I was planning to write more about my all-time favorite vintage craft book today (which fellow devotee Lynn guessed correctly from the half-page I posted, by the way!) but then I unexpectedly went fabric shopping and wanted to freak out about that a little bit instead.
I’m in Portland (yay!) and staying in Northwest, which is unusual for me as a ten-year east-side-of-the-river type… but the nice bonus is that I can walk to Powell’s, the Acorn, Half and Half, and a bunch of cool downtown stuff in no time at all. So today I headed over to the “Fiber Arts District” and visited three of the shops for a little craft browsing: Fabric in the City, the Button Emporium, and Josephine’s. If you haven’t heard about it, the District is a collective of six craft stores, on and around SW 11th Ave.: Fabric in the City, Button Emporium and Ribbonry, Josephine’s, Knit Purl, Let It Bead, and The Playful Needle. They printed a handy little flyer with all the stores’ info and hours listed so you can wander from one to the next, which is so cool.
I bought Sew U recently, after hanging out with Melissa and seeing the super lovely pieces she made herself with the book patterns, and I wanted to pick out some good fabric for the a-line skirt*. And of course I can never pass on cute prints…
Here’s my haul: five 1/4-yard bits for quilting from Fabric in the City (plus some loden green wool felt I didn’t photograph because it clashed with the corduroy, badly), and olive green thread and stretch cord** for the Sew U skirt from Josephine’s. Pictured for cuteness is my cupcake pincushion by Love Forever! I’m so excited to make that skirt, it’s perfect corduroy a-line skirt weather in my opinion (when is it not?) and I am going to sew it and my log-cabin pillow back this weekend. Hooray!
As a lovely only-in-Portland bonus, I ran into Rebecca at Josephine’s, and got to hang out with her for a few minutes (happily sporting my Queen Bee bag and wallet, as always!). Did you know that she’s about to introduce a bunch of new spring designs? I can’t wait to see them — love Queen Bee.
Also, I spotted a R2D2 mailbox at Broadway and Salmon! So awesome.
*and by the way, thanks a million for the heads up on how much fabric to get, Melissa! I like Sew U so far but why on earth doesn’t she even give a hint about how much yardage you need for anything?! It’s like buying the pattern without the envelope. For anyone else similarly confused, 1.5 yards appears to be the magic amount for the skirt. I bought 1.75 just to be sure though.
**the funny thing is that I totally misremembered that Melissa also used olive green fabric, I thought her skirt was brown for some reason, so I have now copied her stylishness completely! oops. I swear I’ll pick something totally different for the shirt when I tackle that…
I adore vintage buttons, so I was really excited to see that Sally of Shim + Sons is organizing a new vintage button swap! You have to sign up by 5:00 pm tomorrow and send out by April 13 — all the details are here. I can’t wait — as a matter of fact, I just went to the Melrose flea market on Sunday and found all these buttons from a vendor there for $10, so I can easily pick out 12 nice ones to send out. So if you turn out to be my swap partner, be sure to let me know what your favorite colors are!
My button obsession started early — this is a page from my favorite book* as a kid, which I swear has shaped my whole life. I vividly remember how much I loved arranging and rearranging my button and trinket stash. I kept them all in jars, but the matchbox-shoebox lid idea is a good one too.
And of course I’ll definitely have to stop by the Button Emporium and Ribbonry for a scouting expedition — not that I need any more buttons, but you never know…
*more on this tomorrow
Just got two cool e-mails today that I wanted to share, so if you’re in Oregon or Washington, read on!
First, the Oregon College of Art and Craft is accepting applications for their upcoming Craft Biennial:
CALL FOR ENTRIES
Craft Biennial: A Review of Northwest Art & Craft
Oregon College of Art & Craft announces a call for entries for the
exhibition “Craft Biennial: A Review of Northwest Art & Craft.” The fifth
in the biennial series devoted to handmade work in the Northwest, the
“Craft Biennial” seeks submissions that demonstrate a broad spectrum of
Artists in Oregon and Washington are invited to submit slides of work
that investigate and redefine the traditional form of the object.
Artists working in ceramics, fibers, wood, metal, glass, drawing, mixed
media, book arts, papermaking, photography and printmaking are encouraged to
As an educational institution committed to intellectual inquiry and
craftsmanship, this exhibition provides a unique opportunity to examine
the state of modern craft in the Northwest. The “Craft Biennial” seeks to
provoke a dialogue between the viewer and object, as well as one
between the objects themselves.
To receive a Call For Entries Form, please call 503-297-5544 or
download at ocac.edu. Deadline for submitting slides is May 25, 2007. The
“Craft Biennial” exhibition runs August 2-September 27, 2007 with an
opening reception on Thursday, August 2 from 4 to 7pm.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –
The Citywide Arts Commission is gearing up to host a weekly
Sunday Arts Fair in downtown Portland. From
July through October, the parking structure at SW Third and Alder
will be converted to a giant (400 spaces!) arts fair, where anyone
may sell original work. (Which, by the way, is being defined broadly,
to include art, crafts, original music CDs, and self-
published writing.) There’s a $20.00 membership fee, a weekly $15.00
tabling fee, and they take NO commissions on your sales.
