Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Molly's Revenge

Don't you hate it when your friends move far, far away? Me too.
But when they come "home" to visit you're sure to have a good time.

Last Friday I was invited to join my friend and her dad for live music - we knew it was Celtic but had no idea who they were or what they were called. Imagine the laugh we all got when we saw the band's name.

I texted my future sister-in-law the photo and she said I should walk in and say, "the star has arrived!"

My friend that was with me was feeling a tad nervous, "are we going to get in here and the doors will lock and Molly takes her revenge?"

Ha! Oh there are some I would be tempted....but no.

 Forgive my all black but I had been to a funeral that afternoon with no chance to change.

The paintings on the building could only be explained by knowing more about the town.

The band of Molly's Revenge* was fantastic. You can check out their website here.

If you are in the area and are interested in going to the Mt. Angel Performing Arts Center you can check out their website here.

Also if you are in the area (sortof) and into interesting music, the annual Gymanfa Ganu will be on June 26th.
Don't worry, I can't pronounce it either.

*Can I just rant for a minute about how if it isn't every farm animal and family dog that is named Molly then it has to be an amorous hag? What is the deal?

Monday, May 30, 2011


Thank you to the men and women who have served this country.

 Here my uncle prepares to begin service - that's my dad standing next to him (so cute).

Skip forward a few years to my dad and the beginning of his service.

Both made it home but have since passed on.

"The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten".

We won't forget.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mosaic Monday - flower explosion

It seems like just yesterday that it was drab winter and I thought color would never arrive, but today, walking around in the sunshine I realized what a flower explosion I have going on.

My oregano is trying to take over my herb garden. I haven't let it yet, but it doesn't give up trying.

My cousin once told me about an old wives tale in which wasps are needed to "crack open" peony blossoms. Whatever it is, they sure like them and I have to watch myself as I walk by. Haven't been stung in probably 8 years and I'd like to keep it that way!

My kitty is good at keeping track of me even amidst the jungle of plants. :)

Not sure if Mosaic Monday is even going on this week but you should visit Little Red House anyway, she always has amazing photos up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Scared awake - what is that THING in my grapefruit

I'm not what you would call a morning person. I'm not a groggy person, I just like to acclimatize myself to being awake (which reads: don't yammer at me unless you want me to give you the glare of death). But I pretty much went from 0 to 60 when I opened my grapefruit and found this:

At first it looked like some kind of creature just under the surface of the fruit. And in these gory red grapefruit bits...tell me it doesn't look like some weird fetus.

Once I got my heart rate to slow down I realized what it was and took these hurried, horrible photos. I threw it in my mulch pile. Maybe I'll get a grapefruit tree out of the deal. ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Decorating & organizing bookshelves

I like to decorate and I don't have a lot of space. I also, however, have a TON of books. So what if you have a lot of bookshelves, a lot of books, but want to decorate too?

Whatever you do, please don't do this. This makes me want to crawl into a fetal ball and sob softly.

What if you use books as your decorations? Or as your room color? I recently discovered this:

I got big puffy hearts in my eyes. I LOVE the way it looks but again...I'm too much of a librarian to break up series or genres to do this everywhere. Thankfully I have no less than five bookshelves in the space I was working in.

Atop a bookcase makes a great space for a few books and mostly accessories. I have a lot of historical books in the first shelf so a natural theme felt like the thing to do on top.

Once you get to the actual shelves though, don't be afraid to accessorize them too! I usually add things that deal with the book subjects.

This is my "scholarly" shelf. Some are leftover school books and others are just because I'm a nerd. :)
Pottery from my grandmother, a painted turkey feather quill and ink go along with the scholarly feel. See where I'm going with all this?

This candle belonged to my grandmother as well, it's one of the weirdest candles I've seen but seems to fit this book grouping.
(Not so much the Fanny Crosby book - haven't found the right home for that one yet!)

My largest bookshelf hangs above my desk and gives me plenty of space for non-book decorating...if only I'd quit buying books.

This carved wooden chest filled with dried flowers and seeds seemed the perfect companion for my Brother Cadfael books.

And this horse head bookend sits next to my Margeurite Henry books and my copy of Traveller by Richard Adams.

I have to admit I haven't read any of the books in this next photo excepting the one on the far right. I'm working on remedying that, but my exotic looking candle holder goes next to my exotic sounding books.

I have a huge collection of Breyer horses and this one wouldn't fit in storage. He goes in my horsey vignette with this vintage print I bought at an antique sale years ago (I just love it!) and a pinback button that belonged to my mom; Ginger was the name of her horse. I'm bugging her to get me a photo of her and Ginger to add to this spot.

