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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Northwest ferry art

"Spawning Salmon"

The Ferry Junky (me) and Idaho Beauty (quilting friend from Idaho) took  the Seattle-Bremerton ferry this week. Before we even got on the boat in Bremerton, I found all of this great Northwest art in the passenger terminal.  The first four are tiles set in the wall at eye level showing local marine life and maps.

"Dungeness Crab"

"Giant Octopus"

"Hood Canal Shrimp"

Running along the top of the passenger terminal wall was this long piece inspired by petroglyphs in our region.

Once on the ferry, there was more art scattered throughout the seating area. I only got one photo, of this Great Blue Heron piece. You can see the long row of ferry windows reflected in the glass.

Note how the gray of the art is identical to the gray of Seattle as we pulled in:

As we waited to disembark, I shot this photo (above) of the huge Norwegian Pearl cruise ship, which dwarfed the buildings of downtown Seattle. It's 965 feet long, holds 2,394 passengers, has 12 restaurants and 14 bars and lounges. Here's a link showing lots of colorful photos of the ship:

By the time we got on the ferry to leave Seattle, the sky was crisp and blue. I shot the photo above of another ferry as we waited to take off. Once under way, we watched this parasailer being towed by a boat as it swooped over the water like a bird.

Have a colorful day

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Floating Feet and Forks

The Feet and Forks hit the water instead of the trail this week. We got a good arm workout instead of leg workout for a change. Kandi provided the kayaks and led us on a beautiful, peaceful paddle off of Raft Island.

It sprinkled, and the wind picked up on the way back, but it was a fantastic way to spend a few hours with friends. Instead of hoisting our forks at a restaurant afterward, we pulled out our picnic lunches and sat on Kandi's deck under the awning while the rain pitter-pattered on the water.

Have a colorful day

Monday, August 22, 2011

Colors of Bellingham

My trip to move the kid to Bellingham went great! The afghan is in good company there, as evidenced by the colorful crocheted tree hugger outside the yarn store downtown.

Here's the afghan out of the van and all settled in its new home. Note her thrift store vintage pillowcases:

The afghan's orange, green and gold color scheme seemed to pop up everywhere, starting on the drive up with this building in Seattle:

Take a look at the orange pants and gold shirt on this performer at the Downtown Bellingham Farmer's Market (

These mushrooms at the farmer's market were like little works of art. I bought a box, which I plan to serve with some lemon-pepper fettucini from another market vendor.

More orange, green and gold, plus a few other luscious colors at the market:

You know how I love rabbits, so I had to snap a picture of this vendor's sign:

But the highlight of the trip was our daily morning stop at Rocket Donuts (, where I nearly threw a tantrum the first day because the lady in front of me bought the last two Bavarian Bismarcks! I'd been looking forward to one of those custard-filled, chocolate-iced treats the whole drive up. Luckily for Rocket Donuts, I was able to get them the next two mornings. Here I am, beholding the bountiful Bismarck:

And here is Bunners, with the special treat we bought for him at the farmer's market:

Have a colorful day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sob, she's leaving!

I can't believe she's leaving tomorrow! My baby is moving away for her last two years of college and we spent yesterday packing my van with her craigslist, thrifted and dumpstered possessions.

Her colors are shudderingly seventyish -- avocado greenorange, gold and purple -- but I'm proud that she has a strong sense of what she likes. And I'll admit that in the seventies I, too, craved those colors.

The exception is this tasteful white and pale blue nubby woven bedspread that was mine in the eighties. And of course, what student domain wouldn't be complete without an Indian batik tapestry such as this purple beauty. Actually, she's using it for padding and will probably lend it out to someone else.

What more can be said about this crocheted afghan other than it was one of the highlights of her thrift store/dumpster days?

Farewell, afghan.
Take good care of her ... sob.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Art, nature and similar colors

One of my favorite color combinations is that luscious pinky-purple and warm orange-yellow that makes my mouth water. As I was satin stitching in pink on my yoga quilt #3 (above), I realized it's a similar combination to this sea star that I posted on the last blog:

Then I went searching in my files for a Chihuly glass piece that used those colors and I came up with this one on display at the Tacoma Art Museum:

This sunset from last summer in Gig Harbor over Wollochet Bay streaked the sky with deep pink-orange and violet. Those billowy dusky purple clouds are settled over the Olympic Mountains.

What are your favorite color combos from nature that you use in your art?

Have a colorful day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Excitement in the touch tanks

Have you ever seen a cockle scoot away from a sea star? Well, you should've been at the Harbor WildWatch touch tanks last weekend at Kopachuck Beach!

Here's our kiddie pool where the naturalist put a variety of sea stars that she found on the beach at low tide. The slender orange ones are mottled stars and the purple one is an ochre star. We also found the cockle in its hinged shell (lower right). It tolerated the sunflower sea star creeping over it briefly, then ...

... out shot its HUGE muscular foot, in the photo above. It whipped the foot around and escaped from the sea star. We put it in a separate tank so it could relax. (The sunflower star is very predatory.)

This is the underside of the pink sea star, showing its little suction tube feet that allow it to creep across the sea floor.

Here is our naturalist showing two of our junior naturalists something as they collect critters for the touch tanks.

Chris, one of the junior naturalists, holds a small moon snail, which you can see better in the photo below. That's a chiton in the upper left.

This is what our HWW setup looks like at Kopachuck. (That's Farmer Dave, aka Mister Biologist, in his volunteer shirt.) The kayak rental is a business from Gig Harbor.

This goose seemed pretty interested in me. It swam straight toward me, looked at me a long time from a few feet away, then walked away after I took a few photos.

We'll set up touch tanks again on these dates:

Friday, Aug. 26, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Joemma State Park

Saturday, Aug. 27, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at both Kopachuck and Penrose State Parks

This Saturday, Aug. 20, from 5-11 p.m., is a special program at Skansie Park in downtown Gig Harbor:

We'll have a diver bringing up sea critters from near the dock and placing them in touch tanks, then there will be an outdoor viewing of the Disney film "Oceans," and when it gets dark we'll set up lights in the water at the end of Jerisich Dock to attract more sea creatures.


Have a colorful day

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yoga quilt #3 and wisdom teeth

Beginning of yoga mat quilt #3.

Time to get back to the studio.

I've been feeling artistically lazy and unmotivated lately, but today I had to stay home to help nurse the daughter after she had her wisdom teeth removed so I decided to start another yoga mat quilt.

Step 1: Select a background fabric (green batik) and motif fabric (hand-painted cotton from my stash).

Step 2: Iron fusible web to the back of the painted fabric, fold a center crease, and freehand draw a curvy design on one side of the crease.

Step 3: Fold in half again and cut out along the lines. Unfold and arrange shapes on background. Play with different arrangements.

A slightly different arrangement.
Step 4: Fuse those suckers down. Next will come a lot of embroidery and beading, which I'll start tonight when the sun goes down.

The sparkle comes from pearlescent paint that I mixed in with the plum.

Here is the still unfinished yoga quilt #1, above, and #2, below.

I think #2 needs more contrast -- what do you think? I haven't beaded around the outer motifs yet, but I think it will need more than that to save it. Or maybe the paler effect is OK. I need feedback on this one!

Here's a closeup of the embellishment on #2.

And here is a cheery vase of flowers brought over by our neighbor Rosemary for my daughter after her oral surgery today. Everything is from her garden, and notice how the vase matches the white flowers. Thanks, Rosemary!

Have a colorful day