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Christmas Meme

November 30th, 2006

I would love to read your Christmas Meme and hope you will leave a comment with your blog’s meme link. Also take a look at PAMKITTYMORNING’s… it’s a riot!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee, hands down #1 24/7/365. I do love equally egg nog, chai, hot cocoa, hot apple cider and that hot German wine my mom makes. I’m not picky… just don’t take my coffee away.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
I don’t know what’s been up with Santa these last few years. He puts the wrapped gifts under the tree, but he’s just not as neat and tidy as he was in years past (I think he’s been having trouble bending, arthritis I’m sure). Santa does however have great taste in wrapping paper and it always seems to match my decor! I’m hoping this year he uses that nice red & aqua stipe wrap from Target.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White! Or as the box says… “clear”. I like simple white lights that looks like little winter fairies sneezed and got fairy snot all over. I’m so not into the icecycle lights, unless it’s on a roof with a nice steep roof line and every inch of the roofline is adorned. I’ve toyed with the idea of being a Christmas Light Cop and issuing tickets to bad taste violators.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I hang an X-Rated DVD. I kid. We keep those in The Special Drawer. Ok, I kid, I kid. Or am I? Anyhoo… I don’t hang Mistletoe because I’ve always heard how poisiness it is. I don’t know if that’s true… but I avoid it because of the dogs.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
I try for after Thanksgiving, but that NEVER happens. I have a hard time putting away my Autumn-ween stuff. Usually about 3 weeks before Christmas and down the day after New Years. My Christmas dec is a pretty big deal, so it takes awhile. I love it… but I have to dedicate an entire day to it.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Roasted duck, especially the crispy skin seconds it comes out of the oven. My mom and I both love this. My mom always made roasted duck, and as soon as I was on my own… I carried the tradition on.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
A Christmas in Acapulco and I was so worried Santa would not know where I was or how to find me. I left him a note back at home and of course he found me and I was so thrilled!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
When I noticed Santa’s handwriting was just like my mom’s and he used the same wrapping paper as her. A lesson I learned when it came to my own kids gifts from Santa.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We were always allowed to open one, and my mom would pick it for us. Now as an adult, my parents give me “pre-Christmas” gifts (which doesn’t necessarily fall on any certain day). Unwrapped, just goodies to celebrate the season. My kids get to open one on Christmas Eve… which of course I pick out!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
It’s very German. Lots of red and white and straw. It could look Swedish too I guess. It’s how I do the entire house.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Oh gawd… the S Word. I told myself I was not going to mention snow again for a while… but of course… I love it!

12. Can you ice skate?
@#$!%!… I have trouble putting shoes on let alone skates! So, no.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
The favorite gift was the one DH and I gave one year. We knew of a family in Guam who lost everything in a typhoon (Paka) and anonymously (with the help of an ombudsman) we sent them a tree, the trimmings and a few gifts. DH and I decided not to give each other gifts so we could focu$ on that family. We did it anonymously because we wanted the family to know it was from the heart and for no other reason.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Family, friends, festivities and the focus on doing kind things for others.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Hmmm… not that into sweets. I would say Baked Brie with brown sugar and pecans.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Lounging all day with my family. One big relaxing pajamapalooza with lots of food, football and basketball (the latter two on the TV of course).

17. What tops your tree?
A Star of David made out of straw. Seriously.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
Giving! Totally! I wish I could be Oprah Claus!!!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Let is Snow (Dean Martin), Blue Christmas (Elvis). I love Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis and all my Hawaiian Christmas CD’s.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Just not into them. I do like the way they look though! One thing I loved as a kid was those Life Saver books. No candy canes in my childhood, we always had REAL gummi bears from Germany and to this day I still stuff them in our stockings.

Posted in How I Live | 9 Comments

WARNING! Dogs & Snow

November 28th, 2006

Consider yourself warned. If you don’t want to see photos of my dogs in the snow… skip this post! Dogs + Snow = 250 (photos). I’ve spared you of the entire collection from this morning’s winter wonderland at Casa de Pajama… so here’s about a dozen.

It goes without saying that schools are closed today for our first official Snow Day of the season (yesterday was a Snow Delay Day… 2 hr. late start). This is our 8th year here, and this by far is the most snow I’ve ever seen in Astoria. Astoria looks like a post card! Did you happen to catch the Seahawks/Green Bay Packers game last night… in the snow? It looked more like Green Bay then it did Seattle. I would guess the snow that fell in (into? on?) Qwest Field was nothing compared to Astoria’s snow last night! It was even prettier before the !@#$% snow plows came!

Paula has a photo of one of my favorite houses in Astoria… so worth a look-see!

Click on the photos and enjoy!

My new favorite photo of Liberty (aka Libby).

My new favorite photo of Madison.

My view from my kitchen window. This is my idea of entertainment while washing dishes!

My patio table just BEGS to be dressed and photographed by Alicia P!

Now at lunch time!

A little lunch time romp in the snow.

Which way to the fluffiest snow?

Snowball and Omlet take a peek at the snow outside and determine it’s best to stay in the coop.

Too cold for the Chickadees too! I just love how the snow is draped on my birdhouse roof and the tree is flocked by Mother Nature.

Madison is 3½… but she’ll forever be a puppy.

My words bring devastation… “Time to come in”!

Posted in I Heart Oregon | 10 Comments

Inspiration in a Cupboard

November 10th, 2006

Red/Aqua swapI was reading on PAMKITTYMORNING where Pam got her inspiration on a project, and I thought I’d do the same here! When I made the little house quilt for my Aqua/Red Swap partner, I looked no further then my medicine cabinet where I KNEW the most perfect red/aqua combo lived!

Not as exciting as Pam’s Rice Krispie Treats… but it’s all about the packaging. So much goes into package design and color… it’s a shame to let all the talent and inspiration get hidden away in our pantries and cupboards. Next time you’re perusing the aisles of your grocery store… your next quit inspiration may just be waiting for you on the shelf (and no doubt it will be on the hardest to reach shelf!).

Too bad I used the wrong setting on the camera… the quilt looks so dark and dingy next to the Aquafresh (it’s a bright Kona Snow actually).

Posted in Quilty n Crafty | 3 Comments

So… How’s the weather?

November 8th, 2006

After seven years of living up here, it never stops amazing me how big the weather is up here on the Oregon (and SW Wash.) coast. Wind, wind, wind… rain, rain, rain… more wind… more rain! Today I caught a quick glimpse of that shinny stuff… oh what’s it called… I just can’t think of the word… OH YES… it’s called SUNSHINE! It lasted a glorious 5 minutes. If it rains any more, I’m sure Anderson Cooper will be here at any moment!

What started off as exciting wind, turned to a giant salad shooter of leaves. I feel like I’ve been living inside of a Cuisinart the last few days. It sure is pretty and a lot easier then shoveling snow (so I’m told). It looks like New Year’s Day morning in Hawai’i, just that it’s green, yellow and brown… instead of red.
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In Minnesota they scrape snow and ice of the cars… here it’s leaves. This is DS2 de-leaving my car.
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In Minnesota they use snowplows to clear the roads of snow and ice… here they use snowplows to clear the roads of sand, logs and rocks. Thank you WSDOT for clearing US 101 for us!
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DS took these photos on the 101 just before the tunnel heading into Chinook, WA. It was so cool at the time… until what is now photo #3 gave us a good soaking.
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Just above the tunnel sits Fort Columbia. I know very little about Fort Columbia except that it’s beautiful and worth taking a drive through it if you’re ever traveling on the 101 on the Long Beach Peninsula (and maybe even have a picnic there). Fort Columbia is about 10-15 minutes and across the river from Astoria. I love how this photo turned out… so very Goonie-ish.
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Posted in How I Live | 2 Comments

Crayon Jack

October 30th, 2006

Just in time for Halloween… err… more like Halloween 2007! I’ve gotten emails asking me how I did the coloring on the tea towels I made for Miss Dew (who knew there’d be that must interest! WOW!). Anyhoo… I made a little pumpkin with instructions. Nuttin’ fancy, but perfect for playing with and trying something new. For your own Crayon Jack, click here.

Crayon Jack

I had a fun conversation with Linda over at Craft Apple about looking at people’s photos and spotting things. From one of her photos, I thought her walls were painted the exact same of pink (Behr’s French White) as my office/sewing room, but she said her walls were white (DARN… I thought we were going to have some kind of cosmic painted sisterhood). Anyhoo… If you click on the image to see the larger one, that’s right… I keep my candy corn in an Easter Bunny glass jar. It’s how I live.

My good friend Robin from Kelso, WA is now hooked on coloring! Here is her CJ, PLUS she had to do more and made the cutest snowman! All images are clickable to see a larger image.

Posted in Quilty n Crafty | 7 Comments

Mailbox Delights!

October 30th, 2006

This is an avalanche of postal goodness from my tea towel swappy pal Miss Dori Dew. Oh my goodness… she went way, way, way out for me!

As I said before (and will continue to say)… the swap for me was not about the tea towels and the rest of the goodies I received… the big prize was meeting my kindred spirit Miss Dori Dew! Thank you Dori… I just love and cherrish everything you sent me, even the fairy snot!

One of the neatest things Dori added was a leaf from her beautiful Yosemite. This by far was my favorite thing she put in my goodie box. I’m so blessed to have been matched with Dori. Thank you Jackie!!!

