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Creative spaces - a high fiber low word diet

March 18th, 2010

I catch myself being so dang wordy all the time - so I’m gonna give writing a post twitter style a shot. Plus it makes looking at the pics but not reading the words - a guilt free pleasure.  Like going straight for the wrapped birthday present and bypassing the card.

Saw this quilt at Oh Fransson and had to (sorta) make one RIGHT.   NOW.
High fiber low word diet

Moda “Holly Jolly” jelly roll, Darlene Zimmerman EZ Quilting Easy Dresden (at 5″) and 1½” Kaufman Kona Snow strips.
High fiber low word diet

Breeze.  Sunshine.  Oregon coast.  Thick green grass.
High fiber low word diet

Seams.  Pressing directions.  Piecing.  Sunlight.  Peek-a-boo.
High fiber low word diet

Outside.  Fresh air.  No rain.  No clouds.  No Gray.  Time to mow.
High fiber low word diet

Ice tea.  Comfy garden chair.  Computer.  Off.

More creative fun and creative places visit Kirsty for Creative Spaces Thursday (thanks Jenny!!).

Posted in Quilty n Crafty | 64 Comments

My big fat super secret…

March 8th, 2010

I have a big fat super secret - that I’ve kept under wraps for ALMOST 2 YEARS…  I finally get to officially reveal it… and it’s takes me a week to do so!!  That car you honk at that sits at a green light?   That would be me.   Part life, part nerves.  I’m wresting with the *what if’s*…  what if no one likes my BFSS… what if my BFSS doesn’t sell… what if no one orders my BFSS.  Yeah… it’s got me nervous!!!

I could not be more excited and more happy… it’s like a holiday at my house.  It’s Holiday Happy.  By me.   BY ME!  I’m so excited my head snapped off.  And then it rolled around the world twice - and then I had to duct tape it back on.

Lecien's Holiday Happy by me, me, me, me!!!

So I was pretty good about keeping the big fat super secret.  I say pretty good.  If Lecien asks, I was 100% good (whispering… I had to let out a few leaks - otherwise I was going to pop like a balloon filled with bacon, lettuce and tomatoes - and that would have been too big of a mess for my family to have to clean up).  Nothing could be better than being a part of the Lecien family and being with my good friend (and mentor) Bren and my new not yet met friends Rosalie and Atsuka, AND drawing in my favorite colors, AND having them put it on fabric!  My artwork usually hangs on the fridge.  I am here to say one’s doodling is MUCH BETTER on 100% premium quilting fabric than it is on white powder coated doors.   Way.   Better.
Lecien's Holiday Happy by me, me, me, me!!!

Here it is .  My baby.  My first fabric line.  Starring my little half Santa - half gnome… Gnoma Claus.  And because I can’t go for a third post in a row without talking about the Olympics… my Gnoma Claus’ beard was inspired by the torch during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.   Ok, end Olympic mentions.  Holiday Happy coordinates beautifully with Lecien’s Color Basics and 1000 Colors Collection (solids), and I’m ITCHING to get sewing with them all.  I’m also fantasizing about seeing Sandra Bullock in an Oscar gown made out of my fabric.  Oh so fun to imagine it.
Lecien's Holiday Happy by me, me, me, me!!!

Holiday Happy in red colorway and a peek at the Gnoma Claus panel: Lecien's Holiday Happy by me, me, me, me!!!

Holiday Happy will debut and be available for order at the 2010 Spring Market in Minneapolis, MN.   I do not know when it’ll be available retail - but I’ll update that info as the time nears.  Oh you BET I WILL!  And what retailers are carrying it, and who’s making something with it… and me goin’ on and on about the Olympics is NOTHIN’!

Posted in Quilty n Crafty, How I Live | 218 Comments

To Market, To Market… via Norway

March 2nd, 2010

One last Olympic/Vancouverage mention. TWO actually. First… I can’t thank everyone enough for all the kind and enthusiastic comments on my Vancouver post!  I wanted to email everyone back and thank them, but I messed up my in-box juggling between my laptop and my desktop (a common occurrence in my little corner of chaos).  A special thank you to my Canadian commenters… THANK YOU and I was so deeply touched!

