Sunday, March 23, 2014

A little sunshine

We have had sunshine for the entire weekend! Instead of cleaning, I opted to garden and plant a few plants hanging out on the porch. I almost cut the end of my thumb off with a new gardening tool. ;0 I keep wanting to buy flowers, I think I am really missing summer and shooting. Some day soon I am going to invest in a new camera.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


It is that special time of year that Ranunculus are for sale at Trader Joe's. I scream with delight. 


Monday, March 17, 2014

The smell of spring!

It is tough for me not to have time to drink in the sights and fragrances of spring. I miss having time to document beautiful things, nature (coming and going) but that is the dilemma I find myself in now. Strapped for time and lacking the energy. On my way home tonight, I forced myself to stop at a church and smell a blooming cherry tree. Took a couple of branches for fun. Stopped by the abandoned house and grabbed a couple of Magnolia blossoms. 

That does not mean I don't use my iPad to snap up photos of Mason all weekend. ;) I have traded a camera for an iPad and a flower for a baby. You can follow me on Instagram and keep up with our Mason story. ;)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Spring forward

My poppies can't seem to hold on to their petals! So much rain here that I can't plant any of the flowers I bought two weeks ago. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Valentines, late

I went to the flower show, then to Sky Nursery. That might have been a mistake. I am so ready to see some flowers.

Sunday, February 02, 2014


Am posting these photos for my brother, recent photos of mom.

Hutch Award Luncheon - done!

I can check this off my list until August.

Print is more time consuming than web work, that is for sure. With my last project, Hutch Award Luncheon (my first big project at my new job) included print, invitations, web, and these really big graphics on an HD video screen at Safeco Field.

Of course, I did not do this alone. My first project, just trying to find files, learn the system, styles, printers, etc. I had lots of help.  We decided to run over before the event to have a look and it was a little overwhelming to see the logo soooo large on the HD video screen.

With that project finished for this year (will start again in August for the next), I have all ready moved on to the new, big project along with lots of small stuff all day. In other words, my new job is really busy.

But just as working for the newspaper, when you see an illustration of yours waded up and thrown in the trash. Seeing all the printed collateral going to the trash, keeps it into perspective.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dreary day

It is a very dreary day here in rainy, windy Seattle. But the Seahawks are playing and winning. I managed to make dog food and clean the refrigerator while watching some of the game.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Work and more work

The holidays are mercifully over. Tree is put away. Ribbons stashed in the recycled box. I was so busy this holiday, I only put lights on the trees and did not hang one ornament. Wow. How does that happen? We will appreciate them so much more next year. Christmas falling in the middle of the week just put us all off. I know I said this last year, but I really want to be more organized so I can actually enjoy the holidays.

David bought me a iPad so I have been taking lots of photos of Mason, who knows me, loves AND laughs and coos with me. She is just 2 months old and is all ready wanting to be standing instead of laying down. Making eye contact. Interacting. It is all pretty amazing. 

Now matter how bad the day, seeing her when I get home puts it all right.

I think I can share this now, since the ads are running Seattle Times. I have been working on Fred Hutch Award Luncheon graphics, invitation, catalog, evites, posters ... I have been in email hell this week. Another thing I need to make time for, watch Dreamweaver - how to create emails ... and now my next project is Premier Chefs Dinner. Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Purple is the color

I made some cards, just purple flowers. And someone asked for a THANK YOU card, so I made two more. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Toast the chair

Champagne Chair contest is closed but that did not stop me from taking a minute to make a couple of my own. Here are the 2013 winners. Here my three from today. I had to make a Brantler chair.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Gratitudes

Small, daily gifts I love the most. I have many “large” gifts to be thankful for but the small ones hit the hardest, in my heart, daily. 

I walk out to my backyard in the wee hours of the morning and hear a hummingbird hanging out in the neighbor’s weeping willow… search out and find her (him) … I feel so grateful I have had that moment. Or when I watch a flock of noisy Pine Siskins scavenge through the yard after I had put out some suet. I feel so grateful that I had the money to buy the suet to feed the birds so we could see and enjoy them frolicking in the yard. 

