Monday, January 13, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Campbell Christmas Letter 2013

This year, we decided to crowdsource the family Christmas letter.  Each member of our family was randomly assigned to write about another family member.  Here’s what we came up with:

Scott (by Jerome) - Scott Campbell, patriarch of the Ohki-Campbell household, is currently employed as the president of Decagon Devices, a position which he has held for a little over two years.  His main athletic achievement for the year was finishing a half-ironman triathlon.  Unfortunately, your correspondent was unable to witness this endeavor because Scott’s wife didn’t want her children to be present when he was in “racemode”.  In preparation for the family’s Oregon Coast trip, he painted the family travel trailer, transforming its surface from a dingy off-white to a brilliant pearl sheen.  The only downside to this project was that your correspondent had to assist with the sanding of the trailer’s surface prior to painting.  His passion for cooking has continued, resulting in the perfection of “sauce-ome” (sauce+awesome), which can make any old hunk of meat into a first-class meal.

Marie (by Scott) - My wonderful wife continues to make the Young Women’s organization run smoothly, mostly by keeping the girls well-fed with cookies during the last hour of church each week.  Upon re-assembling her sewing area after last year’s renovations, she fueled her insane quilting sessions with web-streamed episodes of “This American Life”.  I convinced her that buying a road bike was a good idea.  She sometimes rides it on a trainer indoors, but I think she’s still pretty skeptical about the whole thing.  Marie sometimes reprises her role as home “creative director”, most recently as the master-mind of a stairs wainscotting project.

Jerome (by Asha) - This year Jerome turned 14, and started 9th grade at Pullman High.  Every morning, he wakes up at 6 am on his own to head to early morning seminary.  While not busy with school and cross-country, he loves to watch BBC’s “Dr. Who”, which he has hooked me on as well.  He also makes small-scale props from Dr. Who using cardboard, balsa wood, and hot glue.  He enjoys choir at school, and this year was the first freshman from PHS accepted to All-State Choir. 

Asha (by Quinn) - Asha has a door alarm.  I think she likes it because if someone tries to steal something from her room, she knows, unless she’s at school.  Asha started middle school and Young Women this year.  Asha likes gymnastics.  She gets lots of medals.  Asha likes Taylor Swift, but she listens to it so much that I get a little tired of it.  Asha plays pretty music on the piano.  She practices all the time.  I like the song she’s learning now.  It’s the hard one that has a note that is hard to reach - “River Flows in You”.

Kai (by Marie) - If you want something done and you can convince Kai to do it, he will deliver.  Incidentally, that’s one of the first things Scott’s mom told me about him.  If you are Kai’s younger brother, luck is on your side.  He will share everything and let you in on all his adventures.  In fact, Quinn wanted to invite all of Kai’s friends to his birthday party because he always includes Quinn when he has friends over.  Since I know Kai to be a boy who hates sitting still, I’ve been surprised that he likes school, and proudly lays out tests and papers for me to admire when he gets home from school.  He is often busy building something with Lego bricks.  His favorite bedtime activity is listening to books read by Scott, with his favorite being “The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear”.  This is actually one of the only times Kai will sit still.  

Quinn (by Kai) - Over the year Quinn started kindergarten in August, started loving Transformers Prime in July, started liking Tron Uprising, and had a birthday in November.  I like to play with Quinn because we sometimes get in fights but we always work it out and he likes what I like.  Quinn started swim lessons again this year, and Mom says he has good form because he floats.

Merry Christmas!  

Liberty quilt

My sister Yurika and her husband Daisuke welcomed their first baby in July. They namedher Erika.  Such a cutie!  My mom tells me she looks just like me when I was a baby.  My parents didn't own a camera when I was little, so it is fun to hear that.  

I decided to make a quilt for her.  It took me a while to know exactly what kind.  I wanted it to be very special and I set the bar high for myself.  I wanted it to be cute and girly, but at the same time mature enough that you could have it in the living room.  I also thought that some of the patterns clashed with eachother when they were placed next to eachother.  In the end this is what I came up with.  

I gathered all my favorite fabric that I was sure I would never be able to cut into, and pieced them together with some solids of pink and gray to break up the busy pattern.

Most of the fabric is Liberty.  Each is a work of art and makes my heart sing every time I look at it.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Scott was pulling some base boards off to recut the bamboo flooring that shrunk and pulled away from the wall.  So I asked if he wanted to put some wainscoting up while he was at it.  We looked up some tutorials and it seemed like a quick weekend project.  Not, so.  What you don't see in those tutorial is how much time it takes to fill in the holes and imperfections, sand after each step, and wait while coats dry.

This is what it looked like before.  What you can't see in the picture is how dirty the light beige carpet is.  It only took one kid to run up the stairs in his shoes and I had to scrub.  We decided the carpet had to go.        

This is what we found once we removed the carpet and pad.  We recruited the kids to pull the staples out.   

Then we realized that the wall side didn't have a base board.  Cutting a piece out to fit the shape of the stairs seemed impossible, so we removed the treads and the risers.  

The treads came out OK, but most of the risers broke in the process of being removed.  Scott cut out new raisers, trimmed the treads, and pulled all the nails out. Then he installed the base board and reinstalled the treads and raisers.  That took us until pretty late into the night.  We had to pull through. We were afraid if we left it in the state of the picture above, one of the kids might go through the sheet rock in the morning and end up in the basement.    

Scott used dry wall mud to cover the texture.  That took two coats and lots of sanding after each coat.  Then he built the frame.  
This is what it looks like now, after primer and two coats of paint.    

Next up: painting the treads in a espresso color and then installing a runner.   

Powwow Quilt

A year and a half worth of "This American Life" kept me company as I worked on this quilt.   It made even the most tedious task such as cutting out 100s of square fabric enjoyable.  

I bought the pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew.   

I used the triangle scraps from the pattern on the back side.   I like it just as much as the front.   

And here is the whole quilt.  You can see the wainscoting Scott just finished, but that is for another post.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

front deck, finished

A banana tree from the home center and the outdoor rug from Overstock completed the look.  I am happy to note that the outdoor fabric from is holding up very well. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Skirts for Asha

Asha was in need of some skirts that came down to her knees.  Now that she is old enough to start middle school next month, she is not so excited to model the clothes anymore.  Can you tell?     

skirt one
fabric: Walmart calico, 100% cotton
pattern: Holiday Girl Clothes, view19

skirt two
Alison gave me the four tiered skirt piece a while back.  I hemmed the side seam and put cotton/lycra knit on for the waist band.

skirt three
fabric: heavier poly/cotton blend that used to be Scott's mom's jumper
pattern: Holiday Girl Clothes, view 18
size 140

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

patio pillows

In an effort to make our drab front deck more inviting, I made some pillows in bright and happy colors.     

We had some rain in the middle of the night, but the outdoor fabric kept the inserts dry.  Some plants and a rug should complete the space.