Friday, February 29, 2008

Our book club has the display space at the Langley Library for the month of March, so we met today and arranged the case. It turned out to be a busy, colorful display - we have lots of stuff from our retreats, things we've made for each other, favorite books, bookmarks, t-shirts - oh, lots and lots of fun stuff!
Here we are, clockwise: Karen, Candace, me, Kathi and Robin.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Today started out hazy and misty, with, as the TV weather guy said, low-fat drizzle. But it got better, and we had clear sunny skies by afternoon. The late afternoon sun slanted into this clearing next to the pond, highlighting a giant cedar tree. Barb and Marjorie have cleaned out the forest floor detritus, leaving the sword ferns and salal.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Buzz loves his bed - every time he comes in from outside, he makes a beeline toward it and dives into the middle. Then he rolls all around, kicking his feet up in the air,
and finally flops on his side and falls asleep. I just noticed lately that the fur on the bottom of his paws is turning gray.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No photo today - it's been busy with meetings at work, and cooking. We decided to have Cody's birthday dinner while he's here, so we made a full turkey dinner. Always good! Grandma Barb made a cookie cake - you take cookie dough and bake it in a cake pan, then add ice cream. Quite yummy!

The owls are very loud the past few days - is it mating season already? They're among the first birds to get started, so maybe spring isn't so far off, after all!

Monday, February 25, 2008

We received our final book in the Elements series, Air. Now the boxed set is complete, and it's a fantastic set of books. I love to sit down and read through them, enjoying the various interpretations of each element.
One of my photos is the first page of the book, facing the inside cover. Quite an honor!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

We had a meeting of the Retreat Committee for the Northwest Basketmakers Guild today. Retreat is just a month away, so we had a lot to discuss, and, amazingly, got through the whole agenda! We are, from left to right, chair Karen, Karen, the third Karen, Hanna, Elaine, Mary, Sheila, Massy and me. We were missing 3 or 4 others. We have a hard-working committee, and most of us have been doing it for several years, so things go pretty smoothly. We have had a record number of registrants and will fill the camp completely this year, so we talked about starting to look for a larger place to have the Retreat!

It was a nice day, too, and while traveling to the meeting I had some great views of Mt. Rainier, but didn't have a chance to pull off the road to get any photos. Oh, well . . . .

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cody came home today for a week-long visit, and his friends have planned an all-day Mexi-party to celebrate his upcoming birthday! He stayed up most of the night because of his (very) early flight, so he's taking it easy for a while with Shannon before the kids show up for the partying.

