I’m so happy to be part of the first Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI this weekend! There will be hundreds of makers there showing and selling their work, and I’ll be doing two events on Saturday.
First, I’ll be on a panel at noon called “Cultivating Craft in Portland” on the Innovation Stage with Diane, Shawn, Chris, and Isaac, so please come ask us some questions or share your favorite resources with everyone. The community here is really special and I’m excited to talk about our favorite parts of this super-creative town with these folks (and hopefully you, too!).
Then, at 2:00, I’ll do a free demo of my Comics Magnets project from World of Geekcraft in the OMSI All-Stars booth. Stop by and make a POW! ZAP! magnet for your fridge, featuring whatever word or phrase (or well, anything you can cut out of felt, really) you have in mind. OMSI will also be selling copies of my book in their shop tent so you can pick one up if you’d like. Thank you to OMSI and Portland Mini Maker Faire for inviting me to participate!
Hope to see you over there!
PS: Heather wrote an amazing post for Portland Modern Quilt Guild about some of our members’ craft classes coming up in town. She will be teaching a lovely quartered log cabin quilt class on Saturday at Modern Domestic, and some rad vintage-inspired craft classes at Portland Flea on Sunday!
PS 2: One more thing going on this weekend: my husband Andrew‘s last four free Life Coach shows for the TBA Festival! You can see a review here, and hear an interview with him on OPB’s Think Out Loud if you’re interested.
The last week has been a busy one and I just finally had the chance to sit down and write about a few things I’ve been up to lately…
First, a super thrilling Quilts for Quake Survivors update! After beautiful contributions from many, many generous quilters jumping in to quilt and bind as the last leg of our collective bee, Daniela has been tirelessly taking photos of the gorgeous finished quilts.
Check the QfQ blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for new quilts for sale. All you have to do is make a $150 donation to Mercy Corps (for their work in Japan or designated for any other disaster relief that speaks to you),
email us at email@example.com with a copy of your receipt, and the number of the quilt you want to buy! We will ship it to you via USPS with our deep gratitude. Special thanks to Nancy, who not only donated the lovely quilt top for Pretty in Aqua (below) but also bought it AND Lawn Chair (above), generously supporting Mercy Corps’ crucial work in Somalia.
Thank you Nancy!!! And thank you Daniela for the luminous quilt photographs.
Back to my house, I slow-roasted another 10 pounds of tomatoes from our garden and really wished I had one more oven rack. Wow, those are amazing (and so easy – I followed the recipe I linked, but with herbs of provence instead of coriander, which I don’t like).
Then I taught my wool baby quilt class at the Expo on Saturday (and visited Renee’s lovely Dressing the Part quilt again!). Thanks to Michelle who helped from start to finish, and the lovely folks at the Woolen Mill Store who had made the best kits ever, it went great. My version of the quilt pattern I designed is above,
there’s my class (a sell-out of 20 very nice people!),
and here are just a few of the quilt tops people made with the beautiful wool colors and patterns. I loved how individual everyone’s projects were – whether they were meant for a grandchild, a wall hanging, or a car quilt for chilly months.
It was super fun and I am excited to teach the class again at the Woolen Mill Store on Saturday (October 1 from 1-3:30, $40 includes all fabrics you need, and 2.5 hours means you should walk out the door with a finished quilt!). Speaking of the WMS, their amazing 30-80% off sale goes through Friday and I am so excited to buy some good things there tomorrow.
Then we drove down to Oregon City with Pearl and Everett for a (half) day trip. It was beautiful, a perfect late-summer-early-fall day on the river, and I took a bunch of photos. I think Oregon City deserves its own post but for now I’ll just share this one of the Willamette River from the bluff over the old Blue Heron mill, and this Western shirt pattern I bought at the library used-book sale for Everett. Can’t wait to sew this one.
On Sunday Andrew and I got a babysitter and I wore my favorite vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress out to the new Trader Vic’s! I can highly recommend the 1944 mai tai (they also make a virgin version if you don’t drink) – it’s divine. We also got crab rangoon and fried shrimp and it was pretty killer all the way around.
