My own studio space!
My very own, very happy place!
Back in 2011 Hurricane Irene blew through our trees and filled my bungalow studio with 18 inches of water.
Just about everything was ruined. I especially mourned the loss of record collection. But my valiant husband waded out and collected up what he could salvage.
The bungalow had to be completely stripped and put back together again with everything from studs to insulation to sheet rock. The only thing we were really able to save was the exterior siding.
It took several years to get it ready for use again and in that time my daughter was married. She and her husband moved into the bungalow and lived there for 5 years. Now they have moved into another house on our land and the bungalow, once again serves as my studio and happy place.
Now, to get it into the creative space I want it to be so that I can teach classes.
So, these are the "before pictures"
Did I mention the new windows? Look at all that light!
Stay tuned for the
I've been contracted to provide a man with a walking stick painted all with Atlantic Puffins! He's going to a family reunion in the Scottish Highlands and he'll be taking my Puffin walking stick with him. How cool is that?
I'm so excited! I'll post the finished product in a week or two.
New Jersey is a place of ups and downs. From Highpoint State Park in Sussex, to about as far south as Philadelphia, PA, there are many ridges and outcroppings of stone, over which underground springs find their way to the surface and tumble down as gravity leads them. Many are in state and county parks.
Get out your hiking stick and maybe a small towel to wipe the dewey dampness away as you hike to these awesome waterfalls, located all over northern New Jersey
Buttermilk Falls, Layton, NJ
Stony Brook Falls, Stokes State Forest, Sussex County
Apshawa Preserve, West Millford, NJ
Ramapo Valley Falls, Mahwah, NJ
Some are up to 5 miles of hiking overall, some are much less.
It appears that there are few in any waterfall hikes in the southern part of NJ.
All those listed above are north of the Edison Bridges.
If you know of any in central or southern New Jeresy, let me know and I'll add them to the list!
So, if you're a New Jersey resident you're within 2-3 hours drive of some special natural wonders. Get out there! Find them! Make a collection!
Need a little drama in your hiking routine?
Well, it's the perfect season!
Fall foliage season is almost upon us and all you need is a trail, a date, and a hiking stick to take in the majesty that is New Jersey in the autumn.
Fall foliage season will begin around October 18 and continue to about Halloween.
Of course, New Jersey has several levels of ecosystem so the mountains in the north west of the state may turn sooner than the shoreline.
Twin Lights Lighthouse, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
With all the rain we had in the beginning of the summer season, the color should be spectacular this fall!
Jenny Jump State Forest, Hope, NJ
Where to hike?
Here's some suggestions from top to bottom of New Jersey;
North West ~ Stokes State Forest, Sandyston, NJ
(there is even a small section of the AT there.)
Allaire State Park, Wall, NJ
Parvin State Park, Pittsgrove, NJ
Don't forget your camera!
If you love a walk in the woods, your children will too!
Show the wonders of nature. If they can toddle they can take in the beauty of the many easy walking paths found throughout Ocean County in New Jersey.
Cattus Island Park, Toms River, NJ
I can remember taking my small ones to Cattus Island State Park, in Toms River, NJ. There are trails there on wooden boardwalks that make it very easy to walk with a small child. These trails meander through wooded glades and end with a broad and glorious view of the marshes along Silver Bay. Here's a link to their trail map:
Jakes Branch County Park in Beachwood, NJ
Jake's Branch County Park, in Beachwood, NJ also has a wonderful visitors center as well with many hands on displays and examples of wildlife found in the area. They have several pleasant walking paths.
Wells Mills County Park, Barnegat, NJ
In Barnegat Township you'll find Wells Mills Park. Your children will learn much about the Pine Barrens of NJ there.
What do Mahatma Gandhi, Catherine the Great and Charlie Chaplin
all have in common?
They all used walking sticks!
Gandhi's was a true necessity. As he progressed into his senior years, his strength waned, especially considering his meager diet.
Famous statue of Gandhi
Charlie Chaplin's was a wonderful prop that he used in all his famous "Little Tramp" films. He certainly wouldn't be Charlie Chaplin without it!
The Little Tramp
Catherine the Great has magnificent, bejeweled walking sticks, just because she could!
Catherine The Great's diamond studded walking sticks
Here's another famous person who used a walking stick….
How many people remember Harry Lauder? He was a music hall entertainer who traveled to America each year back in the early 20th century. He delighted audiences with his authentic Scottish burr and hilariously comic songs.
Harry Lauder entertaining troops during WWI
There is even a bush named after him called the "Harry Lauder Walking Stick.
Harry Lauder and Charlie Chaplin, sharing the stage.
When I first started including hiking sticks into my website I didn't know what I was doing!
I figured I'd go into the wood, find some limbs lying on the ground that were good and dry and set to work stripping them.
Just a couple things I got wrong;
1.Don't take dead dry branches. They are insanely difficult to peel!
2. Don't use limbs of trees.
It's amazing how straight a limb can look until you decide to turn it into a hiking stick!
When you go out looking for a good hiking stick you want to look for green saplings. By green I mean a young straight tree no more than four inches in diameter, no less than three inches in diameter, that's still growing. You want it to be a little larger around than you envision because you will loose girth after you peel it and then a little more as the wood dries. It will also loose a little weight.
I found this video back then on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omyqr--QXXY
The gentleman featured is in England and talks about hazel trees. I have read that hazels grow in a large range throughout the United States and Canada.
Other trees that make great hiking sticks are:
Mine are mainly sweet gum.
After a very confusing and busy year I'm back in the blogosphere again!
For those of you who have visited my blog in the past, I need to let you know that Breakthrough Gallery is no longer in business. It was a very quick decision I made under difficult circumstances but I'm very much in peace about my decision and life is very good!
I will be trying new things, in coming months, to draw more awareness to Leaning on the Promises and hopefully you'll enjoy where this journey leads me next.
Some things that are on my horizon:
I continue to work from an upstairs bedroom set up as a studio until the time that my daughter and son in law no longer need my little house to live in. Hopefully that will be very soon.
In the mean time I continue to gather new customers, all of whom order custom walking sticks that they tell me they tell me they love!
Last year I was approached by a lovely lady named Alexandra Connell. She had seen my walking sticks on Leaning on the Promises. She was developing a website "boutique" for people of kinds on abilities. You can purchase a large range of products from her site, intended to help those with disabilities have smoother and prettier life. (www.pattiandricky.com) I contracted with Alex to provide unique walking sticks for sale on her site.
This summer pattiandricky.com were invited to appear on the Today Show and she brought a couple of my walking sticks with her.
That's Alex on the right.
Those are my walking sticks!
It's an incredible honor and fantastic opportunity that's been afforded me by
Visit her website and see the incredible and fashionable things she has for sale.
A Memory Hiking Stick
Recently I was asked to paint a memory stick for a friend of mine.
Her brother was turning 70 and she and her sister
decided to gift with a hiking stick that incorporated all of his favorite things
At the top is river in Great Smoky mountains in Tennessee.
He loves to fly fish so I painted a jumping a trout in the water.
Next came he and his wife's anniversary date,
the names and birthdates of all of children,
and a favorite piece of scripture.
Under that I painted a combination Norwegian and American flag,
a bluebird and a portrait of his motorcycle,
He loves it and plans to take with him on his next hiking trip to Tennessee.
Judy Goddard creates beautiful walking sticks.