Thursday, June 25, 2009

Best of the Northwest/Art 30

Art 30 is the new name for the new incarnation of the summer show that Best of the Northwest is doing. The last few years it's been in Marymoor Park (Redmond) in mid-August. This year it's back at Magnuson Park off Sand Point Way and it's June.

If you're following along to the Best of the Northwest story, we are probably never going back to the old location in the Hangar at the Naval station. The Cliff Notes version is that the building was decaying into such bad shape that the city wanted to sell it to a developer rather than fix it. And then a developer decided to buy it and fix it up. But it was to be for their own purposes and no longer available to be rented out to groups. Lots of protests from the community who wanted access. The deal stood. And then the deal fell through, some financing snafoo. But the building is not habitable and not worth fixing, I guess.

The NW Art Alliance (business name for Best of the Northwest shows) has signed a longish lease at Seattle Center now for the spring and fall shows. So they'll be staying put there. But this summer show is testing the waters back at Sand Point. It's teamed up with Live Arts of Bothell, and it doing this show during the same weekend as the bicycle ride "Artride '09" along the Burke Gilman Trail.

We are going to be at Hangar 30 this time - partly inside and partly outside. The Soapworks booth is outside and luckily it will be sunny and dry all weekend, or so the forecast predicts. It's free admission at the summer shows, and there is free parking right there and we're back in Seattle. All good things, so I'm hoping this version will be successful. Do not expect as many artists though - it's a busy summer and there are lots of shows to choose from, so some of the usual artists didn't want to take a risk for this first-time show, opting instead for the tried and true. Totally expected when times are tough. I think there's about 75 artists scheduled which would still be a nice showing, but I'm not on the inside track.

Deets: Saturday and Sunday, June 27-38, 10am-6pm both days

More info at Art 30

ETA: Linkie fixed

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Yesterday I posted a picture of Louie, so it's only fair that I post a picture of my other beautiful girl, Dora. I usually call her Boo. Or Skinny Butt. or Chick Pea. She's got a hundred names.

I know. Pictures of your cat on a blog are stoooopid. I obviously don't have kid pictures to post. But some of you out there have heard so many stories about them, that maybe you want to see what they look like lately. Still super cute. Maybe the cutest cats in the world. I'm not biased :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


This is what I usually feel like on a Monday after a long show. Not so bad yesterday - it was a busy day around here. But this little gal had a rough night and needed a serious snooze.

Just wanted to post a little extra cuteness.

Edmonds Arts Festival

Lots of shows in June -- this weekend I'll be at the Edmonds Arts Festival - voted "Best Street Fair" in Western Washington for 2009 by the Evening Magazine poll for NW Escapes.

One of the most prestigious fine arts fairs in the Northwest, attracting artists from across the nation -- in a beautiful setting overlooking the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. There is also live entertainment, a juried gallery exhibition, a nationally-recognized juried children's art exhibit, a hands-on children's art activity area, wonderful food and a wine bar and bistro.

Dates: June 19, 20 & 21, 2008
Hours: Fri 11:00am-9pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm

Soapworks Booth Location: I will be in the indoor Plaza Room, the top floor of the Edmonds Library, Space #P105. Just a note, Fine Art is located in the field at the street level. Traditional Craft (which my category of soap stuffs falls under) is located above the library, in the outside plaza and inside the Plaza Room at the top floor of the library. We're all above the street, on the other side of the building complex from the other art vendors, so look for us!

For more information: Edmonds Arts Festival There are lists of participants there, maps and shuttle information, free parking and more.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sorticulture this weekend

I'm late in posting this. Sorry for the last minute. Lots of things going on - not the least of which was a water emergency the other day. Don't ask. Oh ok. I have to tell. I've been spending weeks on the front bushes. Taking them out I mean.

For the last month or so I've been hacking away at the two gigantic laurel bushes that were stupidly planted (not by us, the previous owners) right up against the house between the sidewalk and the foundation. For years I've battled those bushes, trimming them back like crazy, only to have them grow a foot in a week and flop over the sidewalk again. You couldn't even get to the front door anymore without trampsing through the flower bed on the other side of the walk to get in the house.

