The Artist & Craftsman Supply Store at 612 St. Helens in the Antique Row area of Tacoma opened in November 2016. Dear husband and I finally made our way down there and really we were very impressed. Dear husband has been in many an art supply store, but he declared this to be the best stocked that he has ever seen. We picked up some Easter basket stuffers, a book, some paint and some photo-transfer sheets. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and I’m positive we’ll be back.
Artists & Craftsman is an employee owned company with many stores, mostly along the country’s coasts. There is a website for the company. The Tacoma Artist & Craftsman store has a Facebook Page with information on upcoming events and sales. Educators receive a 10% discount.
The building, constructed in 1928, was originally the Wagner Motors Building with Silas E. Nelsen as the architect. It was the dealership for Studebaker – Erskine. It continued to have an automobile orientation until 1949 when it became a carpet distributor. I remember it being the Mandarin Antiques Store. Artist and Craftsman occupies most of the lower level of the building.
Update one week later. It finally stopped raining for a few minutes and I got a photo of the outside of the building.
I wanted to spend some time with my dog, Lilly, so I asked her what she wanted to do. She suggested a full day of doggie treats and napping. But taking a walk was a solid second choice. So off we went to Bresemann Forest in Spanaway Park, next to the Sprinker Recreation Center. Just the word forest brings up an image of mysterious woods to me, so I was pretty excited. There is a lovely metal archway leading into the forest and plenty of parking next to it. The trails were clean, well maintained and unmarked, so we just set off along the main trail. Almost immediately I noticed a big dog coming toward us on a leash. Knowing that my dog is insane and will bark her head off (its us, not you), we veered to the smaller trail and didn’t see anybody else the rest of our stroll. Despite the fact that the weather guy promised only clouds it started to rain, so we didn’t stay as long as originally planned. I hear there is a quaint bridge and a pond, but that will have to wait.
Next to the forest is a huge rock designed for climbing and there were about 25 people there learning the ropes (so to speak).
So a group of us are traveling through downtown Portland, looking for a place to eat and some light shopping when my friend spies Boys Fort (902 SW Morrison St, # 97205
Portland, OR 97205). We have to go she says! Well OK. Sounds like camping supplies to me, but I’m up for it. But no camping supplies, it was an eccentric gift store…really it was several gift stores under one roof and they were all full of interesting things. Their website says “Boys Fort is a carefully curated collection of local, handmade products and vintage one of a kind finds. With over one hundred local and regional makers represented at Boys Fort, the product mix presented ranges from grooming products like mustache wax and beard oil to hand forged jewelry and leather goods to beautifully crafted furniture. Many local artists are incorporated into the mix, with a wide variety of styles for every taste and point of view”.
The Oregon Convention Center features some wonderful public art and one of my favorites is Principia, the world’s largest Foucault Pendulum. The Convention Center’s art guide says this about the piece “The dramatic Foucalt pendulum hangs from the north tower and swings across a 40’ halo of suspended gilded rays. Directly below, a 40’ blue terrazzo floor is inlaid with brass rings and colored stone “planets” depicting a fantasy solar system.”. It is a beautiful creation and I suspect that many people don’t notice it gently swaying over head nor the terrazzo floor underfoot.
Very short videos can be seen here and here. A brief explanation of the history and importance of the Foucault Pendulum can be found on Wikipedia. A fun way to see the art is to go to the convention center’s 360 page and look at the Exhibit Space, Pre-conference Halls A & B.
So I went to a conference and all of the attendees were offered free doughnuts. And not just any doughnuts, but Voodoo Doughnuts! So off my friends and I went. I ended up with a huge rectangular treat with chocolate frosting and it was delectable!
Our prize was at Voodoo Doughnut Too (2) at 1501 NE Davis Street, Portland, OR. The chain, which now has six locations, is known for outlandish doughnuts, a colorful and unique store and legal weddings. The first location opened in 2003 and this location opened in 2008. Their newest location opened just this month along the CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood, CA. More information, including photos of many of their other doughnuts, can be found on their website.
Holladay Park at the NE 11th Ave & Holladay St. in Portland, Oregon is named after its creator, Benjamin Holladay who was “a sharpster, a con man, and a rake” according to the City of Portland Parks and Recreation Department. The park occupies an entire city block and features three cast-bronze sculptures by artist Tad Savinar and a spouting fountain (I just got caught once!) designed by designed by Tim Clemen and Murase Associates.
Auburn has some terrific public art and today I braved the cold rain to capture two of the best. The delightful piece is called “Gear Ball” and it is by Jenny Ellsworth. It is made of truck parts and is part of the Auburn Downtown Sculpture Gallery.
Greg Bartol and Deborah Drllevich’s Silverware Ostrich earned the People’s Choice award in 2015. It is a great piece from a car drive by, but I’m so glad I got out of the car to really take a look at it. It is made out of silverware!
More about art in Auburn can be found here. I plan to go back when the weather turn nice (hopefully soon!) and see all the other pieces!
There was a rally today (2/25) against Washington State Initiative 1552, which would “repeal critical protections for transgender Washingtonians” (Source). The news reports that there were over 2,000 people there and I readily believe that. I was delighted to see many people I know there supporting themselves and their transgendered friends and family. I started at the railing, but moved up to the sky bridge, where the view was better, though it was more difficult to hear (of course).
I was standing on the sky bridge when a young mother came out with her child who was maybe three. They walked over to see the cheering crowd and she turn to her child and said “look how many people love us!”. It was a lovely moment.
Later I found my first Tacoma Rocks Rock which I later hid. Oh and there is a photo of a flower on my table at lunch and some of the old buildings on the University of Washington Campus.
Dear husband and I were recently in West Seattle and I took the chance to check out some folk art, roadside attractions. The first stop was at 5274 44th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA and that home had some wonderful tree carvings in the front. Dear husband especially enjoyed the fairy hanging out on the chimney. The roadside attraction info can be found here. This is a private residence, but the art can readily be seen from the street.
The second stop was the nearby Walker Rock Garden at 5407 37th SW, Seattle, WA. I remember going to see this rock garden more than 20 years ago when it was open one Mother’s Day. I was so impressed. Here are some older photos from when I begged a peek. The amazing rockery was created by Milton and Florence Walker and the property has since sold. I’m not sure of any future plans, but it would be so wonderful if it was again opened up to the public on special occasions. The roadside attraction information can be found here and there is an Atlas Obscura entry, with some good photos, that can be found here. This is a private residence and not open to the public.
My group had a tour of the Pierce County Library Administration Building at 3005 112th St E. Tacoma, WA 98446-2215 and I loved getting to see where the books come into the library system and are process. I didn’t realize there is actually a small public library in the lobby of the building. I’m especially enamored with the wonderful, space saving shelving that wheels flush. And there was a glimpse of the bookmobile! Little known fact, I applied to drive/manage the bookmobile many a year ago! Anyway it was a great tour.