And speaking of lovely crafty shopping, if you are in the Bay Area, Jamie Marie Chan is hosting an awesome grand opening party for her new Urban Fauna Studio. I wrote more about it over at CraftStylish today and all the details are on the store site — congratulations, Jamie!
We are staying low-key for the three-day weekend… Andrew just got back from the DNC in Denver and we have a babysitter tonight (!), two birthday parties to go to, and our first-ever block party tomorrow, too, so staying in Portland sounds like fun. But I thought while it’s still August, and still summer, I would post a photo from our third-wedding-anniversary trip to Mt. Hood a few weeks ago — our favorite place. We went around Trillium Lake with Pearl, who was a little champ on her first-ever hike, and it was the most gorgeous day to be up there… the perfect summer vacation compressed into four days.
I’ve lived in Oregon for eleven years and somehow never made it to the state fair until this year — which is so weird when I stop and think about it, because when I lived in North Carolina I hardly ever missed it. But you know how you never get around to doing all the cool stuff you’d like to until you have just the right people visiting? This time I had a seven-year-old to hang out with, and after a warm-up of pizza, Monopoly, Olympics-watching, ice-cream-making, OMSI, a trip to Multnomah Falls, meeting Ramona Quimby, a visit to the soaking pool at the Kennedy School, painting, and playing with the new cousin and every one of her stuffed animals, the trip to the fair was definitely ON.
We got there and checked out the cows, sheep and pigs on the way in, and then immediately headed to the OMSI tent to enjoy some science puzzlers, and across the way, some reptiles. After that excitement, some of us were hungry and so our next hour was devoted to eating a ton of awesome food: an extra-large RC Cola, fish tacos, deep-fried zucchini sticks, sausage sandwiches, Hawaiian noodles, a fishburger, and a Mt. St. Helens mountain’s worth of curly fries:
For dessert, there was a chocolate-banana crepe and a deep-fried Snickers. My pick was chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick, rolled in almonds for an extra 50¢. I’d make the drive back to Salem just for another piece of it… and some more fried zucchini too, now that I’m thinking about it.
Then we headed to the midway for whack-a-mole and a giant photo souvenir button for Grandmama.
And then we parted ways so some people could go on rides, and other people, who had a baby in a carrier, could look at prize-winning Legos, vegetables, and crafts in the blissfully cool air-conditioned hall. I loved this afghan designed to look like a patchwork quilt (with ties, even!) — it won third prize, but I would have given it a first for sure.
There were dozens and dozens of gorgeous quilts there, but I think this one (the pinwheels in the middle) was my favorite.
And we saw the official Oregon Sesquicentennial blanket from Pendleton, unveiled on Friday at the fair — Mt. Hood reflected in the lake, framed by trilliums and ferns.
This second photo is from the back, showing the reverse with white instead of blue as the surrounding color. Oh, it is so beautiful in person, and I want one so badly. And I found out when we got home that Andrew’s friend Patty Fogarty designed it, which is so cool!
We met up again, and back at the midway, I got an airbrushed baseball cap that I absolutely love — I think other people were a bit skeptical until they saw the magnificent finished product. Julian rock-climbed while Pearl took a nap in the shade.
Then there was an encore trip to the Legos competition, lots more walking around, kettle corn, and for a finale, 25¢ foot massages. Best quarter I ever spent, hands down.
The fair is running for another week, and if you haven’t gone yet, don’t wait eleven years like I did — just go! If you need more convincing, be sure to check out Alicia’s luminous photographs from her visit. Just before Julian left last night, we asked what he liked best about his trip to Portland, and he immediately said the fair. If anyone asks me, I’ll say the same thing.
Last fall I embellished some onesies and t-shirts for a friend’s baby, which was a super fun little project. I fused them with steam-a-seam and then zig-zagged around the edges to seal the deal:
Yesterday, I was working on a bigger sewing project and found myself with a few minutes and a few leftover fabric scraps, so I decided to make Pearl a couple of things too! I’ve been collecting plain onesies and t-shirts (the pink striped one was secondhand from Children’s Exchange, the white one was from Dharma Trading) and it was fun to finally do a couple of appliques. I made them the same way as I described in last year’s mini-tutorial.
For this round, I haven’t stitched the edges yet — I thought I’d wash them once and see what happened. The edges seem pretty secure right now. Zig-zagging would be a bit trying on the teeny curves and angles on the pink whales, so if I do sew them I might just straight-stitch anyway.
Last week I made a little pair of pants (using Burda 9772) in the same green strawberry fabric I used for the larger whale applique, so once Pearl grows into the shirt she’ll have a little set! Yes, I am a crafty nerd. And obsessed with whales.
And I’m sure it goes without saying, but I sewed the buttons down to within an inch of their lives!
We have a beautiful 60-year-old fig tree in our yard, and a few weeks ago I snapped a photo of one branch laden with little green baby figs:
Well, yesterday we went over to see how they were faring and surprise! The tree was loaded with dozens and dozens of ripe delicious figs, with hundreds more halfway there. We gathered this huge bowl’s worth in twenty minutes or so — this isn’t including the ones we passed on to four different neighbors!
