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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring chickens

Look at these cool chickens that Linda P. made for our sew group this month! They're little pincushions -- one for each of us. Linda made the fun placemat, too. Spring is busting out all over!

Here are some more spring chickens -- the fabulous Feet and Forks. We escaped the United States to go running around up in Victoria, B.C., and spent hours hiking through Beacon Hill Park. It's a gorgeous city park, full of flowers, ponds, a kid's animal farm, and a breathtaking path overlooking the bay. It has chickens, too:

The chickens ran around so fast I could hardly snap their pictures. We even saw some quick, hot fowl play with a rooster and one of the hens.

I wrote some more posts about Victoria here and here in case you'd like to see more photos.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day from Gig Harbor

Earth Day activity at Jerisich Dock in Gig Harbor, WA

Earth Day in Gig Harbor is as much about the water as it is about planting trees, since we're an old fishing village pretty much surrounded by water.

People flocked to the downtown public dock this afternoon under glorious blue skies to sun bath, stroll, walk their dogs, eat ice cream and see the Adventuress, an environmental tall ship. There were free dockside tours of the 135-foot schooner, which runs environmental education programs for kids and adults. (

At the mouth of the harbor (below), paddleboarders, a sail boat and a little motor craft passed each other near the lighthouse point.

These rental kayaks floated peacefully behind the restaurant where we stopped for lunch.

Flowers exploded from planters throughout the downtown area.

And back home, the Japanese maples by our front porch are greening up and soaking up the sun.

Have a colorful Earth Day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Desert dispatches: Modern rock art

Ben Kinne stands beside a "rock art" panel by Greg Kinne.
Here's another installment about the La Quinta Arts Festival last month in La Quinta, CA. Today I'm featuring the remarkable art of Greg Kinne of Kinne Design Studio in Quincy, CA.  (

His panels, representative of primitive rock art, are made from a mix of sand, gravel and cement that is hand cast into thin panels. The images and textures are rendered with acids and metals applied to the surface, which react with the limestone in the concrete for a light-fast color. He finishes his panels with dyes.

These real rocks (above) are jumbled at the bottom of a cliff on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The texture and color really resemble Kinne's art.

These rocks are from the desert in the Coachella Valley in Southern California. Note the squished cactus in the top photo. The natural design on the left of the rock below reminds me of a kangaroo.

Coming up soon, I'll jump back to flowers and continue our spring floral photo journey up the West Coast into British Columbia. Until then ...

Have a colorful day

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cactus flowers, moon flower and a brewery

I've been going through my 800 photos from a month in the California desert and the road trip home, and decided to dedicate one post to the flowers. So here we go, starting with cactus flowers in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs:

Here are some other blooms from the same area:

The gorgeous tree behind our condo in Indio, CA

"Moon Flower" over the desert, Coachella Valley, CA

Then we packed it up and started the road trip home, via my parents' house near Los Angeles. There was no shortage of flowers there:

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

My parents' front yard

After our ocean/L.A. visit, we headed toward the California-Nevada border to see Mono Lake and Lake Tahoe. It was COLD, WINDY, and SNOWING much of that leg, but I did spot this statue of a steer with a flowered jacket:

Much of that leg looked like this from my passenger seat:

Eastern Sierra Nevadas, near CA-NV border

After that little detour through the snow, we headed back to the sunshine and the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, CA, where we parked under the brewery's solar panels near this flowering tree:

Sierra Nevada Brewery's parking lot, Chico, CA
(That's Dave's land-locked kayak)

(The brewery tour guide told us their employees get not only human health insurance, but also pet health insurance, access to massages and acupuncture, and a lot of free beer.)

Sadly for Dave, we left the brewery behind and trucked on up to Oregon, where this field of flowers greeted us the next day at a rest stop:

Rest stop between Medford and Eugene, OR

We met a really nice couple there from Oregon who were on their way back from California, where the wife had picked this bright flower near San Francisco. It was still perky after two days in the dashboard.

By the time we got to Eugene the sky wasn't quite as bright, but this mural provides year-round sunshine and flowers:

Eugene, Oregon
We ended the day back home just in time for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant -- my way of prolonging the sunshine. I hope you're all having a great spring!

Have a colorful day

Friday, April 13, 2012

Desert wrap-around bracelets

Here's my latest project, a leather and bead wrap-around bracelet from a pattern and supplies that I bought on my desert trip. I found them at Monica's Quilt and Bead Creations in Palm Desert, CA -- a VERY COLORFUL shop that I hope to go back to next year. Here's their web site:

Here's the first bracelet I made from the pattern (above). It wraps around the wrist twice, but I'm making the current one wrap three or four times. Sorry about the blurry button. I'm having trouble focusing on close-ups, especially with shiny objects.

The pattern is called Lunar Ladder Bracelet, and it's by Rose Mary Jameson. She has a great beading blog at and she teaches at Monica's.

Missing the desert already, and I've been gone less than two weeks. But it is starting to look like spring here in the Northwest.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hoppy Easter

La Quinta art bunnies ...

Wild bunny in the desert

Baby California duckies and Mom 

L.A. movie star dog at Starbucks
(This has nothing to do with Easter, but it was such a cool dog with those shades.)

Coolest bunny ever: Bunners!

Have a colorful Easter