Archive for the ‘Worth 1,000 words’ Category

When Kane was 4 months old, he met a spunky 6-month old German shepherd at the park named Olive. It was love at first sight. There was no hesitation, no shyness, no boundaries. They were drawn to each other as if by magnetism, wrestling and biting and running around. Their chemistry was undeniable.

Two friendships were born that day. That was also the day I met one of my dearest friends, Olive’s mom, Christine.

Because Christine and I became friends, Olive and Kane were able to continue their friendship. They grew up together at the park and the beach at in each other’s homes.

They’ve grown up into two incredible, strong-willed, and memorable dogs. Some may believe that dogs aren’t capable of friendships. I totally disagree. Kane and Olive are different with each other than they are with anyone else. If any other dog approached either of them with the familiarity they’re entitled to with each other, there would be trouble. (What would you do if someone other than your partner/spouse greeted you with a pat on the bottom?)

When I was in middle school, my dad told me that a person is lucky if they leave this world with one true friend. Kane and Olive share a closeness that most humans search their entire lives for. It’s a friendship that will last a lifetime.

Olive moved to Manhattan in January, and I know Kane misses her. This weekend he was lucky enough to have her visit for a few days while Christine attended to family matters. They joy in their eyes was unmistakable.


They may not be capable of having a sense of time or distance, but their friendship surpasses those anyway.


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Kip is no longer staying with us. Yesterday I dropped him off at my trainer friend Ralph’s house. He’ll be staying at a dog training facility for a week or two for basic obedience training, and after that he’ll go to Washington, D.C., where he’ll be trained to work as a PTSD service dog for a woman who was shot in the head by Somali pirates.

They say one man’s trash is another’s treasure. I say that where Kip is involved, the first man never deserved to have the treasure in the first place.

What happens when you put a big, tough pit bull in the same house as a bigger, tougher doberman? In this house, LOTS of this happened:

I’ve got one good boy. I didn’t have room for another. During the two weeks he was here, I often got annoyed that there was another to walk and feed and pet and shed and not step on. But he was worth it. And now, I am at peace because he is where he belongs. Where he will be loved and treasured for the rest of his life.

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New Drapes

I made curtains for my “new” living room the day I got my sewing machine. Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was doing when I made them. They were OK… they did the job… but they were not reflective of an accomplished seamstress (as I have become in the past 2 months).

I cut the material too short on the old ones, so there was no reusing them for new ones. Which sucked because I really loved the pattern.

But when God closes a door, he sends you a stock pile of fabric on craigslist.

I went to see Alice and her hoard of fabric again over Memorial Day weekend. I came home with a ton of really elegant and heavy taupe/brown cotton and some funky flowery, almost cartoonish cotton blend.

And this is what I did.

To make these drapes, I first pieced together the front, making sure the flowery top was exactly the same height from the top of the blue flange on all four panels.

Then I cleared the living room floor and laid down a thrifted white flat sheet (which would be the lining), and pinned each panel to the sheet, right sides facing. At the top of each panel, I pinned the tabs in between the panel and the lining so that the tabs were “hidden” between the two and raw edges were flush with each other.

I sewed along the sides and top, turned each right-side out, and ironed each side for a crisp edge. Then, I folded each side back onto the lining by an inch and stiched it down (so that an inch of the panel front wraps around to the back), and folded up the bottoms 4 inches and did the same (this also closed the opening where I turned them right side out).

I pressed one more time around all of the edges, hung them, and stood back and smiled. They’re really nice drapes. They’re thick enough to block out light and heat/cold, and I love the funky flowers and elegant brown combination.

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I spent the better part of last week visiting a good friend I haven’t seen in years in an area of the country I’d never been to before.

And it was glorious.

I didn’t sleep much (thanks to the time zone difference), and we stayed busy, but it was so, so good.

Kendra was amazing in that she took all of the pictures from the trip with her fancy shmancy camera, which let me focus on actually seeing what was in front of me.

In a nutshell, Seattle was an awesome, upbeat, lively city. But the countryside around it — absolutely breathtaking.

I have over 200 pictures from the trip. You guys get to see the best of them. (The ones where I look really skinny 🙂 )

Seattle from Queen Anne Hill. The pretty girl in front is me.

Ouch! That needle hurts.

Me shivering under the heater in the door of the Metropolitan Grill after dinner. June 2nd, and it was 50-some degrees outside.

The next few shots are from the Underground Tour. Which was super cool.

I loved all the junk from way back when that was strewn all over the place.

At Deception Pass. Un-freaking-believable.

At Snoqualmie Falls. Also un-freaking-believable.

Wine tasting around Seattle. Ignore the hair. It wasn't our first tasting that day.

The last thing we did was a sunset tour around Puget Sound. So pretty!

Of course, the Virginian in me got pretty cold.

A pinkish Mt. Rainier at sunset.

I’m glad to be home, but I’m sad it’s over. Thanks times 5 million to Kendra for being such an amazing hostess and photographer!

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These days, the time I used to spend blogging gets spent doing other things. Mostly sewing.

Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to.

A hanging shoe organizer. This project cost me a grand total of $2. I got both cuts of fabric at the thrift store for $1 each, and the “shoulders” (a piece of wood at the top to keep the organizer from collapsing under the weight of 12 pairs of shoes) came from a bamboo tree in my back yard.

Leather and linen purse. I’ve made four variations of this bag. A few weeks ago I scored some awesome English linen and Italian suede from the nicest lady in the world. The first three purses I made (one for me, one for my mom, and one for my sister) have a dark brown suede base and a super luxurious linen bag part. They each have a different lining, inside pocket, and outside rosettes. The second one pictured below is also a gift, but I made it out of a leather coat I scored at the thrift store ($5 for about 2 yards of soft, worn-in leather) and a different cut of linen.

Don’t you love the rosettes? Me too. I’ve got a tutorial on those in queue. 🙂

And finally, my most labor-intensive and treasured project yet, a patchwork quilt. I saw this quilt several months ago on Under the Sycamore. It’s actually what made me decide to buy a sewing machine on a whim (well, that and the glasses of wine I had for dinner that night), and what’s inspired me to learn as much as I have. I’m so in love with this quilt. I love the simplicity and the pop of color in the corners. I love the randomness wrapped up in coordination. I ADORE the line of fabric that makes up the corners (the Lovely collection by Sandy Gervais for Moda). And I love that I cut all of the white squares from some flat sheets I got at the thrift store for $1 each.

I’m hand-tying this quilt, rather than actually “quilting” it, and as you can see, have yet to bind it all together. But it’s getting there.

Close-up on the hand-tying, which is really just doing three loops with an embroidery needle by hand… on 110 squares.

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My two best friends took me to lunch today for no reason other than it was a beautiful day.

They made me drive, and I left still a bit hungry, but we had a great time.

He's the slobberyist boy I know

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My sister turned 23 on Wednesday. Her “real” birthday present is on hold until I learn how to make it.

These will do in the interim. Quilted potholders–because potholders deserve to be as pretty as the dishes you carry with them!

(There’s a set for my mom and a set for my sister. Both reversible.)

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