Second.  Did anyone else drink the Curling Kool-aid?   I went nuts over it.   NUTS I tell you… NUTS!  I even found myself shouting “hard hard hard hard…” as I was Swiffering my kitchen the other day.   There’s just something about curling that appeals to me so much.

1. There’s strategy (though I prefer strategery).
2. There’s skill and teamwork involved.
3. You get to play with friends and chit-chat while playing.
4. You get to yell things like “hard, hard, hard, hard…”.
5. Dazzling team uniforms!!!

I got swept up in the Norwegian Men’s Curling team pants… The Pants. Who knew obnoxious golf pants could be cool!

Photo credit: Associated Press/Yahoo Sports

I decided I wanted a piece of the Loudmouth pie - and made a Norwegian Curling Pants Market Bag. I used my Better Homes & Gardens - Quilts and More Fall 2008 “To Market, To Market” bag pattern (page 50 if you have the issue) with a few minor modifications.
Norwegian Curling Pants Market Bag
The To Market, To Market pattern is available online free at BHG’s All People Quilt. I don’t know if you have to sign up to be a member first… but you’ll want to be a member anyway!

I used Moda’s new Minick & Simpson’s Bar Harbor layer cake “slices” to make my outer bag as well as the liner. I used some yardage from my stash for the casing and strap - which just so happened was some Minick & Simpson Prairie Paisley.  Who knew Laurie and Polly’s Americana could also be so Norwegian-ishy…  Norwegiacana…  Norde-cana.

Grab the pattern/instructions at BH&G’s All People Quilt here.
Modify the 19″ x 15″ x 5″ bag pattern instructions to make a 20″ x 16″x 5″ bag.

+-+-+-+-+-+- Modifications are in bold.-+-+-+-+-+-+
From blue polka dot, cut:
2) 3½ x 39½” strips

From tan print, cut:
2) 3½ x 41½” strips

From brown print, cut:
2) 3 x 26½” strips

From tan print, cut:
1) 3½ x 42″ strip

Outer Bag
From red print, cut:
2) 20½” squares

Follow materials needed, cutting and piecing
directions below to make two 21½” quilted bag units.

From muslin, cut:
2) 20½” squares

Follow materials needed, cutting and piecing
directions below to make two 21½” liner units.


6 RED PRINT layer cakes/10″ squares (for bag)
7 BLUE PRINT layer cakes/10″ squares (for bag)
8 TAN PRINT layer cakes/10″ squares (for bag)
10 ASSORTED PRINT layer cakes/10″ squares (for liner)
½ yard TAN PRINT
25 x 25″ BATTING (I used Warm & White)

From 6 RED PRINT layer cakes/10″ squares, cut:
24) 3½” squares

From 7 BLUE PRINT layer cakes/10″ squares, cut:
26) 3½” squares

From 8 TAN PRINT layer cakes/10″ squares, cut:
16) 3½” squares
8) 3⅞” squares - cut diagonally once
1) 4¼” square - cut diagonally twice

From ⅜ yard WHITE SOLID, cut:
16) 3½” squares
8) 3⅞” squares - cut diagonally once
1) 4¼” square - cut diagonally twice

Assemble pieces as per illustration to make outer bag unit.  Make 2.

I quilted in-the-ditch directly on to my batting (with no backing), and then trimmed off excess batting.
Norwegian Curling Pants Market Bag

8) 10″ squares
8) 10″ x 2½” strips
2) 2½ squares from left over scraps
Make 2 “9-patch” units (as per photo).
Norwegian Curling Pants Market Bag

A modification from the original pattern, I made the strap shorter so it’s “invisible” and tucked in quietly inside the casing. Just enough room from grabbing as you fill your bag.
Norwegian Curling Pants Market Bag
Uff da!

Posted in Make Something | 53 Comments

My Winter Mo’lympics - Go Canada Go!

