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Let us help celebrate your Dad, Son, Grandfather

The impact a father has in his children’s life – for good or for bad – is huge. Yet often the calling to be a dad is not valued in today’s society. The message men often hear is that their value is based on success at work or making lots of money rather than in the high calling of being a dad and building strong relationships with their kids.

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The book I wrote and partnered with my dad to illustrate I Remember Fishing with Dad aims to send a different message. It is dedicated to inspire dads to spend time with their kids making sacred memories and to celebrate them when they do.

We’d love to help you inspire and celebrate the dad, the son, the grandfather that you love.

Our goal is to share this book’s message with over 100 dads this Father’s Day! That’s why we are offering a special discount through the month of June.

Click the buy button below to purchase a signed copy of I Remember Fishing with Dad. It will be mailed as soon as you order and arrive in time for Father’s Day!

Thanks for partnering with us to get out a different message to dads. Here’s a video of dad and I sharing our passion for this message!

Introducing Sunnyshore Studio’s Intern #2

Hi, my name is Jacob Dorsey. I’m the second intern working on the Sunnyshore Studio project this summer along with my brother Julian Dorsey the first intern.

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I’m going to be working mostly with the exterior grounds projects on the Studio – think of it as heavy labor. I will be implementing Sunnyshore Studio’s landscaping design this summer, specifically building a bulkhead along the south side of the Studio and along the driveway to highlight the Studio’s beach theme. I will also be building a driftwood fence to mask the firewood.that will be on the north side of the Studio.

One of the main things I will be doing is supervising the young men from the Faith of a Mustard Seed work crew. I will be instructing, mentoring them, and working alongside of them to create the bulkhead, to build the fence, and to split and stack the winter wood.

Also, I’m also supporting my dad’s work at Redeemer Redmond by participating in a young adults group encouraging fellowship and friendship and outreach. I’m also helping with the Sunday morning set up crew at Redmond Middle School. Along with set-up I am being re-trained in running sound during the service.

Throughout my internship i will be working on my communication skills as well as mentoring and training others, both at the Sunnyshore Studio project and at Redmond. A big theme of this internship is going to be constructing and deepening relationships.

I started the internship out on Monday as my brother Julian said in an earlier post. We helped Dave Lane clear out a pile of logs next to his property at Snoqualmie Pass. Dave cut the logs into sections and we moved them into piles. Dave is gifting Sunnyshore Studio with one big stack of the wood for the Faith of a Mustard Seed work week.

I went up to Camano for a family birthday party. And I stayed on Camano to work at the Studio on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday we woke up early and went over to the property and met up with Jake Klett, the main plumber, who told us where we needed to dig the ditch for the water line and power line from the well to the Studio.

This is more or less the finished product. Out of a 24 inches depth, the first foot was easy to do but then we ran into something between bedrock and concrete (the pit run rock had been compressed with a lot of clay in it). We used pick axes and shovels to remove the rest.

Grandpa Jack left his riding lawn mower. He taught me how to use the riding mower and I mowed 1/2 of the grass with the riding mower. I then used the hand mower for some of the smaller areas.

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On Wednesday we started with a leisurely breakfast and some work around Grandpa’s property – we needed to get our bodies going with some lighter work- and finally made our way over to the Studio. Then we basically chopped through the rest of pit run. We used a tape measure and level to make sure we had the right depth based off of the future height of the soil. We also dumped the grass from the mowing on Grandpa’s property.

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Grandpa let me drive his classic Ford truck, one that is a bit persnickety when it comes to starting.

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And so we finished the ditch along with the mowing. Altogether a good start to the internship with many more days of hard work ahead!

 

Packing Wood for a Purpose

Early Monday morning, May 23rd, Sunnyshore Studio Interns  Julian (me) and Jacob Dorsey and our dad Jason drove up to Snoqualmie Pass for a day of hard labor.

Dave Lane, a deacon at Redeemer church in Redmond, graciously gifted an enormous pile of wood to Sunnyshore Studio to use in conjunction with Faith of a Mustard Seed’s visit to Camano for their work week in July 10th-17th.

Once we reached Dave’s property high in the mountains we set to work.

