Archive for 2009

Treasure Boxes and Bowls

I have been having a lot of fun playing in the studio the last couple of weeks. I have been sewing, quilting and playing with clay.  I also brought granny's crib that I converted into a couch, out to the studio for a wonderful cozy reading space.  That of course meant rearranging 25% of the studio, not an easy task.  But it is a sweet space and very inspiring.

This semester at the Waldport Afterschool program, I am teaching a Tuesday session of clay classes to the younger kids and then the older ones on Thursday.  We will be making clay "treasure" boxes and bowls.  I have been busy creating so that the kids will get to see examples of what we will do in class before they have to sign up for the semester.  I already have a great following of wonderful students that are looking forward to creating in clay.  

Here are some of the photos of the boxes/bowls.

These items will be ready to fire in the kiln in a few days and then I can glaze them. More photos to follow after they are colorful. Enjoy the day.

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Christmas Spiders

Last year, as in many other years, our friend Jac created a wondrous item for the Christmas season. She is known for her attention to itsy witsy fine detail work.  Last year our gift was a Christmas Spider.  She is a wonderful creation.  Along with the spider came the story of how a part of our Christmas traditions might have started. Last year and this year when Gale and I read the story again, as we hung the spider with the other ornaments, it just brought a sweet sense of joy.  The first 2 photos are of the spider hanging in our boughs among the other ornaments.  Good place for a Christmas spider ;-)))

Thank you Jac for a wonderful gift and sweet Christmas tradition.  The itsy, witsy colorful star in this photo is also her creation. About the size of a quarter and 3-dimensional.

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Christmas 2009

Thanks to son Aaron for doing a bit of redo on this site.  I really appreciate his talents and willingness to get me motivated in all sorts of directions. Well not so much motivated as more focused in various directions.  So many crayons and surfaces to play with.
Life is really good right now, as always.  I am so appreciative of all my well being and contentedness. The holidays are here and it is just a treat.  I have decided not to make baked goods this year.  Not for any other reason than the mood just didn't hit me, and that is OK ;-)).  I have been making baked goods for the last 40 years, so a break is feeling really decadent. So I am using all that extra time to play in the studio.
We have four kitties in our lives and they pretty much rule the pad.  Last year we came up with an idea for our xmas tree and it worked great.  We have a main beam that runs along the ceiling, the length of the house, giving it a vaulted look.  We string boughs with LED lights attached, then hang the ornaments from the boughs. Here are some photos from this year.  It's very cheerful and takes care of the issue of having a new kitten in our household during the "ornament" season. You can see photos of last years decorations in a previous blog.

We have started a few new traditions this year.  For the past several years we do the 12 days of Christmas for each other starting on the 13th.  So we each get to open a gift the morning of each of the 12 days.  Christmas morning we open our xmas socks.  This year on the first day of the 12, we grilled lobster tails.  We really liked that new tradition and it's a keeper for next year.  I know it looks like we have plenty of ornaments, but we are going to start getting each other a special ornament each year to add to the many wonderful ones already hanging in the boughs. Enjoy the day,

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Waldo Lake Campout '09

Ten Kayaks and 12 friends for this years annual Waldo Lake Camp Trip.  One week spent dry camping, kayaking, hiking and biking,, what a sweet getaway. Next year we are going to get a movie of all of us trying to line up for this photo.  We were really laughing so hard it was hard to get it right.  I almost dumped my kayak---again!
This would be our tent trailer shared with Susan and Tudi.  The main gathering camp was just up the path. Three big RV's, a trailer and our tent trailer. Lots of grins.
Sitting at the main camp and visiting, DJ, Dena and myself--great weather all week. The views went on and on.  Lovely.

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Topping

My list is long of possible blog topics and they are all interesting to me of course.  Lets start with the long overdue Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe with Cream Cheese frosting.  I know it's the season and this is a really delicious way to use up some of those green monsters that grow 2 feet over night. I am  giving the link to this site as the photo is here and it it so pretty.  They have many other wonderful recipes also.

