29 March 2011

Visual Feasts

I have recently come across two artists who blew my mind.  The first is a textile artist who I classify as the Hundertwasser of fabrics.  Her name is Luella Doss, and her fabric is colorful and fun and different than any other fabric I have ever seen.  (See the full collection here.)

The second artist paints amazing abstract art with paint and a putty knife instead of brushes!  The effect is incredible!  She has asked that no one reproduce her work on other sites, so I'll just provide the link to her work.  Believe me, it's is definitely worth checking out!

27 March 2011

Deutsch ist die beste sprache!

Ich studierte drei Jahre lang Deutsch in der Schule.  Finde ich das so viel schoen, und leibe den Klang und Fluss der Sprache.  Ich bedauere, nicht weiter mein Studium der deutschen; ich habe so viel ueber die Jahre vergessen.  Obwohl, ich war erforderlich, um Gedichte auswendig lernen jedes Jahr, und die haben mit mir stecken.  Hier ist die erste Gedicht ich habe im deutsche gelernt. 

Bewaffneter Friede

Ganz unverhofft, an einem Hügel,
Sind sich begegnet Fuchs und Igel.

Halt, rief der Fuchs, du Bösewicht!
Kennst du des Königs Ordre nicht?
Ist nicht der Friede längst verkündigt,
und weißt du nicht, daß jeder sündigt,
Der immer noch gerüstet geht?
Im Namen seiner Majestät
Geh her und übergib dein Fell.

Der Igel sprach: Nur nicht so schnell.
Laß dir erst deine Zähne brechen,
Dann wollen wir uns weiter sprechen!

Und allsogleich macht er sich rund,
Schließt seinen dichten Stachelbund
und trotzt getrost der ganzen Welt,
Bewaffnet, doch als Friedensheld.
Wilhelm Busch

I studied German for three years in high school. I think the language is so beautiful, and love the tone and flow of language. I regret not continuing my study; I've forgotten so much over the years. Although, I was required to memorize poems every year, and those have stuck with me. Here is the first poem I learned in German:

Armed Peace
Quite unexpectedly, on a hill
a fox and hedgehog met.

"Stop!" cried the Fox, "you villain!
Do you not know the king's orders?
Peace was proclaimed long ago,
but, don't you know, that every injustice
Is still not forgiven?
On behalf of His Majesty
Go forth and surrender your spikes!"

The hedgehog said, "Not so fast!
Say that to me again,
And I'll break your teeth!"

The hedgehog hesitated then
let down his spikes.
Confidently, he continued, defying the world
Armed, but as a peace hero.

Ok, so it's an odd poem, but I remember all the German vividly.  If I bump into a fox on a hill in a kingdom, and am told forcefully to relinquish my spikes, I'll know how to respond!

23 March 2011

Kitsap Quilts for Kids - It's Official!

I was notified today that I was approved to be a leader for an official chapter for Quilts for Kids!  Huzzah!  All quilts made for Quilts for Kids in this area will go to kids in need in this area.  I am still trying to partner with a local hospital, but I will announce it as soon as I have a connection set up!

If you or anyone you know would like to join the cause, our official e-mail is: 
kitsapqfk {at} gmail {dot} com

Keep your eyes peeled for the KitsapQFK Facebook page and blog!

Our first Kitsap-made quilt:

21 March 2011


Spring sprung yesterday, so here's a small collection of spring-y things!   


in Just- 

spring       when the world is mud- 

luscious the little 

lame balloonman 

whistles       far       and wee 

and eddieandbill come 

running from marbles and 

piracies and it's 


when the world is puddle-wonderful 

the queer 

old balloonman whistles 

far       and       wee 

and bettyandisbel come dancing 

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and 






balloonMan       whistles 


-e.e. cummings (who else?!)

And a few things that scream "SPRING" to me:

Blueberries - some years we would pick ripe blueberries before all the snow had melted!

Cherry Blossoms!

Come on, it's me.  This collection wouldn't be complete without a crafty something!

20 March 2011

The Joy of Family

The past 2 weekends my husband, kids and I have been able to spend more time than usual with family.  It has been so nice and a lot of fun!  We live about 3,500 miles from where I grew up, but luckily we live much, much closer to my husband's side.  And even luckier, I love my in-laws!  My husband's parents are amazing people who are kind and giving and have been married for 30-some-odd years.  My brothers- and sisters-in-law are also great people who I very much enjoy spending time with.

We had a family barbeque at my in-law's house on Friday, where my MIL made delicious baked potatoes, a family-recipe baked bean dish and salad to accompany steaks grilled by one of my brothers-in-law.  Seriously, folks, I haven't eaten better at most restaurants I've been to!

We then had the opportunity to stay overnight at my husband's brother's house.  He's married and they have a precocious 3-year-old who I adore.  It was so nice to spend some time with them and enjoy conversation and relax.  The next night they were kind enough to keep our 2 kiddos while we celebrated our 5-year anniversary.

I feel very blessed to have married into such a great family.  It is hard for me to be so far away from my own family, with whom I am very close.  I am able to talk to them on the phone daily, and skype occasionally, but it's not the same as spending time with them in person.  It was balm for my soul to spend time with my husband's family this weekend.

If you're one of my in-laws, thank you so much for being a great family and making me a part of it.

If you're one of my far-away family, I miss you so much and cannot wait to see you again.

Much love to all of my family!

