Category Archives: USA

Merry Christmas!

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Drusy Cobaltocalcite Necklace

Amazing Pink!

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/216136930/pink-drusy-cobaltocalcite-stone-sterling?ref=shop_home_active_4

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Azurite and Aquamarine Necklace

One of the most interesting stones I have ever made into a necklace. It is like a miniature landscape of a mountain and a valley.

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/216137416/azurite-specimen-stone-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-2DSC_0072

Velvet Malachite…

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Link:https://www.etsy.com/listing/216142103/azurite-malachite-drusy-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_2

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Last minute shopping on the go… Good friend and customer wanted a gift so I brought the store to him on the tailgate of our truck in the parking lot of the mall. Honestly, I have done this a lot. I live in ‘Nowheresville’ so I have often brought the store to the customer especially this time of year. I gift wrapped it and everything for him. No different the mall, right? Talk about low overhead. (Well, I guess pickup trucks are not the cheap these days.)

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Cookie Fest 2014

Every year we decorate cookies with the Aunties… The guys don’t really decorate much they just eat and goof off. Notice the ‘mice’ they were really easy and fun to make. Chocolate covered cherry with the stem as the the tail, white striped Herseys kiss face, almond slice ears, on an oreo cookie. If you google Chocolate Cherry Mice the recipe comes right up…. very simple. I am not really a fan of dessert, lucky thing, I would rather eat a steak or drink a cold beer than waste the calorie on a cookie.

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Clay Mathews Christmas Cookie made by Gabrielle ~ for all of you Green Bay Packers Fans ~ The frosting on this one will put anyone over the edge… Blood sugar 1500….

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My son Wyatt having a good time with some goofy antlers of his Aunts on his head.

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This is Aunt Jenny and Aunt Margo, cousin Gabrielle, the awesome neighbor kid Autumn and Savannah my daughter making, making, making….cookies and a mess.

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This is the only way my husband lets his picture be taken. This is an exact replica of my husband Bill. (Ok, he doesn’t wear shirts like that… his shirts are mostly black and have a Harley Davidson something on them ~ and we forgot the boots.)

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C-Fest 2014 (cookie fest) painted on the snowbank while the guys play football, dog plays too. After the cookies are made we head to the Rockin K Ranch in Greenleaf, Wisconsin. This ranch gives sleigh rides (or wagon rides if there is not enough snow) and drops you off in the woods at a bonfire ~every family has their own bonfire in the woods, privately. They pick you up whenever you say so ~ hour or two. We bring popcorn, hot chocolate and some family trivia the kids make up. It’s really fun and a nice way to spend the evening together being festive and getting in the spirit. The Rockin K Ranch does it right. Thanks for another fun night at your farm. If you have little kids or a company party it’s a really fun time doing something simple and little old fashion.

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Terrible pic… sorry it’s all I have…

off we go out to the woods on our horse ride… That is my brother in law standing next to me with his thumb up.

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope you have a peaceful Christmas with friends and family and are happily looking forward to 2015.

Finalized piece from my last post…  The trillion cut stones I could have never set without Gerry Lewy’s stone setting class. Thanks Gerry. I am sure Gerry, sitting up in Toronto Canada, has no idea I use his teachings almost daily. He will be teaching at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek Door Co. next summer. If you can possibly take the class ~ take it… It’s amazing. Now I need to learn bright setting and engraving from him. If only I could live longer. http://www.peninsulaschoolofart.com

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18K Gold, Sterling, Vista Jasper, London Blue Topaz, Tourmaline….

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/215635351/18k-gold-sterling-silver-stone-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_3

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Stars Aligning…

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I think the stars are aligning for me to finally get this TIG welder. It has taken since spring… I will be traveling to Chicago mid-November to spend a day with Richard Sep learning how to use it. I’m excited to say the least and I have a pile of experimental stuff here to take with me. It’s like buying car for my business so it’s a big investment. I will keep you posted on this adventure. It is really going to be amazing to see metal being joined near and around precious stones with the stones in place…and no heat… The heat is so powerful, intense and localized you can hold the metal with your fingertips while you work ~ I kinda can’t believe it.

