Sunday, March 31, 2013

Art – My eye caught a glimpse of shinny silver lace necklaces while walking down the aisle at the Spring Best of the Northwest 2013 show. 

I had to stop by Entiat River Glass & Jewelry (ergj1).

Karen Snyder warmly invited me into her shop.
  I was surrounded by creative lampwork glass art, gemstones and gorgeous jewelry.

The necklaces were so silver, shinny and delicate, yet they had large stones embedded in them.  I wondered how the silver thread could hold the weight of the stone.  Recently, I had tried to crochet something similar with smaller beads and found it quite challenging.  Then I stepped up to the display case; OH… what a surprise!  The silver lace was really silver wire so intricately woven, with wonderful twists and turns.  I could have sworn it was tatted, or crocheted.

Karen, while she skillfully continued to bend wire, as easily as I crochet in my sleep, told me that a piece of wire can bend four times before it breaks. She has developed a method of bending and wrapping wire that is all her own.  Karen also likes to find, polish, facet and set all of her own gemstones, which makes her jewelry even more special.  These creations are uniquely Karen’s designs.  You will not find them anywhere else. On top of that, you add the glowing lampwork glass that Dale creates, and you have a dynamic duo.  

Dale's embedded glass art inside of glass is amazing. When the glass is wire wrapped by Karen it becomes a unique, one of a kind piece of art you can wear around your neck. Oh so very special!  You just have to go to their website at and see for yourself.  They can also be found on Facebook, search “ergj1”  or email Karen at

Karen and Dale also have some big news.  Having lived and worked in Wenatchee for many years, they have just announced that they are moving and opening up a new store on Highway 2 in Newport, WA.  It will take about a month for them to settle in.  They hope to open in May. Their new store will feature both Karen’s jewelry and Dale’s glass.  The shop will also include some art from other Northwest artist friends.  Their Grand Opening is in June, and they would love to have everyone come up, say Hi and take a look at their new shop.

Karen, it was great to talk with you.  I really enjoyed watching you bend wire and loved looking at all of your gorgeous jewelry and Dale’s glass art.  I’m looking forward to June and the scenic drive across I-90 to Spokane, and up Highway 2 North West to Newport to visit your new store!!  Thanks so much for your precious time.  Good luck with your new store!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Art – Have you ever seen a metal fish with scales?  Well, as I strolled past SHOCK-N-AWE at the Spring Best of the Northwest 2013 show, I was sure the salmon on the wall was real!  Steve Nowicki, Owner and “welderguy” at Shock-N-Awe has a number of tricks up his sleeves when it comes to working metal.  Making realistic scales on silver and copper salmon wall sculptures is just one of them.

Steve lives and works on Whidbey Island.  He’s happy to report that his shop is about 50 feet from home. He smiles broadly as he explains how he can stay out there all day, dreaming and working on new designs. His moto is “Dream out loud.”  I guess in his studio he can make all the noise he wants.  

His art pieces range from garden trellises to welcome signs, crabs and a variety of beautiful salmon.  Steve has a wide selection of vases with long Pussy Willow branch-like structures coming up from the base.  Little buds grow along the branches like they were buds ready to burst forth with fuzz, yet you know it is not real.  The primary pieces are elegant and would be an eye catching central point in any room.

Steve’s variety of metal sculptures and art can be viewed on his website at  You can drop him a line at  or give him a call at 360-914-7336.

It would be worth your while to take a look at all of his beautiful art.  Order a crab or salmon for your wall, or a center piece for your dining room table.

Thanks so much, Steve, for taking time to show us around your shop.  I really appreciate the time you spent talking with me.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Art – Another Spring Best of the Northwest 2013 shop that I absolutely adored is Frances Velling, Fine Art Painting.

Well educated in her artistic craft, she is also an artist by her most considerable talent.  Her resume and list of exhibits, awards and published artworks are extensive.  The moment I walked by her booth I knew Frances was something special.  

She has worked in all types of media, but for this show she feature her stunning and bold watercolors.  An accomplished teacher for a number of years, she was very willing to explain to me how she produces her bold colors out of a usually muted color spectrum.

Frances says she loves to paint, and she paints a picture every day.  It was hard to believe with the complicated designs and color mixes, but she is clearly a pro.  I could look at her pictures for hours.  They are bright and yet have a peace to them.  

I think my favorite picture is the one with the colorful paint brushes.  Maybe it is because it reminds me of my mother’s art brushes and the beautiful colors she painted.