I used a Cream Cheese frosting instead of the glaze they suggested in the recipe.  This cake also freezes pretty well.  With just the two of us around,, we certainly don't want large quantities of anything this yummy really easy to get to.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Pkg Cream Cheese
6 T Butter
1 T orange juice (the secret ingredient)
1 T vanilla
1-3/4 C Powdered Sugar
Beat Cream Cheese and Butter till fluffy.  Add orange juice and vanilla.  Gradually add powdered sugar will mixed well and fluffy.
Try this recipe out and let me know how you like it.  It was a hit at our house--be sure to not over bake the cake.  It needs to be a little moist before pulling from the oven. Bari

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Catching Up

It has been a really long time since feeling like I had two spare minutes to blog.  For the past several months I have been involved in a Vacation Beach Rental remodel called Secondwind down south in Yachats.  It has been a wonderful experience working with all the folks it took to get the job completed.  I am now the property manager for the place and if you are interested you can view it at

The remodel included new skylights in the kitchen, new bamboo flooring in kitchen and sitting room, new carpet in the bedrooms. We took down cedar shingles on th walls in the kitchen and laundry room and  textured and painted the walls through out the living areas.  It was a big job done my many friends, family and  contractors. But it was 10-12 hour days for a lot of weeks. The place turned out finer than any of our expectations, sort of took on a new life of it's own.  A wonderful place to come stay at the beach with a group of friends or family.

We are now getting back to normal life and dealing with the yard that has gone wild in the neglect of it all.  Over the past few years we have made it as much low maintenance as possible and I have to say it is working.  The areas that used to have weeds now have layers of newspaper, ground cloth and gravel and the weeds are few and easy to pull.  The raised beds and the island need some major attention, but the raspberries and strawberries are doing well even without the Oregon rain or hand watering. Must be due to our constant Marine layer. It was nice to spend a day playing in the yard yesterday and that same plan for today.

Son, Aaron is on to a project that has his enthusiasm running high.  It is always so fun to talk to him because he is always "doing really well".  He loves what he does and loves the process of making it work.  If you or someone you know is thinking of buying a home, he has very valuable information on his site dealing with the journey of home ownership.  His site even has me thinking about Gilbert, Arizona for a great place to live.  Go check it out and pass it along to those who might benefit from the information

Oldest son Nath and Claire had there second son in June.  Now there little family has Isaiah Winter who is just over two and Caleb Flynn.  He is just a little itty bitty folk right now.  Looks pretty breakable, but so cute.  Thank goodness for mobile uploads and Face Book so gramma's  can keep updated with the little ones.

I have a Sunday morning date with the beach now, so must close this blog.  More fun stuff to come now that I have my life back, and Oh what a wonderful life it is.  I love my life! Grins, Bari

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Really, It's all about the Cats

Time has certainly gotten away from me.  I promised myself this would not happen with this blog and here it has.  What can I say?? Life happens and we adjust accordingly.  I do however have several topics of interest to report on over the next several blogs, so here goes the first of these. One subject for all of you to look forward to is on the subject of slugs in Oregon. I could go on and on with this topic and will at some point.  You all can look forward to it.

As most of you know, my sweet mama passed away last October.  There were a few pieces of sentimental furniture and memorabilia that sister Sammi and I had been given by her.  Our trip in October was a quick one with no time to gather these items and bring them to our homes.  So last month, after Sammi moved to Oregon from Ohio, we made a trip down to the Sacramento area to collect these treasures from storage.  We had a lovely visit with the California family, but it was a quick trip.  

Some background, you will wonder how these stories relate, but let me assure you, they will. And also that this will need to have a follow up blog to give you final details of the finished project. We have a kitten named Lupin who has a cat tree that goes clear to the vaulted ceiling in our living room.  I say she is a kitten, only because she always will be to us.  She was adopted at the Florence animal shelter the first of the year 2 years ago, mostly to fill the whole in Gale's heart where her buddy Leo had held a big spot.  Lupin was a kitten who was given to the animal shelter with many health problems.  She was parasite infested and very small for her age--she still is small-thus the kitten term or aka. "item".  But the manager of the shelter fostered her for a few months and got her back on track and we adopted her.  She came to us with a junk food addiction.  She loves popcorn, chips, anything salty and can hear a bag open when she is clear outside. A lot of the photos you see on this blog are her as she is so darn cute and photogenic.  

