creativity bubbling: a video/art spaces

Last weekend Steven said, "I'm coming to get you at 4pm at take you out on the river in Chelsea." I was pleased; he was arranging a date! Chelsea is the boat that we bought from Lucas Boatworks about a year ago. It was hand built by Dave Lucas and Howard Heimbrock. Chelsea is an unusual boat because it is powered by a Briggs and Stratton riding lawn mower engine (!) and looks a bit like the "African Queen" with the canopy top. I took a short video and a bunch of photos while out in the boat with Steven and our 2 dogs, Asia & Chloe. I remembered about the video yesterday and enjoyed putting it together with a few photos and some music ~I'm learning! But I think it came out good -most importantly, Steven loves it! If you do not see it below, here's a direct link. Only 2 minutes long and a lovely boat ride. Won't you join me?

Asia & Chloe having a chat?
So that felt very good to be creative making that short video. Then today, I started moving things around in my office/studio space and on my lanai (porch) studio space. Cool! I was happy to be finally interested in trying to figure out how to arrange things related to my art so I can get back to that. I moved a green plastic set of drawers full of interesting fabric & goodies, out of the garage and under my work table on the lanai. Then I thought, why not move those two plastic towers filled with rubber stamps out to the lanai as well? They did not feel like they were working well space-wise in my office/studio, so why not? Here's what I've come up with so far . . .

It is comforting to me because the green drawers were in the same place in my old studio. The strange boat you see there is a barge that has been brought in to build our dock!

The drawers of rubber stamps will work so much better out here where my big work table is, probably where they will be used the most. They were behind the big box on the floor in the photo below. They were pushed right up against the wall in my very messy and unpacked studio. These drawers kind of blocked the flow of things and I am happy I got the idea to put them out on the lanai with my table instead. All of this makes me think about unpacking the "studio" boxes in the garage and finding a home for things in my new space!

Please excuse the mess! I have a smaller inside studio now, but with the addition of the work space out on the lanai, I think eventually I will have a very workable and quite pleasing arrangement. I will keep you posted as things progress.

I'll get there!! wow, here is an apropos quote:

Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing.
~ William Feather

kayak train

what is a kayak train? That is when you tie a number of kayaks together bow to stern with ropes and have someone ie: my husband, affectionately known around Lucas Boatworks as Crazy Steve, pull the kayaks down the river and back! Here we are yesterday . . .

Dave Lucas says, "We have the record well in hand for the International Briggs and Stratton powered old timey African Queen type boats towing a string of kayaks and canoes award." He is referring to our boat Chelsea, that pulled the kayaks. Yes, it has a lawn mower Briggs & Stratton engine and was hand built at Lucas Boatworks. You can see me sitting in it below as we are readying to tie the kayaks to the boat and take off down the river.

That is our friend Red Sears relaxing in the front, he was the first kayak behind Chelsea. Steven moved the boat up in front of him when it was time to go. As you see the kayaks stretching around the corner . . . there were 28 boats in all. we think it's a world's record kayak train!

More from Dave Lucas: It was a great day and something we'll talk about for a while. Ernie and Donna were in Beauty Berry the safety boat and had to rescue two fallouts on the way back home, I think the beer may have gotten to them. This doesn't need much comment except how we got this long train hooked up and off the beach. You'll see in some of the early pictures a guy walking out across the lagoon; that's me. I started with the first boat and started walking out into the wind and as they came off the beach the next one was tied on. It worked very well, the line was pretty easy to pull. We figure that this train of boats was about 750 feet long. I made it out to the sand bar where I tied on to Chelsea with Steve and Lenna and the dogs inside. I waited on the bar for my kayak to come by; some of the gang gave me beers for my effort.

Simon Lew took a video! He was closer near the back of the kayak train and had a totally different view than I did in the boat pulling all the kayaks. The direct link to the video in case you do not see it embedded is here: He has speeded it up a bit and added music so it's quite fun.

