I had a day to myself to shop and have tea and a pastry at Murchie's. I finally made it to Chinatown and found several fine shops, one of which carried teas and tea sticks. Tea sticks are a very clever invention for putting loose tea into a sort of stick and then using said stick like a tea bob to make a single cup of tea. The screen slides up and down and you actually sort of scoop the tea into the stick, slide the screening part back down over the loose leaves and then add the hot water to brew a cuppa. Works like a charm! I enjoyed my wanderings but was glad to meet up with Jen at The Empress, where she was staying. Jen was in town for a conference and was traveling with several of her colleagues. I finally got to meet Darrin. (We have emailed each other on occasion and he's as charming in person as he is via email---and handsome, too.)
Jen's friends had other dinner plans so it was just the two of us who walked up to my favorite Victoria restaurant, Matisse.
Ah. Matisse. I could wax poetic about the food and the wine and the ambiance of Matisse for paragraphs but let's cut to the chase....if you are ever in Victoria, B.C. hie yourself to Matisse for dinner. Trust me, you won't regret it. And if you should have any hesitation about what to order, put yourself into the most capable hands of John. He'll help you assemble the perfect meal to suit your hunger and your mood. http://restaurantmatisse.com/Jen was able to meet for breakfast, and Darrin joined us, too. After breakfast I checked out of my bed & breakfast and hauled my suitcase back to the air harbor for my return flight. I was back in Edmonds by 2 PM, missing my beautiful daughter.
The last week has been full of little chores and projects as I try to get organized for Art & Soul in Portland. I leave on the 2nd of October and since I am taking seven classes, the pile of supplies required for these classes is huge! I have made a total mess of the dining room while I try to get things sorted out and organized by day and class. I had to order quite a lot of items, and while I think they are all here, ready for packing, I'm not sure. Besides the amassing of a short ton of supplies, I have been working to finish two projects that are due in the mail right after I return from Art & Soul. I promised myself I'd have them finished, and mailed, before I leave for Portland. I have finished the photo journal cards and they are bagged and ready to post. The holiday recipe journal pages are pretty well finished, but there is still about an hour, hour and a half of taping and gluing before they are ready to be boxed and sent off to Gina. I am especially pleased with the holiday recipe pages. The page has to have a vintage image on the front and the recipe and contact info on the back. I like what I finally came up with, so it's not such a bore to be working on these pages. I WILL have them finished before I leave. I WILL.
For the first time I had an apple crop at Grant Creek! Five lovely green apples grew to adulthood (or whatever you call a ripe apple) and somehow managed to not be eaten by the resident deer, who seem to eat everything. I harvested them this last weekend and decided to make an apple cake to properly use them up. It took 60% of my entire harvest to make the cake, which, by the way, turned out to be delicious. I used a recipe from one of my Aga cookbooks and the ol' Aga did a fine job, not only with the recipe but in the baking. It was fun to come up with a product that was yummy from something I grew.
I came home from Grant Creek last night so I'd be in town to partake of the Edmonds Studio tour. http://www.edmondsartstudiotour.com/ I missed taking part last year and so I was determined that I would go this year. Susan P came along and we had a very good time. I was especially impressed with Barbara Wyatt's pottery. I already had succumbed to Barbara's wonderful work as I bought a piece from her over the summer. Now I have added two lanterns, a necklace, a small lidded jar and two little tiny bowls to my collection. Her organic and happy pieces sing out to me. Barb has great talent and more than a little of whimsy, too. Dd I mention I also have a huge case of studio envy? Besides all the talent and fun she has, she is also the proud owner of an amazing studio. It's over her garage with a stunning view out the window to tree tops---it's like being in a tree house, really----and the room is full of light. Her kiln is there, she has wonderful 24-inch square tile on the floor, she has room for a slab roller and it's all pretty and organized and wonderful. Sigh. Lucky Barb!
Wednesday will be the first board meeting for the 2008 Edmonds Arts Festival. I'm not really ready to leap back into the fray but I don't really have a choice, either. I reworked the timeline and Susan kindly went over it for me so we'll have ours ready to present at the meeting. One thing done. Check it off!