We bought her a cat tree almost immediately when she came home.  She loves the tree and her favorite thing to do is to launch herself at the tree and climb as far up as possible so that we have to stretch to "pound" on her and give her "scrubbings".  She almost turns inside out with the pleasure of getting attention on the top of that cat tree. It is covered in carpet, which she has all but shredded.  We even dismantled the unit and installed a custom made "princess pad" for her. Sadly, it must be replaced.  

So Gale has come up with the idea to build a perch for her out of either driftwood, a downed tree or something more organic than the Walmart special we have going now.  We have been scouring the beach for the perfect tree to no avail. Sister Sammi had this bright idea.  She remembered brother Jay had a forest of Manzanita trees on his property in California and was having to remove several to clear the land a bit.  So we went to brother Jay's place and picked out a few trees to haul home to help construct the new cat tree. Usually Manzanita is a bush in most places, but these are huge trees.  We loaded the branches onto the back of the truck on top of the antique, tarped goods and away we went down the highway.  We sure did get some peculiar looks.  Some folks thought it was deer antlers--others just didnt know what to think but would grin at us anyway, shaking their heads as they passed.  Here are some photos to show our load. 
This is a huge big dooley truck that you almost need a step stool to get into.  We were concerned with underpasses along the way home and also being stopped and questioned by the local law enforcement folks as to what our intentions were.  Luckily for us all was well and we now have all four pieces resting in our driveway waiting for the assembling process to take place.
Our current cat tree is hooked into the ceiling and we were trying to figure out how to secure these branches to avoid toppling over when the kitten launches herself at the structure.  We were in Yachat's the other day,  gallery hopping with Gale's sister Sandy and came across the perfect idea.  One shop, called Touchstone Gallery had a large tree with many branches in the middle of the gallery space.  Folks had tied different colors and shapes of paper to the branches with well wishes for a more peaceful world.  It was truly amazing and I hope to be able to take a photo and share it on this blog.  They had poured cement into a large many gallon tree pot and inserted the branches from a Camilla tree into the pot and let the cement set up.  They said it weighed more than 240 lbs, so we are thinking that would be the ticket for the kitten.  Surely she would not be able to jump and dump over anything that was inserted into that much weight?? We will keep you posted.

It has now taken 4 days to complete this short blog--I am thinking my life is very busy with no end in sight.  Still having fun and definitely not boring.  More to come. Grins

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Cross Country trip

Last week I helped sister Sammi and brother in law Bob on their long awaited move from Cleveland, Ohio to their property in Culver, Oregon.  This is a view of what they will see from the back of their home once it's finished.  It's called Juniper Butte and it's covered with sage brush and Junipers.  It smells so good around here. The sunrises and sunsets are incredible.  We are looking forward to visiting often.

These two folks are not this short, but this rig is really loonnnggg. We also had a CRV Honda pulling a skidoo trailer that looked like a turtle. Seen here next to the container--the item wrapped in gray tarp.

They have two of these long containers that they have been loading with worldly goods each year as they come visit and haul a trailer.  It's taken 4 years of careful planning, but now they have arrived and ground was broken on their new place this week.  Adair homes will be the builders.

Sammi is clear in the back of this container,, gives you a scope of how big these storage units are.  Eventually the two units will be closer together with a pole barn covering them.

I will share some fun art work that we found at the rest stops in Iowa later on.  Busy couple weeks coming up.  Grins.

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It's been a busy few weeks one way and another, but wanted to share some sweet photos of the home kids.

This is our Lupin-the baby at a couple of years, she is thinking that if she can ooze herself into that suitcase, we will have to take her with us.

This is our Jacq cat, who was named after the National Geographic explorer Jacques Cousteau. As a kitten she would just stand in the rain and get drenched. Water is still a huge factor in her daily life. She is resting her chin on the catnip toy and not about to budge.

