Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Knitting Highlights

The Diminishing Rib Cardigan from Interweave Knits, Spring 2009 Issue was one of those must knit projects from the moment I saw it on the cover in my mailbox. I am pleased with how it turned out, and it goes with lots of outfits, making it extremely hand to have in my closet! An added bonus was finally using up yarn that had been stashed way back in Seattle, around when I started knitting.:
Diminishing Rib Cardigan

Citron from Knitty, Winter 2009 Issue is a fun project I would highly recommend. I took it with me on a trip to visit my grandma. We discussed how it started with only 3 stitches and goes all the way up to 540 stitches. That's pretty cool. I used Hempathy, which I think worked very well for a nice summer wrap. Plus I stashed 3 balls of this yarn mainly based on the color (eucalyptus) with no particular plan for how I might use it. I was glad to find a project I didn't end up needed to buy additional balls for.:

Sock projects are a highlight of any year, handmade socks are just so useful and comfy. The highlights this year were the Soybean Socks by Christabel Seneque (that's a free download on Ravelry) and Cauchy Socks by Cookie A. from Sock Innovation, and I'd still like to knit just about everything in that book! Oh and I did finish up my Monkey Socks (also Cookie A. from Knitty) early in the year, although they were started in 2009.:
Sable Soybean Socks Cauchy Socks in Progress 50%

And, lastly, my own design for e-reader cozies, which I had a lot of fun making for my Etsy shop this year There will be more sizes, colors and variations of these to come in 2011:

Various Colors]

I hope 2011 has a good balance of personal projects (with socks!) and stuff for my shop!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Jane Austen Christmas

My Christmas cards this year. I read Pride & Prejudice several months ago, and when I saw this quote I knew it had to go on some cards this year. And then it just seemed to make sense to jazz up Jane a little in keeping with the sentiment of the quote. Anyway, Hope you're having a lovely Holiday season!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shipping News

There's still just enough time to order stuff on the internet and receive it in time for Christmas day. This is my current shop announcement regarding holiday shipping: 
"My Standard Shipping prices are for USPS First Class Shipping. The USPS indicates that the cutoff date for receiving packages by Christmas Day is Dec. 20th, so if you are shopping for gifts, I recommend placing orders no later than Dec. 17th. If you need your order soon, contact me and we can discuss pricing for faster shipping!"

   Six Chicago Calendars Ready!

If you order by end of day tomorrow you should get your order by Christmas day, and I will do what I can to get any orders out quickly. Pretty much everything in my shop is ready to go so really, technically, you can still order from me this weekend and possibly still get your goodies by Christmas Day. Like I said, I'll do what I can at my end &/or you could contact me to discuss other shipping methods at additional cost. For holiday shipping Etsy is usually plugging their "shop local" feature heavily around this time of year. If you happen to also be fairly close to Portland, OR there's an even better chance your order will get to you quickly, so keep that in mind!

I can't resist posting some selections for you here. I've still got a few seasonal items, winter/christmas-y, if you're looking for last minute stocking stuffers, or gift packaging, and a few I just think would make nice gifts!


And if you end up shopping extremely last minute, but have access to a printer & some nice paper, and don't mind just a little DIY effort, you can purchase either of these PDF Calendars right up until the last minute (but be sure to save yourself some time to do the cutting!) 


Oh, one last thing to keep in mind, check that your PayPal address & Etsy address match. I always check too, but it will add time in contacting you to make sure I send stuff to the right place. Not a ton, but this time of year, every bit counts!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Weekend Recap: Treats & Crafty Wonderland & Calendars!

Peppermint Cake & WIP Blondie from Petunias

We braved the somewhat more rainy than usual rain on Saturday to run over to the PSU Farmer's Market on Saturday morning after I saw Petunia's Pie's and Pastries post it would be the last one they attended. (the last market until next spring is this weekend!) It's so hard to resist every week, that was just excuse I needed. I got the peppermint chocolate cake because it was so pretty, while Chuck got the Blondie, which I had a sliver of, it was amazing. I was also really impressed with the band who were carefully crammed under tent, each with hats on, still happily performing despite the rain, and they even had a small crowd. Impressive!

Crafty Wonderline

And of course we went to Crafty Wonderland, which was overwhelmingly awesome. We waited in line to try get some of the goodie bags, and as is my standard luck, the last one went to someone from the group just in front of us! (That's happened to me before!) But no big deal, it was still nice to be there before it got very crowded, although that didn't take very long. We ended up hanging around until 2pm -ish with a break for coffee & crowd watching in there somewhere. I'm not even sure where to start with all the awesome vendors, just click anywhere on this list!:
A few I liked: Tako Fibers, littleblackrabbit and Puji studio. But I didn't see much I didn't like, so I'm still working on add many favorites from that show...

Six Chicago Calendars Ready!

We also spent some time this weekend getting some 2011 calendars of Portland and Chicago printed up for the orders I've had so far, and a few more for future orders. They're all packed up and ready to go, and there's still time to get them shipped out before the 20th, so they arrive by Christmas! (hint hint) Portland has been a lot more popular than Chicago so far, but I'm hoping that evens out somewhat!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Links: Christmas stuff to make!

