“To be aware that you are still alive, that you are walking on
this beautiful planet—that is a form of enlightenment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
You know how I love to sneak up on David and Rebecca Campbell when they’re at a festival, right? KY Crafted was no different, except it took Rebecca an unusually long time to see me. It took her so long that Annie went to the opposite side of the booth and made faces at her… and she still didn’t notice. I was beginning to think she’d been replaced by an actress or a droid. But, as evidenced in the last image, she did finally come around albeit reluctantly. She later called us “devils,” as in sneaky devils. I took it as a compliment. I’ll tell you this for sure, Dave and Rebecca are just about the sweetest, smartest, most gifted people I know. I look at Dave sometimes and wonder how I got so lucky to know him as a little boy and now call him friend as an adult. I don’t care how I got lucky so long as I did because I wouldn’t trade these two for nothing.
“Don’t let the stuff of life obscure the radiant light that shines from within you.” ~ Terry A. Gordon
Rebecca Campbell is one of the most gifted artists I know. She makes exquisite dolls and assorted figures in a really unique, soft, inviting style. Over the years, you’ve seen me stalk her husband, David, with my camera, but he was ill during the Sorghum Festival. That meant poor Becs caught the lens. She said, “I thought it was some hunched over old woman sneaking up on me.” “It was!” I replied. Thanks for playing, Rebecca. You’re always a joy to run into.
“Think positive and positive things will happen.” ~ Unknown
It was finally time for Ky Crafted: The Market. It was a totally rotten weather day; perfect to be inside soaking up lots of good art. I met Annie Bassoni, fellow art soaker upper, and off we went. We were on the lookout for a few people, and sure enough, we found them. Our first victim, I mean, friend encounter was the ever beautiful Deb Chenault. As usual, she shied away from my camera. Annie somehow thought that this silly symbol would stop me. pfffftttt We continued our meandering ways when we spotted Rebecca Campbell, sending Annie into recon mode looking for David so I could spring the paparazzi on him. It was not a successful mission for David saw us first. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all. It does my heart good to visit with my people however short the time. And visiting among art? As good a day as it gets in my book.
“Our reaction to a situation literally has the power to change the situation itself.” ~ Unknown
I had the opportunity to go to KY Crafted: The Market. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I met Annie Bassoni at the venue and off we went a-lookin’ at glorious art. For three hours we went a-lookin’, and along the way we ran into lots of friends, old and new. David Campbell (above) finally found a way to elude my lens, although it took hiding behind the black curtain to do it. I love David and Rebecca so much. This was her first year at The Market and she won KAC’s Accessibility Award. David also pointed out something really special about this year’s event. “There are three artists here from Morgan County. You’re in the exhibit, Dean Hill is down the other aisle, and here we are. I texted Pam (Oldfield Meade) and told her next year she has to be involved so Morgan County can just take over the whole thing!” Speaking of Dean Hill, he took home a purchase award from the Chamber of Commerce. Rebecca and Dean, way to represent Morgan County! I’m awfully proud to be among such gifted artists from Morgan County, and the Commonwealth overall. There’s just so much good in this state that I have to pinch myself sometimes to remember that I’m here, too, and I’m part of it. Pictured below are just some of the wonderful people I saw today: 1. Judy Sackett and Nancy Lewis 2. Deb Chenault and Annie Bassoni 3. Rebecca Miller Campbell and her beautiful creations.
“Be an example. Show kindness to unkind people. Forgive people who don’t deserve it.
Love unconditionally. Your actions always reflect who you are.”
One of the things I’m proudest of in this life is being from Morgan County Kentucky. One of the reasons that makes me so proud is because of these sweet people right here: David and Rebecca Campbell, Jenny Bell, Jodi Stacy, Lori Campbell, and Jim Bob and Pam Meade. They all drove nearly two hours to see my exhibit.I can’t tell you how that touched me. Each of them hold a special place in my heart.
“The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
~ James Allen
I had a guest register available at the reception. I didn’t realize I’d forgotten it until I went to bed Friday night. I attended All Saints Day service this morning and picked it up afterward. Sixty people attended Friday’s reception. Sixty people took time out of their lives to come see my work. Some I’d never met before Friday. Some sneaked in and out without my seeing them though they were kind enough to leave their signature. Some drove nearly two hours to be there. Some took off work. Some were recovering from major surgery. Some couldn’t stay long, and others stayed the whole time. Someone pointed out how many segments of my life were assembled in that room: family, close friends, old friends, new friends, co-workers, writers, actors, artists, musicians, librarians, bankers, software developers, railroad men, professors, social workers, therapists, pathologists, nutritionists, the list goes on. They’re not all represented in this collage, but I couldn’t think of a better way to have a group hug in the outhouse. Sixty people. I may be speechless for a week I’m so overcome with gratitude.
“Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don’t wait.
Because right now is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”
I don’t think David and Rebecca Campbell were expecting to see me today at the Kentucky Art Guild fair at Berea’s Indian Fort Theater. Bec spotted Stacy Yelton, blowing my sneak attack. Drop back and punt: take a real photo of the power couple. They let me! They are just the sweetest people ever, and Rebecca paid my work a compliment of the highest order, making my day. Have I mentioned that they are the sweetest people ever?