Tiggins is our shy boy who just talked Jacq out of being on the top of the stereo. We keep the stereo on so they can lay on it and stay warm. They are all so spoiled.
This week we have our Alaskan friend Phyllis visiting us. She is at the beach as I catch up on this blog. I will be leaving the end of this week for Ohio where I will help sister Sammi and Bob drive cross country to Culver, Oregon to build their new home. We have been waiting for this day a long time. Bob is now retired, or will be officially on Friday. Now they can get on with the rest of their fun lives and plans. I will catch you all later in the month when I return from my journey. Photos will be taken along the way. Wishing up wonderful weather and good views. Grins for now. Bari

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Thank you my furry friend**Spuds**spring of 1992-February 28, 2009

Sometimes, if we are really fortunate, we get to share our lives with critters.  My little buddy Spuds was my gift for 17 years.  I adopted him from a farm family in Flagstaff for son Jesse, who really wanted a kitten so badly.  Soon after he came to live with us, he decided I was his main, and consistent meal provider which made  us best friends from then on. Spuds has lived in so many places, Arizona, Alaska, Ohio, New Mexico, Washington and Oregon.  He was a traveler because he loved the people who were in his life.  He touched so many and will be missed by all. 
He was usually in the middle of anything I was doing, from quilting to working on the computer.  He loved to sit on the back of  my computer chair and look over my shoulder to watch me type, responding to emails and checking the web.  Often times he would just be in the office with me asleep next to my chair. He truly was my companion. 
 We have 3 other feline friends in our family.  Spuds will be missed by Lupin, our 2 year old kitten.  Spuds helped raise her and they were great buddies. Tiggins and Jaque's life will be easier with Spud on his next adventure.  Our feline family dynamics will change a lot as Spud was always boss on every subject. He truly ruled the whole family. 
Spud was a healthy and happy guy. Gale and I had returned home Friday evening and spent some time watching TV with spuds in our lap-completely content to be with us, sprawled belly up.  Spud was happy and healthy right up to an hour before his passing. The doc diagnosed a blood clot. He rests in our secret cat garden near the forsythia bushes, close to his good buddy Biskut.

This boy is going to be missed, but mostly remembered for all his wonderfulness.  Thanks for being just right Spud and for sharing your life with all of us.
Best wishes on your next adventure... love from your moms and all the lives you have touched in your long and wonderful life.

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Fridays at dreamtyme studio

Well I have to say that Fridays fly by these days without a blog built.  But handily for me there is always Saturday early mornings catch up.  It has been a wonderful week here at the coast.  I am enrolled in the Lincoln County Master Gardeners Program through Oregon State University.  It's 10 weeks, all day Tuesdays.  Very intense and so interesting.  I have learned tons, and the folks there are just incredible.  There are 30 students and a lot of veterans each week as well as all the knowledgable speakers they have lined up for us. 

My weeks just don't have the free time built into them any more, which is fine, it's temporary.  I  have also just recently joined the Seal Rock Garden Club.  This little club really has just a ton of activities and programs.  Between the two garden related areas, my brain is getting very full. 

Last week through the Master Gardeners Program we went on a field trip to an apple orchard up the Alsea river 15 miles. Loyd was our host as it is his orchard.  Such a kind gentleman and his wife is a sweeti.  Loyd shared all about how he grafts apples of all sorts and how to prune and care for fruit trees.  It was just a delight.  And the bonus was they had big, fluffy, black and white chickens running loose. It was a wonderful day and I learned a ton. 

This week for the studio tour I wanted to share the top space a bit.  Over the last couple of months we have been working, with the help of friend Steve from Washington, to finish the insulation in the ceiling.  The job is complete! We had studio folks on Thursday and it was so nice and cozy in there.  I still need to do some rearranging up in the rafters, but all in all it is a very usable space.
This area faces the door to the breezeway.  Only one way in or out of the studio.  I have put old windows across the beams and store light weight items, such as baskets and dried flowers.  It keeps the ceiling "light" and airy feeling.
The photo below shows the reverse view looking from the door.  You can see the insulation.  We will keep it in it's rough form and not cover it up with anything at this point.  It was enough to get it installed and saving heat. 
I have hung many types of "twinkle" lights around the studio.  It really helps catch the light in the corners and make it cheerful and cozy.
I use the rafters to hang my hydranga blooms in the fall.  

