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    Do you really live in the boundary waters?

    Yes. I mean, we have a house and stuff but our house (and my studio) is located on a boundary waters entry point lake. For those of you who don't know, the Boundary Waters is a one million acre federal wilderness area. As the crow flies, we are about five miles from the Canadian border. Bordering the Boundary Waters wilderness is the Quetico Provincial Park in Canada, which is another million acres. Wilderness areas do not allow motors of any kind, they even restrict air traffic over the wilderness area. When you are in the wilderness area you can hike, canoe, or dogsled, that's it.

    Do you live there in the winter?

    Yes. We have lots of coats and boots.

    How do you get through the winter? What do you do all winter?

    We actually moved here because we like winter! We ski, ice fish, snowshoe, go sledding. Winter is a great time to work in my cozy little studio. We keep the wood stove running from like October until May and it's nice and toasty to hang out by the wood stove and read a book, or write out these FAQ questions. 

    Are you serious about guaranteeing your work and offering a refund?

    Absolutely! You have to be happy. I want you happy. What if I saw you on the street and you scowled at me? I would know right away it is because your jewelry isn't fitting you right, or it wasn't quite what you expected. It's okay. I'd rather you return the jewelry for a refund and when I run into you in the street you smile at me! (You know this is silly, though, right? I live in the woods. When will we ever run into each other on the street?)

    Where do you get your stones?

    I mostly buy them from people who cut and polish stones. Sometimes I buy directly from the stone cutter, other times at a rock shop. Whenever we travel and see "Rock Shop" anywhere, we hit the brakes and run in. I have attempted to buy stones on line, but I've found that it is hit and miss. As we've talked about before, the stones talk to me. Because of that, I really need to touch them and see them in person.

    Are these local stones?

    Usually not. But I do have some Lake Superior stones. The Thomsonite stones I use are local and rare, but most of my stones are found in various parts of this country and around the world.

    No, really. You actually LIKE winter?

    Yes. I actually like winter. In fact, I prefer it to summer. Living here in winter is like living in a postcard. It's breathtakingly beautiful. (That could be the cold air taking my breath away, but I prefer to think that it is the beauty of the sparkling fresh white snow. Snow actually sparkles like diamonds when the sun or moonlight hits it.)

    How long did it take you to make this piece?

    You know what? It actually took me forty-some years to make it (I'm not counting grade school here). I had to go through the bumps and fits and starts along the way to get to the piece you see. It has to do with developing over the years as an artist, finding my artistic vision and expression, and gaining skill and experience to know what might work and what might not work. Like Edison said, "I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that didn't work."