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Archive for 2008

Last one. I promise.

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Last snow post.  I promise.  Really.  Even though in some spots we got 4-6” of it last night, and more is promised on the way (ice is also forecast, so I don’t know if we’re too excited anymore)…

On my honor
I will say
No more mention of snow
At least not for today

Oh wait.  It IS today.  Ok… tonight then.  Tonight didn’t rhyme with “say”.  So, you know, anyhoo.  A few more pics.  I did after all do some housekeeping housecropping.  We don’t typically get a lot of snow in NW Oregon, and we’ve gotten gobs of it at our house overnight.  A pretty big deal for us.  From the comments on my last post… is there any place that’s not getting snow?  Snow in LAS VEGAS… in LOUISIANA… holy smokes!  I even heard on the news that MALIBU got a dusting.   I can’t stop combing blogland to see other friends in the area - to see how the snow looks at their houses… so I feel it’s a public service here in The Land of Rain to post more of my photos.  I’m in love with Vicki’s, Jodi’s and Cranna Nanna’s winter pics.  Dream, dreamy, dreamy.

Last night as it snowed. The view from my spot on the sofa. TV to left. The snowman to the right. My head held firm to the right.

Even Mochi the cat was entertained.
Somethin's goin' on out there.

I copied Paula after seeing her lights on her kitchen window.
Kitchen window

Close-up for Pam
Kitchen window

Up the street…
Up the street

Down the street ski slope.  SKI ASTORIA - No lines, no crowds, no lifts.
Down the street

Our non-denominational frozen precipitation figure
Non denominational frozen precipitation figure

“A wife, please” He does have That Look in his apple-eyes. We better get crack-a-lackin’ - and maybe we’ll have snowbabies by morning.
Non denominational frozen precipitation figure

Ok. I’m done.

Holy SNOW!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Sunday morning I yanked open my bedroom curtains… and I found this!  I shouted HOLY SNOW (actually, it sounded more like HOLY MITten).   Why oh why did I not get a jump on Pam and Elizabeth’s DARLING mitten/scarf/hat project!?!

Holy SNOW!

I looked to my left and saw this.  We’re not in snow country, so this is an extra special treat.  I think Angelina, Paula and Sarah agree!  And the snow hides all the bird poop that adorns my bench.  Nice snow.  Nice snow.  Thank you snow.   Thank you British Columbia for sending us your wonderful snow producing arctic air.
Holy SNOW!

I ran to the living room, and all I could see outside of the windows was white delight. Laugh at me Minnesota or Michigan peeps. Ga head, laugh at me. I love this snowfall too much!
Holy SNOW!

My happy little corner, some eggnog and snuggling up to some embroidering/finishing holiday projects.
Holy SNOW!

Before I sat down in my happy little corner… my fascination with looking out of my kitchen window had to be clicked.  Too worried about meltage, I dissed the dishes. At least they were rinsed.
Holy SNOW!

Poof.  No more dirty dishes. Ha… I need to crop the rest of my house.
Holy SNOW!

My husband was not interested in happy little corners or eggnog. He wanted to hop in his truck and see the snow beyond our neck of the woods. My jammies went flying and I got dressed in 2 seconds flat. I’m ready!

This is our bridge that links us to our next door neighbor… Washington state.  Some people refer to this bridge as the Astoria-Megler bridge… but the name has since changed to The PamKittyMorning Bridge after Pam adopted it as hers last spring.  The PKM Bridge is the path that takes me to Karen’s.  Karen and I quickly compared snow-notes… to see who had more.   I think I won.  Elevation matters.  And speaking of Karen… SHE’S GOT A BLOG NOW!  If you visit her, be sure to tell her you came from my blog’s high elevation down to her blog’s sea level elevation.
Holy SNOW! Astoria-Megler Bridge

This is not our house (sigh).  It belongs to friends of ours (and former neighbors behind us), and it was built by her great-grandfather.  Just as dreamy on the inside as it is on the outside.  This is the house I got to look at out of my sewing room window at our last house.  Not a bad view at all!
Holy SNOW!

When we got back home, my husband started a fire.  T-man settled in to some football on TV,  and I settled in and did some more sewing.  Christmas is only days away… how did that happen???
Pennie Pocket Christmas Pennie Pocket Christmas

I am BLOWN AWAY with the responses and comments on my Pennie Pockets. I heart each and everyone of you, and thank you so very much! I blush. I gush. I am so blessed with everyone’s kindness.

