2016 St. Johns Bizarre in Portland, Oregon on May 14

Watermelon and pizza cat beds, 2016 St. Johns Bizarre

The 2016 St. Johns Bizarre is almost here and Panda With Cookie is happy to be a vendor! This is their 10th year and promises to be a fabulous show. The Bizarre takes place in St. John’s at North Lombard Street and North Philadelphia Avenue on Saturday, May 14th, from 10-7 pm. Craft booths close at 6 pm.

There will be over 100 handmade vendors and a main stage with new bands each hour including Chanti Darling and Quasi. The parade goes through from noon-1 and there’s plenty of food, fun, and games for the whole family.

I will be set up with many new products including my watermelon cat bed, plush kangaroos, and plush sharks. I’ll also have new catnip toys and the popular Sasquatch baby onesie. Stop by and say hello!

Now I Am Myself Inaugural Show at Wolff Gallery

Wolff Gallery exhibition card

There’s a new gallery in town with a sweet grand opening show. Now I Am Myself opened at Wolff Gallery on April 7th and features the work of Audra Osborne, Briana Cerezo, Calethia DeConto, Jamila Clarke, and Lauren Crow.

The show as a whole is strong and it’s a treat to see an entire show dedicated to diverse female photographers. How great is it to have a gallery state on their website that their “goal is to broaden the Portland art scene by prioritizing the exhibition of work by traditionally underrepresented artists”? Photos varied in price but there were a number of small works at very reasonable prices for people who want to support artists but can’t drop hundreds on a photo yet.

Lauren Crow’s photos are reminiscent of Nan Goldin’s early works with a hint of Catherine Opie. The lighting used in the small selection of grouped photos has stuck in my head and though not directly related, I keep coming back to the colors of The Gossip’s Standing in the Way of Control (CD version with hotpink case).  I dig all those things so I dug these photos too.

Jamila Clark’s photos were a stand out to me. The scenarios are quite composed but manage to stay simple. Something To Cling To and The Shovel kept drawing me back to look at them. Audra Osborne’s Nope had the same effect. Maybe it’s the use of a bright dress in a more muted background? Women presenting themselves with their faces deliberately obscured? A dramatic moment captured with no explanation?

Briana Cerezo has a fabulous series called p l a y i n g h o u s e on her website that is worth checking out in its entirety. Very Robert Gober but flesh instead of wax. They are obviously highly composed but seem effortless in execution, similar to Calethia DeConto‘s photographs in the back room.

In fact, the show for the most part is a breeze. With few exceptions the photos manage to be complex without being overworked in the setup. Here’s a moment. Here’s a moment. I don’t need to marvel at the expense and womanpower it took to set up the scene and lighting and can instead marvel at that moment captured and wonder at the story.

I eagerly await their follow up in early June.

Wolff Gallery is located at 618 NW Glisan Street. Hours are Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 pm with additional hours on first Thursdays from 6-10 pm. Now I Am Myself runs through May 13.

Kangaroo Plush Hops Into the Spotlight

A kangaroo plush toyPanda With Cookie headquarters has been busy in the past few months working on new products and patterns. I am quite pleased to present my new kangaroo plush toy, now available on the Panda With Cookie website.

Standing just over a foot tall, this kangaroo is sewn from soft anti pilling fleece in a rich chocolate brown with white belly and pouch. The pouch opens and has room to stash a cookie or some extra chess pieces. Kangaroo plush are known for their strategic game abilities.

This is the most difficult pattern I’ve had to make to date and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. I worked on it over the course of a week. The bulk came together in the first day but little adjustments were made as trial roos came out with pouches that were too small or hind legs that didn’t quite sit right.

This roo is available with or without a pirate patch. Catch him at some upcoming shows in the Portland, OR, area for color variations including tan and cream. We’ll be at the St. John’s Bizarre on May 14, 2016, from 10-6.

Tofu Pirate Plush Makes a Perfect Vegetarian or Vegan Gift

The tofu pirate plush makes a wonderful vegan gift.Is it a marshmallow? Is it a ghost block? No, it’s the tofu pirate plush, an excellent choice for all your vegan gift needs!

The tofu pirate is one of the products I’ve been making the longest and even if she isn’t a top seller I love having her around.

I originally thought of this plush as a more niche product but have learned over the years that lots of people love the tofu pirate, especially kids. When I do craft shows, this unassuming white block draws lots of people to my booth who really love seeing tofu represented.  You’ll frequently hear someone saying to their friend “Guess what this is? It’s TOFU!”

The tofu pirate plush, and excellent vegan gift.When I did the Vegan Beer and Food Fest in Portland, Oregon this past fall, she was a huge hit. That Dang Vegan and  The Hungry Taurus both did nice write ups that mention the tofu pirate and some of the adventures they’ve had together.

