Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye, Faith. Hello, ??

It's New Year's Eve.  It's a beautiful day with sun, blue sky and very cold temperatures and I love it.  Sunshine and a frosty temperature is my favorite kind of weather.  Don't ask me why.  Because I really don't know.  It's just feels exhilarating and joyful.

With that in mind, ah and the use of the word,'s time to look at the word of the year from this year: Faith. 

As I've said off and on this year, I was uncomfortable with faith as the word of the year.  Mostly because for me, it has always had a huge weight attached to it associated with my Catholic upbringing.  It has always felt like something I had to have whether I wanted it or not.  More of a burden to carry than a dock on which to stand, supported above the ever changing waters of life.  I've written about the word and how it's changed for me many times this year.  Here are a few samples:  here, here, and here.

I've come to see faith as a friend, now.

Faith is the kind of friend that never fails to show up when you really need to know you're not alone.  When days are frustrating and disappointing, faith shows up at the end to sit with me.  And when out of the blue, something comes my way that I've wanted and needed, faith is there to pat me on the back and whisper, "I knew it would happen."

Faith has been, well, faithful this year.  Trudging through my days silently behind me in everything I do.  And I don't like goodbyes, but maybe, I don't have to really let it go.  Just let faith be there, maybe as it's always been...right beside me all along.  

It's been hard to choose a new word of the year for 2016.  But, perhaps, letting myself have last year's word, faith, beside me, it will all figure itself out in the end.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holiday Treats.

One thing I really love about the holidays is baking.  As a young girl, my Scottish grandmother made a special trip to teach me how to make the family shortbread and scone recipes.  I loved having my hands in the dough, rolling and shaping and watching them puff up in the oven.  And of course, a buttery shortbread or warm scone with jam is truly delicious.

Every holiday, I get to bake up all of my favorites.  Shortbread.  Cherry Cake.  Chocolate  Kringles.  All the recipes for these treats come from my Grandmother Gallacher and my Gram Smith.

Both of these women were exceptional bakers.  I was honored to learn from them and go on to learn more in college nutrition and foods classes.  Cooking and baking is another way to be creative and I think both my grandmothers felt the same way.  My Gram was especially wonderful not just in the kitchen where her sauces were legend but in my life where she brought light and warmth and love.  When I get out the recipes that I copied from their files, or when I find one in Gram's own handwriting, I'm transported back to that time when I could look up and see her there smiling at me.

When I make her cheese sauce from scratch for pasta or a lamb chop with broccoli, baked potatoe and sour cream, I feel safe and comforted and loved. Everytime.  Baking her chocolate kringles with their snowy dusting of powdered sugar, I still remember her telling me not to over bake them or they'll get dry.  

She was right.  About so many things...she knew my boyfriend was going to be my husband before I did.  She told me he was a very kind man and she'd only just met him.  She loved seeing me wear bright colors and encouraged me to be bold.  She used to have me drive her around in her big Buick and had me use her apartment for a whole month so I'd see I could move out on my own and be ok.

Every holiday, it isn't just the baking I look forward to, it's the recipes and loving memories.

And that's a very special treat for the holidays.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Studio Confessions and Crock Pot Survival.

This month seems to have a theme: the holidays and the studio.  First, I needed to remind myself balance is dynamic not static and this is so true especially during the holidays.  Last week, I realized my creativity is actually enhanced by the holidays in more ways than one.  

This week, it's a confession: my studio work has slowed to a stop. And then, so did I.  

After the blur of holiday hunting and gathering, successfully get everyone's list checked off, having a few friends and clients over to my studio, I found myself napping in the middle of the day.  I don't nap.  Usually.  So this was, pardon the pun, a wake up call to get some rest.

It's hard for me to do this, because my mind is always playing an ongoing to do list.  And there are still holiday errands to run and baking to do.  Plus, I do have quite a few mugs, bowls and such that need under glazing in the studio.  

But, I was forced to listen to my body and instead of more holiday running, I did a little holiday resting.

Here's something, I just rediscovered, that helps me through the holidays: get out the crock pot.  

When I have dinner cooking itself by noon, I feel so much more relaxed.  Even if I'm stuck in traffic or in the studio or napping, I know dinner is already done.  So I thought I'd share two of my favorite crock pot recipes and hope that it brings you a more restful holiday even when you're out running around.

