Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Witching you all a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Memories

I have vivid memories of running through the neighborhood with my brothers and sisters carrying a pillowcase to haul all my candy in. I'd start trick-or-treating as soon as the sun started to go down and we'd be out until 9:00, which is when everyone turned out their lights (at least in our neighborhood). I don't remember Mom or Dad ever walking us around to ring on the doors. It wasn't until much later that we heard about razor blades and poison in candy so we were safe - or so we thought. And I never knew anyone who got bad candy.

And even when my kids were trick-or-treating they'd go inside peoples' house and have apple cider and cookies. We must have lived in the golden age.

Now, we have to be so careful and I think it's sooooo sad. Kids have to be "escorted" to stay safe. But I guess it's better to be safe than sorry and I wouldn't risk it today. But looking back, it was such a wonderful time but at least I have those "sweet" memories.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Oregon Coast Writers Workshop

I've heard about another writers' workshop and wanted to share the info: 

July 13-17, we will proudly present the thirteenth Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop in the exquisite Oregon coast town of Oceanside. 

Click this link to see what attendees have written about us, It's glowing. 

Over half-a-dozen of our students have been published.  By no means do we take credit, but all of them say that our workshop was significant in making this happen (in several cases an agent or editor at our workshop took them as clients).    Let us help you to join their ranks.

Our class is right beside the ocean, overlooking giant rocks where sea lions lounge and snort.  Eagles fly overhead.  Whales occasionally spout.  The town is exquisite and low key (and inexpensive).  It's the real old Oregon before all the souvenir shops that have moved in elsewhere.

The full-time instructors., are five accomplished children's book authors, two full-time children's editors from major houses, and a full-time children's book agent.  There will be two guest lecturers.  All are immersed in writing -- covering all genres.  They're immersed in the business.  And they will spend the week giving their best. 

The course is not only lectures, but lots and lots of one-on-one with instructors, everyday.  If you like, you can have your writing reviewed by all instructors at once before the class in what we call an "Anonymous First Page Critique."  Because of the superb instructor-student ratio this course really works for all levels of experience.

The course is available for graduate level credit. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Turkey Trot

So, the holidays are nearly upon us and one way me and my family celebrate the feasting with family and friends is starting out the day with a good (hard) run. Yep, they make the Turkey Trot sound easy and it looks so cute on the web page but don't let the 4 mile run deceive you. It's a difficult uphill run. But it's a fun way to burn off that pumpkin pie you're going to eat later in the day.

So, if you're looking for a way to spend your morning that will end up making your afternoon not be so painful . . . from having over eaten on that extra slice of pie or that next helping of mashed potatoes, here's a way to beat the calories...The Turkey Trot.

Run Like Hell 2014

Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland's Living Room, was crowded on Sunday, October 26, 2014 because it was the Run Like Hell, Halloween Themed race in downtown Portland. One of the good things about this run is that it helps support Molly's Fund which helps fight Lupus.

The Theme this year was Under the Sea and here's how we dressed to fit in with the theme.

And there were a lot of other people dressed for the race.
It's hard to take pictures when you're running ;D

We got rained on a little but it wasn't bad and we had a lot of fun.

Can't wait until next year to see what the theme will be.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

DIY Spider Garden Art for Halloween

I love Halloween and decorating the house and porch for the trick or treaters. But my store bought spiders are for hanging under the eves because they are furry and wont stand up to the Portland, Oregon rain. So I wanted to make one that I could put out in the grass that would look good even in a rain storm. And since my hubby had some extra conduit in the basements, I had an idea.

I went to Joann Fabrics and bought a couple of styrofoam balls.

Then I painted them black.
And Lars helped me add the legs.
I thought it turned out pretty nice but it was lacking personality.
So I gave it a mouth and some eyes.

And Wah-Lah, Fun Garden Art for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


My hubby loves Minecraft. So, when a friend asked if he could make a sword for her son for Halloween...he said sure.