After getting our tree up this year I decided that this should be the year that I at least get the poor thing a tree topper or a skirt. I'm not planning on beating myself up about it if I don't get both done, but we've had the tree for a while now without either of these things. I once bought a tree topper at World Market, but since this an apartment sized tree, it turned out to be too large and I returned.

Anyway, my first thought was that I really like the bird ornaments we have in the tree, and I thought making an Owl, perhaps with a santa hat, as the topper would be super cute. But I don't really want to buy more supplies for this project right now, especially considering I've thought about it for a week now and haven't really thought up a way to execute the idea. Maybe by next year I will have it figured out. So I thought in the interim I might make one of these as a topper, via Craft (the images are also via craft, I haven't made mine yet):


We also did some strolling & shopping yesterday, and I noticed the Keen Store (which has really neat shoe displays) has a paper snowflake constructed from old floor plans. I've been slowly adding to our snowflake window and I thought making a really big one of these would be a lot of fun, so we looked up a tutorial on wikihow (again haven't made mine yet):

And speaking of birds as ornaments, I will definately be printing out some of these on cardstock to hang in our tree, by Lisa Rupp of That's Happy via bugs and fishes:

And speaking of that tree skirt, design*sponge had a pretty lovely looking one with a tutorial this week:

And lastly I think this is lovely, but I probably won't be trying to make it, at least not this year. From The Country Chic Cottage via Craft Gossip, a tree made of sewing patterns!:

It's a great time of year for crafters! I know you probably don't need more to do, with the Christmas shopping, cards, etc., but these are too much fun to resist. I hope I find time to make most of them!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday is late in the week for a Weekend Recap, but...

I'm doing it anyway!

Over the weekend we made our first excursion out of Portland. That sounds like a bigger deal than it was. I wanted to get out to a Joann's to take advantage of seasonal discounts on yarn. It's the kind of chain that's never all that close to a downtown in any city. While there is actually one technically within Portland, it turned out to be quicker and easier for us to go to this one. It isn't quite as easy to get to as the ikea, which is pretty much right next to the transit stop. No, we had to walk a while to get to the Joann's and it was all very car oriented i.e. unpleasant for pedestrians. So we went, got the yarn and came back to the city. Maybe there are better parts of Beaverton to check out...but we didn't see anything that stood out much on this trip.

Pop-up Shop Window
We did a lot of different, small things over the weekend. There are a bunch of pop-up shops here, which I've been planning on doing a longer post about. I stopped by Crafty Wonderland's...again...and I have my fingers crossed that someday that will be a permanent shop. (also, their craft show is this weekend, I'm thinking about going early to try for the goodie bags!) The picture above is from a window at Downtown Artistry.

We also stopped in to the (permanent) toy store that has been calling to me since we moved here, Finnegan's Toys & Gifts. They made me happy by having a Wembley fraggle puppet, and some really cool science kits including a miniature sustainable house.

Lastly, we also went to two craft shows going on around Old Town that I heard about fairly last minute, thanks to tweets by PDXEtsy. The first one was in the space by the ACE hotel called the Cleaners, the event was called Sunday Best. There were a few vendors I think we had seen at the Give Handmade Market, but a few we had not. Also, I thought it was interesting that Laura Irwin, author of  Boutique Knits, had a table there, she seemed to be selling some hats and other accessories, copies of her book and some pretty golden sparkly yarn. The other event was the LaCoCO Artists Market which reminded me a little of the Punk Rock Flea Market in Seattle. There was a little bit of everything there, but the highlight had to be the vegan truffles:

So I got to posting about the weekend very late this week. I've had a busy week, which has included 3 orders on Etsy! Two in the same day, today, which I think is the first time that's happened, and I'm thrilled about it! I can't believe it's Thursday already, this week has gone fast. Not much more time before Christmas...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Our Chirstmas Tree is Up!

Merry Christmas Cat Christmas Tree
This weekend we spent an evening putting up our tree. Chuck thought it was early, I guess in his family it goes up a few days before and goes down a few days after Christmas. I seemed to recall one year when he stayed home for the holidays, it was already down by the time I got back from visiting my family, only a few days after Christmas! In my mind it's supposed to go up shortly after Thanksgiving and down shortly after New Year's. 

We don't have a large tree or a ton of ornaments. When we moved out to Seattle in 2004 I didn't take family Christmas decorations with me, although my parents offered. As a result they have a ton of ornaments to deal with every year, so I feel a little bad about that, but I like going home and seeing them all together.  I wanted to start my own collection, and this year I realized even in just a few years they can still bring up plenty of good memories. 

Box of Ornaments EtsyRain Ornaments!

