Archive for the tag 'shiloah cottage'

Honey Do List

May 29th, 2013

So on Memorial Day, I spent most of it working on this project with and for my wife.  This closet was never finished the way I envisioned it when we built this part of the house, but Linda came up with this plan that was even better I think.For years it sat like this.

hall closet closed

And it was just full of boxes up to the ceiling.  Not very useful.  Then Linda found this little dresser free by the side of the road. Perfect for storing her doll stuff. It’s a cheap little dresser, not the prettiest, but not too bad, and much more useful. But above the dresser was still a jumbled mess.

hall closet open B4

So we figured out what spend the Lowe’s gift card (Christmas present from FIL and his wife–Thanks Bill and Cheryl) Materials for shelving and a peg board for doll chairs.

hall closet open cleaned out

hall closet with dolls 1

hall closed with dolls 3

The “kids” are happy in their new home (these are Linda’s smallest BJD’s beside the Hujoo’s we have….they can party on the shelf above perhaps.  Still need to to the pegboard on the ceiling above and the bottom “apron” of the free dresser needs to get covered up with some fabric…looks dorky all broken like that.

I have three days off this week from the DayJob, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  The peg board is scheduled for this afternoon, Tuesday, and I will also be working on cleaning in the studio and writing up patterns…not exactly a “resting ” time, but it sure feels good to get these projects worked on!


Thinking Green…..

March 14th, 2013

For last week‘s FOLK Journal Challenge (which I am doing this week, again….) I again thought about it all week and took my pictures last week….and realized I didn’t really follow the words of the prompt much at all…But I am going to share my thoughts  and my interpretation anyway….no matter how far off they are from topic!   :)

Here’s the prompt:FOLK sharemystory

  Be Brave and Break Out Your Green Thumb!

What Plants will you be growing in your garden this year? Make a list of fruits, vegetables, and herbs you plan to or would like to grow. If you’re not a gardener, where do you search out fresh, local produce? Tell us about your farmer’s market and your favorite fresh food recipes!

I really started thinking about all the “family” plants that we have had here mostly for many years.  But just to “try” to stay on subject a little bit before I go on my merry little way away from there, here’s a picture of our garden “citadel” that I created to keep deer and rabbits and cats at bay for Linda years ago.   It doesn’t look so great right now because Linda couldn’t keep up with it late last summer due to work, but she’s thinking she will have more time to get out here this year. She usually has a nice little list of basics to grow along with a few “guest” veggies.  we have some “permanent” things in here: a few raspberries (both red and golden), strawberries (both red and white), blueberries, and invariably a pumpkin will make its way in via the compost and cilantro will come up in various places.


So now where I went with the green thumb concept…..Basically, I just went around and took pictures of the green stuff that came to us via our families, and thought I’d share them with you. This is montbretia and comes to us via my mother in law.  Right now it looks like this…but in July or so it will look like this.


This tangled mess is mostly grapes from my parents’ farm in Idaho.  They gave a stick basically back when we lived in this trailer (the trailer needs to be torn down at this point…it is falling apart, but it costs a lot to tear down and haul away…sigh..)  There is also a Nelly Moser Clematis in here, but I am not sure how it’s doing anymore.  The Clematis I bought Linda years ago for Mother’s Day and because it reminded both of us of our grandmothers.

grapevine  and clematis

This is a juniper tree that my parents brought back here from their farm in Idaho. I love the texture of this evergreen and the little blue berries it gets late in the summer.  They don’t grow naturally here, but this one seems to be doing fine.

juniper branches

This evergreen is an alpine noble fir. It was our very first Christmas tree here in the little trailer we started living in on this property 21 years ago. We almost lost it about 16 years ago or so to some Woolly aphids.  I managed to treat it and save it.  I hope we never have trouble with it again because it does mean so much to me.  But I wonder sometimes now if I didn’t plant it a little too close to the cabin…

first christmas tree

And finally this is WHERE a peony should be coming back up. It is from my Grandfather’s original Peony that came all the way from Nebraska and has been somewhere in the family for at least 80 years.  We had another one of these and lost it, found it, and then lost it again….hoping this one will come back and prosper. It is a deep magenta colored one and so beautiful.

peony perhaps

I am really not very good at keeping gardens neat and tidy can you tell? I like to make gardens, but I don’t like to weed them, or fuss over them, so I really do like more “natural” looking spaces.  Linda is much better at taking care of them, but I have always built more gardens than she has the time for.

