Happy New Year!

Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy new year. May you look back on 2008 with much fondness and look ahead to 2009 with much hope for the future!

I'll close this year out with a sampling of my favorite photos from each month...

Au revoir 2008. I feel and hope that there are big things in store for 2009, and I can't wait!


Merry Christmas!!

Our snowy house, lit up by LED lights...

And a few of our favorite ornaments, too. First, a Santa painted on to an oyster shell (from our trip to Astoria earlier this year)...

Then, two ornaments that we got in Hawaii on our honeymoon...

And a cinnamon stick Santa that my mom and I made when I was in high school...

And finally, a hotdog-roasting marshmallow snowman on a graham cracker. Too cute!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


snowy weather brings out the organizer in me

Am I the only one who has her nesting instinct kick in when snowy weather forces you to stay inside? We haven't left the house since Saturday afternoon, and I've gotten so much done! There was the sewing that I've already posted about, and then I decided to clean and organize our office...starting with my sewing area.

I folded and color-coded all of my fabric, ironed and color-coded my scraps and organized my shelves. It's so pretty now!

And I have to include a wider shot of the office so everyone can see our new couch. My brother hooked us UP with a good deal on a couch at Fred Meyer a few weeks ago, and even though it's larger than the old futon that we used to have in the office I was still able to gain about 2 feet or so of sewing space due to the new layout of the room. I love, love, love our new space. The new couch is so comfy and we're a little closer to the TV so it's easier to see. And all this new sewing space is just wonderful. Thanks for the hook-up, Philip!

I've also sewn curtains for the little window by my sewing table, but I don't have a curtain rod yet. I wanted to check out Ace Hardware for one today when we walked there to get a snow shovel, but luckily Karl had the foresight to call before we left...and they are completely sold out of shovels. Good thing we didn't make that couple mile trek just to find out we couldn't get what we wanted!

Anybody want a queen-sized futon? U pick up, and we'll give you a great deal...

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! :)


snow update

This photo was the view in our front yard from Sunday morning, and this one...

...is the same spot from this morning!

And, this photo was the view in our back yard from Sunday morning whereas this one...

...is the same spot from this morning!

It snowed all day yesterday, and we've probably got 12-18 inches of snow (depending on which direction the wind was blowing). There's a 50% chance for more snow today and a 30% chance for snow on Tuesday. I'd say our chances for having a white Christmas later this week are very good!

Our power went out last night at around 1am and (thank goodness!) it came back on around 7:30am. I'm thankful it wasn't a longer outage, but it sure did make for a cooooold night!

To our family that lives outside of the Seattle area....I'm sorry to report that your Christmas gifts will most definitely not arrive by Christmas. Sorry!

handmade holidays, part II

More coffee cozies (these things are addictive!)...

...and a pencil roll for my niece in Texas. I didn't follow a pattern for this, but I have seen a bunch of these around the blogosphere. Another easy project that turned out pretty cute!

Now let's see what else I can finish up before Christmas... :)


friends again

Me and blanket binding? We're friends again! :)

About 4 years ago I made a fleece/minky blanket for our little friend Asher's first Christmas using white satin blanket binding, and it was a near-disaster. This year I decided to make another one for his baby brother's first Christmas and I'm happy to report that the blanket binding was so much easier the second time around! Woo Hoo!

I know that there's a good chance his mom will see this....sorry to ruin the surprise, Leslie...

I found this super cute cars flannel at JoAnn's, put a thin layer of batting in between, backed it with blue minky and bound it with white satin blanket binding using a scallop stitch.

Check out the scooter! That's my favorite part of the fabric. :)

I've been getting so much sewing done these last few days, thanks to the winter weather we've been having. We're stocked up on food (and fabric) and are tucked in at home snug as a bug in a rug.

I took these photos about 2 hours ago and since then we've probably gotten another 2 inches of snow. It's crazy! Crazy beautiful, but also just plain crazy to have this many days of snow in a row up here in the Pac NW!

If it keeps up like this I might just burn through some of my fabric stash. :)


snow day!

I drove in to work on Thursday morning, only to have it start snowing REALLY hard shortly after my day started. Around lunchtime we all decided to call it quits and head home to try and avoid as much of the nasty commute as possible. Luckily the highways were about as empty as ever when I went home, and as long as I went slow and steady I barely slid at all.

When I got home, the kitties were soooo curious about what was going on outside. We opened the back door to see what they'd do...and they ran right outside to start exploring.

But....that sure didn't last long! Before we knew it they were both at the door begging to be let in. :)

Stay warm!


handmade holidays, part I

Okay so nobody posted any guesses to my sneak peak the other day. Boo! :) My prototype was for...coffee cozies!

I made a few of these as Christmas gifts for coworkers, and they were so quick and easy. I used a gray/taupe linen for the outside and pearl snaps for the closure. For a more manly cozy, I used a Hawaiian print...

And for a more feminine cozy I used a black/green/blue/pink floral print...

To assemble the cozies, I took a flattened-out cardboard cozy and traced about 3/4 of an inch larger all around and then added a thin layer of batting in the middle. Using a water-soluble pen, I wrote the recipients' names on the linen and stitched them in using embroidery thread in a coordinating color. Each one took maybe 30-45 minutes from start to finish. Super easy, and a great gift to make multiples of for coworkers!


for Melissa...

I decided to add a bit of Christmas cheer....to my head! :)


Christmas play

Last weekend we braved WINTER STORM 2008 (!) and drove up to Monroe to watch a few of my nieces and nephews perform in a Christmas play. We sat in the back of the church with my brother and the two littles...

But man, for the life of me I could not get a clear shot of Sophia. She sure is an active and happy little one!