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On a business note ~ Thank You ETSY!!!!!!!!!!!!! ETSY came out with a card reader. Why do I care? Why is it any different than using Square? or any other card reader? Well, it’s the same transaction fee (ETSY does not charge their 3% sales fee when you sell in person but a credit card transaction fee is charged of 2.75%, just like everyone else) and every time I sell something in person it is listed in my sold part of my shop and the person can leave feedback, see their receipt, and new shoppers can look up my sold items and see all the things I have sold at art shows that did not before get to be viewed on ETSY. It’s great. I can truly have my ‘Shop’ open to the public face to face and to the internet consumer. Another plus…. all the transactions automatically load into the accounting software that links to ETSY. This software is called OUTRIGHT.com. I highly recommend it. All of your fees, sales, shipping automatically loads and is perfectly kept track off via ETSY or Paypal. In the past when I sold face to face at an art show I had to enter all of that manually into OUTRIGHT.com when I got home. Well, not anymore…tons of tedious data entry done in real time with each transaction. Thank You again ETSY. This has greatly improve the way I work with just a simple thing.

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I have to make a sterling butterfly… I’ve been working on it for a few weeks. I am still not happy with what I have. I am trying to blend these three pics into one interesting bug, hmmmm….. I will keep trying.

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I made this Ocean Jasper about a week ago. Since I made this necklace I have been working on about a dozen or so custom orders. They always all come in at the same time which is Murphy’s Law. I am sure after Christmas I will be sitting here with nothing to do but shovel snow and stoke the fire so I will make hay while the sun is shining.

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Look of strange bewilderment which is what my husband looks like every single time he gets his picture taken. He hates his picture being taken. He usually has his finger in the up position.

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My husband would die if he knew I was putting these pics in here. Well, why am I doing it then? Cuz he’s the best! I have to give him some credit where credit is due. He is cutting a door in this concrete tank that is on our land to make fort for our kids. When your kids ‘fort’ takes a saw like this one in the photo and the use of a backhoe you really have to wonder what will happen next???? Never a dull moment. (My daughter took these pics. Thanks kiddo.)


Last Show…

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Had my last outdoor show in Door Co. over the weekend. It was at Fineline Design Gallery in Ephraim: Townline Art Fair with 40 plus years running now… It’s a beautiful show with about 75-100 artists. This weekend in Door Co. is the busiest of the year with tourism, fall colors at full peak. I went to the show with my daughter and Kate and two other artists: Tammy Rae Wolter and Lissa Flemming. We had a great time. It made the weekend easier as well with tent help, snoring, and Kate our coffee runner….and don’t forget marketing eagle eye. Glad to be done with outdoor shows. It was 32 degrees each morning when we arrived and all of us had on boots, coats and gloves. Tammy even brought a propane heater for her tent. It was pretty sweet. Earrings Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207157754/calla-lily-earrings-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-3

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Just randomly tossing pics up of things I made for the show. These earrings I made for a good customer. She actually wants a necklace but I wanted to start small and see if she liked these first before we dive into a huge calla lily necklace.  Earrings Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207171871/calla-lily-pearl-earrings-sterling?ref=shop_home_active_3

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This labradorite necklace has one of the prettiest labradorites in it I have ever owned. Wow, full stone color flash! I still have it and just posted it on Etsy if you love it! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207152182/labradorite-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_9

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Labradorite with more green color flash ~ Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207164817/labradorite-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_10

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Agate and Garnet Necklace ~ One of a Kind~ Simple Beauty

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207165817/hills-agate-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_8

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Crazy Lace Agate Riveted Necklace ~ https://www.etsy.com/listing/207167073/crazy-lace-agate-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_7

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Huge Crazy Lace Agate Necklace : https://www.etsy.com/listing/207165106/crazy-lace-agate-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_1

This crazy lace agate is a amazing and my pics of it are terrible. It’s grey not orange/green and it’s huge. I will see if I can take some better pics outside and on a person.

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Rhodolite Garnet Ring with 18K gold accents

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207155212/rhodolite-garnet-sterling-silver-18k?ref=shop_home_active_7

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Textured Hammered Sterling Band

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207155612/garnet-sterling-silver-ring-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_6

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Pierced Garnet Ring

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207155612/garnet-sterling-silver-ring-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_6

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Here we all are on our way out of town. We stopped at my favorite Mexican Restaurant, ‘Hot Tamales’ in Sturgeon Bay. My daughter is taking the pic. Left to right; Lissa, Me, Tammy and Kate.

