Saddle Up Saloon; Craftin’ Plans

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

June 8, 2020

Saddle Up Saloon

“Pal, who’s that jist come inta the saloon?”

“Yer askin’ the wrong person, Kid. Jist shush… Howdy, Ma’am. Yer lookin’ a might lost.”

“Well, I might be lost. I’m not sure where I am. This place looks like the setting of Gunsmoke, except without the guns. Or the smoke.”

“Thet’s ‘zactly right Ma’am, none a thet here. Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon, where folks kin jist git away from all their present realities. Kin we git ya a drink? Whoa, Lit Kit’s already got one fer ya at the bar.”

“Yum. A Naughty Nurse. She made it just how I like it.”

“Now how’d she know… Who are you?”

“I’m the quiller.”

“”Not very subtle, are ya? ‘Fraid yer gonna have ta leave. No guns, no smoke, ‘an no killin’ in these parts.”

“Pal, she said quiller, not killer.”

“Oh. Thanks, Lit Kit. Uh, what’s a quiller?”

“She’s the artist.”

“Now, now. Jist ‘cause she’s a stranger ta us don’t make her odd. An’ even if it did, is she really the oddest? Aroun’ here?”

“Artist! She’s an artist Pal.”

“Yes, I’m an artist. Quilling- paper art- crescents, scrolls, loops, teardrops; creative abstractions.”

“This sounds familiar ta me. Why, yer Crescents & Coils! I was hopin’ ta meet you! I’m thinkin’ on havin’ a art show in the Saddle Up. Tell me more ‘bout this quillin’. What drew ya ta this art form?”

“I quill to keep my mind active and I enjoy producing beautiful artistic projects.  I can’t remember exactly how I got into quilling, but I was looking for a new and interesting craft to fill my days after retirement.”

“A new craft? What else do you do?”

“At the moment, I’m not doing any other crafts/art. But, I have enjoyed making flowers from gum paste, cake decorating, photography, basket making, needlepoint, knitting, crocheting, and baking, especially sour dough breads.”

“You are an artist! But ya settled on quilling…”

“I’ve seen some work by several remarkable paper artists and I wanted to see if I could accomplish something along that line. I’m not a painter, but paper art can produce something similar, but very different at the same time.”

image_2784ae5f-c0f1-4fb2-801b-21c9aa6dd312.img_1874“I’d say ya done accomplished somethin’! Like I said, I’d like fer visual artists ta come by next week an’ share some a their work an’ links ta their sites. I’d love ta feature yer work.”

“Thank you, and thank you for the drink, but really I was just looking for D. Avery.”

“D. Avery? The so-called writer?”

“Shush, Kid, be nice. Um, how d’ya know D. Avery?”

“D. Avery and I have been buddies for a long time. You don’t give someone shots in the belly twice a day without bonding.”

“Belly shots! She musta had hydroplania! Rabies! I knew her bite was worse than her bark.”

“Shush, Kid! It’s hydrophobia, an’ it souns like this quiller quelled it.”

“It wasn’t rabies, it was a blood clot. You see, we worked in the same school system for many years. I was the school nurse and her primary physician. Anyway, is she here?”

“No. She is not. Me an’ Pal run this place.”


“We prefer ‘fictional’. There’s a difference, ya know.”

“Easy, Kid. Sorry ’bout that. Kid’s always been techy ‘bout bein’ written ‘stead a writin’ an’ ‘bout bein’ a fictional character. Kinda takes it out on D. Avery.”

“Oh. Sorry Kid. I didn’t mean to cause trouble. I have found D. an exceptional person to have as a friend. Did you know retirement is just around the corner for her?”

“Oh great! Now she’ll be hangin’ roun’ the Ranch and the Saloon all the time. I won’t git a break.”

“No, Kid, I’m pretty sure she’ll be spending more time in her own neck of the woods. She likes to hang out with loons.”

“Like I said…”

“So, Kid, you want to have an art show here at the Saddle Up Saloon next week.”


“Any other plans?”

“Well, was thinkin’ on gittin’ outdoors, havin’ like a poetry loop walkin’ tour. Mebbe at the end a the month.”

“So the saloon is available on the 22nd?”

“Reckon it is.”

“Would you consider letting me give a surprise retirement party for D. Avery here?”

“Not sure how that’d work. But yeah, I kin put my feelin’s aside fer that. What d’ya think Pal?”

“Why not? Mebbe we kin figger somethin’ out between now an’ then. Jist hope we kin keep it a s’prise is all.”

