I swear I’m still alive! I’ve even had the second half of my QuiltCon blog post written for months (last edited 5/16/17 per WordPress… oops), but I haven’t gotten around to adding photos (coming soon, I promise!)… and the longer I wait to blog, the more I feel like I’ve got to catch up on, and the more daunting the task gets. It doesn’t help that after being on the computer all day at work, sitting at my computer at home is about the last thing I want to do. So there will be a very light catch-up. Thank goodness that I have been journaling, though, so I don’t miss the important/fun bits!
I feel like I was busy all summer… I was a vendor at the Yelm Farmers Market about every other weekend from June through the end of September, excepting August, because I had a booth at the Pierce County Fair for the four days that it ran. I desperately need to verify my inventory numbers and reopen my Etsy shop! Most of my sewing since QuiltCon has been canvas bags for my Etsy shop, but I did make a couple of other fun bits, which you’ve already seen if you follow me on Instagram. We weren’t really able to do any hiking, between farmers markets, the summer being very hot (thank goodness Destin put in air conditioning this past spring), and what felt like at least half the summer being under various air quality warnings due to wildfire smoke from fires in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Canada.
I got brave and used Kraftex to make a “3 in 1 Betsy Bag” for my mom, although I turned it into a “2 in 1” since she preferred a zipper across the top instead of a drawstring. The Kraftex was really interesting to work with – it’s officially a paper product that washes like fabric and wears like leather. Her bag hasn’t seen a ton of use yet to put the last bit to the test, but I did run the Kraftex through the washing machine on hot three times to soften it up a bit to make it workable before I started cutting my pieces out!
I also finally got my hiney in gear and made a Luxie Lunch Bag for my friend Patsy for her birthday in September. I’d bought the fabric months ago, since it was just so her… purple, AND deer/camping! The fabric is from Tula Pink’s Moonshine line in the indigo/sky colorways. All fabrics were pre-washed so the bag itself can be washed once the frame is removed, and it’s lined with Insul-Shine, so it can be used as a lunch bag, purse, or anything-bag! This is the fourth bag I’ve made, and each one is getting easier!
For my latest sewing, I finally sewed together the pumpkin block from Farm Girl Vintage that I cut fabric out for October of LAST year, and turned it into a mini-quilt wall hanging, finished size: about 14.5″ square. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out – and I sewed the whole thing on my little vintage Singer Featherweight!
We went on vacation in August – out to the cabin at Loon Lake, and a few fun detours on the drive home. While we were at the cabin, I was able to (nearly) finish my Gryffindor Scarf and then get started on my Doctor Who Fourth Doctor scarf. I’m sure that will get a post of its own when I’m done with it! I’d run short on the yarn I’d taken with me on vacation for my Gryffindor scarf, so I was able to get that finished, blocked, and tasseled when we got home. We’d headed over to the cabin on Sunday, and left on Friday… it was nice to have a week to relax, read, and knit!
We were at the cabin for the solar eclipse on August 21st, and even though we were nowhere near totality, it was awesome to be able to sit on the dock with our $2 eclipse glasses and watch it. I’d expected it to get darker than it did, and I was surprised that the light got weird. It was like the sunlight went from its normal warm hue to a cooler hue, and the shadows got odd. I’m not sure how to describe it. I took the photo above with my cell phone camera aimed through a lens of my eclipse glasses – it was far brighter out than the photo makes it look!
Gardner Cave has been on our to-do list for a while, and since it was about a two hour drive straight north of the cabin, it was perfect to do it on our trip. Gardner Cave is the third largest limestone cave in Washington (I have no idea what the first two are), and there are guided tours through it. As much as I love hiking when there aren’t any other people around, I appreciate that the tour was guided, both for the extra information we got, and for the fact that it helps keep vandalism down in the cave. It was super cool, and I took about fifty photos in the cave with my DSLR, but not all of them turned out. Thank heavens for digital photography!
From Gardner Cave, it’s only about a mile hike round trip to the US-Canadian border, so of course I had to go. It’s not a legal border crossing, so it’s officially illegal to cross into Canada, but it was fun to hike up to where you could see the swath cut in the forest dividing the two countries at the 49th parallel. The unofficial sign marking the boundary was missing, but we found the fallen tree referenced in a WTA trip report, with a small American flag tied to it, and we could see the path in the trees off in the distance. Since there wasn’t a clear path cut where we were, we may not have made it all the way to the border, but it was fun to go as far as we did!
We decided to leave the cabin a day early to do some sight-seeing on our way home. Our first stop was Grand Coulee Dam – Destin had never been, and I’d only been once, in 2002 with my dad and my brother. It was cool to see some parts of the dam, but I was disappointed that visitors no longer get to take the little trolley cart down into the powerhouses – I remember that part being really cool when I was there before, and I thought Destin would really enjoy getting to see the generators as well. I did have some fun taking panoramic photos with my cell phone, as well as taking some photos with my DSLR.
From Grand Coulee Dam, we went to Dry Falls. I’ve read that there’s some good hiking around there, so we’ll have to go back at some point when the temperatures aren’t in the 80s or 90s. It would be amazing to see how it used to look with water running over the falls, but considering that was during the last ice age, that sure won’t be happening without a time machine!
From Dry Falls, we headed to Leavenworth to stay the night. I’m so used to the scenery (or lack thereof) on the way back home from Eastern Washington on I-90 that our detour was a beautiful change. The channeled scablands were incredible to see, and it would be even cooler to see them from a small airplane – where the water was carved out from the Lake Missoula floods that created Dry Falls. Some of the rock formations looked more like they belonged in Arizona/Nevada/Utah than in Eastern Washington!
We arrived in Leavenworth late afternoon, and we were able to relax a bit before finding dinner and then wandering through the shops. We stayed at my favorite hotel – the Icicle Inn. To be fair, it’s also the only hotel I’ve stayed at in Leavenworth, but when you find a hotel within walking distance of all of the shops, and one that has a full complimentary breakfast – including a Belgian waffle station, why bother trying anywhere else?? We were able to get home the next day by noon, since Leavenworth is so much closer to home than Loon Lake is, which made for an easier transition back to the “real world”… extra time to unpack and do laundry, before having to go back to work on Monday. We’ll have to try something like that again!
Completely unrelated to our vacation, but still fun, this past week, I’ve also been doing some research on redoing my 29 gallon aquarium, as well as just having purchased a 2.6 gallon tank for a Betta I couldn’t resist at the pet store, so stay tuned for some fish tank photos.
Most recently, we did have a sadness in the family… my grandma’s younger sister, my Great-Aunt Norma, passed away from heart failure this month at the age of 82. She was the one that inspired me to try English Paper Piecing and to make my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt top. She will be missed by so many!