Then we went over to the Driftwood Room in the Hotel DeLuxe (Sunset‘s pick for best hotel in Portland!) and that was otherworldly. They’re running happy hour from 2 pm to close right now so all the delicious food and cocktails are on special. Really hoping to make it back soon…
I spotted this truly amazing Yoda-dinosaur terrarium at Powell’s for Cooks and Gardeners on Hawthorne (I was buying The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving for my Food In Jars class coming up, I can’t wait!) and got to talk to Megan and her co-workers about it. It’s so awesome! I wrote it up for Geekcrafts today, if you are also fascinated by this convergence of so many good things at once.
And to come full circle right back to quilts, here is my Habitat challenge quilt block. I’m not completely happy with it, to be honest, but I think it will look really cool in our PMQG collective quilt pieced in with everyone else’s blocks (which I liked better!). I wanted to take the “challenge” part seriously and push myself to use just the prints given. Solids were allowed, but that’s so my default that I thought I’d make myself do something different, even if it kind of overwhelmed my eyes.
I used Christina’s excellent double disappearing 9-patch tutorial for the four mini-blocks at the corners, and then added the necessary width and height to bring it to 12.5″ with an impromptu 2.5″ cross in the center. Then I turned off the sewing machine, unplugged the iron, and ran out the door to the meeting!
See you next week (or hopefully even sooner!)
I’m fresh off the giant craft-room switch (tons of carrying boxes and card catalogs around, along with an aqua painting session) and we’re getting noisy new ceilings put in upstairs, so my laptop time is a little crazy this week. I just posted about lots of things I’m excited about at my World of Geekcraft site and I hope you don’t mind a cross-post over here… Thanks so much to everyone who has had kind words (or cool projects) to share on the WOGC side of things, I’m so appreciative.
Back to the craft room for a second, here is a “during” photo (I just couldn’t deal with the “before” stage) – my first swatch of Tropicana Cabana over the dingy old-band-aid-colored drywall downstairs! I left the wood as-is and just jumped in for a 1.5-hour painting session. I love the aqua so much.
I hope you’re having a very crafty summer! I have gotten into a couple of picnic-table terrarium sessions, and have been inching along on John‘s fantastic Oregon Trail cross-stitch project and totally enjoying it. I need to snap a new progress pic, but here it is on my Maker Faire trip:
Someday I will proudly be displaying the finished project in our rec room (I have a crazy idea to frame it, which may or may not work, but I’m trying it for sure!).
A few other book updates…
Yay, Etsy has shared Garth Johnson‘s fantastic Planet Commemorative Plates project on their How-Tuesday feature! You can get the full project instructions and details over there. I’d love to see yours if you make them, please add a photo to the WOGC flickr group.
And my awesome publisher, Chronicle Books, is giving away a copy of WOGC to commemorate the end of the epic Harry Potter movie series.
Just leave a comment on their post by 8/11 with your suggestions for coping in a post-HP world, and you could win the book and craft your own tiny HP costume for your favorite baby or toddler. Love the ideas so far – my favorite is “Immediately leave your house, find puppies and kittens (accio them to you if need be), and frolic with them in a field full of flowers and rainbows.”
I’m excited that a feature on the Star Wars Terrariums will go up on CraftFoxes soon too. For now, you can see some lovely preview photos from our terra-crafting session on Katelyn’s Creo Photography blog. There’s some other good terrarium news to share soon too, I’ll keep you posted!
Finally, WOGC has gotten some nice reviews lately! Special thanks to Jane Ritter of the School Library Journal for her post last month. I loved making things in high school, and it is so cool to imagine my book on a school library shelf.
Beal’s introduction declares, “We’ve come a long way since ‘geek’ meant a carnival sideshow freak,” which sets the playful tone of this book. To celebrate the geek in all of us, the author has pulled together 25 projects from a variety of crafters organized by difficulty starting with “Not a Jedi Yet” (easy) to “Warp Speed” (advanced). Each contributor includes a “best geeky memory” that often highlights a video game, Star Wars or Star Trek, or an early computer memory. Each project lists the necessary items and includes clear, detailed instructions. Accompanying photos add to the fun.
