December 28, 2011

Christmas and a robin rescue

my boys' handiwork
I'm thankful for a good Christmas, and hope you had a good one, too! I shipped plenty of packages in December, thanks to my customers, and I am still excited about how fast it is to print postage online and just deposit the boxes at the post office, no waiting! I hope everyone is very pleased with their new pieces.

My husband, boys, and I spent Christmas with my parents. We enjoyed some lazy, unhurried days at my childhood home in the country near Astoria, Oregon. Weather ranged from clear and crisp to wet and windy. One morning, while it was still dark, I was woken by a very loud owl, something that doesn't happen where we live! We mostly hung out at the house, my boys putting together new LEGO sets by the warm wood stove, and us eating good meals (that I didn't have to cook!) and far too much delicious chocolate. The kids tried out stringing popcorn, and helped cut out and frost sugar cookies. We also walked along the Columbia River, visited RiverSea Gallery, and patronized the Ship Inn (home of wonderful English style fish and chips) for my older son's birthday lunch. I hit the local bead shop Terra Stones (formerly Bronze Koi Beads) and came home with a few neat finds that will show up in jewelry in the coming year.

my kids playing with new toys
nothing beats playing with new toys by the cozy fire in pajamas!

And what better way to end the holiday season, than with our own little feel-good story?

On our way back home yesterday, we stopped at a store. When we were about to get back in the truck, my younger son and I both noticed a bird in trouble. A robin had heavy thread wrapped around both its feet and was tangled in the branch of a nearby bush, hanging upside down. Being animal lovers, and knowing we would have some idea of what to do, we couldn't just leave it there. My husband carefully wrapped his denim shirt around the bird to cover and hold it, which kept us safe and the bird calm. I cut the threads bit by bit. The bird appeared to be in good condition, and when we opened the shirt after finishing, the robin quickly flew away. There weren't many people around, so we were glad to be there and help. We imagine it was very happy to be free and get back to its family before bad weather hit that night!

Below are some photos from our Christmas visit. Enjoy!

mud hens at high tide on the Columbia River photo copyright 2011 by Jennifer Kistler
mud hens at high tide

sunny winter afternoon in the Pacific Northwest photo copyright 2011 by Jennifer Kistler
a lovely winter day in the Pacific Northwest

walking on old railroad tracks
walking the tracks (which haven't been used since trees fell across them in the big storm of 2007)

stormy afternoon rain on the window photo copyright 2011 by Jennifer Kistler
a stormy afternoon

December 7, 2011

Jack Frost

oak tree in the fog photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011
Wow, how did it get to be December already? Our tree is decorated and the lights are on the house, but my blog needs to catch up! I want to post to my blog more often, but then I'm afraid I don't have enough to say. (If you know me in person, I know that will sound ridiculous to you!) It's not that I lack thoughts or words, I just worry they are not blog-worthy that day. But I'm here to announce that I'm kicking that idea out of my head, and for better or worse, I'm going to post what I come up with more often! Some days may just be links to Etsy treasuries I like, or other blog posts I enjoyed, or simple comments or photos, and I will also continue to give you the occasional peek into my studio and keep you updated on my work.

Today I want to talk about the weather. I know, shallow topic, but yesterday we had very odd weather here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. I used to hear that if there's fog, there can't be ice, but I already knew that wasn't true. If you still think that's true, yesterday's weather will disprove that theory once and for all.

The photos I'm sharing were taken around 2pm yesterday, though they look more like a foggy morning. This was the first time I have seen fog and frost last all day. It was cold and never got very bright, a little taste of what I imagine it's like to live in the Arctic Circle in winter. Okay, I know it's nothing even close to that, but that's what it made me think of. The fog and frost just did not want to let go. Yesterday was also the first time I have set out to purposely take photos in the fog. I've seen some fabulous ones, just never thought to take any myself. These were all taken right in my neighborhood. I love how the oak tree by my kids' school (and our church) looks a bit eerie through the fog, and the frost really brings out the design of the spiderweb.

frosty spiderweb photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011

frost on plants in foggy field photo copyright Jennifer Kistler 2011