I quickly froze this bunch, but by tomorrow or the next day I’m sure the next round will be ready to go. I’m a total amateur at this, but I’m hoping to make some fig preserves or something else nice with this huge bounty. If anyone has suggestions, links, or recipes, I’d love to hear them! And if anyone in Portland would like some fresh figs, just give me a shout.
from the invite:
It’s time to get in touch with your “wild” side at the opening of Susie’s fifth solo show, THE WILD LIFE. The show will be at Giant Robot in Los Angeles, running August 16th – Sept 10th. The opening takes place on Saturday August 16th at 6:30 pm. THE WILD LIFE exhibit debuts over a hundred new mini paintings of animals — from owls and kitties (of course!) to hedgehogs and penguins — sleeping, eating and living indoors just like we the people do. Part of the show will include a 3-D installation so you can walk in and around Susie’s world! And then, after you’ve taken in the art, you’ll be free to express yourself in the haiku contest sponsored by Giant Robot, so don’t forget to bring your best poetic skillz.
I went to Bird Call, her lovely 2006 solo show at Giant Robot, and snapped up this fantastic record player — one of my favorite things!
Jenny says, “The girls from ReForm School made a big announcement today… which is that starting this fall, I’ll be their new Home Ec. teacher! This means I’ll be teaching and curating a series of cozy crafty classes at the Silverlake shop, and will also be selling new craft kits, fabrics, etc. in addition to contributing to their blog. I also have a companion website debuting later this September.”
Hey, just wanted to mention that I’m going to be on the AM Northwest show again tomorrow (Friday, 8/15), making earrings from Bead Simple — a pair of sparkly Solo Earrings and a dangly pair of Low and Swingy Earrings, too. They made a special request for me to bring Pearl along so she might co-star again… we’ll see!
The show is on from 9 to 10 am on KATU, and my segment will probably be at either 9:20 or 9:35. I should get a DVD of it next week (along with the earlier one I did, making a Pink Floral Ribbon Choker) and I will definitely post them online if you would like to make yourself some jewelry, too!
The project is to crochet a coral reef: a woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world. Come learn the simple techniques of hyperbolic crochet discovered by mathematician Dr. Taimina and/or if you already crochet come be a part of the creation of this beautiful piece. All participants will be acknowledged. Our projected finished date for the whole project is August 23rd when the seascape will be displayed at the store. OMSI will display it starting December 1st for 3 months. Bring in completed pieces any time the store is open. Donated yarn & hooks are available or donate more to the project.
Open work times in the store:
Mornings: Wednesdays 11:30am-1:00p
Afternoons: Saturdays 2:00pm-4:00pm
Evenings: Tuesdays 7:00pm-9:00pm
I can’t wait to see the Community Coral Reef Project in person — Cathy and I got a sneak preview of the marvelous coral reefs that The Institute For Figuring curated for the Andy Warhol Museum while they were in in Los Angeles last year.
Speaking of LA, I’m excited to spotlight some very cool things going on there tomorrow!
We went up to Mt. Hood last weekend for our third wedding anniversary and Pearl’s three-monthiversary, and it was so relaxing and beautiful up there… one of the best parts was taking her on her first, second and third hikes, which she loved. Unfortunately, while we were gone my computer started blacking out and I spent a couple of uneasy days worrying that I was going to lose my precious photos (not to mention my music, files and regular stuff). Not fun. After a nice restful stay at the amazing Mac Store hospital, my laptop is as good as new… but I haven’t had a chance to put much up on flickr or write up my swaddling blankets tutorial yet, or do any of the other fun photo-y things I’ve been planning.
But in the meantime, I did grab these pictures of the two of us and Diane hanging out with Barack Obama over at his Portland headquarters and I thought I’d share those first!
Pearl is wearing her lovely kimono onesie (a gift Aunt Natalie found at ReForm School) in honor of the occasion. She and Barack go way back — she was born on the day he won the primary in North Carolina (my home state!), after all…
A couple of weeks later, Diane came over for a new craft-room hangout and of course we had to go over while she was in the neighborhood and say hi to Barack again. If you also want to meet up and snap pictures with him, just stop by 3016 SE Division St. during daytime hours. Everyone there is very nice and you can also register to vote while you’re at it.
I got some more sewing done: a set of swaddling blankets for a friend’s baby! The single most useful thing we have for Pearl is a good swaddling blanket so I wanted to make some muslin ones for summer. I’m planning to write up a tutorial next week if anyone else wants to stitch some up.
We went out for ice cream and I was really pleased to see that Baskin-Robbins has not changed their hot-fudge labels since I was a child going to the one at Cameron Village for a treat (always a mint chocolate chip cone). I have to say I love this 70s design… I’m not such a fan of the “BR” logo.
We actually grew some things in our garden! Now we have four tiny green tomatoes and one in-progress pepper. I’m not sure if anyone would believe me without photographic evidence, so here is the very first one:
And our pink dahlias are blooming — they came with the house, so I can’t take any credit for them, but they are lovely.
I’ll also post some pictures of my new craft room next week… I’m so excited about it.