According to Charlie McConnell, a geek is made up not only of flesh and blood, but of awesome. I agree with this. Geeks are awesome. So is this book, World of Geekcraft. It has lots of awesome projects. Some are difficult and need time and effort to complete but if you use time and effort, the projects will come out beautifully.
Get this book if you want to be awesome.
“After” craft room photos soon!
Thanks for the super nice comments and emails on my Oregon photo post! I was so happy to share some pictures of our favorite places along the southern half of the coast. We had such a lovely time. Back to regular life up in the northwest corner of the state, I wanted to spread the word about a couple of free crafty events I’m doing in the next couple of weeks – I’d love to see you at both of them!
First, this Sunday (6/5), I’m doing a World of Geekcraft book signing and craft project event with my fantastic Oregon book contributors at Powell’s downtown! I was totally amazed that they listed me on the marquee – huge thank-you to Powell’s for the kind support for a local book. The event is at 4:00 in the Pearl Room upstairs, and everyone who comes by can make a POW! ZAP! Magnet, or take home all the stuff to make one later! I’m also bringing lots of book projects, so you can try out the LOST Tin-Can Telephones or hang out with a Tribble.
Here are some of the super-personalized comics magnets people made at my last few WOGC events… first, at Maker Faire,
and then last week at WebVisions!
Then, the following Friday (6/10), I Heart Art PDX is teaming up with the Museum of Contemporary Craft to host the Portland Craft Party, our local chapter of the worldwide Etsy extravaganzas!
It kicks off at 11 am with lots of free crafts to try, from paper cutting to freestyle embroidery, and I’m happy to say that I’ll be there hosting a Quilts for Quake Survivors bee. Please come make some cool things at all the different DIY stations, and jump in if you’d like to help us sew, quilt or bind one of our Mercy Corps fundraiser quilts in progress! We would love that.
The crafting and quilting bee continues all afternoon, and then at 7pm the daytime event transforms into an evening party/Mercy Corps Japan Relief fundraiser!
From the post:
At 7:00 pm, the doors will open back up to the Museum and the real party will start! We’re taking over the entire space with complete with food, beer and wine, a DJ, and even more crafting stations. Your door donation will get you an entry into the drawing for a whole slew of crafty prizes (books, gift certificates, handmade goods and more!), some food and beverage tickets, and a lot of crafty fun!
Throughout the evening you can rotate through hand-felting, origami, hand-weaving, and make your own crafty artist trading cards. The quilts made for the project will be on display, and Modern Domestic will have them available for sale and sell raffle tickets.
If you go:
World of Geekcraft book signing and craft event
Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside St in Portland
Sunday, June 5 at 4:00 pm
I’ve been looking forward to our trip to California for months (and all that nice car time to work on my Oregon Trail cross-stitch) and it’s finally here… I’m very excited for my first out-of-town book event for MLCQ at The Bobbin’s Nest in Santa Clara, this Thursday, May 19 from 5-8 pm!
They’ve also sewn some gorgeous versions of my projects from the book, which I can’t wait to see in person. This is Amy’s baby quilt-sized Modern Crosses!
They’re all in the MLCQ flickr pool but here are a few I wanted to spotlight…
After everyone sews a quilt block, I’ll be signing books for anyone who wants one – and the Bobbin’s Nest is offering the book on a special sale, 20% off, until Wednesday. And I’ll be showing the log cabin quilting presentation I did for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild last month, too!
(love the button fabric! I’m definitely snapping some up when I get to the shop!)
Thank you so much to Erin, Amy, and everyone at the Bobbin’s Nest!
Modern Log Cabin Quilting book signing and sewing party!
