We’ll be back

Playing with color at Pam's cabinSketch for a tapestry

I didn’t do any serious weaving while we were at Pam’s. I played around with color combinations and followed along with her lessons with Susanne, which were very helpful to me too, since I never received any formal training in tapestry. I sketched an idea for another small tree tapestry and came home with many more ideas on the tree theme. I left my “98% Water” tapestry there and Pam is going to mount it for display for me – she is a very kind mentor and friend indeed. On Sunday morning, we packed up our things and waved a sad goodbye to her, with plans already percolating to come back in 2016.

We returned the Beetle to the car rental place, and they joked about charging 25 cents per pine needle stuck to the car. Then we took the train from the airport to downtown Portland, where we checked into the Crystal Hotel. Each room had been decorated with the theme of a song by a singer or band who had performed at the Crystal Ballroom. It seemed as if they knew something about our personalities. Susanne was in Gogol Bordello’s “Wonderlust King” room. I was in Silversun Pickups’ “Lazy Eye” room, with the theme of waiting, something that comes up a lot in my journaling. We loved this historic hotel in the heart of Portland.

Crystal Hotel, Portland

Crystal Hotel, Portland

Crystal Hotel, Portland

We went to Powell’s City of Books, of course, and to Sizzle Pie for slices of pizza with names like “New Maps from Hell.” Their motto was “Death to False Pizza.”

Sizzle Pub Pizza, Portland

We stood in line at Voodoo Doughnuts for incredible sugar highs.

Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland

White girl feet

Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland

Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland

And, what the hell is this bug that we saw on a Portland sidewalk? It was about an inch and a half long.

Portland sidewalk bug

Then we got up at 3:30 a.m., caught a plane home, and we are here now.

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Filed under Cannon Beach, Oregon, Portland, tapestry, weaving

Ecola State Park

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Susanne said, “What an unfortunate name – sounds like a combination of E coli and ebola.” But it is one of the prettiest beaches on the planet, on the north side of Cannon Beach. We only went to part of it, because it was midday on Saturday and everybody was trying to get in. We didn’t mind waiting in a long line of cars in the cool shade of the woods, but when we heard it was another hour wait to get to Indian Beach, we stopped in this part and hiked down a trail that went to the edge of the sea cliffs and looked down on the beauty below and beyond. Later I learned that Indian Beach is where people go swimming.

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Looking back at Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock.

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See the fisherman near the bottom of that big rock?

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Yeah, it got a bit too steep at this point so we sat and enjoyed the view.

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As we were leaving we noticed the fisherman was scampering around that huge boulder near the top like a mountain goat. I took this photo of him at the halfway point down. We waited to make sure that he didn’t kill himself, and he sort of slid down with that pole still in his hand.

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We tried to go into Cannon Beach for a late lunch but the traffic and parking situation was so insane I nearly had a panic attack. So we headed south on the Pacific Coast Highway with its stunning views over the ocean and found Big Wave Cafe in Manzanita, where we split a fried seafood platter and I drank a Moose Drool ale, which was much better than it sounds. We loved it!

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Focus on Book Arts 2015

On Tuesday evening we left the beach to go to the Focus on Book Arts conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, about a 90 minute trip toward Portland. Pam arranged for us to stay with a friend of hers, Nel Rand, who lives in Cornelius, only about 15 minutes away. So not only did the travel improve, we had the privilege of making a new friend, who is a fabulous artist and writer as well.

Our class, “An Intimate Atlas,” was a three-day map-making experience with Jill Berry. I’ve taken a lot of great book workshops, and this one ranks up there with the most enjoyable I’ve taken. The synergy of the women in the class and the instructor was perfect. There were no whiners and no neurotic meltdowns. Jill gave us techniques and prompts and it was amazing to see what a dozen different women did with the materials. I was already acquainted with some of these from Jill’s book  Personal Geographies, and had done a few of the exercises in a journal. In this class we each made six different maps and a book to contain them as pop-ups! I was surprised at how easy the book structure and pop-ups were to do. Therefore, I HIGHLY recommend this class to anyone who love maps and would like to do a bit of introspective play with watercolors, markers, and stencils.

