November 30, 2012

Thankful for it all

I love this time of year - the food, family and festivities make the freezing rain seem bearable.

Mike and I spent the thanksgiving holiday at Papa's house - 4 lovely days of food, sitting by the fire, antiquing, watching football and working on projects. Between us all we had a myriad of projects going on:

Papa, Mike and Aidan brewed a batch of IPA (some details on the process here)

Papa and I made cinnamon rolls from the Grand Central Baking Book
(thanks Remi & Andrew!).
They were delicious, and time consuming.

Pa and Sharon have been hard at work on getting a railing up around their loft area. With a little help from Mike and Aidan they managed to get the vertical support beam in place...

... and several of the horizontal rails bolted in place. You can see the ladder that Pa recently made to the loft at the right of the photo. Aidan and I spent some time reading his new book up there. It's nice and cozy.

Papa, Susanna & I also bottled and corked 184 bottles of red wine!

In addition:
  • We stained some kitchen stools, decided they were ugly, and sanded the stain off.
  • Worked on a sewing project (to be revealed after it's gifted).
  • Crocheted a baby sweater.
  • And made a ton of Thanksgiving food! 
As you may have noticed from all the above involvement of my father, my need to have lots of projects going on at one time is genetic. In the Fall issue of West Sound Home & Garden magazine, Pa and Sharon's house & a sampling of all their projects were the focus of an article, complete with a ton of photos. For any interested family and friends who haven't seen it, below are images of the magazine pages. Click on each one and it will enlarge for reading.

November 27, 2012

Fluffy Bunny Mobile

My cousin Brendan and his wife Katrina just welcomed a baby girl into the world; Riley joins her big brother Coen (and Captain Cat)!

When Coen was born I welcomed him with a needle-felted Fish Mobile, so for Riley I decided to make a similar size mobile of the same material (can't play favorites) but to move away from the sea and into the garden.

Three little frolicking bunnies...

One is lolling on it's back staring longingly at those carrots.

Another is rubbing his paws together scheming on how to get those carrots into his belly.

 And the third is going for a run, completely oblivious to the carrots above.

 For a little extra interest I added hearts to the back, bum and soles of the rabbits. 
Lots of love to you, Riley!

November 21, 2012

Captain Cat, the Canadian Caped Crusader

Captain Cat casually awaits the call.

The call has come in! 
Captain Cat flies into action.

Successful Delivery!
 Congratulations Coen, you're a big brother!

Amineko Cat has found a new home in Canada, with my first-cousin-once-removed, who has recently turned 2 and become a big brother! I hope the two of them have some fun adventures together.

November 18, 2012

Yippee-Ki-Yo, Austin!

Shortly after returning from Ohio, as in three days after, I took off to Austin, TX for a work conference. I arrived in Austin to 80 degree weather, sun and blue skies. After dumping my stuff at a dump of a hotel, I headed out for a five-mile walk around town.

The best part of the photo above is the guy on the stand-up paddle board. He was just casually paddling along in the sun. The river was calm and quiet and there was no boat traffic. I was oh so jealous.

I took a break along the walk to grab dinner at the Easy Tiger, a suggestion of my friend Jessica, who has recently relocated to Austin. It was perfect. After walking past countless big, dark bars on 6th street, entering the Easy Tiger was like being back in Portland.

I highly enjoyed my beer and pretzel on the patio,
and I recommend the addition of the cheese.

Back across the river on South Congress there was no shortage of art, shops, food & drink. My favorite parts were the signs and murals.

For anybody heading to Austin...
I caught dinner one night at the Enoteca Vespaio (excellent Nicoise Salad) and breakfast at Magnolia Cafe (crazy busy on a Friday morning but decent food). At the conference I was also able to sample Hey Cupcake! (red velvet) and an IPA from Independence Brewing. Just before I headed back to the airport I stopped in at Stitch, a fabric store on South First Street. I had read about it on Dana's blog and it was only a few blocks from my hotel. It's a cute shop, but definitely geared to the crafter-sewist. They offer a lot of pre-cut fabric swatches for bags and such, but they don't carry much in the way of apparel fabric. They had a great selection of felt though, and their class list looks fun. Lastly, I was able to take the Airport Express bus from the airport to my hotel/downtown, and back again, and it only cost a $1 each way! Forget the rental car if you're sticking close to downtown.


November 11, 2012

Oh My, Ohio

I've just returned from two big trips, most recently from Austin, TX, but most importantly from Marietta, OH, and an amazing week with my sister, brother-in-law, and our new niece, Elle.

Our trip got off to a bumpy start when our flight from Portland was canceled due to mechanical failure. After flights to Salt Lake City, Minneapolis (including an overnight stay at Delta's expense), and Columbus, followed by a 2-hour drive to Marietta, we arrived!

A day late and a couple suitcases short. No worries once we saw this sweet face.

Elle was born in September, and it's been torture not to meet her until 6 weeks later, but we made up for lost time. We spent most of it hanging out at the house, dancing to Bobby's incredible music collection and figuring out what that nasty smell outside was (turns out it was a dead deer). 


I taught Sara the basics of crocheting so that she could start whipping up cute outfits for Elle. And to give her something to do on long car trips (when you live in South Ohio everywhere is a long car trip away).

We  made a batch of soft pretzels (they didn't last long).

And Mike even picked up the guitar again.

Bobby has a great collection of guitar, ukelele and banjo, and rocks them all.

Since Bobby and Sara also run a business (Just a Jar Design Press) out their house, we got to spend a little time in the studio. Last time we visited I got to play on the letterpress, but this time Mike had some fun. He helped print up birth announcements, then tried his hand at wood carving and printing his own piece.

While Mike carved I held Elle. She was very indulgent of me - letting me take lots of photos.



Until she'd had enough.

While we unfortunately missed trick-or-treating due to the plane delay (Marietta schedules theirs for the Saturday before Halloween), I did get in a little carving too, of a different variety.
Sara, Jamie and Mike's jack-o-lanterns.

Bobby & My jack-o-lanterns. Recognize mine? It's from this post.

When we did get out on the town, we were extremely impressed with how well Elle did (Sara did great too).

We introduced Elle to the Marietta Brewing Company. She was quite taken with the PawPaw Porter.

We took her shopping at Easton Town Center in Columbus, to dinner at Betty's on High Street, and for dessert at Jeni's!

It's worth noting that Sara and I had two great beers at Betty's:

Founders Porter & Southern Tier 2X Milk Stout

And four great ice cream flavors at Jeni's:

Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Cherries
Salty Caramel
Root beer
Yazoo Sue with Rosemary Bar Nuts

While we ladies were out indulging, the boys headed to Athens to catch a Ohio University Football Game. Mike brought back a video of the halftime show. As a person who's seen a lot of sports games, I can say that I was thoroughly impressed with the band!

I think it goes without saying that we were really sad to leave when the week was up. This is how Elle felt about it. Sorry baby girl - see you at Christmas!

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