Sunday, July 28, 2013

Grand Canyon South Rim

 Mr. Cactus and I just got back from a little
2-day trip to the
Grand Canyon
 Now that we live in the Phoenix Metro
it's only a 3 1/2 hour drive to get to the
South Rim
 As many of you know, the
Grand Canyon is one of the 
7 Natural Wonders of The World
It's one of those places you must see for yourself
because pictures cannot capture the 
vastness, magnitude or 
immensity of the experience.
 We wanted to do some hiking.
I voted  to start with the easy
13 Mile 
Rim Trail
that winds along the top of the canyon .
 Most of this trail is paved,
and you always have the option of 
hopping on a Shuttle bus
that will take you to the next lookout point.
We did a mixture of hiking and riding,
which made for a very pleasant morning. 
 Layers of the Grand Canyon reveal 
40 % of the Earth's history.
Trail of Time markers
are set a meter apart
along the trail,
signifying 1 million years
of Geologic history.
Our National Parks are very family oriented.
We visited with people from all over the world
who came from long distances.
We heard many languages being spoken
from French to Italian to German.
In fact, very rarely did we
hear our native language of English
as we stopped at lookout points.
 There are 6 major overlooks
along the Rim Trail.
The South end of the Grand Canyon 
sits at an elevation of
7,000 feet above sea level.
 The deep fissures were carved by the 
Colorado River below.
 The Grand Canyon chasm is 277 miles long
and up to 18 miles wide.
 The monument to John Wesley Powell
at Powell Point
made us think a little bit of 
the Mayan El Castillo at Chichen Itza in Mexico.

 Powell was the first to explore the 
Grand Canyon in 1869
 This is
Monsoon Season
in Arizona
and as we traversed the trail
huge rain clouds began forming overhead.
Lightening strikes can be very dangerous
so the park began lining up shuttle buses
and requested everyone move off the mountainside.

I didn't mind much.
We headed to the Lodge restaurant with a
spectacular overlook
 and waited out the storm.
We dined leisurely on a very nice late lunch
while a torrential downpour
blanketed the skies.
I love a summer thunderstorm :)
Once things cleared up a bit,
Mr. Cactus was looking for a more rigorous hike
and  headed down part of the
Bright Angel Trail.
His descent of more than 1,000 feet was a little 
much for me so I stayed back and 
and enjoyed the most breathtaking views.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Are You The First Born In Your Family?

 As I mentioned in previous posts,
Sharon Schamber's lecture was as interesting to me
as her most AMAZING quilts.
 At the beginning of her presentation, Sharon shared with us a personal observation 
she has made about women who become quilters.
She noted that the majority of women who quilt 
are usually the oldest child in their family.
 At first, I didn't put a lot of stock in her comment.
 Then she asked 
with a show of hands
how many in the room were 
the first born?
 There were about 60 women 
gathered in the room
for our Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild Meeting.
 As I looked around
I would guess that at least 50 
of those 60 women
raised their hands!
I was quite surprised to see so many raise their hands.
Sharon on the other hand, just nodded her head
expecting such a response.
 She said
"Women who are drawn to quilting 
are often 
Alpha Women,
who are Intelligent
"Take Charge" kind of women.
 In the study of personality traits of Birth Order
First Borns are usually the Alpha.
 First borns are the leaders,
who tend to be reliable,
conscientious, and 
 Christy, who is a member of our guild
is Sharon's oldest child.
 Sharon teased "Sometimes the Alpha female 
can be considered somewhat bossy" :)
 But, they play an essential and 
very needed role 
in keeping things 
organized and
moving forward.
Without our Alphas
we would probably still be sitting in a cave.
 So, I ask you:
Are You the First Born in Your Family?
 I'm taking my own personal poll
and am curious to see your response.
I am the exception to this quilting norm.
 I am the youngest in my family
and am quite content
being the Beta in the group
who would rather follow.
 But, I have sat on several 
Quilt Guild boards.
 And from my personal experience
I can tell you that the board rooms
are full of Alpha women!
Very interesting discussions indeed!
My thanks to Christy for inviting her mother
to come and share her beautiful quilts with us.
I learned so much!
And thank you Sharon 
for your very interesting insights.

Friday, July 26, 2013

More From Sharon Schamber

I wanted to show you a few more quilts from
Sharon Schamber's Trunk Show
when she came to the 
Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild
Seeing so many AMAZING pieces 
one after another 
literally took my breath away.
 Our Children of Freedom (2003)
91" X 85"
 Sharon's daughter Christy 
taught elementary school for several years.
The inspiration came from the children 
in Christy's 2nd grade class.
 Sharon dedicated this quilt to the importance of the learning experience.
 Won Best of Show
Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, Philadelphia, PA 2004
and several other awards.
 Emerald Reflections
 How would you feel if you had to make this quilt twice?
The original was destroyed in a UPS truck fire
in 2000 while on it's way to be photographed 
for Quilter's Newsletter.
 Putting in over 2,000 hours of work
Sharon remade this stunning quilt
renaming it Memories of Emerald Reflections
 We asked Sharon if she had a favorite out of all of the 
quilts she has made. 
Her answer:
A Perfect Moment (2002)
85" X 101"
 The image was hand painted
with the dress quilted.
But wait, there's more!
I'll be back tomorrow
with additional quilts by Sharon Schamber.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Do You Have Synesthesia?

As AMAZING as it was to view
Sharon Schamber's quilts during 
the trunk show/ lecture last Saturday,
I was equally intrigued to listen to her
speak about aspects of her life.
 As quilts were being held up for display, Sharon  began the lecture
by telling us about her
"4 conditions"
that have provided many personal challenges.
Yesterday I told you about  her
Hyper Focus
 Another occurrence that has had great impact upon Sharon's life
is a neurological condition called
 Synesthesia is a condition in which "the stimulus of one sensory
leads to an automatic or involuntary experience 
in a second sensory."
For many people a number is just a number on a page.
But for people with synesthesia, they might automatically
experience a number also as a color, smell or sound.
 A common form is called Color Synesthesia
where letters or numbers are perceived as
inherently colored.
 This was a new concept to me!
But, as Sharon explained her condition,
immediately the woman sitting across from me
stated in a matter of fact way
 "Oh yes.  The number 5 is green."
 As with all conditions, there are many spectrums,
and Sharon felt most quilters experience
Synesthesia even if only on a small scale. 
 She asked 
"Do you have a certain color that you just love? Or
do you have a color that you just don't like at all?"
 All colors have vibrations
and often influence our emotions.
 So I ask you,
do you have 
 I came home and talked to Mr. Cactus about what I had learned.
 We looked up the definition in Wikipedia 
 There is a number form of Synesthesia
where numbers, months of the years, or days of the week
have a location in space
or a 3-Dementional view.
For example, the date 1980 might look
"farther away" than 1990.
 As we read the definitions, Mr. Cactus looked at me and said
"Of course.  A calendar year is a circle that goes counter clockwise
with higher points like January 1st. And then as you zoom in on a number
the patterns zig zag and have angles."
 I looked at him stunned.
We have been married for quite a long time,
and I knew he was very good with numbers.
But, I did not realize that we "saw" them differently.
For me a number looks just like a flat black one dimensional 3 or 4 on a page.
As an artist, Sharon Schamber's Synesthesia greatly 
contributes in her creative ability when making quilts.
Many great artists talk of their Synesthesia.
See Wikipedia list HERE
Did you know that when John Mayer
 hears music he sees colors?