I watch the dogs run after a squirrel (stealing suet) and see everyone’s exuberance. … the squirrel safely on the fence and the dogs thinking they are protecting their territory … I feel a moment of joy. Nature is fun and all are safe.

When I look out of my family room window and see the sun setting behind the Olympic Mountains, lighting up the Puget Sound in majestic reds … I think, I can’t be luckier than I am in this moment. Then there is the dusk winter blue light, that is the most beautiful light. It makes me want to light a fire, make a hot cup of tea, pour a glass of wine and just keep looking out my window until dark has taken over. I always feel thankful. 

I smell early morning air, and think, “God, it can’t be better than that!” I wave at my much-beloved neighbors of 22 years and think, “God, it can’t get much better than this.” I wave at people at the grocery store that I have known forever and think, “I feel so lucky to have such a boring, enriched life”. 

Most of you know, I love my flowers from the moment they bloom until they go to seed. Watching the process makes me so thankful that I have a yard in which to discover these miracles. And I love that I can photograph them and discover all kinds of secrets. When I see my 13+ hydrangeas blooming, I think to myself, “How could I be so lucky?” 

The last 4 years have held many nervous moments. Not life-threatening like my sister’s breast cancer (I can happily say she is doing fine) or Heather Von St. James' brush with death before the birth of her daughter. 

Losing a job can be life altering, scary, but not insurmountable. I had my crying fits of fear and questioned what my life’s calling really was. I had my family in my corner behind every tearful fear and knew they were cheering me to my next goal, whatever that might be.

I was thankful I had freelance work so we could keep our house and pay all our bills. But I was really thankful I had the extra time off to spend with my mom when she was really sick and we were spending every other day in ICU. I’m so glad I could be here with her when she was at her worst. I have said many times, God gives you what you need and I needed some extra time to spend with my mom.

Then my son and his fiancée decided to move back home to pay us rent, help us out while I was unemployed and give up their temporary, yet expensive independence. Before we all knew it, we were all expecting a grandchild. I was in shock at first, because they were so young. My husband was the most positive of all the adults in the house. He looked at me and said, “many have gotten through this and so will we”. Of course, he was right. Being much older parents than most, we might not have experienced being grandparents. But here we are, and we have had the pleasure of holding, loving, changing diapers of our own granddaughter. From two people who found each other so late in life, that thought we would not be married or ever have kids … I think that is a big reason to be really, really grateful.

We were so happy to welcome our granddaughter, Mason, into this world in October 2013. So here we are, seeing in 2014 before we can even digest the events of 2013.

Maybe that comes from being “old” … it all goes so fast. Four generations are living in one house, experiencing all of life’s “ups and downs” together. Giving each other comfort in love, humor and support.

Life can’t get much better than it is right now. Or more confusing, messy, congested. And we will cope in gratitude.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We have the most precious present here tonight. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! 

 And Sophie really misses being the first baby!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Smell of the woods

I know it has been too long since I posted anything interesting. Been busy with my new job, our new granddaughter and trying to prepare for Christmas. And not doing too good at that. I managed to get the trees up, with lights and stopped there. Maybe next year, we will appreciate the trimmings more since we will not put them up this year.

My new job is challenging and takes up much of my brain power. 

I have been watching a new channel, Esquire TV. Well, not just watching, addicted to a couple of shows. Very masculine and full of stylish stuff. How I Rock It and Matt Hranek's Alternative Route

Matt Hranek has a blog called The William Brown Project where he explores his passions of hunting, vintage cars and food.

This is where I discovered some new fragrances for men that I would love to purchase for David.

Floris sounds amazing. "Floris No. 89: Orange and bergamot blended with lavender and neroli give No.89 its classical cologne aspect. Warmed with a touch of spicy nutmeg, the floral heart is underscored by the dominant woody accord of sandalwood, cedarwood and vetiver in this quintessentially English gentleman’s fragrance."

