Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lower Whitewater Falls

Continuing with the waterfall story here...
The "logs" that you see in the first photo are actually two tree trunks.
They were probably about 20-30 feet long. This should give you another idea of just how large this waterfall is.
This is one of the smaller side falls. My husband climbed up higher than I did. His legs are much longer than mine so he was able to go farther...

I asked him to take this photo of the kayak so you could see how far we (I) went.

I have a slight fear of heights...I didn't know that he was taking this.

I wanted to look over the side of the rock but kept getting kinda dizzy when I tried...

This position made it a lot easier!

He evidently went up much farther than I thought...

Isn't this beautiful?

Here's another photo of me that he took from his vantage point. Such large rocks!

Isn't this awesome!? Life does find a way, doesn't it?

These skinny trees are growing up out of a crack in the boulder.

I'll post more photo's tomorrow.

T.R. found a cute little (dirty) turtle.

I hope that all of you look around today -

check out your surroundings for inspiration.

You just never know what you will find!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


My husband and I went kayaking on Lake Jocasse Sunday.
We haven't been in a while and as is our usual M.O. - we probably stayed a little too long...
or paddled a little too far.
We put in at about 1:30 and were packing up at about 7:30.
Lots and lots of paddling - apx. 12 miles or so.
And yes, we have some awesome biceps...oh - pictures of that later...

Last year during the drought, we went to the same place at Jocasse - looking for the waterfalls that are so talked about.
But when we got there, there was no waterfall...
nothing but a bunch of big ole rocks and a tiny trickle of water...
but this year - WOW! The water is back and it is magnificent!

The closer we got, the more tree limbs and logs there were.
It was kinda difficult to paddle through them but we persevered.

I have no idea how tall this particular waterfall is

but we lost sight of it after about 150 feet.

(I looked the info up and it is a tad over 200 feet tall).

There is also a couple of pretty big ones to the side of the main fall.

Along with a muscadine vine that would be great for some little ole bear...

These rocks are hu-mon-gus...

Here's the view after we got out of the kayak -

standing on a sandy area right at the base of the falls.

Three unhappy fishermen - they told us they were "not having any luck" that day.

But boy, we sure did!

I'll post more photo's tomorrow.

We found so many beautiful things to look at.

Nature is so inspiring.

She knows it all.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More studio work

Like I said in my last post, I am really loving the project that Kristi and Susan
came up with for this years retreat.
I am continuing to enjoy working on it - it actually has taken on a life of its own...
dictating what I do, where I put things...
how I spend me time...
Isn't that just awesome when it happens?

when your art work leads you.

Here is a collage that I did.
I used an ink jet print (that I did at my buddy Judy's house) of a chickadee that I painted.
Throw in a corner of a page from a book that I'm tearing up - I mean utilizing- in my work.
Mix in a few tiny little buttons from my mom's immense collection... a few twigs from Sally's collection, a scrap of brown bag, a lil' bitty safety pin, vintage paper and a lot of time moving it all around and around on a piece of dupioni silk...

I love the sheer fabric and how it looks on this collage.

Here's a picture of the two pages that I have secured in the book. I'm still working on the other two.
I have a favorite quote that I use from time to time in my art work.
Do you?
I layered the quote, some scrim and a fern frond on a hand made tag (oh and a few teeny tiny crystals).
Jeez - I forgot that I also added some beads that were given to me from a friend that lives in Hawaii. They're made from shells!
The quote is partially covered up but I really wanted everyone to be able to read it in its entirety.
So I added the entire quote on the back of the tag.

I love using all the tiny charms and beads that I have. I suppose that I should confess here that I collect them...
Along with a bunch of other stuff too...
It's a curse but also a blessing.
A curse because I can't seem to throw away much of anything.
A blessing because I see the beauty and potential in each and every thing that I see in this world.
Do you?
Do you really appreciate the things around you?
That feather dropped by a bird,
the little rock that could hold a special place in your art work?
What about your tea bags? The cute little tags they have on them?
Or the buckles on old shoes or handbags?
Have you considered what you can do with items from your junk drawer?
Ha - I know that you have one...
But seriously, try looking at each and every item in a different way -
look at it from a "repurposing" stand point.
You may actually be surprised at what The Universe hands you...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Work in Progress

I am continuing to work on the Retreat project.
I really love the mixed textures, the paint, the gels,
the fabrics, the beads, the...
well - I could just say that I am Lovin' this project!
I'm adding different little touches - you know,
Making It My Own.
Here's a peek or two...

