Hello, Seattle

Being in law enforcement, my husband has to attend a lot of training.  Sometimes, when he goes somewhere fun, we tag along.  I always feel a little guilty, playing all day while he’s in class, but it doesn’t keep me from doing it anyway.  Last week, the kids and I got to hang out in Seattle. I love Seattle.  Part of it is the coffee shop on every corner.  And the abundant seafood.  And the Space Needle view from our hotel.

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All of the green reminds me of home.

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But what I really love is the quirkiness.  This is one of several outdoor light fixtures.

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We spent an entire day at Pike Place Market and I still don’t think we saw everything.

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I even found a fabric store.  I know, right?  It’s called Undercover Quilts and has apparently been there for 21 years.  I bought a piece of this fabric from the gentleman that owns it.  I don’t know if I’ve ever had a man cut fabric for me before.

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I’m a born Oregonian, so I’m pretty used to the rain, but here’s proof it doesn’t ALWAYS rain in Seattle.  With everything to do and see, I don’t think we’d care if it did.

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Pinterest

We all know, there are plenty of ways to kill time online.  Social networking, media, research, education, work, play…if it exists in the real world, you’ll find some form of it on the internet.  One of my recently discovered toys is the digital equivalent of driving around looking at other people’s inspiration boards and gathering stuff to add to your own.  Because we all have those, right?

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I’m still getting to know Pinterest myself, but so far I enjoy playing with it once in a while.  There are ins and outs I'm not familiar with yet, but the short version is this:  it’s a collection of photos you like.  Each photo is called a pin.  You put your pins on a board.  Others can like or repin your pins.  You can follow others and they can follow you.  Sounds simple, right?

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I have a few boards started and I add to them in a sporadic fashion.  If I visit the home page and continue to scroll down, when it runs out of stuff I’ve added it switches to “The Best of Pinterest,” which appears to go on forever.  That’s where the loss of time happens for me.

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You may be wondering what the point of a website like this is.  I don’t know the creator’s intention, but, for me, it’s a place to collect inspiration.  Not all of my pins are craft-related but they are all things I like to look at.  I find that sometimes the best way to come up with new ideas for things to make is to look in a completely different direction.  Pinterest allows me to keep track of the path that lead me there.

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You have to be invited to join Pinterest.  That said, all you have to do is ask for an invitation.  The only hitch is that, while you’ll definitely get one eventually,  sometimes it takes a while.  The good news is, I seem to have six invitations I can hand out.  I don’t know if I’m limited to six, but I can promise that the first six to ask for one in the comments below will get one.  Make sure your email address is linked to your comment so I know where to send it. 

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If you’re already on Pinterest, or you become addicted, I mean join, as a result of this post, let me know and I’ll follow you.  You can find my boards and their pins here.  I’m definitely ready for some new inspiration!

All of the photos here are from my Pinterest boards, but I’ve linked to the original post they came from whenever possible.

Las Vegas Inspiration

If you’ve never visited Las Vegas, you may be surprised that I find a lot of creative inspiration there.  This trip, it started as soon as we had cleared the clouds of Oregon.

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Las Vegas isn’t all showgirls and slot machines. In fact, I’m not a gambler, I just love walking around and taking it all in.  We visited some amazing art galleries and saw a Cirque de Soleil show.  Needless to say, no photos of those.

I always see lots of things there I can’t find at home…like pirate ships, the Eiffel Tower, New York, ancient Rome, Italy and, of course, lots of neon.

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We also took the kids to see the Fremont Street Experience.  A show is displayed on a four-block-long canopy over the street and is comprised of 12.5 million LED light bulbs.  I don’t think my children blinked.

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We’ve been to Vegas many times, so while I love to explore, much of it I’ve already seen.  However, no matter how many times I visit, I’m always surprised by something.  I don’t remember which hotel this was in, and I couldn’t tell you what any of the clothes looked like that they were selling inside the store, but there were three large windows, all full of antique sewing machines.  This is just one of the windows.  Pretty much the last thing I would have expected to see there.

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There’s an area in the Bellagio where they always have some sort of seasonal display, usually involving plants.  This time they had the cutest little sunflowers.  The largest of these is no bigger than my hand.  It’s too late this year, but you can bet next year I’ll be hunting for tiny sunflower seeds.

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They also had this picture on display, made from living flowers and plants.  It reminded me of some of the floats you see at our Rose Festival Parade.

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Since you don’t usually see much of me, and I actually like this photo, here’s one of me and my sweet husband on our anniversary, waiting to ride a gondola through the Venetian with the kidlets.

