Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Glass in the Gardens

Everyone who left comments on my last post telling me that the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at the Phoenix botanical garden would be fantastic really knew what they were talking about. And your comments about taking pictures…well, I did an interim download to my husband’s laptop that we took with us, and I had over 250 pictures at that point! For you to be properly amazed you must know that I rarely remember to take pictures. We’ve taken whole vacations and never removed the camera from the car. But this time I practically wore out my pocket taking the camera out. (And I'm going to apologize in advance for the sideways pictures below. Blogger keeps turning them and I can't figure out how to fix it.)

Saturday morning was perfect—clear blue sky, warm but not hot, nice breeze. We started with breakfast at Butterfield’s Pancake House (we recommend it!) where they have very tasteful—make that tasty—light fixtures:

When we got to the garden, I got excited before we even entered the place.

Once inside, the first piece was this depiction of the sun:
I had been a little afraid before we got there that there wouldn’t be enough pieces to make the trip feel worthwhile. In fact it took us about 4 hours to see everything! Here are just a few of the pieces:

This work, called Saffron Tower, is visible from the entry road, and we noticed when we got close that it is in fact a neon piece.
So on Sunday evening (after a truly fabulous dinner at Ristorante Arrivaderci, also highly recommended) we drove back over to the garden hoping to see the neon lit up. It was amazing, I'm sure I was squealing and bouncing up and down in the car (I have a very sophisticated reaction to art, you know).

It was about 40 minutes before they closed, and people were leaving in droves, so we strolled in to see a few things again in the dark. It may have been even more wonderful at night.

On Sunday my companions went to a baseball game (spring training is in full swing). I opted to have some time to myself, and was driving back toward our hotel when I spotted—you guessed it—a yard sale sign. It was now Sunday afternoon and I figured there would be nothing left, but I went to check it out anyway. Didn’t buy anything but had a lovely conversation with a nice lady named Ann, who gifted me with a bag of lemons from her tree and some hollyhock seeds. She also told me there was a craft fair going on not far away, so I headed over there. As I got in the car, I noticed something we don’t see on the streets of the OC too much:
Haven’t been to a craft fair for a long time (garaging takes care of all my desire for shopping) and I was amazed at how huge this thing was. I bet there were over 100 vendors, it went on and on. I didn’t buy anything (you know I’ll see a lot of it on a driveway someday for fifty cents!) but I had a great time talking to an artist named Linda Gill who makes these incredible art dolls.

We had one of those conversations that started off with her telling me how she makes the dough she sculpts with out of Wonder bread and glue, then she gave me a hunk of it to play with, then we moved on to lord knows what, until about 40 minutes later I knew all about her kids and their shenanigans and she knows all about my blog. I’m hoping she’ll start her own blog about her dolls, because she told me by the time she finishes making each one she knows all about that character’s life, and what their kitchen looks like, and the plants in their garden. I'm betting it will be fun to read each one’s story, and will even help sell her art!

So the whole trip was pretty darned wonderful. And I'm wondering what effect it will have when I head out garaging this weekend. Will I be expecting fabulous art on the driveways of Orange County—and will I find it?


  1. I don't even have a way to describe those glass art pieces, they are just too incredible to comprehend for this old gal.

  2. Beautiful, You said glass, then I was seeing these beautiful plants..that is just awesome. My son is in San Diego...have to tell him about it.

  3. beautiful photos! some are pure fantasy, others look too real!

  4. OOOH - THANK YOU FOR THE PHOTOS!! If it weren't 6am here, with the rest of the house still asleep, I would be squealing with delight too!

  5. What gorgeous pieces! I saw one of the sculputures when I was in London, but there is something to be said for seeing them in nature. Marvelous!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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