Here is what my husband wrote about it: Prior to this trip Dave and company had a total of 17 boats towed by Chelsea (which Lenna and I own now). This record breaking trip was planned by Dave and we had no idea how many people would show up on Saturday morning. We spent Friday cleaning all the available kayaks and canoes at Lucas Boatworks, which was about 21 boats including three of my canoes. On Saturday morning we got people showing up from hours away and many brought their own boats. The tide was supposed to be high and a half foot over normal by noon but at 10:30am it was still kinda low. This was because we had a 15 to 20 knot north wind and wind can make a big difference on tides around the Tampa Bay area. We decided to launch anyway, though. Logistics was a big problem – how to get 29 people in 28 boats and keep it all under control. In normal non-windy conditions it wouldn't have been a problem but I couldn't keep Chelsea pointed in the right direction while they were tying boats on and that’s when Dave decided to just drag the sting of boats across the bay. He’s a genius – it worked really well. Once we were tied on and moving the plan was to drag all the boats right past Dave and he'd hop into his from the shallow sand bar, but the boats weren't behaving like we've been used to in the past. With only a dozen boats behind Chelsea they follow the leader perfectly and the Chelsea pilot can make incredibly sharp turns and the kayaks follow the same path – not cutting the corner at all. But with 28 kayaks the first 10 boats got dragged whichever direction Chelsea steered. Dave was able to get into his boat OK but I realized (as the Chelsea pilot) that we had a problem. The original plan was to go all the way down the Braden River to the Rt. 64 bridge, then turn and come up the other channel through some really cool mangrove channels. It was obvious to me we wouldn't be able to make the turns without dragging people through mangrove branches. Also, with 28 kayaks towing Chelsea at full throttle could only pull them at about 1 knot. The original trip plan was 3 miles down and 3 miles back so that would take about 7 days. After going about 1 mile down river I did a turn back at the widest part of the river and 2 people tipped over just after the turn. I had to slow down to let them try to get back into their boats and the wind pushed the train into the mangroves. We got it all straightened out but it was slightly hairy for a bit. Also, during the turn you can see that we totally blocked the entire river. One boat was coming down river but thank god the operator was experienced and not drunk and he stopped way far away from us. Dave calls me Crazy Steve but he’s the crazy person that comes up with this stuff. Very fun day though.

Probably more than you ever needed to know about a kayak train, but . . .  it was unusual and fun and a little scary being in the boat pulling everyone! I just had to document it even though I am really tired and have to get to bed! One more thing, if you are interested, I have some still photos up here in a flickr album that give a more close up look. Enjoy! This kayak train was really just for fun, like a boat "messabout" that Lucas Boatworks often organizes.

Nia training is good, but lots of movement and learning and the days are from 8-6:30. I am not used to that! more on that later, take care, lenna

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
   ~ Amelia Earhart

float and dance

Last Wednesday Steven and I joined my friends from Conscious Movement and Nia for a sunset cruise on America's only floating chapel. Below is a photo of my friend Cheryl Wilson in front of the chapel on Sarasota bay . . .
Cheryl is obviously very happy to have received the kayak paddle Steven created for her,
painted in pretty mermaid colors (the top one)

Yes, the chapel floats and we all boarded! 
This boat/ chapel cruises the beautiful Intra-coastal waterways between Sarasota and Anna Maria Island on the gulf coast of Florida where there are beautiful sunsets. We danced into the sunset on the only floating chapel in this Hemisphere -the other floating chapel is in Australia, wow!

I have created 3 very short videos from this event with the help of my husband Steven, who filmed 2 of them. 
You can find all three of them on my You Tube page:
My favorite is the 3 minute one titled: The Floating Chapel, dance and float!
My friend Frieda told me it had her dancing in her studio in Scotland! 
We are cruising into the sunset as "Shout! You make me want to shout!" is playing.
~ such fun. 

Thanks for tuning in . . . more art to come.

You never know what you can do till you try.
  ~ William Cobbett

family time on the bayou

My sister Kathy is visiting from Connecticut, whoo hoo!
We took a walk together at DeSoto Memorial this morning with Asia and Chloe.

Later when Steven got back home from making kayak paddles we went over to my mom's house and took kathy & my mom out in our little boat Chelsea for a cocktail cruise on the bayou. Because the boat is handmade and looks like the African Queen - a gem among all the usual motorboats, we get lots of people waving to us from shore, so fun! It is a slow and peaceful ride with a briggs & stratton lawn mower engine powering us along, putt-putt-putt!


happy mother's day to all the mom's out there . . . .
and all of you who "mother others" like pets and friends!

Trust you own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's.
  ~ Billy Wilder

where I've been . . .