“You never know who hides a hero within a very fallible shell.” ~ Stacy Yelton
One of my favorite things is attending the Berea Art Fair every July in Berea at Indian Fort. My friend Rebecca Campbell always has a booth at the fair and her husband, David, always helps her. Over the last few years there’s a little game we’ve come to play where I try to photograph them without their knowing. This is, of course, a little hard to do since I don’t have a long lens. I have to be pretty close, and that makes the surprise hard. Plus, they’re hip to my game, so they’re on the lookout. I still do okay, but this year I actually caught them during a lull in action and was able to get a really good picture of them together. I’ve known David since he was just a little boy when I played ball with his mom. That feels like a lifetime ago. He grew into such a good man that I love and respect. He married just right, too. Rebecca is just as warm and kind. They’re good people and I’m honored they call me friend.
“Remember that your natural state is joy.” ~ Wayne Dyer
I met Annie Bassoni at the Woodland Art Fair today. I had so much fun, and ran into so many people I love. It really did my heart good to hug all their necks. My favorite photo of the day, however, has got to be this little girl asking Bangaly Savané for ice cream. Or maybe she was just staring because he’s a totally beautiful human being inside and out.
I was crossing the street to meet Annie when I very nearly ran into Lori-Lyn Hurley, one of my all-time favorite people ever. She is such a light to the world, and just a joy to be around. She walked with us to Elaine Heis’ booth by the Christian Church where they met for the first time. Annie wanted to take our picture, and well, we had a good time with it (below). I love these women so much even though it’s obvious it’s time for me to drop some weight. I don’t care. I love the pictures anyway. Thank you, Annie, for taking the camera away from me and letting me be with my peeps.
The next people I ran into was Bangaly and Mamadou Savané. They had the brilliant idea of an ice cream booth at the fair. Sav’s Chill serves homemade gourmet ice cream, and what better for a hot summer afternoon than Bourbon Chocolate ice cream from these two sweet men? Not much, except talking to them, too. I’m so proud of them.
And then there was all the other favorite people I saw and hugged (apologizes to Deirdre Scaggs for not having the good sense to whip out the camera to photograph her with the awesome door wreath she’d just bought). I spotted Elaine’s daughter, Crystal, from a ways off. Mr. Boyfriend, aka Ken Trainor, saw me but played along. The surprise shot wasn’t worth posting, but their shot together was cute. And surprise, there stood Marlon Hurst. More hugs, and what a sweet, happy smile he gave me. I was honored to meet his girlfriend, Cathy, too.
There were three exhibitors I intended to see at the fair. The last to be found was David and Rebecca Campbell. We always joke about my stealth photo ways. I manage to catch them unaware, the results of which are not always their best looks. They’ve become pretty attuned to my sneaky ways as a result, but I caught them anyway (above). And I thought I was going to have to resort to a telephoto lens – guess not!
Finally, we found Deb Chenault at her booth, Twelfth House Designs. Like Annie before her, Crystal grabbed my camera and popped a shot of me with my peeps. Annie did not want to be in the picture, as you can plainly see, but she was very quick to show her disapproval of kale. I can’t say I blame her. I can’t acquire a taste for it myself. It was a great day. I loved seeing so many of my favorite people. I’ve included many photos in today’s post because I started my day having coffee over the phone with Angie Bliss Fanning. She wanted to see the festival. I wish she’d been here to go with us, so I hope the photos help bring her a little closer to The Bluegrass for a while.
“A brilliant young poet asked me once, ‘But how am I supposed to keep living with a broken heart?’ I laughed, not meaning to be cruel in any way, but answered, ‘How do any of us do it, son? If our hearts are open, they’re going to be broken. That’s the beauty of it… We cherish what is and go on.'”
~ Mary Carroll-Hackett
Elaine Heis is a glass artist. Here, you may know her better as my friend and Crystal Heis’ mom. Today, for the first time, she bravely showed her wares in a booth across the street from the Woodland Arts Fair. I met up with Annie Bassoni at Elaine’s booth. Unbeknownst to me, the two had never met. They recognized each other from pictures on facebook and here in the outhouse. By the time I showed up they were old friends, as you can see. One of the things I adore about both women is the ease with which they open their hearts. They remind me to stay open, and to ask the universe for goodness so that goodness will find me. There’s nothing but goodness every time I’m with these women, and it warms my heart that they’ve become friends. Goodness draws goodness.
There was more goodness to be had in my day. I ran into Rebecca and David Campbell at their booth at the main fair. And who should be shopping with them but long-time co-worker Tari Keller (bottom right). “Don’t believe a word she tells you,” I whispered to Tari from behind. Then, I snapped a picture of Rebecca and me just to make her laugh. Soon, David appeared with a great big hug, and off we went down the rabbit hole of photo-talk (he’s an awesome photographer). It was a delightful afternoon filled with fellowship, food, music (Louisville’s Bridge 19 was really good), and awesome art, although I was bummed to miss Deb Chenault, but she was too busy with her fans. (Ah, the life of a rock star!) The weather was perfect. The dogs, and babies, and whatever that white rat-looking thing was that one girl had, were all well behaved. I couldn’t have asked for a much better day. If you’re in Lexington tomorrow, go. I promise you’ll enjoy yourself!