Books, Music, Podcasts, The Library Stack

The Library Stack

Continuing my ongoing series of posts on my latest stack of books borrowed from my local public library, I realized a couple of stacks have come and gone and I did not post them (they were smaller stacks). This time I went a little crazy the other day at my local library. A couple of the books in the stack below I had reserved but many were “impulse borrowings“!


I had a little wander in my favorite “Dewey Decimal System” sections of 745 – 747 (and a little jaunt into section 700 – 702) and I wanted to take 1/2 the section home (even if I have read them before). My thinking was – it is a holiday weekend (New Years) and it is time to nest with some books!

As you can see below, this morning, I started nesting in my favorite chair with the books and a pot of tea:


So far I am really enjoying the book by Danny Gregory – Art Before Breakfast: A Zillions Ways to Be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are (2015). Gregory discusses the benefits of making art and one benefit that captured my attention is that: “Art stops time”. Making art makes you be in the present moment – “Be here. Now” – it makes you observe the world around you instead of obsessing on all the busy thoughts in your head!

One of the books in the stack, Ted Koppel’s Lights Out was recommended on a blog I follow, Dewey Hop|Feisty Froggy Reads Through The Library. And yes, as the blog’s title implies, the blogger is reading through the library, one section at a time and sharing the interesting finds!

The book Reinventing IKEA by Isabelle Bruno and Christine Baillet, I discovered in the New Releases: Nonfiction section (this is always my first stop when I am browsing the library). We are thinking of re-modeling our living room someday and adding built in bookcases and I am the hunt for inexpensive ideas.

As far as Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, I had tried to listen to the audiobook but got lost and grew disinterested. I am going to try and read the actual book and see if that helps as the book has gotten such great reviews. Also I want to watch the movie someday and want to read the book first (as movies rarely capture all the delicious details in a book).

Well back to nesting with the books, perhaps I will also do some sewing later on this cold snowy winter day!


Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer is getting impatient with me. She is waiting for me to help her finish transferring the posts on her tierneycreates blog’s SchnauzerSnips page to her new very own blog – Schnauzer Snips (schnauzer Do not follow her yet or you will hate me for the endless notifications of “new posts”, which are old posts being added 🙂

Sassy is getting impatient

I have made it to 2015 in the transfer and I did not realize she had so many “posts”. Once it is done, she and I will share an announcement. Eventually I will remove her Schnauzer Snips page from the tierneycreates blog.

Comment to my fellow WordPress bloggers out there: This will free more space on my tierneycreates blog which is a good thing as I was going to have to eventually upgrade my plan for additional storage (thank goodness I have learned to resize my photos to take up less of my allotted storage space).

A Crafter Needs to Eat, Quilt Retreats

Quilter’s Delight Cookbook

Every Spring my Quilt Sisters and I have our annual quilting retreat in May at sewNgo Quilting Retreat Center in Vancouver, Washington. Nancy, the host, makes delicious food and has recently published the Quilter’s Delight Cookbook featuring recipes her wonderful quilt retreat menu!


Today for lunch I made the Vegetarian Kale Soup from the cookbook and it was delicious! The recipe made a large batch and I have lunch for a couple days plus enough to freeze for a future lunch.



Nancy, the retreat host, is very sensitive to the dietary needs of her quilt retreaters and this recipe was actually Vegan in addition to being vegetarian! (No, I am not a Vegan or a Vegetarian as I could not live without bacon, but I do appreciate meat free dishes)


I do love attending quilt retreats (even if I get sleep deprived at times from them). Someday when I retire I want to regularly attend quilt retreats!

If you would like to read  a couple of my past blog posts on my quilt retreat adventures, they are linked below:

Quilt Retreat May 2016: The Tools & The Stories

Quilt Retreat Weekend: The Projects

Sew N Go Quilt Retreat, in Pictures

The Road to the Retreat

Little Miss Muffet, Made Her Own Tuffet

Repost: Road Trip



Quilt Seating!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am on five-day holiday from work and I planned to spend time working on my project backlog.

