October in North Carolina

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I’m a city girl but there’s something about the feel of grass under my feet that takes me back to some happy days from my childhood: Running through the woods, catching frogs and letting them go and watching the fireflies at night.

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Sometimes the landscape is so surreal it looks like a painting

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White Socks knows where all the good bugs like to hide

 

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Gracie forages for food.

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I like to lie on my back and watch the sky through the trees

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Until the sun falls from the sky

What I made in Olivia Surratt’s Class


I first met Olivia Surratt at a two-day workshop the  Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild sponsored with Robert Dancik.  For some reason, I liked Olivia right from the start.  I don’t know why; sometimes that’s the way it goes.  So when Olivia offered to teach a wire and fusing class to benefit the guild, I jumped at the chance to take it, even though wire working is not new to me.  Not only has Olivia studied with some great teachers, no matter what you think you know, you can always learn something new or a better way to do something from a good teacher.  Olivia did not disappoint me.

One of the first things I did was to replace my portable butane torch with the model Olivia likes best, the original Blazer GB 2001 Self Igniting Micro Blazer Torch. It actually costs less than the torch I already have, but works so much better.

Olivia  and Pauline, her trusty assistant, led us through her methods for fusing fine solver and  wrapping with copper wire.  I used beads I made. Here are some pictures.  I give the class an A plus!

It’s Mural Arts Month in Philadelphia.  Go out and kiss a mural!!!

For earlier posts on Philadelphia Murals,  press here and here.

Nattering Nabobs of Negativity

A dear friend died in May, 2010. He was so supportive when his close friend and our friend Ray died and during Shari’s illness and death soon after.  The fact that he died so soon after they did seems surreal.  But he loved to laugh and he loved the outdoors.  He took to the Appalachian Trail in Spring of 2009.  He sent out the pictures  you see here when he returned.

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There remains the matter of the skunk.  Before he died, he gave me permission to post the video (see  below)  on this blog,  provided that I  identified him by his stage name,  Raoul McCool.  He sent out the video to  friends who knew his secret identity with this note:

“Please recall that, among the photographs of his Appalachian Trail hike that he sent to you in May [2009], were several that clearly showed [Raoul] in close conversation with a small black and white striped creature that many of you correctly identified as a skunk.  Unfortunately, [Raoul] was profoundly saddened to learn that some of you expressed doubt as to the authenticity of the said skunk.  Some of you went so far as to opine audaciously that the said skunk was, in fact, a stuffed skunk that [Raoul] had carried with him for some 50 treacherous miles over the mountains.  Some of you even stated that you would not be convinced of [Raoul’s] near supernatural ability to psychically commune with our little tuxedoed terrorists of the terai unless you saw a video of him conversing with an real independently moving skunk.

Well, you nattering nabobs of negativity.  Cast your doubting eyes upon the attached video file, oh ye of little faith, and thence go forth and doubt no more.”  -Raoul McCool

Goodbye Raoul.  You were a good friend and you made us laugh.  We will all miss you  terribly.  Especially the skunk.