Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year!

i am a goal seeker, so here are some things i am looking forward to in the year 2011:

1. going back to school for my special ed and elementary ed dual endorsement

2. expanding my etsy shop

3. this motivating project from elsie and rachel , so much fun and right up my alley

4. as well as this exciting project  (because sometimes i need a little motivation help)

5. much bird watching and journaling

6. finishing up my second americorps term with the washington reading corps

7. and this summer, i don't care, i'm doing it. i'm going to the kenny chesney concert. that's it.

i have had a really great week with the family, eating good food, cuddling with my puppy, shopping, thrifting, relaxing, seeing my girlfriends, and hanging out with my little brother at seedy taverns with karaoke. i am so thankful and happy to have such supportive, wonderful, and amazing family and friends. but now, back to bellingham for a short while before heading to idaho for new years! i am so excited to see more good friends and tromp around in the snow. i hope to see a moose, a gyrfalcon, and Sade!!! happy 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

let your heart be light

what's wrong with this picture?

christmas pin

friends and festivites

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

my baby brother comes of age

when did this happen??? how did this happen??? isn't he cute??

this weekend my little brother turned 21 and we all went out for a few drinks on the town. i mean everyone: the drinkers, the non drinkers, my mom, my dad, my aunt and uncle.... the whole family and a gaggle of colin's best friends. my mom played a lot of darts. my dad danced a lot. it was really fun! colin is the sweetest, most hardworking, funniest person i know. i am so glad that we all got to go out for his birthday, i just can't believe he is this old! it seems like just yesterday he was running around in batman pjs.

this poem starts off sad

Hurry along

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
n  Hopi Prayer

When you know you have lost
something you cannot get back,
go to the meadow and wait
for your mother to arrive- the once
miscarried baby in her arms.
This is how to die: meet in a field
of unidentified wildflowers.
She is wearing the sheer dress
with eucalyptus print- once
borrowed, once stained. Her
baby is wide eyed and fat.
What hat is she wearing? What gloves?
What flowers are these?
Never mind. Hurry along now,
or you will find yourself skipping 
to keep up.

i have been thinking about my grandmother a lot. i wanted to share this poem that i wrote last spring, during the last couple days of her life. i was very heartbroken to see her, but my mother told me that she was at peace, having seen my great grandmother in a dream, coming to get her in a meadow.

there is always christmas. but there are not always the people that make christmas. this year, will be different.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My love affair with Linda Pastan

Love Poem

I want to write you
a love poem as headlong
as our creek
after thaw
when we stand
on its dangerous
banks and watch it carry
with it every twig
every dry leaf and branch
in its path
every scruple
when we see it
so swollen
with runoff
that even as we watch
we must grab
each other
and step back
we must grab each
other or
get our shoes
soaked we must
grab each other

The Happiest Day

It was early May, I think
a moment of lilac or dogwood
when so many promises are made
it hardly matters if a few are broken.
My mother and father still hovered
in the background, part of the scenery
like the houses I had grown up in,
and if they would be torn down later
that was something I knew
but didn't believe. Our children were asleep
or playing, the youngest as new
as the new smell of the lilacs,
and how could I have guessed
their roots were shallow
and would be easily transplanted.
I didn't even guess that I was happy.
The small irritations that are like salt
on melon were what I dwelt on,
though in truth they simply
made the fruit taste sweeter.
So we sat on the porch
in the cool morning, sipping
hot coffee. Behind the news of the day—
strikes and small wars, a fire somewhere—
I could see the top of your dark head
and thought not of public conflagrations
but of how it would feel on my bare shoulder.
If someone could stop the camera then…
if someone could only stop the camera
and ask me: are you happy?
perhaps I would have noticed
how the morning shone in the reflected
color of lilac. Yes, I might have said
and offered a steaming cup of coffee.

collections: vintage ornaments

Sunday, November 28, 2010

now that thanksgiving is out of the way...

we can focus on christmas. i did a little decorating today! jo ann's was crazy this weekend, so it's not just me and mom who are sooo in the spirit this year.
this christmas dog was my grandma peggys. she used to pretend he wasn't allowed on the couch, like the real dogs. we got a kick out of that. 

my little christmas tree, with vintage family ornaments and dr seuss ornaments.

my shiny gold bird at the top.

so many santas.
more coming soon. tonight i am making christmas wreaths, eating jordan's pork stew, and watching the wire (seriously addicted).

so stinking cute i want to cry

 why i love boston terrier puppy brothers:

1. they are so stinking cute i want to cry.

2. they curl up in your lap and stick their noses in your armpit and fall asleep.

3. they play so hard they can't keep their eyes open.

4. they play tug of war with big dogs.

