Friday, March 30, 2012

Live Laugh Love Altered Board and a Wee Card

So, the girl at exercise class that gave me that paddle that I turned into the altered "RELAX" sign for my spare bedroom? Yeah. Her. Lets call her Rhonda. I may have promised Rhonda that I would make that paddle into something for her. And then it did that magical thing that projects do some days and turned into something a bit less main stream and more me than what I would normally make for Rhonda.

So, turned to my handy dandy Silhouette for some inspiration. She had mentioned that she had seen that Live Laugh Love phrase and liked it so did a quick search. And, I also had a nice black board all painted up and waiting for something fun.

Within 5 seconds I had this cutting file downloaded. Of course, cutting it took a bit longer and then not breathing while I carefully extracted it off the sticky cutting mat and modge podging it down on this board even longer.

But, actually, it was a fairly quick project.

And here is a side view so you can see the shimmery gold modge podge that I used and the white ink that I used to make the edges of this board look sanded. Do you think Rhonda will notice it's not the paddle? ;-)

And on the same subject of cutting files, I also downloaded a cutting file for this tea pot. Inspired by a post over at Lisa's Blog I decided that I needed a tea pot birthday card for my Gram Skip.

Now she is a tiny thing but isn't afraid to curse, so I thought maybe I should send her something sweet for her birthday. And if she gets mad, she can always poke someone with the tooth pick flags....

Here is a close up of the little toothpick rose flags I made with Crackle Glue...

Now, with this card goes a promise of flowers. The Canastota Public Library is displaying a collection of her oil paintings and having a reception for her. If you are in that neck of the woods on April 3rd at 7 pm, swing by and have a snack!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Topless Page

Just finishing up the last of my March Scraptastic Kit on this page. I did this last month too where I used my Stampin' Up Top Note die to get the very last little bits of pretty paper onto a page.

I had a few doilies I had been playing around with that I wanted to include. And decided to throw a funny picture of myself on there! And, I AM wearing clothes, see? You can see my coat in my rear view mirror.

If it isn't clear what this page is about, that makes sense. I have been considering where to put some journaling and now that I see the page like this all scanned in, I may just run it up the straight side of my scallops.

Anyhow, we have been getting some amazing weather for March. So, we decided to take the jeep top off.
That is what my title is referring to! This was the first ride we took with it and boy was it fun! We looped into the Adirondack park and it was awesome!

This little metal piece holding my title was originally silver and stuck out like a sore thumb on my page, so I opted to dye it blue with some alcohol inks. Then, used the same technique I blogged about last week in my Clear Vintage Page Charm post to add the letters and clear top coat. Instead of adding a crackle glue on top, I used Dimensional Modge Podge which dries in a nice clear finish.

Here is another photo of a chipboard sticker than came with the kit. I always feel loved when I drive my jeep since THE MAN was pretty insistent that I get a vehicle that I was in love with.

And can you see that pretty photo of the waterfall? That was just a spot we found on our drive that was so pretty. If you look towards the top of the photo you can see the the dam that is holding the river back exposing the rocks.

And how to do you like that butterfly? It came in my kit and was a great addition!

And here is my baby all Topless and mostly clean. She was a bit muddier when we got home as we did find a nice trail and got a wee bit muddy! Had to include a photo since my SIL's kids have been asking!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Altered Frame With Canvas: A Garden Where all Kinds of Flowers Can Bloom and Grow

The other day I got this frame from my Dad who had it in his stash. It was a brown that needed to go away. So, added it to my spray paint pile and made it black.

Then, added some canvas to the back of it.

Primed up the canvas with gesso and then sprayed it up with some glimmermist.

My plan with this was to use up a ton of my little sticker letters that I have left over and fill in with some hand writing if the word was really long. One of my favorite parts is the velvet rub-on from Close to My Heart along with that wooden butterfly. 

Here is a side shot of the fabric flowers I got from my friend Lisa from Kansas  and the crackle metal piece I made was using a similar a process to my Clear Vintage Metal Page Charm post. Since the letters were printed on my ink jet, I did put tape over top of them prior to adding glue so they wouldn't run.

And here is another shot of a flower that Lisa made out the cardboard from a paper towel roll and some little yellow roses.

