December 31, 2008

Welcome 2009

Out With The Old

Out with the old and in with the new! So much could be said about that, especially this year. Instead, simply know that I wish you a New Years Eve that celebrates love, family and friends along with things accomplished, fulfilled and embraced in 2008. And for 2009, peace and goodwill!  

December 30, 2008

Poinsettias Past

Blogger is telling me my contact may fail so I will quickly send you another peek at the Conservatory, where poinsettias may now be past their prime. This visit was weeks ago and I suspect the mood inside will change soon. Bits of Chilhuly are there on the shelf. Enjoy

December 29, 2008

Ports Of Old

Shooting photos of the Tall Ships in Tacoma last summer, there were moments when the past came to life. Or so it seemed. Some bustling port of old with distant, full masted ships making for land. Then one of the local police speed boats would fly by. 

December 28, 2008

Heritage Honored

Gig Harbor, WA is know to locals and travelers as a quaint fishing village. The Harbor's early Yugoslavian settlers brought with them a fishing tradition that continues to this day. Many make there way annually to Alaska in season. Not a job or destination for the weak of heart. The stories birthed from fishing those dangerous Northern waters have become a part of Gig Harbor's fiber. As with other fishing based communities, honors are bestowed on those men and women who survive a lifetime of reading the waters, weather and fish. No less honored are the men and women who faced those same challenges, but did not make it home. 

Jerisich Park, along the shore in Gig Harbor, is one of the spots set aside to honor a family long known for their fishing contributions. Standing in the park is the statue above; a reminder of the strength and determination required of fishermen, and stands for those lost at sea. Time stopped, heritage honored. I've often wondered, when returning home following a long and draining journey, if a crews first sight of the Harbor makes them think Quaint?

My apologies to the artist and creator of this statue for not identifying he or she. I will post that once found.

December 27, 2008

Plain and Simple

I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, 
you could not ignore its beauty. ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

December 26, 2008


*a surviving trace: a remnant of the past


This time of year, for me and others, brings into vivid focus memories of those who have been and are no more, physically present in our lives. And as the years leave deeper tracks in the reflection I see in the mirror, they also leave a longer list of those I miss. Loss can be, for lack of a better word, a bit funny. Funny in the sense of the unpredictable moments that rise up, reminding us, as if it were new news that someone we love is gone. Hearing that new message can be jolting but what a masterful thing for the brain to do, also giving us an occasional momentary reprieve from reality. With that we are allowed bits of reflection without the hinderance of loss. Memory is amazing in so many ways. To be able to review, through triggers such as sight, sound, smell and touch, precious times... those are the greatest gifts of my holiday season.

And one of my most treasured reflective gifts was a summer visit my folks paid us about twenty five or more years ago. It would be the only visit they made here together. My mother fell in love with this little lake we live on. You could find her each morning at sunrise, sitting on the deck with coffee in hand, taking in the quiet beauty nature gifted her for rising early. And, as if choreographed, each dawning during her stay was colorful. She especially loved the long dock that ran from our shore in an almost straight line. Loved its morning shadows, it's simple rough nature and how our black lab, Clancy, would leap from it's edge for anything tossed. But as good visits go, that one came to an end all too soon. An infants handful of years past, then people and things did too; my mother long before her dock. 

Finally, a long overdue removal of the dock began. It was shaky, dangerous and at some point it began to feel like having a proprietary grasp on nature. Still, it was mom's dock and as my husband slowly dismantled it, piece by piece from our canoe, I wanted to say "don't take it all, leave a little for mom". Without uttering those words, the dock took care of things for me. Three of the anchor beams refused to budge and as you can see, they still do. I choose to believe mom has had a part in all of it. And as the seasons pass those three posted remnants continue to make shadows, catch snow and remind me of those slow, lovely sunrises spent with my mother taking it all in.


December 25, 2008

What If Christmas, Perhaps...

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ~ Dr. Seuss
From our house to yours, have a Very Merry Day!

