30 December, 2012


These photos were all re-pinned on Pinterest.
***technical term for 'borrowing' photos.

I have gone over to the dark side.
Of time, I mean.
See my Pinterest board here on ideas for more bags to sew.

As if I had time to sew.
Let alone the time to PIN.

I can see why this is so addicting - pinning.

It's so easy to start looking.
Then comes, "what a great idea, I should save that."

All I'm doing right now is re-pinning.
How does one pin for the first time?

I want to add this photo to my pinterest board but I'm not sure how. It's a sewing pattern printed on white leather made into a zippered purse.

I held off as long as I could but I believe I am riding the slippery slope down into saving/pinning everything.

I already have 28 bag ideas on that board. Can one sew that many in a year? If they are working 50 hours per week? lol


08 December, 2012

2012 SMS Giveaway Winners

 The WINNER of the first giveaway is Maureen Hayes. She's been notified and as soon as she sends me her address, I will post all the sewing goodies to her.
As far as the caramels are concerned, it appears she has numerous allergies, including dairy, but she can re-gift those.

I asked entrants to name their favorite Christmas Carol and it was all over the board compared to 2011 and 2010, when O Holy Night won both years.
But - because I mentioned it, had everyone scurrying to nominate more than 58 other carols!
A little nudge  *wink*wink.

For 2012, Silent Night came up 33 times whilst O Holy Night braked at 8.
Mary, Did You Know was a surprising tie with Carol of the Bells at 7 votes.

I find numbers very intriguing as well as people's behaviors so this 'contest' was definitely fun for me watching voters name any other carol except O HolyNight. There were a couple of entrants who also could not believe O Holy Night won the last two years.

Several voters threw out two or three titles. I particularly loved this one from Tricia: "I would say a tie between Silent night and The First Noel. I always sang the first to my oldest and sing the second every night to my youngest."

All in all, Silent Night stole the show.
Thank you all for entering. I'll be back again for the May Giveaways that SMS hosts.
(did you know SMS is from my neck of the woods? About a 30 minute drive away  - if they had a brick & Mortar store)

Keep reading for the winner of my second giveaway and some fun Christmas Carol videos.

 GIVEAWAY TWO for my airplane towels went to Miss Enota from Minnesota. Rhymes.
She also has been notified and I'm off to pack these up along with some apple cider caramels.

I am making another batch of caramels this weekend so I can fill all my packages that need to be mailed Monday in order to have a chance at arriving before Christmas (read Sweden, Finland, Germany & Japan! plus one for Nephew's unfortunate birthday on the 18th of December.

It's Christmas Day Family Force 5

Santa bring me a dinosaur-Funny Christmas song by Bob Brown

Barenaked Ladies - "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings"

olivia newton john silent night

03 December, 2012

2012 SewMamaSew Giveaway Day #2

***GIVEAWAY ID NOW CLOSED****thank you

Welcome to my second giveaway for SewMamaSew's 2012 Giveaway Day.

I don't usually talk about myself as I ramble on when I am journaling away on my blog.
I love to sew and craft and currently, I have taken over two and a half rooms in  my house in order to play. I also live on an airpark. When we want to go flying, we roll open the hangar doors and pull the plane out. The runway is at the edge of my backyard. Which I also like to play in. I live on an acre where I garden - both flowers and the edible things. The blog has turned out to be a surprisingly good place to put all those flower photos.

Recently, my work dumped me into a six days a week plus lots of overtime scenario, so crafting time is at a premium. I am definitely looking for quick & easy projects to keep my creative mojo happy.

This is the most amazing & totally gratifying project out there. It literally takes less than five minutes to create something.
That makes me happy.

I can't recall where I linked from but I did end up here for this transfer tutorial and here to buy my CitraSolv, and here to look at graphics.

Basically, you are transferring a laser image copy (not from an inkjet printer) onto fabric with Citra Solv. You can also transfer the image to wood or leather. Amazingly fun.

