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This will be the cover photo for my new Steemit account. If you haven’t discovered Steemit yet, it is a social media site where you get paid to post content, make interesting comments, and share posts that you think others will like.

Here is my link:  https://steemit.com/@stillwatersart

Check it out! You may love it!

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IMG_1159Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.   Henry David Thoreau

Original Digital Collage using my photos from the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico and a vintage photo from my personal collection. The image was created using the Procreate App on my Ipad with added filters from my Distressed FX App.

I’m Back!

IMG_0103Well…I could blame it on a lot of things…technical issues, family obligations, laziness. It could be a combination of all of those things, but I am going to make a more valiant effort to post regularly. I have however, been making lots of art. I am inspired every day by all different kinds of ideas and media. I’ve been painting more intuitively and trying to let images just flow out of my mind and brush.

This is a 4’x6′ acrylic painting that I did on wood panel. This is an image of it that I altered a little bit by adding a filter. I just LOVE color and texture! Painting this way is so freeing and fun that I think everyone should try it. You may not come up with anything that you would want to share with your friends, but it is so therapeutic and enriching to your technique that you won’t even care.

Get a canvas and some paints, put on some inspiring music and jump into the experience. I think you will be hooked!

Bohemian Copper and Bead Bracelet Class

Come and join us as we create a bracelet that is sure to draw comments. You can humbly blush and confess that you made it yourself. No prior experience necessary. All tools and materials provided, however if you have some special beads of your own that you would like to include, please feel free to bring them.bracelet1

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The workshop includes all tools and materials, snacks and beverages, and a light healthy lunch.

Date: Thursday, May 5th

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Price: $65

Class size limited to 6 due to personalized instruction.

Deadline to sign up is May 3rd. If you sign up before April 28th you will receive a $5 discount.  If there are more than 6 who are interested, I will schedule an additional class at a later date.

Go to Friends In The Making for the sign up form and more info.

First Successful Class of the Spring

I had such an amazing time teaching my first class of the year! Three wonderful ladies, (alas, the fourth couldn’t come because of illness) put in some determination and elbow grease to create some beautiful necklaces.  We shared food, a little wine, and stories of life and encouragement as we worked together. As I envisioned for my classes…new friendships, as well as art were forged.

IMG_5027Yummy food!

 

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One student commented as she posted a picture of her creation on Facebook:

 “The end results of a wonderful CLASS at Local Maury County artist, Sherry Scheitel’s studio! I love it and may sleep in it! If you ever get the chance to attend one of her classes I strongly suggest that you do Thanks to Sherry for a wonderful and relaxing day!”

They all asked, “When is the next class!?” And one suggested that we should get together every month with a class.

Your wish is my command.:-) Next class coming soon…

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Digital Playground

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I have so much fun playing with digital collage! It is like a virtual playground where I can create what I imagine. When I see other artist’s digital collages, sometimes I am inspired to try to create something in the same style just so that I can learn new techniques and push myself. It also helps me to use those new skills to then develop work in my own voice…whatever that winds up being.

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Recently I have been very inspired by the work of Maggie Taylor. I have been listening to interviews and watching as she shows Photoshop explanations of how she creates her work. I can use Photoshop, but lately I have been hooked on using my Procreate App on my iPad to create layers and other apps to add texture. I can achieve a similar look…though not as detailed as hers. She uses over 200 layers sometimes. Whew! I don’t think I have that much patience!

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The evenings seem to be the time when I am inspired to work on these compositions while I “watch” TV. It’s SO much more fun to work on art that to be entertained!

 

Published in Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine…Again!!!

IMG_4796 I am tickled and blessed to announce that I have been published in Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine for the second time! My article is entitled “Bohemian Dreaming” on page 56 of the March 2016 issue.

IMG_4797Many thanks to Natalie Way, the editor of Belle Armoire at Stampington for the wonderful opportunities that she has given me and for the beautiful publication in which I have had the honor of being included.

Upcoming Classes- Friends In The Making

 

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Coming up next month I will be teaching a jewelry making class along with my talented friends Jim Poag MFA and Michelle Moraczewski AIA who will be teaching watercolors in a day long workshop. Come and try your hand at new skills or add to your knowledge and enjoy the experience.

Go to my teaching website: Friends In The Making for all of the details in sign-up info.

An Opportunity Seized

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You may recall the post that I did last year with this beautiful old house that is a couple of miles from where I live. For almost 30 years I have driven past it and wanted to go in and see what it was like inside, but I didn’t want to trespass and I wasn’t sure what kind of critters may have taken up residence. Last weekend as I was driving past and noticed that there where three vehicles there so I quickly swerved to the side of the road and took the opportunity to check it out.

