This is the archive for the ‘road trips’ Category

Summer Sketches

November 22nd, 2017

Never posted about our trip to VT this Sept. We had put off figuring out what we wanted to do for our anniversary. Finally it was a few days before and we decided we should do something and we didn’t want to go south as there were terrible storms etc and reports said they could effect the north eastern coast so we figured we’d go to northern VT. Bread and Puppets were having a last of the season performance and that could be fun. We headed to VT and it turned out they had a heat wave—in the 90’s—but we stayed in Rochester VT and saw Peter Brooke’s exhibit at Big Town Gallery and one evening headed south to see Susan Abbott’s exhibit at Gallery North Star which were both great! BUT…Bread and Puppets on a 90 degree day… Once the sun goes down things cool off quickly and the evenings were lovely but that heat and a hot mountain sun… nope!

Image of sketches done in VT Image of sketch in VT

I did these sketches early in the morning before Bob woke up from the window in our room—well not the berries—they were done on a little hike we took. I think they might turn into a print design…
Image of sketch done in VT
This morning was very foggy and this sketch was done as the fog was burning off.

So, we left Sunday and headed home and since we had planned on taking off Monday—we did—we went down the shore—to Cape May Point and the weather was perfect and we had a most wonderful end of summer day!!!

Image of feet on the beach
Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving and as much as I love fall, I miss summer!

Where is the Summer Going?

July 8th, 2017

Been a while… trip to Chicago for Bobby and Liz’s wedding – beautiful wedding and got to spend time with my sister, Nathalie, which was a treat as she lives in FL and we don’t get to see each other very much! Did a lot in a short time, visited Fermi Labs (that was a treat) and photographed bison, got into Chicago which I haven’t been to since I studied at Lake Forest many years and another life time ago… Did an architectural boat tour and to the Museum of Science and Industry to see their train exhibit which was on Bob’s list. Saw Hope and Cindy coming and going in Columbus… so that was a major quick trip…oh did I mention it was a road trip!

Image of Robert and Liz McQuade Image of Wilson Hall at Fermi Labs
Wedding and Fermi Labs
Image of Bison at Fermi Labs Image of Bob Emmott photographing at Museum of Science and Industry
Bison and Bob

Been working on a web site for a neighborhood group which is coming along but taking longer than it should due to my eye surgery…but that’s been fun working with the members of the group. Other stuff here and there but… WHERE’S THE SUMMER GOING… Getting ready for a trip to Colorado – visit Mary and Estes and then study tapestry with Rebecca Mezoff – this is not a road trip! Once I’m back, we hope to get in a trip to Maine and then school will be starting. I will no longer teach at Philadelphia University but at a hybrid called “Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)” – I’m not to say “…formally Philadelphia University” so I won’t – I’ll say “…formally Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science” which it was and still is in some hearts!

Taste the Ocean

December 29th, 2016

Every year between Christmas and New Years I like to taste the ocean – sort of touching the rest of the world and reminding my self that there’s more to life than the day to day! Not that I mind my day to day—I love my work and I enjoy teaching but by the end of the year I need recharging and there’s nothing like an empty beach – or nearly empty beach with endless waves to do that.

Photographing down the shore Ocean waves
The light keep changing – sparkling off the waves. Almost every image I took had a different feeling.

Leaf in sand Broken shell Shells

At first it looked like the beach had very little on it but there are always treasures if you keep looking—this single leaf, a broken shell here, another there. My gift for the day was Orange, orange stones, orange shell bits, stripes and patterns of all sorts! These will show up in studies of stripes, of curves in my little tapestries, perhaps even paintings…they fill my dreams!

Beach textures
Sand fence mMrks in Sand
More textures and patterns.

It was a beautiful day—not too cold for late Dec. Sun in and out—always changing— clean, crisp fresh air—this will keep me working for a while!

Chili and Beer

And we like to end this yearly tradition with a crock of chili and a beer at Charlie’s in Somers Point, NJ. Oh, and the ocean tasted salty!