And if you are trying to read this from the screen, let me just spell out what the quote says:

"If we make our goal to live a life of compassion and unconditional love then the world will indeed become a garden where all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow." 

It is a quote from Elisabeth Kubler Ross and something I thought was very lovely and fitting for today! And another item to add to my Junk2Funk pile!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Artist Trading Card for Cancer

Was out blogging around a day or two ago and came across a post asking for Artist Trading Cards for a display to inspire cancer patients at the Brisbane Hospital in Australia. Jules was talking about her friend Annette who is part of the Be Uplifted Breast Cancer Charity and was requesting ATCs from around the world.

I thought it was a lovely idea. Too bad I've never made an artist trading card! No worries, it's not that bad! I started with a bit of recycled cardboard cut down to 2.5x3.5 inches or 64x89 mm.

It is comprised of lots of bits and pieces from from various places. Copper from my Mom, the flowers are from Shirley and the background paper was a tag sent to me from Lisa at You Made Me Ink. So, I think the lot of us are sending our wish of Hope to those people who are battling with illness!

Please pop over to Jule's Blog  to read the specifics and request the addy as to where these need to be sent. 

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday or Cows with Guns

So, the other day we went to the school for this Girl's Night Out thing.

The cheesecake was fabulous!

We had fun although one lady was determined to sell me these awesome nails that press on like stickers and then you zap them with a hair dryer and voila! They are sealed to your nails. I was like, oh they rock, but...I am too messy for those. And she was like, but this lady I know that has horses...

I was thinking that telling her about the staining abilities of alcohol inks but that would take too long. Or the fact that I have had a silver with black speckles nail on my right index finger for at least three days due to spray painting issues. Horses do not use paint. And I did love those nails....Just not enough to avoid my craft room for the 20 some days they stay on.

Forgot that I had toes that would look nice in them though. I don't paint with my feet. Although official sandal weather should not start here for another two months, I may have dragged mine out already. So there is still snow some mornings...

Anyhow, the awesome part was that there were prizes.

Lexi took all our tickets and put them in the bag for this orange necklace set she thought was awesome. I had to agree. It was pretty awesome. The more awesomer part was that she won though. We both grabbed the phone the next day in different parts of the house so I got to hear both sides of the conversation. I think she stopped breathing.

She is pretty funny these days. Yesterday she hummed Slip Sliding Away by Paul Simon to annoy her father who claimed the song got stuck in his head. He isn't a big Paul Simon fan for some reason. He is also a tie-dye hater. It is a good thing I didn't know either of those two things when I married him.

But anyhow, much later he shows up at the kitchen counter where we are assembling Chucks and Turduckens (more on that in a bit) with his iphone to play us a song he thought would stick in our head. He went through four or five songs 'til we pronounced him a winner.

Here was his winning song:  Cows with Guns. It WILL stick in your head all day and has some language and is quite wrong. But, oh is soooo funny.

And a shot of the Turkduckens and the Chucks. Chucks are Chicken Ducks and have the puffy feet. Turkduckins are Turkey Ducks (and maybe chickens?) and have the big pipe cleaner feet.  Don't ask me. I was only trapped there as I had to share my glue gun. The horrors!

OHhhh! Since this is a purely random post, don't forget, I have offered up a prize to whomever left me a comment that they played along with Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge. I have one left!!! There are a couple of days left on both challenges...and if you are a mister, this plastic doily rocks!

So, have fun today and don't blame me if you are humming Cows with Guns...blame THE MAN.

Igloo Page for Sketchabilities Sketch #67

Just a fun little page I threw together after getting this igloo photo in my inbox from my parents. My Dad was out helping building and my Mom snapped a quick photo. I think that it might be the last of any winter scrapping unless of course it SNOWS again!! Which I hope not!

It was short lived of course, since the snow was pretty soft. Luke got pretty mad as it didn't stay up. He had gotten this ice block maker when he was at 5 Below the last time. (Thanks for the gift cert, Kristy!)

There is a great sketch up at Sketchabilities that I enjoyed using it.

This may be my second to last page page with my March Scraptastic Kit. It really was lovely with the color palette and the fantastic different patterns of paper.

My FAVORITE item on this page though is from my friend Lisa from Kansas. How do you like these adorable birds and the poor bird falling due to the branch breaking.

