Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Adventure- Sellwood

 Today I headed out to Sellwood, a neighborhood in southeast Portland. It covers quite a bit of territory so I focused on Milwaukie Ave. Like my foray into Multnomah Village I saw a number of shops I did not visit and will have to return for a part two adventure!

The trip was marked by shopping opposites. The first boutique I visited was Coco & Toulouse go shopping. This I can sum up easily- it is the type of store I love. A great mix of charm, whimsy, and humor with books, soaps, home décor, and candles galore. The owner, Jo Ellen Newton, was not there but I always feel, in a place like this, that you’re getting a pretty good sense of their aesthetic and I appreciate hers. The shop has been open since 2002 and Jo Ellen stocks it with finds from various markets as well as yearly trips to France.

This is one of those shops where you linger because if you move too quickly you’re sure to miss something that will either make you smile or you can’t live without.

Some of my favorite items include this gorgeous wall of ribbons

My favorite colors- pinks and greens

These beautiful sparkly ‘charm’ necklaces with what look like tiny Eiffel towers in various jewel tones.

The Porn series of books. From Porn for Women of a Certain Age- a photo of a man holding out a Gold AmEx with the caption: “I just realized we have saved way more then we will ever need for retirement so take this and go shopping. Just go. Buy anything you want.” I embarassed myself I laughed so hard but they’re right- way more exciting than some buff shirtless dude.

The Tokyo Milk line of perfumes and hand crèmes. The packaging is as gorgeous as what’s inside. How can you go wrong with scents called Lotus Sake, Honey & the Moon, and Let Them Eat Cake?

I don’t even know where I would put this piece but I love it. Love it and want it and could very likely rationalize why I need to have it.

7011 SE Milwaukie Ave Avenue • Portland OR • 503.236.5999
I would love to have included a link to their website but I could not find any online sites at all. If anyone from Coco & Toulouse is reading this please correct me if I’m wrong!

After this I stopped at Stars Antique Malls. Sellwood is known for its antique stores so I imagine they all cater to a different type of customer. Stars would seem to be for people who want a bargain and like garage sales. There are certainly great items to be found but you have to look hard as there is so much ‘stuff’ jumbled everywhere.

Lots of this- which I just don't get

Each ‘mall’ is basically a small stall and reflects the vendor’s forte and merchandising abilities. For me, it is overwhelming and messy- kind of like TJ Maxx. I know, if I’m willing to go through 15 racks, I could find an amazing bargain but I’m not that girl anymore. Plus, in the antique world I think you have to know exactly what you want. If you’re into vintage jewelry from a certain period then you don’t even look at tables heaped with books or shoes. You zoom right into the places with jewelry. For a browser, your eye is easily tired in this environment.

I am more of a Coco & Toulouse shopper. I want someone else to cull through the majority of stuff and present only that which I am most likely to want (need is not a criteria) in a pleasing environment.

Here are a few objects I did find to be interesting and well priced. 

Brought back memories of ballet classes but would I ever buy? Probably not.

I love butterflies and thought these were nicely done.

Could not avoid the glare but if you look hard there is a lovely watercolor there for only $38. 

After the shopping I went to Pizzicato and had an amazing crispy thin crust cheese slice (only photo was after I’d eaten half and decided it was too gross to post). Then I decided to venture well out of my comfort zone and go to Cravin' Raven- a bakery that uses no white flour, white sugar, or butter to make any of its treats. My initial thought is ‘why bother?’. I’m from the Julia Child school of butter (yes you can cook without it but why would you want to) so when I arrived and saw empty cases and no customers I thought it was a sign from God that I was not meant to take my blogging efforts so far. The kind woman behind the counter said they were closed on Mondays but as I was walking out she asked if I’d like a cookie to take with me. She gave me a peanut butter quinoa cookie with dark chocolate chunks. OMG!!! I love quinoa as a side dish but had never considered it for baking and if this had no butter then maybe (let’s not get crazy here) I don’t need it as much as I thought I did. It was tender and chewy and flavorful. The fact that it had been given to me out of kindness was even better but I would pay for another one. Don’t be afraid….

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