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Posts from the ‘Artistic Endeavors’ Category

Art Projects, Wizard of Oz, Homemade Pizza, and Hurts Doughnuts

It’s 10:45 p.m., and after a full day with the Jones family, I’m settled back in the camper and beginning to repack things for my journey tomorrow. It was a full and fun day with lots of fun and laughter! Dexter and I arrived at the Jones house in Tulsa about 10:30 this morning. The kids were eager to share with me some of the art projects they’ve done over the past year and to spend some time drawing together.

Last year when the kids visited Steve and me, we went for a long walk in a park. Jane picked up sticks and branches and brought them home. She used these to create these wonderful art pieces with the kids.  The branches she collected on our walk were used to form the outer circle and then yarn and ribbons were woven to create the trunk and the tops of the trees. What a wonderful way to preserve the memory and to enjoy a craft project with the kids. Each tree is so unique, reflecting the personality of the individual child.

Another art project they completed last year were hand-painted Russian Matryoshka Dolls.  Roman’s, of course, were decorated as Apple Corporate Executives!

 

Then they got creative with the stacking aspect of the dolls!

And of course that disintegrated further into the sillies! Always so much fun with this crowd!

No day is complete with kids without an injury…Poor Colin wrenched his ankle. It required ice and a few minutes of elevation before he was over it and back to his bouncy self!

Dexter is adjusting so well to the increased activity in his life. He and Chewy, the family Newfoundland, behaved very well together again today. Dexter even let little miss Laurel hold him!

Laurel wanted me to draw her a monkey eating a banana from a photo she found online so we sketched it out. The splotches on the side are Chewy Kisses!

Sketch Monkey Eating Banana

 

Laurel then drew her own chimpanzee!

She is doing so well!

Jane fixed us lovely picnic lunch and we went to the local park to enjoy it and a romp at the playground. Dexter enjoyed running and playing the chase game with the kids, barking at other dogs, and chasing leaves.

After all the excitement of the morning it was time for a little quiet,  so we snuggle down on the couch to watch The Wizard of Oz. Jane let me use her washer and dryer so I got my laundry all caught up while we enjoyed the movie. It’s nice to have that chore out of the way.

Jane has been knitting a beautiful lace scarf and it had gone a bit awry. She was having difficulty getting it back on track and I was able to help her sort it out. She’s now ready to pick up where she left off and continue with this stunning piece! What beautiful work she is doing!

 

I was treated to Jane’s famous homemade pizza for dinner. The crust was amazing, it was light and fluffy and so flavorful. For dessert, we had Hurts Donuts, a family favorite. This small company started a with a few stores in Missouri and now has one store here in Oklahoma. The donuts are so good, they’re almost like having cake. Each one is a unique flavor! Mine was a chocolate cake donut covered with Butterfinger Crumbles. Yummy! It was worth the splurge!

Dexter and I are both pretty tuckered out after such a full an exciting day and we’re looking forward to a quiet sleep here at the campground. We are the only campers left in the park after the busy holiday weekend except for one permanent resident and the Camp Host. Tomorrow morning I’ll get this buggy hitched up to the truck and head on down to Burleson Texas! Yee Haw!

Dexter in the Rain, Art Supply Shopping, and Simply Colorful Fibercast

Dexter and I were able to sneak in a short walk to the Ashland Reservoir in between the rain showers today. The wind has been hard at work bringing down the fall leaves and the forest path was laden with color. Dexter is not a big fan of walking in the rain but we both enjoyed stretching our legs and getting some fresh air.

I’ve been gathering art supplies to take on the road in Wild Thing and realized that my wooden studio easel is much too large to take with me so I made a quick run to Michael’s Arts and Crafts and found this terrific aluminum easel that is just the right size, weight, will fold for storage, and was on sale! Don’t you just love coupons!

