Aardvark Art Glass

Beads and weeds
June 4, 2008, 12:14 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: , , , ,

So, anyway, back to those beads me and JC left in Bryce Canyon. I was going to scan the trail map and make an “X” on or about the place where we left the beads. Unfortunately, too much time has elapsed now and I can’t remember where on the map we were. I can describe it for you though. About a mile down the Upper Rim Trail between Rainbow and Bryce points there is a downed tree on the left hand side right next to the trail:

ol' bead tree

free bead

That’s where my bead is. Someone might actually find that one. If you take a hard left at the downed tree and go to the top of a short steep hill (off trail) you’ll see this:

jc's bead spot

jc's bead

Right where that arrow is is where JC left her bead. It was a nice one too, one of those purty cathedral beads. Maybe you will find our beads. Maybe a crow will carry them off. Incidentally, the crows of Bryce Canyon will readily approach vehicles and try to mooch food off of people:

deadbeat crow

I wanted to give this one a Sun Chip but Harold and JC forbade me to. I don’t think they’d be above stealing a bead. Crows that is, not JC and Harold.

BUT ANYWAY, on to yet other things. My extra cirricular activities are starting to pile up here. I didn’t even go to the Spam carving contest this last weekend because I knew I wasn’t going to have time to write about it. Can’t do everything, I suppose.

But back to Utah…one thing that I found particularly enchanting about the landscape there were all of the tumbleweeds that were lying around. Boy, I like tumbleweeds! They signify wide open spaces, warm, dry climates and uncomfortable pauses in conversation (like when someone tells a joke and no one laughs, a tumbleweed goes rolling across the stage). I think they’re my Power Plant, if there is such a thing. I wanted to mail one to Madison as a memento but it would have cost $27.00 for even a medium size one so I didn’t do it. Fie on the USPS!

The next best thing to owning a tumbleweed is making something strange out of them and taking pictures. For my project, I decided to make a giant tumbleweed. I hoped to make one really, really big that we could roll down the hill and into town, or at least Harold’s yard.  JC decided to make a snowman. Here’s how that went.

car full of weeds

Tumbleweeds are basically dead bushes with sharp thorns. Even though they’re lightweight, it’s difficult to carry more than two at a time if it’s really windy. So we used the vehicle to pick them up.

Contrary to popular belief, tumbleweeds do not just stick together naturally. At least not very well. You have to use wire or rope to bind their stems together. This is difficult and painful work as you can’t really wear gloves and manipulate the wire effeciently. And how easy is it to entangle your spool of wire in the weed while you’re working? It’s impossible not to. Other challenges I faced were weather (rain) and the fact that I was working on top of a hill. Several times the weed rolled away from me picking up pieces of rope and wire and whatever else (feral cat doo was a constant threat. It’s why I was working on top of the hill).

I had to stop after about two and a half hours because my hands were sore. After I reached a certain size the ball did get easier to enlarge by jamming pieces of tumbleweed down into the matrix. I could put on a leather glove for that. My tumbleweed wasn’t nearly as big as I wanted it to be, but it was dense, just like me.

my giant weed

I think JC’s snowman was really successful.

tumbleweed snowman

She picked up three weeds, trimmed them and then wired them right to a post on Harold’s porch. She wired on eyes and buttons and found a moldy old hippie hat in the shallow end of a dried out swimming pool, stuffed it and put it on top. Not easy! Wiring up tumbleweeds is painstaking work. I still have a tumbleweed splinter in my finger.

I think that might be it for the antics in Utah. Yup!


2 Comments so far
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Love the tumbleweed art! Don’t you think JC’s snowman looks like a shadowy remnant from her Wisconsin winters? Kind of hauntingly eerie!!!

What a beautiful place Utah is, though!


Comment by Karen Rorek

The Wisconsin winter reference was not lost on anyone. JC, savvy gal that she is, stayed elsewhere during this past winter which was probably the worst one ever. It’s going to be weedmen or sandmen for her from here on out ’cause I don’t think she’s coming back–at least not during the winter months!

Comment by cathylybarger

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