Idyllic living in Sauvie Island

Oct 29, 2011

My daughter's class took a field trip to Sauvie Island yesterday, and I was one of the chaperones.  Located just ten miles out of town, Sauvie Island is a wildlife and agricultural haven.  The u-pick farms are a particularly popular destination for locals during the summer and fall months. 

The school bus dropped us off at the historic Bybee Howell house.  Built in 1856, the restored house is now owned by the Oregon Historical Society.   As I peered through the windows, I was saddened to see that the house sat unfurnished and unoccupied.  It's no longer open to the public, but folks can still walk around the grounds and pick fruit (free of charge) from the small orchard in the back.

Standing on the back porch of the house and looking out, I imagined that living on Sauvie Island a century ago wasn't all too different from what it's like today-  kids chasing each other between trees, flocks of canada geese flying overhead, and the sound of the autumn leaves rustling in the wind.  For just a moment, I basked in the timelessness.

I love living in the city, but I also love to retreat to the country.  Time is measured by the digital world in one place and by seasons in the other.  Since I'm not ready to give up my urban lifestyle quite yet, I am thankful to have a place like Sauvie Island just a short drive away. 

New work, "Wanderlust"

Oct 24, 2011

Wanderlust, my latest mixed media painting on 18 x 24 in. wood panel

work in progress

After a six week painting hiatus, I'm back at it and have finished my largest painting so far this year.  You may remember me working on it in this video.  After concentrating on smaller pieces for the past two years,  I'm looking forward to the challenge of working on bigger paintings in upcoming months.  

I'm all about night scenes lately.  I like to create dramatic contrast with colors, but it's more than just aesthetics. I am drawn to the quiet of the night.  In a day and age when information and noise are constant in city living, my landscape paintings are an escape from the busyness of man's world.  And at night, the peacefulness of the wilderness seems to be magnified even more. 

Wanderlust is currently available in my Etsy shop.  You can read more about it here.  

Art installation for Prana

Oct 17, 2011

Sketching out the mural design on my chalkboard wall.
The yoga apparel line, Prana, is opening a new store in Portland, and they have asked me to "tattoo" the inside of it!  Shown above is a sneak peek of one of the designs that I'll be installing in their yoga studio space.

The new Prana store will be part of the popular walking and shopping street of NW 23rd, just across the street from dessert destination Papa Haydn.  The store opens in a few weeks, and I'll be working on the art installation during the opening event.  I've never painted in front of a crowd before, so I'm curious to see how it goes! Once I have more information about the opening, I'll be sure to pass it along.

I swoon for Pendleton

Oct 12, 2011

I've been focused on a big client project (will tell soon) since returning from Ireland.  Yesterday, I needed a little break, so I headed to the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store.  The store is just a ten minute drive from my home, but this was my first visit.

I dragged my husband along and the second we stepped foot into the large warehouse, he knew that he had a rabid Pendleton fan on his hands.  My eyes got really big, I had a huge smile on my face, and I turned to him and said this is my Disneyland!

It is really quite amazing how powerless I am to bolts of exquisite fabrics.  And there were so many beautiful fabrics to look at, my eyes were speed jumping from one pattern to the next! Then, I turned the corner and saw this spectacular space.

It's an enormous showroom of blankets and tapestries- one of my favorites being the gray panel on the right. My husband noticed the floors right away, which is the original hardwood flooring from the Pendleton Mill.

The initial reason for the store visit was the remnant table.  I was thinking of making some throw pillows for our couch, until I found a queen size wool remnant I couldn't resist.  It would go perfectly with the rustic headboard we made last spring!  The wool fabric just needed a finished edge,  so, I bought ten yards of wool tape at the store for $1/yd.  The total for the remnant, edging, and cute little pouch (in first photo) came to $55, which I thought was a great deal considering Pendleton blankets go for upwards of $200 - $300. 

It took me about two hours to double stitch the binding onto the blanket's edge, which includes the cutting and pinning.  My husband is thinking that we should give blankets to family for Christmas, but I'm already talking about making blankets for our future cabin in the woods!

image via The Portland Collection blog

I love good fashion as much as I do good blankets, so I was pretty much freaking out when I saw this new collection online.   It's called Pendleton, The Portland Collection (TPC), and it just launched a few weeks ago.  The three designers all hail from Portland, and, together, they have created a stunning collection that marries modern, indie fashion with Pendleton heritage.  This video captures bits of their inspiration, work space, and creative journey.

How to recover deleted and lost digital photos

Oct 10, 2011

Technical glitches from time to time are expected for a regular computer user.  Unfortunately, I had my most serious tech calamity while in Ireland.  Within just a few short moments, thousands of images from the past five years were deleted. 

Staring at an empty photo library is an eerie and heart-sinking experience, especially knowing it's been several months since the files were backed up.  I actually thought about backing up my files before the trip, but the task kept getting pushed off.  (Lesson learned for next time!) 

I lost all the images on my camera's memory card as well as the photos in Aperture, my photo application.  And seeing that the computer failure happened in a tiny coastal town, my tech options were limited.  I did have access to the internet, however, so I was able to browse tech forums for some helpful tips.  I learned that a photo library can sometimes be recovered by holding down a couple of keys while restarting the photo application, but no such luck for me.  The only way I could salvage the deleted files would be to download data recovery software.   

Even though a file is accidentally deleted, it is not permanently gone until it is written over with new data.  As long as I kept my computer use to a minimum and didn't take any more pictures with my camera,  I knew that I could recover a lot of my erased files.  After some quick comparative shopping on the internet, I ended up going with CardRaider to recover lost images from my camera's memory card.  I was able to retrieve over 130 files, including the short video I took at the Cliffs of Moher!  About 15% of my photos were lost or damaged for good (like the two photos above), but, at $20, CardRaider proved to be well worth the purchase.  And it was a breeze to use.   
Since I didn't have an external hard drive with me, I waited to retrieve images from my erased Aperture library after returning home from our Ireland trip.  When I got home, the situation became even more dire when I realized a lot of our family photos from the last five years had been backed up on an external hard drive that I accidentally dropped and broke earlier in the year. Big sigh.

I downloaded the data recovery software Disk Drill in hopes that I could recover most of the photos, and I'm thrilled to say that I'm still weeding through thousands of salvaged images.  Like the recovered files on the memory card, there were a number of corrupt photos.  But I'm just happy to have again some memorable photos of the family. 

Hopefully, something like this won't ever happen to you, but just in case it does, I thought I'd pass some information along.  And, if you do decide to go with Disk Drill, watch this helpful video first- there's a 15% discount code at the end you can apply to your purchase. 

things i'm fond of today

Oct 3, 2011

>> emily barletta's thread and paper series

>> pattern by sandra dieckmann
>> ballpoint pen drawing by linda kim

>> porcelain bangles // a golden ink collaboration

>> anni albers, always a favorite

>> acrylic and graphite work by hollis brown thornton

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