Month: May 2017

ready, set, indigo!

I learned how to dye with indigo last year, and ever since word got out, I’ve been requested to teach indigo dyeing workshops. I consider myself far from pro status, but thought it would be fun to give it a try. I’m happy to report that I love being able to share this craft with so many people! My latest workshop was held at Sticky Art Lab in Berkeley, and we totally lucked out with the sunshine! We set up our learning and folding station inside, and dyed our fabrics outside. This was my first time dyeing in a backyard/garden (versus indoors) so you can imagine my excitement when we got to hang our pieces to dry on a clothesline. (Super mega heart eyes!) Dyeing fabrics, including the set-up and clean-up, can be a long process, but it is relaxing and the results are fantastic every time. No two pieces are exactly the same, which makes the unveiling extra exciting. Even the tools looked good after a dye session. Eee, can’t wait for my next indigo …

eagle creek trail. 

I could hardly wait for this trip to Portland because I was going to go there with my adventure buddy – my Hubby! I was so excited to explore the Portland natures with him! Apparently, for our minimoon we hiked Eagle Falls trail and on this trip, our anniversary trip, we hiked Eagle Creek trail. Whaaaat? Pictures don’t do this trail justice, but imagine waterfalls, cool breezes, greenery all around, crossing creeks, … We made it to Lower Punch Bowl Falls, where stopped for a banh mi snack. We love us some dining waterfall-side. Next time, we want to do a day-long hike to Tunnel Falls and maybe check out some other trails, too. What are some of your favorite hikes? Share below!

shop feature: tender loving empire.

On my “I fell in love with Portland because of this” list is local handmade shop and record label Tender Loving Empire. The first time I visited TLE was in Fall 2011, before I kick-started my Feed the Fish co line. I must have been super inspired by all the handmade awesome in shop! On my second visit to Portland, I made sure to stop in again. The shop was just as exciting as the first visit. I even modeled for them. 😉 For this most recent visit, I made a TLE a flag! #fangirlallday And, I was so excited to see my crafty friend’s plush cuteness in store. You can spot Tally Sue’s raindrops, Oregons, clouds, Voodoo doughnuts, and sunny side up eggs all over the shop. I hope I get to visit again sooner rather than later. I’m also itching to visit their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th locations throughout the city. Any must-see stops on your Portland wishlist? Share below!

crocheeey.

See what I did there? See what I did here: I’ve learned to crochet in the past, but I always forget how to do it. Also, I don’t have that much patience. So when I saw that gather was holding a finger crochet class my attention span was all “can do, baby boo.” Finger crochet, especially if you use chunky yarn, is way faster than using traditional crochet tools, and less stressful on my hands. Class was taught by the awesome Cara Corey of Mary Marie Knits, and it came with an instruction guide plus access to her online tutorial so we can review and practice later on. The goal: begin making a lap blanket out of mega bulky yarn. Cara first demoed how to make a chain and then showed us how to stitch the first few rows of the blanket. We learned the “basic” stitch for this project. Cara shared some tips for how to count the stitches and how to make sure we keep our blanket even on both sides. I spent …

anniversary cake.

We own this fun cake topper that we used for our wedding day. Hubs and I decided we would use it every year on our anniversary which means we will always have some kind of cake. Winning! Since we were in Portland for our one year anniversary I ordered a cake from the cutest local cake shop I could find: the Cakery. The Cakery is part of the Baker & Spice family and features artisan cakes and delicate sweets. They also sell baking tools and accessories – think cake stands, cookbooks, sugars, aprons – and celebration goods like cards, candles, and matches. You can purchase cake by slice, ready-made cakes, or order ahead with special inscriptions. We ordered a six-inch Mocha cake. It had four layers of devil’s food cake brushed with an espresso syrup, covered with buttercream and topped with a decorative flower. It was moist and rich and made for some fun photos. Yes, I brought a cake stand from home. Mission celebrate with cake accomplished! Happy chocolately anniversary to my boo. 🙂

stumptown.

For our first Portland stop we headed to Stumptown HQ for a coffee tasting which I then learned was actually a “cupping” session. Not a fan, but exciting, nonetheless. We learned how the pro coffee bean buyers smell, taste, and experience coffee beans in a blind test. I learned the difference between fragrance and aroma. Fancy. We also had a lesson in direct trade and fair market prices. After smelling the freshly ground beans and the brewing coffee, we each got a spoon and a spittoon and slurped our way down the tasting line, rinsing our used spoons in warm water between each taste. The whole thing was a germaphobe’s nightmare (and I won’t go into detail), but I participated still since I wanted the full experience. (Totally monitoring myself for potential contagious diseases now.) But back to the coffee. We tried five kinds of beans which are roasted in house at HQ. Honestly, it was really hard to focus on the fragrance, aroma, and taste when I was trying mostly to get the cupping technique …

shop feature: mischief.

My crafty biz has a new stockist: Mischief! Mischief opened in the Laurel District of Oakland last month and it is looking all the cute. Owner Laura, and her Hubby and pup, run the shop and have curated a colorful array of locally handmade goods. I am loving the simple layout and design of the shop; it really makes the products pop! I made a few custom pennant and wall hanging phrases for Mischief. Spot them all in shop! The pennants are scattered about and the wall  hangings live on this wood board. I totally need a display like this for craft shows! There’s a workshop space in the back and each month the store will be transformed to feature one or two artists of the month. Have you stopped by yet? Go, go, go!