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

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

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Two new finishes

"Fragments: Summer," 29"x39," by Sherrie Spangler

I just put the finishing touches (labels) on two new quilts. The first one, called "Fragments: Summer," only took a few days from painting the fabric to putting in the last hand stitch.

I used fragments of fabric plus foil candy wrappers that I've been saving for about 15 years.

The second quilt, "Wild Flowers," (from a Sue Spargo pattern) took about half a year! 

"Wild Flowers," 41"x41", by Sherrie Spangler

I loved the process of hand appliquéing and embroidering the wool flowers and adding beads.

I tortured myself with the echo and free-motion quilting.
But I'm extremely happy with the results!

To see what other fabric artists have been up to this week:  circular-attractions-off-wall-friday.html

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Down by the water

I took a walk down by the water this morning before the temperatures got too high. It was peaceful and quiet. Construction noise from the neighbor's new dock is over, the weekend jet skies are gone, and I didn't hear anyone jabbering on their deck on a cell phone. 

It was just me and the birds, empty boats, the water and Mount Rainier. Geese floated and basked in the sun ...

... and the crows took off when I approached.  We usually see an eagle and an osprey in the evening, but I didn't see any this morning. I also didn't see our resident heron.

On shore, kayaks rested unused.

Now the weather is hotter, and we're headed toward 99 degrees later in the week. Time to stay in the shade.

 Have a colorful day

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Feet & Forks hit Alki Beach Trail

The Feet & Forks (my walking and eating group) took the ferry to West Seattle today and walked a couple of hours along the Alki Beach Trail in glorious weather.

The paved trail runs between the beach and a bustling road lined with restaurants and housing. Our favorite house was what we called "the house of flowers," above. It has dozens of hanging baskets and flower pots. I wonder how long it takes to water them -- or maybe they're on an automatic system.  

Looking out over the water, we saw the Space Needle (above), the Seattle skyline, sailboats, kayaks, paddle boarders, ferries, eagles, sea lions and sun bathers.

My selfie stick came in handy.

Lunch was at Cactus, an excellent Mexican restaurant. I had my usual: chicken enchiladas with green sauce. Yum!

While we waited in the ferry line to come home, we looked into the water and saw thousands of little fish swirling around. It was mesmerizing. Then it was onto the ferry for the ride from West Seattle to Port Orchard and then a drive back to Gig Harbor.

Have a colorful day

Monday, July 24, 2017

California surprises

I've been missing on the blog for a week because I was helping my sisters with the final orchestration of two surprise family birthday parties in Los Angeles, with family coming from Minnesota, Washington, the Bay area and San Diego.

We actually pulled it off, with the two birthday boys being surprised!

Here's my mom with the birthday boys: my brother, Kevin, who is turning 60, and my dad, who is turning 86. They each knew about the other's party, but they didn't suspect that they would also be feted.

Here are the girls -- my mom, myself and two sisters. It's the first time we've all been together in about five years because we're spread all over the country.

And here are the guys. Above are my brothers in law, brother, dad and husband. Below is my nephew, Marc, making superb Detroit-style pizzas for everyone. His friend from L.A. also joined us because he loves Marc's pizza.

Besides the parties, the weekend whirl included Mexican lunch at Lupita's Mexican Grill in Redondo Beach ...

... hiking off some of the food ...

... and California sunshine.
It was a great three days.

 Have a colorful day

Monday, July 17, 2017


I'm a sucker for glowing colors, so I had to take some photos of my latest quilt glowing in the sun. I painted the fabric with Setacolor paints and added sparkle with foil candy wrappers, metallic mesh and lame.

I'm joining the blocks with a big whip stitch and hand-dyed perle cotton thread from Artfabrik.

I also love the way orange day lilies glow against blue-purple hydrangeas from our yard.

And last but not least, this Celtic band glows and shimmers with energy in a concert I saw last week at our little local Boat Shop (where they make boats). The trio is MAC (click here for bio), and they are fantastic!

Have a colorful day