I have been busy! First, I was away with my husband for a 'small boat meet' last weekend, then this week, I have been writing a guest blog post for Julie Balzer. I believe it will be published next Friday - 5/18. On Tuesday, I took a video of my friend Kathy's Nia class on the beach and edited/published it -use the link above the view it on YouTube. I am quite proud of it!
I'm ready now for Helga Strauss to share the backgrounds I made for her wood shapes -she'll do that on 5/16, also giving a blog post tour of my studio at the same time. So, as far as press, when it rains it pours! : ) Plus, I've been going to physical therapy twice a week to heal my frozen shoulder, geeze. But, I just could not stay away any longer. Last Friday we traveled 3 hours north to beautiful Cedar Key and I took lots of photos, starting with some of the Sunshine Skyway bridge, which spans Tampa Bay and is over 21,000 feet long . . . click on any photo for details!

It really is quite amazing. We got to Cedar Key in good time even though we were towing a boat. Cedar Key is a beautiful little fishing village surrounded by other keys on the gulf side and the home of the Small Boat Meet the first weekend in May. This is the second year Steven and I have gone. This year, we towed our launch Chelsea and Steven tied the single-man canoe my dad made onto the roof of the car. My favorite part of the weekend I'd say, besides taking photos of the boat meet was staying in the beautiful Cedar Key bed and breakfast! This B and B is so lovely -- highly recommended.

See the 2nd floor balcony? That was our room - the Tree House! 
It was outstanding and Alice's breakfasts delicious. 

Here are a few favorite photos I took from the Small Boat Meet!
The Lucas Boatworks "gang" -My husband Steve on the far right

click for more details 

Stan in his puddleduck racer - the blue saill

Steven in Chelsea giving Howard and Phil a tow back to the island (currents)

Doug and Kristan christened their new boat, Ransom II with champagne! 

Doug carved this horse in honor of Kristan's horse, which the boat is named after. 

I love the look of this photo I took. It is like something out of a movie! 
The small canoe in the front is Steven's wee lassie, made by my dad, for him.

boats, boats and more boats, all different kinds from all over!

Steven heading back to Atsena Otie Key (island)
after dropping me back at the B and B!

I took about 300 photos and the majority of them are up on my flickr account if you are wanting to see more. I have had about 675 visits to my set of photos from Saturday because Dave Lucas of Lucas Boatworks included the link in his "boatnuts" email. (That is a lot of visits!) I was also featured on the DoryMan blog which is so cool! So my photos must be okay!! I will leave you with a very very short video I took of Rex Payne, Dave Lucas and my husband having a conversatioon at the boat meet that made me feel like they were speaking another language - Yes, it is a "boat" language I think!

When an artist explains what he is doing, he usually has to do one of two things: either scrap what he has explained, or make his work fit in with the explanation.
   ~ Alexander Calder

a sunday drive

A sunday drive, out in our boat chelsea. It's docked on the davits (so it hangs out of the water) at my mom's house on the bayou . . . A full view of this boat hanging is here.

Chelsea was hand-built by the guys at Lucas Boatworks here in Bradenton, FL. It uses a riding lawn-mower engine for it's power and since we go so slow, Steven says it only "sips" gas.

 Steven is using a baster -yes, like a turkey baster, to flush the engine with water 
and get the cooling system running!

 Asia is ready to go! It looks like she might be volunteering to steer . . . click on 
any photo for details. Yes, that is a hand-built steering wheel.

Miss Chloe, so happy to be along for the ride.
She is the star of my blipfoto journal today . . . with a different, beautiful close-up.

I love this high deck built for looking out over the bayou. The silver palms are one of my favorites too.

 Some kids on shore told us they lost their ball in the water -could we go get it for them? At first we didn't understand over the sound of the motor (put-put-put) but when we saw this orange ball floating downstream in the water, we understood! Steven steered the boat, grabbed the ball . . . .

 Yeah!! Thank you!!

 me & chloe

 headin down another bayou . . .

 love the reflections . . .

 and the sunshine . . .

 Headin back to the dock at mom's . . .

 I really enjoyed this time "away" with steven . . .

