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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

It's the People.

What made my trip so great?  The landscape - of course.  The weather - yes.  The fact that I was free as a bird - yes.  The part of it all that made it the most worthwhile though, was the people I met.  Some folks were so excited to take a class or hear the lecture.  That made it very fun indeed.  Everyone who billeted me though - those are the best.  Spending time in someone's home makes way for early morning visits and late night talks.  There's sharing of food and drink and time in the sunshine together admiring flowers or ripples on the water.  I'm so very grateful that I didn't stay in hotels.  There's nothing better than meeting new people and making new friends.  It started with Gimli years ago when I stayed with Heather Lair - forever in my heart.  Then last fall, I enjoyed staying with Bev in Innisfree so much so, that I count her as family.

So, thank you to my sister in law Breena in St Albert.  It was so good to spend time alone with her instead of always in the mad rush of family gatherings.  Thank you to Maureen in Edmonton who drove me around and fed me a meal.  It's the conversations you share in the vehicle that start the friendships.  I got to spend time with people I've known for decades like my Aunt in Battleford and Tanya, one of my best friends in Calgary.  Stange and wonderful.  It's a very different life hanging out with adults that don't have housefuls of children.  We walk and eat and walk and eat and talk and sleep.

Wild roses in Bowness

Then... Effie.  Effie B.from Stafford Lake contacted me months ago out of the blue to see if I'd come to her home for an extended weekend and teach two days of classes.  When I'm on the road, I like to fill in the spaces between big city events, so this was perfect.  Spending time with her and her sister Faith was so good for my soul.

high up on the hills near Lethbridge AB

It was a beautiful setting and the food and friendship was awesome.  We ate, stitched, sewed, drank, paddled, hiked, and enjoyed a bonfire on the beach.  IT WAS SO GOOD!!  : )

thank you so much Effie

A little light reading on the deck after supper...

Wine and Stitch Magazine on the beach after a long day.  YUP!!  : )

The studio was lovely and the sewing group was such a fun gang of women.  That was well worth my travels.

sewing and eating and smiling and stitching

It's so awkward when I arrive as a stranger, and then so sad to leave after becoming fast friends.

Off I went to Regina.  THIS was the first time I had been through Cypress Hills.  Rolling, rolling, rolling pastures.  I felt woozy watching the land swoop up and down as I zoomed down the highway.  I didn't get in too deep to where there are trees and cliffs and water.  What I did see was PERFECT.

This spot.  I pulled over and stepped out into the wind and the sun, surrounded by green, and able to see as far as I wanted to.  There's a lot of spots like this obviously... but there was something about THIS spot.  The air was so SO clean.  The land was pasture and not tilled crops.  It was just different.  I could live and die here and feel pretty darn satisfied with life.

haha.  I guess that makes me an introvert?

Then came Regina...  I pulled up at my Billet's home, awkwardly as strangers again.  This was Shelby's home and Shelby has a very green thumb.  She is also a great cook and very wonderful to talk to.  She's with the quilt guild where I went to present to the following night.  I got there at the end of the day, and spent most of the next morning tucked away in the spare room trying to catch up on emails and texts with family.  I'd be home in 2 days and feeling like I'd run out of steam a bit.  "Come up to the garden" she said. "The sun is shining."

Well, my gosh.  She has a garden!  She has a back yard that is like the greenspaces at Olds College!  Wowee.  There were tall trees, bird feeders, rock walls, a stream & pond, flowers and bees and inspiration galore!  And so, I spent the afternoon sketching.  It was like therapy.  No where to rush off to.  No one to take care of.  It was just sit and smell the roses, and so I did.

It turns out, Shelby is good pals with Martha Cole.  'Martha Cole' the fibre artist whom I've never met.  I think I'm the last person in this province to have never taken a class from her.  (Truth be told... I've never taken a fibre art class from anyone.)  Effie had gifted me with a little box of Martha's inspiration card deck back at her place.  I told Shelby.  Shelby laughed, got on the phone, and when she was done she said, 'Martha is coming over to meet you and then she'll be at the guild meeting later tonight to hear you speak.'


And so that's what happened.  Martha came over, we had a quick visit.  I can see how Martha would be a good teacher - she is pretty fun!  I passed her one of the cards and asked her to sign it.  hahah  You know you are an artist when...  Martha autographed the card and then became distracted by the lovely purple and began doodling on the box and saying, 'oh my!  look what you can do with this!'  hhaha  : )

Off to the guild meeting with Shelby we went.  Shelby was a greeter and when the meeting started, she was called up about nine times for various awards and recognition.  That was crazy!  She smiles and smiles and has so much spunk.  What a great person to be billeting with!

So, I did my slideshow and then visited with the guild members afterward.  I got a lot of great ideas for our Saskatoon Guild!  Oh my, they have some terrific challenge ideas.

Shelby's flowers, Shelby smiling, Shelby's guild, Shelby's dog, and Shelby's garden.  : )

THANK you Shelby for your hospitality.  What a good time at had visiting with you!

And then I made a pit stop at the MacKenzie Gallery Shop to see the artist trading cards display and drop off Art Cards and more work for the upcoming tourist season.

All in all, I figure that I met up with nearly 700 people in the span of 3 weeks.  That is a LOT !  Again, thank you everyone for the opportunities and a special thank you to the folks who fed and housed me.  : )

1 comment:

Duff said...

What a lovely trip, Thank you for sharing your adventures and a few photos! I love to get your updates and see your works and photos, they are always inspiring. This time I am especially intrigued and bit jealous. My grandmother, Great Grandparents and several generations going back from there were fall rom Regina and I have always wanted to visit!

Again, thank you for sharing and for all the inspiration ideas and photos you share with us!


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