24 December 2009

our christmas card this year...

It’s been a year full of fun (trips to the coast, mountains & Portland),

love (11th anniversary),

beginnings (kindergarten!),

art (Merra is very liberal with what she considers a canvas),

crafts (always with the crafts:),

activities (soccer, running, ballet, hockey (well, he tried it…), baseball, swimming),

heartbreak (we miss you, Don),

small victories (no trips to the ER in 2009, she typed with 15 days left in the year & hope in her heart),

big victories (Brian’s first half marathon!)

& huge victories (Go Ducks!).

Through it all we have continued to just

laugh when things are funny,

cry when things are sad

& hold on to each other.

What else are you gonna do, right? :)

This Christmas & in 2010 we hope that you keep the people who aren’t here in your heart with good memories

& that you love the people who are

near you the best way you can.

God bless you & your family,

always with love…

The Gulkas

Brian, emily, Quinn & Merra


i had so many projects & pictures i wanted
to show you all before christmas
but as usual i'm off doing stuff instead of posting about it :)
maybe next week...
maybe next year...


have a wonderful weekend!


21 December 2009

how i'm spending my christmas vacation: as the dvd spins

friday........night: harry potter & the half blood prince (first 38 minutes)
saturday...afternoon: freaky friday (lindsey lohan at her finest)
.................night: harry potter & the half blood prince (last 115 minutes)
sunday...afternoon: you've got mail
...............evening: the santa clause (with the kiddos..oh, tim allen!)
...............night: funny people
monday...morning: the holiday
................afternoon: the santa clause

note: all adult (PG & R-ish) movies that are viewed
during child awake hours
are watched by me, emily ruth,
on a laptop when i am relatively alone
(rest time, folding laundry, organizing my art space, making stuff)
& paused when my kids enter the room...
though i do know all of the 'afternoon movies' forward & back
so i know when it's okay to leave it running
(meg & tom are chatting online)
& when i need to lunge for the pause
(hugh & is discovering renee's absolutely enormous panties (3:40))
it's rather amusing to watch me dive for the space bar,
i would imagine...
(i've been hearing some lovely british accents lately,
can you tell?)


17 December 2009

focus! focus! focus!

blurry or not
it's clear to me...
this is what makes the holidays.


thankfully, there are some photos
that are in focus
& don't make our kids look like they
need to sit under a bilirubin light...

11 December 2009

the measure of a tree...

so i had a little idea...rolling around in my head
for a week or two...
& finally i found the time to try it out
(it was 2am, but you know, i found it...)

so here it is
my little crafty christmas ode
to the teachers in my life...

i'm selling it
& another in my little etsy shop...
pop on in, if you find a few minutes
(hopefully way before (or way after) 2am :)

here's to finding the time
to do what's rolling around inside our heads...


09 December 2009

et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...

this is how my nights have been looking...

craft of choice
(fabric, wood, paper, etc...)

tools to manipulate craft of choice
(sewing machine, glue gun, scissors, etc..)

always some ric-rak nearby
(it makes every thing cuter, sweeter, funner, etc...)

(hidden from elves, husbands, passers-by etc...)

gilmore girls on the laptop
(season one, season two, season three etc...)

keeping me up until all hours
(1am, 2am, 3am, etc...)

making me super full
(of happiness, inspiration, dark chocolate covered raisins, etc....)


this last weekend was a busy one
& full of fun!
two sales, three classes & a photo shoot!
photos soon...


01 December 2009

in control (top)...

i heart tights.

(even if they're not always straight)

confidential to girls who aren't tiny:
fred meyer has tights for you!
they are long
& expandable (nicer than saying wide?)
& cute!
& not a billion dollar$$$$$

confidential to girls on a budget:
i haven't had tights in so long...
they seemed like a luxury
(hello pooooor girl)
but the day after christmas they were half off
so i went for it & hello cute!
i should have bought a few more...
in retrospect this 'confidential to'
is not that helpful since they were only
half price the day after christmas
but fm does do coupons a lot i have noticed...
i never use them, but i might just have to start...

confidential to people who are not girls:
i don't really have anything for you here
unless you want to buy your girl some tights...
sorry, maybe next post...


ps shoes & skirt (which you can't really even see
but i want to mention anyway)
are both from goodwill...
another heart.


30 November 2009

come over...

this weekend...
we're playing...
(three super fun projects to choose from)
we're shopping...
(a sparkly, sweet wonderland of vintage & crafty fun)
& we would love to see you!


