• 28Dec
    Categories: Everything! Comments: 7

     

    Tags: ,
  • 16Nov
    Categories: musings Comments: 2

  • 15Nov

    One of my current fabric lines is Christmas Memories.  It’s a small line, with an adorable panel and a companion snowflake fabric.  The line comes in Blue or Red.  When I got my sample fabric, I whipped up a quilt from the red colorway.  Much to my delight, today at our Redwork Club meeting I got to see a completed quilt top in blue!

    Earlene did all the stitching on this one.

    She did a fantastic job.

    I just love how she did a little red in each block.

    In some of them it’s quite obvious.

    In others, you have to really look for it.

    This wasn’t her original plan.

    At first she did everything in blue…

    …except this little dog’s tongue.

    But once that was done…

    …she thought every block should have a little red.

    So she carefully unstitched a little bit in each block.

    I think the result is fabulous!

    Her are the two quilts, side-by-side.  It’s so funny, when I’m looking at the red one, I think I like it best, but when I’m looking at the blue one, I’m sure I like IT best!

    Oh, I’m so fickle!

  • 11Jan

    Christmas Day was a Very Merry Christmas at our house.

    The mantle is filled with my Christmas village.

    Despite Bob’s concerns that all the heat will go up the chimney, we have a roaring fire!

    Here’s the tree…

    …with lots of blown glass ornaments collected over the years.  It’s so fun to think of the places I visited and who I was with when I got each of them–like New York, San Francisco, Colonial Williamsburg and the Hotel Del Coronado.

    For years I collected vintage looking boxes.  I hadn’t used them in over 15 years.

    But this year I dug them out and discovered I still love them!

    We did brunch here, with fresh Dungeness crab legs, barbecued pork, gruyere potatoes, my mom’s homemade potato salad and her homemade cheese–along with some Cougar Gold.

    I baked cardamom bread…

    and pecan sticky buns and orange rolls.  We love our carbs in this family!

    Sally, Ray, Dad, Mom and Cole.

    Cole (hey! how did he get in there again!?!), Melissa, Matt and Bob.

    A very Merry Christmas indeed!

  • 06Jan
    Categories: Everything! Comments: 4

    We always celebrate Christmas Eve at my mom and dad’s house.

    Mom has a penchant for poinsettias.

    She uses them liberally on her tree…

    …up her stairway…

    …and all her gift-wrap features them.  If you look outside the windows, you can see the ocean!

    We didn’t get a group family photo, so here we all are, individually.  My beautiful mom.

    My handsome dad.

    My skinny sister Sally.

    Her husband Ray.

    Our nephew  Cole.

    DH Bob.

    And me, obviously ready to get the opening of gifts underway!

  • 26Nov
    Categories: Everything! Comments: 3

    We had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday.  The best part is being with family and friends, but the food wasn’t bad, either!

    The table was set…

    I splurged on new linens this year.

    The dough for the Parker House rolls was smooth and silky.

    My goal is always to have the rolls come out of the oven just as we sit down to eat, and I managed the time just right.

    The turkey was a beauty.

    22 pounds!

    My mom brought a pumpkin pie.  I baked an apple but it was camera shy!

    And Melinda brought a cherry pie.

    Doesn’t everyone have an orange gingham tablecloth for fall!?!

  • 29Jun

    Of course, if I had my way, I’d have been in Sweden for midsummer.  But, not this year.  So, we had a midsummer celebration here in Long Beach.

    First, the Swedish cabin in our woods needed some attention.

    We’d been using a ladder to get up to the loft, but I wanted stairs that were carved out of one log like I’d seen at farm museums in Sweden.

    Josh Blewett, a local chain saw artist, did these for me.

    It took a lot of “oomph” to lift it up.

    And then it needed some tweaking.

    They had to take it down…….

    ….and put it back up a couple of times.

    In the end, it was a perfect fit.

    I took the inaugural climb, and Josh joined me in the loft.

    Last summer in Sweden I bought a wind vane that’s based on an historic design.  Note: It’s always good to buy heavy items made of metal to put in your suitcase–especially early in your trip.

    John Bahner made a beautiful mounting bracket for it–even duplicating the heart that’s on the vane–and got it done in time for the weekend festivities.

    The setting around the cabin is so beautiful this time of year.

    I love the delicate ground cover called miner’s lettuce.

    It even manages to find its way into the crotch of the trees.

    The log by the troll house had a nice crop of mushrooms.

    I think the trolls may be cultivating them.

    On the morning of the midsummer celebration, Bob had the maypole in place and ready to go.

    I spent the morning making garland.  I wish I had birch leaves, but alder had to do.  Bob and my cousin Susan help me bring everything to the maypole.

    Cole supervises as I wrap.

    The onlookers–my mom, my brother, my uncle, my dad, my uncle and my cousin.  Quite the family affair!

    The decorated maypole.

    The three guys get ready to lift.

    Can they do it?

    Higher……

    ….and higher……

    Yeah!  It’s finally in place.

    Locked in.

    By afternoon, we had sunshine and blue skies–perfect for picture taking.

