Our voyage started out last Monday. Mike and I were rapping up all of the last minute things we needed to do before leaving town for a week. He was going to purchase the supplies to fix a roof when his truck decided to stop working. Meanwhile I was at home packing up the last of our camping gear. He called me up and said we would have to tow the truck with our new (used) van. We bought a tow strap and hooked up the vehicles. This is a pretty tough way to tow a vehicle especially when you have to take the highway to get there. All of the cars were whipping around us when the van decided to overheat. We had forgotten to check the level of the coolant. We pulled off the the highway planned through incoherent yelling over cell phones on speaker. Filled up a jug with water and filled up the coolant compartment. We eventually made it home, laughing about what we had just done.
We ended up leaving town around one in the afternoon. We stopped at the Falling Rock Cafe in Munising, MI . Then we went to the antique shop right next door and I found a miniature anvil, perfect for hammering jewelry. We also bought an organic chocolate bar, called it a business expense and got back on the road.
We were in route to Sault Ste Marie, MI and decided to visit our friend Eyvind who is currently studying plants in Grand Marais, MI. We all went to the local rock shop and I bought a bracelet that was made of Ocean Jasper. I have heard that the more variegated and colorful versions of this jasper are becoming rare due to over-mining and high demand. None-the-less, I bought the bracelet and am going to take it apart and use the individual beads as pendants for necklaces. They are sort of peanut shaped, only smaller and are all different. I will post pictures once I get around to using the beads. I also bought some UP (Upper Peninsula) Copper which is in its natural state, to use for wire wrapping and making into earrings. My next show is in Copper Harbor, MI (8/18 & 8/19) and I think the people will really like the use of native materials.
We left Grand Marais around dinner time and drove near the Sleeper Lake forest fires that are currently burning massive amounts of the forest. Almost 19,000 acres have burned. It was the most eerie feeling to smell green wood burning for almost 10 miles.
We finally arrived in Sault Ste Marie in the early evening. We stayed with Mike’s grandparents. They made our stay in the Soo very enjoyable. Mike helped his grandpa put a big deck on the back of his house while I sold jewelry near the Soo Locks at the Sault Summer Arts Festival. I received an award for Best of Jewelry, which was really exciting! (Award was given by Ryan’s Jewelry). We packed up all of the art show gear and went back to Mikes Grandparents for the night.
The next day we went to some thrift stores. We walked around the block from the local St. Vinnie’s, looking for the Salvation Army Thrift Store and we happened to find Lee Blocher Custom Jewelry Repair. I opened the door thinking I would find display cases filled with sparkling jewelry, but instead it was this persons (Lee) studio complete with casting equipment and all of the basic fabrication tools. I started talking to Lee at the jewerls bench, explaining that I had just started a business selling my jewelry and that I was going to school for Metalsmithing. He had a degree in gemology and knew a whole lot about gems. He even gave me a book about jewelry making. We stayed until Thursday and then we went onward to Johannesburg, MI for Farmfest.
We stopped at a really awesome coffeehouse called Coffee and Connect in Petoskey, MI which is in the lower peninsula of Michigan. We mainly went to Petoskey (which is out of the way) to visit their local food co-op called The Grain Train where we loaded up on organic goodies for out camping expedition at Farmfest.
My camera is in the van which Mike is currently using until he gets a new truck, so I will be adding pictures later. I will also add more about Farmfest in the near future.