25 December 2009

Just popping in...

To wish you a...
Oh, and to print off a recipe! ;)

21 December 2009

I can't believe it!


Could it actually be the winter solstice? Could it really be? It went by so fast! And it hardly felt all that dark the last few days. What's happening to me? Could I actually be having a happy winter here? Could I? *faint* :D(funny layered fog)

Yes, as you may have guessed winter here in the soggy NW is not my friend. You could almost say I hate it. Ooo, and especially when I heard that my beloved Baltimore is having snow.
(the 'family' tree)

Speaking of Baltimore, we went to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner/lunch last night. It was wonderful. I must have been in some crazy-happy mood, which only served to enhance the experience. You see, that place holds a lot of nostalgia for me. When jj and I lived in Baltimore, we'd go to the CPK in the inner harbour maybe once a week, or maybe it was every other week, alternating with Matsuri. It was so wonderful...the atmosphere, the food, the view of the water. All in all I have a great love for the time we spent there. True, we obviously felt the need to leave. Why, oh why, did we do that??? Couldn't we have just stuck it out another year, maybe two. I would have graduated from college, maybe we could have moved out of the hood... But we didn't. We moved here, and except maybe the first and maybe even second year we've been here, I've regretted it. And now I'm stuck. It's horrible to be stuck. It really is...
(My sweet santa tree topper)

But today I'm thankful. Thankful that I've been able to keep my spirits up through the usually dreadful end of fall.
(some favorite snowman ornaments)

So how are you doing today? Do you celebrate a December holiday such as christmas? Are you ready for it? We aren't. Not totally. Hmm, thought I'd already mentioned what we were getting for the kids..but I can't find it. So let me do that now!
(the slightly-gaudy, but more adult tree)

For my boy, the great lover of trains, we got a real model train set. He has lots of the thomas wooden stuff, but he's been yearning for the real thing. We were able to get the Lionel Harry Potter train on sale, so we got him a level crossing with lights and sounds and a platform station with lights as well! I'm excited. You know, I'd love to have a small christmas train layout for the family. Maybe I'll look into that. Wouldn't it be fun? A little snowy village, all lit up. I'd really like a z scale train...they're adorable! But who has $400 to spend on a tiny engine? Not me...

Now for my girl we were going to buy a big girl bed. But we ran out of money... I don't know how that happened. jj is the budgeter of money, and he says he's positive. And I do know that money is easily whittled away...but gone?!? Hopefully we'll be able to afford that soon...maybe for her birthday in January! This is the one we're getting. what do you think of it? I did buy her a cute sheet set and one of those mosquito net things at IKEA. Very excited about that. This dresser might be nice too. Of course I'll make up all sorts of girly quilts over time. Ooo...it'll be the room of my dreams...and hopefully she'll share my taste as she grows up! :)
As for jj, I don't think he's ever read my blog, but just in case, I won't say... Wonder what he'll get me?

As I mentioned before, my parents will be here tonight. I'm not at all ready for that. I need to tidy up a bit, plan some meals...geez, I still don't know what I'm doing for christmas dinner. I subscribe to Food Network magazine and they have some of the most delicious sounding recipes! I'll have to pour through this and last month's issue for ideas.

I suppose I should go get busy on that tidying before the day passes me by. Hope you're having a wonderful day! :)

20 December 2009

A happy parcel and a festive project...

(The frozen lake)
(The foggy lake)

Why hello everyone! I thought for sure I would have posted before now, but you know me... Actually, my parents are coming for a rather long visit tomorrow, so I may not post until after the holiday. We'll see...

I thought today I might share a very wonderful purchase I made not too long ago. I buy a lot of craft supplies, but not so many pre-made crafts, because I always feel like I could make the things myself. But sometimes there are special things, that I couldn't reproduce, and it's so wonderful to buy something someone else has made...especially when it's from the lovely Corry and Heleen.

They have an Etsy shop called dutchsisters. I recommend taking a peek...but don't buy anything I want to buy. ;) They make the cutest things, and their skill is great.

This was the package from Heleen... those are little rolls of fabric!
And here's what was inside...Isn't she adorable!?!Look that that face! Can you see the hand stitching around the wings?

And here's the package from Corry... I love that ribbon...and that card! I swear the US is seriously missing out on some sweet stuff...
And here's her most wonderful heart! She even took pictures while making it on her blog...how fun is that?
Here's the back...
I have great plans for these two things... Needless to say receiving this package was the highlight of that week...

Now on to something I've made. Not half as cute as those things, but so be it... It's a set of christmas-y napkins. They're half circles that you fold into tree shapes! Now, once again, the pattern was off. I don't understand what it is with me and patterns. Why are the ones I pick always screwed up?!? See the trunk? It's not centered! But I'd already cut them all out... jj suggests we say the trees are in a blizzard, and that's why they're leaning. :)

I cropped the picture funny like this so you could see the little wicker stool I usually take pics on... It's from IKEA. Love that store!
So have you thought about the new year yet? Making any resolutions? I thought of a great one...but I forget what it was. 0:)

13 December 2009

Sunday Stash #4

Today's bit o' stash is brought to you by a forgotten purchase. Sometimes I just love forgetting what I've bought! It's so much fun to rediscover it!

