I got the chance to make some Easter treats at The Chocolate Craft Studio last weekend — thanks to Diane and Pam for setting up this lovely morning for us! You can see their sweet posts about it all here and here.
The Studio is in a beautiful old house in North Portland, right on Williams (and temptingly close to the beautiful new Queen Bee world headquarters), and the owner, Peggy Alter, has invented some really wonderful chocolate and candy “craft supplies” for people to do all kinds of creative projects with. I took a few photos that morning, but since I spent 99% of my time crafting and embellishing and icing, Lee, Diane and Pam’s photos were much better and much more plentiful — you can see them all in this flickr group! (And if you make anything at the Chocolate Craft Studio, please join and add yours too.)
Peggy is supremely talented and has made a lot of amazing things! I loved this little rabbit that she whisked together for us from modeling chocolate. She also mentioned that she made a cake for the Rolling Stones while they were on tour in 1976… very cool.
Everyone made such great stuff — my absolute favorite was this lush and layered flower-pot arrangement that Diane made.
Heather made this adorable little chicken,
and Sally made this little bunny a house and yard to play in.
Her house inspired me to build one of my own!
I also made a few Easter treats for Pearl. Writing the letters of her name with the white-chocolate “glue” was a bit challenging but I felt that a final sprinkle of glittery luster distracted from the many edits I did. I loved the bunny especially!
Here is everything we made, in its full glory!
This would be such a fun set-up for a birthday party, a shower, a night out, or any other reason to celebrate — get in touch with Peggy if you’d like to plan a crafty-get-together of your own. And this week, she has special hours for Easter on Friday and Saturday, with some lovely projects to try. As a bonus, if you’re not local, she ships special chocolate kits for crafting right at your kitchen table!
The Chocolate Craft Studio
3936 N Williams Ave, Portland
It is so beautiful out today, and I’m so excited about spring! I have some fun projects planned.
First up is an Easter dress to sew. Last year Pearl wore one of mine from 1975, but this year I want to make her a new one (um, from a pattern from 1975, actually). I’m also dreaming up some crafty surprises to add to her Easter basket…
And thanks to lots of help from Patrick, we have a new raised bed, right next to the first one Andrew and I built last year! Super exciting.
So here are my before pictures… hopefully I’ll have some afters to share soon too!
I’m very excited about the new Portland Modern Quilt Guild — I joined online last month and the first meeting is this Thursday night! Hope to meet some other local quilters then, or at the second (sewing) meet-up. I know Rachel is coming tomorrow night, yay — anyone else? It’s not a hands-on sewing meeting, but there is a little show and tell, so I thought I’d bring some of my improvisational blocks from the wonderful Denyse Schmidt class I took in last year’s Summer of Making. (Here are some of them if you want to see — I’ve been meaning to post these on my flickr for months and I finally did today!)
To join the PMQ guild, just go to the ning site and register. Then you can add photos, reply to topics or post your own. Once we meet and get things organized I’m sure there will be more going on — just look at the LA Modern Quilt Guild, they’re on fire!
If you’re not in Portland (or LA), there are many other chapters, all umbrella-ed under the Modern Quilt Guild site (they also have a Facebook page). You can find a nearby chapter to join, or start one in your area if there isn’t one yet.
So, the first Portland meeting is Thursday, March 18th from 7-9 at the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Highway.
Then the second meet-up is a sewing night at the new Modern Domestic space, 1408 NE Alberta (yay!) on Saturday, March 28th from 6-9pm. This one is $10 for the studio time, and it sounds like we might start things off with an after-hours shopping spree at Bolt.
So there is a lot of new cool quilting stuff going on around here! I’m also thrilled to announce that I’ll be teaching two rounds of log cabin quilting this summer at PNCA as part of the second Summer of Making. Josh just posted the schedule this week so I thought I’d do an early announcement!
I’ll post more about it soon (including some more detailed project ideas and the syllabus), but for now I’ll just mention that it’s for all skill levels, will be very tailored to the individual quilter, and we will do some fun things like fabric scrap swaps and innovative block design in class. The first class is a short one-day workshop, Saturday June 26th from 10am-12:30pm. The second one is a four-day intensive, July 12-15th from 10am-4pm daily — a totally luxurious amount of time to spend piecing and quilting.
I’m also planning to write up a (long overdue) post on the Denyse Schmidt class last summer. The photo above is of all the blocks I made in two blissed-out days, jumbled up on the white flannel design wall in our final critique. My next project is going to be turning these, along with some new ones, into a finished piece of some kind, and doing some free-motion quilting… unless the blocks tell me otherwise. More on that soon.
And I hope to see you this month at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meet-ups, too!
okay, I am re-entering the world of blog posting slowly after being way too busy for the last while, and have a quick couple of things to share with you guys! One is global and the other is local, so there is something for everybody… two somethings for those of us in Portland.
First, Diane Gilleland of Craftypod is hosting a free online class all day today called Value 101.
The beauty of online classes is, you can take the material at your own pace, as you have time. So, the class space will be open for sixteen hours – 6:00 am – 10:00 pm PST. You can pop in at any time during those hours, stay as long as you like, and even pop in and out.
If you read, watch, and listen to all of the content, it should take you about an hour in total. Nobody, not even me, has to stay for the full sixteen hours.
Closer to home, Buckman Elementary School’s 20th annual Art Show and Sell is this weekend! This such a cool fundraiser: kids at the school and local artists and crafters sell their artwork to benefit the school, plus there’s live music, food, and activities for kids.
Stop by Friday, March 12 from 5-9 pm, or Saturday, March 13 from 10-5. Buckman is at 320 SE 16th Avenue in Portland.
Hope to see you at both events — and I’ll be back soon with actual crafts to share, too!