Tag Archives: Portlandia

As the page turns… in the real Portlandia!

Go ahead and judge this book by its cover.

Go ahead and judge this book by its cover.

Grieving is hard. It’s long. It does you in. It doesn’t end. Some days getting out of bed is the most courageous act you can imagine. And accomplish.

I already know I will be grieving Blaine the rest of my life. You have no earthly idea how much I miss him. Just to exchange one more glance, I would give everything. To see him smile. The universe for one more hug. The chance to say goodbye.

In what now seems clearly a survival strategy, I actually managed to finish the book I was working on when Blaine left. I dove headfirst into a deep and consuming project. Not only were the words my responsibility, but also the design and layout. And know this: when the author does the layout, the words seem never to be finished. Catch that typo. Use a different turn of phrase. Put in that cool thing you forgot. So it takes longer than it takes. (Credit to an old friend, Paul Nyrczinski, for that aphorism: “Things always take longer than they take.”)

But it finally got printed. And delivered to us. You can see a video of Joyce and I opening the first copies here. And we have a real live website and everything, look here.

Since the shipment of three pallets with 2,500 books arrived, we have embarked on a marketing campaign so we can sell the books and recover our costs. Yes, we self-published. It’s our very own necks on the line.

So far, in addition to purchasing the book from our website, you can buy it in a growing number of retail locations. Powell’s Books, for example (all stores except the one at the airport)! Did you know you can order from Powell’s online and pick it up in a store without any shipping cost? Or you could buy two books and they would be shipped for free!

The book is also available at a number of New Seasons Markets. Multnomah County Library has it (OMG, all copies are checked out right now, they better order more!!). Other bookstores like Broadway Books, Reed College Bookstore. Quite a few quilt/fabric stores: Cool Cottons, Fabric Depot, Pioneer Quilts, The Pine Needle, A Common Thread, Greenbaum’s Quilted Forest, The Cotton Patch.

And soon it will be in Made in Oregon. And who knows where all. We are relentless in our marketing efforts. By the end of this, we should be able to write a book about marketing a book. Not that that’s never been done. 🙂

We are proud of our book. We think it will appeal to a whole lot of people:

  • people who live in Portland and want to discover what they don’t know about their home town
  • people who visit Portland (or want to) and want a tangible record of their experience that goes way beyond a phone full of selfies,
  • quilters who have always wanted to see quilts in a leading role, and
  • every person not in the above categories

So we think you might fit in there somewhere. Check it out!


CKC #52: Second course, as viewed in morning light


More glimpses of the almost finished kitchen. This time in morning light.

This is the view from my morning office today, it’s too hot on the second floor where my regular office is, so I have my laptop set up on the kitchen table.

I even made coffee, which means our kitchen is no longer cookless… and these chronicles will come to an end soon.

And this is what the chair I’m sitting in looks like when I’m not sitting in it 🙂 Isn’t it divine?! And the dishtowel almost matches it. Yes, I do realize I am ridiculous. In case you were wondering.

Here’s another little pop of red I forgot to show you last time.

Whenever and wherever there’s an opportunity to display the color story of the kitchen, I take it.

And have I mentioned how much I love pillows?

Naturally, we put a bird on it. This is a Portlandia kitchen, after all.







CKC #51: The first course of the photo reveal


If you ask me what I’ve been doing the last few days, my answer will be something to do with the kitchen. Mostly moving back in. While there are miles to go before we sleep, I’m posting a few photos as, well, more than appetizers, let’s call them the first course.

south end of kitchen

This photo looks at the southwest corner of the kitchen, you can see the upper cabinets, the countertop that includes a little extension that accommodates two bar stools, and a ceramic pendant light that is really cool. On the right side is the sink with another pendant, this one made of Venetian glass. Please note the orchids are back in the garden window too!

See how the slits in the ceramic shade cast pieces of light that look like bamboo leaves when it’s dark in the room.


A closeup of the mixer (that started the kitchen hope chest) and little spoon man.


To the right of the kitchen sink is the espresso machine, toaster, bread box and, like several other places, a pop of red.

Another little pop of red, including the little ladybugs crawling on the berry basket. No, not real ladybugs, but the artistry of Meghan and Jenn of jampdx (see their jampdx etsy shop)

The bookshelves are beginning to flll. Can you figure out my organization system. It ain’t Dewey Decimal, that’s for sure. I confess it was inspired by Portlandia.




CKC #32: Not so much about the food


Tonight Blaine wheeled over from Free Geek and we met up with Joyce and Tom at Cartopia, the closest-to-home food cart pod, and one of the very first in Portland. You may have heard how the food cart scene has taken off in Portland. There are more than 475 carts, in ever expanding locations. There’s a guide to carts, with a map.

Four of us had pizza from Pyro Pizza and Blaine had a hot dog from Bubba Bernies, then we went across the street to have sundaes with fresh Oregon strawberries at Burgerville.

It’s like watching part of a bar slowly navigate as the patrons power it by pedaling as they drink.

Everything was tasty, but tonight wasn’t so much about the food. The highlight was the mini naked bike ride that passed by as we waited to cross the street (I wasn’t fast enough to get a photo), followed by the appearance of Pedalounge.

