Monday, May 31, 2010

Give Away Winner!

Thank you for all your entries and sharing some music and info about yourselves. It was so fun to read all the comments and I discovered a few new tunes as well.

I numbered your comments, excluding the Engineer's, a repeat, and a non-entry comment. Then cut up the numbers and put them willy nilly on our picnic table.

Now, a tennis ball with a bit of sticky tape.

The Engineer then did the honors.


The winner!

Number 23, Mama's Collection, you win the Zakka Sewing Book! Congratulations, please send me your address via email to and I will put it in the post.

For those of you who didn't win, I will be having another give away soon, so keep checking back, and thank you for playing.
Have a great day!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Today is Backwards Day

Wednesday was Crazy Hair Day.

Next Wednesday is Graduation Day!

This Fall, that beautiful little-big girl will be going to the 'big' school for Kindergarten.


By the way, she loved the pants...a lot.

There is still time to enter my Give Away!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot Pants

I should say, "Hot Pink Pants".

Pony Girl has no pants. Not entirely true but, all pants are looking as though she is prepared for an epic flood, or has gone into the plumbing business. She needs pants and she needs them now! So, what's a mama to do but, spend an hour (give or take) with some fabric scraps and some serious speed sewing. Mix it all together and you get crazy hot pink pants with some iffy dotty appliqué.

Excuse the dodgy photos, it's coming on summer here but, you wouldn't know it by the weather. Dark and dreary, wet and wetter...enough already!

While I don't love these pants, Pony Girl will... and I wont mind a bit if she mucks through the mud in them. I call that a success!

Hurray for pants!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Rainy Day Song

The rain keeps falling and it's a quiet morning at the cottage. With my mug of coffee and my honey toast I put on a morning song.

Alela Diane is kind of a local gal, I got to see her live last summer and thought her songs were real pretty.

Here is the one I listened to today.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Give Away Monday!

To celebrate...

I have one copy of this book to give away as an appreciation for all your commenting, visiting, sharing, and friendly goodness!

While I intend to keep this pretty simple, no tricky rules like tweeting, or following to get extra entries or the like. No, nothing of that sort but, what I would ask of you is this; please leave a comment on this post with a little tidbit of information about yourself. I'm not looking for a standard "Hello, my name is..." kind of thing. Nope. I want to know what music you have been listening to lately. Is there a song or a band that has you dancing, humming, dreaming or just making you happy? Tell me about it!

Commenting will be open until Saturday May 29th, after which I will devise some random picking method to draw a winner. I will announce the winner on Monday, May 31st. I will ship anywhere.

Happy Monday all!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wanted Man

Due to the recent increase in the princess population, with nary a prince in sight...

The Lumberjack has found himself to be the object of some pretty pursuit. At first he relished the attention but, it all started to get a little intense. He found he couldn't go anywhere without a gaggle of gussied up girlies running after him.

On this particular morning, whilst out on a coffee run, he heard the tell tale giggling coming up behind him. Before he had a chance to spot an escape route, he found himself surrounded.

I wonder how he's going to get himself out of this little pickle?

Have a lovely weekend all!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There's a kind of hush...

Storm clouds are gathering, the air is slightly electric, the light is dim...
there is a kind of hush - before the rain falls, before the lightening strikes, before the thunder claps...

These flickr favorites feel a bit like that "hush".

1. Flowers for the garden III, 2. Flags, 3. Desperately Seeking Songbird, 4. Some Favorite Notions, 5. milky, 6. A Market Basket, 7. Bloomingville 3, 8. All Eyes Are on You, 9. Untitled

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cowgirl in the Sand Pt. 2

If you are ready, I shall continue my little story...

The sedative effect of the ocean sent me into a sound and sweet sleep for the night. I wake at first light to the slight chill of morning fog that has seeped in through the windows. I shuffle outside to the wood locker gathering bundles of cut logs, their woody scent clinging to my sweater. Once the fire is lit, I make my morning coffee and stare out again at the sea. Antsy to hit the sand while the tide is still low, I walk down the bluff trail to the beach. The fog is already lifting, both literally and figuratively. I can't help but smile as I hop-skip over the exposed rocks, feeling like a kid peering into tide pools looking for creatures.

I breathe deep and walk until the sun is bright in the sky. Back up the trail and time for breakfast.

My favorite cafe lurks just outside of town. They bake everything from scratch, loaves of the most amazing dark molasses bread, pies - all kinds, hash-browns done to perfection. It's the kind of place that the local regulars keep their own coffee mugs behind the counter. How many breakfasts have I eaten in these booths? How many years has it been? Long enough to recall I was still wearing combat boots with vintage petticoats!

After I am well fed, I head North to Neskowin. Taking the back roads past verdant green fields, I roll down my window and yell “Hey Cows!” I swerve down the secret lane; I park at the private gate. I walk past the cedar shake vacation homes to the beach. I look up the hills that flank the dunes and marsh, the little bridge that crosses onto private land. We used to harvest wild rose hips here, with the owners permission. There is a flirtation with disappointment when I realize I have probably missed the wild flowers on Cascade Head.