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This is Friday evening when we just arrived and were setting up. Thanks Door Co. for another great summer, not just for jewelry but for fun, scenery, parks, water, beaches, sunsets, woods and trails. It is a special place.

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Happy Halloween… I make one of these every October. It sold to a tiny little petite lady with two super cute little kids… go figure… she loved it ~ you just never know?

Next show Nov. 30th 9-3pm RedBird Holly Craft Faire in East Depere High School. Inside ~ nice and warm.


Happy Summer….

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Happy Summer Everyone… It’s coming to an end here in Wisconsin and I can’t even say it was hot yet. Photo above is in Wyoming ~ last summers road trip. Doesn’t it look wonderful. It’s almost fake looking and the photo is completely unedited.

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This is a customer’s painting. They have asked me to make a pendant from this drawing. Hee Hee Funtimes!!!!!!!! I will keep you posted on the progress as the design for it is ready to go and has customer approval. It should be really fun to make. Heart falling from the wave is going to be a garnet gemstone. Painting is titled: Tsunami Love

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And this is what you do when you are 13 after football practice…. Do you remember?????? I can barely remember summertime when I was 12 and 13 years old…. no job yet, great friends, old enough to be left to some of your own resources, no worries. My best friends were Amy and Shannon. We had a few summers that the three of us were inseparable. Great times, truly.

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A stormy Labor Day weekend… this is the Bay of Green Bay almost to the tip of Door Co. (which is the top of the thumb of the mitten in Wisconsin.) It’s beautiful year around and I really find myself fortunate to live so close I can enjoy it anytime I want to. This was on a hike in Peninsula State Park.

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My daughter…same hike… she’s looking more and more like me everyday. What a great kid.

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Labor Day Cookout: These pies are made by one of my sister in laws, Aunt Diane. They tasted even better…. really, awesome. I couldn’t bake to save my life. She brings pie at a moments notice. I don’t know how she does it? It would take me the entire weekend to make a pie.

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This is a terrible picture but these are two little gemstones that I had cut for me for a custom order. Thanks to Jewelry Point in New York… they had these to me in a few days. They are 5mm stones: Amethyst and Aquamarine… they are checker board faceted on both sides. I will set these in a setting that just holds them around the middle in 14k gold. They are for a ‘mother’s necklace’ so a few links will separate them and then a 14k gold chain, 16 inches for the rest of the necklace. Julie, the mom, can add more stones in the future if she has more children and from the sounds of it that could be a good possibility.

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Thanks for the great summer Wisconsin. We are heading into my favorite time of year… Fall. Sweaters ~ blue jeans ~ boots ~ warm sunsets ~ cool nights ~ enjoying the harvest ~  leaves changing ~ calm before the storm ~ winter can’t be as bad as last year, not possible, right?

(I will take a picture of the above trees when they are in full fall color, gorgeous… )


Artstreet Location….

ArtStreet… I will be in the same spot as last year… #143. I love it when they do that because I am easy to find. I am on the corner of Adams and Cherry right at the Art Raffle Tent. See ArtStreet Event link: http://www.mosaicartsinc.org/artstreet/index.php

Artstreet Artist Map 2014

I am cross eyed already from making, making, making but it will all be worth it after the weekend is over (unless it rains like crazy…) I am looking forward to seeing good friends, neighbors, other artists. Katie is helping me pull everything together today and we will probably call it an early day as if you make things in a rush it just does not work out.

Classes at Peninsula School of Art are a go! So I will be teaching “How To Launch An Etsy Shop” and “Telling A Story In Stone’ which is a traditional metalsmithing class. They are both the week of Sept 15th Monday-Friday. If you can go — go! Taking a workshop is always inspiring. Let me know if you need class info or check with PeninsulaSchoolofArt.org.

