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...the daily artistic strugglings to transmute fleeting imagination into Golden Apples of the Sun...
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1. Fall Retreat - Part IV (Adventures in Eating)




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2. Fall Retreat - Part VI (Making Art)

Typically a great deal of art-making happens in the cabin...

 ...but after the generator went out, it got much more difficult to do - lanterns are really not as bright as lightbulbs! (What did our pioneer ancestors do in all that dim lighting...?)

So, we had to move outside and work by the light of the sun.

Luckily, the weather was lovely and cooperative!


 More plein air happened than usual. :-)

 Of course this did mean that our working time was limited...

 (I had hoped to get more painting done than I did, but ah well... I did make some good progress)

 Of course, it wasn't all work. Besides hikes, walks and mushroom hunting, there was yoga and meditation and general communing with nature...

...as well as just some much deserved chillin'!

Lovely week as always. Thanks POBL girls!

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3. Fall Retreat - Part III (Adventures in Eating)

 As I mentioned, there were some rather glorious mushrooms this year!

 (Chanterelles galore!)

 We always eat well (artists can make the best cooks) - but when we get to add copious amounts of wild mushrooms to the mix, things elevate quickly. Mushroom tarts - 

 Pots of mushroom soup. Mushrooms in the salad. 

 As for one of the adventures I mentioned - we lost the hydro-electric generator a couple of days into our stay.... The remainder of the week was done by lantern....

 (luckily we are all also good sports. And inventive.)
The meals were spectacular overall.

I leave you with a photo of some of our 'pornographic carrots'. One of our more 'spicy' ingredients. :-)

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4. Fall Retreat - Part II (Into the Woods)

 One of my favorite things about our location is the woods -

 Everywhere that hasn't been cleared for the very few roads or other forest-service related areas is filled with trees.

 It was a sun-drenched week amongst the conifers -

 - which very atmospherically drip with moss and are surrounded by ferns.

 In some places, there is still old growth forest (so much has been logged over the years).

 Huckleberries that grow from cedar stumps....

And all the luscious undergrowth... (which this year, contained many many *mushrooms*!)

To be continued...

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5. Fall Retreat - Part I (Overview)

This year's annual fall critique-group retreat took place up in the glorious Cascade Mountains (as usual).
 (A view of Mt. Rainier).

We stay in this lovely historic lodge - 

- right across the road from a lake.

(which is low this time of year, exposing old tree stumps from early logging days).

Old stumps = abstract driftwood.

The woods and weather were glorious.

Fabulous eating and company. Adventures were had. 
And much art happened.

Stay tuned.

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6. Music Monday - Netherlands/Fall Retreat

This past week was our annual Fall Retreat. Dan Fogelberg's "Netherlands" always reminds me of our time up there in the mountains....



 The environs were spectacular - 

 - the cabin is lovely and cozy and lots of cooking happened.

 As did a lot of art. 

 Paintings were made. Mushrooms were foraged. Much wisdom was shared.

(I took lots and lots of pictures. Sadly my camera mysteriously saved them in a format I'm having difficulty opening. Hopefully I can get it figured out and post more this week!)


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7. Music Monday - You Can Fly

Ah, this makes me all nostalgic (plus gorgeous, acapella harmonies...)

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8. Sunday Sketching -

In the teensy purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee..


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9. Music Monday - The Wedding Song

One of my very good friend's daughter (who is best friends with *my* daughter) is getting married tomorrow. My daughter and I have been doing what we can to help out with reception details.

With all this wedding-on-the-brain, I thought I'd share my favorite wedding song. This version by Gordon Lightfoot:

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10. Sunday Sketching -

In the teensy purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee....


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11. Music Monday - GotG

We saw Guardians of the Galaxy again with my college-graduating son last week. That 70's classic soundtrack has been playing through my head fairly non-stop. This trailer makes good use of them.



Such fun! Go see if you haven't already.

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12. Music Monday - Friend Like Me

Saddened by the news of Robin William's death...
So many memories of him throughout many parts of my life.
(The Drew Struzan poster for Hook. A flawed movie, but it had many very good moments. I always enjoyed Robin William's performance in it).

This is a musical one (from the approximately 20 gazillion times my kids watched Aladdin when they were young):

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13. Sunday Sketching -

Been SO busy... blogging has kind of fallen off the to-do list.

Here, however is today's sketching in the teeny purse Moleskine balanced upon my knee....

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14. Music Monday - Aint No Sunshine....

Once upon a time there was a brothers/boy band called Hanson (remember MmmBop? their titular single?). They grew up apparently. And still sing. Quite impressively even! Listen to their lovely, mature cover here:

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15. Sunday Sketching -

In the teensy purse Moleskine, balanced upon my knee....