PS - This isn't our house, but I'm guessing you had that figured out.
This barn photo was taken in Puyallup, WA at 
Washington State University Research and Extension Center.

December 24, 2008

For Christmas Eve - The Simplest Thing

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things, not the great occasions, give off the greatest glow of happiness. ~ Bob Hope

December 23, 2008

A Chilhuly Vision

And here is part of the Dale Chilhuly accompaniment to the holiday flower show at the Conservatory at Wright Park in Tacoma. Looking at this photo almost gives me the feeling I could look outside my door and see greenery. Well, almost. Apologies if these images from the show become boring after awhile but I think the Conservatory team did a great job fitting so many glass features in with all the plants and flowers. It isn't a big place. None the less, the Chilhuly vision makes for more than an interesting stroll if you are in the area and looking for COLOR!

Hope these days are finding you warm, dry and happy!

December 22, 2008

Zooming Out

Zooming in or out with the camera can make things look so different. Below is an example of that. In one of my previous posts (sorry, haven't figured out embedding that kind of link yet) was a shot taken of the lake we live on. This photo is of the same spot following the next snow fall, though again it's melting.  In this shot I kept the foreground in, rather than zooming in to mid-lake and beyond as before. It provides a better perspective of my view, but it also lets you see how much that rhododendron SHOULD have pruned this fall. Who knew?

Below are a couple of other things I saw on a short, five minute excursion outside. Two large, frozen, snow laden limbs came crashing down in that time so I didn't linger. We have lost a few of them in the last 24 hours. Thankfully our power has remained on. It is beautiful out there. And this morning while peeking out the window I saw our two resident deer foraging. Wish I could invite them in until these cold temps pass.

At least the small birds have a few places around the property to cover up in a pinch. We have another snowfall expected to arrive tomorrow night. Hope thats it for awhile so the animals can warm up. And I can zoom out of here!

December 21, 2008

Less Than Perfect Reflections

Mirrors past there reflective prime, long loved mercury ornaments, aged glass handed down and through a child's unsteady grasp. These things always grab my heart when I see them, so of course the scene below did the same. Imperfect reflections have long been a source for tickling my imagination. What do you see in this pedestal piece? There is a moody kind of loveliness with those golds thrown in. Though our nest isn't dressed in this way, I love to see it. Hope you enjoy it too. Thanks lulu.

December 20, 2008

Late Night Visitors

Many places are cold across the country right now and Western WA is refusing to miss out on the fun. I thought I would show you the evidence of my surprise company night before last. Though the sun was out and the snow was already melting, I found these tracks (hope you can see them), explaining all the noises from the previous night. This busy little path is right beside our bedroom wall and one member of the animal parade decided to bed down in the plants to keep warm, based on the big thud against the wall. We have lived here on a hill beside a lake for thirty three years and I don't remember ever seeing this many snow tracks. Some appeared to be cat tracks and I'm guessing from a few of the clear impressions in another less melted area, it wasn't the domestic version. Where are the night goggles and camera when you need them? And wouldn't you know, this was the night my husband had to stay in town because all the roads to our house were closed due to ice. He missed the parade.

We live in an area that used to be considered rural. Not accurate any more and with all the added dwellings the wild animals are dwindling. Sad. I was reminded while my visitors were here of a place I lived on a mountain near Big Sur CA in 73'. In the night you could hear the raccoons climb the side of the house to a veranda to sleep, wild boar rooting under the trees and the occasional calling of the relatives of my recent bedded visitor. I hope that land remains graced with free roaming animals.

Before I close there is one more shot I took on this little walk that you might enjoy. At this point the lake was in varying stages of freezing and the trees had lost most of their white burdens. Not for long however. It is a white wonderland out there now. We have battened down the hatches; more snow is coming tonight and possibly heavy winds. With below freezing temps for a few days our firs are frozen. There is nothing quite so humbling as whipping frozen tall, tall trees and the cracking sound they make when falling. In our neck of the woods power outages are common, so I wanted to post these photos for you tonight just in case. Stay warm and listen for those late night visitors!

