Fiber Art Show

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Last week I had an art show! I’ve been working on an off for about six months on a new collection of fiber art. Each of the pieces at the show was made starting with a natural material called wool roving. The process of wet felting dates back thousands of years and transforms the roving into finished felt. The fibers of the roving are torn apart and arranged in a crisscross pattern. Then, the roving endures a boiling bath and rough scrub, but it’s all for the best—the fibers interlock and begin to dry and shrink. The felt forms, ready to be made into a beautiful, textured wall hanging. The pieces in this collection have all been inspired by the landscape and colors of the Pacific Northwest, which I’ve been soaking up since we moved here two years ago. This place just seeped into my bones and I tried to bring out what I’ve been seeing with each piece in this show.

I called the show “Art for Breakfast” because I donated a portion of each piece that was sold at the show to Shared Breakfast, a program at First United Methodist Church of Seattle that feeds 300 people every Sunday morning. Thank you to everyone who came to the show. We raised $400 for Shared Breakfast, which will feed 160 people. Your support of two things that are dear to my heart–my artwork and Shared Breakfast–means so much!

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I love having a hands-on creative outlet. So much of my creative work during the work week is centered around the computer and it’s good to make something that requires me to use my hands and touch and feel what I’m creating. I’m looking forward to making more art and having more shows around the city in the future. Stay tuned…

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Dog-Friendly Portland

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Last weekend Ben, Kai and I took a quick overnight trip to Portland, OR. We stayed at a pet-friendly Airbnb and picked activities that we could do with Kai, like breakfast at the Tin Shed & Garden Cafe, walking along the waterfront, and the Portland Saturday Market. Thankfully we had a day of nice sunny warm-ish weather that made sitting at sidewalk tables for lunch and coffee a possibility, which is easier with a dog along. I think Kai had a great time.

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In the afternoon we popped into a few shops along N. Mississippi Ave (sometimes with Kai along, sometimes one us kept him outside). I loved exploring the shops in this neighborhood. I think the neighborhoods in Portland have more personality than downtown.

I can’t forget to mention that I got ice cream at the famous Salt & Straw. I put a lot of thought into my flavor choice while waiting in line, and ended up–after sampling a few–with Cocanu’s Coffee & Craque, which is chocolate, coffee and caramel. I don’t imagine you could pick a bad flavor.

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Here and here are other posts I’ve done about Portland. We’ve managed to do different things almost every time we go and they’ve all been really fun trips.

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Mercer Slough in the Fog

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A few weeks ago on a foggy morning, I stopped at Mercer Slough Nature Park in Bellevue, WA for a walk with Kai. When I pulled off the road on a whim I didn’t expect to step into another world, but the park was a lot bigger than I expected, and the fog made our walk through the park mysterious and beautiful.

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If you want to visit, this blog post has a lot of good scoop about Mercer Slough, and some non-foggy photos.

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On the Way to Pratt Lake

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Ben, Kai and I got some fresh air a few Saturdays ago along the trail to Pratt Lake in the Snoqualmie Pass/North Bend area just a short drive outside of Seattle. It was a misty day so we didn’t even walk the 3 miles to Pratt Lake, but we had a good time wandering along the trail and enjoying the green foggy forest.

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You can read more about this hike here.

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Sweet Seattle #8

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Sweet Seattle: I’m exploring Seattle one cake, pie, and cookie at a time.

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Last week I had Monday off, so I biked to Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood to meet a friend for coffee and a treat at Fresh Flours. We had a great time chatting over cups of Stumptown drip and our baked goods–me a Basque Cake (rum, almond flour, and custard) and my friend a green tea muffin. After biking 12 miles from my house to Ballard I gobbled my Basque Cake like I hadn’t eaten for days, and it tasted amazing. I can only speak for the two treats we ordered, but I liked that they weren’t too sweet.

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I posted a photo of my coffee & cake on instagram and my personal Facebook account, and got a lot of comments that Fresh Flours is a favorite. I would definitely recommend it and I’d love to go back!

Fresh Flours is located at 5313 Ballard Ave. NW and 6015 Phinney Ave. N in Seattle.

See previous Sweet Seattle posts here.

Play along: #sweetseattle

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New Year’s Eve

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The last day of 2014 was one of my favorite days of the year. I spent the day with some church/work friends at Camp Indianola on the Puget Sound for the annual church New Year’s Retreat, where we relaxed by a big fire in the camp lodge and walked on the beach.

The weather that day was spectacular–watching the sunset over the water, Mt. Rainier, and the city skyline couldn’t have been a more perfect way to say goodbye to the year’s last light.

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After the sun went down I headed back from camp to Seattle, and met Ben downtown later to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks at the Space Needle. Our view of the show (with a cup of hot cocoa in hand) is one of my best New Year’s Eve memories yet.

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Happy 2015!

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Hike to the Ice Caves

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On the day after Christmas, Ben, our dog Kai, and I hiked to the Big Four Ice Caves. It’s an easy and beautiful hike about 2 hours outside of Seattle, off a stretch of road in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest called the Mountain Loop Highway.

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Besides the frozen beauty of the mountains and caves, my favorite part of our adventure was that we brought hot water and cocoa along to drink when we arrived.

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On Saturday there was an avalanche inside the caves. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it gave me pause to see the story on the news when we had just visited the day before. On our trip, Ben and I walked up to the entrance of the caves but chose not to go inside because of the avalanche danger, and after hearing the news over the weekend I’m extra glad we made that decision.

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A Gift to be Given

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I love wrapping gifts. I’m not always the best at picking out what goes inside the box, but at least I can make it look pretty. Since our move to Seattle we’ve had to do more sending gifts off in boxes rather than delivering them in person, and that has made me even more motivated to add handmade, personal touches to each present.

My tradition (that I started last year) is to make my own wrapping paper. This year I made my own potato stamps and used red and green paint to stamp onto brown craft paper. I liked my velvet Christmas tree paper from last year better, but I’d definitely try the stamp technique again–I’ve got room to improve on the actual stamps :)

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I love using fun gift toppers like candy bars from one of our local chocolate companies. And of course you know I had to throw some yarn pom-poms in.

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I am so thankful I got to celebrate Christmas with my sister and her family in Texas last week and I could deliver some of my gifts in person. We sent the boxes I’m holding in the photo off to Ben’s family…Christmas cheer sent with love!

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