May 31, 2010

Another Day on the Slopes

This baby mobile was commissioned by Susanna for a friend’s baby, due in June.

There are three penguins from an Allison Hoffman pattern, and one penguin of my own design; this is a little boy in a penguin costume, trying to blend in with the skiing penguins.

Each penguin has a unique colored hat with a white pom-pom. The skis are craft sticks, painted, and attached to the penguin feet with velcro.

Susanna not only requested that the penguins be on skis, but that I include a gnome somewhere in the mobile as well. So the purple-hatted penguin is holding a needle-felted gnome.

The mobile hanger is the inner wooden frame of a 32” embroidery hoop; covered in crocheted cream yarn. The “snowballs” are 2 cm needle-felted wool balls from Handbehg Felts. These were a really good deal, and saved me from spending hours needle-felting balls. As is, this mobile took a significant amount of time. I never realized how tedious it is to crochet the same penguin three times.

May 30, 2010

Herbert Hoover and the Hipstamatic

Yesterday Mike and I took a drive out to Newberg; more specifically, to Herbert Hoover City Park. I was on a quest to take a photo of a footbridge for work, and decided to drag my husband along for company - and because Mike loves to take drives through the country.

Herbert Hoover Park is very small, but cute. It has a small frisbee golf course on it, and a canal (of sorts) that runs through it, so it includes 3 footbridges, all of different design.

All of these photos were taken on my iphone with the Hipstamatic app. I bought this app because Wendy, of Wendolonia, gushed so enthusiastically about it. And she wasn't wrong. It is a very cool photo app.

May 18, 2010


A lovely photo of the happy couple

On Sunday we took our friends Ken and Ginger to see Cirque du Soleil "Kooza" down on the Portland South Waterfront.

We grabbed a quick bite beforehand at Jake's Famous Crawfish, and toasted thrice: to Ken's birthday, to their fast-approaching wedding (Friday) and to a new generation (due in September!).

Image from here

One of my favorite acts: the uber-flexible girls. I winced every time they started contorting.

Image from here

This guy was quite balanced - very zen. But I won't lie to you; I enjoyed looking at his butt, too.

Image from here

These guys were the act that made me gasp the most.

Image from here

May 17, 2010


Maxwell Gunter: smiley-est little munchkin I know.

Katie came to town to attend a training conference for work, so she left her two favorite boys at our house to entertain us: her husband, Jamie and 6-month-old son, Max.

I got very little done over the weekend, because I just couldn't keep my hands off of those sweet cheeks.

May 16, 2010

Cob Pizza Oven: Day Three

A long time coming - Day Three of the cob oven project actually occurred about a month ago, just 5 days after Day Two of the project. But due to a lost camera cord situation, the photos have been locked on the camera.

While I was at work, Clint and Bobby came back for another round on the oven with Mike. The goal was to get the sand form removed and the second layer on the oven.

Using a serrated weeding tool from Lowes (who knew it had so many uses), Bobby cut the front of the dome to create the oven opening, and all the sand from the sand form was scraped out.

This second layer was composed of straw, sawdust, water and more clay from the yard.

You can see the second layer creeping up over the first layer.

Almost done!

Over the last month we've been drying out the oven by lighting fires inside and exposing the outside to direct sunlight (as much as that's possible during springtime in the PNW). Once Bobby returns from his East Coast adventures, we'll begin work on the third, decorative layer, of the oven. We have lots of ideas, but haven't settled on anything just yet.
Here are a few images from other projects - great for inspiration:

Image from here

Image from here

Image from here, along with many, many other cool images - check them all out

Update: for Cob Oven Day 1, click here. For Cob Oven Day 2, click here. For Cob Oven baking, click here and here.

May 9, 2010

Surfing with the whales

Mike, waiting for a wave

Yesterday we took an afternoon drive to the beach so that Mike could get a little surfing in. The waves were small, but he said the water was relatively warm (relative, as in, it's Oregon, not Florida), and I saw him catch a half-dozen good rides.

We also saw several migrating whales off the rocks. Orcas and Gray Whales have been spotted off the Oregon Coast recently, and it seems that they really like Pacific City, as they weren't in a hurry to move on.

Mike, done waiting for a wave

May 3, 2010

Gardens, Crafts and Guitars

Our front yard is a barren wasteland. We have a lot of plans for our backyard, but when it comes to the front, we have just focused on keeping the weeds from taking over. Previous owners of our home planted copious amounts of juniper and yucca. We promptly removed the juniper, which was not a fun day, but have not yet had the courage to tackle the yucca. It's sharp, pokey and has very deep & hardy roots. Mostly I just hack it back when it threatens to grow over my head.

Last Saturday I spent a lovely afternoon at my colleague Cherry's house, touring her garden and eating her food. I had asked Cherry to share some gardening advice, as I knew that she was an avid gardener. What I didn't know was that she also used to create residential landscape designs! Her front and back yards are just amazing.

This is a rhodadendron in her side yard; for scale reference, that's a 6-foot fence.

Cherry's yard has lots of little hidden treasures.

Cherry and her patio

Lucy, the friendly cat

She looks like she's giving me the evil eye, but she was really gearing up for a snuggle.

Cherry gave me this azalea in exchange for some amigurumi gifts.

After touring her garden, we sat down to a great lunch and pored over "garden porn" to determine what kind of plants would work/look good in our yard. For the first time, I thought maybe there was hope for our front yard afterall!

Following Cherry's I headed over to the convention center to check out the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Spring Show. I did a fairly quick perusal of all the wares, and was impressed by the high caliber of work for sale. It was fun to see what is popular in the craft world right now, as there were many booths selling similar items. However, the following really stood out to me:

Swear Jar Design
Nobody was manning this booth when I went by, but I fell in love with their simple earring designs.

LEAF pdx
I purchased one of the paper houses (which I am very excited to put together). Their shop is just a few blocks from my office, so I might have to go back and get a paper bird/cage card.

My House Party
I was instantly attracted to the house design of their plant containers, and had a nice chat with the proprietor about air plants.

We wrapped up a wonderful day over at Megan and Trevor's house. Mike brought over his new guitar to show Trevor, and the two of them struck up an impromtu concert/lesson while Megs and I looked (and laughed) on. Look for Trevor's tracheotomy song on you-tube soon...

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