Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crafty Wonderland is Next Weekend!

One week from today! I'm really excited, but I have so much left to do! I haven't put my Etsy Shop on vacation mode yet, but that will probably happen later this week! I've been knitting up a bunch of e-reader, I-pad and cell phone cozies, I've got a big pile of triangle cats in the apartment, and we will be working on some new card designs this weekend. If you're in Portland, come to the convention center next weekend to check it all out in person. And get there very early for the free goodie bags, which I'm sure will be packed with awesome but will be gone very quickly!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vegan Treats: More Petunia's!!

Treat from the Market

Over the weekend we once again had amazing treats from Petunia's Pies & Pastries at the PSU Farmer's Market. It's too hard to resist! This time I had a lemon tart, with strawberries, soo good, and Chuck had a Gooey Pecan Roll. According to facebook, there will be more of these at the market this weekend if you can get there early enough! 

Chuck at the Market Tulips Tulips

Here are some other pretty things from the market. Had to have tulips for Easter, and Chuck with a bag of potatoes. Potatoes are always good. It was such a bright sunny day last Saturday, I hope we have the same kind of weather this Saturday!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Roller Derby! Rat City vs. Rose City

Guns n Rollers vs. Throttle Rockets

We went to roller derby over the weekend, to see the Rat City Rollers (Seattle) play the Rose City Rollers (Portland.) We went to Roller Derby quite a bit in Seattle after seeing them play Key Arena at Bumbershoot one year. Roller Derby is pretty much the only sport that either the boyfriend (Chuck) or I enjoy watching. This was an exhibition bout, and all of Seattle's teams played all of Portland's in 30 min long games.  So we went not sure who to root for. Seattle, after all, had a really good documentary made about them, Blood on the Flat Track and we are most familiar with their teams. Still, we were anxious to learn more about our current hometeams!

Okay, so I was rooting for my favorite team from Seattle, the Derby Liberation Front, to win the first bout. Burnett Down was our favorite roller girl, but I guess she retired in 2009. And DLF lost to the Portland Team, Break Neck Betties! Other than that I hadn't decided who to root for. Guns'n'Rollers (pictured above) made a pretty great entrance, and the hot pink zebra print is great. But, they played the Throttle Rockets and lost. Grave Danger, from Seattle, beat the Heartless Heathers by quite a bit. 

High Rollers Warming Up

The High Rollers (from Portland, pictured above) played the best game of the night against the Sockit Wenches.  Hurricane Skatrina & Honey Hellfire were great jammers for the Portland team. All in all it was a fun evening, and it had us wishing we'd managed to check out the Windy City Rollers when we lived in Chicago! Maybe we can take my parents some time when I make it back for a visit?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Music on Monday: PJ Harvey is Awesome

I am currently obsessing over the video (and of course the song) for PJ Harvey's The Words that Maketh Murder from her new album Let England Shake. I love the way it drops in and out of the produced version of the song to give you a feel of being there with PJ Harvey when she's writing the song. It gives me chills. 

The video for Let England shake has a similar mood:

PJ Harvey is at the top of my list of people I must see live and has been for a while now...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter/Earth Day Weekend!

Triangle Cat in Tulips Vegan Bake Sale Goodies

Okay, so I'm not making bunnies, but kitties + tulips is Spring-y and Easter-y right? Plus we picked up a bunch of vegan treats at the vegan bake sale at Food Fight's Warehouse. There was also a pretty big Earth Day festival going on across the street. Not to mention all the intense sunshine we had yesterday. It was nice for a change, but I'm glad we're back to the normal overcast weather (with occasional sunshine!) today because I was getting tired of squinting/kicking myself for forgetting my sunglasses all day long. 

Anyway, hope everyone is having a happy Easter today, with lots of bunnies and spring flowers! And Sunshine if you're into that sort of thing. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Links: Easter & Spring Craft Projects

Easter is tomorrow, and I've been so busy, so I doubt I'll find the time to do any of these crafts this time. That doesn't mean I'm not excited about all the great tutorials for spring and Easter, and the least I can do is share some of my favorites!

Bunnies are required!