Pork Loin with Veggies and Gravy

Put into the crock pot:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove chopped
1/2 red onion sliced
2-2 1/2 pound pork loin roast, place it on top of the above.
Chop up 2-4 sweet potatoes and 1-2 apples, place around the roast.
In a one cup measuring cup:
3/4 cup spiced cider, 1/4 cup sherry and 4 tablespoons soy sauce
Pour over the roast.
Now for the seasons: 
Sprinkle the roast with salt, pepper, basil and thyme.

Put the lid on the crock pot.  Set it on H for 5-6 hours.

Take the pork and veggies out of the crock pot leaving the cooking liquid.
In a small shaker, mix flour and some of the liquid, add back into the crock pot and whisk to make gravy.  

Slice the pork, add the veggies and gravy and enjoy!

Split Pea Soup

Put into the crock pot:
1 ham bone(it's ok if it's frozen)
1 red onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1-2 cups of small baby carrots cut into bite size pieces
1 pound of split green peas
2 cups of water
1 cup of chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Pepper, dried basil, thyme, tarragon  to taste

Cook on high 4-5 hours.  Serve with hot rolls.

Enjoy a restful holiday!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Studio and the Holidays: More Creativity.

Last week, I wrote about trying to balance the demands of the holidays with my studio days.  As I observed, life is a see saw balancing act each and every moment, not just during the holidays.  But, I missed something big here.

Creativity.  Being creative is more than just a living for me, it's as essential to my life as air.  I can't imagine a living a life without being creative.

I can see I've always been this way.  As a child, I made up stories as I roamed the woods and made mud villages.  I cut and sewed clothes for my troll dolls.  I re-purposed shoe boxes into mini troll homes.  

Now, I throw clay into vases, mugs, bowls and make masks.  I've made boxes with stories and screening spirits for the garden.  I still write about what I see on my walks in the woods.  And instead of decorating boxes for trolls, I decorate my home for my two and four footed family.

Here's what I realized: Instead of the holiday taking me away from my creative life, it gives me more art to make.  Walking in the woods to find a beautiful Grand Fir tree.  Imagining all stories my tree decorations would have to tell from all their years hanging on trees in my great room.  Remembering all the stories of curious little children waiting for Santa.

I get to set up mini Santa villages surrounded by some of my favorite books.  Mixing my functional art with my Christmas treasures is a real treat.  

Walking through the Zoolights at night with all the swirls of colors and animated animals swinging in trees.

I still need and want to create in my studio.  And, as I said last week, my clay can get cranky if it's not given the right attention at the right time.  I didn't throw this week, instead I trimmed and pulled handles.  And I imagined swirls of bright colors layered on my smooth, white porcelain pieces drying on my shelves as I looked from my studio to my big, colorful Christmas tree. 

Yes, it's still a balancing act between studio and holidays but it doesn't have to be a battle.  Because creativity for me isn't just about art making.  It's about making an artful life here on this planet, right now.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Holidays and Studio Days.

If there's one thing I've learned in my life on this planet so far it's this:  balance is a see saw not a balance beam. 

I really believe it because I see it all the time in my life but it's especially clear during the holiday season.  With all the loveliness of season to enjoy, I still yearn to get my hands in clay.  Throw.  Paint.  And carve away.  But my days can get easily eaten up with extra seasonal work outside the studio.  

I feel like I fight this every year as I try to balance my world between all the things I love. My desire to enjoy the season vs my desire to enjoy my studio. 

I love the season.  Putting out my snowflake trees.  Setting up my table with snowflake white tablecloth and red, felted runner and candles. Plumping up cozy pillows and throws for the sofa. Getting out the Santa pictures and picture books from my children's childhood. Filling the hutch with my Christmas Spode.  Cutting down a fresh Grand Fir tree and decorating it.  Baking cookies and shortbread.  I can really be a happy holiday maker around my home.

But.  You know there would be a but...I miss my clay.  It calls to me by day and whispers to me at night saying, "Play with me, paint me."  And sometimes, it shouts, "Trim me now or lose me and by the way, some of us need handles, ah, like, yesterday."  Ok, my clay can get very snarky sometimes.

