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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

San Francisco, Take 2

I wish I could say I painted this colorful piece, but it's a dish towel that I bought from Sur la Table in San Francisco's Ferry Building last weekend. I'm going to try to replicate the casual, breezy style on some fabric this week.

Elsewhere in the market, I found this pile of photogenic tomatoes:

And here's a colorful mural in a downtown Mexican restaurant:

I'm mainly drawn to visuals, but this street musician's beautiful melody pulled me in. He told me the name of the instrument, but I can't remember now. His right foot operated a pedal connected to a bell. After the market closed, we saw him again in the BART station.

But what is San Francisco without something sassy?

As we strolled along the Embarcadero, our San Francisco friend (still carrying her work brief case) stopped in front of Teatro ZinZanni and said we HAD to see the show. After hesitating because of the cost and because I'm not that spontaneous, I agreed. The seating had just started, they still had openings even on a Friday night, and we got a great table. AND, that night's performance included Joan Baez!

Photography was not allowed during the show, but the ticket says it all:

"Love Chaos and Dinner"

It was nonstop top notch entertainment in the round, including acrobats, caberet, burlesque, jugglers, a singer from the San Francisco opera and Joan Baez. My friend Beth, who gave us the back-stage scoop because she knows some of the performers, said Joan Baez lives in the area and sleeps in a tree house. She looked and sounded spectacular. Beth also said the dancer who did the sexiest performance is married to someone from Guns and Roses.

It was dark and cold when we emerged and we couldn't get a single cab to stop, except a very brave pedicab driver who gamely took on the three of us. We couldn't quite squeeze all the way back in the seat and we kept apologizing for our combined weight, but he was cheerful and polite. We gave him a good tip.

To add to the last San Francisco post, here's another photo from the City Lights Bookstore:

The bottom sign says:

"Where the streets of the world
meet the avenues of the mind."

The green building above caught my eye as we had lunch at an outdoor table not far from City Lights. When I got home, I finally read my "Walking San Francisco" book and discovered that it's the Columbus Tower and is indeed clad in copper. It is headquarters for Francis Ford Coppola's film company, Zoetrope.

Speaking of food, if you're going to San Francisco, go, go, go to Bistro Aix in the Marina District, which was recommended by an acquaintance who knows the owner/chef. The food is SIMPLE PERFECTION ... fresh, local, perfectly prepared, absolutely delicious. Click here for a review that was in the SF Examiner.

I had a baby beet, greens and goat cheese salad followed by the best ahi tuna I have ever tasted (and I've tasted a lot). The tuna was crowned by translucent, crispy fried spinach that was light and wonderful. Then the chef brought out a rustic fresh blueberry pie that was to die for.

And here we are Saturday evening in Beth's backyard, where my camera batteries died after this shot just before the Summer Solstice Goddess party commenced. So I didn't get photos of us "goddesses" doing our yoga salutations by the pool.

The next morning was the VERY colorful Gay Pride Parade, but that's a whole other post.

Parting shot from the Ferry Building market:

Have a colorful day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

San Francisco sights

I'm just back from a short trip to quirky, colorful San Francisco, where my camera's eye was drawn to windows, words, and the Farmer's Market.

I love how a window can tell many stories with its signage, views inside, and reflections of the street outside. That's me, my friend and my camera reflected above in the Cafe Madeleine Chocolat window.

The window above shows patrons relaxing inside the Vesuvio bar, in the North Beach area. Jack Kerouac reportedly liked to drink there. I can imagine the verse on the window being composed on a napkin inside the bar:

"When the shadow of the grasshopper falls across the trail of the field mouse on green and slimey grass as a red sun rises above the western horizon silhouetting a gaunt and tautly muscled Indian warrior perched with bow and arrow cocked and aimed straight at you it's time for another martini." 

... which leads nicely into the window shot of the nearby legendary City Lights Bookstore, which features books by Kerouac and the other Beat writers. From the upstairs "Poetry Room" we spotted someone's laundry hung outside to dry:

Earlier in the day, we browsed the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building. Here's a tiny sampling of the bounty we found there:

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice Goddess

"Solstice Goddess" by Sherrie Spangler
The sun came through for today's

I took my beads out on the front porch -- finally able to get some sun on my winter legs -- and put the finishing touches on a little Summer Solstice Goddess quilt. It's tiny, only 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. I used scraps of my hand-painted fabric, snippets of lame and tulle, couched black YLI Candlelight thread to outline the shapes, and beads.

