Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Outdoor dining season winds down

We had some friends over last night for dinner on the deck. It was probably one of the last times we'll be enjoying outdoor dining this year, as the rain is scheduled to move in later today. We have one more party coming up next week, and my fingers are crossed that it can be on the deck.

Dave made a grilled pear and romaine salad with a spicy dressing. Then it was fish tacos with all the fixings, including tomatoes from the garden. They're FINALLY ripening!

Dessert was Key Lime Pie -- yum!

Not much sewing is going on, but I DID make the napkins a few years ago. Does that count?

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sew Day, Woolies and guild

Woolies meeting and guild quilt.
I'm in a seven-day stretch that includes four sewing meetings. Last week was guild, Sunday was Sew Day, yesterday was Woolies, and STITCH is in a few hours.

Sew Day breakfast at Nancy's house.
For Sew Day, Nancy set a beautiful breakfast table and served quiche, muffins and melon.

Lunch included chicken croissant sandwiches and pumpkin cake on her patio, with views of her gorgeous gardens. She was on the Gig Harbor Garden Tour a few years ago, so it's always a pleasure to sit on her patio.

Oh yes, we did do a little sewing at Sew Day:

 Have a colorful day

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Wool notebook cover finished!

I put the final stitches into my STITCH wool notebook cover last night, so after six years of STITCH meetings I can finally go in style!

The front says STITCH and the back has Bunners jumping over the moon. Bunners is going on 11 years old and is as adorable as ever.

For the inside flaps I just turned under the edges and did a big running stitch with size 5 pearl cotton.

I debated saving the pretty thread ends, but in the end tossed them out. I already have bags and jars of thread ends in the studio ... just in case.

Outside, it's a hazy Labor Day weekend due to wildfires east of us. This is Mt. Rainier viewed from a short walk from our house. We're heading to a party later today, and I just baked a Texas sheet cake to  take. It's going to be delicious, but it's not pretty so I won't include a photo. It's a deep, rich chocolate cake with pecans in only half of the icing because one of the guests has a nut allergy.

Have a colorful holiday weekend

Friday, September 1, 2017

Embellishing the notebook cover

I've been embellishing the wool notebook cover
with embroidery, beads and buttons.

I had to include a rabbit, so why not make it jumping over the moon? Still more work to do on the borders, then I'll make the inside flaps. I don't want this one to end because it's so much fun!

Have a colorful day

Monday, August 28, 2017

Zucchini chips

We tried something new with our zucchini harvest this summer:

 Zucchini chips.

I read a few recipes on Pinterest and then we started. First, Dave sliced them about 1/8" thick with the mandolin. Within seconds he had neatly sliced his finger because he wasn't using the guard. He used the guard for the rest.

Next, I tossed them in flavored oil and salt and pepper. We did one batch in Japanese Roasted Sesame Oil and salt and the other batch in Chipotle Olive Oil and salt and pepper. I used about a tablespoon of oil for each extra large zucchini and it was a little too much. Next time I'll use only two teaspoons. You have to massage the oil in with your fingers to coat the slices evenly.

Then we spread the slices on dehydrator trays. Ideally the slices wouldn't overlap, but these did because we were running out of room. We dehydrated them at 135 degrees for about 15 hours, flipping them after about six hours.

The next day, we had bowls of beautiful, translucent, delicious, crunchy chips. Although they're good, I'm making zucchini bread tonight.

 Have a colorful day

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Decorating the letters

I started decorating the letters on my wool notebook cover. First I embroidered around each one and now I'm working on the insides. I made the letters nice and fat so I could fill them with stitching, buttons and beads.

Woo hoo!!!

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A new wool project

I needed a new hand project, so I started a wool cover for my STITCH notebook. (STITCH is my art quilt group.) Right now I'm whip stitching all the pieces down, then I'll embellish like crazy with embroidery and beads and maybe some buttons around the borders.

This morning I spent a few hours stitching on the back deck where we watched the eclipse yesterday. It was very quiet except for a brief kerfuffle among the geese when an eagle landed on a nearby floating dock. The geese flew off in a huff and then a few crows swooped in to dive bomb the eagle. The eagle seemed oblivious. I resumed stitching and there were no further interruptions.

Have a colorful day

Monday, August 21, 2017

Watching the eclipse

Dave and Dawn helped me experience the eclipse this morning! We had about 93% totality, and although it didn't get dark, it definitely got cooler and a breeze kicked up. Dawn brought over giant raspberry scones and we ate them on the deck, jumping up every now and then to check progress of the moon moving across the sun. A reggae mix of "Dark Side of the Moon" played in the background.

Even Buddha got into the action. My quilt in the background looks like a reverse solar eclipse, with the sun moving over the moon.

Here are some of the crescent shadows they said to look for during the eclipse.

You can't tell from the above photo, but it did get a little darker -- and definitely colder.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The smoke is gone!

The smoke from the wildfires in Canada 
finally cleared out over the weekend
and our summer sunshine returned! 

That's Mt. Rainier above. It had been obscured by a smoky haze for 11 days. Since our part of the country spends months on end in a thick layer of grey clouds over the winter, our clear summer days are especially precious.

On Saturday, the day the low front moved in and cleared out the smoke, I headed down to the harbor with Dawn and my daughter to tool around in a rented wooden electric boat. The little boat was slow and quiet, and it was fun to see things from the water.

Here's the back of our famous Tide's Tavern, where boaters dock and come on land for a meal or a beer on the deck.

The wooden boat, which is rented by the hour by the Eddon Boat Shop, is very colorful!

Back home, a walk on the beach revealed a sand dollar -- rare for our beach.

And inside, our weekend was brightened by Hammie, my daughter's visiting hamster. (Plus her three rabbits.)

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Smoke and haze

Since I last wrote, we've had a week of smoke and haze from wildfires burning north of us in British Columbia. They keep pushing back the forecast for when it's supposed to clear.

These first two pictures are from yesterday. (Some of that haze is fog.)

The next two pictures are from today -- it's a little clearer, but the sky is still white and the trees are shades of grey.

We also just set a record for the number of consecutive days without measurable precipitation: 52. The old record was 51, set in 1951.

The picture of our heron segues nicely into the next pictures of wool birds that I'm embellishing with embroidery.

Have a colorful day