Harry Potter Celebration at the Kennedy School

For Harry Potter’s birthday, the Kennedy School had a celebration. We attended in the afternoon, which was good as there weren’t many people around.

We pose with our houses.

And then someone else took our picture.

Here was another photo backdrop.

They had merchants in Diagon’s Alley and a photo scavenger hunt, plus a bunch of riddles posted. There was a prize for the photo hunt. By the time we were done they had given out all 1000 prizes. Which was fine by me and a good testament to what a successful event it had been.

While Matt thought about riddles, I busied myself looking at this photo taken on the steps of the Kennedy school.

I particularly liked this scowling girl, and her cheery companion with the white bow.

The Hollywood Theatre is Always Classy

Friend Kelly asked if I wanted to see Quentin Tarantino’s new film at the Hollywood Theatre. The answer was: sort of? I’m not much of a fan of Mr. Tarantino’s movies. But this did have Leonardo DiCaprio in it. And Brad Pitt wasn’t looking too shabby either.

The Hollywood provided us with these cool tri-fold brochures to commemorate the night.

I didn’t love the movie (review here) but I did enjoy the setting.

Our visit to the 2019 Oregon Country Fair

I’ve been Oregon County Fair–curious for many years now, and the date finally made it on the calendar. It happened to be the 50th year of that hippie celebration outside of Eugene.

We left early for Eugene.

I had read it was best to take a shuttle from Eugene to the fair site and I timed our arrival to just before the first bus. That was a mistake. If you want to get to the fair at the opening time, arrive very early for the shuttles.

We chose the standing line, which was moving faster than the sitting line. The lines were very organized, and the shuttle buses came quickly.

I had envisioned the shuttle bus ride to be 10-15 minutes. It was about 45 minutes. When we arrived, we picked up our wristbands (another smooth process) and then there was a bit of confusion as to where to go to get in.

We walked to the back of a very long line that didn’t seem to be moving and as we got nearer to the end of the line a gate (maybe one outside a parking lot?) was suddenly thrown open and a roiling boil of not-happy people surged toward the end of the line.

We ran so we could be in front of them, and a mostly orderly–but still angry–queue formed behind us. Soon after, the long line started moving very fast and we made it into the Fair.

That was the only ugly moment of the day. Fair volunteers were super happy and welcoming and things moved smoothly, especially considering the number of people in a small space. However, it did feel for a moment like there was going to be a hippie riot. Which is probably a pretty low-key riot.

Matt poses next to the Fair Drama Danger sign.

A random happening: stilt walking teeth people.

The fair is a lot of booths and a goodly amount of stages. One of the things I loved was that most of the booths were semi-permanent structures with platforms where booth people and their friends could hang out above the fray. It was fun to see what’s been built up over the years.

Also: condom roses. And I think there were four different booths I saw selling fantasy horns.

Here’s a fun sculpture in an open meadow space.

We checked out the Charlie Brown Comedy Juggling Show. His shtick was that he wasn’t very good at doing comedy juggling shows. But he was. It was quite entertaining.

Here’s a glimpse of fairgoers. This group skewed older, but the costumes, and tie-dye were pretty standard across ages.

We went to the Spirit Tower to see Patch Adams, and caught the end of the Ace of Cups concert. Which was amazing, and I don’t have any pictures because they were being blocked by a tree. I’ve lived more than four decades and this is the first time I’ve seen a live band whose members consist of women. And apparently they “were at the epicenter of the ‘60s cultural and social revolution. ” This was a big win.

Patch Adams was also good. He discussed his approach to changing the American healthcare system. It was great to be able to see a living legend.

More fun fair details. Why have a standard fence, when you can instead have a fun fence?

Throughout the fair were maps in different styles. This one was perhaps my favorite fun, though less legible than others.

We didn’t have a strategy for going to shows, which would be something to revisit for our next visit. But we did sample the food and the food is amazing! It’s the best fair food I’ve ever eaten. Many of the vendors return year after year. Because this was the 50th year, there were vendor stories at some of the booths. The falaful booth we visited has been there for three generations. (And one of the oldest members waved a wand over our strawberry lemon aid to give it that final Fair touch.)

I always love a good land payments display.

This fair is one weekend a year and mostly volunteer run. I marvel at the organization and commitment of the people who make it happen.

Waiting for the shuttle back. Volunteers told us jokes and helped everyone sit in an efficient manner (always appreciated.)

Car art.

Our seat on the bus. I opted for sitting on the way back. It was a long day.

“You don’t have to dress like a hippie to have your photo taken at the Oregon Country Fair.” So said the guy as we were standing in line for our photo booth photo.

That comment caused a raised eyebrow, but I loved that they had a free photo booth.

I Draft a Cris-Cross Apron Pattern; Make Two Aprons

I found this tutorial to draft your own pattern for an apron dress, and decided to go for it.

Here’s my current apron situation. As you can see, it’s been well used. I was also looking forward to going for a style that does not tie around the waist.

I followed the instructions for drafting the pattern. They were good. I had a few moments of uncertainty, but it went fairly smoothly.

