Sunday, August 28, 2011

Flower Quilt

After I took Joni's Zentangle class I got inspired to draw all the tangles (well almost all) I've learned in her class. I used a coloring page of a flower as an example instead of drawing a string. Is this cheating what I did? ;-) Well I think the petals can be perfectly used for practising the tangles I've learned. This is the result:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Zentangle class

When I arrived in USA, my next day was already planned. I was going to attend Joni Feddersen's Zentangle class.  She is the first certified Zentangle teacher in SC and she  lives only 25 miles away from my in-laws. Lucky me!!!! It was the introduction to Zentangle class. It was so much fun. We learned eight tangles.
These were the results
What I love about this is that we used the same tangles, same instructions but every tile looks different.
Tipple, Florz, Rockz and Crescent Moon:
Bales, Cadent, Zander and Hollibaugh:
Joni was so nice to make time, for Lisa and me, to teach the beyond basics class in the last week of my stay. We learned some other fun tangles:
Flukes, Nipa, Drupe, W2, Vortex, Paradox, Pepeer, Cubine, Ixorus and Knights Bridge
I have made Zentangle inspired art at home but taking this class one can learn so much more and now I could ask questions. Also learning how to shade I found very helpful. Thank you Joni for the two great classes, might see me again next year!
Joni's art can be seen here: you see her necklace?'s Zentangle too... 

Trip to USA

It has been almost 3 months since I last posted anything, so it's time to start again. Just returned from our anual 6 weeks USA trip. Well it's almost three weeks ago already though. This time we didn't take no grandchild with us. It was just the two of us.  First week was family time in SC. Next four weeks our destination goal was Cheyenne, WY and the Denver/Colorado Springs, Co area. We never reached there. We got stuck in Omaha NE on Offutt AFB, where I got sick and stayed  1 1/2 weeks: Vit. B12 dificiency, which was diagnosed already before I left home. I'm not going into details but I can tell you that I felt awful. The local doctor couldn't give me the injections unless I stayed 5 weeks so she could monitor me. That wasn't possible so she advised me to take the B12 tablets instead ,which I did and after a few days I felt my energy returning slowly. In the mean time 9 days had passed and we decided to go back to SC again and not drive any further in case I wasn't feeling good again. At least we would be closer to home then.  The day after the fourth of July we drove back. Our first stop was in Illinois where we surprised my  friend Teresa and husband Nyman with a visit. They live way out in the country in the middle of cornfields.
We had a tasty lunch together and later in the afternoon we drove to Yvette to spend the night  at her house. Of course  we had to make some pictures in her first time flower garden.
 In Tennessee we watched the whitewater rafters taking off on the Ocoee River.
We saw this tree on the riverside. Does anybody know what kind of tree this is?? My first thought was figs but I think it isn't.
Back in SC we went to the Festival of Discovery in Greenwood. A weekend full of food, fun, arts and crafts, music and dance. All afternoon we sat down and listened to  the sounds of Blues from Frankies Blues Mission, Wanda Johnson and Chick "Stoop Down" Willis.
When you buy the cd.... you want a signature......
Using a gasoline engine to churn the ice cream makers. I had sweet potato ice which tasted pretty good.
Also there was a barbecue and hash cook-off. About 80 barbecue teams were participating in this contest.
Pretty big smokers.
From Greenwood we drove to Short Stay Navy Recreational Area near Charleston, where we stayed 1 1/2 weeks in a cabin with a view over Lake Moultrie.
Every evening we watched the sunset over the lake.
At the fish cleaning station these vultures could be seen every day. What a creepy birds: birds of death.
 On the campground was this creek with lillies. Instead of in the water they grew above.
We visited Cypress Garden. The gardens were previously part of a rice plantation, and contain a blackwater bald cypress/tupelo swamp, the former rice reservoir.
Interested in the history follow this link:
Alligators can cross your path....
Spanish moss
 Reflections in the black swamp water
Green anole lizard
Displaying his dewlap.
I had to make the picture so quick, that it didn't come out too clearly.
Water lillie in the swamp......
.....and an alligator.....
A Bromelia in the Butterfly Garden
The man in the butterfly garden did tell me the name of this plant but I forgot. Anyone can help me??
We stopped in the town of McClennanville with it's beautiful Spanish Moss trees. 
Native Americans called the plant "tree hair", which name the French explorers turned to "Barbe espagnole" -- "Spanish Beard" -- to insult their bitter rivals in the New World. The Spanish retorted with "Cabello franc├ęs" ("French hair"). "Spanish Moss", a milder variation of the French taunt, has survived. Another common name is "Graybeard".
Here is an interesting article about Spanish moss:
A stroll through Charleston.
On campus of  Charleston college
St. Michaels Episcopal Church
Stained glass in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
A night heron in White Point Garden
At the waterfront on E. Battery
This day I was so excited. We were going to take the ferry to Bull's Island in the
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge was established in 1932 as a migratory bird refuge. Nowadays  other species – especially endangered ones - are protected too. Like the loggerhead sea turtle. Unfortunately we didn't see them. The refuge strectches 66,267 acres along the southeast Atlantic coast and include barrier islands, salt marshes, and maritime forests. The majority of it is  accessible only by boat. For those, like us, who don't own a boat, can take the ferry to Bull's Island at Garris Landing. It leaves at 9 am and pick-up time is 4 pm.
Garris Landing
On our way to Bull's Island.
Brown pelican
Nearing Bulls Island
After the 40 minutes boat ride we got dropped and had to find our way on the island. Most of them headed to the beach but we hiked part of the 16 miles trails the island has.
Bulls Island is the largest of four barrier islands within this refuge.  262 bird species, 12 types of amphibians, 24 reptile species and 36 varieties of mammals  have been recorded on this refuge. Just the idea of the possibility to encounter an alligator gave me the shivers but  the guide on the boat said they wouldn't harm humans...... and I have to believe that??....
Let's start our walk. 
Salt marsh
We didn't see any alligators on land but did in the water.  It was a hot day so they stayed cool in the water.....
....but we did see markings of alligator tail drags.
All covered for the mosquitos. Here I am at, what they call, Alligator Alley. A narrow strip between two ponds where usually several large alligators are basking. Not today though, maybe if we were here earlier in the day.
On the observation tower we had a nice view over Jack Creek... 

...and saw quit a few alligators
Time to walk the beach and walk to the boneyard
The Boneyard Beach gets its name from all the downed trees that have been bleached by the sun and salt water. It's the most photographed place on the island. We ran out of time and couldn't stay long on this side of the island otherwise we would miss the ferry.
The ferry waiting for us.
 I loved this trip but not the swarms of mosquitos. I do want to return one day when it is a bit cooler most likely to see more birdlife then.
Bob Raynor, author of the book Exploring Bull Island, has an interesting blog where he talks about his adventures on this island:

Even though the beginning of our vacation didn't work out as we had in mind, the last part turned out alright.
  Our last week we spent at Grandma's house
Grandma (Mom) Corine soon to be 84!!