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Archive for 2007


Friday, September 28th, 2007

That was me yesterday, just like this Happy Girl. Well… I’m always pretty happy, but mix me up with my friends and some fabric… I feel like I float with joy. Sappy… but true.

Yesterday my friends and I went to the NW Quilting Expo in Portland. A little fabric, a little lunch, a little side trip… and a whole lotta laughing. The photo above I named “Happy Girl”. I do not know what the quilt’s name is or who made it, but was my favorite quilt at the expo. As with all the quilts I will show from the expo I regrettably didn’t note the makers’ names or the quilt names and I’d be happy to share the info if anyone knows.

The Expo is kind of a giant shop hop rolled into one location. Shops and vendors from all over the west come and taunt you with their delicious delights. The expo also hosts the Hoffman Challenge and a quilt show. This was my third year attending, and I’m always amazed at what quilters can do with the world’s butt ugliest most challenging fabric. Amazing.

Below are a few of my faves (even if I’m not a fan of the fabrics), and you can see more of my faves on my Flickr here. Not many of the fabrics uses are what would be my choice, but I did see past some of the fabrics and saw gorgeous, gorgeous quilts!

Super mini small (see the safety pin and/or straight pin in relation to size?).

Incredible quilting. You MUST click on photo to see it.

Looks like a vintage board game. Bold, graphic and stunning.

Gotta love a well hung label. REALLY… couldn’t the person in charge of hanging the labels and ribbon have picked a better spot to hang it?

Fabric & Eggs
Fabric & Eggs
I’d like my eggs over-easy with a side of fabric, please. After the expo we went to Country Manor Fabrics in Battleground, WA. Or as I like to now call it… Fabric & Eggs. For years I’ve heard of this mysterious place - a quilt shop in someone’s basement out in the country. Though no longer in a basement, the shop is now in a pole barn. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of bolts everywhere. Agility is a must. Lots and lots of older collections one can’t find elsewhere anymore, and complete lines at that (so it seemed). I saw stuff I hadn’t seen in years or had never seen. If I’m ever on the hunt for That One Fabric… this is where I’ll come. Especially now that I know it’s top secret location. Which BTW, is on NE 179th just off the I-5 just north of the Clark County Fairgrounds. But you didn’t hear that from me.

It’s official…

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

And I’ve declared it!

I heart you my friend… my wondertwin… my muse… my daily cup of joy!  CONGATULATIONS!

Summer Lovin’

Friday, September 14th, 2007

I’m always either incredibly early, or always annoyingly late. I’d like to believe it’s the former - though I know there’d be a long line around the block to dispute that (and my family’s at the head of the line). So anyhoo… what would summer be without a good “beach book”. I usually like to read intense novels by authors like Patricia Cornwell or Dean R. Koontz, but lately I’ve been in the mood for something light, something fun, something with no murder or cops who chain smoke or scary people in the dark of night. I’ve had very little time this summer to read, and I wanted something I could pick up a week later and not have to back read 4 pages so I could remember what was going on.

So there I was in Costco in the book aisle. I noticed 3 fellow shoppers had picked up a certain book - from what was now a short stack (the sign of a best seller… New York Times, New York Schmimes - the Costco book aisle is where it’s at!). I’m not one to march to the same drum… but I was somewhat curious intrigued about this book! So I pick it up, glance at the back cover, and think - what the heck, and toss the book like a Frisbee into my cart - and on to the rest of my shopping. I love learning about what fellow bloggers are reading… a much bigger indicator I might like something someone I cyber-know likes… but those three other Costco shoppers can’t be wrong, right?

Mistake #1. I picked up the book to read a few pages before I had finished unpacking my Costco booty. Oh I’ll just read a few pages.

Mistake #2. Reading, reading… OH CRAP… it’s a freaking romance novel! Nothing against romance novels, but I think the last time I read one was over a quarter of a century ago - and it involved a rogue pirate and his throbbing manhood & a heaving bosomed damsel stow-away (granny porn).

Mistake #3. Assuming it was going to suck now that I knew what kind of novel this was.

Correction #1. I kept reading. And reading. And reading. And reading. HOLY CRAP… I LOVE this book! So now I’m addicted. I’ve taken this book where ever I go. Seriously… where ever I go! So many rich characters and every chapter leaves you hanging and thirsting for more! Kind of like Desperate Housewives… not the same story of course… but that same kind of guilty pleasure. I can’t leave the house without my coffee… and now I can’t leave the house without my book as well.

The book is Dakota Born by Debbie Macomber. As it turns out… it’s the first “Dakota” book in a trilogy. OMG, now I have to get my hands on the rest of the series!!! Come to find out, there’s another series she’s written called the “Cedar Cove Series” (aka “the address books“). I’ve scoured Amazon and local booksellers and I managed to acquire the entire series (which takes place just a bit up north in Kitsap County, WA). With the Dakota Born book finished (sadly) last night, I was now able to dive into the first of the Cedar Cove series - 16 Lighthouse Road. Delicious.

I haven’t been this excited about a book/series since I was a kid and devoured the sweet word nectar of the Nancy Drew series. And thanks to this author, my garage continues to look like this! My tip of the day: If you’re moving into a new house, IGNORE these books! So anyhoo… what are you reading???

Ok, these tennies have nothing to do with this post, but how effing cute are they! Serious cute. So cute, I was blinded by the hefty price tag. So what do I do… buy them, feel guilty about the price, decide to take em back for a refund, snap a photo, and then blog about them. Very satisfying, I must say. It’s almost like I’m wearing them, but not. The annoying sales girl at Adidas (who couldn’t pronounce Deutschland to save her life, even though she was selling a German product) went on and on about how this was a Reggie Bush signature sneaker. WhatTF? Um… THIS is a tennie to go with a cute aqua dress and vintage apron, while I place a fresh baked cherry pie in the window to cool. Reggie Bush. What-ever.

Edited in for all those that have asked who Reggie Bush is: Reggie Bush was USC’s football darling. He’s now with the NFL and I have no clue (or care) what team he is on. As for the shoes being “Reggie Bush’s”… hardly! And the chatty/pushy/know-it-all clerk even tried to tell me that red and white were USC’s colors. I just let it go (even though I wanted to tell her that I was from California and that I KNOW what USC’s colors are)…. but I thought it’d be more fun to let her continue to make a fool of herself… and then blog about her. Moooo ahhh haaa haaa!

Toxi Magnum

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

My pal Raesha (aka Freddy Subaru) posted a fun little name game on her blog and I thought it was cute (though Raesha must be warned I will forever be calling her Freddy Subaru now!). Wanna play too? Allrighty then… TAG, you’re it! Leave a comment that you’re playing or if you don’t have a blog - play the game right in your comment.

The Name Game

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),
Toxi Magnum

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),
Rainbow Sherbet Snickerdoodle*

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
Pink Puppy

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),
Linda Walnut Creek

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The Aqua Coffee

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
Paul Paul

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy),
Sweat Pea Charleston Chew

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
Anne Esquivel

And a few more…

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Sundquist Seattle

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Autumn Dahlia

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Strawberry Flip Flopie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Honey Bunches of Oats Willow

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Quilting Snowstorm Tour

Any others anyone can think of? Have fun - Toxi ;-)

*They have ganstas in the Castro, right?


Saturday, September 8th, 2007


Mmmm… yes.

Oh my gawd… yes.

Oh my gawd, oh my gawd… it’s coming, it’s coming… ohmygawd it’s coming. OH. MY. GAWD. Fall is about to arrive! YES!


St. Joe-Joe a Go-Go

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

I told myself, “Self… not one more post about moving, selling my house or setting up my new house. None of it”. Of course, being the self that I am - I don’t listen. Ever. Okay, okay… this is actually crafty. Sort of.

I first heard about St. Joseph from Kathleen, how burring a St. Joseph statue upside-down in your front yard will help you sell your house. It worked for Kathleen, who passed her St. Joe on to Paula… and he worked his charm on Paula too (and you should see her adorable new house!). WOW. I’m so totally sold! Now, I am not a religious person… though I’m very spiritual. I don’t subscribe to any organized religion, but I do like aspects from all kinds of different religions. I guess I’m a Smorgisbordian. And if I ever had my own commune, we’d live in a little village like in the movie The Village, and we’d all dress in Little House on the Prairie dresses - but with big clunky Doc Martin boots, and bake bread & pies, and do crafts, and play quarters, and have TIVO…

So first order of business was to get my hands on a St. Joseph statue. Paula offered to pass her St. Joe on to me, but I didn’t want to jinx things for her by digging him up too early. Not easy to find a St. Joe on the OR or WA coast, lemme tell you! So I decided to make my own. I did a lot of research on the internet and just kind of winged it from a bucket-load of images I found. And not only did I find images, I read a lot of interesting stories of Joseph that warmed my heart.

And since I was at with St. Joe… I also said a prayer to St. Anthony. Oh yeah… St. Anthony has always come through for me! “Dear St. Anthony, something’s lost and must be found… please find us a buyer soon”. Well… Not that I’m not grateful, but I realized I had to be uber specific with St. Anthony - as the very next day our new neighbors were eyeing our travel trailer and we told them we’re selling it… and they bought it! So now my prayer to St. Anthony is more specific!

So back to St. Joseph. I read from various blogs/websites that St. Joseph needed to be buried upside down so that he is uncomfortable, thus working all the harder to get you that buyer. And when the sale of the house is complete, the St. Joseph should be displayed in a place of honor in your new home. So I made him, and that evening after dinner I had planned to bury him. Just before heading out, our realtor called to let us know a couple looked at our house and was so interested - they came back for a second look. This told me to bury St. Joe fast! Surely they would make an offer after St. Joe was tucked snugly into the ground. The following day - still no word. It was nagging at me the whole negative reinforcement aspect of putting St. Joe upside down, and had considered digging him up. I was at the old house on the hill watering the yard in deep thought about my little Joe-Joe upside down and suffocating in his baggie… when SWOOSH… I slipped and fell and landed on my bum - upside down and in the mud. Stuff me in a Zip-Loc and call me St. Joe!

As fast as I could hose myself off… up came St. Joseph from out of the ground. So now my little Joe-Joe is dug up and home with me and in a place of honor (my sewing room of course!). I may not get that sale as fast as I had hoped… but I believe the sale I will get will be worth the wait!  And that second-look couple… the wifey wanted to buy it, the hubby said it was “too big” (to which I’m guessing their current abode must certainly be a cave).

If you want your own St. Joe a Go-Go… feel free to D/L my PDF pattern.

Edited in: I see I’m not the only one… check out Be*mused’s post about St. Joe! And CNN as well!

Oh Clive… where are you when I need you?!?

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

If only I had Clive Pearse on hand at our house that we’re selling! It would have been so much easier, not to mention we’d have an offer by now. Sigh. Panic setting in. And now we’re working on the new house, giving our kitchen a makeover and remodel. Paint and sawdust has become an everyday part of my life. I have more t-shirts and shorts assigned as “painting clothes” then I do regular clothes. Sick. Sick. Sick.

hgtv.gifBUT SOME OF US score big and not only get someone else to pay for their redo… they get someone else to do it as well! One such person is my little brother Marco and my SIL Kihn. And if that’s not enough… they even get someone to design their redo! Take a Mexican/German and a Vietnamese/French and the end result is a vibrant Japanese dining room make-over! I’m pretty sure (but not positive) it’s Marco and Kihn’s episode on tonight at 11pm e/p on HGTV’s new show Get It Together. Be warned… lot’s of orange and red!!!! Sigh… back to my painting I go. The closest I’ll ever get to a HGTV redo is the picture of me hanging in Marco’s redo.

Edited in: @#$%!… it wasn’t Marco’s episode!

Hopefully I’ll be back to blogging soon. I miss you all so much and miss your blogs and visiting you!!! Thank you for all the nice emails and I hope to be able to answer them all soon! :-) <3

Thank you, Danke, Merci, Grazie, Gracias, Obrigado…

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Thank you is just not a hearty enough word I can find to say thank you for all the nice emails and comments sent to me regarding my move and my blog-sabbatical, but I’ll try… THANK YOU! A rare and quick minute of actually sitting on my sofa in my living room and taking in the beauty of my favorite view (and Yorkie’s new favorite nap spot), I was overcome with that wonderful blog-sensation… “I need to blog this”.

Being so busy with the move - setting up the new house and dressing up the old house for the sale, I feel like I’ve been away from Blogland for years. Like each day in Blogland is like a year in blog-years. My bloglines is showing over 3800 new posts for me to read! STOP! FREEZE! Please stop your bloglife and gently walk away from your computers until I get back. How am I ever going to catch up with everyone? Oh I miss you all so much!

We’re doing this move all on our own (no packers and movers like in years past). Our new house is just 4 miles from the old house… but it might as well be 400 miles with all the trips back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I keep telling myself it’s worth it (even with two mortgages at the moment), and every time I step in my new house it’s like a shot of joy and it IS worth it! Or when I leave the old house’s one car driveway to my 14 car drive way (yes… I counted). No… not a big fancy house… it’s how it is out here in the country! We’ve actually gone to a smaller house by 400 SF, but it’s all one glorious level. No stairs. If I were so inclined, I could skateboard through my entire house.

So on to the important stuff in the new house… my sewing room! For now I’ll show my room naked - bare bones and pantyless. I’ve gone full circle… from butter yellow, to pink to aqua and I’m back to butter yellow. My new sewing room is just a hair bigger then my old one and I’ve decided to downsize on my wall cabinets to make it feel more open. Oh yes… that comes with a price! I’ve had to purge some of my fabric. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. I just told myself, ” would I buy this fabric today?”. If the answer was “no”… off to the donation box it went! I’ll be sorting my magazine stash next… but that’s for another day. One stash I won’t part with is my Mary E collection (I have every copy ever published), my quilting magazines and my Ikea catalogs. Missing is my 2007 issue which is in the living room dogeared and the 2008 which I will acquire when hit the new Portland Ikea (lusting).

And speaking of boxes. We didn’t have a lot of boxes, so I used the Ikea “shopping bags” that you get for like 75 cents. I had about a dozen of them and BOY DID THEY WORK WELL! You can get GOBS of stuff in em, and yet they are still manageable to carry. Easy in, easy out. And if moving/selling/setting up/patching/painting wasn’t enough… I had two quilts to finish and send to Quilts & More. I kid you not, when the putty or paint was drying… I stopped to bind my “Blossom” quilt. Back and forth - paint brush/needle, putty/needle, paint brush/needle. It’s a miracle I didn’t get paint on putty on the quilt!

In non-moving news… I got to meet Angelina (who I love and adore IRL even more then I loved her in bloglife) and her wonderful friend Lisa (my chickies new mommy), and had a visit from my dear friend Cindy on her whirlwind trip to the PNW (oh I wish we had had more time together!!!). I could write for hours about Angelina, but if you read her post about our visit and double what she says about me… that’s how I feel about her! Sigh… If only she would move to the coast! Hey Angelina… I know a great house you could buy in Astoria! ;-) And speaking of moving… special hugs to my moving comrades Paula and Angela who are living a parallel life with me at the moment. Hugs, Mortrin and Vicodin to you both!

Thank you all again for you wonderful emails and comments. Though it’s been rare for me to get online these days, I do so love and appreciate you all and every single note is a byte of happiness for me. Thank you and I wish I could respond to you all!  Please know that even though you may not hear back from me… I appreciate you all so much!!!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

A view from a future hot tub off the MB???  Hmmmm....What was supposed to be a summer filled with camping, and gardening, a trip to Victoria, BC (one of my fave places on the planet)… is now a summer of painting, packing and chaos. We bought a new house and are selling our current one (oh the stress of it all). It seems like so many of my bloggy pals are moving too… must be some kind of bloggy moving virus goin’ around.

We’re not moving far… just six or so minutes from our current home. We’re trading in the city life at Case de Zombie for country life (as you can see from the photo of our new backyard). From a house of stairs to a one level rancher (our reason for the move). Life at El Ranchero de Zombie will be grand… but for now it’s a circus. I hope to be able to blog and to visit your blogs at some point in the next month, but I’ll have limited Internet/email/blog time as the paint cans & brushes, the moving boxes, and the to-do list all scream my name.

I hope you all have a great summer and I hope to see you all again soon!!! Don’t forget me, k. And for you friends who are moving as well… there’s a bottle of rum with all our names on it and I’m ready to hit it with you all and celebrate!

Hearts & Crafts,
Monica (and Mimi too) :)

Willow Nest

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

What started out with a little field trip by Pam and Elizabeth, turned into a big field trip for my friend Robin and me. Robin and I both read Pam’s and E’s post about their antiquing adventure in Alameda, and Robin and I both clickie clicked on the link to Willow Nest on E’s post.

I looked, sigh, how pretty, must be in the Bay Area. But sharp eyed Robin noticed Willow Nest is in OUR backyard. Well… backyard for me is 2 hours inland… works for me! So off Robin and I go to the Willow Nest Flea Market!

Lot’s of great vendors and the setting was magical. Dreamy pink and white joy on a sunny day in beautiful Skamania Co., Washington. And at some point in Robin’s and my dreamy adventure was lunch and a quilt shop too.

All the vendors were so friendly and so happy to allow me to take photos and blog about them.

Even the “snack shack” was a thing of beauty. Pure pink and white joy. Who knew a tub of Costco sized Red Vines could look so pretty!

Pimp My Shopping-cart. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah.

And if the Willow Nest Flea Market was not enough… just over yonder a bit was an iris farm.

I’ll post my booty on another day.  But for now if you want to see all the photos, I have a flickr set here.  Pam and Elizabeth… your adventures really paid off for Robin and me.  Thank you!

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

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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