28 April, 2010

The Big Reveal

Wow. There are more than 8 fat quarters here. I participated in two swaps of four people each.
These two paisleys were the first to arrive. 
This bottom one is more hot pink background with orange and white semi-paisleys. All of the participants came from afar - but look how coordinated the fabrics look. ESP- for sure.
These black prints on the bottom right are extras sent in another huge envelope.

This chocolate is made in her hometown.
Unfortunately, the chocolate arrived broken.   haha.

This gal decided to de-clutter her house and send on some much appreciated goodies. This is absolutely one of my favorite books. Strong women always rock. The pin cushion is soft and adorable with ultra suede on the bottom. She also sent not one but TWO fat quarters in this huge box that was very unexpected.

This was all very fun.
Thank you.Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

27 April, 2010

Guess What Came In The Mail

Anja's fat quarter swap from Germany escaped Europe and arrived today.
Unfortunately, I have to go back to work - next post will be all about the fabric and how some people go above and beyond.
Notice the zigzag stitching of the handmade envelope above?

25 April, 2010

Coconut Yogurt

Saturday, my mom took me out to lunch and we zoomed downtown to get birthday gift cards for my daughter's birthday. We parked in the very steep Powell's bookstore parking garage. I gave my mom a thrill ride, an almost carnival-type/octopus ride in that parking garage with my stick shift car.
Then we sauntered - make that carefully dashed across Saturday traffic to the Anthropology store. My mom almost bought this gorgeous shoulder bag. My sister is always badgering both my mom and I to buy more current clothing - that fits. Does the bag count? It had the most delicious pockets. And soft. I think I was petting it.
Maybe the daughter will buy this for her beloved mommy?

Then we went to Whole Foods on the next block to look for the coconut yogurt. I found two types plus one made from Goat's milk. We also snagged some sumptuous (but can't be healthy for you) birthday cupcakes.
Then we dashed back to Powell's to get that gift card so as not to use up our free parking hour.

All in all - a very productive mission - getting my mom out of the house, giving her some excitement in the parking garage and showing her the anthropology store.

A first review of coconut yogurt. The one on the right is a plain version sweetened with agave syrup.
I am interested in repopulating my gut with good probiotics from yogurt, rather than from my non-dairy pill made by Schiff. I'm not certain if the pill is causing a reaction.
This plain yogurt was too sweet and too coconutty. I frequently enjoy a coconut ice cream made by Luna & Larry. It is sinfully rich in chocolate but not overly sweet and there is just a hint of coconut aftertaste. My favorite is dark chocolate and it is sweetened with agave syrup. And I see by their website that Luna & Larry have some new flavors - I'll have to see if my store will stock them.

Unlike most alternative ice creams, Luna & Larry's use just a few ingredients. Like five.

Back to the yogurt: this one is made by Gata foods in Tigard, Oregon (buy local).
They also use just a few ingredients. Less for me to react to.

I have to wait and see if I have a reaction to this coconut  yogurt but  I plan on trying the marionberry variety next to see if the berry shines through and not the cloying sweetness.

22 April, 2010

Blastocystis Hominis

I have been researching this parasite called Blastocystis Hominis:

Did you know there is  a Blastocystis hominis research institute in Corvallis, Oregon? 

I also have this parasite: entamoeba coli.
 These could help explain why I am so sick.

21 April, 2010

Fat Quarter Swap - update 3

Excited does not cover Packages Arriving In The Mail!

One made it out of Germany in spite of the Icelandic Volcano.

I am waiting for all of them to arrive to unwrap and revel.

20 April, 2010

Redesigning 200 feet of a Flower Bed

I think I have my head wrapped around redesigning my long planting bed.

I have two of my garden-mindful neighbors plotting a list of trees. We are going to start with which trees to put in place and then move to the taller shrubs and then the perennials and annuals, ground-covers and et ceteras.
Above photo Before 
and to the right - the aftermath.
I think the loggers did a bang-up job.
They managed to keep what they could.
Even though the star magnolia is decimated - it was a white star magnolia SOLD as a pink star magnolia. This time around - I am making sure it is pink.
The small tree near center (by red tulips) is a Kousa (chinese) Dogwood. Just coming on to bloom.

Wood piled where the swing set used to hang out.
Plants near the front of the border are kinda okay. Hopefully we'll get some April showers to help with the stress of serious pruning AND seeing sunlight.

If I keep the viewfinder away from the left - I seem to be doing okay.

It's rather nice to contemplate a serious restructuring of this planting bed. No hurries - except for choosing the tall trees.

19 April, 2010

Fat Quarter Swap - update 2

Okay. These lovely packaged goodies left my house today. Most of my swappies have already sent theirs. I have received two today.  
Both are - what are the odds? - paisleys. So Cool!

I sent mine off in quart-sized freezer ziplocs. The meter strip from the post office sticks nicely to the plastic. (I'd worry about using stamps.)  The freezer style because it is stronger than the storage style. The label is inside and you can see nicely inside as to what you are getting. This works really well to send socks in. Very exciting - socks in the mail.

16 April, 2010

I Will Survive

I heard this on the radio this morning during break.

Or, my current favorite. I like the electric guitar solos.
At any rate, I like Cake's version better than Gloria Gaynor's rendition.

Thank you Suzi for some serious garage sale therapy today.

