Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beading progress

Hello, everyone.

As y'all may remember, I started exploring freeform peyote the other day. The bracelet as was didn't seem complete, so more has been added.

Front side of bracelet

Back side of bracelet
As y'all can see, the basic color scheme is still in force.  Aside from the addition of some purple-lined pale blue seed beads, that is, and some clear seeds and some blue-green ones that looked more blue when they were first added.
The yellow focal was put in with the very first strand of beads, and when the hole got too full of thread (smoke colored Fireline) to run through it again a bridge was added underneath and every time along the side it gets another row of basic, plain peyote stitches. Other bridges have been added to hold the various off-center accent beads. The weaving is inclined to ruffle a bit and this may be a tendency to encourage. (The ruffling is caused by both the bridges going around the outside of accent beads and by the use of different sizes of seed beads in the weave.)
At any rate, that's the progress on this piece so far.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

More on Grafton, Illinois

Hello, everyone.

Thanks to DH's great photo, a little more info on the Beazley Fish Market:

Fried Buffalo Sandwich!

Mine had a side of coleslaw, because I wanted to try adding the
coleslaw into the sandwich, a la Memphis barbecue. (It was good!)

DH had the pure and simple fish, tartar sauce, and bread.
And now I expect that there will be a stampede of hungry people arriving in Grafton, looking for Beazley's and lining up for those sandwiches. (My personal fave is the carp sandwich, as the buffalo has a tough bit of skin in the middle which the carp lacks. They both taste wonderful!)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Trying new things: beads

Hello, everyone.

Recently, between Pinterest and general looking around at the internet, I discovered Freeform Peyote weaving. This is a form of peyote weaving that doesn't involve patterns and doesn't involve charts and (theoretically) is spontaneous.

I don't know how spontaneous other people are, but I read some discussions and instructions online before starting. I paid attention to the suggestions on style, for starting out with, and looked at pictures.

Then I pulled out one of the several bags of mixed seed beads in the collection of supplies on hand, rounded up some little bags of various odd beads in compatible colors, and started. The main colors chosen, from a bag that looked like a textured brown mixture, were brown, yellow, and blue. As y'all can see in the pictures, I didn't go too crazy starting out. (It's a lot of work to frog peyote weaving--that means to take it apart down to the beads.)

Bracelet from front (catch not added yet)

Bracelet from back
Years of Bosses' Bead Bags from Fire Mountain Gems came together in this bracelet. (I always sort them out, feeling like it's Christmas, and often the seed beads in the mix go into a little mixed-up baggie all their own.) Accent beads: dyed freshwater cultured pearls, yellow cylinder-shaped glass clear beads, an aqua glass cube, a brown glass round (I think Indian) and a pale-yellow oval that might be glass or might be agate or might be some other pale-yellow thing with pretty mottling.

Not sure if it's done yet, or if it really, really needs fringe beads, or fringes, or ruffles, or just some more stitching to make it more of a cuff and less of a strand. But it is going to be set aside for a few days, as there is a dress cut out and ready to put together.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mud Island

Hello, everyone.

On our recent drive, we visited Mud Island, a peninsula in the Mississippi River at Memphis, Tennessee.

The "island" is snugged up to the main riverbank with a little connecting land bridge into downtown Memphis.

There is a pretty little park across from some of the many condos. If you drive past the condos and the houses, the road eventually turns and a short time later you find yourself in downtown Memphis. 

They have a purple martin house, with martins. The black-looking ones are the males and
the black and gray ones are the females. They eat mosquitoes and other insects.

A view of the bridge over the river from the park

There is a water entertainment area--it's described as educational, and the displays are informative.
But almost everyone there was there to splash in the miniature Mississippi.

There are wall displays illustrating river systems. This appears to be the drainage of the Missouri River. Children climbed on the river charts, too, and the system was set up to feed water into the channel at the base of the charts.

Cities are represented. The northernmost city included was Cape Girardeau, I think. The display is 5 blocks long, has riverbanks that match the contours of the shore and levees, and covers the southernmost 1,000 miles of the river's course. The illustrated town mark is for New Madrid (no, it doesn't sound like Madrid in Spain!) which was the approximate epicenter of the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America, in 1811.

The contours of cut-off bends are included as well.
There is also a museum there, and a concession, and lovely flowerbeds with sprinklers. The parking for this part of Mud Island is $6 for the day...and don't take your car out during the day, they don't do re-admit tickets for the parking lot. But you get a lot of splashing for your money.

All in all, it was a lovely morning reading the plaques about Mississippi River history and watching the children play in the water.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Marquette Park, Grafton, and the mighty Mississippi

Hello, everyone.

We did a little driving, both to see relatives and to see some sights.

It seems to break into three or four subjects, at least that there are pictures of. Today I thought I'd talk about Marquette Park, in southern Illinois, the nearby town of Grafton, and of course the mighty Mississippi.

In the early spring, once the ice on the river breaks, there is a blessing of the fleet at the feet of Our Lady of the Waters. Fittingly, she looks out over the waters and the fishermen, tugboat pilots, recreational boaters, and whoever else floats on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. This orientation of the statue makes photography somewhat challenging. I shot the photo from the opposite side of the river, while briefly stopped on the River Road (Illinois state highway 3, I think) and the clouds were somewhat lowering and the mist was trying to start falling again. Zoom is my friend.

Our Lady of the Waters
 On our first morning in the area we drove up to Pere Marquette State Park, which is up the River Road from the Pere Marquette memorial statue at the side of the road, and did a little walking. This time we walked the Goat Cliff Trail and connected to some other trail near the top and followed that one down to the visitor's center and parking lot.
Cave along one of the trails at Marquette State Park
 From one of the viewing points, we looked down and saw some duck blinds in the river.
We were pretty sure this was a duck blind. Just thinking about hiding in that cold, cold
water under the cover for hours in duck season makes me cold.

Driving along the River Road--large tree-covered blob in river is a new island that has formed from drifting mud.

After our walk, we were hungry, and since it was not the wrong day of the week, stopped at the famous Beasley Fish Market in Grafton for fried buffalo (fish, not mammal) sandwiches.

This is THE place to get a fried fish sandwich. I prefer carp to buffalo (no tough skin inside the curled up fish)
but either has a fine flavor!
Not pictured, because I can't figure out where the photo file went, we had arrived in the area before reasonable check-in time the day before, and along with taking the top photo of Our Lady of the Waters, we'd gone to the Grafton Winery for a little taste. They had a fine warm dip that we'd never tasted before. Spinach and artichoke, with creamy cheeses and maybe some garlic. Really good on soft pita wedges!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tennessee plants

Hello, everyone.

In south Texas, while we grow many beautiful plants, we're limited to the plants that don't need lots of chilly time in the winter. Visiting Tennessee is like another world, garden-wise.

This is the patio-sized blueberry plant DD1 has. It's just loaded with developing fruit.
On looking up blueberry requirements, I discovered that most of them need as much chill time as many peaches. There are some low-chill types but they still have one other major requirement: really acidic soil. It's the kind of soil found in much of eastern Texas, but not in the region of Texas I live in. 😢 Sad as it makes me, we probably wouldn't be able to keep a blueberry plant alive. Much less happy and fruitful.

Monday, June 6, 2016

On the road

Hello, everyone.

I'm on the road right now with DH.
We had a very pleasant visit at Parkin State Archeological Park in Arkansas yesterday. There will be pictures when we get home and I can get them from the camera to the computer.

It will be a few more days.