Wednesday, February 5, 2014



I'll bet you are wondering what this picture is all about

For those of you who are new to my blog, I must tell you that each winter I feature a post of a wonderful all inclusive vacation I take in Mexico. How cruel of me right? This year, the all inclusive had a few surprises. The food was wonderful as was the ‘work out’ room. The people at the ‘resort’ were also amazing, friendly and efficient. I did, however, have to trade my usual margarita’s for narcotic drugs. All in all, it was an experience I will never forget!

Yours Truly with Marti Gras-b-dazled walker to match my car

Now, I am sure I have your attention! Where I really went in January was to Roanoke Memorial Hospital,for my very first operation. I apparently danced, ran, jumped, hop scotched, worked and played far too much since the cartilage in my left knee completely disappeared and I was forced to have a complete knee replacement.

Canes I b-dazzled to match my car, walker and shoes

I didn’t want to post of it till I was sure I was brave enough to go through with it. I always talked about being bionic and now I’ve begun the journey. I heard so many horror stories before the operation that I was just sure I would back down, but then, the pain in my knee forced me to face the situation and go forth. All went very smooth and I have advanced from a walker to two canes.

Canes to match my car, walker, shoes and chair~you see it goes on and on!

Some of my friends surprised me on the market, where I show my work, with a b-dazled walker to match my car, B-dazle. Since they look so good together, I decided to b-dazle my canes as well. Many thanks to Tom, Diane, Wayne, Rebecca, Stephanie and Leigh Ann for the fabulous job they did in creating the ‘talk of the Rehab center’ where I stayed for 2 weeks after the operation. All of the other patients kept asking if they could have their canes, walkers and crutches b-dazled and wondered why I was ‘special.’ We named my walker "Marti Gras" since she is covered with the beads worn there. I also want to say thank you to all the wonderful people who work at Brandon Oak rehab center here in Roanoke. It is an amazing place and I really did have wonderful food and care.

Since doctors orders were to slow down and not do much artwork, (a very difficult task for me since my mind thinks art all the time) I relaxed and pampered myself with reading. I love to read but usually have to restrict it to bedtime since I’m so busy. Well, I read 7 books and still counting. Most of the books were about my beloved Italy. I grew up in an Italian neighborhood and love Italy so very much. It was like eating potato chips..I’d go to Amazon, google one Italian book only to see many more featured.

Since I haven’t completed enough new work to show on my blog, I thought you might like to hear a brief critique a few of the books. So here goes:

"Breathing Into Stone" by Joel Kirkpatrick

How I loved this book. Being a sculptor, it touched my heart in surprising ways. The story takes place in the tiny village of Receto in the foot hills of the Apuan Alps. I felt as though I was walking the hillside path far above the village each day on my way to a special home in the woods that I shared with my father. My father was a sculptor and I, being his daughter could not understand why he would not let me touch the stone indicative to the area. I spent each night viewing his work with only the moonlight to guide my footsteps around the sculpture workshop. I loved the feel of marble dust on my feet and went barefoot for that reason most of the time.

This is a book most artists will feel at home with. Hope you like it. PS: I find it hard to believe that an Irishman wrote this book!

The second book I would like to recommend is called “A Footpath in Umbria.” By Nancy Solak

I guess I gravitated to this book because I spent some time in Umbria when I took a month long sculpture class there. I stayed in Perugia. Even though it is the capitol of the region, it was still quaint and I figure 20 years behind the states. They are also responsible for some of the best candy in the world. The village of Citta di Castello is the setting for this book. The author points out that it is not the year in Provence of Peter Mayle kind of book but a year that she and her husband spent with all the drama, comedy, exasperations and experiences in real life.

Solak writes a realistic story and had me laughing at her antics as she experienced a very different kind of journey. I loved that she talked about how the Italian men always honk at pedestrial women..she felt like a teenager the whole time there. I remember feeling the same way when I was there. I love her philosophy and humor. One of the philosophies she gives is that she finally has learned that after 50 years old, it is better to be nice than right. If you need a good laugh or you are looking for a unique armchair travel adventure..this is the book for you!

The last Italian adventure book is called "A Villa in Tuscany" by Charley Wood.

I love to cook and the book has as it’s focus a cooking school in Tuscany. I felt like I was there kneading the dough and throwing it at the bin that goes especially to the ‘maile.’Translation: The pigs. The book is a fast read and features a recipe I absolutely must try after hearing all the oohs and awwwhs it received. It’s called Rotolo di Zucca e Ricotta. I googled it and it certainly is not easy to make but might be well worth it..Hey, I’ll post it sometime (if it turns out!)

I’ll be back soon with a new blog post and hopefully with at least one of my brand new series.

Ciao for now~

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  1. Hooray for the bionic woman!! I LOVE your blingy walker and canes- how VERY Cheryl! I'm once again trying to come back to blogland....hopefully this time it sticks. I've missed my bloggy friends! SO glad you're healing well and hey, there's always next year for Mexico or Italy!

