Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is here. I have a lot to organize for our families theme Christmas tonight. We are doing a 1930's theme. You can read more about that on The Cedar Chest blog. While you're there take a look at all the neat Christmas postcards and ephemera I have posted over the last couple of weeks. I still have so much more I didn't get to! More for next year.

I had touble getting some good photos of my Christmas decorations this year. I need a new camera (hoping Santa wil bring me one) and the lighting was just too low. But, I am going to post a couple anyway.

feathertree yuletidebear

The village I made turned out pretty good this year. I love all the different trees. Although it is nothing like Alicia's. There is a great tutorial on how to make her Christmas Village on her blog, Posie gets Cozy.


I hope you all have a fun Christmas. I will be heading to my parents in Washington, about 20 minutes away from here later on. I will leave you here with this photo of me from a Christmas Eve in about 1970. (I couldn't wait to use that new coloring book, I am guessing. They still make me feel that way). Merry Christmas!!

christmas eve

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I made this for you

I have been selflessly scouring the database at Lala to make you this Christmas Mix. ;-)

I was inspired by the Sufjan Stevens Christmas 5-disc CD and there are a lot of his songs on here (how many other people in the last ten years have 5 Christmas records?). But, there are also others, too. There are some nice vintage songs in the middle and although it is generally pretty mellow, it picks up a bit near the end. I hope you enjoy it.

[Edit: Bummer. Didn't realize you had to be a member to listen. Still...I encourage you to join. It is free and it is a great way to listen to anything you are curious about.]

Sunday, December 13, 2009

using a christmas journal

I am the kind of person who makes lots of lists. I always want to buy blank books and memo pads even though I have tons of them. You know my type.

One of the things I love to do is start a journal on a theme. I have started journals for books I have read/want to read, quotes, zine topics, projects (I have many different project lists), personal writing, travel, gardening, goes on and on. Most of these have a few entries and not much else.

My most successful and useful theme journal to date is my Christmas journal. About ten years ago my niece gave me a velvet covered blank book for Christmas. The next year I decided that this would be my Christmas Journal and titled it such and used some vintage gummed stickers to decorate it.

Every year I make a list of the people I am buying gifts for and I make a list of people I am sending Christmas cards to. Sometimes I record how much I have spent on people and sometimes I keep a record of Christmas cards I have received too. I also use the journal for any other Christmas lists including things I need to do, craft ideas for gifts, Christmas mix tapes, ideas for next Christmas and whatever else comes up.

Each year when I take it out I look through the previous years. I moved to Portland in June of 2000 and this journal starts that December. It is neat to see what I got people in the past. Most of those gifts I would have long forgotten, but I can be reminded each time I look through the journal. It is also neat to see the crafts I made or considered making.

The list of recipients has changed a bit over the years and that is interesting to see, too. It is a reminder of friendships that have faded over the years and it is interesting to see the new names that appear each year.

This Christmas journal is a nice record to have. Last year I recorded the presents I received for the first time, just so I could have that on record, too.

The memories that this journal keeps is just a secondary benefit. The best thing is that I have it all in one place and I have the last several years to look back on to help me remember the folks on my list and the ideas I have had through the year.

It is nice to realize that at least on of my many many journals has actually lived up to plans I had for it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

december is a great month for...

decembe is a great month to

From the Glamour's How to Do Anything Better Book, published in 1977. More here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

contribute to a mix tape tribute

King Bingaman-Burt is a busy Portland artist who draws things. She draws the stuff she buys on a regular basis, putting out a monthly zine called What Did you Buy Today. A book is due out soon based on these zines. She also has her illustrations published regularly and is shown in galleries.

Right now she wants to draw your treasured mix tapes. Take a pic and send it to her or upload it to her flickr page. I have a few I want to submit. More info here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

gift ideas - tried and tested

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. I am getting over a cold that came on the day before Thanksgiving. I had such a long list of things to do this weekend, but I forgot to take in to account that I am still kind of sick. Today I have given in and am taking it somewhat easy.

I thought this would be a good time to post some of the Etsy things I have bought over the past few years that I really like and often rebuy. Sometimes it is hard to know if something is going to be truly a unique and special item, so I am passing on a few of my my fave inexpensive buys over the years.

One of my favorite things to buy handmade is body care products. These are things I go through often and I am always looking for the right color or scent for me. Usually I find it on Etsy or at a handmade craft fair.

