Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Point Ruston Half-Birthday

For Kate and Andy's half-birthday we got pho at Vien Dong for lunch, and then went up to Point Ruston and rented a surrey bike. This was the first time we'd been there since they made all the changes. It's looking great! The view is lovely. Kate especially liked the spray park with the natural rocks on the slope.

The big surrey bike--which can fit up to six larger people and two small kids in the front basket--is $35 an hour. It's a bit expensive, but fun for a special occasion. I realized later that we probably could have fit just fine on the smaller one, which is $25 an hour.

I'm practicing taking videos on my phone to get ready for our Korea trip!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Festival of Sail and Lady Washington (and a really big rubber duck)

Doug has always wanted to sail on a tall ship. He finally got the opportunity at the Festival of Sail, where he booked a ride on the Lady Washington. I took that kids down to watch. It turned out to be a great day for it--patchy clouds, not too hot, not too sunny, and a good amount of wind.

Doug and I traded phones so he could take the Samsung on the ship and get some video. Then I got to play with editing it.

When I said, "All your video is vertical!" he said, "It's a pretty vertical ship!"

We can make out Doug standing with the passengers on deck.

Kate ran down to Thea's Park to follow the ship as it went out.

Watching Dad sail away.

Andy loves the world!

Chilling in a bouncy house. There was also a band playing nearby which Andy thought was pretty cool. I had to keep him from running up on the stage.

This giant rubber duck was in the harbor near the glass museum for the duration of the festival. It was a lot of fun to see. That yellow sure stands out! I hear it is six stories tall.


Going across the bridge at the glass museum. We parked up by the Pantages and took the Link both ways. Still a lot of walking! I was glad it wasn't too hot. The kids both did great.

Some of Doug's photos from the ship:

He said it was very cool to be on the ship and see all the parts and the crew members working like a finely-tuned machine. Certainly a day to remember! And the rest of us had a good time too.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Painting La Périchole

La Périchole is an operetta by Jacques Offenbach, set in Lima, Peru. (It was originally written in French--Tacoma Opera performed an English translation.) It was a big painting job!

We reused some of the painted drop cloths from Fledermaus. I worked on these at the Armory for a while, and then we moved over to the Northwest Stage warehouse.

Working on my scrubbed-stucco look. We put muslin over the seams once we got it onstage, so I had to go over a lot of it again.

Gail cuts styrofoam blocks.

Stippling. I've got the technique down but it does take a while.

A new addition at the warehouse--one of the guys in the adjacent workspace got locked in recently.

On stage at the Rialto. I didn't go on Saturday, when most of the build happened, but there was a lot of finishing-up to do in the remaining week.

Drawing brick lines with a paint pen.

Royce hangs up the picado streamers.

Styrofoam blocks for the prison scene. There's an old prisoner who breaks out of his cell only to find himself in an adjoining cell.

We put the painted drops on rolls and cranked them up and down. It worked but it was really a pain to put together. We probably won't do it that way again.

(photo by Peter Serko)

I took Kate and Tavah to the Friday performance. It's a very funny show. Marcus Shelton, who performed the fabulous routine with the mop in Fledermaus, played the role of Piquillo. He's so good at the physical comedy. Christopher Nardine directed this one too. He likes to add in a lot of extra jokes in the dialog, which the reviewer from the Tribune didn't appreciate. Marcus made a reference to this in the Friday show--"This letter sucks! Even worse than the review!"--and got a good laugh. Chris has a fun directorial style and I could tell that everyone was just having a good time with the production. Kate and Tavah both enjoyed the show. Tavah says she will have to attend more operas in the future.

Monday, April 17, 2017


Spring is lovely, after an excessively rainy winter. We've had some really nice days lately. I have some tomato babies started inside.

We missed our neighborhood egg hunt, but Kate dug out our plastic eggs and we took turns hiding and finding them around the front yard. (She put a pink egg inside a pink tulip and I just wasn't seeing it at all--we had to play hot and cold for me to find it.)

Friday evening Kate and I went down to Olympia to see the Japanese movie Your Name. Peter and Karen saw it a couple of days earlier and strongly recommended it, so I looked it up to see where it was playing. It was quite fascinating and twisty, and the animation was really gorgeous. I was worried, briefly, that it wasn't going to have a satisfying ending, but it delivered at the last minute. The version we saw was dubbed; I realized later that the one showing in Tukwila was subtitled. I'd like to see it that way too, later. Kate said it's her new favorite movie.

I'm in the middle of more opera painting. Busy busy!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Federation Forest

It was Discovery Pass Free Day, meaning we could go to a state park without paying the pay use fee, so we picked Federation Forest (near Enumclaw). It turned out the main parking area and interpretive center (and important things like bathrooms) were still closed for the season, but we parked outside and went in anyway.  There were a few other people around, too. 

There was a ridge overlooking the river, and a steep slope that took a bit of tricky negotiating to get down.

We spent a good long time just hanging out by the river, enjoying the scenery, and throwing rocks in the water. (Anywhere there are rocks, water, and Andy, you know there is going to be a lot of throwing going on.)

Lots of cool rocks along the river!

Scrambling back up the slope.

We knew we were going to be there over lunch time, so I packed some snacks and fed everyone in the car, and then on the way back we stopped at a place called Mr. Jalapeño in Bonney Lake. It was unexceptional but worked out fine for our needs. (The kids' plates were a lot bigger than we were expecting--we should have just gotten one and split it.)

The kids had a great time, just being out and exploring the woods. I'd been feeling the need for an excursion, so I was glad we made it happen. A grand day out!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Dad's Air Force Quilt

I was able to fly out to Ohio for my dad's retirement ceremony. He's been serving his country for fifty years--twenty years active duty Air Force, and thirty years in civil service. My sister Barb had the idea to make this quilt for him. There wasn't time to piece it, so she called me up and told me what she had in mind, and asked if I could design something digitally and we could get it printed. I put the background together with gelli prints, and created the plane silhouettes in Adobe Illustrator. These are the three main airplanes that he worked on--the T-6, C-17, and F-35.

Barb wanted fifty stars around the border, and I thought they would look good on a background of smaller stars. I made some gelli prints and scanned them.

I made a large star stamp and stamped it with acrylic paint on fabric to get the texture I wanted.

I scanned the stars and made them into Photoshop brushes to put around the border.

Barb and I went back and forth with the image a few times to make sure everything was just right, and then I sent the completed file to Pattern Jam. They printed it out on fabric and sent it to Barb.

Barb put it together and quilted it on her longarm machine. The printing turned out great (the red came out a little more orange than I was expecting), and Barb did a fabulous job with the quilting.

Barb is a longarm artiste!

Presenting the quilt to Dad.

Barb said, "It will keep you warm while you take naps."

It was a really lovely ceremony. Peter sang the national anthem (first and fourth verses, by request), and did a great job. Everyone had lots of nice things to say about Dad.

After the ceremony we had a receiving line. Kirsten sat out most of it. The rest of us thought it would be funny to line up by height.

Betsey and Barb were up late the night before making fudge. I did the labels. I hear it was quite tasty. I think they're still eating that cake.

Barb was the only one who came out with her whole family--Peter and I left ours at home. Our Cousin Mark came from Indiana, and we all had a fun couple of days together. We played some games and ate Korean food and made inappropriate jokes about making fudge.

Congratulations, Dad!