Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blogiversary Giveaway! (and trip report)

I have returned from a quick (work) trip to Portland and Seattle, and I managed to squeeze in a visit to see DD2 in the new house she is renting with two other students.

This post is photo-heavy, but I always reduce the size of my photos so they should load pretty quickly. And you can always skip past, though I do review a new-ish fabric store in Seattle.



It was so nice to see DD1 in her new digs! We walked around her campus and visited a nearby town. I reminisced about first moving her into her dorm two years ago.

Requisite silly mother-daughter pic

I was only in Portland for one day, but I enjoyed seeing it after many years! I checked out Powell's City of Books, VooDoo Doughnuts, and my daughter and I got henna tattoos at the Saturday Market before heading south.

I resemble that remark

'Cause "good things come in pink boxes"

I looked into a permanent back-of-finger tattoo and learned that it's not recommended, as they tend to quickly fade. So I'll enjoy my henna tattoo.

I first thought that maybe this sculpture, outside of Powell's Bookstore, represented a (stylized) giant pen in an ink holder. That sorta makes sense, right?
But, no.
(It's called The Pod.)

Seattle Bound

I took a train from Salem, Oregon to Seattle, Washington—a 6.5 hour ride (on Amtrak), called the Coast Starlight. (Such a romantic name, eh?) It travels through forest, along rivers, and through towns.

I spent much of the ride in the observatory coach where two volunteers from the Trails and Rails program (part of the National Park Service), narrated the journey from Portland to Seattle.

It was a beautiful ride though, according to Google maps, the 6.5 train ride from Salem to Seattle can be driven by car in 3.5 hours. (Coach seats on the train, complete with foot rests and power plugs for your devices) are much comfier than coach on an airplane!)

Sample scenery

The observatory coach

Watching the sun set

Mt Rainier

The train ride ends at the King Street train station in Seattle. This beautiful station features loads of white marble and intricate mosaics.

Seattle (and District Fabric!)

My two days in Seattle were mostly spent at work, but I managed to squeeze in one visit to a nearby fabric store!

District Fabric, a mere two blocks from work, has been in business just one year—they celebrated their first anniversary five days before my visit. This is a small but well curated store, focusing on fabrics for the garment sewist. I enjoyed chatting with the store owner. I could have easily spent lots of money here!

My colleague and I did a bit of walking in the Fremont district. She showed me the Fremont Troll (suitably located under a bridge), as well as other Fremont sights, including the Theo Chocolate factory. After work we walked to the Space Needle, arriving after sunset, and rode up to enjoy the nighttime skyline. (We also peeked into the Chihuly Museum—sadly, it was closed so late in the day.)

Spotted while walking through the Queen Anne neighborhood, a beautiful residential area atop a hill.
This sign is not confusing!

An interesting building in the Fremont district

The Fremont Troll

Hello, Space Needle! (Built in 1962 for the World's Fair)

Scene from the top

For someone who spends almost no time (and has no patience) for decorating my living space, I sure enjoy a creatively designed space. Here are some of the details I enjoyed at Google Seattle!

Painted tires decorate the hallway to the cafe.

The back of this cafe bench is covered with belts!

The rest of the cafe benches are covered with old jeans!

The wall of the coffee shop is covered with burlap bags imprinted with coffee distributors.

A Google Claw Machine!

My vacuum-packed "Google Seattle" tee from the Claw machine

A conference room wall clock made from a Mac cover and a mouse. I want one!

Blogiversary Giveaway

It's very fitting that YOU, my friends, determined what I might use for my annual Blogiversary Giveaway.

I really had no idea what I might use, then I received some very excited reactions when I showed you the seam rippers I purchased at Treadle Yard Goods in St Paul, Minnesota. These seam rippers are made by Alice M's husband—Alice organized the meetup in St Paul. I quickly called up Treadle a day after my post and ordered the blue resin seam ripper, which I had also admired.

The package was waiting for me when I returned from Seattle.

The seam ripper, when closed.

To use the seam ripper, turn the blade around and slide back into the case. The blade comes with a sheath. If you prefer a smaller instrument, you can use the ripper without the resin case.

If you would like to throw your hat in the ring to win this seam ripper, leave a comment on this post, indicating that you are interested. I will do a random drawing in about a week. This opportunity is also open to folks outside of the U.S.

I returned from Seattle sick, but I hope to recover quickly. I am eager to begin two projects, BOTH are for the fall! Is anyone else sewing for fall yet?