Thursday, December 1, 2011


Special birthday requests come to me this time of year. Sadie, with one exception, every year has teacup cupcakes for her class.

Sam, who in years past has always had dirt cups with gummy bugs, has decided to go for jello fish bowls for his treat for class.

This weekend I get a chance to participate in a Christmas Boutique at my neighbor's home. I'll be selling my sock monkey hats and drink cozies.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

NEW! Book Club Companion Set!

Inspired! I was making a coffee cozy and kleenex holder for my sister-in-law Mia when I thought it would be fun to do a bookmark too. Then the thought occurred to me — what if I combined the three and sold them together as a set targeted toward book club members. I doubt I would have thought of it without the realization that Mia goes to book clubs. (BTW: I'm not selling her set, shown above.)
I may market them on Etsy as a set. And, since the bookmark is my own pattern, I think I'll market the bookmark pattern for $1.00 on Etsy as well. 
I wish I had photographed these guys on a nicer background before I gifted them away. Oh well. I'll just have to get busy making more asap.

I need to give credit to Skip to My Lou for the coffee cozy and kleenex holder patterns. It's a great site.

Another great inspiration...

Why didn't I think of it before? There are so many on Etsy, but I think this little guy is especially cute. And I have orders for four already from friends. And of course they match the sock monkey hats. So one can match his/her coffee cup. What fun!

I can credit others for the inspiration, but not the pattern. It is my own.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gluten Free Black and White Cupcakes!

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to provide a gluten-free cupcake alternative for our GF ladies at church for our Women In the Church (WIC) kickoff dinner. I knew I would do chocolate because: 1. Sevierly Gluten-Free makes a wonderful mix that is so easy to use and 2. they are women after all.
But,what do do about the frosting? I was thinking chocolate again until I came across my inspiration for a black and white cupcake started when I found these lovely baking cups. 
Reynolds black and white
damask baking cup
I always clean my counters thoroughly before baking anything gluten-free.
One-eighth of a teaspoon of gluten can cause a sever reaction in anyone with
Celiac's Disease.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Most Awesome Teriyaki Sauce

I just have to share this. It turned out so well. Perhaps the same recipe exists out there. I don't know, but I improvised and I was happy with the result.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce
(That's what I'm calling it.)

1/4 cup soy sauce (I use tamari because it is gluten free)
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 1/2 tbsp. corn starch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water

In a small sauce pan, pour the soy sauce, 1 cup water, 1 cup brown sugar, garlic powder and ginger. Bring to a boil stirring frequently about 5 minutes. Add pineapple juice and continue stirring.

Turn heat to low. Let sauce simmer for 5 minutes. Add corn starch and 1/4 cup cold water mixture to the pan and whisk together. Let the sauce continue to simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally for another 10 or so minutes. I like to let it thicken a little.

Great with chicken, on burgers (with grilled pineapple) and wherever else you like to use teriyaki sauce.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011


When faith was new I presumed
I knew Thee in every way
I had no inkling what I'd find
And how much beyond me lay.

When I was young Thou smaller seemed
But older now am I
And Thou much bigger art to me
The longer time goes by.

How simple then my thoughts reveal
How little I did know.
Thou art beyond compare to me
And how Thy mercies show!

I used to ask Thee for my wants
With no regard to Thee
Confused I was when what I asked for
Was not given me.

Why what surprise to know Thee better.
Thy will is better still
Than all my wants and cares and dreams—
All that I thought would thrill.

And so to me Thou bigger grow
And I grow smaller yet.
More do I learn how little I know
Till faith and sight are met.

Monday, August 29, 2011

By Firelight

By firelight we warm our faces,
Holding sticks the fire embraces,
We enjoy widen-open spaces
as the day dies down.

Dirty feet and dirty clothes,
Sooty hands by ember glows,
Isn't that the way it goes
When camping thing turn brown?

We made new friends and played at spy
And watched some bugs go crawling by.
Tomorrow we'll pack up and sigh
As we head back to town.

Pack the clothes and stow the goods
Make sure to not burn down the woods
Viewing all the neighborhoods
Around the Puget Sound.

"Will we go there again next year?"
"i don't know. Perhaps, my dear."
I hope the skies will all be clear
And not be full of clouds.

Until next year we'll wait and plan,
Remembering who and what and when.
New memories we'll make again
To camp again we're bound.

