A Little Birdhouse in Our Soul

Dear Liza,

I know Spring is coming, even though we are still under chilly, drippy skies, and I want to be ready. It’s way too early to start any plants in the veggie plot (as I learned last year), but I want to do SOMETHING!

But let me start from the beginning.

Last month, our dear friends Kitty and Mike came to visit with their sons Isaac and Rhys. I took care of Isaac when he was tiny and am very pleased to see him grown up and applying to colleges.

While they were here, we visited Creative Culture. This is a wonderful space where you use their tools and supplies to make your own crafts. It isn’t cheap, but it sure is fun! They also serve amazingly huge milk shakes, which Isaac enjoyed as his 18th birthday dessert.

The boys made nail and string art, which was interesting but very noisy. Bridgett made a small terrarium. I painted a birdhouse, and I am really happy with the way it turned out.

This morning, Auntie Bridgett got up on a ladder and hung it on our balcony. It looks fabulous! All I need to do is put out the “For Sale” sign and wait for some birds to move in.

Of course, we will call them Kitty and Mike.


Grandma Judy

Creative Culture!

Dear Liza,

This past weekend, Auntie Bridgett and I walked up to another new business in town. It is a delightful, bright place called Creative Culture. This is a unique place, a Do It Yourself Craft studio. It is owned and run by Dellan, a delightful young lady who comes to Portland from Oklahoma by way of Kansas City.

Dellan, in her happy place

They have available, for a variety of reasonable fees, ceramics to paint, wreaths to make, flower pots to paint and plant, macrame to tie, wood plaques to burn and decorate, and all sorts of wooden shapes to paint.

And there are lots of choices! Shelves and shelves of ceramic vases, banks, and figures to paint. Once you get it painted, the staff will glaze and fire it, and you pick it up when it is done.

Olivia, showing folks all the options

Dellan showed us the food menu, which consisted of eight magnificent, gigantic milk shakes. We wandered the shop, watching other folks crafting, sipping their milkshakes, and chatting. Dellan’s assistant, Olivia, helped us choose our wooden shapes and paints for our projects. We decided to exercise self-control and not order a milk shake.

Auntie Bridgett chose a hexagonal wall hanging, which looks like a cell in a beehive. I chose a small round box with a hinged lid.

Olivia pumped our paint choices into little cups, we chose a few brushes, and settled in for the fun.

I had the idea of a forest-y sort of picture as a gift for Cousin Kestrel, and I took a long time getting it right. I enjoyed creating the picture and listening to the soft, happy hubbub of people making things.

Auntie Bridgett worked on her project, making it pretty and yellow with her beloved bees buzzing around.

By the time we got our projects the way we wanted, we had been in Creative Culture TWO HOURS! The time had flown by and had been so much fun, I am sure I will be taking you and the Cousins there for some fun afternoons.

Once we were finished, we were very hungry (maybe we should have had that milk shake), tucked our projects carefully into our sack and walked down to the City State Diner for a delicious lunch. A Cuban sandwich for me and a Monte Cristo for Bridgett, and we were well fed and heading home.


Grandma Judy