Category Archives: lifestyle


Love and gratitude to Freunde von Freunden and Julie Pointer and Carissa Gallo for this interview. I am humbled. Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.34.38 AM

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by | June 10, 2015 · 9:42 am

Commercial building brought to new life

While we have posted about this project earlier this year, we cannot help but write again about Jason Leonard’s sweet project in NE Portland as it has just received some press on design sponge.

Check it out here

painted exterior

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Filed under color, Culture, design, exterior color, lifestyle, press

Information regarding my favorite record store

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 06:00 PM PDT

beacon sound



Portland record store and label Beacon Sound will be releasing a collaborative album by Peter Broderick (Efterklang) and Gabriel Saloman (Yellow Swans) in early 2014. This is the first time these two artists have worked together, despite sharing deep Portland roots as well as labels like Type and Mort Aux Vaches. They’ll be recording at Type Foundry Studio (Decemberists, Grails, Glass Candy) with audio engineer Jason Powers. There is a Kickstarter campaign happening right now to fund the vinyl edition of the album; it’s running for another week and is currently over 60% funded.

Artist Bios:

Peter Broderick is a multi-instrumentalist who grew up in Carlton, Oregon and played with Portland groups such as Horse Feathers and Loch Lomond. In 2007 he was invited to work with Danish group Efterklang (currently signed to 4AD) and moved to Berlin. Over the course of the last six years he has released several acclaimed solo albums on labels such as Type and Erased Tapes, collaborated with the likes of Machinefabriek and Nils Frahm, and traveled the world with Efterklang, who debuted their most recent album Piramida with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the iconic Sydney Opera House in May 2012.

Vancouver-based Gabriel Saloman was one half (with Pete Swanson) of influential noise duo Yellow Swans. Their prolific run of albums, EP’s, collaborations, and world tours culminated with the incredible Going Places on Type Records. He is also an accomplished artist and has been exhibited at the Walker Center, California College Of The Arts, and the Manifesta biennial in Murcia, Spain. His excellent debut solo album ‘Adhere’ (on Berlin label Miasmah) has garnered rave reviews.


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I met Julie Pointer at a YU Contemporary founders dinner, while she was there observing the art of the table and assisting John Taboada from Navarre with the preparation of the food and serving. The table, in my opinion, is roughly translated in how people come together to break bread, and the ways in which magic can happen when meals are shared and when one least expects it.

She has been attending a 2-year joint MFA program between PNCA and OCAC, called Applied Craft and Design.
The program focuses particularly on merging craft/design solutions with relevant social and environmental issues, and has an entrepreneurial push to it.

Julie has been observing time, place and environment, recently completing the massive undertaking of providing an artistic backdrop, along with table settings and pot luck assignments, for an outdoor meal. Gifting this, her thesis, to her direct neighbors and community where she lives in SE Portland, she created what I believe is so desired by many, that of creating relationships around sharing food together. I have been following her blog for awhile now, and am always amazed at her perception of beauty in the natural environment, the simplicity in which she weaves items together to create a whole new world for this one event. Whether through the invitations lovingly prepared or to the thought in which she chose the dinnerware, and brought together perfect strangers for a captivating event on May Day. She is someone to watch. The inspiration pages that she created as a backdrop for where she was headed with the final project are something that seems to have come from my dreams, I love the way her eyes and design sense capture exactly what I think is quite exquisite and complete to me.

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Filed under color, Culture, design, Furniture, landscape, lifestyle, nature

Art in the Garden Lecture:

Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan, Author Azby Brown

(images courtesy of Just Enough’s website)

Portland Japanese Garden hosts a lecture on green living next Friday, January 28th with Tokyo-based author Azby Brown.

Friday, January 28, 2011
5:30-7:30pm; Pavilion
$10 members / $15 non-members
Reservations required, space is limited
Purchase on-line or call (503) 542-0280

(from Portland Japanese Garden’s website)

Inspired by his first visit to Katsura Imperial Villa in the 1980s, Tokyo-based author Azby Brown went on to pursue a career in architectural design, ultimately writing The Genius of Japanese Carpentry and a number of other successful books, including Small Spaces, The Japanese Dream House, and The Very Small Home. A graduate of Yale, Brown is a professor of architectural design at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology, and founder and director of the Future Design Institute in Tokyo. His presentation will be on his latest book, Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan, published in 2010.

