As the daughter of a teacher and Mum I always consider September to be the start of a new year and often for me the start of new chapters.
Our vacation on Mull was amazing.Day tripping to Iona and our single sighting of otters on our wedding anniversary made it especially wonderful.If you ever have the time and are a brave driver I would highly recommend staying at Calgary Hayloft.An amazing Air B&B complex with it’s own art walk, gallery and cafe.Hosts were wonderful.
While we were away my very talented hubby received news that his images are now a part of the Getty Image collection.
We extended our vacation with a last day drive up to Steven’s Canyon Road in Mount Rainier Park.This road is our favorite day out. A quieter side of the park where we have seen bears, love the bends and the views.The road closes in the winter and last weekend the snow-poles were in position reminding us this those days would be shortly returning.
Who wouldn’t be inspired by the view
The summer class has been amazing.I’ve reconnected with old work form and found a whole new support group.Larry Calkin’s has been our amazing instructor at Kirkland Arts Center.
I’ve joined Instagram and am finding this much easier than Twitter as it’s visually orientated.Gradually posting old and newer works.
I’ve had some interesting invitations over the summer but will hold them back until the final details are confirmed.
For our last formal collage class we created Robot collages ahead of Larry’s children workshops this weekend at SummerFest.Fred now peaks out onto my street from there where my metal working bench originally was positioned.I volunteered a few hours on Sunday afternoon and had a wonderful time creating robots.
This week we quietly celebrated 10 years since arriving in the US.Time has gone by so fast and in a couple of weeks will be returning to our honeymoon Island,Mull and will celebrate 26 years of marriage while attending a family wedding.I am very much looking forward to spending time with extended family catching up and just walking on Calgary beach.
Collage containing 10 elements.Inspired but my family supporting a member living with dementia.
Tip in detail.Origami paper gifted in from a friend.
After a wee technical hitch with the blog I’m back ! After a quick update of my CERT certificate it’s been a busy few weeks.I have finally reconnected with my alumni university in the UK, more of that in the future but I’m pretty excited about this first step in my return to Oxford colleagues and studies.
I have signed up with a previous mentor Larry Calkins to explore collage at Kirkland Arts Center.Collage is an interesting medium.Very honest for the artist but not always understood by the observer.As an English woman in an American classroom I see the world from a slightly different perspective.I’m not sure about sharing the pieces here but will probably edit this selection.The summer will be full of house decorating,visitors and cutting and pasting.
The brief for this journal is to track weightloss for a Seahawks fan.Blue and teal paper cloth cover with simple fold text block .Graph tip in, motivational quotes and an envelope for recipes completed the project.
I have recently joined a Buy Nothing Local Group on Facebook.I love the idea of reducing landfill and recycling within my local community.
Last Friday group posted Fat Chance Friday.I offered to make journals for people from my over stuffed studio supplies and was amazed to get 7 requests for very different handmade books.I also requested hummingbird/butterfly friendly plants.
Anne requested a journal to document her vegetable garden project.I created this Scrappy Journal from Terry Taylor’s Eco Book which has been in my library for many years.It has been some time since I explored bindings and have already learn a few new text block techniques from Making Handmade books by Alisa Golden a new addition to my collection.
Cover detail from Anne’s Scrappy Garden Journal
Anne gifted me a big pot of bee balm which is already planted in my garden.
Two Christmases ago I was gifted a book about creating necklaces using peyote stitch clasps.It took me a year to learn the techniques and along the way I met a whole new group of friends.I have subsequently joined a local seed beading group.These are the pieces I have completed so far.
Deck outside my studio dreaming of the days when I’ll be creating outside again.
Altered necklace from our 25th anniversary trio to Hawaii.I can’t wear metal next to my skin so this makes a great alternative.To be worn at a fall wedding in the UK.
Well that’s I made it the last month of being 50 !
