Thursday, December 31, 2015

End of the Year Scavenger Hunt

You're expecting a wrap-up of 2015, aren't you? Here's the condensed version: longest temp job ever, longest summer ever, documentary produced and shown locally on PBS (you can see it here). That's nothing compared to what 2016 holds in store - selling up and moving back across the pond!

But let's not get too far ahead. It's still the holidays and all, so let's just chillax and do the year-end Scavenger Hunt. Thanks as always to Greenthumb for hosting!

Guess what our list consisted of this month -- lots of holiday-themed prompts, so you get to relive Christmas! I took some of the photos on my recent beach retreat in Newport, Oregon.

This was in a gift shop window -

JOY


If you go to Newport, DO NOT get a hotel on the bay, where the sea lions hang out. They are very, very noisy!

TOGETHER


Our (artificial) Christmas tree at home. The extra-bright lights in the middle are were the only original lights still working. They've blown out now, and it's nicer with fewer lights.

TREE


I remember this crow ornament from as far back as I remember Christmas. I don't remember it ever having a hanger; it always just sits in the branches.

ORNAMENT


Decorated light posts by the beach, and unbelievable blue sky when I arrived in Newport.

LIGHT


Christmas-surround!

CHRISTMAS


In a different shop window -

SPARKLE


I decorated these little tins and filled them with chocolates for Christmas gifts. You can see more here.

GIVING


Is it any wonder my clothes are tight?

FOOD


Staying in bed to read and drink coffee. And then tea. And have some cookies. So, yeah, tight clothes.

RED


I seem to have missed KITCHEN, but here's my WHATEVER. This sea bird looked like a rock until I walked by and it brought its head out from under its wing.


And squawked at me.




Now we've relived Christmas, time to celebrate the New Year.  
 Happy 2016 - spread peace, love and understanding!

Val

Thursday, December 24, 2015

All shall be well

Are you ready for Christmas?

Is Christmas ready for you?

We don't go overboard with shopping and activities, and I've actually got time to enjoy Christmas - I'm no longer at my temp job! Since the weather is horrible, I'm sort of hibernating and taking it easy. And when I say "taking it easy" I mean l-a-z-y. Here's my typical To-Do list:
TO DO:
 brush teeth


I got a sudden inspiration from Pinterest when I saw that an Altoid-size tin holds six Dove chocolates. Groovy, I thought, I'm gonna make some little gifts for my book group! After all, I had PLENTY of tins to work with.



So I pulled out some old Christmas cards I'd saved, and some washi tape, and voila!



Then I decided to make some for the various people who will be at our Christmas dinner. (Our extended family this year will include my sister's stepson's partner's father's girlfriend - did ya get all that?) I had a few more old cards, and more washi tape, and some ribbons and stuff, so this time I made them into hanging ornaments.










Each one holds six chocolates.




The best part is that there are chocolates left over for me!

Wishing you all happy holidays, and sharing the wise words of Julian of Norwich:

"All shall be well, and all shall be well,
And all manner of thing shall be well."

Val


Saturday, December 19, 2015

So much water the earth must be tipping

Have you heard about the wet and wild weather on the Oregon coast - incessant rain, flooding, wind, high surf?  Perfect time for a beach retreat, don't you think?




I went to Newport, which sits right at the corner of Pacific Ocean and Yaquina Bay.




Surprisingly, it was sunny with blue sky on the day I arrived, probably the last blue sky until July.




I stayed at The Whaler Motel, which was lovely - immaculate, fantastic view from every room, large swimming pool and spa, plus small gym. The staff were very nice, and there was an off-season discount - thank you, Santa!




It was an easy walk to Nye Beach, with its quaint shops.











There's something about seaside towns - all the maritime kitsch and clapboards, the never-ending struggle against the elements.






The green building is the Sylvia Beach Hotel, which is known for its author-themed rooms, comfy library, communal meals and a ban on phones and wifi. I thought about staying there, but I wanted solitude, and yes, I wanted wifi.

 Here it is from the beach, at dusk.




And here's my motel from the beach. 




This is so misleading. It does not sit alone on an isolated bluff - there are other motels just out of sight, but nothing gets in the way of the beach.











The blue sky didn't last, and most of the time I was out it was windy and wet. My waterproof jacket drained straight onto my jeans, which then soaked down into my rubber boots. It was bloody cold!

But when I was watching the incoming tide thunder against the craggy rocks at Depoe Bay and Boiler Bay, I could have stayed forever - it was exhilarating!





Val

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Drunken Hat Attack

Aaaand, following on from my last post and the picture of my plain old white fisherman's hat,




Here it is in all its new glory -




Now, don't be distracted by the wine, which I'm grasping tightly as if my life depended on it. On Thanksgiving weekend I went to a few wineries with my mother, sister and nieces. It was very cold, but of course we had a great time!




It's funny how just taking sips at a wine tasting can leave you feeling tipsy and laughing uncontrollably.




Or maybe I had the bottle opened so I could taste it more easily.




Here are a couple more shots of the hat, something with a little decorum to link up with Hat Attack over at the Style Crone.




I just loosely sewed pieces of that beautiful fabric over the hat, using a slightly gathered piece to go around it, and then some more pieces to fashion a little flower/bow. Because I left the edges frayed and did the whole thing sort of ragged, it wasn't difficult.



Come check out the other hats and fascinators at Style Crone!

Val

Dec. 6 - Did someone say brandy and roasted almonds? I'm heading over to Patti's for Visible Monday!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Jim Morrison's Grave and Scavenger Hunt

I was walking around in town when a car drove by and the driver yelled out the window - at no one in particular - "Don't let them desecrate Jim Morrison's grave!!!" I looked around to see what prompted this outburst, but he just looked at me and laughed crazily as he drove away.

If only I'd had my camera ready, because one of the prompts for the Scavenger Hunt this month is A Stranger. And that guy was strange.

But that's okay - half a block later I saw this guy.




A stranger to me, but obviously happy to make friends with anyone willing to drop some cash in his case.

Without a smartphone, I've learned to always have my camera with me when I'm Out and About - another one of our prompts this month.




Some of these prompts were literally right in front of my eyes when I was walking around, like Hole.




And One.




There were so many Signs to choose from.





And some of the signs fulfill other prompts, like Pop Culture,




and Bottle.


 

I went into a bookstore that was really Big.




From one of the windows I was Looking Down to the street where the stranger was singing.




The weather was fine on that day, but another day the rain was coming in horizontally against the window screens.




With the colder weather, I've been wearing hats when I go out. This plain, white fisherman's hat is handy, but it was so boring I decided to cover it with fabric from a pretty shirt I outgrew (ahem).




I'll post the result in a day or two so I can link up with Hat Attack at the Style Crone.

And finally, Whatever you want - my most recent picture, taken at a local winery, getting me in the mood for Christmas.




Thanks to Greenthumb for hosting the Scavenger Hunt - it's always fun to try to think outside the box. December's words are already posted!

Val