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Life is the adventure

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Adventure isn’t always what you think it’s going to be. For me, it always has to do with family, hiking, writing or art. Recently I’ve put a lot of work into an Etsy (silkandstoneboutique) shop and getting earrings done for my daughter to have a LuLaRoe party. That work is in conjunction with finally getting my book written and teaching yoga and senior strength training. All of those I love. So, all in all, life is good.

This is my lovely granddaughter modeling earrings made for the party. The earrings were made from quilt scraps given to me by a friend. I try to make everything from re-purposed items.

Belle in red earrings

All of my jewelry creations are either fabric based or created from things found while hiking. We have some really great rocks, discarded metal, and wood in this area and I find pieces that I eventually turn into something.

My method is to put pieces I love on my work space and let ideas simmer. Another great source of inspiration is Pinterest. I also see metal jewelry on TV and wonder how I can make it out of fabric. I would need two more lifetimes to create everything I envision. I’ll certainly never live long enough.

This is a piece made from leather given to be because a furniture store went out of business. I have all of their furniture samples–a good example of why I need two more lifetimes. I want to make hand bags too! Something is always cooking in my brain.

leather leaves

It turns out that the greatest adventure is life itself and what we make of it. We are all creative and just need to find out what makes us sing inside. That is adventure.

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White Pocket Rocks (Pun Intended)

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Finally. An adventure to talk about. It’s been so bloody hot here and we’ve been so busy we haven’t really gone out into the desert, but I freaked and asked my hubby if we could please have a day together. I really wanted about a week, but that wasn’t even an option. So, we loaded up the dogs and a picnic and headed for White Pocket–a round trip of about 350 miles. This old body has a hard time riding that much, but it was worth it.

We arrived at camp and set up the table and chairs and broke out the food. I cheated and bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to save on my efforts. We had ants and this little guy as visitors while we ate.stink bug

My sister loves little things, so I took the picture for her.

After lunch, we headed out for the white rocks. Unfortunately, my shoes hurt my toes, so when we reached the sandstone, off they came. The really cool thing about it was the tanajas that were filled with water. Neither I nor spell check know if that is spelled correctly, but they are indentations in the sandstone that fill with water. Some of them had tadpoles in them and others had had enough water that cattails were growing.

Molly, the black dog, took advantage of the cool water and began wading through all the tanajas she found. But our Max only got his feet wet.white pocket Molly When my feet hurt, I just dipped them into the water. It was a really lovely adventure! We also encountered rain, a welcome relief in the desert, which is ever changing. rain stormSo, I’d say the adventure was a success. I loved it, hubby loved it and the dogs had a great time. The scenery is well worth the drive.white pocket sceneSo, I guess I’d do it all again. Maybe next time we can camp there and explore some more.

Works In Progress

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72 pixels new pendent

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here. But not since I’ve written stuff. Not only do I write for the local paper, but I also have nearly finished our new book, How to Win Friends and Influence People in the 21st Century. Now that’s an adventure. Well, actually, the writing is pretty simple. Then we began looking for an agent. My co-author knew one of the best in the business, so he contacted him. The agent sent us a list of everything we needed for a proposal. OMG!

Now, if it were fiction, I’d just send the book, but a non-fiction requires much, much more. Mostly to dedicate your life to it. That being said, we are sending proposals out to smaller publishers even as I write. The book is one that is needed in today’s world and I’m sure it will be a best seller.

But sometimes a girls’ gotta take a break. When that is necessary, I go to the table and make art. The above piece is one that I have in the works. It started as a fringe sample from one of my vendors. I embellish it and when that’s done, I’ll string it onto something. I haven’t got that part worked out yet. I’ve sold a couple of these through a local gallery. Fringe is all the rage right now.

I am also doing a series I will call, “Sticks and Stones.” I am using wood and rocks found in our wonderful desert to make wearable art. I’m not sure I’ve posted this picture…it is the first of the series.rusted metal web imageI sold it at a show and have made another similar. It is a piece of rusty metal embellished. I really loved it, as did the buyer.