  2. You are amazing my bionic friend! I'm so happy your operation is behind you and you are, on your way, in an artistic way - to recovery. Thoughts of you! xo

  3. You are such a character and that's why I love ya so much Cher. What amazing friends you have and what a very unique walker!! I'm so happy that you are healing and everything went so well. Enjoy those books but I do hope that there is a pen and paper close by so that you can jot down all those awesome ideas coming to you for when you can get back to your art.


  4. Madame, there is nobody that would have handled this knee deal better than you. I have seen you and you look like you were at a spa. Are you sure you were not in Mexico? Glad you liked Mardi. A regular walker for an artist of your caliber...would have been like Monet painting his garden~ in black and white. Love, Dian

  5. Hi Cheryl. Oh my goodness, you really are a bionic woman. :) I always thought of you as that anyway. You can do anything. I love your walker and that gives me an idea to try to talk my mom into letting me work on hers. Also the chair is another great idea. I have a few chairs that need some glitter. I hope you are doing well Cheryl and oh my goodness I fear for my knees too as both are always in pain. Get well soon and just keep painting and reading till you are well. Those books sound great and in fact your description of how you felt when reading them reminded me of how I felt when reading Woman Within The Web by Cheryl Dolby.:)))Take care.

  6. wow your walker is so cool and brilliantly blingy. Hope you are well on the road to recovery Cheryl, Hugs Annette x

  7. The B-Dazzled walker and canes are nice but here's hoping you get back 100% on your feet real soon. Looking forward to future art posts. :D

  8. Even as you are recovering, you are thinking of others and not wanting us to worry - so very "you", as in "you"nique! I think it is so amazing that your friends thought to bedazzle your walker. Awesome. That says a LOT about your friends, they are very special. Ya know, my Mom always said, "if you want to know what kind of person you really are, just look at the people who call you friend since they are a true reflection of who you are." Well, there ya go! I love ya, kiddo and I hope you heal quickly. My Mom had both knees done and she never regretted it. I'm sure you won't either. Love ya!

  9. A lot to go through but I'm very glad it all worked out well for you, Cheryl. LOVE the bedazzled walker and canes! All the best with the rest of your recovery. Thanks for the book reviews...have noted them down.

    Have a lovely week! xo

  10. I hope you are doing better soon.
    I had some problems with my knee too, that´s no fun.
    But that walker of you defenitly is.
    I love that idea, it´s great

  11. I am so glad you are back, I have missed you tremendously and all you continue to offer aside from your beautiful work Cheryl. what a great and interesting post. and now I am going over to amazon to check out some great sounding books.
    I wish you the speediest of recovery and think you are very brave. I am a candidate for this is in my right knee and just tore my minuscus and will have surgery soon for that, so I happen to KNOW YOU ARE COURAGEOUS and love your beaded supplies. so glad to find you here again! xoxo

  12. Glad you are feeling better...a trip to Italy, even if only in books, certainly soothes the soul. A speedy recovery lovely lady...and love your bedazzled walking devices!

  13. You are woman see you roar! So sorry you had to go through this but so happy all went really well. Love the bedazzled walker and canes. I'm still amazed you did your car too.
    Being 1/2 Italian I long to visit one day - I've read all but the new one of Adriana Trigiani's books - have you read any?
    And no art? Eeeeek!,

  14. Oh Cheryl! with your positive outlook, I am sure you will be leaping tall buildings in no time! A lesson in slowing down, I suppose. Reading, you know is my favorite pass time...I just got finished with a book called Golden Country by Jennifer Gilmore,,,a book about Jewish immigrants, a family story, really interesting and made me think, in my next lifetime I think I will marry a Jewish man :) Take good care of yourself! ♥ ♥ ♥

  15. I was missing your posts, and thought you might be on holidays. Gosh Cheryl, you have been through the mill.I am so glad to hear you're on the road to recovery, and Jaime Summers has absolutely nothing on you my dear! The walker and canes are fabulous! Enjoy your reading and have lots of pampering too! Lovely to have you back.

  16. Good to hear you are recovering. Gosh, you're brave to go thru that! xo

  17. Oh, Cheryl, I LoVe your walker, canes and car! I hope you continue to heal well, to rest, renew and restore with grace. It sounds like you're doin' it pretty good so far, despite the respite from art (which might just be some unlikely Medicine of its own!).

    Take care. Keep healing. And In the meantime, I send you healing love. ♡

  18. So sorry to hear about your knee! But Mexico does sound delightful:) I wanted to thank you... one of your readers saw my link and hopped over - appreciate you!

  19. God bless you plzz read my blog

  20. Hi Cheryl! It's been quite a while since I visited your blog. Sorry for that. Work has been crazy lately and partly, I'm too disorganized and lazy about everything. I didn't know that you underwent an operation. Hope you are recovering well.

    I love what you did to your walker and crane :) It's a sign of optimism, positivity and courage, I rarely encounter among women these days. I wish you well and have a great weekend!


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