Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The third Portland Art Collective "Open Door" holiday show and sale last weekend was quite a success! We worked our fingers to the bone to create marvelous art to fill the displays. Everything came together wonderfully and we had good traffic. I've put up a couple of photos of my booth. The pillows and amigurumi animals were most popular and sold out quickly.
Check out the show photos taken by our fearless leader, Robin, at the PAC blog here . I did quite a bit of shopping, myself. Who could resist?

On the home front, I'm readying myself for more holiday activities, including a couple of parties this week and my mom's birthday on Saturday. There is life after December, right?? Carry on.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Spent last weekend here (Long Beach, Washington).

Got some of these (razor clams).
Thank goodness a certain someone is willing to clean them (now in the freezer for chowder).

And a few little things I'm working on today...so charming!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Bounty

We made our annual trip to Hood River yesterday to get apples (no pumpkins this time). These beauties are the "Spartan" variety; crisp and tangy-sweet. I'd decided to put some apple pie filling in my freezer this year to make holiday dessert preparation a little easier and these apples seemed the perfect candidates.
This baby makes it easy; an apple corer/peeler/slicer. Yay. One of those things that makes life a little sweeter, no pun intended.
Next, there's a bubbling pot of apples on your stove, filling the kitchen with the smell of spicy goodness. Enough filling here for 4 pies. Easily. I fiddled around with the recipes here and here and came up with this one:

Apple Pie Filling

16-18 Cups of thinly sliced, peeled apples (about 6 lbs.)
3-4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Cups white sugar
1-1/2 Cups brown sugar
1 Cup cornstarch
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
7-8 Cups water

Place apples in large mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice to keep apples from browning.
Combine sugars, cornstarch, spices and salt in stockpot, then stir in the water (if your apples aren't very juicy, use 8 cups of water). Bring to a boil over med-high heat and stir frequently(be careful not to burn mixture after it starts thickening up), boil for 2 minutes. Add apples and bring back to the boil, then turn down heat to simmer. Cover pot and cook 6-8 minutes (if apples are really firm you might want to cook a little longer but keep a close eye on them; you don't want applesauce). Remove from heat and cool 30 minutes to an hour. Ladle filling into gallon-sized freezer bags. You'll have about 4 heaping cups per bag. Freeze, will keep one year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Paint

With vacation over it was time to get back to arting; and what better way to jump back into creativity than a few classes at Art and Soul? As usual, it was a wonderful time with friends and talented teachers. I spent a little time today touching up and finishing a couple of pieces that I want to share with my art group tomorrow.

This was done in Katie Kendrick's "Tales from the Land of Odd" workshop. Katie creates wonderful, whimsical art and is, also, a patient and engaged teacher. The inspiration for my painting was the work of Gustav Klimt.

Can you see that this was done in quadrants before being assembled and worked as a whole? The base of my mixed media piece is a photo taken by my daughter, Jessica, blown-up in four laser print copies.
Tracy Bunkers teaches the technique in her "Surreal Uber Paintings" workshop. This was a super-fun exploration of paint and collage.

I'll post about my class with Albie Smith next time since I didn't manage to get photos done of my little book of paste papers.

Monday, September 28, 2009


How I loved this place. Beautiful. Beyond. Belief.

Don't miss Ken Burns' amazing film series, "The National Parks, America's Best Idea", which is showing this week on your PBS channel. How wonderful that our government has set aside these treasures for future generations. Thank you, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Truman!

Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park

Our little group, enjoying a meal at the Snake River Brewery in Jackson, Wyoming.

I hope the future holds more adventures in America's National Parks for our family. How about you?

Monday, September 21, 2009


Bald Eagle in Yellowstone
Photos taken with my little point-and-shoot camera.

Yellowstone Lake

If you haven't been to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, they should be on your list of "places I must see". We enjoyed a family vacation here last week and I'm still trying to assimilate all of the images and experiences
Our home base was West Yellowstone, Montana, and the first thing we did was visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
which is a non-profit organization that takes in animals that can no longer live in the wild, and gives the public an opportunity to observe them up-close.

My daughter's fiance, Sam, had a little fun wearing a bear mask and participating in a demonstration on using bear pepper spray when deterring a bear in the wilderness is necessary (no animals or humans harmed in demo).

Boardwalks in the park let visitors walk through areas of hot pools and geysers. Here we explored the Fountain Paint Pots area. Steaming pools of water and mud can be found in several locations in Yellowstone.

And what would a trip to Yellowstone be without seeing an eruption of Old Faithful?
We saw a herd of over one hundred bison in the Hayden Valley area, who are feeding in preparation for the winter ahead.
This guy was right next to the road. Guests are warned not to get too close, but the bison don't seem at all fazed by the hordes of excited tourists with cameras.
Our favorite area in the park was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. This is the view of the Lower Falls from Artist's Point.