Nonprofit arts groups may be entitled to free tables to use for
outreach. Citywide Arts is taking applications for vendors now. Check out
sundayartmart.com for more information.
I mentioned on Friday that I was lucky enough to get a gorgeous Repro Depot fabric pack in the March Sampler… but that sure wasn’t all that caught my eye! Here are some of the other treats I’m enjoying this month.
I got this great set of hand-screened stuff from Wonderland Q: an adorable lion patch, tricycle corduroy pouch, and bird bobby pin. I always love her stuff so I was really pleased to get this charming mix of designs — so cute! I also ended up with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee from HipDrip, which I can’t wait to try!
I got buttons galore: a cool vintage-book series from Re-Conceived and a friendly sewing machine from Paper Zombie and Pixel by Pixel. And the finale was these stylish oxidized sterling-silver bubble earrings from My Sunset Road. I love them, I’ve already worn them twice.
Thank you to everyone who contributes to the Sampler, it’s a real treat to get an all-in-one peek at the huge range of cool crafty stuff out there. You can subscribe here and find more out about the whole shebang here… and props to Marie for organizing the whole beautiful thing every month!
On Saturday I met up with a bunch of crafty girls for breakfast and fabric shopping, which was super fun. We took the Red Line downtown, and as a bonus, I saw my favorite Metro ad ever. I was so happy to spot this one again, I saw it on a few rides in 2005 when I didn’t have my camera with me, so it was nice to get a picture finally — but please forgive the blurriness, the train was moving pretty fast!
We headed directly from the Pershing Square stop to Michael Levine for fabric shopping, where I found just the thing to make the log cabin pillow backs. I can’t wait to finish the first one! I quilted both fronts last week so I’m on the home stretch.
I also snapped a bunch of pictures of the giant craft implements that hover over the notions area in the back of the store…
…and after we left, we spotted these cool scissors graphics signs. This one was at 9th and Los Angeles Sts. and I’ve also seen them on 8th a few places, too. Whoever did these totally nailed the pinked edges, I love them.
Then we went to Clifton’s for late lunch, which was delicious as always. I love the mosiac-style tiles showing famous Southern California landmarks on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant — these are my two favorites, the Observatory and the La Brea tar pits.
Later, back on this side of town, we went to ReForm School, where I found some cool treasures for a certain nephew’s Easter present, and dropped off six of my skirt kits — I’m so pleased that they’re carrying them now!
It was a really good Saturday.
I just got my wonderful Sampler today, and while there was a lot of crafty goodness to love inside (which I’m saving for its own post next week), I was beyond thrilled to get a beautiful stack of 7-inch squares of fabric (plus a tiny, cute sewing kit) from the amazing Repro Depot. There are some of my absolute favorite designs from Denyse Schmidt and Amy Butler in the mix, along with dozens of patterns I haven’t seen before. Such a cool surprise.
Sorry for the short and erratic posts this week — I usually like to write every day but things have been a bit hectic this week as I finish a bunch of projects up. Next week I’ll be a lot more on top of it (I hope). Have a lovely weekend!
I just saw today that the finalists for the Softie Awards are officially posted. So many cool, inspiring designs to look at…
She gave me one of her charming little sewn cupcakes for my birthday this year — I just love the crafty food she concocts. Congratulations to Kayte and all the finalists! (and p.s. if you love the pear pincushion as much as I do, you can snap one up on etsy…)
On another crafty note, Adorn magazine and Velcro are sponsoring a very cool competition: just design an original craft or household project using Velcro, and you can win a Rowenta professional iron, an Adorn subscription, and $500 in cash — plus your project will be featured in the fall issue of the magazine! All the details are here, and the deadline is May 1, so you have plenty of time to come up with a great idea.
Back in February I had the chance to interview Seattle author Ariel Meadow Stallings about her new alt-wedding book, Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides. I love the book — it’s full of handy advice and unusual ideas from dozens of offbeat brides and grooms (including me and Andrew, actually) — and Ariel’s also writing a companion offbeat blog to include up-to-the-minute links and other cool stuff she spots along the way.
And today, she posted the interview she did with me about our wedding! If you’re interested in pulling off a crafty wedding and reception on the cheap (hopefully with working iPod… ahem) it seems that I have plenty to say on the subject. Thanks, Ariel!
five minutes after it was official! photo by Paul Rich Studio
Ariel has tons of events coming up in Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, too, and as she says, “These aren’t your typical in-store readings. There are hula hoops, sock puppets, and veils involved!” I’ll be at her Powells reading on June 11th — hope to see you there.
Yesterday the Los Angeles Times premiered “Image,” a new dedicated lifestyle and fashion section (now one Sunday a month, eventually weekly), and of course I was excited to see it. It’s largely devoted to LA Fashion Week this time, but includes plenty of other features as well, like a photo-driven interview with “red-carpet rebel” Chloe Sevigny, Deadwood-inspired fashion for men, and a weekly guide to sample sales and events.