For lotion and soap I love Cottage Garden Therapies. The goat milk lotion is my favorite and the soap is great. I have ordered multiple times from these people. Sometimes the order can take a little long and the soap dissolves a bit faster than other soaps, but these are small things and worth the quality you get. The body lotion I like is thick and rich. I have found that with handmade lotions they are often to thin. Also the almond scent is wonderful.

I prefer tinted lip balm, especially in the summer. I have tried many many tinted lip balms from Etsy. I have a hard time finding the dark color I want and have better luck on Etsy. Sometimes with the darker tones the balm can be hard or taste or smell weird. The best ones I found so far are the Ripe color from jewelryalchemy and the Blackberry Lime Tint from soap. These are all vegan. Both of these balms are rich and soft and the scent isn't too strong. They both have a good amount of tint.

Lots of the tinted lip balms I tried were not tinted enough. If you want something really light I recommend the tinted balms from FlorishBathBody. I like everything about this lip balm, except I would like it a little darker. But, I love the consistency, shape and packaging. If you don't like color at all, I really like LongWinterFarm. I have only tried their lip balms, but they are really good quality and again, I like that oval shape.

Tip: Both jewelryalchemy and LongWinterFarm are doing free shipping right now.

Do you have a friend who loves history and vintage stuff, loves old films and weird stuff like old advertising, old film newsreels and out-dated educational films. Then you can get them some really neat and unique stuff from Yumheart's shop. They create DVDs from old newsreels, advertising and psa's and found films. They compile them by subject. There are some awesome DVDs with themes like Gender Roles and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Etiquette, NY Worlds Fair....there are lots of options. I have about 8 of these DVDS and they are great fun. Some really remarkable, fun, kooky and interesting stuff here. DVDs are not packaged in any fancy way, but you could create your own DVD case. The prices are reasonable and that is a good thing.

If you have a baker friend who loves making cupcakes and candy then Bake it Pretty is the perfect place to get them a nice gift. I bought from this shop when they were on Etsy and also since they have moved to their own website. She keeps getting more and more fun things in and there are lots of great gifts ideas on the shop now. Also a good place to get packaging for the treats you are going to give away this year.

So, there are a few ideas for you. Keep in mind that I also have a great nature documentary for the animal lover on your list, interesting vintage paper products for the collector or artist on your list and fun items like magnets and pillowcases in the PonyBoy Press Shop.

Hope some of this helps you out. I need to go make my Christmas list now. Please pass on any good gifts ideas you have. I need some inspiration for a couple people.

Monday, November 23, 2009

when being a General Hospital watcher pays off

This post requires that I admit to you that I am a day-time soap opera watcher. I have tuned into General Hospital off and on since I was a little kid. I would watch it with my Mom and then later I would catch it in the summer, during sick days, in the University TV room between college classes and on my days off from work. Around 15 years ago I started taping it and I watch it fairly regularly. Sometimes I get too behind and just delete weeks of episodes and sometimes I just get bored. But, I always come back and over the years my friends have often wondered why.

There are many reasons, but I will keep it simple and give you the short answer. I have followed these characters for 30 years. Many of the roles are still played by the same people. Where else can you see a character age and change over real time?

Okay, I know that seems like an odd statement when age is never mentioned on soap operas and eight year old kids go to camp and come back 4 weeks later as troublesome 15 year old delinquents. However, it still is more true on soaps than anywhere else. I mean, can you imagine watching a show where the character and the original actress is 55 years old and you remember when she was the hot new nurse in town and had all the juicy storylines? When those old characters talk to each other there is real history there. When Luke talks to his son Lucky about when he was a kid, it is not made up. He worked with him when he was 11 years old and he works with him now that he is grown and has kids.

Anyway, that is just one of the reasons that I enjoy soap operas. There are other reasons I think soaps are good and there are lots of ways that I think they are bad - which I also find very entertaining. Like, how one night will last a month of shows and then the next day it is a whole new season, or the way dead characters come back to life so often or the way the writing and sets are so half-assed sometimes. I enjoy the badness of these things just as much as the good stuff. My favorite is when they are at "the park" like on the grass during a picnic or something and you can hear the women's heels clicking on the cement floor.

So all of this is just a introduction to tell you that the next few weeks is the pay off for all my General Hospital watching. James Franco is playing a role on GH for several weeks.

James Franco was in Freaks and Geeks, Milk, Spiderman, Pineapple Express. He is a big movie star. He chose to be on GH for the challenge and for research. I think it is so awesome that he is doing this. Soaps get a bad rap and he is bringing a little bit of respect to them. I know they seem silly to people who don't watch, but they are kind of like SciFi or Mystery shows. You need to understand the "language" a bit to appreciate them.

