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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Northwest Harvest Moon

Ferry at Vashon Island under the Harvest Moon.

Tonight, Dave and I waited for the Harvest Moon to rise over the water from the old ferry dock in Gig Harbor. No one else was there except for a woman with her rescue dog, Angel ... it was peaceful and quiet.

To our right from where the moon appeared, we were treated to pink alpenglow on Mt. Rainier, as seen here beyond Tacoma. Before the moon rose, I snapped this boat heading into Gig Harbor. Everything was soft pinks and blues and hushed.

So why is this moon – the moon closest to the autumnal equinox – called the Harvest Moon? According to :

"The shorter-than-usual time between moonrises around the full Harvest Moon means no long period of darkness between sunset and moonrise for days in succession. In the days before tractor lights, the lamp of the Harvest Moon helped farmers to gather their crops, despite the diminishing daylight hours. As the sun’s light faded in the west, the moon would soon rise in the east to illuminate the fields throughout the night." 

(Check out the website for more fascinating Harvest Moon facts.)

Friday night's moon over Portland, OR, from I-5.

Being a full moon lover, I've been photographing the moon for several days now.  Above is last night's moon, which I snapped while twisted around backwards in the passenger seat as we sped out of Portland on I-5.

Below is Thursday's nearly full moon glowing above Bend, OR, where I stationed myself on top of Pilot Butte for an hour to photograph the high desert sunset. (You'll have to wait for the next blog to see those fiery photos.)

Thursday night's moon over Bend, OR.

Between Bend and Portland, I stopped at the famous Stitchin' Post quilt shop in Sisters,OR. Look at the moon quilt that glowed inside!

Now I'm itchin' to get stitchin'
by the light of the moon!

Have a colorful night

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Zelda's babushka

I can't believe I was sewing gold rickrack on Zelda's babushka last night when I have deadlines to meet, packing to do and a dirty house! And now I'm blogging about it and I still have deadlines to meet, packing to do and a dirty house ...


Zelda is a doll I started a few weeks ago when dollmaker extraordinaire elinor peace bailey gave a workshop through the Gig Harbor Quilt Guild. Elinore will get her own blog post later because she can't be contained in this one.

Anyway, Zelda the Gypsy from the Bronx is one of elinore's patterns from way back, and my Zelda is getting a nicer wardrobe than I have. Look at this purple lizardy jacket with a shimmery silky orange lining and gold trim. And I kept adding more layers of trim to the ruffled skirts.
More on Zelda's face and elinor's class later. In the meantime, 

Have a colorful day!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fun in the sun in Bellingham

Playing with a painting in a Bellingham park.
I visited the kid in Bellingham this week and we had one of those sunshiney happy days that had me thinking of old songs like "Grazing in the Grass" and "It's a Beautiful Morning."

And the COLOR!

We had a lot of fun with long late afternoon shadows in a park on Bellingham Bay. The concrete we stood on looked just like a beach.

Here's the park, and as we walked along the path and I saw all the picnicking families, strollers, joggers, bikers, dogs, and a groovy guitar circle awash in sunlight, it reminded me of Seurat's painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte."

And then, THERE IT WAS! Or I should say there was a Bellingham version of the famous painting. We were pleased to see so many rabbits of all colors, and I really like that lemony water and the leaves morphing into orange birds.

Another trippy coincidence was having Julia take this photo of me with the rainbow from her door's peephole centered like a third eye, then going to a quilt show at the Whatcom Museum and finding this piece (below) by one of my favorite artists, Susan Shie, on the show's postcard.  

The show runs through Oct. 28 and has a spectacular selection of quilts co-curated by Robert Shaw and Julie Silber. (That tells you the quality to expect.) Photographs aren't allowed, but there are quilts by Nancy Crow and Michael James, to name a few.