Bobbin’s Nest Studio
1171 Homestead Road, Suite 130
Santa Clara, California 95050
Sewing, shopping and book signing, Thursday, May 19, from 5-8 pm
Then, on Saturday, I’ll be at Maker Faire with World of Geekcraft! I haven’t been to Maker Faire since 2007 so I’m beyond thrilled to finally make it back, especially with my little Yoda and my littler Harry Potter in tow.
I’m doing a panel moderated by Diane Gilleland at noon, Crafting Your Online Presence, which should be really cool – I’m very interested to hear what everyone else has to say.
And then you can make a POW! ZAP! Magnet from World of Geekcraft with me at 2:00 – both events are in the CRAFT: Magazine area and totally free! I’ll be signing books afterwards if anyone wants their own copy!
You can browse or buy our first six fundraiser quilts, pick up a Surprise Bag to piece your own log cabin quilt top, or buy a $5 raffle ticket to win the Hello Gorgeous quilt in the Modern Domestic shop, online or in person in Portland at the shop! Each individual listing has lots of information on the quilt’s donors, makers, and details, and tons more photos are in the QfQ flickr pool too.
Huge thank-you to everyone who’s helped so much for the relief effort!
The World of Geekcraft blog tour starts today – thank you so much to everyone who’s writing about the book with photo posts, reviews, giveaways, and sneak peeks. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the awesome support! This morning was a dual kick-off with posts at both Geek Crafts and CRAFT: Magazine. Chronicle Books also posted the whole tour on their blog today!
Shayne Rioux wrote a fantastic post at Geek Crafts that spotlighted Garth Johnson‘s Planet Plates, my Star Wars Terrariums, Renee Asher’s Atari + Nintendo essay, and Shayne’s own Buffy the Vampire Slayer portrait – painstakingly constructed from more than 10,000 fuse beads!!
Shayne said, “The coolest part of making the fuse bead portraits is seeing the faces emerge as I go row by row.” I would certainly agree with that!
And here she is with her finished portrait on the page! Awesome. She spotted the book at her local Barnes & Noble – very cool.
Geek Crafts is giving away a copy of the book to one lucky commenter! Just leave a comment mentioning your favorite geeky thing these days, by Friday, May 6, and you’re entered to win it.
I was also so happy to see the lovely post on CRAFT: today – one of the very last ones written by outgoing editor-in-chief Natalie Zee Drieu. Natalie is a lovely friend and a super-inspiring crafter and writer herself, and I was so grateful for her awesome quote on the back cover. I’m thrilled that my dear friend (and wedding officiant, and WOGC contributor!) Diane Gilleland has just come onboard as the new editor at CRAFT: and I am so excited to see all the cool things she has in store for us.
CRAFT: is also sharing a project from the book – the POW! ZAP! Magnets! Just visit the post to download a free PDF with instructions to make your own. (I’ll also be teaching this craft at Maker Faire, and giving away free kits to make your own at my Powell’s, WebVisions, and Crafty Wonderland events!)
So, here’s the whole blog tour if you’d like to follow along! Huge thank-you to everyone who’s signed up for a day along the way.
I’ll be posting more project peeks and extras over at the book site, World of Geekcraft, and if you make anything from the book or want to share favorite snapshots, I’d love it if you added them to the book flickr pool! Thank you again to all my amazing contributors, who I’ll be spotlighting more over the next few weeks as well.
See you at Crafty Wonderland on Saturday!
I’m getting really excited for some big updates about my other new book, World of Geekcraft, coming up at the beginning of May, but there are already a few cool things going on I wanted to share. First, HUGE congratulations to my friend and book contributor Bonnie Burton, who wrote an awesome essay on life at Star Wars world HQ for World of Geekcraft, on her fabulous new Star Wars Craft Book!
It’s packed with easy and even kid-friendly Star Wars-inspired crafts to make, from a Bossk Bean Portrait to a Cuddly Bantha, and I got to do a super fun interview with Bonnie about the book and her awesome day job at Lucasfilm over at geekcrafts.com today!