5. they love each other so so much.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

i am thankful for:

family! it is hard not to miss grandma during the holidays, but i am thankful for mom, dad, colin and logan, andrea and andy, uncle russ, uncle vernon and aunt julie, grandpa and, of course, jordan. we are going to have a wonderful feast later this evening.

puppy brothers judge and mcguire.

snow. despite how hard it makes traveling, i love it. it's cozy.

jefferson elementary school and all the kids i work with. i start to get all mac and cheese thinking about how great they are. i can't wait to hear their turkey stories on monday!

great and talented friends, all over the place.

the birds. from my adorable canary to the hummingbird at my parent's frozen feeder this morning.(don't worry, we took care of that)

and bacon. how do i love thee? let me count the ways...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

things to do, or not

walk downtown on tip toes, balancing between the concrete and the ice. try to find your grip, fail. walk in flower beds instead.

make stuffed raccoons out of felt.

feel pleased with yourself, then wonder if you should be doing something else with your life: in a different city, with a different man, with a different medium. perhaps charcoal. perhaps a typewriter.

these are thoughts that never really leave, no matter how happy you are. no matter how many raccoons you make of felt. no matter how many pages you have or have not written. no matter who you are standing next to-- at the bus stop, in the grocery store, on the stairs to your apartment.

research teaching schools for hours during your "flex" time at work. contemplate the debt of a master's degree. contemplate the debt of another two years in the same place you don't want to settle down in, but have.

give up on your research. drive to the nearest thrift store and dig through other people's lost and abandoned things. find nothing, or find a basket of things: a gnome for your father, a kitschy santa from the 50's, an old tea towel with cats on it.

bring your things home, only to find that you have no room for anything. start to feel that you are owned by your things. start to feel old and immobile. sell your things.

this is the part where you sell all your things, until you can fit everything you own into your blue suitcase with the chrome wheels.  this is the part where you leave. go somewhere you have never been before and start over from scratch, without a recipe. somehow this will make you a better person.

but of course, it won't, it will only make you different.

you have begun to like the way the radiators sound when they turn on each morning, crackling and sizzling like onion and garlic in a skillet. what's more: your things have begun to assume a life of their own in the apartment. the santa on the bookshelf with rosy and flushed cheeks, the raccoons lined up on the couch, cheerfully waiting for something to happen.

nothing will happen. but one day you will wake up and know exactly what you should do that day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

so far so good!

needs to be stuffed, but i think i am smitten
the annual pre-thanksgiving feast! a balanced meal!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Collection a Day, 2010: Day 203

A Collection a Day, 2010: Day 203: "Vintage (German?) plastic goat charms. (Part of larger vintage toy collection)."

Red Bird

By Mary Oliver

Red bird came all winter
firing up the landscape
as nothing else could.

Of course I love the sparrows,
those dun-colored darlings
so hungry and so many.

I am a God-fearing feeder of birds.
I know He has many children,
not all of them bold in spirit.

Still, for whatever reason —
perhaps because the winter is so long
and the sky so black-blue,

or perhaps because the heart narrows
as often as it opens —
I am glad

that red bird comes all winter,
firing up the landscape
as nothing else can do.

projects! people! prophecy!

bits and pieces

for sale, for art, for making

unfinished projects

for sade

such a homebody

goal number 87: be better spray painter
fall feels like it's winding up, everything everywhere is christmas christmas christmas. must start making things for christmas christmas christmas. i have so much i want to do in a vast variety of forms. before and after christmas. if i only had one hobby, would i get more done?

things that have been happening: aunt julie came up on friday and we had a lovely time scouring all the thrift stores and estate sales in the county. she gave me lots of tips on finding goodies and we went out to lunch at avenue bread. she is so great, she gave me a whole lot of imperfect linens to craft with, plus some darling apartment warming gifts. i am truly lucky to have her as an aunt! more visitors, my sister, andy, and their adorable new boston terrier judge (shmails) came up on saturday. i ate too much at boundary bay and we walked around town, then went back to our place and played with judge. today i have been trying to squeeze in everything else.

goals for the week include:

#45. write something
#29. promote children's book blog
#35. find a good book to read
#55. make one of these

Sunday, November 7, 2010

good morning someone loves you

from the boods

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the kingbird, the owl, the eider

this week a tropical kingbird perched by whatcom creek and the construction supply building and every day i received an email with a picture, his actions, the time, and exclamation marks—because birders are fond of such punctuation—and though i could not see it, i did. and somewhere in the county a barred owl perched thirty feet from-someone else's-door and i remembered the size of the owl’s claws, as when we saw one scouting for bullfrogs at stimpson two springs-two ages- ago. and there is always something like this: what was thought, for a moment or two, to be a spectacled eider was actually a long-tailed duck, still in breeding plumage. of course i sometimes, myself, will do this: see one thing one moment, and another the next.