IMG_4535It turns out that it was the owner and a contractor discussing the possibility of restoring the house. There has been so much vandalism and weather damage that it will be a huge undertaking.

IMG_4547People have kicked in many of the doors and stolen mantles from the fireplaces. Such a shame. It is easy still to see the former charm of the house.

IMG_4548The woman was telling the story of how her aunt and uncle had lived there and her fond memories of the place.

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IMG_4550_2A flood from the creek across the road had buckled some of the floors into waves.

IMG_4552The fireplace in the kitchen was huge! She carefully climbed a couple of steps of the rotting back stairway and said that her uncle had had a workshop up there until he moved it to a shed in the back.

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IMG_4554The layers of old linoleum and wallpaper showed the changing styles of its history.

IMG_4555The back porch reminded her of when the chickens would try to roost on the rafters and her aunt would shoo them down with a broom and take them to the chicken house.

IMG_4556I will be anxiously watching to see if she decides that it is worth saving. For now I will save what is left with my photos.

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Embracing Winter

Looking back at my last two posts, I was struck by the contrast…the dreamy tropical seascapes vs. the home reality of winter. I have never cared too much for winter. I spent much of my time bundled up and avoiding it. Now that I’m older and my internal thermostat has risen a few degrees, the chilly weather is not so intolerable. Photography has also changed my perspective on the scenery. Bare branches against a winter sky are a much more interesting subject than a sea of green.

A recent snow storm gave opportunity for some inspiring scenes. With a few tweaks of digital alchemy, I’m enjoying the results of a drive through the countryside.

IMG_4279It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. ~John Burroughs

IMG_4281What a severe yet master artist old Winter is…. No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel. ~John Burroughs

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IMG_2511Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. Some green she thinks so good for our eyes that, like blue, she never banishes it entirely from our eyes, but has created evergreens. ~Henry David Thoreau, Nov. 8, 1858

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IMG_4308I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

IMG_4311Every mile is two in winter.

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An Island In Time – Part 2

12313726_10207314188360440_5906753780045563905_nAmidst all of the beach exploring and snorkeling, I did find a little time to make some art while my grandbabies were napping. I brought a small moleskine and a few stamps and an inexpensive, small watercolor set. Also a small lump of plasticine clay to press into textured shells to make stamps out of.

IMG_3797It’s interesting what the beautiful sunshine and tropical colors and textures will bring out in your art. It made the colors flow. In a span of a couple of hours I completed 4 backgrounds and one finished page.

IMG_3882Some of the beaches were full of treasures to collect and also some to just collect their image and leave them behind for someone else to enjoy. I was tickled to find that broken pieces of coral become beautiful little hearts after they tumble around in the sea. A metaphor for our own lives when we let the tough times and stress shape us into something beautiful as well.

12375032_10207403920803695_2935795131906648535_oOne beach was a treasure trove of sea glass because it was near a pier and businesses and I imagine lots of careless parties on the shore. I ordered some diamond coated drill bits when I got home and transformed them into necklaces with pearls and leather.

10010773_10207379585595330_8869804387006555509_oIt took a bit of fiddling to figure out how to attach the coral hearts without drilling them, but I figured it out. These are combined with trade beads, frosted recycled glass beads, wooden and bone ones and leather at the back. Three of them have already been claimed. Maybe I will make one to keep for myself. You know what they say about the shoemaker’s kids…that kind of applies to jewelry artists too. Sometimes though, I do get attached to one that I can’t part with.

IMG_3715 I couldn’t resist leaving some cairns and rock structures to entertain future visitors to those beaches. Like leaving a little part of me behind. I know a part of my heart is left behind in this beautiful place also. Maybe someday I will have an art retreat there. You never know. :-)IMG_3756

An Island In Time – Part 1

IMG_3580I think I awoke at about 3:30 a.m. It’s a little fuzzy now. This trip began and ended in the dark hours of the morning. My entire immediate family converged on a tiny island called Vieques, Puerto Rico. My children and grandchildren were already there waiting for my husband and I. Leaving somewhat chilly December weather in Tennessee and traveling to the tropics, we traveled with anticipation and wonder that so much distance could be covered in one day.

The most exciting part was that we would get to spend a week in paradise with the people that we love the most. Our own little island in time.

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After leaving the mainland of Florida, the views were awe inspiring. I think that these are the Florida Keys, but it may have been a part of Cuba. We drove an hour to get to the airport, flew to Orlando, boarded another plane to San Juan, got a van ride for an hour and a half to a town called Fajardo and barely made it there in time to take the hour and a half ferry ride over to Vieques. When we got there we had another 20 minute cab ride to our destination. Whew!

