Posts Tagged With: clothing

REMEMBERING LA CONNER.

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Somehow, I always think of Anacortes and La Conner as being somehow related. As the crow flies they are about 15 miles apart. Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island and La Conner is on the mainland. Both towns near the water. La Conner is on the Swinomish Channel. Both have art and friendliness in common. But, my most vivid memories of La Conner is of Dirty Biter and their quilt museum.

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How can you not like a place that makes a statue and names a park for a stray dog with a broken jaw.

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I had to blog it again. You don’t come across a story like this very often.

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Like I said, it’s a pretty town, festooned with petunias, lots of eclectic shops and great eating places. As, most men will agree, it is a girl-thing to “window shop”. Yes, I love it. And, those petunias thrive in the humidity and rain. So beautiful. At my house I curse them for being water hogs, high maintenance plants that don’t give as much as they ask. I know, I’ve sinned for being ungrateful, but I’ll never own another petunia.

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I was attracted into The Stall, a shop that specializes in folk art clothing, jewelry and home decor.DSC08251 (Copy)

Everything is so colorful.

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I liked this but you have to be tall to wear it.

 

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Next stop, Earthenworks. Painted tables, sculpture, painted wooden curiosity pieces.

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This marvelous glass piece.

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The rendering of a common object from recycled junk never fails to fascinate and entertain me. Look, a screwdriver, parts of a broken retractable measuring tape, a childs alphabet block, dice, golf tees & pencils…too fun. Earthenworksgallery has a website.

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If you need a lamp, why not make it a piece of art as well. To me, it is worth paying more for its artistic appeal as well as usefulness.

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We brushed by a tea shop with a set-up outside with real flowers.

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Amaryllis had a clever broom-head model outside. Like I said, it is a touristy town.

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We stepped into the Caravan Gallery of La Conner, a collection of global crafts and jewelry.  They are fair trade.

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The shop owner introduced me to Ganesh, the Hindu God. Shiva cut off his son’s head when he was disguised and when he realized what he’d done, he restored him to life and gave him the head of the first animal that crossed his path, an elephant. He had a broken tusk so you always see Ganesh with a broken tusk. I’m planning a trip to India so I’m soaking up everything about the country I can.

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More about La Conner tomorrow. We are not moving about as much as we usually do.

 

 

 

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GO BINS

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Our society is a throw-away society. Clothing clots the second-hand stores and everyone tends to wear an item once and toss it in the wash. The idea of wearing a pair of jeans for three or more days is foreign to young people. I not only wear my pants for a week, if they are clean, but T-shirts two or three days as well. If I’m out and about, I change, but to work around the house? It seems practical to me to do less washing and wear my clothing until it gets dirty. It lasts longer and doesn’t get washed to death. It saves water.

I’ve complained in this blog about truck loads of clothing and useable items being dumped into the landfill by a second-hand store manager. When I asked him why he doesn’t offer it to people for free, he said to me:  “You take care of your business and I’ll take care of mine.”

The economy has changed considerably since then. I was pleased to learn that Goodwill has put GO BINS in apartment complexes and other public places for people to unload their unwanted clothing and useable hard goods conveniently. And, in Calaveras County, where clothing was dumped in the landfill,  the county supervisors decided to approve the idea of deposit boxes in shopping centers with the same intent in mind. They used to have them, but they became messy as people rummaged through things and tossed stuff all over the parking lot. I don’t know how they intend to prevent that from happening, but I think they should do like Telluride, Colorado, and put up a shelving unit marked FREE. Like a bulletin board, people can bring or take things. What doesn’t get taken can be removed to a second-hand store or shipped overseas to countries that accept such goods. Waste is waste, and kids (and adults) might catch on to the benefits of not wasting stuff. Why not start a local factory producing rugs and quilts and insulation from unwanted fabric?  I’ve seen it done by volunteers all over the U.S. It can work here.

 

 

 

 

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BROWNING, GREAT PLAINS MUSEUM, HERITAGE CENTER

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Browning, Montana is home to the Great Plains Indian Museum which covers all plains tribes. The list includes Blackfeet, Arapaho, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Nez Peirce, Lakota, Sioux,  Ojibwa, and Apache.  The museum exhibits are owned by the United States Department Of The Interior and no pictures are allowed. Even the map showing where each tribe came from was off limits. The map above gives their range, but not the individual tribes location. I got the map on wikipedia. Not hard to tell we are in buffalo country.