12 March 2011

The Book of a Thousand Happinesses: Update 2

My routine with my BOATH has evolved into a just-before-bedtime ritual, very much like entering my thoughts in a daily diary.  Since I've never kept a diary, this is new to me.  Today is 50 days since beginning the BOATH, and I'm up to number 102.  Still a 2-a-day average, I'm sorry to report, but I'm still keeping at it.  Here are some of the highlights so far:

3. "As far as he could remember, Sam slept through the night in deep content, if logs are contented." - LOTR

5. "We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." - Dr. Seuss

15. My son announced today, "I am living! I am alive!"

26. I am so thankful for a good friend who I can share my hobbies with and who doesn't mind my high-energy kids! (And she makes delicious food!)

25. I am married to a man who works very, very hard in a thankless job and makes a concerted effort to be home with us!

38. The encouragement of my parents.  They are amazing and so supportive!

46. Gesine's cakes (http://confectionsofamasterbaker.blogspot.com/)

Various: My 1-year-old keeps adding to her vocabulary!

Thank you to everyone who brings happiness into my life.  I hope that I'm able to bring happiness into yours!

09 March 2011


I am not Catholic, I'm not even practicing Episcopalian, yet I have felt compelled to participate in Lent this year.  I've participated in years past, mainly when I was attending an Episcopal church, and it has been a hard but good experience.  I feel that I need that kind of experience in my life right now.  One that will make me pause and think about my core beliefs and my relationship with God. 

As today is Ash Wednesday, I thought I would post a prayer from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. 

"Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

and one from Wm. Shakespeare:

"Oh Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart repleat with thankfulness."

07 March 2011

Quilts for Kids: A Follow-Up

I was chatting with my mom today, mostly about my daughter's birthday, but an odd topic came up somehow.  My mom's church is an overflow cold weather shelter for the homeless in their city.  She said that there are a lot of families that come through there now because of the recession, and it has been noted that many of these families have little to keep them warm during the day.  Someone at the church suggested starting a quilting group just to make quilts for those who need them.  Unfortunately, I live about 3,500 miles away, making it to the group would be, um, difficult.

However, since I'm starting to make quilts for the Quilts for Kids organization, I thought that making quilts for the kids in these families caught in hard, hard times wouldn't be a stretch.  Fabric and sewing has been such a boost for me the past 2 months, and I know these kids need a boost, too.

If anyone out there wants to join in either cause, let me know.  I can point you in the right direction or even be your go-to person!  Thanks!!

I found some more pictures of quilts made for children that I love:

Another quilt from Moda Bake Shop.  It's really, really easy to make!

An art quilt.  Love the different textures and patterns of the snowflakes.

A grandmother made these quilts for her grandkids that loved bugs.  There are lots of bugs hidden throughout the quilts!

06 March 2011

Birthday Party

My youngest turns 1 today.  It doesn't seem possible that she is already a year old.  Time goes by very, very quickly when most of it is spent in pursuit of two toddlers.  However, I have managed to squeeze in a couple projects lately that culminated in a party for my daughter and 5 other little ones.  I see these projects as a physical expression of how much I love her; I want the best for her, and so I want to give her the best from me.  I made her two quilts, one of which will be displayed only once a year for her birthday, and one for her bed.  I will make them a topic for later this week. 

So here are some of the "creations" that showed my enthusiasm for her reaching her first big milestone:

My attempt at a cake inspired by Gesine's cake .
The layers of a colorful Spring birthday cake.

The layers stacked.

The finished cake, frosted and "crumbed".

My Peanut eating her first slice of birthday cake.

A PB&J Caterpillar with carrot and celery legs and a tomato head.

04 March 2011

Quilts for Kids

Recently, as I was looking at random quilting websites online, I stumbled across the website for the organization Quilts for Kids.  This organization collects quilts made by hand by volunteers and gives them to long-term hospitalized children.  I immediately knew I had to be involved in this organization.

**Quilts for Kids Website**

I have wanted to volunteer for something for a long time, but haven't been able to find a niche that would also allow me to keep my children close by and wouldn't necessarily mean people were dependent upon me showing up at specific times.  Toddlers aren't really conducive to that, and right now my babies come first.  But quilting comfort blankets for kids in the hospital is something I can do right now.  I've been quilting for 2 months now, and it's very easy to get projects done quickly when the kids are napping or down for the night.  My biggest obstacle has been trying to find uses for everything I've made, and volunteering to make quilts will alleviate that "problem".

I'm looking forward to busting out some fun quilts for kids and teens!  If you have a favorite quilt pattern, color scheme or idea that is kid-friendly, please share.  I need all the ideas I can get right now!

Some patterns I've found that I think are fun and child-friendly:

My favorite so far!

01 March 2011

Architecture II

I was so excited about all the architecture pictures yesterday that I kept looking for more of my favorites online! All of the following are more of Ms. Susanka's creations or creations of people she works with closely.  I'll try to give credit where credit is due!

Home By Design 2004, Susanka.

Love the built-in bookcases, the gallery lighting, the offset square window and the window seat!
Sublime detail on the window panes! 

Incredible inlays on the floor!
Look at the iridescent tiles around the fireplace!!!

Kaleah House, Ross Chapin Architects
Glass tiles line the awning on the front porch!
Called "Playfully Sustainable".  Blueprints by Ted Montgomery.  Look at all the fun angles, curves and unexpected details (there's actually a tree growing into the Garden Room!)

Oh, Architecture.  How I love you.