Wednesday, November 28, 2007


My friend Bee sent me the link to this You Tube cartoon. It arrived on an especially perfect day as my most annoying kitty, Toes, woke me at 5 AM so I could scratch her head....I hope you ejoy this cartoon as much as I did! Thanks, Bee, for the belly laugh.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Post Thanksgiving

I spent the long weekend at the cabin, and is my routine these days, woke up early every morning. I was delighted to witness the dawn pictured above! It just kept getting better and better----the sky turned the most beautiful colors. The peak outlined against the sky is Whitehorse in the dawn's rosy light.

I had told a friend that I would fire the ceramics that she'd glazed, many meant to be Christmas presents, while I was up at the cabin. I loaded the kiln and all was well, except that I had two pieces left over. No matter how I arranged the items, I could not get all of them into one load. I won't fire the kiln for two small pieces, I just won't! I decided that I had to sit down and start glazing some of my bisque, madly, as it takes five coats for each piece and that takes some time. (Three coats of color, two coats of clear over glaze.) I found I had a little tea set that I did up for my eldest granddaughter, Emma (of the butter and chocolate turkey fame from Thanksgiving). She is probably too young for a ceramic tea set, but oh, well.....she's getting one now! She does like to have tea parties for her dollies and stuffed animals. I know. I've poured many a cup of "tea" in her bedroom for various and sundry guests at her tea table! I was pleased with how it all turned out. I haven't done any ceramics painting in over a year but found that I can still shade pretty well. My brush technique is still there! I hope Emma likes her tea set. I had fun painting it for her. I also got a few ornaments done so I can add them to packages or send them off in a Christmas box to friends as a little extra. I must say that sitting in the living room, painting ceramics and watching movies while the weather is cold and damp is not a bad way to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend!

While I was doing all this back and forthing to and from the kiln room, I discovered a little long toed salamander (at least that's what I think it was after studying one of my books for a while) had come into the garage and died. It was all curled up in elegant curves and was quite beautiful. I'm sorry it died but glad I got a chance to view it up close and admire it. The little salamander had these tiny little toes and they were very long. It was lighter and more brownish underneath. If I have mislabeled it, and someone out there knows what it really is, please let me know. I had some other little newt-like critter on the porch about a month ago so I know that there are a variety of little reptiles about. I think they mostly live in the wetland across the road from the cabin.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We had our Thanksgiving early this year. My daughter Jen came up from San Francisco for a weekend visit on November 15th. We celebrated my husband's birthday (he is now officially a whole year older than I---which will last until March and I plan to enjoy those few months of being the younger wife!), Jen's visit and an early Thanksgiving last Saturday. It was a fine day.

I did the traditional turkey with all the trimmings and my mother-in-law Eunice, sister-in-law Nonie, movie date night buddy Rune and Don and family all came to help us celebrate and eat. I think my very favorite moment was when everyone had a plate full and all conversation ceased and they all began to eat. For a cook, that total silence while the guest first start tasting your food is the highest of praise. I must say, the turkey was stunning! Brown, crisp, juicy and full of yummy stuffing. It was a fine meal and the company was divine.

Emma provided the comic relief. She had butter and a chocolate turkey for dinner. She claimed to be eating a roll, but mostly she was just shredding it into ever smaller crumbs while announcing to the table, "I need more butter." So, the doting gramma would put a bit more butter on her plate and Emma would deposit it on her knife (while holding onto a crumb of roll), then put the knife in her mouth, slurp off the butter and then announce to the table, "I need more butter." This was repeated often. She was also quite concerned with who was still eating as she had been firmly informed that no chocolate turkeys would be consumed by anyone until every single one of us was completely done eating....

Finally, the chocolate turkey consuming portion of the meal arrived and Emma was allowed to "open" her turkey. It was good, as you can see from the above photo, but she was a much neater eater this year, disappointing her family tremendously. Last year she was chocolate from forehead to toes. Ah, well, I guess we should count this as wonderful progress in civilizing the child, but I rather miss the messy little face with the huge blue eyes filled with the joy that only a mouthful of chocolate can elicit. They grow up so fast!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Saturday in Port Townsend

Nola and I spent last Saturday in Port Townsend, one of my favorite places.

