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Archive for 2007


Monday, December 31st, 2007

Poof! Somehow it went from December 1st … to the 31st in the blink of an eye. How did this happen? Me thinks my little Heinzelmännchen from Karen had something to do it. And just what is he hiding behind his back anyway? I’m guessing it’s the days of December 2nd - 30th.

Christmas at our house was magical. My parents and brother came up and we all spent a glorious time together and it came and went much too soon. We lounged, we laughed, lounged some more, we ate, laughed some more, lounged some even more, ate some even more and then laughed some even more.

“Oscar” - From Laurie

While it would have been perfect had my oldest son and his family been here from Australia, at least we all got to take turns talking on the phone with him and I had a wonderful converstation with my granddaughter and learned that cookies are called biscuits in the Land of Oz.

The best gift for all of us was finding out that my darling granddaughter started calling our DS1 “daddy” (she’s 6 and DS1 and DDL have been married 2 years now - and DGD’s bio dad is very much a part of her life). Oh my heart swelled like I never thought possible.

From Raesha

The icing on the cake was when DS1 told me how he’s carrying on with some of our fun traditions for Christmas morning. Santa left DGD a note, “Dear J, I had a problem with my sleigh as I was flying over your house. One of your presents has fallen out of my sack and has landed in the palm tree in your backyard. Ask your daddy to get a ladder and fetch it - Love Santa”. And there at the top of the palm tree dangled a brand new pair of ice skates. I get giddy imagining it. And ha… my son hates to wrap presents as much as I do!

From Louise

Holy crap, here it is New Year’s Eve. How the eff did that happen? I’m just NOW getting used to writing “2007″. Guess I better brush up on my 8’s. No big plans for us this evening - we stay home - I don’t like being around drunks or drunk drivers. Glitzy New Year’s is just not my gig. Our epicurean extravaganza will be crafted in the kitchen from  Pizza Schmizza. We’ll be playing Monopoly with DS2 (so he can kick our butts as usual) and then we’ll be watching our delicious Tivo’d stash of 50 zillion episodes of Project Runway that I recorded when they had a marathon last week and today. GOSH I love that show and now see why everyone is so into it. OMG… even the T-man likes it (but you didn’t hear that from me). We’ve seen all of season 1 (I heart Jay - he’s so funny!) and season 3 now. Oh yeah… I’m so hooked! Me thinks Mimi wants to try out for season 5 or season 6. ;) It’s like I can almost hear Tim Gunn telling Mimi, “Mimi… make it happen”.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. I can’t wait to catch up with everyone in blogland. The blogland train has been waiting in the station for me for weeks now. Oh my Gorsh (shout out to Mary & Chicago), more like closer to a month now. I think my bloglines post count is going to reach 8000 here soon. I have so many blogs to visit, so much to catch up with. But I am the human slug. Soon I hope to get caught up with life so I can get my fat butt back on the blogtrain. My Christmas was filled with such goodness, creativity and kindness from my bloggy friends. It’s amazing when I look back and first started blogging… never in a million years could I have imagined the friendships I have made! I’m beyond words for the gifts I’ve been sent, the cards and emails (still waiting to be answered - please forgive me!). I’ll never stop gushing with joy over the gift of friendships I have received. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And now I must nap. And then sew - for I have a quickly approaching deadline. And then… then… OMG then… I’m jumping on the blogtrain and I’m going to hop from seat to seat, and I may even run up and down the aisle with scissors. And I’m most definitely going to be flailing my arms out the window! Happy Spoonie New Year!!!

From Mary

This is really it… really. For real.

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Like trying to end a phone call with a dear friend - you’re just about to hang up and a new topic starts.  Ok, after this post I’m REALLY going on my repair/clean-up break.  I said to my self “Self… no more babbling about The Storm - blech, enough already!”  BUT… I thought this was just too cool… and it’s kind of a mental segway for me to go from storm mode back to quilt mode.

The forest across the street from us has to be logged because of The Storm.  I’ve never actually seen logging in action and I’m in awe of the process.   Never in a million years would I have thought a California city-girl like me would be snapping a photo like this from MY driveway. The super skilled guy operating the picker-uper thingamabob makes it all look like a magical dancing tree ballet.

When I first looked at this photo, it reminded me of the a quilt I saw at the NW Quilting Expo in Portland last Fall.  I’m guessing for the quiltmaker it was Art imitating Life.  For me it is Life imitating Art.  I really, really, really, really would love to know who the quiltmaker is!  Anyone know?

