Friday, April 29, 2011

Ayers Natural Bridge & Hell's Half Acre

As mom and I drove northwest toward Lander, we passed a few places that you just have to stop at when on a road trip.  I had always wanted to stop at Ayers Natural Bridge, but never had.  I'm glad we drove the five miles off the interstate to see this pretty little spot, which arches over Laprele Creek.  We drove straight into the clouds, so the sky was overcast when looking at the bridge, and bright blue when looking the other direction at these cliffs.

They really are this saturated.  They were stunning to behold.  On the way out of the park, we drove past the "Old Power House."  This gray concrete building was constructed in the early 1900s by the North Platte Irrigation Company to supply power to pump water from the North Platte River for irrigation. The company went bankrupt before the project was completed.

Next we stopped at Hell's Half Acre.  The name of the place is a misnomer, as this ravine with sharp rocky formations encompasses more than 300 acres.  I know you can't really tell how severe the terrain looks in this small photo, but it is so interesting in person.  It looks absolutely unnavigable, but Native Americans used to herd buffalo off the cliffs during their hunts.  How they retrieved them, I'll never know.  This used to be a roadside attraction, complete with hotel and restaurant, but those have since been torn down, so all there is to mark it is a sign along the side of Interstate 25. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lander, Wyoming

Hello, everyone!  I'm back.  Sorry to stay away for a few days, but my mom was out visiting and we packed a lot into the three days she was here.  It's not often that I get to see my mom, so it was a real treat.  I picked her up at the Denver airport, and we had lunch with an old friend of mine from middle school.  My mom remembers her of course, and I think they had fun seeing each other after so many years. 

Easter Sunday we took it easy, though I am ashamed to say I was so exhausted from the trip to pick Mom up (a six hour round-trip driving, plus a few stops on top of that) that I overslept and we missed church completely.  So we took it easy, and had a chance to catch up and cook some halibut for Easter dinner (that Bri caught in Alaska) and she got to see my house.  Since I am moving in a month, and she had heard me talk about how much I loved this place, she had to see it for herself.  She agrees - it's pretty perfect. 

On Monday we took a little road trip up to Lander, WY, to see the cute town and to exchange some of my art in the Global Arts gallery.  I dropped off some of those new post cards, a few paintings, and a framed 12x18 of "Dandelion Sails."  Lander is the sort of place that gets a summer crowd, so here's hoping they find new homes in the coming months.

We got to visit some of the other galleries in Lander, too, which helped my mom fulfill some requirements in the recertification class she is currently taking (she has to take a class every two years to renew her teaching certificate).  We had really nice weather while we were there, which was really great because there is so much to see in Lander.  There is a foundry nearby, and the town is just covered in these amazing sculptures that are produced there.  This elk was at the entrance to our motel.  Stunning, don't you think?  I wish I had taken more photos of all the bronzes, we only spent the one night in Lander and were in a rush to see everything before we left.  You'll have to go see them for yourselves.

Monday, April 25, 2011

New In Shop: Post Cards


Hello, everyone!  I hope you had a lovely Easter, if you celebrate, and a lovely weekend if you don't.   I am so excited that my mom is in town for a couple of days, and we have quite the busy schedule.  I'm afraid I'll be playing hooky here on the blog until Thursday; I hope you don't mind.

I am so excited to share with you today my new post card packs.  I had two made - "Wyoming Landscapes" and "Favorite Flowers."  There are five of each in each pack, and are for sale for $5 in my shop.  I just LOVE post cards and have been wanting to print some for a while.  I love having something to jot a note on to include in a package I'm sending, or just a fast way to say "Hi!" when I'm thinking of someone.  I also love other artists' post cards, because they are like little gems bundled up together in my stationery drawer, and I smile every time I flip through them.

They are five to a pack and come in a cello envelope to keep them safe.  I will be taking some of these to Global Arts in Lander when mom and I go switch out some art of mine later this week.   I think they are so darn cute I can't wait to share them!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mt. Rushmore

Happy Friday, everyone!  I can't believe it has been a week since I was in the Black Hills of South Dakota, visiting Mt. Rushmore, with my mother-in-law.  Since I am moving back east, I wanted to make sure I saw this incredible monument before I left.  We traveled up through the town of Custer, S.D., so we didn't see Mt. Rushmore until we were right in front of it.  It sort of surprised me when I did see those faces, looming above me. 

We were shocked again when we came up the steps from the parking lot, and saw this mountain goat.  If the shock of seeing this gorgeous wild animal only a few feet away wasn't enough, then watching him graze right beside the "Keep Off Grass" sign was!  It had a whole lotta nerve. 

The carving was begun in 1927, and the faces were completed in 1939.  Each president's torso was also initially to be depicted, but lack of funding forced the project to end.  Still, the massive faces of some of this country's greatest leaders is quite impressive to view.

George Washington, 1st president

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president

"The purpose of the memorial is to communicate the founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States with colossal statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt."
                                                                    - Sculptor Gutzon Borglum

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Springtime Snow

Yesterday I woke up to a thin layer of snow atop the green grass in my backyard.  The dogs were thrilled, and ran around chasing each other and kicking up the white powder everywhere they went.  When they were done, they hopped up onto the picnic table and ate the snow.  That makes me laugh every time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Method Press

Today I wanted to share a project I have been working on with several other ladies.  It is a new magazine called Method Press, and is overflowing with gorgeous art and artist interviews.

