Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Stupas, Massages and Falling in Love

After breakfast at The Coffee Pot we visited the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, this is in the heart of Sedona and a lovely place to wander and wonder.

There were peace flags throughout the park.

Not only beautiful this is also a sacred place.

Could we wish for More?

We headed to a Sedona Spa where Rachel had us scheduled for luxury pedicures and a sweat lodge massage.  It was my first massage and I was a bit apprehensive but Rachel put me at ease and went first.

The massage was wonderful, just when the heat was almost unbearable they put ice cold wraps on my face.  It was a really unique experience.   I never would have booked it but so glad Rachel did!

We then headed to one of my new favorite places, Jerome.  We had lunch at the Haunted Hamburger.

Rachel enjoying an adult beverage at the Haunted Hamburger.
Do not ask, I do not have a clue what this represents.
Rachel in front of a smelter.  Jerome was a mining town that collapsed economically when the mine closed.  Believe it or not it was saved when the hippies discovered it and moved in.
This describes Jerome beautifully.

The old elementary school was turned into art studios and galleries.   We met Robin Anderson who demonstrated etching on metal.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


After the tour of Canyon de Chelly, we drove to Monument Valley.  Rachel and Alan were married here many moons ago and it has always been a special place for them.  I totally get it now, beautiful views from every angle.

This is my favorite of all the rock formations, the Three Sisters.  Rachel got this amazing picture as the sun set.

Saying hello to this friendly Mohair goat and trying unsuccessfully to entice the Churro sheep over.

Churro sheep

Making friends

The sun was setting and the valley turned golden
We stopped in Tuba City for a Navajo taco for dinner before driving back to Sedona for the night.

Remarkable Red Rocks

I have put off blogging about my trip to Arizona because it is hard to describe in a way that captures the magic of it.  Due to life circumstances, I almost postponed it.  But Rachel Porter here after referred to DD for dear daughter persisted and the trip went on as scheduled.  I am so glad!

We flew out of RDU and arrived in Arizona at night, the landscape hidden by the darkness.  The next morning, DD opened the curtains of our room at Sky Ranch Lodge in Sedona.

I was speechless, we enjoyed our coffee on the terrace and I said "amazing" an embarrassing number of times.

After a big breakfast we headed out to explore.  First up a hike at Coconino National Forest, Red Rock Pass.  We were able to experience the Boynton Canyon vortex and more stunning views.

There are many theories about the vortex and their impact on the human spirit.  Rather than the supernatural or transdimensional portal explanations  I believe it is the beauty and meditational qualities of the surroundings that inspired us.
Of course for me it could have been the exertion from the hike and a lack of oxygen that made me feel euphoric.

One of the reasons I was so excited for this trip was the opportunity to learn more about the Navajo, their culture and especially their weaving traditions.
On the way to Canyon de Chelly, we stopped at Hubbell Trading Post.  Traveling through the Reservation I was amazed at the incredible wide open spaces.  It seemed as if the road went on forever.

A traditional Navajo tapestry loom

Checking out a Navajo spindle

Mighty Churro

Rachel had arranged for us to take a jeep tour of Canyon de Chelly.  We had a wonderful guide, David.  The canyon was amazing and David told us stories about growing up in the canyon.

David and Rachel

Rachel and the wild ponies

A painted wild horse.  Note the top knot from cockleburrs

Another post tonight as there is so much more to share.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Class Act

 I traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia on Friday, August 19th.  It was a rainy day but a scenic drive through the mountains.  I checked into the hotel and discovered it was move-in day for UVA.  Lots of anxious moms and dads and excited kids.

Saturday, bright and early I headed to Joan's studio.  One of the elements of this class that enticed me was the opportunity to spend time in Joan's studio.

A wall of yarn for blending and weaving.

Joan's impressively large Shannock loom. 

My working spot.

I loved the emphasis Joan put on design.  This was an intermediate class, we  were presumed to have some basic tapestry skills.  We started by working on our design inspiration, color scheme and the best way to weave our piece.

Joan stressed sampling, tapestry is such a sl-ooooooo-w process you want to ensure your design is worthy and weavable.

Ann's sample in progress.  

This is Deborah's sample based
on a picture of the southwest.

Karen was working on some depth of shades on her sunflowers.

There were four of us in class allowing for group instruction, camaraderie and lots of individual attention too.

It was a wonderful class, spending time in Joan's studio, learning about her design and weaving process and hanging out with Ann, Karen and Deborah was great!

We all had such a good experience, we have already scheduled a return visit to Joan's studio in November.   We plan to show off our completed tapestries based on our samples and to plan our next tapestry.

A New Blog and Class Preparation

I am changing my blog to reflect my new passion for tapestry weaving.  Knit on Regardless was my spot for sharing my fiber adventures with a focus on knitting. For the last several months tapestry weaving has grown to a major passion and I need to reflect that in my blogging.

There will be some spinning, dyeing, knitting and fiber events in the future but my emphasis has changed.  I was fortunate enough to take a class with Joan Griffin in her Charlottesville, Virginia studio.

A little prep was required.  Joan asked us to bring a warped loom, yarn for weft and some design ideas.

I dyed some Ullteppegarn by Gjestal , a fingering weight 100% two ply wool.

I used Greener Shades Dye .  My goal was to obtain multiple shades of teal for a gradient effect.

These dyes are easy to use and I have always been pleased with the results.

Here are the results along with the fabric sample that inspired my color choices.