Mother Church of Handmade Gone Bad

This is my friend Mary, who hosted Sunny and me when we visited Portland, Oregon last weekend. Sunny and I were there to visit Reed College, a (very expensive) school she might attend next year. So don’t be surprised if you see me standing at the bottom of a freeway off-ramp with a hand-lettered cardboard sign saying “Will Work for Tuition.”

I also foresee a lot of thrift shopping in my future. Mary took me to some really impressive thrift stores on Hawthorne Avenue, one of Portland’s funky shopping streets.

I’ve always felt pretty proud of Thrift Town, our neighborhood thrift store and the source of most of the Handmade Gone Bad posts on this blog. But that was before I visited the House of Vintage. We went through room after room of ugly, goofy, and downright creepy things. I’ve never found a single good clown painting at Thrift Town, for instance, but a quick browse around House of Vintage uncovered at least three, including Mr. and Mrs. Clown and a classic Sad Clown whose only flaw was that he wasn’t painted on black velvet:

Wouldn’t this knife holder cheer up your kitchen?

 I don’t really know what occasion this outfit would be good for, but there were lots of ensembles like this at House of Vintage:

I think you get the picture.  The quirkiness of it all is one of the things that draws Sunny to Portland. And it’s true, the girl who would wear these pants needs to go to a very special kind of college. She even likes the grey and rainy weather.  I think we may be spending a lot more time up there in the near future.

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