What’s up with your green thumb lately?

Something New, Something Blue…..

January 17th, 2013

I tell you what. I am totally loving this Folk Journaling Agenda I am working at staying committed to. I don’t know if I will make it all year, but there are some pretty good soul-searching questions in the prompts and I think it is just right for me this year.

I particularly like Hillary from Folk Magazine’s response to her own question,  What are some things you have done but previously thought you could never do?   She didn’t address it in the way I originally thought about it, but I sure was inspired at her approach with her post Successful Failures!

I don’t frankly like failure.  Do you? I suppose not.  But we sure can learn a lot from them, can’t we?  And some of the things that I have done, often are more like mistakes….I “could” do them, but well, I really didn’t like doing them…

Probably the biggest thing that I never thought I could do (but did) was build this:

shiloah cottage frontside

shiloah cottage backside


From scratch….BUT with a LOT of help and advice I might add. A LOT of help and advice. Oh and yes, some paid help. Some worth the money, and some…..not so much…..and well, it’s not quite finished….wonder if it ever will be!

Also on the list of never thought I could do would be the year I spent working at being a real estate agent.  It had never even occurred to me to try it, but through a variety of influences, I decided to try it.  It was unlike anything I had done in the past, but also somewhat similar. In the long run, I liked parts of it, but not most of it, and the fact that I tried this at the very end of the housing bubble disaster certainly didn’t help me think it was profitable, that’s for sure.  I did sell some houses, but I sure didn’t enjoy it, and that being said, I walked away and didn’t look back.

But what also happened during that real-estate time was something that I didn’t quite expect. When I went to Spring Quilt Market 2008 in Portland, Oregon, I met many new industry peeps that I had only heard about and a lot them I hadn’t even heard about. And even though I had been to Market before, something was different. I was super encouraged by friends that I already had, and new friends that I met.  And the biggest spark of hope I gained from that trip was when I briefly talked to Amy Butler (who is my friend now, but then didn’t know me from any other starry-eyed fabricophile).  Her last words to me from that brief conversation about my dreams and aspriations as I was dashing out the door to catch my train were “Go for it!”  I have held onto her words ever since. It has been a slow churn from then to now, trying to figure out how to support my family and do what I love….not an easy task with only one substantial income.  A lot of people who do this have more than one income and the creative income is not the MAIN one.  So that has made it  hard.  But I think things are going in good directions, and again I have great hopes for the future.

Does this post really answer the “question” of the Folk Journal prompt? Not necessarily, but as 2013 begins, I am definitely forging forward trying things that I have long wanted to do, but never quite gotten to doing.  So maybe next year this time, I can answer that same question by looking back at this year and saying, “yeah, that stuff”

That just might work…….

hemlock branches

PS…that post title? the Blue and New something or other is the revived hope and vision of Blue Nickel Studios..



March 24th, 2012

so a couple of weeks ago, Betz White writes me and asks if I would like to play with her line of  fabric Stitch with Robert Kaufman.  All I had to do was actually play with it and talk on my blog a little bit about it.  When I opened the box,  this is what I saw.
TONS of beautiful rich colors…..and a very nice mix of lights, mediums, and darks.   I find that when I am shopping for fabric….there are NEVER enough darks, and seldom enough lights to buy.  Medium values fabric abound, but not so for the ends of the value spectrum.   And to top it all off, a wonderful hand to the fabric (that is “shop-talk” for the feeling of the fabric….as if that could be quantified!) Maybe it feels so nice because it is GOTS certified organic, or maybe not.  But it sure felt nice, not so full of those finishing “coatings” that I hear they put on fabric.  I say I “hear” because I don’t know EXACTLY what they do to fabric before putting it on the market, but that’s what I hear.
Anyway, onto  playtime.
I apparently am on a log cabin kick because I did more with Stitch…although mostly this style of Log Cabin.
Now I have these two blocks almost finished, but I really need to move on to Quilt Market quilts, so this will be it on this project for awhile.
Of course, I had some strips left, so I found this  red scrap and used it to do a more traditional log cabin…..until the last two logs when I cut from two prints that I hadn’t used yet and decided this needed to be a bit more asymmetrical.
Betz has set up a new Flickr group to contribute any Stitch creations in here, so go check out more wonders there!

