December 27, 2010

Backyard Birding

Over the holidays my dad brought with him a really nice canon EOS 30D camera with tons of lens and accessories.  We've been testing it out in the backyard and have been capturing lots of bird activity in the yard.  Here are some of the awesome pictures we've taken so far.

This little birdy is an Anna's Hummingbird. Thanks to gardening all year long in the Willamette Valley, these little guys winter over in this area. Thats why its important not to take your feeders down, so that these guys can survive the winter. See how bright his fushia marking is?  I've never seen a hummingbird this striking.
Anna's Hummingbird
 This forsythia bush doesn't usually bloom until February/March but since we had a cold snap early on and the tempertures have been pretty mild lately it has tricked itself into blooming early in December
Forsythia bud at night in December

Another Anna's hummingbird.  This one is a female and has been coming to the feeder everyday this winter.

This Junco was hanging out on the roof of this bird feeder.  Juncos migrate to the Willamette Valley for the fall and winter months and then leave during Spring and Summer.

A lesser goldfinch at a nyjer thistle sock feeder

This cute log cabin bird feeder was a Christmas present from Oz's brother and sister in law.  I love it so much.  Soon I am going to make a pole to set it on and create an elaborate feeder station.  This bird feeder has inspired many other creative bird feeding ideas for this Spring.

This Junco is already putting his new feeder to good use.

My favorite gnomie, Albus (yes, I named my gnome after a Harry Potter character)

Christmas photos

I know its a few days after Christmas but since my dad is in town I haven't had much time to blog about what I've been up to lately.  So here are a few pictures of Christmas and a few decorations.  I didn't do much decorating this year but it was a great Holiday season none the less.

Below are some pictures from the Christmas Eve party at Oz's cousin's house.
Notice that his hat has lights on it!  My grandma made this sweatshirt years ago.  I love the puff paint santas.

My dad and I

 A few of the nephews while opening presents from Santa

Here are pictures of our table top tree.  I found a metal bucket and filled it with rocks to keep the tree in place.  It turned out to be really cute.  We didn't add many decorations only because I was unwilling to dig through the storage unit to find our Christmas decorations  (lazy me...)  It still turned out pretty adorable.  After the New Year I want to place the tree outside and cover it with birdseed pinecone treats for the birds.
Table top tree

My favorite ornament this year

I love this owl tree topper

My new curtains from Ikea

These pictures are from Christmas morning after the destruction.  The bunnies had a blast running under and through all the paper and boxes.  They found some Christmas treats hidden within the mess of wrapping paper.
Cocoa and Oreo found some treats

I love my little bunny boy

She's so curious

December 25, 2010

Todd the Tim Rex

Tim wearing is new dinosaur apron
Last weekend was our staff party. Every year we do a secret santa gift exchange.  For my gift  I made a custom dinosaur apron for my boss's husband Tim.  I named the apron Todd the Tim Rex.  I guess I should give you a background story on how Todd was born. 

At work the day of our open house we were instructed to put on new, clean aprons.  Susan (our boss) tried to get her husband Tim to wear an apron.  Tim does not like to wear aprons, instead he usually wears a shirt with dinoaurs on it.

So I said, "would you wear an apron if it had a dinosaur on it?" 

"Perhaps....I shouldn't have said that,"  -Tim

And then my mind got to working on how I could make him a dinoaur apron, bought some fabric, used an old apron as a guide, and there you have it, the story of how Todd was born.

Below are some highlights of past Christmas parties

2008 we dressed as a fireplace (me), a Christmas present (Kaite), and a Christmas tree (Megan)

2009 we dressed as a gnome (me again), an elf (Amy), and Ms. Clause (Megan)
As a side note, our store has an on going joke about the elves invading the gnomes territory during the holiay season.  We thought it would be funny to show up to the party as a gnome that got hog tied by a Christmas elf and was dragged to the restaurant....There were a lot of funny looks from other tables in the restaurant.

