Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Greetings



I hope you all have a very nice New Years. I am heading over to have a belated family Christmas. My sister's family couldn't make it in last week because of the snow. Have fun! Thanks for reading and commenting. It means a lot.

Monday, December 29, 2008

believe in yourself

























I really like this atc print by whimsiefolksies. I have had it on my favorites for a while and I always smile when I see it.

It makes me want to wear pink, to stand a little taller and to have heart to heart talks with my closest girlfriends.

It also makes me think of the upcoming new year and how it is a good time to rethink your life and maybe get some things down on paper. I believe in the power of putting things in writing. I need to do exercise this power more often.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Greetings



















Yesterday I took my Christmas display out to see what it looked like in the real snow. I made the snow mountains and took several pictures. I like this one because it is like a "from the air" scene like they use on so many postcards.

I may have some visitors if they can make it here tonight. We are expecting even more snow this evening! Everyone's plans are all messed up, but people seem to be okay with it. I mean, really what can you do? I think we have had 16" so far. A record for Portland!

I hope you have a merry and bright Christmas!

it took 30 years

Dear Debbie Curtis's Mother,

You used to make Oatmeal Butterscotch chip cookies and put them in Debbie's lunches in 7th and 8th grade. Debbie would often give me one because she knew how much I liked them. Why did it take me 30 years to consider making them myself?

I use the Baking Illustrated recipe which is great and use a bag of butterscotch chips instead of raisins.



















Maybe these will become my new Christmas cookies. I don't really have a Christmas cookie. many people do. What is yours?

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies


1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 bag butterscotch chips

Adjust the oven racks to the low and middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time.

Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Working with a generous 2 tablespoons of dough each time, roll the dough into 2-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.

Bake until the cookies edges turn golden brown, 22 or 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

there is still snow out there

We got over 14" since Sunday. A person cannot drive on any streets in Portland without chains. Even if I did have them I doubt I could put them on. Friends are telling me horror stories of trying to get places on the bus. I wish I could just hunker down till the thaw, but I may need to try the bus option. I am grateful for my warm home and happy to be here.

Here is a little picture from my world.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

on ice

These beautiful "snowflakes" made by resurrection fern blogger almost make me want to live somewhere where it is below freezing for weeks at a time. It has been snowy here and cold, but I don't think Portland would keep them cold enough long enough. But, my how beautiful! What a neat idea to encase things in ice.

The "snowflakes" are lace doilies frozen in round pans. See this post to see them twirling around on her porch













































































Here are some pinecones encased in ice. So neat.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

snow days


































It has been very cold and snowing off and on here since Sunday morning. I took these pictures when I went for a walk on Sunday. The bottom one is of a plant nursery that is in the neighborhood.

I am home early from work because it is supposed to be icy this afternoon. All morning at work I watched snow twirl around outside. I watched the birds fluff their feathers and visit the bird feeder. A very hungry squirrel came by, too.

I am happy to be home and safe and warm. I love the snow, but hate the feeling of needing to go somewhere and feeling stress about driving.

This afternoon I want to do is this:

drink cocoa*
eat cookies/bake cookies
wrap Christmas presents
Make out Christmas cards
Clean up craft room
watch Little Women while I do these things

Hopefully I will get a few of these things done.

Here is a image from my Christmas decorations. Keep warm!

























*regarding the cocoa: I don't usually drink milk. I am not that fond of it and it kind of makes me sick now since I have been off it so long. And I never go through soy milk fast enough to warrant buying it. I always end up throwing it out. So, now I get the little juice box sizes of soy or rice milk. They have chocolate silk in it, too. This makes great hot cocoa and if you wanna chocolate it up more, just add some hot cocoa mix with it.

As Marilyn Wann said to me once, You can make any chocolate dish better by adding more chocolate.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I love bears

Some of my favorite bear items on Etsy. Great gift ideas!



















Free Hugs Gooco Print by misnopalesarts on etsy




















Bears in Love by kgrandey on etsy

















Bear Librarian journal by picklehead on etsy



















Bear hat by crimsonetclover on etsy





















And I just remembered the cute bears I have on The Cedar Chest. Free shipping through today!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

cooookies

I have been planning to make some Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies for the last couple of weekends, but have not gotten to it yet. I love them and the recipe for Oatmeal cookies from this book is perfection.

