Monday, June 29, 2009

To the Garden

We have a special Papa visitor this week from the far off state of California. In honor of the occasion, my sweet mother decided to treat us to a saunter in the Oregon Gardens. It was a bit like creeping through that little door that leads to the Red Queen's domain                                    

But ever so much pleasanter, I think.


Saturday, June 27, 2009


I woke up yesterday with the desperate need to NOT be at home. I had that overwhelming housebound feeling that you get when you know that if you stay at home, you will wind up doing chores all day, and you just really don't want to. That knowing feeling that even if you spread a blanket out in the yard and try to relax, the weeds will mock you and give you no peace. 

I racked my brain, and could think of no proper area of seclusion. So my hunny, (thanks for humoring me, babe) popped online and searched out a park: No Bathrooms, no special points of interest. Perfect. 

Normally for picnicking we might stop and pick up our favorite snack-able treats, but as we are pinching pennies at the moment, I threw together the contents of the fridge and ended up with chicken sandwiches and strawberry muffins leftover from breakfast. We filled up our water bottles, folded the adventure quilts, and Let's get out of here.
The road was windy and dappled, and the fields were full of daisies like snow, and purple sweet peas. The little park was right by the river and all covered by trees. 

Now, the day was not perfect. Little Maddie would not be still. She wanted a walk, and when walking she wanted to sit. She did her utmost to intrude upon the peace of the day with a fair amount of complaining. But there were lovely bits too when the path was windy, and the trees were mossy. 

All told, not a bad day at all.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Last year the beautiful old Queen Anne Cherry tree, that grows in our backyard, ripened so many cherries that it literally split in half and toppled over two days before my daughter's birthday. Well, half of it toppled over. The other half remained standing. Our pear tree seems determined to follow cherry tree's tipsy lead. 

I suppose if we were decent farmer types, we would get out there on the ladder and thin the hundreds of redundant pears. We are not. Instead, we will wait until the pears have dropped to the ground and threaten to turn our yard to mush before we take action. This may seem lazy, or even remiss in some way to those not in the know. Those of us who have more information, know that our one and only ladder bent and failed last summer, and a replacement has not made it to the top of the list yet. 
I am not complaining. The pears look beautiful. And before they fall, those pears will reach sugary perfection if only for a few days. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Checklist Overload

Home. Alone. I think that there are a few of you who will know what I mean when I say that. Really and truly alone. Really. These times are so funny for me. I often think of all that I could accomplish if only I had some "alone time." Then when I do, it suddenly seems strange and overwhelming, and I end up doing something ridiculous like having a Harry Potter Movie marathon. 
Truthfully, I was very productive this weekend. Maddie spend the Entire day on Friday with her paper dolls. She turned the living room into a paper doll community, with houses made out of movies, and books, and shoes. It took her half the day to set up the neighborhood, and the rest of the day was spent dressing bears, and finding just the right gown for the ball. So I had a peaceful day to work on My List. 
I worked on my website. Check. 
I wound by hand all of this fabulous Brown Sheep Wool that someone gave me if you can believe such a thing. I had never wound wool by hand. It was fairly soothing if time consuming. Definitely a movie watching project, so I watched several hours of Carnivale while I wound. Strange show, but visually enthralling. Check.
Rather by accident I ended up going through every wedding photo, and finally (the wedding was in August) picking out my favorites for printing. I was favorably surprised to find more photos that I liked than I first suspected might be there. I had to write this one on my list so that I could actually cross it off (does anyone else do that?) but then, Check.

Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies for Father's day. Check. 
Painting dollhouse with Maddie. half-Check. It is still sitting unfinished on the kitchen table, waiting for another day. 
And then I ran out of steam. Not so sure the fires have been stoked yet. Harry Potter Marathon it is. 

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Dad

From my dad, I got my curly hair, my sense of humor, and my inability to tolerate anyone without a sense of humor. From my dad, I got a healthy dose of cynicism, and an impatience for anything less than the truth. From him I learned that strangers and outcasts, might just be more interesting than the soccer mom next door, and that the world we live in is much weirder than we could possibly imagine. 

This is my dad. Isn't he handsome? See above (he's the one on the ground.) 

Friday, June 19, 2009

Forgotten, but not Gone

I had forgotten my childhood. 
Well, not really, but I had forgotten my paper dolls. I have a huge collection of them, and I had forgotten all about it until today when my daughter asked me to print some of the Betsy McCall dolls for her. We were out of colored ink in our printer, so that didn't work, which led me to thinking of what else might be available. Then, kind of out of the blue, I remebered: I have LOTS of paper dolls. I have really good ones! 

I have Queen Elizabeth and Empress Eugenie with beautiful dresses.

I have Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty with beautiful faces. 

I have bride and groom paper dolls, and Marilyn Monroe, and Grace Kelly. I have ballet paper dolls with matching costumes from famous ballets. I played with these a Lot. 

So no surprise, Maddie went for the dancers first.

