Monday, June 29, 2009

Time Flies

Hi Cindy!

I'll start off with our sad news first. DH's grandma passed away on Friday. She'd been such a tough old gal, hanging on way longer than anyone really expected. There was nothing specifically wrong with her, her body just wound down to its end. The last 6 weeks were the toughest, walking along the edge of expecting her to pass at any time and then her rallying, repeatedly.
The picture above is from over 2.5 years ago when she was still rather spry although getting weaker. Although the last couple of months have been hard, we're glad she's at rest now and we can remember the happy times. Until her eyesight got too bad (macular degeneration) she used to spend long hours quilting.

My friend L got married earlier this month. As a thought for a shower gift I decided to try a nuno felt shawl. I bought a plain white chiffon scarf through Dharma Trading and dyed it a pale lavendar. Below it is laid out on a layer of bubble wrap. I then randomly covered it with bits of roving in various shades of purple and then some wisps of green dyed mohair locks. I wet it with soapy water and then covered it with old nylon curtains and rolled it up in matchstick bamboo placemats like a giant burrito.

After working it for quite a while, re-wetting it as necessary, I finally gave up. My arms were too tired to continue. Here is the finished item.

And here is a close up of it. I like how it looks but there are bits that aren't felted and I didn't feel comfortable about giving it as a gift. I'm not sure if it would do well as a shawl/scarf or if it should just be a wall hanging. As you can see the generic wool felted into the silk just fine but the mohair locks didn't do as well. I'm waiting for Margi to find it and lick it.

As I said above, my friend L got married earlier this month. She is Navajo and her parents live on the reservation in NE AZ. She planned the wedding to be on her grandmother's land on the Defiance Uplift. We drove up on Friday and took a scenic route up there. Instead of taking I-40 from Holbrook to the state line we went north on a little two lane road, past the west side of Petrified Forest, towards Keams Canyon. It was rugged and beautiful with little traffic. There is a series of old volcanic plugs along the road that have eroded into scenic buttes.

We stayed 2 nights in Window Rock, AZ, the capital of the Navajo Nation. This is the road out of Fort Defiance to L's grandma's place. More beautiful scenery (even if it is obscured by a bug smear).

And here is L being escorted in by her parents. The entire ceremony was a blend of a typical wedding ceremony with Navajo elements as well as Russian-Jewish traditions for the groom although no breaking of the glass and no chuppah.
The ceremony was in a lovely meadow with beautiful red rocks as a background. It was a very sunny and windy day. Early in the ceremony L's veil blew off and on of her aunts caught it. The unity candle ceremony didn't do so well as the candles kept blowing out. The minister they had went way beyond the non-secular ceremony they requested. They were only supposed to have a Navajo blessing but the cousin in charge of it went ahead with the entire Navajo wedding ceremony, complete with the blue corn mush. As one of our friends from work observed, of all the parts of the ceremony, the Navajo portion seemed the most binding.
Despite the sun, wind and delayed time schedule (they were over an hour late getting started) it was a beautiful wedding. I ended up with a pretty severe sun burn on my face and arms but the sting and color has faded and we're just left with the happy memories.

More soon, A

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