Category: Community

Shelter or Sculpture?

By , June 28, 2014 3:53 pm

Often my posts are about the newest, smartest way too live small or how to downsize and stay sane.

Since summer is here everyone is trying to find the best beach rental cottage, camp ground to pitch a tent or the latest boutique hotel to land and relax at the Oregon Coast.

This month I have a art exhibit at Manzanita News & Espresso and it poses the question – are those beach driftwood forts, shelter or sculpture? Here is my artists statement.

photo7 Shelter or Sculpture?The crowds are gone, I walk on the beach and come upon driftwood that has been assembled into primitive shelters with only washed ashore elements, gifts from the sea, wood, stones, seaweed or when viewed in solitary to me  they become solitary sculptures, left over remains of another existence, often I would feel like a archaeologist.

Viewing the art in the context, seeing it in its natural environment. Some of the pieces are ephemeral, persisting only for a few hours or days- exposed to erosion and wind and the sea, striving to fight the elements of nature, their creators have vanished.

I started to document the pieces for the last 5 years, feeling like  My physical interaction is as important as the viewing. I would enter any portal, to find choirs and alters, shrines the view looking out to the sea was peaceful and safe. I would feel the energy of the people who built the piece, was it a couple a family, how old were they? Why did they build this, and what conversations took place, and how did the construction bring them together?

Why do we still build shelter with no intention of using it? Such a primitive instinct.

Each work grows, stays and decays.  I am the observer the one who captures the serenity. The tide will once again regain and re-give.
It reminds us that nothing can or should last forever.
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Owned by Bunny and Star they have a devoted following of locals and tourists. This is where you pick up your CSA box on the front porch. There is a long waiting list to show your art at the famous coffee shop in town, mine was three years.

On the corner is a lovely shady patio and water bowl for Fido and the inside is filled with magazines- good mags and all beachy unique local artists jewelry. There are surf magazines and newspapers if you really want to know what is going on in the world. The chess set has had many matches played with my son.  There is no wi-fi – but rumor is that they just bought into it.

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The greeting cards are $5 each and I am donating all the funds to Lower Nehalem Land Trust. The land trust has a beautiful garden, but you must wait for that post another day. I am hanging out in a beach shelter!

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So what do you think Shelter or Sculpture?

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Enjoy the summer where ever your travels lead you.

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Trashy Art

By , May 22, 2014 3:34 pm

One of my favorite places to visit is Manzanita on the Oregon coast only two hours from Portland.

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Manzanita Beach

There is a recycling center CartM which is creating a zero waste community at the coast.

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What to do with spare tile!

One of the best events is the Trash Art show located in the Trash Gallery – inside the Refinery Resale store. They have done this for the past 16 years! My beach cottage is filled with a treasures from this show every year. Did I tell you it is also where the transfer station is – really the dump.

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Entrance to Refinery- Resale Shop

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Trash Art Gallery- Small is Beautiful

 

They recycle over 40 items and also have educational outreach programs- I like the one about composting- to learn more go here. I have a worm bin and compost bin in Portland- so easy to maintain and plants are so happy, I do not even use a garbage disposal.

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Compost Examples

It was a delightful surprise to see so many artists of all talents participate, I always seek out a piece from               MJ Anderson the marble sculpturess- see her work at Coast Cabins Gallery if you visit the coast. I even had her over after the art show to make her famous Italian pasta- of course she presented it in a Lucinda Parker bowl.

 

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Zesty MJ Anderson

 

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Lucinda Parkers zesty ceramic bowl

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MJ at work

 

You never know what treasures or who you will run into at the dump these days- not too trashy!

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Age-Friendly City of Roses

By , March 4, 2014 11:36 am

Portland always seems so ahead of the curve when it comes to hip fashion, hoppy beer, food carts and now housing for those eternally young graying baby boomers. Portland is in the top 5o regions where 40 plus boomers want to retire. Currently there are over 190,000 people aged 65 and older living in the Portland metro area and by 2030, that number is expected to grow to almost 395,000.

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Portlands Age-Friendly Housing

Alan DeLaTorre was the moderator for the City Club panel to discuss “How Age-Friendly are Portland’s Housing Options”. He is a research associate at Portland State University Institute on aging and a newly minted Ph.D with a focus on housing for older adults. There is a growing international movement and PDX crafted a Action Plan in the Fall of 2013 with Alan’s guidance.

