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Sunday, March 27, 2011

What the Heck?!?!? But kinda cool...

The blog I'd intended to post tonight has been preempted due to the radical jump in the number of blog visitors today. 
Y'all blew my mind. 
I checked...it's not a "Blog of Note" rush...but you did make me wonder. I can only see that Ravelry is  the source of the visitations and folks appear to be curious about the Tucson Handweaver's and Spinner's Guild Fashion Show blog...but I have no idea exactly why. **

I am constantly delighted and agog that people from around 
the world can (and sometimes do) visit my blog. 

I know that I am tickled and curious and a bit amazed that I am able to visit blogs written by folks in other countries.

I wonder if I leave a comment if I'll be using unknown lingo or that something I type may mean something entirely different (and rude) in that country. 
Sometimes I'm soothed by the similarities of humor, concern, values, delight in a child, nature, or art-craft. Sometimes these "foreign" bloggers make me pause and reconsider something in my country because of how they see it from their perspective. Sometimes I learn about their culture, language, crafting, loves, politics, fears, or heartache. Sometimes I do feel like a reading voyeur - as though I'm reading someone's diary. But I have been moved to leave messages of heartfelt sympathy, having been overwhelmed by someone's challenges or pain. I have offered praise and encouragement to people I literally don't know.
But they have moved me - to tears, to laughter, to connect - to type. 

So...let me just offer a "Greetings! How you be?" to the variety of visitors from Canada, the United Kingdom, and 28 of the United States of America that stopped by my blog over the weekend.
I hope your curiosity was sated...or peaked. {wry grin}
Blessings Be.  Sincerely, KiniaCat

**(Edited to add - "Eureka!! I figured out the pictures of the lovely KLC Woods Yarn Bowl I purchased at the THSG Fashion Show were linked into a Ravelry discussion on Yarn Bowls!)
(Bonus - I was listening to podcasts over the weekend between wading through Tax-Receipts (ugh) and Jasmine of the Knitmore Girls Podcast mentioned she was also very tickled with the KLC Woods craftsmanship she'd seen at Stitches West a few weeks ago. Ken of KLC had mentioned he'd just come from Stitches West. I don't spin, but his drop spindles were pretty spiffy...
Tucson - there's only 2 degrees of separation here. But that's fodder for another blog.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tucson Handweaver's and Spinner's Guild Fashion Show

A week ago Saturday, I got to attend my first Tucson Handweaver's and Spinner's Guild Fashion Show and Tea!
It was inspiring, charming, amazing and great fun.

I have to confess that I don't have pictures of the Marketplace, the guild or study-group presentations, the nearly 30 raffle baskets, or the Fashion Show entries.
A professional photographer was taking pictures and the guild did ask that we not take pictures to post on the Internet. I'm waiting to see if the pictures will be available on the guild website.
A few are available here and here.

Craftlit's Heather Ordover was our stellar Fashion Show Commentator. It was very nice to see her again and she did an excellent job guiding the audience (and the models {wry grin}) through the fashion show.

The models and items-being-modeled were varied and graceful. From a Woven Vest to Appliqued Jackets to a fun and beautifully Embroidered Ski Jacket. There was a Felted Oceanic Hat & Scarf set, Handwoven Rugs, a rescued Leather Duster (ruined panels replaced with newly ?marble-dyed? leather), and a stunning one-shouldered Felted ?silk? Dress with a leaf motif wrap in off-white that was so lovely and obviously took a great deal of talent and skill to create.
A spinner with whom I am newly acquainted knit a Cardigan from hand-dyed wool that had been dyed with only black and Teal (at the same time). She knit it from side to side to show the gradations between the Teal shades to Black. Intriguing and beautiful!

Yes, I know pictures would help. My feeble explanations do not do the Wearable Art justice. Some pieces I can see in my mind's eye but I have no idea how to describe them. I know there are many more that I have not mentioned here. They were all amazing. Such design and crafting prowess!
{sigh} Hopefully the pictures will be available on the public side of the Guild website.

I do, however, have pictures of the treasure I collected at the Fashion Show.

I fell in love with this Yarn Bowl created by Ken Ledbetter of KCL Woods.
It's made of Mesquite Wood. 

I love the turquoise fill...

(Gryphon, as usual, is on hand to "supervise".)
I also benefited from two of the guild fundraisers.

1.)   Tea pots were donated from all over and guild members made Tea Cozies to sell with the tea pots to raise funds for the guild.

I purchased this lovely little individual Tea Pot and Cup paired with this whimsical Craft Mall Tea Cosy. I don't know who made the cozy, but they have a serious sewing machine, possibly some weaving skills, a clever mind, and very sharp scissors.
(Watch for the shop-cat!)
(Spinning Wheel in the right-hand side of the window.)

(Close-up on the baskets and woven cactus.)
I love the climbing roses...
(Did you notice that all the shops are having a sale?)

2.)   The study groups and guild members donated alllll sorts of lovely things to put together 28 Raffle Baskets!  

I got to help transport the baskets from the lobby into the event room. Some of them were quite heavy!
Our table at the tea won several of the Raffle Baskets (I think 6 in all). The woman behind me won Three. I think she felt a bit awkward winning so many, but she did confess that she had invested a significant amount in purchasing raffle tickets.