If you don’t know what a pedal lounge is, this from its website: “We love our bikes and we love our beer and some of us even love the rain. The Pedalounge fits right in. It’s a bike on steroids seating 16 fun seeking folks up for a good time. We will cruise the streets of the Southeast Brewing District in Portland for a couple of hours, wave hello to onlookers and stop for a cold ale if you’re thirsty.”

We looked for Fred and Carrie but they still hadn’t arrived when we left. Cartopia is open until 3 a.m. so if you’re up late, you might still catch them. Pro tip: if you are showing Portlandia tourists about town, Cartopia should be on your list of places to hit.

In the kitchen today, Paul got the hood vent in and started the insulation, which he’ll finish tomorrow. Final inspections and sheetrock delivery scheduled for Monday afternoon, with the nailing in earnest beginning Tuesday morning. We can’t wait.

CKC #5: Fire on the Mountain but not on the sandwiches

posing at anchor bar in buffalo

Marie & Ric at Anchor Bar in Buffalo NY

Meal 5 was from Fire on the Mountain, the one on Burnside. This is one of those places we’ve always said, “We need to go there” but somehow never do. We decided on takeout because Blaine is still under the weather (that’s a nasty cough lingering) and I’m trying valiantly to fight it off, using all my immune boosting helpers. Please cross your fingers and toes. It pays tribute to Frank and Teressa’s Anchor Bar in Buffalo (we actually visited the place in 1997) and claims to be Portland’s original Buffalo Wing restaurant “committed to serving you the best wings this side of the divide.”

This eatery is very Portlandia. All its food and paper wastes are diverted to a composting facility. All straws, utensil, plastic bags and portion cups are made from biodegradable corn or potato starch, clamshells are made from bamboo fiber which is renewable, sustainable and compostable. All other paper products are made with 100% recycled materials. No trees are ever cut to make tissues, napkins and towels.

Fryer oil is transfat free and is donated to a local biodiesel co-0p after use. And, of course, they purchase local organic produce when in season and use all natural Piedmontese beef in the burgers. Chickens are raised by a cooperative of sustainable family farms, where they range free and are never given food laced with antibiotics or hormones.

Fire on the Mountain sign

The Burnside Fire on the Mountain sign

It’s a good thing we ordered takeout because the place was packed, Ric reported a very bustling and family vibe. He had a burger, which he loved, it was served on a brioche bun, I had the G.W.Carver sandwich, which featured chicken (her name was Esther and she was happy til the end of her days), peanut sauce, asian slaw and wasabi mayo. Very good. Blaine had Sam and Ben’s Sweet BBQ chicken sandwich.

Happy to say most of the fire was on the mountain so not too much on the sandwiches. Wonder if we are they first people not to order wings. Kinda weird. Like going to a seafood palace and ordering chicken fried steak. But at least it was takeout so nobody looked askance at us while we ate.

Quiltlandia: Share the Rack


The name, of course, is a play on Share the Road, a bumper sticker frequently on display in Portlandia, where bikes pretty much rule.

There is a sorta interesting backstory about this bike shelter. The Hawthorne Bridge was closed for repairs for a seriously lllloooooonnnnnngggggg time a few years ago, seems to me it was closed for a year and a half or maybe even two years. Soon after we got our bridge back, however, a movie crew took it over for a few months to film a number of scenes from the movie The Hunted. Our patience had worn very thin so there were a number of complaints from the Portland citizenry. To placate the public, the movie company promised to build a covered bike shelter on Hawthorne Blvd. as a kind of “thank you” gift.

This is that very bike rack.

I used several prints from the periwinkle blue and green Pretty Bird fabric from Michael Miller. I think this would look especially fine on a tweenager’s bed.

Share the Rack: Quilts AND Bikes

Quiltlandia in Portlandia: Swaddle Me


I’m going to post photos of and a bit of narrative about all the quilts in my Quilt Show at Bed Mart in the Pearl for First Thursday in October 2011. Joyce and I scampered across the city taking photos of my quilts set in iconic Portland places. This is the statue of Vera Katz on the Eastbank Esplanade.

I named this one Swaddle Me, a hashtag that @BravoAndy uses to very humorous effect. I dunno, maybe you had to be there. 🙂

I had a lot of trouble getting into a rhythm making this quilt. For some reason, I didn’t grasp the fact that it mattered what order the little pieces are when attaching the strip blocks to the larger whole block. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the two strip blocks on each side of the larger blocks are the reverse of one another. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that when I started and had sewn quite a few together before it dawned on me.

I didn’t buy any fabric for this project, using only what I had in my stash. Which wasn’t really a problem because I had collected a number of blue and purple and teal fabrics over time for a ridiculously complex idea I had that involved peacocks. Fortunately, I came to my senses before I embarked on that project, hence I have a plethora of blue/teal/purples tones. I’m not sure you can tell from this image, but some of the fabrics in this quilt are prints of peacock feathers.

This is not a hard quilt to make, especially if you are aware of what I overlooked. Cutting the small pieces is a little tedious, as is sewing them together, but it’s not difficult.

Quiltlandia in Portlandia: Swaddle Me