Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Bye bye our little rudy man, rudy passed away yesterday. 17863_1171852577266_1256570432_30411808_1475874_n
rudy was a pound puppy... we took him to the vet for his first visit and found out he was no puppy, more like 5 years old. that was back in 1996 so rudy lived a long long time. charlotte passed this year as well, she was about 16 years old, i picked her up from the pound in Virginia when i was in school. lots of years spent with these two dogs. i had a feeling rudy was going to go soon, we thought that a year ago too but then he spunked up and held on. i was dreading having to put him down, so i am happy he went on his own time.

only little olive is left, but she is getting lots of love from the girls. Happy New Year everyone! We are headed up to the cabin, hoping for lots of snow!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

owl gift

i made this owl for mary topogna... the mosaic artist from portland, oregon. i had such a nice visit with her, even though it was super brief. It's always inspiring to meet artists actually making things and selling them, living the artist life. being able to spend all that time doing what you love to do. she had a fantastic collection of owl trinkets all over the store (portland has the bomb thrift stores) so i thought she might like one of these. i am happy with the fabric combination and am continuing to pull out some of my favorite stash fabrics.





Saturday, December 26, 2009

the year of janies diary

when i was a kid, we went to the library every week, usually thursday evening and checked out books for the week. there was one book i checked out probably a dozen or more times, i read it over and over again. then one day i went to find it and it was no longer available. what?? now this is like 20 or more years ago, no internet, no easy way to find it so i started going to the used book stores and searched (in those days you had to PHYSICALLY search the place). finding that book became a mission for me, i always looked for it at garage sales, thrift shops and used book stores (even when i lived in virginia). never stumbled on it though. ok, so now we have the internet and it has been on my alibris search for many years. once in awhile it will come up in a search, but it is always over a hundred dollars (and even though i wanted it badly, i just can't pay that much for a book) sooooo, the other day i just threw the title in the amazon book search and it came up! and for a reasonable price as well! oh, i must digress to say i did find it on amazon about a year ago, purchased it for a price a bit out of whack only to find it never arrived and the order was canceled (i was never charged) it had been some kind of mistake and was never available...ok, so i purchased it this time and waited with anticipation for it to arrive, hoping it wasn't another mistake. it came christmas eve day, the best present ever!

this book is written in a diary style and i wanted so much to write a book just like it when i was a kid, in college i took a childrens book writing course with the intention of writing a book just like this one, but with my own twist. i think diaries were pretty popular when i was young, i got a new one every year at christmas and would write amazing details in it! they are too embarrassing to read now, but i still hold on to them.
growing up without the abundance of electronic stuff kids have today, i was forced to read as entertainment and i became a major addict of reading and books. i would say i have a serious problem now because i love books and i want every book i hear about or see... i read cookbooks like novels, devour travel essays and memoirs, living all sorts of crazy adventures in my head, becoming "friends" with every author and plotting my own fantastical future which changes after every new story i read. it's a problem. so when this book arrived all worn and rough, obviously treasured by so many people (it was a library book with a long list of check out dates) i felt a real thrill. reading the first few pages felt so familiar, even after all these years and i mean some SERIOUS years! i can't wait to read it again and share it with the girls, i hope they like it as much as i did!

Friday, December 25, 2009

xmas 2009

a few highlights

first look at santa's gifts


one of my favorite gifts:a chasing bluebird! bought at bella cosa our new local shop full of local crafter's items (my owls and new snakes are there, hint hint)

the bag i made (one for each girl)



so thats a glimpse of our morning, this christmas felt more relaxed for some reason, glad for that! Merry Xmas everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

flip flops and christmas

ugh!! it was so warm today, flip flops were in order. i have a hard time getting into the christmas spirit in this gloriously perfect weather. i crave rain and wind and snow... but still managed to complete most of my christmas present crafts, some baking (this is amazing!!) and have cookie dough ready to bake off on christmas eve. whew!!

the potential lunatics are a local kid punk rock band that we recently met up with, they are soooo awesome and i can't wait for my two camp fire groups to meet with them next year. they are home schooled and so very mature, talented, confident and self assured. watching emma i was inspired to look into guitar lessons (yes i will be starting in january) and i am reminded of my love for "the brat" and other punk rock girl bands of the 80's.