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16. Terrific Tuesday - Garden Tour!

Right now, I'm in charge of organizing a monthly activity for my group of church ladies-

 This month, we decided to go on a 'field trip' and have an official garden tour of the gorgeous kitchen gardens at the celebrated Herbfarm Restaurant.

 The raised beds were stunning as always.

 And we got some detailed insights from Herbfarm's own kitchen gardener.

 Golden hour...

 Blooming amaranth.

 Runner-bean teepee.

 Alium flower heads.

 And these fireworks-looking things are an ornamental alium bloom - new to me!

 There are also a pair of Vietnamese potbelly pigs named Borage and Basil. Darling boys!

 The bumblebees were out in force (and moving too quickly for my camera to catch well in the lowering light). It was truly lovely.

 We then met back together for some herb-based treats - made with herbs from *my* garden.

 The sorbets were particularly good (it has been so hot lately).

Lovely group of ladies, beautiful growing things and delicious treats. What could be better? :-)

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17. Music Monday - Say Something (Pentatonix)

Seems like time for another Pentatonix video... (love these guys).

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18. Donato Giancola Workshop weekend!

Another TLCWorkshop weekend - this time with the amazing Donato Giancola!

You can read a full report of the workshop starting here.

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19. Figure Friday -

 Sadly, just as I am starting to get back in the life drawing groove, we are ending for the summer.

 Costume day today -

 Great model - 

Fun drawing day. Am sad to have to wait til September to do it again.

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20. WIP Wednesday - New Studio Chicks!

 It's time to update the chicken flock -

 - with a new batch of studio chicks!

 Just four this time around. It's the very end of chick-buying season, so I was kind of stuck with what they had left.

 A California White, a Red Sex Link - 

 - and a couple of Ameracaunas (so white, brown and blue/green egg-layers).

 (Ameracaunas are some of my favorite chicks - they start out looking a bit like chipmunks.)

Toby-the-terror doesn't quite know what to think about their tiny-chirpy-cuteness. I'm hoping he'll be more care-taking of these guys since he'll see them raised from babies. The last batch of poor older gals got chased a lot.

So, here's to Urban Chickens! 

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21. Music Monday - Barbershop Quartet awesome!

These girls are amazing!

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22. Tuesday Garden Post -

Happy July! Here's a smattering of what's blooming now -
 The borage is tall and lush and breaking out all over in blue stars (the bees are very happy about this)

 The ornamental mullien is towering with spires of tiny blooms (which I must cut down before they go to seed - else there will be gazillions of babies everywhere).

 The beebalm looks like shaggy red star-bursts.

 The rue is fading, and the feverfew is coming on strong -

 - coming on strong, and blooming *everywhere!*

 The dainty fairy-rose is covered with pink clusters.

 The full-size roses are winding down (David Austen cabbage roses) -

 These are sterling-lavender - heavily-scented blooms.

 Some of the early veggies are bolting and blooming (some of which I allow - since their flowers are sweet and delicious. These are radish - which will turn into succulent, crunchy seedpods. Delicious in salads!)

 Calendula is opening everywhere.

 Volunteer foxglove comes up all over the yard.

 As do poppies. Hot pink or lavender or some cross of the two.

 We are picking fruit daily - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries... The figs and arguta kiwis are growing quickly - SO many clusters. It will be a good crop this fall.

For all its neglect, the garden is doing remarkably well. :-)

In other news, the studio chicks are also growing like weeds. I've had to move them into a larger box. We'll see how long I can bear to keep them indoors. (The larger they get, the safer they'll be from raccoons and other dangers when they get moved outdoors).

Happy summer - happy July!


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23. Family Fourth

 Spent a lovely, relaxed 4th of July with family members in Utah.

 Here's Grandma with her newest grandbaby (being held by his older sister) -

It was such a treat that my trip happened to correspond with his arrival! I got to hold him at 15 hours old and visit him over the next three days. Lucky!

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24. Fantasy-Con

Spent a few days in Utah this week -
one of which was attending Fantasy Con in SLC.

It is the first year for this convention - which was very ambitious in scale and scope.

There were lots of interactive opportunities and performances -

Of course, lots of cos-play.

Darling photo-ops.

Mythical creatures.

Panels of experts and celebrities.

And my favorite - all the art!

Twas a fun day!  Will see if it happens again next year.

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25. Music Monday - Legend of Zelda/Remix

My son sent me a link to this remix of Legend of Zelda's:Ocarina of Time "Generations" (Forest Temple) theme, which is lovely. 


I'm always impressed by how much good music backs video games...

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