Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday: Carefree, Arizona

On Friday we drove to Carefree, Arizona. On our way there we stopped at an outlet mall and did some shopping. I got a cute blouse, and some clothing for people who keep growing out of their things. Then we had lunch at the Horny Toad. They had some of the best apple crisp I have ever had!

After lunch we pressed onward to the main shopping area: at the corner of Easy Street and Ho Hum Road.


They think they are pretty cute! The shops were touristy, art gallerys, real estate offices, and several hair salons. This is quite an upscale area. Some of the shops are suffering from the economic down-turn. Some of the houses (that we could see from the road) were amazing.

Since this is such a layed back area, though, they keep time with a sun dial. We were there shortly after 3.


(I did have to go back to get the picture after the sun came out from behind the clouds.) This is the gnomon:


In the little plaza there is another cowboy statue. I must say, there was artwork almost everywhere you turned.


Saturday DH and my dad got in a round of golf, and I worked at catching up with all my blog reading (and writing). On Tuesday we start our trip back. Right now the plan is to go through Monument Valley! The time until then will be taken up with packing and closing the house for 6 months.

Thursday: Wickenburg

On Thursday we went to Wickenburg. The town's goal is to be as "Cowboy" as possible. I think they are doing a pretty good job at it.


The best part of our visit was the Desert Caballeros Western Museum. I was not too hopeful when we walked it; it looked like a very small space. But there was a history room with dioramas (including the dam break with a 40 foot wall of water), and an Indian artifact room, and a gems room; but the highlight of the main floor was the cowboy room. It was a collection of everything a cowboy needs for work: whips/lariats, spurs, guns, holsters, saddles, belts, bridles, etc, etc. and it was interesting!

There was an art gallery with a "Cowgirl Up!" show, all art by women. There were some lovely pieces, and all types of fine art: oils, pastels, bronzes, pencil, etc.

Then there was a whole downstairs! There was a Western town street, with a general store, a saloon, a church, a hotel, and a jeweler/photographer. There was a whole "town" house, completely furnished in the Victorian style, with a parlor, a dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and laundry room. (I hope to add pictures to this post later, DH took lots of pictures.) Then there was a "country" house that was much more rustic, with only two rooms, the kitchen/living area and the bedroom.

In the front of the museum there is a lovely statue.


This is called "Thank you for the Rain" and was quite moving. It is very large. Here's my dad comparing hand sizes:


And here's my mom admiring the statue in the little plaza around it.


As you can see it hasn't been hot here, but it has been very comfortable.

After the museum we shopped. DH was looking for a cowboy hat, but didn't find one that would fit. I can't afford any art this year, and every time a piece of jewelry appeals to me it is over my budget. On our way here the bracelets I was looking at were $550 to $1,000, and the bead work pouch I saw was over $600. We did pick up a few souvenirs, but I would love to have a real Navajo rug, or some real turquoise jewelry, or a real weaving, or a real Kachina doll. But I think it will all still be available next time we will be out here... and there's not a lot of sense in spending money on the fake stuff.

Wednesday afternoon: Art Museum

On Wednesday afternoon we went to the Phoenix Art Museum. They had an exhibit of Ansel Adams photographs. He donated all his notes, negatives, and photos to one of the universities in Phoenix, so there were some very interesting pictures. There was a series of pictures he took at Yosemite the first time he went there when he was 14 years old. They had the negative and several prints of "Moonrise over Hernandez," a very famous picture. It was interesting to see it in several versions. I think my favorite picture was of the Grand Canyon; only carved cliffs, no horizon, no foreground, and of course only black and white. Amazing!

There were more exhibits that were interesting also. This was an exhibit of 1940s fashion, with an emphasis on changes because of the war and women joining the work force. There was a whole set of uniforms, and a pattern and examples of clothing made out of parachute silk.


Then, next to that, there was a series of textiles from Indonesia, Sumatra. The gold work and the weaving were beautiful.


We also enjoyed a photography exhibit, an exhibit of Japanese teapots, and a glass of sangria.

We are enjoying our vacation.

Wednesday morning: Petroglyphs

On Wednesday morning we took a short drive to the Deer Valley Rock Art Center that has a lot of petroglyphs. These are not drawings or carvings. The dark layer on volcanic rocks has been chipped off, leaving a design in a lighter color. The older ones have been darkening over the ages with the regrowth of the dark layer. (The dark layer consists of dust, clay and lichen/bacteria "varnish" that accumulates over the years.)


