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


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.

Buy Handmade

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


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.

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