Wednesday, October 31, 2007


It seems Halloween is losing it's charm for kids. Kids can't wear their costumes to school, a lot of kids don't get to go trick-or-treating, and some go in *gasp* shopping malls. What is going on here?

I was a priveledged trick-or-treater. Year after year, a whole gaggle of kids from my street would go in big, jolly herd. With pride, we'd tackle a huge span of our residential south Minneapolis neighborhood. When we got old enough for no parents, the fun was practically off the hook. Those were great times.

But let's face it. The real reason for this Halloween post is to brag about my brilliant costume ideas as a crafty grown up.

A few years ago I was a string bass. The scroll was made out of floam on a stick which sat in a plastic bottle inside my hair. I used a colorful scarf as the fingerboard, shimmery ribbon for strings, and sewed big fabric f-holes onto my dress. Cool, yes, but that costume took way too much time to make!

Another year I was a rotten strawberry. I took an old strawberry costume that I made and put blobs of cotton and and green scouring sponge all over it for mold. Much easier.

This year's costume was conceived and created in about 2 seconds. Ziegy was the floor of a movie theater and I was a mop. He glued a bunch of candy and popcorn to his shirt. I put a paper towel roll on my head and strips of white felt around my waist. It was all made with just a hot glue gun and elastic. My goal this year was to not let my costume cause me any stress. I did well! Go ahead, steal my ideas for next year... I don't mind. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quilting Kick

My new love is....


My craft space, compared to before, is the size of a football field. I feel like I won the craft lottery and moved into a craft castle. It's great! My sewing machine now sits tall and proud on a large table in my upstairs funroom. It no longer hides in the closet.

I'm absorbed in the joy of sewing. It all started about a month ago when I bought myself a quilting kit for kids. What fun!! Super simple, fun instructions and all supplies included. After that, I immediately ran to the fabric store (there are so many good ones in Portland), picked out the most irresistible fabrics I could find, and started sewing away with my new tricks. Here's a funny threesome wallhanging that I sewed.

I guess you can't really call it quilting unless there is batting in the middle and you sew lines over the whole thing, but what-ev. It's basically like quilting cause it's sewing together pretty, pretty fabrics to make a flat design. I'm really inspired by a famous quilter named Denyse Schmidt who designs with an irregular, awkward look that I love.

Kathleen, remember when you had all of those juicy, wonderful fabric scraps from quilting? Do you still have those? (I hear you're coming to Portland in December... hint hint.)

On another exciting note, last week I had a craft night at my house. A handful of my girlfriends came over and it was so fun! This is something I'd love to have monthly or so. Below, Stacey works on a dazzling top she is sewing for herself. Nicky is doing some collaging with paint, dirt, and flower pedals. It's so much more fun to craft together. Craft on, ladies!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Hardly Strictly Fabulously Definitely Fun

We got back today from San Francisco, where we spent the weekend at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. It was about 65 degrees and sunny both days. So fun!

The festival is in Golden Gate Park and totally, completely FREE. About 40 bands perform, big and small, on 5 different stages. This years big acts were Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Del McCoury, and more. I thought I did a good job of not trying to see everything I wanted to see. A multiple-stage festival is much more fun when you just relax in one place, I've learned, especially when it's really claustro-crowded like this one.

Except for the fact that you have to fight your way forward to actually see the stage at times, I wasn't kidding when I said this festival is outrageously chill. For one thing, any ol' soul can just walk into the park and spread out a blanket. No ticket needed. For another thing, there is no beer garden or wristbands for drinking. In fact, they don't even sell alcohol, everyone brings their own and no one cares about it. No one gives a damn about smoking (well that's not true, there is a 'no tobacco' rule). The lack of law enforcment is pretty amazing in this day and age, considering the fact that this is a gathering of about 70,000 people.

Here is my one shot posing with the man of the weekend. Warren Hellman, the guest banjo player up on stage, puts on the entire festival. He happens to be a really nice billionaire and pays for it all out of his pocket. Just for fun! A gift from him to us. Thanks Warren! He doesn't do any commercial sponsorship, so there is no advertising anywhere. His name is often mentioned and everyone cheers. Wow. It must be rough. I mean, to have an endless pot of cash AND have everyone love you...

Hardly Strictly is a gem and I recommend it, no doubt. But get there early to get a good spot. This precious event is no longer a well-kept secret.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Alrighty... you're all obviously waiting in pure agony (probably losing sleep) over not knowing what the mystery picture below is. I'll tell you... It's the blown up image of the inside of some sort of cable that goes deep down in the ocean. Ziegy recently went to his company headquarters in Denmark. They had it framed on the wall as artwork. So he took a picture of it for me! Neat, huh? He been in Vancouver, BC at the Oceans 2007 conference for the past week. The other day on the phone he told me he was getting ready for a seminar on underwater cables and connectors. Sometimes I think his job is fascinating, other times not as much.

He comes back tomorrow and then we are hopping on a plane to go to San Francisco. We are going to spend the weekend at this totally outrageously chill event. We'll see music friends and also my friend Kari down there. Fun is ahead!