This is how he did it.

He drew a pattern on graph paper and then cut it out of a light weight wood.

Then he sanded the wood and started to paint it.

And he had to do a few different coats of paint to turn the Wood into Diamond.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


So, for the next few days, I'll be retreating on the Garden Path.

At the Oregon Garden Resort.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Next Leval - Writer's and Illustrator's Workshop

SCBWI Next Level Series - Annex

When: Sat, October 18, 2pm – 4pm
Description: What, Where and When: Ready to bring your writing and illustration skills to The Next Level? 
Whether you're plotting a novel or perfecting a picture book, SCBWI Oregon’s professional series will give you tools to advance your career. Join us on the third Saturday of each month in The Annex at Tabor Space on 5441 SE Belmont. Doors open at 2:00 pm, and speakers start at 2:30. 
 Doors open at 2:00; Session: 2:30 pm-4pm ATTENTION from TaborSpace management: Parking has become a concern for our neighbors. Please park in the TaborSpace parking lot on SE 54th. If the lot is full, be very considerate of neighbors' driveways when parking on the street. Fees: This year we will be charging for this wonderful series—sorry, we can’t continue to give the event to you free. Fees pay for the room rental and speaker honorariums. But here are your options: 1. Purchase a Member Pass for $35 for the pass (nonmembers $50) by Sept. 17th, which gives you all 7 sessions… (This option will only be available for a couple months.) 2. Preregister for each TNL event, $8 for members and $10 for nonmembers by Sept. 17th for this month. 3. Register at the door and pay $10 for members and $12 for nonmembers after Sept. 17th. Topic: Picturebook Polka: the dance of words and images How do we know which words are essential to tell our stories? How can we create illustrations that expand on the story instead of just repeating in pictures what is already written in words? And most importantly, how can the two dance together to reveal the heart of the story? In this workshop, we will look at examples of books that attain this balance and those that miss the mark. Covering issues for both PB writers and PB illustrators (and for those who do both.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dracula Untold

It's not a bad way to spend a day. Watching handsome men dazzle their way across the big screen. But when you go to see a Dracula movie, you're usually expecting at least a couple moments sitting on the edge of your seat. But Dracula Untold seemed a bit more like a legendary history lesson to me than a good old October Fright Night movie.

Still the show was interesting...although it lacked any scary moments, it gave us another perspective on an old story.

And the scenery beautiful. I love shows which use costuming well and I think this one did.

Unfortunately though, this is one movie I would say to wait to see until it comes out in dvd...if you really want to see it. . . but DON'T expect any thrilling moments unless a handsome Vlad can take your breath away.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Warrior Goddess

Seeing this picture is so inspiring. Everyday we limit ourselves and believe we can't do things we never even try. Usually it is our own thoughts that hold us back from attempting things we could do with a little...okay, maybe a lot...of practice and hard work. Now, I'm not saying we could all do this, but we might be able to, if we tried.

So, I decided to try something new...not exactly what the woman is doing up above but she is pretty inspiring. And just trying archery was something new for me and it was a lot of fun.

Have you tried anything new for you?

And if you're interested in attempting what the woman at the top of this blog is doing, you might want to check out her book:

A quote from Warrior Goddess Training, a book by HeatherAsh Amara:

"The first step on this path is not about gaining some insight or attaining a new state of being. Rather, it requires you to relinquish some things that you have been holding on to for a long, long time. On a path of transformation, you must be willing to give up your false beliefs and self-limiting stories."

Order the book and get Warrior Goddess Online Bootcamp FREE. Details here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Movie Review - Gone Girl

Gone Girl - The movie followed the book by Gillian Flynn fairly closely, even the opening was pretty much the same. I remember reading the book and thinking it reminded me of the Scott and Laci Peterson story and I was immediately thinking Nick Dunn was guilty and wondering why I was reading another story of a husband who killed his pregnant wife...(played by Rosamund Pike) but boy-oh-boy was I ever wrong and the story really only started getting good (for me) after about the first hundred pages because I already had my mind made up. 