I threw the other day and these pieces are drying but several bowls need trimming and the mugs I threw will need handles this week.  It's already do the math because I don't want to.  

But. Ah, yes, another one. I want to get that sweater someone wants before they're sold out and order that mobile, stocking and coffee maker, some of which by the way, were almost already gone.  And I couldn't find a few items, so I'll have to do more looking and that takes time away from my studio.

This is where I fall off the balance beam, every time.  I always thought or was taught that good planning and management and organization led to a smooth even ride but I see now that was not only not true but leads me feeling frustrated and unsuccessful.  

Ah. I see now, again and again, that life isn't a thing to be balanced but a ride to be lived.

The see saw ride of life. And I see that a see saw requires faith(that word of the year, again) that you will go down but you will also go up again.  

Now, who's going to have a talk with that snarky clay for me?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grateful and Thankful.

Breath and birth. 

Savors and sighs.

Health and humor.

Clay and creativity.

Kindness and my kiln and a gentleman's generosity.

Fun and friendliness from my pottery wheel and potter friends.

Love and laughter and the life I get to live here and now.

I am so grateful for so many things in my life and my world. Everyday is a day for thanks giving.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fall and Faith.

Fall is not my favorite season.  At first, I deny the end of summer, the loss of blooms and ripe red tomatoes and roses. I leave out my porch furniture and flower-filled patio pots as long as possible. I'm not sure why but it always takes me a while to embrace it.  

It's not the falling leaves, because I love to collect my favorites on my morning walks. I take them back to my studio, roll out some clay, press the leaves into it and form some plates.

It's not the rain, because I love the puddle reflections the changing autumn light creates.

It's not the fog either, because I love the shadows and softness created around the trees and sun and the whispers of mystery flowing across the lake in the park.

It's not the colors, because I love all those bright yellow and crimson leaves against the bare black branches and the gray siding of my house.

It's the fear of change. It's the loss of blooms and growing fruits and sunshine and warmth. I know I'm not alone, it's a deep-seated animalistic survival instinct we all share whether or not we want to admit it. I didn't. I hid my 'silly' fears from myself for years. But not this year.

I'm going to see not just the beauty and inspiration and celebration in the season.  I'm going to trust it. Let the loss of leaves help me see the beauty of the structure beneath.  Feel the cold outside as I wrap myself up in layers of soft sweaters.

I'm going to embrace Fall with faith.  

Ah, there it is again, that word of the year: Faith.  Who knew?

Social Media: Losing Interest in Pinterest.

According to social media site rankings, Pinterest is right up there with Facebook and Linked In. One of the top five social media sites, it's got huge demographic numbers and, the most surprising to me, was the large upper income female demographic that supposedly 'shops' Pinterest for goods to purchase.  

I'd never heard of Pinterest until 3 years ago.  I wasn't sure I was interested but my daughter loved it and so did many of my artist friends.  I didn't know about the demographics or social media site ranking. Once I checked it out, I have to say I was hooked.  

It was like a wonderland of pretty, cute, fun and funny.

I used to save old magazines.  Piles and piles of magazines.  Because I loved to cut out the pictures and words and glue them together making my own collage for fun and inspiration. It was quick and easy and fun.  I could keep it for as long as it inspired me, then throw it away and create a new one.  

That's how Pinterest first felt to one big, inspiration collage.

Until I started getting those 'push' notifications.  The new 'Pins For You' emails.  Try these quotes like the ones you's more cute puppies, adorable kitties, salsa recipes, exotic location photos, kitchen designs, clothes, furniture, beads galore!  Or many other emails telling me that one of the millions of people out there 'Pinned' the same cup, quote and/or painting?  

I don't care who 'Pinned' what.  I don't want 'Pins for me' suggestions.  And it's especially dispiriting to me that I'm told my most 'popular' Pin is someone else's recipe for bacon wrapped whatever.  Really.

I was having fun picking out fun things without paper and scissors. I was inspired by the quotes I dragged and dropped. Occasionally, I've gone there to look at my boards, and add a picture or two.  I added boards of my own art, hoping to interest some of those supposedly upper income women to purchase art.  It hasn't led to purchases for anyone I know.  But, even without that, I just feel I'm seeing and reading the same old stuff.  Do I take my Pinterest site down?  Do I leave it up? I don't know and frankly, I don't care.

Sorry, Pinterest, I've just lost interest. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

As The Wheel Turns: Turning it back on.

I sat down at the wheel yesterday and threw. It's the first time I've sat there in almost two months. It seems crazy that I haven't thrown in that long, because I love to throw. So why would I stay away from the wheel for so long?

Because other wheels were turning in my life.

One wheel was the promotional wheel. As the pr and media person for my open studio tour group, I've spent many, many long hours on my computer spinning out blogs, pitching stories and posting on social media.  The reward was seeing so many artists on the tour get covered in a variety of local media and social media.  They had a busy tour weekend with lots of visitors.  I'm so glad for everyone on the tour!

Another wheel was the exhibition wheel. In addition to my own open studios, I had three gallery shows in the last two months. Two shows go through December, and I'm very glad to be a part of it.  A new goal I've had for my work was to add a holiday/gallery show.  And this year, it seems the universe has delivered!

Yet another wheel was the family wheel. In September, a new child entered the world and became part of my family.  This sweet, little baby girl is my first grandchild. I can't believe how wonderful it is to hold her in my arms. Watch her yawn and smile and, yes, frown.

Even with all these wonderful things spinning through my life, I knew it was time to throw some clay on the bat and get my hands dirty. And I loved it. What's even better, I think, is I'd been away long enough that I'd forgotten some of my old throwing blocks and re-discovered just how much I love it. 

I threw a few mugs. Then I took out the last chunk of a new clay I've been trying out and threw it on the wheel.  It had bubbles and wobbles and bumps but I threw it anyway. Instead of getting frustrated with it, I found myself laughing.

If the mugs and bowl turn out well. Great. If they don't, I still had a great time.  

And that's really the point, and one, I tend to forget time and time again. It's the process of throwing and rolling and painting and forming and seeing and feeling that really gets my creative wheels turning.  On and on and on.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Closet Crafter Comes Out.

Hi, my name is Susan and I'm a closet crafter.

I crochet. I bead earrings. I have embroidered. I made those quilted sweatshirts that were so popular in the 80's (Ok, I'm ashamed to admit that, but my daughter loved them). And I've sewn valances and pillows and, yes, even a reversible doggy raincoats(for my son's dog).
Yes, I am an artist. Yes, I am a writer. But when art becomes work and I get overwhelmed, overloaded and burned out, crafting is like a vacation.  It's relaxing and silly and fun.

When my children were little, holidays were another excuse to get crafty.

Through the years, I've made many a Halloween costume for my children.  Pirate hats and Princess crowns.  Angel wings and Devil forks.  Somewhere along the line, we started a ghost making tradition.  One year we made our own ghost cookie cutter by bending a crumpet form.  Rolling out a spicy molasses cookie dough, the kids cut out the ghost shapes and after baking, iced them with white icing, added chocolate chip eyes.  Voila' ghosts!

One year, I discovered polymer clay.  That year, we had a crafty Halloween featuring polymer black cats and glow-in-the-dark ghosts.  I even made this pin that I have worn every Halloween since.  

My children are adults now.  But this year, my son wanted to know when we were going to bake ghost cookies.  Then, a local writer said she was looking for easy, fun, quick Halloween projects that a family could make on Halloween day. 

Before I knew it, I was at the craft store looking for the fixings of a Halloween project.  I got black spray paint, grapevine wreath, orange glow lights and, of course, glow-in-the-dark polymer clay.  At another store, I lucked out and found a chalkboard ghost on sale!

Putting it all together was easy. Hang the glow-in-the-dark ghostly wreath on your door with or without the orange lights.  Here's the link to the article in The Oregonian Homes & Gardens with all the details.

It just shows, that it doesn't take much to get a closet crafter out of the closet once more.

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Blog About Blogging.

Blogging started out as people creating online journals.  And as such, it was seen as the ultimate in vanity publishing where you get to write about you and publish it yourself.  Because of that fact, blogs were looked down upon by those in publishing including authors and journalists who were, many times, writing about their own personal experiences or following stories that they, personally, found compelling.  

I'm all for it.  Get personal.  Tell your story or tell the story from your personal perspective.  It's important for us all to hear and read about the world around us from inside someone else's mind and viewpoint.  That's why interviews and memoirs are so compelling.  We're curious about what goes on in someone else's life, relationships and head because it makes us feel less alone.

It creates connection.  And we all need to connect especially now when we never gather around campfires, rarely see our neighbors or even chat around the water-coolers to listen and tell our stories.

I am a writer.  And I am an artist.  So I started my first blog almost 10 years ago to try to bring these two areas of my life together, to put myself out there in the newer online world hoping to connect with other like-minded people by telling my own stories of life along my creative road. 

I don't know if I've succeeded.  I know I have readers out there but blog comments have been blown to the side of the internet highway by the continuing growth of social media outlets.  It's so much easier to 'like' or 'heart' or 'favorite' on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  And, as I've written about here before, I'm just as distracted by that as anyone else. 

But I still blog.  And I think I'd still blog even if there were no readers out there.  Why?

Because I love to write.  I've written since I could hold a pencil, even if it was scribbles all over my brother's notebook.  And maybe, I'm still doing the same thing.  Scribbling.  Just for the joy of moving my hands over a keyboard and seeing words appear on a page.  

It's like magic.   And like magic, it creates a spell around us all.  The spell of stories.

I love stories.  I read and listen and watch stories everyday.  And I especially love to read and listen and write stories about other artists.  I love to find out how they got started, what inspires them, where they create and who helped them along the way to becoming creators.

I've been interviewing artists and creative people for awhile now.  Artists who live and create in my hometown of Portland, Oregon, authors from around the country and business people who have created their own unique products.  

I learn so much about courage and determination and inspiration, and mostly, about love.  Because, I think creating, art or stories or cakes or a garden, is really a story about love.   

Here are links to my older blogs:
Susan's Art & Words
Voices of Living Creatively

I've also written on these blogs:  
Eric Maisel's Creativity Central
Portland Open Studios Blog
Artist Studio Tours of Washington County

Friday, October 16, 2015

Opening Up More Than My Studio.

I work alone in my studio and I'm fine with that.  Truth be told, working alone, writing alone and creating alone is really my comfort zone.  But this week, it's been a totally different.

Out and about.

I had an artist reception in a gallery across town.  It was a nice event filled with people I'd never met in a place I'd never been to before.  There were many people interested in my horsehair raku pieces and mask.  They asked lots of questions and appreciated all the work that went into the creation and production of the pieces.  

Along with two other artists, I did a demo of my clay work in sgraffito at local art event.  It was a rainy Saturday but for 3 hours, crowds of people stopped by to see what I was doing.  They asked questions, got answers and took catalogs for the open studio tour we were promoting.  

Today, I got up at 4 am and drove to another artist's studio.  Three artists from the open studio tour, Linda Gerrard, Peg Silloway and myself were going to be on live tv during morning drive demonstrating what we do alone in our studios all day.  I've never been on TV before.  And I've never been on TV LIVE before.  And, although I've done many demos of various techniques in a variety of media and taught classes, I've never taught a local TV reporter how to do sgraffito on live TV.  

It was scary.  Enriching.  And exciting.  All of it.

But wait, there's more.  Tomorrow and Sunday, I'll be opening my studio doors to the public to come on in.  They'll see where I work, what I work with and how I make art.  And I'm glad to be able to show them around.  

It's amazing to me how the universe works.  The cycles of up and down, in and out that move through my life.  I could never have dreamed all the things that have happened to me...good and bad.  But I know in my heart, even when I'm nervous or scared, that opening up my studio and myself to the world is a very good thing.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Doing PR for my Art Group & A Peek into my Process.

My Demo at Beaverton Art Mix for Washington County Open Studios

I got my degree in communications.  My first job was at two local radio stations doing copywriting for station advertisers and my career extended into advertising agencies doing campaign concepts and writing for a variety of big local business including energy, transportation, hi-tech companies to name a few.  I worked my butt off and I loved it.  Until my first child was born, when I left to devote my time and heart to being a SAHM, which was a term that didn't exist, then.

Since then, I've done a lot of writing and art and in addition, I've worked to promote several artist groups.  Right now, I do the public relations, media and social media for Washington County Open Studios, a free tour of over 40 artists' studios in my own neck of the woods.