If I make anything it will probably be this origami bunny, because I find origami quick fun and satisfying. If I had much more time to spend though, the free project from lark books and Sleepy King on Etsy is really cute. Lastly I have a feeling the tiny bunnies from mochimochiland wouldn't take very long if my knitting needles weren't currently so occupied.

I've been looking at a lot of paper flower projects lately, before I got into Crafty Wonderland I was planning on making a spring wreath. I even picked up a straw wreath from the dollar store with a plan to cover in paper flowers. This tutorial from A Little Hut was my favorite by far. Maybe the spring wreath will happen after the show is over.

As for spring fashion, I think crafting for that could really happen whenever. A cable braided bag from the Purl Bee, and I must make this hex nut bracelet because I love re-purposing things found in a hardware store:


(though I guess if this is my idea of spring fashion, it's a little gray. But the hex nuts are shiny and they will catch the sun!) Anyway, if I manage to find time for any of these crafts I will be sure to post about it here! 

Note: Many these are on my Pintrest profile, which I just started recently if you are interested in following me do so here!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vegan Treats : Cloud 7 Cafe

Cloud 7 Lightbulbs

Bare light bulbs everywhere we went this weekend in Portland! This is above the counter at Cloud 7. They have fantastic coffee, they really know what they are doing. They brew Intelligentsia coffee (which was founded in Chicago) with a pour-over technique. They also use Intelligentsia cups, mine was the large latte cup with a cute red star at the bottom that made smile, while Chuck's looked similar but slightly more masculine (and no red star.) He also wants one of these Coffee Kettles of which I saw three. So they scored a lot of pints with use design-wise, plus it was a cozy place to be. It's located right next to Jamison Square in the Pearl District for fun people (lots of families and dogs!) watching.

Petunia's Everywhere (at Cloud 7) Cloud 7
Petunia's Pies & Pastries are also everywhere, which is great because they are vegan and so good. We went to Cloud 7 on Saturday, having missed her at the market earlier, so we managed to still get our treats. Chuck had the crispy bar, which was already a favorite. I had a chocolate banana peanut butter cupcake and that was just the best that peanut butter icing can be done, I think. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Portland Walks: Checking out the Gerding Theater

 Gerding Theater Stair

Since we've been very busy lately, this past weekend we just took a simple, but long, walk over to the Pearl District. Stopping in a few places, Storables, Cargo, and Cloud 7 Cafe for treats.  But we also stopped in the Gerding Theater to check out the lobby space. Since it's a neat old armory building I figured it would be pretty interesting inside, but it was even cooler than I expected. It's a LEED Platinum Building (the highest rating a building can get, so green it's the type of project they want to encourage so they waive the fees for projects that achieve platinum.) by GBD Architects based here in Portland.

Gerding Theater Red Glass Gerding Theater Structure Gerding Theater

Really great details old & new. A wall of red glass light fixtures behind the main stair. The original wood structure (painted white) is impressive, curved, lapped, bolted together. Metal ties span the space, supporting the original walls (visible in the upper left of the picture on the right above.) And light bulbs supported on oval shaped struts, which echo the oval shaped two story space. It's an appealing space to be in, and seeing a show here is now on my list of things to do in the very near future!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Etsy Treasuries: Playing with Type

I created two new treasuries this weekend on the theme of letters and typography. the first was inspired by finding fluxglass via my suggested shops. After seeing the Ampersand mirror, I couldn't resist finding out what other great ampersand items there might be on etsy, and a treasury was born:

But then this is what Chuck thought I was doing, spelling out my name. 4 letters across, four spaces in each treasury row. After he pointed that out I couldn't resist!:

Just a little etsy treasury/typography fun this weekend as a quick distraction from preparations for Crafty Wonderland!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pittock Mansion Deal

Pittock Mansion

If you're in Portland, and you read my blog, you might be interested in today's deal from LivingSocial. Back in February we climbed up to the mansion but didn't go for a tour. Ever since I've been wanting to go back! I signed up for Living Social a few months ago when they had a deal on Amazon gift certificates, and I haven't really seen anything I'm interested in for a while, but today was an exception. And they have a referal program, so if three people use my link (by clicking on the photo above) to buy the deal, I guess I get it free! The deal  expires soon, so don't put it off if this appeals to you! It's a good deal free or not, and I can't wait to see the mansion's interiors. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Family Photos

My Grandma recently sent me a bunch of old photos of myself. Chuck scanned them and adjusted the faded colors somewhat and I just thought I'd share a few:

Emma Papaw & Emma

That's me on the tire swing. I like my hot pink corduroys. Can you buy those now, haven't they come back in style? I will totally buy a pair if I see them. And then that's me and my grandpa ("papaw") on a beach.