Frances’ paintings are a delight, and I highly recommend you take a look at her on-line gallery at  Make sure you use the caps!  She can also be reached at  Her phone is (425)307-1219.

My photos don’t do her pictures justice; you have to go look at her gallery!

Thanks, Frances, for letting me spend so much time with you.  I loved talking with you.

Monday, March 25, 2013

TRAVEL AND DINING – Copperleaf Restaurant is a gem hidden in the heart of Seatac not more than a few blocks away from the airport.  If you are ever in the Seatac area and are looking for a gourmet meal I'd highly recommend Cooperleaf. Copperleaf Restaurant & Bar is located in the CedarBrook Lodge (18525 36th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98188.  206-901-9268 .

We had some friends visiting for a day.  They were staying out by the airport.  We wanted to dine at a place higher scale than Denny's or McDonalds, which are common in the Seatac area.  We were surprised and delighted when we arrived at the beautiful CedarBrook Lodge property.  It is no more than a mile away from the airport, but you would never know it.  The grounds have beautiful trees, reflective ponds and a peaceful atmosphere.  The Copperleaf Restaurant & Bar are center stage at the resort and have a beautiful view of the grounds.

The food was wonderful!!!  Copperleaf touts a sustainable farm to table menu, and food that nourishes the mind, body and spirit.  I had the vegetarian tasting menu and I can tell you that when I was finished my mind, body and spirit were well nourished and at peace.  Each taste was a delight and a completely new experience.  My husband had the duck and it melted in your mouth.  Our friends both had fresh Steelhead and being from out of state were thrilled to have something local.  And....the deserts, well you will just have to go and taste them for yourself.

If you have a special occasion coming up, or you just want to splurge a little, give Copperleaf a call and make a reservation. You will thank me afterward.

ART – Here is my third article in a series covering the beautiful art and wares at the Spring Best of the Northwest 2013The featured shop today is Marshall Woodworking Studio. 

Marshall Woodworking Studio is owned and operated by Craig Marshall.  Craig doesn't cut wood, he is a molder of wood and a wood artist.  You can tell he has a passion for wood just by asking how he works and inlays his wood pieces.  Some of his pieces have a grace and beauty all their own.  The music stand on display looks just like the music would sound: delicate, light and fluid.  Yet, the stand is solid and should last for generations.

Marshall says he lets no piece go to waste.  The lines and circles become smaller, but he’ll find a place to use them.  I especially like his artists’ pallet boards.  I suppose you could use them as breadboards, but I’d hate to put a knife to any one of his creations.

His chess set is unique and a design he developed many years ago.  All of the pieces are designed to reflect which direction the specific pieces are supposed to move on the board.  Since I've been watching my grandson learn chess, I can see how helpful this would be for someone just starting to learn this very strategic game.   The board is all hand made in beautiful hues of wood. 

We discussed the types and weights of wood.  To my surprise he identified that some woods were toxic and could not be worked.  I’d never thought about that.  You learn something new every day.  It is obvious that you really have to have a great knowledge of wood.  The knowledge of its characteristics and how it will bend and fit with other woods are imperative to truly be a wood artist.  Craig is definitely a master at this.

I would highly recommend you take a look at Craig’s website at .  You can also reach him at or by phone at 253-376-7841.

Thank you Craig for spending some of your precious time talking to me about your beautiful art.  Your wood creations are definitely “Objets d’Art du Bois

Sunday, March 24, 2013

ART - Another beautiful shop I saw at the Spring Best of the Northwest 2013 is August Phoenix.  

August Phoenix is owned by Heather Daveno.  Heather makes hats and art wear from old textiles.  At least that is what her card says.  I believe that is a clear understatement.  

As we were talking about her hats, she was standing with an old bread basket in her hand.  It had been painted gold, and she was sewing leaves and flowers on the side.  The bread basket was just the right size to fit someone’s head like a hat.  Who would have thought?  Apparently Heather had!

Heather has the vision of bringing old items from second hand stores and other discarded places out of the “ashes” and into a second beautiful life, just like an August Phoenix.  Hence, the name of her company.  

Heather likes to travel and has been all over the world.  Her art and the individual design of each hat reflect that joy and interest. 

Throughout this article, I’ve provided a sample of some of Heather’s hats.  One she was quite proud of as we spoke on the floor of the display hall was her “tea pot” straw hat. 

What a creation it is.  Heather says she is now working on a few Victorian style hats.  Her designs include hats for an Imperial King, Sherpa, Venetian, Russian Czar, and a Persian princess.  Each one is unique and one of a kind.  

Check out her shop at  You can also contact her at  Her website also has her show schedule just in case you want to talk to her and see her hats in person.