Jeez- what a mess...and I straightened up for the photo's...

I'm not sure about this ribbon part. I will probably add a different embellishment on top...
still gotta add my charms and beads to the ends too.

Every single day.

Observe the Silence as well.
Give that creativity time to grow, to be nourished.

Use the seasons of your creativity to your advantage.
Seek solace, reflect.
Observe nature.

Always seeking knowledge.

Give yourself Time To Grow.

Creativity IS my Nature.

What's yours?

Monday, September 14, 2009


OK. I've got all of my clothes unpacked (yeah, I know - that was the easy part!)
but the art supplies will take a little longer...
especially since I keep stopping and doing things with the supplies
as I take them from their case...
I decided to go ahead and load up some of the pictures that I took.
The first few are pics of other folks projects.
We did the "Field Guide to Creativity" theme.
We took wooden cigar boxes and altered them.
Then made a canvas Field Guide to place inside.
Enjoy the photos of some very amazing art work!
Above is Donna Williamson's project. I loved her color palate!

This is the front of Jane Bradley's beautiful Field Guide (above). Notice the heavy crackling she got on the background piece!
My buddy Tonya Peters. I love how she altered the Altoid tin and
placed it in an arrangement on the altered cigar box.
Nothing is safe in the artist's world...
My buddy Crystal Chappell. I love the teeny tiny glass jar
with even teenier tiny glass beads in it! Awesome!
And look at what my friend Mary Ann Schuler did!
She used vintage rulers to make the birdhouse. And then added some of those
teeny tiny green glass beads to the lower right hand corner...
can you see how wonderfully they cascade down the arrangement?
Love it!

This is Nancy Isom's tribute to the Smokey Mountains. Great job Nancy!

And look at Sally Casper's little teaspoon fairy! How cute is that?!

Here's a picture of Sally's altered box. Love it!

Sally had a miniature table saw that we all used.

It was SO cute and quite functional.

The next couple of photos are from the

"Farewell Tea" that we have every year.

This year the Retreat was at a different place

and they really handled it well.

The food was great, rooms were very , well, roomy and

great air conditioning!

All of you menopausal women out there will appreciate that!

Thank goodness my room mate liked the room cold also.

Now here I've added some pictures of my project. I almost completed the box itself at the retreat.
I only have a few beads and things to add on the inside.
I wanted to work on the actual Field Guide at home.
I did get a couple of the pages started though.
So no pics of that for you right now...
When I was a little girl, my family called me "The Bag Lady"
because I always carried a paper bag with me.
You can look at pictures of me as a child and I've always got that bag clutched in my hands.
And it was full of all kinds of treasures...bird feathers, rocks, leaves, twigs...
the same kind of things that I collect now.
So, when we were told to bring items from nature -
all I had to do was walk into my studio and
I had an abundance of related items on hand.
Driftwood from kayaking
rocks from the river
Indian pottery from Keowee
bird legs from back yard
twigs from the apple tree
rust items from who knows where
my growing collection of heart shaped rocks
animal bones get the picture.
I am an avid watcher, collector and lover of Mother Nature.
She rocks my world.

And just where do YOU get your Inspiration from?

Does "love" make you see the world in a different light?

Are you trying to Be Bold in your creativity?

Maybe "play" is important to you. It is to me.

Perhaps you need to "foster" your creative spirit.

I love the tree that was made from a twig from our apple tree.
We wrapped it with this and that, wound a little bit of magic around it
as we added few beads, baubles and affirmations.
Here are some of my heart shaped rocks.
Oh, and the little bone too - notice the hole is heart shaped also.

We all have to Be Brave, don't we?
That key?
The Key to my creativity.
I'm going to hang a tiny copper tag
with that on it as well as a couple of beads and things.
The little tea bag tag reads "Enjoy the Experience".
Bird legs, dried cranberries and background collage all by little ol' me.
A reminder to myself...
This next picture shows the front of the altered cigar box.
I used bark from a tree in our yard, dried flower from my garden,
vintage ruler pieces, shells beads from Hawaii, seeds from our magnolia tree, seeds from canna lily in yard,
wooden button for the moon, Indian pottery (lower left hand corner), driftwood and a little coyote that my son gave me.
It represents my own tendency to howl at the moon from time to time...
I hope that you enjoyed the visit.
Maybe next year you'll join me and 50 of my good friends in Blowing Rock.
Dates are set already...Sept. 9 - Sept. 12, 2010.