a new adventure in Jackson Hole

Scott is taking a painting workshop - his first. We drove to Jackson on Sunday. What a beautiful drive. I love love love the sight of sprinklers watering the fields. This is what we saw all through Idaho and Wyoming. I wanted to take pictures every five miles, but I realized the views are all about the same. I remember traveling to Idaho Falls as a kid and my mom also loved sprinklers in the fields. I guess she 'taught' me to be thrilled when I see such a sight. There's just something so heartening about all those droplets of water working together to keep the fields alive.
This is the gallery where Scott will be taking his class. It is the Wilcox Gallery. The owner Jim Wilcox is a wonderful landscape artist. I fell immediately in love with his paintings of the Tetons. He allows other artists to use his classroom space to teach. The instructor of Scott's workshop is named Bjorn Thorkildsen. I was shocked when I saw him. I expected someone who looked like a Viking. Instead he's just the cutest, friendliest, nicest guy you ever met. Oh and very funny. He's an expert at painting heads. So this week Scott will be learning to paint heads. Or you could say...portraits. The first model for the class was a classic. I'll post that tomorrow. Only a town like Jackson could come up with a character like that for a model.
This is Bjorn's painting palette. From this mess of color, value, texture, and temperature comes the most amazing likeness of the person sitting in the model's chair. It's a miracle to me how it happens.
And here is Bjorn. Been painting for 30 years. Made over 5,000 paintings. Scott thinks he's an expert teacher. He spends time with each individual student (8 of them - 3 men and 5 women). Scott is doing really well. He's not so sure, but I am. If you look at his paintings and realize that these are the first paintings he has done of heads, you are impressed. He has always been good at sketching and that helps. Now he's learning the techinques of painting. He says that the time just flies by and he doesn't even realize that three hours have passed. I say, "He's found his passion."


{ bear lake pHotos i love }

What's a late night at the cabin without a wild game of Uno? Suzie, ever the game player of the family, recruited Winston to have some fun with the Brookie and Kyle. As always, thanks Suzie.
A rare treat in the golf world - a "fivesome." They didn't slow anyone down, because they're such good golfers. Mike cancelled going to the midnight showing of Dark Knight with his friends...because he was having so darn much fun at Bear Lake. We would have missed that guitar performance he gave.
A fun game of "I have never..." with everyone getting pretty creative with their statements and crushing each other to trade chairs. Amazing how many guys have never had their ears pierced!
This is possibly one of the last times Gary will just be able to sit and relax - for the next five years!


more photos of basement

This is the game room - painted an indescribable color of green. It's not lime, and it's not really avacado, yet it's not leaf, it's more yellow, but not mustard. The official color is Sweet Olive, but I certainly wouldn't call it olive. I can't name it, but I quite like it. I'm glad for the white trim because it tones it down.
This is the hallway with the white beadboard that I love. The wood and tan paint seemed to really open up the area...so much that it feels like it needs some kind of furniture in it, like a bench or shelf.

This is the mini-kitchen. We (not us, but the builder) painted the cupboards black. I was more scared to do this than anything in the remodel and I nearly said no about ten times. I had loved those cupboards when they were natural maple and I just hated to cover them up. But they will look nice and fit in with Marty's design plan. I trust Marty's design and when in doubt, I (almost) always agree with Marty, and end up with a look that's perfect.

basement remodel - beginning photos

This is the game room - it was white with teal and purple carpet - classic colors from the 90's. There was a purple vinyl built-in bench in the corner. Marty added the beams, trim & columns.
This is the TV room - also a teal color. You can see my photo album storage in the background. We have now built a special room to store the photo albums and all of Scott's video tapes - both commercial and homemade...he must have 3,000 tapes. Seriously. They will all be moved now to our new little 'video/photos' room - out of sight. That was one of Marty's best ideas.

Here is Scott in front of the wall where we cut out the window for the little playhouse. We had a closet that is under the stairs. It had been filling up with my books and other stuff. Marty suggested we make it a little room for the granddaughters to play in. I was nervous to cut through the wall to make the window. but WE DID IT, and it turned out fun and cute.


do you want ketchup on that???

Still remodeling the basement. Whew. It's a lot of work. And we're not even doing the work. I admire all you DIYers out there because remodeling is wearing me out. This blog post is about the tarnished door hinges pictured above. John, our builder, told me they looked so bad that he thought we should just get new ones. (The picture doesn't really show how tarnished they were.) So he checked on the price of new hinges and the builder's supply place doesn't stock the size we need and they would have to be special ordered. Not wanting another delay, I told John, "I'll just clean them up myself."

