30 July, 2014

Summer Time And The Living Is Easy

I have had a love affair with this exotic canna lily for years. I don't take them out of the pots for the winter and every so often they freeze to mush. I just buy more. I adore their red & ruby striped leaves and then about now, they pop into huge orange blossoms.

This is our back patio with the pergola above and the hanging baskets. We sit out here in the shade (clematis (montana) above), sip our gin & tonics, eat dinners out here.
When we built the house many moons ago, we wanted something beyond the concrete slab. I checked out all the gardening structure books from the library and we had Bill & Ted (our excellent builders!) put up this 'open to the sky' pergola. When the clematis covers it, you don't even get drips on misty rainy days.
There is room for the BBQ, patio table, swing, and, at the time, also room for the kids to ride their bikes past without banging into us.
A great place for entertaining.

This is a hydrangea that jumped into my cart a few years back that is conical in shape. It used to be more ruby red but in my soil, its more white with pink. I need to add something like epsom salts - or whatever(?), to see if I can get the ruby red color back.

Another new flower (dang - forgot name) that is stunning in a patio pot. I have a pink candy striped geranium, ruby diascia, and a coral coleus in there too. Beautiful pot.

Looking towards runway on left, covered blueberry (still producing).
We had some terrific freezes last winter and as a result, no aphids on my stunning fuscia ( pot on bench by the first post).

It's behaving.
I don't know about you, but if I forget to water a fuscia one lousy day, its covered in aphids the next and it's all downhill from there.

This is trio of pots leading up to patio door on left. The sidewalk angles in here.
Need more Cannas!

Probably my favorite hanging basket this year. The peach Million Bells next to the deep purple verbena. Mmmm.

I gave myself permission NOT to have a garden this year. Keeping up with my acre, and my always increasing workload, I decided it was okay that my tomatoes are 'thriving' in their 4" pots.

Left hand side of the patio door.

I like my baskets to last well into the fall, so I make them myself. When you buy an already blooming hanging basket in May, it's already root-bound. This means you have to water it twice a day and its pretty much gone by mid-July. I bought these rubbermaid hanging basket pots over 20 years ago. They have a water reservoir at the bottom - if you forget to water, there's still some by the roots.
On our hot July & August days in the Willamette Valley (very little rain), these pots allow me to water once a day or even, every other day.
Most other plastic pots get brittle under the sun's UV rays.
I change out the soil every year and I use Osmocote or other time-release fertilizer in them.

I'm not one of those people who matchy-match everything. My happy dance revolves around happy accidents. Look at this peppermint impatient and the ruby diascia. There's a deep red coleus in there too but the impatients are keeping him checked.
I buy plants that I like and then put them together but without an overall theme.
I might buy fabric that way too.

A trip of pots containing a Japanese green maple, hanging Ivy geranium basket that never got hung, and the new flowers on the right which I already forgot the name of but have been blooming their heads off since May. and show no signs of stopping.


Summertime, And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'  And the cotton is high
Oh, Your daddy's rich, And your mamma's good lookin'
So hush little baby, now Don't you cry.

One of these mornings, You're going to rise up singing,
Then you'll spread your wings, And you'll take to the sky.
But until that morning, There's a'nothing can harm you,
With your daddy and mammy,  standing by.

21 July, 2014

New Pharmacy Building OSU/OHSU/PSU

Looking up at the artsy light installation in the new OHSU/OSU/PSU Combined Medical Services Building on the south Waterfront of Portland, Oregon.
The large atrium with walkways overhead.

OSU- Oregon State University
PSU - Portland State University
OHSU - Oregon Health Sciences University

My son is attending his third year of Pharmacy school here. Last week, we saw his new house he's living in (with two other pharm. students) and stopped to gawk inside this brand new building.

Combining the dental students with doctors, with pharmacy and other medical fields.
World-class medical research.
This building also serves real patients along with state-of-the-art medical technology learning portals.

Weirdly shaped, this is supposed to represent the barge & shipping industry that was positioned here before. If you squint, it's ferry shaped. . .

His main classroom.
 Windows, at the push of a button, will close off light. Seats are backed with dry erase boards for more inter-activity between students. Power point presentations occur on a giant screen (not shown). Presenter can see where they are in presentation by looking at the tv screen above - towards windows.

The new walkway bridge across the Willamette River.

Only walkers, buses, and light rail allowed - no cars. This is at the foot of the OHSU tram that takes you to Pill Hill where the heart of OHSU exists.
No traffic yet - they just connected the middle.

99 luft ballons ?
art installation.

more info:
ohsu combined services

Portland Business Journal

OSU bit

20 July, 2014

Hosmer Lake

I went to visit a friend in Redmond, Oregon this weekend.
We loaded up her vintage (heavy) aluminum canoe and took the dogs to Hosmer Lake.


Paddling through the reeds.

The two dogs graduated as "Best Boat Dogs Ever" which basically means they stayed seated and did not tip the canoe.

My phone camera stayed secure in my pocket - so I stole some lake photos from someone else.

It was a breezy hot day which meant no bug spray but plenty of sunscreen.
There were a couple of wildfires raging between Sisters & Redmond but we lucked out with no smokey smell over Hosmer.

Red Winged Blackbirds were plentiful and colorful.

18 July, 2014

Snow White Pop Up Reader Case

 I went into my sewing room to pull colors for a friend's daughter.
A belated graduation gift.

