Monday, November 22, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It's hard to believe that this

is now this.

Friday, November 5, 2010

snarled up in a terrible snerl

Due to wind storms and an enthusiastic 9 year old.

Sure looks stormy today.

Why did I wait to pull this down?

Why didn't I do this yesterday, or Wednesday? When it was 65 degrees. In Washington. IN NOVEMBER!

I still can't believe I extracted all those spiders.

The trick is not to think about what you are doing.

Because if you do, you will actually go

Earning yourself the whispered neighborhood nickname "Crazy Spider Lady."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Soft Dog Treat Recipe

I'm just going to post this because I tried to find a recipe online and while I found out that tons of other people are too, I did not find the kind of recipe I was looking for; a soft, pea-sized yummy treat for use in training of our puppy. I have purchased a similar treat at the Mud Bay Granary in Olympia, but for a premium price. These can be made for a fraction of the cost.

Soft Peanut Butter and Molasses Training Bits

makes about 2 cups of bits

1 c oat flour
1/4 c peanut butter
2 T unsulphured molasses
1 T honey
2T carob powder
olive oil and/or water to adjust consistency of dough

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl with a fork or spatula or in a food processor. Add water and/or olive oil by teaspoonfuls for desired consistency. You want a fairly stiff dough, kind of like molasses cookie dough. Ideally it should be squishy enough to form into little pea-sized tidbits, but firm enough to hold its shape. You can either roll into ropy snakes and then cut into nuggets, or (easier) pinch into appropriately sized bits and place on a cookie sheet. Dehydrate the bits at 140 degrees for one hour, or leave them out on a cookie sheet overnight to dry out a bit. They can be stored in the freezer.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's feeling very fall-ish lately.

I view this with mixed emotions; on the one hand, my garden has barely had a chance - the tomatoes are still hanging greenly on their vines.

On the other hand, I really love fall weather. All the drizzle and half-light makes me want to sit in a cozy chair by a window with a mug of hot something.

Since I haven't posted here in quite a while, I'll try to bring you up to speed. Just days after school let out, we began an earnest search for a  Labrador Retriever puppy. My 9 year old son had been asking for one for almost a year and while initially I thought it would make a wonderful Christmas surprise, the fact that we left for a week of vacation a few days after the holiday made me give up that idea. Instead we decided to wait until summer when Ben (our son) would be home all day and able to fully appreciate the responsibility of taking care of "his" puppy. I hope he will think long and hard before asking for another gift that requires so much care and attention (thinking 8 years ahead to "car"...). After we had viewed 7 litters in as many days, we settled on a little chocolate brown male that Ben promptly christened Gage.

His name has grown with him and he now goes by the more formal title of 'Gager von Pupperdoodle.'

Today I took Gagers for a nice walk around our neighborhood. We live in a rural community outside city limits and most people have at least an acre of property, if not more. So I was kinda surprised to see how many folks were dumping their yard waste on empty lots and public park land. We have a compost heap that is the envy of many friends, family and acquaintances, and it requires little to no maintenance (until you are ready to use it in the garden...) so it really baffles me that anyone with property to spare would choose to haul their lawn clippings, garden detritus and leaves out of their own yards to dump elsewhere. I just don't get it, but maybe that's me.

I have been really delinquent with my etsy shop this summer. While items still occasionally sell, I haven't added anything new in months. I'd like to rectify that, but I'll be substitute teaching again this year so I have no idea when that might happen.

The up-side of all this is that I need to learn how to balance all these chairs, or juggle all of these balls, or any other circus-metaphor you can think of, and it sure sounds like opportunity is a-knockin' on my front door.

but for now...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Heads' up:
I have cut the prices on 18 gift tag sets in my shop.

Most of the tags have been hanging around since last year - like I said, they just don't move well on-line.
Anyhoo, I'm pricing them right about at cost (and some below cost, like the ones with vintage spun cotton fruits or mushrooms...) and while the relative shipping cost may seem high, I can combine shipping on multiple purchases. I know that I can fit about 10 tags in one box, so for a mere $15.00, ($17.00 Canadian) you could have ten tags to suit any occasion!
So go!
Oh, and thank you, you're the best. Really!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Tags

I did promise a while back that I'd talk about the gift tags that I make and sell. I don't know what inspired me to start making these floral tags, I think they started out as Valentine's, which I wrote about on a different blog a few years ago. Anyway I had all these little velvet leaves, and little paper roses just laying around and decided that I could make something other than valentines with them. The problem with trying to make a card with 3-D elements is that they don't really fit into an envelope. So that is how I came upon the idea of gift tags! These are so fun and totally addictive to make. I can spend a whole day slicing up cardstock, gluing on leaves and flowers and attaching ribbons. Really.

