Friday, May 7, 2010

Vacation textiles

Still no stitching to report, but I did design (in my head) a temari for an all-day workshop for my HEG guild. It will be interesting, good for very good stitchers who are beginning temari makers, and doable in a 1-day workshop. The main thing I'm wondering about is if I should provide the pearl cotton colors (all will be similar colors) or if I should let people pick their own colors. I also expressed an interest in a couple of Stitch-alongs on the Temari Kai board, so those will be coming up as well.

In Arizona, my mom likes to go to estate sales. While we were packing up the house (everything that could melt goes in the fridge (think candles); extra water for drain traps that might evaporate; batteries out of everything they can think of; furniture covered with dust covers) she asked me to wrap up the temari and gave me this dish towel to wrap them in. I love embroidered dish towels, and when I admired it she gave it to me to take home, and provided a plain one to wrap the temari.

This cheerful rooster is cleaning on Thursday. There are straight stitches, outline stitches, cross stitch and blanket stitch. I also really like the little crocheted edging! Thank you mom!


At one of the tourist stores I picked up this "zerape" (serape). It's not authentic, but I love the bright colors.


Hopefully I will have some stitching to show next week. I can feel the need to pick up a needle growing... I was worrying about my lack of interest but it's still there.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Vacation temari

I took along some temari-making supplies, but I was having more fun reading. I stitched this in a couple of evenings. This side is sort of a spiro-graph design. There are two 5-point stars (4/10 period?) and another band (3/10) that hits all the points. Then I worked the color changes for the stars in toward the center, and the color changes for the bands out toward the equator. It's quite impressive looking for not too much work.


This is the other side of the same temari. I attempted to copy Joan's double-5 point star. I think I know where I went wrong. My points are equidistant from each other, but I think the points should be 1/30th and 2/30ths apart from each other. I will have to try this one again.


However, instead of going home and stitching tonight, I'm on my way to the bookstore after work. You can look at what I'm reading on Shelfari, if you are interested.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Home again, Home again!

On Tuesday, April 27 we left Phoenix to drive back to Illinois. There are a lot of pictures in this post, but I wanted to include our whole trip.

Almost all the pictures in this post were taken through our car windows. (There are a couple of exceptions.) We started driving north from Phoenix, through Flagstaff, to "Monument Valley." The views out of the window were amazing; every new mile brought new wonders.

This is still northern Arizona. DH and I wonder if people every forget to look at the beauty around them they see every day?


This is Monument Valley itself. It made us feel like we were in a western movie, except for whipping down the road at 70 miles per hour in air-conditioned comfort.

We really enjoyed the travel. On the way south DH and I listened to 2 audio books, Edge of Evil and Web of Evil by J. A. Jance, about a former newscaster turned blogger Ali Reynolds. Listening to audio books, stitching, and having my husband drive is multi-tasking to a marvelous degree! On our way back home, with my parents, we listened to the 3rd book in the series, Hand of Evil, and then I read the 4th book, Cruel Intent, on DH's new "Nook."


Once we were through Monument Valley, we got on to I-70 in Utah. I think this area was the most deserted. Mountains, covered in snow, kept peeking over the horizon, west, south, north, and east. Something to look at all the time.


We spent the first evening in Moab, Utah. (This isn't where we slept, but where we ate.)


The next morning, bright and early, we took off to follow the Colorado River on Rt. 128. This is north of the Grand Canyon, so I suppose you would have to call it the "small" canyon? The road winds right beside the river, and the rock walls are amazing. The river is quite large here.



Every corner you go around was another beautiful scene. If you want to look at more pictures, please click on one of the pictures and go to my Flickr page. There are plenty.

I-70 in Colorado is gorgeous. Here's a typical scene of the road, the river, and the railroad tracks.


Continuing a little further, this (I think) was the last portion of I-70 to be completed. A lot of people were up in arms about building a freeway along this portion, because of the beauty of it, so a lot of thought, a lot of planning, and a lot of work went into fitting it into the terrain and the landscape. This is a picture taken from one of the rest areas. The windshield on the right is our vehicle, and the barely visible concrete line (above the truck) is the east-bound lane of the expressway. I think they did a really good job.

At this point, we were still by the Colorado River, and it kept getting smaller while we were climbing. All of a sudden, I noticed we were next to a different river, that was flowing in the opposite direction. We had passed the Continental Divide, even though we still had quite a bit of climbing to do.


I can see why Aspen, Telluride, and Breckenridge are so popular... the area is beautiful. The roads were dry and clear, but the mountainsides were still covered with snow. I saw a few ski-tracks, but it had been in the 60s for quite a while already, so the snow wasn't good for skiing.


There was a lot of evidence along the way of mines; mostly the tailing falling down the side of the mountain. They told us there is still a lot of silver in this area, but it's too expensive to get it out. Tourism is much more lucrative.


After the mountains we came to Denver, and this view (from west of Denver, yet) into the foothills and plains.


After everything we had seen for the past couple of days, the plains (Kansas) felt very flat and boring. We saw wind farms, oil wells, and many beautiful birds along-side the road. We stayed in Colby, Kansas; had a nice meal and a good night's sleep, and took off again the next morning. We drove through Kansas and Missouri without stopping except for rest areas and gas, and slept in Litchfield, IL that night, reaching home about noon the following day.

Besides the audio books I read several books by Lois McMaster Bujold. My audio book provider (link to come) has been encouraging me to read them for quite a while. I finally gave in, and now I want all of them! My mom calls these type of books "Harry Potter for adults." I wouldn't argue with her. I've read 4 so far, and I don't even think I've met her main character. I also read "Oath of Fealty" by Elizabeth Moon. I think this will be a second trilogy following "The Deeds of Paksenarrion" and again, I can hardly wait for the next book in the series. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that will be years away yet, I bought and read the hard cover because I couldn't wait.

I will post tomorrow about the little bit of stitching I did that I can share. I don't know when I will be able to get back to stitching... I have all these books to read!