Friday, February 17, 2012

Shopping (fun) Day

DH and my dad went to play golf this morning, so my mom and I took off shopping. Our first stop was Needler's Nest:


This store has supplies for Needlepoint and Cross stitch. A class in the back was teaching Hardanger. And they have the complete line of Edmar fibers, the rayon threads that are used for Brazilian Embroidery.

I found a medium sized Brazilian embroidery project, and picked up the threads to finish it. Most of the threads are only about $1.00 each, but the pattern called for a lot of them. I hope to get a picture of the project later.

Our next stop was the bead store:


It is not a huge store, but it is sure packed. I was sorry I did not need anything from there.

Our next stop was Dragonfly Yarns. This was a very nice shop.


The people were extremely helpful and they had a good suggestion for a Southwest themed project: I bought a skein of overdyed lace-weight yarn and a very nice scarf pattern that echos the mountains that surround Phoenix. Mom was asking if I was going to start it right away, but so far I have held off. (It has been a whole 6 hours since I got it!)

After that shopping orgy, we stopped for coffee and books at the bookstore, picked up groceries for supper on the way home, and then spent the afternoon on the patio, enjoying the warm breezes.

Wish you were here!

I finished my TAST stitching for last week, and started on the detached chain stitch for this week, but haven't gotten any pictures yet. It is turning out pretty cool!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scottsdale, Arizona

Today we went to Scottsdale, Arizona, and spent some time exploring that area. First we tried to go to Taliesin West, the western center for Frank Lloyd Wright, but we were not interested enough to pay the rather exhorbitant entrance fees. We were quite disappointed that you could not even look around the outside of the compound, or see anything without taking the tour. Without going on the tour, there was very little to see:


most of the buildings are mostly under-ground. After that disappointment we went to the Fine Art Expo. Some very large tents are set up, and artists have space to display their artwork and even studio space to work on paintings or other work.


My favorite display was by Susan Hartenhoff, a bead artist. She had some beautiful things, and was very happy to chat with me about her work. Her web-site is
She had some cachobon work, some spiral work, but mostly it was bead embroidery.



She had some beaded satin stitch here with another line added "in the ditch" trying to mimic the fly stitch. The beads were so fine! These pieces were amazing... I didn't even ask the price!


DH insisted we stop at Knit Happens, the yarn store in Scottsdale. (He's a keeper.) It was a very nice store, but I did not find what I was looking for. C likes southwest style, and I wanted to find something to knit for him. I was sure if there were anything in the southwest style, I would find it in Arizona, but so far no luck. Mom and I are going to another yarn shop tomorrow, so maybe I can find something there.

IMG_1286 (See, nice store.)

For supper we went out to a very nice restaurant to celebrate my mom's and my birthdays (a little belated for hers, a little in advance of mine). We had steak and chocolate cake, and wonderful company.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Music Instrument Museum, Phoenix

Yesterday we went to the Music Instrument Museum in Phoenix, and we had a wonderful time. DH plays half a dozen instruments, and loves his music, so he had a great time.


The museum has only been open for 2 years, and the building is lovely as well. Here's the entry hall:


The entrance fee covers a headset for each visitor. The galleries are quiet, but when you approach a display with your headset, it picks up the sound for the video running at that display. That allows scores of displays to run in the same space without the sound overlapping, making it impossible to hear anything.

There is a gallery for each continent, and they were all facinating. It was so interesting to see that everywhere in the world people banged on things, plucked or played strings, and blew through some kind of tube to make music. I took over 100 pictures... you can go look at my flickr account if you would like to see more. Here is a picture from the Argentina exhibit:


Most of the video was about the Tango, and only about 30 seconds covered my favorite Argentine music, the folklore.

This picture is for P. He is learning to play the recorder... I wonder what it would be like to play this kind of horn?!


The gallery we saved for last was called the Experience Gallery. DH tried every instrument they had:

metal "bells"

a djembe

a marimba
IMG_1253 and more!

They had gongs, guitars, many kinds of drums, all kinds of maracas and castanets, a nickelodeon, and a theramin. We had a grand time playing.

The weather is cool for here, but we have been in short sleeves, and today there has been a lot of sun. Wish you were here!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Back Yard

Here is the picture of the back yard I wanted to share with you. It is through the screened porch, but I love the diversity: A palm tree, a saguaro, a couple of orange trees, and no grass.


Plus a little chimenea. Maybe we could have a fire...

Sudoku Mystery

Finally, after the HEG meeting on Monday night, I am able to reveal our Sudoku Mystery project. Our committee discovered a Sudoku pattern in a magazine, and decided to offer it to our members. During our September meeting everyone received a couple of Sudoku puzzles, with the solutions in a sealed envelope, to be opened only in the case of emergency. In October and November we talked about how to stitch the framework for the puzzle, and now, in February, we finally revealed how the squares were to be stitched.

One of the first steps was to pick an overdyed floss, preferrably one with many colors, so you could pick out 9 coordinating colors for the squares. My overdyed floss reminds me of a pastel rainbow, so I picked out 9 rainbow colors, plus white, to use for my puzzle.

I am not following the stitch choices or combinations suggested by the magazine, but decided to do my own thing... which has been a lot of fun.


This is how far I am. We are using 2 sudoku puzzles, one gives the color, the other the pattern. For example, the white squares represent "1" on the color puzzle, purple "2", and pink "3." The other puzzle gives a "1" for the top left square in the puzzle, and I used basketweave to represent that number. So far, there is only one square in the puzzle that uses that pattern. If you would like to see the pattern for each number, you can look on my flickr page here, I have a picture of each pattern there.

It was a lot of fun to decide the pattern for each number. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do, but in a couple of cases I had to try 2 or 3 times to get exactly what I wanted. I still may have to take out the first "5" I did (on the bottom row, second from the left). There are a couple of gaps in the stitching I would like to do away with.

I am in Arizona! I was going to post a nice picture from the back yard of where we are staying, but I'm having trouble downloading the pictures. I will try to post some tomorrow.