The leaves and flowers used to be readily available in the wedding aisle of any craft store. In fact the first supplies I ever bought I got at my local Walmart. Sadly, they don't carry them anymore, and I now have to buy the velvet leaves online. I can still find some paper roses at Michaels, but they are less expensive bought in bulk online.

I haven't really made any tags recently, not since before Valentines day. I listed those tags in my Etsy shop, but none sold. In fact, though my tags see a lot of traffic (a lot of folks like to LOOK at them) I've only ever sold two sets from my Etsy shop. Two nearly identical sets. To a mycology librarian. The tags had mushrooms on them. (they are the ones you can see up there on my banner - they were totally cute, and sort of my favorites, so I'm really gald that someone else liked them and bought them!)

I also sell some of my covered journals and gift tags at a little shop in the town where I live. The proprietor is trying to buy only US made wares for her shop and happily lets me and a few other crafty townfolk sell our items there. The tags sell waaaaaay better in person than they do online. Just a few days after taking my first batch down to the shop, the owner called to tell me she had sold a dozen of them to one customer!

Most things improve with time and this is true also of my tags. I now feel that my product is looking a little more polished than my initial efforts. tag progression:

And hey, things can only get better - practice makes perfect, right? So today I pulled out all of my supplies again. I remembered buying some little plastic eggs with the idea of using them in some nest-themed tags. A little slicing, a little gluing, and wahlah! The nest tag!

I am hoping to get some more of these made and listed in my shop. It's a half-day school week due to spring conferences and I really doubt that I'll get called to sub, so I'll at least have a few hours in the mornings, yay!

Happy Spring!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I Am a New Huge Fan

of this woman

and this woman.

We have been reading "To Catch a Mermaid" by Suzanne Selfors, a local, Washington State resident and I've got to admit, I'd enjoy this book even if I wasn't a mom. My eight year old son is enjoying it so much he'd rather listen to me read a few chapters than play with his electronic toys!

The book covers the adventures of Boom Broom and his sister Mertyle who have suffered heartache after losing their mother to a freak twister. Mr. Broom, the children's father who used to paint and sell landscapes of the island on which the Broom's reside, has since retreated to the attic where he has failed to produce anything, and things are starting to look grim for the Broom family. The two kids are now being cared for by Halvor, a large bald man of Nordic heritage who claims to be a direct descendant of Eric the Red, and who seems to only know how to cook fish, coffee, and rye toast with marmalade.
After being sent on an errand to get some fresh fish for the family's meal one afternoon, Boom returns with a free offering from the reject bucket of one of the fishing boats. I won't tell you any more, but the title should give you a clue...

Illustrations by Catia Chien appear at the beginning of each chapter and so perfectly capture the humor of the author as well as the demeanor of the characters. Her web page provides a broader look at her work which ranges from the ethereal to drawings that remind me of Quentin Blake's.

I picked this book up off the shelf at our local library without even realizing that the author was local. We always read the jacket before starting the book, so I did know going into the story, but I swear it has not colored my opinion one bit. I strongly recommend this book to anyone with kids who are reading - or ready for - chapter books, though 6 to 9 year olds would probably prefer having it read to them.

To Catch A Mermaid
by Suzanne Selfors
with illustrations by Catia Chien
2007, Little, Brown and Co.
246 pages, 32 chapters with 32 black and white illustrations heading each chapter

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What is it about February

that gets my creative juices flowing?

I usually try to make valentines for my guys. Two years ago it was garlands

This year it's victorian style favors for Ben's classroom Valentine's party

chocolate covered brownie bites

and probably more garlands.

I LOVE this from The Paper Tie Affair's Etsy shop.
LOVE Scrumdilly's Ten Garlands in Ten Days - lots of inspiration there.
And as a paper crafter, this has me all giddy with excitement. 
Oh, the possibilities!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tickled Pink

Valentine's Day is coming!
*squeeeeeeeee *

I was not nearly this excited about Christmas. CHRISTMAS! Everyone loves Christmas, right? OK, not everyone. But when I said I just couldn't get into it this year, people inevitably asked me why. Or why not. Whatever.

But Valentine's Day is coming!
I did mention that I love felt

This might be a choker for a little girl, or a collar for a little dog. I haven't decided which yet.

And last year I made this thinking I'd try to do a swap, or giveaway.

So, anybody got anything they made that they'd like to swap?