This year, Erin changed it up on us. She asked us to vacation at home. Instead of researching a new city or country, we were to find new and exciting things in our own back yards.
Now, I live in the midwest -- in Kansas. I have yet to meet someone who likes Kansas enough to vacation there.
I do, however, live in a suburb of Kansas City, which is a much bigger and more interesting town.
Most people think of barbecue when they think of Kansas City. It's true -- visitors have their choice of amazing barbecue here. You can sample Gates, Arthur Bryant's, Oklahoma Joe's or Jack Stack and debate with the locals about which is better.
(For the record, my husband prefers Jack Stack while I am an Oklahoma Joe's girl.)
People don't know about the theater in Kansas City. You can find the Lyric Opera, the Music Hall, the Unicorn Theater, the Starlight Theater, the American Heartland Theater, and the Kansas City Rep (that shows a great version of A Christmas Carol every year).
My favorite, though, is the Quality Hill Playhouse. Quality Hill is a small theater. The shows are musicals, generally featuring a wide variety of well known and little known music fitting a specific theme. The host, J. Kent Barnhart is a wonderful talent in his own right and his one man biographical show is still one of the best I've seen.
Now that we have the kiddo, we have been attending the children's Coterie Theater a bit more. :)
After the kiddo was born, we took advantage of the kid friendly sites of Kansas city. We visited the Kansas City Zoo several times a month.
We walked around the Overland Park Arboretum and Powell Gardens. (Most of the non-jewelry photos on this blog are taken on one of these two places.)
During the winter, we visited Science City in Union Station.
For this challenge, I tried to find a new aspect of Kansas City.
Did you know that Kansas City was the City of Fountains? I kind of did, but had no idea the scope. There are fountains all over the city and in many of the surrounding area. I couldn't visit all of them, but decided to take a walking tour around the Plaza.
When I first moved here, I spent a great deal of time on the Plaza, but I never noticed the architecture or the abundance of fountains. It was fun to spend time "getting to know" the Plaza a little better.
The first fountain you will see upon entering the Plaza is the JC Nichols Memorial fountain.
It is even more impressive at night.
Here is a close up of one of the horses and his rider.
Neptune is my favorite.
This organ grinder is not a fountain, but I still thought the statue was cute.
After my walking tour, I decided to create something inspired by fountains.
I started with this pendant from Nancy Schindler of Round Rabbit. It looked so much like the scrolling detail on a fountain that I just "had" to use it.
I wanted to create a weathered chain. Using the Persian Variations instructions from Blue Buddha, I created two chains of a rippled half persian 4-in-1. Then, I left the the chains in an ammonia patina for a few days.
(If you are interested in chain maille, Blue Buddha is a great place to start. I loved the Persian Variations instructions and would recommend it. You do need to know how to do the basic Persian and half Persian weaves, though, before starting these.)
I then created a peyote spiral piece to link the chins together.
I used larger jumprings to join the pieces together and decorated them with stray seed beads.
Here is the finished product. I really like it, but after completing it, I wondered if the pendant was too much.
While the chains were soaking in their ammonia bath, I decided to create a bracelet. I bounced between a few patterns and then remembered this pattern by Heather Collin.
Heather's "Crossing Over" bracelet was perfect because the strands of beads were moving in and out and over and under, like water in a fountain.
Heather's designs are a joy to bead and always produce something beautiful. You can find more of Heather's designs in her etsy shop.
I was really pleased with the final product -- it looks so lush and opulent.
Erin, thank you for another wonderful challenge. It was fun and I loved trying a few new things.
Please take a few minutes (or hours) to visit Erin's blog and learn about the home towns of the other participants. You may even get the hankerin' to visit some of them. :)