Saturday, January 1, 2011

First Blog

Happy New Year, world! 
May it be a better one than the last couple of years.

Am writing this from a very cold, lightly snow covered town of Issaquah - a small but growing town 20 minutes from downtown Seattle in the great Pacific NW. Here in the middle of a small woods filled with very tall fir trees that sing in the wind a soothing song - this is my refuge.

Here I read, draw, paint, embroider and play with my two cats, Sweetie and Oscar.

This last year, my dear furry companion, Maison, went quietly to her rest in the Spring in her sleep. She lived a long lovely life and was ready to move on.  She enjoyed her retirement as my "house" cat. She was a lovely housemate and great mouser.  Living in the middle of the woods mice are a constant problem.  It was always amusing to have her "announce" her catch with a her mouth full of the furry interloper.  Nothing like "talking" with your mouth full!  She would dutifully show off her prize and then take it elsewhere and dine upon the fresh snack.  Even her last week as she was fighting the cancer, she managed to catch one last mouse.  I do miss her looks and nagging to get up in the morning to feed her. She was a lovely cat-person. "You can't own a cat. The best you can do is be partners"(Sir Harry Swanson) She was a great partner!

Sweetie on my bed
As the Universe would have it, there are two new companions that now share my house. The first, Sweetie, captured my heart soon after Maison died and helped me deal with the loss.  She moved in with very little fuss.  Her only quirk is her love of windows - especially my bedroom windows. Fortunately, it took little to fix her a perch to watch the outdoors.  A quiet cat she loves to be wherever I am - especially if I have a freeze-dried salmon treat.  Right now she's on my lap trying to get me to pay her some attention. Cats!

Oscar in one of his rare "quiet" moments
Then in the Fall I noticed that I was spending a lot of time out of the house working and such - and a friend hit me up to adopt a little ball of energy - a kitten we call Oscar.  He's about seven months old right now and the whirlwind of the household. He keeps Sweetie bemused and occasionally exasperated but never bored. Now if I can just convince him embroidery thread is not a threat to me and that he doesn't need to attack it!  He's so earnest about it. Sigh.

Well, although I'm beginning to sound like one of those "cat ladies" - I do get out and about and am not spending too much time on my own.  For instance, my sister Jean and I went on a Women's Getaway Weekend at Camp Huston about 40 miles north of here. We had a great visit. She quilted her heart out and I caught up on things. We did do one project together - and "Art Bra".  An  "Art Bra" is a bra all decorated and designed to be a piece or art - generally sold to raise money for breast cancer research. They can be quite elaborate and fun - often theme related. Jeanne's quilting guild was having an "Art Bra" contest - and my fire fighting sister theme idea was "Fire in the Mountains" (groan).  She did the bra base - I designed and attached the flames and such. We had a grand time - and we won first place!
"Fire In The Mountains" art bra

Close-up of art bra - the three buttons are ones that I beaded.

 Also managed get to the Skagit Valley tulip fields, 60 miles north of here, to photo the glorious colors there.  This years the fields were in fine bloom and were a joy to behold.  It's such a joy to take pictures there. Mom and I have a great time there.

Display Garden Glory

Field Color

Snow on hills surrounding Skagit Valley

Red-Gold glory

I love the interior designs

Tulip blossom time is one of the things I love about living here.
So what else?
Design Study
I attended the Society For Creative Anachronism (SCA - a historical recreation group - like the Civil war re-enactors but with knights, kings and such) Knowne World Herald and Scribal Symposium.  It was a lot of fun taking classes on illuminating manuscripts, gilding with real gold and painting and drawing.

Am also selling some of my work at a little café gallery not far from here.  Here is one of my "doodles" or Zentangles that I am selling.

Three Crows for Joy

 I was having fun drawing the patterns when these "crows" dropped in to supervise and comment!  They liked my "doodle" and decided to stay!  Have been having fun with these. 

Well from the snowy woods - have a wonderful first day of the year.


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