Finding Portland’s Scrap

Must be fate. I was so super excited when Karen parked right outside
of Scrap, Portland’s equivalent of Durham’s Scrap Exchange.

Karen picked us up from the train station and generously drove us
around town, from one great neighborhood to the next. She took us to
tiny pockets of Portland filled with great independent shops. Without
her as our chauffeur, we would have simply never found these spots.

We ate a delicious BLT and molasses cookie from Little T. The bread
was spectacular. Plus they had pitchers of chilled cucumber water to

Later we visited Office PDX, an incredible office supply store/
gallery; Collage, where I picked up some tape and resisted the urge
to dive blindly into encaustic painting; and Flutter, where we visited
the huge cage of birds fluttering in the back. I swear that they were
quiet until I walked up. They were eager to greet their guest.

Karen wanted to take me to Lark Press. Karen and I worked together at
Paper Source and both love all things paper. Lark Press has a great
store filled with beautiful letterpress items and art. As you walk
around the shop, someone was working away on a press in plain view
behind the counter. I’ve decided that’s what I want one day: a store/
studio. I don’t know when nor where nor if a letterpress will be

Lark Press sits right next door to Scrap. When I saw the sign, I told
Henry and Karen that we had to visit. She had no idea what it was, but
thanked me once she realized she now had a place to donate her great
stuff that she just didn’t want anymore.

The space looked a lot like The Scrap Exchange other than the shell of
the building. The products were strikingly similar to my last visit to
TSE. I was looking for evidence of distinct local industry. Just like
you can find Burt’s Bees packaging and textile spools in Durham, I
noticed My Custom Labels in a bin close to the register. Scrap was a
buzz with Tweens busily working projects and other people planning
activities. It is key to have this type of organization in a heavily
traveled space. Seems as if N Williams meets that need.

Finally we dropped into Ink and Peat, a beautiful home and garden
shop. Karen declared she is buying all future gifts there. I think
they have created the perfect paint palette for a future space. The
new building is simply beautiful.

After a nap, we are off for pizza with Karen and Stanley. That’s
perfect since it’s raining again and we have more catching up to do.

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