GH has pulled out all the stops for him, too. The sets involved in his storyline have been better and more believable and I am excited to watch it. Having watched Freaks and Geeks a few times I feel a familiarity with Franco, so it is neat to see him on another show I am so familiar with - although it is strange, too - kind of like hearing your best friend suddenly speak fluent French when you didn't even know she knew the language.

I decided that if I was ever going to write a blog post and out myself as a General Hospital watcher that this was the time to do it. Any others out there?

There is more about his decision in this article.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

a place in the woods

Last week at this time I as at a cabin near Mt Hood. It was my annual Autumn vacation with the mister and it was great. This was the first vacation that I have taken in a long time where I didn't feel the need to sight-see. We pretty much just stayed in the cabin and relaxed and enjoyed the great view. The second day we were there it snowed a bit.

The mountain you see here is Zig Zag Mountain. We couldn't see Mt Hood from where we were and it would have been covered in clouds anyway. Half the time we couldn't even see Zig Zag Mountain.

snow at Sandy River

People in Portland are really into Stumptown Coffee and being from the Bay Area I have always been fond of Peets, as well. They are both great, but Cellar Door is my new fave and this coconut creamer is incredibly good. It was such a treat to have coffee every morning with a Joe's Donut (the best donuts around!) while looking at the view.

great local coffee

There were some puzzles at the cabin and I did one for the first time in about 15 years. It was only 300 pieces and it took me way too long to do it - and Steve helped! And wouldn't you know it, the puzzle was missing one piece!


But, the best thing about the vacation (besides just being together, of course) was the hot tub. This hot tub was very private and we would go everyday about 3:30 or 4pm. We would watch the fog come rolling in over the trees and stay until it got dark. Heaven.

The path to the hot tub.

from hot tub

You can see a couple more images from this trip here.

Today I posted a few new items on my vintage shop. My favorite item was this vintage Wright's Rick Rack brochure. I just love it! 2 packs of vintage Rick Rack comes with it.

I will tell you a secret. I am not really ready for Thanksgiving and the Christmas Season yet. I usually am totally into it by now, but it just feels too soon. Is it just me?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

hey, look at me

I recently got this journal in the mail that I was mentioned in and I think a lot of you might be interested. It's called Signs and is put out by The University of Chicago Press. It is a Journal of Women in Culture and Society. This issue focuses on zines. There are lots of great articles and you can see the listings here.

Jenna Freedman, who is a great zine advocate and the zine librarian at Barnard College wrote the article that mentioned Figure 8. It was called Grrrl Zines in the Library.

Jenna mentions in the article (click image to make bigger and to be able to read text) that if it weren't for reading zines she wouldn't have come across the information in Figure 8 and would've never thought to question the fat prejudice that is sold as fact everyday. That is really awesome and makes me want to keep doing zines. There are so many great fat books and blogs out there these days, I often feel like maybe I can let Figure 8 go, but things like this make me rethink it.

It also is good inspiration for anyone making a zine. Sometimes it's hard to believe that zines can have an affect, especially when you can find anything on the internet in a second. But, there is nothing like having a zine to hold and read anywhere you are. It's less distracting than the internet and a much more intimate experience between you and the writer. And, like with Jenna, it can get into someone's hands who would have never sought out information on that subject.

Anyway, yeah, look at me (and look at zines!) in a smarty pants academic journal. Awesome. Thanks for including me, Jenna.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

november is a great month for...

As I mentioned in this post, the Glamour's How to Do Anything Book had a large influence on me as a kid. Filled with crafts, tips and self-improvement - it was something I poured over longing for a tip that I could use at 13 while I waited for a grown up city-living life where I needed tips like how to make sure my holiday party looks don't droop.

Some of these ideas for November are a little questionable, but I still appreciate the intent. Hope November is a great month for you!

The DVD is done!

I have been working diligently on getting my Dad's film on DVD for a few months now and I have been planning on doing it for years. And it is finally done! Well, technically I still do not have the covers, but they are to be delivered to me tomorrow.

To save money I designed the DVD menus in Photoshop and did the covers myself. That is one of the reasons it has been so much work. I emailed about 50 people who had contacted me from the website I made for my Dad a few years ago and have already received some orders. It feels very good to have it done in time for gift giving season.

