Hey, That’s My Jam!

By Kristi S. My deep love of canning and preserving started four years ago. It was the summer quarter of culinary school and I had just made a high-stress wedding cake when I decided I needed something more relaxing. I opened up The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook and instantly fell in love with the process. […]

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True Colors

by Emily Z. A friend once asked me why I have a jar of dried onion skins on my kitchen counter. The mason jars of inky black and rust-red liquid inside my refrigerator have also raised an eyebrow or two, especially from the technician who came by to repair the thing last year. What’s with […]

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Meet the WA Authors of the 3rd Grade Reading Challenge

by Karin T. This month, Washington authors Patrick Jennings and Kelly Jones have even more third-grade fans than usual. Patrick and Kelly visited schools in Snohomish and Island counties as part of the Sno-Isle Libraries Mega-Fun, Biblio-Trivia, Rockem-Sockem Third Grade Reading Challenge. The Reading Challenge is a literary trivia program. Third graders work together to develop […]

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DK, Oh Yeah!

by Marina M. Most people will say there’s an author or two (or thirty) that they favor. Others will share their genre preferences. Sometimes–SOMETIMES–you can even pin somebody down to reveal their one true favorite book. For right then, at least. Because favorite books change with the season, the mood, the color of your hair, […]

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DIY Beer…And Pretzels!

by Liz Spring is my favorite time of year. The days are noticeably longer, the birds are extra chirpy, and all the shades of green just make me happy! And I just discovered new holidays celebrating two more of my favorite things…Beer and pretzels! This past Sunday, April 23rd, marked German Beer Day. You may have celebrated without […]

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Something from Nothing: Upcycling and Salvage Crafts

by Emily Z. Using salvaged materials means rescuing something old and giving it new purpose. Close cousin to salvage, upcycling is the art of reinventing something you have (or have found) and turning it into something you love/need/want via modification or re-purposing. It’s upgrading and recycling smashed lovingly together and it can be a rewarding […]

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Let’s Get Crafty!

by Liz  Break out the glue gun and sequins, it is time to get crafty! I am not sure what exactly triggers it (the plethora of indoor time, the fantasy of someday presenting only homemade holiday gifts to my family, the need to brighten the dark days with glitter and twinkle lights), but something about this time […]

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Retirement Wish List

by Ruth G. Having crossed the threshold of 50 some time ago, and thus become the recipient of flyers from AARP, the idea of retirement has started to intrigue me. Retirement won’t be happening anytime soon, but sometimes I see a book and think, “This one goes on the stuff-to-do-when-I’m-retired list.”     Maybe I’ll eat my […]

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The Art of Creating Tradition

by Jane When we are young, family traditions make special occasions magical. They shape our expectations and give structure to the passing of time, establishing patterns we can rely on and moments to anticipate.  Traditions create common bonds and a pool of shared memories for families. As we grow older, find partners, move into new […]

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Gifts from the Heart: Do-It Yourself

by Dawn Every year my family does a Pollyanna gift exchange (otherwise know as a Secret Santa), where we each get assigned one person in the extended clan. Lately it has sadly disintegrated into mostly gift cards, which seems a little pointless to me, but every now and then something wonderful comes from it. Undoubtedly the best […]

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