Pennie Pockets - Little pennant pockets of happiness

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Right after Thanksgiving… and right before I pull out the Christmas dec from the attic, the wheels start to turn in my head about what little pretties I’m going to make as little giftlettes for the holidays. I love containers. I love putting stuff in stuff. And I also needed to craft up something to dress up my shelf above my sewing room window. Light bulb went on - pennants were born. So being that my mind thinks in crafty ways (code for laziness), I decided to give a free pattern as a giftlette instead. Crafting it forward.

Pennie Pockets - Little pennant pockets of happiness

I thought about garland…  I thought about a little pocket for my design wall to hold tools, treasures and candy.

Pennie Pockets - Little pennant pockets of happiness
I thought I’d swag it, but decided to hang it straight.  At least something now could be straight n tidy in my sewing room.  I strung my pockets on ric rac, but I also thought about the garland Jenny was making here.

Pennie Pockets - Little pennant pockets of happiness

Because I’ve never outgrown playing ding-dong-ditch, I thought about little nosegays - a Pennie Pocket with a handle.  Perfect for cookies, notes and mischief.  Or better yet, a little ding-dong-ditch, a nosegay… and my pattern inside for my crafty friends.  Hmmm.

Pennie Pockets - Little pennant pockets of happiness
Pennie Pockets - Little pennant pockets of happiness
The wheels continue to turn in my head.  Little Christmas nosegays for the tree… or 25 Christmas advent nosegays… or 8 blue & white nosegays for Hanukkah.  Modified.  Embellished.  Embroidered.  Pimped.  So many ideas, I can’t even process them from my head to my keyboard - so I started a Pennie Pockets flickr group here.  Wanna join me in the pool?  The water’s warm - but not that kind of warm.  I promise.

See my ModaBakeShop version here.

Cranberry Harvest

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Recently we got to help our friends harvest their cranberry bog on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula. When I say we got to help, I mean that my hubby husband worked and I took photos.

First the bogs are flooded.  This is known as a “wet harvest”.  The berries have already been paddled to loosen them off their vines.   Not even sure if they’re on vines.  Cranberries that have gone through a wet harvest will end up being processed into drinks and cranberry-stuff-in-cans.
Cranberry Harvest

The cranberries are corralled like an oil spill.  My husband’s 19 years in the Coast Guard has certainly come in handy.
Cranberry Harvest

The cranberries are pulled and pushed, and making sure none escape.
Cranberry Harvest

The cranberries are raked and guided to the big green stairway.
Cranberry Harvest
Cranberry Harvest

Cranberry rain.
Cranberry Harvest

Cranberry Harvest

My husband (left) and “the Cranman” (right) get the cranberries settled into their crates.
Cranberry Harvest

The cranberries are now almost ready for the trip to Ocean Spray.
Cranberry Harvest

Next stop.  Ocean Spray.
Cranberry Harvest

I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the warehouse.  In a nutshell… the cranberries were weighed, poured into a giggly thing, traversed on this belt and into a wiggly thing, then poured into crates and loaded onto a semi-truck.  Destination unknown.  I was allowed to take photos in the “lab”.  My husband and I got a thorough tour of how the cranberries are sampled and tested.  Lots of big words chock-full of consonants that escape me now.  Color is checked, acid levels, this and that levels.  Touched.  Rolled.  Squeezed.  Blended.
Cranberry Harvest

So if you open a can of Ocean Spray cranberry jelly, and you hear that slurp-woosh-goosh sound as you free the jellied log-o-cranberry from it’s tin prison… that’s just the sound of me wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

A Vintage Christmas and other Shenanigans

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Last Saturday, my friends Paula, Robin and I treated ourselves to a day in The Town With The Name I Can Never Spell (Clatskanie, Oregon). We started off our adventure with a Vintage Winter Gathering at Stewart’s Point Church (Old Finnish Church) in Quincy, Oregon - hosted by Karen of Just Plain & Simple Me. I “met” Karen online through what is the thing that binds me to everything… food. Karen made much of (if not all) the delicious treats at Barn House’s Gothic Harvest.  It didn’t take long for me to follow the cardamom bread crumb trail to her blog. Oh her cardamom bread is out of this world!
Stewart’s Point Church (Old Finnish Church) - Quincy, Oregon
Darling setting and sooooo many goodies inside. Simply dreamy. Karen’s blog has gobs of photos of all the goodies. Karen was so sweet (as was her daughter) - and we all could have chatted for hours in the church kitchen. I had a serious lapse in judgment, and only purchased one loaf of cardamom bread. One loaf??? WHAT was I thinking!

