Can't begin to describe the emotions I felt walking towards downtown Portland this morning. For those of us who are in disbelief about the election–seeing this colorful human tapestry of goodness is simply awe inspiring.
I just enjoyed the most pleasurable evening at the dinner party flash mob - Dîner en Blanc this past Saturday night. Portland is one of only eighteen cities in the United States offering this annual meal and I was thrilled to get an invite. It's a relatively simple and rather extraordinary concept. Dress in white, bring table, white chairs, white linens, white china, glassware, dinner and drinks for an evening at an undisclosed location. You pay a $35 fee for logistical arrangements, buses, etc...
Last year was the first year in Portland with about 150 people descending onto Jamison Square in the Pearl District. This year we got on a deluxe coach bus and went to Zidell Yards on the West side of the Willamette just North of the Ross Island Bridge. In a very orderly manner people set up their tables one after another in three straight lines. Neighborly conversation began immediately as each table became acquainted.
Accordion players sauntered among us as we popped the bubbly and shook our white napkins to the sky. There were yard-long sparklers handed out, a DJ for dancing under the stars and plenty of contented sighs as folks just lapped up the this beautiful vision of a gorgeous Summer evening. My dear friend Amy was celebrating her birthday that day and I couldn't image a bigger party for this gal.
We were told 700 people were attending this year, which means #DEBPDX is growing in leaps and bounds. If this kind of thing tickles you too...I encourage you to register on their site for the waiting list so you can grab a spot at next year's Diner en Blanc. I know I will be there again.
This year we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our home for two other families. I always love it when a group full of people takes the time to express what they are grateful for but didn't want people to feel put on the spot. So during our cocktail time I had everyone write down something they were thankful for on a piece of paper and slip it into a beautiful fabric bag. Then right before dinner we passed around the bag and each person read one note out loud. If they drew there own they were encouraged to put it back and pull out another one. Some of these were so brilliant I couldn't resist sharing. Here is what a group of people were thankful for in our Thanksgiving dinner game...
- for warmth
- 4 being so cool. lol
- for people who know how to think for themselves
- two arms - two legs
- for freckles
- our health
- dreams coming true!
- endless opportunities to learn and grow
- for myself
- for this past summer
- my family
- One of the table's favorites was 'for freckles' what a great response and I didn't even write it but I do love 'em.
So in case you didn't know...I love self portrait photography. Have loved it for many years. Here is one of my first ones taken in 1998.
In November I set free a concept I'd be harboring since my first self portrait explorations in 1998. A DIY photo booth set up in my portrait studio. I call it Foto Playground™. Folks can rent out this space for 30 minute chunks and do all kinds of crazily delicious photos with the privacy of my studio walls. Feel inspired? Here are some of my favorite self-portraits.
Look what's a local chocolate confectionary Alma Chocolate has been cooking up for Valentines Day. It's so exquisitely beautiful I don't even know if I'm willing to eat it because I sure like looking at it so much.
So I'm thrilled to have Missionary Chocolates to tantalize
my tastebuds with their amazing vegan chocolate truffles. Raspberry hearts make my heart go pitter pat and literaly melt in your mouth but their chipotle-cinnamon spiced truffle is really to die for.
Owner Melissa Barry is full of great new ways to share her truffles with the world. Ladies - join her for her Wonder Woman Chocolate Party at the Wonder Ballroom on February 19th. Simply wonderful.
You may have noticed I have a thing for costumery. My mother had some meaning sewing skills and a penchant for helping us fulfill our Halloween fantasy. Besides candy you can clearly see that my favorite costume leaned towards the ballerina-princess archetype. Do you remember the store bought Halloween costumes my brothers are donning? I bet they had to beg and barter for my mom to leave her sewing machine and head to the drugstore for those. They probably could bear to be a clown one more year. Those guys also taught me the valuable technique of using a pillowcase for your tick-or-treat haul. As a kid, I took this holiday very seriously at least once I was old enough to understand the significance of candy holidays.
I love exploring vintage shops in Portland. If you find the right shop it can be like exploring grandma's attic. The Old Portland Hardware & Architectural store on 41st and Division is a stunning amalgam of architectural objects like doors and windows, intriguing custom lighting and curiosities. What I particularly love is the artful way they are arranged. Owner Bret Hodgert doesn't just throw door plates in a drawer he meticulously arranges them on the wall so they almost become an art installation by themselves.
The old film holders in the lower right corner came home with me. In fact I cleaned him out and now have a box of these sitting under my desk awaiting my show. I was thinking of stringing them up and hanging photos like an oldschool darkroom.
My new friend Sue from SAID interior design suggested I swing by Bernadette Brue in SE Portland for a visit. She knew about my fondness for beautiful, old things and she didn't steer me wrong. This large retail space was choc-a-bloc full of interesting objects, furniture, toys, light fixtures and all-around great treasures. There were several things I fell in love with including an old farmhouse butcher block table that seemed to have experienced a lot of life and this gorgeous little settee bedecked in red velvet. Stunning. Want to go discover a little something for yourself? Bicycle on over to 1338 SE 6th Avenue.