October 1-8 in Phoenix... What could be more different than where I live? To leave our peaceful little island, now slipping into the wet season, and fly to Phoenix, where I had to dig out the sunscreen and watch for rattle snakes, was certainly a big change for me!
Friday Harbor, WA <> Phoenix, AZ
coastal island <> inland desert
highs in the 50s <> highs in the 90s
kinda soggy <> parched, dry
mostly cloudy <> clear blue skies
hilly <> flat
surrounded by ocean <> ringed by mountains
peaceful rural roads <> energetic city traffic
abundant evergreens <> sparse Saguaro cactus
talented beaders <> talented beaders
fun people <> fun people
alas, not even one bead shop <> Bead Museum AND shops
The last three are the good news for me! Although I missed Robert and our cat, I got to see friends Claudia, Patricia and Roger. And the big plus was my wonderful students, who really seemed to enjoy making beaded buttons and learning/practicing sewing beads on fabric improvisationally!
Beaded sneaker by Native American artist, Teri Greeves.
Bad news... I left my camera on the bed in my hotel the day I taught at the Bead Museum in Glendale (fun area in Phoenix!!!) so I don't have any pictures to show you from there. So please, just write this in BOLD on your mind's hard drive:
If you are ever in Phoenix, do not pass go or collect $200... instead, go directly to the Bead Museum and plan to spend some time being totally awed by the collection, display, library and shop!!!OMG! I knew it was going to be good... but wasn't prepared for how extensive it is! Their website does not do it justice at all. And take some extra cash, because the museum shop is awesome as well!
Good news... I did remember to take my camera to the Farm at South Mountain, where I taught a 2-day Improvisational Bead Embroidery workshop. Now, the Farm itself is a worthy Phoenix destination! Picture a large grove of shady pecan trees, gardens, flowers (like the bougainvillea above and the passion flowers below), three world-class restaurants (lunch being my favorite, because it's served in a picnic basket which you then carry outside to a picnic table under a pecan tree to have your meal), and an artist's studio.
The Farm features a different art program every 6 weeks or so. I was there as part of bead artist, Corinne McAuley's residency. During her time as Artist in Residence, she displayed her own work in the Artist's Cottage at the Farm, taught workshops, brought in a couple of distinguished speakers about beading and organized my teaching gig. My hat is off to Corinne, a most talented and well-organized new bead friend!
Above are two examples of her work (before taking my workshop - who knows how learning improv bead embroidery might influence it in the future). They are worked in flat peyote stitch with countless thousands of beads in each piece. You can see more of her tapestries on her website, here. And, hooray, Corinne has already joined us for the 2010 Bead Journal Project!!!
This is Joan, Corinne and Lisa (left to right). I hear Joan's got the bead embroidery bug. And Lisa, OMG, she's finished her class piece AND a second piece in less that two weeks. See below! Aren't these fabulous?! How do you like her use of mirrors in both pieces? I'm so proud of her!
Lisa's first piece, started in class, titled "My Racing Thoughts."
Lisa's second piece, finished two weeks later, titled "Tranquility."
This picture shows the room where we had class. At the first table are Sheila, Ann and Joan! Ann had already done three pieces of improv bead embroidery using my books to learn the stitches and process. You can see her first and second piece below. I'm sure all three of these gals have been stitching with abandon since completing the class!
This picture shows my two tablemates, Marty (a crazy quilter, who seems to be gravitating nicely towards more beads and might join the 2010 BJP) and Glenda (who took both of my workshops and is one of those students who makes the teacher feel good because she catches on quickly and does beautiful work right off the bat).
Michelle and Suzanne (front), Diane, Victoria (a current BJP member) and Linda sat at the third table. Victoria brought her BJP butterfly pieces (see them here, scroll down) to share with us and a doll she created and beaded (below)! Diane brought several samples of Native American beadwork for show'n'tell (including the beaded sneaker, shown above, the belt buckle shown below and a beaded bag, detail shown at the bottom of this post)!
Victoria's doll. I love that it's not totally symmetrical and in the African Ndebele style!
Barrette by Native American artist, Edgar Jackson, brought for show'n'tell.
The workshop ended all too soon. We were having a great time together and much beading progress was being made!
After parting company with my students, I joined my long-time (non-beading) friend, Patricia, and her husband Roger for a couple of days of relaxation in the sun. They have a home in Fountain Hills, a lovely part of Phoenix (NE of down town), and so named because of its hallmark fountain, the tallest in the USA!
This fountain goes off for 15 minutes every hour during daylight and early evening. There's a lovely walk all around the lake. AND, the piece d' resistance of the lake-side promenade is La Scala Creamery, where you can get the most tasty gelato in the world and/or have an ice-cold, refreshing drink of sparkling La Scala tea! This is NOT TO BE MISSED!
One day we took a drive out Hwy 87 to Payson, and then NE on Hwy 260 to SR 300, which is a gravel road that runs along the edge of the Mogollon Rim, a plateau that rises to 7,000 feet (towering 3,000 feet above the valley below)! Below are two pictures I took from the Rim... They hardly do justice to the beauty there.
Among other fun things that day, we stopped in Pine (on Hwy 87) for lunch at HB's Place. We gave them 5 stars! Especially delicious was their Oatmeal Pie. I think it may have been similar to this recipe:
Amish Oatmeal Pie
1 1/2 c. milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
2/3 c. rolled oats
1 1/3 c. dark brown sugar
2/3 c. flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 425. Combine milk, eggs, butter, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Pour into flour/nut pie shell and sprinkle with additional coconut. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue to bake for 30 minutes more or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
And that about does it for Phoenix... a fun desert place, indeed... great beaders, love the Saguaro cactus, love Mogollon Rim and the fountain in Fountain Hills! I hope you've enjoyed this vicarious visit to the Southwest!