Friday, May 28, 2010

Seeking Sunshine

What to do when the rain in Portland won't let up: go to Kah-Nee-Ta Warm Springs Reservation! The resort there touts 300 days of sunshine a year. I went out there for a quick trip with some friends and it was heaps of fun. Yeah for sunshine.
Kah-nee-ta is known for their wonderful sunny swimming pools (which they keep a warm 90 degrees or so! it was great! and there are waterslides!) and I went and slept in a Native American teepee. I've seen the insides of teepees before, but this was my first opportunity to sleep in one overnight. Pretty amazing I must say, they are huge! Sorta like camping, but everything is sorta indoors - I like it!
The resort and campgrounds are about 20 miles or so within the Warm Springs Reservation land. Driving in the sites were incredibly beautiful. There were a lot of horses grazing. Some horses out in the middle of the road blocking traffic. And an amazing cloudy sky from all the rain in the distance.
Its still raining back here in town - but thankfully I got to see the sun out at Kahneeta. It was fun to swim in the pool and enjoy the warmsprings water.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I went to a retail display seminar

saving bucks while making bucks

I went to a retail display seminar at Portland Store Fixtures last night - it was quite exciting - a free opportunity to hear the advice of Linda Cahan author of "100 displays for less than $100". Linda has been in visual merchandising for decades, working for companies like Macy's and Saks, her resume is amazing - much including being an Instructor at Parsons School of Design, Visual Merchandising 1983 - 1995.

The seminar was interesting - combining her studies of Feng Shui and her knowledge of the human experience in "shop therapy". Linda explained her concepts of retail merchandising with great pictures to show us how vertical color arranging and targeting sensory perception (among other things!) could benefit our stores. It was a good seminar, she really pointed out how independent retailers like ourselves can get creative and take advantage of our opportunities.

Here is a quote she used:

“Emotion is at the foundation of people buying things they don’t need. Reason is always secondary in the purchase decision.”

From Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need by Pamela N. Danziger

Linda Cahan's book is available at

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mussel Gathering on the Oregon Coast

We went mussel gathering - wanna see the pictures?
People have been eating local mussels from the rocks of the Pacific NW for longer than I can imagine. Come low tide, they are easy pickings and a nutritious tasty treat. There are ancient Native American shell middens found along the Oregon Coast - they offer evidence of people eating mussels (and throwing away the shells in giant heaps) for thousands of years. I find this fascinating! And I happen to love mussels (or shellfish of any kind) - so this seemed like a fun adventure to try!

All it took was a visit to the local Bi-Mart in Lincoln city with our drivers license and whatnot. Friendly exchanges of social security numbers for tidal chart books. No problem. $7/per person and we can now hunt shellfish (with limits) for one year. The next day low tide (during daylight) was around 1:30pm.
Indeed we noticed low tide starting around noon and so we headed down to the beach. Irregardless of the nasty weather (ie clouds, rain and wind) we headed off with only a sand pail and our licenses. The rocks were neat - the Oregon coast line is amazing. For lack of sounding cheesey - it felt like being at an aquarium. Honestly I have spent a lot of time with the ocean, but I've never sought out low tide on purpose and headed into rock formations to find food - it was a totally new perspective! At first we looked on the North side of the rocks... not much... the South side turned out to be where the party was at! Look at all these mussels! It was incredible - so many mussels! Unfortunately we had not thought to bring gloves or knives/chizzles or scissors.. so we had to use our vulnerable fingers and man-oh-man those mussels hold on tight! Those mussel beards are strong. However humans are stronger! Me and Tim are stubborn - once I started to play tug-of-war with one of those fuckers I wasn't about to let the mussel win! For realz. No matter the sharp barnacles and slippery stuff. The cold weather made my fingers numb, so that helped.

In the end we obtained a small amount of mussels. No worries though - we probably picked about 2 dozen before we gave up (we were soaked and frozen - you would have thought it was December!). They were a fun taste-test. We know we need more tools if we do it again. Good weather wouldn't hurt either.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Tea Party at Pix Patisserie