Several ideas wandered around inside my head from a zip bag to a phone charger pocket to a drawstring bag to a slouchy  messenger bag.

So I made her a eReader cover that allows you to prop up the reader for hands free reading.
I don't even know if she has an eReader.

The Tutorial came from the Inspired Wren - I made three of her vinyl lunch bags in the last month.
Very clear instructions.
After realizing her case is for one of the newer, sleeker eReaders, I found this site which gives dimensions for some of the earlier versions.

Her case length was around 7", give or take, I wanted to make mine longer - about 8".

Ren walks you through the math to make a case to fit your eReader. In my case, since I don't own one and I'm not sure the intended giftee has one, I upped the size of my long panels to 6.5" wide(1/4" seams) by 24.5 tall". My case came out at 6" wide x 8" tall.

I used a thin batting inside instead of interfacing and it worked fine.

The case is basically two long lengths of fabric sewn together that are then folded in thirds to make the case.
If you want to cleverly piece your fabric, just divide the case in rough thirds and work from there. I fussy cut my Japanese Snow White fabric (from Puyallup SewExpo 2014) to show the witch standing above Snow White.

My hint?  Fold your panels in thirds before sewing and decide what end will be folding down from top - this part shows the most when case is closed. Mark with a pin or something so you don't get confused when you are piecing various parts.
I had a coordinating stripe and the turquoise fabric for the inside.

 I used a priority mail box (bit better than 1-ply) for my cardboard that forms the pop up.

The pop up is adjustable and the shank button keeps the reader from sliding down.

I could always ask Jen what she'd like for me to sew for her - but where's the fun in that?

17 July, 2014

Surprise Package

 Yay!!! A surprise package came knocking at my door!

Can you read the note?
"...Here is a surprise package for your secret free week. Enjoy!..."

some fabrics to play with

Pencil Girl is one of the few that knows I took this week off from overtime, from work, from my parents moving, from the heat wave, etc... I told very few people, on purpose.

I'm off to central Oregon today after I post this. Time for canoeing, hiking, Ringo Starr at the Bend ampthitheater.

Are you getting the idea that Pencil Girl knows me well?
She copied a Vogue magazine article on designing wearable airplane art.

Those airplanes on the garment were stenciled on.

So much inspiration to dream about....

16 July, 2014

Garage Sales and Airplanes

I've been so busy covering vacations that I have had little time nor energy for garage sales.
I did get out last Friday.
 As I was talking to the young mom about how I know her mother, I spied one airplane peg.
She said there were two, couldn't find it and thought it was still inside, could she bring it to me at work?
Wasn't that sweet? Fifty cents a piece plus a hand delivery.

I saw this issue of Ottobre in an email and immediately zeroed in on the aviator hat. MUST HAVE.
I ordered it straight away and received it within two weeks which was quite amazing because it's the Fall 2014 pattern issue.

And look at that airplane thread-stitched onto the back of the coat.
It's perfect for this child's coat - not too cartoony (bubble planes) - just enough details to dream about flying real planes.
It could easily be  a stearman biplane or a waco or a travelaire.
All open cockpit biplanes for which you need a leather helmet.

I don't even have boys to sew for right now ;-)

12 July, 2014

For The Chicken Who Has Everything

My friend Janine (Crafty Tokyo Mama) favorited this item on Etsy.
{I squawked.  I cackled.}

The Seller/Creator says, "This sweater features a full back, straps that fasten with a snap behind the wings and an 8-inch turtleneck and was designed for chickens whose neck feathers are missing. This particular half sweater is hand-crocheted from 100% cotton as Addie lives in Texas where it is very hot."

I think this bit of randomness sums up my life this week. We're in the middle of a heat wave here and trying to work in it - hoping it will cool down enough at night to cool the house down for the next round.

Too many hours at work covering vacations.
The sewing has been at a minimum.

I did sew a maxi-skirt for the 4th of July but I need a couple of photos of it first in order to post.

01 July, 2014

Birds Flying aka I Wish I Had A Pet


Birds love bonking their beaks into my windows.
Usually we only have one crazed bird protecting their nest & territory but this year we have FOUR.
The typical Red Robin bonking repetitively and new to us this year, Song Sparrows.
The Robin bonks the window at mach 2 - maybe 40,000 times per hour. The Song Sparrow at least sings beautifully before he thumps onto  the window. And I think the sparrow really does have a nest nearby unlike the robin who is just plain crazy.

I've tried everything:  soap streaks to break up the reflection, six days respite with the crumpled red tissue paper, foil ribbons blowing. These birds are severely crazy. This year - from early March to - here it's now the 1 of July. Get a Life!

I wasn't sure I wanted to post my two, obviously homemade videos of the crazed birds but then I saw one of my favorite artists, who blogs over at MousesHouses, with her second book, "I Wish I Had A Pet".

We're Off!
This bird is obviously sweet to take missy mouse for a flight.


Here's the Robin from earlier in the Spring. All of my windows have beak streaks - amongst other crud. 
I can't wash them because it might encourage these stinkin' birds to be crazy longer.
0.10 and 0.21 - bird striking the window

And here is todays video of the song sparrow. He  - only the males are crazy - has marked up four windows in his zest to guard his nest.
Turn up your volume - my smarty pants phone now has background noise while recording - getting old - but you can hear this sparrow warble.
This is my kitchen window with the crumpled tissue paper taped up - which worked for only six days.

DOES ANYONE HAVE A BETTER SOLUTION to keep the bird bonking down?
Please save us.