Archive for 2008

Berry Medley Cordial

Last year, our studio group got together at Dorian's home and had a potluck. We are truly good cooks and Jeff even BBQ ed up some of his famous tasty wings. We were in heaven. Then Dorian pulls out this little bottle of Blackberry Liqueur that her son's in laws had made for them. So nice of her to share. We fell in love. Turns out Gale and I have many, I say many kinds of berries just in our back yard. We have blueberries, marrionberries, several kinds of raspberry, including autumn golds, strawberries, blackberries, black caps and boysenberries. We have to schedule friends to come pick the berries so they won't go to waste. And we always pick them and freeze them, but end up with so much, we give the frozen berries away to friends and family. Not this year. We have found a solution to the problem and that would be making Berry Medley Cordial/Liqueur.

We started a test batch last summer, Yummy. So we made a 4x batch and just bottled it the other day. This will be Xmas tokens to a few friends. We have alot of berries still in the freezer, so we are now starting up our next batch. It takes about 3 months to do a good job of letting it ferment and the flavors to blend. This stuff is pretty snacky, although very potent, definitely a sipping situation. Hope to have a batch or two done for the McLean/Cotten family reunion in June down in the Bay Area.

Our main concern was whether we could use berries that had been frozen, sure enough, it works great.

The sun is peaking from the east and is showing off with a wonderful pink eastern sky for our sunrise. It's been a while since I have seen this view while playing on the computer. The garden calls. (really posted 12-30-08 6am) Grins

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Mushrooms and Granny

I did a post not long ago about the mushrooms in our neighborhood. This little guy being one of my favorites. He popped up in our yard before the big cold spell came along and I shot several photos of him as his life's journey progressed. He starts out very compact and red with spots, but over the next several days he grows in width--to be about 7" across and shows his underside. It was such a treat to have one show up close so I could watch him.

My son Aaron, who has set this blog up for me, asked the other day if, wouldn't it be cool to set up a blog for "granny"? Granny was my mom who at 88 decided she had had enough fun in this life and needed to get on with her next adventure. I can't even express how much she was loved. Her life was simple and all about family and loving unconditionally. She had 5 children who went on to give her 17 or 18 grandchildren and they went on to give her several great grandchilden and one of them had a great, great grandchild on the same day she had her heart attack and stroke. Granny got to meet this new addition and it was a very special moment for all of us. Her children were given enough time to arrive from other states, and counties, and be with her while she finished up saying her goodbyes to those who loved her so much.

Aaron has set up a blog about her life and decendents. It has been a healing process to view the comments, photos and posts that the family is sharing and to reflect on all that she started all those years ago when she fell in love with, and married my dad. This is a way that the younger generations can really get to know who she was as a child through grannyhood. Thanks Aaron, what a sweet man you are to have thought of such a thing. Still grinning, mom

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Pretzel Perfection

I do love the stories of entreprenues and how they come up with an idea and follow it through. One such friend has come up with a fun idea and a great last minute treat for Christmas or really any time. She is a young mother who started making these treats for her son's kindergarten class a couple of years ago and then started taking them to adult parties where folks thought the idea was novel, not to mention delicious and there was born . And there it starts, the research and development, the lifeblood of all small businesses. The thrill and excitement of this process leads us in directions we would never think to go. Always tweaking the product or finding new resources to bring down that bottom line. Listening to all around you, sifting the great ideas from the far fetched. It's rewarding to be in business for yourself and nice to have so much control over your schedule.
I have tried these treats and they are YUM! Let me know what you think.
It is very cold here in Oregon today and for most of the next week. Unusual weather for here, we even had snow yesterday and school was cancelled for both days. Right now it is crisp and around 25 degrees with the sun shining. This feels very cold to me, but after all I have lived in Montana and Alaska, so in perspective, it's very warm. The birds are enjoying themselves and the cats are enjoying watching the birds (behind glass of course). Staying warm here at the Central Oregon Coast,, Bari

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Oregon Sunsets and Art Shows

Last night was a most beautiful sunset. It has been like this for several days now and I was able to catch it on camera. The show just kept going for maybe an hour, just beautiful. These were taken on the street just out front of our house.

It's starting to get cooler here as with most parts of the country. We have been getting up at 6 and walking the neighborhood. Headlamps are a must, but it's very clear and crisp at that time of morning. I end up with noticeably more energy on the days I walk. So why don't I do it every day??

