May 30, 2011

Trip East 2011

I've been home in NH for a week now and I think I've recovered from the trip. We ended up not doing the sight seeing that we had planned on and made a hurried trip from Colorado onwards.

Western skies can be ever so dramatic with the distant mountains.

We spent one night on the trip in the smallest Motel room I've ever seen. The shower was 2'x2' and there was about 2' all around a king sized bed - real upscale 1950's motel on old US highway - it had a phone in the bathroom!

When we checked in I asked about WiFi and this was what I was handed for the passcode. It was bigger than the room!

We meandered from AZ, through western New Mexico and Colorado. I thoroughly enjoyed Gallup.

The going up was fine, however the going down did get quite interesting at times.

In Grand Junction, Colorado, our trip took a drastic turn. Just coming out of miles & miles of nothing but beautiful river scenery we crossed a set of RR tracks ... and an un-marked "Whoop-di-doo"! Up went the trailer, down came the trailer, sideways went the trailer and screeched flat. Tow truck and U-Haul to the rescue. As my Son aptly put it, "A U-Box tow moter putting a U-made trailer into a U-Haul box!"

We had only 7 days to get the U-Haul to NH or pay extra. As this made the tow at the outside limits of what the Element could handle, we opted to hot foot it home via the shortest route.

That meant over the Rockies rather than around them. Whew, twice over 10,000 ft and icy cold snow!

In St Joseph, MO, I discovered the original home station of the Pony Express. " The Pony Express was in service from April 1860 to November 1861. Its primary mission was to deliver mail and news between St. Joseph, Missouri, and San Francisco, California."

Found this stone cutter in the Midwest. I've never seen an establishment that had this many samples on view. What you see here is only one quarter of what was in the yard. Wonder if he made that many errors, or expected a lot of people with the same names to come in and buy carved rocks?

Loved this auto transporter. Pull up behind him and pretend you're driving something more exotic than a Honda Element.

I'd almost like to collect small town libraries and old court houses. This Library was most elegant with all of it's copper details.

So now I'm sitting here in NH looking at a yard that has grass high enough to lose a 3 yr. old in it. Everything is green and much more humid than the AZ desert. I did get in early enough to enjoy the last of the daffodils and the lilacs are blooming. I'm trying to make a list of house things I need to get done this summer. Meanwhile the ants and spiders are well on their way to taking over inside.

May 22, 2011

Question & Gift

First, the question.....

I've talked to a lot of bead crocheters over the years and recently have been watching YouTube videos on how to bead-crochet. I start all of my ropes like this photo; with a bead in each chain stitch. There are many who start their ropes with just a plain chain, no beads. They add the beads in the next round. How do you start your ropes and why? Does the extra round of bead-less chain stitches make it easier to join ropes - or harder? In your experience, what is the advantage (disadvantage) of one start over the other?

Next, the gift.....

I've just traveled 3,000 miles from the Winter Studio in Arizona to New Hampshire for the Summer. I had three of these glasses cases filled with projects to work on during the trip. One of the great things about bead crochet is it's portability. One of the ropes that I wanted to try

was a simple, uncomplicated spiral with the Long Magatamas. I fell in love with this matte raspberry Iris color. I used LMA-2005 Magatama and 8/0, 8-2005 in this rope. I'm thinking that I just might add onto the rope and use the swirls of scales as lariat ends. This one just does not want to be a bracelet of any kind. It's all a very simple 3A, 3M spiral stringing pattern. I threw the basic information onto a PDF and you are welcome to a copy of it over at Bead Patterns.

THIS IS THE LINK for the PDF - it's a thank you for your support of my work over the years.

If you don't know about Bead Patterns, you really should take the time to look around. They have more beading patterns than anyone could ever use in several lifetimes. I have many other patterns, as well as print & eBooks for sale there also. Go do a search under my name, you might find something else interesting to suit your fancy.

May 10, 2011

Road Trip - AZ to NH

It's time to hit the road and head for New Hampshire for the Summer. The beads are all packed and tomorrow we'll pack the trailer, car and shut down the house. Sometime in the afternoon we hope to be on the road. This trip we're going to meander north along the Arizona/New Mexican border, into Colorado and then head East. We'll visit family in Central Illinois and Chicago before driving along the Great Lakes and into New Hampshire.

Some people travel with pets, but we'll have one of our pet tomatoes with us. My Boyfriend had these great plants that he started from seed this winter in hopes of having fresh fruit before we left. Didn't happen, so he insists on taking at least one plant with us.

This is what my huge Prickly Pear cactus looks like after February's big freeze here. It used to be as tall as the house.

2 weeks ago I deep watered the plant as people were telling me that some of them just might re-grow from the roots. To my amazement, I noticed this several days ago.... New growth! Now there are at least a dozen tiny little buds of pads poking through the crusty, dead looking skin on the plant. Hopefully I'll see a rejuvenated plant when I return in the Fall.

I have lots of bead crochet strung up to work on while traveling. I'm ready to get on the road and look at some more of the beautiful country we live in. Time to shut things down and get going.