Predictably, I was most taken with the [Art + Craft] page and Amy Scattergood’s “Stitches in No Time” article, which highlighted runway-style chunky handknits to make yourself, and included not only a scarf pattern by Wenlan Chia on the page, but a link to her tuxedo sweater pattern on their site (both adapted from Chia’s book Twinkle’s Big City Knits; registration is required to access the sweater pattern, fyi).
I am a truly mediocre knitter and have gotten right out of the habit of knitting (especially in this climate!), but I have to say I’m so glad that the paper is focusing on handcrafted anything, really. I’m interested in fashion, but the scene here more often focuses on uber-trendy/mass-produced 80s revival stuff, or high-end label-heavy designer work, that aren’t my cup of tea. So it’s refreshing to see not only the one-page DIY section, but that the larger Chloe Sevigny feature applauds her (largely pre-1979) vintage aesthetic and refusal to work with a stylist. I love many things about LA, but I find its fashion and entertainment industry are pretty specifically commercial, so it’s cool to see the paper of record reflect something a little to the left of that.
Anyway, just one girl’s take on it… and free knitting patterns are always a good thing.
What can I say about my intense love for ACC basketball? I don’t think I ever had much choice in the matter; when I was three months old, in April 1974, my parents decked me out in a tiny red-and-white Wolfpack snowsuit and kept me up for the whole NCAA championship game, waving my arms around to celebrate every time NC State scored. They let me stay up until Norm Sloan’s Wolfpack had won it all. When I was eight, in 1982, Dean Smith and UNC triumphed in the championship game, which was cool — I liked them okay at the time, but I was an ardent Wolfpack fan at heart, as was my entire school (especially since Fred Olds Elementary is just three blocks from NC State).
At age nine, my whole fourth-grade class was mesmerized by our beloved Cardiac Pack* all March long, and every day-after-a-game, we rushed into class early to eagerly relive our favorite moments… until the fateful night when NC State upset Houston!! We could hear the celebration from Hillsborough St. as soon as we opened the front door at our house. (My brother and I were just reminiscing about this the other day — I really think it was the most exciting night of my whole life. And I still cry a little bit when I see the old footage of Jim Valvano racing around looking for someone to hug!)
When I grew up and went to Carolina (go Heels!), my only consolation about getting stuck in the worst dorm on campus was that it was across the street from the Dean Smith Center, so it was a one-minute walk to the games. And when I was a sophomore, my UNC Tarheels won the championship over Michigan (77-71!), and Hinton James erupted into screams and cheers until it was literally shaking from all of us jumping up and down. My junior year, the Lady Tarheels won on a beautiful last-last-last-second shot from Charlotte Smith and brought it all home. And just two years ago, the Carolina men’s team won the tournament again as I watched from Los Angeles! I am a lucky girl.
But it’s rough as a UNC-ACC-ABD (that’s anyone but Duke) fan on the West Coast — I hardly ever get to see any games during the regular season, since we have rabbit ears on our TV and not much else. And when it’s tournament time, the East Coast teams are always pre-empted by Pac 10 action on CBS. Last night was no exception, and my Tarheels battled Michigan State into submission without much help from me, since UCLA was playing at the same time and got all the attention!
Luckily, I have a cool, understanding husband who spent most of the second half of the game calling the play-by-play out over the phone to me while I hovered over my laptop, anxiously blessing out CBS; in Portland they showed UNC-Michigan State, while I languished in front of a glacially paced UCLA-Indiana matchup here in Los Angeles (which, ironically, finally turned into a nailbiter at the end, long after UNC closed the deal!). I kept one window open for espn.com and their nerdy 30-second refresh option so I could see the score no matter what. And my new favorite online find, the UNC basketball update blog, made all the difference.
Robbie Allen has pledged to cover every UNC game this season, and all I can say is thank goodness Google led me to him. I did a quick sweep through his recent posts and found links to all kinds of gems; Robbie recaps games, profiles players, posts previews and interviews from other sources, and adds great photos throughout. (Aside: I love that he uses “charity stripe” to refer to the free-throw line, I thought I was the only one!) The vengeful ABD fan in me especially appreciated the fire-Billy-Packer-already!! petition and Gregg Doyel‘s column indicting Coach K after the recent broken-nose combative foul situation (and yes, it certainly did make me think of the shameful 1992 Laettner incident, and in my opinion, Duke got exactly what they deserved in the first round).
So I have my fingers crossed for Friday’s game, and I’ll have UNC Basketball Update close at hand. And with luck on my side, maybe I’ll even track down the magical Woody Durham streaming radio broadcast online…
*I would just like to take a moment to shout out to Sidney Lowe here: the only person ever to both play (1983) and coach (2007) in ACC championship games. Love the red blazer, and I’m wishing you all the luck in the world in the NIT!