Adventures in Arkansas-Part 1

Three tables filled with locally collected crystals grabbed my attention! I stopped. This visit to the rustic shop on the drive down to Hot Springs was an unscheduled stop. The terrier was part of the charm. I looked for crystals that I felt called me to take them home with me. Then I poked around the dusty corners of the dark interior, and found several treasures to add to the crystals I’d chosen. Stopping on a whim is one of the pleasures of traveling solo!

In late July, 2018, I traveled to Hot Springs, AR to present a trunk show. The Hot Springs Quilt Guild’s warm welcome included someone using my camera to take photos during my presentation about memory and scrapbook quilts. Here is a quick replay from that presentation.

My display of memory and scrapbook covered the entire front of the room.

left, “25 Years of Quilting” honors 2019 as my 25th year! I used a commemorative fabric from Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine issued in 1994 (the year I began quilting) to honor the magazines 25th year of publication. The blue colorway used on the front inspired my original design. On the back I used the same commemorative fabric printed in the white colorway–I found this fabric years after I bought the first one at Lila’s shop Quilt Your Heart Out in 1994.
right, “Colorado Jay” is the result of our guild challenge to make a small quilt from a photo we had taken. This Stellar’s Jay is a raucous native of the Rockies–note the photo I’m holding on the far right.

I always take the time to create a display of the quilts knowing that quilters are “visual learners”. When I am in the audience, I always enjoy seeing quilts a speaker brings for more than one minute per quilt.

left, “Vintage Kittens” began as a quilt kit purchased in the late1940s by Jeanne’s mother who, at that time, lived near Cleveland, Ohio. Her mom asked me to finish it about 2005. I hand quilted it as a surprise.
right, “Basket of Dimes” is a TimeSpan quilt. The center black area with the basket made of tiny yoyos was probably stitched in the 1930s or 1940s judging by the vintage fabrics. I found it as a pillow at a thrift shop. I transformed it by adding borders and quilting. These are the smallest yoyos I’ve ever seen. Each is about the size of a dime–thus the name Basket of Dimes.


Quilter Becomes an Architectural Tourist, Again

This vintage green sign caught my eye as I drove through Booneville, Arkansas. I was anxious to get home after an overnight trip to Hot Springs to present my program Memory and Scrapbook Quilts. The presentation had gone well, but I had not slept well at the hotel. I was up early and on the road by 7:00. I ate breakfast, then drove north to one of my favorite quilt shops, Mama’s Log House Quilts, located three hours from home. I enjoyed a long visit with owner, Kaye Voss, and shopped her great selection of fine fabrics including a gorgeous silk and cotton blend in vibrant jewel-tone colors.

I had no intention of stopping as I headed home, but that green sign “Fresh Eggs”, snagged my eye in Booneville. Located in South Logan County at the intersection of Arkansas Scenic Highway 23 and Arkansas Scenic Highway 10, Booneville in not a booming town. But I discovered a treasure. The building I was looking at had large crystal clusters and unique fossils carefully built into the wall! I admired the creativity of the long ago artist who created this magnificent wall. Then I grabbed my camera–took lots of pictures.

“Fresh Eggs” sign made me stop here, but the crystals built into the wall (far left) made me glad I’d stopped to admire this unique sight!

I visited with the young woman who was running the consignment shop in the building. When I asked if she knew anything about how old the building was, she assured me it was really old–maybe built in the 1970s. Later, when I was paying for my purchases, I suggested that the building was probably much older than that–possibly built in the 1920’s or so. She pointed out that vandals had chipped away at many of the large crystal clusters located on the lower part of the wall.

Collage of local treasures,both fossils and crystals, embedded into the wall.

Inspecting

The higher groups of crystals were safe from vandal attacks. Look for the damages sections.

Two other historic buildings in Booneville. The Savage Theater no longer offers locals a chance to gather in their hometown.

As I was driving home I kept wondering if there were other vintage buildings with local crystals embedded in their walls. By searching the Internet, I did find a photo of one other building identified only as existing in Paris, AR which is a larger city located in the north central part of Logan County–see the color map above. Are there others? Did the same builder make both of these? Write me if you know anything about these buildings or their history.

Paris, AR building with a wall including more crystals and fossils. Note the unusual jagged roof line created by the rocks.

When I recently heard the term “architectural tourist”, I thought, “That’s me–that explains why so many of my photos over the years have focused on interesting houses and buildings!” When I lived in my 1888 Victorian house in Kansas City, MO I researched the original owner, subsequent owners and passed that information on to the person I sold my beloved Crescent House to in 1998. Once Jeanne and I created our own owner-built house my interest has only intensified.

Creativity comes in all shapes, form and sizes. One of my favorite authors, Margaret Cruickshank, reminds us, “Creativity is usually regarded as an individual attribute, but it depends on opportunities for expression and a receptive audience.” Decades later, I am pleased that a local builder had the opportunity to feature Arkansas earth treasures in these buildings, making me the receptive audience!

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