Dave manned the chainsaw and cut apart tree after tree while Jason, Jacob, and myself packed wood to designated stacks. The big pieces of wood we rolled downhill for us to take. The mid sized and smaller pieced we hauled up a steep hill for the Lane’s to burn this winter.

Five hours and a lunch break later we had succeeded in reducing the massive stack of trees to sawdust and our task was completed.

Once this wood is transported to Sunnyshore Studio, the young men of Faith of a Mustard Seed will cut up the wood to use as firewood and for other purposes as part of their weeklong work project.

I’m glad these strong young men from Indy are going to help us split all this wood up!

By Julian Dorsey

Sunnyshore Studio Welcomes Faith of a Mustard Seed

On July 10th a group of young men from Indianapolis, Indiana will arrive on Camano Island to begin a transformative weeklong experience at Sunnyshore Studio.

My name is Julian Dorsey, an intern at Sunnyshore Studio, and I would like to explain why I am excited for our weeklong partnership with Faith of a Mustard Seed.

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To adequately introduce Faith of A Mustard Seed and Sunnyshore Studio’s partnership I must first acknowledge the history and role that Danteau Gladney has played. I first met Donteau during my freshman year of high school at Arsenal Tech while I played basketball with his son. As my relationship with his son grew into friendship Donteau’s relationship with my family also evolved. Over time he became a mentor to myself, imparting his own unique life wisdom that he had picked up through his own experiences as well as entering into business partnerships with my father, culminating in the formation of Faith of a Mustard Seed (F.O.M.), an inner-city youth outreach program with the mission to build character in young men and give them support as they journey through the difficulties of adolescence.

I was involved with the first program put on by Faith of a Mustard Seed, a weekly basketball skills development camp that also included an hour of discussion centered on character and what it means to be a man.

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From there Donteau started a weekly basketball camp for youth at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Many kids participated and this event served to build community to support F.O.M. as well as strengthening the relationships between Donteau and the community.

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Since then Donteau has taken the young men that participate in Faith of a Mustard Seed on outdoor excursions such as fishing, boating, and hiking to get them outside of their comfort zones and to help them grow.

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The primary goal of FOM’s trip is broaden the perspectives and views of the inner-city youth that will come. While they are here they will shadow people in various businesses (from entrepreneurs to the high tech industry). They will also grow as individuals and as a group through the work projects at Sunnyshore Studio (like landscaping, splitting firewood, etc.). During this time we will also go white-water rafting, hiking, and other outdoor activities to give these kids a taste of something that they have never experienced.

As the Project Coordinator for this event I have the hopes that these young men will gain insight on different business careers that they can choose to pursue when they return to Indianapolis and also that while they are with us they are challenged to grow as men and that their character develops. I am excited for these young men to experience something new and to take the life lessons they learn back home to impact their communities and grow as leaders of their peers.

To accomplish our goals for this trip and to enable people to come alongside us and support Faith of a Mustard Seed we need to raise $7,600. Donteau is in charge of raising $3,600, while Sunnyshore Studio will raise the other half.

If you are interested in supporting this trip, funds can be given to Sunnyshore Studio (not a write off on taxes because we are a business). Checks should be written to Sunnyshore Studio with memo line – FOM Project and mail it to (15791 Bear Creek Parkway, A-531, Redmond, WA 98052).

Stay Tuned for More Details.

Sincerely, Julian Dorsey

Sunnyshore Studio’s “Soft Opening” Report

Sunnyshore Studio’s “soft opening” was a great success. I want to thank everyone for their enthusiastic support! Here is the final report.

By the end of Mother’s Day Weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) we had had over 500 people through the Studio. I expected traffic to slow down significantly for the Encore Weekend.

It didn’t.

Well over 300 people came by on Saturday and Sunday for the Encore weekend. The gallery was bustling and sales were brisk (we exceeded our goal of selling over $10,000 worth of art, books, etc.).

The parking was full…we almost had to use our overflow parking area.

I think my mom – Ann Cory – made the most in sales; Jenny hasn’t crunched all the numbers so I don’t know for sure. I am absolutely thrilled for her.

On Sunday morning Julian covered for Jenny taking the sales via Square on his phone, filling out the receipts, so that Jenny could be with me at church in Redmond.

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We saw dear friends from years past who came out to support us.

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And made many new connections.

