St. Louis Vacation 2017

Wow! I hadn’t realized just how long it has been since I last posted! July has been extremely busy. Things just worked out to take place in July, one thing right after another. Obviously the long weekend of the 4th of July, then a family vacation to St. Louis, Missouri, then a concert, then a vacation with my husband to Wyoming. It has been fun but has taken up much of my time and energy.

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Every year we try to take a vacation with our daughters and their families. This year we went to St. Louis, Missouri, and had a few extras as well – our niece and one of our daughter’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law. All good! Everyone got along and had a great time. All 13 of us.

One of the first things we did was visit the Gateway Arch. I’d been to it before but never went to the top. This time we all went up.

Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri on wandasknottythoughts
Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

There is construction going on around it and under it. Believe it or not, the Museum of Western Expansion is underground, right below the Arch. Right now much of the museum is off limits due to the construction, though there are some exhibits in the old courthouse close by.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the courthouse this trip.

View from the top of the Gateway Arch on wandasknottythoughts
View from the top of the Gateway Arch.

This is what we saw from one side of the viewing area at the top of the arch, which is 630 feet, or 192 meters, high. From the other side of the Arch, you see the Mississippi River. You go up in little enclosures that sit five people each and it takes several minutes. You don’t want to have a problem with tight or high places!

Items found in Gateway Arch gift store on wandasknottythoughts
Items found in Gateway Arch gift store.

Check out what I found in the Arch gift shop! They have toys, books, and other items that relate to the western expansion of North America. I guess they consider tatting an old craft practiced during the western movement. How cool is it to find tatting like this in the gift shop?

There is a lot available to do in St. Louis so we had to narrow down what we wanted to do. Prior to our trip, we had a lot of people tell us what a great place the City Museum is, so we chose to go there after the Arch. We all totally agree this is a great place! No, it’s a totally awesome place! You can be there all day and not see or experience the whole thing. I recommend it to anyone going to St. Louis. If you go, take along head lights (flash lights that you can wear around your head) and knee pads. This place is loaded with things to experience – slides, caves, climbs, and other things too many to mention.

City Museum in St. Louis from the parking lot on wandasknottythoughts
City Museum in St. Louis from the parking lot.

It was hot the day we visited, but it was a Saturday so it was open until midnight. We spent most of the afternoon there, then went out for supper and (most of us) went back until closing. You get wrist bands as your entry tickets which allow you to go in and out all day.

The roof of the City Museum in St. Louis on wandasknottythoughts
The roof of the City Museum in St. Louis.

This is a small portion of the roof of the museum. My husband is the highest person in that wire structure. It doesn’t go anywhere, it’s just a place to climb. The grandkids had a blast here! The parents had to stick with their kids. There are a lot of slides in the building, some spiraling through the dark, and it’s hard to know where or even which floor they end on. The caves are dark and may be scary to younger children but have amazing things hidden in them. There are trees and other things to climb all over the place. If you go, plan to spend a lot of time!

My goodies from our St. Louis vacation wandasknottythoughts
My goodies from our St. Louis vacation

I did pick up a few things from the Arch gift shop (yes, the tatting book, I didn’t have it yet) and the City Museum gift shop. I didn’t get much tatting done, but I didn’t expect to. The two buttons were all done on the drive there or back. Yes, there was time on the long drive there and back to have done more, but it didn’t happen.

This was a wonderful vacation. I am exceedingly pleased that it worked out so well and that everyone got along as well as they did. Well enough that we are already talking about where and what we want to do next year.

“Take vacations. Go as many places as you can. You can always make money. You can’t always make memories.”

Museum Stop Part 2

Now, back to Roebke Memorial Museum in Holton, Kansas…
They certainly justified the theme of “A Lacy Christmas” – there was lace and textiles of many types throughout the house. One of the front rooms showcased the work of one woman, Evelyn DeGraw.

Isn’t this display amazing? And this is only part of it!

These items were donated by the woman who lived across the street from the Roebke house The entire room was of Evelyn’s work.
December 26, the day we stopped by, they had three demonstrators in: a spinner, a weaver and a quilter.

This is Marty Mavrovich, spinning llama fiber as sock yarn. She likes to use as much local fiber to spin with as she can. She didn’t buy her spinning wheel new but thinks it’s either German or Canadian made. She made this look easy, but somehow I think that’s because she’s been doing it awhile.

This is Barbara Beyer weaving on her 8 shaft table loom. It can be converted to a floor loom if she needs it to be. This loom is from New Zealand. She was working on a tunic/vest similar to the one in the magazine behind her (which I didn’t take a picture of…).

Here is Donna Tudor hand-quilting a baby blanket. She likes to keep one or two on hand for new arrivals as they take a little while to finish. Her work is lovely. I hardly sew at all but I can appreciate the skill that it takes to do this.
These ladies were fun to talk to. It’s not often I get to talk to people who enjoy their craft like this, even though each of us had a different one. But I’m such a bad reporter that I forgot to ask where they were from!
I even got to take out my shuttles and sat with them for awhile.

Somehow I don’t think I’d pass as a Victorian lady, do you? I very much enjoyed my visit with these ladies and Margaret Utes.
I’m not sure if you can tell, but we were in the kitchen of the house. Miss Doris Roebke lived in the house after her parents so it was modernized as all lived-in house are sure to be. It was interesting to see some of the older furniture next to the older.
Upstairs the bedrooms were also decked out in Victorian style.

This room was done up as a child’s room.

In the hall upstairs there was a display of embroidery. Lovely pillowcases here. On one of the beds there was an cover/quilt with a lot of embroidery, also.

These lovely creations were the graduation dresses of the three Roebke daughters. Can you imagine wearing one of these? Just wearing one of these would make you want to act like a lady.
I put a lot of pictures in today but there is so much more there to see. On another of our trips to or from Omaha we’ll have to stop in again.
Today for Tatting Tea Tuesday I tried Candy Cane Lane tea, made with peppermint. It is yummy! Didn’t get much time to tat today, but it’s not over yet.
Wishing all of you a wonderful Advent season.
“The advent of our God
Shall be our theme for prayer
Come let us meet him on the road
And place for him prepare”

Museum Stop

Did everyone have a happyThanksgiving? Ours was wonderful, spent with one of our daughters and her family. I didn’t even have to do any of the cooking! We’re very lucky that our daughter married a wonderful cook. We spent a couple of days there and then headed back to have Thanksgiving here with more of the family.
We took a slightly different route on the way home this time than usual because of an e-mail that I got from Isdihara. A few weeks ago she sent an message letting me know about a museum asking for tatters to do demonstrations in Holton, Kansas. I’m not exactly sure where she heard about it (it was in the Topeka Capital – Journal, a long way from the east coast). I told her I didn’t think we’d make it being it’s about three hours from home but I was glad of the information. But the timing was right: on the way home from Nebraska we were able to stop in. This time of year they’re usually closed except by appointment but they’re having open houses Saturdays through the 17th of December for a few hours celebrating “A Lacy Christmas.” We just happened to leave Nebraska on Saturday morning and were able to stop in about an hour before they closed.
This is the Roebke Memorial Museum, a block or so from downtown Holton, Kansas. Holton is a picturesque town, with quite a few old buildings and tree-lined streets. The original part of Boebke House itself was built in 1876 and added on as the family grew in numbers and prosperity. The displays are in each room are furnished in Victorian era style and changed periodically with items donated mostly from local people.
We were met as we walked in by Margaret Ute (pronounced ‘Oot‘), a lovely lady who gave us a personal tour of the house. Here Margaret is standing next to a Christmas tree decorated with crocheted ornaments done by one lady.
Following the theme “A Lacy Christmas” there was a lot of lace everywhere, as well as other textile exhibits. In case you are wondering around on your own there are easily read description plaques with information about the exhibits.
Check out this player piano! Okay, this picture mostly shows the tatting display, but the piano itself is beautiful! And it really works. And it looks very fine with that cloth with all that tatting on it 🙂 Margaret told me that when they found this cloth in the attic it was all brown. She soaked it several times and the stains started coming out. There were also some places where the tatting had come apart (maybe age-weakened thread?) and were repaired by Margaret’s mother.
I’m not sure you can read this, but there is a short explanation about the life-style of the Victorian age. It also talks about some of the items in the room, including the tatting.
Isn’t this blouse gorgeous? Can you imagine tatting this then carefully stitching it to the material? This would take an amazing amount of patience. But with such a beautiful result.
This is a child’s petticoat decorated with tatting.
I wish I had taken a better picture of these tatting shuttles. The one on the left was found in the house and the one on the right belonged to Margaret’s mother.

There were three ladies doing demonstrations there that Saturday, one spinning, one weaving and one hand quilting. I will share more about that next week, along with a few more pictures of the beautiful items on display.
I highly recommend this museum if you are ever in the area.
This morning for Tatting Tea Tuesday I enjoyed a cup of Cinnamon Apple Spice tea while looking over pictures from Thanksgiving – a nice way to spend the morning.
If you would be interested in hearing what a Victorian era song sounds like go here.

Snowflakes and Dinosaurs

I’m still making a few of my old snowflake patterns, and still trying them out with beads. This one I changed a lot from my original pattern besides the beads for several reasons. One: I had done this one with only five points and I want it to have six. Two: I had done it with lots of picots so it looked very frilly. I have been adding beads in place of picots and this snowflake had lots of picots. But I don’t really want to add that many beads, so the extraneous picots had to go. Three: using the original stitch count made it a little bit bigger than what I wanted right now so I reduced the stitches by a few everywhere.
It’s somewhat hard to see the clear beads on the snowflakes, but in person the beads catch the light, making them well worth the effort to add.

I’ve done other tatting this week but nothing that’s ready to share. I keep changing my mind on what I want and keep switching from one project to another. Hopefully I’ll have finished one thing or another by next week. And maybe even post on Tuesday. I had tea and tatted on Tuesday, I just ran out of time to post!

This last weekend we went up to visit our daughter and family. We had a great time, going to an air show on Saturday and the Omaha Children’s Museum on Sunday. I had never been to a children’s museum, though I knew that the exhibits were meant to be touched and be interactive with children. They currently have an exhibit of dinosaurs there, something our grandson likes right now.

We found something interesting to see right away when we arrived, before we even went in.

This praying mantis was on our parking meter. We had to stop and check it out before we went any farther. You can see she was quite large. She only moved a little bit the whole time we stood to watch her, which didn’t impress my two-year-old grandson.

We decided to go to the dinosaur exhibit first, to make sure we had plenty of time there. For all that he likes dinosaurs, my grandson was a little intimidated by the robotic dinosaurs that moved and made noises.

The dinosaurs are not full-sized but quite realistic looking (how does anyone really know?)

My grandson didn’t take too long to get over being scared. There is so much there for them to do.

This is a robot skeleton that the children can push buttons to move, up down, side to side. It was very popular with the kids.

They can also uncover fossils in a sand box.

There were more activities in the display and many more throughout the museum. We were there for several hours and didn’t even get close to seeing everything. If any of you with children or grandchildren are in the Omaha area and are looking for something fun to do I recommend this. They do have places for the parents to sit and watch while the children explore 🙂

(I am not being paid for this endorsement, it was just so much fun to watch the children there I wanted to share with it everyone else.)

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”

Albert Einstein