Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31st

It's the last day of July. That means the last day of International Zine Month. This would be a good time to check out Broken Pencil's site. Broken Pencil is out of Canada and is a great magazine filled with zine culture and independent arts. For the month of July they profiled a number of zinesters, myself included. You can see my profile and find out my answer to why I make zines.

It's the last day of July and that means only 5 more days till the Portland Zine Sympoisum! I am not nearly ready. The last few days have been spent on outings around the area since my sister is visiting. Now it's time to get this thing done. Hopefully in the next two days I can get it dialed in and copied. So, why am I blogging! Argh. I am hopeless. Well, here's some pics from the last few days around the Portland area. There were museum trips, lunches, lake picnics, kayaking and a trip out to Sauvie Island.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

raspberry jam

Today is a rainy day in Portland. Even though it's the middle of July, I don't mind. I like having some sun and then some cooler days.

Last weekend was a perfect summer weekend. On Saturday I went out to Sauvie Island and got a flat of raspberries. Kruger Farms had just posted the day before that the raspberries were in and showed a picture of buckets of raspberries. That was enough to get me there. I love any reason to go out to Sauvie Island. Below is a phone picture from inside Krugers looking out over their fields.

There were lots of people there, but plenty of raspberries and other great produce. I got a flat and some other items and then went out to the Blue Heron Herbary - one of my favorite places on the island.

The next day I went to my Mom's and we made Raspderry Jam with some of the berries. I've always been intimidated to make jam. Something about the special jars, sterilizing and pectin just seemed like a lot of work, especially when I can get super great and local jam pretty much anywhere. But, I found a recipe for Raspberry Jam that required no pectin and no special jar sterilizing and I wanted to try it.

Raspberries have natural pectin in them, so it isn't really needed when you are making raspberry jam. I learned this from the cookbook Foods to Live By, which is written by the folks who run Earthbound Farms.

I really like this cookbook and so did my mom, so I left it with her so she could try some things. Because of this, I don't have the exact recipe with me, but it was really easy and I read it over many times, so I'm pretty sure I have it committed to memory.

Basically it was this:

16 cups raspberries
8 cups sugar

Put in heavy bottom pot, bring to boil, then simmer for about 50 minutes. Spoon into any sterilized jars right away or wait to cool and put into jars.

We simmered for longer than 50 minutes because it didn't look like it was thickening. It looked more like a sauce. But, after it cooled down it did thicken up quite good, especially the ones with the seeds left in. We did some seedless and some with seeds. For seedless we put the jam through a sieve and then a strainer.

Let me tell you, it's delicious. Not too sweet and so fresh tasting.

I guess I better get back to working on my zine now. Zine Sympoisum is in a few weeks.....well, maybe I'll have a snack of toast and jam first.

Hope your all enjoying the summer!

Friday, July 8, 2011

for your friday night consideration

In case you are home tonight and looking for some sort of something on the internet to entertain and maybe even move you. I give you some of my favorite choices.

This entry is inspired by the song Blue Spotted Tail by The Fleet Foxes. It came on a few minutes ago and I stopped all I was doing and started out at the twilight sky through the open window and thought about stars and summer nights.

I looked on Etsy for an illustration to match what I had in my head while I listened to the song. I didn't find one like what I imagined, but I did find this pretty awesome fabric illustration by seeinginfabric It's called "For All the Stars We Don't See"

Now, if you would like some more music and some humor, I highly recommend this Paul Simon special from 1977. It's only available on youtube. But, it's so very good. I hope they remaster it and release it soon. It's funny and the music is great. I miss the days of specials. Everyone had them for a while in the 1970's. This one's a real gem.

If you're in a more documentary mood. The BBC documentary about Easy Listening Music is pretty great. It gets a little slow at the end, but how awesome to find a documentary about real easy listening music. Someday I will start my Easy Listening interent station. Anyway, you'll hear about Bert Kampfert, Ray Conniff, Herb Alpert and Richard Carpenter, among many others. Also, only on youtube, unfortunately.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

zine season has begun

July is International Zine Month. In Portland it's also usually the month before the zine symposium and for me that means time to get in gear on the newest zine.

I'm pretty behind this year and just started today. I'm working on a new issue of Paper Crush and without giving too much away, the zine will be a nice compliment to the theme of "Postmarked 2011" for this 11th annual Portland Zine Symposium.

As a fund raiser the PDX Zine Symposium is selling postcards. For $5.00 they will send you a stamped postcard that you can decorate and send back. They'll all be on display at the symposium. It's a fun way to help out with the symposium and a great way to be there even if you can't be there.

I sent mine in last week. Here it is:

I have worked on the zine today in between cleaning out the closet in my craft den/office/record library. It feels so good to get rid of a lot of stuff. It's hard for me, though, feeling like, well, I could *do something* with this. But, if I haven't in the last five years I'm betting I won't.

So, I have the next couple of days off to work on the zine and the space clearing. It's become a ritual of mine to take a couple days off in July or August for the purpose of working on a zine.

Even in the midst of it, I am surprised that it is that time again.

I have a problem with comprehending the basic fundamentals of time.

Happy Zine Month!

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