Projects…

This week’s projects:

-Making some fun napkins and a “Friday Night Apron” for Christmas gifts…I got these fun fabrics at Cool Cottons on sale this weekend.  J was kind enough to humor me for a bit in the fabric store on Sunday.

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-Looking for a PT nanny or admin job to help pay the bills

-Sharing at our home community about winter gardening in the NW

-Sending of some fun stuff to our friends in S. Korea

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P.S. Sale at Cool Cottons!

Cool Cottons, a great locally owned fabric store on Hawthorne & 25th is having a great sale this weekend! Their fabric is already reasonably priced but this weekend you get to take an additional 25% off! They carry all the fun stuff – like Amy Butler’s lines, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, etc. All my favs!

Pear Upside Down Spice Cake

The PUDSC from Cooking Light turned out quite nice. We’ve been eating re-heated slices for breakfast – I figure it is probably not any more unhealthy than the coffee cake or scone we’d buy at our local coffee shop. The Bosc pears hold up nicely in this recipe – not too mushy. The sauce topping (made mainly w/ brown sugar and buttermilk) is similar to a cinnamon roll glaze. I would recommend doubling it so you have even more to soak into the cake but it was also good as is if you want to limit your sugar intake.

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Fall Gardening

Fall is the time to plant things for early spring harvest! Last year we had a bounty of Swiss chard, spinach, arugula and some odd broccoli that did not ever form a broccoli head…oh well. This year we are adding a few more items to our winter garden repertoire: onions, shallots, garlic and snow peas. Additionally, we’re continuing with the chard, spinach and arugula. I just finished cleaning off the lavender from all our dried lavender bundles that were hanging on our back porch to dry – perfect for making little laundry sachets, herbs de Provence or scented salt and sugar body scrubs at Christmas time!

How are you spending this season?

Last year we participated in Advent Conspiracy (AC) through our church, Imago Dei Community.  The idea was to redistribute our wealth through a few different ways – spending the bulk of our resources at Christmas on those truly in need, make gifts for family and friends, spending relational time with people rather than just spending cash.  The outcome was amazing and you can read more stories here.  But, I wanted to share with you a bit of my personal experience as well…

As an adult, I’ve always exchanged store-bought gifts with family.  While I always have grand ideas of creating something special by hand, I’ve always either ran out of time, resources or inspiration (usually time…).  Last year, through the inspiration of AC, I invited my family to participate with me in not purchasing gifts for each other but instead taking the money we’d normally spend and using it to buy a gift for someone else.  They agreed and we opted to contribute to a few of World Vision’s projects.  I think we ended up buying a goat for a family in South America and a bicycle for a girl in SE Asia.  The experience was rewarding.  But beyond that, I was also able to lay aside the headache of tromping through consumer-crazed department stores shopping for the next generic, mass-market item that I thought I should buy for someone who probably already has enough anyway.  And, I was able to spend quality time with family and not worry about “did I get the right gift?” or “did I spend enough/too much/too little?” etc.  We had a peaceful holiday and felt good about giving to others.  So, the rewards were both external (to someone else in need) and internal (a peace and restfulness that can’t be bought).

Although I haven’t formally discussed it with family this year, I’m hoping to participate as a family in this great project again.  Here is another site that supports a similar idea (buying handmade items for holiday gifts): Buy handmade pledge.

Welcome!

Welcome to the little yellow house!  It is fall in the northwest, one of my favorite seasons. Brown, yellow and red leaves scatter the sidewalks in our neighborhood.  Here are some projects that I hope to share more about in the weeks to come: