Tag Archives: Portland

Project Day: Mini Maker Faire

Yay! One of our favorite events, the Portland Mini Maker Faire, was yesterday. We went with some friends of ours (I’m talking about you Tanya and Brian!) and saw so much cool stuff!

Walking around with Pannonica, she enjoyed making a vinyl superhero mask, checking out some of Portland Center Stage’s handmade props, and getting the chance to use a 3-D pen.

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We also liked watching a demonstration of local robotics team, the Flaming Chickens. They’d made a robot catapult. Super cool! Check out my friend Heather Q’s documentary about them.



After that we hooked back up with the rest of the family and our friends and got to see some other cool exhibits like PCC’s push-button drums, Intel and ADX’s scrap sculptures, and we also made a couple of cool robot friends. All in all a pretty great event!

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And here’s just a sneak peak at what we were inspired to go home and work on. Thanks Brian for all the help!


ROI Day 5, 6, and 7

We’ve been continuing to have outstandingly beautiful weather. Yay! I just LOVE October. I need to pick up some purple sunglasses before it’s too late! Anyway, today on my walk (not a nature one, but an actual exercise one) I stopped to pick up these lovely (if slightly dry) peas. I was inspired by my flower dress, that I wore later in the day to the playground, to draw floral and leaf patterns on the peas. After taking my picture I let the wind have it’s way with my precious peas and later heard a little girl delight in finding one on the ground. So I’ve decided to let nature reclaim all of my ROIs from here on out.

I also found this chestnut seed casing on the ground during my morning walk. Prickly little bugger, but I like how he came out. The soft insides made for some difficult pen work. I’m using Sharpie Brand Ultra Fine Tipped pens.

This mermaid on a stick was not easy. If drawing on paper isn’t your forte, don’t expect drawing on soft wood to be any simpler! The girls and I sat in the playground for more than an hour drawing and coloring mermaids. Not sure how we got on that tip.

Here are Anne’s ROIs from the last two days.

I know Anne has recently finished a new painting. Perhaps she’ll give me the okay to let you guys have a peek.

These are some of the drawings my girls did today. Not ROIs, since they were just drawing in my sketchbook, but they were totally cracking me up!

I drew a quick circle on the back of my sketch book to get my pen working again during my chest nut seed casing drawing. Q wanted to draw one too, then added a mouth and kept telling me she’d made “facebook”. HAHA!

This is my oldest daughter PZ’s page. She’s 6 and did all the drawing and coloring herself. In case you’re wondering, the Queen mermaid is upset because her hat looks like an elephant is sitting on her head. Or so I was informed.

PZ drew these mermaids for Q to color. I kind of love the strange “South Park” eyes on the orange mermaid. I also really like the yellow tail choice. The big puffy looking mermaid is crying because she is too weird to have friends. This is what my 4 year old told me. Don’t even try to psychoanalyze that one!

Anne’s husband Ollie surprised us at the park so I made him draw this mermaid. Q gave her very long hair and what looks to be chest hair.

Hope you had a great weekend!

xoxo Emily

Nature Inspires Art

It has been a gorgeous September here in Portland, OR. Aside from being sick (for the second time this month!!), we’ve been trying to enjoy it to the fullest. Q and I have been going on nature walks every afternoon after her preschool lets out. I take the dog, she takes her little basket, and we walk and talk and collect whatever we spy as pretty or interesting. No picking from gardens allowed!

A friend in the neighborhood has a huge chestnut tree or conker tree across the street from her house. Q and I gathered as many as we could this early in the season. We especially like the ones still in the seed.

Before long, we started creating art with our findings. This brought an idea to my mind and I’ve decided to try it – Random Object Illustrations. For the whole month of October I’m going to try my hand at drawing on found objects. They don’t have to be from nature per say, just whatever item catches my fancy.

I’ve bought new pens for the project, talked my friend Anne into participating in it with me, and even had a trial run with this leaf. If any one else is interested in sharing their own Random Object Illustrations feel free to contact me and we can link up, or if there is enough interest I’ll make a Flickr group.

Flexing and improving my drawing abilities is something I’m always striving for. Having a project ensures that I’ll actually set aside some time everyday for practice. And as we all know, practice makes perfect. Anyone else a total failure at piano?

Speaking of practice, I’m trying to get the hang of dairy and egg free (vegan) pancakes. I made these pumpkin, apple cider, and chocolate chips ones last week and while they were okay I wouldn’t exactly recommend them. Any tips or recipes would be much appreciated! Happy Autumn! Happy drawing! And Happy eating!

Baby Goth, Party Girls, and Rusty Garden Art

One of our little friends had a birthday party tonight. This is what I made for the newly 6 year old with the instructions from her mom that she liked anything morbidly beautiful. Monster High was suggested and we did score a Monster High puzzle at the Dollar Tree.

But I wanted to make something for her, too. Going into my studio this morning, this vinage plaid struck me as perfect and black and blue were like a uniform for me in high school. Very Veronica from Heathers. You know. “Corn chips!” Anyway…

I had this little vampire from some fabric I got last Halloween. There was a really cute mummy and Frankenstein on the fabric too, but the girl said vampires are her favorite, so there ya go. It is lined with the blue pocket fabric as well because the plaid is fairly thin.

I think the sweet lace at the bottom really takes this skirt to the next level. Baby Goth! It was really fun to make and I’m totally happy with it. I wish more off the cuff projects of mine turned out so well!

The girls were giddy with excitement at getting to go to a night-time party. I even did PZ’s hair. I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, but I didn’t curl it first or use any product. Other than needing some blonde bobbi pins, I loved how it turned out and really easy!