One of my backlogged projects, was deciding what to do with a small (baby or doll sized) quilt top I made from a collection of 2″ inch squares. I decided this weekend to recover the stool I keep under my computer desk in my studio with it!

Here is what I started with – a lovely stool given to me by a friend (who originally bought it second hand):


The butterfly fabric was nice but the fabric was dated, had a weird velour-like feeling and did not bring me joy.

So – on top of the current cover, with a layer of batting placed underneath, I recovered it with my 2″ squares (aka “postage stamp”) quilt top:


It fits my studio better and goes with the general studio theme of quilting and creating.


Here is my next project in queue from my backlog – Tango Stripe, a pattern I bought in 2011 or 2012 by Jean Wells of the Stitchin’ Post:


I am very excited about this quilt, I fell in love with the store sample at the Stitchin’ Post (see list on my blog of “Central Oregon Quilt Shops” for links to my local shops).

A Crafter's Life

Happy Schnolidays!

Perhaps this post reveals the depth of our pathology related to our obsession with schnauzers (and dogs in general)…

For the past 25 years we have adopted rescued miniature schnauzers and for the past 25 years we have collected schnauzer and dog themed Christmas ornaments. Some were given as gifts (from friends supporting our obsession) and some we purchased (okay most of them) on our own.

Every year, right after Thanksgiving, we delight in pulling out our collection of schnauzer and dog themed decorations and trimming our tree.


Eight or so years ago, instead of “Happy Holidays” we started saying as a joke to people who knew us (and our obsession) – “Happy Schnolidays!”. Occasionally I get inspired to make my own holiday cards and they are always “Schnolidays” themed – several times featuring our miniature schnauzers dressed up for the holidays (against their will).

Well I want to wish you all a very HAPPY SCHNOLIDAYS – even if you do not have schnauzers (or dogs) – to us “Schnolidays” means the the Holidays + Fun & Laughter!

One of our favorite new ornaments in our collection is a reindeer-schnauzer! It makes us laugh everything we look at it:


Of course here are actual real live miniature schnauzers, in their festive attire (Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer and her adopted brother Mike):


A Crafter's Life, Independent bookstores, Quality of Life

Independent Bookstores (wonderful & magical places)

I won’t pretend I do not shop on for book deals or that I do not go to our local Barnes & Noble bookstore, but today I was reminded just how wonderful and magical Independent Bookstores are to have in one’s community. I plan to spend more time at indie bookshops!

Today we went for a wander around and hot beverage at downtown Bend’s Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe.


As the sign upstairs at Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe reads:

Independent Bookstores are wonderful & magical places because each book will have been hand selected, you know all of them are jewels just waiting to be discovered…

After the friendly shopkeepers filled darling ceramic mugs with our hot cocoa (for me) and mocha (for Terry the Quilting Husband), we had a leisurely and delicious wander about the shop browsing and their well curated selections.

Come wander the shop with us for a moment…

Downstairs, where you enter Dudley’s bookshop and immediately think – “well this would be a fine place to nest for awhile”:


People were nesting – they have WiFi and some were on their laptops and some were sipping their hot beverages and reading a book (or previewing a book!).

Among the shelves of books are fun things and objects to look at, including this wickedly funny sign:


Now head upstairs (carefully carry your mug of hot beverage with you!) and check out the painted stairs celebrating books:


(I love the step that reads: “Fifty Shades of Dudley’s)

At the top of the landing you will find a shelf of books (in case it was too long a journey to go without being able to browse any books from the bottom of the stairs to the top).


Now, turn the corner…and…WOW: Here is the cozy reading nook you might have searched for while browsing any bookstore (and maybe dreamed about in your own home):


The secret OCD person inside of me wanted to go and fix the left side of the curtain, but I was here to browse books, not adjust decor so I left it alone – ha!

After walking by the cozy reading nook, you come upon the upstairs room with more books to browse – how about a Art/Film/Music book to add to your collection?


Even the bathroom was delightful and had this great poster called A Plotting of Fiction Genres:


If you would like to know more about this poster, I did find it online at Pop Chart Lab. I did not want to spend too long in the bathroom reading it, but I was very impressed with it in my brief time with it!  Here is a better overall photo from the seller’s website.

