Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Where The Wild Things Are"

Marble Man and I took a vacation last week, and ended it with a very pleasant safari into The Wilds, a nature preserve in Southeastern Ohio.

We minded the signs, and kept ourselves out of reach of the natives.

I'd hoped we'd saddle up and ride some of these, but these guys don't work for their chow.

Bactrian Camels

This refuge is ah-MAZ-ing with 10,000 acres (the largest preserve in the country) and some very rare beasties. The Wilds is not run like a zoo; they aren't in it for money. They are all about research and conservancy.

Sable Antelope / White Rhinoceros

Not too long ago, rhinoceros in zoos were developing foot troubles, to the point of being unable to walk. After transferring some to The Wilds, where they got to walk on soft ground, the foot troubles disappeared.

Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros

Now, thanks to the hard work of the staff at The Wilds, rhinos in zoos have soft, padded surfaces on which to tread.

There are breeding programs for endangered species, some of which are mid-sized carnivores. Those these pretty kitties were lounging and being photogenic for our visit. Nothing fierce here...


This little fella (called a Dhole) is very shy - we were told we were lucky they came out to show off for us at all.


Mostly, they have endangered species, including the Pere David's Deer, which has been brought back from the brink and is being reintroduced in its native China.

Pere David's Deer

A small herd of wild horses clogged up the track, causing us to halt our trek. We were surrounded for quite a while - they were close enough to pat, but don't do it! They bite.

Prezwalski's Wild Horses

I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this preserve, a little bit of Africa's Serengeti Plain right here in our heartland.


The only thing I wasn't prepared for, was the rough ride in our open-air safari truck. We went over some ruts and bumps that made me feel like my upper and lower halves separated only to be reunited with some violence. If you visit, and I really hope you will, take some Ibuprofen or muscle relaxers BEFORE you climb on the bus!!

It was worth the discomfort - I can hardly wait to go back.

If you plan to visit, you might want to book your tours in advance, as it's a popular place. They have a new zip line tour (2 1/2 hours over 10 zip lines through the park), which just opened and is sold out for the first month already! We really wanted to do that...

copyright 2011 Shibori Girl

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Lentil Soup"

I went back to working on "swirlies", those big, gorgeous polymer clay lentil beads that I fell in love with last year.

Since my last post, I've been struggling with a couple of issues. The biggest is a nagging pain in my wrist. My first thought was to do what Marble Man calls "rub some dirt on it and walk it off". I went and bought a carpal tunnel splint at the local drug store, which helped, but the pain was still hanging around a couple weeks later. My doctor told me it's not carpal tunnel syndrome (Whew - my worst fear!) but tendinitis. He said it's OK to use it, just not to the point of discomfort.

The small, twiddly work I like so much will have to wait. Enter: Swirlies. They are so much fun, that I may need an intervention!

Just like when making lentil soup to eat, you throw a little of this and a little of that into the pot. With these beads, a little bit of monarch butterfly wing, flower petal and leaf cane slices, etc, you wind up with an interesting and spicy result.

The other issue which is bothering me is that when I look through my Etsy shop, it seems a bit like a split personality is running it. There's intricate bead work,

modern-looking clay pieces,

vintage inspired work, etc.

It looks like I can't decide what I want to do, when in reality, I just have lots of styles for lots of moods.

When I look at other shops, there's a sense of cohesion, a mature style with variations. Do I need to set up different shops for each style of work I do? What would you suggest?

copyright 2011 Shibori Girl