Emma & Hat 

Me in a hat (strikes me as a little clockwork orange looking, but I didn't see that until I was much older.) And my Mom in some neat purple and white big sunglasses.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Work In Progess: Clowder of Cats

Emma's Cats

Apparently I have choices for how I refer to a group of cats: clowder, cludder, clutter, kendle or kindle of cats. All very cute. Anyway, I thought since I have Kat in my shop name, it was finally time to try to get some cats made for selling. So today we went to pick up some yarn for this (and other) purpose(s). I've finished my first larger cat in gray, well except for the face and other finishing. I'm hoping I can make up a few more larger kitties and some smaller kitties the size of my previous triangle cats. Okay, enough blogging, off to furiously knit up a kindle of cats and a bunch of kindle cozies!
Also note, in anticipation of the show my shop has had some of my usual selection deactivated for the month. It will be back to normal some time after the show! (Mid to late May, or early June? We shall see how it goes!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Crafty Wonderland!

Shop Banner

One of the reasons I'm very busy is because I was accepted to Crafty Wonderland's Super Colossal Spring Sale on May 7th! Not very far off, so while I'm trying to keep up with blogging, I may not be able to maintain a post a day. Or if I do they may be picture heavy. I'll try to keep checking in a few times a week though, and hopefully post pictures of our preparations for the sale. Above is a picture of a banner we just made for the table! But there's so much more to do....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Public Art: A New Sculpture in Millennium Park

New Sculpture Millennium Park
New Sculpture Millennium Park
Originally uploaded by Straw Man 

This photo is by my Dad, from his photostream on flickr. It's of some really cool new art in Millennium Park The artist is Yvonne Domange. Her portfolio is very cool, and as architects, we are especially impressed with her stairs.This and my Dad's other recent pictures of the fogginess are really making me wish I could fly down to Chicago this weekend for a visit, and to check out this piece in person!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lucy is Adjusting

Chuck and I have suddenly both become very busy and Lucy is having to adjust. She gets so excited when we get home and just wants to sit on us to make sure we stay put. The poor sweetie.

Lucy looking Lucy slightly annoyed
Lucy Scratching

Isn't she so cute? We wish we could spend our days with you cute kitty. You are so sweet.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vegan Dining: Blossoming Lotus

Yeah, we ate out twice last weekend just because it had been a while and we really need to explore all the vegan places Portland has to offer. Blossoming Lotus has been on the agenda for a while but we finally went for the first time Saturday afternoon (after sleet/hail, of which there was more of for just a few moments today. Spring in the Northwest is full of fun unpredictability in the form of freezing rain!)

Smoked Maple Tempeh 

Chuck had the Smoked Maple Tempeh and I couldn't resist the Spicy Butternut & Black Bean Chili Quesadilla. Quesadillas are always tricky to get or make vegan though. Without the cheese things do fall apart, usually. I thought the beans were going to help keep everything in place, but they didn't quite do that, so eating it was a bit of a struggle. However, it was really yummy. Chuck's wrap was really good (and stayed together a bit better.) I just had coffee, but Chuck ordered the strawberry banana milkshake....I was very sorry that I only got a few sips.

Their space is very cute, in a neat older storefront space on Broadway. Filled with art featuring birds and other animals. There were a pair of matching circular paintings of white barn owls (like in Labyrinth, yay!) that I particularly liked. Oh, and a very tempting cake from petunia's was on display. We'd just had some doughnuts from petunia's at the market that morning, but otherwise, very tempting...

Hmm...this has been a very food heavy week of blogging. Surprisingly our walks this weekend didn't involve stairs, but perhaps they are called for after having so much yummy food lately...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Market Meals

Stir fry with bok choy 

The PSU Market has been going on for a few weeks now & we've been trying to make famer's market based meals. First yummy, yet simple, potato leek soup from a recipe from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook. We had the soup with some crackers and Wayfare Hickory Smoked Vegan Cheese picked up at Food Fight! over the weekend.  And more recently a stir fry with the bok choy and cabbage from the market.

