Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I have finally decided to officially declare that I am taking a holiday break for the month of December. With a new camera learning curve and new laptop (debating if I should store pics on it yet) and Christmas around the corner, this blog has fallen to the bottom of my priorities list.


Monday, November 22, 2010

New blocks

A few new blocks for Block Lotto . Requirements were a purple and white 8" center sampler block on point with at least three fabrics of our choice in each corner to make it 12.5" square total. I LOVE how the snails trail one turned out.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye...a one year old talking to his friends. My moms dolls are the same height as him...he got curious about them and kept hanging out with them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How does your garden grow?

It's mid November and up here in northeastern Washington the average temperature is not very warm...like 30's and 40's averaging. We had our first frost mid September?? I don't remember, but it killed all the tomato plants. Soon after that I brought in our strawberry and pepper plants to the mudroom. I just hope I wasn't too late for those little peppers, they all look dead but I've read that they'll drop their leaves for winter and grow back in the spring. We shall see.
But LOOK at our garden!! I took this pic last week!! We still have sugarsnap peas growing and ripening, the carrots all look great (I'm not sure if they're growing though) and the kohlrabi, while a little bitten up, are still growing too!! REALLY?!??! Into winter??
The ground is still wet and the temperature fluctuates between the high 30's and low 40's. If I read up on my veggies and gardening, I bet I would learn why these plants are still growing in such chilly weather. Although...the kohlrabi are not really growing into a ball, they're just growing. Weird.
Oh, and this is looking straight down onto the pumpkin patch, which is the corner between the back steps and the house, only next year I think we'll be growing that yellow squashes seeds. Dreary looking corner, eh? :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Funny things in life

Neither my husband nor I ever had ducks growing up. He's a big time city kid and I grew up in a small farming town, so I had more exposure, but not much. We had chicks once, but they grow so fast they were soon sent to my aunts house in the country. Ever since we got our ducks towards the end of August, we've had daily chuckles and smiles put upon our face by these two feathered friends. EVERY single time we walk out the back door, we hear quacking and the quick patter-patter-patter of duck feet over to see us...

SLAM! Patter-patter-patter-patter...
QUAAACK, Quack, quack-quack-quack?? (Translation: OH! You gonna feed us??)
Cuz a snack would be nice, there's fewer bugs out now...
No really, cold weather = fewer bugs...
Seriously,we'd like to have a snack NOW!
So disappointing! Let's go...
EVERY time we walk out back, this is what we get.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye...a preschooler wishing to help his daddy. Timberrrrrr!!!! And no, that wasn't the whole tree, that was just a limb. The stump we left in is about two feet across...it was a big one!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where have I been??

Well...let me tell you...for the month of October I SUPER over-committed myself. As a mother of two...it's pretty stressful. It all started with Halloween costumes. I wanted to make both boys and my college roommate asked me to make hers. THEN it was the countdown to our churches fall bazaar where I signed myself up to donate craft items, desserts in a jar gifts and baked goods. On top of all that was my monthly Year Of Enchantment ornament swap, which was sent out a week late, mostly because of poor time management for the entire month on my part. Well, ALL of these things had to be completely roughly in the same THREE DAY WINDOW!! That's where it got stressful...time was running out. The boys got sick on top of all that.

Other than that brief explanation, here's what I have to show for the month of October:

My swap package for the Year of Enchantment. October's ornament theme was owls. I used Moonstitches tutowlrial. They were so fun to make and SO CUTE!! Below is a pic of the package I received.
In fact, they were so cute and so fun that I decided to make a whole nest of them for the church bazaar. Once again, my camera wanted to fail. Picture taking has been so discouraging ever since it's "accident" I talked about here.
Well, other than all the owls, I made two batches of pumpkin spice cupcakes, two pans of cookie type bars and a dozen jarred "desserts in a jar." They are quart jars layered with dried ingredients then a recipe tag attached on how to make them. I chose the M&M bar and the Dreamsicle bar which was a HUGE HIT!! It's made with Tang...that's what makes it so dreamy I guess. Oh, and our Halloween costumes...
Toddler wanted to be a knight because it had a sword. Look at all his armor!! Thank you dollar store!! Together we decided that baby could be a dragon, and toddler (the knight) could save the princess (that would be me, in a stinky, vintage velvet dress from my moms costume closet) from the dragon. Like the ferocious dragon in the pic?? He was pretty ferocious until we started walking in the stroller. But if I didn't make my dress and ferocious dragon was toddlers costume last year, why was I so stressed about sewing the knight costume?? Oh yeah...because I also had to sew college roommates costume, which was this...to a T. :/ Fur IS NOT fun to work with.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A perfect end to my week, I hope??

