Archive for 2012

I can’t believe it has been a month since my last blog post.  We have had a lot of things going on, but none seemed particularly blog-worthy or picture-worthy at the time.  But anyway, here’s the news from Wolf Creek.

In early July, we went over to Seattle for family birthdays (Rick’s on July 6, his sister’s on July 10).  Rick’s daughter and son-in-law came up from Medford, so we had a nice long visit with them and Rick’s mom and sister.  Here’s a shot from dinner at his mom’s retirement home:

Towards the end of July we were guests at a paella dinner by the Twisp River.  Our friends had bid on the dinner at a charity auction last winter.  It was a beautiful evening which was actually a lull between thunder and lightning storms (complete with downpours and even hail), so we lucked out:

On July 23rd, the featured-artist exhibit at the Winthrop Gallery came down and I spent a fair amount of time moving things around, rearranging the gift shop area, and bringing some of my work down to the Confluence Gallery.

Meanwhile I have kept moving new weaving projects forward.  I finished off the plaited twill scarves down at the weaving guild room and finally removed that warp setup from the loom.  One of the other women in the guild is going to use my loom for a 12-harness project, then I will figure out what to do on it next.  At home, I set up another warp for the polychrome summer & winter series, this time in shades of blue:

On Kingston, I set up another warp for three of the collapse-weave scarves, which I just finished weaving yesterday, but they still need to be washed and finished.

The past week and a half has been taken up with the 17th annual Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival.  There were 5 main concerts between July 27 and August 4, and my Dad came over from Anacortes for the whole festival.  He “camped” in our front yard in his RV:

Last Thursday, my brother and sister-in-law came over from Camano Island for the last 2 concerts.  We had a great 3 days together:

family dinner at Twisp River Pub

Dad & Andy hanging out on the porch

At the Thursday concert, we re-connected with old friends from Seattle (they were actually one of Rick’s very earliest woodworking clients, so we are talking 30 years ago or so).  They have a cabin up Cub Creek in the Rendezvous.  Well, it turns out they also know my sister-in-law Patti from a long time ago (Harriet taught and mentored one of Patti’s daughters), and Harriet was the officiant at Andy & Patti’s wedding (she was a Superior Court judge in Seattle, now retired).  So on Saturday before the concert we had a wonderful picnic dinner together:

We will definitely all be doing this again next year!

Early August now.  We have diggers and plumbers coming to complete the hookup of the water and sewer lines to the shop building.  The water and sewer had been run over to that building at the time the house was built, but not connected. We also had them move one of the frost-free hydrants from under the breezeway to a spot behind the shop building, and dug a long trench so we can get another frost-free line out to where we plan to put the vegetable garden.  This made it an interesting experience to get in and out of my studio for a few days (I had to walk a plank).

long trench to the garden area

where it all comes together

Also on the home front, Rick finished up the new vanity for our main floor bathroom.  He used straight-grain fir and we are both pleased both with the new look, and the much improved storage space:

He is feeling great and back to work in the shop.  First up were 3 sets of bedside tables, two of them in cherry with ebony handles (one was an order, the other he did on “spec” to put out in the galleries) – the third set he did in afromosia for us!  They are gorgeous:

This is the same wood he used to make the beautiful front door for our house in Seattle (no longer our house, we sold it in 2006 to move here to the Methow Valley).

And finally, the kitties have been doing great and really seem to enjoy having company as much as we do!  Juno is into everything, including this basket:

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Yet more scarves…

I finished up some new scarves, both the “polychrome” and the “collapse weave”, over the course of the last couple of weeks.  Just trying to get ahead of demand a little bit…things really pick up in the valley during “tourist season” (AKA summer).

A new polychrome summer & winter scarf:

Shades of black, grey & white on a grey/brown warp

and three new ones of the collapse weave scarves on a warp I think of as “Spring Meadow”, with weft colors of berry, chartreuse and daffodil yellow.  It is really amazing how the weft color changes the overall perceived color of the scarf!

Weft sampler for the “spring meadow” warp (and how it looks before washing)

Spring Meadow with Berry weft

Spring Meadow with Chartreuse weft

Spring Meadow with Daffodil weft

These are all up at the Winthrop Gallery right now (as I sold some pieces and needed to provide replacements).  Show is on until July 23.

Off to Seattle tomorrow for family birthdays and a visit with Rick’s daughter and her husband, who will be coming up from Medford, OR to see us and Rick’s mom and sister.

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We were over in Seattle earlier this week, as my husband was scheduled for some surgery on Monday at the UW Medical Center.  While there, we stayed (mostly, I stayed) with friends in Montlake near the hospital.  They have a sauna in the basement, which doubles as the guest shower, and in the sauna is a stained glass window that I did 30 or more years ago.  It was kind of cool to see it again, and remember my “stained glass” phase, which actually lasted for quite a while.

Here’s a picture:

“Marine Mammals” (for lack of a better title)

Now we are back at home in the beautiful Methow Valley, and I am taking care of my convalescent (who is doing quite well, thank you!) and getting back to some weaving today.

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Tonight is the artists’ reception at the Winthrop Gallery for a featured-artist exhibit, one of whom is me!  This is a cooperative gallery and a couple of times a year they feature the work of 3 members in the front half of the gallery.  This time, it just turned out that we were 3 women working in media other than painting and photography – most of the work on display is usually in those 2 categories.

