Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: NC
Showing posts with label NC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NC. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

National Park Adventures Part 2

Hey everyone,

So as a bit of introduction I thought I'd share a bit about why I'm writing about National Parks.  I've always loved National Parks and Historic Sites; as a kid my mom dragged my brother and I out to all the ones she could since we were homeschooled.  And I'm pretty sure I loved every minute of it then as much as I would now.  I'm going to be creating a page on here with a list of all the ones I've been to because I have a goal to visit them all one day.  This is more ambitious a goal than some of you may realize because there are over 300 of these treasures in the US and its territories.  So I think I'd settle for all in the states if I had to, though I'd love to get to the more exotic parks as well.  I'm even geeky enough to have a National Parks Passport to record it all since they have rubber stamps to ad cancellations at each park, sometimes more than one stamp for larger parks!

Anyway, Bryan and I took a trip up into North Carolina's mountains back in September for a family weekend.  On the way there we took the Blue Ridge Parkway from about milepost 277 at Deep Gap to 316 at Linville Falls, and on the way back from our weekend we went from around milepost 332 at the Museum of NC Minerals down to 383 and the Blue Ridge Parkways Headquarters in Asheville.  The two stretches were very different thanks to the weather.  Here are some of the highlights.

On Friday's leg of the trip we were able to see Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.  It's a mansion that used to be owned by Mr. Cone, which was willed to the park service with the condition that the land be preserved and open to the public.  Housed inside the building is the Blue Ridge Parkway's craft center.  Bryan and I bought a lovely pair of prints by artist Debbie Littledeer and really enjoyed all the work from the members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. When we'd left Raleigh it was bright and sunny, but as you can see in the pictures above the weather was changing as we traveled.  In fact I don't even have pictures from our second stop at Linn Cove Viaduct.  The mountaintops were covered in clouds and visibility was low.  We sadly missed out on the iconic view of the engineering marvel that is the Viaduct area.  Here's what it looks like in good weather:

Image from blog

I'm originally from Roanoke, Virginia, so I grew up with the parkway being a fixture in our Sunday drives and family picnics.  However, what struck me most on this weekend trip was how different the North Carolina sections of the parkway are from the portions I'm familiar with.  For starters all of the 16 tunnels on the parkway are in the NC section.  Additionally the NC section is much higher in elevation overall.  Here's a chart that compares using the height of the viaduct as the example -

Image from

Over the weekend we spent time with family celebrating birthdays and anniversaries at the Nu Wray Inn in Burnsville.  It's a fantastic little town that's close to Mt Mitchell, the highest point in the US east of the Mississippi River.  We walked the downtown area shopping, visited the Saturday morning farmer's market, and enjoyed to garden and front porch at the inn.  The weather was just starting to feel like fall, which made it lovely for hiking and being outdoors.  Some of us decided to go the underground route however, and visited Linville Caverns as well.

On the trip Monday we started with the Museum of NC Minerals and went south from there.  However, this entry is getting a bit long, so I'll write more about the second part of the trip very soon!  Take care and I'll be back soon with a post about various ways to make crafts and DIY projects with yarn that don't involve any knitting or crochet!


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Days 37-38

Hi guys,

So, There's just one day left to my Kickstarter, and I think I can let you all in on one of the new projects I was talking about.  Really this is the biggest one that I've been working on this week.

I'm applying to take a summer course at Penland School of Craft.  I've been creating my scholarship/studio assistantship/workstudy application the past few days.  Today I completely revamped my resume, and have been calling in the folks I will use as references.  It's an exciting process, and I don't mind the work.  It feels good to be doing some solid work towards a goal.  I didn't know if the Kickstarter would work out, but this is something that I can handle.  I know I can get it done and sent, even on a tight schedule.  The application is due Monday the 17th, and if all goes well I'll have sent off everything on Tuesday the 11th.  Penland is here in North Carolina, but up in the mountains so it may need the time it will take to get there.  I'm applying to two different classes, one is a photography based course that would involve darkroom work, learning new techniques and ways of working that I think would go quite nicely with my collage work.  Some of which should be out of darkroom techniques that I can use existing negatives, photos, and digital files for.  The second class is a collage class that would survey a variety of techniques within the scope of collage, plus encaustics, and monotype printmaking.  (Monotypes are a printmaking process that creates a one time only printed impression or uses a base that will print fairly or even very differently each time it's used.)

I like the idea of both the classes, and honestly can't decide between the two.  The photography one has a possible assistantship, but no possibility of full scholarships.  The other could yield a full scholarship, but has no assistantship available.  Then both could have workstudy or partial scholarships, though that would mean I'd need to pay some portion as well.

So, it's exhilarating to see things come together, as taking a class at Penland is something I've had in mind for several years now.  Ever since one of my friends went and came back raving about how great it was I've been itching to go myself.  While she's not able to make it this year, I'm still happy to try for it on my own.  It'll be a fantastic way to meet some new people and shake things up with my own work.  A kick in the pants is just what I need!  haha

Other than all that I spent my evening with my husband and my brother in law, having dinner together and watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics.  While writing a letter of intent for Penland too of course.  It felt like college all over again...not that I mind!  I've also been working on the "Bianca" piece too, but at the moment I'm not rushing it with the Penland app unfinished.  I was still able to enjoy the ceremony, and I always love seeing each country's Olympiads carrying in their flags.  The nods to great Russian artists throughout the production were great to see as well.  I just hope we've seen the last of the failures to finish preparations in time so that all will run smoothly for the games.  I always look forward to watching them, and this year I've got lots of willing family members to get together and watch with.  I think my biggest problem is wanting to see all the events and only having so much time for viewing.  As a kid I loved the figure skating routines, but I grew to love pretty much all the winter sports as the years went by.  Do you all have favorite events or do you like all of them equally?

Until next time!

Love, Lydia