The Big Reveal

Bud to flower, each step of the way revealing more finely detailed beauty. The path of a flower; saucy little things that they are, holding our attention and deserving of our awe until their final dry curled petals fade. I can almost hear this one saying, "Ta Da".

December 19, 2008

Cultivating Healthy Plants

I've been back to the Conservatory at Wright Park with my dear friend Sandy, for a lunch hour treat. The promised combination of flowers, plants and glass works from Dale Chilhuly made for a wonderfully colorful hour. The two of us spent a good deal of time repeating the phrase, "oh, look at this and did you see this". Truth be told, when we get together, there are also liberal doses of laughter raining down every where. That must be good for the plants, don't you think?

December 18, 2008

Reflections of Holidays Past

I love to wander through places filled with vintage, once treasured things. Their collections never cease to raise some sweet old memory or two for revisiting. And the holiday season seems an especially fertile time for remembering. Recently I visited the lulu o'toole shop in Gig Harbor, WA and saw a vintage holiday through the eyes of Gaelynn, the shop owner. She very kindly allowed me to go camera clicking as I shopped. She loves designing and redesigning areas of her store and the results are lovely. 

During these days leading up to Christmas I will include a few more photos of my favorite spots in lulu's, along with those already planned for posting. The photo above reminds me of Christmas at my grandparents home many, many years ago. Everything shined and there was always some bit of magic making underway. Thank you Gaelynn for providing the spark, each memory is a treasure.

Nature's Holiday Colors

December 13, 2008

December 7, 2008

Fall Is Not Finished With You Yet!

One more image for you today before I'm gone for a few. A place I love to wander with my camera is Manchester State Park. The park itself isn't all that large but it has waterfront, a couple of interesting structures and a fun trail over a hill and through the woods. Truly. The building below, which I will show in other photos over time, has a large interior with tables for gatherings. Outside you can see the passing of a WA State Ferry each hour or so.

And just down the road from this little hidden park is a resident who keeps two camels. That may not be accurate as one has one hump, the other two. Whatever they are called, it is a bit of a surprise at first sighting. We aren't known in WA for desert sands and high dry temps but you knew that didn't you? Enjoy.

Wishing You A Happy Holiday Season - Part One

Happy Holidays! I know it's a bit early but I hope you will indulge me. This is the card I intended to send to family and friends by mail this year, however my best intentions are in competition with other demands. So to all of you, though this card refers to Christmas, know the good wishes written inside were and are for each of you and your special times of celebration, what ever they may be. My intentions through December are to share here other (read more festive and colorful than the above) reminders of the season caught by the camera. 

And I would also like to send my thanks to each of you who have taken time to stop by my infant blog for a peek, or a few peeks, shared your thoughts or sent kind words of encouragement. I truly appreciate each visit and am really enjoying getting to know you. 

Having a chance to share the places and things I see, along with viewing images of places and the creations of others, is a wonderful treat. As our world becomes smaller and smaller through various mediums we gain far better understanding of each other and the fragility of this beautiful glob we all call home. Hopefully we will take that gained appreciation and spread it around. So much of what needs doing can be done at no cost other than keeping information flowing. Thanks again for stopping by...and putting up with my ramblings.

November 30, 2008

Have You Noticed?

Have you noticed how we gather at the setting of the sun? There is something almost primal about the pull to observe days end. Though more noticeable at waters edge, perched in high spots or other locations more accessible, even the most jaded of us seem to find a calm humbled center in the observance of those final bits of light. We make efforts to see special skies filled with spectacular color, yes; but time and time again through the years, with less dramatic skies, I have marveled as strangers gather to watch that orb slipping out of sight. Like a visual lullaby, it leaves a quiet slowed pace in its departure. And smiles, many smiles.

This photo was taken at Carmel River beach in CA a few years ago.

November 17, 2008

Do You See Dancing?

