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St. Joe-Joe a Go-Go

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!

Posted in Quilty n Crafty, How I Live | 32 Comments

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

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

Posted in Stuff | 20 Comments

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

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!!!

Posted in How I Live, I Heart Oregon | 31 Comments

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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) :)

Posted in How I Live, I Heart Oregon | 34 Comments

Willow Nest

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!

Posted in How I Live | 32 Comments

Knotts Landing

June 22nd, 2007

I’m full of secrets and up to all sorts of juicy stuff. At least it’s juicy to me, ha. So if you’re thinking I had a secret rendezvous with George Clooney, um… ok, please continue to think that (just don’t tell Jon Stewart, k).

So many secret projects I’m working on. Some are for me, some are for a certain someone’s next book (and you KNOW I’m going to be gushing out-loud when her book hits the market, oh yeah). I feel like I’ve neglected my blog for so long (I love you blog honey, really, I do). I actually have so much blog-food, but have not had the time to feed it. As well, my blog needs a bib when fed. Oi’vay… such a mess it makes.

Aside from me feeding the blog, I’ve had little time to be fed by all your blogs. Unfortunately… I haven’t lost a pound. Chubby is in, right? I feel like there’s a party going on in the next building over, and I’m in the basement of my building… with no windows… a single blinking fluorescent bulb… and the occasional Cheez-it’s for nourishment. Not complaining in the least about my projects, I’m feeling so blessed about em. BUT… I do miss all that blog action from you guys! A beautiful book has been published, hints of gianormous cottonlike proportions, aprons have been accepted to be published! I’m crazy happy thrilled!

My Secret Project #1 is being made with the Urban Chicks Blossom line from Moda. OMG… this fabric is so stinkin’ yummy I could eat it. I don’t know if it’s out in the stores yet. If it is… snag it up quick because I think it’s gonna go fast. I really wanted to capture this delicious fabric in pixels, but I sorely lack in the photography department. I wish I could capture it like the Purl Bee does. OMG… Purl’s stack-o-fabric photos are works of art. Quilter’s porn. Yup… those photos are the blond chick with big boobs donned in leather knee high boots of the fabric world. So anyhoo… this is how I live. No neat and tidy opening of a box, no perfect lighting, no neat little stacks. This is my world. A ripped open box and its contents piled on to the table.

Secret Project #2 is all finished and ready for the post office. I wish I could show more, but in time it will be seen. ;o) The fabrics I used are from Lisa Quan’s and Joanna Figueroa’s Fig Tree Quilts Allspice Tapestry by Moda. Another fabric that is so yummy I could eat it! Seriously, seriously yummy. It’s hearty and soft at the same time.

And that is my current episode of Knotts Landing! If you’re in the Pacific Northwest region in a few weeks… my dear friend Cindy will be visiting and we’re planning a quiltycraftyblogapalooza luncheon at McMenamin’s Kennedy School in Portland. Hope you can make it and go to Cindy’s blog and comment your rizavip!

Posted in Quilty n Crafty | 26 Comments

Dear John,

June 15th, 2007

I’m always saying, “I’m gonna write a letter” - and nine times out of ten I fail to do so. Maybe I just need a short cut! So here I go…

1. Dear People of the City of Portland,
Every time we come visit you it’s a treat. You are so friendly and so kind and always make us feel welcome. You always put that extra foot forward to be kind and helpful. You’re always colorful and exciting. Thank you!

2. Dear HBO,
Thank you for a second season of Big Love!

3. Dear T. Paul’s Urban Cafe in Astoria,
Thank you for serving the finest food (and atmosphere) ever and for always remembering who we are when we come, (and that we have our ice-tea with no sugar on the rim).

4. Dear Shampoo manufacturers,
Can you please tone it down a bit on the scented products? If I want blueberry citrus kiwi peach vanilla milk n honey blast on my hair… I’ll just go to Jamba Juice and pour a smoothie over my head.

5. Dear IKEA Portland,




6. Dear former Portland mayor Vera Katz,
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! (see #5)

7. Dear Scientists,
I’d like to be cloned please. One of me that just blog surfs and sews all day, and another one of me that cooks dinner, works, cleans, pulls weeds and does laundry.

