Sunday, July 11, 2010

A President, The King, And A Guy in His Garage

(Patchwork by Mary Konior, Tatting With Visual Patterns
#6 of 25 Motif Challenge)

Our family just got back from a trip to my husband's home state of Tennessee.  While there, we did a little daycationing from his home town.


First we visited The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's home near Nashville, on a BEAUTIFUL day last week.  The house tour was interesting but I REALLY enjoyed strolling the grounds and looking at the flowers.

The tomb of President Jackson and his wife, Rachael, is lovely and peaceful.

OF COURSE, Baby Doll's favorite part of our visit to The Hermitage was the chicken which wanders about outside the gift shop.  After she asked her farm-raised and subsequently horrified mother, WHAT IT WAS, she had a great time chasing after it.  But once the tables were turned and she found it making its way toward HER, she tucked her little feet up under her dress and scooted to the other end of her bench.


After the best chocolate shake I've ever had at Elliston Place Soda Shop, we went to the Parthenon.  It is AMAZING to see something like this near downtown Nashville.  It is a full size replica of the Parthenon in Greece.  I'll have to email these pics to my brother who took his family and my sister-in-law who went with my oldest niece to visit the "real" Parthenon this summer.  Won't they be GREEN WITH JEALOUSY that MY Parthenon wasn't all OLD and CRUMBLED!!!

Inside, you will find Athena, a goddess worthy of a role in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.  She is SOMETHING!  You can't tell very well from the picture, but she is wearing some SCARY big flip flops...

SERIOUSLY, the Parthenon is pretty cool.  My college history teacher said she scoffed when she heard about it, but ate her words when she went.  She had visited the Parthenon in Greece and was amazed at the detail of the replica in Nashville.  In fact, she spoke so highly of it, it has been on my mental list for all these years.


The next day, we enjoyed some time in Memphis.  Had some great barbeque at The Rendezvous and had fun soaking up the atmosphere of the place until one of our friends pointed out that we were in the basement of a 100 year old building which sits on the New Madrid Fault... gulp!  So what is a person to do?  FINISH YOUR RIBS, that's what... and better polish off the beans and coleslaw as well.

But before dinner we went to Graceland, the home of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, ELVIS PRESLEY.

Although it was very different from what I had been expecting, Graceland did not disappoint.  The home is a modest size by today's standards.  I know quite a few people who haven't even had ONE record go gold who live in bigger houses!  Its decorating style is like a flamboyant seventies time capsule.  Although there were too many visitors to take in too many details, you could still pick up good vibes from the place.

The tour answered one of my longtime questions - WHY IS IT CALLED GRACELAND?  The answer was simple.  The couple who built the home in the 1930's had inherited the land from an Aunt Grace, so they called it Graceland.

This is the formal living room just inside the front door.  You can see the arm of a white sofa on the right which stretches 20 feet across the room.

In the basement TV room, just out of shot, the letters TCB with a lighting bolt are painted on the wall - Taking Care of Business In a Flash.  DH was trying to get a shot of Elvis's stereo system.  I guess that is it back in the corner...

I liked seeing many of the costumes Elvis wore in the movies and concerts displayed on mannequins with attitude.

And this is the pool.  As we walked in the backyard, it was fun to imagine Elvis and Ringo Starr playing football there (I had just heard Ringo talking about it on Elvis radio as we drove into town).  I didn't visit the graveside.  I guess I've joined the ranks of the many who wish he wasn't really there...


We usually vacation by car, so a large part of my trip preparations is spent picking what project(s) to take  along.  This year I chose Tatting With Visual Patterns by Mary Konior.  I spent most of the trip working on Patchwork.  The motif pictured here was never finished because as I neared completion of it, I nodded off... when I awoke, I proceeded to make a disastrous join which turned my square motif into a triangle and didn't notice my mistake until I had made more stitches and rings than I cared to remove.  

MORAL:  Don't tat within thirty minutes of a nap or your brain will cramp and your motif will sink.

I gotta say, as irritating as a fumble like that can be, my frustration was lessoned by my new shuttle from I'm In The Garage.  Before this shuttle, I had only tatted with clovers.  The Pop-A-Bobbin took a little getting used to and a little time to break in, but BOY-OH-BOY, I LOVE tatting with it!  I used a clover for just a little while on the trip and had to switch back!

Besides working on Patchwork, I reacquainted myself with clunies and tried some roll tatting.  I'm practicing roll tatting with Mary Konior's Lupins edging.  As awkward as the cluny loom feels, I find holding the wraps of roll tatting more difficult.  They REALLY want to twist and I feel as though I'm going to sprain something while I fend them off with a chair hold them in the pinch of my fingers.  I'll keep working and maybe I will have something more than this to show for it sometime...


Happy Bluebird said...

Looks like a wonderful vacation - I would love to visit Nashville someday! I've always wondered if Graceland was worth seeing - your pictures tell me it is :)

I am really interested in finding that Mary Konoir book - I keep seeing such beautiful patterns from it. I know what you mean about not tatting too close to bedtime too - uff da - I agree that can lead to some strange joins! Also keeps me wanting one of the pop-a-bobbin shuttles. My list of tatting supplies gets longer every day.

Fox said...

Ohhh, that trip sounds like such fun! Love the chicken; what a charmed life for a hen!

Your tatting looks great. I am so glad you like your new P.A.B. They are as addictive as tatting itself! I love mine too.

Welcome home, Ann,
Fox : )

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Cindy!
We did have a good time. I've been traveling to Tennessee for 25 years and figured it was about time to do some of the tourist stuff.

I am really happy with my pop-a-bobbin. It is surprisingly light and is a very manageable size. I bought Tatting With Visual Patterns, new, through Handy Hands. It's a good book and I have found I like tatting without getting all hung up on which line in the pattern I am on.

Hey Fox!
It is VERY good to be home! Being away, even if we're having a fun time, always makes me appreciate home more. I believe you are right about the P.A.B., I don't really want to put it down!

:) Ann

Martha said...

Gordon was in Nashville last week on business and stayed two extra days to do some research on the Gray family (originally from Centerville). Now I wish I had gone with him because I'm thinking how fun it would have been to meet up with you...if I had known you were there, which of course I didn't, but's a nice thought.

The Parthenon is pretty cool, and I love your patchwork piece.

Gina said...

Oh my - I tried that piece with the roll tatting and felt so frustrated because my rolled segments didn't look anywhere nearly as smooth and even as those in the photograph. Another where practice makes perfect. I'd really like to know the trick to keeping it from getting away from us.

What a fun trip! I really enjoyed the pix and commentary. Would like to go myself sometime.

Gina said...

Also wanted to mention how much I love the patchwork motif. It's one of my favorites.