Dirt Bikes, Markers & Bridges, Oh my!

State of Grace Volume 1 Issue 3


In This Issue:

  1. Markers, Helmets & Motorbikes: Essence of Dirt. I spent a day at this ladies only dirt bike campout in Washougal, WA and got to pretend to be a super cool person for a day.
  2. The Actual Bridge of The People: Self Governed Sellwood Bridge. I commute over this sumbitch every day, I am unwisely going to share my tactics and observations for having a better commute out of far SE.
  3. Out on the Town with One-Liner! My little party game is getting brave and being played places other than my living room. Read on!

Essence of Dirt hosted by SoulCraft Moto
This is an actual thing that happened. Keep scrolling.

Last weekend I got the extreme pleasure of observing the fruits of my labor in action and watching badass ladies do even more badass things. Earlier this year I helped the genius behind SoulCraft Moto, Kandy Longstreet (pictured above) create some cool stuff (like hand lettered and illustrated posters and t-shirt designs) to advertise her ladies only dirt bike campout in Washougal. When she invited me to join the campout armed with my box of sharpies, I knew I couldn’t resist.

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Cooler ladies than me about to hit the trails.

This was my third visit to Washougal, but this is the first time I felt a real palpable energy buzzing through the trees. As soon as I pulled off the road, I was surrounded by the sound of 2 strokes and 4 strokes whipping through the hillside, all around were about a hundred women in armor and helmets, looking like the coolest tribe from Mad Max.

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I can take credit for the poster and lettering on the sticker- but my favorite new cap was courtesy of Women’s Moto Exhibit.

Being around all these cool chicks on bikes made me giddy. I got myself set up in the mercifully shaded tent to draw on stuff (they were even more badass for being in the 90 degree weather in full armor). Seeing all kinds of stuff with the hand lettering I created stamped on it got me even more pumped- usually you send off your work for a job and maybe see it floating around in pictures on the web, this time I was surrounded by shirts and stickers and hoodies with my work on it-super surreal. The only thing that would have made it better was not having 2 broken toes, but I will ride next year!

Fearless Leader modeling a custom helmet and screen printed tank- her vision, my design.
Fearless Leader modeling a custom helmet and screen printed tank- her vision, my design.

Have I mentioned that Essence of Dirt took place on International Women’s Ride Day? So not only was I surrounded by over a hundred fearless women from all over the Pacific Northwest (even Canada!), but women all over the world were meeting to make some noise.

"How about something patriotic?"
“How about something patriotic?”
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“What have I got to lose? Draw on my bike!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hours flew by as I got to draw on weird stuff and hang out with the stellar women who made the whole event run so smoothly. I left Washougal that evening with my ears buzzing and a grin on my face- and I only got a small taste of the full campout. Next year I’m renting a bike.

Fearless Leader takes the teeter totter on her 80 from the 80s.
Fearless Leader takes the teeter totter on her 80 from the 80s.

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Last year saw the opening of Portland’s first pedestrian/mass transit only bridge, which has been dubbed “Tillikum Crossing: Bridge of the People”. I would like to argue that title however for the Sellwood bridge, which is currently a masterpiece of neighborly self governance. Having been in a state of constant construction for the past few years, and currently boasting no stoplight on the eastern entrance, it’s a bit of an obstacle course.

When I moved to Sellwood 2 months ago I ran into a morality crisis I had not had to navigate in the Alphabet District (where the moral crisis is whether or not to leave a note when you inevitably bump into 5,000 Subaru’s while trying to parallel park). I found that my commute could be cut down by an impressive 20 minutes, if I chose not to take the main street leading to the Sellwood Bridge in order to get to my job in the burbs. It felt wrong at first, to leave everyone else stranded on Tacoma while I whizzed down Miller (and by whiz I mean carefully meander in and out of parked cars so both lanes of traffic can actually get through, while also not running over the sweet but speedy and erratic Catholic school children on 15th).

