Sunday, December 20, 2009

Talented Artists and Craftspeople of Oregon, Washington and California

I've been holding on to these cards since, gee, October? My hope was to share the word about these talented artisans here to help them and to help YOU find some great gifts for family and friends. Well, it's too late for Christmas and I only have a few minutes, but in the interest of getting it done (and clearing my desk before Christmas), here's a taste:

Terramonary - At the Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Goleta, I purchased a BEAUTIFUL teapot made by Ramona Clayton. (I'll post pix later if I get a chance.) Her pottery is very well made and unique. Plus, she offers great customer service. Pricey? Yes, but it was worth giving in to the impulse (with Mr. B egging me on, too). :)

At Saturday Market in Portland, I particularly enjoyed these crafters:

Pterylae - Incredibly intricate, finely made art pieces, some of which may be used as jewelry, others designed for display. The artist, Adam Stare, was creating as we walked by and I was mesmerized. Using various color threads and fine wires, he winds patters around acrylic rectangles to create beautiful pieces.

Sky & Itzel Spehar (no website, but you can find them at spehars AT - individually handcrafted works (including a barrette I couldn't go without) made of copper, German silver and bronze with lacquer finish.

Rei Garden - Handmade wearable art, lots of wonderful felted pieces, by Reiko Archer of Vernonia, Oregon. Click here to see the amazing things she can make!

KittyBabyLove - Handmade beeswax items, including cute, round kitty-shaped crayons, by Sara and Ben. Candles, coloring books and other cute things, too.

Shabby KnapSack, Lizzy Originals
- I don't often buy clothes for myself, and it's even LESS often that I purchase a NICE piece of clothing for myself. I went off the deep end and picked up one of the one-of-a-kind applique wraps Lizzy Myers makes. I'm not sure I'd suggest buying them online. I tried on a few before I found just the right one. Due to the various materials she uses, each hangs differently. The first one nearly had me convinced NONE would look good on me, but when I tried another made of more pliable material, it hung nicely. I'm stoked with my unusual, but still somewhat dressy new addition!

While at Marshall Gold Discover State Historic Park's holiday gathering, it's true I was disappointed in the caliber of MOST of the booths. But there was ONE exception:

Mary Stained Glass (no website yet, but you can reach her at marymaliff AT yahoo DOt com) - lovely, homemade stained glass pieces. Her emphasis at this, her first, craft fair was holiday ornaments. I particularly appreciated the personal touches. Some of my favorites - a 6" angel wrapped loosely in wire; the kayak-toting snowman; a rounded buggy type car with a kayak on the roof. She also had cut-glass wind chimes and other lovely items.

And where food was concerned there wasn't a lot to be excited about, but the fresh chestnuts were lovely:
T&L Chestnuts (no website, but Tlchestnut3 AT yahoo DOT com) - Tony and Lilly Sacki of Georgetown, CA harvest chestnuts October through November. They were on hand to roast the nuts (yes, over an open fire) and provide pointers. We've tried to do the chestnut thing, but the grocery store here turns out nuts at a high price, 80 percent of which have been mildewed inside. We'll be ordering from here in future. The secret, Lilly said, is to store then in a paper bag in the produce drawer of your fridge. Unfortunately, the grocery store wasn't aware they should never be kept in plastic for any period of time.

And finally, if you ever find yourself ANYWHERE NEAR Roseville, California, and you enjoy Indian food (or would like a great first experience), head to Priya. The girls and I were at a nearby store picking up a stand for their newly cut Christmas tree when E spotted this restaurant at lunchtime. She said, "Mom, have you ever had Indian food? What's it like?" Well, the best way to explain it is to try it.

You need to understand that I haven't had Indian food since a VERY bad experience (involving beetles) at an Indian food joint in London in 1991. I knew it was a matter of THAT restaurant having issues, but still, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Far be it from me, however, to forever taint my children's tastes with my own stories, so I kept my mouth shut and we headed inside.

The restaurant was serving buffet style, and the family that runs it was all eating there, too. (Always a good sign.) The buffet allowed us to taste a bit of everything. Our family favorite? Definitely the butter chicken, though I really enjoyed the goat stew and spicier offerings, too. The rice pudding with cardamom pods and other wonderful flavors was to die for!

Unfortunately, we're too far away from Roseville (or the other location in Chico, which I suspect is equally good, though I can't vouch for it) to enjoy this treat very often. Anyone know some SUPER SCRUMPTIOUS recipes for Southern Indian meals!?

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  1. I don't even want to KNOW what your bad experience was (ok, I sort of do...fatal curiosity and all), but this place in SLO is really good!

    Their Sunday buffet is YUM and the mango/milk drink (can't remember the name right now) but it is TO DIE FOR!!

  2. Well, Janice, the bad experience involved some tasty Indian cuisine which involved an extra crunch. Upon further inspection, however, I found not some tasty morsel of nuts or vegetable, even fruit, but a half-eaten beetle (you know where the other half went)! Certainly it had to do with the cleanliness of the kitchen. Then again, I thought it MIGHT be a regular addition.

    Thanks for introducing me to LOCAL Indian. I'm up for trying it. Maybe you can join us there soon! (?)

    (Oh, and that milk/mango drink is a lasse. And we like 'em, too.)


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