I just got my package of play food this week from the second swap I did, and wow, it’s amazing!
I loved making those simple little veggie burgers, but I am completely wowed by all the 3D and hand-stitching in the swap mix! I put notes on everything in the flickr picture if you’re interested in a few more details. It all looks so gorgeous in person, Pearl is going to love playing with all this stuff when she’s a tiny bit older. She has already had a lot of fun waving the asparagus stalks around (exactly like she does with their real counterparts).
Speaking of food, we surprised Andrew with some extremely fantastic grilling cookbooks for Father’s Day. The first one, Grill Every Day, is by a Portland author I met at the Oregon Historical Society, Diane Morgan.
With this nice weather, we have been grilling a ton lately — in fact, we made her recipe for salmon grilled on a bed of herbs for dinner that night! It was so good, and so easy to make (thanks to the herb garden flourishing so much, I only had to go about thirty feet to get all the extra ingredients).
Then yesterday I made the Israeli couscous with zucchini and red bell pepper (pictured on the cover) — also so good, and so easy. (Though I have to admit that there was no grilling involved, it was just a regular old stovetop production.)
I’ve marked a bunch of things I want to try (Robin has included handy extras for adapting her outdoor recipes to your home kitchen, too) and one at the top of the list is the grilled salmon with balsalmic fig sauce — we had so many figs from our tree last summer and I can’t wait to make that one!
A huge bonus is that Robin also offers up some really nice outdoor-friendly sauces (dressings, spice rubs, marinades, glazes, and compound butters ) and sides to go with the tempting main dishes — super inspiring, and super easy.
I found both of these at Powell’s on Hawthorne (the cooks, crafts and gardening annex, if you’re local). As much as I love reading craft blogs online and hanging out on flickr, there is something so amazingly nice about buying a book right off a shelf and cooking from a smooth, inviting page, and these two are gems.
Then, this morning, we met up with Cathy P. for breakfast and a trip to Knittn Kitten and beyond. I found some really good bias tape, a few vintage craft books, some blue corduroy and this absolute treasure of a log cabin quilt top!
Ethel and I guessed it was late 1920s or 1930s — I love the fabrics. The colors and shading of the positive/negative cross pattern are just luminous together.
It was once a finished quilt, but someone took it apart… you can see the tie marks as a set of small holes in each center square, and in some of the strips. But the rest of it is in great shape. I’m excited to bring it back to life! I’ve already started thinking about repairing the center bits (maybe hand-sewing some new fabric to bolster it? or adding some buttons over the damaged spots?) and what to back it with and all those tantalizing quilt things.
update, a little more detail if anyone’s interested… it looks most like a Courthouse Steps variation of intersecting large crosses in the two light and dark color families, and the pattern is arranged with seven squares across and six squares down for a slightly rectangular shape. The fabrics are in good shape (yay!), except for those tie-holes in the center squares (just a few of them are torn more than that, but not wrecked) and the same patterns and colors repeat within the center squares and log strips — but with some curveballs of different ones here and there, which make it so interesting. Some of the prints look like feedsack and some are bigger patterns. Knittn Kitten has some other lovely quilt tops for sale right now, including a beautiful Dresden Plate, so definitely get over there soon if you can.
We went out this weekend and found some new chairs for the backyard
which I totally love, they remind me so much of the Sunset cover I fell for.
and Andrew surprised me with flowers
to match those sandals I found last week!
Orange has been a total pick-me-up for me lately. I’ve been wearing the sandals a ton with the new retro shift dress I sewed — the combination is perfect for summer. I added a few tweaks and variations to Christine’s original idea and I just love it, I’ve already found the fabric for my next one.
I’m writing a review of Chic & Simple Sewing this week now that I’ve had a chance to sew from it, with lots of pictures from my project (which, believe it or not, isn’t orange and neither is the next one I’m planning — but I did get some of this at Cool Cottons to make a skirt!).
Pearl and I walked over to Hawthorne today and I found the summer sandals of my dreams on clearance at Imelda’s!
I also snapped up this awesome vintage paneled maxi-skirt that I want to make into a dress, at House. Love the animals in the print, kind of like Lilly Pulitzer but even more so.
