Monday, September 18, 2017

09.18.17 Beach Week

Getting our three adult children and their significant others in the same place at the same time is kind of like a game of Tetris. Last year (2016) we couldn't make it happen over the summer, although we were together for Thanksgiving...and that's when I started planning for vacation this year.

By May, plans were well underway. I'd arranged a Saturday to Saturday rental in Rehoboth Beach - only a couple of hours from DC, where both our sons and their girlfriends live - and made arrangements for the rest of us to fly in.

I was excited - not just to see everyone - but that we were going to be there for the Rehoboth Art League's Summer Outdoor Fine Art and Craft Show.

Friday morning we were packed up and ready to go when I received a text saying our flight was cancelled...I was not having it.  I had worked too hard to arrange for us to all be together.

Fortunately, through the wonders of the internet (and some very helpful folks at Southwest Airlines), I was able to get us on another flight out the next morning, so we were able to pick up our daughter at the airport and the keys to our rental house in plenty of time.  The rest of our crew arrived later that evening and our beach week was underway.

Sunday morning I got up and made crème brûlée French toast (because...vacation) before we headed to Helopen Acres for the art show.

Show program and souvenirs

The weather and the setting could not have been more perfect! It was 75 degrees and sunny, the trees were green and the sky was bright blue!  There was food, Dogfish Head beer, and of course, lots and lots of art to see!

With Hannah Long

I didn't have to wander far before I found Hannah Long, a fellow member of the Aspiring Metalsmiths group on Facebook.  In fact, had it not been for Hannah, I might not have known about the art show at all.  She had posted on the group page that she was going to have a booth - so finding her was at the top of my to do list.

I've written before about the wonderful people I've gotten to know - mostly online - in the metalsmithing community.  It was a really special treat to have a chance to visit with Hannah (and shop her gorgeous jewelry) in person.  I couldn't resist a pair of her fabulous geode earrings - not only did she set them, she did all the lapidary work too!

I didn't want to monopolize Hannah all afternoon, so I ambled on and found another jewelry artist - Courtney Gillen - whose silver, sea glass and pearl pieces spoke to me as well. Immediately I spotted her pearl vine earrings (there was only one pair) and I knew if I walked away without them, they'd be gone by the time I got (no surprise) I snapped them up.

We stayed at the show a little longer - my family was happy, they had beer; I was happy, I'd purchased two pair of souvenir earrings (to go along with the pair I bought at Taliesin in Wisconsin) - and we headed back to the house.

The rest of the week was wonderful - although it went too fast - and I'm already thinking about where we will go next year (perhaps I should search for more art shows...hmm...).

Until next time.

Friday, September 1, 2017

09.01.17 Harvey

Hurricane Harvey as seen by the ISS.
Photo credit: New York Times
I normally post on Monday, but things are not exactly normal right now.

I was planning to tell you about our wonderful family vacation at Rehoboth Beach - but that's going to have to wait...because at the moment Texas coastal towns are on my mind more than any in Delaware.

We knew this storm was going to be bad, really bad...and we've seen big hurricanes before.

My husband - who grew up in south Texas - lived through Carla. His family still lives in Houston, where they spent almost two weeks without power after Ike. After Katrina, Houston, and our hometown of Austin took in thousands of refugees.

Nothing anyone had ever seen prepared us for Harvey. Nothing.

Photo credit: Emily Cawood
Thursday night before the storm hit, we agreed that my mother in law should come up to Austin and stay with us - so my husband drove to Houston and back to get her.  For three days we sat at our house in the pouring rain (but otherwise fine), with the TV on, and watched as the devastation hit.

First the coastal towns where we have had family vacations - Rockport, Corpus Christi and Port Aransas; then Victoria - where my college roommate and her family lived for many years before moving to Wisconsin; then Houston, where it seemed the rain would never let up. Harvey dumped more than four feet of water on the Texas Gulf Coast, and there's no telling how long it will take to rebuild - let alone truly recover.

We all want to DO something - and in the short term - the most important thing those of us who were not impacted can do is donate to the relief effort.  Financial donations are best - because they allow the organizations on the ground to obtain the goods and services they need to help those who have been impacted.  I have a list of organizations on my Facebook page if you want to help.

Many Texas artists have stepped up to support and donate to relief efforts.  I participated by donating a surfite pendant to an online Harvey Relief Auction (today through 9/3 on Instagram) - and 100% of the proceeds will be donated the Houston Food Bank and Global Giving.

For the remainder of the year - throughout the holiday season - I'll be donating a portion of my jewelry sales to the relief efforts.  For every custom Texas pendant  I sell from now until the end of the year - 20% of the price (which will vary based on the type of stone and size of the pendant) will be donated to Houston's relief efforts.

The last few weeks have been difficult - and I am anxious to get back to the bench, and to return to blogging about less serious topics - like vacation.

I hope this finds you safe, well and dry.

Until next time.