Zakka Basket

After many weeks on the waiting list, I finally got to check out Zakka Sewing from the library. I made this little basket for my clothespins today. Aw, isn't it cute? I'd been keeping them in a plastic bag with the intention of finding something cute to keep them in. It was easy...took less than an hour to make. I made it from two old pillowcases I had in my stash and some quilt batting.

My Weekender Bag

I made another Weekender Bag! This one is number three, after the first and the second. I'm sure this will be the last one for a while. It is a lot of work! This one's for me because I want one for myself, too. And I'll get to use it when I go back to Akron next week!

I had wanted to put some pockets on the inside, but at this point I just want to be done with it. All I have left to do is to sew in the lining, which by the way is some hot pink denim that was 50% off at Joann's. The main fabric is fromAnna Maria Horner's Drawing Room collection. I love it! It's one of my favorites. I couldn't afford to make the whole bag with Drawing Room fabric. According to the pattern, it requires four yards of fabric! Twelve feet of fabric to make one bag, plus five yards of interfacing and stabilizer. I actually had quite a bit of fabric left over because I'm extra thrifty when I cut out the pieces. I'd been looking for a cheaper home decor weight fabric at Joann's, but they didn't have anything that looked good with my fabric. Luckily I found this pink denim that was even cheaper and looks pretty good I think. Nice, eh?

This is what it looks like on the inside. Sewing through all the layers of fabric is the most difficult. I only broke two needles this time, not bad.

The Library

I had some time downtown last week, so I went to the central library. Definitely very cool. I am a fan of libraries, especially this one. I found the craft books section fairly easily, read a few magazines, perused the internet. It was raining that day, so it was a good day to be hanging out at the library.

My what big salmon you have!

After our morning in Ballard, we went to Gas Works Park, previously seen in this post. By this time, it was definitely getting hot, but we all had a nice walk about and/or relax in the grass. In the evening, we made a trip to Whole Foods for some shopping and a light dinner before my parents headed back to their hotel to get ready for their early morning flight.

We are a family that loves to eat crab! On the east coast we had blue crab. I remember getting them fresh somewhere near D.C when I was little. They'd come with a big scoop of Old Bay seasoning, and we'd take them home, steam them, and spread some newspaper on the kitchen table and dig in. Here, we dig in to dungeness crab! They're bigger and more fun to eat! The last time the family was here, we bought two fresh crabs and cooked them at home. This time dad got us two pre-cooked ones which my brother and I heated up and chowed down on after our parents left. Num num num! and the carnage in the compost bin...

The next day we went downtown and made our way to all the outdoor shops; REI, Feathered Friends, Columbia, and Patagonia. Somewhere in there, we stopped at Whole Foods for lunch (we love Whole Foods). Oysters were one dollar each. We tried to buy just two of them, but the guy said, "I'll just give them to ya." So we each got a free oyster! Then Tom wanted more, so he ordered six more. It was a bit much.

After lunch we went back to Pike Place to look at salmon again. Oh, we do love our salmon. You just can't get it this fresh in Ohio. Copper River salmon was still too expensive, so we just looked. We were also nervous about ruining a $30 piece of salmon if we did buy some.

smoked salmon...which we happily sampled. so good!

We felt defeated by not finding my brother some frozen king salmon, and also because he couldn't try some Copper River salmon. So we got a piece of fresh king salmon for dinner, and experimented with some new cedar planks. I also made apple pie, but it took so long to make, it didn't come out of the oven until 11:30pm. Oh well, it was good for breakfast. It was a lovely little mini-holiday with the family.

Fisherman's Terminal

On Sunday two weekends ago, we went to the Ballard farmers market. There wasn't too much in season that I usually buy. I can only eat so much brussel sprouts and asparagus. I can't wait until berries and cherries are in season! We were mainly looking for fresh frozen salmon, which I had definitely seen there the week before. My brother wanted to take some back to Virginia with him, and he wanted the kind that was fresh frozen and vacuum packed. Alas, on this day we didn't see much frozen salmon. So we then headed to the nearby Fisherman's Terminal, where I read that you can buy good fish. I'd never been there, but I've been wanting to check it out because I love the Deadliest Catch, and some of the boats on the show are moored here. The monument below is the Fisherman's Memorial.

We had a fresh fish lunch at Chinook's, which had a great view of the boats.

The Sea Star was on a few episodes of the first season of the Deadliest Catch. You can tour the boat for $10 or visit the gift shop on the boat for free, which is what we did. Two crew members were working in the shop, one of which I recognized from the show :-) We didn't do the tour, but I would pay money to tour the Northwestern boat though. I was still kind of excited to see one of the Deadliest Catch boats, even though it wasn't on the show much.

More big fishing boats...

Alas, luck on the frozen salmon. I'd see signs in Ballard pointing to Loki Fish at the Fisherman's Terminal where you can buy flash-frozen fish straight from their boat, exactly what we wanted! But they were not there that day either. hmmm, out fishing perhaps? I do want to go back and find them because I love the idea of buying fish right off the boat from the people who caught it. I remember buying fresh fish and chips from a boat in Hobart, Tasmania...mmmm, so good.

Afterwards, we made a trip to Costco to get some Copper River sockeye salmon that we had seen there day before. at $19.99/lb, it was ten dollars cheaper than every other place. We were just there the day prior, but we didn't buy any because we were going to be out all day away from a fridge. So we went back the next day to buy some, and it was gone...all of it. Completely gone, like it was never even there. Boo...salmon fail.

Okay, so I guess that week was the very first Copper River salmon of the season, so it was all expensive and everyone wanted some. I just now got back from Costco and got some for $9.99/lb. Yippee! Salmon for dinner.

