Monday, September 21, 2009

The Joy Continues…

Just before the end of Madison's visit, another great joy came our way. My twin sister's daughter, Crystal, whose husband is in the US Air Force and was stationed in Washington state, about as far as you can get from South Carolina, was reassigned to Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. Crystal and her husband, Cassie and their two children, Choe and Cayla are now only an hour away! I don't know who was happier, Maddie to have her cousins nearby, my twin sister, who now has her only grand babies only 5 hours away or me!

Of course I planned a family gathering as soon as they arrived and then we went to one of Maddie's favorite places in Columbia…Edventure, the children's museum. Lucky for us, the butterfly exhibit was still there so we started our visit by chasing butterflies.

(Click to enlarge). Chloe (l) and Maddie (r) pause to pose.

(Click to enlarge). Chloe, Maddie and Cayla perform in the music room.

(Click to enlarge). Chloe and Maddie climb atop a camel.

(Click to enlarge). Baby Cayla looks on in disbelief.

(Click to enlarge). Maddie and Chloe enjoy a day at the grocery store.

(Click to enlarge). The girls discover a closet of bones.

(Click to enlarge). One last shot in front of Big Eddie!

Although Maddie had to return home to prepare for the school year, now that the Chloe and Kayla are nearby, we've already enjoyed a trip to the bookstore together with mom and dad.

(Click to enlarge). Dad enjoys the train set with Cayla.

(Click to enlarge). Kayla offers me her toy train.

(Click to enlarge). Chloe stops just a second to look up.

A Family Portrait

During the time that my niece Madison was with us this summer, I suggested she paint some family portraits. During our trip to Michael's to buy some art supplies she announced, "I was born to create art!" as we walked down the long, crowded aisles. At that very moment I was reminded why I love this little girl so much. It seemed destined that she and I would have such a close relationship since her mother was the flower girl at our wedding.

After she finished her family portrait series, I took a few shots when she left them out on the kitchen counter to dry.

(Click to enlarge). Her mother, Lenora.

(Click to enlarge). Her father, Jamie.

(Click to enlarge). Her grandmother and my sister, Rhonda.

(Click to enlarge). Her grandfather, Jacob.

(Click to enlarge). Not sure which family member this is!

(Click to enlarge). Her uncle, Joe.

(Click to enlarge). Her uncle, David.

(Click to enlarge). And of course, me! (and in my favorite color).

Three Weeks of JOY!

It often takes the joy of a child to remind us what's really important in our lives. This summer our 8 year old niece, Madison, spent 3 weeks with us. We spent a day on the beach at Hunting Island State Park, one of my favorite beaches in South Carolina, during our weeklong vacation at Fripp Island. We arrived just before sunrise and enjoyed our own private beach!

Maddie loves the ocean as much as I do and was especially drawn to the palmetto trees and tree stumps she discovered as she did handstands along the ocean front.

(Click to enlarge). Madison does handstands in the surf.

(Click to enlarge). Madison discovers more than sea shells on the beach.

(Click to enlarge). Madison kicks off her flip flops and kicks up her feet with joy!

(Click to enlarge). Madison hugs a tree.

(Click to enlarge). Madison takes a break atop a palmetto tree.

(Click to enlarge). Madison sits among the loggerhead turtle nesting sites.

(Click to enlarge). Madison discovers the lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Coming October 2- October 30, 2009

Stretch:Type by Doni Jordan and Janette Grassi will be exhibited at the University of South Carolina Upstate in the Curtis R. Harley Art Gallery from October 2 - October 30, 2009.

A Day with Ellen Kochansky

Spend a day with an artist in their studio and you'll get a glimpse of their body of work. Spend a day in their home and you'll get a glimpse of their soul. Such was the case when friend Kay Reardon and I traveled to Pickens, SC to visit the studio and home of Ellen Kochansky and her husband Jamie Davis in the foothills of South Carolina. Kay and I were in awe of the natural beauty that surrounded their art compound but were also awed by the artful way they live their lives.

(click to enlarge) Lunch at Ellen's

(click to enlarge) Lunch at Ellen's

(click to enlarge) Work in progress in Ellen's studio

(click to enlarge) Work in progress in Ellen's studio

(click to enlarge) Work in progress in Ellen's studio

Kay and I went to Ellen's studio to assist her with an art project that she's been commissioned to do for a hospital in Charleston, SC.

(click to enlarge) Ellen and Kay at work

Yesterday I received a thank you gift from Ellen for helping with the project. It is a beautiful fold out book that includes a collection of heart images that she created. The inscription reads, "doni…endless thanks for your help, support and inspiration. love, ellen. Ellen, thanks for the "hearts," I know you are sending healing hearts for my ailing one!