Jill has an excellent slideshow of all the different maps on her blog post, but here are some photos of just mine.

FOBA 2015
This was my favorite, based on Wendell Berry’s poem “The Peace of Wild Things,” which was copied on the white paper in white ink and then painted over with a grey wash.

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This hand map is about creativity and teachers, the past and the future. It is not quite finished in this photo because I have added names since this was taken.

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Here is a travel spread. On the left is my trip to FOBA in a game board format, spiraling into the center. I struggled the most with the heart map, because my heart has been hurting and closed for business lately. I made this “Hearchipelago” of islands places where I have lived and visited that I loved.

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A spread of the last two maps – on the left is a map of Marietta, my hometown, circa 1972 or so, of all my hideouts. On the right is a map of our house from Diego and Pablo’s point of view.

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Left: the outside cover and spine of the book. Right: the maps unfolded out from the book.

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Here are classmates dripping lines onto papers with walnut ink to make the back of our maps. I really loved doing this part.

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Susanne and I connected with Judy Strom, who steered us to FOBA in 2011. She is from Montana and we first met at Journalfest in Port Townsend, where we took two classes together. Judy is one of the main reasons I want to visit Montana, because I don’t get to see her enough. She was taking a class in the room next door.

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We made another new friend, Kathy Dickerson, who I look forward to spending some time with on another trip to the PNW. Here we are hanging out in Urban Decanter on Main St. of Forest Grove on our last hot (upper 90s!) evening in Forest Grove.

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Filed under art retreats, book arts, Focus on Book Arts, Oregon

Fort Clatsop, Lewis and Clark National Park

Lewis and Clark National Park, at Fort Clatsop

On Monday Pam ran errands so we hopped into our rented baby blue Beetle and headed north up the Pacific Coast Highway to Astoria. I like to visit any national parks nearby when I travel so we went to Fort Clatsop at Lewis and Clark National Park, and had a nice walk under the huge trees.

Lewis and Clark National Park, at Fort Clatsop

Lewis and Clark National Park, at Fort Clatsop

Lewis and Clark National Park, at Fort Clatsop

Lewis and Clark National Park, at Fort Clatsop

Lewis and Clark National Park, at Fort Clatsop

We drove into Astoria, which has an interesting Finnish heritage that I’d like to learn more about, and a place where I’ve been researching real estate on daydream days. However, given the charts of projected tsunami damage from the overdue big earthquake they expect, I think that I’ll seek higher ground.  I like the idea of being near or on the Columbia River though.

Astoria bridge

Then we had halibut sandwiches at the Screw and Brew in Cannon Beach (a combination hardware store and pub). They were delicious.  We did a little shopping and found a wonderful fabric store, Center Diamond. I had to force myself to have some self-control there, and I will budget with it in mind when I go back. (Oh dear God, I now see that they have an online store.) When we came back, a group of people were pointing at our car and I feared that it had been damaged, but they were talking about it sparkling in the sun because of the resin that had dripped on it from trees. The pine needles stuck to the resin stayed there throughout several days of driving. Fortunately it all came off at the car wash later that week.

Cannon Beach, June 2015

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I do love a hole in a rock

Between Arcadia State Park and Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach June 2015

Cannon Beach June 2015

I wanted to explore this hole last year but didn’t have the courage. I tend to be clumsy and the rocks are covered with sharp mussels. When I saw a little boy come out of this “cave” I wandered in and found that the rocks were not slick but it was still a challenge to keep my balance. Anyway, I came out unscathed which is pretty good for me, and it was totally worth it. It is between Arcadia Beach State Park and Cannon Beach.

Cannon Beach June 2015

Cannon Beach June 2015

Cannon Beach June 2015

Cannon Beach June 2015

Cannon Beach June 2015

Cannon Beach June 2015

The strange teal to grayish green blobs are sea anemones which blossom underwater.

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