Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TIGER CRUISE, PART III

I was very honored to have been invited aboard the USS Stennis. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I had never been at sea before and even though I was on an enormous vessel, the ocean is vast. We were but a mere speck. As a middle earth dweller, I felt very small and insecure. I ventured to the conning tower a couple times to observe the ocean and watch the large sharks that followed the ship. Don’t fall overboard; you don’t have much chance of rescue.

The day before we pulled into port, I was jolted from slumber by a distant rumble, thwack, and roar. I was a bit freaked, did we hit something, was the boat sinking? About thirty seconds later the same heavy vibration and horrendous noise. Ahh, the catapult was being engaged to send the planes back to base. Our bunks were in the front of the ship so we got the loudest noise of the fling and boom of the jet engine gunning itself skyward. They could not launch from dock because they need several miles of open space. No point in trying to sleep, took a shower, and went to breakfast because Julie was working.

Disconcerting to see the stacks of empty body bags. An unfortunate reminder of the harsh reality of war. People die and there is no safe place. I didn’t feel frightened of attack but was a bit worried about sinking. Julie just said to swim away or I’d be pulled under by the surface tension. It was rather distressing to watch the black stream of sewage and waste trail behind the ship. They brought very little trash back to port. I suppose it would be a logistical nightmare but there must be some method to reduce environmental harm to the ocean from ships. I doubt that the US Navy is the only polluter. With the advent of unpersonned drones, there will be less need for aircraft carriers. These colossal transporters may phase out of existence someday.

We spent five days at sea. Under full power, they could have returned much faster but the decision had been made not to pull in during the weekend or on a holiday, Memorial Day 2002. We weren’t allowed up on the flight deck except for a couple special events due to safety issues. I felt a bit glum because I was deprived of sunlight. I would not of done well if I had a job below deck; no wonder people get depressed while deployed. You become a mole person and time becomes warped. We sailed into port of San Diego, California on a sunny Tuesday morning. My niece and I packed our luggage but only took an overnight bag. We stood topside to watch the crowd and the “first on shore” sailors. It is a great honor to be allowed to leave the ship earliest. We weren’t scheduled to get off for an hour later.

Her husband was waiting and they enthusiastically kissed. Julie warned me about the surfing sidewalk and she was right. All of a sudden it seemed like it was rising up at me. I had to get my “land legs” back. It took a couple hours until my equilibrium returned. We went out to lunch and back to their place. I wanted to stay at a hotel but they insisted that I sleep there. It was a bit awkward since they wanted to be intimate. I felt like a third wheel. We picked up our luggage the next day. I mailed the presents home since the airlines had already implemented a lot of restrictions. A next day I departed from the fabulous San Diego train station to Los Angeles. Hung out with friends for a couple days and flew back to Minnesota. Alas, I haven’t returned to California since that time due to financial restrictions and my niece has moved. I tucked away all my Hawaii and Stennis memorabilia into a box and was able to retrieve it for this article.

My perspective on war is realistic. It usually occurs due to a failure of politicians and diplomats. The military must respond with violence, which is a waste of human effort. There are no winners, only one side who has lost less than the other. An aircraft carrier is an instrument of war. It serves no other purpose besides a rare humanitarian mission. The airplanes are beautiful. The afterburner of a jet is gorgeous, especially the EA-6B Prowler. Lop it off, tip the tail toward the sky, polish the surface, and it would be a nice addition to the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden.

Sailing on the aircraft carrier is definitely one of the most interesting experiences of my life. I would love to go on another cruise but no one in my family is in the Navy right now. As I have stated before, women need to be promoted to full combat duty in all branches of the military. All jobs must be opened, including cavalry, infantry, and special operations. That is the only way that females will reach parity in US society because so much of our civilian structure is based on the military. Period. End of discussion.

Part I was posted on May 24th and Part II posted on May 27th.

Aloha, I want to spend winters in Hawaii!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, May 27, 2012

TIGER TALES, PART II

Please read Part I posted on May 24th, first.

We left Pearl Harbor the next morning. I was able to look over the side of the deck and view the rusting remains of the ships sunk on December 7th, 1941*. It was rather chilling since the USS Stennis had been used to respond to the attacks of 9-11. The deck was hot but wonderful to see the port, city, and island from topside. Aloha, beautiful island. Somehow, the sailors in their dress white uniforms stood at attention for more than an hour as the ship slowly moved out. Many were looking a bit green from drinking too much alcohol at the luau. An aircraft carrier never travels alone. We were accompanied by several vessels and a couple submarines.