February 23rd, 2010

I know not everyone is as nuts about the Olympics as I am (or Laurie or Carol), so I warn you…. if 16 days of international love, peace, happiness and sports is not your thing… this is a very long post.  My sons, hubby and I are koo-koo for Olympic Cocoa Puffs.  When we learned 7 years ago that the 2010 Winter Olympics were going to be in Vancouver, BC… we said WE HAVE TO GO, whether we had event tickets or not.  Or not is how it turned out.   Seven years is not long enough for me to plan - I was too late to buy tickets.  So we just went to be there.   The world was going to be in Vancouver,  and by golly we wanted to meet the world.  Hello world.  I love you.  Vancouver 2010
Peace Arch

It was all very iffy when we were going and for how long. Lodging was one thing I was able to secure. So as it turns out, DH2’s school schedule changed. He was going, then wasn’t going… and then he was going - and that left us with leaving on Friday night and returning Saturday night. In the big picture of things, 5+ hours driving to get there is no biggie. Seriously. Live on a Hawaiian Island for six years - where a road trip means pulling out of your driveway, driving in a big circle… and ending up where you started. Roads trips like driving up to Vancouver are still very welcome - even after having left Oahu 10 years ago.
Vancouver 2010
Check Point Charlie-DudleyDoRight

Entering Canada, we were greeted with beautiful Canadian border buildings and super friendly border agents who seemed genuinely happy to have us visiting. I think I found the Nordstrom of border crossings. Beautiful British Columbia lets us know where to find Hope if we need it.
Vancouver 2010

As we get closer to Vancouver, the landscape is dotted with what’s to come… a beautiful international pot pie. Vancouver has beautiful flavor!
Vancouver 2010 Vancouver 2010

Go Canada Go on the freeway. The first one of THOUSANDS of flagged cars we’ll see.
Vancouver 2010

The freeway suddenly turns into a city street.  Poof.   Just like that.  My Californian brain can’t conceptualize that we can get anywhere without a freeway… but look… there it is, we made it to downtown Vancouver on a city STREET!   No fuss no muss… and everyone was driving so friendly.
Vancouver 2010

Along the way into downtown, I spot this condo complex. I have a thing for roof lines and pitches.  Roof-utopia.
Vancouver 2010 Vancouver 2010

Further down the street, this building reminded me of Germany.  My parents immigrated to the US from Germany via Toronto - and settled in California right before I was born.   I consider myself to be an Almost Canadian.   Go Almost Canada Go!
Vancouver 2010

Go Canada Go at the Vancouver Police Department.
Vancouver 2010

Gonad go!   Oh Canada, you’re awesome.
Vancouver 2010

Oh. All. Right.
Vancouver 2010

Vancouver’s Chinatown. OH THE COLOR!!! I cracked up at the SHARE THE ROAD signs.  I SWEAR it’s Wayne driving the ‘76 AMC Pacer and Garth riding a bike.  Hmm… Mike Meyer’s IS Canadian.  Go Wayne Go Garth Go!
Vancouver 2010

A fire station in Chinatown. I have a thing for doors too. I danno about firehouse… this screams quilt studio to me.
Vancouver 2010

This ramp ended in a road block.  But worth it.   Oh the colors colours!  Go Colour Go!
Vancouver 2010

A happy discovery… Vancouver’s Gastown District.
Vancouver 2010

Charm, pride, history… I love the Gastown District. Vancouver 2010

I think I’m going to start having a thing for awnings too.
Vancouver 2010

Million dollar (CAD and USD) view from where we parked our car. Yeeze… we could have had a picnic in our car with a view like this.
Vancouver 2010

A steam clock on Water Street.
Vancouver 2010

Crosswalk on Water Street. Go Crosswalk Go!
Vancouver 2010

In a souvenir shop, DS2 does a shout-out for our family. Oi Oi Oi Team JoJoJo and Team OmiItoMarco!
Vancouver 2010

My do-something-nice opportunity. Some thug punk a-wipe turned the flag upside down into the planter. I dusted off the dirt and replaced it properly.
Vancouver 2010

I used to collect Olympic pins.  Before they were readily available like this (or on the internet).   I used to have to buy them through a broker with this thing called an envelope and this sticky thing we used to lick called a stamp.
Vancouver 2010

Go Bus Go!
Vancouver 2010

At Canada Place. More colour, colour, colour!
Vancouver 2010

The International Broadcast Centre on the left.  BOB COSTAS & STEPHEN COLBERT… I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE!
Vancouver 2010

Canada Place overlooking Coal Harbour.
Vancouver 2010

The Welcome Centre at Canada Place.   Because I love typing like a Canadian… centre, harbour, colour. Downtown was peppered with volunteers - answering questions, giving directions, saying hello and welcoming visitors. What wonderful ambassadors they were to Vancouver and Canada. Thank you volunteers for making us so welcome in your home.
Vancouver 2010

