My husband Eric & I went wandering around northern Arizona on Saturday. I started the story yesterday, talking about seeing a condor and its nest at the Navajo bridge. http://tangibledaydreams.blogspot.com/2017/05/northern-az-roadtrip-part-1-navajo.html
So, after marveling at the condor and the view of the Colorado River, we headed westward along 89A, skirting the southern border of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Vermilion Cliffs is one of the national monuments that President Trump has put up on the chopping block to have its monument status reviewed, and I wanted to see what was at stake for myself. For the record, it was a gorgeous drive, and I wish we had been in a sturdier vehicle so we could take more of the interior roads. But, I digress.
So, soon after leaving the bridge, we came to Marble Canyon, and a strange little view. On a whim, we turned off into a dirt parking lot, and found the ruins of this strange little house.
I wandered around the main house, too. The roof was missing, save for some remaining beams, but there were still wood frames around the door and windows. The front window gazed out onto the road.
Well....not exactly. Internet to the rescue. This was the home of the Ziegfeld Follies dancer Blanche Russell, back in the prohibition era. Her husband Bill was diagnosed with tuberculosis, so they decided to move to the southwest climate for heath reasons. On their way, their car broke down in this spot one night. When they woke up, Blanche loved the spot so much that they just bought the land, and built the house. They started selling food and such to travelers, and ended up running a restaurant and trading post for a decade. You can read more about the story here: https://frametoframe.ca/2014/10/blanche-russells-rock-houses-marble-canyon-arizona/ and here: http://theproperfunction.com/the-cliff-dwellers/.
I love the story about the elves, but I think I like the real one better.
Anyway, back to our own travels. After leaving Blanche's place, we drove to the western edge of the Vermilion cliffs, and up to the condor viewing station. This is where the endangered California Condors have been being released back into the wild. It was a gorgeous drive!
At the Canyon, we got down to the reason that we had actually made the trip. I've been weaving ruanas for the Etsy shop, and I thought that it might be a fun idea to take some product photos, showing the garments as they'd be worn. Eric manned the camera for these shots, while I modeled.
We watched the sun down, and then made our way back through the deer and back to Flagstaff.
Well, with one more stop. Just north of Flagstaff is the Wupatki National Monument, which we know from past trips is very, very dark at night. And so, we turned off the highway into the monument a little ways, just far enough to get away from the lights of the passing cars. And, I made my first stab at night sky photography:
So, all in all, a most excellent adventure!
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Monday, May 29, 2017
My husband Eric & I were on walkabout yesterday, wandering around the northern part of Arizona. We started in Flagstaff and headed north, first driving through the Navajo reservation.
It gives an incredible bird's eye view of the river below!
On our way back across the bridge to the car, I thought I saw someone sitting on the structure underneath the car bridge. On closer look though, it was a huge, huge bird! Yes, I had spotted a California Condor!!
83 of those are in the Arizona/Utah area.
There was another couple also watching Mr. 54 here, who let me know that he and his mate evidently had a nest on the cliffs upstream, visible from the bridge. So I began to scan the cliffs...
Ah ha! The droppings gave it away.
I'll write another entry about the rest of our day's travels tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Thursday, May 25, 2017
This particular project? When I had posted pictures of my last blue-green ruana project on Facebook, a gentleman very enthusiastically requested that I make another batch in purple and black. I love that kind of enthusiasm! I love knowing that my work is going to go to someone who really wants and appreciates it. Purple it is!! I worked with him, and we chose black, grey, and four different purples in 3/2 cotton for the warp. I'll blend the colors across the width of the warp in a gradation from dark to light.
This project is going to be tricky to photograph, it seems. Purple. Purple is a pain to get correctly in the camera and on the screen. The camera just doesn't want to capture it. My new camera seems to be better at it than my old one, though. My older one would have read this entirely as blue. Trust me though. This is purple, purple, purple! Nice and rich and royal.
Next up will be getting this onto the loom, but that is going to wait for a few days. My husband Eric & I are headed out of town this weekend for some two-time in the northern part of Arizona. I'm thinking of bringing my finished ruanas with me, and doing some product photography for the Etsy shop. Maybe in front of the Grand Canyon. Or in the pine woods up on the mountains. Or.... We'll see where we end up! It will be an adventure.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
I've been busily taking pictures and listing a couple of months' worth of hand woven shawls and ruanas in the Etsy shop today. I'm feeling all accomplished, and wanted to take a moment to bask. They don't look half bad when you get them all together, do they? The Etsy shop is here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/tangibledaydreams
Thursday, May 11, 2017
off the loom, and through the wet finishing process! I love love how this fabric softens up in that first wash. I put it through the washing machine on hot, with high agitation, and then toss it in the dryer for a full cycle. Any shrinking or bleeding it is going to do is going to be done, and the whole thing just becomes so lovely to the touch.
Next up: ironing, and snipping stray threads, and looking for any skipped weaving threads to fix. Then I'll get to the sewing part. This is going to be 3 ruanas, which are a poncho like garment. I'm trying to decide if I keep one of these beauties for myself. I know I have one of my ruanas I've kept already, and I do wear it regularly. But, that was one of my stripy hand dyed ones. This is a new design. Shouldn't I keep one to test out? Maybe? Truth is, I'm just so pleased with the way the fabric turned out that I want one.
The details: 3/2 Valley mercerized cotton for the warp, in three greens and three blues, sett at 12 ends per inch. The weft is 10/2 Valley mercerized cotton, in dark blue, blue-green, and black for the different garments. The weave is plain weave.