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I could not leave Dudley’s Bookshop without a little something. If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I love our local public library and lately I get most of my reading through borrowing from the library (as I have been very naughty at bookshops in the past and have a huge book collection). I am trying not to add more books permanently to my home but I did want a little something from the indie bookstore, so I bought a cool set of greeting cards that you color yourself!


Two of my many favorite authors, Neil Gaiman and Ann Patchett are huge advocated for preserving independent bookstores (Ann Patchett even owns her own indie bookstore, Parnassus Books) and have lauded the value of preserving these shops in their writing.

I will close this post with a Neil Gaiman quote, which is also on the Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe website, from his wonderful and magical book American Gods:

What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul. – Neil Gaiman


Follow up on Creative Quilt Challenges Webinar

Link to Webinar & Handouts

Good Morning! I realized I forgot to follow up on my post from 11/9/16: Free Webinar: CREATIVE QUILT CHALLENGES and provide to those of you who did not get to attend, the link to the presentation and handouts.

My friends Pat Pease and Wendy Hill provided a wonderful presentation based on their book, Creative Quilt Challenges, published earlier this year, that will spark your creative art quilting fire. If you are not a quilter you might find something interesting it in it also. In a future post I am going to talk about how non-quilting related books and resources inspire my ideas for art quilt design.

Photo credit:

Ah, I am starting to ramble without providing you the link, so here you go:

Sulky Creative Quilt Challenges

In addition to the video of the slideshow and presentation and the class handout, the link above also provides the answers from the Webinar Q&A.


Today I begin a 5-day holiday break from my pay-the-bills-job (two of those days are courtesy of my employer, one is a vacation day and two are the weekend!). I am so excited I am not sure what to do with myself…oh wait, I should probably start working on my backlog of projects…

Some of the backlog that awaits…

Tierney, please help us become something…


Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Little Bits of Oregon Warmth

I finished the baby quilt I was making for a friend having her first baby. She has received it, and appears to really like it, so now I can post photos!

I named the baby quilt – Little Bits of Oregon Warmth – it made from recycled flannel pieces from flannel quilts I have made or my quilting friends have made. I selected flannel scraps that evoked a feeling of my beloved adopted state of Oregon (my friend lives in Oregon).

It is very “green” – it is made from fabric that some quilters would have discarded. Instead these pieces have a new home and purpose – to keep a baby warm this Winter! (I’d like to  think that this recycled quilt is part of my efforts to be environmentally friendly and try to preserve the world the baby will be growing up in…) 

It is so fun to work with scraps from other quilts and remember what quilt they came from (or if they are another quilter’s scraps, wondering what quilt they went into!).

I pieced the quilt using the “Log jam” technique (free-form log cabin style piecing). If you are new to my blog, here is a link to some previous posts on Log Jam/Log Jamming.


The quilt on the design wall prior to machine quilting:


The quilt freshly machine quilted (yes the quilting would not win any awards, but it worked for a baby quilt and I did it myself…):


A close up on the quilt to see some of the flannel scraps – all of which are somehow related to our beautiful state of Oregon:


The quilt is fully machine washable and I pre-washed it before sending it to the expectant Mom so she would know it can be washed and dried as much as needed!  I also made clear it was a UTILITY quilt – to be used – not hung on a wall!


Speaking of “Oregon Warmth”, here is a gratuitous shot of my delicious cup of hot chocolate I got on Monday while running errands with my neighbor and her son (Winter errands must include a stop for a yummy hot beverage).


Stay Warm!

A Crafter's Life

Our Beautiful Central Oregon Winter

Technically it is not Winter yet. Not until Wednesday Dec 21, but we like to start things early in Central Oregon!

We’ve had over a foot (or two) of fluffy snow so far; and when we have one of our many sunny days with the endless impossibly blue sky, the snow looks very pretty.

Last week, after a huge snow storm, I shared photos with my coworkers at my pay-the-bills-job. I am fortunate to be a telecommuter and my coworkers also telecommute, most from warmer climes such as Seattle and Portland (yes I say that with jest as it has been fairly cold, icy and even snowy in those areas).