Through words and sketches, Just Enough tells how people lived 200 years ago during the late Edo period in Japan, when traditional technology and culture were at the peak of development, just before the opening of Japan to the West. Brown shows how people in the 18th-19th centuries dealt with some of the same issues we are facing today—energy, water, materials, food, and population—and forged from these challenges a society that was conservation-minded, waste-free, well-housed, well-fed, and economically robust, and that has bequeathed to us enduring standards of art and beauty.

The lecture will include reflections on Katsura Imperial Villa as the inspiration for Brown’s lifelong career in Japanese architecture and design, as well as his insights into the lessons to be learned from traditional Japan on ways of living green in a densely populated urban society.

A book-signing will follow the lecture.  Buy the book here!

Azby Brown:

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Azby Brown is an artist and designer who has lived in Japan since 1985. He is the author of The Genius of Japanese Carpentry (1995), Small Spaces (1996), The Japanese Dream House (2001) and The Very Small Home (2005). His most recent book, Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan was published in 2010. On the faculty of the Kanazawa Institute of Technology since 1995, he is the director of the KIT Future Design Institute in Tokyo.

Read More: Essay by Azby Brown on The Design Observer Group website.

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Form Function Fashion Show

Attended Form Function Fashion Show last night at the Center for Architecture.  The show featured lines by five talented local designers:  Emily Ryan, Liza Rietz, Emily Baker of Sword & Fern jewelry, Dawn Sharp, and Adam Arnold.

I was really struck by her Emily Ryan‘s work partly because of a personal connection to her and because hers was the first line shown.  Adam Arnold, as always, has perfection of seams and lines and his execution with wool is outstanding.  I enjoyed seeing the nature-based jewelry line, Sword and Fern, for the first time.  It feels very grounded in the Northwest.  It was also my first encounter with the work of Liza Rietz and Dawn Sharp. I loved a beautifully tailored jacket that Dawn Sharp designed and the way that Liza’s pieces related to one another.

It was nice to see the architecture and fashion design community come together for the final event of the Architecture + Design Festival.

It was also lovely to see my former design assistant, Lisa Kuhnhausen, who was one of the show’s co-creators.  Talented, resourceful, with a sublime sense of style, her mark was well noted at the show.

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Portland is so charming

Great Smithsonian article about Portland’s many charms by local author Katherine Dunn.  Click here to read the article.

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Going back to school

I have been waiting for this moment for years literally, both a little scared and very excited to be going to Oregon College of Arts and Crafts this weekend and next, for a four days hands on wood working class, specifically geared towards backyard structure building. Yes, I have always wanted to know how to build anything, and often say that I wish that I were an electrician, a plumber, an HVAC contractor…as all of that is infinitely fascinating to me. Then I could build a house, from bottom up. Brendan Conaway is the instructor and his website is inspiring We have a new house, a new yard and have inherited the perfect place for a backyard structure where an old garage used to be, the foundation is still there and the promise can be seen in the parameter of concrete.

From the instructor:

Hi Everybody,

Welcome to the Backyard Structures class !

This class is a great opportunity to put together a good tool belt, fill it with some tools, and get used to wearing it and using it. Here are the tools you’ll need:

Tool belt and bags – A “framers” set-up, with big bags for nails/screws, and smaller pockets for tools. Should have a loop for a hammer. Most are made of cordura nylon, which is pretty strong. Some have fixed bags, others are a component system, which allows you to add bags as needed. (I added a ‘holster’ for my drill, and that’s been very useful.) Get something you like and feels really comfortable.

Hammer – A ‘framing’ hammer which has a waffle face on the head, meaning that the surface which strikes the nail is NOT smooth, but has a rough surface. I use a 21 ounce hammer, but something a little lighter would also be OK. Get something that feels comfortable in your hand and that you can swing easily. Do NOT get a hammer with a metal shaft. Wood is better, absorbs shocks and saves your wrist, elbow, etc. The ‘Vaughn” 19  oz. ‘California Framer” was popular with the last class.

