Friday, November 30, 2012

This Last November Day...

It's raining outside, but nice and cozy inside with some X-Mas music in the background and my morning cup of coffee next to me: not a bad morning at all!

My first of two lessons at Little Bit was cancelled for today and suddenly I feel I have a sea of time and crafty opportunities in front of me. I think I might either make some more pom-poms or some paper baubles like this one...
(This is not made by me, 
I just wanted to show you what I was thinking of making.)

My sister sent me a lovely block of assorted papers last year and I haven't used them yet: oh the shame of it!  <wink>

Yesterday afternoon I was unexpectedly out with a friend and we ended up at Joann Fabrics where they had some good sales going on. I bought some yardage of the fabric below and can't wait to start sewing again with an easier fabric this time. (compared to yesterday's cape) I'll let you know which pattern it will be once I've made up my mind...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Conquering of the Cape!

Yay! I managed to finish the cape that scared the ...... out of me! 

Two kinds of welt pockets (in Dutch: paspel zakken aan de voorkant en insteek zakken aan de zijkant), a large collar, a very large hood and fiddly neck facings all just about did me in, but it is done and I think it actually does look a bit like a Sherlock Holmes cape! <wink>

Wow, this was a lot of work, but I learned a lot and it was actually kind of fun. Some good brain exercising for sure! (most of the steps were rather complicated and the descriptions weren't very precise)

Here is another close-up of the fabric and the fun buttons I used...

I think I'll wear it today whilst shopping at Target!  {smile}

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Little Birdies...

'Tis the time of year for all the little birdies to arrive en masse. I love looking at all the activity on and near the bird feeders...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Winter Tidings...

Master C. in his element!
Last Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) Mr. G. and Master C. (sounds almost like a Hip-Hop duo... ) <wink>  left for Steven's Pass to hit the slopes for the first time this winter season. Just look at all that snow! They were very happy campers when they returned home!

Father & Son
The next day, when it was pouring out, Miss M. felt it was time to dig out all the Christmas decorations from the garage. She started with her favorite ones: the Victorian Holiday Houses.

In the last picture you can see that we actually bought a little Holiday House that reminded us of our former house in Indianapolis. In the daylight the Holiday House also has that light-blue/ grey color...

Unfortunately it was too wet outside to pick up the Christmas Tree so we left that for Saturday. I had suggested that maybe this year we should go with a smaller tree, but look what they came home with: the biggest tree of them all!

Between 12 - 15 feet tall!
Some pretty winter Holly!

Miss M. and Master C. spent most of the afternoon decorating the tree and they finished it just in time before our Thanksgiving dinner which was absolutely scrumptious!

Today Mr. G. is baking bread for the left-over turkey sandwiches (with mayo!) and he is also preparing  a soup from the turkey carcass. The glorious smells are wafting all over the house....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Crazy Running!

This morning the running conditions were just perfect: 45 degrees (Fahrenheit obviously), a bit of fog and no wind. Miss M. decided to accompany me on her bike and off we went. Below you can see me arriving at the bridge over the Snoqualmie River after a 17 minute run:

After a very short stop (only a couple of minutes) off we went again. Through the campground next to the river and homeward bound again...

Once we were just about home I decided to do a little extra loop and I made it to ....<'Tatatadaaa!'>... 45:30 minutes which was the equivalent of 4 miles! (= 6.5 kilometers)

WootWoot, a new record by a lot!  {insert a Very Happy Smile here}

I'm a little bit tired now, I admit, but I still have enough energy left to host my aunt and uncle this afternoon for our Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey is in the oven and the X-Mas tree is up! Mr. G. and Miss M. bought the biggest tree ever and it almost fills up the entire living room! More pictures about that later. Off I go to peel some potatoes...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Just love this snow effect!

So this is totally not an original idea by far, but fun right?   <wink>

Traditionally we get our Christmas Tree the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We are very lucky that our favorite Christmas Tree Farm is right in our own town and it is always a fun event with warm apple cider etc.

Anyway, normally I can't wait for the four of us to get the tree, but this year the whole Christmas thing still seems so far away. In order to help myself get into the Christmas Mood so to speak, I've hung these old embroidery hoops with some fun x-massy fabric. Now it is time for some x-mas music Brian Setzer's Orchestra ) and maybe some hot buttered rum? Mr. G. usually makes a batch of that so maybe I can get him to do that when he comes home. (from Costco people, on the day before Thanksgiving!)

