Thursday, June 20, 2019

Visiting with knife makers

Every June we are invited to hang out with some of the worlds best knife makers. They come from other countries after attending the big knife show, the  Atlanta Blade Show. 

To clarify, my blacksmith is not a knife maker. Not that he can't or hasn't, it's just not what he likes to make. 


Spending several days with these men and women is always a learning experience. 




For meals we gather on the patio.




The pizza oven on the left of the patio. . . . 


The pond with coy fish and deer on the back side makes for great entertainment. 


Sometimes there is some work done in the shop. Here Bernie shows Colleen a technique on the power hammer. 


Gudy!!!  What can I say, he is a magnificent knife maker! He is from Holland and is so much entertainment.

Look at one of his hand crafted knives. Can you believe it??   Magnificent!!!




There's always a group to visit with all day long. 


A group under the awning, keeping out of the sun! Ed from the state of Washington, Diana and Darryl from Illinois. 



A group at the shop, Nathan from Minnesota, Hank,one of  our hosts, Pat from Washington Missouri, and Bernie, you know where he's from. 



The pizza oven is always a fun time. Hank makes the huge bowl of dough the day before. Then there were all kinds of toppings and fresh herbs picked from Bonita's door-side garden. 



Bernie made quite a few for the others. He was taking orders. I had a brussel spout and lemon pizza with a homemade white sauce!!



One night Nathan made these delicious chicken legs. He first grilled them, then made a marinade sauce with peppers, onions, morels he dried, and BBq sauce. He then smoked them for several hours.



He also did vegetables. They were also delicious. 



Ed made ribs our last night there. The potato salad is from the fresh dug potatoes we took along. 



We only had rain one day. What a place to enjoy it, their balcony off the upstairs bedroom over looking the pond. PEACEFUL. . . . 

As was our entire week. 

Thank you Hank and Bonita for the food, drinks, fellowships and friendships.




Monday, June 17, 2019

Mid-America Arts Alliance event!!!

M-AAA presented the Missouri Folk arts Program Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and the Blacksmiths Association of Missouri on First Friday in Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District. Thanks to Lisa Higgins, director of  of the Missouri Folks Art Program  for getting Bernard, Alex and Mike McLaughlin in this gig!!!



Thanks to Kelly Clark, Curatorial Assistant at M-AAA he took my blacksmith anvil quilt and created the background for these awesome posters.

Bernard, grandson Alex and Mike McLaughlin all members of BAM were so impressed by the displays!

Kelly shows the guys around.


Alex's smile tells it all!


Grandpa's smile is good too!


All three men demonstrated across the street from the gallery from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, showing their techniques and some of their wares.




Lisa and I walked the area to see the other vendors, food trucks, music and sights and ran into BAM member Bill George. He didn't know we were there. This is him surprising Bernie!


This art work, which included a big table full of items, were mainly made from silverware. It was the most beautiful things!


These guys were creating graffiti which the smell almost overwhelmed you!

It was an exciting event in the art district for us for sure!! 

Thank you Kelly and Lisa for making it work.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Jefferson City Tornado May 22, 2019





On May 22 appropriately 11 PM an EF1 tornado hit Eldon, Missouri, a community of about 4,600 people. It then traveled down Highway 54 into the community of Brazito. There an entire mobile home court was demolished, as well as a church and many homes. 

. . .  it continued into Jefferson City . 



First ripping apart the Braun's automotive business. Their storage units also took a direct hit. It looked as if bombs went off there. 

Doug Schrimpf, a contractor dealing with his loss at the storage site. 


By 11:43 when it hit the outskirts of Jefferson City it was classed and EF3 with winds up to 160 miles per hour. 


Riley Automotive


Riley automotive

Riley automotive


Riley automotive vehicles were tossed like Matchbox cars.


Riley automotive. . . . A family owned business that has been in the Capitol City since 1936.  It had an inventory of 800 autos. Approximately 95% of the vehicles sustained damage.



The downtown historical section was hit hard. Beautiful big, old homes were shattered. Look at the debris piled in the street.



Down the street, the old Missouri State Prison walls even went tumbling down.


The Lincoln University president's house. It was built in 1916, bought by the university in 1965. A city landmark. It is not uninhabitable.



Miraculously no one was killed !!!  32 storm related injuries.



As if the tornado wasn't enough, Jefferson City is still dealing with flooding of the Missouri River. This is the Capitol City Memorial airport.

It will be a long time for our beautiful city to recover.




Sunday, May 26, 2019

Road trip . . . to Georgia

We left Jefferson City at 6:30 am on Wednesday. Headed south to DeSoto, Missouri to exchange some blacksmith tools. 

We got back on the road about 10 AM.



At dinner time we pulled off in Manchester, Tennessee. This place looked good.  The parking lot was filling up fast.


This sweet dog was left in the truck. The owner left the back window open, where he was free to come and go. We had a nice one-sided conversation with the sweet fellow.

Prater's BBQ did not disappoint for southern BBQ. It was the sweet tea that sent me over the top.  It was unbelievably sweet, but still delicious.

We drove on to Calhoun, Georgia, where we over nighted in a rest area with a million Semi trucks and one other Casita. I am surprised that we had a good night sleep. The white noise of the trucks lulled us to sleep instantly. We woke at 5:15 and was on the road in a matter of minutes. We wanted to clear Atlanta Georgia traffic before it even formed. 

We found our destination at Country Boy RV park before 8 AM. The office wasn't open. We followed directions on the box, found a lot, set up the Casita and headed to the Lions Club for the Southern Blacksmith Conference. 

All was good until about 12:30 in the afternoon, when the RV park called to ask us to move to a new site. Although it was an inconvenience, it only took a matter of minutes to change. 







The blacksmith spent most of every day watching Steve Parker demonstrate. He's hoping to have him to our place later this year for a trip hammer work shop!



We broke bread for two meals with John Watson and his wife Sally. They had our friends Kirk and Helen staying with them in their camper, same RV park as us. 

John  taught a tin can class making a rose out of 5 lids. He gave me one of his beautiful creation. 



This is my friend Alfred McClure, we are both rejoicing in being cancer free!!!

This picture isn't the true story, but here's how it went. During set up of the portable potties they were all set in one place. The association decided to move them around. Alfred went to lift a port a potty, got it off the ground, when a hand sprung out the door waving!!!!

Believe me, I teased him the whole conference about it.  

He was a good sport!





I took the BAM boutique merchandise and sold $300!  My blacksmith also sold lots of his hand made tongs. 



The lady with a booth next to mine came to visit. She found out I was a quilter, told me to hold on just a minute. She came back with this sweet brooch. 



On Friday afternoon I took a gourd class with my friend Pattie Bagley. Believe it or not this took 4 hours to make. It was the first time I had ever heard of alcohol paints. 



On Saturday we left before noon for home. Not sure if we'd drive the full trip. It is after all about an eleven hour drive without stops.


That is until this happened!  Interstate 24, 6 lanes wide!  BAM! Blowout. 



We made a good team, 18 minutes we were back on the road. 

As we were headed to Missouri, reports of bad weather at home were developing. The closer we got, the more we were determined to go all the way to Jefferson City. Luckily the storms were over and we missed them all.


We pulled in at 1:20 AM, so much for an 11 hour trip.