My niece was an enlisted seaman so I stayed in her birthing that she shared with more than 20 other women. Spartan, cramped, stainless steel, and industrial florescent lighting. The metal bunks were stacked three tall, about three feet high, three feet wide and seven feet long. Closed on three sides and a curtain on the other, kinda like a coffin with a side opening. Not exactly the Ritz Hotel with a thin foam mattress. She procured clean bed linens and a couple pillows for me. I slept in the bottom bunk just in case I needed to run to the bathroom in an emergency and I’m a bit paranoid about rolling out of bed. I stored my stuff in a good-sized locker and had my own lock. Unfortunately, the sleeping quarters reeked of chemicals, grease, and jet fuel. Due to my allergies I developed a “carrier cough” that persisted for almost a month after I debarked.

Ok, I am a middle of the continent person. I have spent a few hours here and there on little boats and canoes. I once went on a brief jaunt on Lake Superior. I had never been out to sea. I nearly tipped over before I developed “sea legs.” I had to become accustomed to the side-to-side rolling and the front-to-back rocking. The ship was less stable because it had off-loaded a lot of material as it returned to the US. After two days I noticed that the walls were moving but I could not feel it. I wore an anti-nausea patch and never got sick. We ate in the aft galley and it was cafeteria food. Julie did say that the chow was improved due to guests. Companies donated special meals for the passengers so I experienced my first taste of king crab, wowza.

My niece had to work an eight-hour shift daily. The first morning at sea I sat in the aircraft hanger bay with a lot of other people for an orientation. Afterwards, I struck up a conversation with several people wearing tan uniforms. I knew that they were some type of officer so I didn’t get overly personal. They knew my niece and asked if we would like to go on an officer deck tour at 2pm. I said yes but I wasn’t sure about Julie since she would be tired after working. They put us both on the list and I met her for lunch. Julie nearly choked when I mentioned the tour. I’d been talking to some of the top officers, she slammed down extra caffeine, and we went back to the birthing for her to clean up. We strode up seven flights of stairs for the tour. Officers have much nicer quarters and windows. At one point, Julie grabbed my arm and said, “I’ve been on this ship for three years and never allowed on this deck, you are on this ship less than 24 hours and get us a pass.”

I guess the officers liked me because I was invited to the officer’s deck to watch the jets take-off, air maneuvers, and landing demonstration. I was the only enlisted personnel family member allowed access. We wore goggles and earplugs but the sound and vibrations were deafening. I think that I shook for an hour afterwards. Stunning to watch such high-powered vehicles get flung off the ship by the catapult and then land with the aide of the tail-hook and arresting device. The pilots have to be bold and accurate or a catastrophe will be the result. They only have a few milliseconds to latch onto a thin cable on a deck that is rocking and rolling. I would be terrified to land at night. For each plane in the air, there are hundreds of support personnel who keep everything running smoothly. The flight deck personnel have to be fearless as the jets roar past. Military precision is inspiring, though sad that it is used for destructive purposes. Alas, I didn’t get to ride on any aircraft. The F-18, F-14, EA-6, S-3, E-2C, and SH-60s were all impressive flying machines.

I met the knot-tying experts, Deck Department. They had a cool display of the main types of knots that they knew how to create. Handy. Total geeks but important to mariners. All departments are vital for a ship to function at peek efficiency. I greatly enjoyed the demonstration day when many of the departments explained their function. One day I walked into to the bunkroom and found a bunch of guys standing over an open access port. They were “sounding the void” and looking for leaks because the ship had struck something. They let me look down into the bowels of the ship. It was a six or seven story drop to the bottom. Scary but cool. They located a small leak and were able to plug it from inside. It would be fully repaired when we got into port.

Marines and Special Operations teams were on board but they didn’t interact with the visitors. Very imposing, I would just say hi and maybe they would grunt in return. I visited with the Chaplains, quite friendly. My niece converted from Catholic to an alternative faith while on board. I was happy that the Navy permitted non-mainstream religious groups to meet without harassment. I hope that agnostics and atheists get the same opportunity.

One time I got lost and ended up on the smoker’s balcony. The best place to socialize on board. Personnel of all levels intermingled without taboo. It was filled with people laughing and having a great time. If it weren’t so smoky, I would have stayed. Another time I ended up in male bunks, oops. Thankfully, no one was undressed and I apologized. The female bunks at least have doors with signs. Granted, the ship only included a couple female bunks and bathrooms when it was built in 1995. The Navy was forced to become more equitable after the fiasco of Tailhook.