This weekend was our Eclectic Artz show in Waldport. There are five of us who on Memorial weekend and usually Thanksgiving weekend gather and show/sell our art at Debra's studio. It was a nice success. We have a new artist in our group who does kelp, seaweed and driftwood creations. I took some photos to give an idea of the range of art. Enjoy. Bari

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Christmas with Cats

Well it's that time of year again. We have traveled to Mexico the last two first parts of December, so that by the time we got back off a very warm vacation, the xmas mood had passed. We did not do decorations and felt a bit sad about it. However this year we went on our vacation to Hawaii in early November, thus leaving plenty of time on our return to get in the xmas spirit. Last year we picked up some green garland and lights at the after xmas sales thinking that this year we would decorate our center beam. We have 4 cats who, if given the chance to destroy a xmas tree, would literally jump at it. So we decided the beam was safe.

It has been a treat. A tradition, my partner Gale and I started a few years ago, was to exchange the 12 days of xmas wtih each other. I had gathered 3 sets of Harry and David boxes that used to hold 12 different fruits, nuts and candies for the 12 days of xmas. So we choose a set of boxes to give to the other and start handing out the treats on the 13th of December. When you see these pictures, that is what the little boxes hanging from the garland are all about.

After not decorating for xmas for several years, it was like coming across old friends when we unearthed our individual ornaments to hang. What a journey. I have an ornament from when I was in my teens and my sock is from when I was born. That's a lot of years. The ornaments tell a story of journeys across the country. Ornaments from Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Oregon. They bring back such sweet memories of times past that have been forgotten until that moment when they appear out of the colored tissue paper.

This weekend we will do baking and get packages ready to send to our loved ones across the country. It's supposed to snow and be very cold. Our original plan was to go to Belknap Hotsprings to test out our new tent trailer. But with 3 mountain passes and temperatures in the 20's and snow level to 500 feet, we decided xmas baking was a safe bet. Bari

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Stained Glass Mosaic Framed

It has been a very busy several days around the dreamtyme studio. We have finished another fifth of the ceiling and only have 3 more fifths to go. The problem with insulating all at once is that we would have to empty the studio first. So we moved many things out of their places to get the insulation in. It will really help this winter--if you can call Oregon weather winter, to have the extra bulk in the ceiling.

It also meant we were able to scrape old paint off the windows and wash them. We are going for the shabby chic look in the studio--anything goes. It is giving me the chance to really go through stuff and reorganize and clear out things not being used.

I am including some before and after photos of the stained glass mosaic projects that I created for the eclectic artz sale this weekend. A few are a bit fuzzy, but I think you can get the general idea. These are inexpensive 5x7 and 8x10 frames, hung with eye hooks and chain.
The before photos here, were on my earlier blog

This has truly been a fun project to work on and it is always nice when they are completed. When the sun comes through they look magical.

Today is a day to play in the studio,, see what we can rustle up. So many colors and so many mediums to choose from. I will keep you posted. Bari

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Stained Glass Mosaic Window

A few days ago I was writing about creative energy and the wish I had that it would continue to be part of my life all day long for many days in a row. I have to say that it is still there and I am totally enjoying it's presense. See the previous post on creative energy and the stained glass mosaic projects.

We had a beautiful, warm day at the Oregon Coast yesterday which allowed me to "play" in the yard. I had the kiln going in the studio and I try not to be in there when it's running. So I "fluffed" the breezeway and potted up baby seedling trees for sister Sammi's new property in Culver, Oregon. It was nice to clean up a bit around our back door and breezeway/studio entrance.
It was also nice enough to finally take a few photos of the finished installed stained glass mosaic window above the door to the breezeway. This first photo is from the outside. The glass was glued with clear glue to a clear piece of glass the size of the the window opening, then grouted. We then framed the window in from both the outside and inside so it is "sandwiched between boards.
The second photo is of the inside. The design shows much better with the light behind it.
And the last photo is of the inside of the breezeway looking out through the glass door. I am very pleased with how it turned out. If I do it again, I would purchase thicker clear glass for my window base. We will need to reinforce this with caulking to make sure it doesn't move in the high winds. All in all it was an easy project and enjoyable to create. And the best part of this project is that it is installed and can be enjoyed. I am looking around thinking up what else I can use this method on. I'll keep you posted.
Today we will get further along on the insulation of the studio. I have had to be realistic and know that we need to do a little at a time. So we will do one roll of insulation at a time. Then we won't have to store the left overs and the studio won't be in such an uproar for longer than necessary. Bari

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Dancing Chickens Wall Quilt

It has been a great few days over these Thanksgiving holidays. I have played in my studio a lot and have gotten far on many projects. We are going to insulate the roof-it's a converted two car garage-non insulated. This means I must relocate all the supplies from the rafters to other parts of the studio. Gives me the chance to reorganize, cull and rethink what direction I want the studio to go. But it's also a lot of work.

