All posts filed under: Travel Stories

From sketch to stretch.

I don’t have much time home in my studio so I need to work through the new ideas that have taken shape during the past year of travel. I do a number of drawings in my sketch book as I travel, mainly on the plane to be honest. This is one I did when I was in Tuscany a few years ago. The narrow, tall buildings hung precariously onto top of the sculptured hills. So I decided to do something with the drawings this year. “Have you been to Tuscany?”  came about. I drew it first. Then I began stitching free motion with the sewing machine. The important thing in this image s to stitch the background quite intensively and you can see in this image how the quilt begins to shrink as the quilting is done. But hours of experience tells me all will be flat once the stitching is complete. OK, there are lots of tips and tricks to go through to get the quilt to this stage… but you could leave the …

Images of Guatemala – No 2.

  Images of Guatemala. I’ve met this lady on a previous trip, she features in the Destination Craft Show on PBS. She sits in the square near the church and for a small fee ill demonstrate how to wrap the head gear. The red hand woven strip is about 10 feet long and the colored part on the end sits on the outside of the weave. It’s fascinating to watch her do it. I saw a number of older women with this head attire, but mostly they just wore a cloth or ribbon covering.     The cemetery in Chichicastenango. Away from the town center of Chichicastenango, Guatemala, on a hill that is rarely touched by tourists, one of the most colorful cemeteries in the world is hidden in plain sight. Steeped in Mayan tradition, the vibrant rainbow of pigments celebrates the afterlife, and can symbolize different family roles, like a color-coded clue to the puzzle of the dead. Featuring rows upon rows of painted crosses and tall mausoleums, the Chichicastenango Cemetery is a perfect …

The colors of Antigua Guatemala.

Down cobblestone streets full of color and noise. The temperature is in the high 70’s and the air is clean. The streets are full of people, I’m sad to see so many children working on the street selling things. My Pollyanna persona hopes that they go to school later or earlier in the day.  Many women still wear traditional dress, and the color combination is astounding. I learn so much about color from just observing. There is often music in the air and the smell of coffee emanating from the little boutique  shops is tantalizing. That said I’m not diminishing the fact that the wages are very low here and for many people life is hard. I hope you don’t mind my perspective of what I see.         Just walking, fountains and feathers. The beautiful Chicken buses. The local market. Huipils.   A huge warehouse full of surprises. I visit it every day to see what new goodies have arrived from the countryside.       And then there are the churches.

Monument Valley. – the story.

Even the hotel concierge at the closest town was a little coy. Somehow you get the feeling that something is wrong, but of course you have no way of working it out. He did tell us that the park closed at 8.00 pm and it was already 6.00 pm. The evening was closing in and I was anxious to catch the light and the park was 24 miles away.   But we arrived in good time and prepared to pay and drive through the park.