Was that book ever a lesson in keeping an open mind in Innocent until Proven Guilty...

And the movie kept right along with the theme. The only thing I wasn't so happy with about the movie was the ending. I think the book left me not really liking either Amazing Amy or Nick Dunn and the movie didn't do that job as well. I almost felt sorry for poor Nick who was going to stay in a loveless marriage to save his child...

What a hero--Ben Affleck was--but he wasn't, at least not to me, when I was reading the book.

All-in-all I'd say this was a pretty good movie, but maybe more so because I already read the book. And, of course, there is one gruesome scene that people will be very surprised by, if they haven't read the story first. (Watch out for the part with Desi Collings - played by Neil Patrick Harris).

But, if you see it, I'd love to hear what you think/thought. 

I'd give the movie a C+ to a B-...I know, I'm a hard grader...but I'd have to say, you know ;) the book was better.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Big Bird And All the Crew

 I started to think about scary things and. . . with Halloween right around the corner . . .  I decided to carve a pumpkin...or four, with the help of my hubby.
I got most of  the crew together: Elmo (my fav),Cookie Monster (someone a lot like me), Gonzo and of course the giant among the world of avians.

Here's how we did it:

First we picked the pumpkins. And, have you ever seen the "PERFECT" pumpkin for a character...? Well I saw this one and immediately thought "GONZO".

Then I sketched their faces on the pumpkins and started carving...

I needed something special for the eyes...and Ping Pong balls seemed perfect.

Then we just kept going...
We had to think a minute about how to attach the beak to Big Bird. But we came up with a skewer of an idea.

My hubby hammered the bamboo skewers in place for me to hold the beak still. Then I painted the bird.
Then I put them all together to dry.

Now I just have to think of a way to put them on the porch . . .
Welcome to Sesame Street :D

DIY Ghosts for Halloween

This little ghost is so simple to make. 

 Here's all you need:

1) Cheesecloth (found in paint sections of stores)
2) Liquid fabric stiffener (most fabric/craft stores)
3) Wiggly eyes (found in craft/fabric stores)
4) Elmer's glue or some tacky glue
5) A tennis ball container or spray paint can

Steps to make ghosts:

1) Dip the cheesecloth in the fabric stiffener
(put a cookie sheet or cutting board underneath the tennis ball container or spray paint can for EZ clean-up)
2) Drape wet cheesecloth over tennis ball container or spray paint can
3) Let dry
4) Glue on wiggly eyes and hang up around the house

Dip the cheesecloth in the fabric stiffener and place over a can of tennis balls and put one tennis ball on the top to make the head round...ish.

 After it has dried overnight, glue on the eyes.

Then you can place your little ghosts around the house, or hang them with a thin string to dangle around the house and scare passersby. . . just a little.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Restyling an Old Shirt into a Dress

I love plaid and I wanted to make a new dress so I went and bought some fabric but I thought it might be easier to make a dress out of an old shirt. So I was going to run to Goodwill to buy some old shirts but a friend said she already had some that she could give me. So, here's what I did.

I put on the shirt to see how it fit.

And it was pretty big, especially in the arms.

So, I cut off the arms.

And repinned them into place. Then I sewed them back on.

And I took a piece of green elastic and used the extra fabric to sew a little strip for the back to pull the dress tighter.

Then I sewed the elastic on the back. And wah-lah, the dress was finished.

And I tried it with a belt too and some leggings. Super simple new dress.

Friday, October 3, 2014

What's On Your Wall - Weekend

This is my husband's uncle's art. I wanted to accessorize these paintings with little jewels to hang the artwork from.

This one looked like a diamond to me.

And I love these little pops of color.

As I walk in the room, I love to see these little framed pieces of art.

So what's on your wall?