Thank you Dena for the glass donation. She was kind enough to give dreamtyme studio her left over glass from some stained glass projects she was finished with. I have the tumbler going now and look forward to using the glass in some mosaic projects with the 21st Century Learning Center Afterschool program in Toledo, OR. in the winter session. This is a good way to get bits of glass for mosaic projects. Just locate folks who are doing stained glass and they are usually very happy to be rid of all those little bits of left overs. See posting on the subject of the mosaic glass project.

I have progressed quite far with this project and have photos to prove it. It's been fun picking out the fabrics and tweaking the pattern a bit. I saw a chicken at the chicken show that looked just like these chickens. Batik fabrics, you have to love them. All of these fabrics are scraps of batiks. The wall quilt will be about 36"x36" finished.

Here I have a photo of the pieces pinned to the background. There were many little bits to keep track of.

This is the wall quilt after I ironed all the bits and pieces to the background fabric. I sewed small white beads for the eyes and attached them with a french knot in black. Will show closeup later.

The next step will be putting on the borders and basting the layers together. I will use the MicroStitch tool for this small project. If it was a larger quilt I would use QuilTak to baste the piece. The MicroStitch tool has a slightly finer needle and very short fine taks to hold the layers together while I machine quilt it. More to come,,, Bari

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Gone Chickens

I am totally inspired to create a chicken wall quilt. I had picked up this fun pattern at our local quilt shop, Quilters Cove, not long ago called Dancing Chickens, but had not started the project as of yet. But after this last weekend's visit with chicken folk, I now feel the urge to create "chicken". I am a quilter more than anything else and have been quilting for 30 years or more. My business is quilt related which helps me keep in the groove of quilting. See our quilt basting tools and more at

So I am adding a photo of the wall quilt I have started. It is applique type construction using fusible paper. So easy and goes together quickly. Sometimes it's just so nice to do a quickie project. The company that created this pattern also has many others of the same flavor and others that are different. It's a great site and you can tell these folks have a sense of humor regarding chickens.

Today is a rainy, drizzly day at the Central Oregon Coast. A great day to play in the studio. I picked out my fabrics last night and started ironing the patterns on the fusible web. The fabric gathering is always the best part, especially when you have been collecting for 30 years and your fabric stash has all colors, types and patterns imaginable in it. I will keep a photo journal of the process. I might even get very far along with this project today. Bari

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Who Knew Chickens Were So Interesting??

Yesterday, the coast had many activities to choose from. The one that was elected for my adventure was found in the following newspaper. It's a great little read with tons of interesting facts, events and local culture. The visitors love it as they can grab a free paper just about anywhere and instantly know what's going on at the beach,, from Florence up to Tillamook. In this article, notice the Yachats event.

A chicken show for goodness sake. I would never have guessed that that would be something I would drive almost 20 miles on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon to attend, but I was there. It was too fun. These folks know how to laugh and have a good time. Maybe 15 chickens were in attendance in their portable cages--and one duck, they would not hold still for the photos.

The Coastal Cluckers Chicken Show was sponsored by the Lucky Cluck Farm cooperative and the Coastal Critters 4-H Club. These folks were all about getting the word out about how cool chickens really are and what benefits they can provide to their owners. There was also an official chicken judge in attendance who clued us newbies in on the particulars of pretty chicken judging. Candy corn was given out as refreshments as well as chick-o-sticks. All the serious chicken folks had chicken type clothing on. One was totally dressed as a chicken and his job was to stand on the corner and wave us into the event. Other folks had clothing decorated with chickens--I could really get into that part for sure--not so much the whole chicken costume though. Looked Hot.

So, turns out there are a lot of folks who would love to own a chicken but maybe they live in an apartment or town where it's not allowed. So this coop lets folks join and have their chickens live at the Lucky Cluck Farm. There are also responsibilities attached to owning chickens in the coop. I have to say, this morning I spent a couple of hours purusing their website, blog and past newsletters. I laughed a lot and it felt so good. I am still grinning as I write this piece.

I recently spent 10 days in Hawaii and on the way home, we stopped in Maui to see my son who lives there. He took us to see some friends who have many chickens and I was enthralled with all the different kinds and their behavior. You could spend a lot of time just watching these feathery critters. Turns out it is a great past time. So I am studying the ins and outs of chicken ownership. I will keep you posted. Bari

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Only in Oregon

So today was a wonderful day for an early morning walk. I think I have mentioned that I live in Oregon, acutally along the Central Oregon Coast, just up from the beach. Mushrooms grow well in Oregon, I would assume it has a lot to do with the amount of moisture we get here. We have a town just south of here called Yachats that is known for it's Mushroom Festival every year. At our local farmers markets, one can get any number of different varietes of mushrooms for eating. I am pretty sure this one isn't meant to be eaten,, but I just don't know much about them other than they make me smile when I see them. So this morning I took several photos of different sorts to share with you. Maybe they will make you smile also. The top photo reminds me of fairy tale pictures in books that were read to me as a child.

This next photo is the same type "shroom" only a little older. They don't last long around here as the birds and critters like their taste. And then there is the rain that comes often to our neighborhood that tends to "melt" them.

Here is a happy little group of caps. Pretty sure the homeowner is not happy at their existance, but hey, they made me smile, maybe that was their job for today.

And here is my last photo with several different sorts. I just love looking at nature and the way things are formed. If you look close at these different mushrooms, they are all so different, yet similar and perfect in their own selves. I get a lot of inspiration out of nature, the forms, the colors and variety and the constant changing of our natural elements.
I am not a very experienced photographer, so I hope you will enjoy these photos knowing it is a really big deal for me to have learned how to share these photos with you in this format. What a wonderful time and space we live in these days to enjoy all this changing information and be able to implement the information in so many ways. Smiles,,, Bari

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Creative Energy

Sometimes my creative energy is exponentially higher than at other times. I do love it when I wake up like I did this morning raring to go and filled with creative ideas. I have wanted to track the energy to see if it's a cyclical thing, weather related, or just it is what it is. I guess we need the
down time to get ready for the times when we are zooming from dawn til dusk, like yesterday and the day before. I just always want to stay on this roll, filled with energy and good creative ideas.

Yesterday I created two of the stained glass windows I was describing in my earlier post. Although they look large here, they are 8x10 inexpensive photo frames. So the process is to take the frame apart and clean the glass well on both sides. Then glue your colored glass pieces to the photo frame glass.

I let it dry overnight and will get it grouted this weekend and show photos when they are complete.

Another idea I just thought of is to use bits of clear textured glass in the frame. When I was living in Flagstaff, Arizona I took a class on stained glass and that was our first project. I have included a photo of this piece. It has traveled to many parts of the country since it's creation and is a little rough around the edges for wear, but still nice to look through.

This blog project is very inspiring to me. I love to teach folks how to do things I have learned myself. It's a great avenue for me to spread the word about these creative projects and maybe inspire someone else towards finding their own creative energy. Grins,, Bari

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start from here

i have journaled for alot of my life and have to say it is a great way for processing most anything including art projects. it seems once i put the thoughts on paper all sorts of creative ideas follow along with the original thought. i usually have several creative projects going at a time. most recently i have been working on a mosaic stained glass window to go above the breezeway door. the method is really fun and simple to do. i started by cutting pieces of stained glass in all the different colors i had on hand--which was many. i cut the pieces in irregular shapes, but within a half inch to an inch. the smaller they were the more control i had over the design. then i put them in my rock tumbler with a bit of sand and tumbled the glass for 24 hours--this roughs up the edges and makes the glass look like beach glass. i haven't told you yet that i live by the beach, so i collect beach glass on a regular basis--i love it.

after i got the glass rinsed and dryed, i started laying my design out on the clear piece of glass that i had cut to fit the window opening above the door. i knew that the edges wouldn't show due to the framing to hold the piece secure. so i put some less than pretty pieces around the edges and worked from the center out. my glass was 36" x 9", if i do this again with this large of piece, i would pay extra to get a thicker clear glass for my base. the design i chose was dragonflies with rainbow type background. i glued the bits of glass down with a clear craft glue. after the glass was all glued, i let it dry for a couple of days. yesterday i grouted the piece with a dark blue grout and it is just outstanding. photos will follow in a day or so.

i want to do this same method with some 5x6 picture frames. the technique would be the same except you would already have your frame handy for installation.

i belong to an art group called eclectic artz. we are several women who love creating,, but you always have the problem of what to do with the art you create. so 2 times a year we get together and have an art show at debra's studio. i bring small art quilts and handmade tiles and whatever else i have been playing with in my studio. one gal does pottery another does soaps. we have a fuzed glass artist and quilter and someone who works with seaweed and another who works with fimo. it's a nice mix of folks and we have a nice following of people and friends who support our efforts. i hope to get some of thes stained glass window frames done for the show the first week in december,, so i will keep you posted and hopefully get some photos together for you to look at.

wow, this has been fun, just like my son said it would be once i started. looking forward to more. bari

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