The ship was very worn from my initial viewing just before work-ups. It was scratched and dirty after seven years in service and an arduous deployment. The vessel was hot from being in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean during the summer. The deck normally has several inches of metal texturing for traction but several spots were worn down to bare plate, which is dangerous. Everyone aboard was exhausted. They had flown three times as many flights as usual and been at sea longer than usual. Thankfully, no one died during the deployment. The post 9-11 stress was intense so there had been suicide attempts, illness, and accidents but none were fatal. With approximately 3,000 personnel on board that was remarkable.

The Saga Sails On…
* = My brother-in-law’s father was on shore during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He watched as his ship sunk and rarely spoke about it.

© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Thursday, May 24, 2012

TIGER BY THE TAIL

Aircraft carriers are a magnificent masterpiece of engineering and seafaring. I visited my niece, Julie, who was stationed in San Diego. I was awed. It was the largest ship that I had ever seen. It made the cargo ships in the port of Duluth look puny. The carrier had just been repaired, repainted and was ready for “work-ups” to prepare the crew for a six-month deployment. It embarked and returned to be repaired, which takes about six months. Work-ups were underway when 9/11 occurred. As a result, the ship was sent out in October 2001 to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, several months before it was scheduled to leave port.

I was fraught with worry. I knew people helping at the World Trade Center Ground Zero site, Pentagon, and Pennsylvania and now a family member was being literally shipped out. The initial attack on Afghanistan was launched from the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier. I was anxious during Julie’s entire deployment. In February 2002 she contacted me to be her guest for a “Tiger Cruise.” I was honored and accepted, after receiving clearance from my boss and the Pentagon. I paid my Tiger fee, booked a round trip ticket to Los Angeles, and a one-way flight to Honolulu. I flew to LA on May 17th, 2002. Arrived in time to consume lunch with a friend in the fun LAX space lounge. I got the total pat down and questioning in LA as I transferred to the Hawaii flight. They asked what cruise line I was sailing on, I replied the US Navy. The response elicited a lot of chuckles and I handed them my boarding pass. Painfully long flight to Oahu but I sat next to a nice native Hawaiian and she let me know how not to insult Pele. I adore Hawaiian music so I listened on the aircraft radio when we weren’t chatting.

I stayed with friends of a friend in Honolulu. It was sweet to be greeted with a fragrant homemade lea upon arrival. They let me sleep on the couch in their spare room. Tourist has so many negative connotations. I prefer to be a traveling learner; I want to soak in the local atmosphere. I rode the bus all over Oahu and my hosts dropped me off a few times at various destinations. The volcano inspired architecture of the Hawaiian Capitol building is awesome. I visited several art museums and attended a Pow-wow. The gathering was almost identical to community Pow-wows in Minnesota except the fringe was longer and the clothing had more neon hues. I didn’t have the funds to go island hopping; I longed to see a live volcano. I did naively ask what the huge pole by the beach was for and a man growled back, tsunami. If it howls, head for the hills.

Road the “Circle Bus” around the island. It was fun getting off and on at the various stops and visiting with the locals. Completely flummoxed when someone spoke to me in Pidgin because they didn’t think I was a visitor. I had no desire to hang out with “tourists.” The behavior of some of the visitors was hideous. I only ventured to Waikiki Beach for an art fair and entertainment on the beach boulevard. My first experience with bubble tea, mmm good! Usually the residents despise tourists but because people were afraid to fly they were nice to me. Surprised that Spam was served in every restaurant I visited, except two. When I mentioned that I was from Minnesota, the people would ask if I had been to the Spam factory. Yes, I did tour the Hormel plant when I was a kid. The recent film, The Descendents, shows many of the places I visited on Oahu. Good movie but irritated that the Native Hawaiians were only portrayed in a negative manner.

I ran around Oahu for four days and knew the ship was to arrive soon. I asked my hosts to borrow their binoculars to look out at the ships approaching the harbor since we were located on a high bluff. I knew that I had a very slim chance of spotting the aircraft carrier but there it was CVN-74, moving towards port. My host was impressed with my timing. On May 22nd, I met the ship docked in Pearl Harbor. Disappointed that the museum was closed that day. It was a Wednesday so we walked over to the Flea Market at the Stadium. What a wonderful market, the best shopping on the whole island. The merchandise was diverse and half the cost of other retailers. We also ventured to the Naval Exchange to procure a few more items. I have been to a lot of military retail markets but this was the most impressive.

