Sashiko and a Weaving Queen

You would think that on a two month long road trip that you would have a lot of down time, mainly in the car. I have had a lot of passenger time, we did drive for twelve hours the other day, but not a lot of crafting time. My co-pilot time is often spent searching for places to stay along the way, googling roadside history markers, and yelping places to eat or things to see in our next city. Also my crafts were terribly unorganized before we left and stayed that way for several days. Moving and planning a big ass road trip is difficult and time consuming so my crafts got thrown into a few bags and I organized those and planned over the last week.

P.S. I linked some things here but it’s just for your convenience not for my profit. If I linked it it’s because I like it and want to share it with you.

Sashiko

I started with Sashiko. Using an iron on transfer I got from Brammble at Patchwork last year. It worked great, or it would have if I had pins to pin it in place. Forgetting the more than a dozen needles I do have was my fault. The first two places we stayed also didn’t have irons. My grand plan included doing all the iron on stuff before we left but time management is not always my best skill. Once we had a hotel with an iron I got it messily transferred. I also fused my Sashiko fabric to a basic muslin to give it more of a textured quilted look. Oh, and the knife was because for the first few days my craft bag ended up in the trunk and my scissors were in it. I love Sashiko any day but it’s great on the go because you can toss it in a folder when you need to put it away and you only need one or two colors to make something really beautiful. One problem is that very few people carry the supplies. Getting low on blue thread I tried several top notch crafting shops in Austin and could only find white thread in one shop. I’ll be on the lookout though as we travel along.




Weaving Queen Maryanne Moodie

I have been following Maryanne Moodie since I received the first The Crafter’s Box. I loved her work because of the colors and the geometric look of some of her pieces. I’ve been checking her classes and touring schedule like a hawk and found that her visit to Austin matched my visit to Austin perfectly. The class was at CRAFT, an amazing space specifically for craers and classes. It’s a dream. Her 3 hour class could have been 6 hours and still not long enough. But 3 hours is better than no hours. Having taken my first weaving class with Megan Shimek I wasn’t exactly a beginner but still like taking beginner classes because I like learning the basics and each instructor has their own style and favorite techniques. I also got a small loom with the beginner class, which is perfectly portable for the rest of my trip and gives me an excuse to buy yarn along the way. Maryanne is so open and encouraging, I really hope to catch her for a more advanced class next time when she’s on her book tour. Yes, a new weaving book! I pre ordered it because I’m really excited to have a modern weaver share her art with us. 




Tips and Tricks

I’m just getting used to road life. We just figured out the best luggage configuration and I got both, yes two, of my craft bags organized, fabric cut and scissors located. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far

  • Bring more scissors than you think you’ll need 
  • Accordion folders are perfect for holding projects in process
  • A giant road atlas book works like a lap desk, and also as a map
  • A flat iron can substitute for an actual iron when using smaller iron on transfer patterns
  • Bring less fabric than you want

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San Francisco to Santa Fe

Almost one week in and we’re still trying to get into the rhythm of road life. We’ve traveled 2,220 miles and are currently sitting in line for BBQ in Austin. So far we have stopped in Monterey, Palm Springs, Flagstaff, Santa Fe and our current home for the next few days is Austin. We have had one minor detour in Santa Barbara after an iphone accident but otherwise have been doing great on time, miles, and fun. 


San Francisco

We officially started our trip from one of the best cities. After staying in Oakland for a few days we drove across the Bay to walk out by Crissy field, say goodbye to the fog and the wind and make our way down the coast. Just taking a different route we saw a different part of the city than either of us had ever been too, which is what we hope to do along our journey too.



Monterey

Being a Californian my bias will always be towards California beaches. Monterey is one of those places I always want to stay longer. We got to watch some brave souls suit up for the cold water and their SCUBA test. My fear of sharks has made me hesitant of doing such an insane thing but seeing all those people in the clear water of the bay made it seem a lot less crazy. Watching the seals laze about on rocks and docks is a perfect way to start our journey out of our home state.

Palm Springs and Joshua Tree

Neither of us had ever been to Palm Springs. Being more of a beach family than a desert family I guess it just never made our itinerary. It was as hot as expected and a perfect dose of midcentury modern style. We picked up A Map of Modern Palm Springs at the visitors center (they also sold vintage postcards!) listing all the best architecture spots. We stopped at Frank Sinatra’s house, which is hard to see past the wall. We got to see Cary Grant’s place, which is for sale if you have $3 million to spare. But my favorites were the Alexander Steel houses and the Racquet Club Road Estates. 


I have heard a lot about how special Joshua Tree is so we made a point to drive through on our way out of Palm Springs to Flagstaff. It was incredibly hot and they don’t allow dogs anywhere but parking lots basically. So our impression of it is very much a surface view. Watching the plant life change from the south entrance to where we exited at 29 Palms was really beautiful. I know it’s all about the Joshua Tree but I really loved the Ocotillo, and wondered what the Joshua was called by the indigenous groups in the area before the Mormons decided to name it.


Flagstaff

We visited the Grand Canyon on a road trip as kids. But like kids we probably didn’t appreciate it as much as we should have. This time we got up at five to make a short trip out there from our dog friendly Flagstaff hotel. It’s a nice drive and mostly traffic free that early. We walked around part of the rim trail and really got to take a small chunk of it in. We even got to take Dot. Dogs are allowed in the park, leashed and on the upper rim trails only. 


Santa Fe

We spent a couple of nights in Santa Fe which meant we actually had a whole day to explore. After a slow start to the morning we got to explore our neighborhood of Canyon Road with Dot and then take her to the Plaza area to check out some shops and the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The house we stayed in was in a quiet perfectly Santa Fe adobe style area so the Plaza was a little too touristy. We spent the afternoon at the Museum of International Folk Art, where we even caught a Flamenco guitarist as part of one of their summer exhibits. Their permanent exhibits are full of beautiful pieces but I really loved the Polish paper cuttings, the vintage Navajo weavings, and the Indian embroidery.
We just arrived in Austin last night, after our longest scheduled day of driving and it’s already living up to everything people have said about it. Our Airbnb host is as nice as can be and our unit is absolutely adorable. Looking forward to a few days of exploring here and then heading to see a friend in New Orleans. 

We just arrived in Austin last night but it’s already living up to everything I’ve heard. Our airbnb host is nice as can be and our unit is cuter than I could have imagined. Looking forwarda couple of days here for xploring food and whatever we can find. Then on to see a friend in New Orleans.

Our Journey

Ten years ago I built a house in a tiny town in Northern California. In the boonies. As in we didn’t even have internet boonies. I finished school commuting from that house. I brought two dogs to their forever home there. I learned much┬ámore about home repair, maintenance, and construction than I ever intended to. And mostly I tried to be aware of how lucky I was to live where I did. The trails, the critters, the quiet, the river, all things that I loved about my little home.

When I say my first home I do actually mean it. We moved around a lot as kids so having a home for ten years where we could paint rooms and put things on the walls was a big deal. We had a lot of family gatherings there. I started my business from a room I built. We also said goodbye to our dog Jelly at our home. On our porch where she would chase lizards and sit in the sun our vet put her out of her pain. So yes, saying goodbye to this home was a big moment.

The house sold in one day. Much faster than I ever anticipated. So within a week my brother and I had to decide what’s next. And what we decided was to delay our grown up lives for a little bit and and see this big country. We’ve done road trips with our family as kids, to Montana and Colorado, and me and my pup Dot have driven across the country twice for a stint in NYC. But there was so much I had never seen. I’ve been to Amsterdam twice but never Austin, Texas. I have been to tiny towns in Colombia where you fly in on a prop plane and are transported by horse and buggy to a boat, but I have never been to Seattle. Having no house payments, no house bills, and throwing everything in storage is a great opportunity to see these places.

So, me and my brother and my dog Dot are doing just this. We’ve packed our bags, made some reservations and have a general itinerary and for two months we’re going to see what we can see. I’m going to be doing some crafting along the way. Keith is going to be searching out baked goods. And Dot is going to be sniffing everything along the way and looking for good hikes. Hopefully our friends and family and whoever else wants to will follow us here to see what we’re up to.