Visit to an Arizona museum.

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When it gets hot here in the summer our city museums have free family fun days that encourage families of all ages to get out of their homes and explore. This is a visit we took last year that I forgot to share with you all. When you look through the photos you will see people close together without masks on. This visit was all about an exhibit on Navajo rugs. They even had some Navajo weavers there doing demonstrations on rug weaving.

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Lots of detail in this small rug.

Visiting museums during the summer months has always been a tradition in our family. We still try to do this even though my kids are all grown up, we still love our summer museum visits. So many fun events happen over the summer to keep children occupied and also teach them a little history as well.

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It’s just fun getting out and exploring other buildings. It is too hot to do any outside exploring though. Phoenix is pretty extreme in temps during the summer season. To keep the little ones happy and busy, there are all kinds of fun programs here. Everyone is included too, so even if you do not have it in your budget, there are monthly free events here in the city for all ages to enjoy.

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In the Winter months the museums have a lot of outside events. 

I have always wanted to learn how to weave. A big Daydream of mine would be to own a farm, somewhere with woods and an ocean view, maybe a cliff sea view. Like Doc Martin. I would have all kinds of sweet little critters like goats, sheep, rabbits, some barn cats, chickens, maybe some cows….okay, I am getting ahead of myself. I would create all kinds of fun little artsy things using wool from my sheep. Then I would have a little country shop in a tiny village to sell my items in or maybe not, maybe just teach classes in the shop and we could all be artists. Just a fun little day dream. I have actually had it since I was a child.

Well, this museum visit just happen to be about a subject I have always been fascinated with. Beautiful hand woven rugs.

The artists weaving rugs that day were so fun to watch.There was a Navajo kid there, actually he was a young man, a little older then my son at the time who was 18. He told me that his grandparents taught him how to weave. A skill passed down each generation.

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He also told me that they make and dye their own yarns on the reservation. What talent this kid had. His  small rugs were so colorful.

There were two weavers that day.

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The artist in this photo gave me permission to take a photo of her rug but not of her, which I try not to do anyway. If you notice my photos from out in pubic settings, you will see that most times people are not easily seen. Their faces are hidden or they are just in the backgrounds of shots. I always try to be respectful of that. This can be a bit of a challenge sometimes.

So cheerful too. It looks like a fun craft and skill to have.

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Lots of art to see at the museum.

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The Navajoes used to trade for goods with these beautiful rugs they made over the years.

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Some of the saddle blankets were very old from the 1800’s.

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This was one of my favorites.

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Another really cool one, reminds me of the petroglphys I always came across when playing out in the desert as a child. Simple little drawings and messages left to us all from long, long ago.

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Maybe it’s just me…I don’t know, but I could spend a very long time here looking at all these hand made works of art.

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There were so many to see.

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I wonder how long it took to weave these rugs.

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There weren’t a lot of small rugs, mostly the rugs were about the size of a dining room table.

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This one was from 1890, artist unknown. Imagine what the artist of this saddle cover would think knowing that some day this piece he worked on would be on display in the year 2020. Now here I was staring at it. Wonder what his world was like back them. What were his tools that he used to create with. Wasn’t like he could order something online and have someone deliver those tools to him. How far and how not so far we all have come to be. We still create the same things but in different ways now.

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There are always lots of activities for the little ones in the museums. Kids do not understand us old adults standing around looking at art for so long. That is when families with tiny tots take them to the creative rooms.

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Table and stations are set up for children to create their own versions of the things they see in the museum.

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I have even seen grandma’s getting involved with their grand babies in the children’s creative rooms.

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Just fun to try our hands at weaving. So important to teach our young about the history of others and how they lived, and to encourage them to also try their hands at those crafts from long ago.

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Museums are also great places to get out and mingle.

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Something a little extra about sheep’s wool…

After they sheer the sheep, weavers wash the wool to remove dirt from it, then they use combs to remove twigs and seeds that may be stuck in the wool. They use a long stick with a disc called a whorl and they twist the wool into strands of yarn.

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Some weavers hand dye their wool using plants, while others use dye packets to dye theirs. The younger the sheep’s wool the better it will hold the color of the dye.

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I don’t think they are doing the family fun days this summer. Still have a lot of programs and events canceled here in our state of Arizona. At the time of this visit a year ago I would not realize how bad the Navajo nation would get hit with the Red Monster. So many sick and some lost their lives. I won’t go into the numbers, think you all have heard enough when it comes to numbers.My daughter’s friend from High School who is from the Navajo nation would loose his grandmother and grandfather in this year of 2020 because of the Red Monster.

Writing up this post I thought of that young Navajo man and how happy he was showing everyone his talent and gift of weaving. A skill he was so proud to share with us strangers. A skill his grandmother taught him. When he told his story about how they sheer the sheep and that his whole family gets involved , he had so much joy in his heart. It was like he was reliving that memory by sharing it with us. I hope his family is okay, what talents they passed down to him. So please keep the world in your prayers and well wishes that this Red Monster gets defeated and taken out. Too many talented, loved and beautiful people have lost their lives and this should never have happened. Always remember that part…this could have been stopped in it’s earlier stages. It could have also been controlled in it’s earlier stages as well. We all need to look out and start caring more for each other.

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Hope you all like this museum visit with us. Stay safe out there and happy museum adventures to you all.

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Young Navajo weaver. 

