Sunday, September 25, 2011


Today has been somewhat rainy and windy. Fall is now here and as usual I am happy to see it. However, I was not happy to have such early fall-like weather last weekend when the mister and I went to the coast. I was hoping for a little blast of last minute summer. I had visions of laying on the warm sand during the day and staring at the stars at night. Instead I got a grey sky that almost exactly matched the grey ocean and rain all weekend long.  You couldn't even sit on the porch without getting wet.

It was still a nice weekend, though. There was lots of relaxing and one day we went into town, walked around in the rain and had some ice cream.

We also stopped by the smoked fish shop. I've driven by a few times and never could stop. We got the most amazingly good and still warm smoked tuna, salmon and black cod. I will stop there now everytime.

Karla's Smokehouse
We stayed in a kooky old run down house that hadn't been redone since the early 80's and is still filled with the owners things. The owners still come and stay there part of the year.

Down in their dark garage there's a little hallway to get to the washer and dryer area (everything else is behind plywood walls and covered in tarps). In this hallway I found a wall covered with clippings and old calendars and posters. I love finding walls like this. This one was especially exciting because the owner had a pin-up calendar from 1981 on Duane Bryers' chubby pin-up creation, Hilda. I have only ever seen these images on the internet. It was cool to see some in real life. 

Everyone seems to be pretty excited about fall being here. I am already looking forward to some things. But, I'm gonna try and keep my preconceived ideas to a minimum about my plans. You never know what you'll really get.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Oilcloth Tote Bags and Mom

I've been meaning to post this for about a month. And now, with the symbolic last day of summer I finally get to it. In my defense this summer, especially the last month and a half has been pretty crazy. Between visits from family, making the zine, doing the zine symposium and then for the last month dealing with a really bad back injury - I've had little time to catch up. I'm looking forward to some cooler weather and stronger days ahead.

I've posted before about my mother and her amazing talents. She has been cranking out amazing quilts for the last couple of years. She never sells her work and it drives me crazy, because her stuff is so beautiful and well done. But, it takes a lot of work to do that and I can understand her not wanting to spend time on that. She'd rather sew!

I spent a couple of weeks at the beginning of summer looking for a good lunch bag for work. I wanted Mexican oilcloth because it's easy to clean and so bright and cheery. I looked and looked on Etsy and there was nothing like what I wanted on there. I finally settled on something that wasn't what I wanted. Then I thought about my mom and how she could probably make one with her mad skills.  So, I bought some oilcloth online with contrasting gingham colors. So cute! I took it to her house with a placemat I liked, too. Hoping she could make me some customer round placemats as well (I forgot to take pics of those, but trust me they're awesome).

She was pretty unsure of working with oilcloth, especially since I wanted the liner to be oil cloth, too. I knew she would be able to do it and in fact she did quickly crank out some awesome lunch bags. She made them to my specifications, which were a little bigger than I probably needed. So, I use them more for picnics. And truthfully, they are so beautiful, I've been cautious about using them at all.

In her usual fashion she added lots of sweet little features, including pockets inside and matching placemats and coasters for the bags! She used this stitch for everything and it worked great. The cool, thing about oilcloth is that you can just leave the edges cut. It won't unravel.

She took some cardboard and covered it to make the bottom more sturdy and flat. You can also remove it if you want.

I can't offer you the directions for these bags, but something even better recently came out if you like the look of these totes. A new book called Sewing with Oilcloth is now out. And you can get free patterns for the tote bag and the table runner.  This book almost makes me want to sew!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

kid's drawings

One of my favorite things to buy at zine symposiums or comic shows is drawings that little kids are selling. There's usually at least one kid who's with someone selling and they have a pile of drawings or comics of their own to sell. 

Last month at the Portland Zine Sympoisum there was an organization raising money for kids art classes by selling some drawings. I bought this for 2 or 3 dollars.

Here are some other drawings I got in the past, most likely from either the zine symposium or Stumptown Comicsfest. I've been meaning to post some of these for years.

This one above was a full comic series. I bought three issues, all full length and stapled in the corner. This was from at least 5 years ago at PZS.

This one above is my favorite. It looks like this on the page. The drawing takes up about 1/6 of the blank page. Here is a close up below:

Not only is this just a great picture of some kid that I am guessing has some serious braces. But, it always makes me hear a song in my head from a long ago Oakland band called Eskimo that I saw a lot in the late 80's.. They ended a song called Clark's Monkey calling out the name Clark, Clark?

These last two I think I got at Stumptown.

I'm betting I have more around. If I find them I'll post them. When you go to shows like this look for the little kids who has a mess of drawings on a small part of the table. You'll get some cool stuff.

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