My second favorite item was this sticker sheet that I found that I've had FOREVER! Instead of using them one at a time, I threw them through my top note die with some double sided tape on my Sizzix and then added some microbeads.

Just a real simple page to get a memory scrapped!

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Few More Altered Items...

This little bucket was in my Christmas stash and needed a make-over. I didn't get a before photo and was half way through spraying it when it occurred to me! Anyhow, my illustration on the front came from a really old book I grabbed while out junkin' and I modge podged it on the front.

I hate to tear books part, but this baby is old and tedious. It appears to be a series of short stories with a bit of a moral to them to educate young girls. Anyhow my daughter read most of them since she reads anything that isn't standing still and has now given me permission to reuse it. Great illustrations though. I did originally pick it up for the cover since it was leather like and interesting....

And, just a quick shot of the top, some handmade flowers out of repurposed tissue paper and some beautiful skeleton leaves all the way from South Africa! Thanks Helen!

And, here is another little project that I took a chance on. For a bit I wasn't sure if it was going to turn out. Turns out all the "paint" or whatnot it had on it originally came off with a bit of warm water. Yes, I sent it through the dish washer twice and it came out clear glass! The price was right even if it was OOBER UGLY. Technical term there.

So, I used some of that mirror paint I bought a while back on both the inside and out with some black spray paint over top on the inside. And, this is the part where it got interesting. Somehow the mirror paint gave it a metallic type finish and allowed alcohol ink to color the grapes and the leaves. I really like how it turned out and adding some shimmer modge podge to the top finished the metallic type look.

A bit of some cheese cloth that I used to apply the ink with and a few beads finished off the vase. I am pretty pleased on how it turned out!

And, just another close up shot of the dyed cheese cloth and beads. 

Both of these projects are being added to my stash for that Junk2Funk show in Saranac Lake!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Story: Critters by Bruce Mero

This essay will be published in sections. Please understand I've heard these stories for years, but never with the detail that my Dad has given here. My early years were playing on Persian carpets that returned with them to the States and hearing stories about the early adventures of my parents. I think that is in part why blogging and seeing the stories that others tell in other countries fascinates me so. 

by Bruce H. Mero

          We have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel abroad and, on several occasions, live elsewhere than US. Our daughter, Mitra was born while we lived in the Middle East. We've had to learn new languages and observe customs commonplace in the places we've visited, but extraordinary to us. This essay will talk about the many different critters and a few of the characters we have encountered during our time overseas that we normally do not run into in the US.
          Gretchen and I were classmates at the College of Forestry at Syracuse University. The undergraduate program at the School of Landscape Architecture required students to spend the first semester of the fourth year at an overseas location. Ours was spent studying at the Universidad de los Andes in the mountain town of Merida, Venezuela along with nearly thirty classmates and two professors. Half of the class lived in a boarding house, the rest of us lived in a ramshackle house a few doors down the street from the boarding house.  

          The house was clean, but decaying. It had more than a dozen smaller rooms we used as bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and several larger rooms that became common rooms. We were told that we could do whatever we wanted with the place since it had been abandoned by the owners and was to be torn down once we vacated.  Luckily, there was a large open air atrium near the rear of the house which our group of budding Landscape Architects quickly set about to colonize with plants and a water feature.
The Park Design in Merida

       On one of our class assignments was to design a park in a high desert a few miles south of Merida. The class took several bus trips to the site to familiarize ourselves with the land and on one such trip I found a colony of desert orchids I thought would be a great addition to our atrium garden. Carefully I extracted a small portion of the orchid from the dry, rocky soil with my jackknife and placed the clump in my handkerchief. I carried the plant back to the house in my lap. Back home, the new addition was planted in our garden and we went off for dinner. On our return to the house that evening, we found the back of the house crawling with little black scorpions. We'd seen many cockroaches in the old house, but never before scorpions. Apparently, I'd carried them back in my lap in the roots of the orchid. We tap danced around them in the hallways until we firmly planted a shoe unto their backs. It took several days to eliminate the dozen or so I brought into the house unknowingly.

