Archive for April, 2009

Fairy Houses!

Friday, April 24th, 2009
Click for 14 more Fairy House photos

Click for 14 more Fairy House photos

Turns out my paddle partners on Whidbey are also Fairy House enthusiasts.

I was telling them about the wild & wonderful trip I took to Monhegan Island back in 2007. I had just received a book for Christmas from my Mom (who knows I love fairies) on Fairy Houses and totally loved it, but must have spaced out on where it actually was.

The next fall, my aunt & uncle were having a 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Maine, and flew us up there (What a trip! Talk about artsy little towns!) As part of the celebration, we took a little boat over to Monhegan Island, and it wasn’t until I got off the boat that I realized- THIS IS THE PLACE IN THE BOOK!

So I quickly impressed on the gift shop lady the importance of telling me where they were (I’m usually not so pushy, honest!) and headed off to the woods.

Fairy houses have a few rules: They must be made with natural materials (nothing living, like flowers or mosses.) And no tearing up their surroundings (because the fairies don’t like that.) Build them in a quiet place, where the fairies won’t be disturbed.

Other than that, use your imagination…

And here are 2 books to get you even more excited:

Fairy Houses (This is the one that got me hooked.)
Fairy Houses… Everywhere! (Thank you, J, for recommending it. It is gorgeous!)

I heart Picnik.com

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Langley, WA Langley, WA

I’m having so much fun w/my camera now that my new batteries have arrived. I’ve just been roaming all over taking photos of nearly everything.

One thing I’m not very good at is editing photos, though. So I post them “as is” or more likely (big sigh) they live on my hard drive waiting for me to get the skills to actually do something to prettify them.

Anyway, I found a site: Picnik, that is absolutely made for people like me. It’s a webapp, so you don’t even need to download anything (yay!) And you can play with it before you even sign up, to see that yes, indeedy, you can do it! Once you sign up, you have even more options to play with. And there’s also a premium option ($24.95/yr) that gives even MORE fun stuff.

I changed the above photo in about 5 minutes. Yes, me- all by myself. And it was fun! I didn’t even have to call tech support or have a quasi-artistic meltdown.

Now I want to play with the collages and before & afters. Oh, and I promised those fairy house pictures for J… Oh, I’m going to be busy!

Kayaking Whidbey Island

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
New kayaking friends from Seattle

New kayaking friends from Seattle

Well, I spent the entire day on Whidbey yesterday. For whatever silly reason, I hadn’t been over there for many years, and have never really had a chance to explore on my own.

So I did everything (well, almost everything) all in one day.

The high point was going kayaking from Langley Marina with this very cool family from Seattle. As a singleton, I need to somehow hook up w/groups in order to take a kayak tour, so they were kind enough to include me in. This was the first kayaking trip for V & R, but I have a feeling they’re hooked. I definitely see kayaks in their future.

The grey whales have come back to Langley, and they even have a “ring the bell” system when one is spotted. Unfortunately, I had my whale repellent on, so didn’t see any this time. Nick, our terrific guide from Whidbey Island Kayaking, said they’d gotten about 70 feet away from one last wk on a trip.

It was a kind of blustery day, but we got a nice paddle in, anyway, and had a lot of fun talking. Turns out my adopted family du jour runs a perennial nursery in West Seattle. Isn’t it odd how these things work? So I was pumping them for info on plants & chickens the whole time. Oh, and we are all into Fairy Gardens.

More on my trip later; I’m still recovering!

Yes, I need all those spices!

Monday, April 20th, 2009

spice-racks

One of the things I missed most when I moved was all the spices I’d left behind. But that didn’t matter, right? I’d just acquire new ones, and since I didn’t plan to cook a whole lot, I’d just buy them from the bulk jars at the co-op as I needed them.

Ha! Guess who ended up with a cupboard full of little bags of “I don’t know, it might be cumin. Or maybe that was coriander?”, “Was that paprika or chili powder?”

After a few months of this, I decided that it had gone on long enough. I went to Costco and got one of those spice rack thingies. And proceeded to empty out the cheap old spices & fill them up with my good stuff. Problem was, the spice rack maker had evidently not had me in mind. Where were the jars for asafetida and fenugreek and sumac? So I still had all these weird little bags full of weird little spices.

Being a resourceful person (!) it took me a while to figure out that I could buy ANOTHER spice rack, empty out all the spices & re-label them. After several hours of emptying, filling & labeling (and ending up with a very… interesting-smelling garbage can), I finally have almost enough spice jars in their cute little bottles. Next step, alphabetizing.

Moroccan Curry Stew (Vegan)