Monday, July 30, 2012

Snapshots from the San Francisco Bay area

The fog hovering just beyond the hills west of Gilroy.

We don't grow rosemary like this where I live!

A clear day for the Golden Gate Bridge.

You can see the fog creeping in over the city in this shot.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New love in Ashland

Before you worry, I'm not leaving Dave for an Ashland beau - my new love is a bicycle! I've been bike-shopping for a while, and yesterday I found the one. It's a Giant and it's a pretty mint colour.

We went for a bike ride along the Bear Creek Greenway this morning and ended up at Blue Heron Park. It's a beautiful 17 mile-long walking and cycling trail that runs along the creek. Apparently I rode 14 miles rather effortlessly on my new bike - I'm in love!

There is a community garden at the park as well, so of course we had to check it out. They have ripe tomatoes here, and can get three crops of beets in a season!

Tomorrow we head south to Gilroy, CA, after a great three days here in Ashland. We've seen two fantastic plays and head to a third one tonight. The weather has been lovely and hot, and we're enjoying ourselves.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Book recommendation

Born On A Blue Day book cover

I just finished reading an amazing book. It's called Born on a Blue Day, and it's written by Daniel Tammett. He's a young man with high functioning Asperger's, and it's a fascinating look at how his mind works. I highly recommend it!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday's sketch book

Today the challenge was to start with a piece of fabric that was sent to class participants in a goody package and recreate it somehow using acrylic paints.

I wasn't too fussed about the fabric at first, but this was actually quite fun, and not something I would have thought to do.

We leave on Monday for a two-week road trip, and I'm trying to figure out how many of my art supplies I can manage to take with us!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bellingham harbour tour

Yesterday we met our friends Joe and Jan in Bellingham. They were coming to the end of a two-week boat trip through the Gulf Islands, and we had lunch on board with them followed by a tour of the Bellingham harbour.

Joe and Jan are sockworthy (definition available upon request), and we had a new pair of socks for each of them.

 We got a close-up look at the dry dock, which had intrigued us from a distance in the past. It's actually a giant barge:

We even got to see the 'sphinx' up close that has been intriguing Bellingham residents as well as the two of us. It's the scaffolding and protective layer built around a ship being sandblasted.

Dave got to play the skipper for a bit, complete with a 'parrot' on his shoulder (actually a Canada Goose, complete with sound effects!).

We got to pose together at the wheel, but only after we were tied back up at the wharf!

Here is Bob, the actual skipper, and co-owner of the lovely Shanti.

Thank you, Joe, Jan, and Bob!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday's art

This morning's sketch book page

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cherries and tomatoes

Here is the sketchbook page-spread I came up with today for my art class. We're supposed to not over-think things, and to push a bit outside of our comfort zone, so I'm working on it. It helps to be working in a sketchbook, rather than on a canvas or something, which helps make the process less intimidating.

Meanwhile the tomato plants are growing like crazy with the warm weather and sunshine we've been having. The tall one on the right comes up to my eye-level! Fruit has finally begun to set these past few days as well, which is a relief. Tomato plants aren't much good without tomatoes!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Garden tour

 For the last four seasons we've had a garden plot in central Surrey. This year we committed to it before finding out we got in to a garden nearer to home (after a five year wait!), so we are transitioning out of this plot by sharing with a friend.

The empty-looking area in the middle is where the garlic recently got pulled from. We now have some cauliflower and broccoli seedlings in there in the hopes of a late fall harvest. The kale in the front is freshly shorn, so it looks a bit bare.

The few from the other end - you can see the peas and carrots.

A neighbouring garden - we love the central path they built form the stones they removed from the planting areas:

 A weeding hoe that another gardener fashioned from a bamboo pole and some wire. It has a very long reach and is completely repurposed. It's fun to get to see the resourcefulness of fellow gardeners.

 An ambitious planting of kale in another plot - these people must be seriously into their greens!

One of these days I'll remember to take a picture of the socks I'm working on, too!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Art class

I'm taking a new art class on-line. I really enjoy these classes - I like the flexibility of working when and where I want and can, and of getting inspiration from artists I couldn't otherwise access.

This class is part of Squam, and it's called Pages and Paint, with Sarah Ahearn Bellemare.

One of our assignments this week is to start an inspiration wall. Here's what mine looks like after the first day:

I've set it up on the wall beside my art desk in the bedroom.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More photos from Squamish


I remembered to bring the camera when a few of us went for a walk the last evening. There is a creek that runs not far from the residences, and it was in full spate still.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The answer

I spent most of last week at Quest University in Squamish, where I attended a workshop. The campus is spectacular.

There is a community garden behind one of the main buildings. I especially loved their to do list.

The campus is completely surrounded by mountain views:

Along the side of the academic building were beautiful drought-tolerant flower beds:

I'll post the rest of my photos tomorrow - it's getting late! I have most of a sock to show too - I did get some knitting done while I worked.