Then when we did the work downstairs we discovered the roots had come clear through the foundation and started growing in the basement. It was causing all kinds of trouble inside and out. It was time for them to go. So I decided heck yeah I can just rip them out myself. No problem. Right. I sawed and hacked each week until the giant yard waste bin was overloaded. Then the next week I did it again. I think it was a solid four weeks of branches and limbs. Until I got down to the two trunks sticking up out of the dirt. I started digging with my shovel. And axing. The first one would hardly budge.

Hopes dashed, I started calling around for stump grinders or someone to help. But since we live up a flight of stairs from the street, there was no equipment that could be used. I kept hearing "just dig it out by hand." So Saturday afternoon I donned the gloves and started in earnest. When I finally got the first trunk out I was ecstatic! Bliss! All my hard work and I finally did it - a hole in the ground!

That lasted about two whole minutes. I went back to get a piece of big-ass root that was caught up against the house foundation and it was really stuck in. Pushing and pulling, I felt a give and then whoooooosh - water started gushing up, making a swimming pool in the blink of an eye. I had dislodged the water main. My heart sank at the same time I ran for the shut off at the front curb. No budging it. Ran for the basement, muddy boots and all, to get tools. Ran back to the curb and finally got the water shut off. Emergency calls to plumbers, so sad.

Realistically, I knew that was going to happen. There was no way that giant root system was NOT wrapped around the water main line right there. It had come apart few years back for the same reason. I'm convinced that it was already slow leaking, the dirt seemed much damper than it should have been for that dry spot under the eaves.

What happened next was hours of panic and frantic calls. In a nutshell, there are no parts for that stupid piece of pipe from the street. They tried to convince me I needed to spend thousands and dismantle my new landscaping walls to re-dig the main line. I tried to convince them that I was not stupid and not rich. They then found a lovely fitting that worked, and a nice solid piece of copper pipe and fixed it for me. A few hundred bucks. Not a few thousand. I'm good to shower. But almost had a heart attack.

My next project? Removing a clump of bamboo that's like 30 feet high and crammed in a two foot space between the house and the patio up against the fence (again, bone-headed move of the previous owners, not me). I've spent hours the last few days trying to find a rescuer. But I'll still be digging the rhizomes out for months and years anyway. It's poking up through the patio stones again this summer, dropping leaves and messy junk all over my dinner and I just can't live with it any more. But it's beautiful and it should have a much roomier home. So we're trying to find a new owner for it.

Oh, and I'm doing a show this weekend. A gardening show. Did I forget to mention it? That was the whole purpose of the blog today. Sorticulture. If you like plants and gardening, you really should go. It's gorgeous and fabulous, filled with rare finds, new and lovely plants, garden art, funky stuff. Everett, this weekend. Link to all the seminars and talks and special guests and entertainment HERE. Plus hours and directions and map and stuff. It's free and the view is beautiful from that park up there. I so look forward to this show every year.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Summer Heat

It's been hot around here the last few days. The tomatoes, peppers, basil and pumpkins are really happy, and growing several inches a day.

I don't mind the hot, especially when we begged for sunshine for so long. And I'm not complaining about having to water the garden every day either. It's one of my favorite things to do in the morning, to check out how much has grown and what's new, the cats racing past the sprayer playing their daredevil games. Louie especially likes to outrun the water droplets and crosses back and forth under the hose spray. Hiding behind big leaf plants, she waits until I just get to her spot - waiting, waiting, as the spray gets closer until the first drops hit her in the nose, then leaping out, racing around again.

The greenery is suddenly so, well green. It seems like just a few weeks ago when there was hardly anything alive out there and now it's a jungle, a tangle of vines and drooping foliage and big fronds everywhere. The flower pots have suddenly gone from measly little starts dwarfed in their container to big frumpy masses of blossoms. It's lovely and wonderful.

Of course everyone keeps saying, "well you know it won't last - we always have rain in June." I try not to listen to them. Of course it will rain at some point, and that's fine. All this lushness needs a good soaking now and then. But I'm not hoping for a month of drizzle ahead, like I think the rain-lovers around here are. I think it's going to be a good month, and I'll be eating ripe, juicy little nuggets of cherry tomatos in no time.