Sunday, May 9, 2010

Of Oranges, Beads, and an Epic Historic Truth

I had my Mother's Day a day early, with a lovely trip out with my sweetie.

We left early for a drive to Francisco's Fruits, to stock up on citrus (the Navels and Valencias are in season), avocados and assorted other goodies.  From there we drove down through Moorpark to the 101. The drive through Grimes Canyon is one of my favorites, a dozen miles of winding road through largely undeveloped hills. Except for the gargantuan gravel mine, it's lovely, rolling meadows, green at this season and covered in wildflowers.

As we came down on the south side of the hills, John remarked that the country reminded him so much of the former Orange County of his youth, with large orchards of fruit & avocados, nicely groomed farms, and rural two-lane roads surrounded by lovely vistas. It made me sad, because now Orange County is a sea of red-tile roofed tract homes, massive traffic, noise, and commerce. There isn't even a decent orange stand (or grove) anywhere in the whole county, which is why we have to drive to Fillmore.  I would hate to see this northern area go the same way. Perhaps its distance from LA will preserve it.

Once on the 101, it was a short drive to Agoura Hills, to Beadiak. We've been there before, and the staff, particularly Kelly, was as friendly and helpful as always. I had some general tools/goods I needed, and I found a nifty little set of lampworked fruit beads and some apatite rounds strands that I had to have.  I'm a sucker for fruit beads, what can I say?

I also got two books on micro-macramé, a technique I've wanted to learn. I've got a gorgeous focal bead I think would look wonderful combined with knotting and beads. I used to do macramé, back in the 70s, when I was a mere infant. Ahem. The usual plant hangers of course, and a purse I still remember fondly. But I saw some marvelous micro-macramé pieces at the Santa Monica Art Show last fall, and it really inspired me. The intricacies, and the ability to add beads and embellishments made me want to return to my knotting roots. 

The store had some other inspiring pieces, but I'm just not ready at this point to jump into bead crochet, or trying to create fabric beads.  There's only so much time in the day.  They did have a nice Sheila Clearey lariat necklace that she'd done with kumihimo with already strung strands, rather than the usual add-a-bead-at-a-time technique I usually use. I might try that.

I've got about six projects "in progress" stacked up and need to get to finishing some of them. It always seems there's that one bead or finding I need though. Isn't that always the way?  Now I need some gold bead caps small enough to fit the ends of the kumihimo braid I finished last week. Then I can do the netting on it I want to do, but first I need the end caps & to attach the clasp because otherwise I won't know exactly where the middle is, and that's critical. 

As we were driving, we were discussing the 1804 Lewis & Clark expedition, as you do. Well, at least we do. Among other things! Anyway, we were talking about why Sacajawea was so important to the expedition. I was joking that she was the first administrative assistant, she kept the whole thing running but didn't get much credit. Then it hit me!! OMG, as the texters say. 

They needed a woman along because she was the only one who would stop and ask for directions!  If it had been up to Lewis & Clark, they would still be wandering somewhere in the Dakotas insisting, "I'm not lost, I know right where I am!"

Anyway, after the bead store I used my own geographical skills to help John find his way to Langer's Deli, where we picked up the Pastrami and Corned Beef Sandwiches of the Gods, then home. 

All in all, a great Mom's Day for me. Today, I'm going to do some beading. Yay!

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