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.