The Olympic Flame in all it’s glory.  Like Cinderella’s Castle in Disneyland… it looks much bigger on tv. Much controversy about the cauldron - it’s surrounded by fencing. The fencing was moved closer before we got there, but still bah hum bug over it. I think it looks like a captured alien being interrogated. FREE THE CAULDRON!  FREE THE CAULDRON!  Go Cauldron Go!
Vancouver 2010

One of the improvements made was to set a “viewing area” atop this balcony.  Hey, let’s go up there! BTW, that’s me in the pink hoodie.  EVERYWHERE you see EVERYONE with “iPhone arm”.
Vancouver 2010

Ha. I guess we won’t be going up to the viewing balcony. Oh sure, we can wait in the queue with 20,000 of our new best friends. I think the end of the line was at the entrance of Stanley Park. Back to the chain link fence we went. But it was fun. SOOOO many people speaking so many languages and everyone was so happy and festive.   It was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.  It really did feel like the center of the world there.  I say this EVERY Olympics… I wish the world lived in the same peace of the 16 days of glory - but doin’ it 365 days a year.
Vancouver 2010

Go Canadian Doggies Go!
Vancouver 2010

“Mom. Mom… where are you going? Mom!” - I was zombian’ over to the red and aqua container. I don’t know what it was… just that it was red and aqua and it caught my eye.  Wink. Vancouver 2010

More red. And a wish list for my yard.
Vancouver 2010

On our way back to the Gastown. The sweet smells of Germany taunted us. The line was huge. HUGE.
Vancouver 2010

As we headed back to the garage, we came upon an Old Spaghetti Factory on Water Street in Gastown.  We really wanted to go, but we decided we weren’t going to come all the way up to Canada and eat at an OSF  when we can do that in our Vancouver (Washington).  BOY do I regret it.  They had beautiful outdoor seating and a huge Euro vibe about it.  I almost wept. And the weather was 100% al fresco dining weather to boot (as you can see by my Winter Spring Olympic footwear).   It was packed, the final reason we nixed it. Look at this photo I found on flickr.  Yeah.  We passed that up - but we had a consolation… we found an all you can eat sushi place and WENT.  TO.  TOWN.  We’re going back to Vancouver and we’re having dinner at OSP on Water Street.  No ifs ands or buts.
Vancouver 2010

I don’t know how it happened, but I became a Russian athlete/coach stalker - in hopes of befriending them and they’ll hand over their adorable red and white jackets/hat. Laurie has a great post about the US athletes attire at the opening ceremony.  While I love the Ralph Lauren outfits… I gasped when the Russian team walked into the stadium with the red/white swirliques on their hats and jackets.
Vancouver 2010

I see Redwork.
Vancouver 2010

I see felt.
Vancouver 2010

Team Russia is using a German car with their red swirliques.  I take this to be a sign.  Swirliques and an Audi… this should be my car.
Vancouver 2010

Why, hello Russia.
Vancouver 2010

I go to a mall about once every 2 years.  I had no choice but to visit one in Vancouver - I had to go to The Bay if my life depended on it.  But it was fruitful and worth it.  Oh so worth it.
Vancouver 2010

Coffee and dessert the Canadian way. Go Timbits Go!
Vancouver 2010

The flip side of the Peach Arch as we head back into the US. The border agent asked us the standard crossing questions. He then asked us, “Oh please don’t tell me you drove from Oregon just to spend one day in Vancouver?”   Um.  Well.   Now my brain is thinking that clearly no matter what our answer is - is that we’re gonna look like Cocoa Puffs and the next thing you know our truck is being torn apart and inspected.  I did volunteer my apples for ag surrender.   Maybe that did the trick.  Doing the right thing is always best.  Plus the last time we crossed from Victoria I smuggled a few Cuban cigars into the US and I’ve been carrying the guilt.  In case the border patrol is reading this… I just made that up about the Cuban’s.  BTW… Dear US Government: Safety and security is job one and we’re grateful for the US Border Patrol’s service and dedication.  But have you seen how pretty Canadian’s crossing is?  Our border agents look like they’re working out of 3rd world outpost and it’s not looking too welcoming to our visitors.  I think we can still kick ass and look good at the same time - just saying.
Vancouver 2010

A sure sign we’re back in the USA. Deep fired delicacies on wheels.  We are home.  And I miss Vancouver oh so much.  At least I can watch from afar via Carol’s blog and flickr.  Go Carol Go! Vancouver 2010

Thank you, Vancouver. We heart you.

