“the new normal”

August 19th, 2012

We had a stunning walk this morning, saw white pelicans for only the second time this year. They breed on the Yellowstone but Winter on the Gulf. I have the sense (unsubstantiated) that their population was hit hard by the oils spill a couple of years ago. I know the blackbird populations were. I hope they recover. We watched a Kingfisher working a side channel. It was cool and clear, a welcome change from the unrelenting heat of the Summer.

We’ll get up to 85 this afternoon, perfect!
As a result of this lovely weather, the new shrubs are in and settling well. I chose for toughness (sub 30) and drought tolerance, as well as for height to provide privacy . The french door opens up the house in some unexpected ways. Grasses and weeds getting pulled. At some time I’ll have to tackle the inside work but am in no hurry. The studio repairs are getting worked on a little at a time. Mostly they have to wait for a helper to be available.

I am honored by the great response to my opening the Coaching Practice again and the greater interest in  the subset, “Women in Transition”.

I can only work with so many individuals at a time. If you are interested, let me know!

meanwhile, go make something, collect interesting textures or just sit in the sun, reflecting.


As a reminder, in my sidebar, you will find various pages with technical information. Let me know if you have questions or would like more of these pages. What materials might you be unfamiliar with but wanting to try> Perhaps i can help shed some light.



a much delayed update

August 12th, 2012

The new roof is on, complete, lovely. It took only two and one half days, a crew of five, working 7 a.m. to 9 pm. and they were wonderful. Yes, it was a dirty, noisy and messy process, but it is finished.

It was pretty cool to see the bare bones of the house from inside the crawl space:

  The roofers took off three layers of old roofing, started from scratch and now, everything is to code. What is charming is the grace curve of the roof line, invisible with all those heavy layers. My house is breathing more easily.




Our weather has continued to be brutally hot with brief respites here and there. Today is in the 80s, a welcome change from triple digits. The sunflowers and cosmos, vines, weeds and grasses are thriving. My tactic this years is to let it be. I’ll water just enough to prevent crisp grasses. In the Fall, when it cools down, I will dig our the perennial beds and replant, once again thinking about xeriscaping: minimal maintenance, minimal water requirements. It seems to me that these new weather patterns will be with us a while.

Right now the goldfinches and chic-a-dees are loving the holly hocks and cosmos.


In other news, I am renewing my coaching practice, after a long hiatus, Details here.

Spaces are limited so don’t delay!

It is also possible that a group of “Women in Transition” will be forming soon. if this interests you, send a note.

To subscribe to my Museletter click here.

My wish for you as August matures is that you are enjoying the Summer, exercising your creativity, relaxing and making stuff!


putting on the lid -part one

July 28th, 2012

The materials for the new roof were delivered this past week. Demolition begins Monday.The new roof will be completed in four days, they say (that is exactly how long they took on the house next door, I am optimistic.). Then the studio can be gutted and repaired! Hooray! It’s time to get back to work.

It will be great to have the major construction tasks completed. Noise, dirt, major messes and having to be aware of other people’s schedules can get wearing.

The process of off loading the materials was a lot of fun to watch. A few hours of entertainment on a hot July day.














Looking at these photos of the materials being delivered, I am struck by two things. First, that’s a big tree! It’s good it and the others were pruned out last Summer, we’ve had major wind storms this year. Second, my house looks dwarfed by that tree as well as the truck, [It is a small space, but that small?]



In other news, there’s no sign of a change in the weather here in South Central Montana. We are expecting the high 90’s and low triple digits through September. I’ve given up on the gardens for the year. Just keeping them alive is my current goal. Perhaps I’ll have a chance to dig them out and replant this Fall.  The clearing out has come to a halt as well, for now. I’m trying to organize the other spaces in the house and am working at the dining room table. The intention is to avoid creating too much clutter. Snicker if you want to, I am laughing as well. The operative word was “trying”. It’s a lost cause. Everything that might be used in any given creative endeavor must be out, where it can be located by scanning. That results in clutter on a good day, messes on other days. I need my studio space back! Soon, they say, soon. Meanwhile, the process of photographing and posting work for sale continues, and will for the next few days. Details are in the post “Putting a Lid on It”.