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Bear Bull is a Blackfeet Indian. His image was also taken from Wikipedia where they refer to Blackfoot, rather than Blackfeet. The Museum has an absolutely beautiful collection of Plains Indian clothing, their craftsmanship in building decorative tipi’s, buffalo skin boats, drums, sticks, racks, back rests, the many items that can be made with buffalo hide. It explains their  religious rituals and especially the decorative clothing, saddle cloth, saddles and beaded quivers, toys, baskets, papoose carriers and feathered headdresses. The bead work is stellar, made from the tiniest glass beads and it seems a shame that we are unable to share it. On one side of the Museum is a working artists gallery.

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Ernest Marceau gave permission to photograph his work. I liked this water color.

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Ernest paints watercolors from memory. He doesn’t copy from a picture. He is Blackfeet. He also works in oil. At the Heritage Center across the street from the museum, he has paintings for sale in decorative wooden frames he makes to go with his paintings.

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Stacey Gilham Keller displays and works at the Museum Gallery. This shield is her work. She likes to do masks and pony sticks.

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She takes inspiration from the size and shape of a piece of driftwood she finds. It is decorated with horsehair, a bridle, buckskin and bells.

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The sticks are affordable and you know it was crafted by a Native American and not mass made in China.

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I liked her pony sticks and bought this one. Modern Indian Arts don’t compare to the quality of  items in the Museum where time and experience gave the old timers an edge. This museum is well worth the stop and very educational. It explains the dances, customs, how things are made, the knots used, materials used. Really nice. Across from the museum is the Blackfeet Heritage Center and Gallery.

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An installation near a resting spot with picnic tables was open to photography. The pieces are steel.

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Animals and people arranged in a circle with the Medicine Man the center of attention.

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When I asked Stacey if she is Blackfoot, she answered vehemently, “No, I’m Blackfeet.” I believe Wikipedia has it wrong. But the steel foot is from the medicine man sculpture.

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The Blackfeet Heritage Center Gallery can’t be missed. This huge steer wrangling statue sits in front of the building facing Highway 2. Inside, no pictures are allowed. They have a baby Tyrannosaur complete, coiled up in a circle with everything intact. It is from his “wishbone” (and others) that archeologists know birds are descended from dinosaurs. The fossil was found on Indian lands and can be studied by scientists, but it remains with its finders, the Blackfeet Nation.

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John Isaiah Pepion is a Blackfeet Artist who works at the Heritage Center. He is painting on an old ledger page instead of a clean piece of paper. I asked him why? He told me that tribes painted on stones, then graduated to buffalo hide and during the time when the government controlled them and imprisoned them, they were given old ledger sheets to draw on. Those are now called Ledger Art. He buys his sheets at antique sales or from flea markets. Work from several ledger artists was on display at the center, also very affordable.

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John Clarke is the Blackfeet, mute artist from the Cut Bank Museum we visited yesterday.

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He painted his people.

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While I was rummaging around through yesterdays picture file, I remembered the one item I had never seen before was this Rapid Washer, a plunger used to agitate clothing in the wash tub to help clean them. (I forgot to post it.) So, there you are. The Native American people had their life style, their land, their heritage, even their food stolen from them. I can’t blame them for not wanting their designs stolen as well by refusing to have pictures taken in their cultural centers.

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MADE IN AMERICA

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Normally when my son Ken visits, he leaves in a suit and tie. He is transitioning from Nevada to California, and stays with me periodically. This time, he was dressed as a huntsman. He brought 4 smoked pheasant for Christmas dinner and took clients hunting again on Friday. I’m not overly enthused about hunting in this day and age, but the hunt clubs provide birds just like stocking a lake. So, I guess I shouldn’t diss the practice too heavily. Better than depleting wild stocks of duck, pheasant and quail.

 

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Anyway, he had wet socks from Thursdays hunt and went to Big 5 to buy another pair. They were identical to his 10-year-old socks he still wears.   A big sign at Big 5 proclaimed, Proudly Made In America. Quality in a pair of socks that will see him through another ten years.

Yesterday, I picked up my wounded Toyota and stopped in Stockton to buy some art supplies, and a few items.  At a Marshall’s store I was surprised to find under garments made in America and socks, made in Italy. There was plenty of goods made in China, as well, but at least I had a choice.

I guess I’ve come to the point where I don’t want to buy anything made in China even though I like and respect the hard-working Chinese people.

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I don’t often have a chance to eat Indian food, but at Swagat, I met Misty. She pointed out that Swagat is the best Indian restaurant in Stockton and pointed me to her favorite dishes. All was delicious and such a bargain.

It was nice to get out and away from the rain for a day.

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The cook made some of the best tandoori chicken I’ve ever tasted. My own recipe is from a family friend is good, but this was better.

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I drove home with the sun setting in my mirror. It was spectacular, but by the time I found a spot to pull over, it was nearly over.

I like it that I can go to nearby Stockton and come home with a bit of India, Italy and Made In America. Don’t we live in a wonderful country?

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