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

Monday, August 28, 2017

Zucchini chips

We tried something new with our zucchini harvest this summer:

 Zucchini chips.

I read a few recipes on Pinterest and then we started. First, Dave sliced them about 1/8" thick with the mandolin. Within seconds he had neatly sliced his finger because he wasn't using the guard. He used the guard for the rest.

Next, I tossed them in flavored oil and salt and pepper. We did one batch in Japanese Roasted Sesame Oil and salt and the other batch in Chipotle Olive Oil and salt and pepper. I used about a tablespoon of oil for each extra large zucchini and it was a little too much. Next time I'll use only two teaspoons. You have to massage the oil in with your fingers to coat the slices evenly.

Then we spread the slices on dehydrator trays. Ideally the slices wouldn't overlap, but these did because we were running out of room. We dehydrated them at 135 degrees for about 15 hours, flipping them after about six hours.

The next day, we had bowls of beautiful, translucent, delicious, crunchy chips. Although they're good, I'm making zucchini bread tonight.

 Have a colorful day

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Decorating the letters

I started decorating the letters on my wool notebook cover. First I embroidered around each one and now I'm working on the insides. I made the letters nice and fat so I could fill them with stitching, buttons and beads.

Woo hoo!!!

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A new wool project

I needed a new hand project, so I started a wool cover for my STITCH notebook. (STITCH is my art quilt group.) Right now I'm whip stitching all the pieces down, then I'll embellish like crazy with embroidery and beads and maybe some buttons around the borders.

This morning I spent a few hours stitching on the back deck where we watched the eclipse yesterday. It was very quiet except for a brief kerfuffle among the geese when an eagle landed on a nearby floating dock. The geese flew off in a huff and then a few crows swooped in to dive bomb the eagle. The eagle seemed oblivious. I resumed stitching and there were no further interruptions.

Have a colorful day

Monday, August 21, 2017

Watching the eclipse

Dave and Dawn helped me experience the eclipse this morning! We had about 93% totality, and although it didn't get dark, it definitely got cooler and a breeze kicked up. Dawn brought over giant raspberry scones and we ate them on the deck, jumping up every now and then to check progress of the moon moving across the sun. A reggae mix of "Dark Side of the Moon" played in the background.

Even Buddha got into the action. My quilt in the background looks like a reverse solar eclipse, with the sun moving over the moon.

Here are some of the crescent shadows they said to look for during the eclipse.

You can't tell from the above photo, but it did get a little darker -- and definitely colder.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The smoke is gone!

The smoke from the wildfires in Canada 
finally cleared out over the weekend
and our summer sunshine returned! 

That's Mt. Rainier above. It had been obscured by a smoky haze for 11 days. Since our part of the country spends months on end in a thick layer of grey clouds over the winter, our clear summer days are especially precious.

On Saturday, the day the low front moved in and cleared out the smoke, I headed down to the harbor with Dawn and my daughter to tool around in a rented wooden electric boat. The little boat was slow and quiet, and it was fun to see things from the water.

Here's the back of our famous Tide's Tavern, where boaters dock and come on land for a meal or a beer on the deck.

The wooden boat, which is rented by the hour by the Eddon Boat Shop, is very colorful!

Back home, a walk on the beach revealed a sand dollar -- rare for our beach.

And inside, our weekend was brightened by Hammie, my daughter's visiting hamster. (Plus her three rabbits.)

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Smoke and haze

Since I last wrote, we've had a week of smoke and haze from wildfires burning north of us in British Columbia. They keep pushing back the forecast for when it's supposed to clear.

These first two pictures are from yesterday. (Some of that haze is fog.)

The next two pictures are from today -- it's a little clearer, but the sky is still white and the trees are shades of grey.

We also just set a record for the number of consecutive days without measurable precipitation: 52. The old record was 51, set in 1951.

The picture of our heron segues nicely into the next pictures of wool birds that I'm embellishing with embroidery.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Two new finishes

"Fragments: Summer," 29"x39," by Sherrie Spangler

I just put the finishing touches (labels) on two new quilts. The first one, called "Fragments: Summer," only took a few days from painting the fabric to putting in the last hand stitch.

I used fragments of fabric plus foil candy wrappers that I've been saving for about 15 years.

The second quilt, "Wild Flowers," (from a Sue Spargo pattern) took about half a year! 

"Wild Flowers," 41"x41", by Sherrie Spangler

I loved the process of hand appliquéing and embroidering the wool flowers and adding beads.

I tortured myself with the echo and free-motion quilting.
But I'm extremely happy with the results!

To see what other fabric artists have been up to this week:  circular-attractions-off-wall-friday.html

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Down by the water

I took a walk down by the water this morning before the temperatures got too high. It was peaceful and quiet. Construction noise from the neighbor's new dock is over, the weekend jet skies are gone, and I didn't hear anyone jabbering on their deck on a cell phone. 

It was just me and the birds, empty boats, the water and Mount Rainier. Geese floated and basked in the sun ...

... and the crows took off when I approached.  We usually see an eagle and an osprey in the evening, but I didn't see any this morning. I also didn't see our resident heron.

On shore, kayaks rested unused.

Now the weather is hotter, and we're headed toward 99 degrees later in the week. Time to stay in the shade.

 Have a colorful day