Monthly Archives: October 2012

More Halloween

I made a batch of  these little eyeball donuts last year.  They are perfectly gruesome treats for Halloween.

Today (10/28/12) is the last day to enter my latest little giveaway.  Click here or go back one post to Halloween Giveaway.  If you want a chance at a little pumpkin pin, button ring or glass tile pendant, just go to the comments in that post and write about a Halloween costume.

These Pumpkin Pins go together really quickly once you have the supplies.  Or enter the giveaway and maybe you’ll win one!

There is still time to put together a Bottle Cap Necklace for Halloween.  Aquarium tubing cut into pieces and filled with rolled paper makes the longer beads.

Do you get trick-or-treaters at your house?  We get about two dozen or so.  I try and pick candy that I won’t find too tempting.  That made me curious as to what were the most popular Halloween candies.  According to squidoo.com these are the top twelve:

  • Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
  • Milky Ways
  • Kit Kat
  • Snickers
  • Twix
  • Skittles
  • M&Ms
  • Nerds
  • Twizzlers
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Candy Corn

I’m abstaining.

Thanks for the visit!

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Halloween Giveaway!

In keeping with Halloween tradition, I’ve got a few treats to give away.

If you can remember way back to my 30-Days-of-Creativity Project in June, I planned to give away a few items.  In fact, I gave away the Plastic Spoon Rose and the Marbleized Paper Covered Notebook but I never got around to giving away several Button Rings or Glass Tile Pendants.

Not only that, I have a few Pumpkin Pins I made with copper foil tape to give away. They are very cool, very seasonal and if you don’t win one in the giveaway, you should follow the link to the post so you can make one for yourself.

“So” – you ask, “what’s the trick?

The trick is: it’s a grab bag.  In other words, if you are interested in winning one of these little goodies, you don’t get to choose what it will be.

How to enter:  In the comments section write about a Halloween costume.  A favorite one that you made or saw, one you wanted but never got, or perhaps a costume that just didn’t work.

For example, I could write “Last year I dressed as Rosie the Riveter.  It was a pretty easy costume and it was fun to wear because many people recognize the character.”

Thank you, Lisa, for sending this photo from how many years ago? Some adults found our costumes pretty darn scary!

Deadline:   Sunday, October 28 at 5:00 PM.

Picking the winners:  I will number the comments and for every item I’m giving away, I will randomly pick a number with this nifty free random number generator.  I’ll send an email to each winner and they will have three days to respond.  If they don’t respond, I’ll pick another number. Once I have my winners, I will get their shipping address via email and send them their treats!  Feel free to share this with your friends.

I will be giving away at least six items, so get your comment in today!

One entry per person.

Thanks for coming by and good luck!

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Papa’s Stone

Most of my immediate family got together a few weeks ago.  It was the first time many of us were together since my dad’s memorial service back in June.We were putting a stone on his grave.

It was an informal gathering without any ceremony.  Dogs were running around.  Fog was rolling in.

The view down the hill is of an elementary school.

A spot on the hillside a short distance away affords a beautiful view of Mt. Tam

Some of these photos are from a previous visit to the site.  The hillside has old eucalyptus trees.

We had a little picnic with bread, cheese, fruit and homemade cookies.  Some of us stood and some of us were sitting on blankets.  It is hard to imagine a family gathering without food and it was something my dad did: fed the people he loved.  Or even liked.

We also planted a few flower bulbs.  The pink amaryllis that my dad was so fond of we all know better  by their more common name: naked ladies.  The dirt was very hard with rocks and roots but we all worked to give these bulbs a chance.  It may be a few years before we see blooms but I think my dad would enjoy the flowers and love the idea of being surrounded by naked ladies.  I believe the sight of these flowers will always remind me of him.

The hillside were my dad’s ashes are buried is in the green part of a cemetery that also has a conventional area.  In the green area, cut and polished grave markers are not allowed.  Small  natural boulders can be used to mark the final resting place of your loved one.

One of my sisters collected several large rocks from a beach at Sea Ranch, the location of a family vacation home and many wonderful, relaxing visits.  I’m really not sure how she and her friends got the rocks up the path but somehow they managed it. The one that was picked weighs over 26 lbs so it was a labor of love.  It feels right to have a rock from this special place as the grave stone.

In addition, she had the wonderful idea of using dad’s signature for his name on the stone.  A piece of abalone shell was incorporated in the design.

The result is unique and creative, an appropriate marker befitting the man whose grave it rests on.

Shells and rocks that had been temporary markers now sit around the heavy stone.  We lay flowers, shook out the blankets, and walked off the hillside.

Thank you for your visit.

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Patchwork Quilt Card

Phil and Tedra were having a country wedding at her grandparents farm in Oregon. I didn’t make it to the wedding but I wanted to send a special card.  I’ve know Phil since he was a wee lad and can hardly believe he was getting married, but it was true.

My current favorite card size is 5.5 inches square.  I make an envelope that is 5.75 inches square with a template from Paper Source.

For this card I didn’t know much about the ceremony but the invitation included a sketch of the wedding location that reminded of the charming map sketch of the “Hundred Acre Wood” by E.H. Shepard in Winnie-the-Pooh. I decided a country patchwork quilt was what I wanted to create.

I sorted through my printed papers and picked out pieces that fit my theme.  I picked some because the pattern looked vintage or country (red gingham, sunflower seed packet, cowboy boots) or they just seemed right for a patchwork quilt. I spent a lot of time on this part of the process.  As I often do when crafting a card for a loved one, I thought of Phil.  I haven’t really been in his life much since he was a kid but it was It was fun going through my paper and looking for designs I thought might work.

A piece of old map was in one corner, nearly hidden by my embellishment.  I made a little tag with “love” stamped on it, a small patchwork heart and added a key charm and tied them all together with a piece of natural hemp twine.  An old shirt button accented another square.

I had an old topographical map that I used to make the envelope. A bit of collage on the front included a scrap of sheet music over-stamped with the definition of love. I added a piece of washi tape and an old postage stamp.

I included a large, beautiful image of a Great White Heron from a greeting card of a painting by Tim Brody.

Another bird in the lower right corner added to the envelope decoration – this one carrying a heart and my love.

A quilt, a key, maps, music, the definition of love.  Yes, I think I got everything into it that I wanted.

Congratulations to Phil and Tedra.

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Portland Wrap Up

Our last full day is Portland was relaxing and delicious: brunch at Mother’s Bistro and Bar was the first order of business.  But we had to wait  for a table

While Diana and Lisa held our place in line, Sarah and Julie (above) helped Rem and I search for a geocache but we were unsuccessful.

Mother’s interior is a contrast between rough brick walls and lots of gold-framed mirrors all lit with crystal chandeliers.

I like the attention to detail.

And the attitude.

The menu had a nice selection of traditional breakfast dishe and beverages like this Bloody Mary with practically a whole salad for a garnish.

They offer slow -cooked comfort food like meatloaf, pot roast and macaroni and cheese and local ingredients like Apple Crisp with at least 7 different types of heirloom apples.

A group sitting near us included a mother with her baby.

After brunch we strolled Hawthorne Avenue and visited fun and interesting shops including a branch of Powell’s book store.

This one was tiny compared to the main store, aka Powell’s City of Books, and was a home and garden shop with cookbooks, decorating and remodeling books, gardening books and yes, more craft books.

Like this gorgeous book on paper cutting.

In addition to all of these wonderful books there were also lovely cards, notebooks, candles and tools and utensils for home and garden.

An adjacent shop was equally enticing with beautifully displayed produce, pasta and other food items.

A drive took us around author Beverly Cleary‘s neighborhood and an elementary school named after her.  We saw Klickitat Street which appears in some of her books including my favorite, Beezus and Ramona.

We also met a gnome in a tree, a location that just calls for a geocache.

We ended the day with phenomenal ice cream at Salt & Straw a farm-to-cone ice cream shop.

This is one of those times when you just need to taste it and reading what I write about it will fall short.

The flavors are interesting and unique and tastes are offered so if you aren’t sure about Pear Blue Cheese, Brown Butter Popcorn with Pink Peppercorn, Coffee and Bourbon or Aquavit Beet Ice Cream, you can try it first.  I tried about six flavor and though I found all of them good, some were just not what I wanted in a cone.

The most strange one, Foie S’Mores, was from their Chef Series collaborations where they invite local chefs to work with them to develop special flavor I admit this flavor had me pretty skeptical and in the end I decided it wasn’t for me, but I’m glad I tasted it.

Husband and wife owners and chefs of Argentinian restaurant Ox, Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez, created this flavor: Toasted foie gras marshmallows and smoked vanilla ice cream ribboned with veal chocolate sauce and hazelnut graham cracker crumble.  The first taste was of a not-too-sweet S’more with chocolate and vanilla flavors laced with other subtle notes of toasted marshmallow and nutty graham cracker.  I didn’t catch the smokiness that represents the campfire, then when I swallowed there was a distinct flavor of meat.  It was really kind of amazing and like something out of Willy Wonka!  It was also better than it sounds.

The one I decided on in the end, Malted Plum, was absolutely delicious: a rich plum ice cream flavored with amber malt from  FH Steinbart Co., a Portland homebrew shop.  I didn’t know what was in it besides plums when I ate it but it was a fantastic cone.

Lisa had the Malted Plum too.  She looks happy with her choice.

Our visit gave us a taste of some of the best Portland has to offer.  Just a taste, but it was delicious.

Thanks for your visit. Stop by soon for a taste of Seattle.

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Columbia River Gorge

The day we drove along the Columbia River Gorge was the prettiest day of the Portland part of our vacation. It was just gorgeous with sunny weather, blue skies, blue river and blueberries!

We saw this U-Pick blueberry stand along the way and since neither of us had picked our own blueberries before, we decided to give it a try. They also had already-picked berries but we thought the ones we picked ourselves would be sweeter for the effort.

We both picked (and did some quality-control tasting) for ages in the sunshine and still only got about 1/2 a coffee can between us.

Than onward to a geocaching stop at a scenic overlook called Portland Women’s Forum State Park.  The founding members of the group saved the site from development and purchased it through fundraising.  It is a lovely stop with breathtaking views.

We got our first look at Crown Point and Vista House, visible on the right.  The views from Vista House were also beautiful.

Inside was a group of women playing dulcimers, from  the UpRiver Dulcimer Group.

The road past Vista House was closed due to construction so we drove back to Hwy. 84 and on to next destination: Multnomah Falls.

After soaking up the beautiful views at Multnomah Falls, we had just enough time to visit Bonneville Dam before closing time as well as the Bonneville Fish Hatchery. Rem remembers visiting the dam when he was a kid.

Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated Bonneville Dam in September of 1937, 75 years before our visit.

Though we only had a few minutes before closing, we saw salmon through the windows below the water level at the fish ladders.

Who knew that a fish hatchery would include this?

We also saw Herman, the 70-year-old, 10-foot long, 450 pound sturgeon who lives in a large pond with viewing windows.  This hulking bottom-feeder (below) is a younger and smaller relative of Herman measuring only about 5 feet long!

A steelhead trout hovered by the window as we took pictures.  Maybe he was enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.

We ended our full day with a delicious bowl of blueberries and vanilla ice cream.

Thank you for stopping by.

Thank you, Rem, for sharing some of your photos.

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Portland Signs

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