Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Illusion of Control

Below is a song I heard while at the restaurant tonight. This song always hits me hard. The feeling of wanting to run away; to get away from the pain - this song always reminds me of this. The singer jokes a little about this song but there is an inherent pain there that the jokes don't hide. I wonder who she was?


David Wilcox - Eye of the Hurricane

Monday, June 20, 2011


Was reviewing some of my pictures a came across some I took of lighthouses. Mom had decided she wanted to take pictures of Washington and Oregon lighthouses. It sounded like a cool road-trip so I joined her.

Truly, how could one go wrong taking pictures of these beacons of maritime hope. They stand tall and point the way home for those who may be lost at see. Too many of them are becoming automatic or being decommissioned. It is a shame things are trending this way. Somehow, relying on automated machines seems the height of folly. Technology is fine when it works but it takes so little to wipe it out and then what are you left with. Look at what happened in Japan earlier this year . It wasn't the huge earthquake but the tsunami that crippled the area. Sometimes old ways of doing things by hand are a good thing.

Here are a few of the lighthouse and coastal pictures from that trip. Enjoy.

Walkway up to Grays Harbor (Westport) Lighthouse, WA

Grays Harbor (Westport) Lighthouse, Grays Harbor (Westport) Lighthouse, WA. Standing 107 feet tall, it is the tallest lighthouse in Washington, and the third tallest on the West Coast. It was lighted for the first time June 30, 1898. http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=117
Spiral staircase inside Grays Harbor, WA,  Westport Lighthouse
Wave off Ocean Shores,WA

North Head Lighthouse Washington -Constructed 1896. North Head is one of the windiest places in the United States. On January 29, 1921, winds were clocked at 126 mph before the instrument blew away. They have frequently been measured at over 100 mph. The light was automated in 1961.

North Head Lighthouse Washington
North Head Lighthouse Washington

North Head Lighthouse Washington

Wildflowers and rocky shore below North Head Lighthouse WA

Rocky shore below North Head Lighthouse WA

Cape Meares Lighthouse Oregon from walkway. Cape Meares lighthouse sits at the north end of the beautiful 20-mile Three Capes Scenic Loop along the Oregon coast. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1888. The light was lit for the first time on January 1, 1890. Though the squatty lighthouse was only 38 feet tall, located on a 217-foot cliff, it could be seen for 21 miles. The lightstation consisted of the tower and two oil houses. In 1895 a workroom abutting the tower was added.

Cape Meares Lighthouse Oregon with it's big red lens

Red lens in Cape Meares Lighthouse Oregon. This is still a working lighthouse with a wonderful view.

Wild flower off of walkway to Cape Meares Lighthouse Oregon. I still have no idea what this flower is.

Close-up of unknown wild flower off of walkway to Cape Meares Lighthouse Oregon

Three Arches Stacks at sunset  just South Cape Meares Lighthouse

Another current passion of mine - Bottlecap Pincushions

 (Accidentally republished this.)
At any given time I am in the midst of a passionate affair with a particular craft.  One that caught me last summer was Bottlecap Pincushions. These are little felt covered, and stuffed plastic bottle caps that become little cute pincushions.

This is one of the first ones I ever made. It's small - about 1.5" in diameter and a little over 1" high.. It was fun, quick and really allows me to use all those embroidery threads I was going to do something with on of these days. This was just the start of many that have come to be since last August. With them my love of color has come alive again. Have also found that embroidery and I do get along very well. These have been goo practice for crazy quilting - it's practice that creates cute little "jewels". It's lot of fun. Here are some more of my little felted, embroidered "gems".

These are only a few. Many of these have gone to ladies that really enjoyed their designs and colors. I am in the process of doing more. Will post them at a later time.  For those who would like to try their own here's a great tutorial on how to do the basics - just remember that you are only limited by your imagination on these:

Here's a few more:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Crazy Quilt name tag

A while back I joined a quilting group - "Going to Pieces" - that meets at one of my favorite fabric stores. One thing I noticed is that many of them had quilted little name tags. Some are really cool. They even have a rule that one contributes a quarter every time one attends a meeting without one.

Well, it's been several months now I've gone without a name tag. Also found out that I'm the only crazy quilter in the group.

So, last month decided it was about time to make a name tag. Am not sure why but it seemed like the thing to do. What was amazing is that the idea seemed to gel and take off. The next thing I knew, some small scraps and a bit of heavy felt and the tag really started to come together. It pieced together in no time.

Had to sit and look at it for a bit to figure out how to start embellishing it. Finally put needle and thread to the cloth. Again things have started to take off. 

In the online Crazy Quilting International group they have a basic stitch of the week to use to make a seam. A recent one is the encrusted beading stitch. Got to use this stitch on the center of the flower.  I also used some bugle beads to make my name on the tag.

Here's some pictures of the the name tag under embellishment.

This the tag in the orientation I'll wear it.

Close up of the encrusted beaded stitch in center of flower.

Closer look.
This is a fun little project.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Skagit Valley Tulips of 2011

One of the things I love about living in western Washington are the annual blooming of the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley. These fields are about 60 miles or so north of Seattle and just west of Mt.Vernon.

The color from the tulips are wondrous. They are one of my all time favorite photo subjects.

Here's pictures of this years blooms. Enjoy!

Lovely fields of red and yellow

Workers in the field plucking off blossoms so the bulbs grow big and strong

Strong blooms of red

Workers also in the red field also picking blooms - a couple of hours later and there would be no color left.

Last glimpse of the field before all the blooms are removed.

Worker warning sightseers that the field is off limits.

Truck full of blossoms.

Red glory!

Bands of red and purple!

Purple blooms - note the snow on the hills - it's been a COLD spring!

Sightseers clicking pictures.

My Mom - Betty Pincha - in her usual stance - taking pictures. I learned about cameras from her. She's enjoyed being a nature photographer in her retirement. She's doing great for an 82 year old!

Ha! Finally got her to look up from her camera!

We weren't the only photographers. Here's one mother and daughter out taking pictures. I took pictures of the both of them with her camera. The little girl was adorable.

Such a lovely purple.

One color next to the other.

Red, red blooms.

The following photos are from the display garden at the Roozengaarde Farm. (www.tulips.com)
they have the best display garden in the Skagit Valley. They plant thousands of bulbs in an amazing variety of tulips.  This garden is the highlight of the trip to see the tulips.

I love the sun shining through the petals on tulips like these. It makes them glow!

Color mix!

Glowing red.

Glorious blooms.

"Queen of the Night" black blooms against the White Dreams!

Negrita's dark purple against the red and yellow Elites.

The last of the daffodils still strong with the Maureen tulips.

Red and white always work so well together!

These two Zurels looked like one was eating the other.

This is what you see as you enter the Roozengaarde Farm main gate.

Roozengaarde Farm main gate display.

Golden glorious!

A magnificent bloom!

What a wonderful display!

Double blooms. The wonderful touch of orange makes the bloom glow!

Such a heady display.

Luscious petals

Pink perfection.

They did it again this year - the blue path of  MUSCARI ARMENIACUM - i.e. grape hyacinths. It winds a beautiful road.

Wondrous colors.

Again the path.

White, white daffodils bring out the red tulips.

Queen of the Nights, yellow orange Apertif, & purple Caravelle.

Red Ad Rems

Perfect composition.


Oh, what a carpet!

The glorious ELITE




A luminous single FIDELIO

White edged KUNG FU!

Full open MAUREEN

MAUREEN interior

Apeldoorn tulips and Cheerfulness daffodil

Maureen's and Yellow Flight's



Finally caught mom in a resting moment

Variegated beauty.