Do you have tips for staying cool to share? The only thing I’ve come up with, apart from judicious placement of fans, is putting a cold wrap on the back of my neck. What are your solutions, apart from AC?

putting a lid on it!

July 22nd, 2012

After years of water damage (and inadequate repairs) to my studio ceiling I am finally getting a new roof! Actually the entire house is being re-roofed in the next two weeks, but my insurance does not cover the studio roof.

My challenge is to raise  the money to cover this major repair, in addition to my deductible so here’s the deal:

It’s yet another SALE!

There are new items on the store page, new small works on the gallery 4 page (and more coming this week, including works on paper and in wood).

Any order that totals $50 or more will get a bonus of a small embellishment potluck for mixed media/fiber artists.

Orders totaling $100 or more will get the above as well as a choice of one of my two .pdf workbooks.

$500 or more will get a bonus of the two above as well as a small artwork, ready to frame. (my choice on this one!)

This is my final sale of the season. I am looking forward to getting back in the studio this Fall following the re-roofing and remodel of the interior. It’s interesting how unearthing and clearing out  all sorts of stuff this Summer has helped renew my creative energy. Now to get the rest of the work done so I can explore my ideas in an adequate space. The dining room table is fine but gets cluttered so easily.


goodies and treats?

July 7th, 2012

No, it’s not Halloween, just getting to the bottom of the year long clearing out process.

Between the studio (which needs a gutting due to prolonged roof leaking) and the wood shop, which has been mostly emptied but still has a ways to go, to the yard, where only the rusty bits I like are left, it’s been an adventure. A lot of potluck boxes, fabrics, fibers, threads, etc. have been added to my store page. Now we are looking at different materials.

All the tools that I can’t use are gone, a lot has gone to salvage, a box is being put together for the H for H Re-Store, and now the real treasures are emerging from the bottom of boxes, bins and drawers.

Now, some of you will not see the value in any of this but there’s more than I can use, and who in their right mind would pay mega bucks for slickly prepackaged replicas from a clever marketer. (Well, I have, and so have some of you, but these are real, have substance and history and would welcome new homes.)

I think my DH saved, collected or acquired, literally, thousands of keys. Then there are the various washers, interesting small gear shaped things and more. Collage artists use these, mixed media artists use these, book artists use these. Rather than send them to salvage, I am pleased to pack them up and make them available to you.

See them and oddball bits from the studio at:

Additional interesting bits are being added daily. Thanks for visiting!



June 23rd, 2012

Temperatures are projected for the high nineties all week. This means any out of doors work needs to be done in the morning and that the sun/shade patterns must be honored.  This is also the week the robins are fledging. There have been a many as 7 adult robins dive bombing my cats in the morning. The cats don’t like it, but they are confined to quarters for the next week or so. I prefer unhappy cats to dead or upset birds. Interestingly, Beau is curious but shows no sign of trying to retrieve the ones that get away. Mice on the other hand…

“Wafting in the Garden” <LOL>. Those of you who have had workshops with me know exactly what this means and does not mean. Suffice to say, the big floppy hat is in place but the long flowey skirt is not.And I am working HARD. Today I planted a twining honeysuckle to replace the dead grape vines, and a variegated dogwood in front of the South facing front windows. – behind day lilies and iris etc. I want year ’round visual interest. It seems to me another privacy screen plant would be a good idea,  but not today.

Next on my list is to procure chilled beverages and rebuild the side fence. Now that the steps are in (I did it! I got tired of waiting for other people’s schedules to clear and took matters into my own hands. I did it, all by myself.)  The steps  are level and to code but still require a railing. Designing the stone/brick foot path into the garden is an interesting process and will be fun – later.

Then the process of prepping for my “crazy woman clearing out the studio” sale begins. We’ll have an early bird reception Thursday, 3 p,m and the Public sale  Saturday. 8-3.

