December 28, 2011

Christmas and a robin rescue

my boys' handiwork
I'm thankful for a good Christmas, and hope you had a good one, too! I shipped plenty of packages in December, thanks to my customers, and I am still excited about how fast it is to print postage online and just deposit the boxes at the post office, no waiting! I hope everyone is very pleased with their new pieces.

My husband, boys, and I spent Christmas with my parents. We enjoyed some lazy, unhurried days at my childhood home in the country near Astoria, Oregon. Weather ranged from clear and crisp to wet and windy. One morning, while it was still dark, I was woken by a very loud owl, something that doesn't happen where we live! We mostly hung out at the house, my boys putting together new LEGO sets by the warm wood stove, and us eating good meals (that I didn't have to cook!) and far too much delicious chocolate. The kids tried out stringing popcorn, and helped cut out and frost sugar cookies. We also walked along the Columbia River, visited RiverSea Gallery, and patronized the Ship Inn (home of wonderful English style fish and chips) for my older son's birthday lunch. I hit the local bead shop Terra Stones (formerly Bronze Koi Beads) and came home with a few neat finds that will show up in jewelry in the coming year.

my kids playing with new toys
nothing beats playing with new toys by the cozy fire in pajamas!

And what better way to end the holiday season, than with our own little feel-good story?

On our way back home yesterday, we stopped at a store. When we were about to get back in the truck, my younger son and I both noticed a bird in trouble. A robin had heavy thread wrapped around both its feet and was tangled in the branch of a nearby bush, hanging upside down. Being animal lovers, and knowing we would have some idea of what to do, we couldn't just leave it there. My husband carefully wrapped his denim shirt around the bird to cover and hold it, which kept us safe and the bird calm. I cut the threads bit by bit. The bird appeared to be in good condition, and when we opened the shirt after finishing, the robin quickly flew away. There weren't many people around, so we were glad to be there and help. We imagine it was very happy to be free and get back to its family before bad weather hit that night!

Below are some photos from our Christmas visit. Enjoy!

mud hens at high tide on the Columbia River photo copyright 2011 by Jennifer Kistler
mud hens at high tide

sunny winter afternoon in the Pacific Northwest photo copyright 2011 by Jennifer Kistler
a lovely winter day in the Pacific Northwest

walking on old railroad tracks
walking the tracks (which haven't been used since trees fell across them in the big storm of 2007)

stormy afternoon rain on the window photo copyright 2011 by Jennifer Kistler
a stormy afternoon

December 7, 2011

Jack Frost

oak tree in the fog photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011
Wow, how did it get to be December already? Our tree is decorated and the lights are on the house, but my blog needs to catch up! I want to post to my blog more often, but then I'm afraid I don't have enough to say. (If you know me in person, I know that will sound ridiculous to you!) It's not that I lack thoughts or words, I just worry they are not blog-worthy that day. But I'm here to announce that I'm kicking that idea out of my head, and for better or worse, I'm going to post what I come up with more often! Some days may just be links to Etsy treasuries I like, or other blog posts I enjoyed, or simple comments or photos, and I will also continue to give you the occasional peek into my studio and keep you updated on my work.

Today I want to talk about the weather. I know, shallow topic, but yesterday we had very odd weather here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. I used to hear that if there's fog, there can't be ice, but I already knew that wasn't true. If you still think that's true, yesterday's weather will disprove that theory once and for all.

The photos I'm sharing were taken around 2pm yesterday, though they look more like a foggy morning. This was the first time I have seen fog and frost last all day. It was cold and never got very bright, a little taste of what I imagine it's like to live in the Arctic Circle in winter. Okay, I know it's nothing even close to that, but that's what it made me think of. The fog and frost just did not want to let go. Yesterday was also the first time I have set out to purposely take photos in the fog. I've seen some fabulous ones, just never thought to take any myself. These were all taken right in my neighborhood. I love how the oak tree by my kids' school (and our church) looks a bit eerie through the fog, and the frost really brings out the design of the spiderweb.

frosty spiderweb photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011

frost on plants in foggy field photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011

October 28, 2011

fall ramblings

unique horse necklace handmade in recycled fine silver with jasper stone beads
wild pony with jasper stones
Fall, autumn, whatever you call it, it's beautiful. And goes by too quickly. On sunny days the shadows are so long, makes summer seem so long ago. Both boys' pumpkin patch field trips are done. Our neighbor's tree was green one day and bright golden yellow the next, or so it seemed. The weather is changing fast, too. We are trying to take advantage of the nice days, like when we went for a bike ride around the neighborhood, and I remembered to take my camera finally. I'm also sneaking in some last yard work (mainly more weeding, ugh!) before winter. And it seems a bit early for around here to be scraping ice off the windshield in the morning, but maybe I just feel like we're being rushed through the seasons this year.