The next picture is of the newest in the line. I am also already working on another one. They are such fun!metal and wood sized at 72This one is of rusted metal and a wonderful piece of wood. I have lots of wood and stones because I love it all and just have to bring it home and make art with it.

I will be setting up an Etsy shop for our art, including the cliff spirits and the vision spirits and my storytellers, so stay tuned. That will take some time. Another adventure. I also will have a blog for the book!

Thanks for your interest. I hope to be more faithful with the blogs.

Time To Focus

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When I started this blog, I intended to use it to help market our art. Of course, earning a living quickly got in the way. And my husband sits at the table and calmly says, “YOU need to find a way to sell our art online.” I just nodded. Inside I seethed. “I” need to find a way? I need to find ways to keep money coming in that don’t consume me. But, I agree. I love what we do and I do want to market it.

Right now, though, I am working on a book, which takes up a good deal of free time. I guess that means it isn’t free. I also have an Interior Design business, I teach yoga and strength training to seniors and I freelance for our local paper. Let’s not even talk about the stuff we do everyday, such as cooking.

Anyway, the point of that rant was that I am returning The Adventure of Art to just that. Just maybe I can start another blog or blogs on the things that also interest me. I hoped to do that here, but it didn’t work, and I need to focus. Imagine that!

Right now I am making leather flower bracelets for The League of Women Voters officers. It’s a great little commission and I know the ladies personally, so I’m quite happy to do it. Also, I was able to place some pieces with a gallery in Kayenta, a little red rock community between my home and St. George, Utah. The bracelets are similar to this one.leather flower bracelet

All that aside. It’s spring already in the desert. You should see my cactus blooming. And I’m itching to get out there and have a little adventure of my own. I guess that means a walk up the wash with the dogs. Not really a bad deal. Before long it will be too hot to even venture outside with the intent of spending any time there. I believe I posted a picture of the cactus blossoms, but just in case I didn’t, here’s one for you to enjoy.Cactus flowers 2

While I was looking for a picture, I came across this one I thought you might like too. These guys are wild burros and roam the desert. In 19 years, I have only seen this herd. They let me get quite close, but I was cautious. Burro

Back to art:

My question to you, readers is this: Do any of you use Etsy to sell your products? If so, how is that working for you? Or do you use Artfire? Same question. I know I need to get cracking on that along with all else I do. But I want to make the right choices. I look forward to hearing from you.

Spring Has Sprung

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I know, I promised to share my adventure with learning WordPress, but I got distracted! I get distracted a lot. This time it’s a script treatment that caught my attention. I have the script written although it needs work, so I’m writing a treatment. Maybe someone will want it. It’s a murder mystery, which is no surprise. That seems to be my choice in novels these days. I don’t read often because once I start, I don’t stop until I finish the book. I love Lee Child!

So, my next project will be a new blog page about writing a book. That and the script are my major focus, but I must pause for Spring. It’s here. I live in the desert Southwest and the Laural bush is in full bloom and the cactus have multitudes of buds waiting to pop. I want to go to Death Valley and see the wild flowers. What a sight!

So, today was a clean the yard day, one of many to come. I hope you are all as lucky as I am where the weather is concerned, but I fear many of you have great adventures ahead. My prayers go out to all who will face flooding when the thaw hits. Blessings.

It's look at that sunset

Just look at that sunset!

The Adventure Turns Out to be Life

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When I started this blog, I really had no idea how to do it. I just wanted to promote our art and share it with those who might appreciate it. Now, I’m reading books about blogging, and it is even harder than I expected. Everyone says to write about your passion. Unfortunately, I have many. Among them would be creating my art, reading, spirituality, cooking, nutrition, activism, grammar and fitness. That’s the short list. And it’s not just what do I write about, but how do I plug in the time to do it while actively pursuing all that stuff. I create, I write for the local paper, I’m writing a book, I teach yoga and strength training and I have a home, a husband and two dogs. Since I believe in eating close to the source, I even make my dogs’ cookies. (Not their food, though.)

