Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tiny Cookie Treasures


IMG_1628 I had so much fun making the tiny Gingerbread Houses that Julie at Tattered Threads and Willing Hands linked to on Not Martha’s Blog.   They are suppose to fit over a mug, but I must have used the wrong measurement because they don’t fit on mine.  They are sure cute though and I had a blast decorating them.  I used to like to do big gingerbread houses, but the cost of all the candy and then we through most of it away after the holiday stopped me from doing it years ago.  These were IMG_1629fairly easy and I already had the frosting made to frost sugar cookies so I  whipped up a batch of gingerbread and went to town creating a little town.  I didn’t have the candies I would have liked to have, but no matter I made do with what I did have and had a blast doing it.  Thanks Julie for the link and thanks Not Martha for the great idea!IMG_1631

  I didn’t stop there…I took another idea I saw on Martha Stewart the other day and put some of my cookies into a big glass jar I found at Target for all of $7.  The fun just keeps on happening and I could keep going, but really it is time to stop myself and get ready to feed the masses that are coming to visit Friday thru Sunday!IMG_1623


Have some fun this holiday season!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Finished Christmas Project

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I managed to finish a project yesterday, love when that happens!  I actually had made 2 cookie plate crumb catchers for potential gifts then as I looked at my gate table and thought, “It needs a table runner.”  I came up with this idea and am quite please with the results.  I got the cookie plate crumb catcher pattern from Rosebud’s Cottage blog during the 2009 Cross County Quilt Designer's Blog Hop, and luckily I had made them both exactly the same.  It is so much easier to cut two projects out and sew them together at the same time than to do them one at a time.  The star pattern in the center I had printed out ions ago from the McCalls quilt pattern collection.  I have printed lots of these patterns and used them in my Dear Ferne quilt.  I think I actually have 2 of these started in my UFO closet.  If it keeps raining like it has been I should have lots of time to finish some of the projects in that closet, that is if I don’t start new ones.

* Why is it that after you post a picture on the internet you see something that should have been visible right in front of you.  Can you see the mistake in my my runner?  It is not big and really kind of looks intentional so I guess I should just call it that…an intentional mistake.

Today though I will tackle the last room of this house that needs to have wallpaper stripped and get textured and painted.  We already have bought all the light fixtures and towel racks so there is no excuse to wait any longer.  Besides the rainy weather is keeping us stuck inside.  Why is it that the last thing is the hardest to actually get done? 

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Here is the guest bath that we finished a few weeks ago.  We are very pleased with the results.  We bought the paint solely based on the name, ‘Soft Fern’, and luckily we love it!  I want to use it in our bathroom, but it wouldn’t quite go with the bedroom color so I am using a beige color that we have used other places in the house it is called ‘Everlasting’ and we bought it for its name also.  We had good luck with our paint choices on this project.  We bought them all at a Benjamin Moore store and are quite happy with the way they cover and the lack of fumes was the best part.

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The pictures above are from the kitchen.  We did the little area around the cupboards with a color called ‘Oregano Spice’ but the bigger wall we used the ‘Everlasting’ to avoid there being too much green.  A good choice I think.  The doorway in the picture above is where you walk from the kitchen to the hallway at the entry so we repeated the ‘Everlasting’ color there, too.  My camera flash makes a lot of glare on that picture, but it is a print from the Royal Hawaiin Hotel by John Kelly who designed menu covers for their restaurant.  It is a fisherman with his catch…the fish or the woman, maybe both!

Happy holidays!  Here’s to many finished projects in the New Year!


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Our Hummingbird Place

Not much time for crafting or fishing here these days though we do manage to fit in a little of both occasionally.  We have now painted the whole inside of the house except for the master bath.  It is suppose to rain this weekend so that will be a good time to tackle that room.  Yesterday however we tackled a few huge junipers that were in a bad location.  They we creating a block to the sidewalk that leads to the front door.  They didn’t come out without a struggle, but I think all the struggling was worthwhile.  We planted a little Korean fir tree that we bought from the nursery.  It will only get about 10 ft. tall and not very wide over a long period of time so it won’t be blocking the sidewalk any time soon, if ever.  The fun thing about doing projects like this at this time of year is that you just build a fire and burn the mess.  This juniper was going into the fire right from the ground and the rate that it burned was a little scary.  Had there been a fire that close to the house the house would have burned in a flash.  So we are relieved to have it gone and to be able to see the path to the front door.

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                              Before            and          After


The whole hedge burned in just about an hour or less.  You can even see through the breezeway because we removed the lattice that was blocking the view.  It’s been nice having it all open to the beautiful views we have here.  There are still lots of projects coming, but nothing urgent at the moment.

