It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Woodland, tartan, chalkboard Christmas decor mood board

I know!  I know!  It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet and I’m already talking about Christmas!  My mind went straight to Christmas the day after Halloween.  I’m planning on going all out this year and turning this house into a Christmas wonderland!  I’m going with a Tartan Plaid – Woodland theme with lots of greenery, lots of pillows and lots of soft and cozy texture.

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on Christmas pillows

And now I’m off to finish sewing a zillion pillows so I can turn this place into a Christmas wonderland by the end of the week.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



The Christmas Village

A few weeks ago, I randomly came across a picture of a beautiful, sparkling, magical, lit up Christmas Village on Pinterest and I fell in lovel!  Then, I remembered that I have a few unpainted houses that my Mom bought for me about thirty years ago and I actually found them in the garage!

Unpainted plaster Christmas village houses by California Creations

Unfortunately, the company that made these, California Creations, went out of business over ten years ago but they released a new collection of houses every year for about fifteen years.  Luckily, I’ve been able to find a zillion of these houses on eBay and I’ve been having so much fun hunting them down!  Very quickly, my small village of four houses rescued from the garage has become a bustling city of thirty two adorable little houses and shops with a Cavzilla guarding over them…..

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sitting by unpainted Christmas Village

It’s taking me FOREVER to paint each house but I’m having so much fun doing it.  I actually painted and shaded each individual, teeny, tiny brick on this one and used six different colors so it would look more realistic.

Hand painted Christmas village house

There’s still a lot of work left to do on this one but I’m so in love with how my soft, faded, shabby chic brick turned out that I had to show an “In Progress” photo!   One house halfway done!  Thirty one more to go!


P.S.  If anyone knows where I can get some of these houses other than eBay and etsy, please let me know!  They’re sold under the name California Creations or Creative Crafts and the average size is about 5″.


Heat Wave

A major heat wave was in the forecast a few weeks ago……so, instead of suffering through 110 degree temps, we packed up the dogs and headed to cool and cloudy Carmel, California for a few days.

Betsy got to see the beach for the first time EVER and she loved it!  So much to see and smell and so many places to dig, dig, DIG!
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels on beach in Carmel, California

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels on beach in Carmel, California
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy on beach in Carmel, California
We enjoyed slow, lazy, cool mornings in front of the fireplace on the outdoor patio at The Cypress Inn…..
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on patio in Carmel, California
We went sweater shopping so these two cuties would stay toasty warm during the cold, foggy evenings…..
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in American flag sweaters in Carmel, California
We had some amazing dinners at incredible restaurants and Betsy learned how to be a proper, little lady!!!  All she needs now is a strand of pearls to complete her classy look!
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in sweater at Casanova in Carmel, California
And these two realized it’s exhausting to play on the beach, shop at doggy boutiques and be ooohed and aaahed over by a zillion strangers.
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels sleeping in sweaters
It’s a ruff life!



The 50th Birthday

A few weeks ago we took a vacation to celebrate John’s 50th birthday.  We packed up Baxter and Betsy and flew off in his little red plane without much of a plan.

The first night we stopped in Bend, OR.  We had wanted to make it to Washington but after I started crying over a little turbulence we decided to call it a day.  Being in a giant tin can zooming through space while being held up by air molecules is scary! Anyway…….Bend, OR – you were great and I hope to see you again soon!

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at Deschutes in Bend, Oregon

The next day we flew up to Bellingham, WA and stayed with some friends who have a house on the lake.  It was absolutely beautiful. The dogs got to run and play and frolic in the water and we got to totally relax for a few days.

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looking at lake in Bellingham, Washington

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel shaking head at lake in Bellingham, Washington

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels playing on shore of lake Bellingham, Washington

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels on dock in Bellingham, Washington

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel swimming in lake in Bellingham, Washington

And finally, we flew off to Sonoma for a few days of wine tasting, eating and exploring vineyards.  I kept telling John that it was the best “Not My 50th Birthday Trip” EVER!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in red, RV8 plane

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels running through Sonoma, California vineyard

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looking at scenery at vineyard in Sonoma, California

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels at beautiful Sonoma, California vineyard

And if you’re wondering, the dogs do GREAT in the plane!  Baxter excitedly looks out the windows and Betsy curls up in a little ball and says “wake me up when we get there!”



My New Favorite Quilt

It seems like every quilt I make becomes my new favorite and this one is no exception.
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on scrappy quilt
But this one seems extra, super, duper special because I started it back in January when Emma was still here and she was napping and snoring at my feet as I cut and pieced every single block.  I can just feel her soul in it whenever I look at it.
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel napping on quilt in progress
And she was there as I started quilting it……and then decided I had to start over.  I was 1/4 of the way done with the quilting when I realized that there were way too many puckers and uneven stitches and the imperfections were driving me nuts.  Soooo…..I spent EIGHT hours carefully ripping out all of those less than perfect stitches.  It’s a good thing I don’t mind picking with the seam ripper and that I love NetFlix marathons.
Scrappy quilt in progress
And before I had even finished sewing the binding on, Betsy claimed it as her own.
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy on scrappy quilt
It kind of reminds me of the amazing days I spent with Emma at the beach in Florida with all it’s beautiful colors of the sand, the sea, the sky and the sea oats.  Emma LOVED the beach and I think she would have loved snoozing the day away on this quilt.
Golden Retriever and Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel walking on Florida beach

Maybe Baxter and Betsy will also be able to feel Emma’s sweet soul in this quilt as they spend many lazy afternoons napping on top of it.