The initials on Chelsea's flag above, stand for Florida Gulf Coast Traditional Small Craft Association. The boats hand built at Lucas boatworks are traditional small craft. Steven has been helping with the finishing work for many of these beautiful boats, but his passion at the moment is crafting dripless, lightweight kayak paddles. As for me, I have been creating a few projects for Gauche Alchemy as I will be their guest designer for the month of April! I need to wait to share those with you here, but in due time you can see them on the Gauche Alchemy blog and also here. My paper and fabric bead swap just ended Saturday and soon, I will be exchanging the 340 beads (or so) that came in!!! There is a second part of the swap where I will give everyone a chance to create something with their swapped beads and then share a link to a photo of it on the creative swaps blog. I will let you know when that happens as it should be really fun & inspiring! I am continuing with my abstract art class on Monday afternoons through April . . . with the beach traffic/Spring Break it is had to get there sometimes, but I made it just fine last week. The class is out on a barrier island, past some prime beaches. I just leave early now! It seems like there is a lot going on with me but sometimes I don't get to write about it . . . I do post a photo and short journal entry most everyday to my blipfoto journal, so please visit me there anytime. Hope you all are doing well!

sunday goodness

Sunday morning my husband got a phone call. It was kayak Kathy, wondering where the paddle that Steven made for her granddaughter was? whoops! He had brought it to the Botanical Gardens as part of the handmade boat exhibit on Saturday and it was still in his car! No problem to run down there quick with it as the family was already at Lucas Boatworks ready to go out on the river. Below is a photo of the paddle reunited with the granddaughter. She's in a kayak handmade especially for her by her grandfather. Gorgeous!

The look on her face is probably because her grandparents were trying to get her to give up the paddle Steven made for her and she really, really did not want to!! I think she loved the purple & pink Lumiere paint job ; ) When Steven made this paddle it was estimated how long a kayak paddle for a 4 year old should be . . . and this one was a little too short. It is currently being modified.

Here is Dave Lucas checking out the paddle at the Festival where both he and Steven showed off their handmade boats. 

Top: A kid-size kayak paddle
Bottom: A mangrove canoe paddle
(Both painted with my Lumiere paint!)

Later in the afternoon, I stopped by Lucas Boatworks. Who did I find in the Tiki Hut? Seated L-R: Dave Lucas, Stan Tyrel, and my husband Steve -or crazy steve- according to Dave! He calls him that for building a schooner out of an 11 1/2ft wee lassie canoe! 

Stan built this beautiful little boat, including the sail.This is a puddle duck racer or PDR and it's a sailboat that anyone can build inexpensively in their garage. They are built for races and family fun, but you can just enjoy sailing it, as these guys did on Sunday afternoon. I took a video of Stan sailing it Sunday: 
Dave Lucas is doing the commentary and there is a cameo appearance at the end by Steven!
Stan gave it a great name. Remember it is a puddle duck and he named it the "Florida Quacker"! 

Steven photographing Dave Lucas trying it out

Dave *likes* to make it tip!!!

That is Dave's wife Helen, Stan, Dave (behind Steve in the red shirt), Steven and me on the dock at Lucas Boatworks. Helen had picked up Karen Eckmeier - a quilt artist from Connecticut (!! our old home state) at the airport to do a couple of workshops at Helen's quilt guild. Karen took this photo, then sent it to me this morning labeled, "Relaxing, Florida style"  : ) 
Check  out Karen's site linked to her name above, I look forward to exploring it more. 

sunny Florida wishes to you & yours! 

my family is visiting!

my son Dallas and my daughter in law Liz . . . 
we went to my Mom's house today to visit and to take our boat out.

Tina and my oldest son Decklin ; ^ )

our boat Chelsea, hand built at Lucas Boatworks.
Larger photos if you click on them!

Chelsea is run on a lawn mower engine!!! (by Captain Steve)

Off we go! 

It was a beautiful day for this . . . 

hand built at Lucas boatworks

me and my hubby : )

Our "kids"

Back at Oma's, the sweet oranges were calling my boys . . . 
Steven & Dallas hang from the branch while Decklin 
uses the orange picker to get some down! 

Dallas was successful as well! YummY! 

Later at home after dinner we had a fire in the 
moon & stars fire pit

It was great to just hang out and talk

we are happy!! 