One of my coworkers asked about our snow in Central Oregon so I sent her and my other coworkers photos of the snow around my neighborhood. At first I was going to share those in this blog post, but those photos are BORING compared to the recent photos my friend Jenny took of our beloved Mt. Bachelor skiing area.

Photos from the Mountain

My friend Jenny went snowboarding last week and took photos from her run at the top of the mountain. She was kind enough to give me permission to share them with you:


Now that is SNOW! I think this photos are worthy of a future art quilt inspiration (oh darn, I could have made this post part of my ongoing series “Creative Inspiration. I might someday recycle these photos on a future post about creative inspiration…

Snowshoeing in Central Oregon

I am so lucky to live a short drive from one of the largest ski resorts in the country, Mt. Bachelor. I might be making this up but I remember hearing recently that it is the 5th largest in the country.

So you are thinking – wow, Tierney, you must ski all the time.

Nope. I grew up in NY and when I was in nursing school, I went with my roommates on my first ski trip to Vermont. I discovered that I was a terrible and highly uncoordinated skier. I have no place on snow skis…ever.

I did however eventually learn to cross-country ski. However, I did not particularly like it. What I discovered I liked, and so does Terry the Quilting husband, is to go snowshoeing!

I remember when we first moved from Seattle to Central Oregon and we went snow shoeing here for the first time. We had been snowshoeing several times in Washington State in places like Snow Parks and the Snoqualmie Nordic Center, so we thought we were comfortable snowshoeing.

So we scheduled a guided snowshoeing trip our first winter in Central Oregon with Bend Parks & Recreation as we thought that would be the best way to first experience snowshoeing in a new area.

As we boarded the Bend Parks & Recreation van to take us to a day of snowshoeing at one of the Sisters Mountain, we noticed we were the youngest people getting into the van. Everyone else, except for our guide, was a Senior Citizen. We thought, wow, we hope we do have to snowshoe too slowly with this group (fearing our day would be slow and boring).

No. We were the slow ones on the mountain. As I shared in the 04/25/16 post Monday Again, about my continuing adventures hiking up Pilot Butte, Central Oregon has some seriously fit Seniors here!

There was one woman, who said she was in her 80s and was originally from Switzerland, who was especially “dusting” us. We could not begin to keep up with her pace – all I could see in the distance was this tiny woman powering along with her snowshoes and her poles.  (I like to think it was because she grew up in Switzerland and maybe she lived on top of a mountain and had to snowshoe to school everyday…)

These are my old snowshoes, at the end of last season I did get some new ones which I will use this season!

This was my first exposure to how fit people are here. My goal of course is when I am a Senior, that I am going to be very fit like the role models around me!

(Just a side note/excuse for our lack of initial fitnesses – we did move from Seattle, which was at sea level to Central Oregon which is on average at 3000 – 3500 feet above sea level elevation just at the ground level when you walk around town!)


I know, I know, this blog is called “tierneycreates” and if you are a crafter reading this you are probably wondering: “where is all the ‘creating'”. Well it is going on, I just cannot show a photo of it yet. I just finished a gift quilt and I am shipping it off to the person today and did not want photos of it on the blog until the person received it (that would take the surprise out of it!)

I did recently add to the right side of my blog a listing of and link to the websites of Central Oregon Quilt Shops, just to prove I really am a quilter (even if my blog does not show this lately) and to support the wonderful quilt shops in my area!

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A Crafter's Life

T-shirt Quilts

Have you made a T-shirt quilt? They are a great way to recycle old T-shirts.

Our Collection

I realized yesterday that we have three (3) T-shirt Quilts in our home:

  • A king-size T-shirt quilt made from 49 of Terry the Quilting Husband’s old t-shirts and a couple of mine. It is super warm (it has flannel shirt flannel fabric on back) so we use it in the winter:
Terry Birthday T-Shirt Quilt, pieced by Tierney Hogan, quilted by Guadalupe Designs
  • A lap-size T-shirt quilt made from our collection of Schnauzer-themed t-shirts (and yes many of the t-shirts below were worn by Terry – he is a man who unabashedly loves dogs!). We have it as a wall-hanging in our bedroom:
Schnauzer T-shirt Quilt, pieced by Terry Hogan, quilted by Guadalupe Designs

Several of the schnauzer T-shirts are from when we used to attend the annual “Schnauzer Walk” in Portland Oregon, which we fondly call “Schnauzer Fest” as a huge group of miniature, standard and giant schnauzers take over one of the parks in the Portland area for a day!