After we loaded up my car - and there was surprisingly a lot of room - maybe because “our Karen” wasn’t able to come… we headed back into town and hit an antique store, Flowers n Fluff, and a darling little store called Picket Fences (which sadly was going out of business). Loaded up my car again (and we STILL had room for more), and then hit Hump’s for lunch.
Humps - Clatskanie, Oregon
Paula and Robin showcase the weird book selection in Humps Restaurant’s “gift shop” book rack. Ladies room sign… Mary Kate apparently is not allowed.

Clatskanie is a little town on Hwy. 30 between here and there (for us, it’s between Astoria and Portland).  I’ve only ever stopped there for coffee and my red table (at Flowers n Fluff) and to make a contribution to the city (speeding ticket).  We were all up for a little exploring, and Robin knew of some jems we’d sure to go gaga over (like The Castle).

Clatskanie, Oregon
We drove around (with me adhering to all posted speed limits) snapping photos, laughing, oohing and ahhing at all the charming homes, laughing… and lots and lots more of laughing, silliness and merriment. I had gobs of photos I took, but since I was stalking driving and clicking at the same time… well that = blurry photos.   Some of the houses really struck me, like the ordinary little 50’s ramblers with stunning front entries.  From ordinary to extraordinary with just a little molding and roofing.  Robin spotted the covered wagon, and if ANYONE should be getting a ticket in Clatskanie… it’s the people who are using it as their recycling bin. We all fell in love with the vintage gate and fence… and the yellow farmhouse. I was even surprised to see a few stucco houses. Stucco… in Oregon? It reminded me of California, and I had a twinge of homesickness (which I cured with a another nibble of cardamom bread).

We had come to where Robin’s car was parked, but we just were having too much fun and didn’t want to call it a day.  We realized there was another part of town we hadn’t explored… so off we went.  We were greeted by a sign that had us baffled… “DEAD END - NO TURN AROUND”.  So, do we drive in backwards?  Do we go in, but don’t ever come out?  Are Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty waiting for us at the end of the road?

Clatskanie, Oregon
We found some cool old trucks that had become one with nature.  Paula was even brave enough to get behind the wheel of one of them.  Amazing how the forest works.  Or maybe it was gnomes who pimped their trucks.  More delights to behold… even in the wilds of an Oregon forest… red and aqua is to be found.   And I found out how milk jugs are grown - when we stumbled upon a secret milk jug farm.

If you’re ever driving through Clatskanie… do stop, and do explore!

Little [holiday] House on the Prairie

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

gifts by youHere at Casa de Zombie - we’ve not been immune from our economic crisis (anyone wanna buy a house?), and it’s been challenging times for everyone.  The silver lining, I believe… is that more and more people are going to “go handmade” for the holidays.  Last year I went 100% handmade.  We had an idyllic Christmas - no stress, no fuss, no hard$hip$… just love, laughs and fun. And lots and lots of snacky food.  It was kinda like living a Little House on the Prairie Christmas - sans Nellie Olson - and we had Uncle Tivo versus Pa providing us with holiday stories.  Anyhoo…

I’m keeping an eye on the crafty happenings in blogland for crafty project ideas, and an eye on etsy for handmade gifts.  Starting tomorrow (11.17.08), Martha Stewart is having a “Gifts by You” sewing project contest with prizes from SVP Worldwide (Singer/Husqvarna Viking/Pfaff).  Hoping I’ll find some great ideas there too.  So the wheels are turning in my head, and I think I’m going to submit something - after I saw THIS as one of the prizes.  A sneak peek of what I might submit:
project peek
Oh yeah, I could make room in our bedroom for THAT.  Seriously… who needs a bed, anyway.  Or better yet… after we finally sell our other house, I could support our Pacific Northwest timber industry [dreaming out loud] by adding on to our home [/dreaming].  It would be for the greater good, naturally.

Edited in:  Check out Rachel’s One Pretty Thing blog.  Holy craft!  Rachel’s blog is the ultimate one-stop shopping of all things DIY Handmade.

Roly Poly Circus

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

My little Roly Poly Circus redwork quilt ends up peeking out in a lot of photos of mine, and I’m asked about it a lot.  Only took me two + years to finally respond about it. RPC is one of my prized quilts.   Not just because it was pure joy for me to make… but because Ruby Short McKim, the designer… is a rock star to me.   Ruby broke the glass ceiling for women - even before ceilings had glass. Ruby’s granddaughter has a wonderful bio about Ruby here.   It’s worth a read.  Seriously.

