Saturday, February 19, 2011

Temari on vacation

The first week of vacation I hardly picked up a needle. I did follow the TalkTemari video stream on Saturday morning. The subject was swirls, and I was inspired. I made a base from materials my mom had on hand (plastic bags as a base, some thread she had in her stash, and the variegated DMC pearl I had picked up at JoAnn's).

Now that I have listened to the second installment of the class, I see where a lot of improvements could be made, but the temari is in Arizona, and I am not!


I did a demonstration of temari for the Red Hat Chilis of Sun City. (They were waiting for the picture to be taken, so they could take their red hats off! LOL)


To fit in, I wore purple and a red hat as well. (People say I look like my mom... what do you think?)


Everyone was very interested, and I think a couple of people might try it. I drew a name for the valentine temari I made last week, and Nelvia won it.

This is the temari I stitched during the class. I didn't quite finish it during the class, but I finished it when we got back home, and I left it in Arizona for my Aunt Flossie. I hope she enjoys it.


I had been working on the marking for a 472 center temari even before we left on vacation, and I picked it back up after the class... and discovered that I had been doing it wrong. I was probably 90% done with the marking. I had been dubious about how I was doing right from the beginning, so I should have checked earlier. I wrapped over the whole thing and started over. Unfortunately, I didn't have any black thread, so it is green now, with white sewing thread as the marking.

I was stitching it in the airport and on the plane, and I got a lot of interest, and several questions about what I was doing. I don't think I had ever stitched temari in public before. I think I will do more of it though, people were very interested. It is going to take a long time to finish this one. It is the one from Nana Akua that looks like a granny square afghan, but I will save pictures for another time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I love to shop!

I really enjoy shopping. I am extremely fortunate in that DH enjoys it as well, and knows I try not to go over the budget.

Last Tuesday we stopped at JoAnn Fabrics, to pick up a couple of things. I was very happy to find the JoAnn's store; I was feeling quite insecure not knowing where to find needed essentials. The pearl #5 was for the temari demonstration I was scheduled to give, and the doll clothes patterns were just a lucky find.


I didn't have to shop for these, my mom made them for C, her great-grand daughter. C will be excited to get some new clothes; she dresses her "WebKins" in them.


On Wednesday, when DH and I were out and about by ourselves we stopped at The Attic Needlework shop, in Mesa, AZ. According to DH, it is among the top 3 needlework shops he has ever been in (and he's been in a lot!). I picked up a grab-bag, $20 for $100 worth of stuff, and I am very pleased with what I got.


I picked up a Just Nan "leaf ball" (pattern and fabric) that reminds me of an embroidered temari; it should be a lot of fun to make. I also picked up a Drawn Thread darning sampler that has been on my wish list for a long time.


In Tombstone all I bought was some fudge, and I cannot show you that because it is Gone! Yum!

We were in Tucson during the Mineral and Gem show. We had trouble getting a hotel room because of the crowd. We finally found a 2 star place to sleep; all the downstairs rooms had been turned into showrooms, Fossils and Minerals from around the world. There were displays from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and China (that I saw, there may have been more). Mom and I had fun shopping in the morning.

There are 3 tiers of dealers for the Gem show. Tier 1 is by invitation only. You can only get in if you can spend enough. That is where the diamond dealers and other fine jewelry dealers do their business. Tier 2 is for re-sellers; you have to have a tax number (the wholesale dealers). Tier 3 is open to the public, and that is what we saw in the hotel we were in. This is the type of stock a mineral store, or a "crystals" store would carry, but I was able to find plenty of nice stuff.

I got this string of Lapiz Lazuli beads from a store representing Afghanistan/Pakistan. He had some beautiful things too. He had some silver enamel jewelry, and a couple of pieces of antique silver jewelry.


This is a bowl made from a single piece of agate! It is so beautiful, and so delicate. It is only about 5 cm across, small, but so pretty. It came from India.


This is a fossil from Russia. It is only about 1 inch across, and I think it might be kind of fragile, according to what the dealer said. It is very pretty though, and very cool.


These I left in the baggies, because most of them are for gifts. I did get one for myself as well though, jade and quartz beads that will probably make their way into another project. Such beautiful stuff! These were from India.


Later that day, DH bought me this thimble to commemorate the Pima Air and Space Museum. So thoughtful!


I am hoping that tomorrow my mom and I can get to the bead store! Several years ago my mom brought me some turquoise from that store; I cannot believe I have been here three times already, and haven't made it to that store. My only excuse is that I haven't been doing as much beading since I started making temari. I will let you know if we make it, and what I find.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tombstone and Tucson, Arizona

On Thursday it was my mom's birthday, the reason we traveled to Arizona in February. We had a nice breakfast together with people from my parents' church, and then hit the road to Tombstone, Arizona.

Once we found the "down town" this was the first thing we saw. The town was very touristy, but with a basis of fact, and we had a very interesting visit. Behind the donkeys was a quilt exhibit! My mom and I had fun looking at that.


Another interesting thing about the town was that there were people wandering around wearing outfits that could have been warn in the 1880s in Tombstone. (This gentleman was holding a plastic bag in his hand, but he was very careful to hide it for pictures.)


My mom asked for a stagecoach ride for her birthday present, so we all went along. The coach was pulled by Percheron horses. We had a leisurely ride around town, and had many historical houses pointed out to us. It was sobering to realize that in a stage coach like this it would have taken 3 hot dusty days to cover the distance to Tucson, that took us about an hour in our comfortable, air conditioned ride. Here are my parents, DH and me.


We saw more people pretending. We did not attend the shooting at the O.K. Corral; DH thought it would be too fake. We did go to the old court-house, and saw some real history. Tombstone was a very rough town.


We stopped at Boot Hill after seeing the down-town area. I was surprised by how moved I was by the cemetary there.


There were a few famous graves there, but most of the graves were marked "Unknown." There were two graves of children, 3 months, and 11 months, and a couple of "Mrs." Other than that, the graves were marked, "murdered," "shot," or "hanged."


We spent Thursday night in Tucson, and the Gem and Bead Show was going on, but I will share that in another post. On Friday we went to the Pima Air and Space Museum, and that was another fascinating day. DH has always been interested in airplanes, and we saw plenty of them.

There are over 70 acres of land, with hundreds of airplanes parked out in the desert. We opted to take the tram tour around the grounds, it was a very wise choice. We saw "Freedom 1," an early Air Force One, several MiGs and B-17s, and all sorts of helicopters. The first hangar we went through was filled with experimental and new air planes, but what interested us were the 2 hangers filled with WWII aircraft.

My late father-in-law was a waist gunner in a B-25 bomber in the Pacific theater during WWII. This is a waist gunner, but not in a B-25, they did not have figures in the B-25, which was directly behind me when I was taking this picture.


Those airplanes were not pressurized during the bombing runs, it was a very cold, difficult job. The life on the ground, between flights, was difficult as well. My FIL did not talk about it too often, but it was an important part of his life.

This is a B-29. It is huge! This is the type of airplane that delivered the atomic bomb to Japan, but even without that it changed the face of the war. It could carry 4 times as much weight of bombs as airplanes could at the beginning of the war, and it was pressurized so it was much more manageable for the crews.


We had planned on doing a couple of things on Friday, but this museum was so fascinating (and huge) that we were all worn out by the time we got done. We just headed back to "the valley of the sun" and home.