Saturday, July 31, 2010

Late September Quilt

I just finished my first traditional quilt this week. I wanted to try out the Disappearing 9-Patch block I spotted on Cluck. Cluck. Sew. I started making the blocks last April, and just used some fabric I had on hand, never meaning to actually make a whole quilt. As things started to come together, I realized that I was liking this quilt more and more, and eventually it got finished!

Because I tried to use up fabrics I had laying around, the back ended up being pieced together. I actually really like the way it looks though.

I stitched in the ditch to hold the layers together, and added the binding using Gratz Industries' fantastic tutorial.

I'm calling this my Late September quilt because that's what the colors remind me of. We have a big maple outside our living room that turns many of these colors that time of year, and the blue birds on the brown field make me think of geese moving through foggy skies on autumn mornings. This is just a small quilt - perfect for a baby play mat someday. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Felt Like a Sandwich...

Heh... get it?

My mom is switching to teaching kindergarten this fall, so I've been busily making felt food for her imaginative play center as a classroom-warming gift.

Mmm, open-faced sammich.

I think the pickle slice is a nice touch. I never feel like a sandwich is a sandwich without a pickle on the side, do you?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Urban Craft Uprising

This morning Chelsea and I headed down to the Seattle Center for Urban Craft Uprising, a craft show that features independent crafters and small businesses. It was kind of like stepping inside Etsy! We saw lots of really amazing stuff, and although we didn't drop any cash (aside from the donation at the door), we agreed that we both felt inspired to get our own crafty hands active again!

This picture doesn't do justice to this dress. The lace applique work was just amazing.

Deviled eggs! Complete with paprika sprinkles! How cute are these??

We saw TONS of letterpress. I just love letterpress - something about the simplicity of the designs, combined with the richness of the texture. I'd love to learn more about this process.

How cool is this lampshade? This booth had lots of upcycled crafts, like bowls and bracelets made from old vinyl records, jewelry made from soda can tabs, and more lampshades made from safety pins and forks.

I loooooove kokka fabric, and these bears strike me as the perfect use for such whimsical, hip designs.

Again, this photo doesn't do justice. This is a photo of an old abandoned room, which the artist has overlaid with drawings of a mother and her two little boys. Look at how the little boy on the right is peering out through the hole in the wall. I love how reality and fantasy interact here.

This coat has three great things going for it: it's a wool coat, it's orange, and it features poppies. Love!

Finally, here was my favorite seller. This man also specializes in letterpress, but he then mounts the letterpress art onto wood blocks to create wall art pieces.

My very favorite item of the whole show:

While at UCU today, we saw lots of signs for another craft show, to be held in December in Portland:

Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale!
December 11th + 12th
times TBA
at the Oregon Convention Center
777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd, Exhibit Hall D
See you there! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Edmonds 4th of July Parade

Yesterday I went to a 4th of July parade with my mom, aunt and uncle, and cousins. Is there anything better than a small-town parade? I think not! Edmonds did not disappoint.

My cousin Rory, who is going into 6th grade and is sassy and fabulous, sat with me on an ivy wall to watch. Which was great, because she's just hitting that age where it's way more fun to make funny comments about the parade than to run around collecting the candy that gets thrown.

Of course the parade had to include clowns:

Next came those most patriotic of all creatures, Stormtroopers from Star Wars:

Followed by Uncle Sam's cousin, Darth Vader:

Rory goes, "Why isn't Darth Vader throwing candy? Is he too good for that?"

...And rounding out the unholy trifecta, there were pirates.
This is their ship. They may have plundered and pillaged their way around the Carribean, but that doesn't mean they don't love America, gosh darn it.