I had so many more ideas for fall jewelry I wanted to make, I will have to start earlier next year. I'm working on stocking my Etsy shop for Christmas gift shopping, and hope you will find something that is just right for that special person on your list. Or treat yourself! More jewelry with horses, hearts, and plumeria, is coming. I recently realized I haven't made much with my cantering Friesian horse (the fairy tale horse!) for a while, and there is nothing left with him in my shop. So I will have to remedy that. Also, if you're looking for nice winter theme jewelry, I already have several snowflake pieces in my shop, a great touch for those holiday parties! Can you believe those will be coming soon enough?

my family on a bike ride around the neighborhood
my boys bike riding on a beautiful fall day

autumn trees
fall trees... I just can't resist taking photos of them!

October 12, 2011

plants for beauty

maple leaf in silver
My sons don't spend as much time pursuing artistic activities as I might have expected. We have plenty of art supplies in the house, and when the artistic urge strikes them, they do a pretty nice job (and they are very creative with their LEGO building sometimes). I smiled when I read a paper my younger son brought home from school. It said to name two ways you depend on plants. One might expect answers like "oxygen" and "food". Apparently, they had some examples to choose from. In his newly-learned cursive writing skills, he neatly wrote his favorite choices: "I depend on plants for paper. I depend on plants for beauty." That definitely came from the heart of an artist!

And I just had to share the maple leaf necklace I listed on Etsy today, shown above left. It features a really neat stone called Andalusite which is is pleochroic, meaning it can appear to be different colors in different light. It ranges from a rosy smoke brown color to a subtle olive green. It looks great paired with an open neckline top (like a generous V-neck) in autumn or neutral colors. It is not limited to your fall wardrobe either, its subdued tones are suitable for year-round wear, and I think the design feels like a great blend of unique and feminine. The one shown never really made it to my Etsy shop, I was so in love with it that I kept it for myself. However, since I have more of these beads, I'm offering it as a made-to-order item. I just adore this stone, it is so intriguing! Have I mentioned lately how much I love stone beads?!

Before I close, here are some plants to supply you with some beauty today! 

plumeria photo by Jennifer Kistler

redwood trees Sequoia Park Eureka California photo by Jennifer Kistler
redwood trees

October 4, 2011

changing of the seasons

maple leaf necklace in recycled fine silver with Owyhee Oregon Jasper on Etsy by Jennifer Kistler
leaf in silver with owyhee jasper
Well, it seems summer has left as suddenly as it came here in the Pacific Northwest. I wanted to share some photos I took outside last week, and that sunshine seems so long ago now that I'm getting ready to post them on my blog! The flowers below are now drooping from the rain. I did see a most amazing tree today while driving around town, intensely bright changing leaves. Have to go back with my camera. Commence fall tree photo season! And rainy weather complaining. The kids have already started. Since they are finally really into riding their bikes, I can't say I blame them.

I've been getting more finished jewelry photographed and listed in my Etsy shop. I recently had larger leaf image stamps made, to account for the higher shrinkage rate of the bronze and copper clay. It will also allow for larger designs in silver than previously available, I'm looking forward to using them! Soon I'll be gearing up for Christmas shopping season, especially creating more horse designs, hearts, etc., and hopefully adding copper and bronze pieces, too. Also, I am pondering a design to create for the Fire Mountain Gems metal clay jewelry contest. I wanted to enter last year, but missed the deadline. I'm hoping to make it this year!

sky scenery photo copyright Jennifer Kistler
looking up through the albizia in my backyard
(which is finally starting to grow into a real tree!)

flowers by backyard pond photo copyright Jennifer Kistler
flowers and japanese blood grass by our small pond
(love our little pond, it seems to attract a lot of dragonflies in the summer)

flower photo copyright Jennifer Kistler
flower macro shot

September 23, 2011

a new look for fall

fine silver maple leaf necklace
I have noticed leaves starting to turn on a few trees around town, so it really must be the beginning of fall! Hope we have some weeks of nice weather left still, since summer was so late coming here. Today is gorgeous.