Speaking of the Star Wars Craft Book, I was thrilled that the books were paired up for a great review in the April/May issue of BUST (along with Cooking for Geeks, which I have to get for sure). Thank you so much to BUST for the shout-outs for the Oregon Trail + Mario Magritte cross-stitch patterns, Vintage Sci-Fi Book Cozy, “Marvelous Machine” Steampunk Pendant, and Harry Potter Baby Costume projects!
And Lonny Magazine picked World of Geekcraft for their Lonny Library feature in the April/May issue too, spotlighting the d20 Deluxe Earrings, Trio of Tribbles, and Secret Message Quilt – thank you so much!
It’s been a little dizzying switching back and forth between log cabin quilts and geeky crafts (plus keeping up with whale chalkboard menu planning, Quilts for Quake Survivors, and the Bazaar piece I’m working on for CRAFT:!) so I’ll just say I’m glad I was thinking ahead last year when I made Pearl’s special Easter dress in a nice roomy size that still fits my tall (and almost three-year-old – !) girl!
I am so fortunate to have two dozen amazing crafters and writers contributing awesome projects and essays on a myriad of geeky genres, from Star Trek and the Periodic Table of the Elements to space, Morse code, and video games. If you’re into Harry Potter, MIDI, Second Life, Coraline, Star Wars, WoW, D&D, or sci-fi (on the page or on the screen), this is the craft book for you!
The crafts to try include sewing, quilting, embroidery, woodworking, paper mosiac, knitting, crochet, needle felting, perler beads, and terrariums. The five projects I did were some of the most fun things I’ve ever made, and I was constantly wowed by the incredible things my contributors created. Public School knocked it out of the park with the photography and design, and my longtime collaborator Alexis Hartman made fantastic diagrams throughout.
I’ve been a Star Wars fan since standing in line to see The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, at age six, and it was a huge compliment when Chronicle approached me about writing and collecting amazing projects for this book, back in May 2009.
Cathy‘s Pac-Man Fever Wii-mote Holster
I am so honored to include such awesome crafts and fascinating essays from my geeky and crafty friends and heroes. Thank you so much to the many remarkable people who made this book so rad!
Rachel‘s Needle-Felted Solar System Mobile
World of Geekcraft comes out on May 1, but you can preorder it from Chronicle, Powell’s, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon.I’m really excited to do some book events at Powell’s, Maker Faire, and Crafty Wonderland (with some favorite projects for show and tell) and will be posting more about those soon!
John‘s Oregon Trail Cross-Stitch
I’ve made a book website at worldofgeekcraft.com that I’ll be adding tons more stuff to as the publication date gets closer… and I’ll post a few updates over here and of course at geekcrafts.com as well. I’ve made a flickr pool for book project photos, too. Thanks to everyone who has spotted the book somewhere online and liked it – I am so thrilled with it!
I wrote up two fun pieces this week that I wanted to share over here! First, I was so thrilled to spotlight four West Coast-crafted handmade holiday gifts for the brand-new issue of Venus. I picked a mix of my favorites – a striking Polaroid print from Yellow Owl Workshop (San Francisco), a leaf-embellished glasses case from Queen Bee Creations (Portland), lush and pretty flower brooches from Piper Ewan (Portland), and a rad coffee mug (made from corn!) by Sarah Utter (Olympia) for my round-up, and in what feels like a mostly digital world lately, it was a special treat to see all these cool things on an actual paper page.
Along with my regional picks for out here, Julie Schneider handled the East Coast, Amanda Mauer Taflinger covered the Midwest, and The Wondercraft spotlighted the Southwest – there is some awesome crafty stuff around these days, to say the least!
I’m also very happy to be posting weekly at Geekcrafts.com again, and I just fell in love with this sweet little amigurumi R2D2 pattern by Janama on Etsy. I need to get a refresher course from the super-talented Linda and start crocheting again…
Thank you, Venus! Thank you, geekcrafts! I have one more writing-related announcement tomorrow that I am super excited about as well, more on that whenever Pearl lets me have a little more laptop time.