IMG_1295I was able to spend the rest of the afternoon working on setting up the little green house.  It is a funny looking little igloo thing, but it seems to be staying quite warm inside.  I had to chase out a few black widow spiders and I can see that a gopher has discovered his way in, but I am making it a useful place again.  It seems that there must be an issue with getting water into the green house because there is broken pipe going to a sink, but that will take a little more instigating.  There is a working faucet really near by so for now that will do the job.  Soon we will be starting little seedlings and have a real vegetable garden near by, that will be the day this house really feels like “home” to us.  Michael got his beebee gun yesterday and some gopher traps so let the gopher hunting season begin!  We are tackling all the obstacles one at a time and are well on our way to growing a big beautiful garden here at our Hummingbird place.  Now I believe some well deserved sewing and fishing time are in order…more on that soon!

I am getting the urge to get down the Christmas decorations and have been accumulating some cookie recipes and looking forward to all our kids coming to visit.  Michael wants to get out his train set and run it through the house.  It’s beginning to feel like Christmas.  Now all we need is snow!

Happy Holidays!


Friday, November 13, 2009

My New Sewing Suite


I am starting to feel settled into our new home and having a sewing area set up helps.  I was going to turn the guest room into a sewing room, but once the bed was in there wasn’t enough room.  It does have an extra large closet though so that became the space to store most of my sewing supplies.  I have to share with the fisherman and it is working just fine. 

IMG_1490 He built me shelves and now thinks he needs some of his own.  I am sewing in the living room by a window with a wonderful view of our yard.  The added bonus is sewing in the same room with the wood stove burning and the TV is on, but behind me.  Turns out the guest room gets pretty cold so to save on heating costs we are closing the door to that room.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I like to change things often so who knows, maybe I will make the guest room the sewing room in the Spring.  For now though I am completely happy with the current set up.  The fisherman though is eyeing the little desk I am using for himself as a fly tying station and says he wants to buy me a real sewing table.  I think he is thinkingIMG_1505 that the machine would be put away sometimes and it would look nicer in the living room.  Hmmmm, I am not too sure how often it would be put away, but if he wants to buy me a sewing table I won’t stop him.  In looking at sewing tables though I just have one question…how do you make room for ironing?  I use a  little folding ironing board that I can pull out and put away easily.  It is large enough for most things.  Now I am opening the desk on my hutch and putting the ironing board on it then I can fold it up when not in use and tuck the board along the side. 

IMG_1506This is my current sewing area and it is working for me, but I do think there will be changes in the future.  Oh and a picture of my first project made just for me.  I was inspired by some hot pads I saw on Patchwork Pottery’s blog.  I figured out a way to make them quilt as you go so they went together really quick and easy.  I raided my scrap bins for all the fall colors.  We really needed hot pads so this project was kind of a necessity and they are very useful.  I layered 2 layers of batting with a layer of Insulbrite in between so they are thick, but not too thick,  and will not get too hot .

Sew on…


Monday, November 09, 2009

Settling In

We are getting settled into our new home after a very busy past few weeks.  We had family visit last week even though we didn’t have much in the way of furniture yet.  It was actually quite comfortable and a good time was had by all.  There was the cutest little pregnant girl, my little sister, (who is expecting twins!),

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her husband, Craig, our Dad and Mercy helping out with cooking and cleaning.  We managed quite well with what we had on hand and played a lot of Mexican Train Dominoes.  Watching the deer run around the back yard and smelling the smoke from neighbors burning on burn days made it feel like camping in a house.  Tonight we are enjoying sitting by the fire ourselves, which is nice since it is about 35 degrees outside.  We even managed to fit in a short fishing trip today…the first of many I’m sure.

IMG_1468We have been tackling all the home improvement projects a little at a time and seem to be moving right a long at a steady pace.  I have even tried my hand at texturing a wall with a sea sponge and I have to say it did come out pretty nice.

It took some real team work, but we have even got all the Hunter Douglas blinds hung.  There were 3 sliding doors and one window.   One of the sliding doors was a real challenge because it was 14 feet long so we saved that one for last and by then we were pros.  We are loving the way they look and function and they really do seem to be keeping the warmth in which is very much appreciated at the moment.  The nice thing about the blinds we chose is that they have a sheer fabric around them that lets a lot of light in when the blinds are in the open position, but gives you a lot of privacy in the closed position.  They say that they are easy to clean with just a vacuum…I’m sure we’ll be checking that feature out in the near future.

