portland and beyond

Ursula Dean

a few pictures from our trip to portland for the remodelista market.  the show was a huge success despite the cold weather.  i wasn't sure how it would turn out because of the freezing temps, ice on the road etc.  a few snowflakes drifted down as they opened the doors.  we seemed to have a popular booth once the crowds came with women trying things on over their clothes, buying for themselves or their daughters (summer clothes no less, i was completely unprepared for this show in that respect).  i met a few customers i've known for years through the shop but never had the pleasure to meet in person.  people who were new to modaspia seemed really happy to have discovered it, something that never gets old.

i have to say there is a certain kind of woman who buys modaspia, i see that now.  all friendly and a bit no nonsense.  never consumed by vanity or looking for something seriously girly.  a lot of modaspia customers seem to be either entrepreneurs or working in the university system as teachers or admins, libraries, a few writers, photographers, therapists .. one woman maybe a few years younger than me went to try on a sweater vest and pulled off her own sweater to reveal a t-shirt that said "grunge is dead".  she was funny, no make up, messy blond hair, tall.  i loved her.  she pulled the vest on, had a quick look in the old victorian mirror they loaned out to us and said she wanted it.  no fuss or swanning in the mirror - just a quick sense of yes, that's me - it suits me. 

we stayed in some lovely old hotels, my favorite kind.  i'd wanted to stay at the ashland springs since someone told me about it awhile ago.  that was the first night.  great continental breakfast and an amazing view of mount ashland in front of you, covered in a thin blanket of snow.  pretty town.  in portland we stayed downtown at the benson.  more stately and packed to the gills this time of year.  the lobby was done up with a christmas tree that reached the high ceiling.  big fire with big cushiony chairs and couches to sit on and enjoy a drink.  by the way you know a hotel is ace when you can go down to the lobby to get coffee in the morning in red silk pajamas and a wool overcoat thrown over and no one bats an eye ;)

we took a couple of days to drive back to cali, cutting over to the coast to see some of the small towns along the way.  we're both pretty smitten with oregon and want to one day buy some property up there near the coast but among those lovely spooky woods - and maybe along a river?  the mist hanging about the trees, the moss everywhere .. smoke coming up from the chimneys.  i love it.  

peace xo






  • No one batted an eye because I’m sure you looked like a woman out of a french new wave film! Glad the market was a success. I can’t wait to come visit you guys in Oregon. Take the dogs for a walk in the woods and then drink a whiskey in front of the fire ;) love you!


  • Funny what you say about your typical modaspia customer! I guess I would fit in with that. All of it. Ha ha! Have a great holiday!


  • lesa and jen – xoxoxoxox same back at ’ya. u.


  • Sounds like you had an amazing time, Ursula. So glad to hear it. I have to admit to being envious—I’m so desperate to travel to WA and OR again!

    Hope you and you husband have a great winter break with the kids. Peace.


  • Hope you have a happy, lovely holiday with your sweet family. xoxo


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