Less coverage of the Rose Festival Princesses

Whereas in previous years we’ve gotten a picture of the Rose Festival Princess contenders for each school, now we only get a picture of the winning princess.  

I can’t say I’m a fan.  I liked to see the finalists from each school. Now they are a list of names.

And yes, complicated feminist feelings re: Princesses, but I’m someone who enjoys the Miss America Pageant, so there’s that.  At least with this, it’s not a beauty contest, but is based on accomplishments.  Plus they get scholarships, a mentorship and free clothes.

Stave Puzzles are rad

While in Arizona, I get to put together a Stave Puzzle.  Dad and Barb know someone who knows someone in the Stave Puzzle world.  Those people lend Barb their Stave Puzzles.

Stave Puzzles are wooden puzzles that are cut by hand and have great artwork.  They are also very difficult to assemble, as they don’t come with a picture and some of the pieces are tricky.  And it just gets harder as there are fewer and fewer pieces.  Near the end of this one, there were times when I just tried every available piece to find the one that fit. And that boarder almost killed me.

Here’s a detail.  The puzzles are customizable–this one had the names of the grandchildren–and have silhouette pieces in different shapes like birds, and the traditional Stave Jester.

This one was a tiny bit easier due to the words  If you look at the bottom of this photo, you can see the name Brad spelled out as a puzzle piece.

Once we got to the castle area things got hard. Upside down and in the right corner of this puzzle, you can see the piece that says Hannah.  And the name Rod is visible on the right side of the moat.

After I came home, I suggested to my  boss that we buy a Stave Puzzle for a celebration at work, given that we usually have a jigsaw puzzle going.  Then I looked at the prices.  Crikey!  I was told they were expensive, but I had no idea. I couldn’t find this puzzle on their site, but, for example, this Peony Bouqet starts at $837.00 for a 6×9-inch version.  Based on those prices, I’m guessing I was putting together a puzzle that cost $2,500

Rich people have cool things.

Gallery in the Sun

Hey look!  I’m in Arizona!  Yesterday we went to the dog park and then out to dinner.  Then, Barb and I started on a puzzle.

Today, Dad and I are going to visit the Gallery in the Sun.  We’re taking the MGB, which is turning 50 years old this year.  You’ll see more pictures from the MGB in a later post.

Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia built the Gallery in the Sun so his paintings “would feel good inside.”  He built it out of adobe bricks, which were crafted on-site and used natural materials in the construction.  I really loved walking through this gallery, so I would categorize his efforts as a huge success.

The entrance, which he made like a cave, or a mine opening.

And decorated with metal flowers.

The Doors!  So amazing.



Close-up of the marbles in the doors.

Inside, he sometimes whitewashed the walls, and sometimes left them plain.

This is cactus, cut crosswise, laid down and varnished over.  He noted it was pleasing on the feet.  I was wearing slip-on shoes and so took an opportunity to test his theory.  It was quite pleasing to my feet.

The skylights were covered with that wavy plastic stuff used to cover porches.

Inset frieze.

I quite liked this one. Note the addition of wiring and a security camera.

Here’s a great appliquéd wall hanging of DeGrazia’s art.  It’s by Delia Figueroa.

A corner depicting his workshop space.

More great room transitions.
I loved this photo.

Here’s a favorite.  “One Slice” 

After visiting the gallery, we checked out the Mission in the Sun. Here’s a fountain we saw along the way.

The mission was built first, following a regional tradition of building a chapel or shrine before the building. It is built in honor of Father Keno.

Art around a side room.


The mission has an open-air roof

I loved this cross

A well-used alter

Colored glass

We then visited the artist studio next to the Mission in the Sun.  This is where DeGrazia did his work.  Visiting artists use the space today.  

Also, the gift shop had these very cool Sand Painting Kits.

I was very intrigued by this kit, but not enough to buy one.