Sunday, May 30, 2010

Harrison House

It's always a treat to visit Harrison House. This straw bale building was built as a "composer's cave" for acoustic music by composer Lou Harrison. The intimate performance space feels like a temple and has a 16 foot ceiling. Harrison House offers artists' residencies that include public performances. We were there on Saturday night to hear Arroyo Baroque, a French baroque ensemble made up of musicians from USC.

The musicians played instruments that were replicas of 17th and 18th century originals--including a wooden flute and two wooden oboes. From left to right: Jason Yoshida, guitar; Denise Briese, viola da gamba; Paul Sherman, oboe; Asuncion Ojeda, flute; and Aki Nishiguchi, oboe. Yoshida also played the theorbo--not shown, but a fascinating long-necked, lute-like instrument with an extra set of bass strings.

On the home front, here is a bunny who has lost all timidity. Bill and I were outside on the patio when we noticed him just a few feet away, grooming himself. He kept at it while I got the camera and only stopped when he heard the click.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Local Color

The weather's finally warmed up--though days in the 80s sometimes still alternate with days in the 70s or even cooler. Nevertheless, the flowers are out. Here's a sample of what's blooming in our yard. Enjoy! Above: Apricot Mallow

An unidentified cactus given to us by our neighbor, Shirley, last year.

Left: Hedgehog Cactus. Right: Bladderpod or Paper Bag Bush, I can never remember which.


Desert Bird of Paradise

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Papermaking Workshop

Tobi Taboada, the Papermaking Diva of Yucca Valley, held a papermaking workshop at her studio on Saturday, April 24. Here are all of us happy papermakers at the end of a long day of papermaking. Sitting, left to right: Tobi, Noreen, and Nan; Standing, Phyllis, me, Bonnie, Cathy, Anne, Jean and Rosemary.

Tobi and her amazing assistant, Kits (who took the above photo) had vats of mulberry, cattail and abaca fiber already prepared for us. So we got to do the fun part, actually forming the sheets and adding materials like lavender and iris flowers.

I made 36 small sheets with the idea of using them for handmade poetry books. Here are some of them. The top, ivory white sheet is the abaca fiber, my favorite. It's soft as a lamb. The remaining sheets are mulberry in different colors. Those bumps in the sheet on the left are lavender (yes, it smells good, too!)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

He's Tough Enough!

This past weekend my cousin Roger came to visit from North East, Pennsylvania--a tiny town on the shores of Lake Erie. He is a marathon runner and ran the Prescott Marathon in Arizona on May 1, which is regarded as one of the toughest marathons in the country. He did it! Here he is crossing the finish line.

Before the race we spent a day at Pioneertown and Joshua Tree National Park. Here are Bill and Roger in Hidden Valley. The wildflowers are out--here are some of my favorites.

Prescott has a lot to offer and we spent time with Roger on Whiskey Row and exploring the other shops around town. The day after the race, we visited Willow Lake and saw shorebirds (cormorants?) nesting high in the trees. We also climbed a hilltop to a petroglyph park and visited the Sharlot Hall Museum.

Here are Roger, Bill, and my parents standing in front of the Governor's Mansion at the museum, which dates back to the mid-1800s.