Steaming pools near the Norris Museum

I'll post some pictures from Grand Teton next time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cottage Life

"I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give." ~Thomas Jefferson

Charlotte Lyons is a wonderful writer and designer and I was happy to be able to take one of her workshops at the last ArtFiberFest, "Enchanted Felt Cottage". This was my take on the felt cottage concept. I loved seeing all the unique creations underway in class.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Useful Thing

There are so many things out there that make our lives easier and more fun. They can be tempting and it's hard to know on sight if these gadgets are really worthwhile. This Bias Tape Maker from Simplicity caught my eye at Jo-Ann Fabrics; on sale for $89, plus a bonus $10 gift card for making the purchase. It found it's way into my heart and cart, an early birthday gift to myself.
So, this little machine folds, presses, and rolls out a one inch, single-fold bias tape in a flash. You wind a fabric strip on the spindle. After feeding the strip through the bias tip and pressing platform, you press a button and out comes the finished tape. The whole set-up is pretty easy and, if you hate standing at the ironing board pressing bias tape like I do, makes your sewing projects a whole lot easier. It's definitely a keeper. Video demo from Simplicity is here

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just a couple more pictures from Oysterville before leaving the beach and heading back to the real world. There's quite a deer population on the Long Beach peninsula. We often find them grazing near our place in Ocean Park. My neighbor spotted black bear last weekend at Leadbetter Point, but I didn't have any luck seeing them this time.

I'm always captivated by this window, with it's bottles lined up across the panes.

Haven't taken more photos these last overcast days. It's cool and wonderful, so no complaints. See you back home.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


What to do when temperatures exceed 100 degrees and you're without AC? Why, you find the coolest place and hide out for a while. So, we're laying low at the beach house this week, Simon and me. I come and go at will...going into Astoria for shopping and fish and chips at the Bowpicker. Hanging out at the local coffee joint and cafe, or the library to get online. Picking up my crochet or tabloid magazine (do people really care that much about Jon and Kate??). Watching a little reality TV ("The Bachelorette" finale), and keeping tabs on the weather inland. Walking Simon on the beach. Wandering through the little historic area of Oysterville, snapping a few pictures. I could get used to this.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Saturday

It started here, bright and early, at the Barn House flea market in Battle Ground, Washington. There were about 20 vendors selling their authentic vintage and chic wares. It was a little crowded so I didn't take any photos close to the action. There are several Barn House sales each year in this lovely setting. Check out their calendar. Worth seeing if you're in the Portland/Vancouver area.

After leaving Barn House, hubby and I decided to head into downtown Battle Ground. First, we came across another outdoor flea market with vintage goodies, where I couldn't resist picking up a few bargains, including a little cast iron bird feeder that would make a great business card holder, should I ever get around to ordering some.

Closer to town, we followed signs that led us to a new fabric store I'd head about, "Aunt Tam's", read about it here. It's just wonderful and the owners are as nice as can be.
I ended up with a couple of pieces of yummy yardage for my stash. At this point it was time for some lunch, then homeward.

Hope you're having a beautiful, summery weekend!

In My House

I've been an admirer of Alma Stoller and her art for quite a while, so it was pretty cool to have her in Portland to teach at ArtFiberFest. That's Alma on the left, working with a student in the workshop, "Stitch, Meditate, OM".
This is the piece I started in class and is now complete. It sort of evolved into a commentary on what was worth keeping in my home, which started in a discussion at the last PAC retreat. We were having a de-stash sale to benefit our holiday show. It's always difficult to decide between what to part with and what to keep.

Monday, July 13, 2009

This 'n That

Guess I'm feeling a little colorful today. Must be summer, or creative inspiration that's coming up to the surface; maybe both. Wish they could last all year long. 'Specially these long, warm days. Sitting in the shade and laughing with friends, as we did at the PAC picnic last week, swapping out our colorful banners. Paula posted all of them at the PAC blog. Mine had their start with pieces of painted canvas done shortly after a workshop with Alisa Burke at ArtFiberFest last fall. You'd be amazed at all the things she does with canvas. Really. Check out her site.
Here's a peek of a work in progress launched in Alma Stoller's workshop at AFF last month. I'm lovin' the hand stitching. Almost done.
One of the lovely things I came away with from Vendor Night at AFF...this hand-spun yarn from Reenie Hanlin. Reenie taught us how to make a knotted scarf at one of the mini-workshops in the dorms, but I'm leaning towards a ruffled, crocheted number.