“Mums the word. So Pal, what was this all about? Is there a challenge or anythin’ this week?”

“Huh. Seems more like a exchange a ideas an’ upcomin’ events. Let’s see. We did meet a quiller artist from Crescents & Coils …. then we let it out that next week we’d like ta have more visual artists come by an’ share their work as a link in the comments. I know there’s a lotta folks who combine their literary art with visual art. Hopin’ mebbe folks’ll wanna be featured an’ will contact us via . An’ we’re thinkin’ on how ta pull off a s’prise party fer D. Avery who’s ‘parently givin’ up her day job. Lookin’ down the road fer the Saloon, folks might wanna document a favorite walkin’ trail or destination a theirs ta post. Even further down the road, mebbe jist some sorta book talk.”

“Ya know we’re still total pantsers, right Pal?”

“Yep. But if we’re the pantsers here, the folks thet come by the saloon are our suspenders. They hold us up.”

“In a good way. I am wond’rin’ what other arts or crafts our readers an’ writers work at, aside from literary art. Wond’rin’ how thet might inneract with their writin’ an’ their creativity. Let’s carry on the conversation in the comments.


Kid and Pal are delighted that the artist Bonnie Sheila of Crescents and Coils found her way to the Saddle Up Saloon this week. An old hand at many things, Bonnie is new to blogging and has found it to be as easy as navigating stormy seas in thick fog. Go to to see more of her work, including cakes and gumpaste. Bonnie Sheila has launched a fine craft of quilling, and while she hails from a faraway island, it is hoped she returns again to the safe harbors of Carrot Ranch and the Saddle Up Saloon.

image_51386724-ff8e-4627-99ec-936de7dffe95.img_1564 ###

If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via .

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  1. Charli Mills

    Hey! It’s the famous Nurse and Quiller, Bonnie Shiela! I love that quilling artistry with its colors and textures. Mighty fine art to bring to the Saloon. Not all of D. Avery’s friends are fictional or loons, it seems.

    Kid and Pal, we need to set up the place for your writer’s retirement on the 22. Fix some fancy beans and bacon-wrapped carrots. Order a cask of cider, make sure it comes with a good story. Invite the boyfriend. oh, and the husband (I think they both have big feet). Let’s make it special!

    • Charli Mills

      Oh–and just to clarify, she ain’t retirin’ from ‘ritin’ you two!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        “Hmmf. We’ll see ’bout all thet. I’m more concerned ’bout gittin’ more art inta this place. How ’bout thet quillin’? Ain’t thet somethin’?”

      • Charli Mills

        That quillin’ is somethin’ finer than a dust free day on the range.

  2. Norah

    It’s wonderful to meet up with Bonnie Sheila here at the Saloon. Her quilling is magnificent. I tried it once, a long time ago, but never did make it quite the art that Bonnie Sheila has. It’s nice to know how she and D. are connected from way back. Perhaps she’ll know some secret ways to surprise you-know-who.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Do ya keep at any art now, aside from yer literary art? I was inta sculptin’ but thet di’n’t last long. Kinda seasonal. I used snow as my medium.

      • Norah

        ???????????? I don’t think I have any remnants – must have melted away, just like yours.

    • Crescents and coils

      Thank you for your kind remarks. I found quilling the perfect art form once I retired and had time to practice, practice, practice. I’m still learning as I like a more modern approach to the craft. Unlike knitting, it is fairly easy on my fingers which have some arthritis.

      • Norah

        I think you probably need good eyesight too, and some artistic sense. I didn’t have much of those two ingredients, and I was definitely the fumble fingers. I was good at getting glue everywhere. You show it to be fine art.

      • Crescents and coils

        My fine dexterity isn’t as good as it used to be and for that, I’m saddened. The trick with the glue is use hardly any.

      • Norah

        Thank you for the tips. 🙂

  3. beth

    love this

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I love that ya love this AND jist fer admitting that ya do, ya git a virtually free virtual drink at the bar.

  4. Ann Edall Robson

    Oh my goodness, Pal & Kid, you two have outdone yourselves. Bonnie Sheila’s work is eloquent! Yes, I meant to write eloquent and not elegant (it’s that too). Her artistry speaks to me like pages in a book.
    Photography is one of my main writing support systems. I love that I can capture moments others may never get to experience and then put them out there for everyone to enjoy.
    When I participate in the 99 Word challenge, usually my first thought after I read the prompt is, “I know what picture will go with that.” Ha! That’s when the fun really begins as I travel through my files until I find it.
    Writing and photography go hand in hand in my world. Yes, there is always a but…But, I also fill my creative glass with quilting, various forms of needlecraft, and recently I dusted off my leather tools that have been sitting idle for far too many years.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Yep, yer one a them multi-artual writers, dippin’ inta many wells a creativity. Send us a fav’rite photo, we’ll hang it in the bloomin’ saloon gallery next week.

