Great Reads....

Reading is one of my pleasures in life.
 I read "Three Cups of Tea" when it first came out in 2006 on the recommendation of my good friend Shirley. Yesterday I finished reading "Stones into Schools."
I was very touched to think that one person, Greg Mortenson with a truly humanitarian heart can do such good. If you haven't read them yet, treat will feel the world is a better place after reading them.
Three Cups of Tea

In Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time , Greg Mortenson, and journalist David Oliver Relin, recount the journey that led Mortenson from a failed 1993 attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, to successfully establish schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. By replacing guns with pencils, rhetoric with reading, Mortenson combines his unique background with his intimate knowledge of the third-world to promote peace with books, not bombs, and successfully bring education and hope to remote communities in central Asia. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world—one school at a time.
In 1993 Mortenson was descending from his failed attempt to reach the peak of K2. Exhausted and disoriented, he wandered away from his group into the most desolate reaches of northern Pakistan. Alone, without food, water, or shelter he stumbled into an impoverished Pakistani village where he was nursed back to health.

While recovering he observed the village’s 84 children sitting outdoors, scratching their lessons in the dirt with sticks. The village was so poor that it could not afford the $1-a-day salary to hire a teacher. When he left the village, he promised that he would return to build them a school. From that rash, heartfelt promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time.

In an early effort to raise money he wrote letters to 580 celebrities, businessmen, and other prominent Americans. His only reply was a $100 check from NBC’s Tom Brokaw. Selling everything he owned, he still only raised $2,400. But his efforts changed when a group of elementary school children in River Falls, Wisconsin, donated $623.40 in pennies, who inspired adults to begin to take action. The 283 foot Braldu Bridge (pictured above) was completed in 1995 and the Korphe School (left) was completed in 1996. Since then, he’s established 78 schools. In pursuit of his goal, Mortenson has survived an armed kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, repeated death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. Yet his success speaks for itself.
Stones into Schools

Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan will be released on December 1, 2009. In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders even as he was dodging shootouts with feuding Afghan warlords and surviving an eight-day armed abduction by the Taliban. He shares for the first time his broader vision to promote peace through education and literacy, as well as touching on military matters, Islam, and women—all woven together with the many rich personal stories of the people who have been involved in this remarkable two-decade humanitarian effort.

Since the 2006 publication of Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson has traveled across the U.S. and the world to share his vision with hundreds of thousands of people. He has met with heads of state, top military officials, and leading politicians who all seek his advice and insight. The continued phenomenal success of Three Cups of Tea proves that there is an eager and committed audience for Mortenson’s work and message.
Visit Stones into Schools for more information.


Rain Showers and Flowers

It has been a pretty wet and overcast spring here in West Kelowna since we got back from AZ. However, the flowers are starting to bloom and it does give everything a fresh, clean washed look and oh, it smells so good.
To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
George Santayana
yellow Iris


Alexander @ nearly 5 Months old...

Alexander just back from Dubai and just hangng out at his home in Sri Lanka with his toys and his parents. He had a great time with his Mom while he was visiting his god-parents and their young 4 year old son. Here he is nearly 5 months old and has already been to 5 countries and is a great traveller. He is sure there are alot of countries that he has yet to see.
We are really excited that we will be seeing him (and his parents of course) in November when we travel to the Maldives for a week and 3 weeks in Sri Lanka. 
Alexander back from Dubai nearly 5 months


A Journal in Progress....

Working on and writing in my journal fills me with joy. I save all kinds of little things throughout my week,
then paste and incorperate them into my journal.
Most days I have something to write, and if not, i just pick up where I left off.
I need not please anyone except myself in this journal, for it is mine.


Shipping Containers..

