Olympic Peninsula (Dungeness Pt.)

We only stayed on the Olympic Peninsula for two days and one night so we decided to splurge and stay at a nice B&B in Dungeness. It was quite pleasant and a bit different than our usual hotel or hired house experience. Major upsides include: B&B was a converted barn, nice in-bloom flower garden, and an magnificent sunset over the beach.

On day 2 we decided to check out the water rather than the mountains. There is a large spit out onto the Strait of Juan de Fuca called the Dungeness Spit that is both a wildlife refuge for waterfowl and a long hike on the beach. We had a very pleasant hike, but I suppose it was a bit nondescript, just a long sandy walk with gorgeous views.

Overall, it was a fun trip and we will certainly go out to the Olympics again. Next time, maybe even go deep into the rain forest.

As mentioned awesome sunset! With bonus background Canada.

As mentioned awesome sunset! With bonus background Canada.

Garden views.

Garden views.

This picture has two bald eagles and a hawk. One day I might get a nice telephoto lens, but the thought of lugging it around...

This picture has two bald eagles and a hawk. One day I might get a nice telephoto lens, but the thought of lugging it around…

My favorite beach, one with lots of skippable stones.

My favorite beach, one with lots of skippable stones.

We thought ahead and took a photo of both of us together!!!!

We thought ahead and took a photo of both of us together!!!!

Mini Fitted Sheet

Some friends with children came out for a visit last month so we needed to find a way to make a toddler bed. Fortunately, we have a collection of floor cushions that make a very comfortable bed. To make them more bed-like we decided to make a fitted sheet. It was a pretty easy process as I already had the measurements from the covers. I took the cover pattern (minus the bottom face) and added elastic to the corners.

Measuring the fabric.

Measuring the fabric.

The flat fitted sheet.

The flat fitted sheet.

The finished sheet on a floor cushion.

The finished sheet on a floor cushion.

A Jasmine for scale.

A Jasmine for scale.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out – especially since it made a pretty comfortable toddler bed. If I were to do it again, I’d use more elastic. This seems to be how store-bought fitted sheets are made.

Olympic National Park (Lake Crescent)

We decided to go for a nice weekend trip since the weather looked like it was going to hold out for the weekend and were rewarded with a beautiful weekend on the Olympic peninsula. We hadn’t really gone out much previously but, as we now live next to the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, we have no excuse not to go out more frequently.

On day one, we drove and ferried over to Olympic National Park and went for a hike to some waterfalls and around Lake Crescent. It was pretty in the standard Pacific Northwest way with the moderately dense cedar forests, cascading cascades, and obscenely clear blue lakes. As always, we were highly amused by the trails full of people up to the first picturesque site listed on the map and then clear of anyone afterward. As a general spoiler, we consider the walk its own reward.

Step one - drive 0.5 miles to the ferry. We live in a weird place.

Step one – drive 0.5 miles to the ferry. We live in a weird place.

The lake was a pleasant little walk since the main trail was under construction :(

The lake was a pleasant little walk since the main trail was under construction :(

Wasterfall! Not even called bridal falls for a change of pace.

Waterfall! Not even called bridal falls for a change of pace.

This was a singe tree bridge that was around 150 ft long, that is like 30 meters!

This was a singe tree bridge that was around 150 ft long. That is like 30 meters!

Now with thinking ahead pictures of Jasmine and Lloyd.

Now with thinking ahead pictures of Jasmine and Lloyd.

Ballet Slipper Redux

A little over a year ago, I knit myself a pair of ballet slippers. Unfortunately, the slippers were not made to be worn every night for over a year and soon wore out.

Just a couple of small holes.

Just a couple of small holes.

I really liked these slippers and still had plenty of yarn left over, so I decided to knit myself a new pair. This time with felt soles.

Ballet shoe style soles.

Ballet shoe style soles.

I also changed up how I did the lacing in an effort to keep them in place on my feet a little better.

The new lacing method. More like actual ballet shoes.

The new lacing method. More like actual ballet shoes.

I’m very glad I have a new pair of slippers. Hopefully this pair will last longer than the last as I’ll have to buy a new skein of yarn for the next pair!

My new favorite (and only) pair of slippers.

My new favorite (and only) pair of slippers.

Christmas Party Dress

For the past two years, I’ve used Lloyd’s company Christmas party as an excuse to make myself a fancy new dress. This past year, I finally decided to give print at home pdf patterns a shot. I have to say that I’m not a fan of this pattern distribution method. Yes, I can get the pattern right now and, yes, the selection is really very good, but they’re really a lot of work. First of all, like many millennials, I don’t own a printer so the first hurdle is finding a way to print my pattern. Then I have to assemble it myself, make a muslin of the garment (something I’d do with any type of pattern), and then draft a new pattern piece to match the changes. My taped together pieces of computer paper just don’t hold up under modifications.

Once I got my pattern set up and resized properly, I was very happy with it. Since my favorite fabric store in the Seattle area went out of business, I’ve been ordering my fabric from Mood. I got a light green silk for this project and the dress turned out really well! As a bonus, it’s also one of the most comfortable formal dresses I own. I’m very happy with this one.

The finished dress. I thought the lighter color would work at any time of year.

The finished dress. I thought the lighter color would work at any time of year – not that I’m looking for a reason to wear it again… :)

Dress from the First Floor of Britex!

Since I first went in to Britex 10 years ago, I’ve wanted to make a fancy dress from the fabric they sell on the first floor. For those of you not familiar with this particular fabric store, the first floor is where they keep all the expensive fabrics like silks and wools. As a grad student, that wasn’t going to happen. So when we went back to SF to visit friends last spring I knew what I wanted to do: shop on the first floor of Britex!