Across the front of the studio in the eves I have many large pictures displayed.  Also many bird nest's and more baskets.  I use baskets to store and display all sorts of things.  I love baskets!. 
So there we go with another tour of part of the studio, a delicious place to play. Bari

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Pillow Case Demo

This is a very fun way to construct a pillow case. It will be a 2 part blog. I am going to use photos mostly for the visual. The directions I have on printed paper are good, but can be confusing without the visual.

You start with 27 inches of fabric that is 42-45 inches wide for the main body of the pillow case. Make sure each end has been "squared" up. Cut a piece of complimenting fabric for the band, 9" by 45" and iron in half lengthwise. Your accent strip is cut 2" by 45" and is also ironed in half lengthwise.

This is the tricky part to understand and visualize, but let's give it a go.
1.)Lay the body of the case, pretty side up.
2.)Lay the accent strip on top of the body of the case, raw edges even, along upper edge of the band.
3.)Lay the constrast band, right side down, along the edge of the body and accent strip.
4.)Roll the main body of the pillowcase up until it's in the under the contrast band.
5.)Pull the bottom edge of the contrast band under the rolled body, and lay it along the edge with the all other pieces, raw edges even. You will have 5 raw edges to pin when aligned correctly.

 It will look like a tube with the accent strip and body of the case inside and the contrast strip enclosing all of it.
Pin in place.

Sew along edge, then turn right side out through end of contrast band.

This is the tricky part to explain, so I am hoping these photos do the trick.

The second part of this demo will show how to finish the sides.

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Pillow Case Demo Part 2

This will be mostly visuals--you are going to finish the side seams of your pillow case by using a French seam.

But first press your pillow case flat, removing all the wrinkles. Then sew a top stitch along the length of the accent band through all layers about 1/4 inch from the seam line. If you don't sew this down, the accent strip tends to get wrinkly in the dryer and doesn't lay well.

Pin wrong sides together, (pretty side showing) raw edges even and sew 1/4" seam down side and across bottom.

Pull pillow case inside out and press seams smoothly against the seam line. Sew a 3/8" seam down the side and across bottom. This seam needs to be a little wider or you will end up with the raw edges from the French seam showing on the pretty side of the pillow case.

Let me know if all this makes sense and is easy to follow--have fun with this. Remember, you can enlarge these photos for detail clarification by putting your cursor on the photo and clicking on it. It's a fast easy way to make last minute gifts for loved ones.
This pillow case was made for my Valentine's sweetheart. Grins, Bari

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Fridays at dreamtyme studio

More bits and pieces this week at dreamtyme studio.
This first photo is of the entrance to the studio. You come in through the breezeway and enter through the glass door. This door was installed by Brother-in-Law Bob, and "passed" along to me from nephew Jamey John. It replaced an ugly old metal solid door and makes all the difference for letting in light. Bob has helped with many projects in and around the studio. This summer we hope to put on a covered and enclosed sitting area in front of the studio to shelter us from the wind when we want to be outside. We will use the sun tuff for the roof and we have some recycled many pane windows that will work as the wind break. I have been collecting commercial tiles of all sorts, colors and sizes. I want to install a floor on the cement patio inside where this area will be. I will keep you posted with photos and progress.

This was going to be the last studio tour for a while, but there is just still so much more to share and many more projects to do that are interesting to post,, so we will keep going for now.
This area with the chair is cozy for sitting and either reading or doing hand work. Sometimes folks just sit and visit. It is located next to the main studio table.

The beading and embellishment area holds many fun and colorful items for creating. Boxes of beads, tins of wire and string and many sorts of tools for assembling items. The "curtain" that is above the table covers a window that was from the old Swarthmore home in Philly. The curtain is made up of left over blocks from other projects and pieces together to make a cover. Originally I made it to be a pillow scarf, but get more use out of it this way.

Today we are finishing the insulation in the studio ceiling. That will make such a difference in the coziness of the place. Friend Steve is helping, along with Gale and little bair.
Must go for now and rearrange the stuff in the rafters for insulating. Grins, Bari

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