Dia de los Muertos

My first surprise came when I accepted the "Day of the Dead" artist's challenge from the Artists' Nook as I definitely DO NOT enjoy this type of art. The second surprise came to me when I knew exactly what I was going to make! This project just flowed for me.... it was one of those 'aha' moments of working in the "zone".

Photographing is a huge challenge when mica is involved. I had to place my shrine at an angle to prevent so much glare. A cigar box was perfect for me as it was not too deep. The mica was glued down with E-6000 glue and then antique looking brads from Tim Holtz was added to the outside. The inside back was covered with a "Chattel Mortgage" paper that my parents signed. The box sides were covered with pages from a 1942 USDA "The Modern Farmer" book. After this was collaged, I painted the paper surface with Golden Fluid Acrylics, Yellow Ochre and Red Iron Oxide. The photograph of my dad was taken in September, 1956. It was his first corn crop on the new farm they had purchased and moved to in March of 1956. National farm moving day is always March 1st.

I colored his shirt with pastel chalk and added an optical lens over his face to give the viewer a closer look. Dad was President of the local school board at one time, so I used his signature stamp, too. I love using this particular stamp in a lot of my more personal artwork. And of course, at the time I was growing up, we used Allis Chambers WD-45 tractors. The rusty nails were found on my last visit on the farm before it was being sold. The three fence post nails hold tags that describe my dad, his love of farming, and his family.

My wish would be for Dad to smile with my tribute of celebrating his life.


I know a young woman who is a gifted artist.....and her name is Madison. I had to take this photo of this dress shop and ask her if she has something to tell me.....this explains why she is always on her cell phone. She's running a business in Ireland and going to school!

Lasting Memories

I really loved the bright color of paint that a lot of homes had for their front doors and window trims. I especially liked this building with the crisp white with red trim....then the customer's bike just happened to be red! It was very cool!

Views of the Aran Islands

Here are some photos from the Aran Islands. One of the possible ways of touring the island....we passed on this suggestion.

Can you believe all of these rocks that are stacked in a very mindful way?

We hiked to the highest point on this island. The views are worth the trek to the top!

I had a hard time wrapping my mind around seeing so much rock! And the building of the short walls was just to place the rock...somewhere!

New construction was next to homes that were centuries old. I saw many thatched roof homes.

I loved the exploring of the cemeteries. Even though the tombstones were centuries old, you could actually still read parts of the names and dates. Truly amazing!

Doesn't my sweetie look so adorable. I really have a awareness of how Irish he really is....he looked like he was related to just about everyone in Ireland!

Towns of Ireland

This town is Kilkenny and we visited twice. Family records were being researched here.

The roads are so narrow that only the "locals" drive through town. Visitors are strongly urged to park outside the downtown area and walk. That was no problem for us!

Women's Retreat

This was my first retreat experience and I definitely was NOT camping out....until I saw the "camp grounds". And the tent was super nice....so I said "yes" to a new experience! The night life was amazing with the calls, hoots, and chirps!!! The Oklahoma weather was just PERFECT! ! !

The retreat began Saturday at 1:00pm and ended Sunday afternoon. The time sounds like a short one....but I was so renewed.....an unbelievable experience that was shared with a super awesome group of women! ! !

The sunset was glorious....this was such a peaceful surrounding. I had forgotten just how being in the country away from the city buzz...you can actually hear yourself think!

The torches made the evening so magical. After the last person went to bed, our hostess blew out the torches but the night sky was so brilliant with the stars that you could clearly see so making a trip to the house was easy. (Of course, it was only about six feet away.) This is my new idea of camping!

The fire pit was such a terrific experience, too. We held our discussions in a circle around this fire pit which made for a cozy and warm gathering. Later we made smores! Oh, my!

Everyone appreciated the foot soaks and massages. The quiet time to read, take a walk, and/or meditate. And in between, we participated in projects together and shared delicious meals!

We had a special treat on Sunday morning with a Yoga instructor. Can you imagine how lovely it was doing the Yoga outside on the deck in our pj's?!

Can you believe that I had a Henna? It lasts about fourteen days. My daughter free-handed this design on my chest. It's still wet...so don't touch yet! And NO....there was no alcohol served!

Stay Tuned! There will be more about Ireland to come!

Tree Tunnels

What a delightful experience to drive through the "tree tunnels". The roads do not have shoulders and are very narrow. It makes driving on the left even more challenging!

The Witches' Stone

After touring the Blarney Castle and kissing the stone, we explored the garden paths and this was one of the things we found.

We left the grounds close to dusk...good thing, too!

Click on a the photo for a closer view which has the explanation!

Ireland's B&B's

After about five nights staying at different B&B's, my daughter Kimberly and I decided to rate them. Attitude, cleanliness, food, mattresses, water pressure, shower size, breakfast menu, etc. It was hilarious to make a rating system. After I have a chance to sort the photos, I am going to journal our final numbers...I will be making my own travel logs.

This is our first experience with staying at the B&B...this one was between Galway and the Aran Islands.