As we wind up he year 2016 and look towards the Christmas holiday and the coming new year my hope is that each of you take a moment and a deep breath and look back and find someone or something that inspired you this past year.

My year started fairly normal with dreams of a move to Colorado and looking forward to building my TCAA projects in a new shop overlooking the Wet Mountains of Colorado. How quickly our plans of order and detail turn to folly. A routine physical turns into open heart surgery , which leads to over 6 months of recovery.

But along this road I came in contact with a surgeon of incredible talent. I know he could not name any part of a saddle or bridle a horse but yet he knew every part of my heart and how to repair the defects I carried since birth.

Another encounter brought another skilled surgeon into my life who repaired the damage I inflicted on my right hand while I was working on the one project I could complete for our fall show. These two men brought a new awareness to me about the importance of looking outside of my small world of my leather shop and search out those who are truly gifted. No matter what that person does be it a saddlemaker, silversmith, bit maker rawhide braider or someone who holds your heart in their skilled hand we must always do our best and look for the best in all of us .

As I write these words I think of my greatest inspiration …my MOTHER …

She passed away this year in the time between fall and winter and left a life of Grace and Creativity to be honored . She was an avid needle pointer and many times while she worked on a project and I worked on one of my TCAA projects we would visit and compare notes on how each of us was doing , a creative bond was formed. And to honor that bond the TCAA MOM’s SCHOLARSHIP was created.

The new year brings hope and promise… and as it steams towards us like a fast train . Take a moment and remember those who inspired you, touched your life and give us all the desire and the ability to CREATE

Life’s unexpected events can place people in our path whose talents are not as ours, but are equally impressive.This years piece is a reflection on those who “heal” and those who “Create”