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Finally I can get to the project I have been waiting patiently for and that is organizing and setting up my sewing area.  I started today and Michael even built me some shelves in the extra large closet we have.  It looks like it is all going to fit with room to spare.  Now to get to those sewing projects so I can have some sewing and crafting to write about on this blog!  There are lots of great ideas out there for the upcoming holidays and the quilt store nearby has lots of classes and free sewing days coming up that I can’t wait to get to.  I have no shortage of ideas!

Thanks to all our friends and family who stuck by our sides and helped us move and settle into our new home.  Now they can all come and visit and see why we chose Shingletown for our new home, only not all at once, please.

Enjoy the special days coming up and make some wonderful memories!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Linger Longer Lodge


We visited the charming home of our new neighbor on our last visit to Shingletown.  They actually live in the town of Viola in a 100 year old log cabin.  Their home was so inspiring and absolutely beautiful in a simple kind of way.  Irena has found a way to garden in conditions that I wouldn’t have thought possible.  You can see the love and time that she has thoughtfully put into her landscape.  She has many challenges to work with too…deer, gophers, giant redwood trees and snow, lots of it.  For her the snow season is just about to start, yet on the day we were there she still had beautiful dinner plate dahlia’s in full bloom.  She told us how she transplants dogwood trees and foxgloves from other places on the property to places in her yard where she can enjoy them. 


Not only was her yard lovely, but her cooking was just as wonderful.  She couldn’t let us leave without serving up a helping of borscht she had just made and boy was it delicious much to my surprise.  I had never been much of a fan of beets until Michael started cooking them for me.  Those Ukrainians know what to do with beets.  So when I plant my next vegetable garden I will be including a row for beets!

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Thanks for your wonderful hospitality and for welcoming us into your neighborhood!  Neighbors like this really make you feel like you are home!

Ferne & Michael

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Making a House “Your” Home


Now we are painting and yes the wallpaper did come down.  There is still a bit more to remove, but for one days work I’d say we did quite well.  The color we chose was Behr – Oregano Spice.  It goes really well with the brown wood of the cabinets.  There is still one wall that I want to be a different color because it is looking into the laundry room which I have also painted the green.  So I have some sample swatches painted on the wallpaper and after looking at them all weekend I keep thinking that I need something in between the 2 colors I swatched so still a little decision making to do there.

IMG_1415 I really like how my favorite window turned out.  I was going to get rid of the navy blinds, but after putting them up I am really liking the blue with the green.  It’s funny how the things you were sure would have to go when you bought the place change once you actually start living with things.  I am learning not to be so quick to decide that things just have to go.

IMG_1411 One thing I did remove right away was the swinging doors from the kitchen to the hallway.  I felt like the hallway was not used much because it was blocked off by these doors.  The front door is not used much either because of a flow problem with the front yard, but we will work on that when we have more than a weekend.  In the picture below I am trying out more paint swatches on the hall wall.  There is more wallpaper to remove there and maybe I will texture it.  I didn’t texture the kitchen, just painted on the flat wall and I like it but it sure does show any little imperfection in the wall that way.  I am leaning toward a color in between the second color and the third color.  Any tips?


                               Before                                          After


I am really missing my sewing time and I still have a month to go with this crazy schedule of working and living at the apartment then going on a 4 hour drive to the new place to work on that for a few days.  It is fun and exciting, but I am looking forward to setting up my sewing area and making some things for our new home and Christmas which is just around the corner.

With a little Love any house can be a “Home”.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Making a “House” a “Home”: Step 1


The first step to making a house feel like home is to add something that you love as soon as possible.  For me that would be a coffee pot!  The funny thing is that I was planning to remove that awful wallpaper first thing, but once the coffee pot was in place and few days spent there the wallpaper started to grow on me.  I think it will still be removed, but it has moved down the list of things to do first. 

We are dragging this move out over a 2 month period so we are moving things up one carload at a time for now.  Last week was the first week.  We picked up our keys and ordered the mailbox key and took the first load of stuff to the house.  This load included a blow up air bed, toiletries, kitchen utensils, a little food and a can of paint.  After the car was unloaded we took a trip to Wal-Mart and bought a microwave, a mini refrigerator and a ladder along with other essentials.  We must have done good, because by the time we had to leave to return to our dreaded apartment we were calling this place “home” and the apartment is just “the apartment”.  It will be a long 2 months, but it will give us time to settle in and earn a little more money to pay the rent on the dreaded apartment which still has a 2 month lease and more importantly a little more time to spend with friends and family who I am sure we will miss when the move is complete.  When we get all settled we are hoping the friends and family will be able to enjoy many visits to us in our new place.  I talked to a woman the other day who has spent the last 13 years living in 2 states.  She says they live in each house for 2 weeks each month and have earned a lot of flying miles.  I asked how she does it and she said that is has just become a way of life for her.  I am such a homebody that just 2 months is going to be difficult.

