Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Walla Walla, On Arrive!

Close to the Oregon border, not far from the Columbia River, Walla Walla is now a choice area for wine makers and consequently wine drinkers.
The perfect town for Curt and I to celebrate our 30 year anniversary. How to celebrate a countable lifetime together? Well how about by tasting 30 different wines, cheering 30 times and gathering 30 souvenir bottles?

 Maybe, but not really when it comes to Curt and I. We are more of the lets try and see, lets taste and enjoy, lets talk about it, lets bet on it, lets argue about it, lets live it, lets not count... After a nice dinner at Brasserie 4 and a great lunch at Green Spoon, a pain au chocolat and Cappuccino on a historical downtown walk at the Colville Patisserie, a walk in the snow at Whitman College, a visit at the Walla Walla Foundry, a 5mn visit in a small quilt store who still has calico fabrics for $2 to $5 a yard (no! I didn't get any),  the rest of our stay was filled with touring those wineries: 

Dusted Valley was a given ( Pharmacists turned Winemakers =  good chemistry that can be tasted in those bottles), then L'Ecole #41 because it is one of the earlier "pioneers" along Leonetti Cellars to arrive in the Walla Walla area and still share some vines with each other. Then Basel which was disappointing, with a very snooty young woman pouring for us very boring wines ( beautiful location though and stately log cabin). Dunahm Cellars that had beautifully crafted wines and a very fun host. Insenhower Cellars where we were welcomed by the lady of the house and her three young daughters, very much a family owned business with interesting wines, their table wine is excellent as well as their Syrah and Rose which was pretty and tasty.

 Many wineries were unfortunately closed due to our Sunday and Monday stay but also the end of the winter season. So: Buty, Walla Walla Vintners, Syzygy,  A Maurice, Foundry Vineyards, Grantwood Winery, Va Piano Vineyards were closed and missed. I am due to come back in June with my friends and might have more luck at this time.

A fun time even if the cold wind and the snow made it a bit more difficult to enjoy the outdoors, it didn't stop us from seeing wild turkeys, pheasants, deers and many different migrating and nesting birds. The snow dust on the hills added an extra dimension to the decor.

A nice escapade peaceful and gentle, high points food and wines, low point the weather, slow and steady, a perfect celebration for this 30 years old marriage.

Friday, February 24, 2012

And I Thought It Couldn't Get "Cosier" Around Here!

Yeah well as I said because life at home is near perfect comfort and leaving it is getting harder and harder I might have found another level of comfort that is going to be ever more challenging to join in the outside brouhaha. A real nest to curl up with a good book with a warm pouch at my feet. I don't even need a background music as the gurgling sound of the fountain just is enough for the extra peace of mind.
Well of course a cup of tea is always good with a muffin or such in the afternoon. My figure might suffer from the inaction but boy does that feel good. So anyway remember my escapade to the Shibori Dragon? I had gotten a nice colorful book to make "Wild" tea cosies. I have always looked for a cozy over the years and couldn't find what I had in mind, they were all too cozy cutesy if you know what I mean. That was then and this is now.....

I have made a Wild Tea Cozy with a crochet hook and a mix of fun yarn that I had around the house.

It is the "Sunflower Cozy" which for mine it doesn't fit the title so I am renaming it "Le Chardon" (The Thistle) due to the colors I used.
Now I will not have to go back so often to fill the teapot with hot water, right. So more opportunity to keep focused on the pages and the stillness of the present.
Peace is addictive and can endanger  one's social life if you are not careful with it. Who know!!!???

"Tea, Anyone?"...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Day of Shibori Dragon

Well shopping is not something that I do very often anymore especially when it comes to fabric, quilt stores, I will avoid it at all cost. So, of course as in everything there are exceptions. One of those started to happen on Saturday when I went to the TARTS meeting (Fiber Art Group) and a nice innocent well intended person handed it out coupons for a "blue" sale, happening at the Shibori Dragon in Lakewood. I was doomed to go and have a look.