Posted in Field Trip | 78 Comments

Bob Costas, where are you?

February 18th, 2010

DH and I are headed up to Vancouver this afternoon. Normally we turn right at I-5 and go to Vancouver, Washington. Today we turn left - and make our way up to beautiful Vancouver, BC… and I CAN’T WAIT! We have no itinerary, no plans, no event tickets. Lodging is the only thing I’ve taken care of. We’re having a little Winter Olympic adventure, Monica style - my little Mo’lympics.  I sure hope they take my passport from jr. high at the border!

Hopefully we’ll find ourselves in interesting places and among interesting people.  I’ll be tweeting while I’m there if you want to follow along with me.  I hope I’m able to catch Shaun White, Stephen Colbert, Chris Collinsworth & Johnny Weir milling about (maybe they’re shopping for red mittens too!).
Vancouver here we come

A big bah hum bug about being in Vancouver, BC on Friday… there are no Jack in the Box’s in Canada. WHAT THE WHAT? I guess I’ll have to hop down to Blaine, Washington to participate in JITB Taco Friday. This should make The Anti JITB Taco-ite very happy. If anyone is not familiar with the JITB two for 99¢ tacos - they are delicious deep fried treats of who knows what. Elizabeth says they moisturize your lips as you eat them.   And it’s true!  Elizabeth, Kathi, Camille Pot Pie, Jona, Vanessa… just to name a few - we’re all doin’ it (and workin’ on the Fat Quarter Shop girls… Kim, Debra and Ice-karate champ Jocelyn).  Join us!  Come hop on the JITB Taco Friday bus.  Just watch out for Pam
PKM JITB Taco Friday Patrol
she will snag your tacos, lock you up and throw away the key if she catches you.

Posted in How I Live | 42 Comments

Fire quilt

February 14th, 2010

I was so touched by the wonderful emails, comments and flickr notes I’ve received over my previous post/photos.  I wish I could find the words to express how much everyone’s kind words mean to me.  And a simple thank you just doesn’t seem big enough to cover my heartfelt thanks!  I really suck at mushy stuff and expressing myself from my heart.  Thank you!!

My finished quilt.
My Bunnyhill BOM.
My Dude, Where’s My BOM quilt
My “fire quilt” (the quilt I’d grab if the fire marshal said I could run in and only grab ONE QUILT if my house was on fire).
Dude, Where's My Quilt

I had lots of leftovers from my Sweet and Swell charm packs - so I decided to use them for my setting.  Like little hands applauding and clapping Anne Sutton for her beautiful designs.  Clap, clap, clap… bravo, Anne, bravo… clap, clap, clap…

I’m happy to share my setting “recipe” if anyone wants to use it.   Paying it forward.  From Anne to me.  Me to you.  You to ___?

From my leftover charms (5″ squares), 39 to be exact, and from about a yard of solid I cut:
348) 1½” squares of assorted prints
80) 1½” squares of white solid (I used Moda Bella, it’s dreamy)
62) 8½” x 1½” strips white solid

Make 20 9-patches from 100 print squares/80 solid squares:
9 patch for DWMQ
Make 31 sashing strips from 248 print squares/62 solid strips:
sashing for DWMQ
My quilt finishes at 36″ x 47″.   And now that I’m done with this, I’m going to move on to my next project and get ready for my sista-friend Tammy Gilley and her friend Rebecca Sower - who have joined forces and created a wonderful upcoming project called Quilt Haiti (you can grab your own button here).  I hope to soon have a freebie quilt pattern for Quilt Haiti available.  Soon.
Quilt Haiti
Medical, food, funding… all things Haiti still needs.  At some point the people of Haiti will have homes again - and will need to fill it with something soft, something warm, something made with love… something from the hands of her caring global neighbors.  Everyone has a something to give or do for Haiti.  Medical teams heal, builders build… and quilters quilt.  Our turn is coming soon thanks to Tammy and Rebecca.  I’m starting a lap quilt soon - so I can be ready.