The Making of Mossy Passage

At a park in Snohomish spotted I
Some fluffy, plentiful moss near by.
With brotherly help I chanced to try
To make my mossy passage.

With twigs and holly, moss and tree
I hung my objects carefully
And named my spot most artfully
The name of Mossy Passage.

So continued I to build
And made a place for all to thrill
Those who appreciate my skill
At making Mossy Passage.

My brother Sam did with deftness dare
To find the moss I hung with care
The trees that are no longer bare
Around my Mossy Passage.

My mother took a picture of
The place I built with so much love
And wrote the poem you see above
About my Mossy Passage

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thoughts of Death and Life

People usually say, "It's a matter of life and death." So why do I list death first? I've been thinking a lot about death. Not morbidly. Just pondering death and the life after.

During communion last Sunday I observed two young men in my congregation who suffer physically in this life. It touches me to see the sweetness of their love for Christ. It encourages me (and I hope them) to know that there is a life after this brief mortal pilgrimage where they, and all Christians who suffer in this world, will be whole in body even as Christ is making them whole in their spirits.

What a great hope we have! When we shed this "mortal coil" there is new and better life awaiting us.

I wonder what we will look like. How will we relate to each other? How will we all feel that Christ is physically near us at all times? What will the new heavens and earth look like? What work will we do? So many questions that will only be answered on that great day. But one thing I know is all suffering will be done away with.

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth,and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind." Isaiah 65:17

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mountains of Monkey Hats in the Making

My neighbor is participating in a craft fair next month and has asked my to make a bunch of hats to sell. My goal is to make at least a dozen, even two dozen if I can. I'm getting close to the minimum number I want to make. (See photo left). Pattern from All Free Crochet which I don't follow exactly.

As part of the preparation I need to come up with a company name and pricing. Charging money is always hard for me. I feel guilty asking people to pay me for anything I do.

Another thing I might do is these nifty kleenex holders. I found this pattern on Skip to My Lou. They are fun to make and could sell cheaply. The ones pictured here are made for full-size tissues. I changed the sizing to 11x11 pieces of fabric and it worked like a dream. Since I like to keep my hands busy, these projects have been very enjoyable and the prospect of making a little money is icing on the cake.

Speaking of cake, since the kids have been selling lemonade this summer, I plan to make some strawberry lemonade cupcakes for them to sell some Saturday soon. What a great thing to pair with strawberry lemonade. See Half Baked Cake Blog.

The wash basin is filled! I decided to go with blooming perennials -- honeysuckle (climbing), kobold gayfeather and butterfly blue pincushion flower (mounding) and periwinkle (trailing). In time I'll find out if I made the right decision. I usually figure out my planting mistakes in a year or two.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I already had so many projects in mind to do around the outside of the house. However, with this sewer project over, other projects have made their way onto the list and have even reordered the priorities of the previously planned projects.

One of the new projects we have begun is the paving of the "back area" of our house. Using concrete molds bout at Lowes, we are pouring pavers using a terracotta colorant at half strength for a softer hue. The mold is a cobblestone pattern.

Another outdoor project that should be fast and fun is filling this wash basin which used to be in our basement. Mike cut the broken half off and now it stands next to our porch filled with top fill and peat ready for planting.

Meanwhile, there are so many areas of our yard which are empty now because of the sewer digging. It's been a good opportunity to sift through and get rid of as much ivy and morning glory is possible. But trying to decide what to plant in these empty spaces is a bit overwhelming.

Indoor projects abound as well. a neighbor friend needs monkey hats to sell at her craft booth next month and I'm busy crocheting for that. Old buttons are always in demand for eyes and I just got a bunch form an ebay seller. The seller actually had buttons that were separated by hue. Of course, I opted for the earth tones.
And I could not be more pleased with the selection of buttons. So happy!!!

I haven't been out to my mother's in a couple of weeks, so progress on the trailer as been at a standstill. However, I have great new curtains for between the bedroom and the kitchen. I found them at Kmart at a BOGO 50% off. And they are perfect. All I need to do is sew on the tabs and hang them. I hope to do this early next week. This will make a big impact.

Now to find a good (cheap) bedspread. Bargain hunting will begin soon. We'll really need to take a trip in the trailer once it is done so we can really enjoy the changes.