This afternoon Tim took me out for a birthday tea party - I have been looking forward to this for weeks! Pix Patisserie now does this special Tea Brunch thing, one set price for tea and a platter of 20 or so different treats. It was insane - my eyes immediately knew this would be a painful feat to consume. Ever since I was a little bitty girl I loved a good tea party. Pix did not disappoint, it may have been a rainy afternoon, and I did not have the proper lace gloves and hat... but I had a good time!Pictured above are the treats: I started with the cheese (center), took two tiny little bites of savory Spanish raw goats milk cheese - proceeded to do a little mini dance in my chair. That cheese was awesome. On to the baked treats, brioche and scones - with cups of cream, lemon curd and house-made nutella to spread... holy cripes it was all so good and it just continued. Macaroon cookies (one was passion fruit flavored, the other was a green macha cookie) and chocolate truffles, cucumber sandwiches and mushroom pate baked in little puff pastries... I think we agreed the piece-du-resistance was the little quail egg wrapped in prosciutto and dipped in sesame seeds. That was scrumptious. I peaked out half-way thru a little almond cake. Seriously - soo much sugar and chocolate all at once, I had slept in so this was basically first thing in the day for me - breakfast of tea and chocolates caused me to nearly pass out from the high of over indulgence. I remained concious to love and appreciate every moment, although I must admit it was far too much for two people and some ended up coming home with me in a box.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Out of the Office

I am out in Lincoln City for a few days. Its a beach vacation. Tim and I are rocking out to a relaxing few days at the Ester Lee. Today we went and picked up tidal charts and shellfish gathering licenses. Our cottage is right by some rocks in the ocean where we are going to find some fresh mussels - or at least that's the plan.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vendor Antics

I thought I'd share some pictures from the PSM this weekend. It was wildly bopping on Saturday with the annual "Doggy Dash" raising money for the Oregon Humane Society and all... Sunday was much more empty and less profitable, but my vendor neighbors rocked out and provided a whole picnic of grilled sandwiches - it was really incredible and wonderful. I love the community at the Portland Saturday Market.Chicken salad with almonds apples poppy seeds and yogurt (yum) and grilled marinated peppers, pesto, cheddar cheese, two kinds of bread, peanut butter and jelly, strawberries and nectarines. It was such a spread (clearly we weren't too busy selling things). I provided speakers for some tunes. Thanks Nisey and everyone else for bringing such tastey yummies! The vendor antics in my neighborhood are so wonderful, I just want to hug them all. Nothing like having good neighbors.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flying the Oregon Skies

Last Thursday I had the awesome opportunity to hit the sky in a glider. What you see in the picture above is a glider being towed by a small airplane. I got to sit in that glider!

Down in McMinnville Oregon, across the street from the Aviation Museum - there's a small wooden sign tucked in a big blackberry bush indicating the gliding experience. Big shout out to my step mother Nancy for noticing this sign and bringing me along for the best birthday experience - she said she noticed the gliders in the sky, not so much the tiny signs. :) I think these guys should make a bigger sign! It was a really cool experience!

I love the feeling of flying - its spectacular! When I was in college traveling abroad I went skydiving a few times in Australia and New Zealand - there is nothing like the sensation of being a bird in the sky. Gliding here in Oregon was the next level of fun antics! Literally we sat (me and Tim squished together behind a pilot) in a small plane with no engine, nuthing but some rudders and one wheel to land on (ONE wheel - yeah, this sorta caught my eye)
The glider was dragged by an old crop duster airplane, by a rope connecting the two planes, until we ascended about 4000 feet. At that point our trusty pilot dipped the glider down abruptly (kinda felt like a roller coaster) and the rope unlatches, leaving the glider floating effortlessly thousands of feet in the air. We floated around for a half hour or so. Then the pilot circled the plane to the ground and landed us so softly I was pleasantly impressed (for some reason I thought the one wheel landing gear might make for a traumatic landing). It was a beautiful day and the views of the Mountains in the Pacific NW were inspiring.
Above is a picture of the glider

Below is the plane that towed us up - you can see the rope that they tied between the planes
This is a picture of out pilot - he was a kick!
We took a lot of other neat pictures, on my dads camera... and I have yet to get my hands on them... also we weren't allowed to bring cameras up in the plane (it would have been dangerous if we'd dropped them in all the excitement) but rest assured, I think you can get the feeling from these snapshots that we had a really really good time.