          After our semester in Merida and the summer off, we returned to Syracuse for our fifth and final year at the LA school. As spring approached, Gretchen and I sent out dozens of resumes to design firms we'd hope to land a job with. Unfortunately, no jobs were forthcoming. That spring we also met an alumni from the landscape school who was recently returned from Peace Corps Iran. His advice to us was jobs here, join the Peace Corps. With our design degrees and the language skills we'd developed in Venezuela, we'd certainly get invited to become Peace Corps volunteers and join a program in Central or Latin America. We sent in applications. Our new acquaintance was only partially right, however. We did get asked to join the Peace Corps because of our education, but not in a country that spoke Spanish. They offered us both an assignment to Iran, and only on the condition we were married before we departed the US. That, we'd planned to do anyway...Gretchen had proposed to me earlier. There was no hesitation in my acceptance of her proposal. Thus, we were married on the day we were supposed to attend graduation ceremonies Syracuse and seven days later we landed in Tehran.

 1960 Air Photo of Kerman, Iran

For the next six weeks we were in school for language training and cultural sensitivity. We lived in a communal house in the village of Shimron, in the northern suburbs of Tehran with seven other newly graduated architects and engineers. At the six week mark in-country, it was customary to send new volunteers on their first solo foray to the town where they were to be eventually assigned. After a short visit to our future home, we were supposed to return to school in Shimron for six more weeks to complete training. Our future boss, however, had his own ideas.

          It was a grueling, dusty 24-hour bus ride from Tehran to the city of Kerman in south-eastern Iran. The bus was packed and Gretchen got the last real seat. I sat on a coke crate next to her in the aisle the entire ride. At the bus depot in Kerman, we departed the bus and picked up our bags and were immediately approached by a gentleman and sternly told we were being summoned to the governor's palace for a meeting.

           There, the governor, Ostandar Hashemi welcomed us into his immense office with a nod. The Ostandar was the ultimate authority in the state of Kerman, beneath only the Shah (and the Shahbanu, the Shah's wife) in Iran. A servant appeared with tea and cookies.

          "We will soon become great friends," he said in perfect English. "We have a lot of things to accomplish. You will start tomorrow morning."

          Gretchen started to explain that we were only to be in Kerman for a few days and then required to return to Tehran to complete our training when she was interrupted by the Ostandar.

          "Your belongings are being packed-up and shipped from Shimron this afternoon," he said. "You will report to the Vesaraty Keshvar Ostany Kerman (the State of Kerman Office of Engineering) at six in the morning, to start your jobs. I will send my driver. Your training is over, I will mentor you here in Kerman on the things you will need to know."  

          He returned to his desk and it was apparent that we had been dismissed. A door opened behind us and we were escorted out of the Ostandar's office and to the car by a new driver and then taken to the Zariff Street home of a soon-to-be-departing Peace Corps couple, the Ranii's, for the night.  

to be continued....

Friday, March 23, 2012

RELAX Altered Board

I have been hoarding this board on my back porch for almost six months. It was aging through winter. Going for a nice natural weathered gray look. A friend handed it to me a while back after pulling it out of one of our local rivers here and said make something out of it.

At the time I was a bit perplexed.

This past weekend I walked passed it and I thought it needed to have the words "RELAX" on it. It was previously a paddle I think. Thinking of a warm sunny river and floating down in a canoe, this seemed to fit.

Modge podged on the title that I cut out on my Silhouette, added a bit of glimmermist here and there and a gesso/glimmermisted flower sun shape, and then went over the whole thing again with Shimmer Modge Podge.

And, here is where I installed it. Over my spare room bed! It had these predrilled holes that made running  a bit of wire a breeze!

Hope you find some time today to RELAX, if not, the weekend is peeping it's head around the corner!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Clear Vintage Page Charm Tutorial

Lately I’ve been thinking about cracks. Noooo, not the kind where you spot some dude bent over and he forgot to wear a belt…the kind where you appreciate them for the item’s age. So, lovely cracks!
I also have been trying to find a good use for these German stickers I have in my stash. So, decided to pair them up with some metal pieces I had and apply a crackle finish.  You may have spotted my hand made embellishment on my last page at Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge.

These are pretty simple, just the drying time takes a bit so be prepared to wait overnight.
Assemble your ingredients.

As you can see here, I have a clear shaped back that I punched (you can easily hand cut as well) to sit behind the sticker. I using a bit of some Tim Holtz packaging but really any clear heavier plastic will do. 

