One Community: April

I’ve been meaning to try out this One Community photo project for a while now In the words of AfricanKelli:

One Community is a monthly photo project in which participants photograph their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month. The goal is to both showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide – and bring us all closer together in understanding through art.

April’s words are: Spring, Purple, Flowers and Rise. This month’s link-up is hosted on Sarah’s (Beauty School Dropout) blog. Last week I grabbed my camera while I took the dog for a longer than usual walk. Spring has sprung here and we are having unusually sunny weather.

One Community April
Flowering tree on my block

One Community April
Grape Hyacinths in a neighbor’s yard. I also love the moss covered rock.

One Community April
My grandmother had camellia bushes growing in front of her house my whole life, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized they bloom at all because most of my visits were in the summer and fall.

One Community April
I think Camellia’s are more of a winter/early spring bloom as they’ve been blooming for a while now and are decidedly on their way out by April.

One Community April
I really need to remember to plant some hyacinths this fall. I might actually stop sticking my nose into other neighbors flowers if I had some of my own.

On our Saturday morning walk I was super excited to see that the Trilliums had started blooming.

I’m always trying to get a photo to capture how massive the trees are. These are in a park near my house.


And I might have had the Sunset Western Garden Book in my lap while I wrote this to confirm flower names and spellings.

April 9, 2014. Tags: , . Life, Thoughts. 6 comments.

Too much fun, too few photos

Over the weekend I participated in the second annual Pacific Northwest Modern Quilt Guild Meetup.  This year it was in Portland which meant I was familiar with all the places we went and just didn’t think to take photos.  I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the weekend.

If you prefer, the TLDR version: Thursday=fun, Friday=fun, Saturday=fun, Sunday=fun and exhausted. Everyday=lots of chatting, sewing, shopping, eating, drinking and general merriment. Oh and a smidge of learning. A few photos and many many more words follow.


August 21, 2013. Tags: , , . Life. 8 comments.

Second Saturday in July


The second Saturday in July is the Sisters’ Quilt Show. I’ve been lucky enough to go for the past three years but this seems to be the first year I actually managed to upload the photos and write a bit about it. The weather was just about perfect, hot but not too hot (well just a bit if you were standing in the sun for too long). It seemed a little bit less crowded than years past, but maybe I’m just adjusting my expectations. I got to wander the show with a few friends, that was nice and we took breaks for lunch, fudge, and ice cream. Kettle corn was also purchased. A bit of fabric shopping (I stuck to the fat quarters so I wouldn’t have to stand in line twice – once for cutting and then for paying).  This is a photo heavy post, so I’m going to make them smaller than usual, and if you click through to flickr you should find the accompanying photo with information about the quilt. There were many more quilts that I liked, but I tried to restrain myself with photos this year.

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Amy Walsh (L) & Betty Daggett (R)

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Hilde Morin (L) & Karla Alexander (R)

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Betty Daggett (L) & Besty Biller (R)

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Cathy Campbell (L) & Betty Anne Guadalupe (R)

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Tierney Hogan (L) & unlisted employee of The Stitching Post (R)

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Pam Bush (L) & Kristin Shields (R) (a better shot of the swing attached to the quilt)

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Kristin Shields (L&R)

And my own PMQG had a special exhibit (I did not enter anything in this – I keep saying “next year”). But I was an idiot who, since I recognized most quilts completely forgot to take photos of the tags. I’m sorry fellow guild members – if I managed to get all the info I’ll edit this so everyone gets credit for their quilt. Thanks to the PMQG post I was able to give attribution, and if you want to see larger photos of each quilt individually check out the PMQG post.


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Petra Anderson, Nancy Kennedy, Christina Lane (L) & Katie Sciarrino, Amber Wilson, Gail Weiss (R)

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Gail, Rachel Kerley, Linda Nussbaum (L) & Chelle Casey-Stevenson, Suzanne Gray (R)

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Jeri Bonset, Jen Carlton-Bailly (L) & Cris Pera, AnnMarie Cowley (R)

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Kimberly Lumapas, PMQG Collaborative Quilt

July 20, 2013. Tags: , , . Life, quilting. 2 comments.

Pink drinks for summer

A bit over a week ago I found this recipe for strawberry-rhubarb infused vodka and I knew I had to make it. I haven’t had luck with infusions in the past but I did like that this recipe made a small batch. Also rhubarb….I’m a sucker for rhubarb.

I meant to try the drink included with the infusion recipe, or the spiked lemonade. But this afternoon I realized I forgot to pick up the necessary ingredients. So a “simple” vodka & soda was made (really a better test anyway).


1 1/2 – 2 oz infused vodka
6 oz soda or seltzer water
mint garnish optional

June 14, 2013. Tags: , , . Cooking, Life. 2 comments.

I like picnics

Inspired by my friend Sarah’s May goal of going on a picnic (or maybe in attempt to inspire her).