    Midsummer means lots of flowers for decorations.  These are on the cabin.

    I especially love the wild fox gloves.

    This is probably my favorite bouquet.  These flowers grow wild behind my studio.

    A little something for the living room.

    It’s traditional to decorate the entrance to your home with birch trees.  Since none grow around here, I bought two at the nursery.  Now I’ll plant them by the cabin.  I figure if I do this every year, I should have a whole birch forest in about 80 years!

    My collection of Swedish horses came out for the occasion.

    Dinner’s nearly ready and Sally is pouring water.  We had the traditional meal–meatballs, dilled new potatoes, pickled herring, rye bread, lingonberry sauce and cucumber salad.

    And two desserts–strawberry whipped cream roll and princess cake.

    Later in the day we relaxed in the cabin.

    The weather was perfect for being out.

    Before the day was done, we had to have our picture take in the lupine.

    The lupine in Sweden grows wildly and abundantly.  I’m trying to get the lupine established in this area of our yard, but I have a long way to go.

    So you can see what I mean, here’s a picture taken two years ago in Sweden.  Can Cole really have grown so much in just two years!?!

    Glad midsommar!

  • 28Dec

    Could it be the two loaves of cardamom bread?

    Or the sugar twists?

    Or this plate of assorted cookies?

    Or the second plate of assorted cookies?

    Or the Nanaimo bars?

    I’m afraid it’s like those multiple choice quizzes in high school–All of the above!

    Tags:
  • 20Dec
    Categories: Everything! Comments: 6

    In addition to all the other Christmas decorating Sally does, this year she added some special wreaths–six of them, in fact.  Each wreath has a special theme, and they are on the doors to each of the upstairs rooms in her home.

    Luckily, there are double doors on the master suite, so there was room for a wreath for Sally and one for Ray!  Ray is quite the coffee guy.  Can you believe she found ornaments like little Starbucks cups as well as an espresso maker!?!

    Library - 7500

    As you might imagine, Sally is a super shopper!  And her wreath reflects that passion with shopping bags and gift cards from some of her favorite stores.

    Library - 7499

    Cole’s room has a baseball theme–and so does his wreath!  If you look carefully, you can see part of the baseball mural on his wall.  Go Mariners!

    Library - 7498

    Some of you may remember the post about Sally’s craft room party.  The purpose of Sally’s craft room is gift wrapping and scrapbooking.  For the party, she had a wonderful centerpiece with adorably wrapped boxes.  Always the frugal one, she repurposed those little boxes for this wreath on the craft room door!

    Library - 7497

    The bonus room contains Cole’s computer, so it got a computer themed wreath.

    Library - 7501

    And last but not least, the guest bedroom.  This room is most frequently used by my daughter Melissa, our friend Robbyn from Florida and me!  We’ve all been known to enjoy a fancy martini or two!

    Library - 7496

  • 19Dec
    Categories: Everything! Comments: 8

    My sister Sally takes Christmas decorating very seriously.

    Of course the planters on her front porch are embellished for the occassion.

    Library - 7482

    This large wooden ornament on the front door is a hint of the theme inside.

    Library - 7487

    The stairway in the entry is so lovely.  Couldn’t one make a great entrance down that stairway?

    Library - 7497

    And the niche is the perfect place for this modern tree.

    Library - 7496

    The main tree and packages are in the formal living room.

    Library - 7494

    I love how her skinny tree tucks right in next to her fireplace.

    Library - 7523

    The decorations this year have a really fun and funky theme.

    Library - 7522

    Sally loves polka-dots, and this theme is really ‘her’!

    Library - 7492

    Every gift is a work of art.

    Library - 7489

    With paper and ribbons perfectly chosen.

    Library - 7521

    The mantle has it’s own unique trees.

    Library - 7488

    We got some of these Kosta Boda Sasntas on our trip to Sweden last summer.

    Library - 7527

    There are even matching toss pillows on the sofas.

    Library - 7528

    Library - 7526

    The coffee table shows off some of her Murano glass trees.

    Library - 7495

    The powder room is, of course, decorated.  More Murano trees….

    Library - 7490

    ….and a little something in the shower.

    Library - 7491

    There are Murano trees on the piano.

    Library - 7486

    And elsewhere in the house.

    Library - 7484

    The family room mantle has more of the polka dot lights and a snowman.

    Library - 7530

    On an end table a modern tree shows off her crystal ornaments.

    Library - 7531

    The dining room looked stunning.

    Library - 7484

    Aren’t the place settings adorable?

    Library - 7486

    Even the windowsills are decorated.

    Library - 7490

    Sally has a wonderful collection of Steinbach nutcrackers.

    Library - 7529

    Library - 7483

    Upstairs there are two trees in the bonus room.  The ornaments on this one are all Cole’s.

    Library - 7512

    And these are Cole’s “international” ornaments from various trips.

    Library - 7513

    Library - 7532

    You never leave Sally’s house without a favor.

    Library - 7493

    I’m lucky enough to have been to two parties there this year–including a lovely luncheon yesterday.

    Library - 7489

    Thanks, Sal.

    P.S.  I have more photos to show you tomorrow!