I again helped to build the Seattle Arboretum Foundation’s award winning garden.I was asked to paint the piñata green to blend in with the design.I love working with Bob Lily and the team from the Arboretum Foundation.We have great fun and it is the best cure for my seasonal mood disorder (SAD) One of the nicest things is that Bob always gifts us plants and currently my deck pots have Blue Irises popping up at of slightly different blues from different builds.I’m also totally indulged by hubby and we always buy a plant or two to add to our garden collection. This year we have a white ribes and two beautiful specimen witch hazels.We have also gained some kinnickinick which I’m hoping will do well.
Leigh ,my wonderful gardener, and I have big plans for the garden this year.We’re trying some live stack planting with a very vigorous ribes which was causing a visual obstruction to the traffic on the street.We used the cuttings to screen the working area of the garden.We’ve taken advantage of renewing the fences in the fall to make formal plans.I value my privacy so am exploring different screening methods , these also help our small birds hide from the Cooper’s hawk that nest’s across the road.
I’ve wanted to build in more bird and bug friendly elements.I really happy to see the birds beginning to court on our deck.Most exciting of all is our Berwick wren seems to have a partner so I’m hoping to see the population increase.I’ll post the new structures and elements as they develop.
Baby quilts awaiting delivery
Surface design/book play
First crop – I explored growing our own summer vegetables in pots on the deck.Our salad bar was a huge success and this was our first crop of beans-the resident hummingbirds loved the heritage variety and they provided great screening/privacy from our neighbors.
Cover detail of a tool pocket created to hold a set of jewelry making tools which replaced a set which were stolen from an artist’s car while she visited her sick husband in hospital.
Dottee dolls created for an auction raising funds for Ladybug House proposed children hospice in Seattle area
Sample teenager for Baton Rouge project.Sadly this package was returned as contact didn’t pick it up from mailing office.So if anyone wants to pick up this project it’s all ready to go in the studio !
A variety of pieces from 2017 but thought I would share.I have also created a series of boro place mats which are still a work in process so there will be more in the future.I have just recieved my renewal for American Craft Council membership and look forward to reading the magazine and maybe funding my artistic voice this year.
For around 8 months I have been helping at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens with maintenance in the perennial border.We have a great time and once month have a weed and feed session potluck lunch).I love the team work and sense of accomplishment in a garden that is available to all.I was most surprised after joining the NW Perennial Alliance to find myself in this months newsletter.Yes I love that hat !
Happy rainy morning volunteering at Bellevue Botanical Gardens.
We are working to potentially make our garden open in a couple of years as an example of a wildlife friendly urban garden.I have just been editing images from last year our wildlife visitors include deer,rabbits,coyotes,bear (yearling while we where in Hawaii) and a stunning bobcat who it seems was responsible for the destruction of our old fencing.We discovered over the holidays that we had been accidentally feeding a family of raccoons when they visited our deck bird feeder while we were a dinner one evening.We have repositioned the feeder and consumption has reduced significantly.I am currently adding new areas to support birds and wildlife, removing non native species.We have 5 species of woodpeckers visiting and a gang of teenage juncos resident over the winter.My favorite daily visitor is a wren, such a personality, along with our two resident male hummingbirds who guard the feeders to the North and South of the house.
After a long absence I have also started to participate in Postcrossing again.I received a great set of Washington stamps to add to postcards and used them for the first set I sent but they seem to have disappear in the ephemera in the studio – I’m sure they will turn up soon.
The New Year brings the opportunity to develop skills.I will be going on retreat for the first time with a group to explore seed beading techniques.I have been experimenting with peyote stitch for around a year which will be included in a series of necklaces.I collected many beads and found objects during my travels and hope to continue to explore with these objects.I have joined the seed bead society so am looking forward to meeting and meeting new members.
In the run up to Christmas I attended my first Oddball Convention at Bellevue College.So many talented artists.I was looking for a personal handmade project for my parents to take back for my nieces and nephew and adapted an article about making boro brush holders when I “found” some oilcloth which had been in my stash.This seemed to be a more practical application as ever I now have extra “unfinished objects” in my studio space.
Small series of oil cloth brush holder.Screen prints patches by chibiyeti.com