My dear friend Lynn M. called later and invited me to join her on a trip to one of our favorite shops, the Franklin Mill Store.  We needed a visit and a chance to catch up and who can resist a trip to the fabric store!  Franklin Mill Store is a full-service fiber art store offering Quilt Fabric, Home Decorator Fabrics, Premium Yarn and Knitting Patterns and Knitting Supplies, Garment Fabric, Trims, Sewing Notions, Wool for Rug Hooking and Applique, Books, Patterns, and more. My friend Mary and her sister are carrying on a family tradition of quality, service, and a passion for fabric started by their family three generations ago! This shop is a local treasure.

My friend Lynn is such an inspiration to me! She is an amazing fiber artist who quilts, hooks rugs, makes doll art, knits, spins yarn, and has just started a Long Arm Quilting Service! She broadcasts a weekly fiber art program from her Simply Colorful Studio on Friday nights called FiberCast. Durning this videocast, Lynn streams live video of what she’s working on in her studio while folks from around the world watch her on YouTube and participate  via text, e-mail, and online comments while they work on their own projects. It’s  a once a week virtual community crafting hour! Check her out and join her online Friday evenings for an hour of community creativity. As Lynn says “It’s amazing what you can get done in 60 minutes!” Oh yeah, and she does all this while holding down a full-time job! She is a remarkable woman and I am honored to call her my friend.

I picked up a new hat pattern and some yarn at the Franklin Mill Store today and am happily burrowed on the couch this evening knitting to the rhythm of the rain.

 

Low Tide, Hidden Depths, Learning to Receive

I enjoyed a lovely walk on the beach this morning at low tide. The weather was overcast and cool, perfect for a quiet stroll. When the tide is out on this beach, there is an outcropping of large seaweed and barnacle covered rocks that stand sentry before the shore. At high tide, there is absolutely no evidence that these solid giants exist below the waves. They remind me that we all have hidden parts of ourselves that dwell below our surface. These secret parts may remain unknown throughout our lives, or perhaps, they may be revealed when the rhythms of time encourage us to draw back our surface protection and expose what lies in our depths.

I collected a few leaves, feathers, rocks, shells, and foliage on my walk. I think of these things as “gifts of the sea”. I’m always tempted to bring them home, but now that I’m practicing “tiny house living” I decided to take pleasure from them in their natural habitat then leave them for someone else to enjoy.

We concluded the retreat today.  The time passed so quickly! I love seeing the creativity of others who attend this weekend. Each person’s work reveals a little bit about their inner world, a little of what lies below their surface.

At the end of the session, each artist hangs their body of work and the other participants collectively pay homage to their creative process by responding to the work with one-word comments expressing how the art makes them feel, or what the art evokes for them. One of the participants records the comments on a beautiful handmade card for the artist to take home. Most of us have little or no experience receiving compliments, positive feedback, or words of encouragement, especially about something as vulnerable as our art. For the artist, this process the most challenging of the weekend, but is also by far the most powerful. Although I have experienced this process each of the five times I’ve attended the retreat, it is still as powerful now as it was the first time. Their comments help me to uncover a bit of what lies beneath my awareness, below my surface, in my own depths. I am so grateful for their tender loving care.

 

 

Retreat Preparations, Repair Research, Winter Plans, and Free Camping

This morning I spent a few hours at the art studio gathering supplies for my annual Watercolor Spiritual Retreat at Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford, ME this weekend. This will be my 5th year participating, and I’m so grateful to be able to attend.  It’s a wonderfully creative and restorative weekend in the company of some exceptional women and a calming touchstone in the midst of a busy modern life.

The insurance adjuster, Bob D. from TEC Associates, Inc in Spencer, MA met me and Steve at Wild Thing late morning. He was knowledgeable and supportive, and I’m confident he will help smooth this process. From his list of shop recommendations, I contacted RV’s R Us in Oxford, MA about the repair. They were my first choice because, in addition to getting the body repaired, I also want to build a relationship with an RV repair shop for ongoing service to Wild Thing. The owner, Mike, was great and the shop seemed perfect,  but unfortunately, his bodywork shop is booked until mid-November.  I’m hoping to be back on the road heading for Arizona by then so the timing just wouldn’t work. I did schedule to have his shop adjust the brakes on the trailer in early November but will need to find an alternative for the fiberglass body repair.