I hope time isn't real in the land of blog because I seem to be hopping all over the place in my posts. Jumping forward and back, forward and back. Case in point; two or three weeks ago, at the same time I was recording fall at Wright Park in Tacoma, all the flowers below were making a final curtain call in the little greenhouse up on Wright Park hill. Well, to call it a simple green house isn't fair to its history or the folks who have loved and tended it for 100 years. Yes, 100. The thriving hot house is actually the W W Seymour Botanical Conservatory. And the "park" is Wright Park Arboretum which encompasses 26 acres and 10 city blocks. It was at its beginning and is a most generous gift to the public, with the first 20 acres donated by Mr. Wright in 1886. If you will click on the Parks link, there is a good breakdown of her history and tenders.

The conservatory, though not very big, has an amazing collection of wonderful old plants with rotating skirts of beautiful flowers. So, while shuffling through the fall leaves that day, I stopped in to see what was happening in the glass flower house on the hill. From the moment I walked in I had, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy playing in my head. I apologize in advance since you won't find the individual names of the Chrysanthemums I saw dance the Nutcracker that day, but I swear they did. That or I walked too far without a water break. Take a look and let me know if you hear and see the same thing? What I do know is this; there are Chrysanthemums and then there are CHRYSANTHEMUMS!

If you enjoyed this trip to the Conservatory, be sure and check back in a few weeks. In celebration of their 100th Anniversary, the Conservatories color, mid Nov 08 thru Feb 09, will come from the imagination of Dale Chilhuly and his hot shop glass team. Closed on Mondays, I only got a peek at lunch today, but it was enough to get me back there soon.

November 9, 2008

ArtFiberFest - A Wonderful Oct Gathering

I am so grateful to have attended ArtFiberFest (AFF) in Port Townsend, WA a few times. It is the most fun gathering of kind, fun, fiber loving folks you can imagine. It is an annual gathering created by Teesha Moore and hosted by she and her family, at Fort Worden most recently. That location and time of year are likely to change for 2009. Teesha also creates magic with another annual gathering called Artfest. Both are wonderful, but the smaller fabric related event has become my favorite. The smaller crowd, fiber focus and calm group are a better fit as I step away from my day job for those three days of creative immersion. The biggest challenge each year comes with signing up. Choosing which workshops to register for from the collection of good instructors is hard! 

But the best thing about ArtFiberFest and Teesha's other achievements is the good intention that serves as her creative starting point. She provides the opportunity for growth in others and it all comes straight from her heart. And while attending any of her gatherings, that intention is palpable and contagious. Good begets good and from there the fun begins. So, to Teesha and her family of artists, I thank you again and again for these many years of exploration and expansion. It's a priceless gift you have given to each of us.

Below is a small collection of photos from AFF. I hope (newer to blogging so still working out the details) if you click on this image the version you see will be considerably bigger. I hesitate to use peoples entire names in print so for now I'll try to identify what you see using first names when known. Some of the photos were taken on the last night, which is a show of projects created during the workshops. 

L to R from the top, 1st row... nuno scarf by Sheri, painted fabric by Syd, felted vulture by Mary, felted jewelry by Sarah. 2nd row... 204 building, campus leaves, graffiti cloth by Heather, hard at work in Mary's class are Anita and ? with Mary's work on the wall in the background. 3rd row... Fort Worden lighthouse, Chris and Wanda's nuno scarves in the making, the commons on show and tell night, the road to Port Townsend. 4th row... more from the road to PT, Mary in sunlit concentration (altered), graffiti cloth by Sharon, nuno scarves by Rachael, 204 building and at the base, nuno scarf by Anita. If I have misnamed anybody please let me know.

Hope to see you all again next year!

Fall Whispers

What's not to love about fall and the surprises it offers. 
Those moments when it sneaks up and whispers, 
" Don't forget me, 
I am the fleeting costless beauty surrounding you".

"Look down"...

"Feel my gentle breeze"...

"Search me out"...

"Enjoy my fading moments"...

"And feel my moist embrace"

November 6, 2008

Autumnal Face, I Love That

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
as I have seen in one autumnal face.
~ John Donne

Hurry Outside, Fall is Falling

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