from my home. The day was perfect to have the windows down and sun roof open. I had never been to this area before and was taken with the remote beauty of the mountains. Small, quaint towns dot the road as you climb toward the mountain and most were full of eager kids waiting for a raft ride down the river. I reached the art festival and parked in a field in front of an old home and barn surrounded by colorful canopies covering the various artists booths. I love going to the shows that don't force the artists to use white canopies - the mix of colors and flapping canvas leaves the impression you are in a field of exotic birds or butterflies. The strains of good Bluegrass music could be heard throughout the festival and each band had it's own style. I met several new artists, whose work was wonderful, but I was especially captivated by a Portland illustrator, Lisa Kaser ( - she had the most wonderful and imaginative creatures in her art! My friends' booth was wonderful - they are both excellent artists - I especially enjoyed the full size wooden artist model in front of the booth.

After I left the festival, I first drove up the mountain, but was barred from going very far by the roadblock placed due to forest fires on the mountain, so I turned in te opposite direction and headed home. But as I got to the town of White Salmon, I saw they were hosting an Art and Wine Fusion Festival and I stopped to tour the galleries and listened to the live music - it was a small festival, intimate to the town but welcoming to the visitors, as well. The town is full of old buildings and is crouched on the hill above the Columbia River. I could not resist having the salmon and citrus cole slaw dinner being served from a booth on the side of the main road, before heading for the freeway home. Who could ask for more than a day filled with friends, art, scenery and good weather? It was a day I will remember with gratitude for giving me the peace and tranquility that comes with those few perfect days we are given in life.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A New Class for Portland Art and Soul

Just wanted to let everyone know of a new class I am teaching at Portland Art and Soul, The Shaman's Wand, on Wednesday, October 1, 2008. It's an all day class that will be limited to a small group of students. We will explore personal mythology while learning to make a papier mache totem wand using wire armature. The wand will then be decorated with a small lantern and book. and found objects. Hope to see you there!!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Day at the Beach

The beach...once you have heard the song of the ocean, it will always call to you. It is the only place I know of where the stress of everyday life seeps away and your soul is filled with the sound of the waves, the call of the birds and the sand under your feet. And even though I moved to Washington to be closer to the beach, it's so rare that I get to go. So when my friend Linda, who I had not seen in several years called to say she had a day away from family and work, I jumped at the opportunity to take a road trip to the beach. We decided to take the scenic route down highway 30 from Portland to Astoria, meandering through the small towns along the way. We stopped in Rainier, Oregon and explored their little farmer's market and tasted the local foods offered for sale at the market. We ventured on to Astoria and visited a local bead show and watched ships enter the Columbia River. The river is so beautiful and peaceful as it flows by and it is hard to believe that just a short ways away is the Graveyard of the Pacific where numerous boats have been sunk by the meeting of the river and the sea. Linda and agreed that a trip across the four-mile bridge crossing the Columbia was in order so we drove over to the Washington side where we visited a lavender farm in Ilwaco, Washington. One of the owner's graciously agreed to give us a tour of the grounds. It was an artist's dream - bright colors, lavender and edible herbs everywhere you looked. We tasted Day Lily petals and various mints, as well as other herbs right off the plant. Everything was organic. And everywhere you looked, you discovered another treasure - a small, secluded sleeping room, complete with mesquito netting, plump pillows, antiques and art and a small store filled with herbs, crystal and linens. Exquisite!! I will definately take him up on his offer to take a day and make art on the farm.

Linda and I continued on to Long Beach and explored their outdoor craft market and adjacent galleries. We were served a blue martini at one gallery and treated to a variety of nautical art. After a lunch of fish and chips, we decided to walk off our lunch on the beach. Long Beach is as flat as a pancake and is the only beach I have ever been to that allows you to drive on the beach. There are also stables where you can rent a horse and ride in the surf. But today, we walked, and talked, and caught up on each others lives....a perfect day. We walked all the way to Cape Disappointment without realizing how far we had gone. It wasn't until we turned back, and into the wind, that we realized we had walked more than three miles and would now have to walk it again! Needless to say, we were happy when we reached the car again and headed home.

But we could not resist one last detour as we went home on Highway 4 in Washington. We took a short loop off the road to drive over the covered bridge just off the highway. The bridge was quaint and beautiful in the setting sun. The visitor log signed by people from all over the states and a few foreign countries. A beautiful way to end a perfect day. I can still hear the ocean in my mind.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I spent an art-filled weekend with fellow members of the Portland Art Collective at a beautiful retreat in the Columbia River Gorge just outside Portland, Oregon. Three days of art and friends in one of the most beautiful settings you could ask for called Menucha. We were all housed in the Greenhouse building where we shared ideas, successes and laughs and taught each other new art techniques. It was a wonderful treat, especially since I do not normally get to go to meetings that are during the week when I am working. The first day we were there, we were treated to a beautiful sunny day, which we have had a shortage of lately and the second day, after a rainy day, we were treated to a fabulous sunset. Susie Wolfer taught us paste paper and books and Z'anne Bakke taught us a felting technique. Paula McNamee taught us a cool technique to resurface chunky books and Donna Bauermiller taught us how to make inkblot bug creatures. I finished my newest sets of charms - small birds painted on copper photo charms and new tin and metal charms, which I will be using in upcoming bracelets for the shows I am in this fall. To see the art completed by this talented and wonderful group of artists was very inspiring and renewed my energy for and committment to art. Unfortunately the time was short and soon we were heading home again, looking forward to our next retreat in October.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The truest treasure