Alexander was Captain Courage and Maranda was a Jack-in-the-Box, while Lydia was a cute Raggedy Ann in the chorus. They all did so great! (since we don't know those other kids, I decided to 'smiley'-out their faces just in case their families don't want their smiling mugs on the interwebs)

Maranda sang several vocal solos, and she sang beautifully. She even knew all of Alexander's lines as well and was able to give him a little tap as a reminder that it was time for Captain Courage to speak up.

Lydia also did a great job as part of the chorus, and we were pretty sure that she could have filled in for any of the other kids as their understudy had there been a need for that. Such an observant one, she is!

The snow flurries were much less than what had been forecast, so I'm really glad that they didn't postpone the play and we were able to enjoy this fun evening with the fam. :)



I got my Janome back from the shop yesterday, and it sews so smoothly now with it's new bobbin casing. I love it! It seriously made all the difference in the world, and I'd almost forgot how much fun it is to sew when your machine is good. :)

I've been saving links to a bunch of tutorials for various gift ideas, and today I decided to try one of them out. It seemed quick and easy but I still thought it would be a smart idea to make a prototype first.

Any ideas as to what I'm making?? (Karl, you aren't allowed to guess since you already know the answer.)

This project was so much fun, and easy to boot. I can't wait to share more photos of the finished products!


oh mama (-in-law)!

Christmas came early for us this year....thank you SO MUCH, Rocky and Susan! It's so pretty that I can't stop gazing at it! :)

I seriously can't wait to make some cookies with this bad boy. It might just be up for a battle royale (with cheese?) against the food processor as my favorite kitchen tool.



It's been so rainy and dreary lately, but I'll take rainy and dreary any day over the weather forecast for this weekend. Snow!

Actually, I love a good snow day at home....I just don't like being on the road with the other drivers around here when it's snowing. Can't imagine why...


What do you get...

...when you boil some yummy sweet potatoes...

...saute some apples in butter...

...brown some celery and onions...

...and then add in homemade turkey stock, shredded turkey and heavy cream?

Well theoretically you'd get a new and yummy way to enjoy some of those Thanksgiving leftovers taking up space in your deep freeze. But in reality we got something that was REALLY unappetizing. So much so that I don't even want to link to the recipe, because I wouldn't want to embarrass the person who posted it and likes it. Me? And Karl? Didn't so much like it. Wasted a lot of food. Crossed a turkey recipe off of our list (forever). Usually I'm a better judge of a recipe and can more easily tell if it's something that Karl and I will like. Swing and a miss on this one though.

Oh well. Live and learn. :)



My Janome is in the shop for a tune-up this week, and of course that made me want to start sewing again. So I pulled out my old Brother and made a Christmas runner with black binding (binding!) for our coffee table.

Barb...I tried to hand-stitch that binding on, but once my thread broke it was all over and I ended up stitching in the ditch on the front to attach the back. Baby steps, right? :)


oh my heavens

I was too lazy to find a Friday funny to share today, so I turned to my inspiration folder...a folder on the computer where I keep photos from the web that inspire me. Today I thought I'd share two super cute houses.

Karl and I love little houses, especially when they are cute! We are typically drawn to Craftsman-style homes, but these two just tug at my heartstrings. :)

The first is a 900-square-foot converted school house. A school house! Click here to read and see more. Oh my heavens, it's almost too much! That cute little yellow door, the green porch rail, the school houseness, the exposed rafter beams, the circular window in the kitchen....whew, the cuteness is almost overwhelming.

The next house is a whimsical little cutie that (I think) is in Oregon. I don't seem to have saved the link where I got this photo from though, so I can't give it proper credit. Karl...I sent this to your email a while back, do you still have it??

I love the landscaping, the green-on-white color scheme, the steep roof and the arched windows on this one. Too, too, too cute!

Happy Friday!


2 yummy recipes, only 1 photo

Remember that cabbage that I posted a photo of last week? Well I turned it in to a cabbage and apple slaw/salad, and it was soooo yummy! Click here for the recipe, if you are interested. I omitted the walnuts and blue cheese, because I didn't have any on hand at the time, but I imagine that the salad would be even better if I would have included them!

The recipe says that it serves 6, but my big cabbage and apples (I used honey crisps) made enough for 8 healthy servings. I love an easy, healthy and inexpensive salad that feeds us for several meals!

The other recipe I'd like to share today is for all of those turkey leftovers that you may still have (if you are like me and paid a hefty premium to support a small, local farmer and get an ethically-raised, pasture-fed, free-range turkey...then you saved every last bit of that bird so that you can get your money's worth out of it).

A website that I like a lot, TipNut.com, posted a whole bunch of links to leftover turkey recipes and I tried one of them out last night. Leftover Turkey Nachos Cuban Style was so good! I added a large chopped onion and quite a bit more spice than this recipe called for, and I used a large can of tomato sauce instead of a small one. It was kind of like turkey enchiladas, and the Thanksgiving-ness of our turkey wasn't at all noticeable (which is something that I was really worried about). I used about 2 cups of shredded turkey, and it made an entire lasagna pan full. Yummy!

Happy cooking!


scenes from the road

Like I said before, Henry was a total angel on this trip both in the car and at Dad and Barb's house. In the car he spent most of his time either like this:

Or like this:

And now, for the rest of the story...

Hubba, hubba...I sure do love those hands! If you've seen my living room, you'll know I've got a thing for hands. :)


More mountains (and a very low Lake Shasta):

Bears! (although we didn't see any, so the threatdown level was low) Oh, and Mt. Shasta:

And more mountains:

I wish I could have taken a few photos of the beautiful Oregon countryside. We did a lot of daydreaming about buying up a couple acres outside of Eugene and enjoying those wide open spaces. But alas, it was dark by the time we got there on our way back (and I was taking my turn driving by this point)....so no photos. Next time!