Color on White

March 1st, 2012

So also in January, my friend Jennifer Paganelli popped me over across the winter wonderland of the Northern U.S.  a package of tropical cheer!!  It couldn’t have come at a better time.  I had been working for a few weeks on my Curious Nature project, and the colors from that were blending into our snowstorm….

So SisBoomery was a welcome bit of sunshine!

and even cheerier in the studio as well!!

(yes that’s a bit of So St. Croix on the left….I needed a little bit for this project)

I finally put those siggy blocks from 2 years ago (I was sure it hadn’t been that long, but I saw that someone fortunately dated their block, so yes they were from 2010).  Today’s shot is just a sneak peek, as this may end up showing itself in full form over at Generation Q Magazine.  Speaking of which….we just started our Kickstarter drive there yesterday and are almost a third of the way funded….of course the first third is easier than the last third.  So if you haven’t stopped by there to help us out, please do so, and send your friends.  Every little bit helps!!

And today it is officially March….which means later this month….it is officially spring! Are you as glad about that as I am? I just love that time of year!!  So full of hope and fresh beginnings!

Snowbound kids….

February 27th, 2012

I know this is a bit behind the times here, but I thought if I got this in before March, I’d still be good.

Last month we had a big snowstorm that lasted about a week, which in other parts of the world is no big deal, but in the Seattle Area? It’s a BIG DEAL…

and the kids did some Calvin and Hobbes work…

sweet, huh?

from the very non-normal house of the Blue Nickel….

(no snowfolk were actually harmed in the making of this diorama)

How’s your “Old Man Winter” treating you these days?

and yes that is just juice….what were you thinking anyway??

Come on, Spring!!




Merry Christmas!

December 24th, 2011


Over at Generation Q today the staff is sharing some of our favorite ornaments made by our kids.  (okay I thought it was supposed to be ornaments, but it was just something made by our kids)   So while I was taking pix of those,  I found a lot of ornaments that are handmade by various peeps in the family, so I thought I would share the rest of them here…


From the cross stitching years…..



I guess you could treat this post as a Wordless Wednesday post as it is mostly pictures.  But knowing my, you knew it couldn’t be entirely Wordless, and well, of course, it is Saturday….  Almost Silent Saturday??….wait, no the anagram for that would NOT be good, would it??



Merry Christmas peeps!!

Found Friday

October 28th, 2011

on our front porch….a tableau of natural finds…..okay well the red plastic American Indian isn’t “natural” or indigenous …but it was found in the woods…(not in the nest originally people…I mean come on….)

and this firewood, well kind of found,  these kids had signs by the side of the road with a fantastic price for firewood, so I stopped they delivered, and we stacked….that’s my oldest son’s backside you are enjoying there…he’s a really good stacker, even though he isn’t very fond of the labor.

and another floral shot from that woodland edge session back in September….

Painted Ladies

October 5th, 2011

If you follow me on Twitter and happened to be there at the right time and place, you have seen some of these pictures.  This late summer we had the major project of painting our house.  It has been a rather wet summer so we really didn’t get a typical whole summer to work on it, and so I am a bit afraid that we have a little bit to do next summer too…I am going try to do some this week on my vacation, but if you read my last post, this week is sure full of quitlty/writey stuff.  (at least I hope it is!)

So any way  here are pictures of the house befores and afters….I think you can figure out which…my befores are really bad because I grabbed them late in the evening after the house was powerwashed and before the painters came to paint the top portions. We painted the bottom portions in an attempt to save a little money…(which is why it’s not all the way done yet).

             what’s funny about this side is that I always was afraid it would look really boring, but if you look at the before pix, it might have because the house was essentially just those two colors, butter yellow and aqua…and even though this side doesn’t have the batten strips except in the lower green space, this side still rocks the Painted Lady look.  Our studios are behind the upper two window up…..with a great view of our woods.   Yeah…I was quite nervous of how this would look. They are very bold colors, and in a quilt I would love them….but on a house I wasn’t so sure…I do though….and that Green? color matched to a solid from Sandi Henderson‘s latest line Secret Garden. 

one of our other painted ladies is very much in love with the broken down chair on the front porch…

I hope you are enjoying this week at the Blue Nickel so far, I can’t see that there will be a lot of posting after this for while…but I will try this week as I said earlier is Particularly full!….and don’t forget today’s Uberfest designer Amy Lobsiger

Floral Friday

September 23rd, 2011

Not an ongoing thing…but I thought I would just share some flowerly shots from around the place here for your viewing pleasure…not much more than that today…



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