I used to think I didn’t like Portland much, but I’ve decided it’s about time I reconsider. I spent most of the day in the city yesterday, and really, it was pretty great. I used the January meeting of the Portland Preservation Society as my excuse for heading north, but the idea of having a whole day to myself was pretty enticing, too.
A couple days ago, I found out that my friend Margot of margotbianca was also going to be in Portland installing some of her artwork in a downtown public building. I had never met Margot face to face before, but we hooked up through Etsy and have had an active correspondence for the last two-ish years. Margot lives in Bellingham, Washington, and though I’d been trying to find an excuse to be in her neighborhood for a while, it wasn’t working out. When I heard that we were going to be in the same town on the same day, I knew that I’d have to find a way to connect with her.
In the afternoon, I met Margot in The Portland Building where she was up on a ladder hanging her art from the ceiling as part of a gig sponsored by the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC). We ended up talking for over two hours about Etsy, salmon fishing, the state of jobs in the fine art field, small houses, the beautiful and ugly things about living in the internet age, SLR cameras, New Mexico, hippie parents, and so much more. I was so glad to find out that she was at least as fun and nice and interesting as I hoped she would be. I’ve promoted her stuff on this blog before, but I would again encourage you to buy a gift or something for yourself out of her Etsy shop (like I have on multiple occasions), or if you’re in Portland in the next month or so, go check out her exhibit. There are some more details about the RACC program here (and I’m hoping Margot’s profile will show up on that page soon, or you can get more info from her artist’s Facebook page).
After chatting with Margot, I made a quick trip to Powell’s and came away with The Cheesemaker’s Apprentice, which looks pretty promising and includes gorgeous photos from Leela Cyd Ross, editor of Tea Cup Tea (a pretty cute, newish blog).
In the evening, I headed over to the January meeting of the Portland Preservation Society, hosted by Brooke (of the cute Etsy shop Little Canoe) and her housemate Marta. Last month, I attended the December meeting, so I already knew a few people who were there. I also chatted quite a bit with a couple (slightly nervous) newcomers. This month’s meeting was the biggest one on record for PPS, so there was a ton of good stuff to choose from (although a few of the things I had my eye on got snatched up before I could get my hands on them). I contributed six jars of strawberry-marionberry jam made with honey (no sugar), and I took home the following: pickled kumquats, sweet and spicy asian pickled carrots, marmalade syrup, quince slices in chai syrup, roasted garlic and lemon mustard, and cranberry-grapefruit marmalade. I will be eating well this winter for sure.
Sadly, I won’t be able to make it to the next PPS meeting because I have a Grange meeting on the same day, but I will be back to Portland sooner rather than later. Promise.