Posted in Rico Swappy | Comments Off

In Real Life…

October 30th, 2006

Yesterday was the big day… I got to meet my new IRL friend Paula from On A Rainy Night… blog. I guess I should go back to the beginning of how we met, it’s quite amazing!

Long story short… I participated in Jackie’s Wren’s Nest Tea Towel Swap (where I also made friends with Jackie who is from my home town, and as well as my dear friend Miss Dew who was my swap pal). Anyhoo… I’m at the swap’s photo pool and I click on the gal’s photo that’s next to mine (even our pooled photos were neighbors, but I guess I’m jumping ahead with my story) which then led me to her blog On A Rainy Night…. I’m reading, looking at her photos… and suddenly the photos look REALLY familiar! Before I know it… I realize this blogger and fellow tea towel swapper is my neighbor! If I weren’t such a Californian (aka a driveaholic)… I could even walk to her house it’s that close! The emails start flying back and forth, finding out we have a lot of the same interests, etc. Jump to yesterday… Paula invites me to her house for tea and pumpkin bread!

I have to admit, I was really nervous at first and it felt like a blind date! What if she thought I was a weirdo? What if we didn’t have anything to talk about? If you read Paula’s post about it, you’ll see we both felt the same way. Of course all my nervousness was for nothing, as I knew it would be. Thinking back to 1996-ish… I met my dear friend Cindy The Chicken Lady online and then finally got to meet her IRL and we became best buddies when I moved to the Pacific Northwest in ‘99 (Cindy in Vancouver, and I in Astoria, and this last summer she up and moved to WisCONNNNsin on me, sniff, sniff). Anyhoo… I knew everything was going to be great and it WAS greater then great!

Paula was so warm and welcoming and I felt so content in her presence and her lovely-darling-charming-beautful-filled with love & goodness home. I got to meet her DH and DS, who were both so nice (and had a great sense of humor). I think being an IRL friend with Paula is going to add a few pounds on me, as she is THE BEST baker! Paula made the BEST pumpkin bread (with local fresh cranberries I might add!) I ever had and gosh I hope she shares the recipe with me! It was a great afternoon with Paula and I came home and talked non-stop to my DH and DS about my wonderful afternoon with my new IRL friend Paula!

So many things have come from Jackie’s tea towel swap, it’s amazing! More on that in a bit.

Posted in Stuff | 3 Comments

Sew & Tell

October 26th, 2006

This weekend I “staffed” at an Anna Lena quilt retreat and I got a bunch of project tops finished, as well as a new project too. This first top I call Wash Tub Fun because I used the beautiful Wash Tub Prints fabric line from Andover by Karen Snyder (another shameless plug for my friend Karen). It looks like a large quilt in the photo… but it’s no bigger then two placemats side by side. No pattern… it just just evolved.

I did plan the blocks which are “Double X #3″ from Judy Hopkins’ Around the Block book. Side note… I have all three of the “Around the Block” series… Around the Block Again and Once More Around the Block as well. They are my BLOCK BIBLES!

This little lap quilt I call Charming Cherries. I love, love, love the charms by Moda, and this is my third quilt using charms. This pack of Sandy Klop’s “Cherries Jubilee” charms is my all time favorite charm pack! I got this charm pack at Anna Lena’s, but a great online source for a charms addiction is at the Fat Quarter Shop, where I’ll be getting my next charm pack… the April Cornell Sonnet Collection. I’m addicted to charms!

Anyhoo… no pattern (yet… wink, wink), just something I doodled onto graph paper (and of course seeing something my friend JJ made something similar and that inspired me to see it through!). I wanted to make something where I didn’t cut up the charms (I wanted to leave them as whole as possible). The outer border is by Moda as well, Apple Pie by Sandy Klop’s American Jane line. I love this fabric so much… I’ve purchased this fabric three times!

This little table top quilt I call “AutumnWeen”. Yup… another charm pack! This charm pack is Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet by Sandy Gervais for Moda. I got this darling charm pack at Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove, CA.

I modified a pattern from Darlene Zimmerman’s Aunt Maggie’s Quilt (for my use - and she knows I modified it). Technorati Profile

Posted in Quilty n Crafty | 8 Comments

More Montana goodness!

October 26th, 2006

I saw this small travel iron in wonderful little antique shop in St. Reges, Montana. The kicker was that it was only $3 because the cord was missing. I didn’t dare tell the show owner I didn’t care about the cord… that this was purely for eye candy only! Even the box is beautiful to me!

Posted in Quilty n Crafty | 1 Comment

No sofa, no

October 13th, 2006

Get down.
No sofa.
Sofa bad.
Oh all right, stay.

Sometimes I even have to let Liberty and Madison break the rules.

Posted in Stuff | 10 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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