So I went to my computer to good ole Google and entered, "How to clean brass door hinges." There were several suggestions like using Brasso, vinegar & salt rub, ketchup.... Scott had a fit when I told him about the ketchup, "We are not putting ketchup on our door hinges," he said. He suggested I use the "wonder cleaner" that he bought last month from the young lady who would not leave our doorstep until he caved in and paid $34.00 for her apple-smelling water. She did, after all, demonstrate the wonders of Advantage cleaner on our brass door handle, and it did shine it up a bit. So I tried that and it barely helped. Then I got out the ketchup and started rubbing. Oh my heck, it cleaned the tarnish right off!!
This photo doesn't really show the wonders of ketchup on brass, but you can see that those hinges look pretty darn good. There are a few tricks. You have to have a dry terrycloth towel - like an old washcloth. It works better if you squirt the ketchup on a dry section of the cloth rather than a damp part. You have to really really rub. Elbow grease required. And it takes awhile. But it sure does the job. Scott kept walking into where I was working and saying that he couldn't believe it. He even picked up a hinge, got out his bottle of Advantage and scrubbed real good, then admitted that the ketchup was doing a better job.
I started at about 11 and finished at 12:45 (at night). I was so tired from all the work (and the stinky smell) that by the end the last hinges didn't look so good. But I figure I saved about $200.oo, so it was worth it. Meanwhile, Scott was earning his pay by installing flourescent light tubes in the new game room. I'll post photos of the remodeling progress next.


Girls and their Laptops

Suzie is here visiting for a week, so we took advantage of her computer AND teaching skills, and asked her to teach a computer class about digital photo albums and blogging. About fifteen women gathered in my kitchen last night (four brought their laptops) for an intense two hours of instruction and laughs.
Suzie is a great teacher and was very enthusiastic about her subject. She had a four-page handout which we followed as she put the information up on the screen. It was just lucky that this is the week that the big-screen TV is out of its regular spot because of the remodel in the basement. It was easy to put it on the kitchen counter and show what was on Suzie's computer screen.
Suzie and Winston's wedding photo album has 100 pages of beautiful photography and memories. She uses mypublisher.com for her albums. She loves the price (they often have specials and coupons like two for one, and it is very user friendly.
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wAy cute scRapbooK pagEs

Here is my Beginner Basics for the AdornIt blog This is a monthly column I write for the company blog to help beginners not be afraid of scrapbooking. I love it because it forces me to make a couple of scrapbook pages each month. The 4th of July line we created this year was one of my favorites ever - and so easy to use.

Destination: Summer

Where will your summer take you? Whether it’s faraway or in your own backyard, AdornIt can help you scrap your summer photos…starting with the 4th of July!

The All-American Collection from AdornIt has possibly the cutest set of Fourth of July Cardstock Stickers anywhere! Just look at these stickers. Click on the layouts and they’ll get bigger so you can see each one better. Can you imagine how easy it will be to scrapbook your 4th of July photos? The stickers go with 22 patterned papers from AdornIt. You heard me right – 22 papers – from a snazzy star-bedecked white paper, to a paper with bursting fireworks on a dark navy sky, to traditional stars on a red background. There’s something for every memory. Oh, and the matching ribbon is, as Carolee would say, “to die for.” And one more thing…notice my title. I used our new Sleek White ABC Stickers – talk about easy. Beginner or not, you’ll love these alphabets!

By Debbie Raymond



You HAVE to try this { Lemonade }

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Fresh Lemonade with a Twist
(milk in the recipe!)
from Debbie's good friend Marilyn Watts

1. Zest one whole lemon.
2. Juice that lemon plus 7 more lemons for a total of 8 lemons.
3. Strain juice to remove pulp and seeds.
4. Add to the juice:

4 cups milk
3 cups sugar
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon lemon extract

5. Whisk together really well so it forms thick syrup. This makes 2 quarts of syrup. Marilyn pours it into 2 quart jars.
6. Use one liter of club soda (chilled) per one quart of syrup.
7. Fill punch bowl with syrup and club soda.
OR mix in individual glasses to taste.
8. Marilyn says, "Be sure to use "good ice"— little crushed bits of slushy ice.
9. Garnish with a fresh mint leaves.
10. Hint: You can use 7UP, just cut back on the sugar in syrup.


Pitt's Kayak Races

So our son-in-law participates in a wild and crazy sport - kayaking. He was in charge of a kayak race in Logan Canyon a few weeks ago. It was so amazing to watch. These guys are crazy. There they are in that COLD river, hooked to their boats, going over rapids, hitting rocks, and literally flipping over and going completely under the water. The time I saw a guy hit his head on a rock and bounce back up, I said, this is a crazy sport. Very fun to watch, kayak races, but CRAAZZZZY!
Here is Pitt running the show, either announcing winners or telling times. He did publicity, entries, organization of races, timing, prizes and more stuff that I don't even know about. There were about 25 racers.

Mike and I watched from the Nature Trail. Mike had a friend here who had been in Japan with him - Kei - from Tokyo. He loved it. I thought to myself, "Why aren't we up in Logan Canyon every Saturday morning? It was one of those classic summer days that we long for in February.

Scott was the photographer and took a hundred awesome photos. The course was from Second Dam to First Dam. Scott positioned himself on a rock almost below the kayakers as they came over some rapids and rocks. He got some great action shots and was very conscientious to get photos of each entrant in the contest. I can't say enough how impressed I was with the kayakers. And so surprising that they were having fun. Did I mention yet how COLD that water is???