If you are in the Billings MT area, drop a note for the address and please, spread the word. All this stuff has to go so I can gut my studio, finally!


I hope you are having beach time but protecting your skin., that you are making stuff and doing well.


what the river shares

June 16th, 2012

Photos, few words, maybe more later.

    On Thursday and Friday, Beau and I did not walk the Island. We walked alone, down river to see how things had changed since last year’s record high water.


Here are two views of a massive cottonwood, brought downstream from who knows where – someplace between Billings and Yellowstone Park. The lines in the wood reflect the lines the river leaves behind in sand and silt.






Here’s another Magpie photo from our walking buddy, Mike. Last night Beau and I visited Mike’s first exhibit of paintings. Vibrant color, rich texture, all evoking the mood of walking the Island in the morning. This was Beau’s first art opening. he conducted himself well.

Mid June news

June 13th, 2012







This afternoon was spent with more cleaning and sorting in the studio. Will it ever end? I’ve uploaded some small, older pieces to Gallery 4. They are more in keeping with the work in fiber that most of you know me for.  As a reminder, my MayDazed Sale ends on the 15th. On the 16th, things go back up to their retail value. If you are in a location other than the US and want something, let me know and we will work out the Customs/shipping issues!

I’m about at the point of stuffing things in boxes and participating in a Flea Market Sale. This sorting, ironing and so forth is taking time away from the gardens and from the new work I need to be doing.

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. I am missing Michael. All this clearing out has been therapeutic, if time consuming but it does seem to go on and on. I am finding wonderful stuff in the tool shed now that the major clearing has been done: wooden boxes, rusty keys, interesting bits of who knows what… All vintage, all probably updated with electronic tools by now – but aesthetically lovely. What to do with these things?.

Let’s get the clearing out done with, fix what needs fixing and get on with the outdoor work! There are shrubs to prune, weeds to pull and perennials that did not survive 2011 to replace.






My walking buddy, Ken, keeps a blog about the island and our dogs. His writing is as good as his photos. You might enjoy seeing some of Beau’s buddies, and a very good picture of  Beau as well.

This morning, Beau, Karen and I walked in a different area along the river. It was quiet, no other dogs or people.  Neiki and Beau are a good match and quiet friends, but likely to burst into wild running at any given moment. Fortunately they both have “off buttons”.  Along the way Karen and I cleaned up fishing line (dangerous to the birds as well as the dogs) and a mile into the walk found a still smouldering campfire, complete with beer cans: emptied, half emptied and full. We cleaned it all up but I must admit to being irritated at the disrespect for the Park.

The River is still running high but it was a lovely morning and Beau had good opportunities to swim. Neiki wades.

Tomorrow I will upload a memorial song for Michael on our anniversary, have a quiet day with my dog and dinner with a friend. Friday is the beginning of my new year.

Please join me in marking a significant new beginning.

all best, laura



clearing out the studio…

June 10th, 2012

and finding all sorts of things. The entire space needs to be cleared in order to make it easier to repair damage to the ceiling and walls. I think my house was built under a water sign <G>. Anyway, more items are being added to my store page and to my galleries. It all has to go -there’s no place to store it, I don’t need it and you might enjoy it. Consider this a major artist stocking up opportunity.

There will be fabric collections, collage collections, odds and ends of paper and ephemera. I am enjoying touching and sorting all these things. It’s a great project for these windy, rainy June days.



The MayDazed Sale in gallery 4 continues through June 15, then prices will go back to retail. Thanks for visiting.

a rainy day

June 9th, 2012

   The final mark downs in gallery 4 are in place, more work goes up this weekend.

Today will be spent stocking my store page: fabric packs, leftover potluck boxes,  ephemera potluck packs and other miscellaneous supplies for the mixed media artists.





Come visit! Early and often as the updated additions take time to load and there’s a dog to walk, coffee to drink and probably other miscellaneous tasks.

At least there will not be the distraction of the gardens today, although they desperately need all the attention they can get right now.