Chihuly Boat Tour

A woman that works with me's husband (following me?) sometimes blows glass for Chihuly. Don't know him, check out this first: Chihuly Glass Museum. The interiors group at our office got to have a personal tour of his boathouse where all their glass is blown. A group of men were blowing some beautiful pieces for a chandelier while we were there. The man sitting on the "throne" is the lead colorist and shapes the actual pieces that are fired an brought to him. Mesmerizing process.

But that's just the workshop area. The rest of the boathouse is full of small test versions of installations in the museum and apparently he's a very avid collector of everything. The bathroom walls were lined with first edition children's books and an early edition VW bus and Aston Martin and other fancy cars we wandered through. He collected things that inspired him, the lines of things, the colors, the textures. Sometimes valuable sometimes not worth anything to anyone else.

His old studio table is a solid piece of wood 88 ft long that looks over the water and boasts his colorful chandeliers where clients can see how the colored glass look in regular lighting situations. The table is beautiful but not precious, there are nicks covering it and apparently children fill the table every year to decorate gingerbread.

Chihuly used to also live in the boathouse so there's a beautiful bedroom with a mesmerizing tub that sinks into the floor and the tub is plexiglass with giant gems of colored glass lying beneath encapsulating you. He started out as an interior designer so every detail was designed by him and considered by him, sometimes he apparently comes in and just rearranges things. So love him and his style or not it was still fun to walk through a space like this.
We ended the tour by checking out his lap pool, in the boathouse!, that he still swims in everyday. The bottom of the pool has a display of blown glass pieces too, of course.
It was fun to run out of the office for a bit and hang out in artist's studio space. Inspiring and very hard to go back to my desk knowing my task for that day was wall protection :)


Halloween Birthday Cake

An old coworker asked me to make her son's birthday cake. He was having a Halloween themed party and he was dressing as a skeleton. Her only request was that the monsters had smiles :)

I had so much fun with this cake. I've never decorated with royal frosting before and it actually turned out to be much much easier than I anticipated. The smooth quality they take on makes their little costumes pop more than if I'd done them in buttercream. Also the birthday boy was able to identify all the cosumes, he's 3, so I found that to be a win.

I just love their little costumes and the drippy chocolate happy birthday!!

I also had a bunch of black and orange frosting left over so since the Bengals beat the Seahawks Sunday I just had to use the extra to make a treat for work :)


A Fall Mountain Trip

We wanted to sneak in at least one last backpacking trip before the rain overtakes us. Plus I'm a sucker for the beautiful fall colors. We headed to Snoqualmie Pass and hiked the Alta Mountain Trail. It's a super popular trail so it was great to backpack it and have the trail be pretty empty. We hiked past Rachel Lake and started to ascend pretty quickly which poked us up above our surroundings enough to start to see all the layers of mountains.
To avoid all the other tents we hiked up to a ridge and found one of my favorite tent spots! We had a small flat part on the ridge and one side allowed us to watch the sunset and the other side allowed us to watch the sunrise from our tent door. It was windy that night but also kind of a lullaby in it's own right.
Once we were set up we hiked up to one of the false summits and made dinner and drank wine to watch the sun set, then back to the tent for fruit snacks & Harry Potter.

 top: sunset ; bottom: sunrise

Normally I miss the sunrise, don't wake up in time or don't have the right view of it. So I was pretty excited this time and woke Joshua up to watch too. We then hiked up to the real summit of Alta Mountain and the morning light on all the peaks was stunning. The morning clouds still huddled into some of the valleys below and the huckleberry plants that are now all red were glowing on the mountainsides.

We also met 3 Midwest guys on top and had a really lovely time chatting with them and taking in the views. I love the people we meet on mountains, it's fun to connect over the beauty of where you are together.

Then we packed up and hiked out to go find some lunch. The photo below is of Rachel lake on our descent. Big pretty blue lake!


Apple Pickers

I love apple picking. My family used to go do it together. So instead of a tiring hike this past Sunday we decided to have a slow relaxing day picking apples. We woke up early and drove out to Bellinham where we ate fresh cider donuts, fresh hot cider and meandered out to the orchard. Their orchard is huge! So, like us, we ran away from all the people to wander among the far trees and start sinking our teeth into all the apples.
Some of the apples were face sized, always exciting. We ended up with 20 pounds of apples which equals a ton of delicious apple butter to be made soon. Once we were loaded up with all of those apples we decided to opt for the tractor to take us back to the barn. 

We finished off the afternoon in downtown Bellingham eating and drinking some fresh hopped beers at Boundary Bay Brewing. And then we finished off the evening with another long drive to the top of a hill to watch the lunar eclipse with some friends and wrap ourselves in blankets while watching for shooting stars and eating a bunch of great food. It was a late Sunday night, but a pretty darn great one!