Last weekend we debated driving to the coast (above, September 2008) but decided to just enjoy the good weather we were having in town instead. We headed to the lilac garden since the lilacs were blooming all around us and I’ve been wanting to be in the park during the bloom for a while now. (I never had the timing right before).


We actually ate on the benches since we though our sandwiches might be more tempting than grass to our sheep/cow dog. And then we chilled on the blanket with a good book. Check out all that purple (and blond lump grazing):


We like picnics. I made a blanket/quilt just for picnics. Picnics are about food of course, but also…

reading (September 2010)

handcrafts (April 2012)

people (or dog) watching (April 2012)

May 3, 2013. Tags: . Life. 2 comments.

Weekending with Yarn

A few months into 2013 and I realized that one of my goals is to take more classes, jump on more opportunities (like visiting every shop on the Rose City Yarn Crawl even if I do it solo). So when I learned that Sock Summit was no more  (so so so glad I managed to experience the first Sock Summit) I stopped waffling about the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival and jumped on the class I had been eyeing.

We started the Saturday off our usual way, muffins, tea and ‘tubing (as we have call browsing online). Those muffins, btw, were delicious – I have a standard muffin recipe that I have memorized, but I tried a new recipe that involved folding about 2/3 cup of jam into the batter and baking at a lower temperature for a longer time. They turned out delicious if a bit sticky, with pockets of jam getting all caramelized near the edges.


I drove to Hood River on Saturday to take Carson Demer’s Ergonomics for Knitters class and experience a little bit of the CGFF. Because I was running a bit later than I wanted (muffins, internet…) I didn’t really have time to stop anywhere on the way there, I arrived about 25 minutes before my class which was just enough time to check-in, find the classroom and find a spot to eat my lunch. Then class, our classroom had a view of the Columbia River. Finally after class I went to the marketplace. Now, the CGFF has a lot of classes geared towards spinners and so the marketplace also is geared towards spinners. But there was also a good amount of handspun and/or hand-dyed yarn to purchase. The second booth I walked to I spotted what I wanted, but I was good and waited until I went around the entire marketplace. Then I was back in Lavender Sheep’s booth evaluating every fingering weight skein of the Mountain Sunset color that I could find. I settled on her Superwash Merino Wool sock yarn but was mighty tempted by a couple lace weights – I’m just not ready to go back to laceweight yet. And I totally forgot to go back to the BarMaids booth for a new travel size lo lo bar, luckily several shops in town carry that (but the booth at events always has the best scent selection). I don’t think I’ve managed to capture the color of this yarn in the dozen or so photos I snapped, so this will have to do.


And I headed home. I wish I had been a passenger so I could snap some photos of the drive, because it is such a pretty drive even when you stick to the interstate. But I did make a 2 minute stop on the way home at Multnomah Falls, because how could I not? I snapped this (things I take photos of too often: my dog, moss on trees and waterfalls).


April 26, 2013. Tags: . Knitting, Life. Leave a comment.

Rose City Yarn Crawl late recap

I wavered on whether or not I should do the yarn crawl. I spent most of last year on a yarn “diet”, trying to not buy yarn; but truthfully I still haven’t knit-down my stash to my satisfaction (frogging projects doesn’t help matters). But then that Thursday afternoon I thought, “I have the time now, so why not?”. I went and took some money out of the ATM with a goal of only spending that cash. I had a few things in mind that I was looking for (a few patterns I’ve been eyeing, a very specific skein of yarn). Due to my last minute decision this was a solo project.  Being solo was one of the reasons I was hesitant, 18 yarn shops, a few on the perimeters of the metro area (in my eye anyway), it felt a little bit wasteful. Also, the first year I just went to a couple shops, and while I am decidedly an introvert, I still find it hard to do solo events when I am surrounded by groups of buddies. But I rallied my spirits, swallowed my pride and did it by myself.

I’m so glad I did. I visited shops that I wouldn’t have (even though sometimes I do go on epic yarn-hunts in the city searching for that perfect yarn for a project). And having some gorgeous nearly 60 degree and sunny weather didn’t hurt either. I visited all 18 shops, spread out over all four days (I also managed to go to PMQG’s all-day sew on Saturday too). And I splurged a little bit, but really I didn’t go very far over my initial budget. I got things I had been looking for (sock yarn, shawl pin) and things I had not (yarn, and my  perennial weakness, buttons). I made mental notes of many yarns that I want to try…eventually. I feel like I have better sense of different shops strengths & weaknesses. I got to hold a two-week old lamb!

I am sad to say, however I didn’t get any good shots of places/things that aren’t yarn-related (like the very cool leaning abandoned house in the country, darn you rain + truck following me or the bridge in Oregon City). The haul:


Impulse yarn: Malabrigo Rastita in Indiecita. Planned yarn: Cascade Heritage Sock in White. Nifty notions from Hiya Hiya: pretty colored tapestry needles with bent tips (my fav tip) and interesting bulb shaped safety pins. A Shawl Pin. Vintage buttons. A fat quarter (I wonder how many yarn crawlers bought fabric). Patterns (it turns out I just got the patterns that were designed specifically for the crawl).