We invited everyone back to the “Grand Opening” in December which I referred to as a “black tie affair.” People are looking forward to dressing up and checking out the finished product.

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By 5:00pm on Sunday, May 15th, it was all over. The family all pitched in to clean out the studio and get it ready for construction work to start back up on Monday.

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We took down the “Open” sign. It won’t be back up till December 2nd.

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Come back in December!

 

How a dear old friend I knew way back in 1992 helped open a door

A month ago I called Island Books, a vibrant bookstore on Mercer Island, about the possibility of their selling I Remember Fishing with Dad and even a book signing. But I had not heard back and assumed that that was a closed door.

Until yesterday. I was having coffee with Nancy Axell at her apartment on Mercer Island and she shared with me that Island Books is interested and will take a serious look at IRFWD.

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Here is that story.

In 1992-1993 I did a ministry internship at Camano Chapel on Camano Island. Jenny and I wanted to take a year to slow down and work on our marriage (we were married on June 20th, 92) before moving back to Chicago and finishing my seminary studies.

During that year I took a watercolor class that was offered at the Senior Center on Camano through Skagit Valley College’s extension program. Soon after I joined the class, the instructor left. I was asked to serve as the adjunct teacher.

Nancy Axell, who is a very gifted watercolor painter was a member of the class. Though she should have been the teacher, Nancy humbly received my instruction and we became friends.

Jenny and I moved back to Chicago to finish seminary in June 1993 and that was the last time that I saw Nancy. Until last Saturday.

Nancy stopped by Sunnyshore Studio during the Studio Tour.

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I immediately recognized her (she hasn’t really aged at all) and we hugged and took a few minutes to catch up. I learned that she lives on Mercer Island. I shared with her that we now live in Redmond. Nancy said that I would have to stop by her apartment and visit.

That’s how yesterday I sat having coffee in Nancy’s apartment.

I enjoyed a tour of the art on her walls, including many of Nancy’s beautiful watercolors.

She showed me one of her “steals” – a Tom Jones print that she had found at Goodwill and hopes to have framed.

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I also learned more of the history of the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS) – which Nancy as well as my dad had been a president of. She shared with me about their 75th year “Diamond” celebration.

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And showed me the book that she had worked for that celebration. Among other interesting things, I learned that at one time 5 past presidents of the NWWS lived on Camano Island.

It was fascinating to learn more about the history of NWWS from Nancy. I was inspired by her commitment to the arts, including her advocacy for great art to be displayed at the senior community in which she lives. Nancy currently chairs the committee of the arts organization of the senior community in which she lives and curates a gallery for them. We toured that gallery.

At the Camano Studio tour Nancy had purchased a copy of I Remember Fishing with Dad. As I drank my coffee she shared how (on her own initiative) she had called Island Books. She had found out that they had received the information I had sent about the book but because I didn’t have a connection to “the island” they didn’t think it would be a good fit. Nancy had said that she HIGHLY recommended the book, that I was a local author and artist, etc. In short, she advocated for me. Leslie, the Island Book representative said that in light of Nancy’s recommendation there WAS now a connection to the Island – Nancy has lived there for 30+ years and is a well loved and in influential community member – and that they would put the book in the “urgent folder” and would like to see the book and meet with me.

So it was through Nancy, a dear old friend, that the door opened for me to share IRFWD with Island Books. .

Much more importantly, that is how I reconnected with a dear old friend and through her will get connected to the NWWS which has such a rich history and such wonderful network of artists.

Vision becomes Reality…But Underneath it all is Grace

This weekend I had the joy of seeing a vision become reality. It was not something I could have manufactured, but a grace -a gift from God – for which I am very thankful.

Here is that story.

In 2000 I first hammered out a plan to build an art studio on Camano Island that would showcase our family’s art and be a place where our family could share the beauty of Camano Island with the world.

It would be named “Sunnyshore Studio” – the name reflecting not only the plot of land where the studio would be, Sunnyshore Acres, but also the name of my dad’s first art studio on Camano Island.

A key part of my plan was that the Studio would bind together our family in a common project and that it would be a blessing to each family member both artistically and financially.

Here is the precise language of that dream as I put it in a 2012 document:

God’s beauty in creation and grace: Our family’s shared experience of Camano is a splinter of God’s beautiful creation and grace. Through art, renewal retreats, the “I Remember” picture book series, and hospitality we hope share God’s beauty with the world.

