June 9, 2006

from Arizona to New Hampshire

2,935 miles in 17 days

from dry, large sky in South East Arizona
to wet, tree closed hills of New Hampshire

I'm back in New Hampshire for the summer with my children and grandkids. The trip was fun, albeit long with a hairy end!

First stop ~ Dallas, TX: I visited with with Becky, a jewelry designer, and we made a trip to Sam Moon for fake hair, costume jewelry and handbags. No trip to Dallas is complete without stopping in to The Rock Barrell where I had to buy several strands of their close-out glass daggers from India. Suprisingly excellent quality pressed glass in mixed colors for under $3 a strand.

Second stop ~ Gilmer, TX: ...my home away from home with Marcie and Dave Fitzwater. Marcie is still recovering from a fall on the Bead Cruise and wasn't up to doing much this trip. It doesn't stop her from doing some of the most beautiful freeform bead work though. We did manage one quick trip to Hancock Fabrics to buy metallic embroidery thread for a new bead crochet necklace project. We laughed at ourselves as we separated 8 yards of embroidery thread into individual strands to string beads. It takes 2 people and a lot of arm waving and running around!

Third Stop ~ Memphis, TN: This was my beading visit of the trip with Mel, Medieval Needle. Her stitchery is something to behold. I'm in awe of what she can do with thread on fabric. While her husband painted the sunporch, we got out our beads and worked on projects. Mel finished a bracelet and made two more. I worked on several items that needed repair, tried a bracelet design that didn't quite work and finished my bead crochet necklace.

I did four even count peyote bands in matte black 8/0 beads and strung strands of red 6/0 beads between them. I used stretchy cord for the last set of strands thinking it would be enough to allow the bracelet to slip over the wrist.... didn't happen unless you are a 3 year old! So back to the drawing board on this one as I rather like the effect.

I finished my bead crochet necklace - designed from an idea I got from one purchased at Target. I used DMC polyester metallic embroidery thread and randomly strung a bead soup mix interspersed with 6mm red fire polished crystals.
I really like the added sparkle and color that the thread gives the piece. I need to apply some major adjustments to the next one and I think it will become a Bead Patterns item. I like the sparkle and fullness at a lighter weight and it would make a great project for those beginning bead crochet. It's composed of only a chain stitch with beads.

Fourth stop ~ Louisville, KY: a good visit with non-beading, but creative friends. We "did" the city, thrift stores, eateries and custom designed homes in way too short a time. I'm still tired thinking about all of the running around we did. I did tuck several bags of thrift store clothing finds into the nooks and crannies of the car.

Linda and Annette ( L to R in photo)took me to Lynn's Paradise Cafe for lunch. What a treat. I could hardly eat my lunch for looking at all of the fun and funky things all over the place. I chuckled at the hanging lamp made out of an old pair of pants covered with used tea bags.

Fifth Stop- Bluffton OH: Annette joined me in the car for the trip North to her home in Ohio. We had wanted to stop and see an arboretum, but the weather was too threatening to be walking around outside. The weather finally turned nice.... cool, bright sun, white fluffy clouds and a light breeze. I could have just sat on her porch with a cup of coffee, rocked and watched the corn grow. We did take time to visit the Toledo Museum of Art. Unfortunately the Libby Glass exhibit was not available - it is awaiting it's new home in a new building. I did see an Egyptian necklace that would look stunning if worn today. It's a beautiful inspiration for you polymer and wire artists. It just proves that if you wait long enough, everything comes back in style!

Annette's husband has ringed their field with bluebird houses. I had one of them take over my car mirrors as a perch. I'm not sure if this was the blue bird of happiness as I was unhappy having to do a bit of a cleaning down both sides of the car before I left!

Last stop ~ New Hampshire: Somewhere along the trip I must have annoyed the Fire Gods. I spent 2 hours stopped on the NY Thruway waiting for them to clear a 2-truck accident that had burned both semi's to a crisp.... then not 2 miles further was another truck fire that gave me another hour stopped on the thruway. The end of the trip on NY's mountain rte 7 & Vermont's Rte 9 saw a house fire that had traffic detoured up another mountain, around a second and down hairpin turns of a third. It wasn't fun with a great big truck right on my tail! When I got down to the Connecticut River Valley in VT, I stopped and let my nerves rest. I sure wish I'd had someone to call and say, "come get me!"

Now I have to put everything away and re-organize my Summer Studio so I can get some beading done. I have several things percolating away in my head from trip ideas. It's hard to take time for the mundane stuff when all you want to do is bead out new ideas.