CLAFLIN, THAYER & CO.

adventures

NORTHWEST COUNTRY LIVIN

Liz
The studio redo is going very slow between working full-time, moving, and life in general. I'm hoping to be mostly done by the end of this weekend - not sewing for the last month is starting to make me feel crazy and I need to start working again. The "before" picture above.
With a new coat of paint. This place gets the best natural light.
Since I don't have much else to report about leather jackets or sewing, here are some pics of a recent weekend trip to the Pacific Northwest. I went to the best wedding, BBQ, and campout on 40 acres of land near La Center, WA. Half the property is covered in a Doug Fir forest.
The owners built a crazy/sketchy swing in the woods. You can climb 25 feet to the top of the trees and swing out below.
There were cool old cars all over the place, including a Barracuda graveyard tucked amongst the flowers.
Set up camp in the hayfield just after the tractor had passed through making bales.
Biggest bonfire I've seen in a while, you just cant make them like this in the city.
Off to Sauvie's Island in Portland to pick fruit the next day. This time of year, lavender, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, are bountiful, but you can pick stone fruits fruit and flowers too.

Hopefully next time I post I will have made something and it won't be another month from now.

SANTA CRUZ: TO THE OCEAN

Liz
Made it to the beach just in time to watch the sun set over Steamer's Lane.Truck full of blankets.
I know all the beer looks really awful, but I swear it's not as bad as it looks.
Lil Sara: Spider-styles across the rocks in spikes.Destination: arrival confirmed.
Looking towards the Monterey Bay
Surfers surfin.
Blanket styles.
La la la...
Epic twilight group photo sesh with blankets.
It was a good day.

SANTA CRUZ: TO THE MOUNTAINS

Liz
It was a good day to to hit the road for a little adventuring and I pulled myself out of bed at the last minute to make it. 3 on the tree, dream catcher, and a pizza slice tatty, what more do you need?Perhaps a nice Bloody Mary in the sun at the Moss Beach Distillery? It will set you right if you didn't start off that way.
Blankets by the fire pit and a nice view of the ocean.
Next stop: the San Gregorio General Store for a Bud, some hat shopping, and a cozy blanket.
Captains hats and union suits. Take your pick or wear both at the same time.
Feeling kinda Puss n' Boots.Pigeon Point Lighthouse, it's a real beauty in the distance.
Onto Davenport and the Whale City Bar & Grill, where Lil Sara's shoes found her a fan club.
101 food blogger: Fried artichokes and brussel sprouts with ranch, not much better than this.
Off the 1 and up the mountain we go.
Through the woods.
To the cave we go.
online gif creator
Down the hatch
It's a secret cave but not if you know Santa Cruz. You can get lost back there or just stay for a bit - we had a date to catch with the sunset so we made our visit brief.Journey to the center of the earth.VIRGO...and she is one. It was meant to be.Mountain graffiti styles.
make gifs
"Fuck Slugs." Or don't.
One for the road.

BEEN BUSY

Liz
I've been busy, on the road, here and there, doing this n that. But I have lots of photos clogging up that need to be uploaded as well as a new fancy phone, so more photos on the way soon...

HARRIS TWEED PART 1 - ANIMALS AND LANDSCAPE

Liz
Scotland was really an epic trip for fabric research and buying. I'm going to split my photos into several parts - this one, another one specifically about the fabric itself, and then further down the road another about some of the things I've made with the tweeds I brought back.

Harris Tweed is really special in terms of production and quality. All of the wool used in the manufacturing of Harris Tweed must come from Scotland (primarily the Western Isles). Once the the sheep are shorn, the raw wool is brought to the Isle of Lewis and Harris, where it is spun into wool yarns. The finished yarns are distributed to individual weavers who bring them to their homes and weave them into the beautiful fabrics that make up Harris Tweed. This is a true example of cottage industry - there are only a hundred or so weavers, all of whom work in their homes on old-fashioned petal-powered weaving machines the same way they did 100 years ago. Once the fabric is finished, the weaver brings the yardage to be inspected by the Harris Tweed Authority, who will give the tweed the official stamp of approval once it's been inspected. Only fabrics woven in the Outer Hebrides isles of Scotland can be categorized as Harris Tweed. You can read more about Harris Tweed HERE if you're interested, or watch the BBC miniseries TWEED which I linked to in a previous post.