However, I may need to put that aside for some cookies from the past! Gourmet has a list of their favorite Christmas Cookie recipe for each year since 1941! I love the idea of making things from old recipes. I have many old cook books, but it is a crime how seldom I actually use the many cookbooks I have collected.

I may have to make these Cinnamon Sugar Crisps from 1944. They would be so good with a simple ice cream or even better coconut milk ice cream.


Also on my list of recipes I would love to make from here, but probably won't for a while; Brown Butter cookies from 1961, Dutch Caramel Cashew Chews from 1972, and these Lemon Thins from 1976.

They all sound like perfect cookies to have with tea. I love that in a cookie.

I don't really have a "signature" cookie - you know, like something I make every year. For a number of years in the Nineties I made biscotti. I like it when people have a certain cookie or treat they always make. Do you have one?

What cookie or treat do you always make for the winter holidays?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Free Shipping Deal at The Cedar Chest


I just decided to do a free shipping deal for The Cedar Chest! I believe this is the first time I have done that. Sale goes through 12/12. See the shop introduction for more info.


Etsy
Buy Handmade
thecedarchest

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I made something!

Today I got the chance to do make some more project planners. I have been wanting to do some for a while, but wanted to do try a gocco cover instead. Here is a link to the style of ones I did before. I will probably do some of those again at some point.


So, now there are Make Something Project Planners in the shop! These have pages for drawing your idea at the top and writing about it on the bottom. I love mine. There are library pockets in the front and back for swatches, images or whatever.


I also made some 5 x 7 prints, too. These are a great little item for people's inspiration board or work room. They are all done on recycled manila folders. Both make great gifts.


I am pretty happy with how they turned out. I like the idea of people thinking of "make some thing" as not just crafts, too.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

shhhh

I am going to let you readers in on a little secret. It really only applies to Portland readers or people planning on visiting Portland.

One of my favorite stores is the Side Street Gallery (no website). It is at 28th and SE Ankeny in Portland and it is filled with vintage, vintage-like and imported treasures. The owners have amazing vintage Christmas stuff for incredibly good prices. There is also tons of Day of the Dead stuff and Catholic Icon stuff, if your into that.

Mainly, it is the best Christmas store ever! Today I got a little white christmas tree for 12.00 and some other little items. There are lots of cute little stocking stuffers, too. And the Mexican wrestling masks were awesome! Seriously, there are so many great items there for 2 and 3 dollars, it is hard not to walk out with a bundle.

Anyway, Portland readers, check it out. It is amazing and such deals!

They specialize in lots of outdoor light statues like back in the day. They have them for every occasion. I wish I had a lawn!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

root a toot toot

Just tootin my own horn here for a minute. Hope you don't mind.

We Make Zines was featured on the Ning blog recently. Which was pretty cool. Today I did a search on "We Make Zines" and it was so great to see all the mentions on people's blogs and websites. Thanks to everyone for getting the word out.

We Make Zines is such an inspiring site. So many awesome discussions, images and zine events. Zine people are alive and very active. We currently have 638 members!

The new Zine Yearbook is out. I have to admit I have never have sent in pieces for consideration for the Zine Yearbook. For some reason I have never been very acquainted with it. This year, however, I was asked to be a part of it and there is an article from Figure 8 #4 on the diet drug Alli included in the book. It is a neat thing to see "the best" of zines from the last year. I have really enjoyed reading it. The folks at Microcosm put it out now.

And speaking of zines, you should go buy some zines from Taylor at Parcell Press. He has a great selection and is a great distro to deal with as a zine reader or zine writer. Things are getting rough for him these days, so order a few zines and help him out. He's got a nice new website.

I guess that is all the zine news for now. Oh, Unrelated: I bought a car last night! A weird thing to do. But, I think I like it. It is a cadiallac and it is making me embrace my inner Golden Girl. I am totally into it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

i'm thankful for jim henson...oh, yeah, and that I am alive!

In addition to dealing with issues from that car crashing into me on Sunday, I also have a bad cold. I have gone through almost two boxes of Kleenex. Today I left the house to go to the chiro and he checked me out. I definitely have some issues from the accident and I do feel better since the appointment. I was so glad though to get back home (still a little afraid to be on the road. I have a rental) and back into my snowflake flannel pajamas. I am now watching The Muppets Christmas Carol and drinking peppermint tea.