Monday, November 1, 2010

i kinda fizzled out on fashion week but i made a fox

i was a pumpkin for halloween. my mom made the costume some time long ago when she was pregnant with one of us and so it billowed out over her big belly like a real jack o lantern. i am not pregnant, so it sagged a bit and the face folded in on itself. i looked good though, with my stem hat and all. we went out on the town for a bit and i saw many many costumes of quality. i liked the girl with a strainer on her head and spaghetti hair. she had meatballs glued to her chest. i asked her if she was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and she said no. she was just meat balls. and spaghetti.

otherwise, my weekend was calm. i met some of jordan's old friends from wyoming. one laughs like goofy and the other quotes whitman, so i found them agreeable. and fun! and great!

i find that otherwise, i do not like to leave my apartment. it is so cozy and there is so much to do! like make this fox:

check him out on my etsy!
back to school for the week!

notables of today:

a six grader asked me if i was married (no). then asked if i was a teenager (no).
i read Corduroy twice.
we played rhyme bingo.
a first grader laughed so hard he peed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

f a sh i on

today, i am tired. but i still took a picture of my outfit because i decided this is a lot of fun. i am loving all the comments!

here is today:
before coffee. trying hard to smile.

this is my friend forrest and he looks great.

on me:

sweater: target
dress: handmade by me
leggings: walmart
boots: famous footwear
necklace: grandma's amethyst birthstone

on him:

jacket: thrifted (i helped him bring it in and added some buttons!)
pants: thrifted
hair: wig
fountain pen: found 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

elementary fashion

today consisted of a lot of diagnostic testing in first grade reading, letter sounds, ladybugs, and the exciting news that barney saltzberg is visiting jefferson elementary on friday.

anyway, to continue with fashion week, this is what i wore:

it's awkward to take pictures of yourself, alone, in a classroom.

closer view of brooch from my etsy shop.

skirt: thrifted
sweater: thrifted and embellished with vintage doilies
grey tights: hanes, target
teacher pin: from my etsy shop!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

lets try this out

dear autumn has convinced me (by being so stinkin adorable) to try out fall fashion week. she started me off yesterday by featuring me on her blog (i'm the one holding her shmadorable baby), so i might as well keep going! i like fall, i like fashion. most of my clothes are second hand, thrifted, clearance rack, free pile, gleaned. also, i like teacher pins, a lot. but in true magpie fashion, i have a lot. here goes today!
this is what i wore.
this is what i wish i was cool enough to wear.

on me:

sweater: buffalo exchange
dress: thrifted.
boots: thrifted (25 cents!)
tights: target
teacher pin: handmade by coworker
bangs: self cut (hence the diagonal)

on her:

tigger costume: awesome!
face paint: terrific!
pumpkin: donated

brownies brownies brownies

today was my first brownie girl scouts meeting! i think it went well! we did the aforementioned leaf/animal activity (we are going for the plant badge!) and some name/getting to know you games. it was such fun and the girls are amazing. i have about 6 first and second graders from roosevelt elementary school. it's so fun to hang out with a group of girls outside of the classroom-- where it is ok to be silly and loud and you don't have to sit criss cross applesauce if you don't want to. i am so glad to be a part of girl scouts of western washington and lead a troop, we are surely going to do many fun crafty/ nature loving activities this year! and of course, sell a ton of cookies.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

things i like right now

i think this fall collection board is a good idea. and darling.
i might do this activity with my Brownie troop on tuesday.

i love this quilt. i have been collecting vintage sheets and planning to make a quilt... some day when i scrape together enough time. i actually have the same sheet candace used for the backing of this one. 

Monday, October 18, 2010


by Jane Kenyon

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
                     It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.

you tear my heart in two!

Shmails. my nephew.
McGuire. my brother.

my sister and my parents got boston terriers!  we've always had boston terriers in our family, but it's been a couple years since charly (may he rip). i am so excited for these two little guys (brothers). i already know i'm gonna make them coats for christmas. is it too early to start thinking about christmas? i think not.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the natural history of our family : my family of magpies

here are some of my dad's collections in the museum that is our house:

various tools and such. he's into old kitchen tools now. i like the ROBIN sign, his name.

marbles. lots of marbles. and dust.

jars filled with stuff. like corks. buttons. sewing supplies. spools. shells. etc.

random collection of glasses and stuff.

matchbox cars. we used to have to dig through toy boxes at the goodwill and antique stores for the ones with the metal bottoms. this is a most extensive collection.

i like these.

part of the infamous gnome collection. this is a mere fraction.

this is actually my mother's collection of Berggren house ware, started by my grandmother. go mom!