Birds and Bees…In Motion

This last weekend, my friend Sami and I decided to head to the coast and dedicate ourselves to fall craft. We arrived at the beach house with mountains of supplies.

On Saturday morning I woke up to the insane flapping of hundreds of pelicans out on the river.  The sun was shining and the burlap was calling. After moving the dining room table onto the deck, we sorted a pile of coffee bean bags and went to work. The pelicans continued flapping and the bush next to the table was swarming with honey bees, getting in their last hurrah. It was a perfect day to be outside creating.

lunch break: roasted tomato soup and smoked cheddar and peppercorn grilled cheese sandwiches.


and more sewing

I think the burlap rugs turned out great! i am hoping to add a few big pillows into the mix.

After a long walk in the sunshine,  we met up with Brian and Stacey for dinner at the Pelican Brewery and headed to bed early. Crafting is exhausting!!

Sunday morning, I woke up to more crazy flapping pelicans but not so much sunshine. Perfect day for canning. While Sami spent more time with the burlap, I started canning my veggies. I made spicy pickled carrots, spiced Indian pickled green beans and cauliflower. They are so beautiful!

Sami canned mountains of apples and pears.

We had another night to relax and another morning to wake up with crazy birds, had the BEST prawn tacos in manzanita and headed home with our goodies.

Perfect weekend!! We decided this must be done every year. We even had time to get a little surfing in! We pretty much rocked the weekend!


Hot and Humid, Time to Sew in the Garden!

Every year I get this urge to drag my sewing machine outside when the weather is at its hottest. What the hell? who knows but it is one of my things…That being said, i did have a project to work on and NPR on the radio.

Last winter I took an applique class and made a pillow. I have a few other projects that i want to applique but in the meantime, I have two birthday gifts to create and the crafting spirit was in high gear.

Here are skirts i made this week. I LOVE THEM!

Oh and I made a couple of cute shirts too for my god-daughter and my niece.

FUN!! i’m hot!

Feel free to grab your sewing machine and joining me. I need to make a skirt with a pig on it for my birthday bbq/pig roast!

First Craft of the Year!

2011 began with a day sledding on the mountain, a drink of champagne and a toast to the new year. it was perfect! the following day, i curled up by the fire in my favorite napping chair with a great book and between chapters, took a 3 hour nap. sigh…it was heaven.

After putting all the Christmas treasures away, i signed up for a applique class at  Modern Domestic. it was fantastic!!! the teacher Anna Joyce, was so lovely and helpful. She not only explained the techniques, but she also helped us with  design. the 3 hour class went by so quickly but i did manage to make my first pillow. I want to applique EVERYTHING! beware, you may also receive something appliqued!

60 and snowing? You bet!

This weekend I rounded up some willing participants to make snowglobes! About a month ago i saw these adorable “rustic” snowglobes for sale in a high end magazine for about $40. They were snowmen in a mason jar…i thought, I can do that!  So for the past 5 weeks, i have been collecting jars of all shapes and sizes, testing different glues and levels of glycerin/water ratios.

On Sunday we made all sorts of fun things out of clay for our own globes. I think they turned out GREAT!! Nice work.

 it seems to me that some are more smitten with each other, then the craft at hand

In Deep

My absolute favorite season of the year is upon us and i am in deep. I started another Advent calendar this year for the Hanson Family. I just love making these and they are all sooooo different and goofy. but i love them all.

Ruby is sure that there is room in each pocket for 2 treats per day. and today is day 1! i guess that doesnt make it an official “advent” calendar but you get the point.

For Thanksgiving, i got to celebrate with the Eussen clan. i have really enjoyed meeting another Eussen uncle and his four beautiful daughters and fantastic wife! they are so much fun. We had a perfect meal and i got to make dessert…it was rich but really fun to make. It also contains 6 sticks of butter…YIKES!

I made the sweet little acorns, leaves and pumpkins out of marzipan and then dusted them with edible glitter. i will be doing that again. they are so pretty. and easy to make.

sigh, so now i am cleaning up the piles of felt bits i have left around the house and getting ready to unpack the christmas boxes. YIPPEEE!!! now all i need is snow please. 

Sam does not agree because his bits and pieces dont like being cold.

Another Fun Fall Project

Rick and Jill made these beautiful mirrors by hand-rolling hundreds of magazine pages and adhering them to the wooden frame. I fell in love with them and after realizing there was no way i was going to be handed one of these creations, Rick and Jill offered to teach me how to make my own.

I spent a wonderfully fally day rolling papers and after 4 hours, i came up with this! I love it!!


For the past 6 years, i have traveled up to visit my mother’s dear friend Elspeth. When i was a little girl, Elspeth took piano lessons from my mom and often times, she would leave me with a pile of books. Elspeth was something of an enigma to me. She had her PhD in Library Science,  traveled the world on her own, married the love of her life late in life and together, they had built a beautiful home in the Olympic Peninsula, where she raised Irish Setters and did “book things”. I didn’t really understand until recently what those “book things” were. I knew she had a printing press in her basement and I had seen beautiful books, hand bound from local poets, writers and artists all around her home but she was still something of a mystery to me.

Now I consider Elspeth my own dear friend. I travel up to visit her 2-3 times a year and each time i leave her beautiful property, i have a new sense of inspiration and renewal. This weekend was no different. While working on some brochures for her incredible women’s retreat center, Hypatia in the Woods, Elspeth asked me to stay Sunday afternoon for lunch with her Olympia Book Arts Society.

How could i resist? I am so excited that i stayed!! About 5 times a year this group of brilliantly creative men and women gather to work on a Book arts theme. They also bring projects to share that they are working on separately, like Patricia Chupa’s handmade book featuring movable parts that will be on display as part of the Hand2Hand Book Art Exhibit in Seattle this month. I know i am a little dramatic at times, but it was so beautiful, it almost brought me to tears.

Our project was two fold. The first thing we did was create a 6 word sentence. Next we made small books with beautifully crafted papers and stamps placing one word on each page. There were 8 people in the group and we ended up with 8 fantastically different pieces of art. Mine is titled “Toes”. My sentence read: The mud was warm and squishy.

Their second project is ongoing. The group is creating a bound book full of each member’s  imaginations around a specific letter. Each letter will be used eventually. The group has just completed E and is working on F for their January meeting. Because they asked me to be a member, i get to work on the letter F as well!! I AM SO EXCITED!!

Here are some of the “d” and “e” pages. AMAZING!

This was exactly what i needed before the holiday season begins. We are also going to be creating Endless Cards in January, which are these fascinating cards that fold and fold and fold endlessly, with new images emerging each time you fold the card in a new way. Stay tuned, i have to make my template before the meeting.