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Time to Experiment

Time to Experiment

Does your brain ever get stuck? Mine keeps going in the same cycle of indecision and fear. Today I decided to try something new and try Fresh Paint – a Wiindows digital drawing program. I grabbed a branch of white pine that was laying in the trail and attempted to draw it. It was a bit frustrating and challenged me to look closely and observe colors. I’m pretty happy with the results. Using a pen and digital pad is not the most relaxing activity and may be better when I try it at a desk instead of sitting in a chair. I hope it helped get my brain unstuck. What helps you begin to think in new ways?

Digital drawing experiment

Are you putting yourself out there?

In January we went to a portion of the West Seattle Art Walk. We started a little late and only made it to three businesses. After the event I marveled at the way these small business owners, artists and musicians had put themselves out there, exposing themselves and bringing their gift out into the world.

Our first stop was Viscon Cellars https://www.visconcellars.com/. This small winemaker has been producing wine since 2004. I believe this tasting room on California Ave has been open since 2014. The tasting pours were presented by the owner himself. A very personable and talented wine maker Ben was enthusiastic and described in great detail the blends used to create the wines we were presented. The one I remember the most is the Rhyme/Reason Syrah which used co-fermented viognier 5% and Syrah 95%. It tasted fabulous but the reason I remember it is the fact that I had never heard of a white and a red blended together. It apparently is a technique used in France but not used elsewhere very often. I love learning something new. We went home with a bottle of viognier to go with our salmon dinner.We also bought it because of the very attractive label and the story behind it.

Artist Greta Musland http://www.gretamusland.com/ was displaying her work at Viscon. She is currently using acrylic paints on one side of the canvas and an encaustic (wax process) on the other. Her portraits of urban wild animals were delightful. She has been allowing herself to be an artist for about 10 years. I find it fascinating to consider what would happen if we all allowed ourselves to be what we want to be instead of what society, family etc thinks we should be. One CAN dare to dream.

Next stop was http://cannawestseattle.com. They were displaying beautiful photographs of a wandering traveler. The one that caught my eye was of a camel in front of a beautiful body of water with arid mountains on the other side. There was a horizantal stripe effect in the composition that was dramatic. Unfortunately I can’t tell you who the photographer was since there is no link on there website to the artist and my memory is not that good. A traveling photographer journeying to exotic locales and a cannabis company taking a chance in the current state of legal affairs are both putting themselves out there.

Final stop of the evening was at C and P Coffee where it was open mike night. We caught the last 4 performances of the evening – all guitar and vocal performances. The first one wrote their own songs and the other 3 played cover songs from a wide variety of known artists. I am so glad they shared their gift with us that night.

What is your gift? Are you sharing it and putting yourself out there or are you keeping it bottled up inside?

Today’s DIY refashion failure (at least on me) shirts into tunic

Today’s DIY refashion failure (at least on me) shirts into tunic

I started this project in November thinking it had potential for the holidays. I took this stained lace shirt and this beautiful but dated pink silk shirt to try to make something festive.

Stained white lace shirt

Pink silk shirt dated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was wrong. At least for me.The first go round made this look like something my mother would have worn (not to knock her style – we all should rock whatever it is). Sort of tent like. And I am not really a wearer of “delicate” items which this turned out to be.

This shirt is too delicate and tent like for me

It also looked a little dated and out of style. I hung it back in the closet. Then the other day I decided I couldn’t just abandon it. I ruched the sleeves a bit and added the cuffs I cut off the shirt as pockets.

Redone shirt with cuffs as pockets

Back of shirt with lace insert

The end result looked a little cuter and trendier but it still is not my style. Any delicate and maybe younger looking women out there who can pull it off? It’s yours. My Valentine gift to you. Just reply to this post on Facebook.

Post Turkey Ride

On Thanksgiving we had a marvelous turkey feast at my sister in laws house. She lives in the small town of Shine on the far end of the Hood Canal Bridge.  I suggested we spend the weekend on the peninsula. The weather was marginal but miraculously we did not get rained on until we went to the rain forest!