That night we attended a cheesy luau. The food was bland, entertainment was okay, and the drinks strong. We wore military nametags so the alcohol was 80% of the drink. I would always get an empty glass and a plain Coke to water down my rum-n-cokes. It was too strong otherwise. We sat next to a man with his ten year old son. I asked what he did on the ship, he said “Special Ops.” That ended that line of conversation. I was sitting across from a trained assassin. Not exactly dinnertime conversation so we talked about other topics.

To be Continued
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Monday, May 21, 2012

BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME II, ISSUE EIGHT

More science fiction and fantasy novels, though the library doesn’t categorize them all that way. Odd.

The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonscewski Three and a half worms
Rough beginning, too much new terminology not adequately explained. Strong storyline with a lot of interesting twists. Fascinating futuristic teaching methodology, definitely penned by a professor. Why aren’t men bred to be less aggressive?

Zone One by Colson Whitehead Three and a half worms
Sharp shocking hip-hop beat poet vernacular. Zombie pox. Striking observations but bewildering language. Better storyline congruency would have improved the book. Be aware that the visual imagery is macabre, don’t read at night.

Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall Three worms
Quick read and rather witty. Zombie pox invades a Star Trek convention (the cover artwork gives away the plot). Clever mocking of people who take fantasy one or more steps too far. Editor should have corrected timeline mistake.

The Technologists by Matthew Pearl Three words
Tale about the founding of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Steampunk genre. Chronological storytelling would have been more appropriate, the flashbacks were confusing. Some strong writing enveloped by weak prose. Motivations of the culprit were not convincing.

Journal of a UFO Investigator by David Halperin Two worms
Illogical storyline jumped back and forth through time. The character seemed to be hallucinating or tripping on some sort of chemical. Disappointed that it did not accurately reference reported sightings, which would have improved the believability of the story.

Most recent review was posted on April 23rd.

Read at least one book per month.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Thursday, May 17, 2012

FUZZY WUZZY

Why she is not naked, I do not know. Tillie has been shedding fistfuls and she still retains a coat of fur. She may be cute but the two-inch undercoat and three-four inch overcoat of Maine Coon hair is a pain in the butt. A friend visited and remarked that another friend must have been over because some of her hair was on the chair. Nope, it was just a four-inch segment of Tillie. Tillie’s lion mane has grown so large that it impedes her ability to clean the rest of her body. I had to trim off the bottom portion of the mane and work out some Rastafarian bits. She was happy and purred.

As soon as the ambient temperature rises above 60 degrees, Poof! the cats begin to shed. I usually keep the house at 58 degrees during the winter so a few degrees makes a difference. Every time I pet either cat, my hand is covered with fuzz. I procured a comb but the tines are not small enough to catch Tillie’s pelt adequately. Zozo possesses fur less than an inch in length so it’s not nearly as cumbersome. Zozo refuses to be brushed and she really doesn’t need it.

I increase the amount of anti-hairball food that I mix with their regular food. It seems to reduce the incident of gross fur-balls. It cannot be pleasant for the feline to throw up and it’s really awful for the human to clean up. I am a sympathetic so when someone, human or animal, vomits I also get the urge to be ill. Not an enjoyable experience. I grasp the coughing cat under her armpits and raise her to an almost standing position with her feet on the floor. I massage her abdomen until it stops pulsating. This technique works 75% of the time to stop the fur-ball from being blown forth. However, they usually puke when I am not around and I have to clean the mess. If I am lucky, it is in the basement or on the floor of the kitchen or bathroom. Unlucky on carpet, the stomach bile permanently tints the fibers. I want to rip out the carpet and restore the hardwood floors. I will have to make certain that the finishing material can handle cat vomit. Ugh.

Beware the fur; I noticed that some had accumulated on the stairwell carpet. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how slippery it was and I ended up sliding down a few steps. Resulted in a minor bruise but a brutal reminder that one must vacuum on a regular basis. My friend Sandy’s husband died after falling down stairs. I don’t want that to be my fate. All my clothes require a roll over by a lint collection device before I venture into public. Since Zozo has light fur and Tillie has dark hair I am affected regardless of the hue I wear. Too bad there isn’t a market to sell fur, I’d make a lot of money. I have no desire to weave the fur into a sweater. I just collect it and place it in the compost bin.