One of the things that attracted me to this particularly skein of Indiecita was the blends of blues and aquas. I knew from a past purchase of that colorway that it could vary quite a bit, and I wasn’t sure I’d find that combination again (or when). I never thought I’d fall for such a variegated yarn. Take a look (the shawl is knit out of malabrigo sock, but still):


March 25, 2013. Tags: , , . Knitting, Life. 5 comments.

Last Weekend

Last Friday it was sunny and 60 degrees, so I made an afternoon of it and treated myself to a couple of my favorite things in the city: Cool Cottons for fabric shopping and Cool Moon for ice cream.
Fabric for an impulsive new project, one stash-enhancement piece, an impulsive fabric piece, more grey to complete a project, and another owl print for my eventual owl quilt.

Strawberry Sorbet and Butter Almond Brickle. Not a particularly winning combo, but sometimes I pick two micro-scoops simply so I can indulge in two flavors.

On Saturday we lingered too long in the morning, and the weather turned from dry to wet on our walk to get waffles. Instead of turning back for home we carried on anyway. For the first time I noticed the yard with the huge garden had bee hives.


After eating our waffles, it was still raining, so we opted to head home instead of continuing to explore on foot as originally planned. The sky was misleading but pretty.

Directly above us it was raining and grey (the dark upper left corner is my hand trying to block drops from hitting the lens).

Of course we had forgotten our raincoats, so we got rather wet on our walk, my glasses looked like this.

This is the one thing I hate about wearing glasses.

I ran errands. And then I finally got to make a treat I’ve been dreaming of for a while, a savory small bite. I’m not sure when I bookmarked the recipe, and I was in such a hurry when they finished I never snapped a photo (also it was dark). Blue cheese savouries with rosemary-rhubarb jam (homemade last summer, I’m sure any jam that pairs well with blue cheese would work). The recipe has you roll them out into tiny round crackers, but I formed mine like thumbprint cookies and piped jam into the center. Due to the size my yield changed (IIRC I got about 60 “cookies” from a double batch) and the bake time was closer to 15-18 minutes instead of 10 (also they tasted better slightly over-baked than under-baked). They were delicious and received with rave reviews.

Blue Cheese Savouries ready for the oven.

And then our Sunday morning looked like this (it often does, really the only variation is what type of tea you will find in our mugs, that morning it was Mt Hood Vanilla black tea with a splash of milk).

February 22, 2013. Tags: . Life. 3 comments.


A blog I read, Becoming Gezellig, has a recurring theme post she calls weekending – I enjoy these short glimpses into her life. And sometimes I just want to document random bits of these I see, a place for my too numerous photos of clouds, moss and such. And so, I am copying her on occasion, if a bit late this week for documenting this past weekend.

On Saturday it was very cold but sunny, and we’ve been trying to incorporate more long walks, taking advantage of the sunshine and dry weather (I also had this idea to go check out some bridge construction). We bundled up and set off shortly after noon.

Frost (semi-rare here) had only melted where the sun hit.


Some of the older neighborhoods have rings embedded in the sidewalks (horse hitches?), a few also have children’s plastic figurines hooked to these rings. These figurines always make me smile.


We also have sidewalk stairs around town (and a book devoted to them, The Portland Stairs Book). It often feels like you are walking in someone’s yard when you take these stairs, hopefully I won’t make that gaffe on a walk. Portions of the stairs were in the shade, but luckily they were still dry, or our walk would have been much longer, zig-zagging down the hill along the roads.


Moss photo #12,345 or something like that, this one of the boring concrete barrier that blocks the road from the path narrow path below and alongside it.


I liked the contrast of the yellow hook against the blue sky.


The destination of our walk, watching the Sellwood Bridge move (we actually did get to see an inch or so move, but just seeing the bridge detached was wild, I can’t imagine how freaky it was to being on it during the process, a process that took something like 15 hours). Crowds had collected on both sides of the bridge.


Huge tree trunk (yet another one of my goofy picture themes, tree photo here but you get less sense of the scale).


And it was good mountain viewing day (not always the case on sunny days, sometimes we have sun but still too much cloud cover to see the mountains). On Sunday Mt. Hood was even prettier glistening in the sun, but I didn’t have my camera on me when I noticed it.
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We finished off an excellent Saturday with a trip to Powell’s and dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.

January 24, 2013. Tags: . Life. 2 comments.

Perils of Ironing

I hate ironing large pieces of fabric, but I ordered 4 yards of Essex cotton-linen blend, pre-washed it and started to iron it.  Dog decide it was his bed.


(Crummy lighting due to night-time indoor photography, we have glamorous Saturday nights ironing.  Although come to think of it my house is really really beige, at least it hides dog hair.)

November 13, 2011. Tags: . Life, Sewing. 1 comment.

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