Found this idea just wonderful, you take a shipping container and make it into something beautiful and useful.
How cool is that?
A bach "is the name given in New Zealand to structures akin to small, often very modest holiday homes or beach houses.They are an iconic part of New Zealand history and culture."
Cecile Bonnifait and William Giesen of atelier workshop have built a bach out of a box, a 20' shipping container.This isn't easy to do; they are narrow inside. They pulled it off by having one side of the container fold down to open it up to the outdoors; suddenly it is bright and open. (much like the All-terrain Cabin) Every inch of it is used cleverly, even the container doors become support for a bed.
All-Terrain Cabin
Take an easy-to handle 20' ISO container frame. Outfit it with folding walls and the best in Canadian design. "The result is as smart as it is efficient, suitable for a family of four and a pet to live off the grid in comfort and contemporary style. It travels by train, truck, ship, airplane or helicopter, folded up and indistinguishable from any ordinary shipping container. Once it arrives, it unfolds rapidly to 480sf of self-contained, sophisticated living space with all the comforts of home.


Heavy Metal...

This is what I am working on now...Love this pewter look with all these fun findings.
Some of these peices are from "Industrial Chic"
Today I am going out to Jim's shop and looking for rusty nuts and bolts and industrial bits and springs.
I already have Cindy on the hunt more more things to use.
Suprisingly, it isn't too heavy!
Metal necklace


Evelyne's Hummingbirds

From my sister Evelyne about her hummmingbirds.
"Sending you a photo of one of my 6 feeders. Sorry it's not a better photo. Taken with the small digital. I have a few hundred hummers here right now.
I guess I'm going to have to start taking donations for sugar - I'm going through 20 lbs every 5 days! Just kidding about the donations -
I love to feed them."


In the Garden Today

The bees are buzzing and the flowers are finally starting to bloom in hopes that warmer weather will soon be here.


Photos...To Calgary and Back..

955 Post
It was a really fun trip, although cool and hardly had time to put the top down on the convertible.
Here are a few of the photos that I took.
Have a great May 24 long weekend!
to calgary and back May 2010


Cindy's brooch..

I had made Cindy a brooch when she was down visiting me in AZ.
As I have made more brooches and necklaces, I thought Cindy's looked too "lack lustre" so I decided to add some more bling!!
The centre charm is removable and is from Sally Jean Alexander, the rest are things I have made, had or found. The message in a bottle is actually a watchmakers glass tube with"It's 5 o clock somewhere" in it!!
The key will be special for Cindy as it was from her next door neighbour, George.
We will wear them when we go to the Farm Chicks Show in a few weeks!
Cindy's brooch
cindy's brooch


A Tribute to Pebbles...

When Cindy came down for a visit last September she brought me a few blank tiles.
I made this one up for Pebbles and I will be working on the one for Cookie.
When they are all fired in Cindy's kiln, we will plant a "Dogwood" tree and bury their ashes here in Westbank.
The plaques will be displayed by the tree.
A sweet tribute to our beloved pets.
Pebbles plaque


Carmen and Brad in Calgary

Fun was had with Carmen and Brad in Calgary.
Fooling around at the sunglass counter at Holt Renfrew, Jim and Carmen before dinner,
Brad, Carmen and Jim at dinner, Carmen picking out floweres for the deck at Sunnyside Nursery,
Dagmar (in pink) being treated to a pedi by Carmen. Relaxing and colorful.

Calgary may 2010


May 16, 1923 Happy Birthday, Uncle Walter

This is my Uncle Walter. Today he turns 87. He has loved nearly all his life in his home village of Tramin, in Northern Italy. He was one of my mother's brothers and was the closest to her age. He is still going strong, helping out on their 6 hectre apple farm. He is kind and loving to his family and today I celebrate his wonderful life. Thank you to my cousin Rebekka for going down to see him and taking these photos of him for me.
uncle walter1



Our lovely daughter-in-law, Carmen, recieved such an honor from her comapny.
She has been working very hard for the last 3 weeks in conjunction with Provident Energy doing some Corporate Strategic restructuring.
They really appreicated her extra-ordinary effort and she was rewarded with a very large travel voucher that she can use to go around the world if she likes!!!
Maldives Hilton and Sri Lanka here you come!!!
We are so very proud of you Carmen, and we can't wait to see you and Brad tomorrow and the chance to get to meet your mother.  
Me & the Boys
Brad, Carmen and Jim

Cindy's Christmas Gifts to Me

cindys christmas gifts for me
These are a few of the lovely gifts I recieved from Cindy when a friend of theirs came to Kelowna this week. Since we live so far from each other in the winter time, we just collect things over the year and then are given as gifts. It is always such a surprise because in many cases we forgot what we ever had stored away!!.
Cindy made the beautiful square ceramic plate and put a message for me on the back...
How sweet is that?
Thank you Cindy!!!