I thought I was crazy busy when I was raising my kids. Little did I know. And as I age, I’m not able to do as much as quickly as I once did. Add to that the fact that time compresses as you age and you understand my conundrum. I really would like some thoughts on this one.

Meanwhile, I’ll just start writing and see what happens. I might even have to have another blog, but again, the question is, how? Well, I will need one when the book is complete. But that’s a different problem altogether.

I do think I have some wisdom to impart that was acquired while becoming human. It takes time to become a fully functioning human being. Some never get there. That’s pretty evident when you watch anything on the television. It seems the world is going to hell in a hand basket–and if you know what that means, you know my age. But, my heart tells me there is more good in the human race than bad. We just have to look for it. I see it every day on the faces of my people in class. I see it in the posts of ordinary people on Facebook. I watch as ordinary humans help one another make it through this life a little more easily. Just look a little more closely and you’ll see it too.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have to be vigilant. Greedy opportunists are busily raping the planet until I fear for future generations. And outspoken activists are busily trying to undo the damage. Let’s hope we have time. It begins with us. I guess that’s the message I want to send out there. It begins with you. You were born into a free-will universe. You make the choices that determine your path. You have to stand up and be counted if you want to change anything. What do you stand for? What do you believe is important? How can you help? Can you speak up? Can you sign petitions? Can you donate? Can you actively help your fellow humans? Of course you can. You get to choose. You always get to choose. And that’s the adventure you came here to experience. Life. Wonderful, joyous, beautiful, full, voluptuous, exciting, interesting life.

Never forget that it’s short–make the most of it. Don’t fill your life with regrets. Get out there and enjoy it. Find joy in it. Joy is hiding in plain sight around every turn in the road. Be grateful for that joy. Do other animals experience it? Maybe more then we do. I know my dogs experience it. I see it every time we take them for a run in the desert. I believe it’s one of the things they live for. That and food.

Maybe that’s the answer. I can write about joy!

Adventures With Grandkids

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I promised I’d write a post about the visit of the ankle biters. Well, one of them is a little older than that, but still young. They are both males, but with really different personalities. That’s how it goes with kids.

The youngest had never met us, but that didn’t seem to be a problem as long as we acted like loving humans, which how could you not do? They were lots of fun, but I’d quite forgotten what young ones were like to entertain. We gave them art stuff and took them on adventures and everything worked out fine. I now have pictures on my fridge done by both of them. Now, that’s art.niles family

So, we loaded up food and the two dogs and the boys and headed out! Dogs can be more unmanageable than boys, but they really were quite good on this trip. I worried about all of them getting too close to the cliffs, though.

I am including a photo of this adventure: the Devil’s Fire, or as some call it, Little Finland. By either name it is totally awesome. The trek to it is a bit daunting, but neither of the boys had to be carried. As we approached the hills, the boys (Finn and Jude) noticed white staining on the rocks, so I taught them how to lick rocks (I’m not too sure mom appreciated that) to tell what it is. In this case it was alkali or salt. They got quite a kick out of licking rocks! Me too, for that matter. The desert is full of alkali areas, so they can lick rocks to their heart’s content.

We climbed to the top where the really special stuff is and right-away showed them petroglyphs on the very rock they walked upon. These glyphs are probably as much as 10,000 years old. I can’t even imagine that span of time. And to think humans were here then is awe inspiring.

I look for special rocks and twigs whenever we are out as I use them in my art. We found Moki marbles for the boys–round bits of sandstone rock. I have many of those, as well as chert and round rocks and just rocks I love. That would be most rocks. I figure we have about 50 ton of rock on our property, and aside from the landscape rock, we’ve carried it all in–from little to large. Needless to say, they had rocks in their pockets when we got home too!

It was great to have them here, and it seems they liked it to! Now we look forward to the next great adventure with them.

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