Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY 2012!!!

I've been away on a short three day holiday to Victoria, British Columbia.  This afternoon I spotted this festive hat, chalked to perfection, on Government Street just near Murchie's.  It sort of says it all, don't you think?

May 2012 be a year of adventure, creativity, health, insight, joy, growth and peace for each of us.  Amen.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Little Holiday Treat for You, Dear Reader

Click here for a special treat!

And a most happy Holiday Season to one and all.
May Peace be our universal gift this year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

They're Here, They're Here!!!

All my family has arrived home for Christmas.  My eldest and her husband brought the newest little grandbaby, known affectionately as Bumbus.  The older cousins are quite enthralled with the baby, the one they don't get to see very often.

Grandpa is happy to show off Bumbus for the camera....

....and Alex is delighted that she got to hold her, all by herself!

This is Olivia.  She wasn't all that taken with the new cousin.  She wanted to read Mommy's Tote
and play with the dry erase pen and notebook....

.....and this is Abby, Olivia's twin sister,  who was very upset that Olivia grabbed Mommy's Tote first and that she wasn't getting to play with the dry erase pen and the notebook.  She, like all of us, really, doesn't enjoy taking turns.  But she did a good job waiting anyway, even though is was hard.

And this is Emma, big sister to Olivia and Abby.  She is very, very happy right now because she gets to play with  her cousin Alex.  They LOVE to play together and really enjoy the few visits they share each year.  Emma looks more and more like her beautiful mommy, Kellie, every day!

This is Ian.  He is not all that taken with babies.  He is not all that taken with girl cousins, either.  He IS very taken with the car and trailer the Bunny Family have that lives at Gramma Gramma's house.  He spends most of his time on the floor, driving the car and trailer or playing with the wooden train.  Girls?  Um, not so much.

Gramma Gramma is a very happy, very lucky lady.

Merry Christmas, one and all!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Snowmen Spotted!

Snowmen have been spotted!  Christmas must be fast approaching.....

Several years ago there was an article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors detailing how to make these little snow people out of bottles and paper clay.  Sue Pelletier is the creative genius behind these cute little people.  I, of course, do not have the time to be making such a mixed media project.  I am getting ready for my family, who arrive tomorrow.....

....but then the clever people at Joggles not only had a video on their website about making the snowpeople, but they went so far as to collect all the materials needed to create them and put it in a kit....

And I was sunk.  I ordered.  The box came.  I spent two days over the weekend making a huge mess and having a great, grand time.  I now have a selection of snowpeople, all in quite amazing  hats, to place here and there around the house.  I am guessing these will be a big hit with the grands!

They certainly are a hit with me.  I had the best time.  I was up to my elbows in Diamond Dust and eyelash trim and paper clay....not to mention acrylic paint, brads, copper sheeting....

Totally useless.  Totally time consuming.  Totally darling (to my eye).  And fun.  Lots and lots of fun.

Here's to you and your Holiday!  May it be filled with surprises, family and friends and most of all, fun!

I hope we are all smiling such a big ol' smile during the upcoming festivities.  (And I wouldn't mind a festive, over-the-top chapeau, either!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nonie's Birthday "Season"

When Nonie's birthday arrived last week I was still in California hanging out with my little Bumbus, so I owed Nonie a birthday dinner.  In our family we like to celebrate a birthday for more than just one day and we call this having a birthday season.  If you are interested in this concept you can read about it here.  Anyway, I owed her a dinner and Sunday we got together to share some seafood, a libation (or two) and a good catching up session.

I had picked Anthony's Home Port restaurant, here in my little town, and they did not disappoint.  Besides good vino and excellent seafood, the view out the windows was wonderful.  It turns out that many of the boats from the local yacht club are all decked out in Christmas splendor.  From our table we had a fine view.

I should have remembered that this unusual Christmas display happens each year, but I didn't.  I am always surprised to see boats all decked out with Christmas lights run up the masts and inflatable Santas and snowmen manning the decks.

It really is a festive and cheerful display and adds a happy seasonal note to the marina at the darkest time of the year.  We braved the cold and took a stroll down to the edge of the pier after dinner to get a better look.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like......

There is a wrapping frenzy going on at my house these days.  I have gotten all of the gifts that need to be posted wrapped and sent on their way, except for this last one, above.  It's going to my friend in Douglas, Alaska, and I'll be mailing it today.  Can you guess what it might be, Sandy?  I found it for you in Fort Collins last August.

 And then, I have only a few more gifts to wrap and thank goodness that pesky wrapping is (mostly) done!  Does anyone else find the job of wrapping all the gifts about the least fun thing about the holidays?  I was chatting about this very subject with the checker at the grocery store the other day and she reported that she pays her children to wrap their siblings' gifts.  I couldn't have done that with mine....they would have paid each other major bribe money to find out if "Santa" had followed orders and gotten them their hearts' desire....

My little Tata truck is full of seasonal greenery....

