Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It was a wild weather day today! We woke up to pouring rain, drenching the already drenched ground. Then, the wind started to blow the tree tops and the clouds around,
and the sun came out for a while. The clouds were very interesting - different types and shapes blowing and flowing across the sky.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The sun is out today - maybe spring will come after all! Found some insects warming themselves on old logs.
Sunlight filters through the trees.
The skunk cabbages are blooming in the swamp.
And, that darn Pileated woodpecker is picking on live healthy trees now! This poor cedar has several large deep holes carefully chiseled out - I only hope it survives this attack!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Here's the finished yarn after setting the twist. It is kinky in some places, and almost completely un-spun in others, but, oh, well! It will be just right for my project. Thank you, Cris!
FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2009
I actually spun a small skein of yarn with the kitchen sink fleece left over from my basket project last week. This will be used to finish the rim of the basket, so, yes, I wanted a lumpy look to it!
Well, maybe not that lumpy, but it is going to take some time to develop my spinning skills, I see. But it is the first time I've actually accomplished a spinning project, so I am very pleased with myself. {pat-on-the-back} Now I need to find out how to set the twist - time to call my sister!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frosty this morning, but at least the sun is shining! Iwandered out in my bathrobe to catch the light. I could hear the overflow from the pond splashing down the hill - last week the stream was dry. So you can see how much rain we've had lately! The mist was slowly rising, and I startled a mallard drake as I approached.
The heavy frost still painted the cedar boughs with the sun's highlights limning the branches.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Little bit of rain off and on today - it settled on the tulip leaves and crocus buds in the garden.

The birds are back and singing, making their spring noise. I always forget how much I miss their sounds!
MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2009
Here are the baskets I made at Retreat. Thursday's class was a random weave basket covered with paper, and embellished with photos and sparkly yarn. Above you can see the inside with the randomly woven reed.
Friday's class was the Dream Pouch, made with silk fusion. We embedded the spokes, then folded the fusion to create the pouch, and added the willow sticks and feathers and bead for embellishing.
I tried the same technique with some wool fleece that I brought, and instead of the pouch, I shaped it into more of a bowl shape. I still have some finishing to do, but it came out pretty interesting.
And on Saturday I made a Cedar Bark rattle, with beads and copper wire. It makes a sweet sound, too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Time to go home - I was on the clean up committee, so we stayed and went through all the cabins to make sure no one had forgotten anything, then cleaned up the lodge areas that we used. It sure was a good time, but now it's time to leave. Two ferry rides - above is the Mukilteo ferry. I ended up parked next to a brand new rope in a lovely blue looped over the railing.
On the Kingston ferry, it was rainy and blowy, but you could just make out the Seattle high-rise buildings in the clouds.
Today was sunny and lovely all day! But cold and clear by night. The lake was super clear - from up at South Lodge you could easily see the bottom.
Today's class was Polly Adams Sutton's Cedar Bark Rattle. Here she's standing in front of our messy table, but at least we aren't sticky!
Another student is a shell enthusiast, a conchologist, and she entertained us with loads of information. She also shared her pretty shells, and used them in her rattle.
Miriam joined us later to finish the Polly basket she started yesterday.
We had a place to show our class baskets in the main lodge. It was great to see what the other classes were about, and it's always amazing how different each basket is, even from the same class.
FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2009
It rained really hard this morning, but by afternoon the sun was peeking out a bit, so we took a break and walked around the lake. The mossy trees dripped.
Class today was Donna Crispin's Dream Pouch, made with layers of silk laid out and soaked with acrylic medium & water (sticky again!). We put the sisal spokes in between the layers, then folded it into the pouch shape.
Betty works on her border.

The lake water was calm and reflective, showing the blue of the sky, the green of the fir trees on the other side, and the pinkish-brown of the wetland shrubs.
My class today is Danielle Bodine's Paper Vessel. As you can see, we got very sticky!
We made a random weave shape with flat reed, then covered it with paper, which we tore into pieces and glued on with acrylic medium. It was very fun (and sticky) with lots of beautiful papers to choose from. Danielle is on the far right.
My roommate Mary Anne is making a twined and split-ply basket with seagrass.
Murphy, the one-eyed camp kitty, found an unfinished basket to play in.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Off to Northwest Basket Weavers Spring Retreat! See you on Sunday.
On the way there, the ferry ride from Edmonds to Kingston, looking back along the wake to Edmonds.

Some classes started after dinner - Katherine Lewis's Willow Tray will continue all day tomorrow, too. Here they are starting the base.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I know it's St Patrick's Day, but no green pictures! Instead, the willow catkins are blooming forward, the stamens goldly glowing in the brief sunshine.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Here is David's latest inspiration - a globe with an intersecting peace symbol. He cut the pieces on his computerized plasma torch and welded them together. This one is 8" in diameter, and he's hoping to have a bunch of them ready for the Earth Day celebration here. They came out really cool!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Oh, cripes, not snow again! And just look at the size of those flakes! Well, at least it didn't last very long, and the sun did eventually come out. But then the wind picked up . . .
Here is a photo book I made, using the cedar bark paper for the covers. Yummy stuff!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The woods felt uninviting and alien today. The sound of the wind in the high branches, unidentifiable rustlings and strange sights. Brief flashes of sunlight, then cloud-filtered grey light. The skunk cabbage is just pushing through the mud, looking alien itself.
I found another pile of feathers, this one on dry land, of a mallard drake. No sign of bones or blood, but in my wanderings I came upon the wing bones, still attached together, with one lone feather at the tip. Then I came across another pile of feathers - this one much smaller, probably a song bird. Something is eating well.
The trails are so chewed up with deer tracks, it looks like we are overrun with them. They've churned up the floor of the woods, rustling through the detritus, searching for . . .?
FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
The guys get ready to do a little logging. Mark, on the right, wants to mill these cedar logs.
The logs have been piled at the edge of the swamp for more than 20 years, but under the moss and fungus, the wood is still good, and fragrant.
It will be a challenge to untangle the mess, though!
Nearby in the swamp fluttered evidence of a tasty duck dinner for someone. The vague white pile behind this feather is all that's left. I suspect the owl.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Art day, and we posed for this photo to send to our friend Gretchen, who is ill at home right now. Hope this makes you feel better, Gretchen!! Just look at what you're missing . . .

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On the ferry, the captain announced that whales had been seen, so we all hung over the rails looking for them, to no avail. Oh, well, I did see the other ferry gliding through the sun's reflection while a seagull cavorts overhead.
At the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild meeting, Lanny Bergner gave a slide show of his work, and had some pieces for us to see in person.
These are made with screening - copper, brass, aluminum, all kinds. He unravels the edges of strips or squares, then connects them by twisting the wire ends together. Painstakingly.
Lanny watches Massy, our Guild president and tech guy, prepare the computer slide show, while VP Mary sorts in the background.