Archive for February, 2007

Drive-by Photography

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

I love to amuse myself by taking photos of the scenery while Mr C is driving. My new Canon Powershot does a great job of capturing scenery on the move.

This is what greeted us as we left the sunny desert for the rainy LA basin this morning:desertrainbow.jpg

And what is at the end of the rainbow? Weird windmills, of course!

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The clouds and fields along I-5 were very striking today.

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I missed getting photos of all the fruit and nut trees in blossom in the San Jouquin valley because I was driving.

I love the green that the hills in the bay area become in the winter. They are so sculptural.

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Here we are headed over the Bay Bridge to San Francisco, in the rain.

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Here is the skyline of the city by the bay.

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We had a great dinner with the San Francisco contingent of the family. Now we are ensconced in a motel, hoping that the weather will cooperate tomorrow and we can get over the Siskayou’s without snow.

Viola’s Garden and Create a Connection

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Just a quick post this morning to tell you to be sure to run over to Create a Connection to see the nice interview that Deb of Red Shoe Ramblings did with me. She is the guest interviewer this month.

We are on our way to San Francisco to have dinner with Lili, Mark and Jayme, tonight. Then, on to Portland on Wednesday. I hope the rain isn’t too bad.

Here is what I accomplished in the desert, besides finishing the binding on Fragments. It is Viola’s Garden, a quilt for my great niece. She is Mike and Ann’s first grandchild.violasgarden.jpg

I guess I am not so pointless, afterall!!

A Photogenic Day in the Desert

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Yesterday. Mr C and I went back to Joshua Tree National Park to tour the Desert Queen Ranch. It is situated back in the park. It is a long dusty, sandy drive to get there. Tours are give twice a day. It was a working ranch, settled way back in the 1800’s. The homesteaders who lived out in the desert, searching for gold, were very resourceful. Ann says that here father did not have much respect for the owners of the ranch because their resourcefulness amounted to criminal activity. Mr Keyes, the second owner, who raised a family there, would raid the abandoned homesteads and take stuff for himself and his family. He dug wells and irrigated a garden. They built dams to water livestock. It was a very interesting story, but the best part was the great stuff that I got to photograph. Some of these will make great screens for printing.

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We were very lucky to see big horn sheep, who posed for us.

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You can see all of my photos, here.

Tomorrow, we are leaving the desert. I am a little sad as I have really enjoyed the sun and warmth and the hospitality of Mike and Ann. We don’t get to see them enough. But, I really miss my studio and M & M.

Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree National Park

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

I am taking a break from the baby quilt to do some blogging. Actually, I took a long break. Mr C and I walked to the downtown area of Twentynine Palms, where we are spending some time in the desert. There is a Marine Base near by so much of the business caters to that market – tatoos, Marine haircuts, etc. It is known as the city of murals. This one is of Ann’s parents. Her father was a homesteader and ran the newspaper, movie theaters and skating rink. They still have PO Box #1.muralunderhill.jpg

There are several murals. I paerticularly like these two:

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I also love the desert landscaping.desertlandscape.jpg

Look at this purple cactus.

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Here is our casita.

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From our patio, we can watch jack rabbits, tiny chipmunks, California quail and other birds.

This is the main Casita where Mike and Ann live with their two dogs.

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I love all the palm trees and native plants.

Here are some shots of Joshua Tree National Park which is located here. The vista that greets you as you drive in to the park is of another world – looks like you have landed on another planet.

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The rock formations are incredible.

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Here is a closeup of the two rocks perched atop this formation.

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The park is just crammed full of these rocks and trees and little hikes that you can take back into secret places. We found some petroglyphs on our hike.

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If you would like to see more Joshu Tree photos, check out my Flickr set.
Tonight we are going to an art auction benefit for the Boys and Girls Club. We have to get gussied up, desert style! Well, back to my quilting.

Almost forgot to mention that my The Thin Place was accepted in to Sacred Threads 2007!

Modernism in Palm Springs

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

We went back to Palm Springs yesterday afternoon to see a classic car show, have dinner and attend a comedic slide show of vintage scenes of the Palm Springs area. It was very deja vu for the four of us who came of age in the 50’s and 60’s. I forgot to take my camera so no photos.

I do want to share some photos of the Frey House which we toured on Sunday. Here is the exterior of the car port which used concrete blocks in a very pleasing design. Frey did not move a single boulder in the building of this house so there is a bump in the pool where the concrete was poured over a boulder.freyhouseexterior.jpg

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Albert Frey was one of the pre-eminent modern architects of Palm Springs. He designed the Palm Springs City Hall among other buildings and homes. The second home that he built for himself was constructed on a lot that a more practical person would have passed on. It is high above the desert floor perched amongst boulders. There is a boulder inside the house and there are large windows which show the majesty of the boulder strewn mountainside. When it was built, there would not have been the concern about being energy efficient. The current residents told us that it costs $900 a month in the summer to air condition it.

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The house is very minimalist and was not built for entertaining. The built-in sofas look out on the view. The dining area is a bar that also faces the view. The bed is at one end of the house with a beautiful view of the sky, if the curtains are open. freycatandmike.jpg

This is the cat staring at my BIL who is seated at the dining bar. My favorite inhabitant of the Frey House was Albert the cat. Isn’t he the best. Here he is at the foot of the bed.

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The kitchen is just a little galley. The only thing that has been replaced is the refrigerator. These dishes belonged to Frey.

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A guest room was added to the house later. The current residents use it as a home office. To live in this home, you have to give up clutter and live with only the most essential items of life.

We did a driving tour of some of the wonderful modern architecture of Palm Springs. We spied several butterfly houses. We found developments that have, over the years, been neglected and our now being revitalized with the new interest in modernism.

The two guys from British Columbia, in the photo above, told us about free drinks and a modernism event at the Orbit In. The motel was purchased and renovated around 2002. The rooms are decorated in wonderful modern furniture.
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Ann and I were thrilled to find these mobiles made by a delightful young woman from Portland. We each bought one. I will post a photo of it when I get home and have it hung in the dining room.
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I am running down to the main house to download e-mail, but I haven’t had much time to check in on my fave bloggers. It is going to rain later today so maybe I will take some time to check out blogs later today.

Mr C is helping his brother with some maintenance on the compound here in Twentynine Palms. Ann was born here. Her father was a homesteader. Mike and Ann bought a casita next door. The family home has several apartment rentals. Now that Ann’s mother is in her 90’s, they have taken over running the rental business. They are trying to upgrade all of the rentals. Mr C and Mike installed a window earlier this week and now they are about to take on installing a light.

I had not internet access yesterday so today I have finally gotten to my mail and been able to load this post that I wrote yesterday. Today, I have gotten a lot of work done on Viola’s quilt. Hopefully, I can post some photos tomorrow. Yesterday, we went out to Joshua Tree National Park and did a short hike. Today, it is very windy so no hiking. We are going to a gallery opening tonight.