The Easter bunnies are out!

And the easter bunnies I made last year are now out for display for the season, with a new daffodil (white-ish with pink-ish trim, so pretty) and tulip bouquet picked up at the last market! (that's the bunny nugget pattern found on Rebecca Danger's blog.) We are ready for easter and ready for more fresh market veggies!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lloyd Center Mall

Lloyd Center Rink

Lloyd Center Mall is really easy to get to from downtown Portland. It's right off of one of the MAX stations, the last stop in the ride free area. We weren't out specifically to shop, however after the market, cherry blossoms, brief sleet on Saturday and a lunch out, we found ourselves in that area. Before we hopped on a train to get home I said "Lets go check out what this big mall is like."

Not too long ago I overheard some people talking about an ice skating rink inside a mall, but I didn't know where it was. Apparently it's right there. There were lots of kids out (I can't remember the last time I was in a shopping mall this crowded) and the ice looked pretty rough. A girl on the rink grabbed onto the rail near us and complained her feet hurt. I don't know if this would be the best place to ice skate, but I really like skating & this is closer to us than the roller rink...I might give it a try if I can figure out when it is less busy. According to wikipedia, this is where the infamous Tanya Harding first started to skate.

I was surprised to learn that Lloyd Center has been there, in one form or another, since 1960. We left the place saying "the dream of the 90s is alive in Portland" because it reminded both of us ohio natives of some of the shopping malls that came and went in that decade. Who knew there were still suncoast video stores, for example. According to this article, the mall was enclosed in 1990 and a food court and theaters were added. The place is huge, but has a lot more natural light than many shopping malls.

Lloyd Center  Lloyd Center Rink

I've heard tales of people being stopped by mall security for taking photos, since it is a private building. (also interesting to note, Lloyd Center has been involved in supreme court cases on that subject) but I noticed parents taking pictures of the kids on the ice, so I thought I could get away with it. Hopefully that gives you a better idea of the natural light and the scale. With something like 200 shops, this place is pretty huge!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Vegan Dining: Sizzle Pie

Sizzle Pie

Sizzle Pie is a fairly new pizza place on Burnside, which just opened at the start of 2011. Chuck has something of a mental cell phone app that knows our proximity to vegan pizzas. I wanted to walk over the Burnside bridge to get yet another view of the Cherry Blossoms, which meant that Sizzle Pie wasn't out of the way for lunch.

Sizzle Pie  Spiral Tap

This was essentially our breakfast and lunch. We ordered 2 slices each of the two vegan pizzas (which are in the top of the case in the photo on the left.) The brunch pizza (in the middle) is called Drugs Benedict and has tofu scramble, hash browns, vegan bacon bits and a really tasty bean sauce. We followed that immediately with our lunch, the Spiral Tap. Alternating stripes of caramelized onions and marinara sauce so it was pretty as well as really tasty. And of course we ordered beers

Giving their menu a glance, I am really eager to try anything with their Basil Cashew Spread. And I'm highly amused with the Caligula salad with vegan ranch dressing. One morning when we're not quite as hungry we definitely have to go for the brunch special.

There's a nice set of photos of the interior here, and it's a nice clean, modern design: very comfortable. They have a jukebox and while we were there there was metal playing. Not usually my kind of music, but for a restaurant with the slogan "death to false pizza" it just felt right.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Just a few more pictures of Cherry Blossoms

Okay I can't help myself I need to post a few more pictures of cherry blossoms. Of course we went back to the waterfront today to look at them more. It's too pretty to miss. Yesterday's post was mostly close ups, maybe I can change things up a bit by focusing on the trees and their context. I took tons of pictures, I know some of them should be like that. It probably helps that we did cross the river to take a look at the view today.

Portland Waterfront

Portland Waterfront

Even more in my waterfront set on flickr, and even more than that on my hard drive. By the way, it wasn't so sunny when these pictures were taken. Shortly after this we were hanging out in a stoop to avoid a bit of sleet. But it was sunny in the morning (for the market) and this passed quickly. It returned to a nice sunny afternoon, if just a little chilly.