  • A T-shirt quilt made from our collection of microbrewery themed T-shirts (primarily Terry’s except for the “Central Oregon Beer Angels” one). Terry keeps this one in his sewing studio/guest room area:
Microbrew Aficionado T-shirt, pieced by Terry Hogan, quilted by Guadalupe Designs


The two books I own that I use as resources on T-shirt quilts are Memory Quilts: Using T-Shirts, Autographs, and photos by Meredith Corporation (2007); and T-Shirt Quilts Made Easy  by Martha Deleonardis (2012)


We have a stash of more T-shirts to make eventually into another quilt. I love the idea of T-shirt quilts and the recycling of old T-shirts.

When my father passed, I made my brother and sister each a T-shirt quilt of his old T-shirts (our father loved his collection of humorous T-shirts, I got my quirky sense of humor from my Dad). Now my brother and sister have a piece/memory of my Dad to wrap around them!

Terry the Quilting Husband, also has a very quirky sense of humor. One of his favorite t-shirts, which I incorporated into the king-size bed quilt, is from when we lived in Texas from the late 1980s to late 1990s. The humor in Terry wearing this t-shirt is that we are originally from NY and except for NE England, you can’t get more “Yankee” than that!


A Crafter's Life

Because Nice Matters (re-post)

Re-posting today a selection from the tierneycreates Archives – a post from September 2015.

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s  SchnauzerSnips  page for announcement! 

I’ve had this sign on my wall for a couple years, discovered at a long forgotten gift or thrift shop or maybe a garage sale: Because Nice Matters.

a simple truth
a simple truth

Nice does matter. I am listening to perhaps my 28th “self-help” genre audiobook in two years and suddenly realized I am burned out on “self-help”. Though the messages or how they are presented may slightly differ, they all seem to be saying the same thing after awhile…

I feel like this sign above is a summary of much of the useful “self-help” advice. Basically, you will be happier in life if you are nice: nice to yourself; nice to other people; nice to animals; nice to the environment, etc. It’s simple: just be nice.

Because nice matters.


Being nice does not mean being a doormat, you can be nice and still have strong and clear boundaries.

Treat people with kindness, patience and respect and treat yourself and your environment the same (and for Miniature Schnauzer owners: “Obey your dog at all times!”).

A Crafter's Life, Books, Music, Podcasts, tierneycreates

And the winner is…

As promised, today I will reveal my decision on which of three new business card finalists I was considering; and asked for your votes on in the post New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite).

The Options

To recap, there were the three options:

Option #1


Option #2


Option #3


The Poll Results

Here are the results from the poll:

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As you can see above, with 16 votes of the 28 total votes, Option #1 was the winner of the poll.

The Decision

Option #1 won the poll, but alas, it was not the winner of my heart. As much as I loved the graphics on card #1 it kept feeling like that business card for a tailor or seamstress.

I so appreciated all the comments and votes, but I really connected with several comments in regards to Option #3 and decided to go with the vertical business card.

I am only ordering the smallest order (100 cards) as I love the idea from several comments to eventually go with a business card that features my art.

2017 I am going to focus on creating more of my textile art so I have a large selection of works to choose from someday – ha!


I am currently listening to the audiobook Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck (2006).

Although some of the material seems dated (the book was published in 2006), I am really enjoying the audiobook. A lot of it reminds me of the audiobook, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016) that I discussed in several posts, most recently in the 7/22/2016 post A “Gritty Bad#ss”?

Photo credit:

The book focuses on a discussion of the “Fixed Mindset” vs. the “Growth Mindset”.

