Friday, June 29, 2012

Word of the Week: Acanthus

DCP_3656 Acanthus

From Wikipedia: 

Acanthus (ornament) - "In architecture, an ornament is carved into stone or wood to resemble leaves from the Mediterranean species of the Acanthus genus of plants, which have deeply cut leaves with some similarity to those of the thistle and poppy. Both Acanthus mollis and the still more deeply cut Acanthus spinosus have been claimed as the main model, and particular examples of the motif may be closer in form to one or the other species; the leaves of both are in any case rather variable in form. The motif is found in decoration in nearly every medium. These sculptures were made from 75 BCE through 15 BCE."


Acanthus (plant) - "Acanthus is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Acanthaceae, native to tropical and warm temperate regions, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean Basin and Asia. Common names include Acanthus and Bear's breeches. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ακανθος (acanthos), meaning 'thorny.'"

File this under things I probably should have known something about with my background in architecture but  I don't recall seeing this plant much before living in the Northwest. What a weird looking thing. It looks like it a stalk full of little hungry mouths eating bugs or something. And yet it's commonly carved into column capitals. The plants I've been seeing around Portland are also called "Spiny Bear's Breeches," a cute name.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Word of the Week: Saison

(Gigantic Image via BeverStateBeer: ; Upright Brewing via leapbeer: )

Lots of beer festivals going on, and it's acting like summer weather-wise. This means I'm learning new beer words lately. The latest is Saison, From Wikipedia

Saison (French, "season") is the name originally given to low-alcohol pale ales brewed seasonally in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, for farm workers during harvest season[citation needed]. Modern-day saisons are also brewed in other countries, particularly the USA, and are generally bottle conditioned, with an average range of 5 to 8% abv,[1] though saisons at the more traditional 3.5% strength can still be found.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom Inspired Knitting

Over the weekend we went to see director Wes Anderson's new movie Moonrise Kingdom. It's really good, very pretty with many things I could obsess over. I've started with the Narrator's mitts. I haven't found any great pictures of them yet, but they were fingerless, black and white, and stranded color-work knitting. And I think they did have a floral motif, while still managing to look masculine. I loved that his costume gave him a back story; I imagined his wife at home knitting elaborate gifts for him while he explored the island. I was inspired to pull together a collection of Moonrise Kingdom knits today. Most of these are free patterns, with the exception of the amazing & adorable raccoon knits at the bottom. But they are so cute!:



Suzy Bishop:


Khaki Scouts:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Events: Portland Fruit Beer Fest

Last weekend we went to the Fruit Beer Festival at Burnside Brewing Company. Beer festivals in Portland are pretty spectacular. I'm still in awe that there can be that many people in a small cramped space, all drinking, and everyone is friendly, happy, awesome and not at all annoying. How is that even possible? Also at this even the glasses were actually glass and I didn't see any broken glass anywhere. Portlanders, you're amazing.

Fruit beers, as you might have guessed already, are brewed with fruit. My favorites from the day were the Whack & Unwrap from Oakshire Brewing (tasted exactly like a dark chocolate orange,) The Bad Apple from 2 towns Cider house (10.5% ABV, wow!), and the Extinction Ale from Deschutes. Chuck got those last two, and I had only a few sips but they were amazing. I seem to have a habit of picking out some of the weirdest flavors, like the Strawberry Mandarin Wit from Flat Tail Brewing. It was so sour, kind of amazing in its own way but wow. I made some funny faces while drinking that, I'm sure.


The event also featured live music and we thoroughly enjoyed the bluegrass band Left Coast Country. They sounded great while also looking very Left Coast. You can't see him well in the picture above, but the bearded bass player was wearing an "Obey" t-shirt. Perfect! It was my assessment that they were perfect for a beer festival and should play them all. Actually, looks like they are playing the Organic Brewer's festival at the end of the month too. Yay! 

Of course the original location of Sizzle Pie is right across the street from this festival, and after we drank all that beer we were starving, so we had plenty of yummy vegan pizza before heading home. Pictured above are the Spiral Tap (with such good caramelized onions) and the Bad Reputation (with Daiya vegan mozzarella, olives & mushrooms.) Always so good, and amazing post-beer festival.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Word of the Week: Peplum


pep·lum  (pplm)
n. pl. pep·lums
1. A short overskirt or ruffle attached at the waistline of a jacket, blouse, or dress.
2. See peplos.

[Latin, robe of state, from Greek peplon, neuter of peplospeplos.]
And a wikipedia article on the Greek peplos garment: (with amusing and potentially nsfw diagrams.)

This week definitely has a word. I bought the jacket on the left at a used clothing store this week, and found out it was probably the Peplum Jacket from J. Crew. That had me wondering what that word was all about, and now I know. It occurred to me I'm often looking up this type of stuff, so maybe I ought to share it on my blog sometimes. Weekly, hopefully.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yarn-bombed Statue


I had to share this great yarn bomb in the South Park Blocks. Yesterday morning on my walk to work was the first time I saw it, and I hope it's still there through the week at the very least. Preferably it will be around until it starts looking too dirty, since it really makes people smile. Adds a lot of color to the Theodore Roosevelt - Rough Rider Statue.  Apparently International Yarn Bomb Day was this past weekend (thanks for the heads up from Fia(PDX). I wish I'd know that sooner!) I also wondered if the yarn bomb had anything to do with the Portland Gay Men's Chorus since it is a rainbow & they were putting up signs for their upcoming show at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall nearby yesterday morning. Maybe not, but the idea of the Chorus putting up this yarn-bomb up does make me smile. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Portland Events: June 1st - 3rd

There's so much going on in Portland now, and these posts the last few weeks have helped me sort out my plans for the last few weekends. I thought I might as well share them since I'm making the list anyway. I know I won't manage to do all of this, but just a fraction would still be a packed weekend:

Pioneer Square Pioneer Square

Festival of Flowers at Pioneer Courthouse Square, on display now through June 12th. Check out the plan drawing here. (Last year's display is pictured above.)

Portland's Best Indie Bands Part 1, Fri., June 1st, Gates at 4pm, Rozone at CityFair, with Lost Lander, And And And, Black Prarie, & Y La Bamba, Free w/$5 admission to CityFair

Hugh Laurie & The Copper Bottom Band - Fri, June 1st, 7:30pm, Tickets start at $25

Ikebana Exhibit at the Japanese Garden - June 2nd & 3rd, 10am-6pm, Included with Admission

Rose Festival Starlight Parade - Downtown Portland, Sat. June 2nd, 8:30pm, Free

Firkin Fest - Sat., June 2nd, 11am-6pm,  Green Dragon, $10

Mississippi Studios Summer Sessions, Sun. June 3rd with Lewi Longmire Band & The Darlin' Blackbirds, Free, 3-7pm

The Robinsons (Kevin & Anita of Viva Voce) Residency at Al's Den, Free, 7pm, Sun, June 3rd - Sat, June 9th, List of guests here.