 -the kids got here late last night and are here until tuesday. so if I am scarce, that's why.
They do all have computers or ipads though, so I am sure I will get here some!!

xo best to you and yours

Tour of Lucas Boatworks

While my sister and her family are visiting from Connecticut, we wanted them to visit Lucas Boatworks so they could see it first hand. We originally thought we'd put kayaks in the water, but the weather was not that great . .. it was okay, but not really "let's get out in the water" type of weather. But, I took Kathy and her husband Dan and their two boys - ages 17 and 20, out to meet up with Steven there yesterday and they still enjoyed, even without the actual boating!

Kathy, Dan & Ian with Steven down on  the dock- Asia too!
(love the Spanish moss -love that dock!)

Steven with Howard's melonseed sailboat, almost done.
There is always to much to see in the pole barn!

my nephew Ian, Dan and Steven walking by Wally's melonseed

Kathy checking out the weight of one of Steven's handmade kayak paddles -it's very light!

The new paddle he is working on for a Stand-up paddle board

Steven showing us some of the cedar he cut to create the paddle

My friend Cheryl stopped by, yay!! She brought her stand-up paddle and 2 other ones
for Steven to check out. This is his first stand-up paddle design, so sweet of her!
(Dave Lucas watches Steven's antics and says, "crazy steve")

3 different paddles for stand-up boarding - all different
I will share with you the prototype Steven is making for Cheryl when he's finished!

My nephew Dale talking  to dave Lucas about the boat he is building

Then dale, kathy and I went in for a tour of Helen's quilt room!!
Look at the view she has of the Braden River.... mmmmm!

Helen explaining about a collaborative quilt she made, The Fisherman.

She even took it out and showed it to us -beautiful and award winning!!

I could not resist taking this photo - batiks are my favorite fabrics.

This is the most beautiful quilt that Helen made with batiks

Helen says this quilt is Dave's favorite -so cool!

Steve and Dave take Starfish out of the water since we decided not to go out . . . .

Dave helps, driving my dad's old tractor.
Everyone, Kathy, Dan & both nephews were so pleased 
to see dad's tractor still in use. 

Later we came home and I opened the present Cheryl gave us:
a Christmas Cracker!
complete with crown!!
: ) a happy boxing day for us in Florida, 
I hope all is well with you and yours, lenna

If you are new to  this blog or just want to explore - try this!
Click on any picture to read and see more.


yesterday i celebrated my gratitude for all i have and will recieve . . .

first, by joining my new friends in Sarasota I've met through Nia to dance on the beach.

It seems that many people who live in Florida celebrate their Thanksgiving by going to the beach with family and friends. One woman who stopped by and danced with us told us it was their tradition to get up early and cook, then come to the beach for the day and have dinner later. Some people even cooked their Thanksgiving dinner in the pavilions right there next to the beach! 

football on the beach was big . . . 

but I enjoyed dancing barefoot in the sun best of all.

we received both looks of curiosity and big smiles . . . 


what a wonderful way to start my day.

I traveled back home, 45 minutes but a quiet drive and prepared for my second Thanksgiving, a feast at Lucas Boatworks, where my husband is one of the 5 full-time builders. It was amazing!

Steven made mashed potatoes

This is held in the open pole barn where they build boats -all cleaned up!

 happy thanksgiving to Chloe and Asia too! 

 Dave Lucas, Steven and Austin

Austin is working in Steve's shop making a guitar with some of my dad's wood!

Austin has a nickname, "wood" and a tattoo of the same!

Always something fun going on at Lucas boatworks : )

we are grateful.

I am off to fly to Connecticut and visit my sister and family. Both of my sons and their wives/partners will come down to my sister's house from Boston - I can't wait! wishing you the best, lenna 

pirates and boats

I'm dressed as a 'wench' and enjoying the Lucas' dock on the Braden River

A few weeks ago Dave Lucas of Lucas Boatworks in Bradenton, Florida declared in his email newsletter, "Saturday, August 20 is Tiki Hut Wench day. Come on out about noon, wear appropriate garb, bring food and your skanky old pirate man if you want to. Little boats of all kind will be provided." Since Lucas Boatworks is where my old pirate man spends most of his time, we attended yesterdays festivities dressed up appropriately. It was fun and I enjoyed taking photos. You may have already seen one of Steven as Johnny Depp on my blipfoto -here are lots more! Click on any photo for a much larger version.

