Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Having a little bit of free time lately has given me the chance to relax at home, reading books, cooking a lot, watching movies, getting crafty and playing with puzzles. Yep, I love puzzles. So I looked around online to find out about printing my own images into a puzzle... this is what I ended up getting.

Its from a picture I took of Tim at the driving range. The man likes to golf. I enjoy going to the driving range with him. What a great bonding experience this was to sit down with him and put together this puzzle. Quality time for sure.

I used the site Discount Photogifts to get this made up. It was $25 +s/h and it came with the neat cookie tin that contains all the pieces. The tin itself is a treasure. The puzzle was only 551 pieces, so it was not to hard and not too big, perfect for putting on the kitchen table and finishing quickly so it doesn't take up the table all week.

Honestly it was hard to pick an image to use (although I love what I chose in the end) and I had trouble finding anything customizable that was more than 1000pieces. That would be sweet... if anyone else finds something, let me know :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Portland DIY Resources Adventure

I can't believe how many stores there are in this town offering great finds and deals to the small businessperson like myself. Tools, supplies, materials, displays, packaging, furniture, munchies, you name it! There is a store in town that sells it - and they do so with such character :)

I took my friend Amy on an adventure last week... Amy rents studio space with me at Aquila and is relatively new to town, I wanted to enjoy the afternoon with her and show her some of these great stores in Portland that are so useful to her crafty business.

Here was our itinerary:
  1. Winks Hardware
  2. City Liquidators
  3. Bunk (sandwiches)
  4. Portland Store Fixtures
  5. Pitman Restaurant Supply Store
  6. Harbor Freight

View Useful Stores in PDX in a larger map

As you can see the tour centered around one particular area of Portland, the SE waterfront area, cuz its awesome and packed with businesses that let their customers wander warehouses full of stuff.

I took Amy to Wink's first. I love me some W.C. Winks Hardware. Its a manly place, a quality hardware store, and its been in Portland since 1909. I love that you take a deli number to get your purchases. They seem to specialize in stocking wire of all types. This is very useful to me as a glass artist.

Then we continued on down the street to City Liquidators. We wandered every floor of both buildings. Its been a while since I've done this - this picture is from one of the warehouses, there is an entire floor of office chairs, we couldn't find the light so it was sorta dark...
photos courtesy of Amy - she was posting pictures of our silliness via her funphone on Facebook while we wandered warehouses!

After 6 floors of seating options, kitchen supplies, tools, office gear, warrior helmets, lighting and file cabinets, we decided it was time to eat. In need of fuel we headed over to Bunk for their famous sandwiches - delicious.

this is a picture of Amy at City Liquidator. Seriously you never know what you might find in this place!

Next was Portland Store Fixtures. This place is fabulous - and - they were having their first ever complete warehouse sale! It was pretty crazy, everything was on sale. Both Amy and I found some things we had to purchase. Everything in the warehouses was price-tagged in prep for the sale, and the labels were cracking me up. I bought this one display mostly because I loved its label, and I can use it to dispay a little mobile :) "Tall Shiney Thing".
We got a tour of all 3 buildings. They have renovated a new space down there right around SE 3rd and Main to rent to artists. Spaces are starting at a flat rate of $100 a month and there are larger spaces as well. Its a wonderful funky space - go ask them about it if this sounds interesting!

Continuing down the street we visited Pitman's Restaurant Supply - very useful place for the glass artist looking to buy inexpensive stainless steel things. They have both used and new kitchen supplies.

Our last stop was Harbor Freight on the way back up to the shop. This place is just amazing. Its like the dollar store for men. Cheap tools. You buy what you pay for, so yes, some of it is total crap, but its all cheap! And they have really useful stuff in there. Both Amy and I found a handful of things that we had to buy. I always seem to be drawn to silly things there... I found this kit from my little friend Micah:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oregon Coast Aquarium

I had a bit of fun taking pictures at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. It was cold and rainy, but fun none the less.the jellyfish were amazing and surprisingly took great pictures thru the thick plastic and water...

shrimps - who knew that Oregon had the most sustainable pink shrimp fishing methods around. I didn't. There was an exhibit about it in the waiting area for the bathrooms.
Salmon fish. I believe this one is a Chinook Salmon.
I don't know what kind of fish this is the underside of, its just a neat picture I thought...

There was a swamp exhibit going on, opens up with this great big Anaconda
Giant crabs in a giant black tank
The Giant Octopus didn't really like my flash, he proceeded to run away and hide in the corner after I blinded him with my flash. Sorry Octopus.
Love the otters, the plastic was so wet and thick it was hard to really get a picture of him. He was hamming it up and checking us out thru the window...
while his buddy was taking a nap