We are off again today to spend a few days at “home”.  On the agenda this week will be our first painting project.  We are going to start with laundry/mud room which is the entry that most people seem to use to go into this house. 

Last week we swept down cobwebs and cleaned cupboards.  The carpet is new and it filled the vacuum bag with lint 2 times.  After all this was done we did have time to relax and enjoy a few very nice sunsets.  It seems the back deck is so strategically placed for enjoying the most amazing sunsets, something you don’t get to do ever at the apartment.  I tried to take a picture of the view, but sunsets aren’t easy to capture on my camera so just use your imagination and think of one of the most awesome sunsets you have ever seen with very intense colors.  Remember I have been living in a smog filled city so fresh country air and no city lights at night makes the sky look bluer and sunsets and stars even more intense.

I’m off to make a house a “home”.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

One Really Big Project


IMG_1264 I have not been blogging much lately because we have been busy working on one really big project…we have bought a house and will be spending the next two months working on moving in to it between working at our paying jobs.  It will be a huge change for us from living in a little apartment in the city to a 1600 sq ft house on 3+ acres out in the sticks.  Our neighbors are emu’s and an ostrich aIMG_1308nd we have frequent visits from a herd of deer.  There are fruit trees (deer food) and other beautiful landscape (more deer food).  There are lots of places to go fishing so Michael will be busy scouting those out.  JJ’s Log Cabin Quilt shop is just 2 miles away, but I just found out that they will be moving.  Luckily it won’t be too far and they got a bigger shop with a bigger classroom.  So I will be busy visiting there and signing up for some classes.

This big project is creating lots of other projects so blogging is sort towards the bottom of the list of priorities, but I hope to find time to blog about some of the projects to that I have a record of befores and afters for myself.

Does anyone reading this know of a way to have your blog printed into a book?  I have tried copying pages into Word and doing it myself into a notebook but it would be nice to have a real book with better quality pictures.  So if you know of any could you leave me a comment. 

Thanks for visiting!  and ya’ all come back now ya’ hear!



Friday, August 07, 2009

Thank you Candace!


What sweet friends you meet in blog land!  I received a package from Candace at Squash House Quilts.  She was ‘Paying it Forward"’ and picked me to give this wonderful gift to.  She made a really wonderful bag out of my favorite colors, green and red, and she sent me a charm pack of Figgy Pudding.  I already have ideas for that.  In the true fashion of the generous person that she is she also sent me a very handy bias tool from Fons & Porter that I am sure I will put to good use on a few WIP’s that I am getting close to finishing.  But, she didn’t stop there…it seems that quilters and fishermen must have chocolate so she sent a bag of M & M’s for both Michael & myself to give us the energy to keep doing the things we love.  What a sweet gift!  Thank you Candace.

For my part in ‘Paying it Forward’ I gave a dear friend that was without a sewing machine my old machine and an apron pattern.  She was really needing a machine just to be able to do some mending, but she had always loved to sew and was so grateful to be able to get back to sewing once again.  It did my own heart good to help her out.  I have 2 more things to do yet and am sure I will be getting to them real soon!


Enjoy all the day has to offer!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Here’s one for Julia & Julie


I have found myself inspired by this book ‘Julie & Julia’ by Julie Powell. I can’t wait for the movie to come out. I have admired Julia Child for a long time so I am really enjoying this book. I don’t think that it is inspiring me to cook all Julia’s recipes though so I made up one of my own tonight. I made Rice Krispie Treats with half Fruity Pebbles then I sliced it down the middle and filled with ice cream…a new twist on an ice cream sandwich! That’s about it for my cooking abilities these days!

Bon Appetit!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Zippety Do Dah!



I just couldn’t leave it rolled up for long.  I had been studying a quilt pattern that was mesmerizing me because if you look at it one way it is squares then if you look at it another way it is diamonds.  I love when designs do that.  I decided that the pattern in Jelly Roll Quilts was meant to use the Zippety Do Dah roll.  The only problem I have now is that no one seems to have any more of it and I need a border, backing and bias.  I am thinking of going with a simple beige or tan border and a navy or red binding.  That way the focus is on the center.  I almost have this all sewn together.  My points don’t match exactly, but I kind of like it that way.  It is just plain fun! 

I really didn’t need another project, but then again maybe I did because it really made me feel happy making it!