The other day I was looking through my fat qtrs for a project and I came upon this fabric...
I thought I just bought this while at a little sewing thing at a local quilt shop...but all the fat qtrs in that particular set of shelves are older. And so the search began. Turns out I'd never emptied the bag of stuff I'd brought to work on that day...and that's where my new fabric was!

So here's what I got. Mostly 1/4 yards with a few fat quarters.

This particular shop has a red wagon filled with scraps, and they have baggies you can stuff for $3.Look at all the space I had left! I could've fit more in there!
All in all I showed great restraint that day. I didn't have a lot of money to spend, and I didn't go over my budget. Yay me!

Go visit the Sunday Stash page to see other fun stashes! (Button to the right)

10 December 2009

My Thanksgiving trip


Oh I know...today (well, actually, yesterday) I was going to share something special with you. But I just realized that the pictures were still on my camera...and I'm too lazy to go get it! So I'll share my Thanksgiving trip instead. But first, let me just say that I did, indeed, work on something on Tuesday...in fact I finished it! But that picture is also on my camera, so you'll see it later. And hopefully I'll have a special something else completed by then!

So here we go. Hopefully it's not too boring. Usually we drive down to my parents in two long days, but this time we decided to extend the trip and make it more relaxing. And indeed, it was nice to make some fun stops. But we've found that the kids get cranky during car trips...and because the time in the car is a little shorter, they do less sleeping. Not so much fun.

The first day was pure driving...down to Medford, OR.

The second day we were on to California.
(Mt. Shasta. I do love a snow-topped volcano)(Shasta's little friend)

We went to see the Lake Shasta dam as well. We love to see dams. I believe this dam is the biggest dam in the US (???) by the amount of concrete it took to make. Or no, the second, the grand coulee being #1. Or is Coulee just the biggest span? I don't know...
This is the sunset at the dam. Nice...
The next day we went down to Fairfield , CA. The home of Jelly Belly jelly beans. (I'm eating some right now...) I didn't get any pictures there...

The next day we were off to Santa Barbara to see jj's sister and brother. That was such a nice drive. We went through San Francisco, and the part just north is so beautiful! I want to go there again to take pictures. It's kind-of marshy and there were all sorts of lovely birds.(I really loved the haze)

Of course we saw the Golden Gate bridge. And San Quentin and Alcatraz too. Those places give me the creeps in an exciting sort of way...like horror movies. The city itself is very nice as well. We're considering a stay there some time.

And I thought Seattle had some crazy-steep streets! Pictures couldn't capture the angles well enough, but I thought this hill was fun. We also went on Lombard. That name makes me think of Baltimore... *sigh*
We had a really lovely visit with jj's siblings. Santa Barbara is very nice. We would even consider a move there...if we were considering a move to CA. Which we're not.

Anders was excited to see the beach...
Then we went to my parents, celebrated Thanksgiving, etc.

On the way out we went through Tehachapi as usual. It's a windy place and they obviously take advantage of that... (you might have to click to enlarge)

The cows thought I was crazy...We hit some rain on the way which gave a lovely double rainbow...
The view behind...
That night we stayed in Redding, CA. The next day, for some reason, we got to looking around even though we had to get going. We saw signs for the 'world-famous sundial bridge.' It was nice, but world famous? I think not!It was in a very nice part of town...the whole area reminded me of Pennsylvania for some reason. Right next door was a museum and they had a Lego sculpture exhibit. Again, no pictures. Sorry. But really it's better to see in person... And honestly, though very nice, any one of us could make them with a little imagination (and a lot of money).

I did think this was neat though... A glass floor, and a tree complete with roots.

And to wrap up our trip, Oregon gave us the lovely sunset at the top of the post.

Are you asleep yet? :)

08 December 2009

So lucky!


That's how I've been feeling these days... It might have something to do with the season. I've almost always gotten a warm, fuzzy feeling during Christmas time. True, I could find lots of things to complain about (can't we all). But when I look around me, and take it all in, I see I'm really a very, very lucky girl. And it makes me so happy!

Now jj is quite the opposite! He tends to be a bah-humbug sort of guy. His glass isn't half empty, it's completely empty and has started to mold... (aww, poor jj, not here to defend himself. But let me tell you, I'm right...) Apparently he doesn't get warm and fuzzy... But I try my best to sway him, and sometimes he comes half around!

Hmm, well then... shall we talk about the weather? Yes, let's!
It has been chilly here. I might need to start wearing a jacket if it doesn't let up!
Ooo, the weather channel has a warmer forecast than the local news did last night...by about 10 degrees! Next week should be a balmy ~43 degrees!
Right now it's 26. That's cold for here! But you know what? The sun is out! That's also odd for here. We've had a lovely string of cold, sunny days! I can deal. :)
Tomorrow, if all goes as planned, I'm going to share, with you, something I got in the mail. Something oh-so-wonderful that I purchased from some oh-so-wonderful people!

Now I'm off to work on something.... hey, stop laughing, I really am! I think...