Got Fur?
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Monday, May 14, 2012

DEAD TIRED

Weary. I am so sick and tired of seeking employment. I apply for jobs and attend networking events but with no positive result. I have sent out over 500 applications and been on over 20 interviews. A friend of mine told me to stop counting but I have a rough estimate of the mounting rejections. Woe is me.

I wish that there were a method to scan me in, just once. It would obtain all my skills and work preferences and then automatically match me with openings. I would then scan the openings and indicate which ones I that intrigue me. I wouldn’t have to spend hours and hours and hours looking for opportunities and hoping for a match. Filling out the same information on different forms, it is so bloody tedious. Perhaps Linked In could create this feature. I’d love it.

It makes me ask what is wrong with me? I have education and experience. I can do a lot. I can learn new skills. Yes, I am a flawed human. I just feel a bit desperate because I fear financial catastrophe. I’m gonna give up the search. I will acquiesce to temp jobs after ardently seeking employment since July 2010. I removed my Master degree from my resume since apparently it intimidates supervisors. Sad, but true.

I hate temporary work. The pay is bad, no benefits, awful training (if any), and you get treated like crap by the temp agency and the employer. I have never had a good experience while temping. One time I got to an office and another temp worker showed up, the agency had double booked us. Because he had been with the agency longer, he got the job. I was totally pissed and never worked for the agency again. There is no guarantee that any temp agency will place you in a position so you have to sign up with several and hope.

My anxiety has increased and I have had touches of depression. A very dangerous combination. My self-esteem has suffered from the myriad rebuffs. I feel fearful about the future. My optimism is drowning in doubt. Thankfully, it is springtime and I can putter in the yard. Growing my garden always makes me feel better and provides a physical outlet for the stress. Plus, I can eat the results. I feel rather guilty when going to the food-shelf. I’d much rather donate than receive.

Please hire me.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing
PS Monetary gifts can be directed to www.gofundme.com/i4ix0 account. Thanks!

Friday, May 11, 2012

LITTLE GREEN DUDES

Intelligent extraterrestrial life, absolutely possible but highly improbable that they have made contact with humans. If they have visited Earth, I’m sure they were disappointed or disgusted. Humans are too violent and close-minded to appreciate alien culture and technology. I think that 99.99% of UFO “sightings” can be logically explained but the remainder creates a quandary.

Granted, I have seen some odd lights in the Southern Minnesota sky. In the early 1970s my family took guests out to supper at a fancy restaurant in Rochester, Michael’s. It was a beautiful summer evening. On our way home we noticed that a soybean field was covered with about a dozen multi-colored lights about three feet in diameter. We joined the cars that had stopped to watch the lights bounce around and swirl about a foot above the plants. I was in the backseat next to the field. I rolled down the window and there was no sound. I was so enchanted that I tried to get out of the car and run to the lights. My dad reached into the back seat and grabbed me by the collar. The lights twirled together into a larger white lump, rose up about fifty feet and zipped away really fast. We sat there in silence for a couple minutes and then everybody started their autos and continued their journey. I have seen heat-lightening balls and it was not that phenomenon.

Winter of 1984 I was attending college and got a ride from a friend to visit my parents. I wrote about this event in my journal. We were heading south on Interstate 35 when a large white light began scanning the road just north of Faribault. My friend stopped the car and turned off the engine. I rolled down the window and there was no sound on a frigid moonless night. It was not a helicopter. Several other cars stopped to watch the light as it moved around for a couple minutes before it zoomed away. Freaky at about 1:30am, my friend was stunned. We restarted the car and continued on the drive home. He never wanted to talk about it again.

Part of Southern-Eastern Minnesota is in a test flight path for the military. I remember seeing a prototype of something that looked like the Stealth Bomber as it flew over a friend’s farm. We knew that it with the military and were not alarmed. One of her neighbors accidentally took a photo of a test plane and was visited by officials who confiscated the photo and film. Due to the highly patriotic nature of the residents we obliged and did not get concerned. I wonder if the strange lights were attracted to the test flights. Perhaps they were monitoring the progress of our technology. I doubt if space aliens travel to Earth, its more likely that they would send a probe to gather information.