8. Dear Merry Maids,
Since I can’t have #7, do you take on charity cases?

9. Dear ODOT, WSDOT and Caltrans,
Your orange vests and cones really do the trick and I can spot you quickly and easily… but I do think you need some jazzing up. How ’bout some nice pink and green to go with the orange? Or aqua? Safety does not mean having to being unfashionable.

10. Dear clock,
Must you always move your arms so fast?

11. Dear Quilty & Crafty bloggy friends,
You are the nicest, warmest, friendliest, giving and inspirational women ever! Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives, and thank you for being a part of my life!

And last but not least…

12. Dear John,
Will you PLEASE teach Mochi and York how to use you? The whole litter box thing is so gross. And while you’re at it John… can you please teach them how to flush as well?

Posted in Stuff | 41 Comments

Jelly Roll Trix

June 6th, 2007

With an Easy Angle and Companion Angle you really can seem to make the Jelly Rolls grow. There are so many great patterns and ideas for Jelly Rolls, and here is a way to make your 2½” strip width “grow” to make a 2⅞” half-square and a 5¼” quarter-square.

Easy Angle: For a 2⅞” square, cut a 2½” x 3¼” rectangle and use the Easy Angle and cut into two half-square triangles.

Your final result:

Companion Angle: For a 5¼” square, cut a 2½” x 13½” rectangle and cut into four “quarter-square” triangles. Discard the ends - or save them for another project.

Your final result:

An extra added bonus is half of your dog-ears are magically trimmed. I use the rulers for dog-ear trimming on other projects too. I also find it hard to cut into a piece of fabric to make say a 5¼” square when I have plenty of 2½” strips or I only have a 2½” strip. Using the Companion Angle I can avoid cutting a big square. I love these rulers and think if you’re someone who’s addicted to Jelly Rolls (and who isn’t!), these two tools will add big bang to your jelly roll bucks.

Posted in Quilty n Crafty, Tips & Trix | 32 Comments

The List

June 2nd, 2007

I was tagged by Pam and Missy with a fun to-do list. Eight or so days between posts, and today I have two. I should put continuity on my fantasy to-do list.

1. Return George Clooney’s phone calls. O-kay, ok… we’ll do lunch. Happy now?

2. Refresh the housekeeper of all her daily duties and chores.

3. Send Oprah a thank you note for the nice weekend visit at her Santa Barbara house.

4. Talk to Barbara about me filling the empty seat and promise not to yell or fight.

5. Send email reply to Moda. Why yes… I can make room for a bolt of everything.

6. Pack for trip to Australia, New Zealand, Paris, London, Germany and Barcelona.

7. Wake up.

Now it’s my turn to tag! Moooo ahhh haaa haaaaa! Seven items, seven tags. Miss Mouse, Raesha, Darlene, Michelle, Angela, Kim and Deanna… tag - you’re it!

Posted in Stuff | 21 Comments

His & Hers

June 2nd, 2007

His & Hers… or what’s better known at our house - what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine. Ok, not really. But since I’m the Director of Operations (aka Hazel) I get to call it all mine. Right? Right!

Because everything at our house is a constant WIP, DH decided to start a new WIP. He and I are really not so different. He has his tools, I have mine. He has his fibre, I have mine. He has his stash, I have mine. He has his WIP’s, I have mine. I have my WIP’s shoved gently stored in a cupboard and out of sight… he has his WIP’s for all to see (read: me).

Last weekend was another busy day in the yard on the landscaping WIP (still a WIP btw), and DH starts digging a notch into the hillside off the back deck. DH got the bee up his butt to start his fantasy outdoor kitchen. Being that it was our 17th anniversary and I was feeling a bit lightheaded (apparently), I whispered those five little words every man fantasizes hearing his wife say… “Want to go to Lowe’s?”.

My suggestion was to go the following morning, but the sparkle in DH’s eyes told me otherwise. I guess it’s like The Little Blue Pill…. once you take it you have to use it right away. So we dropped everything and headed to Lowe’s. Friday night, 8pm and an hour’s drive to Lowe’s. SURE… why not! And to top it off… dinner at 11pm at Jack in the Box (and my JITB two taco fix). Happy Anniversary darling! DH did his thing - he calls it loading the truck.  DS and I do our thing - we call it an opportunity to goof off. In my case it’s a blogotunity, in DS’s case it’s a myspaceotunity. The apple does not fall far from the tree!

Posted in How I Live, I Heart Oregon | 19 Comments

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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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