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Inspired by a very fluffy robin I saw today.  So happy with all the rain and heat!










Actually, I am loving this severe heatwave.  If I am not in our cool basement or some other air conditioned spot, our neighbor’s pool is the place to be.  Other than floating around there I have made a few quick trips to check out the yard, where things are going crazy from  all the rain and sun.  There is so much blooming and it looks as if we are in store for a great harvest in the next month or so.  I did a few of these little flower children today and there were so many great leaves and flowers to choose from.  If you think these are cool check out this book by the amazing and prolific Elsa Mora.  Stay cool!

Well, since my last post rejoicing the arrival of Spring, it has come and gone.  That should be no surprise after 25 years in Minnesota but let’s just say I am a slow learner.  Anyhow, this week was the birthday of a dear friend who is an amazing botanical (and nature in general) illustrator; the blossoming of a beautiful walking iris given to me by a master gardening friend; and I am photographing all the flower/nature inspired earrings and jewelry I have been making then uploading to my Flickr photos.  So, though the weather has not been co-operating so much, I am celebrating Spring in the hopes that it returns soon; like hopefully the day after the 5 inches of snow we are being threatened with!  At any rate, hippity-hop and Happy Easter, Passover or Spring to you all.

Walking Iris, Thank you Susan!

Vintage Glass & Brass Vine Earrings

In our front lawnFront berm gardenFront berm














Well, what can I say after all the grousing I have done this winter?  Bring it ON!

Flowering tree in Mississippi

Last year around this time we were road tripping our way back from the Florida panhandle.  We stopped in some little town and found some great books in a used store and just outside was this amazing tree.  I still have no idea what it was, none of the locals we asked knew…which always amazes me.  We take so much for granted, and I am certainly guilty.   Anyhow, with the threat of spring in the air, knowing full well that it could get worse again before it’s really here to stay (at least up here on the prairie) I am looking for the robin’s and wishing you all a beautiful, flowering, green season and hoping all of us remember to stop and notice the  beauty.  Happy Spring!

Nature ornaments or pulls


crazy chickens

Scarecrow pirate and friends


Stew, three poses



Fall Harvest

Well I have been home a few weeks now and the first thing I did since we had not had frost, was finish harvesting the remains of our garden.  Lots of spinach, kale and a couple varieties of  basil.  This (picture) purple variety was flowering like crazy so I cut it and brought it in as a bouquet…a very fragrant one at that.  Other than that I have been doing shows selling jewelry and some cool ornaments made from these beautiful old wooden leaves we had.  I formed and hammered  some heavy annealed steel hooks and wired them together with trade beads and assorted beads made form fruit stones and nuts and voila!

Sorrento Lingue garden view.

Sorrento Lingue, Mount Vesuvius view from classroom window.

Tomorrow is our last day of language classes and then we will have a few days of sightseeing.  My bathing suit has disappeared from the clothes line, hopefully someone grabbed it accidentally and it will re-appear or I will be swimming in Positano in my underwear.  I realise that none of you will have he least bit of sympathy for my plight, just rest assured, there will be NO pictures if I do!  A couple more shots from out the windows at Sorrento Lingue…

If anyone knows a foot reflexologist qui vicino di Firenze, please let me know.  We took the train there again today and it was a beautiful crowded( though not as much as I expected) Saturday.  There was a lot of activity in the streets from the train station to the duomo, fruit and vegetables , clothes, scarves, toys, drawings, paintings, snack foods and (my personal favorite) the plant vendors.  Flowering plants large and small were arranged so beautifully I could hardly walk on.  Going back this Friday to see Michelangelo’s David…very exciting! Check out the squares of  ‘plastic grass’ with the yellow and white flowers under the squash in the bottom photo!

We are back from the Minnesota Iron Range and a wonderful weekend at the Valentini family cabin with a gang of our friends.  We relaxed, biked, ate, visited and sauna’d and now I am revived for my upcoming trip.  Got some running around to do and then I am off to the airport!  My friend Marty, filmmaker and photographer extraordinaire, did quick shots of some of the nature and junk yard “portraits” I made up north.  I’ll leave you with this one, more to follow… Arriverderci kids!

A few weekends ago I took part in a Valentini dinner which was auctioned off at a Smile Network fundraiser.  The Valentini family all grew up around Valentini’s Supper Club in Chisholm, MN.  Needless to say, many of them are exceptional cooks.  This event is always a lot of fun and raises money for a great cause.  I am always happy to be an honorary member of the family for this event!  I made the gazpacho, but this great photo is from photographer Marty Berglin.  The rest of the menu was really spectacular too.  Basil, nasturtiums and chives all from my garden!

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January 2022