If you’re looking for a fun and unique vegetarian or vegan gift, you can’t go wrong with a tofu pirate plush toy from Panda With Cookie.

The Great Vegan Grains Book Review

the great vegan grains bookI consider myself lucky to have received a copy of The Great Vegan Grains Book recently. Just published, it is the latest from vegan masterminds Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen. You may remember them from such blogs as Vegan Appetite and Have Cake, Will Travel. Both blogs are fairly quiet these days, but both were around back in the days when vegan blogging was new and exciting.

I’m in my busy season right now with craft fairs galore but wanted to try out a couple of dishes and get a quick review up. Tami and Celine are two of the nicest vegans I know from the internet and I love using their cookbooks. In full disclosure, this book came to me for free but I haven’t been paid nor asked for a review.

The Great Vegan Grains Book features Celine’s gorgeous photography and an eclectic mix of recipes that feature grains ranging from the familiar rice to the more exotic einkorn. There’s a solid introduction with information on a variety of grains that includes cooking times and liquids for every one used in the book.

First up, I made the split pea and rice artichoke mujadarra (seen above) which was fabulous. I never use split peas except in split pea soup and this dish was so light and fresh I loved it. I also had the roasted corn and barley chowder, which was again light and fresh. I’d make this next time in the late summer when the fresh corn is high, but the mujadarra will be a winter staple.

I just received a bottle of Bar B Cutie bbq sauce from the man behind the I-40 Vegan (another blog from back in the day) and can’t wait to try the BBQ Bulger Burgers next. I’d highly recommend The Great Vegan Grains Book to anyone interested in expanding their bulk bin adventures beyond rice and quinoa.

Crafty Wonderland 2015 Portland Oregon

crafty wonderlandWe’re just 2 weeks out from the biggest craft event in Portland! It’s time for the 2015 Crafty Wonderland super colossal holiday sale! This great event takes place December 12th and 13th from 11 am to 6 pm at the Oregon Convention Center in Hall D. As always, they have fabulous free goodie bags for the first 150 shoppers each day. Admission both days is free.

For the first time they are also doing a ticketed event on Friday, December 11th from 5-9 pm. $20 gets you in to shop early without the crowds along with a free drink ticket and entry into a raffle.

Panda With Cookie is thrilled to be here for our first Crafty Wonderland holiday sale! I’ll be fully stocked with all sorts of fabulous plush toys, cat ornaments, and unique baby onesies for great gift giving.

Buy handmade and support your local crafters! See you there!

Cyber Monday Sale! 2015 Ornament Collection!

Stegosaurus Pirate Rainbow Panda With Cookie has a great cyber Monday sale for you! A free 5 x 7 hand cut paper print with every order of $20 or more.

Simply add the print of your choosing from my Cyber Monday shop section to your cart, then enter coupon code CYBERMONDAY at checkout. Limited to stock on hand, good only for this cyber Monday sale. One per address, please.

cyber monday saleI’m also announcing that my 2015 ornament collection is here! Some old favorites like the Doctor Who tardis and dalek are back as well as some new friends like Bigfoot. These make great gifts and stocking stuffers. Need a secret Santa gift? Who wouldn’t love a wee taco beaming from the tree, especially if they’re already on the taco cleanse.

Thanks for supporting a small business this holiday season!

2015 Madeleine Marketplace and Tree Lighting

handmade cat beds, 2015 madeleien marketplace Panda With Cookie will be at the 2015 Madeleine Marketplace and tree lighting on Thursday, December 5th, from 2-8 pm. There will be over 40 handmade vendors along with the school wreath and poinsettia sale. The Christmas tree lighting starts at 6 pm.

I will have a great selection of handmade plush toys for all ages, as well as baby onesies and my 2015 ornament collection. The brand new pizza and pie cat beds will also be available. Come find me and say hello!

2015 Laurelhurst Winter Bazaar

sasquatch, laurelhurst winter bazaarPanda With Cookie is thrilled to be a vendor at the Laurelhurst Winter Bazaar on Sunday, December 6th, from 9-4. Laurelhurst School is located at 840 NE 41st Avenue in Portland, Oregon.

There will be over 80 handmade vendors, BUNKtruck for lunch, and their annual wreath auction.

You’ll find a couple of my onesies in their raffle, and I’ll have a good selection at my table as well, including the popular Sasquatch onesie above.

Hoping to spend a good amount of time shopping? They will be offering onsite child care! Check out the Laurelhurst Winter Bazaar Facebook page for details and to reserve a spot now.

As always, all my 2015 holiday shows can be found on my event page.