The Last Four Months

So, I obviously disappeared for a little while after Emma earned her angel wings.  As you can imagine, I needed some time to grieve and adjust and regroup after her ten month cancer battle.  It’s been so incredibly hard to get used to life without Emma but I just keep reminding myself to “Live Like Emma” – be brave, be happy, be confident, be grateful, go after what you want, greet every day and every new situation with enthusiasm and live in the moment because this very moment is all that we have!  Emma was my hero and the perfect example of how to live a happy life!
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lounging on chair by swimming pool
After a few weeks, I was finally ready to start trying to live my life again and I had a few good days…..but then…….exactly one month after Emma died, Baxter became very seriously ill and was in the hospital for several days with a severe case of pancreatitis.  And I was CRUSHED yet again.  On his 3rd night in the hospital, they called in the middle of the night and I almost had a heart attack!  Don’t middle of the night phone calls always bring bad news???!!!  But no……..they were calling to tell me that Baxter started having a “prison riot” in his cage and ripped out his IV catheter and was bouncing all around and he wouldn’t stop barking and was feeling much better.  So, I rushed out in the middle of the night to bring my brave, sweet, strong, adorable baby boy HOME!
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel close up

Then, I learned of a sweet, little 4 month old Blenheim Cavalier who had been rescued from a horrible situation and needed a home.  An awful backyard breeder kept her in a tiny cage, outside, in Salt Lake City, Utah, all winter!!!  They decided they needed some quick money so they “ransomed” her off to a rescue group.  And even though it was way too soon after losing Emma, I couldn’t say no.  Especially after I heard that she would be available for adoption on March 13……the day that would have been Emma’s 9th birthday.  Wouldn’t it be just like my amazing Emma to give ME a gift on HER birthday???!!!  How could I say no to the puppy that Emma clearly wanted me to have in my life???!!!  So, say hello to Betsy……also known as Lady Elisabeth Paisley Puddingstone.  Also known as Betsy Wetsy, Queen Bess, The Tiny Queen, Punkin’ Chunkin’ Betsy Biscuit, Chunky, and Biscuit.
5 month Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy on grass
And then, Baxter decided to get sick AGAIN……but this time it was a foreign object that he ate that was very slow to pass.  It was stuck in his system and making his belly hurt for TEN days.  It ended up being an olive pit and ironically his body finally “let go” of the olive pit the day after I fed him bread soaked in olive oil in an attempt to get his system moving!
Happy blenheim Cavalier King Charles spaniel on grass
And then, Betsy developed a massive swelling under her ear and when it didn’t respond to medical treatment, we had to do surgery to find out what was going on.  We found out that she has a rare and aggressive infection called Actinomyces which is caused by a foxtail burrowing into her skin.  She’ll be on high dose antibiotics for at least 3-4 months and there may be more surgeries in her future.  But for now, she’s doing great.
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on scrappy quilt
And then, I tried to catch my breath and start living a normal life again……but you guessed it!  Something else happened…..my sweet, old cat, Cassi who would have been 21 years old next month became critically ill very suddenly last week…..she was acting completely normal one day and we were letting her go the next day.   And while I’m comforted by the fact she had such a long and happy life, it’s really hard to get used to living without someone who has been with you for so very long.
Close up of orange tabby cat in sunlight
Sooooo……I’m really, really, REALLY hoping that the second half of this year is COMPLETELY boring and uneventful!  Wish me luck!  I definitely need it!




Close up of Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on the beach

Emma peacefully earned her angel wings surrounded by her loving family on Friday, February 6, 2015.




I finally finished this quilt!  I started it about four or five years ago but kept getting distracted by other, new projects.
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on pink and green applique Hooterville owl quilt

I “unearthed” it during a major New Years clean up and organization of my craft room.  For some weird reason all of the neatness and the ability to easily see my craft supplies has inspired me to finish the projects I already have instead of starting new ones.  At least for a little while!
Preppy, pink and green fabric by Lakehouse Dry Goods
I used a bunch of my favorite preppy pink and green Lakehouse prints that I’d been hoarding for years.
Preppy, pink and green applique pieces for Hooterville quilt
And did all of the applique and most of the quilting by hand.
Preppy, pink and green owl quilt in progress
And backed it in a beautiful pink polka dot rose print by Lecien.
Preppy pink and green quilt with owls and roses
And even though I started it five years ago, I’m still going to count this as my first finish of the year!  Woo hoo!  Time to celebrate with lots of Spaniel smooches!
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on pink and green quilt

P.S.  The pattern is called Hooterville and it’s by Brandywine Designs


Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I know I’m a little bit late…..well…..I guess I’m a lot late but better late than never, right?!  What was supposed to be a quiet, lazy, stay at home kind of Christmas month turned into multiple emergency trips to Davis Vet Hospital (3.5 hours away!) because Emma developed severe eye problems due to her cancer spreading.  After many visits to specialists and a zillion eye drops and lots of extra snuggles and kisses, we were able to save her eye only to find out that the cancer is spreading rapidly and there’s nothing else we can do for her.
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in red Christmas sweater on snow

But in the midst of all that chaos we were still able to have a few quiet days at home and even take a magical Christmas Eve day trip to some mountains about two hours away from home where the dogs got to see snow for the FIRST TIME!  They LOVED it and Emma ran and played and explored and was full of energy and joy!
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels playing by lake in Sierra Nevadas
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that your new year is full of health and happiness!
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sleeping under Christmas tree


Blog Design by Get Polished