The reason we went was that Wynwoods Bead Gallery ( was having their once a year 30% off sale and neither of us has the will power to miss that! We rather mosied over at a gentle pace, not arriving until almost 11 AM. Our first stop was THE bead store, the best bead store I have ever found---anywhere. There were big bins and piles of beads in every color you can imagine. Some were sparkly, some were matte, some were big and there were some teeny tiny ones, too. I bought some (okay, many!) of each but I did have a very specific colorway in mind and, for once, I stuck to it. I spent a small fortune but not nearly as much as Nonie. She is the professional bead buyer of our duo and I would not even dream of trying to keep up with her bead purchasing prowess. I can't begin to mention all the beads Nonie bought, but a few of my favorite purchases are shown below.

After THE Bead Store, we headed to our other favorite spot in PT---Edge to Edge. Joan (on the left)and Eve (on the right) are shown above and you can see some of the fabulous wool felt they sell behind Eve. I always find wonderful things at Edge to Edge, and I don't even sew! But if you twisted my arm (Ouch! Okay, okay, UNCLE!!!) I'd admit that the best reason we so love to visit the shop is the conversations we always have. Joan is a kindred soul and I so enjoy chatting with her and Eve is warm and interesting and they both have wonderful senses of humor---my kind of women. I'm sure
Nonie and I bored the stuffing out of them both with a detailed rundown of our summer trip to South America. We even had pictures....I'm sorry, Joan. I apologize, Eve. You should just tell us to be quiet!

I found a beautiful old photo album at the little used book shop I tend to haunt while in Port
Townsend. It's a beauty and in very good condition, considering its age. Beautiful grey blue velvet cover with celluloid flowers, lovely brass clasp and most of the pages were perfect with only a very few tears. Even the gilt edging is in fine condition. Now I just have to wait for the perfect use for it. I'm sure it will come to me in time!

We had a nice lunch and then decided that we really should drive out to Fort Worden and check out the beach. We can't stay away. It's siren song calls to us and lures us out there. It was breezy and the tide was pretty high when we got there, so it wasn't a very long visit, but a fine time, none the less. Nonie got the sticks she wanted for her art project and I found enough little bits of this and that to drag home. There is a piece of kelp on the back of the Aga at the cabin drying even now.

I was reading the blogs of some of my friends and acquaintances earlier this evening and came across a new post by LK Ludwig on her blog ( LK got the advance copy of her book, Nature Journals, yesterday and there is a wonderful photo of her cradling the book in her arms. I can not begin to imagine how excited, thrilled, giddy and just plain ol' proud she must feel to be able to hold her dream made real. I congratulate her and wish her huge sales when the book becomes available in January. I pre-ordered my copy from Amazon way back last summer! Maybe I will be able to get her to sign my copy when I see her next spring at ArtFest.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Festive Fowl

The second (annual?) Holiday lino cut/printing party was held last night at Artworks. Sandy is down visiting from Alaska and she extended her ticket so we could gather with Autumn and have a refresher class. Nonie joined us this year for her first lino cutting and printing. We all had a great time and some fun and fantastic work was done. I did two carvings of the same design. I was happy with each. It's amazing how differently the two blocks print, depending on the paper and the color ink. I liked on block much better in red on white paper and the other done with white ink on red paper. As always, this was a great learning experience---AND I now have the raw material to make up my Christmas cards! Sandy did a beautiful wreath with the word "Joy" under it (which required some serious carving) and Susan P did a frisky gingerbread man. Nonie's design was for her artwork business, a sort of personal trademark and it turned out very well, not even taking into account that this was her first attempt at doing any lino carvings and/or printing. As always, Autumn had a gorgeous little carving (a mouse with a berry in his mouth, coming out from under some leaves). Everyone did lots of printing and we snacked on treats, chatted, laughed and had a fine old time. I hope we can do this every November! I love the gathering together to make art and enjoy friends and, besides having a fun time with friends, I get a head start on my Christmas cards.
I had family here for Halloween dinner and it was fun to see Steve & Carolyne besides Brad & Nicole and their adorable little Gavin. Emma was in fine, fine form....terrible twos seem to have nothing on the terrible threes! She was, in all fairness, coming down with a cold. I can honestly say she looked adorable! Emma was a kitty and Gavin a tiny pirate. Edmonds merchants encourage children to come and trick or treat in the downtown business area. The shops stay open and candy flows like water. The streets are well lit, there are extra booths on the sidewalks and it's a good family outing, besides being much safer. I like it because it means I get to see Emma in her costume! Like all doting grammas, I love to see my little Emmala all tricked out.

Besides making the woodblocks I haven't done much art this week. Can't exactly say what kept me so busy all week, but art certainly didn't figure into most of my days, sad to say. Maybe next week will be better!