WALL STYLE | Amber Jean

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Five decades…?!!!

Super tough socks gift with a guaranteed lifetime warranty for the birthday girl...

Super tough socks with a guaranteed lifetime warranty for the birthday girl…

When you get carded at the liqueur store buying goodies to celebrate your 50th birthday AND the memorable weekend away brings lots of warm fuzzies and fond memories shared with my husband (who spoils me) his folks (who are family) and friends (the best).  Plus an extra bonus day celebration President’s day when twelve girlfriends soaked with me at the Boiling River while wearing lingerie… (lotsa giggles and goosebumps)

Finding himself…

progress - slow and steady...

progress – slow and steady…

The evening of the day I returned to sculpt the little owl, I went home and promptly got sick.  Perhaps sickness walloped me because I actually bragged out loud the day before that I had managed the events, stress and long flights during the past year without getting sick.  Not even once…

Then BAM.  Crud.  Couched.

Maybe it had something to do with returning to the owl?

Little Prince

Cutest Prince ever...

Cutest Prince ever…

Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan celebrated his first birthday earlier this month.  Of course I included a special critter just for the young prince when I designed the carving for his father the King of Bhutan.  Next month I will return to Bhutan to continue the carving project.

Emotional Return

Thinking of Cliff...

Thinking of Cliff…

Cliff was especially excited about the little owl sculpture I began last year. Returning to the project has been emotional for me but healing too…

Totally infectious Happiness

Singing – much of the time. Lotsa laughing. The Bhutanese carpenters I work with sing and laugh and laugh and sing. Old people, young people – sing. Totally infectious. I love it. So here is some candid footage of the girls who work at the resort I stayed at:

https://www.facebook.com/rob.ryder2/videos/10155485881084829/

 

Winter Wonderland

Levy Denham blanketed in a recent snowfall.

Levy Denham blanketed in a recent snowfall.

A sharp perfect cutout sliver of moon hung above Livingston like a stage prop yesterday evening as I got in my truck.  I had just shared a piece of chocolate cream pie with a girlfriend.  We exchanged advise, support and love for each other as we shared current challenges in our lives and the world we live in.  I feel lucky to be surrounded by so much beauty and strong supportive friends.

Meet Levi Denham

Nice compliment to my studio don't you think?

Nice compliment to my studio don’t you think?

Bought this bugger Thursday morning in 10 minutes over the phone through a trusted friend (I HIGHLY recommend Phil for any auto-buying needs).  Raymond and I left Friday evening for Minneapolis, drove through the night in the old rodeo truck as temps outside dipped more than twenty degrees below zero.  I watched an amazing slow motion North Dakota sunrise – the bold sunbeam squeezed skyward by crisp cold air just before the sun blazingly burped into the sky a moment after this photo was shot:

Sunrise squeezed by super cold air

Sunrise squeezed by super cold air

I very quickly bonded with my “new” rig during the 15 hour ride home. Ford calls the color, “Blue Jeans Metallic.” Levi seemed an appropriate name and “Denham” happened because I know how much Cliff would have liked this truck.  Throughout my twenties, Cliff would tell me to “hurry up and make money Honey so you can adopt a child” – which I alway imagined to be a girl but if it were a boy – I threatened to name the child Levi Denham.

Each of my last two trucks spent nearly a decade with me.  I certainly hadn’t planned on my truck getting totaled (I put $1200 into having the front end rebuilt less than two hours before a lady ran a stop sign and totaled my truck).  I don’t believe Levi spent much of his life being a truck but less than 24 hours after bringing Levi home, the truck began its new life by hauling a large sculpture down our steep mountain across icy interstate roads to the Yellowstone Art Museum for an upcoming show and auction.

Reliquary sculpture headed to museum less than 24 hours after arriving home with my "new" rig

Reliquary sculpture headed to museum less than 24 hours after arriving home with my “new” rig

Levi looks good in front of my studio...

Levi looks good in front of my studio…

Home Sweet Home

Oh my goodness.  We all need to sit down for a long cup of tea or a big glass of wine as I’ve sooooo many stories to share…!

Warm hearts in below zero temps

Warm hearts in below zero temps

I meant to write.  Sooner.  More often.  But lordy life walloped me with complexity at the same time I was whipped with jet lag (much worse jet lag on the return than going over).  Just a quickie list to give you an idea:

Studio furnace gasped, sputtered and quit (over and over) a few days before my return from Bhutan.  I had to gimp it along, restart and restart the poor bugger while keeping a fire in the stove for the following week.  Raymond had to keep blowing our road open for three service visits while we waited for parts during a SUPER cold snap.

Ski time with my tough (frosty) little niece.

Ski time with my tough (frosty) little niece.

No truck.  My truck was totaled just a few days before I left for the fairy tale kingdom of Bhutan.  I’ve owned 3 trucks in the last 30 years.  Insurance companies and shopping…

Solstice in Yellowstone.  What a blessing to be at Old Faithful with my new (OFFICIAL) family for a few days of pure beauty and total delight.  The snow coach delivered us back to civilization a day before Christmas Eve.

The holidays.  Mix of celebration and mourning.  Cliff and mom a big part of my heart and soul.

Lotsa post-holiday life stuff as the sale of my mother’s condo was settled, a new (used) truck purchased, some intense post-dog-attack yuckiness in the formal (formidable) world of attorneys and insurance companies, the delivery of a sculpture to the Yellowstone Art Museum and a total (much needed) revamp of my studio.

More (of course) has transpired in the four weeks since my return.  I am still processing the magic that happened overseas even as I begin plans for my return.

Yaks…!

YakBig yak attack just below Cheli La pass. (gosh I love these cute buggers – there is something kind of bunny-like about them…)

Truck Love

15219987_10154150804119021_9069292752066951772_n“I love the construction trucks” I said to Big Tashi our driver during my first week on the job site in Bhutan. “You should love a man, not a truck” he said.

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