Sometimes, you just need to get out of Davis.
I am nearing the end of a spontaneous road trip through Oregon with one of my dear friends I met through the Flea, Amanda Maples. You might have met Amanda at the market, she is an anthropologist specializing in African art—whose influence you can see in the beautiful things she designs and creates. She is also a curator, and the opening of her latest exhibit, “Head to Toe: The Language of Native American Clothing,” is the perfect excuse to visit some of the DIY arts and culture hotspots in Oregon.
The High Desert Museum housing the exhibition is located just outside the city of Bend—a mecca for folks who love the outdoors and a popular place to retire. Like any thrift store junkie worth her loafers, I know this combination will make for some excellent second-hand shopping.
The Humane Society’s outpost on Greenwood Avenue doesn’t disappoint. I take a look in the home wares and electronics to begin with, and test a bunch of strands of Christmas lights for decorating our stage at the next Flea. I find some cute colourful strands with the larger bulbs that have been back in vogue for a while now. At a dollar per pound, I fill up my bag with every working strand I can find.
Next, I look for cowboy boots, and come up empty, but I do find a great pair of fur trimmed, L.L. Bean boots and some nude, Cole Haan wedges. They’re a little small, so I’ll be adding them to my bargain booth at the market next week—come and try them on!
It’s the clothing racks, however, that are groaning with unappreciated vintage and designer items—the joys of thrifting in a community that spends a lot of its free time up a mountain. Right now, I’m obsessed with 80s style statement blouses: big prints, shiny fabrics, shoulder pads. I love them tucked into pencil skirts or worn over skinny jeans, and when it’s cold, the flash of a bright lapel against the neckline of a winter knit makes me very happy. I find a dozen such blouses without even trying and add them to my pile. The man behind the counter raises an eyebrow and takes out his calculator.
Coming up in my next post—Oregon’s collective studio/retail spaces, ocean rolls, and decorative ideas for your old silverware…