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Archive for April 22nd, 2007

Dallas: Saturday Night Adventure

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

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In order to travel light on the airplane trip to Dallas, I shipped two packages ahead of time. Sunday’s polymer clay class requires pasta machines (made of metal) and polymer clay (heavy as a brick but smaller). I shipped the clay on Saturday and the machines on Monday. The clay got there early in the week, and the machines never made it.

Therefore, Saturday after our great Indian food, we headed over to the closest JoAnn Fabric store. Luckily for me, polymer clay is enough mainstream now that JoAnn has pasta machines (made specifically for polyclay artists) on the shelves regularly.

Lily decided she wanted to go with us. She lives in New York City where real estate is sky-high expensive and there is not room for the sort of mega-store that JoAnn can be. In my area, we used to have many “traditional” JoAnn stores (mostly fabric, smaller stores) and now we have one traditional and one superstore (called ETC, Expanding Your Creativity, which is more than half crafts… I worked part time at this type of store in Lansing for six months about five years ago). The superstores are becoming the new standard for JoAnn. Lily was excited to experience this with us.

So Margo Lynn, Lily and I trucked off to the closest JoAnn ETC store. We found two pasta machines on the shelf and I put them in my cart along with a few slicing blades. Then we wandered to the yarn aisle, where we perused the JoAnn store brand of yarn, deciding which we liked and which not, and whether we thought the price was where we wanted to be. You know, the normal knitter experience.

Lily found a few books and magazines on the shelves containing her designs, and we had fun looking at those and other books we had not seen yet. The collection of crochet books was larger than I’d seen before in one place.

Once when I was working at the Lansing JoAnn, I noticed a pile of books waiting to be shelved, and on top of the pile was LuAnn Udell’s Lark book in the “Weekend Crafter” series, “…Rubber Stamp Carving: Techniques, Designs & Projects” which contains a self-portrait I carved and printed on soft block media, about 4″ x 6″. That was really thrilling… I picked it up and showed my piece to a co-worker… and then returned to my post at the cutting counter.

The store was nearly empty except for us, because it was nearly closing time. We all went home with something, though small, other than my needed class supplies. We headed back to the hotel.

Melody and I talked far longer into the night than we really should have… that slumber party thing… with no mom to tell us to calm down and sleep. It worked out so well for us to room together… Lily prefers her own room to mellow out after teaching, especially since she’s on the road so much. Melody and I wanted to share the cost of accommodations, and we got along famously. She grew up in Chicago, so she’s a midwesterner who knows my most-familiar city well. We had so much in common!

In the end we had to sleep and teach one last day of classes. I was ready. Polymer clay is the sort of class that can only go well, or better. I’ve been teaching it for 15 years and every class has been good or better or fabulous! I was happy this was my final class, there was no way to have anything but a good day. I was not disappointed.

I got no photos of the JoAnn adventure, so I’m sharing one that didn’t actually fit well into other parts of my story. This is the Board and we three out-of-state instructors, just before we all took turns drawing tickets for the raffle prizes. You can see how nice it was there, with all these great big windows letting in the outdoor beauty without the outdoor elements. In the photo’s back row you see Jerry. In the front you see Melody, Lily, Margo Lynn, me, Mary Kay and Molly.

Dallas, Saturday Evening: Indian Food

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

dallasindianfood.jpgOn Friday on the way to dinner, both Melody (MacDuffee) and I noticed that there was an Indian Restaurant we passed. We schemed Friday night in our hotel room to ask for Indian dinner on Saturday or Sunday. Luckily for us, everyone else agreed. They ended up taking us to a different place, which was fine with us. The place was called Clay Pot, if I remember right.

This was a different Indian cuisine than I’ve had before, which was really cool. It had a lot of sauces with nuts in them, and one of the choices was mango duck which I’d not seen before. Jerry got a chicken with pistachio sauce dish which was absolutely a work of art presenteddallasindiandinner.jpg on the plate (see photo). Gorgeous. Mine (eggplant and potato with spicy tomato sauce) was not as beautiful in presentation, but it was really tasty. I really enjoyed my meal, and the great company at the table. We had most of the crew… Margo Lynn, Jerry and Molly from the board (Mary Kay could not join us), and Lily Chin, Melody MacDuffie and I who were the teachers flown in from out of state. Such fun, and such food!

Here is a blurry photo taken of us by a restaurant employee. We have Jerry, me, Lily, Margo Lynn, Molly (not looking at all like herself, somehow) and Melody.