Spring - Three Weeks Away!

It still feels like winter around here (snow yesterday) and my winter village is still sitting out, but I know spring is right around the corner because...

My pussywillows are beginning to pop out of their shells...

...And flower buds on my ornamental plum trees are beginning to swell just a tiny bit.

Go outside and look around for branches from flowering trees or bushes that you can bring into your nice warm home.

Within two days, the tight little buds will begin to swell, and within four or five days they will be almost ready to pop open!

Morning of the 6th day! First blossom opens at 7:00 am.

And look at how many popped by noon!

What are you waiting for? Go cut a few branches and bring them inside. Enjoy the show!

Pendleton Woolen Mills - 100 years

To celebrate PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS 100th anniversary, I finally made this tote for "craft projects in progress" from a remnant I picked up at the mill store 12 years ago! Blanket weight 100% wool that feels and looks almost like felted wool. The price tag was still attached - $2.00 for this 60"x24" piece!


An Award! For ME?

My lovely friend Chris over at Prism Trail! bestowed this award on me weeks ago! And I know she forgives me for the delay in passing on the award. She is a kind soul who is always, always crafting, is an enthusiastic supporter of bloggers (which has had its rewards), and she never fails to approach whatever life sends her way with a positive, upbeat attitude. Whenever I get discouraged, I remember this post! (If my oven quit - I would never have thought to go to Trader Joe's to save the day!)

And my favorite cactus and daisy artist Teri at Teri's Painted Daisies has just received this award and passed it on to all of us who read her blog! Check out this cool Photoshop technique she uses on some of her paintings. We have used it on some of our photographs and have gotten some surprising and intriguing results. Teri is quite an amazing woman and her blog is a delight.

THANK YOU BOTH! I ACCEPT! Chris and Teri have given me unwavering support and constant encouragement throughout the first few months of my blogging adventure. I hope someday I will meet both of them.

My task as recipient of this award is to name 7 things I love so here goes:

- Hanging out with my children is definitely at the TOP of my list!

- Christmas, St. Nicholas Day, Feast of Guadalupe, Santa Lucia Day, Solstice... I absolutely LOVE the winter holidays- the cooking, crafting, decorating, crafting...and THE COOKIES! To be clear - EATING the cookies. While I'm crafting!

- Crafting with tin, beads, wire and gourds

- Cooking and baking, especially when I am trying out new recipes

- Sitting on my patio first thing in the morning sipping my husband's EXCELLENT coffee (he is THE coffee God) and meditating on my garden

- Hiking in the mountains, the desert, the Olympic Forest and dreaming about the new places I haven't yet explored.

- The whole amazing process of creating

I understand the other condition of acceptance is to name three bloggers I feel deserve the Kreativ Blogger award. That is a difficult task indeed! So, I have decided to give the award to three bloggers who have enriched my crafting experience as a result of a post or tutorial.

- Lolly at Lollychops, because she is encouraging me to return to crewel embroidery with this post and because she introduced me to the cutest "stuffie" I have ever wanted to make!

- Margit at papirklip og aesker, because she has provided so many Woven Heart patterns - I have just finished making this one! Take a little time to explore her site and discover all her wonderful woven heart and folded box templates.

- Hope at Taueret posted images of her gorgeous weavings last Fall, and inspired me to reacquaint myself with weaving assemble the table loom I bought for my birthday last May! It is time! I have a box stuffed full of lovely weaving yarns I bought in the 70's!

Thank you, thank you... I am so happy to have been chosen to receive this award.

Double Frosted Bourbon Brownies

Make these delicious brownies for your sweetie for Valentines, or even better for "just because".


A moist, rich brownie full of walnuts, sprinkled wth a little bourbon after baking and topped with two layers of frosting. Not only are they yummy, but they keep well in the refrigerator for several days. (Bring them to room temperature before serving.)

Of all the cookies I bake, these are my husband's favorite and the cookie recipe I get asked for most often.

So... lets get started. Begin with the BROWNIE LAYER.

Valentine Cookies!

Guess what I've been up to these last few days!


If you guessed "baking Valentine cookies" - you would be right!

Visit Diane's post from last February at CraftyPod to learn more about my annual Valentine project. Valentine's Day is, after all, the best time of year to let people know that the things they do for you all year long are appreciated.

So here is the cast of characters in this year's production, including some recipes and a few preparation tips.

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