“An enchanting land of rocky ocean capes, thundering waves, secluded beaches and forests, shellfish flats, dairy cows grazing in lush green fields, and delicious cheese and ice cream awaits you. Crowds? Only at the cheese factory. Congestion? Very few stop lights encountered. Freeways? Forget it! “
March 17th, Saturday I was gifted with a trip from the High Desert to the Oregon Coast for a whole week as my dear, close friend D’s guest. D & her wonderful husband own a lovely little place right on the beach that she has generously invited me to before. So Saturday morning with her gift of the invite which had been in place for weeks my husband chauffeured me to Salem where my friend D was also graciously waiting to pick me up. Before heading west to the beach we spent some time in A MOST AMAZING PLACE CALLED Crafter’s Warehouse. Both my friend and I are paper artists, creating hand crafted cards is a passion we both experience – very similar to a zen like meditation. Three and half hours after my husband leaving me in good company and safely driving west we arrived at D’s Sand Castle with plenty of daylight left for ocean viewing right outside her picture perfect window creating the most beautiful piece of animated art – hung right above her sofa. Strikingly beautiful.
The entire week was amazing. Going from an elevation of around 4,500′ to sea level in about 6 hours is a bump on the body. At least for someone who has a chronic central nervous system maladies the drastic drop in elevation can cause muscle soreness in the shoulders. Waist up and involving cervical issues. Sometimes there is great punishment of the body making these treks, but to not make the visits to the coast would be like turning my nose up to a certain treatments offered to the soul.
A week away to my Oregon coast is always a sweet delight. Having a week away with a friend who is much like-minded in many ways, is a gift. I was blessed to have been given both at the same time. Seven nights and eight days spent watching the ocean outside the window, talking till our jaws were sore, drinking coffee and up late because no one else would mind, eating when we wanted, what we wanted, and a bit of shopping for our “addictions” Paper art supplies…. bliss. Complete bliss.
The week started with my husband being once again my knight in shining armor by agreeing to drive me to the coast as my friend D had been there for a few weeks ahead of me. Since I’m grounded from my wheels my husband had planned on driving the distance and possibly staying one night before heading back home. A one way trip can take anywhere from 6 to 7 hours, doing a round trip is possible just not desirable. But always thinking about “Plan B” my friend D had a suggestion. And an ulterior motive if truth be known. A motive that worked for both her & I very well. D suggested that she drive half way to us, so in fact my husband & I met my friend D half way. Salem is a magnificent spot and has this store we do not have here at home in Bend. For people who have any creative bones in their body the mere name will suggest images you will drool over. The name of this place which was our ulterior motive is called Crafter’s Warehouse. And it’s just as the name suggests. But I have to say I was quite impressed with how the store is merchandises, all brand name items in sections of their own. Unlike the name warehouse would imply where all items no matter what brand name are lumped into one huge section. The warehouse image came in to play when it came to prices. I was more than impressed by the discount prices on items I usually pay full retail for because finding them at home is difficult. If my bank account is any clue to the savings I took advantage of than there was huge savings I absorbed. We were able to take advantage of this store twice. Once when I was met on the way by my friend D, and again on our way home the following weekend.
The Crafter’s Warehouse was not to be out done. Although D & I spent the majority of our time in her lovely and sweet sand castle doing the things we love the most when spending girlfriend time together we found another store that was killer as my grand kids say. We did all that we wanted, Creating cards, watching Downton Abbey for the second time for each of us, drinking coffee into the night, we did spend one afternoon driving south on hwy 101 to Lincoln City for a visit to a Local Scrapbooking Store. This is one of my favorite things to do as a paper artist shopping for supplies and tools, shopping at local stores in the small towns and cities I adore visiting. Another peek into my checking account would tell on me, thankfully my husband never has a need to see itemized statements and he’s so supportive of this passion that keeps me out of trouble. After some shopping for items I know we both could not do without we did some grocery shopping for some necessities and then back north. It was a lovely drive, seeing downed trees all along the highway, Mother Nature’s incredible force, literally uprooting trees from their roots and laying them on their sides.
