Between Athens and Franklin…

That would be Athens, GA, and Franklin, NC. I was in both cities teaching for much of last week. I have not visited that part of the US before and let me tell you – it is very nice indeed! That is Smoky Mountain country and it's easy to see where the 'smoky' comes from. There is a seemingly perpetual haze or mist that makes the mountains appear to be shrouded in smoke. I tried to take pictures but it's hard from a moving car when you are the driver.

Needless to say I had a lovely time with both guilds. Did I take pictures of any of the classes? No – I am always way to busy for that. I did, however, take some pictures on the drive back to Atlanta.

I was told that I should definitely stop for ice cream at the Spring Ridge Creamery in Otto, GA, just south of the state border. I got one dip made from 3 flavors – chocolate, rum raisin, coconut joy! Have you ever had a place that would do that for you? I have not. 


This family was sitting outside enjoying their ice cream. They looked so content. Once I started eating I understood why. I would love to have a lot more of the rum raisin…

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There was a place I had noticed on the drive north. You have probably all seen those roadside businesses that sell yard art, usually made from concrete. This one is different… it has mostly painted metal animals and other yard art…


You know, there is a part of me that just loves this stuff. Steve very rarely loves this stuff so it's probably good that I don't live nearby. Here's the studio that is farther back on the property…


It's a good thing I don't have more time on my hands. I have some exterior walls that might be fun to paint. Steve would not be happy.


I was snapping away through the fence because they were closed. I don't know if you can tell but that's a herd of white metal goats (with horns!) below. The owner's husband was there and he came over at about the time I spotted the 3 face planters back in the distance.


I knew that I needed those head planters. His wife (the owner) was still there and we exchanged information. She may be able to ship them to me, or not. Today I found them online from a place that for sure ships. One way or another these fine folks are going to be near my pool, enjoying the view.


More tomorrow, or the next day…


A video from Kauai…

I took a new point and shoot camera to Hawaii. It's at Panasonic Lumix and I love it. That said, taking a video with it is not intuitive, at least to me. And downloading the videos from my camera onto a mac was cryptic. But I did, finally, figure it out. Here are the three videos I took on Kauai, stitched together with iMovie.

The first minute or more is from the Spouting Horn, near Poipu. You see the waves rolling in and out, and then you see a bit of the spouting. Then there is a very short bit of Karen hiking up on the Alakai Swamp trail. This is a harder hike than it looks like – although we all made it so how hard can it be :-). The last bit of the video is from one of the many lovely overlooks from the Alakai Swamp trail. This is a hike that many, many Hawaiians have never seen. It's worth the effort.


My new camera takes a very good video. If I had figured it out sooner, I'd have taken more movies. But then I might have turned into that person who shows more vacation videos than the normal person wants to see.

In other news, I leave in the morning to teach for the Cotton Patch Quilters in Athens, GA, and then on to The Smoky Mountain Quilter's Guild in Franklin, NC. I hope to find time to post – if not here, on facebook.


John Flynn’s bike ride…

John Flynn has been quilting for 32 years. His hand quilting, intricate quilts, and quilting frames are very well known in the quilt world. He is also a really nice guy! What you may not know is that he takes part in the Ride to the Beartooths (in Montana) to raise funds to find a cure for MS.


Last year, John was one of the top ten fund raisers at this event and he would really like to finish at the top fundraiser. He is turning to other quilters to help him meet this goal. For my part, I am much happier to donate than I am to actually ride the bike uphill in the the Beartooths (Bearteeth?).

To encourage donations, John has made an original quilt to give to one lucky winner who donates to help him meet his goal. The drawing for the 32" quilt will be after he has recovered from the ride.


The event takes place next weekend, August 17-18. Click here to go to John's page for the 2013 Montana Bike MS page. You'll be able to see how much he has raised to date. There is a link on this page to make a donation.

You can also click here to go to John and Brooke's blog where you will be able to read more about it. 


Flying away…

On our last morning in Hawaii (only yesterday!), Steve and I went to the beach for a few hours. Remember those beach chairs I wanted to sell? I'm not that good a salesman. But we did pass them on to another couple who was there with 4 kids. They needed the chairs. We asked them to pass them on when they left. Honestly, that felt better than it would have to sell them.

I started taking photos of Japanese tourists – finally. It's the clothing that I was fascinated by. This woman and her husband were at the beach with their son, taking pictures. This woman looked fantastic even though she was in a cover-up…


As you look at these photos, remember that the other tourists (American, German, Australian, etc.) are dressed way more casually – in swimsuits that look good (or often not), with and without cover-ups. And that is true not just at the beach, but everywhere near the beach. 

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The men wore much more tailored garments, even though they were casual garments, than I am used to seeing on Texas men. And they did not appear to be afraid of color or texture or prints. 

These folks layer, a lot. The fabrics are light, sometimes sheer so layering even in hot weather is not steamy.


I noticed lots of leggings – both short and long – mostly in black but not always. And many of the Japanese women wore something over their arms. Picture a knee sock without a foot pulled over the length of your arm. There must be a name for this because I saw a lot of them, but didn't get a photo. And some wore gloves – either in black or white, wrist length or much longer.


Once I noticed the gloves I realized that I almost never saw a Japanese woman with a tan. I think they are way ahead of me in protecting their skin from UV rays.

I noticed that older women (sigh, that would be my age or older) were dressed a bit differently than the younger women were, but still looked good. Here I liked the pattern and color in the top combined with the Vera Bradley purse. I think the hat pulls the two together.


