Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blog of the Week

My favorite blog this week is devoted to outdoor telephony.  Click here Blog of the Week and scroll down a few entries for stills from a memorable payphone scene from The Godfather.

The Pay Phone Project

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Season Kick-off

At the Holiday Bazaar in the old drugstore in newport HIlls last Saturday I spent a very cold day opposite
Daniel Santjer who had a booth selling his encaustic paintings and photographs.  They looked so much like  something Sean (over at Eff-Stop) and/or I might do that I had to go over and introduce myself.  A longtime Newport Hills neighbor whom I'd never met before turned out to be an artisan soulmate!  I got to meet his lovely wife Margaret and toddling son Joshua, too.  This is just the kind of synergy I love with fairs, markets and community events like this!

In this photo, Daniel (on the right) talks to another vendor.

The nicest thing about Dan was his good cheer, reaching out and talking to everyone around him, sharing secrets of his techniques, books about encaustic art and even giving me two of his matted photographs as a good-bye gift.  What a guy!

More holiday scenes from the annual Newport Hills Bazaar:

Past president of Newport Hills Community Club and recent candidate for Bellevue City Council Michelle Hilhorst chillin' (literally!) at the NHCC Membership table and sporting new purchases from the lovely ladies at this booth here:

We welcomed Kumon Learning Center recently to our somewhat less empty collection of storefronts and offices in the Newport Hills shopping center.  Wishing them well!

More wacky fashion attire here:

and here:

The local girl scout troops featured handmade candles for sale to support their activities and spread their own kind of holiday cheer....

Carla's stamp creations, the quilt lady's wares and lots of hats and scarves (as well as personal heaters) were much in evidence.  All in all, a good start to the holiday season here in the 'hood!

Never-Ending Beauty

Over at Eff-Stop, the beauty never ends.
Check out "The Afterlife of a Door" (shown here) and much more at his blog featuring photographs from around the Puget Sound region.  Visual poems, all.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Factoria Community Gathering Space

I can't believe it's been 10 months since I last posted.  The idea was to have a place to write and share thoughts about the grocery store closure--since then the momentum really picked up and life became more about doing rather than writing.  Now that the garden is (pretty much) put to bed and Sustainable Bellevue is out to pasture for a while it's time to assess and develop the direction for next year.

The big news this year was the creation of a public gathering space in Factoria.  A Lutheran Church there has been taking care of a historic orchard and recently added a p-patch to a growing list of ways to engage their immediate neighborhood.  This caught the attention of Pomegranate, and we became one of their special projects this year, which meant that they would offer to facilitate the design and building of a community gathering space.  Be sure to check out the video on the Pomegranate Center linked above.

We decided on an outdoor amphitheatre, a path through the orchard linking the public entries and p-patch to the amphitheatre, a formal gateway and a garden shelter.  All to be built in one three-day weekend at the end of July!  At the end of construction we had a wonderful party with roast pig and entertainment by Pat Wright and the Total Experience Gospel Choir.

Nick and Ingrid during the building of the garden shelter (in the background).
First you dig a hole.

While they were building the garden shelter we worked on drawing things from the orchard that interested us to be carved later into the supports of the garden shelter.
The processional looking back to the church from the amphitheatre.  Pathway candles were poured into concrete molds created by Ingrid and her kids' crew.
Update:  Now Milenko is interested in taking on Newport Hills!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Speaking of puffballs, here is the Rose Garden at Woodland Park Zoo, site of many a marriage ceremony and home to several gigantic paleolithic puffballs, or puffballosaurus.

And elsewhere in Seattle, a blog is devoted to the topiary of Beacon Hill (what we call puffballs hear on the eastside)
and they call "bonsai" here at BeHi Bonsai
and featured here in the Seattle Times earlier this year

In the Kingdom of the Puffballs

On our holiday trip to southern California last month we found ourselves in the Desert Garden at the Huntington near Pasadena. These highly drought-tolerant cousins to our native evergreen puffballs kindly allowed us to photograph their rarely-seen worshipping rites.

Newport Hills Community Faire part 2

Sean and Mike Bristow (ukelele player extraordinaire) go over stage logistics

Glen Patrick Doggett on stage

Kenny from the Mustard Seed hands out free water bottles
The grinding of the corn
Audrey and Piper in charge at the face-painting booth

Michelle works the crowd

Checking out the home-baked goodies and other hand-crafted wares for sale

Thursday, January 27, 2011

That Sinking Feeling

While researching tents, awnings,  space frame structures and pre-fabs, trailers and canopies for a Newport Hills Tea or Coffee shop/bakery I came  across these sinks from Italy.  Sigh.  Would one of these transport me from a humdrum suburban lifestyle to the streets of Rome, the canals of Venice, the alleys of Napoli?  Maybe, just maybe...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Newport Hills Community Faire: First Ever!!

The stage was set.
The Tumblebus was booked.
The flyers were mailed out.
The day arrived: a perfect late September morning, sunny, warm, clear. After days of rain it seemed like a gift from the weather gods.
The kids began arriving, and flocked to Mike Intlekofer's amazing emporium of farm implements.
Jason and Erin Leach visit Sandi Tampa and Dorothy Bracken at the Newport Hills Community Club membership table.
This year's Community Club president Lisa Vierick displaying some of her
ice skating moves.
Nobody works a crowd like Farmer Mike!
Carol Murphy works the table for Sustainable Bellevue.

To be continued...