This spring has kind of brought a bit of everything at once – rainy, then sunny, then rainy again… crazy busy, then blissed out on vacation, then back to the laptop… sewing, cooking, gardening, a long-awaited new fence, birthdays, and bagels! I have a lot of catching up to do, so I wanted to share some of my May favorites (so far).
The first Friday of the month, I took an amazing class from my friend Heather and learned how to make homemade bagels – such a great morning. I wasn’t sure I could duplicate her magic and skill at home, but sure enough, my first two dozen bagels (half sesame, half plain) following her recipe and tips turned out pretty perfect. I’m in love. Thank you, Heather!!
Then, my sweet Pearl turned four (!) so I just had to drop everything else and make her a birthday skirt. I fell in love with an apron at a vintage store in Silverton last month, and cut it up to make the cutest little skirt for her. She’s a big girl now who won’t wear anything except exactly what she wants to, so I kind of held my breath while she opened the new tote bag I sewed her to see what was inside…
but she loved it and put it right on for her birthday party and beyond. Happiness! I also got to make my favorite cupcakes (with purple frosting, by request) and a “triple berry cake” (aka blueberry boy bait + raspberries + marionberries). The girl loves her sweets, and you only turn four once.
I forgot to get a first-day shot of planting my garden this spring, but this is about three or four weeks in (I started later than usual, after an epically rainy March). Everything is loving it so far – from left to right, it’s spinach, mustard greens, dinosaur kale, white russian kale, and chard. I have beets and leeks in a smaller bed and I’m hoping to put in my tomatoes soon too, then summer squash a little later on. Tucked behind all the greens, which you can’t really see, I finally took my herbs out of all their random-sized containers and dug them into a real garden bed. I also rescued my little blueberry bushes and pomegranate from the relentless grass invasion all that rain brought, and we have about two dozen tiny Bartlett pears nestled in on our tree! I’m pretty excited… almost five years into living in our house, I feel like my yard is finally becoming what I hoped for, after a lot of baby steps forward (most recently, a birthday sandbox and a new fence!). We have flowers, native plants, and succulents planted on one side of the house, and herbs, berries, and the vegetable garden on the other.
We went away with the kids for a very needed long weekend to Mt. Hood on Wednesday and stayed at the sweetest cabin. Such a beautiful place, right on a creek, with a hammock and a hot tub and green everywhere you looked.
Along with lots of easy 18-month-old-friendly hikes, splashing in the Columbia River, skipping stones in the creek, and getting an ice cream cone in Hood River, we headed up to Timberline Lodge for a grilled cheese (Pearl and Everett) and a glass of wine (me and Andrew) and spent half an hour gazing out the window at this view. The photo above is just a regular old iPhone snapshot, no editing or anything.
This second one is a Hipstamatic from the same spot. (I find it totally impossible to stop taking photos of Mt. Hood.) Bonus – I just learned from Merritt that those amazing cloud formations we were admiring, gracefully skirting the summit, are called lenticular!
I bought this dreamy little succulent dish garden with two teeny cairns and a few seashells mixed in at the Saturday Market in Hood River. So beautiful! I wish the vendor (Rose) had a card so I could credit her, but she said she was just getting started and this was her first event ever…
Midway through our idyllic getaway was a really awesome May PMQG meeting I drove back for. I am so excited that Nancy finished quilting my Oceanside quilt and I got to share it at show and tell! She did a really cool all-over quilting pattern of waves with three whales here and there – a small, medium, and big one. I love whales so much and this was just perfect.
If anyone is interested in the process, I’m hoping to write up a longer post about how I made Oceanside… and it will be at Sisters so I’m very excited about that!
Hopefully I’ll have a side-by-side photo of the quilt with the Oceanside sign that inspired it to share soon too…
My birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and Andrew surprised me with this huge vintage science-lab bottle so I can make a mega-terrarium bottle garden! Happiness!
I love it so much. Michelle and I headed over to Artemisia and I picked up some tiny, pretty plants that will hopefully slip through the narrow bottleneck. (I also got to go to Pambiche, the park, Bar Avignon, and Ringside. It was a pretty good birthday!)
Way back in the freewheeling crafty 70s, my parents made a bottle garden for my grandparents in a giant green-glass solvent bottle from my grandfather’s physics lab, and I loved it. I’ve always dreamed about making one myself. Approximately three million tiny, small and medium terrariums later, here I am, trying to figure out how the heck to pull it off – my mom says it’s pretty challenging! Luckily, I have some allies in the form of fabulous vintage craft books…
This is from The Family Creative Workshop (Volume 2: Beachcombing to Bottle Gardens). Love this whole series so much. (I snapped photos of all the pages in the whole Bottle Gardens entry that are here in my flickr set if you want to see them.)
I also have a copy of Sunset’s Gifts You Can Make. I really wish more vintage craft books had color photos, but this is a fantastic book, and I’m so happy that they included bottle gardens as an idea for presents.
If you’re looking for either of these books, here’s what the covers look like… in glorious color!
Andrew found the bottle here, on Division in Southeast Portland. I asked the owner how often he sees these giant bottles, and he said they’re pretty rare, but this is the place I’d keep an eye on if you want one too. Would love to add some other giant-bottle sources if you have any!
My other birthday gift from Andrew was this beautiful Oregon myrtlewood cutting board, made by Coast Range Woodworks on Etsy. It’s really awesome too.
So, hopefully my next bottle garden post will be lots of photos of a beautiful miniature world of lush plants… or maybe just a list of what not to do when it comes to plants and bottlenecks. Either way, I have a hardware-store shopping list ready to go and I hope I can get started on it this week!
Also coming up – just wanted to mention that I’m teaching a scrap projects class at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store this Saturday from 2-4! We will be making two projects, a sunglasses case and a patchwork draft snake, and all the materials are included for $25. PMQG members get $5 off any class at Pendleton, too…
PS: Thanks to everyone who came to our January meeting last week! Petra wrote up a lovely meeting recap over here at the PMQG blog. We are so excited to do some fun things this year… we have an all-day sew coming up at Fabric Depot on February 4 (9am-8pm) and we’ll be announcing some good surprises for the February meeting soon, too!