This is my beach, all mine! Miles of sand with nary a soul but myself and two Blue Herons at the shore line.

I walk and hum feeling small and safe, happy inside of my skin. It seems my heart beats and my blood pumps in rhythm with the waves. The wind tangles my hair as I think about my little family at home, how very precious they are to me and how lucky we are to have found each other; each of us individuals making up a whole unit.

I sail back down the coast highway re-kindling an old musical flame, I turn Squeeze up to eleven and sing along to Goodbye Girl.
Back at the cottage, I settle myself into the reading nook or maybe better known as the daydream bed.

For a moment I ponder the the art of feminine maintenance - which often eludes me. It is not lost on me though, for as the song goes, "I enjoy being a girl!" There just seems to be other priorities most of the time. I put some Chuck Berry on the boom box, dye my hair, paint my nails and do the sort of dancing you do when no one is watching.

I think about a time in the future when my daughter might make some of these trips with me, just us girls at the edge of the world dancing and singing and skipping on the sand.

I search for treasure; agates, shells, sea glass and smooth rocks that feel like wishing stones...all collected in a jar to bring back to my girl. Gifts from the sea.

As my time here comes to a close, on the last night just before I light the fire, I must make one last walk. I sprint to the beach only to have the wind knocked out of me by the bulk of the horizon. The sun is setting, the ocean is the color of a pearl, the sky is wide open and it’s just too much. I have to take up a big stick for ballast and I still can’t breathe. A mile later I can finally rest and look out. Out there over the waves, hangs a primordial memory that feels suspiciously like heart break and home. The gravitational pull of instinct and deep longing and a gratitude I am unable to express.

You must click on the pic!

This short journey has filled me up again, sustenance for the following year, it has given me peace and a quiet I so needed. I have re-connected with myself and that is good. So now on the drive home, I find myself excited to re-connect with my family and to tell them my story of a little cottage by the sea.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hello Cowgirl in the Sand

When last I saw you, I believe I mentioned a little adventure I was about to embark upon. I am feeling like telling you all about it. I do think I am about to "spin quite a yarn" for you just now. You may like to get yourself into a comfortable "yarn spinning" position...

I am headed to the sea where a little cottage waits for me...
I am collecting things. I'm making lists in my head. I am chasing the ribbon of hwy 18 through the corridor, past the blind curve where I once got a flat tire with nothing to spare. There, I was rescued by 'fresh from the hunt' cousins in an old Ford truck, fresh buck staring and bleeding in the rusted bed. They were loggers from Willamina. Nice as could be those two, even gave me the outside seat in the cab - the one next to the door. Put me right at ease, though I still gripped the screw driver inside the pocket of my "western breakfast" (old sheepskin coat). Shame on me.

I'm heading out on my yearly lone wolf trip to the coast. It's a tradition. (In fact, I do believe it's in the pre-nuptial contract I made the Engineer sign.) There is no anniversary date I hold to, I go when my soul needs it most and the coffers hold more than lint. I anticipate it with an almost Pavlovian drool. A muscle memory. I know this road as well as my own breath, from here to just beyond the California border. After all these years, the drive has become a meditation on history - the land' own.

My particular relationship with this landscape is smudged by a multi-generational experience; my singular memories are mixed with the recall of my parents, grandparents and a great, great somebody attached to my line. I am related to the Crabtrees and the Turners *(the names of old Oregon towns), I have read a letter from my great grand uncle Taulton Turner, sent from, "Portland! What a town!" after a few days ride from *Scio on horseback. I am kin to the first white baby born in Linn County. One of my greats gave birth to twins - on a raft - while harrowing the Willamette River! Of course, I can't be sure of that, for our family has never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

The ritual begins with loading up the car. Camera, guitar, boom box, music, journals, sketchbooks, a comfy cardi and a sense of anticipation. Then, it's off down the highway. As I slide 'round another bend, I look up the country road where I once lived. An exceptional year in the woods, living on a few acres in a 1967 Airstream caravan next to a babbling brook. That was a long time ago.

When I hit Hwy 101, I know I'm close to my first stop. The local thrift - in hopes of scoring a weekend sweater, a curio of odd delight or an obscure book of Rod McKuen poems for a friend. This trip, I only find baggy beach pants and some happy daisy sheets. Then I take off my shoes and walk the fine grit sand of the southern bay before lunch.

When it is finally check in time, I greet the woman behind the desk; Starla is her name and she's worked here longer than the many years I have been coming to this place. I get the key to my cottage. The first thing I do after unloading the car, is to re-arrange all the furniture (don't fret, I put it all back into it's proper place before I leave). I open the windows wide to let in the briny air.

Now it's time to pour a glass of wine and sit - to breathe a deep breath, to slow my racing pulse, to gaze out at my view. What I see nearly makes me weep with the beauty of it.

I sit until dark, listening to the surf. Tomorrow I will wake early and take the trail down to the beach, seeking low tide.

...and tomorrow I will finish my yarn, for there is more to tell.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Friday

I wish you all a lovely weekend with those you love.
I am spending the weekend with family, hoping the sunshine sticks around. I've been promised Belgian Waffles for Mother's Day, I can't wait.
Then I am off on a little adventure of my own for a few days, far far away from the computer so...
until next time, keep well my friends.