We have a fake, apartment sized Martha Stewart Tree, with integrated lights. Back in 2004 I bought some simple (Martha again) blue & silver ornaments to fill it out. I still like and use those to give it an overall consistency. Now there's a variety of ornaments, some store-bought (I had to have those weird cocktail party kitties, I think they are awesome. They were from Fireworks in Seattle. I like them so much that when I broke one of their spindly legs the first year I had to go back out to replace it. Now I'm always extra careful with them.) Some were gifts from family, some are handmade by me, and I have two from an EtsyRain ornament exchange that always make me smile! (by Norik and WovenChains, pictured on the right above)  I could still use a tree topper (it's pretty hard to find a good one for a smaller tree like this, I've found) and a skirt. I have the idea that I might make myself an owl tree topper this year, but I haven't figured out how I want to do it yet. I'll be sure to post pictures if I figure it out.

Anyway, while we were putting up the tree I put on my free flashy pin from the tree lighting ceremony, we had some Obsidian Stout, and I put on the Sufjan Stevens Christmas Album. That and the Squirel Nut Zippers Christmas album are my favorites. It made for a fun evening! And I think the cat is pretty indifferent to the tree this year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

2011 Calendars - Portland & Chicago


I'm really excited about my latest project, just listed in my Etsy shop today. I went through all the photos I've taken during the last few months living here in Portland and the last few years for Chicago and picked out some of my favorites from each. They are both great cities for architecture and public art, and that's where my interests lie when I explore new places. I'm pleased with the mix of old and new buildings in these calendars, both are of interest to me, and I hope they interest others as well! The date and name of the building (or, alternatively, artwork or public spaces) pictured is indicated just below each image.

Interestingly, both of these cities use the slogan: "The city that works!" I'd heard of Chicago using it before we moved there, but I've seen it here in Portland on Parks Department Vehicles. I have the feeling, which I've discussed with my parents who still live there, that Chicago means it a little more in the hardworking, getting things done sense, while for Portland it seems like a slogan that goes along with their "we planned, it works" sensibility. You can't deny Chicago does have incredible transit and great architecture! They are two cities with more than just a slogan in common.


Anyway, There are currently 4 listings up in my etsy shop: 2 each for Chicago and Portland. You can buy a printed version, on heavy card stock, which will be shipped to you (order by Dec. 17th for delivery by Christmas Day!) Or, perhaps for last minute shoppers, a PDF version of each is available. Those will get e-mailed to you for print out on your home printer, and assembly just involves slicing six 8.5"x11" sheets in half! 

I've created a new section in my shop for these calendars for easier browsing: 2011 Calendars

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Give Handmade Recap/Treasury

I said I was going to post about some of the great stuff at the Give handmade craftshow last Sunday, but I decided it would be easier to go ahead and make a treasury on Etsy featuring some of the artists. But I have to admit I was pretty extra excited about some of the cat prints, the happy cat I mentioned at the end of yesterday's post, and the two cute kitties on a pile of yarn I've included in the treasury. Plus, Jill Bliss was there and Chuck liked her onion, beet and carrot card.

The space for the event, the left bank annex, was also pretty lovely. I wish I had taken a few pictures while we were at the show, but there are some pictures of the space before the show up on the give handmade blog.  The website says that it was "a machine shop for WWII airplane parts" that's been renovated with some very nice details. I hope we get the chance to go to more craft shows in that space!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Portland Walks: On the way to the Give Handmade Craft Show

Sunday was the Give Handmade Sale and we decided to walk to the show and take a train on the way back.

We walked through downtown along 6th, where there is quite a bit of smaller scale public art. Some of these pieces, I gather, were around before a 2009 renovation of the transit mall, while others were newer, commissioned as part of the work in this area. In looking up some of the details tonight, I discovered that trimet has a nice interactive site with a map and audio clips of the artists talking about some of the newer pieces. I also found a nice tourist map (that's a pdf file) that looks a bit more comprehensive, with pictures of a lot of the art. This weekend I felt like stopping for photos of the Cat in Repose by Kathleen McCullough and the Running Horses by Tom Hardy:

Cat in Repose Running Horse

Also there were many new Christmas decorations around town. You can make out some across the street in the Running Horses Picture above. I was rather taken with the garland at the university club, set against the geometric detailing of the column. (I presume this had just recently gone up based on the fact that there were still scraps of pine and pipe cleaner on the ground around it.) And of course I had to snap a picture of the tree at Pioneer Square during the day, with Jackson Tower in the background.

Christmas Decor Christmas tree

Over in old town, just before the steel bridge, we passed this abandoned building. It prompted me to look up what those red "U" signs are all about, something I've been wondering for while since I've seen them around town on occasion.  I found out from a post on the Portland Mercury site that they mean that the fire department has deemed the building unsafe to enter, and in the even of a fire they would fight it without entering the building. Eeep! I also found a historic photo of the place (5th image down) when it was still in use as a fire station.


We crossed the Steel Bridge. Since the sky was looking pretty great and there was a ship docked I took lots of pictures. More in my flickr photostream. It was a nice time of day to be out, with clouds breaking, although I'm a little surprised we didn't see any rainbows.

Steel Bridge     

And on the way back from the craft show I couldn't help but take a picture of this big Narnia poster, with the convention center towers in the background. 


I will try and post some of my favorites from the craft show tomorrow, for now this post needs one more cat and this card might have been my favorite from the show. So, check out this happy cat card from Little Lark!