The bronze metal clay test was successful, and I am in love with that stuff! Watch for the first finished pieces in bronze in a few weeks. I am having issues with the copper, but I will be trying a different brand (same brand as the bronze, so I'm hopeful!) next week. I don't give up that easily!

If you have been to my blog before, you'll notice I recently gave it a makeover! While I felt right at home with the previous style, I realized it could have been distracting or overwhelming to the contents. Also, I have been considering if a different look  might better support the style/theme/materials of my jewelry. So I decided to go with the look you see now. I was aiming for kraft paper plus clean white, with touches of color to keep it alive. I will be doing the same with my web site as I revamp it, as well. I have already redesigned my packaging, shown below.

September 13, 2011

the sun and the moon

orange sunstone fall leaf charm necklace in fine and sterling silver by Jennifer Kistler
leaf charm with sunstone accent
I recently acquired a strand of Sunstone, a cheerful sunny stone with an orange appearance. I think it makes a very interesting stone to use in autumn jewelry. It is transparent with coppery flecks inside. I chose one of the larger beads from the strand to accent this tiny leaf charm necklace (at left). The photo didn't quite capture its glitter-like sparkles. Sunstone is the official stone of Oregon, but the Oregon Sunstone I have seen is more transparent, I think the reflective particles are smaller and create more of an inner sheen (called schiller) than a glittery effect. I think this stone would look fabulous with bronze and copper, too. I just love working with stone beads, learning a little about them, and finding an excuse to use them!

As I type this, my kiln is firing a bronze test piece. The base metals are tricky to fire, so as recommended, I am finding out exactly how it fires in my kiln before attempting any real jewelry pieces. Copper will be tested next. Kind of nervous and excited to see how it turns out!

It always seems sneaky of the moon to come up while it is still light outside. I wanted to share some photos I took a few days ago, in different parts of the sky at the same time of evening.

moon sunset sky nature photograph by Jennifer Kistler

sunset sky nature photograph by Jennifer Kistler

If I hadn't gone outside just then, I would have missed this pretty sky. Always keep your eye out for the beauty that is around you!

September 7, 2011

back to school already

Maple Leaf autumn earrings in fine and sterling silver on Etsy
maple leaf earrings in fine silver
Wow, just when it felt like summer had finally arrived, it was time to send the kids back to school! Yesterday was their first day. I think I was the only mom who didn't take "first day of school" photos. And I scrapbook (digital mainly these days). But to be honest, I can only focus on so much at a time, I am not a multi-tasker. I am also not a morning person. My goals were to have their things ready the night before (check), wake up earlier than I think I need to (check), get everyone a good breakfast and get myself ready on time (check), and take them all the way - wait for it - around the corner to school at a good time (check). So while I'm feeling a little guilty about the photo thing, the morning was a success, the boys had a good first day, and that is what's important!

Since I work at home and don't use childcare, the school year makes a big difference in my work schedule. So it's back to a regular work day (and more frequent blogging) while they are at school, and I have plenty of things lined up! Things I thought I'd get done during the summer. Things I want to get done before the holidays. And all sorts of things in between.

Right now I'm finishing up more autumn leaves jewelry, and will be venturing into bronze and copper metal clay very shortly! I think the autumn leaf designs will be great in copper, and I'd also like to create some pieces with leaves in all three metals (silver, bronze, copper). I am looking forward to creating designs in different metals. And working with materials that aren't quite so intimidating from a cost standpoint. I will continue to create in fine silver as well, so don't worry if that's your favorite, or if you have sensitivities to other metals! Also, I picked up some neat stone beads this summer that I can't wait to use, so you'll be seeing those in some upcoming pieces.

A few weeks ago we went to Ankeny Wildlife Reserve, which is not very far south of Salem (Oregon). It has a neat long boardwalk through marsh and trees, surrounded by fields. It was set up to protect the Dusky Canada Geese that winter in the Willamette Valley (along with native plants and other creatures), and we decided we want to go back later this fall when the geese have arrived. We did enjoy the boardwalk, along with sightings of smaller wildlife such as frogs, dragonflies, ladybugs, grasshoppers, and a brown fuzzy caterpillar!

ladybug on wildflower nature photograph by Jennifer Kistler
ladybug on flower, Ankeny Wildlife Reserve, August 2011

my son catching a grasshopper this summer
catching a grasshopper

my son catching a grasshopper this summer
boys like bugs! and bugs seem to like Steven.

August 22, 2011

how I'm inspired by the ocean

ocean wave earrings in recycled fine silver and sterling by Jennifer Kistler for sale on Etsy
wave earrings with apatite drops
I had the privilege of being featured on a fellow Etsy artist's blog yesterday! You can read more about how I am inspired by the ocean in my interview there. If you're thinking of buying something from my shop soon, be sure to read the entire post, there's a little goodie tucked in there for you. Check it out here: EBN Art Studio

August 11, 2011

beautiful summer on the Oregon Coast

ocean wave necklace handmade pendant with aquamarine gemstone beads on Etsy
wave pendant with aquamarine
While much of the country has been overwhelmed by oppressive heat the last month or two, the Pacific Northwest has spent a long time just waiting for summer to arrive. A day of sun here and there, just enough to tease us, but never really summer. Finally, the last few weeks have felt like summer! So it is hard to believe I already have school supply shopping lists to take care of. And I didn't mean to leave such a long gap in my blog posts, but summer break with all it's distractions (sunny or not) has a way of doing that!

We just got back from a quick family trip to Eureka, California to visit relatives. We tried to do some fun things on the way down and back to make the long drive more enjoyable. On the way down, we took a tour of Fire Mountain Gems, a huge jewelry supply company that I order from. Going both directions we saw the whale in the Klamath River that has made the news.

On the way back, we took a detour out to Cape Arago. The Oregon Coast is absolutely gorgeous, especially the central part, but I had no idea there was a place like this along our coast! The area has several vistas to enjoy, trails, and a small protected bay with calm waters and a beach perfect for hanging out (which was very busy, being a summer weekend). We stopped at a few viewpoints, and chose the safest-looking trail down a cliff to one of the southern coves. Even that trail was a little insane (I don't think it was an official trail!), but we ended up at a rocky shore with tidepools full of little snails, and a few large rocks that contained assorted shells. I'd say they were fossils, but I'm not sure they are completely fossilized. Below are just a few pictures, there is so much more to see that I couldn't do it justice. If you are ever near Coos Bay, check out Cape Arago!

Cape Arago Oregon Coast photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011
Cape Arago (Oregon Coast)

Cape Arago Oregon Coast photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011
part of Simpson Reef at Cape Arago

Cape Arago Oregon Coast photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011
just north of Simpson Reef

Cape Arago Oregon Coast photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011
Steven was fascinated by the little snails in the tidepools

Cape Arago Oregon Coast photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011
Andrew loved finding the large rocks with embedded shells

Cape Arago Oregon Coast photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011
shells in a rock

Cape Arago Oregon Coast photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011
more shells in a rock

at top: recently completed ocean wave necklace, large pendant in Fine Silver, strung with Aquamarine gemstone beads

June 23, 2011

room to think (studio makeover)

plumeria frangipani tropical flower silver necklace
plumeria necklace
I love garage sales (AKA yard sales). I love scoring a great deal on something I need or can use that otherwise I couldn't afford to buy.  A few weekends ago I saw a dining room table that just shouted "work table!" to me. As in, "I would feel like such a professional working at this table!" It's dark wood, one piece (no annoying opening for leaves), and has a bit of successful-CEO-desk vibe to it (at least compared to my other studio tables). It was unbelievably inexpensive, and inspired a whole rearrange of my studio. I have no "before" photos to share, but suffice it to say the room felt a bit crowded before, and now there is a big open space in the center. Which I've already found is great for spreading things out when needed. When my older son walked in and saw the result, he asked what was going to go in the middle of the room! (nothing!!)

Jennifer Kistler handmade jewelry studio makeover photo 1

above: New-to-me table in front of a large window, with stuff for assorted projects on it, this is where I make finished jewelry, write those never-ending to-do lists, and more.

below: My old work table, moved from the window to the opposite side of the room. This is where I create my jewelry pieces from metal clay. Behind it is a half-wall created from painted plywood which separates this room from the adjoining room where my piano and containers of my kids' toys live.

Jennifer Kistler handmade jewelry studio makeover photo 2

Wondering where I fit a studio space in my house? You don't need a huge home, or a separate studio, to give yourself some space to work. Using a guest room is a popular solution, but I did something different. We own a modest 1970s single-story house. Like many 1970s homes, it has a "family room" and a "living room". Not being a Martha Stewart type, I never understood the difference, or why I would need both. So one is our living room with couches, TV, fireplace, etc. and the other is my studio (and also our computer/home office area). The room behind the second work station is supposed to be an adjoining dining room, but it has been used as the play room when the boys were younger, and now it's basically toy storage and my piano lives there too. By the kitchen is an open space I think was called a "breakfast area", but it's much more pleasant than the intended dining room (on one side are French doors to our backyard), so that became our dining room. Of course the dining room switch wasn't necessary for the studio space, but it does explain the room with all the toys! And helps with our home's lack of storage.

Now I'm actually glad to be in my studio area. I love high ceilings, of which our house has none, but apparently horizontal open space can give almost the same effect. There's something, for me, about space in a room. Crowded and cluttered rooms disturb me. Space makes me feel like I can breathe, and think. Like there is room for ideas and possibilities.

June 13, 2011

Glorious Dragonflies

I'm not much of an insect person, in fact bugs are a major thing I dislike about summer. I dread the rest of the weeding I need to do, now that the bugs are really out. However, I love dragonflies. Love their beautiful colors, shimmery wings, and the fact that they eat mosquitoes. I see quite a few in our backyard during the summer, zipping through the air, and resting by our tiny pond. Lat week, as my family and I were walking down our block, we saw the most amazing huge black and light blue dragonfly resting on the sidewalk, of all places. We almost stepped on it! After staring for a bit, we convinced it to move to a safer place (it flew off). I realized I have accumulated quite a few dragonfly favorites on Etsy, and decided my next treasury would feature them. Go check out these pieces by some great artists! And yes, someday there may be a dragonfly design in my jewelry.

dragonfly art photos jewelry accessories by artists on Etsy

June 8, 2011

DIY at-home creative workshop classes

The other day I was looking through a magazine and noticed all the ads for creative workshops and retreats. I found myself wishing I could attend something like that. After all, mixed media work, art journals, and fiber-embellished jewelry sound fun and creative!

But I'm learning to look for ways to solve problems. So, I asked myself, what about it did I want most? Would it be doing creative things with other people, away from home? Learning new techniques? Having time set aside for creative exploration with no other obligations? Were the class offerings things I really wanted to do?

For me, I realized my top priority would be to have time set aside for creative endeavors. (This may sound strange coming from someone who does creative work as a business, but there are so many creative things I like to do!) I also like to learn new things, but right now I want to learn things related to what I am already doing, such as explore more techniques and designs with metal clay. And while I enjoy working around other people, I am used to working alone and it doesn't bother me (plus I'm kind of a homebody, and like having all my supplies at hand).

I decided to design my own creative workshop classes. I use the term "class" loosely. Just a block of time with a plan of what to work on! I made a list of creative things I want to do. Most are things I already know how to do. These are the things I always think I will do "if I have time". We all know how that works! I also listed some new things I want to learn/try. Some ideas are one-time projects, others will be repeated. I will be scheduling some time to do these specific things. That way I can look forward to them, and know they are going to happen. Not be at the mercy of "if I have time"!

This is a simple idea, and not new either, just setting aside time for creative pursuits. But sometimes it takes looking at things from a different angle to make sense to me. I will feel a lot less guilt about it now. I don't need to spend much in gas or materials, I can fit it around my family's schedule, and I don't have to leave the comforts of home.

You might want to try it, too! Make a list of creative things you want to work on, and schedule some time for them. Pick a day/time and put it on your calendar. If you want to learn something new, research it. Find out what materials and tools you will need, and if you can learn about it online. Determine if you should get an instructional DVD or book, or take a local class. (It is totally worth doing that for certain things!) If you have the ability to schedule a whole weekend with no interruptions, you could design your own retreat at home, and maybe invite a few crafting friends to share it with you!

June 3, 2011

summer plans

recycled fine silver woodgrain heart necklace by Jennifer Kistler
It is hard to believe another whole school year is done. I think I would be oblivious to the passage of time if it weren't for quickly-growing kids to remind me! The last few weeks of school were busy with activities, including a good field trip to the Oregon Zoo in Portland, track meet (it was sunny this year, thank you, God!), spring program (snagged a great seat and could actually see and and hear everything for once, and it was very entertaining), and finished up with an end-of-year pool party (which did get rained on, but the kids had fun anyway). And so my blog has been a little neglected.

My boys are now out of school for summer, and we're settling into the routine. Well, I still need to get into a routine that includes more work. This first week of summer break has involved some serious cleaning through a few things (such as the embarrassing volume of toys that had gotten quite messy and disorganized), so the rest of the summer will be more enjoyable.

Another area I am cleaning this week is my corner of the garage, where my metal clay kiln will be set up soon. Along with finishing some other big projects, I hope to get busy this summer making lots of new jewelry pieces! I'm also experimenting with some new photo setups for my jewelry, mainly using a stained piece of wood that is not dark like the leather I was using, plus some natural props like the rock from the beach shown in the photo above.

Otherwise, our plans for summer include the boys having friends over often, going to the splash fountains at Riverfront Park on hot days, testing for Black Belt Second Degree in Taekwondo, visiting my parents near Astoria. And hopefully go to Lincoln City and Silver Falls, if we can overcome the guilt of spending so much money just on gas to drive places! So, what's on your list for summer?

shown above: woodgrain textured heart in bright Fine Silver on natural leather cord, to be listed in my Etsy shop soon.

May 3, 2011

change can be opportunity

horse head bracelet in silver, jasper
Metal clay is a very innovative material, allowing one to form it with hands and tools when moist (like a very finicky ceramics clay). When fired in a special kiln, the organic binder burns off and the remaining .999 Fine Silver particles are fused ("sintered") together. Certain pieces can also be fired with a handheld torch. Some jewelry artists have mastered it, but I just don't think it's for me!

Recently I lost access to a kiln. I figured someday I would buy my own, and apparently someday has arrived sooner than I expected! It's an expense I wasn't really ready for, but I'm not ready to quit making this metal clay jewelry either. So, now my very own metal clay kiln has been ordered, along with all the goodies to use it.

There are many quotes about trouble or problems being opportunity in disguise. I am calling it change. And I am very excited! Why? Because with my own kiln, I will be able to try more things than before (not to mention saving gas and time not driving to drop off and pick up my pieces). In my previous arrangement, I could only fire ArtClay Silver. I'm really looking forward to trying ArtClay Copper and FastFire Bronzclay. Just like they sound, they are Copper or Bronze metal clays. That way I can offer my jewelry in different color metals. And at different price points, as the price of silver has gone through the roof.

I hope you will be excited about this change, too! Watch for not only more new Silver pieces, but hopefully Copper and Bronze jewelry, also!

April 27, 2011

butterflies as art and accessories

I just love butterflies, and can't wait to start seeing more of them in my yard again this summer! We don't get a huge variety of them here in Oregon, so I have to enjoy the others through art and photos (and once in a while at an exhibit like the Oregon Zoo has had in past summers, or Wings of Wonder). I have stumbled on quite a few lovely butterfly items by artists on Etsy lately, so I decided to create a treasury of some favorites. Some great gift ideas there, too! Go check it out!

April 26, 2011

last chance for Japan tsunami relief

oregon coast ocean wave nature photograph lincoln city beach
Just a quick reminder that only through the end of April, my wave, hammered swirls, and selected other jewelry has a portion of the sale going toward Japan tsunami relief. Get them now, and help out a worthy cause!

Click on the images below to go to all the qualifying pieces.

The wave designs are great for anyone who loves the ocean, and would be a nice accent to your summer fashions! The hammered swirls are a fun necklace design, and each features a unique stone accent. (note they all include a chain, some are shown before adding it.)

ocean wave handmade artisan jewelry recycled silver beach summer nautical necklace

April 19, 2011

January (oops, I mean April) at the beach

Even though the trees have blossomed, my maples are budding out, and my tulips are blooming, it doesn't feel much like spring yet. It has been so wet and cold, we keep thinking it's still winter here in the Pacific Northwest. I have to check the calendar sometimes to be sure I know what month we're in!

When we went to the beach last Sunday, it was very cold and windy. But just being near the ocean feels good. As I mentioned before, we had fun looking at rocks. And the boys had fun playing with the waves (being forever reminded not to turn their back on the ocean). Note the heavy coats and boots. No mistaking this beach for Hawaii! I realized I didn't share all the photos I meant to in my previous post, so here are the rest, just for fun.