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I’ve come to terms with this moral gray area by making a compromise- instead of being super greedy and taking the last street before the bridge, I enter the fray on 7th. I feel even better if I let someone in from the 6th intersection, and I feel like a goddamn superhero if I can let someone make a left turn onto the bridge from 6th. Remember that whole no stoplight thing? There aren’t even stop signs at 6th, so drivers who take the side streets really are at the mercy of all the patient/road ragey souls who have waited their turn on Tacoma.

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I would like to take a moment now to apologize to everyone I commute with- I’m sure I just sold out our shortcut, fellow shortcut takers, and I’m sorry the folks on Tacoma haven’t figured this out already- but they’re probably from Milwaukie anyway, so whatever (I’m looking at you, Enoch).


The first prints!
The first prints!

International Table Top Game Day came and went a couple of weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to score a table for One-Liner! at our local game emporium, Guardian Games. Up til now, the game has only existed as my original drawings and digital copies that I sell here– for ITTGD I made the first printed copies ever. Not gonna lie, I might have teared up a little bit when I got handed the stacks of card stock with everything looking all profesh and shiny. This was after an entire week struggling with my outdated home printer and a head cold. The visit to a real printer was totally worth it.

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Guardian was packed to the gills with enthusiasts and game designers- it was great seeing so many people enjoying themselves and discovering new games! My favorite part was seeing what people came up with for the latest expansion, Nerds! I honestly don’t have captions in mind when I draw the cards, I still want it to be fun for me to play, so it’s fantastic when someone writes something totally unexpected and hilarious.

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IITGD was a great time, I loved seeing reactions to the game- its nice to have confirmation outside of my living room that people have fun with it! Since the outing at Guardian Games went so well, I decided to take it out for another test run (with my boyfriend and co-creator) at the weekly game night at My Father’s Place, which literally looks like someone’s dad’s basement bar from the 70s.

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The winner: “Every wedding has it’s oddball table.”

This time I left the table entirely- not gonna lie, I freaked out a little bit at leaving the cards behind. Luckily they were in good hands with our friend, I will never doubt him in the future. I was happy to hear that the game continued to be enjoyed for a few rounds, before a drunk lady crashed the party, as they do.

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Personal favorite caption for one of my favorite cards: “Only poor people hide their wealth in a mattress!”

It’s pretty scary bringing this game out in public and hoping people will like it- it feels a little bit like the first day of school, or going on stage for a talent show. So far so good, thanks for being nice to me Portland!

Simple Pleasures


There isn’t much better and simpler pleasure for me than new art supplies. I decided to treat myself last night and I picked up a new bottle of ink, a travel water cup to clean my brushes (it’s so tiny!), and a couple of new brushes to be dedicated ink brushes. It might have been 10 years or so since I refreshed my little brushes- it was about time!


I had decided to break them in at one of my favorite boho restaurants on the east side, I love all the colored lights on the patio, the kitsch art and the mismatched chandeliers. If you’re ever in Portland and like things a little weird, I highly suggest The Pied Cow. The obnoxious teenagers two tables down are just bonus entertainment.


I’ve been participating in an instsgram challenge hosted by the lovely Kimberly Haydn (she blogs here), and I’ve really been enjoying the prompts she came up with. Yesterdays was ‘Flower Power’, so I decided to draw a pretty lady with some peonies. You should totally try out this challenge thing if you haven’t done it before- its a fun way to stretch your creative comfort zone and meet some cool new folks!

Action!

I spent some time playing in my ink bottle last weekend. I love lazy weekend mornings over coffee with my cat, it lets me loosen up and just create.

I learned afterwards that the origin of this quote is actually more fuzzy than I thought! Woops. In any case, I really enjoyed the message- action is so important! Sometimes that action includes better research.

Sundays with Nature


Last Sunday I spent my morning playing with lettering and ended up with this happy Bob Ross homage. This Sunday I woke up in a picturesque forest, having decided at the last minute to escape the latest heatwave by camping on the Oregon Coast. Sundays like these, I feel like a lucky lady.