Making : Log cabin hot pads

Yesterday I had “a lot of hours” to myself, un-interrupted.  On the days before I thought what I should make, and after seeing Erin’s post at House on Hill Road, the other day, it inspired me.

It inspired me in a couple of ways.  First, that I need to clean my stash… mine doesn’t look as neat as the one in her picture! It’s a hazard area, I try to not look at, and pass it very quickly in case something jumps out at me or falls on my head.  It should be a hard hat only area, as far as I’m concerned.

Also, I’ve always wanted to learn to make log cabins.  I tried once many years ago, without reading any type of instructions, and tried by cutting the pieces ahead of time… well you can imagine how that went, since few years later I’ve done my second attempt.

But now, the combination of making something small, and useful and using up my stash, motivated me.


I took these fabrics from my stash that I found at the thrift store last year sometime. It was a chair cover, but I really liked the colors and design of the fabrics someone used.  I grabbed thinking it can work for something… you know.  That something, came to live yesterday.  DSC_0087-small

I cut 2-inch strips.  Sew them from the center… you know how log cabins should be sewn! I’ve read few books about how to do it, and it was much easier than guessing how to do it.


Sandwiched it with the heat insulated batting, another back fabric from our stash and stitched it in the ditch.



Oh… these scissors… I found them at our local fabric store at their check out table and I grabbed one.  Oh my.  So smooth, no need to put my fingers every single time I need to trim piece of thread or yarn… the best $1.99 I’ve spent lately.  I love them!


I think they look really cute!  And it was even better when they were in our kitchen and on our table being so helpful!

Punchbowl Falls Ride


Last week on our hike we saw these guys hiking ahead of us.  one of them was carrying a kayak.  Besides being amazed that he could hike with that on his back, I didn’t give it much thought.

Until of course, we ended at the falls.


We saw him and his friends by the falls.  Some of his friends on this side of the falls with a video camera and another one taking photos.  We hang out there to see what he was going to do.   He was going to ride the falls. 

We stood there as he got ready, put helmet, suit and everything else he needed.  Rain started to come down, and quite a few of us standing there, a bit under the trees but the water still wetting our cameras.  We waited for few minutes.  We, and few other strangers, watching, waiting.  And yes, he did!  He took his kayak down the 30-35 feet of fall, water-fall!  It looked like fun.

When he came up, after a short steep hike from the river for him with kayak in hand, he’s smiling and excited.  So friendly he was.  Talking and excited shared by all of us watching him.

DSC_0082-smallI asked him if I could take a photo of him and put it on my blog… he was happy I do that.

Not only did he go down that one time, but he went down twice! The second time we saw him come up, he was more tired but as excited .

I asked him if he told his parents what he did on the weekends, and he said: “I just tell my mom I’m kayaking.  Then after I’ve done it I tell her I went down the 80-foot fall and send her the video with it…” 

I was just wondering what our kids will do when they are older… and if I’ll know about them… you know, probably as much as my parents knew about what I did.  Isn’t that how it goes?

Siena and Lucas, and well all of us, and a group of other people, were cheering him, from above, a much safer spot.  But excited to see him go down that beautiful place.  Nice ride!

Native Americans Unit: Tlingit + NW Coast :: Part 1

I wrote about our homeschooling days a bit back.  Now I’ll write a little more specific about what our Native American block has been looking like.  it’s been really fun, and thinking we would take a month or two, it has turned into a three-month block that we are all enjoying.  I will write this in two parts, because it’s been a lot of fun and we have lots of activities and photos to share.

I am basing, very loosely our studies in this book.  Mostly to see what tribes they focus on, from so many to study, and it’s our springboard to going deeper into whatever else we’d like to study.

That book besides the Tlingit doesn’t study any other tribe from the Northwest Coast, and living in Oregon, we wanted to study them a little more in depth.  So we did.  We spent another month studying the coastal tribes, as a group, trying to learn specifics of some of them, reading stories, myths and legends, learning about their art, and crafts and history.  So much to learn and read about.  We had a lot of fun.

We all liked the art, and the drawings that are so particular of these tribes.  So we did one project I found online on paper piecing a whale design.


I drew a whale on white paper.

DSC_0005-smallI added a few sheets of construction paper, and cut them all together, so they all stayed in the whale shape.


Then, Siena and Lucas each had a set of the whale of different colors.  They cut the whole set into pieces like a puzzle.  Making sure they keep track of ALL the pieces, and where they cut them from.  Once you cut them, the whale doesn’t look like such anymore and it’s very hard to make it make sense.  We learned that!

Then, they made a whale, with different pieces of different colors.  They were able to make quite a few whales, because there were 5 sheets of different colors.  They look really good we thought!  A fun project.

I’ve had a book of North American Indian Masks for many years.  Before I had kids.  And I never made the masks, until now.  The perfect time came.  It is a great book, because the masks are beautifully printed, full color on nice tick cardstock.  They are a little complicated, with the cutting of fine corners and thin pieces, but Lucas and Siena both did a great job.  With the folding makes them a little tricky sometimes, but makes a lot of difference looking much more real than flat (two-dimensional) ones.


We also wanted to make totem poles since they are a very important part of the tribes in this area.  Beautiful, and really amazing work.  We read lots of books about them.  Fiction and non-fiction.  And we talked about how fun it would be to have a totem pole in our backyard, or maybe carve one in wood in a smaller scale.


