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

Monday, August 30, 2010

New silk quilts and apples

Detail -- "Chocolate and Silk Nine-Patch"

Here is a little silk and candy wrapper quilted collage that I put together this afternoon. I needed something to donate to a charity sale, and since I've been up to my eyeballs in silk quilts it was easy to grab some scraps and stitch it up. Besides my stash of silk organza that I've been painting for months, I have hundreds of flattened Hershey Kisses candy wrappers from the past 10 years ready to be put into my art.

Full view -- "Chocolate and Silk Nine-Patch" (13" x 13")

Then I took a break to photograph this basket of apples that Julia picked today from our little orchard. She's already turned some of them into a delicious bursting-with-flavor batch of applesauce. I hope she makes a pie next.

Now it's back to my:

I'm dying to show you photos of my latest big art quilts, but I'm entering them into a juried exhibit that wants everything kept under wraps until the show opens. (The only thing I will say is that they are all made with my painted silk.) The upside is that chances of them being accepted are slim, so as soon as I get the rejection notice I can post pictures.

Have a colorful day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quilted herons and divers

"Gig Harbor's Peacock" by Delaine Gately

Sixteen beautiful, artistic HERONS have come to roost in downtown Gig Harbor this summer. I was excited to see that two were feathered with fabric. They'll be auctioned off -- to benefit Peninsula Hands on Art -- and moved to their new homes in September, so see them now while you can. The visitor's center has brochures with photos of all 16 and a map with their locations.

"Patchwork Heron" by Jody L. Whalen, above and below


From herons to other divers:

I volunteer for Harbor WildWatch, a group that educates people about the sea life and environment of the Gig Harbor area and South Puget Sound. One of the most interesting (for me, at least) things we do is send divers down to bring up neat stuff from the downtown harbor and then set up touch tanks. This dive was last week and drew about 240 people down to the dock to see what was going on. 

Tom suits up at Jerisich Dock.

A date gone awry?
Divers found this encrusted wine glass and ancient cell phone under the dock.

Sunflower sea star -- can move 5 mph

Have a colorful day!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dog party delivers

Happy Birthday, Ben Bailey!

The birthday boy, Ben Bailey

A few days ago I attended the most delightful dog party -- actually, my first dog party. Our neighbor, Rosemary, executed a perfect party for her Golden Retriever's 10th birthday, and invited me over to help take pictures. Guests included five other dogs and six kids. You might think this was a recipe for chaos, but everyone behaved beautifully.

Each dog got its own dog-friendly cupcake, made by Rosemary.

Rosemary's husband, Dick the Dog Whisperer,
helped seat the guests at the patio table.

This is the photo op Rosemary had dreamed of for months.

the goodies!
Best table manners were evident throughout the party.

Rosemary's granddaughter helped Ben open presents.

"Wow, that was a good party, huh guys?"

Guests take their leave -- with a little help.
(This puppy is only 1 year old.)


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cabbage, kale and a quilt

To continue yesterday's garden update: We have more cabbages than we know what to do with, and the kale (below) is a forest. Bunners lives for kale, and I know I should eat more because it's good for the eyes. In the winter I use kale in white bean soup with a lot of garlic (which is coming along nicely) and rosemary.

This is Bunner's best part of the day
-- fresh kale in the kitchen.
He's too overwhelmed to eat it in the garden.

Still working on my silk organza quilts.

Have a colorful day!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apple pie time!

Julia's Gingerbread Apple Pie

The grass under our apple trees is covered with fallen ripe apples just in the last week or so. We credit our neighbor Dick, who pruned the neglected orchard, for the bountiful harvest. Julia filled several big bowls with apples and turned out this delicious gingerbread apple pie last night. The crust and topping have gingerbread spices and the apples are drizzled with molasses.

This is our third summer here in our rental house but the first year we've had the promise of a good apple harvest. The tiny orchard was sorely neglected when we moved in, but the next year I found our neighbor, Dick, up in the trees with his pruning tools. He's 80 some years old and probably shouldn't have been up there, but he looked as happy as a little kid perched on a limb gazing out over the field. He said pruning trees has been one of his favorite hobbies. I'd say he worked magic.

Our neighbor pruned the trees back into production.

Next up: Applesauce?

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Holy smokin' zucchini!

I went out to pick a zucchini the other week and was alarmed when I saw smoke rising from the plants. The earth was blackened, embers glowed and the darn things were smoking! Turns out Farmer Dave had "weeded" the garden several days earlier (while I was gone) with a torch. Boys and their toys.

Another strange sight in Bremerton, WA, near the ferry terminal.
(Yes, I was riding the ferry again.)

And my latest quilt project under the needle.
I love working with silk organza.
(This is some of the silk I painted a few months ago.)

Have a colorful day!
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Sheila's jelly

Photos by Sheila Schultz

This jelly had its tentacles wrapped around the anchor line of my friend Sheila's sail boat last weekend. She took these photos, which I think are absolutely unearthly! Sheila said the dome of the jelly was about 12 inches wide and the length from dome to the end of the tentacles was about two feet. She's pretty sure it's a Lion's Mane Jelly. It disentangled itself after a few moments and swam away.

And this is a Hubble telescope image of 
"light and shadow in the Carina Nebula"
-- of course!
Doesn't it remind you of a jelly,
pulsing in outer space?
More inspiration for a quilt.

Careful where you swim!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A walk over the bridge

Workers wave from atop the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

The twin suspension bridge, about a mile long, links Gig Harbor to Tacoma.
We had a great view from the middle of the span over the South Puget Sound.

Impromptu photo stop at the Tacoma Musical Playhouse mural.
I've let too many days go by without blogging, so here are a few photos from a recent walk with friends across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and back. It was noisy but a good workout -- about a mile each way on the bridge itself, plus some meandering through a park and a doughnut shop on the other side.

History buffs may remember this bridge as "Galloping Gertie,"  which opened in July 1940 and collapsed four months later due to a physical phenomenon called "aeroelastic flutter." This earned the bridge a place in many physics books. It got its nickname before the collapse because construction workers noticed vertical movement of the deck during windy conditions. The replacement bridge built in 1950 now accommodates westbound traffic. A second span, opened in 2007, handles eastbound traffic.

(As always, if any of you eagle-eye readers find errors, please correct me.)

Have a colorful day!