Spot the boo boo? I forgot to flip the image so the text reads correctly. Oops.
 Giveaway is for two airplane kitchen towels. These are 100% cotton flour sack towels.

How to enter Giveaway 2:
1. Answer this question: What type of airplane do I own?
2. Admittedly, there's a little bias towards my regular readers and my airplane buddies. --only because they are quicker to the mark.
3. I will ship to a winner anywhere in the world - USA or International.
4. Giveaway is open Monday December 3 until 5pm,Friday, December 7th, 2012
5. You might get some bonus apple cider caramels - maybe.

***6. added Tuesday am:  Hey You!   yes, the no-reply blogger.
If you are not sure if I can reach you via your blogger/online name, PLEASE  make sure to leave your contact in this format: specialperson(at)wherever(dot)com.
I already have three of you that I cannot contact. :(

Giveaway ONE is here:

Please check out all the other blog people who have entered  their fun stuff into the giveaway.
SewMamaSew is the best online fabric store out there. They are super fast on shipping and have a great selection.

SewMamaSew 2012 Giveaway Day I

***GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***thank you.

SewMamaSew Giveaway numero uno:

It's that time of the year again when SewMamaSew coordinates a massive giveaway day that now lasts the entire week. This enables you to check out and enter all the giveaways.
I've never managed this.

I have, however, found a couple of new friends by looking at other crafty people's blogs.

 I have two giveaways this year.
This first one is for superb sewing supplies - most of which are vintage.
Buttons, Patterns, Laces, Trims, Needles, Elastic.

 Three patterns for girls: Simplicity 5551 ( sz 10 girl),  Simp 8065(sz AA toddler 1/2,1,2), & Simp 3244 (sz 8 girl).
Buttons and trims to embellish. Elastic and needles, snaps, covered buttons, etc., etc..

Even some tiny rick rack in white & gold.

And you might get some of these tasty apple cider caramels. If there are any left. . .

I'm running my usual "Tell me your favorite Christmas Carol" contest.
2010's winning song was "O, Holy Night".
2011"s winning song was  "O, Holy Night".

I bet you can guess what 2012's favorite song will be. lol.
Surprise me.

All entries will be entered into the  pot of randomness and given a stir. I will ship to either a domestic or an international winner.

Vote (comment) on your favorite Christmas carol between Monday December 3 & Friday, December 7th, 2012 (5pm PST). I will draw the winner either Friday night when I get home from work or after I finish work on Saturday morning.

If you are unclear as to whether you are a no-reply commenter, please leave your contact e-mail in this format: specialperson(at)wherever(dot)com. ***Added Monday night - already have three who I have no way to contact.

You can see all the other entries linked up here - at SewMamaSew.
Please take time to look at SewMamaSew's store as they are the world's fastest shipper of fabric.

They are a fabulous sponsor with about a million tutorials on things to sew or craft.

*** and Giveaway Two (2) is here.

02 December, 2012

Apple Cider Caramels

 Wow. These are seriously good. Totally in the autumn season.

 Small bites, wrapped in wax paper.

 See the squiggly one on the left - yeah- that's a 'sample'.

 Easy to make - but time consuming.

Forgot how I stumbled across this recipe but I found a really cool blog, The Smitten Kitchen, because of it.

These are melt in your mouth caramels that are so apple pie happy. Just a dash of salt and cinnamon.

I reduced the apple cider in the morning and after 1 1/2 hours, finished the cooking. Then the mixture had to cool for a few hours. Set aside a day or at least half a day to make these. Worth the time.

By The Smitten Kitchen.

Apple cider (sometimes called sweet or “soft” cider), as I’m referring to it here, is different from both apple juice and the hard, or alcoholic, fermented apple cider. It’s a fresh, unfiltered (it has sediment), raw apple juice — the juice literally pressed from fresh apples. It’s unpasteurized, and must be refrigerated, because it’s perishable. In the Northeast, I usually find it at farm stands and some grocery stores. I occasionally find vacuum- sealed bottles called apple cider in the juice aisle, but none of the bottled varieties that I’ve tried has the same delicate apple flavor as the more perishable stuff sold in the refrigerator section.