Me? I won the very last Raffle Basket of the day!
The Cookie Lover's Basket donated by the Amphitheater Bible Church and another guild member.
I didn't quite catch it, but I believe the announcer made some comment about my baking cookies for the guild...but I'm not quite sure when or how many I'm baking but I'm game! {wry grin}
(Yes, Gryphon tried to chew on the wrapping...)
4 Cookie Mixes
A lap quilt in a log cabin pattern lined the basket.
(Yes, Nikoli & Mikale are "helping" me take pictures.)
3 pot-holders and a notepad/pen.
(I should take a picture of the boxes after
cat paws went tromping through the basket later that night..)
The pot above is not for Tea - it is a Tea Pot Cookie Jar!
Shamefully, I have not yet baked cookies for this new Cookie jar, but tonight I did pick up some Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snap Cookies (seriously - YUM) to go into this mondo cookie jar.

I had a all sorts of fun at the THSG Fashion Show and Tea. I can barely imagine all the organization and effort that went into making it such an excellent event.
Kudos and my thanks to the Tucson Handweaver's and Spinner's guild. Well done!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oscar's Wear'n O'the Green...and Red, White, and Blue...

When I introduced Oscar in December, I had indicated I'd present his outfits for each Holiday. However, I'm running behind on Oscar posts, so here's "CATch up" on Oscar's Holiday duds:

Valentine's Day:
(Next year's Valentine's outfit should be less cheesy-looking. I picked up another heart-tie option in the post Cupid-day sales...)
President's Day:
(Independence day outfit does partial double-duty. Ideas for mo'betta President's day gear, anyone?)

St. Patrick's Day:
I don't mind if Oscar or others wear green. Me? Don't need to.
As previously explained, I'm of Irish decent so I don't have to wear Green to be Irish on St. Paddy's.
(This outfit shows off Oscar's green eyes, don'tcha think?)

Hope you had a grand and lovely St. Paddy's!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Shaking of the Earth and How We can help

On a trip to California a few years ago, we experienced 2 earthquakes.
Once when we were driving and the car seemed to lurch forward oddly - we thought we were having engine troubles.

The 2nd earthquake that shook us was unnerving, to say the least.
We were awakened in the early morning hours by the rattling of the very heavy hotel room door as though it was a hollow door with someone large and angry trying to come in. My next realization was that the bed was shaking...and it shouldn't have been.
My reaction was to get up and put on my pants with the desperate intent to GET OUT. The shaking stopped before I got zipped up and my husband kept trying to tell me it was over and I didn't need to get dressed. I "explained" that I HAD to go outside...to be outside RIGHT NOW. (No, I do not suffer from claustrophobia.)
We heard later that we'd experienced a 5.9 earthquake. Pretty mild by most Californian's standards.
But that - and the aftershock that shook the truck later as I was loading it, was Way more than I wanted to go through ever again.
The shaking of the earth is not a casual thing.

The earthquake in Haiti last year and the recent earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan are beyond comprehension.
(The Boston Globe's "The Big Picture" covers the recent earth quake/tsunami with many photos that can only hint at the devistation. The video link I had here seems to have become inaccessible and I removed the link 3/15.)

Shortly after the news came in, the need to help in some way became overwhelming for me:
Red Cross support options to help Japan
Doctors without Borders is in Japan
World Care is collecting supplies and funds to help Japan (Supplies to be donated can be left at Local Walgreens Stores!)
Best Friends Animal Rescue Preparations
International Rescue Committee
Mercy Corps
Save the Children
World Vision
Actually, this blog seems to cover a lot of good options.

And in case you haven't already gone here:
Red Cross donations to help New Zealand
Ways to help Haiti
World Care Helping Haiti

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wherein the hairs on my neck are raised and I end up weeping

If you're reading on looking for the soap opera..."nevermind".
I had a stellar evening. I went to probably one of the best performances I've ever experienced. 
I'll attempt to make some comments without entirely gushing, but it is unlikely that I'll succeed. 
He was amazing. (Happy sigh.)

Certain singers performing certain songs will give me "goose bumps" or raise the hairs on my neck. Tonight's performance did both and had me weeping twice (OK, three times. I was in good company - I shared tissues with the woman next to me...).
He has such a perfectly controlled, rich, graceful, deep, textured voice with such timbre and versatility that I can't even gush adequately.
Seriously - Happy sigh. 

I've not seen a lot of his stage performances beyond PBS or the Tony Awards. But his voice - even not singing on the TV show "Frasier" as upstairs neighbor Cam Winston, is always a pleasure to hear.  
({gush-alert...} He is also quite handsome with a lovely smile. )
I have his striking singing voice on some Broadway soundtracks, had seen the PBS Concert performance of "South Pacific" with Reba McEntire, and had easily recognized his voice in the "Prince of Egypt" Soundtrack performing "Through Heaven's Eyes". 

Tonight - he demonstrated why he's been named "The Last Leading Man" by the New York Times. 
I agree unquestionably. 
He was charming and funny and kind and personable. 
(I know, gushing... Ahem - sorry.)
He performed show tunes, jazz, and all manner of song in between.
He was accompanied by 4 equally-stellar musicians: Tedd Firth (piano), Gary Haase (bass), Buddy Williams (drums), Bob Shepard (woodwinds).
His voice, posture, expression, & tone all blended to enhance the performance and to draw us into the world he was painting for us. 

He gifted us with "This Nearly was Mine" from South Pacific - "unplugged". 
He put aside the microphone and demonstrated the acoustics in Centennial Hall - filling it with his voice. 
What a treat!! And, yes, the UofA Theatre Majors in the back of the hall could hear him fine. 

I'll avoid listing all the selections he performed. (Some were entirely new to me.)
I plan to track down more music featuring this amazing talent for my collection.
He closed with "Impossible Dream" from the Man of La Mancha - which also seems to be a good place for me to stop gushing.
Night, all.