I first moved to Portland, Oregon after a messy breakup almost ten years ago. I healed, but I was not dialed in and did not enjoy the city as much as I should have. I settled in stumptown for good 6 years ago after a brief re-visit of NYC. This time around I fell in love, with a man and with this fair city. One of the biggest reasons I love it here is because I have hiking buddies and I get to see beautiful waterfalls regularly like Wahkeena, Wahclella, Multnomah, and Latourell.
I also like the look of my current hometown, with gorgeous glass and concrete structures against the backdrop of lush Forest Park and alive with beautiful bridges like Fremont, Steel, and my favorite – St Johns. And welcoming you to this wonderland is the famous Portland, Oregon White Stag sign! Such a beauty.
Another reason to celebrate living in the Pacific Northwest is the birds! I see them in the city, floating above me, crows cawing, chickens clucking in neighboring yards, I see them in Forest Park at the Audobon Society, I see owls and auks and gulls and eagles and osprey and hawks on my hikes, and I see them as paintings and earrings and cuffs in my workstation at least once a week. That vile show that has contributed to messing with the vibe here in Portland joked about putting birds on things and I willingly live up to the silly stereotype.
I would be a fool if I didn’t mention the crown jewel of Portland, Mt Hood! The mountain is ever-present looming behind the city to the east, inspiring and beckoning all who see it’s granduer. One of my favorite views of the mountain is from Mirror Lake, a popular hike in my area.
Honorable mention goes out to the vibrant bike culture of Portland. And also the trees. My two favorite trees here are the Douglas Fir and the Ponderosa Pine! These things I have mentioned and many, many more keep me inspired and creations based on them take up permanent residence in my Etsy shop.
Who knows where my adventures will take me this year? I know the area still has gems to reveal and with my new hiking buddies and my dearest, frequent hiking companion Seasons ready to discover them with me I am sure to be inspired to create all year long. Stay tuned!
Let’s start at the end. Pictured above is Ramona Falls. It worked out to be an 8 mile hike today. As you can see, the payoff was worth the work. The view, the woods, and the mist cleared my head after a relatively busy work week.
This glorious beauty above is labradorite. The extra flashy cabochon is set with sterling silver on a shimmering sterling rope chain. Get it Here.
For the first time in my life I am working on things that will pay off 2,3,4,5 months down the line. That said, this week had me busting my butt to make painted pet portraits for the first luxury pet shop to carry my line, FOR PAWS In Portland, Oregon. I also worked on some Star Wars themed pieces that will hang for a May the 4th… event, but you can get first dibs on these two right now!
The Rebel Leia / 8×8″ acrylic on wood, $60
My very favorite Star Wars character, “Ahsoka Tano” acrylic on board, framed / 8×10″ $75
If you don’t find yourself in Portland and are unable to snag some of my popular pet earrings at For Paws, never fear! You can commission me to make your very own!
In addition to the Star Wars pieces I also made 3 science fiction themed pieces for another group show including Lovely Faye Valentine above!
All of these creations and more kept me quite busy all week, but don’t expect a slow-down. I have 3 more shows in May to prepare for as well as a whole lot of jewelry to create so that my site stays fresh! Stay tuned! And feel free to shout out any and all special requests you might have. I try to accommodate everyone.
Just a few days ago my friend Seasons and I headed to one of our frequent refueling spots, McMenamin’s Edgefield. She often gets a room there for a real recharge, but I never join in. In fact, I don’t believe I have ever purchased a room for myself while still “at home”. That changed on Thursday when we stayed over, ate gluten free pizzas and soaked in a nearly empty soaking pool. The soaking pool was amazing enough for me, but Seasons assured me it is often much warmer. The heavy rain cooled it down quite a bit, but also kept the masses away.
Staying the night at a hotel before a long snowy and slushy hike really turned it into more of an event for me and made the cold slush easier to endure.
The day began with clear skies and snowy hills. We opted for the Multnomah-Wahkeena loop. The trail from the Multnomah side ascends quickly, so we were hiking in snow in no time at all.
Many people turn back halfway through the 11 switchbacks, but if you soldier on you will discover dense forest and many more waterfalls. The rushing waters were made more spectacular after all of our recent rain and snowfall, but they also swallowed up many of the banks we usually spend time on.
After you pass 2 more truly impressive falls (Weisendanger and Ecola) the hike becomes a smidge tedious in winter months. The elevation keeps increasing and the snow is melting due to runoff underneath it and even the most waterproof boots become soggy. And then the clouds roll in and a downpour hits you on the head. You look at your friend and wonder, “Is she enjoying this? Am I?” The answer becomes yes after you realize you have a better waterproof coat in your pack and your friend is always happy in the woods, sogginess be damned. And also you see things like this:
We returned to Edgefield after completing the hike with a descent that was wet as hell, but miraculously free of any wipeouts. A quick coffee with some uploading to instagram, Etsy and Facebook while nestled in a quiet nook brought me back to life. I was asleep by 10:30, and I’m a 3AM guy.
This little getaway and hike recharged me in the best way though and I was able to create beauties like these:
Sunrise in India – Vintage Gold leaf necklace with paisley rose quartz gemstone
Our Lady of Labrador – Rose gold necklace with violet flash labradorite gemstone