art retreats, book arts, Focus on Book Arts, Forest Grove, Oregon

Focus on Book Arts – The Construction of an Art Book

My first class at Focus on Book Arts was with Leighanna Light, titled “The Construction of an Art Book.” Susanne and Kathy joined me for this one. For two days we collaged, painted, and stenciled a strip of canvas that was folded and glued into a book. We also stenciled onto metal pieces and applied chemicals for a “faux etching” effect.

^The process

^Painted canvas strips drying

^Photo by Leighanna Light

^^^My book and each page spread

^Faux etching with stencils on copper and tin

^photo by Leighanna Light

^Leighanna with the students’ books

Forest Grove, Oregon

Forest Grove Eats

We ate well in Forest Grove, but mostly from two places: the downtown farmers’ market where we shopped on Wednesday evening, and Kama’aina, an award winning Hawaiian restaurant that we could not stay away from. We went there three times: on our first night in town, where I had the limu ahi poke bowl that I have dreamed about since the last time we ate there in 2017. We went back after our first class finished on Thursday night and ate garlic furitake fries and edamame appetizers and then Susanne and I went BACK on Saturday afternoon and did it all over again. They also had the best porter I found in town on tap – D’Visionary from Pono Brewing Company in Portland. I wish I could find it here!


^^^On the same corner with Kama’aina was Slow Rise Bakehouse. Susanne bought a loaf of seeded bread that I ate with almond butter and sliced pears three times – oh yum. The last morning I stuck my head in just for the smells. I had bought this bread two years ago at the farmers market and swooned over it then too.

^^^FG Sushi, very popular, very small, very good. The salad had a particularly wonderful citrus dressing.


^^^Valley Arts

^^^off 19th St.

^^^garden gate

^^^Bathroom sign in Ridgewalker Brewing, where I enjoyed a couple of beers at the bar on Friday, my introvert recharge day.

^^^Great posters in the bathroom at Waltz Brewing, where we dodged a hail storm walking home from the farmers’ market. I had hoped to buy a growler of the delicious coffee porter like last time, but they didn’t have any dark beers on tap.

Hey, I hear you, where are the photos of this amazing farmers’ market you carry on about every time you go to Forest Grove? Well, sometimes an event fills up your senses and you don’t remember to take photos. Also, a bad storm was cooking in the sky and we loaded up and left in a hurry. We bought strawberries, blueberries, two kinds of raspberries, two kinds of cherries, another loaf of rye bread from a different baker, lemon hummus, tabouli, tzatziki sauce, pita chips, and a jar of almond butter made with coconut oil. Behind the Farmers’ Market we picked up two delicious cheeses from the Urban Decanter. We munched on these goodies until we left Oregon.

I would like to continue eating this way.

Final note: We were very sorry to see that Maggie’s Buns, another of our favorite places to eat, had closed. We weren’t the only ones who were sad about it.

Okay, the rest of the posts will be about the FOBA classes.

Forest Grove, Oregon

Forest Grove, Oregon

On Tuesday morning, we hit Powell’s one more time, then packed up our stuff and walked to the nearest MAX stop. I lost a wheel on my luggage with the heavy art supplies, but between the two of us we managed. We took the MAX all the way to Hillsboro, where we caught a bus to Forest Grove. Had it not been for the broken wheel, it would have been easy. I won’t mind taking public transport again to this conference, but I will buy a heavy duty wheeled carry-on bag before my next trip.

We both are in love with Forest Grove, Oregon. I long to live there. The weather was almost perfect, temperature wise, anyway. That was a relief since the last two visits were during awful heat waves.

^^^Front of our AirBNB

^^^Angel and daisies

^^^Yummy black raspberries for free munching

^^^Chickens and guineas

^^^View of our apartment and balcony from the trail

^^^Sign that convinced me to not walk on the trail

^^^I like the color scheme of this historic house

^^^Gorgeous flowers and gardens on our walks from our B&B to Pacific University.

buying local, Focus on Book Arts, Forest Grove, Local food, Marvelous meals, Oregon

Forest Grove, Oregon, 2017

Susanne and I love Forest Grove, a beautiful small college town in the middle of rolling farmland with the backdrop of the Coast Range on its west and only a thirty minute drive from Portland to its east. We discovered it through our three trips to the Focus on Book Arts conference we went to in 2011, 2015, and 2017.

The first place we went when we got there was Maggie’s Buns, which I’ve written about before. They had an abundant and delicious lunch selection. I had their veggie lasagna, which rivaled my own in texture and taste, and I am very snooty about my lasagna. I’d go back just for it, but we all tried each other’s salads and they were wonderful too.

I took a photo of the ceiling at Maggie’s Buns this time because if I’m ever able to look up long enough to do it (neck issues) I’d like to paint the acoustic tiles in my bedroom like this.

The Wednesday evening farmers market downtown is one of the things we love about Forest Grove. When we go, in late June, there are abundant fresh cherries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and all kinds of vegetables. This time there was a baker, Slow Rise Craft Breads whose breads are made from local organic grains and wild yeast. Oh, the complex flavors from that bread. We bought some Face Rock Creamery smoked cheddar cheese from Urban Decanter to go with the Slow Rise rye levain and rolled our eyes in pleasure for the rest of our time there.

