Thursday, August 31, 2017


"Take a rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."

Monday, August 28, 2017


Artwork by Stephanie Funke, CZT
Recently I completed these six tangles to give as gifts to my nieces and nephews.  Each contains a first initial with some, for the little tykes, being quite obvious and others, for the teens, a bit more inconspicuous.  Take a closer look and see if you can detect the letter.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


"Just living is not must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."
                                          --Hans Christian Anderson

Monday, August 21, 2017


Artwork by Stephanie Funke, CZT

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."
                                          --Herman Melville

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gardens at The Elms

My recent trip to Newport, RI, included at tour of The Elms mansion that was completed in 1901 for approximately $1.4 million.   Of course, the interior is stunning with a collection of Renaissance ceramics, 18th century French and Venetian paintings as well as Oriental jades.  But, my favorite part of the property was the Classical Revival gardens that were created between 1907 and 1914. Featured are a couple images that show the marble pavilion in the sunken garden; however, throuhgout the gardens are terraces with marble and bronze sculpture, a park with multiple prized species of trees, fountains, and a carriage house.  Have a look.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Inspiring Creativity

Artwork by Stephanie Funke, CZT

"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way."
                                                                                --Edward de Bono

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Breakers

As noted on the website of the Preservation Society of Newport County, "The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer 'cottages' and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America."  Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established the family fortune through his involvement in steamships and later in the New York Central Railroad.  Later the Commodore's grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, became Chairman and President of the NY Central Railroad and was responsible for the creation of this 70-room Italian Renaissance Palazzo style mansion.  Be sure to check out my photos but also learn much more about all the Newport mansions by going to

2 for regular hot and cold while the other 2 were for salt water obtained from the ocean

Monday, August 7, 2017

Newport Flower Show

A few weeks ago my husband and I attended the 22nd annual Newport Flower Show.  Wow!  It was a splendid event and almost difficult to put into words as it is held at the Rosecliff Mansion (of the Gilded Age) with hundreds of vendors, amazingly beautiful horticulture displays / arrangements inside the mansion and out, the rose garden at the Rosecliff (which is home to the American Beauty rose) and the ocean as a backdrop.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend, do it.

The Rosecliff Mansion

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Full of Crop

It's that time of the year when rural Iowa truly is brimming with fields of corn and soybeans.  From border to border in any direction, the Hawkeye State is full of crops, gently rolling hills, trees and waterways along with thousands of farmers hoping that Mother Nature works her magic in their favor.  With scenery such as this, I often recall the lyrics from "The Iowa Corn Song" that say, "We're from I-O-way, I-O-way.  That's where the tall corn grows."