Hopefully a naptime or two from now I will be wearing it with my new sandals… and a few naptimes after that, I’ll have another new dress for good measure!
My friend Carye Bye, the super woodcut/painting/letterpress talent behind the Red Bat Press line of cards and prints
is going to be unveiling her newest project tomorrow night: Hidden Portland, an art show and accompanying hand-illustrated book about the museums of the city! Part travel guide, part art extravaganza, it’s a limited edition of 125 copies with a letter-pressed cover in full color, and costs $18. You can see some good peeks here.
From her site:
Portland is home to many amazing but relatively unknown collections of art and artifacts and Bye wants both townies and tourists to have a chance to discover these obscure treasures. Collections such as the Museum of Dental Anomalies at the OHSU Dental School, the Portland Police Museum at the Justice Center (featuring a rapping McGruff Crime Dog from the late 70s!) or the Kidd’s Toy Museum, tucked away in an unassuming gray office building off of SE Grand Avenue, which boasts a whopping collection of nearly 15,000 toys, are typically overlooked by conventional guidebooks. But even the bigger museums have their secrets too, such as an exhibit of preserved human fetuses in OMSI’s Life Science Hall, or the 19th century plaster cast replicas of classic Greek sculptures, including the Venus de Milo, in the Mark Building Lobby at the Portland Art Museum.
As a printmaker, photographer and zine publisher, Carye has never had occasion or inclination to part with her original artwork. This show marks a departure for the artist as she will be exhibiting and selling the original watercolor & ink illustrations painted at each museum, as well as dozens of other small original works which will be replenished throughout the month. A limited edition, special debut release of Hidden Portland: The Museums will be available exclusively at Reading Frenzy.
The art show will show postcard-sized original illustrations from the museums, some of which will be also in the book. These originals will be for sale. There will also be $10 original illustrations of people and places from around Portland that you can buy immediately. I will be adding new little paintings all of the month of June, so remember to stop by often, and who knows, you might be in the show! I’m a sneaky illustrator.
And don’t forget, Reading Frenzy is the only shop carrying a full line of Carye’s work!
If you go:
Hidden Portland: The Museums
Art Show and Guide Book Release by artist/local museum expert Carye Bye
First Thursday June 4, 6 – 9 pm
Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak
If you can’t make the opening, check hiddenportland.com to follow this project…
Andrew was working on a project in Seattle all last week, so instead of flying down to the Golden State as planned, Pearl and I ended up heading up to the Evergreen State for a couple of days instead. We stayed right downtown, which was fun, and got to visit the market, the big awesome library, Uwajimaya (for browsing craft books and sharing a Beard Papa cream puff), numerous coffee shops, a couple of kid-friendly pizza places, and Szechuan Noodle Bowl (for green onion pancakes – delicious). Best of all, we took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island, which Pearl loved. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I took about a zillion photos, but here are my two favorites… leaving Seattle
and approaching Bainbridge… Mt. Ranier is really something on a clear day!
Meanwhile, Sunday was my last-ever CraftStylish post. As of yesterday, June 1, the site has been restructured pretty dramatically (which you can read more about here and here; update as of June 3, also here and here) and none of the dozen of us who were regular contributors are going to be weekly posters any more. But they’re keeping the archive up, so while I’m sad to lose the freelance job and the chance to design projects over there, I’m really grateful that my work will still be out there — along with all the great projects I want to try from Kayte, Linda, Erika, Lee, Diane, Cal, Jennifer and Jeffery! I may do something else there occasionally later, but for now they’re streamlining quite a bit, and Sunday’s post is it for now. My project posts are all archived over here and I made a flickr set with some of my favorite project photos here, if you’re interested.
So, here are my last two projects — I gave my jewelry-making heart free rein for these. First, I used some of the stellar Crafty Chica paints and imagery to make this simple decoupaged pendant and matching earrings. This is a sweet little project, very quick to do and fun to wear.
And then this week I wrapped things up with an Art Nouveau-inspired pendant using some of my all-time favorite bits and pieces: vintage beads, charms, and shrink plastic.
So, thanks so much to Michaela and everyone at CraftStylish for the chance to be part of it all this last year and a half!