28 Nov

Saturday

Over the river and through the woods, we’ve been enjoying walking near grandmother’s house in Eugene, OR.

Katja is loving the fall leaves and wardrobe of cold weather clothes that she hasn’t worn in nearly two years.

Along the river walk are representations of the planets. After hamming it up at the sun, the kids enjoyed being gargantuan at the other planets — like earth, above.

And speaking of planets, we went to the planetarium and other exhibits at the Science Factory — which was a big hit.

Two more days at Grandma’s and then it’s back home.

25 Nov

Beaverton/Portland Day

One would think that with four adults and three laptops here, blogging would be easy. Unfortunately, it’s keeping straight all the passwords and links to everyone’s blogs, Flickr, and FB accounts that’s proving to be awkward.

Since I couldn’t say it better myself anyway, I’ll just link to Mr. IBOL Guy’s post for yesterday’s recap with photos.

23 Nov

Craft Eugene

Our visit to Oregon is primarily to spend Thanksgiving with Grama and Grandpa and the step-family, but there’s crafty stuff too. Yesterday my mom, the kids, and I went to the weekend market’s Holiday artisan edition. Lots of good jewelry, ceramics, clothing, glass work and more to admire. The kids came home with sparkly stuffed dragons.

Last night my mom pulled out some old family quilts. I really liked this one. It is all hand sewn and quilted and she guesses it was made in the 1800s. All four quilts are in disrepair due to many many years of love. They are much too delicate for me. But, don’t be surprised if I sew up something obviously inspired by this simple, graphic, design.

Today we divided into boys and girls — the boys went to the running store and the girls hit the fiber shops!

First stop: Mindy’s for Valdani perle cotton and whatever other wonderful goodies I could find. The store is in an old chicken farm/factory converted to a mall and only three blocks from my mom’s house. It’s filled with wool and floss for needlepoint, but there’s enough high quality ribbons, buttons, and trims as well to appeal to a broad range of sewists and crafters.

After Mindy’s we went to Soft Horizons. I had a list, but more importantly, I just wanted to fondle the luscious yarns. What’s not to love about a victorian home stuffed with cotton, silk and wool? They’ve got a ball winder and swift in the back room for customers to use and Katja was more than happy to be my official skein-to-ball winder.

Thanks to Kelly’s comment yesterday, Piece by Piece was the next stop. Piece by Piece is bright and fresh and oozes happy quilting. Kelly is also very nice and friendly, as one would expect from a quilter (and is working on a wonky red and aqua log cabin quilt that I am inspired by). I had no plans to buy fabrics, but I spotted a bolt of my all-time favorite Kaffe Fasset “paperweight” in brown right away. As long as I was going to replenish my paperweight, I might as well pick up some of those nice blue circles too, and hey, those blue bubbles would look nice with some fabric I have at home earmarked for a bag, and that splatty bug fabric is just too cool to pass up…..

Yup, my stash is now up to date.

After a quick lunch stop (oh, how happy I am to find that every eatery has fresh greens on the plates and identifiable ingredients), we closed out our craft supply adventure at Harlequin Beads. All I really needed was ends for some velvet cord purchased at Mindy’s to use as a necklace for my Starborn pendant at home. It doesn’t hurt to look though…

This time, it was the kids who walked out with a bag full. Katja chose a lampwork crocodile and I knew her brother would want one too. At home we made jewelry for their Nintendo DSs. I have to give props to Harlequin — not only do they have a big shop full with every bead and beading supply imaginable, but they gave Katja a little bag and told her that any beads she found on the floor were hers for free. I could browse in peace, and she left happy with a little bag of sparkly goodness.

And did I mention we walked to all these shops?! I absolutely love both the convenience of urban living and the wonderful creative vein running through Eugene.

22 Nov

Who’s near Eugene?

I’m with the family, visiting my mom and step-dad in Eugene, Oregon, and my hubby reminds me that the last time we were here, someone in blogland said they were nearby (and maybe even owned/worked at a quilt shop?). Springfield is ringing a small bell. So, is there anyone reading this that I should know about, besides those planning on a meet-up at the Starbucks in Beaverton on Tuesday?

20 Nov

Yippppeeeee!!!

The Twelve by Twelve artists are excited twelve times over to announce that:

(drum roll, please…. )

Sterling Publications/Lark Books will soon be publishing a book on our Twelve by Twelve Collaborative Art Quilt project!

We are thrilled beyond words to have this wonderful opportunity, and so happy that our art endeavors and friendships are turning us into authors, too.  We know that Lark was impressed by the loyal folks who follow our blogs and website, so thanks to all of you  friends-of-Twelves for your encouraging words through our explorations!

We’ll keep you posted as we know publication dates.

fireworks-2

I don’t have any champagne for a toast, but how about some exciting fireworks!?

16 Nov

New Pets

Every now and then you run across a blog, a Flickr page, or Etsy shop that grabs you a little bit. When you run across it again, you say “yeah, I like that!” And by the third stumble, if you haven’t already, you bookmark it. I’ve been lurking at Melissa Stanley’s blog for a few months now, in love with her crocheted creatures, and her little houses with legs! What goes better with roots than legs?

Free Range Studio Monster

Then Melissa went and added this little free range studio monster to the shop and put me over the edge. He’s so cute I had to have him. He’s not in my studio though. Hubby and son thought he belonged in the living room — where he’s terrorizing the Baba Yaga House I also purchased, and two mod birds who happen to have legs too.

baba-yaga-house

15 Nov

JDRF Walk

Saturday was the big walk to raise funds for research to cure juvenile diabetes. Team Taylor Kickin’ Diabetes was the largest there and raised over $8000! We didn’t all walk together though — which made for a less impressive mass of people, but worked great to keep track of all the kids. Pretty much any kid in a grey shirt was herded along by any teen or adult in a grey shirt, from the front of the pack to the tail end.

jdrf-walk

Most of my pictures were of all the kids — warming up together, taking over the bouncy castle, huddled under an umbrella once the rain had started. Yeah, rain. Lots of it! Luckily, the walking part was over by that time, and luckily, our fearless leaders sprang for the ginormous tent. But no good pictures to share.

balloon-1

There was however, awesome balloon artists at the event. So awesome that the kids stood in line in pouring rain to get a creation. Above is my son’s gecko — with leash so it could walk on ceilings like a real gecko. Below is a dragonfly with a super twisty body,

balloon-2

We’re still not sure what’s up with the “angry eyes” though.

balloon-3