Reasons for taking some time off….

Bill and I had a weekend off,  meaning we didn’t have a workshop.   As a result, we were able to witness the marriage of Joe Murray (who has worked with Bill for 18 years in the government affairs department) to  Anna, a woman he fell in love with from Columbia.  Their wedding took place in the evening at Olbrick Gardens.  The Honorable  Supreme Court Justice David Prosser officiated their ceremony.

Congratulations Anna and Joe. img_2317 Center piece on each table.

We spent the night at the downtown Hilton Hotel.  The next morning, refreshed (well not really has I had an extreme sugar hang over from eating two pieces of wedding cake — yes, I ate Bill’s —  love wedding cake) we dressed and headed off to Waupaca to visit two artists participating in the Hidden Studios Art Tour.  Cris Smith’s (a frequent guest at Valley Ridge Art Studio) mother Theresa Drinka was exhibiting her jewelry and her watercolor paintings.  She was sharing her space with artist Charlotte Darling-Diehl, a stone and bronze sculpture artist. img_2322

Charlotte, Cris, and Theresa

As Bill and I toured Theresa’s studio, I spotted a lounging black cat bathing himself on the sofa.  Our eyes met as he graciously offered a seat next to him.  Without hesitation, I accepted.  We meet nose to nose and exchanged breaths in order to become better acquainted.  After our ritual introduction, he succumbed to my gentle caresses and constant attention without complaint.  He entertained me with his persistent purr… his gift to remind me what content sounds like. img_2321He reminded me of our cat, KoolAid, who lived to be 23 years and died of old age in my arms.

I sat for quite some time with him.  I don’t remember hearing his name.

I don’t know if it was this cat’s influence or not, but one of Charlotte’s sculptures had caught my eye when we first entered Theresa’s studio.  I have been longing for a cat for some time, but because so many of our house guests are allergic, we have decided against having another cat, for the time being at least.

Drawn to this sculpture’s beauty, the delicate nature of these cats melted the cold hard surface of the soap stone.  You can have these cats …  these two cats lounging, a voice inside me said.

I found a sense of comfort in Charlotte’s work.  The comfort I remembered years ago when our black cat, KoolAid would find my lap; no invitation required.

img_49011Carved out of soap stone and now part of our permanent art collection.

Purchased, packaged and wrapped… we set off to the Brenda Wenberg’s Covered Bridge Studio to see Jeanne Weymouth’s work.  Jeanne came to Valley Ridge about 3 years ago.    I was intrigued with her deconstruction and reconstruction of old sweaters.  Last year I drove to her holiday art sale to purchase some of her reconstructed sweaters.  This year, I purchased yet another sweater and a couple of felted scarfs in preparation of winter to come.


Front shot of the sweater vest


Back shot of the sweater vest.

What a great way to incorporate a vintage scarf.

img_4936Details of the felted scarf.

Jeanne is teaching a workshop this February at Valley Ridge.  Stay tuned for more information on that workshop.

With a cup of Earl Gray to go, Bill and I set off for home.

All in less than 24 hours.

A trip to the moon on gossamer wings… Highlighting Lynne Perrella

It was just one of those things…
Just one of those fabulous flings.
A trip to the moon on gossamer wings
It was just one of those things….

This favorite Cole Porter lyric seems to sum up that feeling of getting completely side-tracked by some fabulous “fling” of an idea…..and losing oneself in that idea completely and thoroughly. (At least for a while.) If we are really lucky, we can join with other artists and explore these momentary fascinations together, turning up the volume on the ideas and (best of all) the shared enthusiasm.

That wonderful feeling of reading an email from an art friend that begins…….”I just had a wonderful idea……” and ends with “Want to play?”.


(Friends who came out to play with Lynne at Valley Ridge Art Studio in 2008)

Some fascinations/flings seem to be enduring (like paper theatres) and I return to the idea again and again. Other flings have provided the spark for a larger range of work, although they started out as momentary flickers. Either way, Enthusiasm + Exploration = Fascination. Players – Theatre de Studio Paper Theatre for Somerset Studio Gift wrapping is one of my favorite passions, and I use everything in my studio. Each year I wrap over forty gifts for our community raffle, and I make each present look wonderfully enticing. Gift certificates from local businesses are tucked into outlandishly-decorated hats, or attached to “festival sticks” wound ’round with metallic garland……or hidden inside painted bird cages. Creating something elegant, using cheezy, inexpensive supplies and paper — That’s what it is all about. And lots of holiday spirit!

P.S. ……. I’ll never get too old to play with dolls.  –Lynne Perrella

Lynne is coming to Valley Ridge Art Studio to teach two workshops this fall.

Personal Iconology on October 22nd and October 23rd.



Zen Is When from October 24 through October 26th. imgp7592



Please join us.  We would love to have you.

Kathy and Lynne

Signs of Fall

We had a weekend off and as much as I needed to work, I decided that some quality time with Elijah, Megan, and Bill was more important.   And, I too, deserved a little break from my office.  Although I have a great outdoor view, it feels wonderful to be outside looking in rather than inside looking out…  And I was starting to feel like the poster woman for “all work and no play makes Kathy a dull girl.”   On Saturday, Elijah and I spread seeds from these amazingly beautiful grasses lining our path to the lower level of our home.  img_4483Checking out the fall flowers in our garden

img_4492_2img_4493_3img_4522_2Elijah had friends come over for the afternoon, so Bill and took a road trip to Soldier’s Grove.

We watched people racing horses to drop a tennis ball in a barrel.  img_4513img_4515img_4516

Stopped in Plain, Wisconsin and picked up some Honey Crisp Apples  – my all time favorite apple

img_4520(these aren’t actually honey crisps…but apples none-the-less)

Driving home.

I never tire of the views out here… never…. img_4527

On Sunday, we spent part of the afternoon at Peck’s Farmer’s Market living-in-wis-266-1 aka Amusement park for children and free entertainment for parents.  Or nearly free.  The train ride and the haunted house were not freeimg_4540

img_4535 but a ride on the tetter totter only cost a few laughs.


You can’t pass up the 25 cent handful of corn for the pygmy goats…



Off to pick out some pumpkins


Day is done

Gone is the sunimg_4592

Now, back to work.