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful Mamas out there!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lounge Lizard

Well, my little lounge 're-do' is moving along ever so slowly. I was working in the evenings spiffing it up in wee doses until our wild pony decided her bedtime did not fit in with the needs of her busy schedule. She currently has added a couple of extra hours to her night time routine and by the time she's safely sound asleep, I am a faded flower. Right now I know that my mother will read this, she will smile a satisfied smile and perhaps even chuckle whilst thinking to herself, "Ha! Payback!" for all the nights I kept her up and away from her own quiet time. Little night owls run in the family it seems.

Pony Girl is now in the process of working on a very exciting extravaganza. It is a sort of pop opera which combines elaborate set design (giant castle towers made from wooden blocks), costume drama (scarves, blankets and layers of dresses), operatic ballads (sung with all the power and emotion of Maria Callas), punk rock and interpretive dance. Her Casio keyboard can be heard at top volume into the wee hours and she is out to gather her parents every 5 minutes to show us the latest bit she has been fine tuning.

Oh yes, we were talking about the lounge...

One day I was out and about with the smallish one and came home to find that The Engineer and his cousin had put up the new curtain rods as a surprise for me. Then, to better show off his handy work, he rummaged amongst my shelf of vintage lovelies, chose perhaps one of my favorite tablecloths, and hung it up as temporary curtain. Which just goes to show you, even when you think that you live with a 'doubter' who does not give a care, or is not paying attention...the Mr. has been learning a thing or two and does something so dear that it renews all faith.

Nothing is quite in it's place yet, no real decorating has been accomplished but, when the rare moment of sun break happens (there's been heaps of rain these days) the sun floods through the windows and the light is just lovely! Those moments erase any doubts I had about going with the white walls. Actually, the color I chose is called, "Twinkle Twinkle" and it does shine!

We have purchased new eco paint and curtain rods which do fall out with the challenge but, I am feeling little guilt over it. We did purchase two very nice vintage mid-century modern Dutch record cabinets for a song!

Look at that light! We still have temporary "curtains" up, I haven't had much time for stitching and I am just waiting for a good long spell of handmade home making. Fortunately, I do have a good collection of vintage tablecloths and pretty retro sheets to fill in for a bit.

The biggest quandary is the sofa, known as "the couch that mocks me". It seems to defy spiffy attempts of all kind. For now it mocks me and sneers in challenge, daring me to make it shine. It waits for pretty cushions, pretty covers, and snickers smugly at me. Oh just you wait and see you mocking couch, you snickering sofa, you daring divan, you challenging chesterfield...I will have my way with you someday. Oh yes I will.

So, that's how it's coming along, with many miles to go. Still, I do think it is an improvement. I have also realized that me being me and all my stuff being what it is; thinking I could stick to a two color scheme was simply a dream in the straw. There are just so many lovely colors out there, oh my!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Valley of the Dolls

Every once in awhile, someone I know (who knows I sew) offers me some fabric. Awfully nice of them don't you think? While I very much appreciate these offers, sometimes I have to turn them down as I have so little space and an already overflowing fabric cupboard. Sometimes though, my fabric addicted ways get the best of me and I accept. Such was the case some time ago when the woman who occasionally watches Pony Girl asked if I would be interested in some of her mother's old fabric. "Why don't you come by and pick up a couple of bags when you can," she said. What is a couple of small bags really? What I can't use I will donate and I'm helping de-clutter another woman's house, I thought.

When I showed up she just kept bringing large bags out to my car. In total there were 6 bags that filled up the back of my car. I was indeed grateful if just a bit overwhelmed. I haven't had much time to go through all the bags but, I have been trying as they need to be gone through since they have taken over my laundry area. Each bag is a mystery, you don't know what you might find. Perhaps a bit of treasure, or maybe some frightening 80's polyester! All of these bags are filled with scraps, from medium size to itty bitty and all have that deep dank musty smell of years of storage in a dark place. So far, as you can see from the photo above, I have culled a fair amount of sweet vintage scraps. These have been laundered, pressed and folded, that takes a heap of time let me tell you. Still, I am quite pleased to have these little lovelies. I'm a sucker for vintage fabric, I can't help it.

Last night as I was reaching the bottom of one bag, I came across an old flour sack wrapped around something lumpy and heavy, how mysterious. What's this? I carefully opened the flour sack and unwrapped an item from an ancient tea towel to find...

...the dolls!

These dolls appear to be quite old, their bodies made from leather and wood with porcelain heads. Both are in ill repair, the little one has been separated from her arms and seems to be blinded by a severe cataract in one eye. She has a sour expression and I find her a little creepy. The larger doll is fascinating. She is made of leather and her outfit is many layers of Victorian style dress. I kind of like her rosy cheeks though her head is not actually attached, I may attempt to remedy that. I even thought she could do with a bit of hair. I found some wool roving I had lying around...

...and voila!

For those of you with 'creepy old doll phobia', I apologize if I have caused you any psychological damage.

Hmmmm...I wonder what else I may find.