Finally - CALIFORNIA!
On the 16th, I left Reno to go to Sacramento.
via South Lake Tahoe!!
I never thought I'd journal in nothing but neutrals, but July 10 contained little that was colorful!
On the bright side, it's over!
On the 8th day of my trip, I was in Montana, still looking for the mountains. Most of the afternoon, through the heat and dust haze, I saw 1 mountain range in the distance, and it ALWAYS had a big cloud over it.
On the 9th day, I went through Glacier National Park, from the east. Outside the Park, on the west, I found a great little cabin. It had ac, and no stomping feet or loud tv's (no tv's, actually, LOL) and was restful.
On day 10 (July 10) I didn't go far, finding yet another cabin in the woods, where the air was still very fragrant from the pine forests. Additionally there was a crystal clear, somewhat cold (refreshing) lake only steps from my cabin, and some folks from Wisconsin who were very friendly and generous with their brats and beer. I had a wonderful time, and a restful sleep.
My journal painting for day 7, which was mostly in North Dakota:
I decided that once I found a nice little motel in Duluth that welcomed dogs, I would stay for 2 nights, just in case finding a motel on the 4th would be difficult. I also enjoyed the thought of just hanging out somewhere for a day. The 4th actually proved to be really nice in more than one way, the most obvious being that the temps never reached past 80 all day, until late evening when thunderstorms moved in.
On one of my walks with JJ, we met an Army vet, also named Chuck, from Vietnam and his puggles, Teddy. We visited for a while before moving on. I love being able to just meet people.
On another walk, JJ and I went exploring, looking for a trail that was supposed to be across the highway and in the woods. Found a lovely, fast moving stream that JJ actually fell into up to her nose because she stepped off a rock, thinking she was stepping into shallows, but it wasn't!
I don't think we ever found the official trail - there had been a MAJOR storm with damaging winds and floods just a few days before, and much of the woods had washouts and damage. So much damage that I ended up in the Lake Superior zoo on the 4th of July when it was all locked up and deserted. Except for the animals, of course. I passed the lion's cage where he immediately zoned in on JJ - yumm!
a washed out part of a path:
This gal, Christina, and her morkie Charm, were the night staff in the office. Charm LOVED JJ, though I have to admit that JJ was feeling a bit too mature to run in circles endlessly. We had some nice chats.
So, I'm srapping this up for the day - it's time to shower and pack the car etc. JJ has been sitting at the door to my room watching the traffic go by, so perhaps she's ready to join it.
Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to a magical place in Sullivan IL. I had no idea it was there! In this area of Illinois, there were several shoe factories in several towns. The Brown's shoe factories employed hundreds of people for many years, but have all closed down now. Those old brick factory buildings have typically become eyesores, but in Sullivan IL the local artisans have an idea, and are turning an old, deserted factory into a center for art and imagination. While the first floor is being used by the current owners for a small business space, the whole 2nd floor is being rented to artists, for an astonishingly low cost, who are then renovating the space they are renting into mini art galleries to showcase their work, to actually create art, and to sell art. I was in a daze as I wandered about with my camera!
If you know my husband, you are familiar with the passion he has for making walking sticks and canes. For years he has tripped over his own feet, or driven off the road, as he looks into the depths of the forests for downed saplings that look interesting. He's find some that had become twisted from honeysuckle vines squeezing them as they grew, or sticks with beautiful and natural markings, like the diamond willow. Sometimes they only had really cool bug tracks/holes, or colorful bark. He'd carry them off, and throw them in the back of the truck, barely able to wait until we got back home so that he could begin peeling the bark and otherwise finishing them. Back in 2001 we took our first week long backpacking trip in the WindRiver Range in NW Wyoming. I had a matched pair of walking sticks, probably sassafras, that have, over the years, warmed up in color and are now almost auburn. Chuck preferred to use one stick.
So what has this got to do with my new lettering skills? He recently made a cane for himself, and the handle "needed" a monogram.
The wood part itself is a pretty little twisted sapling, fairly light in color. He just happened to have a wonderful little scrap of antler someone had found in the woods and gave to him, and he made a great handle for the cane out of the antler! As you can see, Chuck sanded the ends of the antler to flat smoothness, and he asked me to put a B on one end. After patiently waiting for me to take pictures, he trooped to the basement to put a sealer on the handle, and it's currently drying. I was so proud to be able to use the lettering skills I've been gaining in my online course with Joanne Sharpe! Sadly, though I offered to use color in the monogram, he was adamently satisfied with the black. sigh. Some people just don't know how to appreciate color! (just kidding Chuck)
Wow, it seems like such a long time since I posted something, ANYTHING, here on "Having New Eyes"! It's not all because of the holidays...It's been a really difficult fall/winter so far for my husband, healthwise, with lots of trips to doctors, hospitals, and ERs. The upside is that, though finishing the AK quilt at home took longer than expected, I have had lots of handwork time in waiting rooms! Can't wait to start sharing some of that with you.
The big news, though, is that I finished the Alaska quilt the night before Christmas, when all through the house.... well, you know the lyrics. Chuck was touched beyond any gift he received this year, and there were quite a few that touched him. This quilt contains all the wildlife and scenery that he enjoyed on his month long travels in Alaska, and while it ended up being bigger than I'd planned, it fits perfectly on the wall in front of his leatherworking workbench and he often stops tooling to sit and look.
This last picture is of the one patch border I decided to finish with, using pieces from all the fat quarters Chuck brought back for me from his trip. The imagery in the quilt comes from multiple sources. Some are actual photographs from his trip, printed on fabric and fused into the scenery. Others are stock photos, similarly printed and fused. Two images are my own paintings on fabric that I cut out and fused. The water of the river was such fun, so abstract! Lots of applique, plus plenty of decorative threads and lace.