Saturday, October 26, 2019

Sol Duc Hot Spring

Now that was a treat. While visiting my son in Seattle he took us on an excursion... out to the Olympic Peninsula where he indulged his hot springs freak momma with a trip to Sol Duc Hot Springs in Olympic National Park. Yes, I'm a spoiled gal!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Quotations... Art Inspiration

There's a little Salvadoran restaurant that I frequent, and have become quite friendly with one of the waitresses. She's a gal from Venezuela, a recent immigrant, who, when we first met, spoke little or no English. She was working hard at learning, and since we'd become regulars at the restaurant we would chat and she could to practice her English.

We had a little start one day, when we went for dinner and found the restaurant shuttered and empty. We wondered how we would find our friend again. Lucky for us it turned out that the restaurant had not really closed, but had, quite suddenly, moved to a new location a few miles down the street.

When we finally caught up with our waitress friend again, we told her that we had been sad when had thought the restaurant had closed and we'd not get to see her anymore, so with the idea that someday we would meet for coffee or desserts we exchanged numbers. Unfortunately, I work days and she works most every night, so despite our good intentions, we never managed to make that happen, but we we've continued our friendship at the restaurant.

One night as we finished dining, she came over to the table, three deserts in hand, sat down at the table across from us and told us that since we never are able to coordinate schedules to have our coffee and dessert date, we would just do it now. She went on to say that her father had a saying... "The special moment is now" and explained that he thought it was silly how people are always saving things, like that nice bottle of wine, or the pretty new dress, or the special dinnerware, or whatever, for an off in the future special occasion, when the reality is that life is short and we should enjoy it now. So that night, even though she was working, she declared that "the special moment is now" and we all had a nice dessert together.

As a person who has always been guilty of saving things for the special occasion, I thought that really was an excellent sentiment, one that I really needed to take to heart. I decided that I would put that quote on few coffee mugs as a reminder, and make one for my waitress friend as a thank you for sharing her father's words of wisdom with us.

I threw some mugs and sprigged on little placard on which I stamped "The special moment is now", and a few weeks later, after they had gone through all the drying, glazing and firing steps brought them to my friend at the restaurant. She was thrilled with the surprise, and quite touched that I had remembered her fathers quote. She even cried a little. I always enjoy it when I can make a piece and share it with the perfect person and make them smile! I also enjoy getting new art inspiration. I can see a series of quote mugs in my future!

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Heart Mountain... a Sad Ghost Town

Another ghost town.... This one has a sad story; the time the United States ran concentration camps where American citizens were incarcerated. Now a ghost town, Heart Mountain, Wyoming was home to some 14,000 Japanese Americans over the course of 3 years during WWII. I won't repeat history here, but you can raise all about it on the on the Heart Mountain site

Not much of town is left, part of the hospital, some old foundations and bits of pipes and wires. We were able to peek in some windows and and try to imagine what life was like in this forsaken place. This is one ghost town I'm glad is gone!/p

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Beader's Paradise

Heading up to Yellowstone this weekend a road sign enticed us to detour through Blackfoot, Idaho to check out the Idaho Potato Museum. From the museum, instead of hopping back on the highway, we continued our way north on the road less traveled. Driving up this country road through potato farmland I spied this great big cowgirl sign. I though the sign was cool, but it was the words that really caught my eye. "Beader's Paradise" Whoa cowgirl! This glass bead maker had to stop and turn around to see what that was all about. It was a bead store, all by itself in the middle of potato country. Truly a beader's paradise; the crowded space was brimming with beads: gallon jars full of brightly colored seed beads, bags of color coordinated bead mixes, trade beads, vintage glass beads, teeny tiny micro beads and some beads in styles I’d not seen before. Stringing supplies. Cases and cases and racks of beads! Quite the interesting find on country road in rural southeast Idaho.

I was pretty interested in how, in a day and age where most of the stand alone bead shops I have known have long been shuttered, this gem of a shop, smack dab in the in the middle of nowhere, actually exists. So I asked the proprietor what the backstory was.

She told us that the shop has been in business for 56 years. Way back then her parents were in a square dance group that needed costumes. Problem was that Blackfoot was small, so none of the shops carried enough of the same apparel to outfit the group in matching outfits. So they started ordering western wear for the group. Problem with that was that the needed to order the clothing in multiples of twelves, so they decided to open a western wear shop to sell the extras. They also began embellishing the western wear with beads. The beads were a hit with their Native American friends, who at the time in 1960's Idaho, were, by law, not permitted to try on clothes or boots in the Blackfoot stores. The store owners became weary of selling clothing, and switched their inventory all over to beads, and the Beaders Paradise was born.

Sadly, this last hold out in a world of disappearing bead shops won't be around forever, the owner is ready to retire. As it is they are only open one day a week. I'll have to find an excuse to go back, sometime when I have more time shop, I'm sure I missed treasures. I did however, find some glass crow beads I've been searching for for a project I've been wanting to do! Lucky me. It's always nice to be so pleasantly reminded of why I enjoy taking the road less travelled!

addendum ... After typing up the story of origins of the shop as it was told to me, I went a googling and found an even more complete history here!