Friday, March 25, 2016

Sashaying around San Francisco

It never hurts my feelings to go to California. And I was more than delighted to get to travel
Top L to R: Winding Road (Cynthia Ledbetter),
Cryptex in process (Marcia DeCoster)
Bottom L to R: Diffractions in process (Cindy Holsclaw),
Verona Wreath (Miriam Cielo Shimon)
to San Francisco to see one of my good friends and to wallow in one of my passions. Beading by the Bay is a retreat that brings a group of bead artists together to share their love of working with those addictive, tiny orbs of glass. My friend, Teri, who shares in the addiction, introduced me to this particular group. Our three instructors were Marcia DeCoster, Cindy Holsclaw, and Miriam Cielo Shimon; the meeting was sponsored by Swarovski, All Beads Cz s.r.o., Miyuki Co., Ltd., and TierraCast. The sponsors sent us bags of goodies we could use to design our own creations; the products were amazing, and ranged from necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings to hat bands, and purses. We also had fun learning from our three instructors. I’ve finished Miriam’s Verona Wreath, but I’m still working on Marcia’s Cryptex and Cindy’s Diffractions; I do have parts of each finished, and I can’t wait to get into my studio to complete these pieces.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Wandering to White Settlement

Texas Live Oak Tree
There are lots of little towns that surround Fort Worth. Generally these sprang up in the early 1850s, staying close to the fort for protection from the Comanche raids, and later as bedroom communities for people who worked in the city of Fort Worth. The name White Settlement came about as a result of there being one of two settlements in the area. Native Americans settled near where Fort Worth is located today, and white settlers lived in a nearby area. This second settlement was called ‘White Settlement’ as a way to differentiate it from that of the Native American settlement. But of course, there is another story: In 1857 or 1858, a May festival and program was presented by Mrs. Mitchell Girl's school. All of the girls wore in white dresses and had garlands of white prairie flowers in their hair. Reporting on the occasion for a Dallas newspaper, Captain Joe Terrell was so impressed with the white costumes and the flowers that he stated the community should be called ‘White Settlement’. As to which story you believe, please yourself.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Marching through Mansfield

I’ve found a handy app for my phone; well, I think it’s handy, Dave may feel otherwise. The
Texas Historical Markers App
app is called ‘Texas History’; it has an image of a Farm Road sign, and it allows you to hunt for and/or identify historical markers. It links into Google Maps, and is accurate to within about 300 yards; this is why Dave may not be as excited about it as I am. He drives, I give directions, and we try to hone in on where this interesting marker may or may not be; sometimes it takes a while to find the marker. Since we know the Mansfield area well, we decided we’d try out this technology in that area.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Coming to Cameron

Small house in Cameron
The little town of Cameron, Texas really had nothing to recommend it; no industry, to railway, no tourist attractions, but it was selected as the seat of Milam County in 1846. However, it is a pretty location in the eastern portion of the Texas Hill Country. Named after Ewen Cameron, a Scot highlander who played prominent roles in the Texas Revolution and the Mier Expedition, Cameron struggled to maintain its status and population due to its isolated location. This is one of the few towns in Texas that didn’t grow up around a railroad. It is located on the Little River and this was thought to be a boon to business, if trade routes along this waterway could be established. But in the mid-1800s navigation was attempted, and although a successful trip was managed, it was decided that regular transportation of goods was impractical. In the late 1800s the railroads finally found their way to Cameron, but this industry had disappeared by the mid-1900s. Oil and cotton maintained the economy for many years, and several dairy product companies made their homes near the town, also supplying jobs for the population. These businesses have also decreased, leaving the town a small, attractive place with a few historic sites and a very nice courthouse.