Argentine Giant Cactus...

Landscape 020
Dawn, the gardner that looks after our place in AZ. took this photo of the first bloom on my Argentine Giant Cactus. It only blooms for a day but the blooms are spectacular as they are about 3-4" across.
It will grow much larger over the summer and I think the display will even be bettter next year. It usually blooms at the end of March, so we will be able to enjoy it next spring.



This was my sister Caroline's Mothers day present. A little colt foal that they named "Cowboy"
She says he is just the sweetest little colt, aleady comes over to check you out and is great with their 3 dogs.
What a nice gift to get on such a special day! Just look at those eye lashes
foal 1


Farm Chicks Show...

Cindy and I will be off to the "The Farm Chicks"in Spokane, Washington on this date in June.
We have booked a suite at the restored Devonshire Hotel in downtown Spokane. Do you think we will have fun or what???

farmchicks sign


Happy Mother's Day..

Happy day filled with love and good wishes!
Day was complete when Jeremy called sent me this photo of he and Julie.

Jeremy and Julie 1

- Posted using BlogPress from my ipod/touch


Frosso's Home...

I love the look of Frosso's beautiful row house that she has made into a beautiful and comfortable home. When I was down a few weeks ago, we went into one of her favorite shops and she was able to sccop up this table. It extends into a larger size which is perfect for her when she entertains.
Finally, a beautiful week of weather ahead and I can get into the garden. The hardwood floors and stairs are finished and the new topless glass railing has been installed on the deck. Now we are able to sit and enjoy the view to the golf course and overlooking the lake.
Frosso's new table


Cindy's Honey Do List...

This is the Copa Sleeping Quarters at Cindy and Tim's place on the Lake. Her 'honey do" list has just gotten shorter for Tim as he just finished off making this bench to match the headboard.
Not only is he handsome, he is handy!!
Beautiful work decorating this room, Cindy, can't wait to sleep there in June!



Since Spring is not making an entrance here in the Okanagan yet, I thought I would add some cheerful color to my blog.
If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.
Terri Guillemets



My Own Badge....

Still having fun making these.
This is one I am going to keep for myself.
It will go back on my blue jean jacket just to add a bit of sparkle and bling!
These gems have life in them: their colors speak, say what words fail to.
George Eliot

my badge of honor


Fabulous Find....99 cents for all 21 pieces...

Here are 3 of the 21 Dressden Plate hand pieced quilt squares. These are all vintage probably done in the early 30's or 40's. I got them At Value Village in Vancouver when I was there with Frosso.
What an Awesome Find!!!



Caroline's newest Giclee Prints....

Here is some of my sister Caroline's newest art work. These prints are part of her artwork that she has painted on rocks. She had them gallery wrapped for these great looking prints.
Chck out her blog at Log Cabin Studio

stone wrap 2
stone wrap 2
Here is a bit more about Giclee printing.
The Definition : Giclee (zhee-klay) - The French word "giclée" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt".
The Term : The term "giclee print" connotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction.
The Process : Giclee prints are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers. Among the manufacturers of these printers are vanguards such as Epson, MacDermid Colorspan, & Hewlett-Packard. These modern technology printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed prints for both the fine art and photographic markets. Giclee prints are sometimes mistakenly referred to as Iris prints, which are 4-Color ink-jet prints from a printer pioneered in the late 1970s by Iris Graphics.


Badges of Honor..

I have been working on a few new pieces of jewelery made with a kilt pin. These are wonderful old keys that Cindy gave me from her old neighbour George Munch.
I have been wanting to use them in a visual way that would add beauty to the shape of the keys.
I like to call them my "Badges of Honor"
Let me know what you think. Should I make some more and sell them?
Overcast here today but the wind has died down and I think spring might be around the corner.
Keep a thing seven years and it's bound to come in handy.
Russian Proverb