I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Let the fun begin... The Dayton Felting Retreat

A group of us left Thursday morning for Nevada. I drove one of two cars. We followed the remnants of a storm over the Carson Pass. As we drove up into the mountains, we passed the snow removers heading down the highway and hoped that this meant we didn't have to stop to chain up (which I didn't have) or drive in snow (which I'm not very good at.) with my snow tires (which I just had installed.).
We reached Carson Pass at 8,574ft. It was clear and so beautiful it almost took your breath away.
The icy roads were melting and the road was clear. We had driven through the Carson Spur and now I could relax. The "Spur" is an avalanche area on the highway that always makes me nervous when I drive through it. The rest of the drive was much easier and in no time we drove down into Nevada and stopped for an early lunch in Minden.
After lunch, we headed for Reno. We had plans. First we drove to the Jimmy Beans Wool store and business...
...where we went a little crazy looking at all the beautiful wool yarn, fleece, fabric, gifts and books. We were treated to a behind the scenes tour of the online part of the business and the warehouse.  Fun stuff! If you are interested in a quality online store for yarn and all the extras, go to...http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/ Jimmy is a lady and it's a nickname. All the folks there were very friendly.
I bought a book by the lady who created the pattern for the Moonkoosa slippers/boots that we made for this retreat. Watch the video on this website. It's hysterical. I just found out that she is also a singer in a group called Snowbird ( her songs have been featured on the soundtracks of Dawson's Creek, NUMB3RS and Party of Five.) and "she lives in the mountains with her unicorn, puffy cat & a hefty yarn stash riddled with gnomes."
This is her first knitting book.

Then we drove across town to the Nevada Museum of Art.
The wind practically blew us out of the parking lot, but I did get this photo of my windblown  "crew" posing with a strange rock man?...woman?, in front of the museum.
We went in , paid our dues, looked at some books and the gift shop, then proceeded upstairs to see the Phyllis Shafer "I only went out for a walk..." exhibit. She is a  plein air painter that lives in Tahoe and found inspiration in these wonderful Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her painting are stunning. I couldn't take any pictures in this exhibit. They didn't allow any cameras, but you can see some of her paintings here...http://www.phyllisshafer.com/oilpaintings/
These photos of her paintings do not give justice to her wonderful oils. They are so beautiful. Her skies in each painting are so unique.. so stylized. Each had its own design and flow. She truly paints what John Muir felt when he said, " I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” I understand this quote. It's one of my favorites.
We also enjoyed the Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, a  memorial exhibition of 50 select artworks by the late author, artist and illustrator Maurice Sendak
 ...celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak’s wonderful and revered children’s book. We've all read Where the Wild Things Are to our children or grandchildren. My personal favorites are the Little Bear series that Sendak illustrated. I must have read Little Bear's Visit to both of my sons, thousands of times in their childhoods. They loved this story (actually four little stories) and the illustrations.
There was a "wild rumpus" room which, I suspect, was a place for reading to groups of school children.
There were many of his original paintings, like this one.
With all the information about why he painted "Moishe" and when... what year and what kind of medium.
 There were some that I had never seen before.
Like an opera poster from 1984 in watercolor, pen and ink on paper.

The walls were covered with his drawings.

If you happen to be in Reno, NV on the 18th. of April you can bring your pajamas and join others in the
  • Where the Wild Things Are: Pajama Party and Film Screening Friday April 18, 2014 / 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
    Parents and children are invited for a festive pajama party at the Museum. Participants will enjoy a hands-on art project, after-hours access to the exhibition, Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons, evening snacks and a special screening of the 2009 Spike Jonze film Where the Wild Things Are. This event is designed for families with children ages 7 - 12. This film rating is PG. Come in your coziest PJs!
    $20 / $16 Museum members | Buy Tickets

    How fun is this??  I'm sure you can find a 7 to 12 year old around somewhere. They might even let you in by yourself.

    We saw some other exhibits that were noteworthy in this three story museum.
    Some very interesting and some downright weird. It's all ART. It's all a view of the artist's concept and his vision... but one art installation, that filled a whole room, was like walking inside the artist's mind. It was crazy weird. You had to walk on all these old magazine photos from the 40' to the 80's that were masking taped to the floor. The walls were covered too and strips of paper were hanging everywhere. It was very strange. Uncomfortable really. 
  • Then there was the room filled with Crochet. A couple of the ladies in our group got into a little trouble here... well, not really. One of the docents, a very nice, old man, had a talk with them. (You know who you are, ladies.) He understood that my friends were just being one with the art. I looked into the room. It was like a huge, red spiderweb and you know how I feel about spiders.
We left the museum and drove down S. Virginia St. to Junkee's. This is a thrift store extraordinaire.
A fun filled extravagance with room after room of thrifts and antiques.
 and creative inspiration.
You cannot go into this store and not buy something. Clothes on the left and everything else on the right. It's a "not to be missed" place to go...  and you WILL find something you can't live without.
We left Junkee and drove south to Carson City and east to Dayton. We stopped at the store and picked up a few things for dinner and finally reached our destination.
We had a lovely dinner, prepared by our hostess, with banana splits for dessert... the beginning of a food filled weekend. We talked for a while and then each of us said goodnight, as we ended our first day in the little town at the western end of the Twenty-Six Mile Desert, on a bend of the Carson River.
Tomorrow we would start our felting fest...


  1. oh i love the art...the stone man...and sendak...i love sendak!!!!!! i wanna go i wanna go!

  2. Sounds like fun and very interesting. Have a good time and have safe trip back home. I love the snow picture. All the pictures are great. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  3. You're a great tour guide; wish I was along for the ride!

  4. What fun! I needle felted Moishe for my daughter a few years ago and used sushi rice for his teeth! I would love to see that exhibit...I had a look at the paintings of Phyllis Shaffer. How magnificent is her textured imagination?! These places are so full of inspiration and motivation arent they? Makes me want to paint! And that Thrift store? Danger Danger!! Can't wait to see what else you got up to. Cheers Connie.

  5. This sounds like such good fun!! I enjoyed all the pictures...and am looking forward to more.

    Four of us knitting broads made a trek to Reno a couple years ago for a knitting conference and loved it. Obviously we missed some interesting spots...might have to go back.

  6. It's a good outing when "getting there" is so much fun. The first image of the snow could be a picture post card - just breathtaking. Love the shopping trolley as art. Glad you are having such a good time!


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