Monday, October 6, 2008

Portland Art & Soul Even More than Expected

Beautiful but soggy Portland was the site of another Art & Soul retreat, and I had a spectacular time staying with Michelle. She's shown above in her home studio which is much more like a store-make that a candy store for grown-ups. Cassondra joined us most of the time-what a cheerful, sweet person she is!

We shopped 'til we truly dropped on two different days. I'll be posting pics of my goodies. Portland is an amazing city, and there is such a hip, happening, vintage and artsy vibe. Every place we went was so cool. I walked nearly a mile up and down Alberta Street in heels because I just couldn't get enough of shops with names like Frock, Flutter, Collage, Imp, Bolt, Swoon, Red Bird and more. We ate at places called Hula Hands, Pizzicato, Picazzo's, and I went nuts over the New Seasons funky grocery we went to twice. Let's just say I got a finger puppet, heirloom tomatoes, 10 different kinds of Luna bars and $15 cookies at the green grocer.

Gas was even a bargain at $3.22 a gal for 87 with no self-service allowed to support entry-level jobs. I do think all the grown-up hippies have re-located there as I lost count of VW buses-seriously. We all agreed they needed lots of collage and painted daisies on them. There was a baby blue one right out of my 1970s teenage dreams.

Michelle and her family were fun to hang with. Even her cats were amazing!
Julie Collings and friends (Deb is fun!) also joined us one day. Julie has a new book out, Pretty Little Felts, which she signed for me. Just adorable projects! Julie also produces ArtNest in Utah. Oh yeah, and she has a family and four children and makes art. Nothin' to it.

Several other artists were on hand signing books, including LK Ludwig of Extreme Visual Journaling and Nature Journals, Kelly Rae Roberts of Taking Flight (I bought a journal from her), Sally Jean Alexander, whom I met at ZNE, Tonia Davenport of Plexi-Class and jewelry acquisitions editor for F+W Northlight and Mary Ann Hall of Quay/Quarry who is editing my friend Lisa Kettell's book Altered Art Circus that I am in and which comes out this winter. I missed seeing Dawn Devries Sokol of 1000 Artist Journals, whom I met at ZNE, but she had bookplates for everyone. So many great people! It was a joy to finally meet James and Helga Strauss of ArtChix Studio. They were selling collage sheets like mad. I haven't been as active lately but am still thrilled to say I have designs on their Pet Faux Post and Pink Faux Post sheets. Get yourself a bazillion copies! Helga's new mini pins are great, too, and the By The Sea and Mermaid collage products are super. I love the work of my IRL friend Jade Adams on them! It was also a joy to see Mike and Shosh of Hannah Grey again, although I was so exhausted by the end of vendor night Saturday, I was standing about one inch from Shosh and didn't even know it! We were shopping at the tres Francais Vintage Charmings booth of Kate and her sister. More hugs and love were shared in Lisa Kaus' darling booth. I'm so glad some friends bought originals.

I had two classes Friday: the Beachcomber with Beverly Gilbert of Gilbert Designs. I was almost dreading this class, having avoided seed beads like a disease. I didn't have a task light, didn't have beading needles, didn't even know why I picked the class. It must have been good karma, though, because I knew in the first five minutes I would love it. And I did. I didn't even leave the room for lunch or when class ended. I could have attached myself permanently to Beverly. She is so sweet and so enthusiastic about color and what she does. Her jewelry is amazing. Check out her Web site. I'll be posting more pics, and I can't wait to play with my 'bead soup' I bought from her for class. Pictured above are the two pendants I made, wrapping sead beads around found treasures like beach glass, with a mix of free-form peyote and netting stitches. That's me with Beverly. She has a great fashion sensibility as well. No surprise.

The goodies are still needing to be unpacked and photographed as well as my charms (enough for a bracelet) and other swap goodies. I also need to take pics of my work from Traci Bautista's class. It was all just an incredible experience! Can't wait to do it again.


Joanne Huffman said...

Glad you had such a good time and I absolutely love your beaded necklaces.


Maija said...

OMG!! What fun you are having!!!

Dawn said...

Aww, I missed seeing you, too, Gina! I wish I could've been there...did you get a bookmark? I hope so!!!

Lilli said...

I'm glad you had fun. At least I can live vicariously through your posts :)

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