Friday, February 28, 2014

Walk to a great food cart on a beautiful day

It was a beautiful day today so we went for a nice long walk.  First we went for lunch at the best food cart in Portland.  It was our first time there and it was incredibly good.  John had the Inzemino and I had the Tagliatelle.  Mmmmmm.  We will be back.

Burrasca Website
Other sights around the food cart pod.

This is an old double decker bus that provides seating

Inside the top level of the bus

This building next to the food cart pod has a purposely crooked porch.  It looks so cool.

Then we walked through the neighborhood enjoying the spring sun, the scent of daphne and the houses along the way.

We had coffee on our porch when we got home.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Spring in Portland

Spring arrives in mid February and it's spring in Portland.  Today it was sunny and about fifty so we went for a four mile walk.  Here are some of the sights along the way.

Here's a house John worked on.  Nice porch, huh?

This is the fanciest dressed window washer I ever saw.  She makes me think of the good witch in the wizard of Oz.

And here are some houses I liked.

 And it was nice enough for a little reading on the porch.

The daphne is blooming and the air was full of the scent, which is divine.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Excel as a design tool

I don't own any fancy graphics design tools.  I've tried a few and they always seem hard to learn and have many more features than I need.  I am pretty happy with what I can do with Excel, MS Photo Editor and Picasa.  I start with Excel using just borders, drawing tools and colors and a macro that makes square cells.

You can change the Excel color palette, which is key.  Here is a simple quilt design I did in Excel and then pasted into MS Photo Editor so it is a .jpg file.  It shows the colors, design and fabric requirements.  I like the colors a lot but am having some trouble finding the right fabrics.

Sometimes I lay out a single block and take a photo of the block. It looks like this after it has been cropped:

Then I open several copies in MS Photo Editor and put them together.  I can also rotate the blocks (the second row is made of rotated blocks):

I can get a pretty good idea of what the whole quilt will look like by putting lots of blocks together.

I also sometimes download fabric photos from on-line quilt shops/fabric manufacturers to use in this process.  That helps me decide if I want to buy a fabric for my quilt.  This doesn't work perfectly since the photos sometimes are not accurate representations of the colors, but it's still pretty helpful.

I use Excel for lots of design problems.  I designed our kitchen cabinets with Excel.  You can look at that here.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Portland isn't supposed to look like this

Our house....

Photo taken by neighbors across the street
John shoveled the walk and the stairs and the porches and the back yard but you can't tell anymore.

We are busy keeping the hummingbird feeders thawed and nuts and seeds out for the birds and squirrels.  The cats are enjoying the wildlife immensely.

John was diligent and put out the trash for pick up, well actually, just the debris and recycling.  They only pick up trash every other week and not this week.  Actually, it looks like they aren't picking up ANYTHING this week.

What Portlanders do in the snow....

Snowman at the Lucky Lab Pub