A fall bounty of new shops, products and ideas to feed your fantasies.
Earn your stripes
Pendleton’s National Parks blankets celebrate your favorite outdoor spots from Yellowstone to Crater Lake with vivid colors and cozy 100% virgin wool perfect for the season’s dropping temperatures. The updated classics are well worth the price for both quality and their timeless style. E.H.
$168-$298; Pendleton Woolen Mills, pendleton-usa.com
If you’ve been using the same overly processed commercial soap for years, it’s time to switch over to something better for your body and the earth. The vegan, organic soaps from Prunella Soap make it possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Suds up with the cold process soaps made in small batches in downtown Portland. Invigorate in the morning with Stumptown coffee-infused soap or relax at night with a lavender/vanilla/oatmeal/mint combo. You’ll feel squeaky clean and have the satisfaction of knowing you aren’t putting anything bad for the environment down your drain. E.H.
$4.50-$6.50; Prunella Soap, etsy.com/shop/prunellasoap
On the one hand, the zebra print Garbo chair commands attention. On the other hand, the high back offers hiding when you “vant to be alone.” It’s a complicated contradiction — just like the enigmatic silver screen star. V.M.
Garbo chair by Jessica Charles, about $1,390, at Parker Furniture Design Center in Beaverton and Edman Furniture in Eugene
Metalworker Diana “Micki” Voohries made garden gates, stakes and trellises but was smitten by fancy footwear. Lusting after a pair of peep-toe pumps she saw in a Eugene shop, she decided to make a pair of shoes from scrap metal. The results look like something a sexy robot might wear. Voohries worked out a trade with the store owner – sculptural heels for wearable ones – and soon found herself making more shoes than a cobbler.
“I take found objects — hardware, old tools, stuff found rummaging through garage sales — and start building,” she says.
A discarded drill bit becomes a stiletto. A bit of mesh forms a shoe top. An old bicycle chain makes a trendy T-strap. A single sculptural shoe goes for about $170. The Blue River artist sells at art shows and at the Eugene Saturday Market from the day after Thanksgiving through Dec. 24, but is reluctant to sell through shops and galleries.
“These are so much my babies and so personal,” she says, “I really need to meet the people and hear the feedback.”
The comment she most often hears?
“I would wear these if they were real shoes,” she says.
Voohries is taking the next step in footwear. She’s enrolled in a cobbling class. V.M.
In the bag
Reusable shopping bags are so 2010. Go modern with hand-printed reusable produce bags from Oh, Little Rabbit. The super soft organic cotton bags come in designs to suit everyone, from images of Mason jars to tubas. Fill them with local fruits and veggies or bulk grains and Mother Earth will thank you for banning the bag. E.H.
$15 for a set of two sizes; Oh, Little Rabbit;
Solid as a rock
Even though wool is a naturally renewable material, it would be very un-Oregon of us to not recycle our holey sweaters after it becomes apparent that so-last-season will never become retro-chic again. Fiber artist Heidi Leugers turns post-consumer wool — we’re talking the cuffs, seams, the whole nine yards — into decorative wool stones for your home. Yes, stones. Each one is modeled after a real beach or river rock. Line them up on a coffee table or display a few in a simple bowl for the perfect eco-friendly decor. E.H.
In 2003, mother and daughter Gina and Anahata Katkin launched a greeting card business. Their artful designs soon migrated to all kinds of lifestyle products sold in gift shops around the world.
Papaya! Living, their first freestanding store, opened this spring in Ashland. The style is global and vintage and very now.
Look for cards, journals, framed prints, totes, pillows and other lifestyle products designed by Papaya! Living artists in Oregon. V.M.
Giclee prints starting $48; 33 N. Main St., Ashland;
As the leaves begin to fall, the most coveted home item is the perfect throw for snuggling on the couch. We may have found the holy grail of coziness with handwoven alpaca throws made in Oregon wine country by Bōdmer. With mostly natural colors, the elegant, subtle striping on the throws means you won’t mind leaving them out on the couch for easy access the next time you need to cuddle up. E.H.
Prices vary; bodmerblankets.com
Eat your veggies
If you’re looking for something to add classy kitsch to your kitchen, look no further than these vegetable-shaped serving boards from Out of the Woods of Oregon. Made from local red alder and shaped like eggplants, onions and more, the serving boards are perfect for crudités or a smattering of crackers and dip. E.H.