Earlier this week my family and I traveled to my Dads home in Florida where his wife Terry still lives. (My Dad passed away this spring.) She is moving soon and we went to help her pack and just visit before she moves. It was good to see her and my Dad’s Chocolate Lab, Hank… He eats everything he shouldn’t — like, shoes, toilet paper, boxes, belts, phones… He is only one year old so he is then energizer bunny and weighs 100 lbs. His tail is his smile and could almost knock you down-great to see them both. During our time there we went to Blue Springs State Park in Deland Florida. We had been there before and you can swim/snorkle in a natural spring that flows out into the ocean. It is a manatee refuge. It is like snorkeling in an aquarium. We were told that we would not see any manatees because it’s the wrong time of year. The last time we went we swam with a family of manatees and it was surreal to swim with adults and their babies in the wild.

Well…. my daughter and I were just snorkeling along and a huge shadow cruised beneath us! It was a single manatee and he/she was just gorgeous and huge… about the size of a cow. We slowly swam with he or she for several minutes and even carassed him – he feels like a prickly leather couch–like a wild boar with course hair, tough exterior… Great experience again to be completely in the wild and have a chance encounter with an endangered species – or protected species, not sure which. I chuckled at all the little kids getting on the airplane with their Micky Mouse hats from Disney World… I bet they did not have the amazing time we had — for almost free.

Below picture is 10 feet deep water: half fresh water and half salt… crystal clear to the bottom.

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People in floats, swimming and snorkeling the spring down to the mouth. My son sat on the bottom and saw a 6 foot Gar fish swim over him.

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We also visited the tallest light house in Florida built in late 1800’s. Great history behind this light house still in use, on the end of the strip in Daytona Beach Florida which is called Ponce Inlet. 1.5 million bricks, 8 feet thick walls at the bottom, 208 steps that men carried up gallons of kerosene by hand daily… has with stood a few hurricanes… The light in the lighthouse is now computerized and has an electric light but it use to be a kerosene lamp with a wick (imagine the wick-huge???) with a zillion magnifying lens surrounding it make the light bigger and brighter… That lamp is shown in the second photo. It was huge, made from brass and massive amounts of one inch or more  thick pieces of glass — I’m a museum junky — neat stuff. (I am such a geek, sorry about that.) Three men and their families maned the light house 24/7 for years on end. It took constant maintenance and care.

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This is the lens/lamp — it’s about 2 stories tall.

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Could not walk far enough out into the ocean to get a picture of the entire lighthouse – ocean is behind me and in front of me too  🙂

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New necklaces just finished today…. Both with hand made chains…both agates,  my favorites… The last necklace with amethysts as accents.

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If you are interested in either one of these necklace please send me an email at joykruse@yahoo.com

I won’t have time to post them online before the show starts tomorrow at 4pm. I hope to see you there and hope it doesn’t rain a lot this weekend. Heck of a way to make a living in the rain, outside, with beautiful hand made things… amen to all artists out there doing outdoor shows. It’s an adventure every time. See you soon. Maybe tomorrow? and wish me luck.

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Big Thank You…Game Changer!

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I have been waiting to post this for a while because I wanted it to be closer to the time that I went to take the class but….. class is canceled.

What am I talking about? Earlier this year I repair a sterling silver antique brooch. It was pave set with pearls and a very beautiful, old, piece of jewelry. The woman did not have a lot of money for the repair and I made the brooch into a necklace. I was sad about this because it should have/could have been restored to it’s original state. So, I started reading about the new Micro TIG Welders that have recently advanced to have precision settings to repair things like this antique brooch… with all the stones intact. In the past theses tiny welders did not preform well with sterling silver and large laser welders are $15,000 and up… usually $25,000, ouch! Not realistic for a jewelry shop but these new smaller welders are $3500-$7000 – expensive but more realistic. You can repair prongs right over the stone, even an opal or emerald. You fabricate with the stone in place… this is just unbelievable (for me.)

I got to thinking about this antique pearl brooch…what a beauty and what a shame…. I want to be able to fix things like this. I want other people to be able use this technology  as well in their art as you can weld almost any dissimilar metals together… costume jewelry, aluminium, brass, pewter, steel, stainless steel…. whatever… There is such localized heat you can hold the objects in your fingertips while you do it. One jeweler I spoke with was welding near paper and welding jump rings together around plastic!

Sooooo…. I wrote up a grant proposal to my local Art group: ArtBeet. ArtBeet is for the development of Kewaunee County Artists. They have helped all kinds of artists in my county with all kinds of things, like travel to a class, etc…. Next I saw a class offered by SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) for these welders. I thought, ‘Well if I can get some help…maybe????’