In this picture you have to hunt to see the petroglyphs. I left it large so you could find additional examples. People are not allowed to climb on the rocks, but there are quail, squirrels, crows, hawks, another type of rodent, etc. It was very relaxing to walk the 1/4 mile trail.


They also had all the plants identified, so that was very helpful. This is a brittle bush, and this is what makes the desert golden when it rains. It is a very beautiful bush.


This is a Palo Verde (green stick) tree. The leaves are like needles (to keep from loosing too much water. This tree is lovely and lacy; we stopped at a mall that had these all throughout the parking area. It made the shopping even more pleasant.


This tree is mesquite. It has a compound leaf.


We also saw creosote and desert mallow, and a lovely little flower that looked like little beads on a stalk. The desert has been golden, but mom and dad say the color is already fading.

The weather has been cool for this time of year, and it even rained a little on Wednesday. Today is lovely though, and DH got in a game of golf.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Attic

Yesterday I got a chance to go to The Attic in Mesa, Arizona. That store is amazing! The walls are full of models with exquisite stitching, all of it on very fine linen, and a lot of it over one. There was a display case with temari (!) and every brand of floss and fiber you could imagine. They had a lot of Southwestern patterns I had never seen before. They had racks of dyed fabric, displayed in a way you could see. There was a Christmas corner, and a Halloween shelf, and a whole area full of samplers.

DH even gave it a rating: "One of the best he's seen." (He's seen a lot of them!)

I went over my budget (of course). I picked up "Christmas in Hawk Run Hollow" (which I have been falling in love with since it was published). I picked up 1/2 a dozen balls of size 12 pearl cotton to make larger thimble rings. (Laura gave me a bangle bracelet to use as a base.) I also picked up a bunch of Au Ver A Soie to use for regular size thimbles, and I picked up some roving to use to pad thimble bases.

I've been admiring "Inspiration" by Rosewood Manor for a long time. There was a stitched model in the shop, and my jaw dropped when I saw it. The people in the center medallion are all over one. There's a farm, complete with barn and sheep, a church, and several houses. The border is so delicate and intricate that I could look at it forever. I did resist the temptation, but I can feel myself weakening. I would have bought it in a minute if my cross stitch production wasn't so meager lately.

I think I need new glasses.

Train spotting?

Last year, when we came to Arizona, we came on the train. So this year, the whole time we were in New Mexico, when we were within sight of the railroad tracks, we watched very carefully to see if we could spot the passenger train.

We saw lots of trains. Some with two engines on the front, and two "helper" engines on the back, puffing their way up the grades.


This one had 5 engines! You can see from the smoke how hard these were working.


The tracks were at times south of the express-way, and at times north. They would be a stone's throw away, and a mile away. The trains would be container trains, or hopper trains, or tankers; but we didn't see any passenger trains.


It was fun watching them, though, and watching out for them. Those tracks were busy!

Visit with Laura

We had such a nice visit with Laura! We met her family, including Freckles and Shadow, and had a very nice breakfast with her. Her temari are all over, and she had some very nice ways of displaying them. This basket arrangement holds a lot of temari, and I think I will try to find something similar. The colors are wonderful!


This shadowbox is filled with temari, and with beaded figurines from Mexico, which are also amazing.


We had so much fun it was hard to tear ourselves away, but we wanted to get to Phoenix that evening, so we had to get going.

Thank you so much for your hospitality, Laura, and I hope to see you again when we drive through Grants in the future.

Monday, April 19, 2010

On the Road

We are in Grants, NM, and there is a free computer in the lobby of the motel, so I thought I would log on and say Hi. We are waiting to meet up with Laura this morning, and talk temari, so I'm excited. This area is absolutely beautiful, but I don't have a way to get any pictures off my camera. The sky last night was amazing!


Our trip has been very routine. Last night we stayed in Oklahoma City, and we talked about stopping to see the memorial. Today we realize that it is 15 years ago that the bombing took place. That hardly seems possible. We haven't stopped to do any sight-seeing. We hope to see some beauty on the way home next week.

Yesterday we took refuge, for a couple of minutes, under an overpass during a hail storm. The ground was white after those 5 minutes, but 5 minutes after that the road was dry again. Tonight the plan is to reach my folks in Arizona.


Talk to you later!