If you go, be sure to stop upstairs and step out onto the green roof -- which was looking pretty parched when we were there after our long dry spell. Here's Julia beside the roof garden:

And stop in the gift shop on your way out, where I was sorely tempted to buy this squiggly coil that you can shape into a bracelet or necklace.

Also in Bellingham, we stopped to take photos at Joe's Gardens of the beautiful rows of veggies and flowers and a pile of pumpkins. Joe's has been around since 1933.

Have a colorful day

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weavers exhibit in Gig Harbor museum

A wonderful exhibit of contemporary weaving has just opened in our Harbor History Museum, and I had the pleasure of watching one of the artists work during the opening reception. The show runs through Jan. 20, 2013. I highly recommend that you stop by during the dark rainy months to brighten your day.

Cecilia Blomberg ( is the internationally known Gig Harbor artist pictured here. It was fascinating for me to see how she blended various colors of yarn as she worked, plucking new colors from the selection beside her and wrapping short lengths through the warp, much as a painter might dab her brush in various colors on her palette. Cecilia had a photo clipped to the loom for reference and a black and white image behind the warp threads as a guide.

You can see here how many lengths of yarn she works with at one time. Her fingers danced across the loom, creating a complex composition.

Afterward, my friend Sheila -- who knows Cecilia from when their kids were young -- and I were driving home when we glimpsed the setting sun through the tall Northwest trees. We both gasped and rushed straight for the water to get an unobstructed view. We whipped out our cameras (we're both photo junkies) and she carefully picked her way through the gravel in her high heels while I stomped down in my flip flops, both of us clicking away furiously. The watery reflections would make a lovely weaving, I think.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Gig Harbor Open Studio Tour: Barb's clayworks

Living art is framed on the path to Barb's pottery cottage.

This weekend is the Greater Gig Harbor Open Studio Tour, and if you're close enough you should hightail it down here to be inspired by more than 20 artists who have opened their studios for free to the public. If you can't make it in person, you can visit each artist by clicking here: 

Today, I'm giving you a tour of my friend Barb Bourscheidt's pottery studio, which she built in her backyard. I've seen it in all seasons, and it is a wonderful retreat any time of year. She's No. 11 on the tour and her website is:

Sign at the entrance to Barb's studio.
Barb works the clay before it goes through the rollers.
Barb creates most of her work from slabs of clay, and one of her specialties is imprinting the pieces with molds made from leaves in her garden. On today's tour, she showed how she formed a leaf plate.

She flattens the clay by running it through this giant roller. She said she's even used it to flatten pastry in an emergency. (She's a great cook, too.)

Then she presses a leaf mold (made from leaves in her garden) into the clay and quickly cuts it out.
She lays it over a form (below) with a  hole in the middle that allows the center to drop down and form the bowl of the plate. Then she forms the ruffled edges with the artist's hand, guaranteeing that no two are alike.

After firing and glazing, she has a beautiful plate like the one below that I bought from her last year.

My friend Cheri, below, couldn't resist this gorgeous dish that looks like it was made to go with her outfit.

In fact, none of us could resist adding to our collections of Barb's art. Here we are gathered under the hops-covered trellis that leads to the studio.

Final words, from Barb's website:

"My pottery is organic by design, and leaving the mark of my hands on this medium which can last for thousands of years is intentional. In this day and age when so much around us is mass manufactured for the least cost possible, I feel it is important to produce work which reflects the human touch. The items I design and build in stoneware clay mirror my love of nature, the garden and the plants, and animals in it, and my love of food."

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Zooming in on harbor reflections

I've been spending a lot of time down in the harbor this past month taking photos of the water activity. We've had sunshine and no rain nearly every day throughout August and September and I want to soak up every minute of it before the rainy months begin.

So here are some scenes of boats juxtaposed with zoomed in crops of just the reflections. I like abstract better than so-called reality, and the watery reflections remind me of abstract versions of the "real" thing. I put real in quotes because the reflections actually are just as "real."


Have a colorful day