Making notes to myself on the pattern.

You can see that I used the finest pattern paper available. (It was great the Christmas wrapping paper was printed with grids on the obverse.)

I hit two Goodwill stores first to look for material before going to an official fabric store. I found the blue material at my neighborhood Goodwill. It’s an Ikea duvet cover. I paid $7.99. Old duvet covers are a great source of material for household products. The other pattern is officially fabric and it came from the superstore Goodwill on Grand. I paid $9.99 for several yards.

Buying used (really unused) fabric at thrift stores is a great way to cut costs. This amount of material would have run me probably $50–$60 at at fabric store. In the Portland Goodwill system, they seem to direct all fabric yardage to the superstores, so that’s the place to go. But I’ve made things from tablecloths, sheets and now duvet covers, all of which are available at my neighborhood Goodwill store.

When I turned the duvet cover inside out to cut it apart, I found a fun surprise: a bonus sock.

One of the downsides of drafting your own pattern is that you have to figure the amount of material you need and the amount of notions. I made a mistake with the bias tape and only bought enough for one project. Bias tape, by the way cost me about $10.00, so more than costs for either material.

I decided that I had enough material of the duvet cover to cut two. Then I could sew the two sides wrong sides together and flip them, eliminating the need for bias tape. This also gave me a thicker apron, which I thought would be good.

it turned out that I didn’t have enough material for two complete cutouts, but I cut individual right side/left side pieces for the backing side and sewed them together. Sewing provides many opportunities to #problemsolve.

Mid sewing.

Here you can see where I’ve joined the right and left sides of the backing and that I managed to remember to add in the seam allowance when cutting.

I really liked the technique used here of adding the bias tape to the edge and then folding it over and using a twin needle stitch on the top. (Watch the video for a visual explanation as words are failing me here.) It gave me a completed edge, took less time than if I had used the bias tape as it is usually used, and took much less time than hemming all those seams would have. (I hate turning up edges.)

Sentinel, as he always does with sewing projects, helped.

For the duvet cover, I twin stitched along the top on the front side.

The finished project version one.

I made a mistake in drafting the pattern. The woman who designed the pattern is a small woman. I assumed the three-inch neckline (six inches when doubled) was going to be too small for me, so I switched it to a four-inch neckline (eight inches when doubled.) I was wrong in that thought, so there is a lot of gaping there.

Also, I haven’t pattern drafted enough to understand how gentle curves work, so this apron rides up in the front, though not in a way that keeps me from using it.

The apron takes a little concentration to get put it on (there are a lot of places your arms can go) and I have to manually adjust the back to overlap like it’s supposed to, but I really like the wrapping effect.

For this one, I fixed the riding up in the front situation.

The back isn’t as great here, which might have to do with me not having a photo assistant who is cognizant that one of his jobs is adjusting things I can’t see before he takes the picture.

Overall, I spent about thirty dollars, and maybe six hours (including driving around looking for material) and I got two aprons in fun patterns, plus got to muck about with some low-stakes pattern drafting.

I declare this project a win.

Space filled above TV

This big old space above the TV has been haunting me for months. What will go there?

And now we have our answer: a so-so student project that someone archivally framed and then eventually discarded so we could buy it for $15 from someone on Craigslist.

I’ve had a few months to stare at this since it went up, and I’m quite pleased with it. While the art isn’t stunning, I enjoy tracing the lines and circles with my eyes. Plus, I like how the slight diagonal of the TV makes it a subtle paralleogram floating below the very vertical nature of the art.

Plus, it was fifteen dollars.

In a perfect world I would rent art from the Portland Art Museum and trade it out quarterly. But cost and logistics mean that wasn’t a thing that was going to happen at this point in my life. This is the best solution for now.

The Orange Door Time Zone Clock Display

I’ve had a dream for years of making my own time zone clock display, but instead of New York, Paris, Tokyo, it would feature all the time zones where Matt and I have lived.

The thing that has been thwarting this dream is that Matt doesn’t like ticking clocks. However, I ordered a new clock for work and it does not tick! So I got the go-ahead from Matt and ordered six clocks.

Then they arrived and sat for a couple months until I could find the time to test out arrangements.

Here are the cutouts of the clocks and the labels.

Test #1: Tight above the map.

Test #2: Less tight above the map

Test #3: The least tight above the map.

Test #4: Next to the map

You can see what we went with.

Still to do:

  • Buy batteries, so we can make the clocks run. (Future me can tell you that this took months.)
  • Get name plates made with the name of the cities. Right now we have pieces of paper cut in the size of nameplates and printed with the names.

Still, I’m happy to have gotten this project up to this point. I’ve been dreaming of this display since 2005.

Washcloth completed

Here’s what this washcloth was supposed to look like.

And here’s what it actually looks like.

That bit near the top where I switch to ribbing was because I was a little more involved with the movie I was watching than I was with the knitting I was doing. I also think the variegated yarn doesn’t really allow the pattern to shine.

Oh well, someone will get some good dishcloth use out of it.