Friday, January 27, 2017


Yes, it's true.  Here are some of the photos I took to market it. I'll add the story as I get time.

MRR Makeovers

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Eagle and The Chickens

As I was looking for my Book of Remembrance, I found a box of diaries and poems.  This is one I wrote in 1977 after hearing this story.  I thought it would be good as a poem.

The Eagle and the Chickens
(a poetic adaptation of an anonymous story, 1977 by Judy Nelson)
One day I worked in meadow and field.
The soil I plowed and planted and tilled.
My mind was on matters far from this ground.
When fluttering, struggling, an eaglet I found.
How had she wandered so far from her home?
Her parents not near, she was lost and alone.
Mostly just stunned, her wounds were not bad.
She didn't fight, but was tired and sad.
I carried her back to my home-fire near.
To tend to her wounds and allay any fear.
My chickens adopted her into our coop.
Food and protection with this motley group.
The days passed quickly and she grew strong.
Soon ready to fly back where she belonged.
She learned to scratch and peck and scratch.
These poultry, not nearly her match.
Proud she grew, but still stayed on…
I knew her wings were sufficiently strong.
            Had she forgotten how to fly?
            To hover regally through the sky?
I wondered what's wrong, then sought to try
To coax this young eagle now to fly.
"Fly little eagle, up to that blue!"
At last I caught my aristocrat creature,
And took her where the mountains could teach her.
"Other eagles live here," I told her, "I know."
Then urged her again, "You've got to go."
"Rise to your talent, you gained at your birth."
"Rise up from the fence, the coop, and the earth."
"Fly, little eagle", I eagerly cried.
Nudged her, encouraged.  She finally tried.
Proudly, she soared, first to the tree.
Then, to the cliff, then back to me.
"Go on," I urged.  "You CAN arise!"
Then, joyfully, she flew up to the skies.
Up past the trees and circled from view.

I knew you could do it.  Little eagle, I knew.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Searching For Chocolate

What…? You say, why not just go to any store and get chocolate, if that's what she is in search of?  Aah, the chocolate that beckons is not sweet and reeking of cocoa powder.  It is the chocolate color in fabric for rug making. 
That is my most used color and one of the most difficult to find in thrift store sheets.  They surely make chocolate colored dye. (I even toyed with the idea of using cocoa for dye…but no, it is too precious to waste on dye.) I have dyed fabric before mostly in grays.  I have a large stash of ivory and white sheets, colors which I rarely use.  Why not dye them? 

(If you want to see some of the rugs that I make, take a look at my rug blog:

 So, make a trek to the store, not for Hershey's kisses, but for Rit's dye.  Alas, Smith's does not carry any brown dye.  Hmmmm. What makes brown?  Complimentary colors.  Red and Green?  So, I got red (wine) and dark green.  Followed the instructions, for stove top dyeing…adding salt.  Wetting the fabric first.  Stir…dissolve, then add the sheet to the pot. 

Whoa, the green is mostly gray and adding the red….well, it doesn't really produce brown.  Did a few items and looked at the result.  Wow, tie dying.  Dried them in the dryer and inspected the colors and patterns. The patterns were so gorgeous that I couldn't possibly cut these works of art into strips to make rugs.  (These photos do NOT do justice. click on any photo for an enlarged image.)

I still needed brown, though.  So, I searched for the natural dye that would make dark brown.  Black Walnut bark?  No, don't have that.  Coffee? 

Doesn't make DARK brown, but it might brown down the gray a bit.  So, into the basement to retrieve the old can of Maxwell House (probably at least 30 years old. Looks like coffee holds up well under long term storage. No weevils.) So, I made some coffee, probably not brewed properly because all I have ever done with it…is  colonic irrigations.  Tried dyeing with it and it just made a light tan. 

Oh, well, back to the Dyeing Board.
Back to a different store and found Dark Brown dye.

  Yay, Walmart!  Got some more white sheets at the Salvation Army.  (Did you know that they donate all their date expired bakery items to charities such as the Salvation Army?  Where it is distributed for free.  Yay, Walmart again. ) I found a beautiful King size chocolate colored top sheet, brand new at Savers for $6.  It was so gorgeous and luxurious and was 100% Indian cotton with an astronomical thread count.  That one goes on the bed.
Any way tried again with the sheet dyeing.  The new brown dye was not very brown and turned out more gray.  Hmmm. What would warm up the color?  I have Orange Kool Aid.  Added a package to the color bath and yes, it did warm it up. (Colorfully speaking.) Got some more interesting items.
Many thoughts went through my head about what I could do with the beautiful fabric.  Art Quilts? Skirts?  Blouses?  then I thought of Tablecloths.  Yes, that is it.  I will be making some beautiful art tablecloths that coordinate beautifully with my china, even the blue and cream.

I was also excited to find a way to use vintage white print sheets, just add a little color.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Raspberry Leaves into Mystical Meadow

 In April of 2011, Bob began this painting inspired by a photo he found online.  He called it "Raspberry Leaves".  He worked on it for a few months on and off.  In March of 2012, he reached an impasse and didn't know where to go from there.  So, it sat for another 9 months.  I looked at it, nearly every day, seeking for inspiration.  I knew it had potential, but didn't quite know where to go.

Here is a collage of the original photo and the painting as of Feb. 14, 2013

Painting was begun in April of 2011

As of December, 2011
The upper right hand area was the most unfinished.  I knew that was the key to completing this painting.  I looked through hundreds of photos of trees to get inspiration.  I gathered a few photos and made overlays, clones and collages.  I did some clone work on the meadow.  I wanted to see a "trail" leading the viewer's eye into the background.

One of the first "Clones" January 29, 2013

Another "Clone" and overlay

Then, I found this photo taken at Snow Basin

Then, came up with this overlay, which gave a template for adding the mountains in the background.

Feb. 6, Bob added the mountains. I love them. But the background trees needed more work.  They were flat and lifeless.

 so I used this partial of the painting to create ...

Another clone...this time from trees in photos taken on the road up to  Mirror Lake.

Bob was able to transform his "blobs" into forms that resembled trees.  He did some more tweaking and now the painting is 98% done.  I really love how it turned out.  Just looking at it, you wouldn't guess how much time and effort went into it.  (Including my hours of research) 
 For me, It's like painting without the hassle of actual paint and clean up. 
This is a painting that you can get lost in  (or at least WANT to get lost in it).  I think it has a "magical" quality…slightly ethereal, mystical and unreal.  The leaves in the foreground are back-lit and just glow. They are iced slightly with a cool blue/white  frosting.  They are almost "otherworldly". 
 As you gaze into it, more elements emerge.  "Oh, I didn't see that before."  "Those mountains are amazing.  They just kind of melt into the clouds."  (Click on any one of the photos and a slide show will open with enlargements)

  If anyone is interested in their own piece of amazing art,  we can have high quality giclees made. 24 x 36.  They would be about $250.
February 14...98% done