It was a joy to meet you, Heather.  Thanks for giving me a few moments of your precious time!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

View off Pier 91

ART - Spring Best of the Northwest 2013 is exactly as advertised.  As I indicated in my earlier blog the show runs both March 23 and 24, 2013 at Pier 91. Only one day left!!!  Don’t miss it if you can help it. Go to for details.   By the way Pier 91, where the cruise ships dock in the summer, is a great venue for these types of shows in the winter!!!!  There are shuttle buses from the parking lot and the building is nice and warm. 

We saw some of the most beautiful, professional, “hand-made” items I've seen in one place in a long time.  What a great group of artists and a wonderful selection of art.  As we walked around it was hard to pick favorites, but we did pinpoint a few.  Over the next week on my blog I’m going to highlight some of these artists to give you a glimpse of what we saw.  I also hope I can help spread the word regarding these fine artists and their beautiful wares.

Where do I start…..OH so difficult!!

Let us start with a young artist from Hungary named Flora.  She is energetic and ready to answer any question you have about felting.  She recently moved from Hungary and now lives and works in her studio here in Seattle.

She teaches advanced wet felting skills workshops on Sunday in her art studio at 4316 SW Othello St., in Seattle from 10 am to 4 PM.  She will also be teaching a series of basic classes in West Seattle, Gatewood neighborhood this Spring 2013, every other Friday from 6 to 9 pm.  If you are interested you can contact her via the email provided below.

If you are not quite sure what felting is, it is a very old process using wool fibers, water and vigorous kneading of the materials. The control and mixture of the fibers, the kneading and the amount of time the process is repeated results in the type and durability of the material.  You can make felted lace or felt strong enough to be used on the sole of shoes.  It is material that has been around for centuries, but it is also a fading art.

She is a master at making her own felt material and then molding and shaping it into anything she wants.  Through out this article are a few examples of her products.

I think hand-made felting material is some of the most laborious work I've see.  I've tried small items by hand in the sink.  I can’t imagine doing eight foot sheets of felt at a time.   I’m sure with some instruction from Flora I might learn some tricks.

Flora says that her own creative process is one of constant experimentation, and the gratification of creating beautiful objects is enhanced when she feels that others can appreciate these magical qualities and processes.

Please take time to look at her website or drop her a note at  I’m sure she would love to hear from you.  Wouldn't you love to have one of her hats or a beautiful blanket made of felted wool?  She has just what you need.  

Thanks, Flora, for letting me visit with you.  I really enjoyed it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Artfully Ann's Adventure

I CAN'T believe it!!!!  I woke up this morning and my skylight was COVERED with snow.  All those poor struggling plants are going to suffer today.  

We have at least two inches so far.  Very strange weather.  I think there is something to say regarding global warming.  There are just too many places having unusual weather.

I thought I'd take advantage of the beauty and play with my camera.  Here are a few fun pictures.  Some are a little Si-Fi.... but sometimes the pictures just take on a life of their own.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hi All,

I can't believe it snowed and hailed today.  BURRR....especially after all the beautiful flowers were starting to come out on the trees.  What a shame, so many petals are in the rain gutter.  I still have spring fever!
Here is a picture of a Hellebore in my garden just to spur on the Spring feelings.  I love this plant.  It is so unusual looking.  It's part of the Buttercup family and blooms at the end of winter.  It should feel right at home today!

This weekend we are going to the Spring Best of the Northwest 2013 art and fine craft show in Seattle.  It should be lots of fun.  For those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest area it's on both Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, 2013.  It's going to be held at the Smith Cover Cruise Terminal on Pier 91, next to the Magnolia Bridge.  Follow the "Cruise Passenger"  signs at the Magnolia Bridge to the cruise terminal parking lot at Pier 91.  You can find further details at the NW Art Alliance Spring Best  

The show is going to have more that 140 artists, designers and craftspeople and loads of art demonstrations. I can't wait.  I'll be sure to take my camera.  Of course Anna (my Avatar) will be coming with me!  Maybe I'll see you there!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Artfully Ann's Adventures

In Seattle we praise the days with no rain.  When the sun comes out everyone including the bees come out of the woodwork.  This little guy has been really busy.  Here are a few of the bees in my yard collecting pollen.


The Busy Bee photo is available at Artfully Ann's.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I thought I'd share a beautiful picture from my garden.  So many places in the US are still under so much snow.  Maybe this will help some feel a little more like spring is just around the corner.

This is a sample of the type of photographs that you can find at Artfully Ann's at