Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Drive-About: Portland

I am still happily remembering my Pacific Northwest road trip, so here are some photos from my second destination, Portland, Oregon.  It astounded me to realize that although I've lived in California for most of my life, I'd never been to Oregon at all.  So it was fun to get into that state, and especially to see Portland about which I've heard so many nice things.  And the best part was getting to spend time with two good friends (and fellow Twelves), Terry Grant and Gerrie Congdon.

First stop was Terry's house in Beaverton, where I had the pleasure of sleeping in her studio/guest loft for two nights. It was fun to be there in person after watching the studio being built and set up on Terry's blog!  I was not surprised to find that Terry and I could talk easily (and long into the night) and that her husband Ray was a wonderful, easy-to-talk-to, and interesting guy. 

 Terry and I had a very fun day visiting some Portland sites.  I snapped the picture of the arched entry to Portland's Chinatown, above, as we were driving around the city.  I really enjoyed the International Rose Test Garden, where new rose varieties are tested and on colorful display.

We spent several hours at the Lan Su Chinese Garden, which was serene and beautiful and full of wonderfully artful details.

We did a bit of sketching there, sitting companionably side by side. (And this is where I managed to drop not one, but two travel brushes into the pond when they slid out of my pencil case and off of the bench.  Plop!) 

I tried a scene but became engrossed in sketching the patterns of window grates and details.

 From there we ventured to something on my Must-See list for Portland: Powell's City of Books.  What a fabulous (and huge) store.  And look, they even carry a certain quilt book that is a must-have for art quilters!

The next day, I met up with Gerrie and her daughter Stephanie (co-creator of the 3191 blog and books and world of gorgeousness) for lunch.  We had a delicious Thai lunch and caught up on family and creativity matters.  Amazingly, Stef had just done an article on Astoria, Oregon in the latest issue of the 3191 Quarterly, which she gave me as a guide to a future destination on my trip.  (More on Astoria later but it was very fun to have Stef's guide when I was there to see it a bit through her eyes!)

Gerrie took me to a few of her favorite spots, and we even had a funny random encounter with Project Runway winner Michelle Lesniak Franklin

We wandered into a clothing store with prints that caught our eye, and there she was. (No, unfortunately -- no Tim Gunn in sight.) We acted all cool and casual, but after we walked out, I rethought the moment, and went back in to tell her how pleased I was that she'd won.  She'd been my favorite in the season and I'd been rooting for her!  She was very funny and nice and I was glad I went back to gush a bit at her.

Gerrie took me to her local farmer's market, where she choose dinner fixings and I took photos of the beautiful vegetables.

We ate some of those asparagus with our very wonderful dinner! 

I got to see Gerrie's humongous basement studio (the full footprint of her house!) and I enjoyed seeing Mr. C again, too.  I also fell in love with her dog Scooter's expressive and lively personality.  He's larger than life, that dog. 

I feel like I barely scratched the surface of that wonderful city, but it was time to go.  Portland is now on my "have to go back" list!


  1. This brought back my own memories of those very fun days with you! I love your sketchbook page of my studio. And I am very envious of your encounter with Michelle. Why don't I ever run into celebrities in downtown Portland?!

  2. I live in Salem, and have of course visited Portland, many times...but reading your blog post today has been so lovely!

    I see places that I only visited long ago when I first moved to Oregon from Alaska. Plus, your artistic renderings added SO much!

    I've met Gerrie at Quilt Expo last year when all of your group quilts were on display..went back to that area 3 separate times! Fabulous!

    Met Terry when she spoke at our quilt quild meeting in Salem, last year. Lovely, lovely women. Now, I feel I know you through your own eyes and your beautiful art!

    Most fun I've had blog hopping this week by far!