Next, stick the sticker to the top of the clear piece and assemble for glue.

I like to tape my back in. After making about 10 of these, I have determined that packing tape is better. Some glue will creep under the metal, but the tape does a good job of keeping most of where it is supposed to be.

Now, the Crackle Accents glue I am using from Ranger makes larger sized cracks. I do have some new glue I am trying that is more like a paint that makes smaller crackles. 

Basically fill the entire metal bracket with a mound of glue. Like LOTS. It won't look pretty as it will be sitting all lumpy in the middle. Here comes my secret which I completely discovered by accident. 

Now, the secret ingredient here for BIG crackles is adding a bit of rubbing alcohol to urge the glue to flow better. I like to add enough where it looks nice and smooth. You can add it via a dropper or an empty glue bottle. See, I was adding a bit more glue at one point and accidentally added alcohol which was in a similar bottle. Those turned out the best! ;-)

Also, you can add a bit of color with glimmermist and add sparkles at this point. I threw in a couple of pearls while I was at it. 

After it dried, I inked it up a bit with ink. 

This same concept will also work for clear heavier chip board using the same concept. 

If you give this a try, let me know! 

Of course, you could play along with the two challenges that are running and use it there! ;-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wedding Gift Box

I must be the only person who receives containers in the mail from relatives. This one had cookies in it at some point, but not when I got it! Meaning, I got it minus cookies and to alter. Which of course didn't mean I didn't still want COOKIES!

The base of this box was sprayed first with black spray paint because I wanted a blank slate. Then I covered the base with white gesso so I could alter it. A bit of a stamp pad inked up the edges and then some silver spray paint. I have been raiding the hubby's stash of paint lately since not using it results in things just drying up and there are countless cans from various projects. 

Anyhow, stocking up for that Junk2Funk show. I thought with summer around the corner, we're headed into Wedding Season..this might make a nice gift box. The green doilies came from Marilyn and I added a bit of dye to give them a bit more color. A few rolled flowers from a project a while back. 

And, just another quick shot of the front. I have one of my book plates on there using another one of those German stickers & crackle glue. Stop back for a tutorial on how to to make them on Thursday. I decided to call them Clear Vintage Page Charms...

A quick tag made up of scraps and a silver doily from my stash completes it!

Just a sparkly fun box!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Little Light in my Life

So, a while back in the midst of a dart gun war between two boys, one of my favorite lamps crashed and burned. It had been around since THE MAN and I got married and was a present. Of course, it was part of a pair of lamps...and searching for a new shade turned up nothing.

So, the sad broken shade-less lamp hung out in my closet. Seemed too "good" to throw away but was pretty useless.

While out junking two weekends ago, I learned a valuable lesson. Always carry dimensions to objects you are looking for in your purse. I spied this really dusty and musty glass shade that I "thought" would work but wasn't for sure. No need to spend a whole $6 if it wasn't going to work!

So, borrowed a tape measure and got dimensions off the shade in the shop. Came home and realized indeed, I should have purchased it.

Of course, it then takes forever to make your way back that same shop and get your prize!

I have the living area painted a butter cream and am pretty fond of yellow roses, so it was a good match I thought.

Here is it's big brother, the floor lamp. Somehow I think they still sorta manage to match...

And a shot of my new beauty at night...

And, on the subject of is a photo I took out our back can see the grass has not yet quite greened up yet, but it's really working on it. It was such a pretty morning with fog and I managed to convince my little point and shoot camera to capture it even though I was looking into the sun. 

Hope today finds you peaceful and full of light yourself. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lisa's Birthday Present & Scrap For Help "Card"

My friend Lisa's birthday has rolled around again and I figured I'd make her something out of metal. She is one of the strongest woman I know and runs a scrap metal business. So, my "card" had to be symbolic of her strengths and also interests!

If you wander into her office, the ceiling is punched tin in black with a sparkly chandelier. I have threatened to wander over at some point and take photos. She also works at home so quite often listens to a skype rant about this or that and normally "gets it" because business is the same whether it's metal or gas.