Something you may not know about me is that I love A Christmas Carol and all the kooky versions of it. I watch at least four or five a season. Each year I buy at least one more for my collection. This year I got the Muppets. I love The (Pre-Disney Owned) Muppets and I am still so sad that Jim Henson is gone.

Well, back to it. I wish Thanksgiving was a few more days away. I have been too busy to notice that it is coming. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

good news and bad news

The good news is: You know that etsy shop that I get my cute cake decorations that you may have seen in this post or this one? Well, she now has a whole new brand website up. It is called Bake it Pretty and you can go there now OR you could visit her blog and enter to win some Bake it Pretty ducats.


The bad news is: Well, it is really more bad news for just me and my dearest. Right after I wrote the last entry I left the house, went to the post office and while driving up Hawthorne was hit by a car. He slammed into my side and my car is most likely totaled. A bummer of a Sunday. I am feeling better about it right now, but I was pretty pissed off and throwing myself a pity party for a few hours. The nice part is that many people nearby helped and were very very kind.

lately

I have been working on getting some photos together for a project for my father's book. I got a slide scanner for my birthday (thanks, sis and bro-in-law!) and have been scanning lots of old slides. Most of the photos in our family are on slides. It is strange to see so many images I have never seen before or only seen in black and white. Most of the color slides are still very brilliant and haven't turned.

There are slides all the way back to the early 40's. I can't get over seeing color images of my father when he was 5! I have only ever seen those years in black and white.


It is very emotional, however, to have these images in front of me everyday. I am glad I have the scanner and look forward to getting more scanned, but it will be nice to be able to put all these pictures of my father and grandparents away for a while. My father was so close to his parents, it was like they were still around when he was around. Now that he is gone I feel like they are truly gone and that makes it all harder. No one tells you that part.

Phew. Okay, well this post got kind of heavy so I will just end it there and post the other stuff I was going to talk about later. I will leave you with this image of my Grandfather with Lady. I love the colors in this slide. I wonder if it was always like that or if it has faded a bit.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Pillowcases


Hello. I did a little printing of some pillowcases last weekend and they are now in the shop. I think they look better in real life than in the pics. I took these on a dark and stormy night and I have to say my pillows are not the most photogenic. At any rate, I hope you can see the cuteness that is these pillowcases.


If you want to get one for a friend (or yourself!) mention this post and I will include a zine of my house fictions. Perfect bedtime reading for these pillowcases.

These pillowcases are all vintage and can be washed and dried in the machine.

Monday, November 10, 2008

let love

I never really mention current events and politics in this blog. However, I saw this on thesugarmonster's blog and I must share it.

Keith Olbermann speaks so perfectly, succinctly and passionately about his and many of our feelings about the issue of gay marriage. I have never heard my similar feelings about it put so eloquently and thorough. You can read the transcript here.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

some things i forgot to mention...

I have been adding more stock to The Cedar Chest. Expect some more really great vintage postcard books soon.



Etsy
Buy Handmade
thecedarchest

Also, a little while ago I started the Fat Activist Network. I have seen We Make Zines (also a network I started) really flourish in the few months it has been in existence. We now have 556 members and people are really using it. I could see how this would be a really great resource for fat activism. So, one afternoon over brunch Carrie and I discussed it and I went home and signed us up.

The Fat Activist Network is a place for all people who are fighting for Fat Rights to come together. We can use the place to connect and network and plan. If you are a size equality activist, please join us there.




Visit Fat Activist Network

Friday, November 7, 2008

birthday season

The last two weeks have been busy, but busy with fun, mostly. The week of Halloween I was on vacation. Steve and I went up to Mount Hood and had a secluded cabin on a river. Unfortunately I spent half of the vacation with a stomach flu, so that really sucked. Still, it was nice to be laying around a nice comfortable cabin with the sound of the river and Steve, who took good care of me. Here are a couple images from one of the days when I felt better. We took a little trip to Trillium Lake


I couldn't get over the patterned ring around the lake from the trees and the reflection of the trees. It looked like an ornamental loomed belt or something. I took about 30 pictures like this.


Then Wednesday was my birthday. I took off the rest of the week and have had a grand time, just spending time with people, eating amazing food and I even went and got a massage and The Dragontree.

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday with my mom by going to Myrtles Tea House and Herbery in Washington. It was totally the kind of thing I like to do and seldom do. It was really good and lots of fun. I just love all the little sandwiches and tea with cream and sugar. I had a special Earl Grey tea.