The DVD includes a photo gallery and a really great short educational film made in the 70's by my Dad about being a wildlife photographer. I am so glad I got to put some extras on.

So, here it is. Take a gander. I am going to try and take a little break before I move on to the next big project.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

one day sun, one day rain = perfect

Saturday was a beautiful day in Portland. I will never get tired of the bright autumn leaves against such a clear blue sky. Around every bend was another gorgeous tree glowing in the sunlight. I spent the afternoon with a new friend and we visited some of the best of Portland. We got used and vintage craft supplies at the Knitten Kitten, we both had our first visit to the amazing (and very busy) Sock Dreams retail store and then I got to introduce her to one of my favorite places for lunch - Jade Teahouse. A nice day all around.

As I left the house Saturday I saw this large spider hanging out. I guess he should enjoy the nice day, too. Still...a little creepy.

Then today was overcast and rainy off and on. I even saw some fog. A perfect morning for fresh baked croissants* and coffee and getting some things done around the house. I mostly worked cleaning up the craft room, (someday i will actually do crafts in here again) doing chores and working on the DVD. It is very close to being all done.

I wish I could stop time. I love the feeling of a day like today when it is about 1pm and I have the rest of the day to get so much done. I always have such high hopes at that time. But, now it is almost 7pm and the day is done. Some things were definitely accomplished, but never as much as you imagine at the height of the day (and at the height of your caffeine kicking in).

Today I also posted on The Cedar Chest blog about one of my favorite ephemera finds in a long time. It is a a beautiful illustrated Children's Holiday booklet from 1935. Go take a look. It might give you some ideas for this Halloween weekend. Hope you all have a good week!

* Trader Joes has some wonderful frozen croissants (I like the chocolate ones) that you put out the night before. They rise real big and then you just bake them in the morning. I recommend them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


As far as I am concerned there are only a couple good things about tedious tasks like meeting with a lawyer or going to a medical office. One is that I often end up at some awesome old business building in Portland that I have never been in before. Today was a visit to a lawyer (car accident) and the Morgan Building.

The Morgan Building was built in 1913. There are little shops on the first floor inside. It is all very charming. There was an actual millinery there which was fun to see and also a wine shop with very posh people inside drinking wine and chatting in a very relaxed manner. They were the kind of people I really never see in Portland.

I only had my phone with me. Maybe next time I will have a proper camera.

I love that so much of Portland is still a surprise to me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

autumn activities

Fall always goes way too fast for me. There are so many wonderful things to do and so many ways I want to be out and about seeing the trees and enjoying the weather and also inside baking and drinking tea - but when you only have two days off a week to do those things, plus, you must also do projects and errands and is just not enough time and bam, the saeson is over. I would happily give up a month of summer for another of fall.

So far my autumnal activities have been small, but very enjoyable and I thought I would share them with you.

This is my fall display, so far. I love this little cabinet for my seasonal displays. I bought this wreath last spring when from thelittleprints. I was looking forward to bringing it out this fall. I love it. She does beautiful work.

This is my mother's dining room table. My nephew and I went over there for an early dinner a week ago. This is how she decorates the house just for everyday. Maybe you can see now why I get obsessed with my small decorating details. She is a master, though. She really should have been an interior decorator.

These are some lovely flowers I received from the mister. It was our 6 year anniversary. Fall is always extra special because it reminds me of our first couple of months together and the many trips we have taken around this time. This is our favorite season and we usually go somewhere in October or November. In a few weeks we will be at a river cabin in Mount Hood.

This is an incredibly good Sour Cream Apple Pie that I made for our anniversary. The pic may not look too appetizing, but trust me. It is delish and very easy. I got the recipe from the Posy Gets Cozy.
Yesterday we went to the Antique Paper and Postcard show out at the Armory, which is near the airport. Since I wasn't driving it was the first time I got to just stare at the trees. It was beautiful. I got this pic of a lovely autumnal road right as a big old plane came in. You can see it at the top.

Here's to more fall activities! What do you like to do for this season?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


This post from Cecily Ink blog makes me feel like I need to collect more and have more of my collections of stuff out and about. Which if you know me, you know how untrue that is. Still such neat stuff and so artfully arranged. It makes me long for a empty studio room to fill. More pictures here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

i even inherit projects

I have been a little preoccupied lately with yet another deadline. I want to get my father's film out on dvd for Christmas. I have been wanting to get it on dvd for a while, but I am excited to say it is finally happening.

