Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crafty people

Louise's very first queen sized quilt

Duane's experiement with yucca stalks

Our new silversmith's first effort

Two crafts combined
Since we are sitting here at Dream Catcher RV Park, we decided to catch up on our skills and learn new ones. Duane has extended his carving skills to dried yucca flowering stalks. Since these are not wood but pithy plants, he can't carve them, but he can wood burn and paint them. The one above is a nod to this area--rockhound heaven. He has been working at mastering rock cutting and shaping. The stone above is not one of our lucky finds, but one he bought. He is also learning to manipulate silver to make jewelry. The resulting combination of the two is quite stunning! I am working on the last of 6 queen sized quilts I promised our children. I make one a year for Christmas. I usually complete them in the first few months of the year. This leaves time for making other Christmas gifts such as bead and rock jewelry, counted cross stitch birth and wedding announcements, and baby quilts, sheets, and blankets. Recently it occurred to me that I had never shown my work. Since they were given for Christmas gifts, I couldn't show the quilts before the holiday, then I forgot. So now you are in for a treat. LOL
Since I custom make these for each person, they are one of a kind. I sometimes use an established pattern and put my tweak on it or make up my own. The are not quilted in the traditional way, but by my own design. The first was made for son Jeremy. He requested one of the old Amish patterns. This is tumbling blocks. It traditionally runs l to r. When I laid out the pattern, the yellow didn't fit anywhere. Since it is out of sync with the other colors, I piled them all in the middle and had them tumble out. Instead of quilting 1/4" inside each diamond shape, I did some that way then put geometric shapes--stars, spirals, etc.--in others. I also decided on a symbol for each member of the family and quilted these in each quilt. The blocks fit on top of the bed. The sides are dark green. They are cross-hatched with more of an angle of the regular cross-hatching. The back is one piece of very light green covered with very thin green vines and tiny lavender flowers. Each quilt is made with front and back contrasting so if the recipient gets tired of one side they can get relief by turning it over. That said, we hope you enjoy our efforts.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rocks and Petroglyph

high enough for you?

After I got off work today we headed for the hills with friends Dale and Shirley and Ben and Barb from the park. We ended up 9 miles into BLM land at the local petrogliphs. It took us a while to get there because we had to stop several places to hunt for good rocks. We weren't in agate country but managed to find several keepers with potential. The rocks around the petrogliphs was mainly picture sandstone, so called because the way the sandstone layers sometimes looks like pictures. We hunted and looked at petrogliphs and visited and whiled the afternoon away in the beautiful sunny dry desert. Around sunset we headed home. On the way we decided to stop for supper. Ben and Barb had gone ahead, but Dale and Shirley decided to join us. Much good food and conversation later we finally got home. Duane went to the house and I stopped at the clubhouse for a fast game of Mexican Train (dominoes) before I gave up for the evening.
Enough for now,
Louise and Duane

Friday, January 14, 2011

Deming, New Mexico

These are stones that we found in the area and I took them to the club shop to shape and polish. It's a slow process, so I don't have many done yet. When we get some ready, we will wire wrap them into jewelery pieces to sell and some give as gifts. Get ready

We have completed our second week of work here at the Escapees Dream Catcher RV Park in Deming, New Mexico. Sunday we start our new hours. Both of us work 8 hours on Sunday, then Louise works 4 hours on Monday. That's our 20 hours for the week. The rest of the week is ours to do as we please. We have been doing a lot of rock hounding in the area. I have been going to the Gem and Mineral Club to use their work shop to shape and polish the stones we are finding . The country is pretty rugged that we have been hunting.

View from the hill top

See the truck?

There are a lot of mines around here. We are not sure what they were mining. The next time I get to the rock club I'm going to ask. The second pic is looking down the mine shaft. I throw a stone down the shaft and it took several seconds to hit bottom. You have to careful where you walk out here.

Looking down the shaft

Lot's of cattle out here. I talked to a cowboy repairing the fences here. He said they ran 2200 head of cattle. He told me it takes about 50 acres per head to graze them. They had leases all over the area plus, the land that they owned. We were rock hunting on land that they owned, we thought we were on BLM land....oops. He told me were welcome to hunt their land as long we closed the gates behind us. He was really nice to talk to. We got to talking about team roping and ranch rodeo, talked for quite a while.

When we are not out hunting, Louise has been working on a quilt. This one is for son Matt in California. She wants to get it done so we can drop it off when we go there after we are done working here. I have been doing some carving and walking stick making. I have been using yucca stalks to make the sticks out of. They are very light weight, but strong. They don't carve very well, so I have been wood burning and painting them. I have several done except for the tip, which is on order, but can't post a picture till the people I have made them for gets them, pics to come later.
Till next time
Duane and Louise