Monday, December 19, 2016

Gift Tags

You can never have enough gift tags around the holidays! These were pretty straightforward with some cute stamps that were from Honolulu, Hawaii. Santa and the shaka, relaxing on the beach after a busy holiday season. Colored in Copic markers and the tags were recycled ribbon from Pier1.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sand Dollar Ornament

I am working on a mini Christmas tree for my bathroom with a beach theme and have been having the hardest time finding suitable ornaments to go on it. Guess I have to make them myself! I found some small sand dollars at Hobby Lobby and made a rosette made from a map page. Added gold glitter to edges and some cording and it's ready to hang.

Darth Vader Tree

Inspired by the numerous Darth Vader Christmas trees that I have seen on Pinterest. Thanks for the inspiration/idea to whomever thought of this first! We have been collecting Hallmark Star Wars ornaments since 1997, usually purchasing a couple a year, so this collection has been a while in the making and always brings us joy. The mask was Billy's when he was younger and the buttons and voices still work! I used a black cape from our Halloween costume stash and got a yard and a half of matching black satiny fabric from Joann's to continue the cape effect and cover the table, as a tree skirt. May the Force Be With You!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Air Plant Terrarium

We spent Sunday afternoon bopping around the Fremont district of Seattle. We had a tour of the Google campus and went to the Fremont Sunday Market which is always enjoyable, especially on a perfectly lovely day. Walking the Burke Gilman Trail along the canal, we stopped in The Indoor Sun Shop where I bought these little cuties. Air plants are easy to care for, you just run them under water once a week, or you can spray or soak them to give them the drink they need. They like a lot of sun so these are under the skylight in our bathroom, in a terrarium bowl with some glass marbles and polished stones. SO pretty!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Succulent planting

I found this beautiful carved wooden bowl at a local thrift store and filled it with an array of succulents since they don't need too much water that would ruin the wood. Inside is a plastic plant saucer to keep the water from laying on the bottom. Love this.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bath Makeover

Finished the hall bath, I am intent on banishing all of the construction grade off-white paint with a bit of color. I'm guessing the paint was original from 10 years ago, so it's time any way. I went with a pale yellow, gold, and shades of gray palette here. It is so warm and sunny with the skylight and I feel happy when I look at these colors. The paler yellow is a bit lighter than what it looks like here and I probably fell in love with the name of the paint first- Jersey Cream. Homesick for New Jersey, I guess. There must be something to the naming of the paint shades though, some of them really sell the color for me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Plover by Brian Doyle- Review

Set sail aboard The Plover with Declan O'Donnell who only wants to escape humanity out on the Pacific with his beloved writings of Edmund Burke. "No man is an island, my butt" he is quick to say, but it seems that people are much harder to leave behind than he thought. Bit by bit he accumulates more humans and animal life on his journey than he bargained for. This is so well written, Brian Doyle has a gift for making the most mundane situations sound so beautifully poetic. I listened to the audiobook and was completely spellbound, even when I wasn't quite sure what the heck he was talking about or how he got there. There were a lot of sentences that were kind of stream of consciousness and out of left field, it seemed to me. That didn't really bother me so much though, I really just wanted to sit back and enjoy the journey, knowing we would be back on track soon enough.

My favorite characters were Pipa and the minister. One is a child that is wise way beyond her years, the other is a man who has the unfettered optimism and delight in what life could be, like that of a child. The interplay of all of the folks on the boat, the stories they tell and the way that they look out for each other is beautiful beyond words. What a ragtag band of folks, they will change Declan and bring love and fellowship into his life. Whether he wants it or not.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall - Review

I really loved this, it was very reminiscent of Scout (Jean Louise) Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. A southern setting in the tumultuous 1960's is the backdrop for this beautifully written story. Sassy Starla Claudelle runs from an overbearing grandmother who is her caretaker. Starla believed she was going to be sent off to boarding school after yet another restriction resulting from her spirited behavior. Along the road to find her mother who ran off to Nashville when she was just a toddler, she meets Eula, a black woman driving along who offers her a lift. What follows is a journey of discovery and revelations for both of them. 

It is so hard to read about the horrific treatment of one human being for another that was rampant during segregation. The intolerance, hatred and brutality against African Americans that were just trying to go about their daily lives like everyone else was portrayed well. All persons should have the pure innocence of a child, like Starla, to look past color to see what a person is truly made of and that we are all brothers and sisters and children of God.
This is a lovely story about family, friendship, doing the right thing, growing up, and surviving. Beautiful. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Review- American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Weird and wonderful, this was a remarkable bit of storytelling. I usually don't read this kind of book but I was intrigued by Neil Gaiman from some of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who so thought I would explore some. I was totally captivated. 

This was a surreal mixture of Norse mythology- Icelandic sagas, some Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and his modern day Greek gods, Twilight Zone maybe mixed with Stephen King and Robert McCammon, some good old yarns spun by some oldster by the fire. Put that all in a blender and you may come close to approaching what I saw in this book.

Take a dreamlike tour across America with various gods, demons, and mortals all struggling for the heart and soul of mankind. They say that nobody is truly "from" America, we have all essentially come from other lands, bringing our cultures, stories, and beliefs along with us. Gaiman weaves a brilliant saga- old gods against new gods, good against evil, battles as old as time itself. Mostly it was a story about doing the right thing in the face of overwhelming odds, forgiveness, and redemption.

A bit violent and disturbing in some places, but infinitely unputdownable.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lamp filler

I really love this lamp that we got at Pier1, it's clear base is ready for whatever you want to add to it. My latest addition is various game pieces- Jenga blocks, Scrabble tiles, dominoes, and some Chinese porcelain pieces. I was looking for some cool Mahjong tiles but they are so pricey for the ones that I wanted but I will keep searching at yard sales and thrift shops.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Homemade Pot Pie

This was SO good! I looked at a few different recipes for a basic chicken pot pie on Pinterest and then made it my own. For the gravy I used one can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup, about a half a can of milk, one half of a jar of classic chicken gravy (Heinz), seasoned with a bit of salt, celery flakes and onion powder. For the vegetables, I used one Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cooked with sliced carrots. Near the end of the cooking time I added some peas and corn. Drained all and stirred into gravy along with my chopped rotisserie chicken leftovers from Costco. Put mixture into 9x13" baking dish. Rolled out the puff pastry sheet with a bit of semolina flour to keep it from sticking, laid it over pie filling, made a few vents in top and then lightly brushed top with melted butter. Bake at 400 for 30 to 35 minutes. Comfort food made so easy!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


This is an older retired set called Lucky Me! from Stampin' Up! that I think is just adorable. Being mostly Irish, I do sent St. Patrick's Day cards to my family members and always make up a batch of Irish Potato Candy. I'll be posting some pictures and a recipe in March, so stop back for a visit.
This card uses all Stampin' Up! supplies: Whisper White and Mint Macaron card stocks, Crumb Cake for the window framelit die which was then swiped with Soft Suede and Espresso to give it a wood grain look. Colored the leprechaun in markers and added textured to the "paneling" with the Wood Grain embossing folder.

I also did the inside with this set, stamping the little shamrocks in Wild Wasabi on the one side and the full leprechaun with the sentiment on the inside.