07 December 2009

Sunday Stash #3...on Monday.

Yes, I'm a day late. I think I was really busy Sunday, but honestly, I can't even remember. In fact, for a second I thought today was Thursday and panicked because I thought I'd forgotten to do something I'd planned to do on Thursday. Then later in the afternoon I thought it was Tuesday...last Tuesday. I asked jj if he'd gotten the project done yesterday that he'd hoped to...that was last Monday! I think I need a rest...

But first, let's look at some vintage sheet squares I bought on Etsy. Oh how I love Etsy!

Aren't the colors bright and wonderful?Here are my favorites from the bunch...

03 December 2009

Got to run...

(The beautiful misty fog in San Francisco)

I've been wanting to post for a bit now, but just haven't found the time to sit and chat. Today I just couldn't resist telling you how excited I am about the christmas gift I'm giving my mom! I fear she (and no one else) might get as excited as I am, but I can't focus on that now. I'll just hope that my idea is as good as I think it is! ;) I'm afraid I can't tell you what I've bought or exactly what I'm doing because my mom reads this blog...but I'll show you after the day!

And though I'd love to sit here and chat about all my latest acquisitions and my recent trip, I feel I must do a bit of tidying up around here so that jj will stay in a good mood when he gets home. (I assume he's happy. When I asked him how his day was going he actually texted the word 'good' to me. I did a double take...) Anyway, his good moods are fragile, and I did spend a bit of money today, so I thought the least I could do was make the house nice (er) for him to come home to...

Talk to you soon...

19 November 2009

A nice visit...

(See the big ring around the moon? That's no photoshop effect. It really looked like that! I can't believe my camera picked it up! Cool, eh?)

Oh my, I'm downloading my camera right now and I had 119 pictures on there!

Today was my first parent/teacher conference of the year. It was rather pleasant. My boy's teacher is very sweet, and all seems well. So that made for a nice afternoon. Here's hoping it's a nice night. jj has to work overnight again...

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. We'll be going down to California to visit with my parents. It won't be a long visit because of jj's need to be at work, but hopefully it'll be nice. We have a few stops planned along the way which should break the monotony for the kids. They really aren't car people like JJ and I are... And it's supposed to snow on the passes so we might be taking jj's truck. It doesn't have the space or the DVD player that Bertha has. It also doesn't have the nav... oh well. I'd rather feel safe than have luxuries. And I'm an excellent map reader...if we need one.

One of the stops that we've planned is a visit to the Jelly Belly factory! I'm really excited about that one. I love the sweet little Jelly Belly guy, but what I really love is factories! They absolutely amaze me! It blows my mind to think how someone made machines that do what they do...how on earth? *sigh* That should be a ton of fun!

We'll also be visiting jj's sister at her home for the first time. That'll be nice as well! Hmm, speaking of which, I'll be seeing my brother...I haven't seen him for more than a year! Yay!

So I know I have a bunch to share, but I'm going to try to do it in pieces. That's really hard for me you know...the whole organization of what to share and when. Oh I really do have so much to share!

First let's address the convention. Guess what? I forgot to bring my camera! I know...how could I? But honestly, though great fun was had by all, the products weren't that exciting this year... I wanted pretty paper, I wanted bling... I didn't see much paper at all. How can that be? It all depends on the stores that decide to have booths. There just weren't a lot of paper-loving booths. Mini-books/albums were scarce too...another of my favorites. I did get a few sets of acrylic stamps though. I haven't done stamping in forever...hopefully I'll be doing more now that I blew all that money on them! And I got some stickles too. Those are absolutely essential...(Hmm...do I like greenish blues?)

(Some lovely brads)

So we're going to skip the convention for now and move right on to fabric. Due to the lack of products at the convention I had money left over! Of course I blew a ton of it on supplies to make stuff for Etsy. I don't know why I do that. I don't have enough motivation or discipline to get anything accomplished. I have great ideas/supplies for christmas items...but they should already be done and posted by now! *sigh*

These (except for the Japanese one, which is 1/2) are all 1-yard pieces...not my typical cut. Usually I like 1/2 yard at best. But aren't they divine? Look at those dots, and that stripe. I had to have them!(Alexander Henry Juicy Stripe, AH Coriander, Kokka Nordic Flora, AH Light Bright)

I decided it would be nice of me to share the names of the fabrics I show (if I know them) so that if you like them, you might find them too! And when you do, I'm sure you'll do something much nicer with them than I will, and I'll be jealous... :)

Here are some fat quarters I got in mid-October. I just haven't gotten around to showing you. I have a few purchases in that category. Aren't they yummy?(mmm...)

I got them from a lovely Etsy Shop called Cotton Thread Fabrics. [Okay, you know you have a fabric problem when you go to a site just to get a link, and you get sidetracked for 5 minutes before you realize what you were there for! :) ]

I hope you all have a lovely week...Thanksgiving or not! Do you have any special plans?

(Because of JJ's work I'm going to be bringing my laptop with me on the trip...but I wouldn't count on a post. Heck, if I can't do it when I'm here at home, do we really expect me to do it on the road? I think not...)