....and the tree is decked from top to bottom with favorite ornaments.  This blown glass swan with the impossible neck is a new find this year.  Who could resist such a long necked beauty?  Certainly not me!

Many of the ornaments I've acquired over the  years remind me of travels.  This one reminds me of my time in Shigaraki, Japan, studying ceramics.

And, of course, many of the ornaments are Santas.  I love Santa and am drawn to his image in a variety of ornaments.

This weathered Santa is a real favorite of mine.  We share a hair's called Bed Head and while I do have the wrinkles, I do not have the beard.

I'm not much of a glitter girl, but at Christmas time I do love the way a little silver glitter sparkles under the Christmas tree lights....

I have been lucky enough to inherit some wonderful vintage glass balls and I've found a few more to add to the collection at yard sales and Goodwill over the years.  I love them piled in my painted wooden bowl.  Of course, when the grandchildren arrive, I'll have to put them up in a safe place!

The wonderful Santa-in-his-sleigh cookie jar that my darling mother-in-law gave to me many years ago always has pride of place on the credenza in the dining room.  It's empty still, but soon......

Late last night, long after my DH had gone on to bed, as I was tidying up and turning off lights, I found mousie watching TV.  A Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel, no less.  Kind of mousie to use the earphones so as not to disturb DH, wasn't it?   (My DH is always putting that silly mousie somewhere odd.  When I returned from California I found him on the dining room table, surrounded by a "house" made of packages that had arrived in my absence!)

Bumbus asleep in her crib

And soon, babies will be sleeping, all snug in their beds.....HERE, with ME!  For Christmas!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Short Message from Bumbus

My Gramma Gramma is staying with me for a few days.  My mommy had to go to Tennessee for a conference and my Daddy is very busy studying for law school exams.  I promised to keep Gramma Gramma busy and entertained.  I have been doing all my tricks for her.  She seemed somewhat surprised that I can pull my feet all the way to my mouth....

...the look on her face made me laugh.

She surprised me, too, by giving me a wonderful food.  It's call peas.  Do you know peas?  They are delicious.

Ah. really ought to try them.  So splendidly green and toothsome.  (If only I had teeth.)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Last Friday in November

Fred B. Mullett aka Fredly, FishBoy, da Fish and/or his Fishness
I had the best surprise for Thanksgiving dear friend Fred was in town for a few days and he most kindly carved out a chunk of time where we were able to meet at a coffee shop in Ballard  (Cafe Fiore), sit down and chat, catch up and make a postcard to send to another friend who was far far away.  The postcard was 99% Fred and about 1% my feeble input---mostly "painting" with my finger dipped in my latte.

Besides being a multi-faceted talent, Fred is one of the funniest, nicest people I have ever been privileged to know.  He's informed, well read, quick and a compendium of esoteric information.  He knows music and can quote lines from some of my favorite movies.  He's a gifted mimic and he does voices that make me laugh hysterically.  He makes me smile.  He has a huge heart and a generous spirit and he'd kill me if he knew I was writing this, but it's the truth.  Nice man.  Gentle man, in the truest meaning of the word.  And my DH thinks the same about him.

We share a friend, one who lives 3000 miles from Seattle.  She was not there, that lovely Friday after Thanksgiving, and she was missed.  She knows who she is....Fred brought along his watercolors and his creativity and he proposed that we create a postcard to send to this missing friend, to let her know she was missed.  Fred drew it.  Fred did the watercolors.  I did the latte painting.  (Yep, that's me, always helpful!)  It's all Fred but he kindly let me pretend I was "helping."


I think he created a charming postcard and I know our friend will be happy to receive it and to know how much we missed her that day, that lovely Friday in November.

You might want to check out Fred's website and see the new mask/stencil/viewing window thingie he's dreamed up.  It's very cool, as are all his products (many of which I am proud to own).  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yep, Looks Like Thanksgiving to Me

The view from my cabin looking down onto a farm, river in foreground.

Ah, November.  November in the Pacific Northwest.....What would Thanksgiving be without flood warnings?
View of the North Fork of the Stillaguamish from my cabin

I went up to my cabin today to check on the water damage repairs.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get there as the cabin is on the north fork of the Stillaguamish River, and boy howdy, was she running high today.

looking east from Highway 530 at the Ciscero Bridge over the North Fork of the Stillaguamish
 We've had three days of heavy rain---the sort of rain the NW is famous for but really rarely gets.  Everything is soggy and damp and soaked.  We were lucky that there was not more, or more serious, flooding.  The Stilly has crested and the waters are receding as I write this.

There is usually a storm like this in late November, so this is not unusual or unexpected.  It's just wet.  And damp.  And sort of gloomy.

It's only November and already I'm sick of the rain.  It's going to be a long winter.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  May your turkey be delicious, your day filled with friends, family and if you like that sort of thing, football.  Stay dry.

Spiced Cranberries, a family tradition