I got a big grin on my face, and ran upstairs to dig them all out. Just the perfect thing for a drizzly summer morning.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just another Thursday

I do love my Thursday evenings, when I am absolutely allowed to ignore the pile of dirty dishes, the comic books all over the living room, and even the crumbs on the counter. I am allowed to have the first of the strawberries with cream, and to share them with my daughter. I just am, that's why. After work today, I successfully ignored each of these things in turn, and worked for hours on a special crafty project* instead. I am happy to say that it is almost done, and I am quite pleased with it so far. I am hoping this turns out to be a crafty weekend.

This Thursday I was reminded:

How much fun it is to be a girl. Love these printable paper dolls posted by Merrilee.

That we are not the only ones looking for some fun on a shoestring.

How fabulous my family is.

That even though they come around every week, each weekend is somehow, an Event.

* More on this after July 1st

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random Thought of the Day

So we are out of high school, and aren't we all glad. Actually, I was homeschooled for my entire high school career, but what I was thinking about on my drive home, was, "Most likely to..." 

What would I be voted, if my friends and family were spending their time thinking of such things instead of all of the much worthier things that they actually think about, and what would I vote if I were choosing the category.
Wouldn't it be great to be voted, "Most likely to look fabulous in any situation," or "Most likely to have the perfect outfit for every situation." More likely it would be something like, "Most likely to boss people around." Of course, I would have competition on that one. My sister would be, "Most likely to be a cat lady," and my aunt would be, "Most likely to have the perfect thing to say." My friend Erin might be, "Most likely to make something out of yarn."

What about least? I'd be, "Least likely to end up on a sports team. Ever." 

What about you? What would you be voted if all of your friends, family, and folk were spending the day that way? 

Sunday, June 14, 2009


It's up. It is not even close to being finished. It is missing content, and quite a bit of flair, but it is up. Go ahead, click on the link, and please let me know what you think. I do want to know about typos, and about broken links. I do want to hear thoughts and opinions as well. 

Perhaps I was impatient, and put in online too soon, but I am trusting you to understand. 

Friday, June 12, 2009

Roses, Ivy Tunnels, and a Touch of the Empty

Today we set off on a stroll on a day that was alternately overcast, and blazing hot. We set off with the specific purpose of walking down streets that we had never before set foot upon. As a result, we walked a few places with signs that said, "No outlet." Okay by us. It was a little challenging to find untrod paths, or even paths less taken, as we were walking not a mile from our own door. However, we were persistent and managed to find a soupcon of the scarce.

Like this tiny circus cart, set out for the express purpose of displaying flowers. I am actually not sure what this little cart was meant to be, originally, but it made me smile. Anyone know? 

Mmm. Roses.

Do you see the tunnel in the ivy? There is something so inviting about tunnels. Don't you think?
(See top for closer peek)
And apparently I am drawn to slightly bizarre. Too many Stephen King novels in my youth?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Robin's Egg Blue, and Surrealism

Isn't it strange how you can live in a town almost all of your life, and still walk down bits of street that you have never, ever seen before. Or maybe you have seen them, but they were not the same. Maybe it was winter, and raining so that all you saw was the pavement; or it was two years ago when the blackberries had grown up over the house like something out of a Tom Robbins novel. Maybe you drove or walked right by this particular spot, but your mind was thinking of taxes, or dinner, in which case it really doesn't count.
In any case I drove by a particular bit of street that I had simply never seen before, and later that evening I made sure that our after dinner walk took us to just that spot. 

I had to show you this practically perfect little building. 
It is the most perfect shade of robin's egg blue. I know, because on the way home my daughter found half of a robin's egg, and it was just that same color. 

It turned out, that there were some other treasures, as well, like this strangely surreal little site. 
It is good to know that even your own hometown can still surprise you. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Endings

It was the last day of third grade today. In just a couple of months, my little girl will be nine years old. A couple of months after that, she will be in fourth grade. Fourth grade. It is incredible how having a child marks the passage of time. She was this perfect little baby, then an adorable toddler. Now, all of the sudden she is a child, a person, with annoying habits, and toe jam. She can be deeply difficult and breathtakingly sweet within the space of  five minutes. She is just as I imagined her, and nothing like I planned.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More Fairy Tale Horses

Here is the result of peaceful Friday's craftyness. Many praises to Ann Wood and her generous pattern download. If anyone else is inspired by her fairy tale genius, email pictures, and I will post them here! We would love to see.

Creative Fit

Truly creative breakthroughs or changes seem to come in fits for me. When I am in the midst of such a fit, a few of things happen. 
One: I find it very difficult to get to sleep. My mind will not stop moving about. I moves hither and yon, seeking out ideas and worrying them to death. 

Two: I am very difficult to talk to, as my waking hours are filled with the aforementioned hither and yonning. 

Three: I have an insatiable need to clean, organize, and throw out unneeded items. Like how you can't make cookies in a messy kitchen, I can't possibly take on a new creative direction/endeavor if my space is messy. Please note that this throwing out does not include art and craft supplies. In fact, I believe that the throwing out may have something to do with making literal and figurative room for art and crafting. Mostly I have the urge to get rid of kitsch and cosmetics; and them clean and organize until my "space" is perfect.  

Wanna watch?


Cathartic, isn't it.
This is stuff that I am getting rid of. 

You really don't want the before. 
There is no more room in my house that there was before, but I do feel better.