I've highlighted the Isle of Lewis and Harris on the below map in red. After a several hours long car drive north from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye and another few hours on a car ferry, we arrived on the island where we were able to see the landscape, animals, weaving sheds, and the tweed itself. I can't tell you how inspiring it was to watch the tweed making process from start to finish.
These photos are actually from Glen Coe on the mainland, but they give a great sense of the colors of the landscape that make up the tweeds. Tweeds are primarily made of vegetable-dyed yarns in tones of orange, red, green, and purple, which get their colors from the lichen, moss and grasses found throughout Scotland.
Just looking at the hills, can't you imagine them turned into a Ralph Lauren tweed?Here is a castle, just for good measure since they are all over Scotland! Castle Eilean Donan on the way to Isle of Skye.
Moss and grass all over the place. This is where the dye comes from!
Beautiful, happy, healthy animals everywhere.
Highland Cattle
Curly horned rams. Don't mess with them!
And here are the sheep! Their wool makes up the tweed after being shorn, processed, dyed, and woven.Since sheep are roaming everywhere, each one is marked with different colors of paint to distinguish one pack from the next when they get mixed up.Here I am in the pen with some shorn wool.The raw wool is taken to one of several facilities on the island where it's cleaned, dyed, and spun into yarns. In the below photo, you can see the bag of unspun dyed wool on the floor and the finished spun yarns on the machines.
The finished yarns are then delivered to a weaver, who generally has a shed or workspace at their home. Here we are peering into the window of a weaving shed - we were here on a Sunday and everyone was at church. The sabbath is taken very seriously on Lewis - no work on Sundays! That means no weaving.
Here is a loom where tweed is being woven with the yarns. I love to see peoples work spaces - the little boom box, tools on the wall, all the same things I have in my studio except a giant loom.Yardage of finished tweed and empty yarn spools.
And here is Harris Tweed! t was such an amazing experience to visit this place, I already want to go back.Next part I'll show all of the different fabric I looked at. Stay tuned.

SOME THINGS WE ATE IN SCOTLAND

Liz
There were many good things to eat. So many in fact, that I am typing this with my jeans unbuttoned at the waist.

I had many a meat pie with mashed potatoes and peas.Shortbread everywhere. I like butter and sugar. Home of Walkers shortbread.
Cured fish and delicious dairy.
Lamb. So much lamb. I think there are more sheep than people in Scotland.
Haggis! The traditional Scottish dish consisting of various minced sheep organs, oatmeal, onions, and spices stuffed in the casing of a sheep intestine and cooked. Yes, it sounds pretty terrifying but is actually surprisingly good. I'll try anything once.
Mussels. So much amazing seafood in Scotland. I can't believe I didn't get a photo of any one of the many fish n chips I ate. I was too busy eating to bother with a camera.
Roasted veggies all over - carrots, parsnips, turnips.
Curry. So good. This particular one is from Stravaigin, which I highly recommend if you make it to Glasgow.
For drinks, ales and whisky (there is no "e" in scotch whisky). "Uisge Beatha"is the Scottish gaelic term for whisky, meaning literally "water of life." It's true. I particularly like the prescence of a pacifier in below photo, otherwise know in Scotland as a "dummy tit."
Made a visit to Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant in Glasgow. Roddy's eyes got real big when all that meat and cheese came to the table.
The most delicious of all the meat pie places in St. Andrews. A flaky crust to die for.
Sweets shop. Cakes for days.Detour to London for a moment, where I had the best churro I've ever had in my life at the Camden Market. Made with fresh dough and Brazilian love right in front of your eyes and then filled with the most decadent dulce de leche. Good lord.
More Camden candies.
And then we had one of the best meals imaginable at Yauatcha in Soho. Oh my god. It is so amazing.
Seaweed salad with fresh blue swimmer crab meat and peanut sauce.Roasted duck pumpkin puffs.
Prawn and beancurd cheung fun. Possibly one of the top 3 most delicious things I have ever put in my mouth. Such a crazy and amazing combination of textures and flavors.Steamed pork buns.Pork dumplings.Back in Glasgow, the last supper before I left. Meat pie, carrots, and mashed potatoes. I fucking love food.

