Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I am headed back to Ohio for the next few days, so my blogging will be spotty at best! Bear with me, though - there will be plenty to see when I get back and get everything downloaded!
Here's the view from my airplane as we're rolling out for take-off. I am on the red-eye to Cleveland!
 Quite a morning!! The cat brought in a baby rabbit, but I finally got them both outside on the deck. After a while, Jon tossed the bunny out into the field. After another while, the eagle pair showed up for a free lunch. Of course, this set off the crows, ravens and our Northern Harrier hawk, so there was a lot of commotion going on just off the deck, with the cat out there hissing and spitting at all the big birds. Luckily, he came in as soon as I opened the door. I tried to get some shots of the action, but they were too fast for me! The eagle above was flying at my eye level as I stood on the deck, maybe 50 feet or so away. Awesome! Below, the other eagle follows.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A gentle photo of the eastern sky at sunset - the trees are highlighted by the golden glow, and feathery clouds pick up a hint of pink.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day Two of the Arlene Fisch workshop. Everyone is bright-eyed and ready to go again. Above, Arlene demonstrates her technique to weave with twisted wire and flat metal warps.
This shows the first sample, where we crimped the warps down around the twisted wire weft. In the photo at top, you can see the effect looks like tubing.
Next sample, same technique, round warp. The thing on the right started like the disc on the left, and below them is the twisted wire. After the weaving is done, the ends of the warp are rolled up around the last weaver. The center was cut out and folded in the same way.
Everyone hard at work. The classroom at N. Seattle Community College was great!
 After lunch, braiding. Above is the flat braid on the right, and the zig-zag on the left. Since these are only samples, the endings were a bit abrupt. It's possible to add longer weavers and continue, then they can be manipulated: pleated, folded, curved, etc.
 If you go the other way with the zig-zag, you can create a square, or keep going and make a square spiral, or branch off in other ways! The theme of the whole workshop was to show us the techniques, and let us go from there to create whatever! It was inspiring, and we really liked Arlene's teaching methods, and the very disperse group of artists all left with heads overflowing!
 Kind of like this amazing rhododendron - I just had to show another shot. It was right outside our windows, and utterly fantastic!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

 Today and tomorrow I'm in a workshop by Arlene Fisch, who is sitting at the table above, with the colorful sweater. It's being held on the campus of the North Seattle Community College,
 in a room right next to this trio of gigantic rhododendrons! These are over two stories tall and in full bloom - gorgeous!
 The workshop is about weaving with metals, and above are two of the woven samples, while below is the twill woven sample, in the process of finishing the edges.
Below is a basket sample. The material is colored aluminum, and is thin enough to cut with scissors. It's interesting to learn how to use it and work with it. We'll have another full day tomorrow.
We all got together for dinner at the Snappy Dragon - good food!

Friday, May 20, 2011

 Another apple tree, but this one is in a field on a hillside above Useless Bay, with Double Bluff in the background. A lovely day at Carol's for Art Day.
In the evening, I went to Seattle for an art lecture by Arlene Fisch. It was held at the Henry Art Gallery on the Univ. of Washington campus, and this was the original part of the building. Loved it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I made this willow bark basket as a 'thank-you' hostess gift. I'm going to take a two-day workshop in Seattle, and will be staying with one of my basket friends. Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

 The Coupeville Prairie area - if you click on the photo, and look closely, you can see many flowers growing in the tall grass of the prairie. With such a cold wet spring, the grass has grown much faster than the flowers! Usually, the flowers bloom when they are taller than the grass, and it's lovely to see them. We had to stop and get out of the car to see that the Cama lilies were blooming!
 Mostly they are this lovely shade of blue, but we also saw some white blossoms. The native americans dug the tubers and ate them.
And, when you look closely, there is a wide variety of flowers blooming and growing in the grass.

At the other end of the spectrum, we found these gigantic tulips growing in a pot outside of a restaurant - they were lovely too!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

 Finally - sun and warmer temps forecast for the next few days. The apple trees responded by bursting into bloom - I love their white blossoms kissed with pink, which fades as they open. The sweet scent was pervasive, attracting the bees to pollinate the blooms.

The dandelions raised their fluffy heads to the light, too.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Here is the Intention Word book from our Photo Art Journals group. Catherine used the Wordles website to create the covers - each one, front, back and inside covers, are different. You can see the inside front cover below.

Some of the pages in the book.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

These sword fern fiddleheads cracked me up - they look like elephant trunks. Of course, it was raining yet again today . . .

Marjorie sent me this about an article online: “Native plants spring to life, just in time for celebration,” Seattle Times Mon. May 2. Here’s a  passage containing a wonderful term:

“Coarse and rough in its form, [the horsetail] was the perfect foil for the delicate curves of lady fern, just now in circinate vernation, the slow ballet of unfurling tightly coiled fronds. Like awakening sleepers, in the warming sun the fronds seemed to stretch their arms wider and raise their fiddleheads taller by the minute.” 