As a writer, I know the power of words and stories.  As an artist, I know the power of creation.
Here, I re-publish one of many blogs I've written and edited on the Artist Studio Tours of Washington County blog.

Here goes:

How do artists make art?  The answer is as unique as the art and artist.  And on the Washington County Open Studios tour October 17th and 18th, you get a peek behind the scenes into the art making process.  Every artist is opening up their studio to you, showing you their materials, inspirations and demonstrating what they do and how they create art.
Doing slab work in my studio.

Here’s a quick peek into one of our 41 artists on this year’s tour.

Wheel throwing in my garage.(Thing 1)

Susan, when you begin your work, what inspires you and/or gets you going?

“I love the feel of porcelain clay in my hands.  When I put my hands around a ball on the wheel, I close my eyes and relax.  The more I center myself, the easier it is to center the clay.  I don’t always plan what I’m going to make and, actually, the less I plan whether it’s a bowl, cup or vase, the better the piece turns out.
I walk everyday around a lake and through the woods.  This always inspiring and my work reflects my love of buds, blossoms and fallen leaves in the handles on my mugs, stamps on my vases and vines on my masks.”

Horsehair Raku Porcelain Mask

How did you find your way to art, Susan, in spite of any obstacles in your path?

“I’ve taken many art classes along the way from college level to artist’s studios, to community education, so I’ve had lots of teachers who have inspired me.  I think everyone needs encouragement along their path in life, especially in the arts.
After failing many times at throwing clay, one special teacher noticed that I was trying to throw right handed and I was really left handed.  Once she turned the wheel the right way, it all just felt right.  I use both hands when I throw now and, thanks to this teacher, it works really well for me. 

But some of the obstacles just made me stronger and more determined to find my own artistic voice. 

One teacher refused to let me make masks in a ‘fine art’ class, it just made me more determined to do the mask making I now love to do. 
I gave up on clay many years ago because I didn’t have a kiln or kiln access to fire my pieces.  But one generous man came to my studio, saw my old clay sculptures and gave me his kiln. He included his wheel against my louds protests. And thanks to him, I now have the pleasure of throwing with porcelain!”

'Bird Dreams' Porcelain mask with Screening Mask.

Susan, do you use any weird, different material or technique?

“I love mixing media.  Over the years, I’ve worked in watercolor, acrylic, oils, pastel, copper sheeting, window screening, beads, fabric and now, porcelain.  I always think I’m done with a media and have moved on only to have it creep back into my work. 
Right now, I use leaves in my clay and add wire and window screening to my masks.”

When people come to your studio, Susan, what part of your process will you share?

“This year, I’ll be doing sgraffito on porcelain.  It’s a wonderful technique that lets me play with color and lines and texture all in one piece!”

Working in my inside studio.(Thing 2)

Susan can you describe what is unique and inspiring about your studio set up? 

“I loving call my current studios, “Thing 1 and Thing 2”. I’ve worked in many spaces in and around my home over the last 20 years.  My first studio was in a corner of the master bedroom on a tall drafting table where I could paint out of reach of my toddler and preschooler. 

Since then, my art and art space has changed with my life and my media. My current work, in porcelain clay, requires several different kinds of spaces depending on whether I’m throwing, hand-building or sculpting. 

Throwing (Thing 1)

Thing 1 is my garage where I throw.  Throwing is messy and out there, I don’t worry about clay drips and splashes.  I get the water, my clay, turn up the music and throw away while my sweet, yellow lab, Jilly snores on her doggy bed. 

Thing 2 is inside my home where I hand-build and sculpt.  Working on masks, figures or jars inside helps keep the clay evenly moist and temperature controlled, so there’s less cracking.  I do glazing and under glazing inside, too. 

My kilns are outside in the garage.  I have an electric kiln for bisque and glaze firing and a propane kiln for horsehair raku. 

Jilly watching me patiently in Thing 1.
But no matter whether I’m working in Thing 1 or Thing 2, Jilly is there curled up on her bed keeping me company.”

See Susan making art and get inspired during the 2015 Washington County Open Studios tour October 17 and 18 from 11am to 5pm.  Get a FREE tour map and information online at