Keep it fun!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Package Arrives


 For once a package arrived for ME!  These days most packages are for Michael and contain fishing stuff…lots of little fishing lures and things.  But, today there was a package for me.  Last week I won a Jelly Roll from In Between Stitches!  I couldn’t believe it…and today it arrived.  It is Zippety Doo Dah by Sandy Gervais and it looks fun!  I will be looking for a new project or two to work on with this.

Thank you Lynn at In Between Stitches

I love it!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Peaceful Place


We took a little trip last week to revisit Shingletown.  It is such a comfortable and peaceful little town.  We hiked and fished and visited a couple of nurseries, both owned by the same owner.  They were both very nicely set up and the staff was very friendly.  One was in Red Bluff and aptly named Red Bluff Garden Center.  I saw this fountain there that I really enjoyed…it has a bit of a European look.  It is not really as big as it looks, but the display really shows it off and it makes such a nice quiet trickling sound.  I will be keeping this in mind for future reference.  The second nursery was Wyntour Gardens in Redding.  It was a bit bigger then Red Bluff, but just as nice with a friendly and helpful staff.  I didn’t take any pictures here, I guess I was too busy taking it in.  They had an amazing pottery display and carried a lot of the same plants we carry in our nursery even from some of the same growers we order from.  It is nice to see how the same items can be displayed so differently.  They had a large potting area that they even allow customers to pot their own pots in so that they don’t have to make a mess at home.  Now that is customer service!

IMG_1108_edited-1Hiking to Lake Nora and Lake Grace also brings a similar peaceful feeling and we felt right at home there, so comfortable with our surroundings.  We couldn’t believe how blue the sky looked at Lake McCumber.  It just seems to blend into the water.  You have a view of Mt. Lassen from most anywhere in Shingletown it kind of reminds me of growing up in Colorado, we could always see Pikes Peak.  I remember just IMG_1175staring at it and feeling totally aware of the presence of God all around me.  I don’t go to a church regularly, but feel like I am in a different kind of church when I am out in such naturally beautiful places such as these.

There are little streams all over Shingletown.  Some are seasonal and some are always running.  I think they are fed by snow meltIMG_1187, but I have so much to learn about this place and hope we can spend a lot more time there in the future.  I would love to take more hikes enjoying scenes like these a long the way.   It is amazing the landscaping that nature does so seamlessly and we all struggle with.  I think we could all learn a few lessons here.


I was also enjoying the individual flowers that just come up from seed planted by God himself.  Some we sell in our nursery, but none do better than when they come up naturally in nature.  The colors are so intense and every petal is so perfectly placed. IMG_1203 

Well, I haven’t really don’t much sewing lately, but I would say that I have been gathering inspiration from nature.  What a great place to be inspired.  Now I am off to work to see if I can inspire a few people or put some of this to good use!



Have a lovely day!



Thursday, July 02, 2009

Giving and Receiving


Okay so I had a birthday and kept it quiet and simple.  My sister made the cutest little cake that was delicious as well as cute, and we went out to dinner with the whole gang.  It was a very fun time had by all.  Thanks Philina!


Today we spent some time in my garden harvesting squash and planting beans.  The tomatoes are doing fine, but just not turning red yet.  With all the heat that we are having this week though they should be turning any day now.  I am most happy with the flowers in the garden.  One of my favorites vignettes I accidentally made was to combine some Versailles Cosmos with a  Blue Spires sage.  Nice combinations seem to happen by accident in my garden.  I just plant anything that is new to me to try it out and see what it does.  I have a lot of different varieties of upright Phlox.  I am noticing that sage really doesn’t shop in this picture, that seems to happen a lot with blue in the garden though I could really use a photography class.


I also have some flowers that seem to come from no where.  I forget that I planted them then they make an appearance and bloom as if to say “Remember Me!”.  One of those was this true Geranium I believe it is Rozanne.   It is mostly white with the tiniest little blue streaks looking as if they were painted on by some little flower fairy. 

Now to see if I can get some sewing and cooking worked into my day!  We are going to make a Blueberry Pie, Cucumber salad and maybe even some tapioca pudding!  Guess I should put on that new apron I made!

Speaking of aprons…I tried to give away some aprons or patterns for the Paying it Forward thing I am taking part in, but since I got no response I am going to pick a few recipients that I think are deserving of nice surprise and I will let you know who I gave to that way no one feels obligated to have to repay the favor.  The apron pattern I am using for the give away was designed by Barbara Brandeburg.   I made one apron so far and it was a fun and simple project so I can’t wait to whip up a few more!

May your day be full of pleasant surprises!