Friday, May 26, 2017

Welcome Baby Button

Getting born is hard work!

Melody, Singing

My heart gets all squishy looking at our new granddaughter.

Baby Meets Grandpa Dale

Melody Grace Otto
Born May 25, 2017
3:01 pm
21 inches tall
7 lbs 3 oz

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Lilac Time

When lilacs bloom beneath the pines, it's one of my very favorite times of the year. I'll let the images speak for themselves.


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Studio Morning

I spent most of this weekend in my Studio, working on my sewing project. The garment construction is going well. The fitting was better than expected. However, my tailoring skills are still growing. It's astonishing how much brain energy it takes to combine the creative process with engineering the angles and curves.

When I approached the Studio door this morning, my old Singer was waiting for me, eager to begin again.

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My hat is off to all those contestants on Project Runway. It's not easy for me to create a garment in a week. How much more difficult to design and create a garment in a single day - only to do it day after day after day in a competition!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Dispatches from Anxious Davazes

The whole family still waits with love and (our best attempt at) patience as Baby Otto takes her time
being born. This evening, Dale, Jodie and I wrote a few words of encouragement toward our new family member:

Waiting for Button
Baby Julie
Our Julie is anxious
Hold on. She'll come soon.
~Margaret Davaz

Head down, little one.
A world awaits, impatient.
Choose your own best time.
~Dale Davaz

Beautiful, bitty baby Button,
Belligerently battles beneath brazen belly.
Birth, bumpkin! Before belabored blubbering!
Baited breathing, buzzing, buildup ...
Behold: bouquets, bonnets, beautiful babbles.
~Jodie Davaz

We are so ready to love on this child.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sewing Progress

The basic shape of the dress is put together. I even managed to install an invisible zipper (for only the 2nd time in my life). The fabric is much more dreamy to work with than I was anticipating. The pattern drafting seems to be working so far.

Now all I need is a model to come for a fitting.

Friday, May 19, 2017

On the Cutting Table

I'm back in my Studio, working on a new sewing project. I finished drafting the pattern today.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tall and Thin

Most of the time, tulips are grown in clusters. They look gorgeous in grand pops of reds, oranges, purples, and yellows. But somehow, this one bulb grew alone in a bed far from other plants at the base of our deck.

Was it lonely, so was crying? Or did I just happen to catch it right after the rain?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Orange Tulips

We didn't get many tulips in our yard this year. Those that grew had to survive lots of rain, some hail, and wind. I like looking out the kitchen window and seeing these two set off by the white and yellow flowers in the background. They're a little battered, but still a pretty sign of Spring.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mothers and Daughters

I spent the day with this special woman. Daughter Julie received a much needed massage as she gets ready for Baby Button's birth. It's very likely to happen this week!

Her shirt says it all. "Build a Better World." Julie and Jeff are doing their part.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Down By the Riverside

Look what's bloomin' in the Spokane River!

The way it swirls in the current is mesmerizing.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Last week, I spent a late afternoon tending to the Garden of Hope. This year, I planted it with violas. Rather than mixed colors, like last year, I planted the entire garden in this variegated purple and white with bright yellow centers.

I bought an entire flat, and went to town planting the flowers relatively close together.

I had some left, which I planted around the rose bush on the other side of the driveway. The three violas that survived the winter were transplanted into this little patch, too.

When that was done, I still had some plants left over, to I lined the other side of the walkway up to our front door.

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Now I smile a little every time I walk up to our home.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

My Piece of Cake

I've been poking along on this piece while watching TV. I finished it this afternoon. Instead of buttons as shown on the pattern, I found these three little heart beads that I staggered over the roses. This one is ready for a bath and some blocking before framing.

I'm enjoying stitching these little pieces lately. I do need to make some time to do the finishing work on them. But first, I have my mother-of-the-bride dress to finish altering (it's half done), and then the bride's alternate dress to create.

Oh. And a baby quilt. No word yet on when our little Button will arrive. Due date was yesterday!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Spring Sing

I've driven past the Cougar Bay Preserve for decades now. I thought it was time to stop and at least find out where to park so I can come back and explore.

This pretty bird was singing in the wetlands near the parking lot.

There are some geocaches to find in the area. That's a good excuse to return.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My Happy Place

Kiwanis Park along the Spokane River, Post Falls, Idaho

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Monday, May 8, 2017

River Meditation

The Spokane River is running quite fast right now. The beach below the small cliff in Kiwanis Park is  currently bare. It was good to walk along the shore on a sunny morning after the long winter, then sit in contemplation.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Including Deer Carcasses

It was a beautiful sunny Spring day in north Idaho. I'd spent the weekend with Jodie in central Washington. So when I got home, I did what I always love to do with Dale -- go for a ride in the convertible. Today we drove out into the countryside east of Coeur d'Alene, through Nettleton Gulch.

It's a paved road, that turns into a walker's paradise amid the forest, horse pastures, barns, and running stream. The road then downgrades to gravel, which then becomes a rougher forest service road as it heads up the side of the mountain. We decided to turn around before it was time to go 4-wheeling. At the turn-around point, these signs were posted (note the obligatory gunshot holes).

So very Idaho. I can't decide if my favorite part is the insistence on packing out your own deer carcasses, or the reminder that you must show up in court if cited.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Up, Up and Away!

