Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What says true love more than matching VM books?

Pretty much nothing.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cleaning creations.

Lured by the promise of clean floors and steam, I purchased a swiffer/steamer. However, I hate the smell of the swiffer pads that are supposed to be used with the steamer, so I made my own.  The white one was the prototype, made from one of Matt's old towels.  That turned out to be too thick, so I fashioned two more out of an old shirt.

The towel became dust clothes.  In the middle, bottom row, you can see how I've dusted with one.

My materials:

This project was also a good way to use up all the "bits" of spools of thread and bobbins.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A date night! ART! The Quality of Life

Are we going to Providence Park and the Opening Night of the Portland Thorns?  

No, we are headed toward the theater!  And, apparently, therapy llamas.  (Which I have dark feelings towards, but which everyone else seems to deeply love).  Here's Matt with the llamas.

We are at Artists Repertory Theater to see this play, which we are seeing for free.  This is the second week in a row we've been privy to free theater!  Hooray!

Bad self-portrait before the show.

I'm not the biggest fan of ART's stage because there are good seats that face the stage straight on, and then there are the rest of the seats which sit sideways to the stage.  Yet they stage everything (or at least the two plays I've seen) just for the front facing seats.  Sadly we have side seats, but they are close to the "good" seats this time.  The play began with the majority of the stage covered up.

But when uncovered, look at that set design!  A yurt!  And burned trees draped with plenty of objects scavenged from a fire.
The play itself was a weeper.  It dealt with loss.  One couple was grieving their daughter's murder and the other couple was grieving the loss of the their house, cat and the cancer that had spread through the husband. The emotions were raw, both in the characters in the play and the audible crying in the audience. It was also incredibly funny in parts and very worth seeing. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Complete Works Project!

Great news!  Theater companies in Portland are going to perform every single Shakespeare play over the next two years.  It's called the Complete Works Project.  As Matt and I have been chipping away at the canon for several years now, this is very exciting. We have about 18 left to see, so we will keep our eyes out for those productions.  You can read more about the project, including interacting with the above (super awesome) graphic, where clicking on the title will give you information about the plays and their productions.


For some time I've envisioned us 20 years later, still just waiting for that production of Henry VI, parts I, II & III.  But Opsfest is doing the first installment this summer!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter (and Vintage Cake's Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up)

Here's a small sampling of the goodies the various Easter Bunnies delivered.

And here's a picture of the cake I made for dessert.  It's from Vintage Cakes. It's the Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up and it's my first rolled cake from this book.  The directions were quite good as to how to make this, but I added some notes which I will reproduce below.  The cake was delicious!  My notes have to do with making a prettier presentation.

My notes:
  • Before you prep the pan, use a ruler and a pencil to mark on the pan's rim where you will cut after the cake is baked.
  • When you pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top, THIS is the time to make it perfectly level.  It will not magically do this in the oven.
  • When you are whipping the frosting, go closer to stiff peaks than super floppy.  It will make frosting easier.
  • You only need a thin layer on the face (which will be the inside) of the cake.  Don't go crazy and use too much icing there.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Oregon Children's Theater Dress Rehearsal of The Giver

Matt and I had the opportunity to attend the dress rehearsal for the play based on Lois Lowry's masterpiece.  The cast had not yet gone through the play from start to finish, so it added an extra level of tension to the performance.  The production went off with only a few flubbed lines.  Tristan Comella was great as Joanas, the boy tapped to become the receiver and Andres Alcala was a wizened and wise Giver.  Set design was very good too, managing to illustrate the transfer of information between the Giver and receiver.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How many computers does it take to do your taxes?

One of us should probably figure out how to set up a network. Or something.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Goodbye to Volvo

It's been a trusty car for a number of years now, (especially after the mechanic figured out why it kept suddenly losing power and stalling and then refusing to start again) but it's time for it to move on to another life.  Thanks Volvo.