The Big Trip: day 2 (Feb 2)

Las Vegas to Page Arizona, MondayBigWater

It’s not a terribly long drive – we got to Big Water Utah around 1:30 – after a stop in St. George UT for socks (don’t ask) and lunch from the market.  Another beautiful day.  Not warm – but sunny so it didn’t feel cold.  Big Water is still the same as it was some years ago when we frequented it while working at the Dam.  Lots and lots of oyster shell fossils.  Ted found some ammonite fragments and a few other bits and pieces.  I mostly walked and enjoyed the wide open space.  It’s kind of a zen thing.

Dinner at The Mexican restaurant.  There are two in Page – the 2nd one up the street – the one next to the Laundry Mat is the bomb.  Get the Cadillac Margarita.  It’s all good after that!


The Big Trip: day 1 (Feb. 1)

San Luis Obispo to Las Vegas.LasVegas Andi

We left at noon.  Andi and all her supplies.  All the fossil gear.  All the stuff Ted may need for work in the next 3 or 4 months that needs to get to St. Croix…  Lots of logistics and planning.

It was a great day.  The drive was easy and fun!  We made it to the hotel and then to Table 10 for our dinner reservation on time.  We had a great tasting menu with wine pairings.  Delicious and decadent.  Lots of fun!  After dinner we took a stroll down the strip – Andi not so sure about all the lights and noise and especially the escalators!


The Big Trip!

Packed CarThe Big Trip!  On my list is to drive across the country along the more southerly route.  The opportunity came about in discussion this past fall – as perhaps a method of getting to St. Croix.  It was originally planned for last year – a plan that did not reach fruition for various reasons…

I think the trip will be a great experience for Andi (our new pup) and I.  And as it turns out – Ted is joining us as far as New Orleans.

San Luis Obispo to Las Vegas (to eat, or course).  Las Vegas to Page Arizona (to fossil in Big Water Utah).  Page to Canyon de Chelly.  Chinle AZ to Payson (more fossils).  Tucson to meet up with Tim (brother-in-law) and his wife Pim at the huge Gem and Mineral Show.  Tucson to Carlsbad Caverns.  Carlsbad Caverns to some route across Texas with major fossil hunting at Lake Texoma.  Then on down Rt. 90 into the Mississippi Delta area eventually arriving in New Orleans for 2 nights (to eat more).  Then Ted flies home and I am off with Andi to Florida via more Rt. 90 into Florida and to Deland.    Ted will meet me up again in Orlando with Nimbus (the cat) and we will all travel together to St. Croix!  Phew!

Andi in the jeep – ready to go!




Merry Christmas! (2014)

The Crew – Nimbus (14 years old) and Andi (4 months).  This has been a great holiday!  We did all the traditional things – the grandkids joined us for a beach walk Christmas Eve.  We gorged on chocolate chip cookies…  Had friends and family for dinner Christmas Day.  Life is Good!


Shark tooth Hill…. or The Other Hobby!

From time to time, in the cooler months of the year, Ted and I like to head over to Bakersfield to Sharktooth Hill – or the Ernst Quarries.  Rob Ernst runs the quarries now since his dad passed.  Under Rob’s management you can make reservations for the days of the week that he might be open, meet at the gate near the road at 7:30am and spend a 1/2 day or whole day up on the hills looking, digging, sifting for shark’s teeth!

For Ted and I it’s a whole day affair.  Often we go over the night before and have a relaxing evening at the Padre Hotel downtown Bakersfield – there’s the Wool Grower’s (Basque restaurant) or a good steakhouse near the hotel.  It’s only a 2 1/2 hr. drive from home – but the 4am wakeup means an early poop-out by mid-afternoon….  One of the best parts about going over is hitting the Speedway Market for biscuits and gravy breakfast to go!  Best ever.

Rob has two sites open for general hunting – Slow Curve and then East Quarry.  This last time we went over to the East Quarry.  Brian from Florida and a trio from Reno joined us.  We pretty much all dug and sifted around the same area.  Mike from Reno found a small Megladon early on (the coup de gras) inspiring us to be even more diligent.

We did not find a Meg…  We have not yet to date found one.  We did find more than 200 shark teeth (around 15 million years old), some whale bones and maybe bird bones and seal teeth, porpoise teeth, whale teeth, stingray crusher plates and a bit of a stingray tail.

Andi-pup joined us and she had a great time!  I was worried she would be trouble and she was not!  She had her picnic lunch and enjoyed chasing the ants and the stink beetles, … and rolling in the dirt.



New Pup!

Meet Andalucia!  Born August 4 – she’s shy of 9 weeks in this picture.  She’s a silver Labrador Retriever.  We’ve been home with her since Sunday late night (it was a l o n g drive from her birth home) and she’s fitting in very well.  She’s calm but interested.  She puppy prances all over the kitchen!  She seems content to be near us and not wandering everywhere.  She’s been sleeping through the nights well.  She snuggles and plays.  She pretty much is ignoring Nimbus (which is a good thing).  We love her!

(Clearly no sewing going on here!)


Art Quilting

Heavy Thread-work

I’ve been working at heavy thread-work….  I love the look when I use organic, wavy lines and make the thread conform.  I’ve also been doing some whole-cloth quilting getting LOTS of practice in on free motion stitching.

I was at the fair yesterday and saw many lovely quilts entered.  I’m somewhat surprised that there are not more “art” type quilts.  99% of what I saw were bed quilts pieced in traditional looking designs.  Many with really nice color work.

So in looking it appears to me that MANY of the machine quilted quilts are clearly done with a machine that has a stitch regulator.  It’s more and more common – I think Bernina has engineered a regulator that is built in to their machines.  Long arm quilters have them and of course the big quilting machines have them.  I think that many quilters who put so much time and effort into making these beautiful tops actually send them out to a professional using a long arm quilter or quilting machine to have them quilted.  The results are stunning.  Perfection.   Every stitch in the quilting patterns and designs are the same length.

I free-motion my quilting.  I drop the feed dogs and use the quilting or darning foot, quide my quilt work under the needle hoping to coordinate my foot (speed) and my hands to work consistently at the same pace for the duration of the project – and also hoping to move the quilt along the lines and patterns that I intend.  Sometimes the inconsistency of the stitch is intentional and adds to the design and texture I am trying to create.  Sometimes the inconsistency of the stitch length is just user error and I have to try to incorporate major flubs into the intended design!

But overall – I have to admit that it’s not the color/fabric piecing that keeps me interested in the next quilt – but rather the threadwork.  The background quilting.


Weaving again….

At the loom!  The fiber is a beautiful 100% bamboo.  A little fragile on the warp – more fragile it seemed while warping – is holding fine now that I’m weaving with it.  I had a plan for a garment when I started this (ashamed to say several years ago….) – and I’m hoping that the plan holds true even after the time and memory abuse!  ….  stay tuned!