Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I really like the work of Scott Hansen. He blends retro and trendy in a way that fits my tastes quite well.
Most anything in his shop would make a great Christmas gift for someone with good taste. --And it's all on sale (20% off for the holidays).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Please excuse Kara. She has been. . .

I have neglected my duties as a blogger for quite some time now. My problem is that I’ve committed myself to making a wedding dress for a friend in my ward, so I feel guilty spending time on anything else. It’s coming along, but too slowly for my liking. I’ve decided that most projects have four stages. Of course, the intensity of the project makes a big difference on how quickly I advance through these stages.

INSPIRATION: I’m really good at this part. This is where most of the fun happens and if I am sufficiently enamored with the idea, I might just make it through the remaining three stages.

DESIGN: I’m talking about the technical part of design (as opposed to the creative part). Turning your ideas into a workable pattern is often the most difficult part of the process. This is especially true for complex projects (for example, a wedding dress with 20 pieces making up the bodice alone~ aghh!).

EXECUTION: By the time the pattern is designed, the actual execution is boring. I’ve already made this dress two times over in muslin and the thrill of working with the actual fabric is cancelled out by the fear of cutting something wrong and running out of material. (I am currently on the verge of this step.)

ENDURING TO THE END: After the project finally takes shape, it’s hard to be patient enough to complete all the finishing work—careful hems, hand-stitching the lining into place, hooks and eyes, etc. At least knowing that this dress is for someone else will help me make it through to the finish line.

Anyway, just thought I’d let you know what I’ve been up to and promise to write more soon.

P.S. Go Cougars! I followed the second half of Saturday's game via text messages, and then watched the final play on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Get Out and Vote

Friday, November 03, 2006

I Heart Nevada Day

I'm sorry you all don't get to celebrate Nevada Day. My three-day weekend was fantastic! Wendi and I celebrated Nevada Day by going to Arizona.

Wendi's cousin is working on her dissertation on the Navajo Reservation so we went to visit her. While there, we ate and moteled on Route 66, saw the Grand Canyon, fell in love with Flagstaff (and decided we need to move there) and visited Canyon de Chelly. Most of my pictures are from Canyon de Chelly because it was absolutely stunning. Also because I forgot the extra batteries for my camera. Perhaps I will post a few more pictures from the other parts of the trip after I get some from Wendi.

Here is the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon reminded me of a quintessential 1950's family vacation. There's the typical National Park Service visitors center and rangers giving tours. There are several overlook areas where you can park your station wagon, go take pictures of the view, and then move on to the next overlook. The South Rim also has the Grand Canyon Village complete with a shower house, laundry mat, general store and a small library.

My favorite part was the couple who were dressed to the nines for their visit to the Grand Canyon. She was wearing black coat with a hug fur collar, black slacks and high heeled boots. The Grand Canyon is a classy place.

Canyon de Chelly (du-shay) is more my speed. (Despite the shocking lack of people in heels!) I recommend that you put this destination on your short list of places you need to see. Here are a few pieces of photographic persuasion.

We stopped at several spots with ruins, petroglyphs or ancient Anasazi trails. Our guide, Tommie, knew a ton about the area, the history and many Navajo traditions/practices.

Don't you wish that was your car? Next time I will bring my Subaru and it will love me for it.

This is Wendi, taking what is- I'm sure -an equally beautiful picture. There was literally breath-taking beauty in every direction and around every corner.

See what I mean? We hiked to an overlook area. Our guide told us that his mom used to take this route (up and out of the canyon) to the bus stop to get to school every day! I was insanely jealous.

Tommie told us that Navajo tradition explains the stains on the canyon walls are the blood of the three-horned monster that created the canyon when he gored the earth, trying to kill the Navajo who had used the gopher's tunnel to sneak up on him and shoot him. (The Navajo got away.)

A little advice about Canyon de Chelly:

1- Go in the spring or fall. Photographers (including Ansel Adams) come from around the world to photograph the canyon at its peak. If you want to see incredible color (as pictured above) go around Halloween.

2- You cannot go into the canyon without a guide. The National Park Service charges $65 for the day (I can't tell from the website if it's per vehicle or per person.) I really enjoyed having a Navajo guide. They charge $20/hour per vehicle if you bring your own vehicle (4-wheel drive required). Our guide was Tommie. He said his website is called MummyTours.com, but I couldn't find it. We werreferreded to him by his "cousin", who was already booked for the day. It sounded a little sketchy, but this is common. As we drove into the canyon a woman leaving the canyon stopped us and asked if we would take some keys to her niece at a certain ruin. It's a small community.

3- Plan to spend a full day. We spent 4 hours in the canyon. We drove around a lot and saw a lot of different places, but when I looked at the map, I was surprised to see that we had only seen a small portion of the canyon. Overnight camping trips can be arranged. I would definitely go for that-- you could drive around to see a lot on one day and and do some serious hiking on the next.

4- Our guide mentioned races that are held in the canyon. Cool! After an internet search I have discovered that 5 and 10k's are held throughout the year and hosted by the Navajo Nation, but I didn't see anything on the Navajo Nation website or the Nation's Parks and Rec site. Hmmm.