what is it???

we made these very festive morsels tonight - 
can you guess what they are?

not beef tartare ...
not dog food ...
not mounds of barf ....
yes the coloring on the picture is correct

they are a cookie - cherry almond macaroons

they taste only a little better than they look
we tossed them...
or will ... as soon as we stop making fun of them
such a waste of almonds


Nutcracker Puppets

these are the flowers with the snow king in front
The Sugarplum Gang - not sure what the poodle is all about
Everyone in their spots
Tea and Coffee
The Snow Queen and snowflake

Clara, Uncle Drosselimier, and the Soldiers

my mom made these puppets some 40 years ago - maybe more - they are a treasure to me and i am so glad they have a safe and lovely place to reside



Nutcracker Post II

After trying everything I could think of I couldn't get the slide show of my nutcracker box to load.

so i will just have to show you the pictures one by one...
 with the dark days here in the nw, it is hard to get 'bright' pictures'

first, the outside of the box -
and then the inside -

i will share more pictures of the puppets later when i
can upload faster

Are you feeling the spirit yet?


The Nutcracker

when I was a kid my mom made finger puppets of the nutcracker characters.

they were magically to me. 

she kept them in a box on straws and we would play with them very carefully.

recently, i was honored to receive this set.

and so i set out to honor the gift.

last winter I worked on an appropriate container for such a special memory...

then I got busy this fall to finish it...but i already know i need to do more to the box...
so for now,
this is the nutcracker stage or memory

you can view the video, or I will post pictures soon



There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving:

my two sons
off learning new things
having Thanksgiving dinner with their teachers
happy and healthy

my husband
leg healing nicely
treats me with care
is truly a partner
my parents
south in the warmth
 my best friends
my siblings
all over the northwest
if not always in touch, always in my heart

my friends
my colleagues
fun to work with
keep me calm
my dog
fierce protector
grateful for each and every person in my life
there are so many things to be grateful for too
long underwear, a job, a car that runs, laughter, craft and quilting materials, 
a warm and comfy bed, my boots,  snow, milky way bars,  glitter,
House (tv), medicines, pudding, art, pumpkin candles, mustard, books, warm quilts...
and so much more ...


Walking in a Winter Wonderland

the weather here in the northwest has been frightful - 
snow, wind, ice, frigid temperatures. 
I like to walk around 
see what is happening when it is like this. 
missed having Casey with me though.
had to stop myself from telling kids to get off the street they were
sledding on.
the world gets so quiet when cloaked in snow.

Sophie walked with me...
for about 5 minutes
then she refused to go on...
so I took her home and continued on...

I saw this leaf - lovely
off for some more glittering


Snow - Holidays Day 22

well finally a little time to craft. we had a 1/2 school day/1/2 snow day today. hurray - of course I celebrated by taking a nap first!

my projects are coming along...

The circles o' crepe got glitz...

there was a little music...

and some snow here and there

even a bead or two

time to pull it all together...
but I won't be sharing that just yet
I am hoping for another snow day or 1/2 day tomorrow (I will take whatever) so that I might work on some more fun projects...off to start a tree I saw online.... 
does anyone else think the smell of hot glue is one of the great smells of Christmas?


Holidays - Day 6

This past week I gathered up some supplies for Christmas crafting

It was nice to shop before everything has been picked through...I came home and started my "Friend Ornaments" Step 1 took several evening this week

on to Step 2...
If you are feeling the Spirit - two bits of advice

  1. tonight on PBS is a Christmas Special (don't know the name but they advertised it this morning while I was watching my quilting shows)
  2. Check out this ezine from a very nice lady and her many talented friends
okay report cards, then crafting for me today


Holidays - Day 4

Today we went to the orthopedic surgeon and had Charlie checked out.

this is his x-ray - he gets to bear weight on it - so goodbye scooter, hello crutches! I almost passed out when he explained how they might take out one of the screws. On the up side we could probably get out the drill and do the same thing here - gruesome! It might also just break and then the surgeon said that would be okay too. He really is a great guy and has made this process pleasant - if you ever need an orthopedic surgeon - call us - hope you never need one though.


The Holidays - Day 1

Now that the candy has been passed out and the decorations put away it is officially 
 let the crafting begin...what are these for?
what things are you crafting on? Do you have a long list or a short one? the difficult part for me is that i have this continuing thought that it is not a present unless you make it. or at least that a homemade present is the most thoughtful present. i don't think this about presents i get just about presents i give. i do love making things but i am never sure if folks like getting them. do people want purchased gifts or homemade? my mom and dad always 'made' our christmas - so many wonderful things that they toiled over. our house was like santa's workshop. mom always set up with projects for the aunties and grandparents. guess it is genetic. do you think the people working on the human genome will find the craft gene?


For my friend Sue and Margaret too!

Okay I am trying to get Charlie's ankle off the top of my page. Since I posted the many legs of Charlie, things have been so hectic I haven't had time to post anything else. Charlie continues to heal but still can not bear any weight on his leg - next week he has another appointment and we are hopeful that he might get to bear just a tiny bit of weight.

I am going to try something new for me starting November 1 - I am truly going to try to blog every day. I haven't decided the theme - the reason I am going to do this is that my boys aren't coming home for turkey day and I think November may be a bit hard for me - so this will keep me distracted. I am thinking of sharing memories of the boys, or one cool memory of the day, or possibly crafting stuff as I will be putting the Christmas machine in full gear this weekend. Any ideas?

School has been busy - the first of the year is always so hard to adjust to and get things running smoothly - I am hesitant to say that it is getting there because that might jinx it. We had a fun little party (Harvest not Halloween) yesterday at the end of the day and everyone got too much candy for sure. Glad I got to send them home right when the sugar really hit their systems.


Charlie's Leg

I thought that starting a new school year and having Casey and Toby being gone would be the hardest thing.....
This is Charlie's foot after he fell in our backyard - he was back there trying to chop down two cottonwoods that had started to grow. That was 10 days ago.

He had to crawl back around the house to get me - I drove him to the ER and ran his leg into the the door there - it made me very inappropriately laugh hysterically...

We both thought/hoped that it was another dislocation....

When he lifted his pant leg in the ER the nurse whinced and we knew it was not good.

X-Rays and relocation and the first cast

Then a few nights in the hospital and a second cast... a soft cast. This led me to the DME store where I learned many new things... DME=Durable Medical Equipment - I got Charlie a rolly scooter to rest his knee on and zoom around the house. He also got a shower chair as he can only get half way in the shower and then only after we bag and duct tape him up.
Insurance and DME stores are not my friends!!!

That is what Charlie got - I got all his chores and projects!!! This is his second cast - if you are weak of stomach don't read on
Ten days later we headed in to the doctor office. Our first chance to see the surgery. This is the right side of his leg - they took the staples out - doesn't he look like Frankenstein - scroll down for something even more Halloweenish...
This is the left side of the same leg - this is where they went in to fix the skinny bone in his leg with 3 breaks - more staples..
And he had the most beautiful bruising - I wish I could buy fabric that color of green, blue and purple. We had the greatest nurse - she put the blue paper under his leg so I would get contrast in my photos - we had a fun visit. And then it was cast time - this nurse is an absolute artist. When she asked what color Charlie wanted, he said white. She looked at me and said "white?" I looked at Charlie he has to live with it after all... he decided on...
Bronco colors and the nurse decided it should have stripes like a tube sock and a little bed for his toes - it is a thing of beauty... We disagree on what the doctor said - I think Charlie would like it to be less time - but it looks like 8 weeks with no weight and another 6 weeks in a boot and partial weight - he can get something holidayish at his next check. We got to see x-rays - he has two plates and 8 screws in one and two long screws to hold the ankles and leg bones together...
Ain't life funny???


Crown Cop Out

My challenge was suppose to be to paper piece this block. I don't really understand paper piecing, it takes extra fabric and extra steps - the up side: the block is always perfect. As you can see above I used the paper piecing paper to create templates which I am very comfortable with. My excuse is that is our first day over 90 degrees here in Seattle!!!! I can't learn something new in this heat. SO here is my block:
I am so much more happy with my color choices this time but the photo doesn't portrait the colors very well. The two pieces that look blue are actually teals and gorgeous vibrating against the limes and gold of the print. I haven't decided if I will build on to this block - I like it that when you put a few of the blocks together you get a cross and a frame - doesn't really show in this setting.


New Challenge

Okay, my cousin has presented me with a return challenge that will TRULY be a challenge for me - A paper-pieced block - I don't paper piece - I don't like it - I don't get it - I hate it!!! My first thought is to draft the pattern but it is hot and that sounds time consuming - so maybe I will try paper piecing - it is a challenge after all!!
I do love this block - crowns, rings, and crosses - the crowns are fab - you don't see the crosses unless you piece several (which is probably not in my future) nor the rings. If you want to play along follow this link: Crowns, Rings, & Crosses. Blocks are due Friday at 1:11 PM CT

Aster Block Complete

My cousin Shaney and I have completed our first blocks. This is mine - I am not very happy with the color - the greens are way to similar to the blue background and the blue background is way too dominate.
I decided to make 4 blocks and try a small quilt top. My thought was to add applique around the outside edge in an additional border. However, I am kinda disappointed in the colors so I probably won't invest applique time in this piece. Anyway, my cousin is posting another block in the next few hours - so I will be off on that one.


Fun with a cousin

I have been recently talking with my cousin Shaney on Facebook. Turns out we are both trying to get back to this quilting thing!

So, we are going to challenge each other by just getting going. Today I picked a block and we have 48 hours to do something with it.

Should be interesting!!

This block is double aster - there is a great website that offers free instructions on all kinds of blocks - check it out. Hey I learned something new today - how to link - woot woot.

Hey, wanna join us???


Happy 4th

So, here we are - the big holiday of the summer!! Heat - NO. Rain - yes!!

Another memorable 4th of July in Seattle....

Plan B was to make art - about Freedom. This morning we watched The Story of America and it had a lot of interesting info about us through the ages. As we were trying to come up with an alternate plan, I remembered a project my friend Sue and her family does where they create art together. That didn't quite seem like a plan for us - but we could each make our own...
So I gathered up paints and brushes and a few bits and baubles...
I have to admit I was nervous. A- They were using my best brushes and B - it was our first adventure in making art side by side.
Everyone's process was different - Casey was very definite on what he wanted and he got busy. After maybe 10 minutes he wanted to know how and where he could flip paint around - so we set him up outside.
Charlie had a hard time - he searched the internet and proclaimed that he had no idea. Then he poked around my box of junk and decided to trace some stars - Patriotic fellow, he is!

First we have Casey's work - alive with color.

Charlie's is a bit more traditional but very well done.

And mine, I started off wanting to make a statement but changed my mind. I tore up a copy of the Declaration that my parents had sent me
and added 234 for the number of the anniversary this year - we are such a young nation!!

We will watch the Boston Pops tonight and stay home. Too wet and cold to go to a display of fireworks. Besides, Toby is out East playing with the Boston Symphony which interestingly IS the Boston Pops. Did you know that? Me neither. He isn't playing with them tonight but it still makes me feel closer to him, so far away.

Here are all our paintings together. Let the fireworks begin.


It's that time of year...

Okay so I am embracing the idea that I can write on this every two days - which is way better than every 62 days.

So, what did you think when I said it was that time of year?
Maybe you thought baseball. Here is Casey and I at the Mariner's game last week. The Mariners beat the Cubs - woot woot - was a great game and enjoyed spending it with the family (Toby AND Casey all at once). Have you had garlic fries? - so delicious - thank goodness you can only get them at the ballgame - they are soooo good!!

But, it is not THAT time of you year. This is the time of year when all minds turn towards that wonderful family celebration. No, not the 4th...
Scroll down....

It is that time of year when my mind naturally turns towards the making
of my annual friend ornament for Christmas. Yes, Christmas. If I don't do it now, I won't have time. So tonight while Casey was reading his first college text book (he begged for me to order it so he could start reading for his fall classes - whataguy). So this is experiment one on the friend ornament road. The reason I need so much time is cuz I change my mind so much - none the less I have begun. And that is victory in itself.
So, the bonus is I am using this as my reentry into 52 projects. I haven't even allowed myself to look at anyone else's projects because I felt so bad I wasn't doing any - but I am working on the back on trackin'.


Okay already I missed a day! Today I am taking it easy. Toby is safe and sound at Tanglewood - what a great adventure and opportunity for him! Casey is off with friends and so I am left with some much needed down time of relaxation. Watching the World Cup - GO USA! They sure do run alot. Committed to starting a new project today and will let you know as soon as I do!! Am thinking of starting on my Christmas friend ornaments - too weird?



Well it has been 2 months - the last months of school and life have been very hectic but now I am back in the saddle again!!
Tonight Toby flies off to Massachusetts for a summer gig at Tanglewood - I had no idea what that was but checked it out today and it is a pretty great opportunity for him - yeah. Cuz if he has to be away for the summer then it should be for something good.
I will try to catch up in the days to come and I am hoping to get some crafting done to show this summer....depends on life!
Talk to you soon


Nature Done

My Nature squares are done and I am finally getting them posted - yeah!!
It was fun to pick and choose things I really like from nature.
Amy Powers who came up with the 39 square challenge is working on a new challenge and I think I may participate. Embroidery has been meditation for me.


Ta - done

This is my sampler completed and framed - I framed it in black - but you can't see that part - I am really pleased to have gone through this process it was great to do something creative every day for a month - thanks to Amy Powers - tomorrow or the weekend I will post my nature sampler


More Nature Squares

I finished the last of my squares today.

Ecckkkk - I am out of a project! I need to think of something else that forces/allows me to create every day. This has been a really great experience for me and I really don't want it to end. Thanks for coming along with me. Tomorrow or the next I will post my completed samplers...

For today here is my dragonfly - dragonflies are fairies in disguise...

this square is suppose to be the warmth of the sun. I love the feeling of the sun on my face...

a feather - soft and wistful...

these are some little rock treasures given to me by my students....

and finally a shell and sand - I love the ocean