4 cups (945 ml) apple cider
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, or less of a finer one
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (110 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
Neutral oil for the knife

Boil the apple cider in a 3- to- 4- quart saucepan over high heat until it is reduced to a dark, thick syrup, between 1/3 and 1/2 cup in volume. This takes about 35 to 40 minutes on my stove. Stir occasionally.
{Kathy's note: Try 1 1/2 hours. I was afraid to put the burner on High. However, when it does go thick, it can burn (almost!) fast. So- watch it carefully towards the end.}

Meanwhile, get your other ingredients in order, because you won’t have time to spare once the candy is cooking. Line the bottom and sides of an 8- inch straight- sided square metal baking pan with 2 long sheets of crisscrossed parchment. Set it aside. Stir the cinnamon and flaky salt together in a small dish.
Once you are finished reducing the apple cider, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter, sugars, and heavy cream. Return the pot to medium- high heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side, and let it boil until the thermometer reads 252 degrees, only about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it.
(Don’t have a candy or deep- fry thermometer? Have a bowl of very cold water ready, and cook the caramel until a tiny spoonful dropped into the water becomes firm, chewy, and able to be plied into a ball.)
Immediately remove caramel from heat, add the cinnamon- salt mixture, and give the caramel several stirs to distribute it evenly. Pour caramel into the prepared pan. Let it sit until cool and firm—about 2 hours, though it goes faster in the fridge. Once caramel is firm, use your parchment paper sling to transfer the block to a cutting board. Use a well- oiled knife, oiling it after each cut (trust me!), to cut the caramel into 1-by-1-inch squares. {Kathy's note here: Unwrap a cube of butter and constantly edge the knife on it. If the knife gets too cruddy, wash in hot water and do the butter thing again.}

Wrap each one in a 4-inch square of waxed paper, twisting the sides to close. Caramels will be somewhat on the soft side at room temperature, and chewy/firm from the fridge.
Do ahead: Caramels keep, in an airtight container at room temperature, for two weeks, but really, good luck with that.

Allergy note: does contain butter and cream. But - oh-so-good.

22 November, 2012

Thankful Gratitudes & Swedish Chefs

I was struggling with gratitude and the whole count your blessings thing on Monday and Tuesday morning when a lovely customer came in Tuesday around noon and gifted me with a PIF pound of Pecans.

She remembered my dream from last year and totally made my day - this year.
I was focusing on the wrong angle to this holiday and I was reminded, gently, what it is all about.

Someone facebooked me the Swedish Chef from the Muppets cooking that turkey and I am sharing with you. Get your silliness on.

Video 1:

Video 2:

& Video 3:

PIF = Pay It Forward.

18 November, 2012

Smart Charging Pocket

My sewing for the day.
Today is laundry day. I am busy getting ready to host Thanksgiving here so things need to be baked. Rolls - check. Coconut Macaroons - Done. Pie Crusts - ready in freezer to roll out Wednesday night to make Pumpkin Pies - yes.

November is home of Handmade Holidays over at SewMamaSew.
Today's projects are for the techy (techie?) people in your life.
Saw this - had to make one.

Normally my phone - which has to be charged every night(!) sits on the edge of my island. If you want to bake something, get the toaster out, or make waffles, one is always juggling for space with my phone. This smarty pants phone doesn't take kindly to batter dripping on it or (gasp!) water nearby.

Sometimes the cord slithers onto the floor where I live in fear someone with size 10 shoes will flatten the end.  
I didn't have another solution until today.

Coolest thing. Sewed up in twenty minutes flat.
Jet fabric was from my free spoonflower fat quarter I got over Labor Day weekend.
Inner fabric is from Finlayson in Turku, Finland.
I did not hoard these fabrics.
So there.

Now, on to the Butternut Squash Soup.