Back winding our way through Garibaldi and home into Rockaway we stopped and had Chinese Food at D’s favorite spot .Garibaldi is another sweet town just south of Rockaway, a beach town that has always been a part of my history. One of my ”always have to” places to shop is the Myrtle Wood Factory in Garibaldi Oregon. Myrtle Wood is deciduous to southern Oregon and Northern California, being the only two places in the world where it grows. It’s gorgeous wood, one that I wrote about regarding a carved elephant that is a gift from my husband to add to my collection. I found an interesting material called Banded Onyx this trip. It is found and mined in Pakistan. It was going to look perfect beside my collection of marble and other stones. So this is what I brought home for my husband. How could I resist?
Having Yummy Chinese food was a perfect and satisfying closure to a day out and about. We sat drinking hot tea - talking yet more and more. By this point I could hear my husband saying, “Really?” But D & I could talk and talk and still not run of things to talk about. If we did happen to run dry of things to discuss there would be none of that uncomfortable awkwardness some people feel when silence ensues between them. I’m sure that there are no strained silences that we would ever have take place, but we’ve not had the chance to test it yet so I’ll trust myself on this.
Creating hand crafted greeting cards are passions that D & I share. So much so that we have been wanting to go into part-time seasonal business together by renting a craft booth at the local holiday fairs when they hit this fall. I have had an inventory issue, creating enough inventory to sell. D seems to do much better than I but I am adamant about coming up with enough at least for a first year attempt.So much so that I am not even giving cards out as I usually do. But that has been my own nemesis, creating cards, and then gifting them all away. Along with greeting cards we’ll also have bookmarks, gift tags, memory and mini scrapbook albums where the buyer or their recipient will just have to add photos and journal any details to their own photos. It takes me anywhere from couple of hours to even 5 to 6 hours to create a card, especially if I am also creating th focal points. Or also referred to as the card toppers. I love to create hand-made paper flowers, embroidered flowers and sentiments, watercolor images for the focal on my cards then from there create the whole design layout. I had a friend tell me that receiving one of my cards is like receiving a small art piece with each card. I was so touched. What a special compliment to be given.
Rockaway is a small loved beach town I write of often and will continue to do so, It’s a love I’ll have as native Oregonian all my life. Our week came to an end much too quickly. As we both knew it would. On Saturday a week later after meeting we put D’s castle to bed and we left mid morning for Portland after having a quite breakfast and a shopping trip to one of the small beach town- 2nd hand stores that I am smitten with. I found some lovely things to gift my secret sister, and the coolest find of my whole trip, Vintage Basketball Cards from the 80′s & 90′s. Is that you laughing? Yeah? Oh I get it, vintage from 1980′s and 90′s? Yes, when you are 12 years old as is my perfect grandson. T collects NBA basketball cards and I found packages of a dozen cards per package for just $1.00 per pack and when my grandson was able to see what was there he was delighted. I did good he tells me.
Leaving Saturday we took our time heading east. We did some networking for an upcoming group trip to Portland by breaking our trip home up and spending the night in Clackamas at the lodging venue we are using as a group in May. This is an annual Shop Till You Drop Portland two night trip; and staying this one night helped us network with the manager and also make reservations for 9 rooms in person. It was a win – win situation as it also allowed us to break the trip onto two days, saving wear, tear and flare-ups on our own bodies.
It was a nice day and evening, having dinner out and back to the room for a birthday party courtesy of Skype. Very cool that D can be so much a part of her long distant families parties a very cool thing such as a grand child’s birthday party. That I was included touched me more than I can possibly even try to express. It was just really special.
We headed home the following morning after a breakfast of good food and really stroooonnng coffee. Really Stroong coffee…. another round at Crafter’s Warehouse, it could be some time before I’m back that way after all….. you know?
….and then we were eastward home.