autumn 2014

fall-fox

Okay, so everyone says it rains ALL the time here in Portland, but I promise you, we had plenty of glorious golden days where you just want to bottle up all that crisp fall goodness as a little preserve for the gray days ahead.

swifts 2

Here we are waiting for the Vaux’s Swifts to make their way down the chimney for the night. Some nights up to 6,000 (!!!) swifts bunk down there to sleep! And notice: no rain! 🙂

big rock

Okay, I’ll admit, going to the Oregon coast is rather sketchy on the weather front, even in the middle of summer. But we got super lucky and had several beautiful days with Jay’s parents (visiting from Indiana) and sister and her family.

making sandcastle

sand castle

view of sea

campfire

mt hood curtains

We visited Timberline Lodge, on Mt. Hood with Jay’s parents, which is home to the World’s Best Curtains (in my humble opinion). They make me want to start and alpaca farm, learn how to spin yarn, and weave my own curtains. One day!!!

first birthday

We got to celebrate this cutie-pie niece’s first birthday!

forest

Life isn’t life in Oregon without some hiking. waterfall

(so, that little blue dot in the lower right is Jay, just to put the size of this waterfall in perspective)

kelly and sergio

One of the really, really great things that happened this fall was the Western Washington/Oregon SCBWI Illustrator’s Retreat, up on the Puget Sound in Washington. We had the most FABULOUS faculty: Kelly Murphy and Sergio Ruzzier. They were just the BEST. So inspiring!

 informal critique

Impromptu dummy critique.

the water

And the view!

crazy beard 2

Some friends from Indiana showed up in perfect time for the World Beard and Moustache Championships. (MJ the Beard Boss definitely bossed their beards.) And I have to admit, it was raining.

crazy beard group

crazy beard 3

That is the most luxuriant beard I’ve ever seen. How much time goes into keeping that thing so smooth and silky? And seriously, how does he EAT?

pulling hair

More time at the beach with nieces and nephews on my side. I’m glad they’ve learned to put up with their uncle.

waiding in water

Wading in the ocean in late November. Not bad, folks, not bad.

bronceroo

And we finished up fall with a Thanksgiving visit from this most adorable cowgirl-niece ever from Colorado! Yippy-ti-yi-yay!