Pike Place

After we returned from Bainbridge Island, we walked to Pike Place from the ferry terminal. Pike Place was crowded! We just happened to be there during the Seattle Cheese Festival, which was a delicious event to happen upon. We tasted some cheese, most of them were of the pungently tasty variety. With the perfect weather, cheese festival, cruise ships in port, and general weekend crowds, Pike Place was hoppin'. There was plenty of fish being thrown at "the place where they throw the fish", aka Pike Place Fish Market. Copper River salmon season had just started; I think the first catch had just arrived the day before, according to the local news. The season only lasts 3-4 weeks, and foodies go crazy for this stuff every year. From what I've read, salmon from the Copper River in Alaska is fattier and tastier than most other salmons, and from what I've seen, its colour is more pronounced. I'm yearning to try some, but I just can't afford it this year. At $30-$40/lb it's quite pricey, though apparently a bit cheaper than last year. I think a good smoked wild Alaska king salmon is one of the most delicious things on earth...yes, even better than bacon (and, better for your heart!) So I'm really curious to see how one of my favorite foods can taste even better than it already does.

Mmmm...dungeness crab. I like those, too. See this is the reason I wanted to move here.

Bainbridge Island

My parents and my brother came for a visit this past weekend and the weather was perfect! They all arrived Friday evening. Saturday morning we headed downtown and took a ferry to Bainbridge Island. My dad expressed a slight concern that we might mistakenly end up on a boat to Canada without our passports. We were assured that Bainbridge Island is indeed not part of Canada. The ferry ride was about 35 minutes and affords great views of the city and Mt Rainier. I always have trouble photographing the Mountain. It doesn't show up well in photos. You can see it in distance in the photo above. I had to "enhance" it to make it visible.

So, um, it's pretty apparent in the next photo that my camera lens is quite dirty. Just ignore that...this is Bainbridge Island from the ferry.

From the ferry, you can walk to Winslow which is where all the shops and restaurants are. We checked out the farmers market, where we met the mayor of Bainbridge Island. She was very appreciative and friendly when my dad told her the island was really lovely...then he asked her where we should eat for lunch. Some people on the ferry had recommended a good place that was by the water... so we asked the mayor, and she directed us to Doc's.

I only took two pictures on the island. Here we are waiting for out table. We didn't do much, just wandered and ate. Halibut and chips, yummy!

This excursion actually reminded me a lot of New Zealand in many ways. The climate, the town, the water... The ferry ride was very reminiscent of a ferry I took in Auckland.

City from afar. You can see the giant cruise ship in port.

An Evening with Bret and Jemaine

Flight of the Conchords @ the Paramount

I went to see Flight of the Conchords at the Paramount on Tuesday night. Bret and Jemaine were in fine form. I haven't laughed so much since I went to see John Hodgeman several months ago. I love these guys! As you can see, I had awesome seats. Close enough to see the little rhinoceros on Bret's guitar.

Bret, aka Rhymnocerous

Jemaine, aka Hiphopopotamus

Nigel, the cool cellist

Arj Barker opened

Sugalumps. That's Jemaine sharing his sugalumps with someone in the first row.

Angry Blueberry Dress

I've been thinking I should revisit my giant fruit project. The big ottomans are quite cumbersome to ship, and I've been wanting to try them in smaller sizes. Everyone should have some giant fruit in their home! I just need to package it better, and also to develop patterns for sale. But first, I need to try some alternate sizes.

So, I had this dress... My roommate Joanna had gotten this dress at a thrift shop a few months ago for $1.00. She didn't want it anymore and offered it for my craft stash. A few days ago, I looked at it and decided it should be turned into a semi-large blueberry, and that the blueberry should be strongly emotive. I settled on Angry.

I turned out bigger than I expected. It's about half the size of it's larger fruity siblings. I completely winged the ruffly bit at the top. I just sewed random pieces into a circle and trimmed the edges. Looks fairly blueberry-like, no? It'd be pretty boring without the face though.

Making the face...and that's the remainder of the dress after all the pieces were cut, the carcass of the dress if you will. The fabric is a stretchy knit, which makes for a nice soft pillow. No portion of the dress was wasted! All the remaining fabric was incorporated into the stuffing. I'm thinking of making this a regular reoccurring project, maybe add some to the shop! Would anyone buy a pineapple made from a one dollar pair of pants? Or lemon from a sweatshirt? Hmmm, me thinks my next project will be emotive fruit.

Something for my laptop

My new laptop sleeve!

I made a sleeve for my macbook! Look how purdy! It turned out surprisingly well. Usually my first tries don't turn out so well. I've been wrapping my laptop in a pillowcase or whatever soft thing I have at my convenience whenever I need to travel with it. I didn't feel like working with zippers last night, and I wanted to get off of the computer, so I decided to whip up this little lovely. Can't wait to use it!

My new laptop sleeve!

The Wallet Shop

Well, it appears that I've been busy! I've sold my hippo wallet (Yippee!), and I've already made another plus two Amy Butler wallets. I actually made three Amy Butler wallets, but I goofed on one and it turned out sub-par. sucks when you spend so much time on something and then you mess it up by cutting something you shouldn't or sewing something on upside down or things don't match up like they should...oh well. It's a learning process.

So yay! Also, check out Carrie and friends' jewelry at Triple Dip! Help support our crafty friends!


Some of you may remember the Fiber Party from a while back. Well, this past weekend we got to see our contributions in it's final form. We went to see a multi-media dance performance by our friends at Manifold Motion. I obviously don't have photos of the actual performance (which was pretty damn cool), but they invited everyone on stage to check out the set after the show. Joanna and I helped make some of the long ropes that hang from the ceiling. Visit their website for photos and videos of past performances.