Sometime around 1923, the Kansas City Star published Ruby’s RPC blocks (I’m guessing the year is correct… since I embroidered it on my quilt, and if I’m wrong… woops, too late now).   I think it was published weekly, but I’m not really sure.  I set my blocks in the order that they were published, even though it didn’t coincide with Ruby’s lil’ poem.
Roly Poly CIrcus

Since going back in time to retrieve the patterns from the paper was not an option, I found the next best thing:
Ruby Short McKim’s Roly Poly Circus Quilt (Spiral-bound) by Jill Sutton Filo
ISBN-10: 0967019702
ISBN-13: 978-096701970
Roly Poly Circus

I wish newspapers today would start printing quilt blocks and patterns again. Ahh… good times, especially in rough economic times. Blatant shout-out to the NY Times, LA Times, SF Chronie, The Oregonian… I’m available! Hahahaha. I would love to see feedsacks come back too. I would buy what ever came in a fabric sack. Anything to keep me indoors. Quilting. Crafting. Not being outdoors. I’m an indoor girl, and this is why:
Fabric vs logs
Fabric is MUCH easier to stack than firewood.  And as hard as it is to believe… I stacked all of that wood.  The fruit of some of our downed trees from our big storm last December.  I’d pat myself on the back, but my arms are still too sore.

Speaking of indoors… MMHZ is having a grand old time at Thimble Creek!  Joe and Roxie sent me this photo of what MMHZ has been up to.  Getting spoiled, of course.  :)
MMHZ hopped up on sugar at ThimbleCreek

UPDATE: Craftietammie left a comment with great info about the KC Star’s “Pickledish“.  I kinda feel like Dr. Frankenstein shouting, “it’s alive, it’s alive”… an old timey tradition being kept alive. Love. It.   Now all that I need is for my Froot Loops to come in a nice fabric bag.  Kellogg’s… are you listening?

I didn’t go to Quilt Market, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

I wasn’t able to go to Fall Quilt Market, but little bits and pieces of me where there. And thanks to Pam and her trusty Sidekick and E and her iPhone and their text messages… and Cyndi and her media message…  I felt almost like I was there.

I showed a peek of the darling DARLING Minny Muu by Lecien fabric here, and at Market it was revealed what I was up to.  I designed/made a free quilt pattern for Lecien - which debuted at Market.  The Minny Muu Happy Zoo free pattern is available at Lecien’s website here.  I had such fun making this quilt - the Minny Muu is just too stinkin’ cute… how could it not be fun.  My very talented friend Karen did the beautiful machine quilting and C&T Publishing did the killer photography.  Happy Zoo is hittin’ the road visiting quilt shops to promote the line, so give it a hug for me if you see it. MMHZ is currently visiting Uncle Joe and Auntie Roxie at Thimble Creek, no doubt being pampered and spoiled!

Minny Muu Happy Zoo

Also at Market were two of my pocket purses (from my pattern here), showcasing Karen’s fabulous FABULOUS new line with Timeless Treasures.
Pocket purses

Nerve-wracking for me to make these - since I made them from strike-offs. One boo-boo and I would have been sailing up S-creek without a paddle. Not like I can just run out and get more. I’m still oohing and ahhing over Karen’s new line. The colors are so crisp and happy. Can’t wait to see it in stores.
Pocket purses
I can’t wait to read al the posts about Market. I was able to read a few already, saw a few pics here and there… such fun to read - and sooooooo missed not being able to see everyone.

Harvest Tingling - Part II

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Following our trip to Barn House, we ventured where the signs told us to go next.

Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

Second stop was a place where I had trouble remembering the name.  I still can’t remember, and will edit it in later.  I do though remember it was in Battle Ground, WA (don’t get too homesick Nanna Jamma).  Super-size-me photos on a slide-show here for flickr peeps.

After many turns and twists, we are lead down this drive-way not knowing what awaits us.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

A little enchanted forest with a village (someone’s home with lots of little buildings and goodies to buy inside them).
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

The doorway to Autumn paradise.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

A cute little “shop” with folk artsy goodies.  Karen picking out for each of us a darling felt pendant with a cute Halloween critter on it to remeber our fun day together.  I could have gone to town in here. Actually, I did.  I had an armful of stuff to buy, got the counter… and the didn’t take debit/plastic (oh well, I was tightening the belt anyway).  Paula and I both did manage to get some adorable little fabric pumpkins (I see pumpkin making in our future).
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

An enchanting little grove and parts of it were lit up with twinkling lights.  I can only imagine how magical it must look at night.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

And THIS is what brought me to my knees and prompted a 100+ photographs.  Amanda, you better sit down - hope you didn’t get a new barn yet.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