Mom and Jo's Great Kennewick Hot Air Balloonfest Adventure

Nah. We're the ones full of hot air. We're here to do more wedding prep, including finding my dress. Done!

The hot air balloons? A giant photographic headboard in our hotel room!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Red Against Green

Tulips in my neighbor's front yard. The sunlight gives the petals a translucent quality.


A walk in my neighborhood is an adventure in enjoying gardening skills (that are not apparent in my yard!)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pollen Gatherer

Our grape hyacinth attract all kinds of buzzing winged things. While waiting for the bumblebee to show it's face, this creature stood still for a portrait.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Let Them Eat Cake!

I started another small stitching project today. It's called Have Your Cake. The finished piece will be just over 3 inches square. It's stitched on 14 ct aida - which is nice because I don't need magnification to see the holes in the fabric!

Today I stitched the guideline grid and began stitching the top layer of the cake. As you can see, I snip away the guidelines as the stitching approaches them. Even though this is a very small piece, I like having the visual reference so that it's less likely that I'll miscount the stitches.

I like having handwork to do while watching TV in the evenings. Otherwise, I find myself playing a game on my phone incessantly. Ultimately, that's not beneficial for my mental health. If I need to keep my hands busy, I might as well create something lovely.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Blue Switch Day

I found my 307th geocache today and earned this souvenir. I haven't been caching much lately, and seem to get nearly as many DNFs (did not find) as Founds. I was out alone today and tried for two, found one.

As Spring starts to dry up and Summer is on the horizon, I get the itch to cache. We'll see if I can up my Finds this year. I'll be with Jodie next weekend and we hope to make time to snag a few.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Soft Fabric Choices

Julie and I decided on these two fabrics for my granddaughter's quilt. The back will be the solid blue fleece. The sashing on the front will be the blue-flowered white-background flannel. The flannel was in my mom's possession when she died, so we'll be incorporating yet another bit of "Great-Grandma" into the quilt.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Progress Report 3

This weekend I finished the stitching on Secret Flower Bed. I also added the button embellishments as well as my name and the date. The bees and bunny and bird and worm and ladybug living in the garden tickle me.

I'll give it a bath and a press, then figure out how I want to finish it. I'm considering framing it and hanging it near my Beehive stitchery in the front hallway.

I finished this piece in 2006.

Perhaps I should print out my Bumblebutt photo and hang it near by for a tryptic.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


I've been chasing this bumblebee down for a week, trying to get a photo of her face. She only likes to come out in the sunshine, and we haven't had much of that lately.

So when I see her dancing in the grape hyacinth, I grab my camera, and take a few shots. The sound of the camera makes her mad, though. She flies around my head a few times, then scoots away.

She does have a nice bumblebutt, though. Look at those colors! That's the money shot.

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Friday, April 28, 2017


The forest floor is covered with this flower. I think it's called blue-eyed grass. Bright spots of color beneath the shade of the pines and stormy skies.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fallen from the Nest

Just the egg, not the robin.

I found this under a tree on my daily walk.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chihuly Glass Garden

One of my friends is visiting Seattle and was able to visit the Chihuly garden next to the Seattle Space Needle. I was in Seattle in May of 2012, right before the garden opened. I took a few photos from the Space Needle, and from walking around outside the garden. My friend's photos of the beautiful glass art reminded me of this image. I haven't edited or posted it until now.

I like the glass under the moody sky.

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I suppose in Seattle, they have a lot of those moody skies.

Personally, I've had about enough of our moody skies. I could sure use some sunshine.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bridal Shower Card

My daughter Jodie will be getting married in June. Because she lives in Oregon, I live in Idaho, and neither of us gets to travel much, it's been a bit of a challenge to have me help with the wedding planning.

A couple weekends ago, Jodie had her bridal shower, which I planned to attend. Unfortunately, a minor medical event happened here at home, so I had to miss her shower! I was so sad that happened. So as the shower was taking place in Oregon, I spent the time in my Studio creating a special card to go with the gift Dale and I were giving her.

The colors for Jodie and Ken's wedding are eggplant, blush, and grey. So I scrounged through my stash for some pretty papers and ribbons in those colors to create this card. I got the inspiration for the card on Pinterest. The hearts are made from some silver foil wrapping paper, some scrapbook paper, and an embossed bit of cardstock I'd saved from a Christmas card. The purple bow is made from satin ribbon. A silver ribbon was added above the hearts.

On the inside, I created the sentiment in my paint program. The little bird is part of the design she's using on her invitations and table favors. The words? From The Princess Bride.

I made the envelope from pink cardstock, using a template from Mel Stampz. I added the heart "stamp" cut from purple cardstock. Then adhered the silver ribbon to the bottom of the envelope to tie the envelope design to the card design.

On the back of the envelope, I also added the silver ribbon.

I was able to visit Jodie the following weekend and gave her the gift and card at that time. We had a fantastic weekend together and got a good deal of wedding prep done.

Fun fact. When Dale and I got married 26 years ago, we created our own invitations. This purple and pink cardstock is left over from our wedding!


Card inspired by a card I saw on Pinterest with no known image source.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Progress Report 2

I had a lot of time to stitch this weekend while nursing my cold. Here's my progress on Secret Flower Bed.