And last of all, a whole backhoe full of candy. Woot!
For me, the highlight of the parade was when I was accosted by a crazy lady who didn't like where we were sitting. Here's the conversation we had:
Crazy Lady: You know, you're sitting in my ivy. (please note that the ivy in question was on the sidewalk, not in a yard or anything like that. I would never be rude enough to plop myself down in a stranger's front yard)
Me: Oh... um?
Crazy Lady: That's my ground cover.
Me: Well, ivy is pretty hardy. I doubt that we're doing any damage to it.
Crazy Lady: Oh no, you won't do any damage. The ivy will be just fine.
Me: Okay... good...
Crazy Lady: But it's mine. (drifts off, never to be seen again)
I'm still not sure what that was all about, although I guess there's nothing more patriotic than declaring posession! So maybe she was just celebrating in her own way. Although I wanted to go find her and invite her to sit with us, which in my thinking would have been way more fun.
Happy belated 4th!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Phinney Farmer's Market

Friday I went to the neighborhood farmer's market in Phinney Ridge with my mom. I saw a lot of the same vendors as at the Lake City farmer's market, including the makers of the delicious hard cider. There were some new vendors in Phinney though, like the hazelnut stand. Here's what we got:

-Bottle of hard apple cider
-Bottle of hard berry cider
-Market bouquet
-Sweet pea bouquet
-Tayberries (a cross between blackberries and raspberries - yum!)
-Honey-orange coated hazelnuts
-Yukon gold potatoes
-Bing cherries

...and, of course, we got more ice cream. :)

I also managed to find a schedule of when the neighborhood markets are this summer. Seattle neighborhood markets are in blue. Eastside and outside-of-Seattle markets are in orange:

Monday: no markets (sad!)
Tuesday: Crossroads, Renton
Wednesday: Columbia City, Kirkland
Thursday: Lake City, Bellevue
Friday: Phinney Ridge, Juanita
Saturday: University District, Magnolia, Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond
Sunday: West Seattle, Broadway, Mercer Island

FYI Seattleites - yes, the West Seattle and Broadway markets will be open today (even though it's the 4th of July)!

Next week: Columbia City

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beautiful Crime

I realize that the common (common sense) consensus is that graffiti is bad, because it is illegal and ugly and disrespectful. However, I am occasionally struck by Seattle grafitti that transcends the tags and throw-ups you see on bus stations to become a piece of art that actually adds to a neighborhood's appeal.

Stencil grafitti especially appeals to me. Most grafitti seems to have little to no planning behind it - it's almost like improv, with the tagger painting what seems right in the moment, or what fits with the surroundings. Stencil grafitti is the opposite. The creator has to put all of the planning into pre-production, creating the stencil at home. That level of pre-planning appeals to me.

Anyway, this lovely silhouette was in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood, right outside the 74th Street Alehouse. The texture of the wood siding and the blurriness of the lines create depth in her face that I find so intriguing. So I put it to you: is this art, or crime?

Also, try saying "common sense common consensus" three times fast. Fun, huh?

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Blog With Substance

Thank you to Becoming Homegrown for the blog award! I've gotten awards before but never had any idea what to do to get them on my site... this time I decided it was time to figure it out.
So google tells me that now I need to pass this award along! I usually see people pass to 10 blogs, but I'm going to be a little more exclusive than that. :) I'm passing it along to 3 of my faves:
Go check them out - they are amazing!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

$40 at the Lake City Farmer's Market

I'll be honest - I don't love summer as much as most people. My favorite time of year is September to December, because I love cold, windy days and watching the leaves turn. But there are a few things that I really look forward to every summer, and neighborhood Farmer's Markets are at the top of that list.

In Seattle we of course have the world famous Pike Place Market, but the neighborhood markets are really where it's at. The neighborhoods take turns, so that almost every day of the week there's a market going on somewhere.

I'm going to try to see if I can hit every one of them at least once this summer. Today I visited the one closest to me, in the Lake City neighborhood. I brought $40 in cash, just to see how far it would take me. Here's what I got:

-Market bouquet
-Small sweet pea bouquet (I always forget how good these smell!!)
-Bottle of hard cider
-2 lbs. of heirloom tomatoes (so good in a Greek salad)
-1 scoop of vanilla-lemon swirl ice cream

Next week I'd like to try to get to the market down in Columbia City...