Grosgrain has always done fabulaous Halloween costumes...in fact, I think I started following her blog when she had her Marie Antionette costume giveaway a couple years ago which was for a little girl. It was BEAUTIFUL! This year her giveaway is for an adult sized costume...AND IT WOULD BE PERFECT FOR ME!!! Why?? (Warning: kid costume reveal)...Because 4 year old decided to be a knight, together we decided that 1 year old little bro would be the dragon and I suggested that I could be the princess. 4 year old thought that was an excellent idea, at least I assume so with the way his face lit up with a "YEAH" and a big grin. Winning this dress would always make a spectacular end to my crammed and very stressful week...more of all that to come. Hint: it involves sewing costumes, but not for family members, and a lot of other crafts I committed myself too that are all to be done by this Friday. Check out Grosgrains latest and greatest giveaway...but remember...it's perfect for me. :)

The Ever After Frock Halloween Grosgrain Giveaway

Friday, October 15, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye...a bird nest on the hillside.
Here's a shot of the babies inside. They were so new! I should have backed up to show how this hillside was RIGHT next to the Settler's Cedar Grove trail. As we rounded a corner, the momma bird took off flying and I thought "Where did she come from?" So I turned around to look, and there they were!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye...some iron pyrite (or fool's gold!) embedded in grey slate. We spent last Sunday rockhounding for these purties in the mountains North of Newport!! We found quite a bit too...but I haven't found the perfect sample, so we may go back for more.

Monday, October 4, 2010

no More JAM!!

This was how we (my neighbor and I) spent our Friday...
Our ENTIRE DAY! From 9:30 am to 8:00 pm and a lunch break in between. And again, these are the only pictures I have to show of that day. We did a quintuple batch, meaning, we picked clumps of grapes off our top secret source vine the night before, we then rinsed them and proceeded to pick the individual grapes off the vine until we reached 50 CUPS OF GRAPES! Whew! That took two hours. The next two hours were spent pinching 25 cups of grapes out of their skins. At 4:30 we FINALLY started cooking, we canned the first batch at 5:30 and the last one came out of the boiling water at 8 pm. We were pooped! And a quintuple batch will make MORE than what it should, so I had to pull out two of my quart jars, fill them, then put the last of it into a tupperware and into the fridge.

Sunday we spent our morning here...
See that big rock slide on the lower left of the pic?? That's why we were here. I'll show you in this I Spy Friday's post...stay tuned!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye...a frog among the creek bed. He blends in really well, but once you see him, well...you'll see him. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Camera, Canning & Caves

Last night I had a four hour adventure in canning some grape jam. This is the only pic I have of it and I didn't know this pic had even taken until I uploaded it to the computer. Why is that?? you ask.
Oh, because my husband decided to take the camera to this hole in the earth...
...and take pictures of him and his firefighter buddies spelunking. Then proceeded to drop the camera on some rock and crack the screen. I wasn't sure if it still took pics so I tried this morning.
And that's why this is my only pic of my big canning adventure:
And BOY was it an adventure. I used a recipe out of Better Homes and Garden cookbook. "Prep time 65 min. Cook time 5 min." ACTUAL prep time: 3.5 HOURS. ACTUAL cook time: still 5 min but did two batches AND you start timing the 5 minutes when it's at a full rolling boil which takes up to ten minutes. REALLY?? Better Homes and Garden couldn't have suggested a prep time of 65 min. to 3 hours?? Here's why...you de-skin half the grapes, you soften the grapes in pot on burner, sieve the grapes to remove cooked skin and seeds, measure pulp and juice, pour back into pan, heat up, add water and sugar and bring to full rolling boil. Upon full rolling boil, you time it for 12 minutes OR until the mixture has reached a gelling point. One hour and fifteen minutes of rolling boil time later....STILL NOT GELLING!! At 10:10pm we called it quits. I say "we" because my neighbor came to assist and stayed the whole four hours. She was a trooper! Can you imagine how long it would have taken me had I been doing it alone?? So, we jarred it, lidded them, put them BACK into a bath of hot water, brought them to ANOTHER boil and timed 5 minutes. Whew! By the time we finished the second batch and covered them with a cloth to cool the night on the counter, it was 11pm. INSANE! AND, no pictures to show what I did...but here's one of our un-amused kitty:
Yes...poor camera....broken lense cover, broken screen...it's had a rough life.

Next up...salsa!! Just need a few more tomatoes to ripen up. Like how the yellow squash had to squeeze into the pic??

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Did I tell you about these?

A few weekends ago I helped my parents with their yardsale. I found these...
An old pair of my dad's work pants. Pretty worn out and faded. I also had to go to my cousin's 12th birthday. I didn't have a gift so I thought I'll make her something. VOILA!! I had an instant Project Runway inspiration!! (I am HOOKED on Project Runway right now. I'm going through the past seasons via Netflix while watching the current one) I went shopping at Mood, which was really my moms room full of fabric (blogged here), and gave myself two hours to re-create these jeans into a skirt for my cousin. Well...it took 2-1/2 hours to create this...
...I couldn't get them small enough to fit my cousin, so I kept them and gave her scrapbooking stuff instead.
AND...the best part about this post is that I entered them into BurdaStyle's Project Runway Remake Challenge presented by Rowenta. You can go HERE to view my project page and you can go HERE to enter your own re-purposed garment, but hurray, it ends in two days!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Meet Ophelia...
She's a white mouse.
She's also camera shy.
In preparation for winter she cracked open an ornament and crawled in......then hung up her scarf and mittens to dry.
Soon after that she decided to pack up a bunch of vintage Christmas colored sewing notions and gum then flew the coop down to Utah where she will spend the rest of her wintery days. Maybe she was a pack rat. Hhmm???

Friday, September 24, 2010

I spy Friday...

I spy with my little eye...a garter snake among river rocks. (Hint below)

It's in the dead center of the photo above and here's a close up of him/her. We came across it one of our camping days when we headed to the creek to pan for gold.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Liberated House Quilt Blocks

This months submissions for Block Lotto. The block was 8.5" liberated house in which I HAD to put something in the door or window. :)

Chicken Coop
Lion's Den

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A bigger gift

Our two boys celebrate their birthdays just two weeks apart. This year we had two parties, one for family members and one for toddler friends. Since our house is so small and we're already overflowing with too much stuff, we decided to ask for a donation of Back-to-School items for a program at our church instead of toys.
I completely forgot to get the backpacks in the pic, but we also had four school size backpacks to go with it all.
Here's the rundown:
1-package peechees
1-index cards
1-Toy Story 11 pc. set
2-eraser packages
2-12 ct. color pencils
2-packages of scissors
2-packages of glue
2-of those four colored clicker pens
2-pencil boxes
2-packages of socks
2-pen/pencil holders
2-packages of paper
2-10 ct. markers
4-packages of pens
6-24 ct. crayons
8-elmers glue
9-10 ct. pencils
14-spiral notebooks

In the end, I'm SO GLAD we did the birthday's this way. Almost everyone who came brought stuff to donate. Many school kids received school supplies and WE didn't have to make room for new toys in our 800 sq.ft. house. A win/win for me!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eagle City Park

Driving home from our bike ride along the Route of the Hiawatha gave us the idea to have our next adventure near Wallace, Idaho. Being an old mining town, there's a lot of history to check out and learn about. After some internet research, I learned about a few other mining ghost towns in that area, including Eagle City. With no obvious remains or location, we ended up tent camping on private property at a place called Eagle City Park.

We started our stay with a tour of the place by our camp host, Peewee. Now, before we met Peewee, we had concerns about what kind of place we were staying at. Well, Peewee turned out to be the nicest and most informative camp host I've ever met! He had TONS of suggestions on where to eat, what to investigate in the surrounding ghost towns and where to dig for gold on the property. :) He said "You find it, you keep it." Good enough for me!

The next day we hiked into Settler's Cedar Grove. A one mile trail where the deeper you go in, the larger the trees get...some as big as six feet in diameter!
See what I mean??
After our morning hike we had lunch in Murray at the Spragpole and toured the free museum. We soon learned that the six foot diameter trees were upwards of 1,000 years old, if not more. Insane!! The afternoon and dinner was spent at our campsite, lounging. Peewee and a few other regular camp inhabitants invited us for a spaghetti dinner. We then sat around the campfire listening to everyone's gold stories and dealings with the wildlife. The wildlife conversation was sparked by the previous nights coyote howlings. Being in between large hillsides, the howls just echoed and echoed.
Our third day we spent along Eagle Creek digging and panning for gold. We saw A LOT of wild life from the really small...
...to the pretty large! We walked around a large clump of bushes and BAM! there this guy/gal was just fifty feet in front of us. It looked pretty young and we feared the momma being nearby, so we turned and walked back the way we came.
We also had to take an afternoon drive to put one-year old to sleep for a nap. We drove to the peak of this road...
...admired the view, then drove back down. Once low enough to where the road was two lanes again, we pulled over, rolled down the window and all four of us napped in the car in the mountains. We had about 15 minutes of natures silence and a cool breeze to relax in. At least...we tried to until a squirrel seeked us out and proceeded to chatter at us until we left.
We almost stayed a third night but changed our minds late in the day. Our drive back home took us past the Snake Pit where we had dinner. Looks a bit interesting from the outside, but is a pretty neat establishment.

All in all...I would DEFINITELY go back. Our next chance may be this October, but then it would be weather pending. Otherwise, next summer for sure! It is such a beautiful area and we FOUND GOLD!! We never did make it to Wallace, and that was the original plan. :)