Across the street from the teahouse is a really neat old church. I walked around and took lots of pictures on the grounds.

The whole place was like some shabby chic photo shoot. I have no idea what this huge Knight is all about.
So, now I have a couple days before I go back to work to try and clean up from all this fun. I am also hoping to get some pillowcase printing done, too. Hope you all have a good weekend!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cider Pressing

Yesterday Steve and I went out to the annual cider pressing that happens at the historical grist mill in Washington. We have gone a couple of times before, but have missed the last year, maybe two. It is a lovely drive and the mill is beautiful.



You have to wait in a very long line if you want to get some fresh pressed cider, but it is such a beautiful place to wait in line. When we got there we started on the path, leading to the covered bridge.


Once on the bridge you can lean out over the railing and look at all there is to see. Many leaves were falling during the bursts of breeze and enjoyed watching them fall in the creek and ride down out of sight. The day was sunny and the trees were so beautiful.


The water reflected the golden yellow of the trees and the creek looked like a pool of gold. It was so stunning. These pictures were not enhanced.

The cider is really good. I am drinking some right now. They press 8,000 pounds of apples this one day once a year.



I loved seeing kids with handfuls of leaves. At one point when waiting in line a big breeze came through and a bunch of leaves fell, swaying and floating down on us. All the kids started laughing and whooping it up and even the adults were overwhelmed. It was neat.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

scary cupcakes


I had to make some cupcakes last night so I could use these cute Halloween cupcake toppers. Since I will be out of town for a few days this week, I wasn't sure I would be able to fit it in unless I did it soon.

I got these toppers from abelemporium during the summer when she had a sale. They are really neat. The cupcakes I made are pumpkin with a butter cream frosting. I got the recipe from Martha. I sprinkled a little cinnamon sugar on the top, too. I recommend the recipe. It turned out pretty good and it was easy. They are almost muffins, but not quite.

Today was a neat fall day and I had a neat fall outing. I will tell more tomorrow. What is your favorite fall event? I can never fit them all in. Baking is definately one of them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

postcard exchange

This summer I was invited by a co-worker who is a letterpress artist to take part in a postcard exchange. The Basement Printers have been creating and exchanging postcards for around 15 years, I think. It was mostly letterpress printers, but has evolved to include other artists. Since I have been wanting to do collage again I saw it as a good way to get back into it and created my postcard.

There is a theme each year and the theme for this time was gratitude. My co-worker, Judy, was the curator this year. So, she collected the postcards and created the packaging for them. She did such a great job I can't imagine having to follow it. I am glad I do not have to. There were about 18 people who ended up taking part.



Most of the people who are involved in this project don't seem to have websites. In fact, there is little correspondence between the members of the group. No yahoo group, no mass emails. Many of the particiapants are older and/or just are not interested in the internet. For someone like me, this was a little mind-boggling. However, once I got the pack of postcards I was surprised by how I still felt a kinship, a kind of community with these women, even though I had never seen a profile, a flickr account or a blog.


Here are two of my favorites:



The postcard you see here below was done by Springtide Press. The only other postcard besides mine to have a website.


If you are interested in taking part in this project let me know. It is once a year and they are looking for new participants.

I really liked this project and it has been making my mind whirl with ideas for other kind of swaps with zinesters. But, that would probably take more planning than I have the time for these days....

Have a great weekend!

art of display

Unlike many of you I have never really gotten into the Flickr thing. I have an account and use it sometimes, but I don't check it regularly and don't contribute much. But, today I finally took some pics of my house and actually added them to a group. My first time! The group is the Art of Display. I knew about it because Poppytalk blog often posts images from it. Here are a couple of the pics I uploaded. See the comments on flickr for some details.

Monday, October 13, 2008

grey - or maybe your prefer gray

I love grey skies. The layers of different greys in the clouds are so pretty and I love the way grey skies soften everything, making the twilight time so beautiful and cozy. Tonight after I got home I went outside to have a glass of red wine and enjoy it.

The cat came out to join me, but was very camera shy.

I gathered some basil for my dinner and watched until it got dark.

I made the pie from Alicia's blog this weekend. I got regular pie crusts and not deep dish, so I ended up with 2 pies! It turned out great as I could send one home with Steve. It was very good and easy. I think there will be more sour cream apple pies before the season is over.

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