Partnership: Each family member – “business partner” – shares their unique gift, role, and strength with the others as we partner in the project and serve each other and the world through the project.

 Relational Renewal: Relationships in our extended family flourish as we share a common project together, work together, wrestle through issues together, dream together, plan together, paint together, etc.

 Sharing Success: Each business partner is no stronger than our weakest link. As we partner together each of our businesses share in the success of the others.

But it is one thing to write up a plan on paper. It is a much different thing to watch it unfold in reality. I did not know what to expect for “soft launch” of Sunnyshore Studio on the Camano Island Mother’s Day Studio Tour.

The Night Before

On Thursday afternoon, May 5th, Jackie and I drove up to Camano to prep for the opening. We discovered that mom had already made her upstairs space cozy and inviting. I was thrilled to feature her beautiful acrylics and that she could share a space with her famous grandmother, FY Cory, gifted mom Sayre Dodgson, and her granddaughter, the next generation of family artists, Rachelle Nelson.

We hung the the 32 original paintings from Dad and my book I Remember Fishing with Dad on the south and east wall.

We put my brother Jed’s art on the staircase wall facing north.

My sister and my dad’s art was tucked into the northwest corner.

The art was hung. The stage was set.

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Jackie climbed the ladder to put on the “Open” sign. We did not know what to expect. The first day exceeded our expectations.

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Friday’s Opening

Friday was a bright, sunny day on Camano.

Our very first guest were Dayle Gage Halverson, her sister, and her mom (I can’t find the picture I took of them, I’m so bummed).

Jenny’s aunt and uncle, Rex and Sharon Lewis, from Salem, OR and her cousin, Sharilyn, from Tacoma visited. It was so fun to see them!

We had a steady stream come through our doors on Friday, 153 people in all. At any point we might have 20-30 people in the downstairs and upstairs gallery, and it never felt cramped. It was fun to share the illustrations from I Remember Fishing with Dad with people, many of them who remembered going fishing with their dad (or mom) or with their kids.

I also invited everyone back to our  Grand Opening black tie Gala in December using the invitation created by Rebekah Kreiger!

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Dad set up an easel but ended up spending most of his time talking with guests and old friends.

Highlights for me were seeing old friends and teachers from Stanwood High School like Jeff Nicolas and Jennifer and Jerry Kelly.

We learned that we had more than ample parking with the front parking lot (which can hold 6 cars) and the back parking strip (which can hold 9 cars). We did not have to use the overflow parking, which can hold up to 20 cars.

 

Grace Wallace, Jenny’s mom, came up to help us with the weekend. She was a great support all day on Friday. I was happy that she also got to spend some time on the deck enjoying the beauty and peace of the place.

When the day was over dear family friends, Jack and Eunice Cavanaugh joined us for dinner at mom and dad’s. It was the end of a perfect day.

Jenny drove back to Redmond with Grace (Judah was at a wrestling meet all day). Jackie and I crashed at mom and dad’s.

Saturday

Saturday was another beautiful day.

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We had even more guests on Saturday, a total of 163. Highlights for me were mom selling a painting to family friends and classmates from Stanwood HS.

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Jackie’s friend Mia from Redmond spend the day helping out. It was fun for Jackie to have a friend to hang out with. Here they are putting up the sign.

A gang of Mom’s dear friends and classmates from Stanwood who meet monthly for lunch and laughter paid a visit and brought lots of fun with them.

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Mike Kelly, my friend and pastoral mentor, made the pilgrimage up as well. He bought a painting of dad’s that he has admired for years (Dad took Mike over to his studio to get the painting).

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Pastoral colleagues of mine, Dan and Bethany Robbins, visited. Dan is a pastor at a Presbyterian church in Bellingham, and Bethany is the sister to Sarah and Nathan Partain, dear friends of ours. It was so fun to see them. I’m thankful for their support.

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And Joe and Meg Garrison (I don’t have a picture of them), and Scott, Max and Mary Randal from our church in Redmond honored us with their presence.

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To top it off my big brother Jeff brought some pizza to help us make it through the afternoon. I’m hoping that he will show art in the future!