But we realized that there was so much to learn, so many other projects and fun activities, and we thought we needed to practice on simpler projects before tackling something like that.  So we decided to make a paper totem pole instead.



I found these drawings online, of Native American’s designs, and it was so much fun to color them and cut them, and then make our own totem pole.

A hike

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Last weekend we went to Eagle Creek. We go there every fall to see the salmon run, but have never gone pass too much further.  This day we went ahead for a little hike.



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We started after it had rain a little, but it wasn’t bad.  It was muddy and slippery at the beginning, and worried me a little about what was to come, if we were climbing up at all.

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But it turned into less of a mud after a while.  It was a winter-perfect e day in Portland, the sun almost peeking through at times.  Such a beautiful day.

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It is this rain what makes this place, such a beautiful, amazing place.

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And after 2 miles in, we found ourselves seeing a beautiful fall. Punchball Falls.



DSC_0095-small DSC_0065-small DSC_0079-small   A fun morning.

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:: this moment ::

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule



If you’d like to leave a comment and a link to your moment, we would love to see it. Have a beautiful day.  Thank you for coming to see us!

Wild geese

Wild Geese:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
― Mary Oliver

And here she is, reading this poem.  A beautiful woman.

:: right now ::

We are in the middle of winter but there are reminders in our days that spring is coming. The days are getting longer.  The garden is very slowly waking up. The sun is coming our way.

Right now I am:

:: happy to see this card every day, every time I sit down on my desk.


:: loving the sun-shining we’ve had.



:: seeing the bees enjoying the sun too.


:: enjoying music from my college years…

:: wondering if I have changed as much as he has in all these years…



:: not wondering anymore…

:: enjoying the new ironing board cover I made few weeks ago.  We’ve had the same board for 19 years, and the cover was… let’s say ‘the original.’  As you can imagine, not in the best shape.  I dreaded ironing, just because it was stained and faded…  I made this cover with some fabric I had in my stash found thrifting long ago, and needing to be used for the perfect the project.  I love the fresh new look.  Much more fun!


:: loving this fabric from my stash.  I’ve had it for few years… and now I’ using it for a new project.  Fun!


:: wondering if I’m waiting for spring or just noticing it.  I like it when it comes, but usually I like the winter months.

:: enjoying making smoothies with the fruits we picked last summer.  From raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and elderberries.

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:: excited I went back to the thrift store to find this loom.  An Ashford table loom.  I saw it when I was searching for a shelf, and after carrying it around (and not finding a shelf) left it there not knowing if it was complete.  Came home to look online (I know, I don’t own one of those smart phones) to see if it was missing any parts.  I went back to the store and bought it.  It looks like we got everything!  I’ve been figuring out how to get started!


:: impressed at this work, from someone in our house who doesn’t do many crafts. DSC_0034-small

:: enjoying and trying to get up a little earlier these days.

:: trying really hard to keep us healthy, cold-free as long as we can!


:: cherishing this smile and this moment…



:: enjoying having time with my sewing machine.


:: caught off balance when I find one of my hairs in my clothes.  They’ve been mostly grey ones these days…

:: loving that Siena asked me to make her a new hat.   It’s always fun to have a reason to make something new, right?


:: glad we brought this little otter we found at the beach on our trip last month.


:: smiling at the coincidence of both Lucas and Siena losing their tooth within ten seconds of each other the other evening.  A first one in our home!


What are you doing right now?  Hope you have a fun day.


Mark brought me this CD from the library few weeks ago, and I’ve been listening to it.  I love Silvio Rodriguez, and have few of his CDs from a long time ago (college and high school years.)  But they’ve been tucked away for a while.  We tend to get stuck on listening some of the same music for a while, maybe you are the same way.

This CD, has brought me many hours of company lately while typing here my posts, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, or sewing.  But those songs have also brought back so many memories.

Living here in the US for my adult life, sometimes it’s hard to find things to remind me of my “previous life.”  I don’t have a lot of connections here.  All my childhood friends, parents and most of all my relatives, all live in Chile.  No school memories, or even college memories for that matter!  I came here, married, in my twenties, with a new life, ready to start this new adult life.

Having this thing (music) that can take me back 20, 25 years back, to a different time, a different country, continent, a different place, a different life, just in few minutes of singing, it’s pretty funny, and pretty awesome.  I find amazing how your brain can do that.  Something so simple like this, can bring so many feelings and memories.

So now I am ‘getting stuck’ on listening my old CDs. (OK, I know I am dating myself here and sharing too much probably about not moving forward with technology, by saying I listen to CDs instead of having and MP3 player, but oh well…) It’s fun.

And in searching online, I found these great videos of Silvio Rodriguez’s latest concerts and another one of ‘back when.’  Seeing him in concert would be fun to do.  Maybe some day he might just come up this way to sing… though difficult being from Cuba.  But yes, thanks to today’s technology (internet and such), it’s really fun to be able to be there in a sense.


And I think his voice is as good as it was when I was in my college years.

:: this moment ::

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule


If you’d like to leave a comment and a link to your moment, we would love to see it. Have a beautiful day.  Thank you for coming to see us!