Musings at Green Cove

August 2nd, 2016

We’ve been away on vacation—a whirl wind road trip to Cape Breton and back. Hiking and sketching and eating and driving and driving…
After a long hike we stopped by the ocean and Bob took pictures while I sat and wrote the following in my sketchbook…

Cape Breton Rocks
I did take this picture.

Musings at Green Cove, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia 2016


young boy hopping rock to rock. I used to do that—like a mountain goat. But now, not so much. So I watch the young boy…

Bob goes rock to rock, not like the young boy but slower, watching, looking, seeing pictures in puddles that the young boy jumps over.

Saw a lot of birds at the end of our hike. young woman—not so young 53 but full of energy and friendship—works for the park—stopped to talk. I know her life history—her parents married, left Cheticamp for Toronto and returned. Her father loved the woods. I know all about her cheating husband. They were musicians, embarking on her perfect life, but… and she told us a lot about the birds.

Blue flowers hiding between the rocks—bright green leaves. Rocks with stripes—cracks and magma—each a painting.

Saw a seal swimming today!
Saw Canadian geese with a gosling.
Saw cormorants and lots and lots of sea gulls—

Tide waits for no man—nor woman for that matter.

We come and go and have hateful presidential conventions and the tide comes and goes—comes and goes—comes and goes.

The birds are on their rock, and the seal swims in the sea and we go about our petty lives—but Bob takes pictures others miss.


July 29th, 2015

Saw a wonderful exhibit, China, Through the Looking Glass” at The Metropolitan Museum in NY. Displays made connections between the Western view of Chinese decorative culture and contemporary high fashion.

sketchbook drawings
Dress inspired by Chinese Manchu Robe

Spread out over three floors it was pattern after pattern after pattern. The exhibit was as much a piece of art as the fashions and the Chinese artifacts. Each gallery more wondrous than the next. Colors, ancient Chinese textiles and objects pared with current haute couture.

Contemporary ensamble and ancient bronze bell. sketchbook drawings
Style showing very early Chinese decorative elements, and on right From Wuxia, stories of martial arts, over 2000 years old.

blue-and-white porcelain sketchbook drawings
Decorative flowers every where – ancient, blue-and-white porcelain. The embroidered rose is from a shawl, representing the China Trade.

Bodice of dress made of blue-and-white porcelain shards.
Bodice of this dress and neck piece are literally made of blue-and-white porcelain shards.


July 28th, 2014

While we were in Vermont I saw an ad for a yarn shop that sold alpaca fiber and after a number of fresh starts I found my self at The Green Mountain Fibers and Yarn Shop in Rutland. They did indeed sell alpaca fibers but they were already processed into rovings and I wanted unprocessed fibers that I can mix with some white wool that I already have. I spin as a meditative thing, not to necessarily produce a result (although that’s a nice byproduct) but it’s a process I enjoy. They have some beautiful shades of grey and tan but as I will mix this with white I wanted dark brown. Long story short, the very helpful woman in the shop gave me the name of their supplier, saying she didn’t know if they sold unprocessed fiber or not.

This was Maple View Farm, about 20 min down the road. So, down the road we went. I expected a small operation with a few alpacas and some fiber being hand carded… No, this was a major, if small, fiber mill specializing in alpaca, llama and wool. Thirty or so alpacas and a full fledged shop with all the professional wool processing equipment one could wish for. They process not only their own fibers but are booked up with orders from others.

I was graciously sold about 6 oz. of unprocessed dark alpaca fiber, enough to keep me happy with the small amount I need for the winter. I know I could purchase fiber from alpaca farms in PA, but this will also be a reminder of my time in VT as I spin this snowy winter.

VT Alpaca
After purchasing the fibers I photographed some of these wonderful creatures.
Very curious—nosy—they seemed to enjoy being photographed.

VT Alpaca
They had just been shorn.

VT Alpaca
Baby Alpaca

VT Alpaca
The gals and babies were seeking shade under a shed roof.

VT Alpaca
The guys were out in the field making faces.

VT Alpaca
Like This!

VT Alpaca
Handsom guy!

VT Alpaca
Nosy gal.