My Country Blog Hop


This is the second annual My Country Blog Hop/Challenge created by Nan Smith. Last year the focus was for people to design and make a piece  of jewelry that reflected a country where they lived or were born in. I chose the place I was born: Kassel, Germany and wrote about it here.

This year Nan decided to change things to include anything handmade.  Nan’s challenge was to “create a work of art that best tells a story about our homelands. You don’t have to currently live there , either. It can be where you were born, where you once lived, where your ancestors originated or almost any other reason that you are knowledgeable about this place.”

I decided to write about Carmel Valley, California since my family has been renovating a house here and I have come to love it here. The house is in an oak woodland. Here is the view from the deck: IMG_2530 Carmel Valley Village is 12 miles from Carmel-by-the-Sea. It is in an oak woodland along the unspoiled Carmel River Valley by the Santa Lucia Mountains.

The best part of Carmel Valley is a regional park of 4000 acres, Garland Ranch. According to the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District “This park is home to a variety of landscapes that occur at elevations from 200 to 2,000 feet. From the willow covered banks of the Carmel River through the cottonwood-sycamore stands of the old floodplain, the trails ascend steeply. Atop the northern crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the trails encounter open oak savannas and spectacular vistas. Along the way, you will travel through maple-filled canyons, dense oak woodlands, and thick stands of chaparral. Garzas Creek gently bisects the park and provides a peaceful, shaded trail that reaches a secluded side canyon of redwoods.” Dogs are allowed off leash! My favorite hike is to the Carmel River. IMG_3576 I love to watch the seasons change on this hike. This is in the winter: IMG_4376 IMG_5490IMG_3490IMG_3488 IMG_5502 Just past the Village, if you turn right on Esquiline Road, right on South Bank, and then  left on Hitchcock Canyon Road you will reach the Kahn Ranch additon to Garland Ranch Regional Park where there is a picnic area and hiking trails. There is a lovely short hike to Fern Falls, which had only a little water this year because of the drought: IMG_4427 IMG_3752 The Carmel Valley area has several fancy resorts and a plethora of wine tasting establishments, but most of Carmel Valley has a rustic charm: IMG_5507 IMG_5517 There are vineyards, wineries, galleries, and restaurants in Carmel Valley. The Carmel Valley Art Association has a gallery that I like to browse. I also enjoy the art glass gallery Masaoka Glass Design Gallery, which has work by renowned artists including Paul DeSomma. Our favorite restaurants in the Village include Kathy’s Little Kitchen and the Corkscrew Cafe. Kathy’s has wonderful homemade Mexican food and the Corkscrew has a full menus including wood fired pizza. I love the muffins at the Wild Goose Bakery Cafe and will often have one with a cup of coffee out on their deck. 2DB38D4FDBDEC0B9896B6393932D7A3D I decided to make a Lampwork bead for this blog hop, inspired by the oak trees and mountains  of Carmel Valley: IMG_5586 Be sure to visit the other blogs in this hop to see their handmade items:

Hostess: Nan Smith  (Canada)                   

1. Ana (Portugal)                                             

2.Rita  (Orlando)                                       

3. Dini (The Netherlands)                          

4. Robin Reed  (Indiana)                     5. Lilik Kristiana   (Indonesia )                   

6. Karla Morgan  (Texas)                          

7. Karen Mitchell (South Australia)        

8. Jayne Capps  (Oklahoma)                  

9. Melissa Trudinger  (Australia)         10. Johana Nunez  (Puerto Rico)                       11. Kepi  (Alberta)                                                                     12. Deb Fortin  (Ontario)                                13. Divya  (India)                                                                    

14. Tammy Adams  (Arizona)                   

15. Kay Thomerson  (Texas)                                                           16. Bairozan  (Bulgaria)                                                   17. Carolyn’s Creations  (           )

18. Lecia Woessner   (New Orleans)        
19. Linda A.  (Wash. D.C.                 

20.Inge Van Roos (California)                

21. Natalie   (New Zealand)        

22. Lori Schneider (              )                   23.Mary Harding (New York)  24. Bouchra Rebai (Algeria)                      25.Michelle McCarthy  (Florida )  

About ingetraud

I make lampwork beads and jewelry. My other interests include traveling, reading, hiking, and collecting art and handcrafted items, especially pottery. I have always loved handmade things and have collected hand-thrown pottery since I was a teenager. I have done stained glass and weaving. I had been stringing beads into necklaces for a while when I attended a clay and glass show in Palo Alto. There was a beadmaker there whose work I fell in love with. I bought one bead to make into a necklace and decided I wanted to learn how to make glass beads. I took my first beadmaking class from Jackie Marr in Santa Cruz. After taking another class from Katie Stuart in Santa Barbara I set up my own studio and have not looked back. Beadmaking is like meditation for me. What has kept me interested is that there is always some new technique or color combination to learn or try. I have taken advanced classes from Sally Prasch, Marjorie Langston, Holly Cooper, Shirley Cook, Dolly Ahles, J.C. Herrill, Kristen Franzten Orr, Amy Waldman Smith, Claudia Trimbur-Pagel, Astrid Riedel, Amanda Muddimer, Melanie Moertel, Angela Meier, Gay Massender, Kris Schaible, and Jennifer Geldard. I love combining my love of beadmaking and traveling by taking classes away from home. In September, 2016 I got to attend a bead symposium in Wertheim, Germany. I took a bead lining class and watched many demos. I am married and have one son, age 26. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Los Gatos and Scotts Valley, California.
This entry was posted in beadmaking, California, Carmel Valley, handmade beads, lampwork beads and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My Country Blog Hop

  1. Tammy Adams says:

    Lovely scenic photos of a beautiful place. And now I know where to get good texmex (my favorite food group!) if I’m ever in the area. The bead you created is stunning. I wonder what kind of jewelry it will become.

  2. Ok you have sold me, I want to visit, it looks and sounds so very beautiful, Your bead is beautiful and a perfect tribute!

  3. wirednan says:

    Thank you for sharing those wonderful photos and scrumptious descriptions of Carmel Valley. It’s a place who’s name always tempted me and now I know why. It looks lovely and your lamp work bead inspired by your surroundings really does justice to your home…….beautiful!

  4. Lovely pictures, I’m glad you took the time to take them for us. Your lampwork bead is gorgeous! I really like the play of colours in the background, it makes the tree stand out.

  5. What a beautiful countryside! It looks wild, untouched by the destructive side of civilization, magnificent, powerful – what a place to live in! No wonder it has inspired this gorgeous lampwork bead! I think Nature will love it 🙂

  6. A beautiful bead to ‘express’ the stunning area you live in… The pictures give all your blog visitors a great impression. I would love to take huge walks there!

  7. Lovely pictures and details!!! I am learning so much on this hop!!! I love the bead you made, it is Wonderful! Have a Blessed Day!!!

  8. I’m sorry that I’m very late visiting. I love seeing the photos you took. Your handmade bead is a beautiful tribute to place you live in.

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