26 November 2009

who wouldn't be?

things to be thankful for?
i've got a few...

i'm thankful for this boy's tenacity
because even though some days when it's not my favorite trait
(like when he asks 'now can i watch scooby doo?'
for the 48th time in a row)
it amazes me how he can put together a whole
lego set in one sitting,
or can make up an entire new civilization of stormtroopers & ogers...
& i know that as he grows it's the thing that's
going to help him get through crazy amounts of homework
& college applications
& i bet it will help him to get the girl, too :)
& so for this boy i am thankful
he teaches me that being focused & having a goal
is important & admirable & really pretty cool :)
i'm thankful for this girl's zest for life!
everything she does, she does with enthusiasm
(fits & tantrums included...go big or go home:)
she sings & dances as she lives her life...
her room is a treasure trove of rainbows & glitter...
& when she gets the urge to draw or paint
watch out.
no surface is safe.
we have gone through so many mr. clean magic erasers
& so much carpet cleaner we could have our own aisle at target
& a big part of me wishes we lived in a house where
she could just have free reign to paint & draw all over the walls...
i do worry that we are stifling her when she gets in trouble
for expressing herself creatively...but maybe that's another blog post
the guilt day post, not the thanksgiving day post :)
& so for this girl i am thankful that she is her full self without apology
(though we are working on the apologizing...believe me.
not for being herself, of course,
but for calling her brother a 'chi-chi head'
(her own made up swear word), yes)
she shows me that anytime is a good time to be you...

i am thankful for this man's ability to just be real...
his yearning to know God, not just hear about him & sing & leave
is so inspiring to me...
he gets up at 5am every wednesday to meet with his group of guys
& study the bible & learn more & discuss & figure things out...
in july his best friend died & he's been struggling
but he's also been working through it
not ignoring it, or stuffing the feelings down because they are difficult.
he has always been very much himself
& can spot a poser from a mile away
& i have always really appreciated that about him
but this year in particular
as he has struggled & asked & wondered & questioned
& said 'if not now, when?'...
& so for this man i am thankful
that he shows me that asking the tough questions doesn't hurt for long
& that just being yourself is better
& that if you want to run a half marathon, do it
even if you're really sick :)

& one more thing i'm thankful for?
a little family that does craft projects together...
i mean really?
could i ask for anything more?

oh & one more...
i'm thankful for you guys
comment or not
it's fun to know you're out there...
& i know you're out there :)

happy thanksgiving, loves!


ps i am thankful for my camera.
i am thankful for my camera.
i am thankful that i have a camera.
even if it is taking blurry shots right now.

24 November 2009

let the river run...

on saturday morning we bundled up
packed up the signs we had secretly drawn
& made our way down to the race course
that circled the willamette river
to watch this guy run his first half marathon...
check him out!
mile 7 & all smiles & handsomeness!
you would have never known that the two days
previous he had been sick in bed, ill & sleeping through the days
(one day he said 'i'm not feeling well, i'm going to go rest'
to which Q replied 'rest in peace!'
ha ha! hope not!)
but before the illness fell upon him he had been training...
reading & eating the right stuff
& training so faithfully with his friend, todd
(who does 50K's. yes, you read that right)
& so he wasn't about to let a little bug keep him from
finishing his first half marathon...
& he did it!
& he finished!
& he did great
& though he felt awful later in the day
it was tempered by the fact that he had run his first half marathon!
(& the ducks crazy-amazing win later that night
helped things out a bit, too:)
great job, buddy!
you're so awesome...


ps we also got to see my friend heather who did the half
& angie & erin who did the 10K...nice going girlies!
you rock!

(& angie, the title of this post was chosen expressly for you...
belt it, sister :)

13 November 2009

shop a little, rest a little


i'm organizing a little sale...
because what's the point of
having a holiday season that's
calm & quiet?
maybe someday i will find out,
but not this year...

& actually i'm working on another party/class/sale right now, too
& i will let you know about it really soon!
i've got a few things going...

& even though i'm making it sound
maybe like i would rather not be doing this
or it's too much
on the list of things i would love to spend my days doing,
planning & organizing events & parties
would be right behind
hanging out with my family & friends...
i loooooove to plan :)

& coincidentally
i get to hang out with some friends this weekend
this little group
is headed to sea...
ahhh la mer,
to cast our nets into the waves & bring in our dinner...
we are going to the coast
to laze around
& eat whatever the heck is within arms reach.

thank you, jesus, for friends to be yourself with
& husbands who are happy (& willing)
to have a weekend alone with the 22 kids
(that's total, not each :)
for proof check this post

see you soon...
& maybe sooner if someone has a laptop.
i haven't even checked...
might be unplugged all weekend
wonder how that feels...


11 November 2009

think ink...

my sister made a good point that
maybe it's time to get a make-up kit...


ps i've been making stuff for the last few weeks
for this fun sale at colby cottage
if you're a eugenie you should go see the holiday cuteness
thursday at 4
& then all day friday & saturday
click on the link
for the address...

here's a few of the things i've been working on...


