The Hart-Albin Building in downtown Bilings, Montana has a golden past. Around the turn of the 19th century it took the post as the region's star department store. Experiencing premier shopping at "Hart's" meant you had arrived! Sadly, in 1989 this iconic store's doors were closed.
In my mid twenties to early thirties I worked as an advertising artist for the store. That position still rates as one of my top jobs! I drew and illustrated merchandise in ink/wash for ads eight hours a day, designed brochures, conceptualized promotional graphics...and whatever delightful tasks crossed my path. And the people I worked with have kept special places in my heart.
I was contacted for some consultation work by the current building owners this spring to develop a color palette for the re-configured lobby, and create a new logo and signage. They weren't aware of my past connection with the store, of course it made the job extra special for me.
The photos are part of the signage that was hung above the sandstone fireplace in the lobby. A shout out my amazing and talented buddy Mark Lynde at Sign Pro for the professional work on the piece! The rectangle shape is paying homage to the gold Hart-Albin sticker that was adhered to wrapped packages from the store. The font in reverse matches the font used by the department store from the 1940's through the eighties.
A salute to our downtown diva!
Montana is an experience.
Our state makes memories every time you go out to play and Memorial Day was no exception! Although we drove a total of 400 miles on our day trip, we experienced a horse drive from Gardiner to Jardine, the new Yellowstone Hot Springs, and Yellowstone National Park. I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.
The soft spring color, the scent, and then there's the taste-I felt I was
literally sipping the Spring Season.
This Rhubarb Liqueur is only a couple weeks old, and it still needs to age another month or two...I can't even imagine how delicious it will be. I like to sip the cordial straight over ice. Why dilute that exquisite flavor? This Rhubarb Liqueur nectar has made my top five list.
This batch is made from my beloved father-in-laws rhubarb that continues to produce in his garden. George has been gone for several years, but his garden still grows for him. The smaller bottles pictured are for his children and grandchildren's holiday gifts. Planning ahead! I hope it evokes beautiful sharing of memories of their dad and grandpa. What fun conversation to look forward to. He was such a great human being!
The recipe is from the Homemade Liqueurs book pictured. I cut back the sugar (as noted) as I didn't want to cover the taste. I knew I could add more sugar if it needed. The color was pulled from the rhubarb into the liqueur the first day of aging.
Over Mother's Day weekend I took a look back at my humble blog. It was a fun moment when I checked my first post, and saw that it took place over the same weekend-serendipitous! I wrote it May, 2014, Mother's Day Weekend.
Kid's are older, I'm older, my mother has passed on. Time does so much. I can now see clearer what mom's eyes saw. Things I didn't agree with at the time have come to fruitation, and her wisdom prevails. I think the strongest force on earth is a mother's love. It is still capable of moving hearts even when mom's are gone. A Mother's love is that fierce!
Here is my first blog post:
"Since it is Mother's Day weekend, I thought I would salute the women in my life with excerpts from a column I enjoyed in the Oprah Magazine, 2007.
"HARMONY and BALANCE
Harmony is the agreement between what you think, say and do.
and is the state of stabilty in which you are able to make sound judgements.
WISDOM and COURAGE the ability to make sensible decisions that respect your needs. Courage is the catalyst uniting our thought and actions.
GENEROUS and HAPPINESS True generosity must benefit BOTH parties! No woman can control her destiny if she doesn't give TO herself as she gives OF herself.
CLEANLINESS and BEAUTY Removing clutter and chaos from our lives brings clarity. "
Morning meditation: as I’m sipping my first cuppa coffee each morning I spend a few minutes sharing time with these lovely ladies... this series was started this winter when I was wanting to do some hand stitching and textile work. These gals have shared several months of quiet morning time with me. Sending the wish to you that you have beautiful morning meditations to start your full days! Acrylic, canvas, Japanese crêpe fabric, cotton thread. 2“ x 2“, 3“ x 4“.
A career as an educator has made me a wealthy woman. Last night I was able to share time with three people I am proud to call friends! Sarah and Jenelle, my FAVORITE two former student teachers and now successful educators at Skyview High School, and
Marie, my close friend from the way back machine at the Career Center.
Life becomes even more beautiful when one can continue to grow friendships with incredible women-
It is part of my symphony.
To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion,
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard,
to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages,
with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
await occasion, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This should be one's symphony.
It seems a good read is often hard to find...my amazing cousin recommended this book-and although I was doubtful when I read the Amazon write up- IT IS WONDERFUL!
JOYFUL is written by an artist and industrial designer, and it is not only interesting, all is backed up by scientific data. A TOP TEN read this year! I was able to check the book out at our local library.
If you are a grandparent you know what the best thing in the world is...
Sharing time with your grandkid!
My grandson and I made chocolate dipped strawberries. Will scattered ALL the sprinkles himself. Ever the neatnik, he wiped down the floor when we were done. Needless to say, there were a few sprinkles there!
Will took home his VERY OWN strawberry plant to plant with his mommy and daddy so he can grow his own berries this summer. Can't wait to harvest the berries with him.
More sprinkles, please!
Wings-Tattered and Torn
Embrace your flaws. You may become weathered and worn, tattered and torn, battered and bruised but you are not broken. Know that you’ve become perfectly imperfect. -J Long
When our lives overlap with other's lives, or our own inner and outer lives overlap, it opens a space to act in love. I am reminded when I see this space that we have the capacity to be compassionate, kind and aware that we should tread lightly. Let us try to fill this new space with thoughts and actions that are born out of love. Thankful we can have moments of strength and deliberate thought to continue our flights with imperfect wings. I reflect on how powerful art is in communicating and wish for us all the power of embracing love.
As a working artist/retired art educator, I've always lived the artful life. Let's share!