It is the Year of the Fire Dragon, which will not come around again in my lifetime and I had yet to celebrate the Chinese New Year so I saw this as a sign, wouldn't you have? I waited for Monday to make my move to really let the anticipation built or to forget about it (but not this time...) So Monday, around noon, I was ready to face the wind, the rain and the sale!!!
The GPS didn't stall, the roads didn't flood, the wind didn't blow me away from my destination. Those were other auspicious signs that I was meant to be shopping!!! Nice parking up front made it easy for me to run into the store without getting wet. The store was inviting and not your typical quilt store, with a definite oriental theme to it. The owner's collection of Chinese statues (many are Dragons) are in cases and shelves throughout the store and give the place a most exotic feel. It is a well appointed store with everything you need. It has beads to create jewelry, yarn to create from sweaters to socks to felted purse, thread for embroidery, fabric, remnants,
hand painted paper, oregami papers, paint, dyes, patterns for clothes, purses, quilts, dolls, pillows...

Extensive notion, books, kits, intriguing objects, raw wool.    All this is arrange in an harmonious way so you can meander and flow around the rooms without feeling rushed. So I took my time. Then I got a basket and then I filled my basket. After that it was all over for me, an out of control moment that found me a bit guilty but so happy later that it was all worth it. Two books (a Noni book of purse pattern and "Wild Tea Cosies"), hand painted paper for journal making, vintage silk kimono pieces, Japanese indigo printed fabric, a green scarab bead, a piece of gold silk, knitting gadgets, 3 spools of King Tut's variegated cotton from Superior Threads. I feel like a glutton after an eating frenzy, I can't move, a stupid smile is permanently etched on my face, a comatose state half aware of my surroundings. I am in a state of torpor and loving it!
So that is it! My binging is over for now and I shall regain control of myself for a while. It is Mardi Gras and Monday was definitely more Fat than today. I can now abstain and be frugal for a while.... Yes I can, I promise. Now to create in my mind with all those beautiful things.... My addiction should be recommended as the most healthy cure to all subjects afflicted by winter boredom and winter blues. Now, time to work!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Picture a Day To Keep My Troubles Away

So I have decided to take a picture a day to set the mood for that day. You might say well like She wasn't before??? Yes I was, I am but this one will have a different meaning, one with a different purpose. Since I journal in the morning, then I draw something, I believe that adding a photograph to the list can only improve to set the mood of the day. See the progression... write, draw, photograph! An affirmation of how it all started out. I doubt that I will share that daily picture often but once in a while it might pop up. Life has been very very slow lately. I have been a recluse only going out of my domain for the essential food gathering, yoga, meeting friends (very furtively), going to Fiber relating events, walking the pooch,  and occasional binges at the library and bookstore. What is happening to my ever so adventurous self? Well I only can think that it needed a break from it or that it needed to be narrowed down to a minimum, and it is setting still, very still, in a state of remission. I might also grieve my former life and all the lovely people that were in it. Missing my favorite friends terribly, my favorite hang outs, the snow ( I know that is crazy), the beauty of it all. Now my days are pretty much like:: get up, get coffee, tartine with marmalade, vitamins ( thanks to my Naturopath for those because I might just go back to bed all day without a bit of humph from those...), eat while checking the World out on the Internet: facebook,  favorite book blogs etc. then the journaling bits, than the cleaning bits, than who knows what bits... then it is evening and cooking takes a bit and then movie watching then reading bits.There are some bits of time spent in the yard preparing the roses and beds for the anticipating seasons. Friday I have the Walls Street Journal Crossword Puzzle to look forward to. There are a good amount of time spent on reading or studying what I have on my shelves. I have always liked my books but now, I am in love with them. My inspirations lately are more drawn out of those than in anywhere else. A word, a sentence, a title bring me into a state of wonder. So it is no wonder that "It" takes so much out of my day. Those are safe and really good company. So solitude might just be a visual thing but not a state of mind. I have about 120 friends on facebook, thousand of authors on my shelves, a puppy, a wonderful new friend, a couple of fantastic local  old friends and  two roomates in my life that give me the illusion that I am not alone and the regular phone calls from my lovely daughter that brighten my life., pretty busy "Stille Life". That might be all that I need at the moment, maybe? So where did  all this outpouring of creative energy go? all I can say is that it is in a reset, relocate mode, absorb new surroundings, setting new roots, getting comfortable with one's new self, letting enough time for that new person to re-energize, it is just letting the yeast rise and mingle until ready to cook.
That was quite a discourse about introducing my Picture a Day. Digression is a beautiful mess but necessary in order to find where the thread went and where it is going, a good way to untie the knots and sew it into life again. Cheers!
"In My Hood"