Sunday, December 11, 2016

Night Visitor

We've had a young coyote visiting us the last few nights.  Last night he paused long enough in front of the camera to smile.  

These pictures are from the night before when he stopped long enough to get a drink.  

   About an hour before he showed up one of the rabbits had been right where he's walking. They stay under the big bush to the right a lot of the time.

    On my walk Friday morning I saw a young coyote on the golf course near us. Probably the same one. He looked like he was limping. They have access to plenty of water here, but the rabbit population seems low to me here at our house.  However, on the walking trail I've seen a lot of young ones. I'm sure the coyote is finding enough to eat as long as he stays healthy enough to catch them.
     It's always nice to have visitors, even if only for a minute.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary

      Located at an altitude of 7500' and surrounded by Navajo and Zuni reservations is Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary -- a magical place.  We visited here earlier this month. They rescue wolves that people have tried to keep as pets, only to discover that wolves are not meant to be pets.

      I had heard about the Sanctuary and "adopted" Teton, an Arctic wolf, last Christmas. As soon as I found out they had a cabin you could rent I began planning a visit.
The Gift Shop

    You check in at the Gift Shop for tours and to pick up the key to the cabin.  Across the dirt road is the Candy Kitchen country store where we bought lunch before beginning our visit.  They make a great turkey sub. 
        After lunch we were ready for our first event, a standard tour of all of the wolves and other rescued animals.  Although most of the animals are wolves or hybrid wolves,  they have a couple of coyotes, an aging red fox, and some Australian Singing Dogs. They even have some feral dog survivors of hurricane Katrina that were misidentified as wolves.  The one thing all of the animals had in common was their need for a safe and permanent home. 

Off the Grid Cabin

The cabin is solar powered and beautifully decorated inside. But the best thing about it is that a wolf might visit you here!

Leyton, the Director, with Storm
       I was so excited when Leyton brought Storm to the cabin. You can read about Storm's interesting family story on their web site.  His wolf mother was a rescue, but he and his siblings ended up being raised by Leyton.
       Storm and his brother Flurry are very sociable.   I was able to rub their ears and pet them.  Storm even leaned against me. Their other brother, Teton, is not sociable.  I could only see him at a distance since he stayed high up the hill that's in his enclosure.  But that's the way of wolves. You take them as they are.
        The next day, however, I got to visit with Flurry and hear him howl.  He has a beautiful voice!      


I asked Leyton if I could have some wolf fur to use in my jewelry, and he said I could. I brought home a handful and added a bit to my wolf necklace.  

 On the back is a secret paw pocket that I made from ultra suede.  I tucked a bit of wolf fur into it. Near to my heart until I can return to Wild Spirit.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

On the Road to Santa Fe

      We took a road trip to New Mexico last week and made a stop in Santa Fe. It's the home of Guadalupe's Fun Rubber Stamps. I had been to their store a few years ago, but now they've moved into a bigger location on Don Gaspar Avenue near the Plaza.

     I found some great southwest stamps and a new (to me anyway) spray ink from Ranger. I'm still learning its properties. In the meantime I couldn't resist using one of the new scenic stamps to make a quick page for my journal.

     Guadalupe's has a large selection of southwest stamps. This one is from B & J's Art Stamps, which is also based in New Mexico. I stamped on a half sheet of Bitty Scrap Pads Backgrounds paper then used a couple of Copic markers and a few colored pencils to add a touch of tint to the building and mountain tops.

     The wolf stamp is one I've had for a while and love. The maker's name has worn off from use.  I should have fussy cut out the turquoise by their legs, but I was in a hurry. If I make another one for a card, I'll definitely do that.  I stamped them in turquoise ink to remind me of the Turquoise Trail, the name given to the scenic drive between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  If you get a chance to drive it, I heartily recommend you do.

      The significance of the wolves is that they were the primary reason for the trip. We first went to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary to see the rescued wolves.  I hope to have more information and a few pictures posted about them soon.  The trip to the Sanctuary and to Santa Fe was great. One I hope to repeat again next year.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tips for the 2016 Tucson Gem Show

Tips for the Tucson Gem Show

        I’m counting down the days to the Tucson Gem Show.   The  Show, which is really a mix of many, many shows spread throughout Tucson, runs from mid January through February, 2016.   I’ve had my hotel reservation for months, and I’m starting to think about what clothes I want to pack.    Comfy shoes are a necessity here.