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The ferry ride began in the light of afternoon, but as we traveled, the sun set over the main island. I couldn’t resist taking shot after shot as the sky grew more colorful. Riding on the very top of the ferry, we could enjoy the wind in our hair and the rocking of the boat as our eyes drank in the view. I had a very nice conversation with a woman and her husband who had just moved to the island six months ago. They had lots of good tips.

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There are SO many beaches to choose from on this island! My sons were determined that we would find the best of them. We drove through some very washed out roads with potholes that looked like small ponds, but did not get stuck or stranded once.  We were rewarded with almost deserted, amazing beaches with not a building in sight. IMG_3637

The beaches all had a different flavor. Some had sand as fine as powder. Some had course sand with lots of treasures to find. IMG_3638

Some were covered with seaweed and some were pristine.IMG_3640

Some had great snorkeling and some did not. IMG_2283

Coconuts grew everywhere!IMG_3737

The town of Isabel II had its own charm. You could tell that once it had been quite a prosperous city, but when the Navy vacated the island several years ago, the economy was greatly affected. IMG_3739

There were some very charming houses that had obviously been abandoned for years.IMG_3740

I really loved this rocky beach! There were lots of coral hearts and interesting bits to find.IMG_3754

The rain moved in quickly and we had to skedaddle. I would have loved to stay longer here. So many beaches…so little time on this trip. IMG_3758

The drama of the stormy sky was very inspiring. The islanders were very thankful for the rain since they just made it through an extremely dry summer.

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The bay near our house was always most photogenic in the evenings at sunset. We always walked there for dinner at one of the restaurants on the Malecon (boardwalk) across the street. They were all open air with a view of the bay.IMG_2310

There were several sailboats anchored there in the bay that one of my sons was paying very close attention to. He is longing for the day when he can buy one of his own.

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The end of the trip began in the dark as well. I think we did pretty well in getting 7 people including two babies to the ferry on time. As we cruised away on the ferry, the morning star was visible as color returned to the sky over the island of Vieques.IMG_2351

More to come…

Published Again!

IMG_3532I am excited and blessed to announce that one of my necklaces has been included in the December issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry. It is in the Boutique section on page 114 with the instructions on page 123.

IMG_3561I am humbled and honored to be on the pages of a magazine that I have admired and loved since it first came out. Many thanks to Stampington and to Natalie Way, the managing editor for her help in making this possible.

I’ll let you in on a little news too…I have a piece that will be in the March issue also. Stay tuned for updates and check out your newsstand at the beginning of December or go to their website for your very own issue full of yummy creations from many other artists.

Toddler Lessons For The Imagination

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My blog may have been a bit silent for a few weeks. We have had a temporary situation of having our daughter-in-love and grandson staying with us so that we can look after them while she is dealing with the first trimester of pregnancy and major nausea. Dealing with that and taking care of an energetic two year old was a bit too much for her so they are staying with Dodi and Pa while dad works. Needless to say, our life looks a little different with them here.

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Even though at first I was a bit stressed because my studio time was cut to almost non-existence, I’ve been embracing the wonder of seeing the world through his eyes. What an imagination he has! What curiosity!

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His sharp eyes see every little detail that I may have missed as I briskly walk through my day with my mind on everything that I need to do. Tiny mushrooms become mouse umbrellas and acorn caps and a leaf set the table for a chipmunk’s breakfast.

IMG_2154Hopefully I am teaching him as much about wonder and creativity as he is teaching me. I hope he always sees me as the fun one who is willing to join in and experience his world. How blessed I am to have him and our granddaughter and a new little one on the way. My cup runneth over. :-)

Off Of Cloud Nine And Back To Work

After floating around in the clouds for a while after I received my copy of Artful Blogging, I figured it was time to get back to work, so I decided to take a little trip to the Nashville Flea Market for some inspiration and supplies.

IMG_3297Well…it was kind of a work/play day.

IMG_3303These cool bars made out of vintage truck grills were created by the guys at Rusty Rats Antiques & Vintage in East Nashville where you can find some of my jewelry creations made from vintage hardware and other up-cycled finds. IMG_3304

IMG_3295You name it, you can find it there!

IMG_3305I scored big on some beads! Mostly, I was interested in finding the vintage, pressed glass African trade beads and also some earthy stone beads that you can’t find locally. There is a bead supplier from Alabama that I always find a lot of interesting treasures in their booth. I had to search to find a few vendors with the more interesting trade beads though.

IMG_3302Then back in my studio, I started experimenting with some new methods of sand casting. I brought home some beautiful, white sand from our recent trip to the Gulf coast. Mixing it with a couple of other ingredients provided a pretty good medium to cast in. I tried some of my own designs and also cast some seashells I had collected from previous trips.