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We made sure to book our flight back after dark so we could see the city lights from the sky on our way home.  Just so you know, they weren’t actually blurry in person.

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Out of everything we saw, my absolute favorite was the sunset on the flight back.  I couldn’t get a photo that did it justice, but here’s just a hint of some of the many layers of color in it.

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Now that I’m rested and inspired, it’s time to get back to work!

My Birthday 2011

Today is my birthday.  I won’t go into which one this is for me, let’s just say that in high school I danced to most of the songs from Glee.  Anyway, I thought I’d share my little wish list with you again, even though I’m still waiting for my titanium spork from last year. 10.  I’ve had my eye on these framed photos of letters for at least a year.  I’m thinking about trying to photograph my own, but if not I’ll be visiting Uncommon Goods for their version.  The hardest part is figuring out what I want to spell.

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9.  I love to read, even though I don’t have as much time to do it as I’d like.  My favorites are sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and even a little horror.  I’ve wanted to read the Game of Thrones series since they started advertising the new HBO series based on it.  Maybe I’ll just give up sleep.

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8.  Remember when you could actually rest the phone between your ear and shoulder while you were talking on it?  Well, I do.  I miss being able to multi-task while I talk.  Now the phone either slips or I hang up with my cheek.  Retro Bluetooth Handset from ThinkGeek to the rescue.

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7.  We were in Seattle a couple of years ago and I saw a typewriter key bracelet in the window of a jewelry store.  I’ve wanted one ever since.  Luckily for me, they can be found on Etsy, like this one from HauteKeys.

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6.  Let me start by saying I cannot pull these off.  I don’t have the right shape.  However, we saw a woman wearing these ruffled pants in a capri length at Crafty Wonderland who looked fantastic in them.  The fact that these, from SweetassDesigns on Etsy, are red and black makes them even better.

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5.  I mentioned last year that my best ideas come to me in the shower.  My second-best ideas come right before I fall asleep, creating a need for the I Can’t Sleep Journal from Uncommon Goods.  It would work perfectly with the light-up pen I keep in my nightstand.

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4.  Since I have a couple of different books listed here, I’m going to need something to hold them up.  Enter James the Bookend from the MoMA store.  And his twin, to hold up the other side.

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3.  I work from home, so I don’t actually need to carry my lunch anywhere most of the time.  However, I love these Bright Tiffins from Twine so much, I’m going to find an excuse.  I might use them to carry it out to the back deck.

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2.  A local boutique had some cowboy rain boots last year that I was completely in love with.  I never went and bought them, and I regret that.  I live in Oregon.  If I could ever justify a shoe purchase, it’s rain boots.  Even though the ones I really wanted are no longer available, I think I could bring myself to substitute these from Amazon.

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1.  This is the one thing on this list I can guarantee I will have on my birthday.  I saw it last week when I was working on my cookie post.  I already told my husband and daughter all about it.  The supplies are in the pantry and they are going to make it for me.  This thing is a brownie, cookie dough and cake bit of heaven.  Thank you Cookies and Cups for providing the nirvana that will hold my candles this year.  I’ll be in touch again after I come out of the sugar coma.

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Still a Newbie

I mentioned a few months ago that my super-sweet hubby bought me a new camera for Christmas. Lens cover 1

I love it and I’ve taken hundreds of photos with it.  I even found a book that covers the exact model I have.  However, I still don’t know what I’m doing. 

I recently got to have a little fun with it though and I have two friends who helped me do that.  Amanda is a professional photographer and Erika will be one day if she chooses (the talent is there).  Amanda specializes in pregnancy and baby photos.  You can find her at Amanda R. Thompson Photography.  And you might remember Erika from her trick-or-treat bags last year.

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We went on a little photograph safari and I got to play a bit.  Honestly, it was the first time I’ve taken this baby out of automatic mode.  It was scary and dangerous.  And fun!

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If you’re from Oregon, you’ve probably heard of the McMenamin brothers.  They’ve brought their quirky style to restaurants and hotels all over the state, transforming properties thought to be lost causes into great places to visit.  They have a location near us called Edgefield, which consists of restaurants, bars, a golf course,  a spa, a brewery, a winery,  a movie theater, a glass blowing shop and lots of beautiful gardens.  We spent a couple of hours wandering around.

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The gardens aren’t quite in their glory yet, but we found a few blooms and greenery.

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The vegetable garden was just starting to sprout.

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Even without many plants, there’s still plenty to look at.

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I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’m really enjoying getting there!

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Hopefully we’ll be doing it again soon, this time driving up the Columbia River Gorge on the old highway toward Multnomah Falls.  I can’t wait!

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