Also, notice the woman to the left (above), in shorts and tank top. Unfortunately, that would be my more normal choice for walking to the beach (although with longer shorts). It's a look that is not as finished. I really need to up my game.

It also looked to me as if many couples had chosen outfits that would photograph well together…

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More power to them. I wished Steve and I had done that often throughout the trip. And look at the shoes! Remember, they are at Waikiki Beach! I stuck to flip flops (or slippers as they are called in Hawaii) but I noticed many Japanese in colorful, different sorts of shoes.



I made the assumption that most of these folks thought about what they were putting on in the morning more deeply than I do. And/or that they have assembled a closet of clothes that work together very well. Or both.


I loved this sheer yellow striped cardigan over the blue and white print dress…


And next, the purple shoes with the blue print dress worked very well in person. Or maybe I was just used to the idea of how these things mixed together…

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I had to quit taking photos so that I could eat the Acai salad at Island Vintage one more time. This may be the best thing I ate on the whole trip! It is a frozen acai berry smoothie, covered with a layer of crunchy granola, sliced fruit, and organic honey. So very good!


And then, it was time to go home. Sitting at the airport, it was odd to watch the people coming off of incoming flights. So very happy and excited, as we had been only 5 days before! Vacations do fly by. None of us was excited about leaving Hawaii. But we did. I took some pictures out of the window on the plane…

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It was funny to remember that we hiked up a part of that crater – Diamond Head. It looks so different from above…

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We were flying away from the sun so it got dark very soon after I took this photo of the clouds…

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Our last full day in Hawaii…

 We got up early yesterday to drive to Waimea Bay. It is a beautiful beach and calm at this time of year. One the way Hunt noticed that the low tire pressure light had come on. We were near Enterprise so decided to stop there. Darned if there wasn't a screw in the tire! They swapped cars and we were on our way again. I'm so glad we ended up renting the car from them!

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 We sat on the beach, posed for pictures and swam…

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I tried to get both feet in the picture but couldn't do that and take the photo at the same time. You can't tell from here but I had to hold my feet up and snap it at just the right time as the waves came in and out. I was happy I didn't drop my iPhone!

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Our guys continued to carry the heavy/awkward stuff. Way to go, guys!

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 We went to Haleiwa for lunch, followed by shave ice. I am going to miss shave ice! 

Haleiwa is a quirky, cute town with lots of food trucks and shopping. I think this truck went with the art-painted-on-surfboards gallery…

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Usually a sofa on the front porch is a bad look, but it works here…

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As I people-watched while eating lunch I realized that I should have been taking photos of the Japanese women this whole trip. As a group, they dress very well. Their fashion sense is so very different. I would love to be able to put together the look that so many of these women do. 

Many of the clothing shops in Waikiki seem to be stocked especially for Japanese women. I have gone in and tried on some clothes and they just don't look the same on me. This woman's outfit doesn't look as good from the back as it did from the front (which is often true for me) but even so, it worked on her. I'll try to get some better pictures today, on our last half day here.

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 We stopped on the way back so Karen could take photos of the Cook's pines.

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Once back we had drinks on our balcony, we went to Ono Hawaiian Foods for dinner.


Ono is a highly rated dive with local food. It was great! (Unfortunately I think it gave me heartburn. It was worth it.) We had drinks at a lovely bar on the beach after dark and talked and laughed about our adventures. It has been a wonderful trip and we four are good traveling companions.

Karen and Hunt are off to the museum and for a tour of the Doris Duke home. We are going to the beach. I hope to have one last Hawaii post before it's all over – although it may go up after we're home.



Yes, we’re still in Hawaii…

Last night I took this lovely sunset shot. I may not get another one this good…

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Early today we hiked up Diamond Head. It's only 1.6 miles round trip – half uphill, half down. The views at the top are amazing…

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The rest of today was 'TheBus" day. Steve and I took 'the bus' to the Honolulu Museum of Art and to our favorite pho restaurant in Chinatown for lunch. Karen and Hunt had a car day – and they report that they had a great time visiting a ukulele factory and a friend for lunch. 

The HMA is a lovely museum, better than I remember. One thing I noticed, besides the art, was the color on the walls. One vibrant room color changed into a different vibrant room color. It was amazing how well these colors showed off the art!

I also noticed the cutouts, high in the walls, that I assume are return air vents…


I took photos of them in many rooms… the designs and wall colors changed. I made a photo collage…


They look like possible applique blocks, don't they! In addition, they were both functional and decorative without being obnoxious.

We came upon a group of artists sketching this model…

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We looked at some really big, wonderful vases by Jun Kaneko …

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We walked through the 'portrait' room – my favorite…

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The painting on the left is a very large canvas by John Singer Sargent that I came especially to see. But notice where your eye goes…

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Scale matters. Each of these canvases is about 5' tall. Which one commands your attention?

The Indonesian rooms were full of interesting objects. I sometimes view art through a quilting lens. The carvings on this piece would be great quilting designs…


I also like faces…

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After the museum we went to Golden River Restaurant in Chinatown. We have eaten lunch here every time we've been on Oahu. As always, it was terrific!


We went back to Waikiki on The Bus for some near-the=end-of-trip shopping. We passed a house infested with birds! Neither of us has ever seen anything like it. The birds were cllustered around this house, not at neighboring houses. So, so strange.

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We were too tired after this to do a lot. We ate dinner nearby and had drinks in our room. It feels good to chill. Tomorrow we're going to the north shore and Haleiwa… I'll post pictures!