The Swedish Room is my inspiration for the trailer since it is a newer trailer with the same type of layout. It's encouraging to see that newer trailers can be just as charming as the vintage ones.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Backhoes, Fountains, and Sewing Projects


The last few days have been eventful. I could not bear the sight of the 10-foot hole right next to our house, so I fled to my mother's place with the kids for a couple of nights.

This is how our house looked yesterday according to the photo my husband took. I'm glad I didn't have to look at that.

The upside to all of this is that the contractor found that we had awful soil under our house and replaced some with good solid stuff. So our foundation will be the better for it.

Today the holes are filled in for the most part and the kids and I are home again. One more day of construction and we'll be normal again.
Another good outcome is that all the weeds in our back section (6-feet) are gone! And they leveled the area.

It's crazy how little of a back yard we have. Just look at the middle of the picture where the little cement wall is. From there to the house on the right is our "backyard." That's life in the Northend of Tacoma, baby.


In the meantime, my mom, the kids and I had a great time in Bremerton yesterday. We took the foot ferry from downtown Port Orchard and landed in Bremerton in the early afternoon and spent the rest of the day there.

The fountain park there is fantastic. It is filled with very shallow pools (five in all) which contain structures reminiscent of submarine stacks. Every few minutes the stacks spray large amounts of water out the tops much to the delight of the children hovering around the bottoms of them.Add ImageAdd Image
It is beautifully landscaped and there are many places to sit and eat or enjoy the view. Mom and I found a shady spot and it was lovely.

I'll be taking the kids back there this summer again. The place feels like a resort in a way. It was like being on a vacation for a few hours. I highly recommend it.


Yesterday I tore down parts of the decor in the trailer and felt quite triumphant, taking pictures and planning. This morning I woke up thinking, "WHAT DID I DO?" Nevertheless, progress has begun for real now and there is no turning back. (Well, there is if I undo what I've done today, but I'm not going to.) It's onward and upward. I spend most of the afternoon sewing, stapling and screwing decor. There is more to do, but I'm happy to report that things are changing and so far I am quite pleased.

I have more sewing to do. Before leaving my mom's house (where our trailer is kept) I made more measurements and hope to bring more curtains and such back to her house when I visit next. You can see how far I got in one afternoon. I'm pretty happy tonight. Especially because one corner of my house doesn't seem to be ready to slough off at any moment now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Projects in the Works

I am currently obsessed with the idea of updating our travel trailer's interior. I was happy with it just the way it was until my friend Nicole shared a link to a blog ( and ever since I have been thinking about the possibilities of changing out the decor in our own.

We bought the trailer after a tenting trip when my children were almost two- and almost one-year-old when I saw a Casita trailer parked in the next site over. A quick tour of our camp neighbors' Casita was all it took to start me on the path to travel trailer ownership.

For years I was happy with our trailer just as it rolled off the assembly line. But after exploring a few blogs, I'm filled with excitement to get this project underway.

Before I make any changes, I want to show the before pictures. Our trailer is by no means a vintage trailer. But that shouldn't stop me. The way they come decorated is, according to my sister-in-law Mia, "geriatric." After much pondering, I've decided a French country look is what I'm going for. And I have already purchased fabric with that end in mind.

The first of my projects are the dinette and the bedroom curtains. Both will use the red gingham. The dinette, naturally, will use the rooster fabric. The bedroom will use the toile.

This should be fun. I'll post pictures of the results soon.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

There's a Backhoe in My Yard!

Remember the "Mad" magazine feature called "Scenes We'd Like to See?" Well, this is a scene I didn't want to see. There's a backhoe in my yard and it's digging up our old sewer line as well as the neighbor's and our plants.

We came home from the tenth anniversary of our kayak event to find out our neighbor's sewer line was backing up and that our line (though not affected yet) connects up to theirs before connecting to the main line.

Work began last Wednesday and will, hopefully, conclude on July 5. However, I'm not expecting everything to be finished then as we are still not sure whether our line from the kitchen will be involved in all this and if so, we'll lose whatever bit of driveway we have in front of our garage.

The tension is mounting...

Here I go again

This is my second attempt at blogging. Life is short and the days are going by so quickly. There is always something going on and something to do or make. So, before I forget what I'm doing, where I'm going and what I've been making, I'll try to get them recorded.