It was 7* here this morning. Time to start planning a vacation with the Natester. I’ve had my eye on the Southwest for a while now. Nate has a love of things alien and I have a love of things beaded so Arizona is the place for us.
The original trip entailed flying to Las Vegas and making the four + hour trip to Flagstaff with a stop over at Hoover Dam, spending a few days exploring (Grand Canyon, Sedona, Glendale), and then making a lengthy trip to Roswell, NM and visiting Carlsbad Caverns.
Following a short discussion about recently obtained information, Nate and I decided to forgo Roswell and Carlsbad to spend more time in Sedona and the GC. (It appears as though Sedona is known for its little green men and vortexes, not to mention, the oldest bead shop in America.) Glendale is home to the Bead Museum, although I promised Nate that more time would be spent having fun rather than bead shopping.
The greatest thing about planning this trip is that my GM lived in Flagstaff for eight years, so she has the skinny on all the cool things to do so we don’t get caught up in all the tourist traps. I told her I was certain that Nate would bring home a little green man on a leash if I allowed it. A-Rod has also spent time in Arizona and mentioned that Nate and I take the “short” mule ride down the canyon.
Since we’re going (hopefully), the third week in March, I figure we might be able to snag a mule or two. However, neither of us were overjoyed at spending seven hours on a mule, no matter how beautiful it is. We decided a moderate hike would better suit our hyperactiveness. We’ll either do the 12 mile rim hike or the more strenous Bright Angel Trail to the first resthouse (1.5 miles down, feels like 150 back). The rim hike might be better since we can stop and grab a shuttle bus every mile or so if we so desire.
I’m also planning a trip to the great state of Wisconsin the first week of June! That’s right, the teaming metropolis of Milwaukee and all the beads I can roll around in. For you non-beaders, Milwaukee is home to the annual Bead and Button Show and I’ve signed up for a three day class on jewelry design and if I’m lucky, I may catch a glimpse of Sherry Serafini.
If you take a look at her website, especially under “neck pieces” and “media and awards,” yes, you will see why Sherry is my beading goddess. Her work is so inspirational and just drop dead beautiful! I love the Swarovski rivolis. I’ll be having some of those before long. If you look at her website under “neck pieces,” the rivolis are the crystal centerpieces for #20 and #21. She is truly a beading guru and she just released a new book called “The Art of Bead Embroidery” which will soon be gracing my shelf (and will undoubtedly end up dog-eared.)
I also just purchased some antique beads, which are classified as 18s, 20s, and 22s. The 22s are said to be small enough to pass through the hole of an 11, which is what I use most of the time. I picked up an antique purse from E-bay for the beads only and I have another antique purse here which is beyond repair. I’ll photograph the designs and see what I can do with it all. Additionally, I found an Ott-Lite on sale at Joann.com for $50 off!!!! The small versions of those suckers go for $80 or more.
And Black Stone Cherry will be releasing a new CD come late Spring/early Summer, so look for me at a couple (5 or 10) of their shows and the word through the grapevine is that my host family will be making a sojourn through Texas sometime this year, so look for me also in the Houston area, time and date to be announced. I have been informed by the Natester that he would like a tour of NASA while we’re there. I think that can be arranged. Maybe it will inspire him.
Speaking of Nate and inspiration… I will be setting up his Math-a-Thon webpage for donations hopefully by Sunday night. He’ll be collecting donations for St. Judes by doing 250 math problems. You will be able to make online donations if you desire. I told Nate that I would not make a set donation amount, but rather I donate by the number of problems worked correctly. This inspires him to work harder toward his goal.
I also have numerous goals for the house this year, including, wow, painting the outside, putting in a small counter beside of the stove, enclosing the porch, buying and installing insulated blackout drapes for my bedroom and the living room, and, you know, putting up more pictures and buying a curio cabinet.
My cousin and I are also conspiring, I mean, collaborating on a beaded/painted portrait. I guess I should get moving on some of that. I’m taking a couple of ideas I saw in a beading magazine that doesn’t pay me to advertise for them and I’m combining those with her rich talents to come up with something that’s probably been done before but we’ve never done it so it’s unique and new to us. I’m working on a long overdue necklace for Hoss’s lady and don’t forget the Alice in Chains jacket, which gets more interesting and complex everyday.
My timeframe for completion of the jacket and a bead embroidered bracelet that survived Ye Olde Fire is before June 1st.
Wish me luck.