Steven is wearing a scarf I stamped and painted a while ago.
He chose it himself when looking for pirate garb!

Gail, Dave Lucas (our host) and Red Sears enjoying a mango

Asia and Chloe dressed for the occasion too!

Gail and Bill, appropriately attired

Steven and I made his beard extensions by braiding
wax linen, adding beads and gluing them on his beard!

Dave and Helen Lucas live on a beautiful section of the Braden River

They build boats here! Asia and Steven wheeling the
Puddleduck racer that Stan built down to the water.

Yes, it has removable wheels!

Asia is supervising these pirates ; ^ )

And the wheels are off! 

ready to go!

Dave in front, Stan sailing away . . .

The Peterborough canoe my father made

a beautiful day

enjoying the dock

I always enjoy Helen's flowers . . . 

Asia does not want to be left behind!!

I took off my pirate garb, donned a bathing suit and off we went!

Dave went swimming in his clothes!! 

Shiver me timbers and yo ho-ho! Or should I say, "Me 'n' these here scurvy scallywags drug our sorry keesters out t'th'ship'n'had us a grand great adventuaaarrr! We almost had t'keelhaul Mad Connie f'r gettin inter th' grog behind our backs!"

Thanks, dave! 

mail art project/swap

Me holding envelopes from Yvette Snowden and Laura Hummel!
At the end of last year I hosted a very large mail art swap with 50 participants - wow! That was fun. One of my participants from Australia, Sue Emmerson continued to correspond with me after the swap was over. She said to me, "I would love to continue with the mail art I've also put out a few feelers to see if anyone would be interested in a small bi-monthly mail art swap group. I'm also taking notice of who sends their note cards (for my Vintage Note card swap) in a mail art envelope so I'll get in touch with them too. It would be so exciting to get some interesting things in the post box instead of bills, and more bills! And it's just as exciting to send off mail art!" : ) A woman of my own thinking! Sue later asked me if I would like to join her mail art swap and I said yes! (I love mail art). Sue was doing the organizing and all I would need to do was to participate bi-monthly sending out 5 envelopes and receive luscious mail art in return about every 10 days! I think I could handle that!!

In March, I wrote about receiving mail art from Sue and also Linda Freeman, whoo whoo! You can find that post here if you missed it.
All of our mail art for March & April is based on the theme "Where I Live". This a great theme and a lovely way for us to get to know each other better. In April, I received mail art from Yvette Snowden and Laura Hummel, both of whom are from Maryland. It really brightened up my mailbox and made me ever-so-happy I was doing this. Thank you to Sue especially and also to Laura, Yvette, Linda and Joanna!

My April Mail ART!

What made me even happier was to get down and dirty with paint and ink and collage and my sewing machine and produce some Florida style Mail art envelope for these women! I am not going to share the whole project yet . . . I want to give them all a surprise, but I will give you a tease of what's to come!

hmmmm . . .. what fun!
I love mail art!
And I got the really friendly post office person when I mailed these, what a blessing. Theresa loves it when I bring in mail art to be posted (probably brightens her day) and was even calling over her co-workers to come check my envelopes out!

: ) more on my mail art after it is received!!
happy weekend. My sister & family are here and this is a great thing. Tomorrow, Kathy & I are going to a Zumba class together, and we both went to a Nia dance class with my mom on Friday! My dad is doing okay. Yesterday he was super tired (chemo) but today he went to the Cortez Traditional Small Craft Association Festival with my mom, my sister & my brother-in-law. They showed off my Dad's craftmanship by bringing the Melonseed Sailboat he built. My husband Steven was there too of course, with his wee lassie sailing canoe.
A good time was had by all. Hope you are doing well!
sending love, lenna

Quilts & Boats

"The Fisherman" -It won 1st Place!!
A collaborative quilt by Cass Bowen, Joy Abbott, Chris Keys,
Helen Lucas, Linda Kerby, Lynne Minguez, and Cathy Washburn (pictured below).