I was sitting at a traffic light tonight - tired after a twelve hour day at work. As I waited for the light to change, I noticed a homeless woman carrying a bag and a suitcase as she crossed the road in front of me. She looked old and worn, her shoulders slumped, her face sad and defeated. Yet, just as she reached the other side of the street, she was met by a homeless man coming from a different direction whom she appeared to recognize. I watched as her face lit up with joy and recognition. The man dropped his bags and reached forward to gave her a bear hug and a kiss on the cheek. She, too, dropped her belongings to hug and kiss him back - and the burdens of life visibly fell away from her and she was beautiful - her smile beamed the light in her heart for everyone to see. At that moment, she was on top of the world. And I realized as I watched them that the true treasure in this world is not what we own or achieve or our names or our looks. It is the happiness we bring to one another. Even in the worst of times, a friend makes all the difference in the world - if only for one magical moment such as this one.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Ah, Virginia! I love this state and what a good time I had in Hampton! Being here reminds of my childhood in the midwest - people are so friendly and things are more laid back than here on the West Coast. Traveling to Hampton is a long, all-day affair from Portland and the plane was late into Atlanta, causing the baggage to be left behind there. The last leg of the flight to Newport News was pretty scary at times, with major turbulence in one of those small puddlejumper kind of planes flying through the thunderstorm that had spawned the Suffolk tornado earlier. I was so happy to get to my room at the Embassy and fall to sleep after saying hello to my roommate, Maria. She owns Collage, a wonderful mixed media store in Portland, Oregon and brought her store to Virginia for the Art and Soul attendees.

The next day was spent getting the welcome bags ready and setting up the store and getting ready to welcome everyone. We had great food and fun at the opening night party and then sat down to be creative with the Ranger staff, who led us in making a beach-themed project. I sat next to Cyl, a gifted flamework and fused glass artist, who made the greatest frog glass beads for trades and later shared her beautiful fused glass cabachons with me. She has inspired me to learn how to flamework my own beads.

The week flew by quickly, meeting wonderful artists and getting to know the area. I ventured out to Norfolk to the Tidewater Lapidary Supply who has the most amazing collection of jewelry making tools and at a good price. While I only stopped by for saw blades, I left with new files and a new source of Grobet tools. Glenny loaned Keeley Barham, her mother and I the rental car and we drove to the local beach to put our feet in the Atlantic Ocean. The water was so warm, compared to the Pacific Ocean, but absolutely full of jellyfish. Several people were catching them in buckets and they were beautiful to watch as they pulsated in the water, but several of the kids on the beach already had welts from being stung.

After gathering a few shells, we went to Suffolk to visit the Shooting Star gallery and the Suffolk Art Museum. Both locations were having shows relating to words in art and handmade and altered books. It was an incredible display of books, including three by Lesley Riley. The currator in the museum donned her gloves and paged through Lesley's bird themed fabric book so we could ooh and aah over her pages. Inside the museum was an old cigarette machine that had been made to dispense small works of art called an Artomat. Apparently artists across the country populate these machines with art the size of a cigarette package and you put in your token and pull the knob of your choice to vend art - how cool is that? On the way back to the hotel, we saw one of the buildings badly damaged in the Suffolk tornado. How amazing and sad that the wind, which we long for as a breeze on a hot summer's day, could turn so violent and do so much damage. My heart went out to the victims and kudos to Glenny for donating the vendor night and silent auction proceeds to these devastated folks.

Vendor night was frenetic and wonderful, as always. And as always, there was so much more that I wanted to buy than I had money on hand. I was happy to see the Huskamps, Marylin and Tracie, again. And Tracie had made me the most wonderful necklace. I have loved birds since I was a small kid in the woods of Oklahoma and Missouri and Tracie presented me with a lovely handpainted bird pendant graced with an old vintage pin. And Marylin brought me dried flowers from Missouri, a state that is near and dear to my heart. Thank you both so much. I peeked in on their journal class the next day and was in awe of the work the students did in the class. The journals were beautiful. I later got to have dinner with the Huskamps and Lisa Englebrecht, whose calligraphy and artwork I have always admired, but have been too intimidated to try- my fifth grade teacher went gray trying to improve my cramped writing style!

On Sunday night I taught my class and could not have asked for a greater group of students. We had fun as learned how to drill rocks and shells and glass, etch copper, resin coat the copper charms and make a beaded bracelet to bring them all together. Here is a photo of student Christy Grant's beautiful bracelet. I had so much fun spending the evening with these talented ladies. But all too soon, it was time to pack up and leave. I hope to come back again and get more of a chance to explore the state almost all of my ancestor originated from in the 1600's and 1700's in hopes of finding some of the ancestoral sites mentioned in the genealogy research my sister has put together. Thank you all for your warm welcome and hospitality.