We didn’t make it to the King’s Head Pub this time, but we did buy Cornish pasties and almond shortbread from the Great British Bakery at the farmers’ market. The pasties were better than the ones I ate in Cornwall!

^^^Goofing around. We’re sitting on an old Cadillac seat at Waltz. Look closely and you’ll see that the photographer caught my beer just as it was spilling out of my glass.

Susanne talked to a street fiddler who invited us to a bluegrass jam that evening just a couple of blocks away at Waltz Brewing, a very small brewpub in a renovated garage. The garage door was up, there was seating on the sidewalk, and the weather was perfect. We munched on our goodies from the market, petted the local dogs, drank ginger ale and porter, and enjoyed the music. We enjoyed it so much that we skipped the conference lecture again the next night and went back to hear a blues guy play guitar and sing to a karoake machine. I bought a growler of Coffee Porter with To the Roots Espresso (from a local coffee roaster) to keep back in the dorm room fridge.

We were invited to a potluck on Sunday with a group of folks who are developing a co-housing community, which I was quite interested in, but we didn’t have time, it was roasting hot, and I can’t even think about doing anything like that for at least several years. I was curious, though.

Forest Grove has a community edible garden program. Plots with veggies and berries had signs that invited you to help yourself. One was in front of Forest Grove Community School, which also had lovely flowers and artwork.

On Friday evening, we went to a Hawaiian restaurant – a new experience for me but a trip down memory lane for Susanne, who spent a year of childhood living in Hawaii. At Kama’ Aina, Susanne had manapua (sweet bbq pork in dumplings), I had shoyu ahi poke. Poke hasn’t made it back to North Carolina yet, but my bet is that it is the next big foodie thing. Very much like sashimi, but with different seasonings. We also blew everyone away with our garlic breath the next day after sharing garlic furitake fries. Just when you think that you can’t make fries less healthy, somebody decides to fry them with butter and garlic and sprinkle them with sesame seeds and flaked seaweed. God, they were good.

We were sorry to leave Forest Grove, but not sorry to leave the dorm, which was not air conditioned and had no fans. The temps the last two days we were there got up to almost 100 degrees. Pacific University is a lovely campus, though.

^^^From the garden in front of the Forest Grove Community School.

art, fiber art, Forest Grove, Oregon

Textures and lines

So, there’s this book. I ordered several great books a few weeks ago, but there’s this book, this one book, that I can’t get past. It is ringing my chimes and I can’t read it for more than a few minutes without feeling like I’m going to have an anxiety attack from sheer joy.

The book is Drawn to Stitch, by Gwen Hedley. I just now looked up her web site and I haven’t looked at it yet, other than to make sure that it is indeed her. Amazon has the book too, but the Interweave site has a nice application you can use to look through it.

I feel like all my buttons are being pushed and I immediately got back to work taking photographs of lines and textures to use for some exercises in this book and for an artist’s book and for tapestry. Here are a few from Oregon:

It is so good to have a pocket camera again!

art, book arts, Focus on Book Arts, Forest Grove, Oregon

Focus on Book Arts 2011

My friend and paper mentor Susanne and I flew out to Oregon to attend the Focus on Book Arts conference in Forest Grove at Pacific University. Despite our friends’ warning about the rainy weather, it was beautiful and I didn’t have to open my umbrella once. The cooler temperatures were such a relief!

Judy met us at the Portland airport and as I thought would happen, Susanne LOVED her! So we had a trio of three amazing women for most of the trip. We arrived in Forest Grove late on Wednesday, just in time for the Farmers’ Market on Main St. held each week from 4-8 p.m. Good idea for a farmers’ market here in Greensboro.

We picked up cherries and the sweetest “Hood” strawberries for snacks. Also some marionberry creamed honey. Creamed honey is new to me. The town is small but just big enough for me. There was not a lot of time for exploring, but we both enjoyed a funky little bakery coffee shop called Maggie’s Buns and bought art supplies from The Accidental Bookmaker.

My first class was Jill Timm’s “The Amazing Dremel,” a class that I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years, actually. I found it on the Internet and thought that it would be very helpful, and it sure was. The first thing Jill had us do was work with glass, because it tends to be the most intimidating surface. After that, we all settled into it. She provided a large number of bits and wheels and by the time the class was over we all felt totally comfortable using a Dremel or rotary tool.

I was most happy with two samples picturing Guido and Miss Jazz, which is not surprising, but since I was really after learning about this tool for woodworking I was surprised that I enjoyed working on glass and ceramic tile so much. The flexshaft attachment was very helpful because it was lightweight and allowed me to hold the tool more like a thick pencil. My hands did hurt at the end of the day, but I don’t plan to use this tool for hours on end in real life so I am pleased with the potential of what I’ll be able to accomplish with it.

The next two days Susanne and I both took Patti Glass’ “Caterpillar Book on Cords” class. I went forward with an “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” theme, since Patti had beautifully printed copies for our text blocks, while Susanne used a copy of her paper weaving and a large snakeskin in black and white. I was anxious and went overboard with the image transfers and I did not like most of my wooden covers. I plan to sand and carve out the butterflies with my Dremel tool – hooray for new skills!

The caterpillar stitch is complicated and requires patience, practice, and a lot of concentration. Susanne and I are still working on finishing ours. I removed my stitches and completed the headband. This week I am going to redo the stitch you see in the photo.

Next posts: Portland and texture ideas.