Saturday, January 21, 2012

Some kind of wonderful...

Well, I must say... I had a great time this morning. I took as much time as I wanted; stopped into whatever stores I felt like; looked through so many books. It was wonderful. I would've loved to be at my house enjoying my time alone as well, but choices must be made. This was mine today. And boy, did it feel good.

 First stop: Cool Cottons. On the SE side of town, exactly opposite direction from my house. And almost across the street from my aunt and uncle's old house. I meant to bring my camera, but alas... it was forgotten in the excitement. This store was fantastic, though. Lots of great fabrics. This is my main problem: I go to the store not knowing what my project will be and therefore, what (and how much) fabric to buy! Then I get all concerned over spending money on the fabric when I don't know how I'll use it. Today, I told myself to take a breath and pick something I liked; I'd find something to make. This is how fabric collections begin, and I'm always wanting a bigger one of those. 

Then over to a vintage store because I could! I love looking in antique stores, second hand stores, junk shops. There's actually another one near where I was called Really Good Junk that I have must return to some day because I ran out of time today. Anyway... over to this place, Vintage Pink. Definitely a lot of vintagey stuff, aka, stuff that hasn't really come back around to being in style yet but that you could get away with if you were either really hip and living in Portland or if you just had that amazing knack of using crap stylishly. I fall into neither category (even if my address does say Portland), but I did manage to find a couple fun things. The shirt for Jacob because it's a really good "Uncle Matt", being plaid and all. And the bird because I liked it. It's a candle holder. 

 On to Powell's, the Hawthorne branch. Not as large and incredibly overwhelming (in the good way that only books stores can be when we're talking about being overwhelmed) but still so wonderful. I do not like coffee, the smell or the taste, but there is something about it being mingled with the smell of all that ink and paper that makes it tolerable and somewhat fitting.
There's actually a separate store for gardening, cooking and crafting. Just the things I was looking for today. One must go with a plan because otherwise she might not come out for a week or so and the family would be worried. 
     The gardening section threatened to pull me in at first. I'm so in love with the idea of gardening and will some day have a beautiful garden to play in, but for now, this section was not technically in my plans. I forcefully made my way over to the cooking section. Oh, cookbooks. My problem with cookbooks is that they all look so wonderful until I get them home and then don't know what to do with them. Yes, cook from them, of course. But then there are all the odd ingredients I've never heard of or the meal I think no one but I will enjoy or all the sweets that are the things I really want to be making and well.... you can see why they tend to end up on my bookshelf instead of in the kitchen. They are so hard to resist, though. And today, I was specifically looking at ones for bread. I am intimidated by baking bread but am determined to learn more about it. I tried a loaf the other day (sans breadmaker) and it actually turned out pretty well. But it is an art, and I need more practice in it. Of course, there were far too many bread cookbooks also, but I wrote down a good number of them to check out of my library first. I've found that this is a great way to give a book a trial run without the $25-50 commitment. Just my style.

My bread, made with Jacob's help.
  Anyway, though, back to the bookstore. I meandered through the meat section, Mark Bittman How to Cook Everything section, Julia Childs and Alice Waters section, the natural section, Indian section and food writing section (whew! and I specifically avoided the baking section!) until finally I came to what I considered my main focus of this trip to the bookstore. I've always been one to save the best for last.
Crafts. Sewing. Heehee.... This was a teeny section compared to the main Powell's store and probably a good thing too. I'm sure I spent close to an hour (more or less) in this section alone. Paging through books, writing down ones to come back to or get from the library, carefully choosing a few that I thought I'd get some use out of. Oh, the joy. The overwhelmingness of too many wonderful projects calling my name, asking me to pick them first... It was bliss. I did end up with a few which I can't wait to delve into. Enough napkins. I want more.


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