I love when family visits. Oregon is so awesome and its great to get to share in its bounty with my loved ones! After gliding everyone retired back to my house where we had a barbecue dinner in the backyard with the neighbors, old and new. It was wonderful.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Glass Frogs

Monday I taught a torchworking class at the Aquila Glass School - we made frogs out of borosilicate glass. Such fun in the studio - as always! If you'd like to come join me for a class like this sometime, and curious about what you will make - check it out! We made little frogs that I call "Coqui" because they are small and cute like little Puerto Rican Coqui frogs... Pictured below is a little handful of frogs I brought home to photograph so I could share in my blog what we made:Glass Coqui frogs and frogs on rocks (less fragile - no little feet that can break off) and frogs on pendants (wearable frog sculptures) - last night we also made some lizards on pendants (pictured in the first shot in this blog post)


I've got glitter all over the place lately. Nothing like a little glitter crafting to spread sparkles.
Some lady friends of mine came over on Monday and we glittered birdies. Simple little crafty birds (I think the craft store sells these to make wreaths or some kind of strange craft like this.. I just think they look neat covered in glitter and stuck in plants)I also had some fun taking pictures of walnuts that we've covered in glitter. Look at these colorful gems!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy mothers day to all you mothers out there. My hat goes off to you and all the hard work you pull off on a daily basis. Better you than me! :)

Pictured above is me and my mom. I don't know which is worse - me as a child doing her makeup or me as an adult publishing this picture on the internet! I love you mom! Just look how happy and proud I was! Beaming with joy. Thanks for being a brave Mom.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Glass Art Shop on NW 23rd in Portland Oregon

There is a new shop on NW 23rd called "Portland Glassblowers" - full of local handcrafted glass creations. It just opened up a few days ago - right on NW 23rd between Kearney and Johnson - when I walked up yesterday the movie running in the window completely hypnotized me. Fire and glass, this combination is mesmerizing.

Go visit - get a present for mom or for yourself! Help support local glass artists!
The construction on 23rd is pretty full on (tearing up the road to get the old tracks out and put new sewers, and a new road on top) but the shops are still open - and they need the love during all this construction!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Making Rings

I've been making lots of rings the past couple days... among other things... seems like the summer show season is ON and I've been running around shipping and shopping and creating things... my oh my. I had to share a picture or two of these rings. Unloading the kiln this morning looked so fun with 70 rings spilling out. I'll be restocking my Etsy shop and my booth at the Portland Saturday Market with rings, so if anyone is interested - come see if one fits! $20 each - made of borosilicate glass (very very strong and stress resistant glass) with dicroic sparkles... I love them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Crafty Wonderland Summer 2010

Yesterday I had a chance to go check out the Crafty Wonderland summer extravaganza - it looked like 2 days of awesome! I had a booth at the Oregon Glass Guild show, the Crafty Wonderland was happening just around the corner in the Convention Center. So while my boothmates watched the booth in the Glass Guild, I ran over to Crafty Wonderland!

Here's the story: I had to get up early and run down to the Portland Saturday Market. I worked my booth there on Saturday and had taken it all down that night, but I forgot to tell the market staff that I wouldn't be there on Sunday (you have to keep the staff well informed so someone else can fill in my spot!). So Sunday morning I realized this and ran down there super early to correct this mistake. Since I was up and out I figured I'd go over to the Convention Center early and sit in line to get one of the infamous free swag bags (first 200 people in the door get these bags - last year at Christmas 2000 people lined up to get these bags!). I didn't realize that CW didn't open till 11, so I stopped to get myself a cup of tea and I was plenty early and secured a spot to get a swag bag. Fortunately my friend Stacey was there and we got to sit and chat for the hour or so and the time wizzed by. Next thing I knew I had a bag full of stuff in my hands and I was wandering the show.

Ever wonder what is in one of these bags? Well I can show you mine! I picked thru it and took a picture of the precious goodies... there were a lot of coupons and postcards as well... but this is the core goodness (not pictured is the awesome bag I received containing the booty)
I received (from top to bottom, left to right sorta, you can click on the picture to zoom in and see more details): confetti, a sticker, the cutest little pair of earrings, lots of cool buttons (I stopped and made the Hello Craft button at their crafty table), a crocheted olive, a coaster, a sketchbook, and two wonderful greeting cards. It was fun filled bag! Especially because the bag of confetti had exploded - so it really was like a party in a bag!

One of the buttons says: Give your hands a hug!

Pictured at the top of this post are my purchases from the show - I couldn't resist, but I only splurged on two little things... the cupcake painting is for myself - bought it from Izzy: one of the children selling their artwork there - its so tiny and so orange and so cute! The little houses with plants in them are from My House Party (gifts for Tim - his birthday is approaching fast)

My vote for best booth setup there: Badge Bomb - they made a cardboard replica of downtown Portland, put the artists names they represent on the tops of the building and the details are just incredible. Heres a link for the picture