Tape measure –  25 feet long. Get one that locks well and is affordable to you. The cheap ones break sooner, but the expensive ones also break, or get dropped, lost, etc.

Speed square – This is a triangular piece of metal (or plastic) to draw perpendicular lines across the face of boards. Get the 6” version, and hopefully your tool belt will have a handy triangular pocket that fits it exactly.

Bear Claw – Also known as a Cat’s Paw, this is like a small sharp crowbar for removing nails. If you don’t make any mistakes, you won’t need one. (I use mine often…)

Gloves – I use those over-engineered, ergonomic, padded “framing” gloves that leave my thumb and first two fingers uncovered. They’re great, enabling me to get into my work, not worry too much about what I’m picking up, and save my skin from blisters, splinters, and cuts. They fit tightly and I don’t really notice I have them on. They’re a little pricey, and they don’t last forever, but I always use them.

Eye and ear protection.

Rain gear, extra pair of socks and work shoes. It looks like it’ll rain (a lot or a little) so please be prepared to work in the wet.

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Such good press about the album already…

We met with the Portland Schools Foundation this morning to explain further our donation to First Octave which supports arts and music in the schools. They loved the promotional pieces, t shirts and project, very excited to get us connected with the behind the scenes parents who rally for First Octave and those that donate to the program. Love. Love. Love. All around.

SPIN magazine is doing a story and it was on NPR yesterday, all of this is taking me a little by surprise, I told Rob that it feels like someone’s birthday every single day.

Under the Radar:
Consequence of Sound:
Music Slut:
Swollen Fox:
Tight but Loose:

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Jealous Butcher Records Presents From the Land of Ice and Snow: The Songs of Led Zeppelin

I’ve had the good fortune to be one of the executive producers of this compilation featuring prominent Northwest artists’ renditions of Led Zeppelin songs.  I’m excited to announce the upcoming CD release on October 12th and the upcoming show October 9th at the Doug Fir Lounge.

This double album – a labor of love for all those involved – has been six years in the making.  I first heard about the project 18 months ago.  I was at a client’s home when Rob Jones of Jealous Butcher Records stopped by to ask the client if he would record a song for the album.  I was speechless at first upon hearing about this record because Led Zeppelin is my favorite band.

Rob explained that he had been working on the project for the past six years, but he was unsure of who exactly would be best to use/and all of the steps ahead seemed like little mountains, for recording, mastering, producing, merchandising, and marketing the album.  Some of the songs also needed to be received, and tracked down from all of those who had offered to send something Rob’s way.  I immediately offered to do anything that I could to make sure that it could be finished.  I enlisted the help of Jeff Saltzman to master, Mike Jones of CD Forge to produce the CDs, Joan Hiller Depper of Riot Act Media to handle publicity, and Chad Crouch of Hush Records to help with t-shirt production.  Artist/ illustrator Carson Ellis designed the album cover.

Thus began my eighteen month long journey with the project.  It’s hard to believe that we’re one month away from the CD release and show.  You can preorder the double CD and/or t-shirts here.

Though I had no previous experience being an executive producer for an album, I found that the skills I use everyday in my real estate and design work aptly transfered to album production.  Production is production, in the end.

I had so many wonderful experiences working on this album.  The opportunity to work with friends I’ve known for years but rarely get to spend time with in our hectic lives.  The challenge of working on something I’ve never done before.  Watching all of the pieces come together.  Meetings with Rob, Joan, and Mike.  Early listenings of songs.  The anticipation, pleading, patience  and being so pleased in the end, while waiting for Chris Walla’s song, ‘In the Evening’.  The indelible mark that each artist left on their particular song.

I would love to do it all over again.

album photo shoot:

breakfast marketing/release meeting with Mike Jones, Joan Hiller Depper, and Rob Jones

chad crouch with dave depper and rob jones in background

corrina repp, joan hiller depper, sheryl eckrich and baby sam

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