27 January, 2013

Ceramic Non-Stick Pans

I had last Monday off for MLK Day. First up was a doctor visit with the discovery of sunshine surrounding Canbyland which meant there was no way I was heading back into that inversion layer  wall of fog.

I went shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond for a wedding present. I was also looking at juicers and a new non-stick frying pan. The old fry pan was getting cranky (not to mention those toxic fumes)  so we wanted to try a ceramic one.

It works.

My Sunday yams/sweet potato hash fried up fast. In fact, the pan gets a little hotter than the old non-stick pan so you need to learn how to turn down the heat a bit. Nothing stuck - at all.
The ceramic browns wonderfully.

We'll see how long it lasts - probably as long as the old non-stick pans which is about three years.
My BB&B coupon on my smarty pants phone was duly scanned and we all agreed how easy that was.

I don't remember the brand on this pan. There were about three to choose from at BB&B. I don't see it on the web site.

Sunday breakfast;  fried yams with bacon (voget's)  & eggs (did I tell you about the seaweed wraps?).

Back to MLK Day: Totally enjoying the sunshine which made the interior of the car toasty warm even though it was only 35' outside, I took my mom out for lunch without our coats.

I made a few other stops and then as soon as I took the left-hand turn at Columbia Helicopters back to Canbyland, I could see that wall of fog still intact isolating Canbyland; dreary and cold and wet.
That inversion layer broke Friday (Thank God) and we are now enjoying cloudy/sunny skies around 40'.

Off to a bridal shower today  and then to Retro Revival. My creative friend owns this shop in Oregon City and they are hosting a gigantic grand opening today.

26 January, 2013

Three Days in March

I have approval for two days off work to go play.

Save the dates for 2013!

February 28, March 1 - 3, 2013

Puyallup Fair & Events Center
110-9th Avenue SW
Puyallup, WA 98371

Off to re-read my catalog of classes. Get admission tickets. Hotel Room is booked.
I'm going to SewExpo Friday, Saturday & Sunday this year.

23 January, 2013

My Birds

We are in the midst of two weeks of dreary weather.
Below freezing temps so it is frigid & dreary.
Apparently, it was just us in Canbyland & Hubbard (and I heard Silverton as well). Everyone else was enjoying freezing temps and Sunshine.

We have been trapped in some fog/cloud inversion layer.

I hang both my bird feeder and my hummingbird feeder so I can see the little birdies duke it out by the kitchen window. I had one hummingbird who turned and gave me the stink eye because his sugar water was frozen solid.

I ask for black thistle seed (niger) for christmas every year because I enjoy watching their antics. There is definitely a pecking order to the disappearance of 3 cups of seed in a few hours.

My sasanqua camellia is nearly done blooming by the front door.
When I prune it in the spring, I always find a bird's nest inside.

This was our first snow in Canbyland - more of a frozen frost than actual life-size snowflakes.
Canbyland gets a little banana belt thing going on. The rest of the Portland area has had snow several times in the last month.

Still working six days/wk with o/t.
I am hearing a rumor that my junior clerk might come back in about three weeks. This will give me some much needed days off as well as make the possibility of working four days/wk with 30hours come about.
I am figuring out how to deal with issues of my giving too much customer service to  my customers. They are not going to like going back to dealing with Miss I Quote Regulations.
But I don't need to work so many hours. It was not easy getting thru Christmas at work and my auto-immune was screaming.
Having the junior clerk take over some of the retail will not be popular with my customers, but it will enable me to take care of myself better and have time for my other life. I miss it --- my other life.

The one where I can sew and create, dream and play.

We went and saw the movie, Jack Reacher, on Christmas Day and now I am about halfway through all the novels that Lee Childs has written about Jack Reacher. This has been good winter reading. Working, reading and sleeping are what I am into these days.

On another bright note, I helped a customer re-pack something so we could save him a pile of money and the items smelled so good. Turned out they were loose teas from his friend in Seattle going to another friend somewhere else. These friends were all bartering their finds back & forth. The next day, he brought me a huge sack of various loose teas. Now my workplace smells divine.

My favorite tea is the  hand-tied jasmine flowers that unfurl under hot water.
I think what has gotten me through this tough time at work has been my buying an electric kettle at Amazon.com. It's difficult to take any breaks during the workday but I can boil water fast even if I often drink the tea cold by the time I get back to it.

Electric kettles are all over the place in Europe as they heat water fast to save electricity. I wasted a couple of months trying to figure out what they are called before I found one at Amazon.com that answered my need.

Here's hoping I get some help at work even if it is not the best help and I will have more time for watching my birdies squabble over who gets to sit front & center at the bird feeder.

Downton Abbey - anyone else watching season three?   Fabulous.

03 January, 2013

More Pressies.

This was a super  gift to me this Christmas from my lovely friend in Japan. She writes a blog too.
We met during a SewMamasew giveaway and it turned out she grew up right behind me in Beavercreek. Small world.

Since then, we have met a couple of times. Her family lives in Oregon and Janine comes back to visit each summer. She and I really enjoy playing Draw Something together  - me on my smarty pants phone and she on her IPad.  We are also figuring out sewing stuff and etsy stuff together.

She sent me these two felted leaf coasters that are  gorgeous colors - fuchsia and heather gray.
Plus the zippered pouch in the background.

This pouch is entirely hand-sewn.
From the quilting on the pink spool fabric to insetting the zipper.
Beautiful craftmanship.

Someday she will get my gift. I mailed all my international gifts on the 10th but obviously, customs is backed up.

Thank you Janine for bringing a smile to my face.
It's so lovely to receive packages in the mail.

02 January, 2013

I'm A Winner!

I won this the SewMamaSew Giveaway Days (early December) from Kara over at her Me and Elna blog.
I managed to enter a few giveaways and this bag struck my eye. Was I ever surprised to find out that I won it. Hooray for me!

The bag came loaded with more turquoise and brown fabrics, and some rubber stamps which got put in a special place during the holiday craziness.
The bag is fully lined with the greenish-blue fabric (top) and then Kara did some fancy-schmancy stitching where the drawstring pulls.

A lined bag with boxed corners. Impressive.

I must also put in that this lovely package awaited me after I arrived home from a long, long work day. Too tired to think about eating but not so tired to rip that package open -- big smile.
Thanks Kara.

There will be another SewMamaSew giveaway day in May - be prepared.

01 January, 2013

My Son's Flannel Quilt

 My son came home for a four-week break to intern at Fred Meyers and also sew a quilt.
He and his roomies have not turned on the heat at their house in Corvallis (--would not want to be his landlord) and run around at home all bundled up sitting next to electric heaters.
Actually, none of them are really ever home as they are all going to school or working.
You may remember last Christmas when he made this cool bottlecap coffee table.

This Christmas, he shopped with me at Fabric Depot. He chose manly flannels that went together quite well. Before we hit Fabric Depot, we decided on a simple strip quilt with a flannel sheet backing.

 Most of the flannels were printed with warm wool suiting motifs/checks - visually keeping you warm as well.

He sewed it all by himself, mastering my temperamental walking foot along the way.
I helped him with the mitered corners on the striped flannel and expert advice via texting as I was at work while he was sewing.

 He finished it off with a double layer of cotton batting and a flannel sheet backer.
For quilting, he tied it off.
Not in enough spots for me but enough for him.

My son had never sewn something of this magnitude and it turned out exactly how he wanted it to.