15 April, 2010

Leaning Fir Trees

We had a little leaning problem this winter.

We wanted to take these fir trees out 20 yrs. ago when we built here. The neighbors on this side begged us to keep them as a windbreak. Fast forward 15 yrs. Now these neighbors want some SUN.
Meanwhile,  while we would love to force those neighbors to remodel, we could never get a straight answer out of our insurance guy.
These trees were planted as part of a Christmas tree hobby farm and are too closely planted, so we decided - with the help of the leaner - to take most of them out.
While I dislike losing the hummingbird and owl habitat, we did keep some and we will replant some big trees.

View away from house - towards runway. We are keeping these trees. 
One minute later. Different light settings. Aren't those varigated iris's stunning? Saved.
Back towards the house. See the neighbors garage?
Really, nothing good to say here.
El Leano lopped off - ready to go (all the way down) for tomorrow. 
View from my kitchen window.
The tree on the left was nearly uprooted.
It's too early to say which plants got decapitated  and will regrow.  And, which plants just need to be tamped back down.
The hynoki cypress (9') to the right of the twin towers got totally annihilated.

Definite plan to plant something tall to hide that view.

* Reestablish the owl and hummingbird habitat. 
*Get some shade going on some of this long established shady bed.

14 April, 2010

SewMamaSew Fat Quarter Swap

SewMamaSew.com is hosting a fat quarter swap.

I've been sick off and on all spring trying to deal with my inflammation and my Leaky Gut. It seems like all I do is go to work and then come home to recover. There has been little excess energy to sew.

The SewMamaSew swap sounded like something I could do. After all, I work at the PO. 
All I have to do is decide on fabrics, cut them up into fat quarters, package them and post them. 

Not only do I move my stash around, I get some new fabric ideas sent to me. 

Packages coming in the mail. What could be better than that???

Two of my swap partners live in Germany.  I came across some Pendleton remnants and I am posing the idea to them; instead of cotton, would you like some wool? 
I was in Dublin last Fall at a sewing and knitting show and the fabric selection was a little slim. I even went to a couple of fabric stores thinking to pick up some European wool fabric. Whatever. There was about four bolts - I probably went to the wrong shop - I was only in Ireland for a week.

I intended to use them in some purses but the two pieces have sat there about four years - still not cut into. The remnants are about 16" wide with a seam lengthwise through the fabric but they are about 65" long. They are definitely not fat quarters but are similar in width. I am waiting to see what they think ( my two German swappies).
This is one of my cotton swap fabrics to cut into. A white background with lime green, blue and black random lines - heart shapes.

Pendleton Woolen Mills - Portland, Oregon

Pendleton blankets

11 April, 2010

Dark Chocolate Jameson Whiskey Truffle Bar

I remember these.  Butler chocolates from Ireland.
Flavored with Jameson Whiskey. 

I have a snotty cold (or allergies, or reaction to medicine to help heal my gut).
I can't read because my eyes are alternately weeping or itchy.
I feel crappy.  Probably because I am watching crappy tv. Some old movie with Julia Roberts and the Mystic Pizza Company. I don't even know the title but I sat through the entire movie-- I think, because it had Julia Roberts in it. But if this was the only Julia Roberts movie you ever saw, you wouldn't be keen to see another.
Back to the computer - another hit on the horn for Mousehunt (facebook).
I wanted something to eat but the turkey we are having for dinner won't be ready for another couple of hours. The dark chocolate truffle bar zipped into my head and my computer says it's possible to order them online. Amazing.
No - what's really amazing? I came up with a 'code' that worked and I received free shipping.
I put in 'april10' but the code window zapped it in as A7700.
Now, I won't get these chocolate bars for a week or two (ships from the first ever  Butler's chocolate cafe in New Jersey. Why not Oregon? Why put a stinkin' chocolate cafe in Paramas,  New Jersey?).

They also make these hot chocolate treats that melt in hot water. A very lovely cup of hot chocolate.

For locations - I've been to five of them: This is on Liffey St. (next to the Liffey River - so similar to our Willamette River splitting the city of Portland).

No Butler's Chocolates at the cliffs of Mohr but you can find them inside in the gift shop - to the right.

Flavored with Jameson whiskey, this chocolate would surely ease my cold?

08 April, 2010

Communion Tomboys

Take one girl who would not be caught dead in a dress, plus one first communion. 
Add in crazed parents and then mix in the miracle worker.

My sister (who does not have girls), made this First Communion Dress for a neighbor girl. 

A nice cotton for the top with a raw silk skirt over a cotton underskirt. 
She followed a pattern.

Tips for success.
1.  Take tomboy along to fabric store.
2.  Make it simple - no fussy trims.  Let the fabric speak.

01 April, 2010

Walmart Wonders

My brother-in-law keeps sending me these "can you believe it?" style of photos showing off shoppers at Walmart.
Well - today - I took my own, honest to God, yes, this is a real photo.
At the Woodburn Walmart.
Since we can't talk on our cell phones anymore while driving, why not stalk bald-headed dudes at Walmart and stand  still  in the aisle to snap Walmart moments.

Can't get enough?

Need more?

Wonder why I go to Walmart? 
Because they carry this chocolate bar. 
No Soy. No Dairy.
It's one of my favorites. Hageland Costa Rica 71%.
Dark Chocolate from Belgium.

Hageland Chocolate