Manic Monday

For today’s Manic Monday, I’d like to tell you about a wonderful Portland-based walking tour and the local artisanal and craftsman products featured in this tour.
First, a disclaimer: Culture Craft is set to formally launch in May, and is the brain-child of the wonderfully talented and wickedly funny Shauna Noah, who I am lucky to count as among my good friends. This connected lady has pulled together some of the most interesting emerging artisans located in the inner southeast area of Portland, and I got to be part of her test run this last weekend. I also helped her in designing her logo.

Culture Craft logo

Here’s a little glimpse at the fun we got up to:

Culture Craft PDX Walking Tour - Hey Hey Erin May Culture Craft PDX Walking Tour - Hey Hey Erin May  Culture Craft PDX Walking Tour - Hey Hey Erin May Culture Craft PDX Walking Tour - Hey Hey Erin May Culture Craft PDX Walking Tour - Hey Hey Erin May

Culture Craft’s website isn’t launched quite yet, so for more information, I’d encourage you to visit the Facebook Page. And here are links to each stop we were able to visit in our tour:
  • BaseCamp Brewing.
    • Favorite thing: The s’more stout.
    • What I learned: the fiberoptic cables on the ceiling make up the constellations!
  • Jacobsen Salt:
    • Favorite thing: The smoked salt.
    • What I learned: making salt is more involved than you would think, and produces a lot of calcium!
  • Ancient Heritage Dairy:
    • Unfortunately not open during this first run tour, but I am extremely enthusiastic to learn more about them.
  • EastSide Distilling:
    • Favorite thing: The Burnside Bourbon-what else??
    • What I learned: the (very delicious) marionberry whiskey will feature prominently at this year’s Rose Festival.
  • Potato Champion Food Cart:
    • Favorite thing: Poutine!
    • What I learned: a sample size of poutine but whets the appetite for more.
  • Woodblock Chocolate:
    • Favorite thing: this is a tough one, it was all so good! I guess the toasted sesame, it was surprising and satisfying.
    • What I learned: basically, what makes for real chocolate. I had no idea how chocolate was made, and what it could mean to tie the process so completely together with the agriculture. Informative and tasty.

All in all, I would highly recommend this tour and visiting these places on their own! All nice people, doing beautiful and thoughtful work.

Watercolor Wednesday

Today’s watercolor was the result of something I had been planning for a while! I wanted to play with a map of Portland for a gallery of images I’m working on.

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I’m happy with these results! I might try it again in another color pallet, or for another map. Maybe one of Oregon? We’ll see!

The basic process is outlined below- I applied a wax resistance and base coat of color, then started playing around with splatter techniques. At first, I made a huge mess. Then I realized I should put it on some old paper bags to protect my poor floor. Voila! Done.

WATERCOLOR mapHave a great day!

Winter Blues

My friends, it is COLD in Portland lately. Now, I know that some of you live in places that have a real winter and experience snow and in general have actual complaints about weather, but to this temperate-weather native the coldness of Portland has seeped into my bones.

But! I’m also getting a little tired of  my well-worn wardrobe of sweaters and nondescript, bulky coats. That’s why I’ve taken to wearing my sundresses again, in celebration of the sun breaks we’ve been experiencing in Portland, despite the chill.

Wearing a sundress in the middle of winter

Here are my rules for wearing sundresses in winter:

  1. Don’t really pay attention to fashion rules. I’ve never really believed in banning white after labor day. I’m a big fan of the “Canadian Tuxedo” by pairing my chambray shirt and jeans. And I wear clothing when it is generally thought to be out of season! That brings me to my next point….
  2. Layer. Like a maniac. Put on  your tights. Layer a cute slip or skirt underneath. Put on socks, grab a cardigan and rock a scarf. It might feel summery to wear a sundress, but that won’t make the frigid temperatures any less chilly.
  3. Pair dark and neutral colors with the dress. This will add more of a wintery palette, don’t you think?
  4. Play with texture. Thick wools with thin cotton- comfy and interesting! Stretchy tights with leather boots? Oh yeah.

That’s about it! I really cannot emphasize the bundling up enough- no one wants a little matchstick girl frozen on their stoop, no matter how cute the outfit.

Stay warm, my friends.

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P.S. how cute is my stoop? I love my house.

Who’ll stop the rain….

Yep, that’s a CCR reference. I might have been in a banjo mindset all week.

In case you haven’t been anywhere near social media (or don’t live in Portland), it’s raining in this city. And while that’s not normally any big news, it hasn’t rained here in over 100 days. So as you can imagine, we’re all pretty excited.

pOEL9P on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

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Welcome back, old friend. It’s rain jacket, tights and boots season again! On a side note, I’ve recently started wearing tights and shorts on days when I’m just hanging around the house- I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I’m pretty sure it takes me a little closer to being a hipster. Meh.

Finger Lickin’ Good.

The other day I was lucky enough to have a client with delicious food who needed more pictures.

This was one of the best breakfasts of my life. If you’re in the Portland area, I cannot recommend the Circa 33 weekend brunch enough. For more images of this feast, visit my portfolio!

Sunrise, Sunrise.

Most mornings lately, I am awake early enough to see the sun rise. This has been made much easier by the fact that the days are getting shorter and the lazy sun is rising later and later in the day.

There is something so comforting in these quiet, still moments. I love the clarity, the hope and the optimism that comes with the start of a new day.

I’ve read somewhere that the number of decisions you make throughout the day break down your ability to make the right decision, so by the end of the day you’re tired and cranky and going with your gut. I like doing my most important tasks first thing in the morning, because I do feel a sense of certainty in my decision-making that is especially lacking in the afternoon nap time of the day.

Are you an early bird, or a night owl?

These images are via my talented and wonderful photographer of a brother, Jesse Davis