My next call was to Hazard Marine in Webster, MA and they are a possibility for the bodywork. Since my camper is made from molded fiberglass with gel coat, it is very similar to the body of a boat, and this shop has experience with this type of repair. They requested photos of the damage to evaluate before I bring the camper in for service, so I drove back to the storage facility and snapped some pics. I’m waiting to hear back from them and hoping they will be able to make the repair in the next few weeks. There is a whole lot of “hurry up and wait” at this stage of the process and patience has never been one of my strengths, but I’m trying….This little mishap in Montana is costing me quite a bit of time and energy. I’m glad that it was a minor scrape and that Wild Thing has a great insurance company, Amica,  behind her, but the whole process is quite time-consuming.

On a positive note, I was able to fix the light over the stove today! I replaced the standard bulb with an LED array and it lights the area much better than the original single bulb. The LED should also last much longer.

I have been doing a bit of planning for winter travel and I learned recently about another resource for free camping called FreeCampsites.net .  Having the solar panels to provide power to my batteries will allow me to take advantage of dry camping or boondocking on public lands and BLM sites where no services are offered. I plan to try several of these sites in late November and early December when I get to the Tucson area. Steve has booked a flight in late December to Tucson and will join me for Christmas week. I’ve made a reservation for us at Catalina State Park so we’ll be close to the action and have full hook-ups during his stay. We visited this area in February and had a wonderful time exploring the Saguaro National Park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and the surrounding areas. We’re looking forward to spending much more time in this beautiful part of the country. Now I’ve just got to get the Wild Thing repaired, packed, and back on the road!

 

 

 

 

Family, 23, Black and Blue, Kokomo Campers, and Hugs

I left Millpoint RV Park a little before 8 am today and was glad to get on the road again. I was still feeling a bit shaken from my hitching mishap and my nerves stayed in high gear until I was on the road. I feared that I had caused some unseen damage to the trailer that would present itself when I got going but all is well. I now have checklists for everything I can think of!

The day was sunny and the miles dropped away. I stopped for gas and a cup of coffee before getting back up on the highway. That keep me content until about 10:30-11 when I stop at a rest area for breakfast. It is so nice to be able to just step out of the truck, jump into the trailer, close the door and have a nice break. I can eat my own food, and enjoy the quiet of my own space regardless of the noise and bustle going on outside. My camper is just so cozy!

Today is my son Glen’s 23rd birthday. I had a lovely chat with him. He’s still in Seattle and will be heading to Orange County, CA to check-up on his camper in a few days. He’s planning some time in Joshua Tree before flying home for a short visit, then he’ll be off to Baja for the winter. What a life! Go Glen Go! I can’t wait to see you in just a few weeks. Today is also the anniversary of my Dad’s (Morton)  Birthday. He has been gone many years but his legacy lives on. Thank you, Dad, for instilling my love of adventure and trailer life!

I had planned to drive through Indianapolis on a Sunday around mid-day thinking that would give me the best chance of avoiding traffic. I was on the 465 loop going around the city so I was a bit surprised to find stop-and-go traffic. There also seemed to be an inordinate number of truckers.  Most did not have trailers, just the truck cabs and many were flying flags. Then the honking started and their numbers increased. It was pretty much bumper to bumper trucks across 4 lanes! I finally spotted a sign on one cab that indicated this was part of a protest movement called Operation Black and Blue. Veteran truckers are protesting the regulation that would require them to use electronic driver logs. It was quite a show of force and although they played nice, there were many of them and it sure caused a big slowdown on the highway.  I guess that was their point!