Posted in Quilty n Crafty | 57 Comments

Dude, where’s my BOM

February 2nd, 2010

D.O.N.E.  Done.
Not that I didn’t enjoy every minute of making Anne Sutton’s adorable A Tisket, A Tasket BOM blocks - I couldn’t wait to finish it and get it set and quilt it.  Setting is still in the audition progress as I’m playing with two setting ideas.  A fun dilemma to have, for sure.
Dude, where's my BOM - WIP
For an entire year I looked forward to the 5th of each month - and was sad when this last January 5th rolled around and there was nothing to download.  And then to my surprise (Gomer: Surprise.  Surprise.  Surprise!),  Anne started a brand new block of the month. Oh happy 5th day of the month! I loved seeing what all the other A Tisket, A Tasket Makers have been doing, too.

Dude, where's my BOM - January Dude, where's my BOM - February

Dude, where's my BOM - March Dude, where's my BOM - April

Dude, where's my BOM - May Dude, where's my BOM - June

Dude, where's my BOM - July Dude, where's my BOM - August

Dude, where's my BOM - September Dude, where's my BOM - October

Dude, where's my BOM - November Dude, where's my BOM - December

I had a big posting/making gap since June - my posts from the past: January, February, March, April and May & June. It feels so great to finally get caught up. Thank you thank you thank you, Anne!

Scenario I hope to never witness: The house is on fire.  All people and pets are out, as well as important documents, photographs, kids artwork, clothes and fabric. The fire marshal says there’s just enough time to run in a grab ONE quilt.  Once finished, this will no doubt be my fire quilt.

UPDATE: Pattern is available at Pattern available at: bunnyhilldesigns.com/patterns.html

Posted in Quilty n Crafty | 75 Comments

I made something. Really.

January 28th, 2010

I’ve been having so much fun lately - talking my Rock-star friend Tammy into having the best ever lunch with me (and she said YES!), or hanging out on my twitter (how else would I know what Super-woman Camille plans on wearing at Market), or my daily yimmer yammers with Super-star PamKittyMorning…. that I actually MADE SOMETHING.

I did.
I made something.
A little Valentine-ish “Choc-O-Cherry” table runner for the Moda Bake Shop.

One pack of Turnovers is all you need to make the runner. And in the blink of an eye, a bee flew up my butt - and I started thinking about what could be done with more turnovers. So I whipped out my trusty and magical Adobe sewing machine - and I went right to work.

Two packages of Turnovers = 4 x 5 block grid, 32″ x 40″ finished quilt.
Choc-O-Cherry 32x40

Three packages of Turnovers = 5 x 6 block grid, 40″ x 48″ finished quilt.
Choc-O-Cherry 40x48

Seven packages of Turnovers = 7 x 10 block grid, 56″ x 80″ finished quilt.
Choc-O-Cherry 56x80

Ahh… if only it was as fast to make projects on a real sewing machine as it is in Photoshop. Just thinking about ALT + Click + Drag on some fabric… and POOF, I just doubled my inventory. Tripled. Quadrupled! I’d have a Costco sized stash before I knew it.

Posted in Quilty n Crafty, Make Something | 37 Comments

Something for Haiti, something for you…

January 20th, 2010

It’s been a few years since I made my Four Bean Salad with fabric from Allspice Tapestry by Fig Tree… and it’s traveled from Oregon to Iowa for star treatment at Better Homes & Gardens for the 2008 Summer issue of Quilts & More.  Such a star… that Four Bean Salad has a celebrity name… Bay Breeze.  After years of being lovingly stored in my quilt cupboard… it finally has a loving home to go to.  Will it be yours?  Read more about it AND how it can be yours AND how you can help Haiti - here at Helping Haiti from the angels at the Fat Quarter Shop.

Fat Quarter Shop - Helping Haiti

Bid now - operators are standing by.

Posted in Do Something | 11 Comments

Do Something

January 19th, 2010

Doing Something could never be easier.  Or more fun.

quilt haitiFat Quarter Shop Helping HaitiCraft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Posted in Do Something | Comments Off

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

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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