I've uploaded the photos I took last weekend from the Quilt show I attended put on by The Friendship Knot Quilter's Guild here in Sarasota, Florida - as well as my personal tour of the Dave Lucas Boatworks & Happy Hour Club on the Braden River! My husband Steven knows Dave through boat building and Dave's wife Helen is a member of the Friendship Knot Guild. She had a quilt entered in the show -I just found out it won First place! (see the quilt above). It's quite appropriate that Dave builds boats, and Helen's quilt has a boat in it don't you think? This quilt is actually a historical piece about the Fishing Rancheros in the 1700's. Dave asked Steven if he could help him to dismantle the Quilt show when it was over and I happily volunteered too! I had already heard about it from a student. If you follow this link you can view a wonderful slide show of some of the amazing quilts I saw and get a peek at Lucas Boatworks  a beautiful little boat building spot in the woods.

The Tiki Hut at Dave Lucas Boatworks

enjoy, and have a creative weekend!
many thanks to Nancy Roberts for telling me about this show as well as the Chihuly exhibit!!!

grateful for my family

* Liz and Dallas ~ taken January 4th, 2011 *

I am so grateful my son Dallas and his fiancée Liz could spend some time with us before heading back to work in Trieste, Italy. They arrived in the states from Italy on December 24th and flew to Florida January 2nd, after spending time in Maryland, Connecticut and Vermont-definitely a whirlwind trip for them! We drove them to the airport early this morning. They are bound for Liz's parent's in Maryland. They'll head to Italy on Saturday to finish their 3rd year of working at the International School of Trieste. Liz is an English teacher and College counselor for the High School Students there and Dallas is the School Librarian. When they finish the school year they hope to visit Norway before coming back to the USA. In the Fall, Dallas will attend Simmons College in Boston, MA. He's been accepted to a 2 year graduate program for Library Science with an emphasis in archival studies. They will be getting married October 1st in Northampton, MA (where they met while going to Smith and Hampshire Colleges). This means Steven and I will definitely be taking a trip up North around that time. We have not figured out our exact plans yet, but we are both so happy for Dallas and Liz - an exceptional young couple, as you can see above! They borrowed a camera from us and Liz even uploaded pics to her own blog, OatStrawTea -click to view some great photos!

My older son Decklin and his partner Tina were here about a month ago. They came right after Thanksgiving and stayed until the beginning of December; we had a really nice visit with them too. There's a photo of them below that I took when we visited the Village of the Arts, here in Bradenton. My sister Kathy was also here! She stayed with my mom & dad at the same time Dallas & Liz were with us. I'd say we've had a small family reunion!

* Tina and Decklin ~ taken Dec 4th, 2010 *

One of my fondest memories of Dallas and Liz's visit is when the 3 of us were simply hanging out in my studio the other day, all doing different things but together talking. Liz was making cards and stationary (while oohing and ahhing at my art supplies!) while Dallas was pinning up a pair of pants for me to take in (too baggy) and I was working on shortening the hem of a skirt for Liz. It had a rick rack trim at the bottom of the hem that had to be removed. We decided to replace it once the skirt was shortened, so that was a little tricky. But we did it and it looks so great, see below! Liz ripped out the rick rack & I shortened the skirt and replaced the rick rack at the bottom of the hem.

Isn't Liz just soooo cute in this short skirt?
I love that we kept the rick rack trim at the bottom!

Both Dallas and Liz had asked us about going sailing or canoeing -could we take them out? Well, it has been rather cold here for Florida lately. Steven, who loves to do both these activities, has not even been out in a boat for a couple of months. For one thing, the water is freezing from the cold temps we had! But, the kids really wanted to go and the weather warmed up yesterday to almost 70. Steven said the tides looked okay for canoeing. It was a little windy but we choose to go to the protected area of Robinson Preserve. It was beautiful!!! The dogs came too and boating was a family affair. Click on any photo for more detail.

my father made these boats by hand

Liz and Dallas take off!

we always see wonderful birds when we canoe.
The sunshine skyway bridge is in the distance (click to view)
We travel over it every time we go to the airport!

That's me, steven & the pups in one canoe,
with Dallas in Liz behind us

Robinson Preserve

me and the girls!
Yes, the dogs do rock the boat a little . . .
next time I think we'll leave them home (shhhhh!)

Dallas and Liz 

Observation tower at Robinson

(getting the boat trailer!)

Steven tying the boats on the trailer . . .
We always get lots of questions and many comments about
these beautiful boats my dad made. Speaking of him . . . 

After our canoe trip we went to visit my mom and dad!

checking out the boats . . . 

happy days
& good wishes to all!