Edited in:
Thank you Tami from Lemon Tree Tales for the answer!
From Tami: I saw that same quilt at the 2006 Pacific International Quilt Festival and thought it was amazing. Luckily I took a picture of it and the information sheet. It’s by Janet Fogg of Lake Oswego, OR. It’s called Winding Road Ahead and measures 103″ x 103″.

This is her artist statement about it: “Logging trucks are a common sight for people living in the northwest states. As an artist living in the region, I have always found them to be a powerful visual image. Because I enjoy combining traditional quilt blocks with illustrations to create quilts with a concept, I decided to transport the logs by constructing a logging truck out of log cabin blocks. Hand dyed fabrics by Jeanette Viviano.”

I googled Janet Fogg and found her quilt collection. A must see!


Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

I have internet again! How sweet it is to type with all fingers and not just my thumb. I think I have iPhoneinitus in my thumb, but I’m still grateful I had that little sucker for the on-again off-again excruciatingly slow dial-up internet it provided me after the storm and being able to text with Pam - whoo whoo… I love you Apple! I didn’t realize how much my life was computerized, until we went 6 days without power and 9 days without internet. We heart you Mountain Power of Idaho! We heart EVERYONE who came to help… The US Coast Guard, Oregon National Guard, OR Senator Betsy Johnson, US Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith, Congressman David Wu, Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen, Clatsop County Sherrif Tom Bergin, Dean Perez, Pacific Power, Utah Power, Portland General Electric, Charter, Qwest, Trees Inc. and SOOOO many more. Rockstars. Heroes. Knights in shining armor.

And to the TV media in Portland, Oregon… You suck.
You suck, you suck, and you suck.
One more time… you suck!

And once our phone lines did work again… I couldn’t even call Kath or Paula - because where was the bulk of my phone numbers??? I was so happy Kath called me, and I could communicate with Paula via comments and know they were ok too. Blogging - not just for crafting! I’m so going to get me an old fashioned write-in phone book (hoping a certain someone with her fabo new job designs one soon).

We’ve been cleaning, clearing, sawing, sweeping, chopping, blah, blah, blah. And soooo much more left to do. Double the houses, double the fun. What I wouldn’t give to sit at my sewing machine and sew right now. And who knew that I’d long to wash clothes/do laundry and vacuum - certainly not me. Oh how I love you electrical appliances! I love you electricity!

That goes for spell check too (something I couldn’t do when I blogged via my iPhone). DS2 has already tackled the tree that landed behind our house. The tree above is now firewood. Our neighbors watched in horror as it went down, not knowing where it was going to land. Thank you St. Joe-Joe!

Gimme about a week on my glorious restored electricity high… and I just may light candles again. For now… I don’t want to see any flashlights or candles! My fantasy life of living like a pioneer, dressed in a Little House on The Prairie dress and Doc Martin boots is on permanent hold.

I’ve got some before & after pics:

If I haven’t put anyone to sleep with my ramblings about The Storm and you want to see more pics, I’ve got more storm pics on a flickr set here.

Even though I just got my internet back and would so love to bloghop and visit, our life is jam packed with fixing, dealing with the insurance, repairpeeps and cleaning. Not just one house… but two. Our for-sale house is now being rented to my neighbors who’s house was destroyed in The Storm - and we really want to get that house fixed/cleaned even faster now. Oh St. Joe-Joe… I KNEW you were working all along. Anyhoo… I’ll be taking a little blogging break for a few weeks, and then it’s back to fun and quilting (and some bring-me-to-tears wonderful Mailbox Love from Louise, Laurie, and Nanna Jamma that I can’t wait to show!)! I have a ton of emails to still go through and I’m getting to them soon (as well as the Jingle Jolly gallery - OMG you guys kick quilt butt!). Thank you all again for your beautiful words of comfort and caring and I hope you all in the midwest make it through your ice storm as well as we did here. I’m thinking of you all!

PS… As busy as Mother Nature was with The Storm, she still found the time and energy to leave me some raunchy good humor amidst the fallen trees and roof shingles. Mother Nature… you are Mother Naughty.

thank you

Friday, December 7th, 2007

blogging from my iPhone… Pardon the mess. We had a monster storm (a hurricane - not kidding) in Astoria/the Oregon coast / the SW Wash. Coast and we’ve been without power since Sunday. Lots of damage, cut off, situation unknown by many and media… but we r ok! Two beatiful young guys just out of kindness came up our street and chain sawed us all out - it was one of the most beautiful acts of kindness i’v ever seen! Thank you for all the wonder emails… They have SOOOO lifted my spirits!!!(I can receive but not send) The awesome kickass rockin awesome crews from Mountain Power in Idaho are replacing power poles on my street right now … We may even have power and heat in a few days. And maybe water too.

Astoria is a disaster, but we’re the luckiest community ever with all the help that’s been sent our way (thank you idaho… WE LOVE YOU), our city/county/state government, KAST, KMUN, daily astorian, and best of all… neighbor helping neighbor!!! I LOVE YOU ASTORIA & OREGON!!!!!

It may be a long time before I can reply to emails and I thank you soooo much for your wonderful notes. Thank you all- you all r the best!!!

we now have power, heat,water! Still awhile before cable/Internet… But that is soooo ok! Very little damage to our roof, something dh can fix himself. Two mammoth trees just missed our house (thank you St. Joe-Joe!!!). We are the lucky ones in my hood. As bad as it was (20+hours in a hurricane), nothing can top the joy of living in such a wonderful and caring community!!! As crazy as this sounds right now - we live in paradise!

Thank you sooo much for your comments and emails - I heart you all for them! We (my family) really are doing great, but not so much my neighbors and coast. Please keep Astoria, the coast and Vernonia in your prayers.

The Week After

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Thanksgiving has come and gone at El Rancheo de Zombie - and what a memorable Thanksgiving weekend is was! No fancy dinner table or foo-foo foodie food shots… this is what you get - it’s how I roll.

Our super-duper nice neighbors across the street from us invited us over for Thanksgiving. Their guest list was 55 people… what’s three more, eh! Their guests included three or four film crews filming their Thanksgiving (they are filming a new “Deadliest Catch” style show here… but with logging/loggers). The T-man had invited some of his family over, so DS and I amused ourselves all day by peeking out of our windows and watching all the action and wishing we were there. I hope it all doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor.

And then the big moment came last Saturday night… the Seaside Yuletide Parade where T was the Grand Marshall! So very exciting and I was so, so, so proud. I ran into a friend and told her the T was the GM, and some guy overheard me and started in on me about how poorly the parade was advertised. I had to be nice and polite (I was Mrs. Grand Marshall - royality after all!), but jeeze… dude I’m sooo gonna blog about you! You found it didn’t you? You’re here, right? Peasants.

The T was asked to light the city Christmas tree as well. HOLY CRAP! But as he was up there with the MC, along comes this unshaven guy in what looks like red pajammas… and upstages him and throws the switch! The nerve. Didn’t catch the guy’s full name… Something Claus. Still very exciting though as T got to be in the spotlight with the bearded Pajamma Man.

Here we all are. On the left are George & Mary… our surrogate parents. Isn’t Georgie cute! He looks like a Lebanese gnome with his hoodie on. And then there’s my super hero, me, and our wonder-kid DS2. I know, I know… I don’t look like Izzy from Grey’s Anatomy that I tell everyone that I look like. Something was wrong with the camera (again!) and freaky thing… I ended up looking like Hurley with tits. What is wrong with your cameras people! Thank you for the wonderful photo Renee… even though I think your camera is broken.

With Turkey Day over, I have officially embraced the holiday season! I’m so buhhumbug about the early start of the season… the ads, the sales, blah, blah, blah. Sans Target though - I could watch the Target holiday commercials year round. I say it every year, “this year I’m going to decorate early”! And this year I did! Though I scaled way back - there’s some 5 jumbo Rubbermaid totes still full of stuff. I like to rotate a bit (that’s code for I’m effing lazy).

Another tradition we have, and it’s not a welcomed one - is our family tree controversy. I want faux… DS2 wants real. I just don’t have the heart to cut down a living tree that provides us with clean air, keeps our hill from slipping, is a jungle gym for squirrels, owls and birdies… and is just a magnificent living gift of beauty from Mama Nature. I know… pass the granola. Right in our own back yard we have our own Christmas trees to choose from… but I just couldn’t do it. I guess I’m like the dairy farmer who drinks soy milk. If you peek through the trees, you can see Paula’s house on the hill. Hi Paula! And if you peek out of Paula’s window you can see my house! All we need is a Zip-Line. And if you squint really, really, REALLY hard… you can see The Mountain.

Two points for me… another year of the faux tree and I’m as happy as a clam on a canceled dig. Now that we have a bigger living room (The Pit as we call it), I need a bigger tree. A nice fat n chubby one - unlike our current tree, Mary Kate. After Christmas sales… I’m watching you!

My cherry on the top Christmas decoration. We had a big one of these candle twirlly things at one time. I was fascinated with it as a child… and still fascinated with is as a pseudo adult. It’s in the attic somewhere. I got this little gem a few years ago when Target had their “Alpine” collection. My stuff is all very German and Swedish, so Target did me good that year. Last year too with Tord Boontje’s yummies. My image of Heaven is being surrounded by loved ones and it’s decorated with Tord and Alpine Christmas yummies. Oh, and Moda is up there too!

I have a thing for kitchen windows. I need to find a flickr group for that. I’m sure I’m not the only kitchen-window-weirdo. I hope. I’m not a big fan of this pop-out window (it’s on the honey-do list to be changed), but it is providing some good space for my holiday crap items-o-love (and an unwanted lounge for my two naughty cats). Just need to replace my purple plant thing with some little poinsettias.

Finally I can use the little dust catcher shelf above my cabinets! Merry Kitchenmas!

And speaking of my kitchen window… the other morning I panicked - thought there was a fire in the woods across the street. Turns out THAT BALL-O-FIRE I saw from my kitchen window was a glimmer of sunshine during a foggy morning sunrise. I have more pics of it here. It blew me away!

New Year’s Resolution #1dash2008: Shorter posts.

New Year’s Resolution #1dash2008a: More posts, less words.

New Year’s Resolution #2dash2008: Tell everyone before January comes that the Mimi’s Quilt-a-Long and Jingle Jolly galleries are open! (Under “Freebies” in my sidebar).

New Year’s Resolution #3dash2008: Don’t make resolutions in November for January.

New Year’s Resolution #4dash2008: Don’t make resolutions. Period.

And now I must nap. Seriously.

Jingle Jolly To You!

Monday, November 19th, 2007

SHORTCUTS without all the blahblahblah:
FAQ here.

Bah-humbug. It’s too early for the holidays. But… it’s never too early to get ready for holiday giftmaking! I took the Handmade Pledge. Have you? Hardly an arm twisting, eh. Another passing of a hundred posts has come and gone (I’ll be having my post-postaverary soon - stay tuned… sister-friend Karen is going to join in the fun), so for now just a little holiday pattern to you from me. And besides… it’s Frankie’s 20th birthday today! Happy Birthday Frankie! Words cannot express my thanks and gratitude to all of you for the joy and inspiration you all bring me on a daily basis… on your blogs as well as the wonderful comments you leave me. So many ideas and so much inspiration I’ve gotten from all of you, and I hope I can do the same for you with this dinky little pattern of mine.

Jingle Jolly Table Runner
Being the Charmaholic that I am… I had to find a way to put my stash to good use! And while it looks like I eat alone, in actuality - I’m just too stinkin’ lazy to set a full table just to snap a photo.
I know there’s a way to photograph quilts so they don’t look all wonky. I just don’t know what that way is. And it certainly doesn’t help matters that my method of photography is point-pray-click.   Maybe your photos will be much better.  Please add your pics to the gallery here!

This little Jingle Jolly finishes at 16” x 40”. I used a charm pack of Holly Jolly by Sandy Gervais for Moda. My pattern calls for 37 charms… exactly what’s in the Holly Jolly charm pack!

The entire pattern is free for download here. If you like this pattern, you might like to make a similar pattern and go hog wild and make a 62” x 68” size quilt from a 12 fat quarter bundle from Karen’s pattern “Cheaper by the Dozen” in her book “Bundles of Fun“. I know it’s fun… because I’ve made one. It’s a perfect retreat project or a sewing with friends project.

To make this runner - you will need:
37 Charms (I got my Rx filled here)
⅔ yard black polka-dot fabric for star centers and binding
¼ yard solid black fabric for star points (my other Rx is filled here)
⅝ yard backing fabric
20” x 44” piece batting

Thank you to Claire and Missy for hosting the wonderful Handmade Parade Holiday Gift Guide and asking me to join in the fun. You will find this Jingle Jolly pattern cross-posted there as well as many, many, many more holiday goodies by clicking here.

And thank you to my pal Kim who keeps me focused on getting this post done! ;o)

~Whew. And now I must nap.

My hero

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

I practically blog about everything, but I always like to keep it private when it comes to things about about my DH and my boys. But I’m breaking my own rule (again) because I’m so stinkin’ proud of my DH.  The T-man was named Coast Guardsman of the Year for Astoria (OR) from the American Legion in Ilwaco, WA! You can read the nice article friend Connie told me about by the Pacific County (WA) sheriff here. And if that’s not enough… the T-man was asked this morning to be the Grand Marshall of the Seaside Holiday Parade! I suppose I’ll be sewing my super hero a cape and crafting him an extra large crown with built in neck brace soon… but he’s so worth it.

But the T-man can’t have all the fun… I’ve asked him to refer to me as Mrs. Grand Marshall from now through December.

The trend setter herself…

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

A big shout-out, a huge hoo haa haa, a giant whoo whoo, and a kickin’ bravo zulu to my pal PKM! Why? Find out here!

30% more calories - 85% less words

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

It’s been a busy and fun weekend. The Anna Lena quilt retreat, our big storm yesterday, and even some tiding of my office. I feel like I’m a million years behind on stuff (especially emails). Even my flickr needs some tiding up so I’d thought I’d do a less word-more photos post. My “Corners of my Hood” I guess.

The little quilt I started at retreat from the fabrics that silly lil’ Doe taunted (pimped) me with. I named this quilt “That silly lil’ quilt” - only because “I’m such a whore for fabric and Doe is my pimp so I made this - and now I need a cigarette” was going to be too long for a label.

DS2 FINALLY got his driving permit (fourth time’s the charmer), so we’ve been taking the less traveled roads to give him some good driving time and experiences. One late afternoon we were driving and DS2 suggested we go to Quizno’s (which I can’t stand) and eat our meal at the beach. With an idea like that… I’d eat Brussels Sprouts swimming in Lima Beans (all things I REALLY can’t stand). And the salad at Quizno’s was “OK” (said with little enthusiasm), but it was one of the best meals EVER! This is an iPhone shot, and I’m really pleased how well it takes pics.

Speaking of iPhone… I took this shot with my phone as well. Not like having a real camera, but it sure takes better pics then our first camera that we had 10+ years ago! This was in the parking lot at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Hillsboro, OR (shout-out to Jessica!). I went gaga over the reflection of the tree on the asphalt.

Oops… lots of words up there. I better cut back or I’ll have to edit my title. Sooo… back in our hood of Astoria’s countryside…

Youngs River Road

The Jet Puff harvest on Youngs River Road.

Lewis and Clark Road. The day prior to this shot - this valley was filled with zillions of cows. It was an amazing sight to see… you just have to imagine it now.

Netul Landing off Ft. Clatsop Road

Sacagawea and Pomp (Jean Baptiste Charbonneau) at Netul Landing
Updated 01/23/08: 01/23/08 - Sad. So, so, so sad… Sacagawea and Pomp appear to be the latest victims of meth theft. I’m sad and angered. I’m feeling fortunate I took this photo when I did, though it makes me cry when I look at it. Read more at The Daily Astorian and KGW.

Ft. Clatsop Road through the dirty windshield

And last but no least… The Girls

Surrounded by talent

Friday, November 9th, 2007

My life is blessed with talented women in it!

My wondertwin Pam. Have you ever seen a more darling bag?!? I know the answer is no. Mix one part PamKittyMorning and one part Elizabeth/Late Bloomer Quilts = one killer pattern! Super powers activated! Connie and I are crashing the Anna Lena quilt retreat this weekend… I’m so making one of Pam’s bags while I’m there.

Liquid Sky Love. My friend Kathleen of Liquid Sky Arts is an uber talented artist. Paper, jewelry, photography… talent just oozes out of her pores. And to top off all that talent… she’s the super sweetest person ever. I ordered my holiday cards from Kath… soooo stinkin’ cute. I loved seeing her name on the back of the cards. Too effing cool! If you want to see the front… you can take a look here.

I can’t guarantee Kathleen will hand deliver your order like she did mine, or include a kick ass gift for Mimi… but you will love, love, love what ever you order from her!

That sweet Sharon of Red Geranium Cottage. Not just a talented quilter, but if you’re a regular reader of hers you’ll know she’s the Super Shopper of All Things Cool & Cute! I was supposed to be all “shhhhh” about the little baggie she was sending me. I said I’d keep mum, but I lied. Liar, liar - my pants are on fire. And why did she send me the darling little bag? Because I made my own contest on her blog! I highly recommend starting a contest on someone else’s blog. And just look what all she sent! I think I said “oh my goodness” like 57 times as I opened her package! And speaking of contests… I’ll be having one of my own soon! Hmmm… what could it be.
And not only did Sharon send me one bag… BUT TWO. And look at the rest of the goodies too! As you can see I “opened” one of the bags… I just had to see the inner workings of such a neat little bag. And that cookie… Sharon thinks I’m going to eat it, but I’m not. Cute trumps sugar. At least for a week anyhow. We’ll see how my willpower holds out.

I have my annual mammogram next week… I’ll be using Sharon’s Moda Quilt Pink tote bag for what ever I’m working on while I’m waiting. I actually like getting my mammogram. Not the turning my boobs into Swedish pancakes part, but the feeling of doing something good for myself is quite wonderful. Plus… I get mine done at OHSU at the Center for Women’s Health and it’s almost like a spa day up there.

From bags to boobs… and now I must nap.

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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