I did find some on a discount fragrance site a little more affordable. More history about Floris on a wonderful blog - Bond Lifestyle. 

This Wood cologne (handsome notes of cedar, with hints of lime, vetiver grass, spruce, and aromatic hiba wood) from Portland General Store.

Also been listening to Gregorian Chants at work, to get me in the holiday spirit. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Luvocracy Gift Guides!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Super Super cell

Massive Supercell in North Texas (1:55) On June 3, 2013 near Booker, Texas, photographer Mike Olbinski pulled his car to the side of the road to capture one of nature's most amazing sights

Monday, November 11, 2013

For my brother!

I might have posted this previously, but I want to put this one up for my brother. I love you. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I am a MasterChef (Junior) wanna be

I have been obsessed with MasterChef Junior. I binged-watch many Saturdays ago, episode after episode, after I discovered it. Thinking, Jeez, if those 10-year-olds can cook like that, so can I. They have challenged me in so many ways. So I did venture into the kitchen to make a couple of soups, desserts, but have not attempted Beef Wellington yet. I am so excited to get in the kitchen and see if I can cook like a 13-year-old!

This morning, (ON DEMAND) I waited anxiously to see if Alexander or Dara would win the big prize. Gosh, I wish they could have awarded two of them the award! It was all inspiring.

Italian Food Network TV. 

Also, sooooo many great Thanksgiving ideas on Pinterest. And like I have not eaten enough Halloween candy, there is this board, Pumpkin pie!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Bad Blogger, but great art found

I know I have been a bad, beleaguered blogger lately. Too much going on. 

So much in fact, that I hardly have time to check my email but every couple of days. So unlike me. 

It does not mean I still don't see amazing things I want to blog about. NO! I just don't have time to blog it, note it or email it to myself! 

Like this art by Japanese artist, Jung Jung ... which I have blogged about before. Crochet taken to another level! Jung Jung creates these incredibly delicate flowers and vegetables. I really, really love them. It looks like she also includes the pattern of the creations. I think I am in love with the pattern graphics as much as the finished product! Amazing talent. You can see more here on Pinterest.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Mason in da house

We have a new baby, born October 29. I wondered today why I felt so completely exhausted and thought, "Yeah, we just had a baby! I have been completely overwhelmed with my new job. My husband has been working 7 days a week for months. My mom is very ill. I still have freelance jobs out there that I am neglecting. And a completely filthy house (which makes me tired to just think about)".

So, maybe, I have a reason to be tired. That is what my husband and mom keep reminding me. The kids have taken Mason to her folks to meet, aunts and and great-grandmothers, etc. I took the opportunity to clean the rooms where they hang out. 

Yesterday, feeling a little tired and sick, I left work a couple of hours early. Got home to realized it was not raining as predicted, so mowed, cut grape vines from my neighbors yard, and cut some clematis that make it impossible for my neighbors to close their gate, cut down my old lilies and filled up the back of my truck. Then I really did feel exhausted. Came in and held Mason for an hour. Just watched her face, her smiles, her yawns, her stretches. All adorable and affirming. 

We are having such a great time just watching her every move, and even more fun, watching Matt and Bri watching Mason's every move. She such an easy baby. "Titty-baby". As long as she can eat, and sleep, she is perfectly content. She reminds me of Matt and Bri's mom says she reminds her of Bri, so, right now, we have the easiest baby in the world. She is handed over from person to person in the house, rocking and cooing and loving her. It is all very, very wonderful. Even the dogs are already protective of her. If and when she decided to cry, they all run to her defense.

Feeling pretty blessed right now in my personal life. Not quite so convinced about my career right now, but I know I will figure it all out. So am not stressing over it too much.

Bri is a terrific mom, which makes being a grandmother so much easier. Watching Matt so in love with Mason, becoming a terrific dad, is another completely satisfying vision.

My only, and supremely wonderful sister told me a couple of days ago she has breast cancer. So if you have a prayer group, or have an upstairs connection yourself, I would be so thankful. Her name is Lisa. She is the best of our family.