ARTBEET THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! Artbeet approved my grant proposal. They are amazing. It’s going to cover about 1/3 of my costs and I just can not believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In my proposal I have to share with others how to use the machine. Peninsula School of Art is on board for that for next summer already.

I was not going to purchase a machine until I took the class offered by SNAG. The class is canceled. There are two machines: Orion and PUK4. They are both for jewelers and both neck and neck in price. Without the class I have a decision to make.

Hmmm…..

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I have spoken with both companies and jewelers who own one or the other…. I still have no solid ground to stand on to make a choice but I am not going to wait much longer…..

Thank you ArtBeet. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to tackle this without your faith and support. I can’t wait to get started! If you would like a professional view of this technology at work please visit this website: http://www.silversmithing.com/puk.htm


Attention Deficit Summer

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Attention Deficit Summer…

It’s been really crazy busy: kids have lives now that they are getting older yet they can’t drive so drive, drive, drive around. My son Wyatt has his first job, sports and has been to two different camps hours away. The calendar looks like a truckers log book.

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Above piece is an Aqua Nueva Agate and Amethyst Necklace. The agate stone swings from curled sterling above it. It sits beautifully on the neck. I regret to say that it is sold. It did not last long online and I will miss this beauty.

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THE SHACK! This is my father-in-laws SHACK….. Everyone calls it ‘THE SHACK’ and for obvious reasons. It is a shack. It has electricity but no running water. It is in northern Wisconsin and we go up here every year and goof off. The guys go fishing (sometimes Savannah and I fish but the boat is getting too small for all of us to fit in) and Savannah and I bum around at the beach or wherever.

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This is the nicer building of the two… yes, it’s the outhouse 🙂 The Danger Keep Out sign is priceless on the outhouse.

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LeLand Blue stone and a piece of Iron I found while taking a walk on my own land… This piece is also already sold. I loved making it, love that a part of my land is incorporated into the piece…  and the patinas turned out just perfectly.

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This is the Jeep that picks ya up after you’re done rafting at Kosir’s Rapids Resort. My husband has been coming to this place his entire life with all of his brothers and sisters, especially as children. ‘THE SHACK’ is right down the road and if you’re a sissy and you HAVE to take a shower you can take a shower here…bring your quarters though.. it costs a few dollars to get the soap outta your hair.

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This is after the rapids and if you’re little (say 5 years old) or just want a tan you can tube down this lazy part of the river and Kosirs will pick you up at the boat landing an hour away.

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My most popular item… a simple, rustic handmade cross with a custom tag… I love to make them and I hope all the people that have one are still loving theirs for years and years. This one is heading out to Albuquerque New Mexico today.

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Landing 11 on the Peshtigo River Flowage (this is by THE SHACK)

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Our third year sponsoring a team… and being a coach. It’s been so fun, again, there is nothing like heading out to practice at 530 at night and you’re kinda tired or ready to let the day come to a close and a bunch of smiling, silly, fun kids all under the age of 12 run around you in circles with boundless energy. It’s great. They are great, really, really, great bunch of kids: all of them. If you ever get the opportunity to do something like this go for it. You don’t have to coach just be a sponsor and go to a few games and hang the team photo in your shop/business/office/building… it’s a great motivator and a very positive thing for your community. The kids just light up over popsicles, Gatorade and maybe even a game that gets won.

I hope you are all having a busy, fun summer… It’s going by way to fast. Art show this Sunday 10-4 Art In Park in Appleton… I am usually on the corner of two streets on an end so see you there. It is fun for all ages like a festival. Berstrom Mahler show was last Sunday and it was the first time I have done that show when it wasn’t 100 degrees. It was a nice turnout so thanks everyone.

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My daughter making lipgloss… messy but fun. We made a coffee lipgloss and it was terrible – we threw it out. Other flavors that are good: Orange Crush, BubbLipcious, Watermelon Crush, Lush Lemon, Coconutty, Raspberry Rush, & Chocolate Kiss

All natural with Bees Wax and Coconut Oil: if you have a young daughter or granddaughter give it a try! Look it up on YouTube or Pinterest ~ funtimes. See you all soon I hope!


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