Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Craft and Landscape Architecture in Portland

On my recent trip to Portland, I felt just like this rock sitting in a Japanese garden.  Alone and the center of my own universe, but still longing for those in the distance.  I felt this way even on the plane ride, having just left my children and husband for a little adventure with my Mom and Sister in Portland, OR.    I love my kids more than anything in the world, but I've only had one other "vacation" in almost 4 years. 

I'd never been to Portland, but couldn't have been more ready for a long weekend with very little responsibility in what has to be one of the craftiest and naturally beautiful cities in the States.  I had a long list of places to visit the first day.  

When we left "heaven" (thats what I've dubbed my sisters place since she lives only a few blocks away from many of these places) we hit The Knittin Kitten - a big craft thrift store.  Purchase One:  5 sweater knits at $2 a yard.  Can't beat it.  

Next, Scrap.  I've heard so much about this place.  How people have found oodles of gorgeous vintage fabric for next to nothing.  No such luck this time.  I bought a bag of scrap leather for a dollar and a bag of scrap paper (Purchase Two and Three).  How fitting for a place called "Scrap".

In the afternoon, we took the elevator to the second floor of Heaven and got off at Kinokuniya, a japanese bookstore inside of Uwajimaya, the largest Japanese grocery I've ever seen.  I really had to restrain myself here.  Kinokuniya had at least 3 head to toe bookshelves full of Japanese craft books.  I found at least 10 that I really wanted, but picked just one to take home (Purchase Three).  They also sold the super cute folders, stickers, and notebooks I've seen some sellers offer on Etsy.  

Finally, Powell's Bookstore.  The absolute biggest bookstore I've been to - ever.  The size of a city block and several stories tall, I didn't manage to make it out of section A by the front door (the sewing and craft section).  Final purchase:  used books on creating your own patterns.

In all, I'd rate my shopping day "not too shabby with a whole lot of restraint".  I just wish I could have gotten to more thrift stores.  Next time.

Below are a few photos of places we visited that satisfied the landscape architect in me.  First, the Multnohma Falls and then the Japanese Gardens.  Both fabulous.  I must have taken 100 photos of walkway details (drains, pavement, walls, benches) and trees.  

If you don't know a landscape architect, thats what we do.  We take pictures of the ground, benches, drains, statues, and light poles just in case we might use them in a future project but can't remember where we saw them.  If you're out walking with a landscape architect, don't be surprised if they ask to take a photo of you next to that lovely fence you just passed.  Rest assured, you will almost definitely end up in the lower left hand corner of the photo as you are just being used for scale. 

1 comment:

Jill said...

Thanks for leaving me a comment on my blog, and for the mini tour of Portland here. I love Portland...my sister in law lives there with her family, and we've visited once. I can't wait to go again. I'm also impressed that you are able to juggle children, landscape architecture and sewing (and blog):)