One more time:  I.  LOVE.  THIS. I love this. I love this. I love this.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

I took 100’s of photos to show my carpenter - for him to draft up a work order (aka my hubby and a honey-do list). I would LOVE to have this little sanctuary in my yard. I could envision so clearly friends coming over… having tea (or margaritas), stitching, yacking. Just being together hanging out and having respite, creativity, laughter, and of course… snacks.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

Right side of the sanctuary:
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

Left side of the sanctuary:
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

Next stop… Beyond The Garden Gate, also in Battle Ground. Impressed with myself for remembering the name… I got lucky and captured the sign in one of my photos.  The highlight of this stop was nature’s wonders and farmishy stuff on the property. LOOK at this tree!!! I ’bout drove off the side of the road when I first saw it (shhh… don’t tell that to Robin).
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

My girl gang accused me of a reach-a-round.
And I did.
And I liked it.
And it felt like cherry chapstick.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

Barntastic art.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

New stuff inside to buy, but I’m more into vintage pre-loved stuff or handmade.  I did like their window box with the pumpkins (the mint green star on The Juice, not so much).  Something else to put on my “work-order”.  I see a trip to Lowes in my hubby’s future.  Okay, okay… I love the star too, and want it on the side of my one-day barn sanctuary.  And painted in aqua.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

I did manage to drop some cash and picked up some cute iron gardenishy stuff. Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

After our vintagepalooza through Battle Ground, off to lunch we went.  For dessert we went to Kalama for antiquing and scored, scored, scored. If you’re ever traveling up the I-5 between Portland and Seattle, and you love antique shopping… Kalama is a great little town with many little stores to choose from. The locals here call it “ka-LAM-a”. But I know better and refuse to buckle to inaccurate pronunciation… it’s “ka LA ma” when I comes from my mouth, mahalo very much.

Paula and Robin getting ready for Halloween at the antique mall.
Battle Ground & Kalama, Washington

And before we knew it… it was time for dinner, and even more fun was had. And then it was time to make the trek back to the coast. I got home just after 10pm… and off to bed I went, dreaming of the magical day with the best friends ever… while sugar plumbs and little barn sanctuaries danced in my head.

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Ever feel like you’ve walked straight into the pages of a magazine?  Me neither.  Until Saturday, that is.  My kick-ass girl gang trip to Barn House was heavenly and I had to touch everything to make sure it was real life - and not printed pages.  Heavenly.  Delightful.  Magical.  Beautiful.  Breathtaking.  And a little macabre-larious too (saving that for the end of the post - no skipping ahead).  My challenge was to whittle down all my photos into only 3 dozen.  Between Paula and me, I think we snapped a couple hundred photos.  Click.  Click.  Click…  we just couldn’t stop.  Barn House is located in Battle Ground, Washington… which is about 30-40 minutes NE of Portland, Oregon - and about a 2 hour drive SE from my house (in Astoria, Oregon).

Mother Nature put on quite a show for us - the fall colors looked like they were airbrushed on.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Entrance to the barn - this is such an E Ticket!
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Our hosts.  Far right is Jermonne, one half of “J & J” of Barn House, aka Joe and Jermonne. Everyone at Barn House was so friendly and gracious, and made everyone feel like a VIP guest.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

A chicken feeder - something ordinary into something beautiful.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Terracotta pumpkin patch.  Ishy.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

A sweet little garden just outside of the refreshment tent.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Seriously.  I feel like I walked into the most beautiful wedding or party setting ever.  Over the top, but the good kind of over the top.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

All creatures great and small love Barn House.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Beverages. For all.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Cardamon bread, pumpkin bread, marionberry bread… I was in bread utopia.  Oh so very good, especially the cardamon bread.   Also on tap was coffee, mimosas, fruit… just so much good stuff.  Edited in:  I found out who the mystery baker was (all we knew at the time was that her name was Karen).  One never knows who they’ll meet in our wonderful little internet village… and Karen is from an IRL village just up the road from me!
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Fantasy tables and settings.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

My inner harvest is tingling on high.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

I love this lamp idea.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Brave? Ballsy? Either or both… I loved it.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

My inner harvest is now past the tingling stage.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

My inner harvest is smokin’…
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

… my inner harvest just exploded.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

Gothic Harvest at Barn House

So macabre, so hilarious… so something that I get such a kick out of.  Dexter meets farm house chic.
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

This photo should probably come with a warning, but what the heck…
Gothic Harvest at Barn House

And this was just part one of three of our awesome girl gang field trip. Two more stops (we followed the signs to more delightful surprises). More to come!

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

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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