I'll end with a picture of myself, taken this morning after yet another run. I've again lost a couple of pounds which is great, almost to my my goal. It's been tricky to find half an hour in between all the rain showers, but I managed a spot at 8 am. (yes, 8 o'clock in the morning!) The clouds were swerving madly, hundreds of geese overhead on their way south and the lovely smells of wet leaves every where. Not bad at all!

Happy Thanksgiving Holidays to those of you who celebrate!  {smile}

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


And look: PicMonkey has Winterland photo effects ready now!

Today I bought a Pom-Pom maker gadget! Yes I know, you can also make them from two cardboard cut-outs but that is so fiddly, especially when you want to make more than one. 

Tif had already inspired me the other day when I went over with Miss M. to visit Tif's pop-up shop (Gladys, the  beautiful 50's air-stream trailer), but today's post on her blog made me want to go out and buy one of these gadgets immediately! I bought the larger one which can make both 2 1/2 inch ones and 3 3/8 inch ones. This one was only my first try and I obviously need to use a bit more yarn to make it pouffier, but I like it already!  {smile}

--  **  --  **  --

So the last few days we have had some rain records broken once again. It was just bucketing! This meant that I couldn't go out for a run, so yesterday I decided to do one of my old cardio work-out dvd's: today I can barely sit because of all those darn squats the pretty lady had me do! I did run 5 kilometers today though so I am happy with that, but oh boy my poor buttocks....  <wink>

One more half day of school tomorrow and then we can finally enjoy the Thanksgiving break! Our guests can't make it until Saturday and that is just fine with us. This way we can rest up before the big cook-out starts. Miss M. loves all the traditions so a Turkey with all the Trimmings it will be!

'Gobble Gobble' everyone!  {smile}

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Birthday!

A little shout-out to my youngest nephew from Pike Street who turned 8 today!  {smile}

'Hier een lekkere pakkerd Les: Smak!'

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Whole Lot of Dutch Going On!

Oh yummy, Sinterklaas- time has arrived once again and look what we received in the mail yesterday: a giant box of Pepernoten, Speculaas, Strooigoed and Speculaas Koekjes! These are mainly items made with the following spices: ginger, nutmeg, white pepper, cardamon,  cloves and cinnamon: very tasty indeed!  {smile}

This gift was made even more special since it was sent to us by somebody we have never met in real life! It was sent by the wife of one of my cousins. They now live in India, but she had to be in Holland for a family occasion and then decided to send us this lovely gift: how very very nice! Thank you so much Fokkelien!!!

And then also yesterday, when I was visiting the Value Village once again, I came across these cute little Dutch canal houses, with the 'Jenever' (= Dutch gin) still in them!  <wink>

And to top it all off, Mr. G. found me a box of dark chocolate sprinkles called 'Hagelslag'. I had a lovely sandwich this morning with it for breakfast. Lots of Dutch stuff going on... {smile}

This is a $6  box of Hagelslag so we will not waste a single sprinkle!

-- **  --  **  --

So last night we had our annual fundraiser auction for the school. I decided to wear one of my favorite new dresses and those fancy shoes that I found at Value Village a couple of months ago. (they turned out to be the most comfortable shoes with high heels that I've ever owned!) Master C. had to play in the Jazz Band during the event and I thought we looked rather spiffy together!

Although I'm wearing heels, I'm still shorter!

I did drink rather a few too many glasses of Champagne, so no running for me today...  <wink>

Friday, November 16, 2012

More Shades of Grey and a Big Hurray!

WootWoot! (or 'Oehoe' in Dutch I believe is what an owl says...)  <wink>

Look at this beautiful bird of prey that we came across in the foggy lands of The Valley yesterday. So so pretty don't you think? He was just sitting on a fence since there wasn't much else to do in that dense fog.

When I left early in the morning for Seattle you could barely see a thing in front of you. By the time I got to Seattle there were beautiful blue skies everywhere, except for in the Valley, because when I returned just after 4 pm the fog seemed to be even thicker. Here some more pretty impressions of all the grey...