My potted back-deck daisy turned its face to the sun.
(Click to enlarge photo and see a spider.)

And the water sure looked different today than over the weekend. Above is the blue Wollochet Bay under a blue sky for the first day of summer. Below is a gray Henderson Bay under a very gray sky just three days ago.

If you click here, you can read last year's Summer Solstice blog, which shows a lot of my summery quilts.
Have a colorful solstice!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cancer quilt, spirals and moon snail

Cancer quilt, spirals and moon snail?
There is a common thread here,
having to do with circular movement.

The spirals on my work-in-progress quilt are obviously circular, and I just added the beads last week. It needs more quilting and maybe more beads before I call it done.

The quilt top below is one that I helped my Comfort Quilt group put together a few weeks ago. I took the finished blocks home and set them together and added a border. Next it goes to the volunteer quilters and binders.Our group gets together each month to make quilts that we give to local cancer patients. I've written more about this group here, here, and here.

The circular motion relates to
sending out good karma,
or "what goes around comes around."
Quilt top for a cancer patient.

And finally, the amazing moon snail!
Note the spiraling of its shell.

I took this photo and video a few days ago at Penrose Point State Park, where our Harbor WildWatch group shared the wonders of low tide with 60 first graders on a field trip. The ooey-gooey moon snail was a big hit.

For a real treat, watch the sloooow motion of the snail creeping forward on the beach in the video. You have to look closely at the bottom right of the snail. (This is my first attempt to put a video on the blog, so let me know how it works.)

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nourishment: Food and Flowers

The yard rabbit celebrates.
We've had a delayed spring in the Northwest, but our flowers and veggies are finally blooming.

Dave's peas (above) are coming along nicely, and we've been picking a variety of lettuces, young kale, parsley, onions and radishes.

This is the second year for our garden, and we have a guest master farmer this year. Our neighbor has planted three rows of corn at one end to prove to Dave that corn can grow in the Northwest. Dave was skeptical because he's from the Midwest, where corn is king, but I predict we'll have a neighborhood corn boil later this summer.

That's Farmer Dave and Farmer Dick below,
taking a break from garden chores.

 On the back deck, my Home Depot daisy has finally unfurled and the other potted flowers are thriving:

But nourishment doesn't just come from veggies and flowers. In the kitchen, Julia turned out a nice batch of vegan chocolate chip cookies last week ...

 ... and today we topped off our tanks at Starbucks. (Hers is the healthy green tea lemonade. Mine is my usual venti iced decaf nonfat no-whip mocha.)

Have a colorful day

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ferns and other greens in WA

Ferns at Penrose State Park, WA.

It's dripping with green right now in western Washington. Ferns and seaweed are great sources of artistic inspiration for me, so here are a few photos I've taken -- for your inspiration.

Our yard after a spring rain.

Detail of one of my small quilts.

Kopachuck State Park near Gig Harbor at low tide.

Sea star nested in seaweed at Henderson Bay.

Barnacles and seaweed at Kopachuck Beach.

Detail of "Deep Forest," by Sherrie Spangler.

Silk that I painted, inspired by Northwest colors.

"Common Ground," by Sherrie Spangler and Sandi Uram.

Have a colorful day!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chihuly glass baskets

At the end of my last post, I showed a closeup of the Dale Chihuly glass basket pictured above and promised to show more. So here you go. All of these are from a collection that Chihuly donated to the Tacoma Art Museum (in his hometown). He also has a new exhibit called Dale Chihuly's Northwest, but photos were not allowed in that room.

Although I work in soft cotton and silk, I'm very inspired by his colors and designs. I'm especially drawn to the geometric designs and high contrast color combos.

Note the highly contrasting lips on each vessel.

This is part of the sign that explains his techniques for the various items in the room. I wish I had photographed the entire sign, but at least you can read about a few of the series.

This next one reminds me of delicate underwater marine forms -- which could be found in the waters of the Puget Sound near the Tacoma Art Museum.

These last two photos are more fabulous Chihuly glass from TAM's permanent collection. Above are some of his fanciful vases, and below are his "floats."

To see more of his work, check out this link:

Have a Chihuly day!