    • Crescents and coils

      Thank you very much. I used to enjoy photography, too. It’s all about the light and how it reflects off your subject. I would love to see some of your work.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Ann’s work coming soon to a saloon near you!

  5. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:

    Howdy! Kid and Pal are puttin’ the call out ta visual artists. If ya wanna be a featured guest at the Saddle Up Saloon next week or have yer paintings, drawings, photographs, etc. shown, contact them via .

  6. Liz H

    Bonnie Sheila makes bonnie art! So crisp and beautiful. And I can’t wait to see what next week brings–I had a sense that the Ranch and surrounding lands are peopled with artists of many stripe and note!
    And Dede (my future DIL’s name, too), retirement is great! Finally time enough to paddle around in the things we used to only shish-boom over!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Thet Crescents and Coils gal is one heckuva artist. An’ yep, they’s lots more artists in them thar bloggy hills.

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, that writer the Kid don’t want to admit to will be paddling circles around her retirement!

    • Crescents and coils

      Thanks so much. I’m glad you like my art. Next project is another Nantucket lighthouse.
      I agree with you about retirement – it’s great. Lots of time to do what matters most.
      The have to’s can wait a bit.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I cain’t git over how thet paper bouquet jist pops! Some awe-some fer sure.
      Reckon yer gardenin’s a type a art thet heps fill yer well.

      • Charli Mills

        The vase actually looks like flowing water within sunlit glass.

      • Crescents and coils

        In my daughter’s bouquet the stems of her flowers were encased in a satin sleeve with small pearls enhancing the upper edge. I wanted to simulate that effect and, I think, the graceful cols worked. But, I like your comment about flowing water within a sunlit glass. I’ll keep that in mind if I do something similar. Thanks for the idea.

    • Crescents and coils

      Thank you very much. So glad you enjoy my art.

  7. H.R.R. Gorman

    I’d bet Joanne the Geek (likes vampires and pirates!) would be happy to land an airship near the saloon! I can give you her website if you want, but she tends to respond to a lot of the Carrot Ranch prompts, too.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      “Reckon we know the Geek a which ya speak. She’s inta some scary shift, all right.”

  8. H.R.R. Gorman

    Oh! Also – QUILLING!? That was absolutely nuts! It looks really hard!

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      “Yep. But she makes it look so easy. I wunder what the hist’ry is on thet craft…”

    • Crescents and coils

      I’m still learning and it’s very time consuming, but very rewarding. Good thing that I’m retired!

  9. rochellewisoff

    The quilling is gorgeous! It must take a steady hand and creative eye. Looks like Bonnie has been blessed with both.



    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Yep, she sure ‘nough has got a creative hand and a steady eye, thet one. She paints with paper, not on paper. I sure ‘preciate all you artist types. I tried ma hand at pottery once, but wasn’t all thet fired up about it. Dang cups didn’t hold water.

    • Crescents and coils

      Thank you so much for your kind comments.

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Bet we git ta see some a Rochelle’s art real soon.

  10. Jules

    Some arts are divinely fabricated 😉
    I went and visited the quiller and even left her a haiku about her ‘koi’ usage.

    I’ve played with some other crafty stuff too. Polymer clay and crocheting one of a kind scarves. I did some blankets for family but that’s a lengthy project!

    You might find me under the Poetree at the Saloon takin’ in a gentle breeze crocheting away… Gotta get some relief from the humidity now that summers here – at least that’s what the lightning bugs say 😀

    • Crescents and coils

      Sorry that I haven’t responded. I’m in the process of learning how to navigate WordPress. D. Avery is a good tutor and has helped. I’m starting to fell as though I’m a slow learner!!!

      • Jules

        If I can help… though I am also technically challenged 😉 No worries ~ Real life comes first.

        I just wish I had some ‘help’ close at hand. Most of what I’ve figured out over the last 8-10 years has been on my own. And in my opinion (at least some of) the changes haven’t helped.

        Slow can be good. Just be patient with yourself. 😀

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Glad yer takin’ advantage a the shade a thet there tree, thet’s a real givin’ tree. Thet was a fine quill’ku ya spun over ta Crescents and coils.


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