January 29, 2007

Payson AZ Bead Cave

This past weekend I made a trip to Payson AZ, nestled below the Mogollon Rim. It is five hours north of Tombstone and I chuckled to think that I had to go north to get warm. It was 30 degrees and snowing as I left Tombstone, 60 degrees in Tucson and 70 degrees in Phoenix. This was a spur of the moment bead road trip that culminated in a bead cave. I stopped in Sun City and toured the new, beautifully organized studio of my long time friend, Crystal . Then we packed her beads in the car and headed out for Payson. I had never been in that part of Arizona and only knew it as a colored road line on a map. What a gorgeous surprise as we climbed into high country and rounded curves to see valleys laid out below us. It was breathtaking country.
We arrived at Jo's home and were warmly greeted by her and the bead group already there. We beaded, looked at bead eye candy, shopped for beads, and laughed a lot as we got to know each other. And then we ate.... oh did we eat well at this cave.
Jo's studio is all windows that look out at the mountains. It was hard to keep my eyes on my beadwork and not just look out the windows. I'm terrible with names the first time I meet a group of people and - some I remember, but don't know how to spell - some I can spell, but don't remember - so I won't embarrass myself by putting wrong names to the faces in these photos. I can claim age-related memory problems - right? They are all a great group of talented people and we shared beading techniques, supplies, beads and lots & lots of raucous laughter. Jo's hospitality was unsurpassed and it was one of the most elegant and comfortable bead caves I've attended in a long time. I can't wait to go back for another round of laughter and good company. Jo, many thanks for being the hostess for this great time.

~Creativity Notes
I finally had the time to try out Robin Adkins' "Finger Weaving" and for the first time in a long while actually finished a complete piece at a bead cave.

What a fun way to use up an eclectic mix of odd beads and charms. Somehow, people kept adding odd colored green beads to my mix and my bracelet came out looking like a forest in early Summer. C-Lon cording was the perfect base for this project; stiff enough to weave with crispness; and supple enough to give the finished bracelet a nice hand. Robin's instructions and photos are quite clear and easy to follow. I'm very pleased with the results and see many other possibilities.

January 23, 2007

Socking turn of events

OK , it's time to wear socks. As a friend pointed out.... Tombstone AZ has now had more snow than my home in New Hampshire and I went from "oh, wow, picture pretty snow" to "enough snow & cold already" in just 48 hours!
Creativity Notes:

My netted skullcap is in it's 3rd iteration and this one looks like it will work. Now I'm going to add 3 rows of bead crochet netting and a smaller crocheted band to the bottom edge. However, this is only prototype #1.
This whole project is solving a problem for a friend who rides a motorcycle and wants a summer riding cap to keep his hair from blowing. Seems the netted skull cap just isn't different enough. I'll finish the netted cap, but I'm now working on prototype #2; a peyote beaded band (flames, of course) that would have a crocheted back area (like a scarf) with ties on the ends of the band that would tie over the scarf portion at the back of the neck. I'm thinking it will be heavier than would be practical.... we'll see!

January 22, 2007

Snow in Tombstone

Someone lend me a snow shovel!!

Socks, yes ~ Shoes, maybe .... the snow is getting deeper, however I just may stay in the house today!

The other day when I said it was pretty, I didn't expect Mother Nature to listen to me and send 6" more snow. Once is an event here in the Arizona desert, twice is downright annoying.

The Tombstone hills at daybreak.

The view to the East from my kitchen window.

The back porch just looks chilly, not as inviting as when I arrived in December.

.... This is the most snow I've had since I started coming to Tombstone six years ago. Tucson is reporting that it's the most snow there since 1971. Enough........ give me back my Arizona weather, not the New Hampshire weather I thought I left behind.

January 20, 2007

Tempted to wear socks

Yes, I'm in Tombstone, Arizona and yes, that's snow. I almost put socks on my feet this morning, but then remembered it would all melt off by noon. Monday saw the lowest temperatures recorded since the 1800's, according to the Tucson radio. It was also my first experience with frozen water pipes!
This morning I woke up to the suprise of several inches of snow.

I can see the Courthouse from my front yard.

The cactus in my front yard looked funny with their icing of snow.

As long as I didn't have to drive in it, scrape it off of the car or shovel it; the snow is a beautiful sight.

The Mesquite tree and the hills from my back porch really glistened as the sun came out from behind the clouds.
~Creativity Notes~
I've been playing with designing and making a bead crocheted skullcap for a friend. I'm on about my third iteration as something doesn't seem to work each time. The first error was my misunderstanding on where to add increasing and I ended up with a strangely lopsided cap. Another "light bulb" was the fact that if I did it all in beads, it would be so heavy that it would probably slide off of the head all by itself. Then I thought crocheted netting would be interesting and tried that.... well, maybe... however I'm now told that a specific pattern is wanted around the circumference. So back to the drawing board and maybe treat it like an over sized rope, crocheted from the bottom up and shape the top portion.

January 3, 2007

Shoe Fetish Virus

Judith's feet are not going to be very happy! She just got them these strange looking new shoes. Judith was told, in no uncertain terms that she could not walk the desert anymore or get on the back of a motorcycle in flip-flops. So she went down to Sister Tina's antique store for advice. Tina looked around and found this pair of boots and gave them to her! Tina wanted her sister to be prepared and she got a kick out of making Judith try on boots and listen to her complain. Judith now has 8 pairs of flip-flops, 1 pair of tennis shoes and these *^#$ boots in her closet. Judith's feet are not gonna be happy at all! Can you catch a shoe fetish virus from your two Sisters who each own well over 60 pairs of shoes/boots? I sure hope not. Will they look strange under linen pants or dresses? Will they make me a better beader?
Judith's usual footwear 360 days of the year! The other 5 days they sport socks.