09 November 2009

hooray for play!

oh what a fun time we had on saturday...
when jill & i started come play:
this sort of day was exactly what we had in mind...
a room full of cool, talented women
excited to make something
(not super concerned about actually finishing it that day :)
yummy food
& projects that inspired creativity & joy...
one thing that we decided along the way was
to ask different people to teach for us
we wanted to have artists that people knew
(lucky for us we know ali :)
& friends who we know are super talented that
we needed our play friends to know about, like michelle...
at some point last year i decided to throw caution to the wind
& ask a super inspiring, super well known,
super i had no idea what she would say girl
to teach for us
so i emailed, miss alicia paulson, of posie gets cozy
& thus began a series of emails & phone calls (fun!)
with someone who is as funny & sweet in person as she is in words on her blog
which up to our lovely, lovely last weekend...

come read about it over here
& see if you can't join us next time...
it was just a fabulous way to spend a day...



07 November 2009

sharing soon...

i am super excited to share pictures
& words about what happened today
at this little event...
& tomorrow
i will.


06 November 2009

found on friday: boy, oh boy

(& how do you eat YOUR breakfast cheesecake?)

what a fun morning i had with my Q...
he had school off & miss m didn't
so we had a little date...
much better than estate sales!
really :)


05 November 2009


this is by j.otto
the great artist who did
olive the other reindeer
i love that book
i used to sell it when i was a rep for chronicle books...
it's just so cute :)

i read an interview with j. on
the inspiration boards blog
a little while ago
& i loved this print...


04 November 2009

not playing...

i've been hearing & reading & thinking so much
lately about just being yourself
breaking down the little walls
that we so easily build up
hiding who we really are behind smiles
& pearl necklaces
so that we can look like we've got it all together
& love to wear our pearl necklaces
& then we look at each other
& think that everyone else has it all together
& loves their pearl necklaces
so we just keep pretending to have it all together
while we choke on our pearl necklaces...

well, guess what?
i don't have it all together
& while a pearl necklace would be just fine
some days i want to wear one with daisies on it
& some days i don't want to wear one at all...
& that is really just fine...

it's hard to pretend like you have it all together
very tiring
& i wish it was easier to be honest about how
we are really feeling...
the balance is so hard
because i don't want to always paint on a smile
but i also don't want to be that person that
people are like
'uh oh
look out for her
she tells you how she REALLY FEELS'
or maybe i do...

i read from this great book
by brennan manning each morning
& last week the page was about no more games
& just being open to being honest
& of course i had to make a 'no more games' game board...

so grab your friends
grab some snacks
grab the dice
& roll it...
you never know
those pearl necklaces might just fall right off...


03 November 2009


"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely."~ Henry Ford

"There is no failure except in no longer trying. "
~ Elbert Hubbard

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
~ Michael Jordan

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. "
~ Sir Winston Churchill

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail."
~ Confucius

& so
even though
i failed,
on the second day.

even though
i thought about my post,
all day yesterday.

even though
i have great photos trapped in my camera,
just waiting to be posted.

i will heed the words
of confucius & michael jordan,
& i will rise again...

(more silly posters like this at dispair.com)


01 November 2009


that's right.
i'm gonna do it.
go big or go home i say
or someone says...


30 October 2009

the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the...pizza!?!

i wanted to show you a quick, fun little halloween
dinner thingy that i did last year
that Q has brought up every once in a while
since then
(forgive me if my sentencing is horrific
it's halloween!
& it is 1:43 am
& i just wanted to get this written
& up...
i can't even post it until 7 or so
but i wanted to at least type it out...
maybe i should have waited...
hello loopy loo!)

make your little web with shredded cheese...

& then invite little olive spider friends to hop on...
easy peasy on top of cheesy...

have a great, spooky, goofy, sweet, crazy-fun halloween...

i saw this idea in a magazine last fall...
woman's day?
family fun?
better homes?
one of those.....

22 October 2009

first page...

i have a little row of these note books
in my closet
they are all the same type
different colors & styles
but the same
hard cover
three subject
pocket divider
elastic closure
spiral bound
& if target ever stops carrying them
i am screwed.
because i am i love with them...
(they don't have MINE :) on their website
dirty dogs
but they do have this one
pretty funny...)

when i was a sales rep
the secretary for the rep group
had a notebook
that she just wrote everything down in
& she never ripped a page out of it
so she could look back if she needed to
& i loved that...
so that's what i do too.
i write
quick grocery lists
great quotes
phone numbers
to do lists
books titles
my sermon sketches
funny things my kids say
use it for drawing paper for the kids in a pinch
& on & on...
it's a total archive of my days...
archive of a woman on a roller coaster
& pretty happy about it
(new blog title?)

each time i start one
i write just a few words on the first page
related to whatever is happening right then...
nothing too straight forward
(me? never!)
just maybe the feelings i'm having
or an encouragement...
this one
in the middle-ish end of october
is all about working on my
christmas classes
& stuff i'm making to sell at holiday sales...
it's a good thing.


if you can't read it
& want to
you can click on the picture
& it will get bigger...
much bigger...

18 October 2009

found on friday: measure by measure

i love a country estate sale
& this was a cute little one
about 20 miles south in pleasant hill...

& yes, i do have some plans for those rulers
stay tuned...