With the film, I am also including a few extras. One is a short film about him and what it is like to be a Wildlife Photographer and the other is a photo gallery. In order to save a good chunk of change I am doing the menu, the gallery, the chapters and some other things myself. Since my guy at the dvd factory is leaving soon for a long vacation, I have to hunker down and get it done this weekend.

So, here I am at home on a sunny Autumn day, listening to The Finches and Kathryn Williams and working on Photoshop. I made my first pot of hot tea of the season a minute ago. It is actually kind of chilly today. I love cool sunny Autumn days. I am drinking Harneys Vanilla Comoro with Coconut Creamer. Yum!

I also recently finished up the new website for my father and grandfather. Please take a look. It has lots of new stuff.

Okay, back to work. It will be nice to have this large project checked off my list and to be able to finally offer the dvd to people who ask for it. It is such an amazing story.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October is a great month for...

From one my favorite books when I was a tween. You can see more about it on September's entry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

more german grocery store goodness

I am very fond of German folk design and German food (sans meat). A couple weeks ago the mister and I went to The Berlin Inn for breakfast. And afterwards we visited the little German grocery store and deli next door. They always have Kinder Surprise Eggs there. They are a Chocolate hollow egg with a capsule in it that has a toy. The chocolate isn't that great. The toys are pretty fun. They aren't cheap, like 3 bucks each, so I don't always get them, but I couldn't resist when I saw the cute little house.

This seems to not actually be a Kinder Egg, but maybe a Russian version of it. Hard to tell since I can't read Russian. Is this Russian? {Hey I just found a mention of these as Russian Kinder Eggs on this candy blog. Oh my gosh and here is the whole collection. I totally got the best one, although those bears are cute.}

It has a lot of Bavarian style to it. The design of this one is way better than most Kinder Eggs I have seen. The egg tasted exactly the same. I loved the little toy inside and had lots of fun taking photos of it.

This also was inside:

I also got this mustard there and it is so very good. It has some horseradish in it and I love it and the tube is great. Why don't they do this in America? I even love the design on this. Mmmm mustard.

Monday, September 21, 2009

lemon tea

You all know how much I love a tea party. Here is a beautiful tea that was put together by Merrilee of Mer Mag blog. It was all done in yellow and black. She named it a Moody Mod Summer Tea. I love the color scheme and the invites.

These pictures make me wish I could not work and fill my cabinets with plates and table settings in many different colors and have different themed tea parties for all my friends every week.

So pretty.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

stay gold

Golden Girls Season 1 on DVD = $10.49

"Miami, You've Got Style" A Little Golden Girls Book = $7.00

Reading the book along with each episode = priceless

Unfortunately, the pics in the book are not in color like these samples from the website, but if you are watching them or familiar with the show it isn't that big a deal.

Totally fun to read this as I watch the show. I am taking my time doing it and am about halfway through.

The authors are two very funny Portland guys who sold out of this zine/book at the last zine symposium. Not only do you get comments on GG outfits and characters, but you find out quite a bit about them, too, along with generous references to Portland culture, Harry Potter, Star Trek and lots of other geeky things.

Get the book
(and the dvd). It is like gathering around a totally too small table and eating cheesecake with your best friends.

Your hosts:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September is the best month for....

When I was a tween my Mom brought home this book that was a collection of Glamour's How to Do Anything Better features. It was filled with advice and ideas for a young woman's busy life.

I didn't realize it at the time, but this book really shaped how I imagined adulthood. It was filled with things like, how to dress for a party, party themes to have, how to pot plants, deal with landlords, make your own Christmas gifts, how to make halter tops out of old jeans,how to choose the right tennis balls, how to cut split you can see it really did show you how to do anything better. So, besides the promise of a better more organized adult life filled with party problems to solve and dating outfits to make, the book was also filled with perfect 70's adorable illustrations by Durell Godfrey.

When I open this book now it is like I just finished reading it cover to cover. I know it so well. Young adult life was never as charming as this book led me to believe, but I don't hold it against it. I still love this book and the way it makes me want to do things better. I just realized that this book probably also had a lot to do with my crafty leanings. There are tons of projects in here, usually recycling stuff.

Glamours How to do Anything Better Book also had a feature for each month and what it was a good month to do. I have been wanting to share this book for a while. I decided September, which has often felt like the beginning of the year in a way to me, would be a good month to start. So, I will post each month every month this year and also some other great articles from the book.

Hope you have a nice September. What is September a good month for you to do?

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