I’d already done my homework and knew, generally speaking, what style of dress I wanted to make, what materials I wanted to use, and how much fabric to buy. However, one of the advantages of Britex is that the staff is always excited about offering advice on fabric selections. I was introduced to a silk/silicone blend that had an interesting shimmery tone. I really liked it, but thought it was a bit much, so I got a geometric print sheer silk fabric to use as an overlay to tone it down. For the skirt, I got a lavender wool crepe. I’ve always wanted to work with this fabric and, now that I have, will definitely be buying more wool crepe next time I go to SF.

I was very happy with how this dress turned out and have already been able to wear it to two events. Shopping on the first floor was definitely a fun experience and something I’d like to do again – though I probably won’t go all out again unless I have a particular reason. I don’t need that many fancy dresses!

The dress from the front.

The dress from the front.

The back view of the dress. You can tell it's late in summer from my very visible tan lines. :)

The back view of the dress. You can tell it’s late in summer from my very visible tan lines. :)

Seattle Blizzagnarak

Seattle has been having its snow of the century and since Snowmaggedon and Snowpocalyse seem a bit overplayed to me, we have coined it the Seattle Blizzagnarak. It is sort of funny because at about 12-18 inches of snow over the last week, it is kind off a nothing event by the standards of the mid west and Northeast, but the city shuts down as we just don’t have the infrastructure.

That being said, it has been a blast for us as we both miss the snow. It is both easy to walk around as we are now within walking distance of a number of major streets which are plowed and some of the restaurants and cafes have stayed open. So we just get to work from home and wander around in the snow, which is great fun.

Everything looks so crisp and clean in the snow.

Everything looks so crisp and clean in the snow.

Snowman! The snow was sticky enough over the weekend that we made Mr. Rhodes, the rhododendron snow man.

Snowman! The snow was sticky enough over the weekend that we made Mr. Rhodes, the rhododendron snow man.

It was a picture perfect day on Saturday!

It was a picture perfect day on Saturday!

Throwing snowballs into the sea is surprisingly fun.

Throwing snowballs into the sea is surprisingly fun.

It is funny that while there is about a foot of snow 60 ft away from the beach the water keeps it snow free and "warm" at the beach.

It is funny that while there is about a foot of snow, 60 ft away from the beach the water keeps it snow free and “warm”.

Fauntleroy Sound

One of the things that drew us to West Seattle was the proximity to the water. After living within walking distance or a short bike to the Bay, Ocean, or Harbor for over a decade, living in Renton was a bit of a bummer – especially in the summer. So I figured if this first new house post was just a couple pictures of our local beach, that would be for the best.

The view just down the block.

The view just down the block.

Warning: judgy cats by water.

Warning: judgy cats by water.

Panorama from Brace Pt. to Fauntleroy terminal.

Panorama from Brace Pt. to Fauntleroy Terminal.

Farewell to Renton

We missed  “the dash of other carriages, the heavy rumble of carts and drays, the bawling of newspapermen, muffin-men and milkmen, and the ceaseless clink of pattens” and all of the other good that comes out of living close in to a city so we have given up the suburbs for a house in West Seattle. I’m sure one day both of us are more suited for the country, but not while we have to commute into jobs. Suburbia is full of compromises I would rather not make.

To say goodbye to the old house we went for a walk on our favorite circuit: down the Ceder River Trail to Lake Washington, then back through Renton with proper zigzagging through suburbs and parks. It is a nice 10 mile walk that we would do every other week or so, so I wanted to temporarily immortalize it through a blog post. For you, Renton, “Let us say not farewell, but as the French have it, au revoir!”

The Ceder River trail is very nice for the three quarters not on the highway.

The Ceder River Trail is very nice for the three quarters not on the highway.

This bridge is a library! I would put King Country up for best library system.

This bridge is a library! I would put King Country up for best library system.

And finally Lake Washington with that damn interloper Mercer Island.

And, finally, Lake Washington with that damn interloper Mercer Island.

Boeing lines up all the 737's like ducks in a row by the water. The awesome turquoise color is the coating before paining.

Boeing lines up all the 737’s like ducks in a row by the water. The awesome turquoise color is the coating before painting.

There are some surprisingly nice vista's in Renton.

There are some surprisingly nice vistas in Renton.

Halifax, or The End of This Trip

Our tour of eastern Canada ended up with a two day stay in Halifax. We had some weather troubles with Halifax in that it was cold, rainy, and windy most of the time we were there. That being said, it was part of the risk of an autumn trip to Canada and there were some cool coffee shops and museums to check out. We spent a good portion of a day at the Citadel (i.e. the fort in the middle of the city) and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, both of which were quite fun.

The weather turned nicer the second day so we went out to the water and took a nice long walk through in the city.  On the third day, we were flying out later in the afternoon so we took the car and went out into more rural Nova Scotia and ended up in the UNESCO heritage site of Grand-Pre with a large landscape of dikes and farmland. It was very pretty and calm and we both rather enjoyed it.

Overall, we had a nice time and I would rate Nova Scotia 9/10, would visit again.

You can tell that we are in Halifax because it is written on the seaway.

You can tell that we are on the Seabridge because it is written on the eabridge.

Got to check out dem small boats.

Got to check out dem small boats.

Pt. Pleasent park had a fair share of fortifications, the best way to keep the french away.

Pt. Pleasant Park had a fair share of fortifications, the best way to keep the French away.

A picture of Lloyd and Jasmine, looking out over the Atlantic instead of the Pacific for a change of pace.

A picture of Lloyd and Jasmine, looking out over the Atlantic instead of the Pacific for a change of pace.

Grand Pre had some pretty rural sites.

Grand Pre had some pretty rural sites.