December 18, 2010

December so far

Its been a very busy month so far.  I haven't had any time to work on projects worth blogging about.  Currently I am working on a secret santa present for our staff party tomorrow night.  I should be done tonight and post another blog. 

Tomorrow morning my dad flies in from Mexico.  I haven't seen him since graduation 2 1/2 years ago.  I can't wait to see him.  After picking him up we're going to IKEA.  Love it!  And then I'm dragging him to the Chtristmas party tomorrow night.

Other than that I've just been getting ready for Chirstmas and buying the last few gifts.  I've also been cleaning like mad the last few days and thats about it.  Not too exciting around these parts.  Right now I am looking out the window and watching all the bird action in the yard.  There are three little hummingbirds that are wintering over.  They are so fast.  My dad is bringing some pretty nice cameras with him...hopefully I can get some good shots of the birds with it.  There is one that has the most striking hood. 

Any hoot, thats about all for now.  I'll have more craft projects soon!

December 03, 2010

Civil War

This is what happens when critters in the garden take sides
This Weekend is the Civil War game between the Oregon State Beavers and the Oregon Ducks.  Our store is duing our part to promote the game and our holiday party by giving away daffodil and tulip bulbs.  The elf represents the Little brother beaver team and the Gnome represents the Big brother duck team.  Personally, I can't decide who I'm supporting.  On one hand, it would be awesome to see the Ducks remain undefeated, however I did attend OSU and it would be thrilling to see the Beavers defeat the No. 2 team in the Nation.  As long as both teams play well I think it will be an exciting game to watch.

December 01, 2010

I Heart Gingies

This Christmas I love snowmen and Gingies!  What are gingies you ask?  Gingerbread men of course!  I don't know why I started calling them gingies, but I can't stop. My friends tell me it sounds like a dirty word.  I disagree, I think it captures the essence of the gingerbread man. I love them so much I am making us all gingie stockings for Christmas.  I also put them on sale on my etsy site along with my chickadee stockings so everyone can have a fun stocking this year.   Go to to see my designs.  Happy Holidays!

This is the first stocking I made.  I cut the gingie out of felt and hand stitched him on.  He has button eyes and a big loving heart.

These two stockings are so cute together

My family of mini gingies!

I love this material.  I bought it a few years ago but keep buying more because I think it is so cute.  I've found tons of uses for it so far.  I hope they don't stop making it.  I don't know what I'd do without my gingies.

Favorite Time of the Year

November through December is my favorite time of year.  I love the cold weather, the fresh apple cider, the snow, Christmas songs and all the Christmas cheer.  I especially love working at the garden center this year.  I spend three weeks preparing for the Holiday season.  Its a lot of work involved but it always looks so beautiful.  This year I went overboard making the fireplace display and decorating the greenhouse.  Here are some of the highlights of what I've been working on at the store.   Pictured above is  the greenhouse when you first walk through the doors.  You walk through a lit archway of garland and at either side are rows of poinsettias and at the end is a poinsettia tree raised above the "snow".

 Looking down the aisle the beautiful Poinsettias really stand out over a blanket of buffalo snow.

Rows and rows of poinsettias line the greenhouse.  They come in tons of colors I didn't even know existed.
We also hung garland and Christmas lights above the poinsettias this year.  It looks beautiful at night when all the other lights are off.

I hung empty hanging baskets filled wit presents above the poinsettias.  They add a perfect touch of the Holidays to the greenhouse.

My favoirte poinsettia...the Shimmer surprise.

The original owner of the store, Walt, owns a 1925 model T.  We had to push it 4 blocks down the street and then backed it into the back of the greenhouse.  We had Santa Walt come down last weekend to take pictures with families and people with pets in front of the model T and inside the store in front of the fireplace.

This is one of our photos we used in our store newsletter to let our customers know about Santa Walt coming to our store.

Here He is with the Schmidt's Girls

This is inside the store in front of the fireplace.  We had beautiful angel and reindeer statues on display. (I really want to put the bunnies in the sleigh...)

The Schmidt's Crew in front of the fireplace.  This is another photo we used in our newsletter.
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