Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Over the top

The dialog gets crazier and more confusing all the time. Like most, my info comes from the news channels. Taking the time to double check on accuracy and what is left out can be difficult and very time consuming. If we could all do all the information gathering ourselves we wouldn’t need the media. I am sure that this over dramatizing of the issues was meant to spark debate and hopefully lead to constructive actions. If he is really serious and correct I think we should all go start to compare life insurance premiums so our loved ones don’t bear a great burden.

Almost A Neighbor

I did not know this until today but the Designs by Vanessa shop owner and I are nearly neighbors. We both live in the Phoenix metro area. Could it also be a coincidence that we both love birds although I don’t interpret them into art as beautifully as she does. I just adopted one for my mascot so to speak.

Let me show you a couple of my favorite things in her shop right now.

I like the contrast of the dark metal with the delicate pink in these earrings and of course the birdies.

These cute cards come in a set of 3 and are blank so you do your own message for any occasion.

Her blog is well worth following. She makes some fabulous finds and shares them all there. Find the Designs by Vanessa blog right here!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nice Time

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I think the kids had a nice time on a hot Sunday. The water in the river was a very comfortable temperature. All of us waded for awhile. This was at the Salt river where a lot of people go tubing. As we watched the tubers float by we were a bit jealous and decided this is definitely something we want to do. We will have to wait until next year. This was the last weekend of the season.





From here we checked out the Rawhide Wild West Town. Jordan got a lesson in roping a steer. We took a train ride and had a great dinner.

They are on the way home now. The house is quiet.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

See Me If You Must

I try not to get in pictures if I can help it. Every once in awhile some one will get me to stand still for one. In this first picture I put myself in the shot without knowing it until later. If you click on the picture to see it larger you will see me sitting on the curb to take pictures of Hunter's first bike ride.


I think my granddaughter took this picture. She was young and probably didn't really know what she was doing. This is the same child who asked, "Grandma when did you start highlighting your hair?" I had to explain that I didn't do it but rather nature and age had.


One of my favorite vacations was a road trip from Salt Lake City to Calgary in 2003. We drove through Glacier National Park in Montana. Jim took this picture of me during one of many stops for pictures. Since we were both smoking then I will fess up to the cigarette I am holding while I try to convince him the view is better for a picture than I am. I was about 30 pounds thinner then too.


The last picture you are getting of me was taken last year in the saloon on the main street in Prescott, AZ. This is right across the street from the lovely court house. I love that town.


Behind the faces is a woman who likes travel, new restaurants, dogs, books, family, documentary type television, oldies, country and celtic music and keeping my hands busy.

So there you have it folks. This post is part of an EtsyBlogger blog carnival. The topic choices were to show yourself or your studio. My "studio" is in great danger of becoming a piled to the ceiling storage room so you get me. The blog carnival will be hosted on the Memories for Life Blog this coming Monday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Start and Finish

I think everyone needs a special place to start and end their day don't you? No I do not mean in front of the computer either. I mean your bedroom. In mine I go to sleep snuggled under handmade goodness and wake to a sunny room that has a lot of handmade pieces in it. I will show you what I mean.
On my bed is a quilt that we got on a trip to Pennsylvania several years ago. We stayed at a B and B called the Artist's Inn and Gallery which I highly recommend to anyone traveling in the area. Jan sent me to a little out of the way place to start me on my search for a Pennsylvania quilt. When we got to that place and started looking around there were several quilts that I was attracted to. We discovered that the ones I liked were all by the same quilter. Her name was Lucy Hoover which I understand is a very common name in Amish country. Her choice of colors and the high quality of the piecework and hand quilting just blew me away. This quilt had more blue in it than most of the others she had done and I was really impressed by this block. There is quite a bit of skill involved to get all those diamonds and little triangles into a flat block with all the little points showing just like they should.

The pitcher you see was made by the son of someone I worked with at an elementary school. The maker was in a high school pottery class and his mom brought in several of his pieces to show them to all our coworkers. I fell in love with this because of the shape and the colors. She was kind enough to gift it to me. Every place I have lived since I got it I keep this in a spot where I can see it several times a day. I just like looking at it.

This little piece is only a couple inches high. It was made by a potter who had a shop in Old Town San Diego. I don't know if he is still there since I got this in the 1980's. The size of this piece meant that is was something I could afford at the time. Again my favorite color blue is part of what drew me to this as well as the graceful shape.

This painting is my favorite thing in my whole house. It hangs in my bedroom to keep it away from any harsh direct sunlight and because I love having it there. This was done many, many years ago by my great aunt Alicia Haynes also known as Lee. The family stories say she went to New York to study art. I know that in a collection of old postcards my mom has there are some that she sent home from there to her mother in Kansas. Several other members of the family have some charcoal and pen and ink drawings that she did. I think this is the only oil painting that the family has. I have no idea if she sold her work or if it was just a hobby. The flowers are sweet peas which are one of my most loved flowers taking second place to roses. The colors in this look so pretty hanging above the bed over my quilt. The fact the I am related to someone who could do things like this feels special.

So there you have it. The special place where I rest at night and welcome each new day. Do you have such a place? Tell me about it. I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

EtsyBloggers Blog Carnival September 14th, Remembering, Good Works and Pride

Welcome to the September 14, 2009 edition of etsybloggers. I asked my fellow bloggers to remember September 11th, consider since then what they do to make the world a better place or tell us what they take personal pride in.

craftsbykatie presents I joined the Etsy Bloggers team posted at Katie McFarland's Pottery and Clay Murals.

Becky presents An Adventurous Spirit posted at The Fab Miss B.

Athena Workman presents September 11 Etsybloggers Blog Carnival: Braggin' posted at the weblog of artist athena workman.

Ricki Chambers presents Blog Carnival - 9/11 Brag brag blah de blah... posted at Plush Robot Art Blog.

Caron Mosey presents What Are We Proud Of? posted at Brookside Creations.

Lily Wrey presents etsyBloggers September 11, 2009 Blog Carnival Be Forewarned .... posted at TuLips Talking.

Linda B presents September 11, 2001 - 8 Years Later - Donations of Sales Proceeds posted at Linda B's Blog.

PatchFirstShop presents To make the world better.. posted at PatchFirstShop.

Sharrie Puckett presents Blog Carnival - Brag on Yourself posted at StorybookStitches.

MagdaleneJewels presents Carnival Blog: A Favorite Indian Recipe posted at MagdaleneJewels's Blogs.

Rose Works Jewelry presents Rose Works Jewelry: Etsy Bloggers Carnival - Talking about OHM posted at Rose Works Jewelry.

Sandy Simpson presents 9/11 posted at Punky Jane.

Mysie presents Blog Carnival 09.11.09 - I am the Cool Aunt posted at Miao Miao by Mysie.

Edi presents Be Proud-Blog Carnival Entry posted at Memories for Life Scrapbooks.

MagdaleneJewels presents Carnival: Remembering September 11 posted at MagdaleneJewels's Blogs.

Tammy presents tamdoll's workspace: Significant Knitting posted at tamdoll's workspace.

Kathy Johnston (Cozy) presents I know it's early posted at A Cozy Life.

HomeMadeOriginals presents Significance posted at Home Made Originals.

TiLTcreations presents Etsybloggers Carnival: 9-11 posted at Crafts, kids, home and life.

thatDESIGNshop presents My first Blog Carnival! posted at That Design Gal.

To all those who participated in this blog carnival, thank you! To all those who read the articles and thought about new ways to make the world a nicer place, way to go! To all those who told us of personal pride producing achievements, thank you for inspiring others!

Now let's go visit our teammates blogs and read this edition of the EtsyBloggers Blog Carnival!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

I know it's early

I know it is a bit early to think about Christmas for most of us anyway. I have had a few friends that had all their shopping done by Halloween. There is something I want you to consider as the holidays approach this year and this year it could even be more needed with unemployment so high and struggling families.

Jim and I believe that Christmas is for kids. The thought of kids going without a celebration or even a small gift makes us sad. Nearly every year we find a way to help a family or child. One year the bishop of the local ward told us of a family who couldn't get anything for their kids so we donated to that. We have given to kids and families who struggled at the school I used to work at. Jim has participated in a Secret Santa at the hospitals he works at. One year we donated and volunteered time for Toys for Tots with the Marines. We have bought requested presents for kids on the trees you see in stores and malls as well. It just feels good to know that those children who might go without can get something for Christmas.

You know it doesn't really take much to make Christmas and the world a nicer place. Try it and you will feel so good!

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Weekends

One of the favorite things for our family on weekends is the Sunday drive. We would load the kids in the car and just follow a road or county highway to see where it ends. This is something Jim and I still do here in Arizona. We have made some great discoveries and seen some beautiful places.



Following Highway 88 out of Apache Junction you end up on a dirt road past Canyon, Apache and Rossevelt Lakes ending up at Rosevelt Dam.
Canyon Lake where you can see the level lowered for work on the dam.

Taking US 60 to the east to Globe and then continuing on US 70 takes you through a few very small towns and the San Carlos Reservation. I don't remember what town it was but on that route we found a great local ice cream and burger place. It had 21 flavors of ice cream and a quilt shop next door.

You can also head south of US 60 before you get to Globe to end up in Kearny. There is a nice little pizza place there right on the main street.

Can you tell our little road trips almost always include a stop for a snack or meal?

If you go east on US 60 if starts to head north and you can end up in the pine trees of the Show Low-Pinetop area. We went up there for a blue grass festival once. We had a granddaughter along with us that time. That road wanders down in switchbacks to a river and back up again. Silly me recommended that road to a sister who get motion sickness. Let's just say she didn't like the trip as much as I did.

South and east of Tuscon are the very touristy Tombstone and the mining town of Bisbee. The way is is built in a canyon Bisbee reminded me of Park City in Utah minus the skiing.

Going north on the Beeline Highway (87) you go through Payson. You can get on Highway 280 there and drive through some very pretty scenery and tie in to US 40. If you head west on this towards Flagstaff you can see the Impact Crater.
View from the Mogollon Rim in the Payson area.

North on Highway 17 can take you to Prescott. Prescott has a beautiful town square with a courthouse. Antique stores and restaurants in the block surrounding the courthouse are fun to check out.
The Yavapi Courthouse in Prescott.

These are just a few of our little trips since we have moved here.

Where have you been lately?
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Little Friend

Look past the blurry scarf, into the leaves to see who stopped to see me as I was taking pictures today. It is one of the hummingbirds that come visit my flowers several times a day. I have been wanting to catch them for awhile. I was afraid to move the camera closer because I figured it would scare the bird away. If you click on the picture you can see him or her (I don't know) better.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Centered Pottery






My daughter pointed out the website Centered Pottery to me the other day. I was simply blown away by the things I saw there. The reason she told me about it is because the artist is the younger brother of someone she went to high school with.












According to his website Danny is living the dream of many artists. By that I mean the ability to make a living from something you are passionate about. Not only does he make a living he shares his passion with others by teaching classes.






From his site Centered Pottery in his own words-
Few of us get to pursue our truest and deepest passion as an everyday career, and even fewer of us know what that passion is early in life. Danny Dastrup is among one these lucky few, who knew a life of clay was for him at the tender age of seventeen. It was love at first touch in a high school ceramics class. Danny had a bond with clay that was unexplainable even to himself. However, realizing how powerful this bond was, and the importance clay would have on his life, Danny knew he had to find an instructor who shared the same bond and passion with clay. This crucial bond was missing in his high school classroom and he would soon seek outside influences that would change his life.
In 1996 Danny began an apprenticeship at the Red Kiln Studios in his home town of Salt Lake City with two successful clay artists, Aaron Ashcroft and Richard Barker. The two of them, along with Ken Marvel, taught Danny skills, techniques and philosophies that would later merge with his own gifts and talents, to allow him to pursue clay as a full time venture. Photos of these early teachers still hang above Danny’s potter’s wheel. While Danny has a style of his own, and has developed many of his own techniques, the influences of these masters still breathe life into the clay that spins on Danny’s potter’s wheel.
Now, a decade later, Danny has exhibited and continues to exhibit around the country and has work in private collections in Japan, Russia, Spain, Jamaica, New Zealand and South Africa.
Most recently Danny was a recipient of the Career Grant from the Marin Arts Council. This grant has allowed Danny to reach an even broader audience with his work, making Danny’s goal of bringing art into people’s everyday experiences even easier.
Danny currently teaches adult classes at "The Potters' Studio" in Berkeley, CA.

I almost wish he was closer. I'd be tempted to take a class. Even more tempting is the thought of maybe collecting some of his work. I need a new hobby right? What about you?
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reading 2009 The Angel of Grozny by Asne Seierstad

├ůsne Seierstad, Norwegian writerImage via Wikipedia

I was unfamiliar with the author and journalist Asne Seierstad until I ran across her book "The Angel of Grozny at the library not long ago." The summary below is from Wikipedia-
Angel of Grozny attempts to give an accessible and impartial account of the complicated historical and political forces at play in the Chechen conflict whilst also describing her encounters with combatants and civilians on both sides. The book features an account of her meeting with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. As well as trying to understand the mindset of the Chechen and Russian people, one of the books key themes is the exposure of corruption in the process of reconstructing Chechnya.

The Angel of Grozny of the book's title is a Chechen woman Hadijat Gatayeva who has turned her home into an orphanage for street children of the war.

One of the key themes may have been the corruption but another theme was more prominent to me. I was saddened to read the stories of the women and children caught up in a society torn apart just trying to survive. It certainly makes me thankful to live in a place where war is not on the doorsteps of our homes and schools. What are we doing to the children of the war zones around the world. My heart bleeds for them.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ugh!

Just one of those days. I was going to use a camera recently and the sd card was full. I made a point to get the pictures off of it so I would be ready. I knew I had some things I wanted to show off in pictures here. As I left the post office today I realized I had just mailed what I wanted to get pictures of. I think I need to carry a to do list with all I want to do in correct order on a clipboard around my neck. Anyway there were six of them and they are on the way to North Carolina.

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