Friday, February 22, 2008

We've been enjoying some decent winter weather, with sunny skies. I love the interaction between the sun and the mist and dew. The rising sun shines through the trees, and there's just enough moisture in the air to highlight the sunrays. The woods are illuminated from behind, creating a luminous effect. As I walked along the tree line, the sun's rays and shadows changed with every step. It was a lot of work to choose which one to show!
The sun also highlighted the dewdrops on the branches, and you know I love to take drop photos!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Art day! Someone donated a large bag full of cotton embroidery floss, and Audrey sorted through it all, separating into colors. This is the pile of tangles and odd bits and pieces - too much fun to discard, so Gretchen claimed all the tangles for her art quilts, and I took the bits and pieces for my cross-stitching. As for the bags full of skeins in every color, we'll just have to wait and see who wants those!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Full lunar eclipse tonight, and early enough to actually enjoy! Above, a plane flew past the moon, it's lights blinking in a pattern during the total eclipse.
Partial eclipse, about 10 minutes before total.
Totallity. You can see a couple of stars nearby - I think one of them is Saturn, but not sure!
After total, partial eclipse in the penumbra. Going....
Shadow all gone!
There was a lunar eclipse last August, too - my photos are very similar!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Well, the promised sunny day didn't materialize until late afternoon - it was foggy and cold most of the day. But it was clearish around sunset, when I finally got myself outside for a few minutes. The pussy willows are out - these are on our Scouler's Willow - of course it's too dark to really tell - these are darker than the commercial ones, and smaller, but I still love them. The robins were up in the trees singing odd chirping songs - must have been their "good-nights". I've been hearing a lot of birds lately, so I'm hoping they know something I don't about when spring will come!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Absolutely gorgeous today! It probably got up there close to 60, and was sunny and clear all day. So I played hookey from work, and went to the beach and park - did a little beachcombing, then some hiking. After weeks of rain, snow and gloom, this weather is very welcome. We may even get another day of it, but then it will be back to the usual.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Oh, what fun when your computer dies. I knew the hard drive was getting tired, as it was making the occasional odd noise. Then it woke David up by beeping in the middle of the night; he finally got it turned off. After that, it wouldn't boot up, and made constant odd noises. (Luckily, it was my second computer, not this one!) We tried re-booting with the Windows disk, but no luck. Got the kid to come over, and he took it out and tried many different configurations with two other old computers we had, and finally got the drive to open as a slave, (that's it dangling from the cables) so I was able to save the info that I wanted. It doesn't seem to be making the odd noises, but I'm not about to trust it any more! That new laptop sounds better and better.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fun with felting (technically fulling)! At the last Whidbey Weaver's guild meeting, one of the members showed her recycled wool sweaters, which she felted and made into purses and mittens. She found the idea in a book, Heartfelt. I so loved the idea that I immediately ordered that book, and another felting book, Felt Frenzy, from the library, and went to the thrift store to find wool sweaters.
These photos all show my results so far with three sweaters - the top half is before, and the bottom after. The big, bulky white one felted very thick, so will make a good tote bag, as will the black one, which I like the best. It has chenille flowers with metallic stems, which didn't shrink in the felting process, so it's quite lumpy. The green one shrunk a lot lengthwise, but stayed almost the same in width, and still seems pretty loose, where the other two are thick and solid. I wanted to try the patterns and embroidered sweaters to see what they would do.
I felted them right in the washing machine with very hot wash and cold rinse, then dried them in the drier, so they're soft and fluffy. I'll try making things with them, and keep you posted.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A busy Friday - my other computer finally gave up the ghost, so I guess it's time to start looking for a new one - maybe a laptop this time! Might come in handy, and prices are way down...So spent time messing around trying to get it going, then had a marathon meeting wrapping up a project, then off to Sally's for game night with the girls! Very fun!
Since I was out after dark, which I seldom am, I was lured by the still waters of the harbor, and tried out some lengthy exposures to capture the reflections. These were about the best of the lot, but I only had a tabletop tripod, so I was limited in where I could set it down. And even with the water as flat as it was, out on the dock there was a bit of movement, so some were pretty blurry. But I liked these two - and no, I don't know what that green glow is! The top photo is the restrooms at the park, taken from the end of the dock looking back.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Art Day! Gretchen just returned from a couple of weeks in Hawaii, where she lazed around the beach, but did spend some time with her watercolors. She likes to do a series of quick, small paintings, and here are her results. Lots of fun things, some very good, the trick is to just keep painting. She generously shared some with us!
Here's a view of the table - we do tend to spread out and make a mess, but we're very good about cleaning it all up. Jamie, at left, is working on her watercolor, and Gretchen is making collaged note cards. We also usually bring books and magazines for everyone to look at, too, so sometimes, like today, I didn't get anything done.
Carol is just finishing the back of this quilt that she made for an auction. It's so vibrant and colorful!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We're finally due for some nice weather, and today wasn't so bad. From the ferry, Hat Island attracted a spotlight of sunshine out of the cloudy sky. And it actually cleared up for the cresent moon later.
It was the monthly meeting of the Northwest Basket Weavers guild, and tonight Sally Anaya taught a little votive candle holder, woven in the Nantucket way. It was a fun, quick project, and we can add some embellishments at home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It started out nice and sunny this morning, but had clouded over by afternoon. When I went to run errands, it was dry. But when I came out of the post office, the wind was howling and there was solid sideways rain! WOW! I snapped this shot at the park - you can see all the water in the parking lot being pocked by yet more raindrops, and the flag at attention! And the rain so heavy it starts to obscure the trees in the background. Luckily, it didn't last long, but did dump a lot of water!

We had our Book Club meeting in the evening - this month's book is Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Everyone who finished the book (514 pages) loved it! Some were partway through, and the meeting encouraged them to continue. Some gave it up early on, which was a common complaint in all the reveiws that we read, but the book gets a lot better as you go on. So, if you're reading it (and I highly recommend it) keep plugging away. It will be worth it!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I've been weaving up the sides, but now that I've started the pattern, I see it's not working quite right - I must have the wrong number of stakes. Unweave, oh, well....

A couple of David's friends came over, and we played a few rounds of Euchre. It's a card game popular on the East coast - we haven't found many out here who have even heard of it! So it was a fun time!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

And, I actually got out and took some photos - the sun even came out for a little while, and the temperature was a comfortable 50. In the swamp, signs of spring are beginning to show. The tips of skunk cabbage . . .
. . . an alder branch knocked down from a tree top shows the reddish catkins and buds forming . . .

. . . nothing spring-y here, but dark and moody under the giant cedar . . .

. . . and the swamp thing!

These are some of the streets around the area in PV where David and Steve were staying. The first view is looking up toward the hill where their apartment was. The rest are typical streets. When Steve started coming here 12 years ago, there were no cars on the streets, but now it's very crowded.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

More Mexico photos from the same area south of Puerto Vallarta. They build some really nice places right on the rocks!
The film "Predator" was filmed in this area, and the photo on the left is of a house built by one of the directors, and has it's own private beach. Lovely!