A bit about my process since Shirley saw Lisa's Card in person and asked. I started with a cardboard base that fit into this little black frame that was given to me by Lisa from Kansas at You Made me Ink. There is also a challenge up at Scrap for Help that requires cardboard to be used in the making of your project. Since I covered it COMPLETELY, I wanted to show that I did indeed start with some. Mine was ripped off a notepad I believe.

I am also linking this up to the last Gingersnap Creations Challenge to use Copper, Ginger or Rust in your project. Since I used a sheet of REAL COPPER, I think this qualifies!

And, used up some random letters I had that were thicker. It was great to use up some extra letters since I have reached the end of that sticker sheet as far as titles go.

I then laid down a strip of copper to cover the letters and used the end of a paint brush to push the copper into the gaps.

Here is a photo of the whole board covered and pre-paint.

I followed a similar process for the numbers. I then embossed strips of the copper to get the wood grain and the scallop in the center.

Here is another photo of the Tim Holtz book plate and how the color worked it's way into the copper embossing. 

And did you spy my little thread wheels? I went through some older stash and found two really old matching wood spools that I had and used those as "wheels" to elevate the box/card.

Now, a quick word about style. This was a bit of a challenge for me as it's not normally my comfort zone. So, randomly I asked THE MAN what he thought of it. I do know better.

He said:  Well, what does it say?

Then I realized he was trying to read some kind of meaning out of the random numbers and letters.

Well, it implies HAPPY BIRTHDAY Lisa!! ;-)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Story: The season's last ski by Bruce Mero

The season’s last ski
by Bruce H. Mero

          Each time we ski may be the season’s last. The little snow pack we've accumulated here this winter is shrinking fast, yielding to a week of above freezing temperatures and warm rains. The lengthening daylight allows us a rare, late-afternoon ski on sun-warmed snow. I anticipate a softened surface, but the snow is actually firmer than expected and we ski fast.

          So far the snowpack is entire, no melt holes have yet appeared to detour us from our usual trail. The remains of previous ski tracks in the ice upon the pond are visible, however, today we will go around. There are open spots in the creek and the water running through the pond has melted places in the ice on both the inlet and outlet ends. At times our skis sink deep into the snow, places where the sun has carved holes beneath the surface. Melt water fills the track. We find no recognizable animal tracks, they have all melted away and only shadowy depressions remain where just days ago footprints were cast. We realize that with the passing of the snow we will miss the field notes the renewable snow-canvas records of daily activity in these fields. Reading this diary has been one of the pleasurable things that our frequent visits have provided this winter. Watching the retriever who accompanies us most times react to the scents lingering in each footprint in the snow has also been a treat. At times she will bury her muzzle beneath the surface at a print to extract its essence. Usually, she pulls away with a snort and moves along. At a coyote track, the hackles on her back stand erect and she looks around as if to catch a glimpse of a shadow moving away, low growls audible in her throat.

          A portion of the stone fence has emerged from the snow. A colony of luxuriously vibrant moss basks in its first light in months, looking as if it had not been winter here at all. Flat colonies of lichen growing upon the faces of the stones have already turned their tiny scales upward and also look like the recent mild days have been agreeable. As we pass through the gate in the fence, I am struck by the amount of litter on the snow surface.  In the field we had just come from, the snow was clean. Under the tree canopy, the difference is remarkable. Everywhere the snow is littered with a detritus of Beech leaves, bark-some pieces as large as I, twigs, Birch seeds, emptied husks of Beech nuts, samaras of Maple, Hemlock and Pine needles, knobby Larch twigs and cones, Maple leaves, emptied Locust seed pods, deer poop and more. At the base of each tree, the snow is gone and the forest floor visible. Green ferns and dried grasses lie flat to the ground. The setting sun has elongated the blue-gray tree shadows to infinity, between the shadows are pools of gold on the rippled snow. Droplets of snowmelt hang from the branches of a sapling Hemlock as iridescent crystals in the sunlight.

          As daylight wanes, and we begin our return, we encounter the Partridge remains we'd seen a few days earlier. The retriever shows great interest. Only feathers enough to line a mouse’s nest have been left by the foxes. These too will soon be gone.

          A warm, gusty wind and the last crescent of setting sun accompany our return. If this is, indeed, our last ski this season, I will surely miss it. Of course we are anxious for the warmer days, but these times on the snow have been spiritual and a place will be left empty in me in its absence.