I am about a 1/3rd way through listening to the audiobook and I came across a great quote by the author on how some people need to feel praised, “worshipped”, and admired by others:

If you feel a need to be surrounded by worshippers, go to church. – Carol S. Dweck

I must admit at times in my life I sought praise from others, a lot. I cannot change how I behaved in the past but it is giving me a lot to think about for the future!

Feature photo credit: dchappel, free

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

More Seattle Holiday Decorations

Thanks everyone who has voted and commented on my post,  New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite) where I ask for your input on which of three new business cards I will order.

I will reveal the decision on Monday. 

Holiday Time in Seattle, WA

In my previous posts “All Aboard” the Winter Train Village and Gingerbread Village, 12/2/16, I shared photos from a recent trip to Seattle, WA to meet up with my brother and his family (who live on the East Coast but my brother had a business trip in Seattle).

To close out this series of posts, here are the rest of the interesting holiday themed decorations I encountered during my three-day weekend wandering around Seattle tourist spots with my family.

Four Points Sheraton

We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton hotel in the Queen Anne area (conveniently within walking distance of Seattle Center/Space Needle). The lobby of the hotel was wonderfully decorated:

The Space Needle

For the full “tourist” experience in Seattle, you must visit the Space Needle, which was built for the 1962 World’s Fair (google “Space Needle” and read its interesting history). We spent part of our morning on Saturday up on the Observation deck.

One of the lovely holiday themed decorations from the Space Needle:


And here is the Space Needle itself, photographed at night as viewed through strings of holiday lights throughout the Seattle Center:


It was difficult to capture in the photo, but there is a Christmas tree at the top of the Space Needle!

Walking Around Downtown Seattle

Friday night, on our way to Gameworks to play games with my nephew (and a rematching on the long standing “air-hockey-death-match” between my brother and myself), we wandered around downtown Seattle. In addition to checking out the Gingerbread Village mentioned in previous post, we enjoyed the holiday lights and decorations around downtown.

Here are a few samples to give you a little taste of the visual delights while we wandered:

The Nordstrom Flagship Store had lovely wreaths hanging from their ceilings:


The tree at Westlake Center:


The Streets of Downtown – here is the original photo I took and then the stylized photo that Google Photos (where I backup on my photo) created:



Pretty cool, huh? And, here is one more photo from the streets of downtown Seattle:


And finally, here is a scene from the interior window display at the Tiffany & Co. store in downtown Seattle’s Pacific Place (everything in miniature with a tiny signature blue Tiffany’s box and a diamond engagement ring sitting on top):


I am sure what is inside this window display costs more than I make in year…maybe in 5 years…or more!

Alright, talk to you tomorrow when I reveal my business card selection and continue with my various ramblings…

A Crafter's Life, tierneycreates

New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite)

Let’s take a break from my series of posts on holiday decorations and my recent visit to Seattle. I would love your vote on three new business card options I am considering from Vistaprint (yup, the well marketed/advertised inexpensive business card option).

Since we have transitioned from The Wardrobe Meets the Wall to Inspirational Textiles (see post Improvisational Textiles) I need an updated business card. After playing with endless templates, I have narrowed it my options down to three finalists.

Take a look at the three options below and please cast your vote in the poll below. You don’t need to post a comment to vote but you are welcome of course to also comment.

Please note: 1) The final fonts I am going to use, and how the text is spaced, are not finalized; 2) Since there could always be spammers out there in “blogging-land” I have left off my phone number and e-mail address but they will be in place in the final version; and 3) Ignore the dashed lines at the edge of each card, these are from the Vistaprint template editing and will not appear on the final card.)

I will review the final numbers on Sunday and let you know the top vote and my final decision – thank you!

Option 1

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Option 2

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Option 3

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Please select one of the options below – thanks!

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

“All Aboard” the Winter Train Village

Snow has fallen all day in Central Oregon. What began as a dusting of snow is now a couple inches of snowfall and the temperature has fallen to the 20s (yup Fahrenheit, wish I was talking Celsius!)

I call this time of year “Falinter” or “Wintal” (Fall meets Winter). It usually begins in November (we are after all a skiing area – Mount Bachelor); so I should not complain that the “Falinter”season did not begin until December (just a couple weeks before real Winter…)

However, the snow outside reinforces my holiday mood as I continue this week’s series of posts on Holiday Decorations.