             This will be my fourth trip there.  Each time I learn a little more so I thought I’d share some of that fun-earned knowledge. 

           If this is your first trip, be prepared to be amazed.    As you drive into Tucson on I-10 you’ll start to see tents and signs.   The shows are set up in parking lots, hotels, convention and expo centers.   On my first trip there, it seemed like every flat, open space contained a bead show.   It can be overwhelming unless you make a plan and realize you can’t see (or buy) it all.    

  Here’s my advice:

                         Pick Your Shows in Advance.    

                         Different shows emphasize different things.   One show, for example, specializes in Native American jewelry.    Some shows have diamonds and precious jewels, which I don’t use at Desert Dabbler.
                         This chart is a great listing of the shows, with links to many of them.   It will give you a good idea of what shows would be better suited to your needs.     Also, different shows start and end at different times.   Check the dates for the shows you are interested in attending.

                  My personal favs are To Bead True Blue, The Best Bead Show, Kino Gem and Mineral Show, and the JOGS Gem Show.  On the last day, as we’re leaving town, we love to walk around the Miner’s Co-op Rock Show.  You never know what rocks and goodies might show up here.   These are the shows I plan to see during the 3 days I’ll be there.  If you only have one day, pick two shows to avoid being rushed and overwhelmed. 

One of the vendors with his prize winning beads.

                         Pre-Register to Save Time

                         A lot of the shows allow you to pre-register.  There’s no cost although you do have to give them your e-mail address.    As long as you don’t mind doing this, pre-registering can save you some standing in line time.

                  Plan Your Show Route.

                         It pays to look at a map (or your app) of Tucson before you start driving to a show.   Traffic is congested around the sites, especially in the afternoon.   You’ll have more time for shopping if you know in advance the order and location of the shows.   Many of the shows are very close to one another; others not so much.  
                         There’s a shuttle bus system, but I haven’t used it.   I rode a small shuttle one time that traveled between two hotels with related shows.   I found the waiting time to be really long, and there wasn’t any place to sit while I waited.   
                         Bring Plenty of Copies of Your TPT or other re-sale license.    
                         Some shows are only for wholesale dealers.   A few vendors have minimum sale requirements that exceed what I can spend for my little Etsy shop.   But most of the places I visit will sell wholesale if you have a copy of your re-sale tax license.   I found that making multiple copies saves time for everybody. 

                         Bring a Secure Bag for your Goodies.

                         Carrying items in your purse or, worse, multiple bags in your hands, is very uncomfortable.   Some people bring small suitcases on rollers.  I personally dislike walking around them, but I understand their usefulness.   I suggest a bag that you can carry in front of you for security.    You don’t want someone “shopping” in your prior purchases while you’re concentrating on the beads at hand.

                         It’s a good idea to bring a blanket or other type of covering to leave in your car.   I’ve never had any problem, but it might be too tempting to a thief to see lots of nice packages inside a car.  I always cover up my things and double check the car locks.

                         Set a Realistic Budget

                       It’s very easy to quickly overspend.   The quality and quantity of beads, charms and other delights are amazing.    Don’t put yourself on too restrictive of a diet if you don’t have to, but don’t cause yourself pain later on either.  
                         Cash or credit:  I haven’t had any problem with using a credit card at the shows.  I like the security and the paper trail that it gives me for my business.   If you’re not in business, however, cash might be the best option for you.   When it’s gone, you go home.            

                         Have FUN!

                         Don’t wear yourself out.   You’ll never see it all so don’t try.   I suggest you go to at least one of the hotel shows where you can have a nice lunch.   Go early or late to avoid the most crowded time.   Relax and rest us for the rest of your shopping.    If you’re like me, you’ll spend less on lunch than on the beads you would have bought during that hour.   

                    Both your pocketbook and your feet will thank you.