liz and our neighbor friend lauren took over the "bar" serving up soda and water.

here is a cool shot of emily. she is in the student council and recently met the mayor of long beach where she was asked to bring christmas cards for the local childrens hospital... well she took it to heart and spent hours writing up cards... begging to stay up late to finish just one more!!! i saw a real "camp fire spirit" in her and i am so proud of her!
Last, i have made a new animal to sell, snakes!! i am hoping they will be a big hit at our local crafty store. pictures to come soon!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Handmade Christmas 2009

So, keeping with tradition, we are doing our handmade christmas again. I came up with three ideas for our camp fire meeting (and was lucky enough to have Jen help me, yay!!) We made compound butter (herb butter: chives, basil, salt smooshed together) which was a big hit and so easy to make. Decorated soap (something i did back in the 70's with my mom, just modge podge paper on to a bar of soap) which was also extremely easy and fun and made book plates out of name tag stickers, stamp and doodle with the words "this book belongs to" written on. I think they came out great and this weekend the girls and i will do our christmas elf routine making gifts for everyone, i am really looking forward to it!!




thanks Jen! xo

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

christmas spirit

i must apologize for the horrible photos (probably for the last year now) on this blog... everything is taken from the phone camera as i have become incredibly lazy with downloading my "real"camera (which isn't working right anyway for some reason). this photo is no exception

our jaunt around the neighborhood in the "big red bus" an old english double decker that cruises around town on streets with light displays. it was fun, cold and helping me get into the christmas spirit this year. here's to lots of cold and rain and snow!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

belmont shore parade 2009

so we survived another christmas parade, i had parents in charge of both my groups and i can tell you delegating is the way to go!

Friday, December 4, 2009

dad's donut day


my girls love their daddy!


dad's donut day was today, chris spent time with the girls at school. mom's muffin day is not far away for me.

i am enjoying "coal country" tonight, not really "enjoying", but learning a lot and feeling tearful and energized too. i lived in virginia for about a year and a half and west virginia was a gorgeous place to visit, i have many memories of traveling through that area. i highly recommend a look if you get a chance. the appalachian mountains hold a special place in my heart and i just don't see how ANYONE can say coal energy is good. alternatives have been out there for decades and we need to embrace green energy. it seems so obvious to me but... we'll see.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

portland thanksgiving continued

beach beach beach


seaside beach (i guess the locals don't like it, but we had fun!)

my gorgeous portland cousins

our room at the Kennedy School

coolest stop on our way to the vista house

eating dinner at the Oregon Zoo (we went to the "Zoo Lights" which is a cool light show my cousin Liz turned us on to)

cool art work... we met the artist Mary Topogna, one of my favorite experiences this trip

Her work is found here, we saw many of her cool creations throughout the Kennedy School. Hoping for some inspiration!

Monday, November 30, 2009

portland thanksgiving

quick peek of our recent trip to portland... more to come...hopefully!! so busy getting ready for xmas now, so behind, so crazy!

we stayed at the Kennedy School, which is a hotel made from an old schoolhouse. it was the most amazing hotel i have ever stayed in, hands down, i would highly recommend it to anyone. the place has a great restaurant, tons of beer (with it's own brewery), several fun bars (detention hall and honors bar), a fantastic movie theater (you eat pizza sitting on couches in a huge auditorium and watch brand new movies for free), amazing artwork, lots of history and the rooms are crazy fun (chalk boards all around and your closet is the old cloak room). it was inexpensive as well. the vibe is pure fun and the staff were super nice.

it was hard to get pictures though, dark dark halls.

we did several road trips: here is one to the gorge, vista house and several waterfalls



we took a drive to the coast (my love, the beach!)



we did a search for the "goonies house" and stumbled on it

plus a super cute siam mix kitty

views driving to the beach through farms were awesome as well


ok... if this post isn't kooky enough... back to the beach (cannon beach, another goonies movie spot)

ok, more to come... xo portland!