SPOILS FROM THE ROAD

Liz
Road trip up north with the ladies! Portland bound and back, up the 101 and returning on the 5. First night - Crescent City, one of the most northern towns on the coast before you get to Oregon. The best place to stay is the Curly Redwood Lodge, built in 1952 from a single curly redwood tree that was cut down and turned into 57,000 board feet of lumber. This place is a traveler's gem and totally affordable. Click HERE for more info.
Basic, clean rooms with some mid-century flare. Check Maya's blog for more exciting photos.
Super cool concierge guy. You can really see the "curly" in the redwood at the front desk.Lucile Wyllie standing in front of the curly redwood log in 1952.
The redwood log cut in half.On the road again to Portland. Anyone for some sweet cron?Cool thrift find. Saucy metal heels with brass panther motif. They just don't make them like this anymore.Tall Olympias in Portland.Onto Chopsticks 2 for some boozing, singing, and laughing at other people.Thank God for Tater Tots. They really helped me through the tequila. Sorry, Maya.Some random people singing. Photo stolen from Yelp.Oh-So-Sassy shoes. But so small. This thrifting trip could be summerized with the words "Curse of the Size 6". Damn, I wish I had small feet.BUSTED mag. Your local weekly mugshot magazine for the Portland/Salem area. IT'S FOR REAL. Which one of your friends might be in here?About my most favorite shoes ever. I want them for me. Good shape, nice color, so basic, handmade in Mexico. These are about a child's size 10. Damn it!
Another pair of the "Curse of the Size 6". I just got new rainboots but they aren't as cool as these. I think Pappagallo's rain boots are so much cooler than any others I've seen these days - stay tuned for a post dedicated to them soon.
Perforated detail with studs. Cool combo. Love the shape of this shoe.
Near Ashland, OR. Winter Wonderland! Maya will be posting photos of the impromtu off-road photo sesh so keep posted over there.
Sarah in the mini-icicle field.Best other place to stay: The Railroad Park Resort in Dunsmuir, CA. Since 1968, you can stay here in a caboose or train car beneath the crags of the Cascade Range. For dinner, you can cozy up in the dinning car for some steak and potatoes or take a dip in the pond, river, or pool in the summer. This place rules! More info HERE.I love little road trips. I'm ready for the next one already...

TAIL GATE PARTY TIME

Liz
Mediocre photos of a completely not mediocre day. I was too busy having fun to really bother with photos.

Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs 11/7. Tailgate call time 10:00am. Entering Raider's Shantytown, good times as far as you can see.Pouring rain and beer pong already in full effect.Grill Master Toby and the best burger in town.
Burgers with cheese and pineapple slices. Ribs, chicken skewers, and fried catfish for dessert.
VIP portable bar set up and some dude.
Raiders keg.
KC - pro tailgater with festive flair.
Friends and fisherman.Visit from the rival. That took balls.
Piss On Chiefs
Party and Bullshit.
Coliseum ready for the game, rain or shine
Raider Nation, here we go.
Full house.
Going for it.
I kind of love cheerleaders.
That's it. We won, we ate, we drank some more. It was a good day.

BEE STINGS AND BIKE RIDES

Liz
I love Oregon. We took an amazing motorcycle day trip from Portland up the Columbia Gorge, around Mt. Hood and back. Here is my poser shot, I was a passenger, not a driver. Don't be jealous of my leather fringe chaps.
Here was our route. This is such amazing landscape and if you have a car or motorcycle or something with wheels and an engine, you should go see it.There's Mt. Hood's snowy cap in the background.
We stopped to pick apples.
Green somethings on the left, Sansas on the right.
Pink Pearl with baby pink insides. This was a delicious apple.And THEN: A wasp flew into the tiny hole in the arm of my jacket while we were on the highway going 80. I got a nasty sting that's still not completely gone after 6 days. Random? Yes.
Hard, swollen, itchy arm. I love road trips.

BIKE SUNDAY

Liz
It's been a rough couple of weeks and I was ready for some fun in the sunshine on the first day of longer daylight hours. Took it to the streets with a full crew and hauled around the neighborhood for a while.

Boys.Girls.Downtown Oakland up ahead.Picked up an engine along the way.Rehydrating.Bike pile.On the road again...

LUNCH FROM THE WOODS

Liz
At the edge of the clearing, there's a break in the bushes and a hidden path that leads to a secret canyon filled with mushrooms.
The head of the path is guarded by a thick crop of Stinging Nettle. The nettles burn something terrible when they brush against my skin and the pain lingers for days. Today I'm prepared with gloves and long sleeves and pants.Cooking the nettles destroys the stinging properties and converts the plant into a delicious and highly nutritious thing to eat.Down in the canyon, there are Chantrelles everywhere!
Because of the heavy amount of rain lately, many of the mushrooms are waterlogged too wet to take.The biggest one. He's got a few warts and he's past his prime so we leave him here.
Here's our morning's pick - Nettles and Chantrelles - and now we'll make a little lunch.
Mushrooms cleaned and laid out to dry.
I use tongs to handle the nettles and scissors to trim them.
Garlic, shallot, and chantrelles.
The nettles go into a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. The stingers are still intact when cooked but are no longer active.
Just a little butter, salt, and pepper.
A proper lunch is not complete without a glass of wine.
There is something very satisfying about cooking food that you have found yourself. When I get sick of regular life, maybe I'll just move off the grid for a while and live off berries and mushrooms and all the other good things out there too eat.