On Friday we tried out the new section of the Olympic Discovery Trail. This portion went from a trailhead at Diamond Point Road and we rode it into the QFC in Sequim. This section was mostly trail with a couple miles on very quiet roads and a small portion on the shoulder of the 101 off ramp in Sequim. It was a delight to ride through farmland and thick forest with views of the Olympic Mountains to the south and Discovery Bay to the north.

As soon as we pulled into the lot an older dog came and sat looking at me through the window. Soon his owner followed and we learned his personal history of the area. It was a delightful conversation and the perfect introduction to the trail. Before we had even gotten on our bikes another car pulled up and began a conversation. This young man had just moved to the area and after watching the months of construction he was delighted the trail had opened. People and dogs were more open than in the city. The trail itself was fairly busy for a potentially  rainy November day in a quiet part of the state. By busy I mean we saw about 20 people riding and  a dozen or more walkers.

On this stretch you also ride past a native art gallery and a casino with a few dining options as well as a lavender farm and a state park or two. There is a long bridge over what used to be a rail trestle. It had some interesting historical information about the old train.

It felt good to get out into the country and away from traffic for this week’s ride. I also tested my new tool roll under seat bike bag made from my far out paisley upholstery remnant. It passed with flying colors.

The Memorial

The Memorial

It was wet and wild. Don’t I look happy?

This week’s ride was wet, wild and full of mishaps.
It began with the intent to get into downtown Seattle for a memorial without needing to worry about traffic from the pro football game that was also going on. And to save some $$ And to eliminate a car trip. It was raining/snowing and the wind was howling but I pulled on my rainpants (never before used for a bike ride because as I always tell my husband “I don’t ride in the rain”), down jacket, bike coat, merino wool cap, polarfleece gloves, and safety glasses over my dress and tights. And of course my prototype handlebar bag with my trusty extra tube and cell phone.
We stopped for a picture on the beach to document.
The wind was blowing so hard at times that I was probably only going 2-3 miles per hour. When my bike started pulling to one side I figured it was the wind pushing me. I rode a little more and it was still pulling. I looked down in disbelief to see a flat tire. I suggested my husband ride on and I would catch the bus. He insisted on changing the tire and continuing together. I reached into my trusty bag and handed him a fresh tube. He changed the tire. But the bike pump didn’t work. It had probably been tossed around enough over the years that things got jammed up. We started walking towards the gas station about a mile away. I suggested it might be faster if he rode with the tire and I kept slogging along.
Off he went only to return with a tire that had already lost its air. He reached for his phone for the bus schedule, we locked our bikes and hopped on the bus. I reached into my trusty bag for my Orca card. At that point he must have handed me his phone and I must have put it in my trusty bag. We were on the 132 which is full of distractions when he noticed he didn’t have his phone. He said go on ahead I need to go look for my phone.
When I got to the memorial I opened my trusty bag to turn off my phone and OOPS – it had two phones in it.
He eventually showed up. My moral of the story is – slow down and pay attention to what you are doing and always bring your trusty bag.
Tell me about your weekly ride.

Dad’s Closet

Dad’s Closet

Who would guess at 59 I would still raid my dad’s closet. He is 92 and has kept everything he ever owned even though he admits he is overwhelmed by it. He is of the generation that kept everything. Even things his dad had kept and things other people gave him even though it didn’t fit him. I asked him if he wanted me to give items to the thrift store and he was pretty adamant that “no all the relatives need to be asked if they want things first.” So I dug in to see what I could find. Unfortunately I had already raided all the bowling shirts when I was a 20 something.

I did manage to find this vintage cotton bomber jacket and this spiffy vintage nylon shirt both in pretty good condition and sizes and colors that fit me. I also took an old hunting suit he wore 60 years ago and a lovely black wool overcoat that were both in sad shape. I ran them through the washer and dryer and am in the process of re purposing them into bike bags. Photos of that project next time.

Vintage shirt from dad’s closet

Vintage blue bomber jacket

I guess I am lucky to still have a dad’s closet to raid at my age.

Did you ever raid your parent’s closets when you were younger (or today)?