“Circinate,” according to Webster, means “rounded, coiled, esp. rolled in the form of a flat coil with the apex as a center ( ~ fern fronds unfolding).”

“Vernation” comes from the Latin vernatus, past participle of vernare, “to behave as in spring.” Leaving aside the question of what other spring behaviors might be observed in humans, I found this term applicable to my own behavior. In spring I begin to shake off S.A.D. and emerge from my shell like a hermit crab. As the nights get warmer, I tend to stop sleeping curled up, and my toes begin to reach for the foot of the bed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I had a meeting in town, and this was taken from the ferry on the way home. There were rain showers scattered over the mountains, and the water was a bit rough. This was an outrigger kayak, so it was stable enough, but you could see that the paddler was ready to get to shore and call it a day!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sorry for the delay - this time it wasn't me!! Blogger had some issues, and was shut down for a couple of days.

 I've been working with the willow bark I harvested last summer, and wanted to experiment with the bee's wax. Soooo, the photo on the left is the basket before, and on the right is after I painted the bee's wax on. It darkened the bark, and it can be polished - I did a little, so it has a gloss. Surprisingly, it also firmed up the basket - it was a little bit flexible, and now it is hard and solid feeling. Now I'm torn - I like the look of the gray bark when it's dried, but I also like the richer tones the wax gives it, and the solidity as well. So, I guess more experiments are in order.
As an ending note, Apollo chooses the oddest places to take a nap!
THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011
 Blue to rival the sky above! Love the forget-me-nots.
 I also loved the early morning sun shining through the newly-opened vine maple leaves, and their cheery red flowers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

 Meeting night! Northwest Basket Weavers Guild - my fun go-to-town night of the month! This time, Sally Anaya taught us some sailor's knots - it looks confusing, but turned out to be easy enough. Just time consuming - after all of the line is in place, you need to tighten, tighten, tighten! Above is my beginning, next to the written instructions.
Hannah stares intently.
 Sally helps a student.
 Karen is almost done! 
Sally also had a fun new toy to help with the instructions and demonstrating. It's a digital projector - you place the object under that tall thingy, and it sends the image to the computer and on to the big screen so we all could see! Here, she's showing a basket that Miggie brought, from New Zealand.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Intention Word
May 2011

Here is our latest project with the Photo Art Journal Yahoo group hosted by Catherine Anderson. Catherine has posted the covers for the Intention Word book on her blog: Listening for the Whispering.  Click to check it out, where she'll also have links to other participants' blogs. 

My intention word is "focus" - I wanted to remind people to slow down and focus on the small details of their lives, breathe, relax - which for me is getting out into the woods. And moss - I love moss!
Above is the front, and below is the back. The photos are glued together, then Catherine binds them into the books.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I hadn't used my old camera for many months, and something has gone haywire with it. The fallen cherry blossoms are supposed to be white, and there are lines showing in the lighter areas, too. Not sure what has gone wrong - it was secure in it's pouch, and didn't get dropped or anything. As with most electronics these days, it's not worth the repair costs.

The windy rainy weekend knocked most of the blossoms off the tree and onto the mossy grass beneath.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A little bit of sunshine for Mother's Day! Bracken Fern fronds in front of the willow tree.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Just in case you think I have been whining too much about the weather, I have to quote from the Seattle Times newspaper:


Freezing temperatures, snow flurries - now this was an April you probably want to forget. The chilly 30-day span culminated with a surprise - the Seattle area experienced the longest stretch of bone-chilling daytime temperatures for April in the 120 years since record-keeping began.

Yes, our cold, wet April truly was as bad as it seemed. While things have been bad, even by Pacific Northwest standards, it's not time to put away the down jackets and boots. May, June and July are forecast to be below normal temperatures.

Last month's cold made a nice companion for the soggy, with 21 days of rain. Total rainfall was 4.47 inches, twice the average."

See, it isn't just ME!
This is how you deal with aforesaid rainy day!

Oh, yeah, the robin is still at it. AND, the cat brought in a very alive and indignant squirrel, so we had a really fun time trying to get it back outside!

Friday, May 6, 2011

 Continuing cold, dreary and damp. Blah! The dandelions took advantage of the two sunny days and bloomed their little heads off. Now, gone to seed, they're wet and bedraggled, nothing like the fluffy balls we like to scatter to the winds.
The madrona trees are blooming as well. From beneath, they look like tiny lanterns!

And, the persistent robin is STILL at it, busy at the door and windows upstairs on the deck, and now expanding her range to include the front entry door downstairs (and on a different side of the house). She really seems to want in, but when I left the door open, she didn't fall for it. The cat has taken to napping in front of the glass door, so that seems to keep her at bay for a while. We'll see . . .