My uncle who was in the Air Force reported seeing flying objects several times. He was told to not talk about it but he did inform the family. I am not a conspiracy theorist; I don’t think that we have been invaded. I think that the government (which includes the military) doesn’t tell us everything. They could quash the whole Project Blue Book and Roswell silliness by practicing transparency and fully enforcing the Freedom of Information Act. Perhaps humans will become more compassionate towards each other if we have a shared concern about the ubiquitous Little Green Men…and Little Green Women.

Nanu-nanu.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, May 6, 2012

NOSH REVIEW: WINZER STUBE

Journeyed with friends to Hudson, Wisconsin to partake at America’s 5th favorite German Restaurant, Winzer Stube, to celebrate a birthday. The cozy eatery is located in the basement of the historic Opera House. We were fortunate to find parking behind the building and avoided plugging the meter. It has been several years since I have visited Hudson and the downtown area has become gentrified. www.winzerstube.net

My friends have been to Germany several times and said that this restaurant is authentic. The d├ęcor is rather kitschy but warm and comfortable. Odd that a French Moulin Rouge poster is displayed in the women’s bathroom. German tunes were background music. I love polka so it was a nice touch. Impressive selection of German beers and wines are available for consumption.

We started the meal with very American cheese curds. Tasty fresh curds in a donut-like batter. The portion was small for the price. Ruben Sliders were big enough for a meal and the French Fries were hot and delicious. The Cordon Bleu Winzer Art breaded pork cutlet was excellent. The Ziegeunerschnitzel Hunstruck pork cutlet was only so-so. The red & white cabbage was cooked to the consistency of goo. Warm German potato salad was flavorful but one friend complained that it was too sweet. I’m a third generation American so I cannot speak to the genuineness of the dishes, but recognize that there are regional and personal preferences. Another friend remarked that the Chicken with Cranberry Pecan Chutney was a bit bland. The server was attentive but forgot to bring us more bread. The crusty bread was steaming hot from the oven.

Fresh apple strudel was complimentary for the birthday celebration. The crust was crunchy and flaky. The apple was a bit gooey and not much flavor. Wonderful whipped cream and sweet vanilla ice cream. The birthday boy cooed with joy. He is a dessert fiend.

It was warm enough to take a walk after the meal. Downtown Hudson area has an array of shops and restaurants as well as a gorgeous park next to the St. Croix River. Plan to go for a few hours and explore. There are regular performances at the amphitheater and arts center. Book a room and stay for the weekend. www.hudsonwi.org

Three forks out of five.

Das est gut!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ARTIST ILLUMINATION: KATHERINE CLAYTON

Feelings are the essence of Katherine Clayton’s artwork. She follows the creative trail where her emotions lead her. “An artist must be tolerant of chaos,” stated Ms. Clayton. Artists start with disorder and distill it into creativity. They can’t be on autopilot and make predictable or meticulously boring pieces. It is imperative to be open and be surprised by the result of the effort.

Katherine is a multifaceted artist who takes full advantage of pandemonium. She utilizes her University of Minnesota’s Applied Design degree in myriad facets. Her background includes working with a letterpress, crafting hand-painted wallpaper, hand-painting fabrics and pillows for interior design studios, and assisting at a garden center. She works in two-dimensional paintings, ink, floor clothes (designs and paintings on durable floor mats), collage, and sculpture (water basins and found objects meshed together). Her Kelpie horses look like they are rising out of the mist. Golden Paints is her favorite brand. www.goldenpaints.com

Not far from the rush of Minnehaha Falls cascade, Ms. Clayton is strongly inspired by nature and animals. She has a desire to share beauty with others and seeks to make life happier via art. She is also stimulated by emotions, other people’s art, and thoughts of people that she has loved and lost. As she walks her dog by the Mississippi River, she finds items that provide inspiration or for incorporation into sculpture.

Her artwork will be featured as the cover for the new novel “Someotherville” by Sheila McMahon to be published in fall 2012. She designs gardens and sells plants. She markets vintage art, restored sweaters, and clothing on E-bay. Katherine is a honey, actually, a beekeeper that harvests honey. She was born and raised in the Twin Cities area.

Ms. Clayton can be contacted at www.etsy.com/shop/GriffinDesign ; www.mnartists.org/Katherine_Clayton ; or, www.mnartists.org/Griffin_Design_Katherine_Clayton Her studio is open during the LOLA Art Crawl and by appointment. She won an “Ima Best In Show” award for 2011 Art Crawls. Read the review posted on September 21st, 2011 and summary on January 23rd, 2012. Included in this article are photos of her work, sorry for the grey area in the second image.

Nurture your nature.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing