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Archive for November, 2007

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.

For Juana

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

I first heard about the Mother’s Day Project through Raesha on her post about Carrie. As soon as I read it I was off to sign-up. Being a veteran myself and a wife and a mother to veterans… I feel so honored to be able to participate in something so wonderful. You can read all about the project here as well as sign-up for yourself.

My stitchery tribute is to Juana Navarro Arellano of California, who at the young age of 24 was killed in Iraq on April 8th, 2006. Juana was born in Mexico and at age 13 became a US citizen. I stitched her name in red since the Mexican, US and California flags all have red in them. As I was stitching this tiny teenie small name, I thought to myself that this was the hardest thing I’ve ever stitched. And it seemed so fitting because I’m sure this is the hardest thing Juana’s family has ever gone through. I found it comforting to not only have had a difficult time stitching this, but for actually doing it. For me Juana is not just a press release or a statistical number. I know her name and have learned about her much too short life.

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

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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