My contribution is a photo spread I complied on pages 10-17, highlighting the work of the Female Photographers of Etsy.  There is so much talent in fPoe and I was so pleased to explore hundreds of shops for just the right images for our theme, "A Blank Stare." 

But enough from me - take a look yourself.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crazy Horse Memorial

Only three hours from my house is this impressive feat of man - the largest mountain carving in the world.  Crazy Horse Monument is far from complete, but when it is, it will be 563 feet tall, and tower above an American Indian university and medical center, as depicted here.

Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear began work officially in 1948 on this memorial, which they envisioned would honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.  They chose the Lakota leader Crazy Horse as a subject because they felt he embodied the spirit of all Native Americans through his ferocity in battle and his dedication to preserving their way of life.  He was murdered by a soldier after surrendering, and thus became a martyr.

Ziolkowski worked on this monument for the last half of his life, and when he died in 1982, his wife and seven of his ten children took up his work.  The monument is entirely funded by donations and admission fees, as the sculptor felt it would compromise the integrity of the project if federal or state funds were used.  Because of this, and the mercurial weather of the Black Hills, work proceeds slowly, and no one knows when the monument will be completed. 

In this photo you can see the white outline of the horse's head, with his ear pointed back toward the face.  The long, flat surface that stretches out from the face will be Crazy Horse's arm, stretched out in front of him.  Ziolkowski depicted Crazy Horse with his left hand pointing in answer to the famous question asked of him, "Where are your lands now?" Crazy Horse replied, "My lands are where my dead lie buried."

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Black Hills of South Dakota

Happy Monday, everyone!  I am quite busy today, taking my mother-in-law to the airport and getting my windshield replaced in Cheyenne, but I wanted to drop in for a quick 'hello.'  Mrs. Beyer and I had a full weekend, not only getting ready for my impending move but also taking a day to visit Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse.  I'll have photos of the monuments tommorow, but today here's a peek at the landscape of South Dakota's Black Hills.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bird Trio

I'm starting to see buds on the tips of the trees.  Even though we got a little snow yesterday, spring is on its way!  Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Win This Treasury!

Good morning, everyone!  Today I have a special treat for you.  You can win EVERYTHING in this beautiful Etsy treasury!  It features work from 16 members of the Female Photographers of Etsy team, including me.

Here's what you need to do to enter:

Log in to Etsy, or create an account if you don't have one. Click on this treasury, and leave a comment. That's it! In two weeks, a winner will be named and contacted (so check your email or your Etsy account).
Each artist will send you the item they are offering in this treasury, so you can look forward to 16 lovely little presents in the mail, including my "Wide Open" print.

P.S. - Please don't leave a comment here on my blog to enter.  You must visit the Etsy treasury and leave a comment there.  Good luck!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guernsey State Park

My mother-in-law is here in Wheatland with me for a week to help me pack up and get ready for my move to Pittsburgh.  She was kind enough to dogsit for two weeks while Brian and I looked for houses, which was so very nice.  It really put my mind at ease to know my doggies were being looked after so well. 

It looks like we have some rain and snow in the forecast, so yesterday we decided to go out and enjoy the last bits of sunshine.  We drove up to Guernsey State Park and spent the afternoon exploring the western side of the park, which has gorgeous views of the reservoir like this one.  I was amazed to see that spring green on the trees looked a little like autumn gold.  The grasses are still brown, but they will spring to life here in a matter of weeks. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The First Daffodils

When I returned to Wyoming from Pittsburgh, these lovely little daffodils were here in my backyard to greet me.  I planted 10 of them last autumn, and I was so worried I might never see them bloom.  These will be the very first to bloom, and hopefully the others will follow suit, soon. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Return From Pittsburgh

Hi everyone!  I returned from my trip to Pittsburgh successful - we found a house, put in an offer, and it was accepted!  It's a pretty two-story home in O'hara.  This isn't it - this is just a photo of one of the brick buildings that populate the city's downtown.

The house will be ten minutes from my husband's office, but it feels like it is much farther from the city.  We will have almost an acre of land which I am sure the dogs will love, plenty of space for my husband's woodworking shop, and of course a studio for me.  There's even enough room for all our books.  Let's hope the home inspection doesn't turn up something crazy! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Best of Winter Photography

I know we are a few weeks into spring, but since I have been in Pittsburgh house hunting for a few weeks, I am a little behind.  I love taking time each quarter to reflect on the work I have done.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment, for sure, and also gives me a visual indication of what sort of work I have been doing.  This quarter I can finally say I have some good snow shots.  I have always been rather fond of staying indoors when it is cold, but I ventured out quite a few times this winter to get some of the shots I wanted.  No matter what you do, it is good to step back from time to time to see how far you have come.

As for the house hunting, we put an offer in on a place today.  Now we sit back and see if comes through.  Either way, we are headed back to Wyoming this weekend and I will be back to blogging on Monday.  I wish you well until then!