 

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Alan DeLaTorre

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Villages NW works to enable people to age in place in their existing homes as well as they can for as long as they can for as little as they can. Four Villages are up and running in NW Portland and six villages are in development in the greater Portland area. 89% homeowners want to grow old in their home. There are 130 Villages nationwide that are successful. There is no real estate involved, but a community of  volunteers and “vetted vendors” that support people who want to live & age gracefully in their home.

 

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Bridge Meadows is an innovative community designed to bring together three generations to provide a stable, loving home for foster children, support for adoption and an opportunity for elders to have a sense of community and purpose. This project is up and running in North Portland. Windermere Cronin & Caplan Realty was a part of this ground breaking building and committed $250,000 over 4 years. I have worked for 12 years at Windermere and am proud to of been apart of this development.

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Bridge Meadows

 

PDX Commons is a new project focusing on creating an environment for aging in place based on the co-housing model. The project is under development and will be located in the Vancouver corridor. There are 25 units and the location in walking distance of urban shopping and parks.

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PDX Commons

For Cohousing resources in the US go here and Cohousing resources in the world go here                                                     It is an International Movement!

 

This trend is going to continue, since there are not enough retirement facilities in existence or being built to accommodate 395,000 projected seniors. Not to mention that a huge percentage of this population- current estimates suggest up to 75%- don’t have enough retirement savings to be able to afford he $3000 plus per month it would cost. Being ahead of the curve in design and housing options is a must.

Where do you want to live or retire to?

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Granny knows how to Downsize

By , January 9, 2014 11:50 am

My 95 year old mother in-law lives in a Granny Flat, she came west from cold Ohio to live behind her sons home in warm San Luis Obispo 15 years ago. Evelyn climbs the exterior staircase to her one bedroom 400 sq ft apartment above a garage. I was inspired to build my own studio following my Granny’s pioneering idea. Mother in-law apartments or Granny Flats have been around for years, but no longer just for Granny’s, ADUs ( Accessory Dwelling Units) offer rental income, work studios, and promote community Multi-generational living and increase your homes property value.

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Granny Evelyn with son Damian

Today the modern term is Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

In the fall of 2012 I went to a day long summit the International Living Future Institute held in Portland Oregon. Build Small LIVE LARGE  brought together architects, developers, builders, remodelers, urban designers, policy makers and real estate professionals to discuss, inspire and share ideas to craft strategies for this growing housing market. Go here to see videos from the summit. This was the first ever summit on space-efficient housing!

Currently the planning bureau and Portland City Council have waived Systems Development Charges on ADUs and they have increased the ADU size limit from 33% to 75% of the primary dwelling or 800 sq ft, whatever is smaller.

Go to this website for a one stop source of information about ADU’s, granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages.

Let me share with you my 380 sq ft Sellwood Studio ADU that I build last year!

First Permits and paperwork- Upfront work but well worth it.

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Now the fun part tearing down the old garage that just was a storage place for junk not a car.

DSC07446 300x225 Granny knows how to DownsizeThe size 16 x 24 was similar footprint to the garage but was vaulted and has a private patio

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BEFORE rear of existing garage

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AFTER rear of Sellwood Studio

Emily Refi was the architect that I worked with she now works for Waterleaf Architects.

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Architect Emily Refi at front of Studio-                            complete with red   Vespa scooter!

I like how the Studio is similar in scale to the red cottage in front and that it sits in the middle of my urban garden.

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Red Cottage in front is 900 sq ft

Since the garage was demolished a small garden shed as built with nod to the old garage- the original green door was used.

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View from Studio set in middle of garden

Thanks Granny Evelyn for inspiring me to build a modern flat!  Next time we meet I will take you inside!

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I AM BACK!

By , September 25, 2013 1:09 pm

Where have I been hiding? I finally built my ADU= accessory dwelling unit. Or Granny Flat. Or Mother Inlaw Apartment. Or Sellwood Studio. Or my retirement home.

Now that it is completed, I will be sharing with you the process, the decision making, the pits, the falls and the finished product!

It started here last April 2013 getting the permit.

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So The Before and After photos are fun. You know my love of garages but this old one could not be saved.

There were no footings, and half dry rotted out- so on to new construction.

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This shows the Original Cottage in front- the scale fits the yard & the other home

Here is the architect Emily Refi. We met 3 years go when I wanted to start the project, she was pregnant and I was not ready so we reconnected a year later. Emily now works at Waterleaf Architecture and is very busy.

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So what would you do with all your stuff packed in your garage?

Do you need it- do you park your car- is it a holding bin?

So glad to be back!

 I AM BACK!

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