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

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Feet & Forks and sunshine!

And the sunshine continues! The Feet & Forks celebrated the sun with a walk in the harbor, marveling at the rare February sun.

Pink winter blooming camellias made it look like spring under the blue skies.

At the entrance to Gig Harbor, our little lighthouse glowed in the sun.

This couple enjoyed a lazy gondola ride, complete with a serenade from the oarsman. The gondola showed up a few years ago and was an immediate hit.

I always enjoy looking at the names that people choose for their boats. Cool Runnings has a line underneath saying "Peace be the Journey."

We asked the guy on Virus out of Olympia why that name. He said, "Because it's catching!"

We stopped in the office of Harbor WildWatch, a great organization that educates the public and school kids about the wonders of marine life in our harbor. I used to volunteer for them. Besides giving beach tours and talks, HWW has some neat hands-on activities and exhibits for rainy days in its downtown office. 

We also stopped in a boating store where Joyce found this book, "Cleats & Eats Boater's Restaurant Guide," written by one of her friends, Lorena Landon. Joyce said her friend, an avid boater, wrote the book after realizing there was a need for a guide for boaters on where to find good food when they pulled into an unfamiliar town.

And speaking of food -- you knew this was coming -- we rewarded ourselves with Mexican food at El Pueblito's, a popular and colorful harbor restaurant.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Woolies distraction

Our Woolies meeting last week was a good distraction from worrying about trying to find a house. Nothing like friends and color to boost the spirits! 

Here is Pam, who started the group, with some gorgeous turquoise wool that she dyed circled with cheerful wool birds.

Audrey made these cute felt hearts for everyone. I hung mine in my sewing room. She also made this really colorful big bag -- we quilters can never have enough bags!

Nancy made a sewing case with her signature polka dot fabric. Even the scissors sleeve (by her hand) is polka dots.

Donna was embroidering the border of her fabulous houses for all seasons wool piece, which she designed herself. The details are incredible.

I worked on my Fresh Cut wall hanging, which has been my go-to hand project for over a year. 

I'm working more and more on the machine because of the arthritis pain in my thumb, and here is my latest machine project -- spring placemats with a pink and green print that I bought a few years ago in Arizona.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Housing story

This is where I live. This is why I'm thinking of moving to Tucson instead of buying here (I'm renting now). This is why this comic is so apropos.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Snoqualmie Falls

A few days ago, Dawn and I drove an hour and a half to see what western Washington's record rainfall has done to Snoqualmie Falls. We sat for awhile in traffic that was backed up by an accident on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. This is the bridge that links Gig Harbor to Tacoma.

The 270-foot waterfall was booming, with great clouds of mist rising hundreds of feet to envelope us at the upper viewpoint.

The falls are central to the culture and spirituality of the Snoqualmie People. According to Wikipedia, the falls are "the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer" and "where prayers were carried up to the Creator by great mists that rise from the powerful flow." The mists are said to connect Heaven and Earth.

Twisting lichen- and moss-covered branches along the trail were otherworldly.

We hiked to the bottom of the falls, and when we hiked back up the sun had broken through and illuminated the water. It was beautiful.

Afterward, we toasted the day with wine and iced tea and then had breakfast food for lunch at the Salish Lodge.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Team Tucson!

When a friend from quilt guild found out that I was considering moving to Tucson, she threw together a little luncheon last week with other people who had lived there. They were all so encouraging of me moving there to start a new life with the sun and desert mountains, so I'm calling them:

Team Tucson!

Janet set the table in a desert theme and even wore saguaro socks!

She was born in Tucson, so it was no surprise to see this gorgeous Southwest table runner that she made.

The women who had lived there talked of the magic of moonlight hiking in Sabino Canyon, desert wildflowers, the prolific desert birdsong and the beautiful mountains that surround the city.

I've always felt a strong pull from the desert, and a lot of my quilts reflect that. Here are some that were inspired by the clear colors of desert light.

Getting back to the luncheon, I forgot to get food photos but it was a delicious meal of butternut squash soup and turkey bacon BLTs -- perfect for a chilly rainy day. Dessert by Yvonne was layers of graham cracker crumbs, pudding, whipped cream and cherries in clear glasses. 

Janet gave us a tour of her she shed, which has a large wall lined with labeled categorized fabric. Actually, it's a she shed/he shed because her husband has a separate room for his workshop and there's a couch and TV in the middle that they can share. It's totally separate from the house and I loved it!

Back at my house, I had to shovel fir needles away from the driveway drains where heavy rain had swirled them into dikes that kept the rain from reaching the drains.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Even my watch is depressed

I took my watch in to get a new battery today because it was losing time. The jeweler looked at it and said, "It's a solar watch." (I had forgotten. I've had it for years and it had never slowed down before.) Then we both looked outside at the heavy rain, nodded at each other, and she said, "Even your watch is depressed."

January broke a rain record for having the most number of measurable rainy days, 28 out of 31. In Gig Harbor, we got a little over 11 inches last month. And February is starting out with more of the same.

But I did find a little miracle in the neighborhood. Out of hundreds of rhododendron plants, one was in bloom! The entire bush was covered with beautiful pink flowers! My street is almost a mile long and lined with rhododendrons, but only this one was in bloom.

Inside, I turned to bright fabric -- what I always do in the long gloomy winter months. I'm free-motion quilting my row-by-row Christmas quilt in white swirls.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Sewing, raining, dreaming, chocolate

It's been raining all month and I needed a color fix, so I turned to two Christmas projects that didn't get finished yet. I'm using the thumb splint while I embroider the wool trees, taking frequent breaks and going slow.

I also sewed together the rows of Christmas blocks from the ladies in Sew Day. I just finished basting it for quilting, and I think I'm going to do free-motion white wintry swirls today.

Yesterday we had a brief break in the rain where we could actually see some blue sky! This is the view in the harbor, with a paddle boarder and his little dog gliding by.

I've been dreaming about moving to the sun and have been looking at homes in Tucson (the Oro Valley and Catalina Foothills) on Zillow. They are sooooo much more affordable there than here in the Northwest where prices have gone crazy. There's no way I could get a nice, 1,784-square-foot home here with views like this for that price. This one is a condo with community pools and other facilities. I'll be downsizing, but I still want a large space for a sewing studio and a nice guest room for friends and family.

Facebook continues to deliver humor:

A few days ago I NEEDED chocolate, so I whipped up a chocolate wacky cake and had a large portion for dinner. A perk of living alone.

Have a colorful day