Sunday, April 26, 2009

Totally Awesome Weekend

Robin Hood was performed spectacularly by the 6th grade on Wednesday and their grateful teacher breathed a huge sigh of relief. Above is a picture of the styrofoam stocks (they look even better up close where the "wood grain" is more noticeable) with the chalk backdrop. Can you believe that 6th graders did the drawing? They only had planning help and minimal input by a generous parent volunteer.
The cherry tree in full bloom last week. We've been having petal showers for the last few days - one of my favorite things in the world.
So, you know any weekend that starts off buying a bike on Friday afternoon is going to be great. Paul's Bicycle Way of Life had this in stock on Wednesday when we went to look but it wasn't built up. I'd test-ridden a men's gray one before and loved it and finally decided that this was the bike for me. So I went in on Friday and discovered that it was green! *swoon*
Grocery Bike, as she was affectionately known, is a Schwinn Mirada from the late 1980's and was quite heavy, although she did the job. The new one has already been christened Girly Bike (due to my propensity to bounce up and down on the seat as I ride, chanting "girly bike, girly bike"). At least she'll still be "G.B." for short. We rode down to Saturday Market to test her out and she's so great.
From a sort of all-terrainy hybrid bike to this is so fun. It's a totally around town commuter and I get to sit upright on a big cushy seat. The bar is so low that, as the bike sales guy pointed out, I could ride it in a skirt. (In my head I added, "and still preserve my lady-like decorum" - sales guys don't talk like that though.) I know she'll be heavier once Q transfers over the baskets and that some of her charm will be offset by the toe clips (but I've gotten to used to them to not have them), but she's pretty great. Raleigh Venture 2009, a.k.a. Girly Bike, I love you.

So, today (Sunday) we made a spontaneous trip to Portland to check out this shop to purchase this bag for Q. He's been looking for a bag smaller than the usual messenger, larger than the usual "man purse" and pocket-y enough for all of his stuff for a long time and we think this will finally fit the bill. And it's an Oregon company, what could be better?!

Above is the weekend swag...
(bottom right)The Backyard Homestead- a purchase that has a little bit of everything from how to grow grapes to raising vegetables to keeping chickens, ducks, and even swine. As we go all "permaculture-y", I see myself using this as a great starting resource for lots of projects. (It even has a little box on how to make your own pectin!)
The other 4 books were purchased at Powell's, three of them on really good sale.
I've wanted Zakka Sewing since it came out just because I love the squirrel tea cosy from the cover, recognizing that I will never make it as I would never use such a thing. It has got a couple of other great looking projects though, including some delightful double-layered, leather bottomed house slippers.
Knitting Lingerie Style has a lot of info on shaping and a pattern for some cute knit leggings so I'm planning on using ideas and not actual projects extensively. Q just also empirically liked the book, so, of course, we had to get it. :)
Alterknits Felt just has a lot of great design ideas and Q thought we should get it as design inspiration because it was just that pretty and just that good a sale.
Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts was not on sale, but it was what we originally went in there for. I needed this quilt pattern. I'm planning on spending the next 2 or 3 years with a stack of fabrics in rainbow order stashed somewhere, occassionally getting changed and "improved" until I finally get around to making it. I'm wounded by the idea that you can just buy collections of the fabric to do it. It seems like it's taking half of the fun out of it. I'm already monkeying with ideas on how to incorporate the colors into other blocks, strips on the outside to extend the pattern into something that's more bed-sized. Me and my inability to actually follow a pattern exactly as written.
The green knit fabric was super cheap at JoAnn's (3 yards was only $6) and it's going to help me learn to sew knits. I'm pondering a shorts pajama set or a knit dress patterned on one I already have and like.
The pink red fabric was discovered on clearance at The Fabric Depot in Portland where we went hoping to find some more of the Amy Butler Bright Buds Aqua to finish the guest room motif. (Failed there, guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and get it online.) I got the last 1 3/8 yards. Hopefully enough for some flirty (but knee-length) sort of gusseted skirt. Right now I've got a little back up of sewing projects, which I'll hopefully get to soon. I'm quite in love with all of them though, so I'm not lacking motivation at least. Thankfully, the argyle cardigan order is quite close to completion without any orders behind it, so... (Of course, I have the Pac-Man beanie design, Space Baby sweater design, and Steampunk Cogs fingerless mitt designs that I've created that all need to be test-knit but... :D)