The Lovejoy Trio Pendant light fixture will inject light and simple style into your home with its soothing organic curves. Originally designed for a bakery, the hand-crafted lights evoke mixing bowls and bread dough. E.H.
$895; Fix Studio, fixpdx.com
Sustainable Northwest Wood sources local, sustainably harvested wood from Oregon and Washington for flooring, furniture, cabinets and more. They make it easy to buy local and sustainable with their affordable prices and range of beautiful hardwoods and lumber. Pictured is flooring made of character-grade madrone from a sunny forest in Southern Oregon. E.H.
Sustainable Northwest Wood; snwwood.com
Persia was renamed Iran. Rhodesia became Zimbabwe. And don’t forget Halfway, Ore., put its name on the map when it changed to Half.com.
All this makes geography lessons a little confusing. Classroom cast-offs see new life as decorative elements at the Astoria Coffeehouse & Bistro.
“I had a collection of globes,” says James Defeo, who owns the bistro in this historic coastal town with partner Anthony Danton. “And people started to bring in their globes.”
A custom mix of olive green, cobalt blue and gray wall paint — Defeo calls it Astoria Green — changes dramatically with the light and sets off the globes.
Take design tips from the creative Defeo, who also stenciled the concrete floor of the former garage to look like old tiles. He and Danton “rummaged yard sales and scoured the Rebuilding Center and Rejuvenation in Portland” for trim to pay homage to Astoria’s Victorian history. They had tables and booths built from salvaged wood.
“It’s a Renaissance,” he says of recent changes in Astoria. “It’s a nice mix of the artist community and the working class community.” V.M.
243 11th St., Astoria; astoriacoffeehouse.com
Portland mixed-media sculptor Ivan McLean tames soft woods, hard metals and colorful glass into impressive works seen everywhere that's anywhere, from The Nines Hotel in Portland to discriminating private collections across the country. His ability to evoke the soft, sultry curves of a torso out of wood or the hard jagged lines of steel on a large scale make him one of Oregon’s most multi-talented — and sought after — artists. Even if you aren't a big-time collector you too can own a piece of his work. His coat racks featuring whimsical creatures tumbling across the tops of your discarded outerwear. Add an unexpected twist to an object we can certainly use in Oregon. E.H.
Carved from a single block of marble this Stone Forest soaking tub is the Michelangelo of baths. It comes with a masterpiece price. V.M.
In the midst of a moving mess, illustrator Kathleen Rossi longed for a little creative control. “The house I was in, the yard was all dirt,” she says. “I needed to make something beautiful.” She decided to turn to miniature gardening.
The results are lovely Lilliputians complete with teensy winding pathways, grazing deer and garden statuary. She offers a free online DIY guide to gardening small. “It’s just kind of a way for me to inspire people and inspire myself,” she says of her artful blog. “It’s a creative outlet.” In her day job, the Medford illustrator designs lovely prints, decorative bags, water bottles and other lifestyle products for the fast-growing Papaya! Living in Ashland. V.M.
For DIY instructions on miniature gardens
Looking for that perfect gift for a hard-to-please recipient or need art for your home but don't know where to begin? Check out Trillium Artisans, a nonprofit business development organization that works with about 50 artists in the Portland area. The organization helps local crafters start — and grow — sustainable small businesses. They make items from recycled and reclaimed materials — everything from old sweaters to unwanted records become objets d'art in the hands of the Trillium crafters. The iconic three-petal trillium flower that grows so prolifically in Oregon reflects the triple bottom line that Trillium Artisans stand for: people, planet and profit. Through their website, Etsy shop and brick-and-mortar store in Southeast Portland’s Lents neighborhood, the artists are able to showcase their varying skills while earning a living wage. E.H.
Prices vary; trilliumartisans.etsy.com;
Jed and Noelle Teuber believe in a timeless modern aesthetic. At their store furnish. in Bend, they have a perfectly curated selection of furniture, accessories, bedding and more that will fit into any home, even if you think you can’t pull off the modern look. The simple lines of their products maximize function while being beautiful, making furnish. the foremost place to go for modern or contemporary furniture in Central and Southern Oregon. E.H.
High-end furniture to gifts under $40; furnishdesign.com;
Sitting in the hot seat
The open design of the Giddyup Stool by QuarterTwenty is customizable with more base finishes and leather, fabric or wood seating choices than you could ever imagine. We love the simple powdercoated base with Marimekko fabric for a pop of color or the high-end industrial look of a natural steel base with a reclaimed cherry wood seat. E.H.