I have a decent collection of classic literature on the lowest shelf. A pair of...things? given me by a friend from Okinawa and a photo I took in Israel (and put in a thrifted frame) make good companions for these books which span both history and the globe.

Also, have you read the Amelia Peabody mysteries (to the left)? Or the Mary Russell series? They are both fantastic.


See how I stack books this way and that? I am able to fit way more books on a shelf this way, and it makes it a bit more interesting to look at.

I already showed you my gorgeous shell treasure bottle (visit her shop here) which made the perfect accessory to my collection of nautical books (next to my American lit - yeah...it made sense to me). I was also gifted that ceramic pirate treasure box.


And this shell "box" which I filled with foreign coins. Sometimes I just have too much fun with this stuff.

All those bookshelves I've got under a "system" with series and genre all together and making sense, but I really wanted to try the rainbow bookshelf thing. Luckily I have a random assortment of older books I can try this with on a small scale.

It's actually a bit of a challenge to match the shades properly! And I didn't care about making this one in proper rainbow order - I just wanted like colors together.

And do you know how many older books are blue? Most of mine are.

I found another shelf to play rainbow games on. Had been wanting to change this one for a while yet anyway. And yes there are unicorns. More Breyer collectibles that also won't fit in storage and I'm afraid they are going to get broken. I won that large unicorn for getting straight A's in grade school, go me! :)

Unicorns go with books, right? ;)

The blue/green end. I don't have any purple books, what is up with that?

When changing this shelf I found some really fun books that I forgot I had.

This one belonged to a great aunt who was a ballerina.

So....are you feeling motivated to make your bookshelves interesting? I should warn you that if I come to your house, I might feel compelled to move books around. It's not a mean thing or even something I can control. I'm a crazy book person and I can't help it. Pity me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Maybe it's not a coincidence that WIP could both stand for What Is Up and Works in Progress. Here's what I've got for both.

After months of waiting on the library list I finally got Sarah Addison Allen's The Peach Keeper. I finished it in a day and a half. I really connected with some of the characters but this definitely felt different from her other books. Not bad, just different. That's all I'm going to say. :)

My friend Megan has been bugging me to watch this forever and I finally remembered! Thanks to hulu I've been catching up. What a bizarre show. I like it.

 (To date I think Pier Pressure is my favorite episode. Hilarious.)

For some reason I can't even remember, I decided to look for clothing items on ebay. I found exactly what I was looking for and it was great prices (a dollar is a good price to me, what do you think?) even with shipping. Which is exactly the opposite experience I have shopping on normal clothing sites or even in store. It got the hamster wheel turning and I've since cleaned my own closet and made moola selling things I never wear. Could this get any better? Well...the fees could be better...

I'd show you photos of my new stuff but I'm still waiting on my items. :)

Speaking of stuff...I've been finding some goodies at dear old Goodwill.

Like these shoes for $3.99.

Hmm. Shoes? Really? Yeah, normally I don't even look but there were a gajillion people down the aisles I wanted to go down. Found these Land's End shoes that actually fit, look hardly worn and were the half price color of the day. Since I have an impossible time finding shoes that fit and my old Skechers shoes are acting like they want to die because I wear them all the time, these came home with me.

But I also scored this overnight travel bag for just 99 cents! (half price color woot woot!) - I was looking for one so I was excited to find it at so affordable a price.

 The brand is Jaguar. It was probably an awesome bag 15 years ago, but I so don't care. 99 cents!! Ha ha!

I'm going to catch some garbage for this one since my friend thinks I'm a purse hoarder but I also found this lavender lovely for just $7.99. I've never paid a new price for a purse so I'm just going to assume that is a bargain. Plus I found a dime in one of the inside pockets. Would have been nice if it had been $10 but pshhh.

THEN I got my goodies from the Gussy giveaway! You probably heard a delighted shriek when I first learned I won - I'm sure you heard me, wherever you may live. These lovelies arrived just in time for me to wear them to a two year old's birthday party and they will be headed to The Oregon Garden Resort with me in just a short while. Thank you Maggie!

Speaking of that two year old, I spent most of my week visiting her and her family so I was much too busy playing in the sandbox, catching balloons and picking dandelions to worry about this silly old blog.


Once the photos are emailed to me I'll show you the fun assortment of felt food I made her for her birthday - it was so much fun to make and there are so many tutorials out there for it.