Sunday, March 30, 2014

March comes in like a lion...

and goes out like a lamb? Hm. I guess that's all relative. It rained all weekend. ALL. weekend. But at least it didn't snow! Some of the crocuses are done, but some are still waiting in the wings. 

There are lots of daffodils and tulips that are eagerly waiting for some warm sunshine.  

 And while yes, there was no snow, and yes, it was in the 50's all weekend, it still wasn't really gardening or kitty-outside weather. But that last fact didn't ever seem to sink in to my little garden panther. He would want out-out-out! but when the door opened he would freeze, then sit down in the door way, as if astonished that it would still be raining!
 And of course then I would hear all about it.  But eventually he would wander out for a little while. 

I had a wonderful weekend in the studio. Really wonderful.  I made big progress on editioning Plenum. This has been a long time coming...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Oh Spring!

Oh Spring! 
If I were more clever I'd have some ode to spring ready to go... but alas... I'll just do it with an image. 
It's worth 1000 words anyway, right? 
The crocuses have started blooming! Yippee!!! This is a sign that spring is just around the corner, which just couldn't be close enough.  We are desperate for it here, spring that is.  
 The garlics have sprouted too! Melanie gave me extra ones this year, so I do hope I get some good ones. I think I need to procure some correct soil. More manure and compost. 

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day. We came home to 30°F weather, but by Saturday it was a balmy 65°F! I decided to pull out the new (birthday) patio furniture.
While this was absolutely lovely yesterday it may have been a mistake. It is supposed to snow tonight into tomorrow. (big sigh) I am SO ready for spring. 

We have a new building to look at from the front of the house:
 I do like the reflective nature of the glass. It has given a bit of extra sunlight. Very nice in those dark days. 
And finally, because I knew I would go stir crazy on the plane to Las Vegas, I started another pair of socks. These are a pair from a Zauberball sock yarn that is really wonderful. I am especially pleased with the pattern I finally decided on for the cuff.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Snowbirds Return

Yes, we are back. We are back to our 30°F temperatures, but with our sunburns! Just to remind ourselves, even if only for a few days, that we were in warmth and heat. We came back with a few other memories as well...
On Tuesday we visited the Hoover Dam. What an amazing engineering feat!
If you are in Las Vegas you must visit! It's only a 40 minute drive from the strip. We rented a car very cheap for three days for some sight seeing. 
I was most impressed by the monument to those who died building the dam. I did a quick online search about it and can't find any images of the entire thing. What I liked most was the floor mosaic. According to the US Dept. of the Interior, the floor shows the exact date of the dedication of the dam in according to the stars. There are such beautiful details in it.  
On Wednesday we went hiking in the Red Rock Canyon, a 40 minute drive in the other direction of the Las Vegas strip. It was very windy which made it very cold, but we decided to scale the Turtle Head trail. Whew! Talk about needing trail markers! The first mile and a half or so was UP - but reasonably so. The last mile was... difficult to describe. It was something like a 1000ft. climb in about a half a mile. I might be exaggerating a little bit - but not much.  There was no official trail - basically one had to just scramble up the mountain, which we did.  Once at the top - wow. The view was worth it! 
Here's Pedro gazing back up at where we were: 
Yes really! Up there at the highest spot. We did make it. And to give you an idea the trail just sort of goes straight up to the left of his backpack. No switchbacks. Just up. 
But the views, oh the views: This is the top of the ridge before climbing the final bit - the turtle head (on the left). 

Kind of a bad selfie, but the Strip and even part of Lake Mead are visible in the background.   

And yeah, a beautiful view of more geology, but really I was trying to get an image of the parking lot. It's just past all of the white rocky looking stuff in the middle of what looks like a water run off. But, well, you know, that 2000 ft. below us.

Some more views of the area: 
We topped both days off with amazing restaurant experiences. Tuesday was a super fancy french cuisine place with a sommelier who was very excited to talk to someone who knew wine. We now have great suggestions on where to get Nebiolo from California vineyards. (If you don't know what Nebiolo is, find out!)
Wednesday we went to Lotus of Siam. This Thai restaurant is so famous, both cab drivers knew about it. I gave just the address to the first and he said, "Oh, Lotus of Siam, right? Make sure you have the spicy noodles." The second cab driver said in the six years she'd been driving and picking people up from the restaurant, she's never heard one complaint. Pedro was in heaven because the wine list was amazing. We had another bottle of a Riesling we'd been introduced to the night before. The food was amazing too. (I need to find a good recipe for Masama Curry (?) I could eat buckets).
Oh, and we did play the slots. I had five singles and said, let's play them! So we did and in the end we won $13.96 in the penny slots. Hot Dog! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Viva Las Vegas!

Hello All from sunny sunny Las Vegas! The weather is beautiful! 80, beautiful little clouds in the sky and a breeze. Lovely lovely.
We're staying at the Luxor. And I spent yesterday morning sitting by the pool and looking at the beautiful Mandalay Bay hotel.  I got the most terrific sunburn for my troubles,  it's really a little embarrassing! But it's a small price to pay not to have to be cold and bundled like I would be otherwise.
I always forget how much fun Las Vegas is.  The people watching is unbelievable. We've seen:
Elvis on a scooter
The guy from The Hangover, also on a scooter
all dress and nationality
better sunburns than mine (and that's sayin' something)
A homeless (?) guy with a sign that said "My wife had a sex change and ran away with my girlfriend"
Drunk people everywhere wow and they are having a great time.
Some incredible fashion choices
and then the good stuff:
We went to see Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana last night. It was pretty good. Sadly they were having an off night. One guy fell off the trapeze (onto the net thank goodness) but it seemed to have sparked some sort of extra nervousness with the rest of the acts. There were some pretty near misses. I still enjoyed it very much.  The clowns are always my absolute favorite.

Then there is the incredible architecture. It's really just amazing.  Something amazing to look at everywhere.  Good food too.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bathroom Window follow up

The window turned out beautifully! I love it.  Not only was this piece of paper meant to be on this window, but it has changed the light in the bathroom completely. 
I love it. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A light in the bathroom

 For four years I have wanted something other than this:
This is really not so bad, however, I'd really like to have the shade up all the way. Unfortunately until today, this was the view: 
 For the last four years I've been intending to get a window decal from Home Depot to take care of the visibility problem but somehow, it was such a low priority - it never happened.
Last night I had dinner with my friend Jessica at her place ans she showed me her "window decals," - it was Japanese paper made into a decal! WELL! I can do that! So I rummaged in my paper collection and found some beautiful sheets from my trip to Korea. Shortly before my house purchase back in 2008, I was invited to Korea for a Book Arts symposium. I was so honored and it was such an amazing journey! I met wonderful people and had such incredible experiences. One was to a Korean paper "factory." The "factory" was a family operation - Father, two Sons, Mother and Grandmother, and a barn.  Unbelievable.  Needless to day - I brought home a lot of wonderful paper.  And here, almost 6 years later I have occasion to use some of it.
I cooked some wheat paste - and pasted the paper out - 
 And put it on a freshly cleaned window.  The watermark pattern in the paper is really beautiful. 
Smoothed it out - and called it a day. 
The preliminary experience is that this is exactly what I wanted! Something to let light in - but not the neighbor's gaze.
 Here it is prior to drying. As I spent the rest of the day trying to get used to all of the extra light, I still felt as though I had made the right decision.  Can't wait to show you the window once the paper is dry.