Q always lets me stop at Pudding on the Rice on the way home from Portland for rice pudding (mine had maraschino cherries and chocolate chips today) and while we were at the complex we stopped at Anthropologie, where we found this great hardware. It's going to go on the pantry door. Currently there is a hole that has a piece of string threaded through it to serve as a door handle. Perhaps such an adorable little knob will make me actually close the pantry, instead of leaving it open all the time. (I can't help that I like looking at all the pretty, full jars.)
Me in my thrift store find of the weekend - a very cool $3 skirt. You can really see it but it's got lavendar, green, black, and brown pointed ovals all over it and is structured with a couple of diagonal bias strips at the top and some extra triangular panels at the bottom to create flare. I will probably have to copy it as a pattern.
And I included this just because Q's an awesome photographer and I like the composition.
Guess we'll have to start admitting that Monday's on the way!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pretty Food

Dinner from a few nights ago, too pretty to not immortalize. Sometimes it's hard to find the pesto and pasta under all the parmesan I put on it. BTW- the wine is "Fizze" from a little winery called Cuckoo's Nest down in Southern Oregon. Absolutely delightful, my kind of "candy wine". The winery owner said that in the summer they marinate melon in it and serve the chunks as appetizers. Looks like we need more Fizze.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Sewing Weekend and a Field Trip!

My class' play is coming up in 10 days, which means I'm busy sewing and crafting for it (pictures of the completed stocks made of styrofoam coming soon). Thank heavens for my serger, muslin, and RIT dye. I have been able to whip out 5 tunics for Merry Men and 3 monk's robes in very little time for very little money. I'm rather proud of the monk robes since it was a total case of "cut a little, serge a little, what should I do next?". BTW- that's Sasha in the corner, always wanting more attention. Enough with work, on to the fun stuff.

We went up to Portland yesterday to look at the Da Vinci Exhibit at OMSI (very cool) and get some fabric for curtains/cushions for the guest room. After going to three other Portland Fabric Stores, I finally remembered the delightful "Mill End Store", keeper of more great fabric than I can comprehend at one time. We'd forgotten their huge decorator section and finally found THE fabric we'd been seeking there - Amy Butler August Fields Bright Buds in aqua. Buying designer fabric, especially Amy Butler, sort of bothers me since I do hate doing things that everybody else does, but I can't help it, Amy Butler fabric just delights me. They only had 2 1/2 yards of it left, which was enough to make these curtains and have about 20" left over. (The little picture doesn't really do the fabric justice, click it to see a more accurate representation of the fabric.)

The tabs are made out of a dark green, slightly coarse weave decorator fabric that matches the green in the Amy Butler so well you'd think they were made to go together. Thank you to Q's keen eye for spotting that bolt. I got a lot of the green so I'm going to make a cushion for the reading nook out of it as well. It's going to be a rectangular boxy cushion and the Bright Buds is going to be the sides. We're going to get the blue paint matched and paint the wall behind the bookshelves, at the back of the reading nook, to provide a little interest.
I need to dig up a bit more of the Bright Buds online to make a throw pillow and create some sort of covers for the nightstand (since it's ugly) and the top of the chest of drawers (to protect it from scratches) and then that room will be done.

When we went to JoAnn's last night to get the black out liner for the curtains, I was right behind a lady buying the sweetest green/brown/blue/white striped nursery fabric and there was a 1 1/2 yard piece that she didn't want that the sales lady was going to have to put back. Since the fabric was already 50% off and the last 1/2 yard was an additional 50% off for being a remnant, I got the whole piece for about $4. I cut my favorite sundress pattern out of it today with a bit of creative piece placement. Hopefully, that will get sewn up soon and I can post pictures here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ahi Sushi

Woohoo, I got the rice much better on the second sushi attempt and we just made some simple sushi with ahi tuna for dinner with a side of stir-fried broccoli and mushrooms.

This time it really looks like sushi and tastes that way too. The brilliant thing for me about making sushi is that I got 4oz. each for Q and I of the fish, a proper "serving", and it actually looks like a proper meal when made into sushi. Usually a single serving of protein looks so incredibly tiny. Yet another way Japanese food tricks me into eating healthier.