Sunday, June 29, 2008

Romantic, Mysterious, Captivating......

....words to describe the experience of Beautiful Orvieto, Italy. This will be a hands-on learning experience to enliven your awareness and touch your senses! The culture, food and wine will captivate your love for adventure with our "Adventures In Italy" tour as we are accompanied by Bill and Kirstin Steiner.

Tracie and I will be teaching ways to capture the experience in a journal where you will create memories from the surrounding elements. We will be sharing techniques centered around use of native wines, botanicals and soil. This will be a class that you can adapt into future travels to immortalize adventures within the lovely journal you will assemble.

The experience will certainly change you a perspective where you will understand how Italians embrace life. The trip is focused on the wonderful powerful rhythms of the day to day life in this quaint and captivating community. We will be staying in an historic convent where the rooms are modern and have placid views. It is located over the Etuscan caves and has 14th and 15th century frecos.

Walking in the market and experiencing the excitment of purchasing local goods from those who have grown or created the goods will be only a small part of the day's adventures. You will taste Italian prepared meals and listen to the chimes of the bells as they ring in the hours. Cooking an Italian dish is but one of the activities planned.

The simpliest walks are filled with three thousand years of history. Looking from Orvieto is the most majestic breathtaking it can make you speechless.

Don't just dream of this experience.....Plan to go with us in May 2009 as we begin this wonderful....Romantic, Mysterious, Captivating...adventure.

Visit Adventures in Italy to get all the detail so you can join Tracie and I on this FABULOUS learning experience!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

TAGGED.......You're IT!


It has been MANY years since I played this game! My dear daughter-in-law, Tracie, has tagged me!

This brings back memories of the sunny spring days when I would rush home from school and play this game for hours with my friends.

Well, being tagged means I must do the requrements of the "Taggee". Here goes:

1. Write the title to your memoirs in "Six Words".....mmmmmmmmmmm, of course they would be "Just a Mom, Living, Loving, Laughing". If I remember Ms. Noland's English class the "a" doesn't count in my words. Boy, I really didn't like that when I wrote those 500 word papers.

2. Make a blog post. This is it!

3. Link to the person who tagged you. Tracie Lyn

4 Tag six friends. Here are my lucky friends; Maija, Christina, Jan, Sammy, Albert and, of course, Brett (my son).

Have fun friends. And to all my readers - Please visit these fun blogs!


Sunday, June 08, 2008


Currently having a storm. Here are some pics of the storm clouds as they moved in over our little village.

Awesome! I simply had to share.


Many of the beautiful florals are in bloom in the garden. They create a colorful landscape which I always enjoy when I look out the windows.

We have several varieties so there are blooms from early spring until the final frost. I love clipping them and pressing them for use in my art.

Tracie Lyn gave me a wonderful botanist press last year and I keep it full of the finds from my garden and my adventures in the country.

Whenever I see wildflowers along the country roads I stop to gather a few to include in my botanical treasures.

If you want to start collecting your own florals for pressing here are a few tips that I have learned along the way:

Gather your treasures in the early afternoon. If you gather in the morning there may be too much moisture that makes drying them difficult and may create mold. If gathering the florals in the evening the blossoms may be partially closed as many florals close their petals at night.

Don't gather florals immediately following rain. Too much moisture will create mold.

Gather the florals when the plants are in full bloom. Waiting too long may result in the blossoms losing petals and not being at their maximum beauty.

Keep a sack and pair of scissors in the car. I'm always ready to gather florals as I take a drive in the country. Driving down the country roads I frequently see wild flowers growing along the creeks and roadways.

Try pressing any florals. I have learned that sometimes when I think a certain flower may not press well, I may be mistaken. I have pressed some of these beauties and found that frequently they are the best. Never discard the prospect of pressing blooming weeds. I did several last year and they pressed beautifully.

Purchase a newsprint tablet when on sale and keep it handy. Frequently I find the newsprint tablet on sale for 30-40% off at Hobby Lobby. I buy a couple so I always have plenty when I want to press florals or leaves.

Purchase a good botanist's press. I started out using books and stacking several so there was plenty of weight to press the florals tightly. Went to a small 8 inch x 8 inch press and graduated to the wonderful press Tracie gave me! I suggest that you jump straight to a botanist press. It is well worth the money!

Experiment with ways to use the pressed treasures. I am always looking for ways to include these treasures in my artwork. These give you a natural medium to include in your work so you can get a true piece of nature look.

Press leaves also. Be sure not to overlook the variety of leaves you have in the garden. Press some in the spring, summer and the fall. All the various shapes, sizes and colors make a lovely addition to you collage creations. Shrubs have unusual and beautiful follage.

Have fun! If you have a child or grandchild they love helping gathering the treasures. This is a great outdoor activity that also is learning time. It s a super opportunity to teach the names of the florals and trees.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Nature's Gift

Nature's gift - freely beyond description...colorful and totally encompassing.

As I wander thru my garden I marvel at the smallest blossom, the tiny insects and a color pallet where no matter the color it blends perfectly with the surroundings.

The flowers grow slowly and perfectly as though a hand is guiding their every twist and turn.

The sun sparkles on each leaf and petal as if to kiss them ... Oh, so softly!

The wind moves the stems creating a dance stirring the botanicals to life!

Even the smallest worm that crawls upon the ground provides movement to the roots so they can breathe.

Rain...the gift of life to these lovely growths..falls gently upon the plants as they thirst for more.

I reach down and turn a rock...beneath is a toad resting comfortably..feeling safe and secure.

The smell floating in the air is sweet and pure...providing a fragrance that is captivating to my senses.

Birds are singing..each its own melody...yet creating a song that has perfect harmony as all the melodies blend together.

Looking to the sky I watch the clouds floating gently by...swaying in rhythm with each and every sound I hear.

Blessed am I.....fills my thoughts...thoughts that warm my heart with love...

Love for the gift I have been given...