Here is the show card:

And here are a few pictures I took last Tuesday when we set up the show.

wall-hangings and totem figures by Susannah Young

We put Susannah’s embroidered silk blouse, one of my polychrome scarves, and one of Linda’s pins on a mannequin in the front window as a collaborative display.

the collaborative display

There was also a nice article about the show in this week’s Methow Valley News:  read it here

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Hawaii travelogue

We have been home from Hawaii for about 10 days, but work and life events have been more pressing than blogging.  However, I am determined to catch up a little, so for today, here are some images and impressions from our vacation.  We were on the Big Island of Hawaii (the island is called Hawaii, as is the state, so it gets a little confusing).   The weather was perfect – high 70’s to low 80’s, sometimes overcast, even a few showers – but so warm and comfortable and lush.  The water was incredibly warm and we swam and/or snorkeled almost every day.

The first week we spent on the Kona side (drier side), mostly at a house rental south of Kailua-Kona.  Specifically, it was down Napo’opo’o Road below the town of Captain Cook, at the south end of Kaleakekua Bay.  This is the bay which has the Captain Cook monument at the north end.  The north end of the bay is accessible only by boat, or by a long and very steep trail from the top of the cliff – but it is home to spinner dolphins, and has some of the best snorkeling in the state (clear waters, beautiful coral reefs, and lots and lots of fabulous fish to look at).

The house was right on the bay, and near the old pier where we could get in and out easily at high tide to swim or snorkel.  People also rented kayaks there every morning to explore the bay.

Our house near Napo’opo’o pier

First night’s sunset

Morning view of the pier with kayaks

There was an outdoor barbeque, so Rick grilled fish or chicken almost every night for dinner.

From there, we explored south along the coast.  Found some great beaches, and visited our friend Jennifer Schwarz, who we know from the old days of Northwest Fine Woodworking in Seattle.  She has moved to Hawaii, with all of her woodworking machinery and everything, and is doing some beautiful work.

On my birthday, we went to South Point, the aptly-named most southern point of the island.  It is also the most southerly place in the entire United States, farther south even than the Florida Keys.  From there, we did a 4-mile round trip hike along the coast to a green sand beach.  The sand washes down from a “littoral cone” which contains a lot of olivine.  We decided not to scramble down to the beach, although many people were doing it without problems, but just sat and ate our lunch and enjoyed the beauty of the place before heading back.

Here we are at windy South Point, Hawaii

Approaching the green sand beach

Looking down on green sand beach

Twice we rented kayaks and paddled to the north end of the bay.  The spinner dolphins would swim and surface around us as we neared the monument, and even jump straight up out of the water, spinning around and then flopping onto their bellies.  It was really magical to hear them breathing and see them so near.  Near the monument, we pulled our kayak up onto the lava rocks and then explored up and down the coral reefs with our snorkeling gear, enjoying the wonderful sights and fish.

I tried to take pictures of the dolphins, but because of all the bobbing up and down, got mostly pictures of the sky, or the cliffs, or my paddle – or else dolphins doing something not very interesting.

Looks kind of like Batman coming up from a swim.

After we left the house, we drove across the Saddle Road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, to the Hilo (wet) side of the island, and then up to Hawaii Volcanoes Nat’l Park.  There we stayed one night at Kilauea Lodge, which also has a pretty decent restaurant.  Part of the road around Kilauea crater is closed due to sulpher dioxide fumes from the current eruption (Pu’u O’o vent).  But we did some exploring and short walks the first afternoon, and the next morning went for a short hike to a hill in the midst of a 1980’s lava flow.

On the way to Pu’u Huluhulu

We saw a flock of nene’s (pron. nay-nays), the wild Hawaiin geese.  Why they live up there at the  volcano, I do not know, but there are “nene crossing” signs everywhere!

We also dropped in at the Volcano Art Center Gallery near the visitor center – well worth the visit.  Really wonderful, high quality art.  We saw some beautiful woodworking in particular, and our friend Jennifer has some of her small tables there.  Here is a koa bench that we particularly admired:

The last 3 nights we spent at the Kona Tiki Hotel in Kailua-Kona.  Built in 1953, it isn’t fancy, but it was clean and friendly and all rooms faced the water.  We had a kitchenette unit so we could still cook our own food, and they had some barbeques down by the pool area so we could grill yet more wonderful fish!   From there, we explored the northern tip of the island and found some nice art galleries along the way.  Also searched out some wonderful small beaches where we could go for a swim and hang out and relax.

Kohala north coast on an overcast (but warm!) day

A small Kohala beach, only 10 cars let in at a time

The view from our balcony at the Kona Tiki

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We are heading out on a little vacation for the next 2 weeks.  So it has been a frantic scramble to get things wrapped up in the woodshop and the weaving studio before then…but we are coming down to the end, and then it is off to something “completely different” – Hawaii (the Big Island).  We are so looking forward to it!

I had my first collapse weave scarf purchased right off my back the day I finished it.  Pretty cool.  This last week I put on the warp for two more:

Color sampling for 2 more collapse-weave scarves

and here they are done.  I was experimenting with length (woven, and after shrinking in the washer) and also with degree of shrinkage (how long I agitate them).  I actually like both of them for different reasons.

Collapse weave scarves in “American Southwest” colors

I’ll be back at the end of May!

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Well, my first collapse weave experiment totally worked!  I wove the scarf with 16 strands of 16/2 unmercerized cotton and 4 strands of superfine merino wool per inch, using a 2/2 twill structure (see pictures in previous post).

I soaked and then agitated it in the washing machine in very hot water and some Dawn detergent.  I think I agitated it for about 25 minutes – might do a little less next time.  Rinsed it in cold water twice, spun out, laid over a rack to dry.  Yesterday morning I trimmed the ends and gave it a steam press and it was done!

Waffle Scarf number 1

I’m winding and tieing on a warp for two more of these as we speak….

Spring is really coming to the valley this week.  The serviceberry bushes just popped into full bloom, and the arrowleaf balsamroot (our signature flower) is coming on strong as well.  It’s lovely!

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