IMG_3289Combined with the trade beads and other wooden and glass beads, I was aiming for an earthy, Bohemian look for the completed pieces.

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IMG_3277       I’m very pleased with the way they turned out and excited to find new ways to cast focal pieces that are one of a kind.

IMG_3291These pieces will be available locally, but if you are interested, please leave a comment and I can create a custom Etsy listing for you in my shop.

Autumn Glimpses

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The garden gave up a few morsels before frost. It’s sad to think it is done, but nice to have a break from figuring out what to do with never ending squash. I found the mushrooms growing by a straw bale. I didn’t know what they were so I got out my trusty mushroom field guide and tried to find them. Making a spore print is a crucial part of the identification. They had white spores, but I couldn’t figure out what they were, so I threw them out. They were very photogenic though. :-)

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The sunrise is an never ending source of inspiration to me. Now that the sun is coming up later, I get to experience it more.

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They early morning mists draped all of the spider webs with strings of pearls. It seemed as if every tree and blade of grass was decorated. It’s kind of scary though to think of how many spiders there are out there making all of those webs.

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I couldn’t resist a little photo manipulation with the webs and some tree photos superimposed on each other. It reminds me of strings of party lights on an autumn evening.

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My early morning walk turned into a collecting stroll. There is always something to pick up and admire if you only have eyes to see.

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Tassels, Tassels Everywhere

IMG_1973I don’t know about you, but I always loved the fringy leather jackets of the 60’s and 70’s, so in honor of fall and the Bohemian spirit within me, I have been creating a series of tassel necklaces.

IMG_2868The case of the fringes are brass bullet shell cases. Don’t ask me the caliber. I don’t know about all of that stuff. My son does a lot of target practicing and I round up all of the brass that he doesn’t want and make things out of it.

IMG_1977I’ve also been making lots of crochet necklace/wrap bracelets with beads and pearls to layer with them.

IMG_2912These are available locally, but if you don’t live nearby, I can create a custom Etsy listing for you. If these happen to be sold, I can make more and even customize them with your own personal color scheme.

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Published In Artful Blogging!

IMG_3271It’s finally here! I’ve known it was coming for several months, but until it was in my hands it was hard to imagine. Yours truly has a 3-page spread in Artful Blogging Magazine! They sent me a pre-newstand copy. The magazine will be available in major bookstores in November.

IMG_3267Many thanks to Stampington & Company, Somerset Studio and especially Danielle Mohler, the Managing Editor of Artful Blogging for this wonderful opportunity! I am so honored to be included with the beautiful, inspiring blogs that are featured.

IMG_3272It is so cool to see my photos of our humble country roads and barns and my other digital collages included in a magazine that I’ve drooled over for so many years.

IMG_3268If you want to venture out and pick up a copy at a bookstore like Barnes & Noble or order one or subscribe on their website, I promise you won’t be disappointed. The photos are all delicious and inspiration flows from the pages.

IMG_3269If you are someone who has your own blog, I encourage you to submit it to Artful Blogging or submit artwork to any of Stampington’s other beautiful magazines. You may get a surprise email telling you that you also be included. You never know….

The Mom Journal-Places To Go and Things To Do

 IMG_1957Someone is bored…as anyone would be in the situation. We had to plan an outing. With the help of our county transportation service, I was able to arrange a small trip to the local mall where we shopped and ate lunch at the Chinese restaurant. I think it was a great success, as you can see from the smile on her face. She pronounced it a good outing. I hope to do more of these as she is still able to enjoy them.

We had a small peek outside of the enchanted forest.

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Music Grows Here

 

FullSizeRender(2) Living in close proximity to Nashville has its benefits, like having musicians everywhere you turn. So many people move here from all parts of the world to try to make it big in Nashville. The local people also are steeped in musical heritage from the day they are born.

Our little town seems to have become a magnet to musicians and producers who want to be near the action in Nashville, but live in a beautiful, peaceful town. Many musical venues are starting to pop up all over and opportunities for hearing great talents without having to drive to to the big city are abundant.

The most logical next step is to have our own music festival. Announcing the Muletown Music Fest! October 2 & 3 in beautiful, downtown Columbia, TN. Click on the link for all of the details. There are free venues all over downtown as well as 3 ticketed venues. There will be a variety of musical styles to choose from as well as activities for the kids, making this a great family event.

I will have some new additions to my offerings at Wall Candy Custom Framing & Gallery to celebrate the event. There are new mixed-media paintings and jewelry with a musical theme.