SHROOMIN'

Liz
It's been raining a lot lately, which means it's time to go mushroom hunting. Lucky for me, Chantrelles conveniently grow in abundance just outside our backdoor.
Just coming up out of the ground.
Empty basket but not for long.
Satanic mushrooms
Dayglow shrooms in mud
Spongy guys. You can eat these but must cook off a ton of water first.
Baby shroom chillin in a pine cone.
We got our dinner for tonight.
I've been eating them for days and still ready for more...

FAVORITE PLACES

Liz
Dark sky, dark days. But a good day for an impromptu adventure. Marin is one of my favorite places and a visit there is always good medicine. On the road to Tomales Bay, I fall in love with many things. Oh, how I wish I had a tiny one-room store front.
Happy cows.We arrive at Hog Island to pick up some oysters.Oysters in the bath after coming in from the bay.Little Kumomotos are my favorite.Shucking gloves on the line, this is a DIY place.Then a stop at the Marshall Store for Oysters Rockefeller. These are oysters on the half-shell topped with creamed spinach, butter, cheese, parsely, and breadcrumbs, then broiled. Oysters Rockefeller are named after John D. Rockefeller because they are so incredibly rich, just like he was.
Olive bread and cheeses from the Cowgirl Creamery: Cypress Grove's Humbolt Fog goat cheese and some other one I already forget the name of that was amazing.I'm the bar captain. This is my most favorite design for a bar ever, just the bow of a boat cut off at the midsection and flipped upright.
Low tide.
Epic sunset breaking through the dark clouds.
Goodnight.

69

Liz
I tagged along on the 69 mile ride, twas a nice day for an outing in the Corolla. Made a stop along the way and the Vintagent kindly let me photograph his Pradas in the parking lot of Thrift Town.
Rainey and the rainbow pants.
Parking lot bar.
The Little Walrus is a bruiser and has the gas tank to prove it.
White Russians for the classy ladies.
Made some raindeer friends on the street, it's getting to be that time of year.
Lots of cool bikes I don't know anything about.
Of course I like the red head. And the gold stripe.
Tony and the tangerine.
Just some kid sharpening and axe blade tied to a stump, no big deal.
Pretty lady friends.
Ken getting the shot.
Fun day for all...

SHASTA

Liz
Melly and I went camping. Stopped at the crazy taxidermy bar/market for some mud on the way.
California is having a big drought, did you know? I'm a religious water-saver. Unfortunately, our epic rope swing camping spot had no water below it. That bridge is usually underwater.So we drove deep into the woods, 15 more miles out to Horizon Bay. Nobody there, 115+ degrees, and just vaguely enough water to swim in. This is where we camped.The next day, I saw this map on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, detailing one of the larger pot farm busts recently, apparently right on our campground. In addition to drought, the lake is getting more shallow because cartel farmers are using it to irrigate their crops. Family vacay...got some good sight-seeing.We got one radio station on the shitty lake radio. ACDC and Sabbath (they played Sweet Leaf a bunch of times) were on continuous rotation. We made up our own tunes, too.Fancy camping meal: grilled shrimp, shitake mushrooms, and quinoa salad. And lots of beer.Next day, off to meet Becca at the hidden waterfalls. 40foot+ rock jumping, if your into that.????Oakland and Whiskytown.
Going for it.A million degrees and killer sunset on the way home.Trippy light art by Mel.

BABE!

Liz
Look! I'm one of thousands gettin T-bagged (kinda?) by Babe the Blue Ox in Klamath! Don't be jealous...
I can't help but think about the making of the Giant Blue Ox. There must have been someone who sculpted it, and then maybe another someone(s) that put all the parts together. I think it was a bunch of workmen in overalls and hard hats plastering it. Did they do it right there on the side of the road? Or in a warehouse somewhere? Were they laughing while they plastered the balls? Or were they too tough to have fun? Did they all take photos with the balls, too? I think they looked like this,
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I found one crappy photo of the construction but it's not of the balls :(

I love roadside attractions of the Northwest!