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We had dinner that night on the deck, and drove back to Redmond where Judah met up with us (he had been at a wrestling meet all day). Jenny, Jackie and Grace went to the airport to pick up our son Julian returning home from his Freshman year in college.

Sunday

Jenny, Judah, Jackie, Julian and Grace drove to Camano early on Sunday morning to man the fort. Julian spoke of the “calvary” riding in. It was so great to have their help.

Even our dog, Winnie, got into the action.

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Highlights on Sunday were Kevin Williams and his family. It was fun to see another classmate, Lisa Dean Myhre, and meet her daughter (I didn’t get a picture of them).

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Terry and Anna Van Wechel, friends from our days at Green Lake Presbyterian Church in Seattle visited. It was super fun to see their daughter, Hannah, who was in my youth group a long time ago, and meet her husband Ryan.

Mary Van Hoy came the furthest distance for the opening (Mary is a member at the presbyterian church in Indianapolis that I pastored). Her son and my friend Ryan (also from Indy) and her daughter, Julie, and son-in-law Greg who she is visiting (they live in Mount Lake Terrace) came too! It was fun to catch up with them all, and I’m thankful that one of Mary’s values is “supporting the local economy.”

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By the end of the day on Sunday, 196 people had been through the Studio. It was fun to tidy up, close the doors, go back to dad and mom’s for dinner, and even take a quick picture to celebrate Mother’s Day.

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Conclusion

 

By the end of Mother’s Day weekend over 500 people had been through the Studio. Each family member had sold at least one original art work and together we had made over $8,200. Much more important than the numbers, however, was the weaving together of family and friends and community, the sharing of the beauty of Camano Island by hospitality, and being with family. That can’t be manufactured. It is God’s gift.

New Art by Jed Dorsey and Exposé of my “Fambly”

One of the funnest parts of hosting the first opening of Sunnyshore Studio is watching the art from different family members roll in. And roll in it does – consistently based on the artist’s personality.

What I mean is that it rolls in in a timely – or less timely manner – based on whether they are a “J” or “P” in the Myers-Briggs profile. For those who don’t know or who need a refresher “J” stands for Judging and “P” stands for Perceiving. For the Ps who are reading this, I know you have forgotten (or suppressed) your designation not wanting to be stuck in a box.

People who are Js tend to like to have a plan, to be organized, to be on time; in other words they thrive on a structure, plans, systems. They want to be “locked in”!

People who are Ps, on the other hand, prefer things to be open ended, they don’t want to be boxed in, they wait to the last second to keep their options open and to make the best choice. They want to “go with the flow”!

I was in my 30’s when it dawned on me that I was a J that had grown up in a family of Ps. Finally I understood why I often felt like I was from another planet (because I would be going crazy that we were late while everyone else was just enjoying the process), why my dad and mom and sister and even brother often looked at me as such an oddball (because of my insistence on having a “plan”). It also helped explain why in my childhood I would draw rows and rows and rows of stick figures – hundreds of them – marching in orderly procession.

My brother Jed, although a P, is not a hard-core P and even leans towards the J spectrum at times.

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Consequently, Jed’s first shipment of art for the show rolled in almost a month ago. Last week we received three more stunning paintings which will be on sale this weekend.

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My mom, who is definitely a P, but also is a get-the-job-done woman with certain J tendencies, as of today has all of her art hung in the upstairs apartment. I can’t wait to see her beautiful acrylics and I’m not surprised her art is hung!

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My dad and my sister April – alas – are hardest of hard core Ps. There is no hope for them.

Their work must wait until that last moment when artistic creativity and an intense deadline spark artworks of great beauty. Roll in they will, and worth the wait they are, but at the very last second indeed.

I wonder what my older brother Jeff is (I suspect he’s a P since he gets along so well with my dad), and what my great grandmother FC Cory was (I suspect a J since she got so much done).

And I meditate on the mystery of how God the Great Artist hand-crafts people in family – one family having such striking similarities and yet each individual so strikingly unique.

I suppose this is what makes us, as Anne Lammott puts it, a “fambly” – unique individuals  brought together by God’s loving appointment  and bonded together by love and loyalty.

Meanwhile the art from the each family member rolls according to each person’s individuality, each bringing their unique spark and specialness together into what stands to be a QUITE REMARKABLE SHOW!