Portland Vegan Beer and Food Festival June 11

Pizza, cherry, and blueberry pie cat beds. Available at Panda With Cookie. Featured at the 2016 Vegan Beer and Food Festival in Portland.

The Vegan Beer and Food Festival returns to Portland again this year on June 11th at Zidell Yards. Panda With Cookie is happy to announce that we will once again be in attendance as part of their marketplace. Gates open for general admission at 1 pm and close at 7 pm. For VIP tickets the gates open at 11 am.

Tickets are still available and with each entry you get a 4 ounce tasting glass to enjoy pours from over 50 breweries. They’ve expanded the drink selections this year and there will also be unlimited pours for kombucha, craft sodas and cold brew coffee.

A kangaroo plush toy in brown and whiteOver 40 restaurants will be set up and Panda With Cookie will be part of the 20+ vendors in the pop up marketplace. I’ll have the new cat beds for sale this year along with new plush.

Don’t miss out! Get your tickets for this year’s Vegan Beer and Food Festival and check out the full line up of vendors.

Ellen Goldschmidt at Blackfish Gallery

Bad Seed by Ellen Goldschmidt at Blackfish Gallery May 2016

Bad Seed, 2016, charcoal and ink pastel on paper

Surrounded by Feeling is the current show by Ellen Goldschmidt at Blackfish Gallery. At first glance I wasn’t too interested in a show of portraits but as I moved through the space to the back of the gallery I was drawn in more and more.

I’m not always a fan of artist statements because they can be overworked to the point of making the art stand in the background. Goldschmidt’s statement, however, completely made this show for me.

While working on “privileging emotion” in a series of portraits she was working on Goldschmidt was reminded of the 2015 show Gods and Heroes at the Portland Art Museum. It featured a section of works from the Expressive Head Competition from the Paris Academy in the 18th century, works that are attempting to depict emotion rather than Goldschmidt’s attempts to inhabit emotion.

I love connections like this. I would never had viewed this show and thought back to the Gods and Heroes exhibit but once she mentioned it my brain was ready to make all sorts of new comparisons and connections. What a difference 250 years can make.

Toward the bottom of her statement, almost as an afterthought, Goldschmidt mentions that many of the drawings are “concerned with my relationship to my older sister and the sibling rivalry that consumed our childhood”. Well then. There’s a story there, but we don’t know it, and now the drawings have a heightened tension as titles like Bad Seed and Sister’s Arm take on a whole new meaning.

Surrounded by Feeling stayed stuck in my head for days and writing about it now I already have Bad Seed back in mind and those questions and connections that make life interesting.

Blackfish Gallery is located at 420 NW 9th Ave in Portland, Oregon and is open from 11-5 Tuesday through Saturday. Surrounded by Feeling by Ellen Goldschmidt runs from May 3-28.

Ellen George at PDX Contemporary Art

Untitled (Elemental 14) by Ellen George

Untitled (Elemental 14) by Ellen George

Ellen George has a subtle and wonderful show at PDX Contemporary Art during the month of May. The gallery is full of wall pieces that bear a close inspection. Each work consists of a single vertical rod with translucent bits of what turns out to be polymer clay running the length.

Each piece is made of tiny individual bits so that you can spend a good bit of time just focusing on the nuances of one individual work. The polymer is worked in such a way to leave parts translucent, which creates a fabulous glowing effect when paired with the chunkier, more solid bits toward the center.

After working for artists for years who focused on small elements making up a much larger work of art it would be impossible for me to not love these. The works are very evocative of natural forms but even without that they are simply visually stunning which doesn’t always get enough credit in the art world.

My only complaint is that the gallery has so many pieces displayed it’s impossible to get to spend time with each work to enjoy all the nuance. Give yourself time to really enjoy the show when you visit.

Don’t miss the 3 pieces in the window off the main gallery from Nancy Lorenz. She has three small canvases worked with burlap, gesso, and gold or silver leaf which really caught my eye. The pours made me think of a Lynda Benglis, with that fabulous fat and flowing movement.

Check out the show until May 28th.

Visit PDX Contemporary Art Tuesday through Saturday, from 11-6. They are located at 925 NW Flanders Street in Portland, Oregon.


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!