Hubs and I were pretty excited about getting 2 hours to ourself this evening without having to pay for a babysitter. Yay! We took a long walk and had a late dinner at the SE Division food carts. Anyone tried that Gonzo place? It looks pretty yummy. This is a sunflower garden art piece I got during Plucky Maidens last week. I didn’t get the artist’s name. The man mannequin I got back in my Buffalo days. It’s been out front forever, but I think the sunflower compliments him. And, of course, our bucket tomatoes! We picked our first red one today!

The weather here has been so beautiful the last few days. Yesterday my friend Jenn Finn and I trekked out to Sauvie Island and spent the day with the girls at the beach. Simply gorgeous! The girls had a grand time playing in the sand while Jenn and I gabbed. It’s been a wonderful week and am looking forward to the weekend.

Less than two more weeks until school is back. Shew!

Getting Crafty – Starting 2012 Off Right

Today I had the fun experience of meeting one of my readers AND crafting with her! Deb of Bee’s Nest invited me over to her house for a New Year’s Day crafty get together. I had a lot of fun meeting Deb, her handsome dogs, and her friends Stacy and artist Rachel Austin.

Rachel was nice enough to bring over some old maps she had and we all tried our hand at a little box origami. I’d never really done much origami and I thought this was really cool, especially blowing the boxes up. It was a great idea Deb and thanks so much for the invite! Next time let’s use that hot glue gun!!

Before we got started on the origami garlands, I got the chance to finish an embroidery hoop art piece I actually started LAST January. Embarrassing, but at least I’ve finished it now!

When I got home I was floored to find that my family had been busy making this little fella. His name is “For Chore” and he was built to do all the girl’s chores for them. I’m hoping he’ll do mine, too!!

My Birthday!

My birthday was Monday. While I’ve decided I’d be a much happier girl if my birthday were sometime in October, I did have a very nice day. Lazy morning, pleasant jog, lunch at a local cafe with just me and my book, a little resale shopping where I found those cutie patootie vintage overalls pictured below on little Miss Q, and a wonderful dinner prepared by Hubs and enjoyed with good friends, lots of laughs, and a drink or two.

PZ was so excited to be able to blow up balloons all on her own (I tied them.) and then the girls took turns marking faces on each one. I had a gaggle of balloon friends at my birthday party!

My sister got me this great book by Joe Kaufman and Pip’s new book Meet Me at Mike’s. I’ve been loving sharing the Kaufman book with my girls. They’ve always got so many questions!

My friend Anne made this great vase and filled it with beautiful flowers from her garden for me. The yellow lilies have been filling my house with the sweetest perfume each evening. I got some very lovely accessories from the girls from Redux.

But the best present of all was from Hubs, of course. Tickets to see Adele and a night in a fancy smancy hotel! Yay! I also must say the carmel cake I made was delish! Cheers to me and all the other July birthday babes!

KCWC – Day 4

I didn’t get to sew as much today, but I was able to finish this dress for PZ. The fabric is a great vintage seersucker I picked up at Knittn’ Kitten today. I may or may not add some shirring to the waist of this dress. I need to wait and see what PZ thinks tomorrow.

What I was doing instead of sewing was taking Quinby to Pine State Biscuits. We are probably the last two people in SE Portland to check this joint out, but MAN OH MAN,  it was yummy!

Quinby spent a lot of time licking the strawberry jelly off her biscuit while I scarfed down my fried chicken, bacon, cheddar, and apple butter biscuit, green salad, and sweet tea. Unbelievable! Don’t worry, I worked it off at pilates tonight.

See you tomorrow for Day 5 of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge. Just in case you missed it, here are my days 1, 2, and 3.

Elsie Marley’s KCWC – Day 2

After the great shorts fiasco yesterday, I decided to switch over to tops. I did this little top to “go” with the sailboat shorts I made on Sunday. I had seen this picture from katie did‘s blog when she first posted it and the little shorts are actually what I liked about it, but the ruffle on the top caught my attention as well. So I just decided to free hand a similar top and it came out a little strange, but wearable.

The straps still need some adjustment. PZ wasn’t feeling particularly willing to stand around trying the shirt on over and over again. Unfortunately, she gets super freaked out when trying clothes on with pins, so I end up sewing it before I have her try it on and having to redo it several times before I get it right.

I also almost finished an apron top for PZ, but we had friends come over for burgers on the grill. Yeah! It is finally starting to get nice enough to eat outside! Sunny Portland days here we come!

Booty from Wonderland

This past weekend was Crafty Wonderland. My friend Jody and I raced through before taking the kids to see a theatrical rendition of How I Became A Pirate. I love going to Crafty Wonderland although it does all become a bit overwhelming. So many great artists and lots of friends to say hi to.

I’ve been wanting to get some new art for our living room walls and I’m pleased to say I found two great prints. The first is by Row Boat Press and its called Unhappy Bunny. The girls love this one and since my living room walls are orange it goes really well. The second one is called Winter in the Parlor and is by a great new to me artist named Rachel Blumberg. She is a musician and painter and her work really reminds me of growing up in the South and all the wonderfully rustic musicians that abound throughout the area. I’ve been listening to a lot of Karen Elson lately and Rachel’s work seems to fit right in with that motif.

If you are local to Portland, or visiting, and you missed the show this weekend make sure you check out either Tender Loving Empire or the Crafty Wonderland Pop-Up Shop for lots of great local artists.

Craft Happening

Crafty Wonderland is today. I’m going in a few hours to check out all the great artists and say hi to some crafty friends. Hope to see you there! Bring a friend!