Anyway, I drove all the way to Seattle which was a first for me. I just really dislike merging onto a highway and try to avoid it as much as I can. The Dutch Lady lives in a beautiful, very modern house high up on a hill overlooking Lake Washington and the whole Cascades Range: absolutely stunning views!

View towards Bellevue. 
The white line you see at the bottom of the mountains is all the fog in The Valley!
Lake Washington in the foreground, towards Kirkland

We had our coffee & tea (and some yummie chocolate brownies) on her roof terrace and enjoyed the spectacular views and the wonderful sunshine.

So all in all that was a very fun day already, but now I have to tell you our 'Big Hurray' news: Master C. received his first College Acceptance Letter yesterday! This arrived months earlier than we had expected so it was a big surprise. It was from the school that we visited earlier this spring and one that we all liked a lot so: Yahoo!

In total he will apply to 6 more schools and then in April he will have to decide which one he will pick, but at least this one's in the bag!!!  (big smile}

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sewing Struggles...

My last post was about that black and white Gingham dress that I made last week. I did show you the dress but not the fabric and not the cute button details either. 

I wore the dress with my semi-tall Doc Martens  to see 'Skyfall' (= James Bond movie) last Sunday and I felt quite good wearing this tough & sweet combination...

In the mean time I've started cutting out The Cape! I'm writing it with an exclamation mark on purpose, because it has already baffled me several times and I'm only in the cutting out faze. It has 18 pieces and 57 steps to put it all together! What have I started???

Anyway, I found a fun contrast fabric in my left-over stash (love recycling) and some awesomely funny (creepy Miss M. called them) buttons so at least that will keep me going.

The black and white woolly suiting is the main fabric and the other one with the flowers is the contrast fabric. That one you will only see underneath the collar and on the inside of the pockets which will stand open a bit...

Now I am supposed to go out for a run but it is so damp and misty outside: I don't wanna! 
I have to though, because tomorrow I will be driving all the way to Seattle, a first for me, to visit a new Dutch lady I met a few weeks ago via Little Bit, and so I won't have the time to do any running then. Off I go...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Latest Sewing Creation...

The buttons are little white roses: too cute!

This is my latest sewing creation made out of a fairly thin cotton black and white gingham. 

I had cut it early September already but then got sidetracked by that empire waist dress that I showed you earlier. Big mistake to do another dress in between, because then you forget the little details you noticed when you were cutting out the pattern etc. But, all in all, the dress came out quite nicely. As long as I won't point out the little mistakes and changes here and there, you won't notice them right?  <wink>

I already have my next project lined up: a Sherlock Holmes Cape! Well, sort off...

Those little pockets on the front look incredibly complicated so I might actually try to make them out of a different (cheaper) fabric first, so that I can fiddle with them to perfection....

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Morning Run...

Some of you have expressed interest in some pictures of myself running. I don't really see the need but here we go: moi in my new winter running outfit!

After 8 minutes of running I thought my head was going to explode of heat so I pulled of my cap. Much better after that but it was nice for those first few, very chilly, minutes. I didn't run too far today ('only' 2.5 miles = 27 minutes) because both my ankles are hurting a little, especially the one that I broke three years ago. The weather was too gorgeous though to stay inside so off I went...

How did this happen, this (almost) addiction to running? Well, never mind how it happened, it happened and that is the most important part of this all. Now, when I'm driving around in our area, I'm looking at potential running stretches, mapping out runs online and I even get a little bit excited over it all. Who knew? Me, the teenager who had to go to extra P.E. (gym class) after school and who has never enjoyed any physical activity whatsoever?

Since I started this running lark in September I've lost about 5 pounds and that is without any dieting. Just some better choices here and there but still eating what I want most of the time. The 'muffin top' (that area around your waist) has shrunk considerably and my thighs have lost at least 2 inches! Of course I wasn't overweight to begin with, but even for people with my body type it is nice to see some results!

Anyway, give it try if you are at all thinking about getting some more exercise in your life. It might just work for you too!  {smile}

--  **  --  **  --

I'll leave you with a few pictures that our lovely daughter Miss M. took early this morning. It was just an itty bitty colder than the day before so just a little bit more frost to be found. Gorgeousness!!!

(click on the pictures to see them bigger and in more detail)

Flooded waters...

With all the recent rainfall and snow melting in the mountains, some flooding occurred once again in our valley. Yesterday, whils...