Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Plants (and Walls)

I was struck by the elegance of this bare wisteria trunk framing someone's front window.

A few days later, I drove past almost classic Southwestern view -- the Indian paintbrush against an adobe wall -- although the paintbrush in this case is actually, I think, a montbretia. The afternoon light made the image perfect, so I pulled over and took this photo.

Brightening my bedroom, and providing a lovely scent, is this lily of the valley. I guess if you live in some parts of the country, they're practically weeds, but here in California we must buy them in pots and cherish them for a few weeks as they bloom.

-- Rachel

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Winter Has Commented

Winter has commented on my blogpost from Monday.

(There was hard frost on my car windshield both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Here's the little icy crust at the left side of my windshield after I scraped a bit and ran my wipers.)

-- Rachel

Sunday, March 08, 2009


bare tree with bird's nestDaffodils

Two photos taken in the late afternoon sun: There's a bird's nest in that tree, a tree about to burst into bloom. And in Berkeley, daffodils everywhere.

While today was officially only the first day of Daylight Savings Time, it sure felt like the first day of spring. Glorious weather, probably 60 degrees -- warm enough so that for part of the afternoon, my quilting friends and I sat in the classroom with the door wide open.

-- Rachel

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Orchids, Quilts, More Quilts

This weekend is the big orchid show in San Francisco. I've missed it the last couple of years; sometimes I console myself with a new orchid from Trader Joe's, but it's not the same as seeing a zillion beautiful and sometimes weird plants all in one place. There's a special preview evening on Friday, but I can't really justify going. Fort Mason; usually there's parking for a small fee at a nearby school, with a shuttle to the show itself.

Saturday and Sunday is the San Francisco Quilt Guild's show, featuring Judy Mathiesen. She made the gorgeous Mariner's Compass quilt shown above.

Saturday afternoon, Gretchen Jennings is giving a presentation at the Cotton Patch in Lafayette, CA. And Sunday morning, I'm taking a class there with Sonya Lee Barrington.

Too many places to be at once! -- Rachel

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Potlatch, Stitches West

Freddie Baer made her best T-shirt ever (if it's possible to distinguish between numerous excellent works), Ursula LeGuin and Vonda McIntyre were there, the banquet had tasty food and pleasant company, the con suite was always hospitable, and my only complaint was not getting enough time to spend with people I liked. Potlatch 18 is over, and what a terrific con it was!

In between, I managed to attend Stitches West, the biggest yarn market in the state; I bought drop spindles, dyed and plain roving (semi-processed wool, to the rest of you), snips of qiviut (musk ox fiber) and mohair and plain cream "mystery sheep", silk-and-tencel yarn, cotton yarn from Jill Vosburg (Just One More Row), rayon from Swallow Hill Creations for knitting into jewelry, paper yarn from Habu Textiles that looks like it were made from finely-sliced newspapers, truly weird linen yarn with persimmon extract that looks like brown barbed wire, orange-and-purple variegated Koigu (fine wool yarn) from my friend Merilyn Jeniye's shop Foxy Knits (and renewed my acquaintance with her sister Sharon), fabulous blue and green yarn, two skeins of Waikiki which is a sock yarn without any wool -- in a beatiful seagreen shade; and several interesting patterns. And I should have picked up Lucy Neatby's tractor sock pattern; and I would have gotten the Shelby Shawl pattern and some Cascade silk from Yarn Barn of Kansas but their line was always too long. I shopped with Royale Hare, Carolina Homespun, and more -- I'll try to amend these links when I find all my receipts.

-- Rachel