16 November, 2012

The Ding Dongs Have Died

Did you hear the news?
Hostess - who makes Twinkies as well as Ding Dongs, has filed bankruptcy.
Rather than work it out with the union, the hedge fund owners have decided not to duke it out with the union.
18,000 jobs lost.

My grandma always kept a box of ding dongs in her freezer for when we visited. To this day, my siblings and I can inhale foil wrapped frozen ding dongs all day long.
Well - not really - I have serious food sensitivities - so my days as a ding dong eater are past.

In the last few years the oddball Hostess offerings were getting  more difficult to find. For a while, Target was stocking Ding dongs.

So Hostess investors will sell off the recipe and image rights to the highest bidder and some dork will try to re-create the Ding Dong.
It won't be the same.

Anyone else have an Hostess memory?

12 November, 2012

Monster High Doll Bed

My finnish friend's daughter loves Monster High Dolls.
At first, when I was planning my trip this summer, I was thinking why  couldn't she be happy with a barbie? These Monster High dolls are more expensive. And where do you find them? I'm totally out of the toy shopping loop.

But then you start looking at M.H.D.'s and realize they are cooler than they sound. They come with all sorts of very small accessories - the kind that mom's curse the world over.
But to a little girl playing, these tiny items make the experience. The M.H.D.'s come with a story.

My friend tucked some american dollars in my pocket as I left to travel home for some christmas cheer. Sure enough, her annigirl asked for Rebecca and Venus McFlytrap. Oddly enough, these two dolls are sold as a pair - everywhere.
I spent some research time on ebay and found them going for $60 plus shipping. Further research found them at Walmart - ship to store- for $40 for the pair and no shipping costs.

Annigirl also wanted some furniture.
 I bought one Coffee Cafe set at Target but decided to make her a bed.
For my bed, I used a narrow shoebox. I turned the sides under and glued them. Then I used batting and vinyl 'leather' to  make the headboard and endboard. I thought about bringing the 'leather' up over the siderails but decided that was overkill.
I used the same black 'leather' for the mattress and pillow.
This embroidered sheet is screen door fabric.  I was looking for some animal print fake fur and stumbled across this soft screening.
I decided that it had that monster-ish texture and embroidered some plants on it - sort of a coverlet/sheet. Venus McFlytrap riffs a bit off the Little Shop of Horrors.
I saw a custom bed made for Miss Venus with plants twining up the bed posts on etsy.

Cool, but this leather bed is way cooler as it can be used for any of the eleven dolls miss annigirl already has. (plus two = 13 --- wait, there's one more Coffee Bean doll =14)
Ebay and Etsy customers take these accessories for these dolls very seriously - if you are looking for an idea to sell.

My "leather mattress" can be taken out to be used as a futon thingy.

I finally found some 'ermine'.
Not sure where the animal print is hiding in my fabric jungle (lol).

Close-up of Venus & Rebecca.

I have figured out two boxes is cheaper to send than one.
I need to run by Joann's tomorrow night for some drawstring cord for a string backpack I made for her son. I am also waiting on my finnish friend's 'last requests'.
She should get the packages well in time for Christmas.

11 November, 2012

Painting Of The Boys

I commissioned a painting of my dogs as a family Christmas present.
The artist , Sandra Spencer, has sent me two 'proofs'.

I can't decide.

Will you cast your vote? Help me out?

Comment below: numerous uno(1) or dos(2).
Gracias for your input.

Rusty on the left (nearly 11). Rocket on the right (passed away last fall)

04 November, 2012

Flying Near Sunset

It's been awhile since we have flown at sunset. I forget the lighting is so much better than in the hazy afternoon.
Such a fantastic Indian Summer day. I believe we hit 65'- perfectly warm enough for the last flight of the year. We won't be flying the stearman again until late April.

 Look at these sunrays. Gorgeous display.
The sky was all big dark cloud layers north and towards the coast range - where I imagine it is drizzling by the look of those clouds. 