Copyright Our Little Red House 2020 © Do Not Use Photos Without Written Consent of the author

32 Comments Add yours

  1. Tanya says:

    Your daydream sounds wonderful! I have always wanted all kinds of animals too. And to live near the woods and beach would be the best. I enjoyed the pictures from the museum. The rugs are so beautiful!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tanya. I loved your beach photos last week. I haven;t been to the sea in awhile now. I need to visit that. I love the smell of the ocean. Hope you collected lots of little shells and sea glass.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Fritz says:

    I just love the Navajo blankets, LRH. Your favorite was my favorite as well. That pattern and those Colors would work really well as a quilt too! Thanks for the virtual tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sweet, thanks Jane, glad you liked that. I had those photos in my archives for a whole year and forgot I was going to share that with you all. Time is flying by. It was a beautiful exhibit.

      Like

  3. Love your tours! It’s amazing all of the different designs of these handmade rugs. Absolutely gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Robin. I think it would be so cool to make one myself. So much talent the Navajos have.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It would be pretty cool to make your own! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am going to try that some day.

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      3. And it will be beautiful, I’m sure!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thanks Robin, you have more faith then I do. I think the first few will be some nailed it moments for sure but we all need giggles and laughs and those early mistakes are meant just for that.

        Like

  4. I love those rugs. It would be nice to have one in my home. My sister in-law has a weaving loom and has been making some very nice things. She also has chickens, pigs, and sheep, haha! Maybe you and her would understand each other. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would totally hang out at her house. I bet she has cool things that she has made.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, she does! Too bad you can’t drop by!

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      2. That would be fun. So many great people and artists out there. I love watching them on YouTube. We call that YouTube university.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful trip you’ve taken us all on, getting our minds off the daily news!
    Which I am watching daily and hearing whats going on in Arizona makes my heart ache.

    I hope you and your family are safe and that your cousin and hers are getting better ?!

    Thanks for brightening my morning with your photos, information and words!

    Take care and big hug!!!

    btw…..thanks so much for your kind words about the lobster!! Another ocean theme will be released the end of the week 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and I hope you are all okay too. We are dodging this bug, trying to get through this maze the best we can. It is scary out there and the tension is high in the city. People, not all, but some, are angry and looking to fight or confront. That is what I worry about the most. People turning on each other. Just needing to release their frustrations, fears and worries in a way I guess. Not everyone can handle the changes we are all having to go through. There was an incident at one store my daughter and I were in, a man was very angry he couldn’t find a charger for his cell phone. He got right up in my daughter’s face, too close and she turned to avoid him and his question. She was scared, she is 22 years old and has not been exposed to situations that are tense. I protected her the best I could from that. I grew up in a tough neighborhood so I think I tried to shelter my children from that ugliness the best I could. Anyway, the man really got angry when my daughter turned from him and then he started cutting in line and getting so close he was almost touching my daughter to push her aside, in a panic for a charger to buy. The other people in line kept telling him they did not know where it was and the cashiers ignored him. Someone in line even started having a conservation about a family member testing positive for the virus and still this did not scare the man away. Finally I looked him in the eyes and said that I believed the chargers were way in the back of the store where automotive was. Then someone else in line looked at me and agreed and said it as well. The man finally left, headed off to the back of one our mega super stores. Some of our stores in the US are like football fields it seems, so huge. So we are all trying the best we can to get through the summer heat, avoid the Red Monster and not get caught up in a confrontation. Strange times…you both stay safe. What a beautiful place to have to wake up too. I do love that Lobster photo with the lake in the background. Later I will have to order a black sheep soap, I am waiting until the heat goes down some. They let things sit in warehouses too long and they melt here in Phoenix when they make their deliveries. Big hugs back from Arizona.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is simply terrible !!! What a horrible experience!! I’ve always thought these post-apocalyptic movies were kind of stupid….but I really think we’re heading there 😦

        You did the only right thing that could have been done and applaud you for keeping your cool!!

        Hope you stay safe and strong and don’t let things get you down !!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My dad used to love those Mad max movies and they always freaked me out. One time I was watching Billy Idol videos back in the day and my dad started freaking out over Billy Idol saying he was one of “those types” that would take over things in an end of the world situation. I just gave him my shock face and laughed ” Billy Idol, for real?” my silly dad did not realize he was just a 80’s pop star…very harmless. I miss my dad and his crazy conspiracies, I think about what is happening right now and wonder what wise words of wisdom he would say about these times.

        Like

  6. Chandra Lynn says:

    Thank you for this good museum dose. I was thinking earlier today about how much I miss going to museums. And you reminded me that I have my own museum photos to revisit and share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome Chandra. I hope you are all doing okay. I also have more museums to share with you all. They are all in my archives of thousands of photos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chandra Lynn says:

        Oh gosh. Let’s not mention the archives. Some of my museum photos will be up on the blog today in about 15 minutes. Gorgeous glass art.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I will have to check those out later. It is late at night now and I am beat, been a long day and it is so hot here that the heat makes you tired. I love glass art. My brother-in-law used to do glass art years ago. I bet your photos are pretty.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Chandra Lynn says:

        Get some rest. That’s way more important.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Very true, you as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the striking patterns and bold colours, what skill to produce these Navajo textiles.
    I like your dream of the woods and water and creatures, I’m looking at Canadian houses with some land and wild nature. I think we will move to John’s country later because you’d need so much more money for that in the UK. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is nice to day dream once in awhile. Canada is so beautiful and so is the UK. So green in both places.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have some striking looking cacti 🏜 xo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sometimes our plants out here look like they belong on another planet, they are so strange looking up close. The flowers they produce are amazing though.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hehe 🌻 yes cactus flowers are mostly uniquely beautiful it’s like they’re celebrating!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That is such a nice way to describe it. I love how bright their colors are, they almost don’t look real.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I just learnt about this fantastic multi-coloured BEAUTIFUL rainbow mountain –
        Vinicunca (or Rainbow Mountain), Pitumarca District, Peru
        It really is worth searching for on the net, I promise you it will make you smile. Love to you and yours xo

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Wow, that sounds so cool. I will have to look that up later. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

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