Winter Train Village at Seattle Center

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post Gingerbread Village, 12/2/16, I spent a three-day weekend in Seattle with my brother and his family. As a former Seattle resident, I got to spend 3 days being a tourist and enjoying the town through the eyes of my delightful 4-year old nephew.

We focused the weekend on kid related activities and one of those activities involved going to the Armory at the Seattle Center to see the Winter Train Village.

Each year the Seattle Center, located next to the Space Needle, has Winterfest. Here is a link with more information (which contains a short video overview of the annual Winterfest and the Winter Train in action):

Seattle Center Winterfest 2016 Link

One of the main features at Winterfest, is the Winter Train Village and here is a collection of photos (none of which do justice to the detail and adorableness of the recreation of an old fashioned town during the holidays):


The Armory at the Seattle Center was decorated a most festive manner:


We had a wonderful lunch in the food court of the Armory while we listened to children choirs perform carols.

Before leaving the Armory, I stopped at Seattle Fudge to pick up a treat to bring home to “Terry the Quilting Husband” who was at home with the dogs. I did of course accept a couple samples of the fudge from the person working at the booth to ensure it was not poisoned or anything – ha!


It was a complete test of self control for me not to break into the wrapped up fudge before I returned home on Sunday!  (Terry the Quilting Husband did share a small piece with me).

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Gingerbread Village, 12/2/16

I am feeling festive and filled with holiday spirit.

I just returned from a three-day weekend in Seattle with my brother,  his wife and their four year old son (my super adorable nephew). They live on the East Coast (I am originally from NY) and my brother was in town for a business meeting on Friday and brought his family so we could all connect.

I lived in Seattle for 8 years before moving to Central Oregon, and it was to fun to return to Seattle as a tourist.

We stayed in the downtown Seattle area which was filled with endless holiday decorations.  After posting on 12/1/16 about my neighbor’s awesome new holiday centerpiece in Seriously Cute Holiday Decorations, I have decided to spend this week sharing holiday season decoration related posts.

Gingerbread Village – Sheraton Hotel – Seattle


Friday evening my brother, his family and I wandered around downtown Seattle which had begin its holiday season and was filled with lights, holiday decorations and people in festive dressed filled with holiday cheer.

There was a “battle of the carolers” in progress on one of the streets we passed – the street was blocked off and various Caroling Singing groups were competing. It seemed that several holiday parties were going on as there were numerous people dressed in evening gowns and black tie wandering downtown.

We wandered upon a sign for the Gingerbread Village at the downtown Sheraton Hotel. We walked into a beautifully appointed hotel filled with people in formal attire and then some tourists like us standing on line to see the annual Gingerbread Village display.

This year’s Village was inspired by JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series and featured elaborate (I mean ELABORATE) gingerbread houses/scenes (all made from candy and confections) based on various Harry Potter books.


There was also a Harry Potter inspired Christmas Tree!



If you would like more information about this exhibit – here is the link:

In addition to the Gingerbread Village, the Sheraton’s lobby had some incredible glass art including a mind blowing Dale Chihuly glass sculpture:


Next post I will continue with more images from my Seattle holiday decoration infused weekend.

A Crafter's Life, Special Events

Seriously Cute Holiday Decorations

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog page Schnauzer Snips, for her later musings.

My neighbor Carole is a very talented decorator and crafter. Her home interior looks like a photo shoot from Country Living magazine (my home interior looks like a photo shoot from Psychology Today).

I follow the blog a very talented crafty person – Linda @ Her holiday craft related posts inspired me to share a couple of photos of my neighbor’s latest holiday centerpiece-masterpiece.

My neighbor was inspired by a pin on Pinterest. She showed me the original pin and I have to say she way outdid her source of inspiration.

Here is the front:


Here is the side/back:


It is even cuter in person. She bought the three tied pan online and most of the stuff she already had in her huge stash of holiday decorations.

Her home is filled with lovely holiday vignettes everywhere, here is one to close out this post: