Saturday, January 28, 2023
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Welcome to a short week of likes! It's been a good week, just not too many things to take pictures of!
Things I'm liking this week!
The Library Lover's Mysteries! I picked these up after seeing them on LeeAnna's post, they've been the perfect accompaniment to cold afternoons and evenings in the studio.
LeeAnna's prompt for this week is favorite colors. I love bright colors- my off the cuff answer when people ask me this question is either rainbow or pink, but I also love green and turquoise and bright intense red orange and all the dusty New Mexico colors where exquisite blue skies are complemented by dark green brown and yellow and red and orange covered with a light layer of brown beige dust.
I bought a six pack of (what turned out to be) gross peanut butter stout this week, and while usually I've discovered that if beer is too gross to drink it's too gross to bake with. But I thought peanut butter beer might be ok for baking, so I made up several loaves of beer bread and it turned out very tasty. Such an easy quick recipe.
Also, I blogged this week about Christmas Crafts from this year. Click here to see more!
Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!
Friday, January 20, 2023
Now that Christmas is past, it's time once again to share crafty items I made as gifts.
The best crafty item of this Christmas was a fantastic Christmas Tree gnome my sister crocheted for me, but I forgot to take a picture of him and he's now in the attic with the other decor. I'll share him next year when I get the Christmas stuff back out.
I didn't do nearly as much as in some past years, but I made a few star ornaments out of the selenite crystals we collected while digging in the salt flats earlier this year.
It was fun to try to pick out coordinating pieces to put together to make the stars. I love that in the one on the far right, the sand is far blacker than the rest- I think it had more organic material in it. The ornaments look much prettier in the sun- you can see the way the light highlights the hourglass formation.
I love making small crafty projects at the holidays!
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Welcome to another week of things to like! I did a 2022 wrap-up post this week, you can see it here if you like.
This weekend was the first post-holiday weekend after our big 12th night feast so I finally had time to work on non-holiday stuff. I spent part of the weekend piecing this bookcase topper for my geology friend Brett- it's long and narrow so it was hard to get a good picture. The central geology fabric was one from spoonflower, I loved the various geological illustrations and the surrounding topo line pattern. It was fun to piece, quilt, and finish something that had been on my to-do list for months.
Friday, January 13, 2023
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Welcome to another week of things to like!
This was a busy week here- things at work are going like wildfire and regular activities have resumed post-holidays.
The biggest event for the week was our 12th Night medieval feast at church. It's a very big event I organize every two years (though we haven't had it since 2019) with lots of moving parts and chaos. It turned out fun, as usual, and I'm definitely glad to be done. I was working on costumes and costume updates right up until the very last minute as well, and as usual got very few pictures. Here's one of the royal court and some of the cast right ahead (I blurred the youth faces). I'm still doing final wrap-up stuff but that's not too onerous.
I hope you're having a good week! Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!!
Friday, January 6, 2023
I wanted to put this in my I Like post from last week, but it was already getting a little long so I decided to do a separate post.
I love visiting National Park Service sites, and of course the big name ones are the National Parks. But there are lots of other NPS sites, National Monuments and National Historic Parks etc., and I've never visited a bad one. There aren't a ton of NPS sites between my place here in OK and my parents place in NM, but there are a few. One of them is Alibates Flint Quarry National Monument which is about 25 miles north of Amarillo. The country is hilly and bit ordinary looking from far out, but get up close and there are treasures to find!
I decided to stop on my way back, and so I called them up to see if they were open (it was January 1) and they were, and I was able to sign up for the ranger led tour of the flint quarries. I got an early start on the drive back and the weather was mild enough that I knew I could take the pups for a walk and then leave them in the car (with water and a breeze) while I did the ranger tour.
You guys, it was so very very cool. I had absolutely no idea what it even was, I just figured that there had to be something interesting or it wouldn't be an NPS site. It turns out that native people have been quarrying flint there to make tools (spear points, arrowheads, etc.) since the last ice age! Weapon points quarried there have been found in mammoth remains that date to the Clovis people in New Mexico, around 9500-9000 BC. More recently, the Antelope Creek People, part of the Plains Village cultures, lived and quarried the Alibates flint, which is limited to this very small area. Around 1,000 small quarries dug by the Antelope Creek People have been discovered in the area of the monument as well as archeological sites of their homes/villages.
The most unexpected thing for me though is that the flint is rainbow colored! It's the most beautiful array of rocks I've ever seen, every color from pink to red orange, purple, blue, white, black, brown, cream, with stripes and curtain formations, and speckles and every pattern imaginable.
The hills are topped with a layer of dolomite, a carbonaceous mineral that forms sedimentary rock, in this case deposited when it was at the bottom of a shallow, warm, sea, rich with little sea creatures. Underneath the dolomite caps is the permian layer, with red iron-rich dirt and minerals, and underneath that a silica-rich ashen layer deposited by the eons ago eruption of a supervolcano. Apparently, these mineral formations, coupled with fossilization/petrification of sea creatures and lichen and the resulting presence of silica led to agatization of the dolomite (which is boring grey and blobby) to form the most gorgeous array of rainbow flint.
This rock below had partially agatized-- you can see the sort of boring rough looking dolomite on the outer edges. The black is a layer of petrified lichen, and then there in the middle you can see the red and white agatized flint (it looks kind of like marbled steak or bacon). In person the difference is much more pronounced, the agatized sections are shiny and smooth and just catch the light in a beautiful way.
Anyway, the native peoples discovered this area and dug quarries to extract the flint. They traded it throughout what's now the central United States over a very wide area. At the top of each quarry (most of which are visible now only as indentations that have slowly eroded and filled back in with scrub, are areas of lithic scatter. Basically the ground is covered with beautiful rainbow flint pieces that were castoffs, not suitable to make the trade blanks that were traded to other people to make into arrowheads or other tools. Many of the pieces weren't suitable because they had crystal inclusions, which makes them not strong enough for weapons (the Alibates flint is harder than many other flints, about 7.5), but so pretty to see while walking around. It was so hard not to take three million pictures, but here are a few of the pieces that caught my eye. The most amazing thing to me is that they all come from the same rocks! Within inches of each other this variety of color. So crazy!