Wall Candy will be having its own musical talent there on Saturday. From 12:00-3:00 we will have the lovely and talented Callie Hopper and at 4:00 we will have Sarina Joi-Crowe, a top 12 contestant from American Idol at 4! And guess what? It’s free!

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IMG_2009Come and hang out with us and enjoy this event that we hope becomes a yearly tradition!

Morning Walk Inspiration

IMG_1987For the past week or so we have had gorgeous weather here in Middle Tennessee. Low humidity and cooler temps have made it feel like fall. I decided to take a little walk down our road instead of my usual workout routine in the house. My fast walk soon turned into stopping and gathering the interesting little presents that the nature around me had left in my path.

IMG_1990Poke berries are such a beautiful shade of dark purple, contrasted against the bright magenta stems and green leaves. The immature berries are a cool chartreuse. IMG_1991When crushed, the berries yield the most deep, magenta pigment. I couldn’t resist mashing them and adding a few drops of water to extend it to make some paint.IMG_1993I had a jar full of black walnut hulls that I had been soaking since last fall in my pantry so I combined the two to make this pattern in my journal. It will become the background for some future creation, either collage or a photo background.

IMG_1989If you are feeling uninspired, just find a nice park or country road, or even your own backyard and see what treasures you can find to spark that flow of ideas. See where it takes you!

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Message In A Bottle

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I saw a cool video in which a guy used Photoshop to put a scene inside of a bottle that was floating in water. I know how to use Photoshop, though not as skillfully as that guy. I decided that I would try it with my Ipad apps.

I searched for an appropriate photo of a bottle in water. Here is one that I found in a random search.

IMG_1824Then I searched for a scene that would go inside. I thought a lighthouse would be apropos. Sorry, I don’t remember the site where I found it. Then I merged the two using my Procreate app, layering one on top of the other, erasing the parts I didn’t want, and painting in details. Not quite as slick as his, but I thought it turned out pretty well.

IMG_1826No picture of mine escapes having filters and textures added. I tried several iterations using my DistressedFX app. These are a couple of the 10 or so that I saved.

IMG_1829This kind of reminds me of a storybook illustration. Hmmm…if I fancied myself a writer I might try to come up with a story. A tiny world captured in a bottle…

 

 

More Of The Mom Journal-The Enchanted Forest

IMG_1781My Mom is progressing further into Alzheimer’s disease. I have another post on the digital collages that I am creating to document and emotionally process this journey.

She had to move a couple of months ago to a nursing home from the assisted living where she was. She was just not strong enough to help people get her up and down and they were not equipped to handle her without the possibility of someone getting hurt…especially her. We have some very caring sitters who stay with her in the daytime. They are amazing people who treat my Mom as if she were their own family.

She seems very happy where she is. One day my sister and I mentioned nursing home and Mom asked, “Is that what they call this place?” Then she said, “I guess I’ll just sit here and eat my blueberries.” She is very happy if you bring her some fresh fruit or some other treat and loves to see pictures of her great grandbabies. She has developed friendships with several of the patients there and especially her roommate, whom she has known for years, who is going to turn 100 years old this fall. This lady is still pretty sharp and is always doing word puzzles when I see her in the room.

There are still a few small battles to fight to make sure that the staff is attentive and prompt to take care of her needs, but they are apologetic and seem to try their best to accommodate our requests. Having a sitter there to advocate for her makes a difference. I don’t know what people do who don’t have family or friends checking on them when they are in a facility like that or a hospital.

A couple of times she has asked me if I have children or who I am married to, or where I live. Other times she remembers. She will call me at random times and say, “Your number just popped into my head.” Even if it is at 5:30 in the morning, I am thankful that she still remembers who I am and where to find me.

Here is a video of the digital collage process.

Van Gogh Would Be Envious

IMG_1716Driving down our road is beautiful any time of the year. It is a source of many photos and much inspiration. This spring my husband and I were driving by our neighbor’s property and noticed that they had planted a whole field of something. Hmmmm….is it soybeans…what is it. After the plants got about a foot tall, we realized that they were sunflowers. A whole five acres or so of sunflowers! Anticipation of their blooming grew each time we drove by. Finally the day arrived! It was disappointing to find that they all had their pretty heads facing away from the road. In order to see them from the front, you have to get out of your car and walk into the field. Which is exactly what I did.

IMG_1784This is going to be a wildlife feast when they all ripen!

IMG_1785Such a beautiful sight! I’m almost afraid to share it with the world. We wouldn’t want a traffic jam on our little road. :-)

IMG_1786Okay…I’ll share it with you special people.

IMG_1798Just in case you don’t live nearby. Here is a little view of my world.