Down south by Salem and towards the cascade foothills it was all clear. It appeared that my friends on the other side of the cascades (redmond girl- hey you!) had a beautifully clear day as we could see Mt. Jefferson with no clouds wrapped around it's peak.

The farmers have tilled all of their fields in preparation for the winter rains.

The leaves on the trees and nursery plants are all turning -- providing gorgeous reds, yellows and oranges
in contrast to the cloudy skies.

 A perfect end to Laundry Day.

Space can be at a premium with three airplanes in the hangar. Stearman with wings off for storage is behind our flying stearman. J-5 cub is in pieces -- everywhere.

Laundry Day

 My Sunday turned out to be dry and warm .  Our Indian Summer continues.
This plane flew in to visit. My husband bought a project just like this one so they were talking J-5 stuff.

Photos to share:

Fall colors in this bed. We had some 'almost frosts' which toasted the hostas in the foreground. The others are still going strong with one re-blooming.

 Garden Nasturciums came back from the almost frost with a vengeance.

 Dahlias still going strong.

 Blueberry plants all turning color. The next wind will make the leaves disappear.

 Rusty with his marrow bone. He can see me in the garden and the guys in the hangar. All of his peoples must remain in his view.

 The million dollar question? Will my butternut squash ripen in time???

 The almost frost nailed half of the leaves. If they can make it until Thanksgiving, that's when we get a good frost around here. Please ripen. I want butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving dinner.

 My pajama pants I sewed last sunday (raining). Very comfortable cotton knit.

 Pocket detail. I made adjustments to my PJ pattern to include this pocket. No bulky seam layers with just a single layer to add to the front piece to make the pocket. All sewing done with my serger and coverstitch machines.

Made  two small apple pies for hubby today. Trying to talk him into flying today. Definitely our last chance before weather turns warm again in the spring.

But we just paid bills - including those high property taxes we get for living in Canbyland.
Avgas is pricey.

Slow cooking a roast this afternoon and maybe I will work on my Japanese sewing projects.
During lunch at work, I am doing yoga on Tuesday and Thursdays (Lilia's Yoga and you DVD) and reading and sewing the other two lunch hours. Sometimes I go for a walk if it's not too windy (hello hair) or rainy.  Trying my best to take breaks and not succeeding.
The stress at work has plateaued and it is what it is. Especially through Christmas.

The being two steps behind at work is actually helpful to me sticking to eating well and taking care of myself. I am not making poor food choices as often -because I cannot afford to deal with the reactions. Working six days a week forces me to be vigilant about my health and in a weird twisted way, 50 hrs/wk is good for me.
Being busy takes away the focus on how sick I am. There's a lot to be said to just 'ignoring' my auto-immune issues and moving forward.

I promised myself I would get a better attitude about this work situation on or before Nov. 1 and having a deadline to find something positive in it (or else!) caused me to come up with positives.

I am learning new programs constantly and my efficiency at work is at an all-time high.
On laundry day, I make sure my laundry is done for the week (duh) and also something like soup or a chicken has been cooked for easy meals for the week.

I took advantage of the dry day today to pull my tomato plants for the year and spread lime on the garden soil. I also turned over the big weeds. I plan to spread some compost this fall also but not today. Putting the garden to bed.

My liquid vitamin B complex has come through in more regulated energy throughout the day - especially at the nap-time hour. I utilize more of the vitamins in this liquid form.

My voodoo-hippee doctor is now offering Saturday hours of which I am taking advantage of to keep my energy paths open and flowing positively. This is all part of taking care of myself.   'cause when I am feeling good, I tend to be a positive person. The negativity is directly related to not feeling well or not dealing with overwhelming stress well.

The safety issues with my older parents have all been accomplished and they are good to go until we re-assess in the Springtime.

Thanksgiving is around the corner and I'm having it at my house as this is less stressful in my family dynamics. The plus side? We get all the turkey smells lingering at my house. Feel good smells.