I met another lovely couple at a rest stop today. Duane and Cheryl K. from Kokomo, In were interested in seeing Wild Thing so I gave them a tour. They have a large rig and were intrigued by the Wild Thing. She sure gets a lot of attention and I do love showing her off!

Once I made it past Indy, it was a short ride to Richmond, In. The sun disappeared and the rain began to fall again, but I was cheered to see my lovely niece Rachel waiting at the campground for me when I arrived! She and her husband Phil had driven an hour to meet me and see Wild Thing. What a treat it was to spend the evening with them! I haven’t connected with Rachel in many years and I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to see her. She is a budding quilter and brought along a project she is working on to show me. She is doing lovely work and her eye for color is amazing! She also brought a project she did as a child with my Mom, her grandmother, that she credits with getting her started with sewing and quilting. It brought tears to my eyes to see this special piece! My Mom was one of the greats and she is with me every day in my heart. She teaches and encourages me still. Her name was Priscilla, but everyone called her Pinky! I recognized most of the fabrics used in this little quilt, since back then we used scraps of fabric we had used to make clothing in our quilting projects. There were plaids from my Dad and Mom’s shirts, some twills from Mom’s pants, and a floral print that I used to make a blouse. The circle is unbroken and my Mother’s spirit is alive and well in her granddaughter!  We spent a lovely evening catching up and talking about quilting and trailering. Rachel and Phil have an A-Liner trailer that they love to go camping in. We went out to eat and the evening flew by. I am so grateful that they took the time to come for a visit and look forward to spending more time with them (hopefully camping!) in the very near future.

So now I’m listening to the patter of rain on the roof as it makes it’s way through the trees here at the Deer Ridge campground in Richmond In. I drove 290 miles today. It has been a day filled with visits from family both near and far. Time and distance are constructs of our mind and I love that I can be close to those separated from me by time or distance simply by holding them in my heart. But, I must admit, there is no substitution for hugs. I try to give them often and cherish those I receive. I’m grateful today for family and hugs.

Tomorrow I’ll drive to Rockwood, PA and spend 2 nights at the Hickory Hollow campground. I hope the sun comes out!

Quilt for Camper

I’m taking a break from planning and packing today to work on the quilt I have started for Wild Thing.

It will take me some months to complete and will be a good project for the road . It has both pieced and appliqued elements which I plan to hand applique. The bright Kaffe Fassette prints sparkle against the gray background and should be a nice complement to the bright prints I’m using in the dinette area. The pattern is from the book Material Obsession 2 by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke.

Successful Dragonfly Festival

Sarah’s & Acrylic Paint Pouring Art at Dragonfly Festival Ashland MA

Here’s a big shout out to all the terrific folks I saw at the Dragonfly Festival this past weekend! Some old friends stopped by and what fun it was to catch up. I also met many new folks and had such a pleasant day chatting about art and travel. It was exciting to share what I have learned about Acrylic Paint Pouring and I think there may soon be more messy painters out there pouring paint soon!

 

 

Acrylic Paint Pouring Art at Dragonfly Festival Ashland MA

A super big Thank You to all who purchased my art!  I hope you enjoy owning it as much as I enjoyed creating it.  Thanks to your support, I sold almost half of my inventory!  All the proceeds of this sale are going right into my travel fund!

I was quite encouraged to hear the comments and reactions to my little paintings. The movement and color of this style painting seemed to capture the interest and imagination of many folks. I’m energized and ready to keep making art!

What sort of art do you enjoy making? I’d love to hear about your art in the comments below or just a hello to let me know you’re here!

There was also a good deal of interest in this blog and my upcoming travel trailer adventure so here’s a big “Welcome to the Wild Thing Blog” to those of you who are joining the fun.  I hope you enjoy  reading about my journey!

As always, a tremendous Thank You to my Dear Husband (DH) Steve without whom NONE of this would be possible. I’m such a fortunate girl to have the love and support of this amazing man.