My First Calligraphy Class

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On July 9, I was fortunate enough to teach my first ever calligraphy class with some wonderful ladies. I was contacted about setting up a class via Etsy, and was able to set up a lovely night out for some great gals at The Coffee Studio in Meridian. We had six women show up to try their hand at this wonderful art. They were very patient with me, as I was learning the ropes as much as they were.

In the end I think we all had a great time, and in just two short hours they were really starting to get the hang of the calligraphy pen. Their artwork turned out beautiful; I was as proud as a mother hen. Even though the class was centered around watercolors originally, classic black and white ruled the day with some fantastic results.

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Are you in the Boise area? Interested in setting up a class for you and some friends? Let me know via Etsy or private message me on Facebook!

Idaho Botanical Gardens

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There’s something magical about a garden tucked away in a city. Gardens are places of contemplation and beauty, places that feel slightly apart from time and yet when you’re there you feel connected. I’ve always loved beautiful gardens, so when I found the Idaho Botanical Garden on my birthday, it became one of my favorite places in Boise.

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The garden sits on the grounds of the Old State Penitentiary, so scattered around the garden are placards talking about the history of specific buildings that used to stand there. I found this to be thoroughly fascinating, and I’m looking forward to going on a tour of the prison itself to learn more.

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Separated into different sections, each with their own theme (rose garden, herb garden, English garden, Lewis & Clark garden and so on) there is plenty to discover and learn (there were some children there on a field trip), and I learned quite a bit about Lewis & Clark’s expedition, which was an unexpected bonus.

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Part of the Rose Garden.

Throughout the year, they hold special events, like concerts, in the garden. It’s also one of the most popular spots in Boise to get married, and you can definitely see why.

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The wall of the Old State Penitentiary borders the garden.
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Beautiful orange poppies

If you’re in the area, you really must visit. It’s $7 to get into the garden, but it’s worth every penny. Beyond being beautiful, it’s the perfect spot to read or write and think, with benches around every corner and the sweet smell of roses in the air.

Hiking Table Rock

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Just a few minutes outside of Boise, you’ll find the Old State Penitentiary and the Idaho Botanical Garden, behind which you’ll find trails that lead up to Table Rock, which at around 3200 feet offers amazing views of the city and a wonderful hike.

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Paul and I went up there this weekend with one of his coworkers, his lovely wife, and their baby girl (and if I was pretty tired by the end of the 1.6 mile hike, it was probably nothing to what they felt). After being a little put off by the dead snake at the trail head (it suddenly occurred to me that I had been remiss to not check on the kind of snakes native to this area), it turned out to be a great hike, moderately challenging, but with gorgeous views. We were certainly not alone in our climb, as the area is extremely popular, and there’s a great feeling of camaraderie. It’s very open, and you can see for miles as you climb, rewarded with spectacular views at the summit.

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When we arrived and looked towards our goal, Paul and I noticed a giant cross, which seemed strange and continued to seem strange when we were up close, so I did some research on it. Table Rock was once used by Native Americans as a place for ceremonies and healing rituals, and now plays host to a tall, white cross that overlooks the city. Built in 1956 by the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Table Rock Cross has been a source of controversy for about 60 years. Though Table Rock is technically on private land, following a small sale of the tiny parcel surrounding it, the circumstances behind the sale were considered a little shady, and there was some talk in 1999 that the sale of land would be found unconstitutional and the cross taken down. However, there was a huge rally to keep the cross in place, and so there it stands. There’s also a giant “B” for Boise painted on rocks on the ground in front of Table Rock that are painted new colors every so often, usually blue or orange for the BSU Broncos. When we were there this last weekend, it was red.

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I appreciate that for many people, the cross is a symbol of faith and its presence is comforting, but in my opinion it distracts from the natural wonder of the area and doesn’t help non-Christians feel very welcome. However, it doesn’t look like it will be taken down anytime soon, so as others have done before me, I’ll just have to make peace with it. The area is beautiful after all, and the views can’t be beat. It still makes my list of one of the top things to do in Boise.

What’s your opinion on the Table Rock Cross?

We’re Back on the Air

Sorry for the radio silence the past couple of weeks; my boyfriend, Paul, and I have just moved to Boise, Idaho from Oregon following his graduation and his first real job (which means I get to keep writing and doing calligraphy). All the moving, and the first week of having no internet meant that posting was just about impossible, but now that we’re all settled in, you can expect Baking for Bookworms to be back along with other posts about Boise and anything else I think of. I’ve got a backlog of book posts to get up (though Goodreads tells me I’m still seven books behind schedule…have you ever heard anything so depressing?).

Thanks for sticking with me if you’re reading this. I really appreciate it.