New stores in Forest Grove, Banks offer opportunites for local artists, crafters

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - This holiday season Spin A Good Yarn Shop will sell one-of-a-kidn local arts and crafts, like this carved gourd (left).Since The Crafty Fox opened Oct. 16, about five people a day ask whether they can sell their handmade goods there.

With 45 vendors already packing the store, the answer is no — for now.

Located in a rented space at 2013 Pacific Ave., the store features local arts and crafts and is one of several new shops that sell recycled, garden-grown, hand-sewn or made-at-home goods.

The Crafty Fox

Ixchel Lechuga, a seamstress and crafter, and her husband Eric Arenson, an illustrator who works as a web designer for the city of Portland, have been selling their work online and at craft fairs for years, and have seen a renewed interest in handmade items.

“They’re not mass produced,” Lechuga said. “I think in recent years people pay more attention to where they spend their money.”

The couple moved to Forest Grove after living in Los Angeles because they wanted a country lifestyle that was still close to Portland — “a hub for independent designers,” Lechuga said.

“There’s nowhere else in the country where you can be a crafter full time. Oregonians seem to value handmade things,” she said.

Creations come from as near as Forest Grove, Gales Creek or Cornelius and as far as southwest Washington.

Some vendors are full-time artists, and some are just testing the waters, Lechuga NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Felted wool creations, napkins, wallets, pillows, belts, diaper bags and bibs, scarves, oils, soaps, lotions, jewelry, cards, prints, bags, cheese making kits, cups, hats and more line the walls of the Crafty Fox on Pacific Avenue.

“There are seeds of creativity here in Forest Grove,” said Lechuga, who wants to help other local artists make a living.

The store has received a “fantastic, amazing response,” Lechuga said. “Not only from crafters and artists but people who are just excited to see this kind of new shop downtown.”

The plan was to close Dec. 23, but if things go well, The Crafty Fox might open again in January and start accepting more vendors.

The Crafty Fox is currently open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Classes in knitting, crocheting, screen printing and veggie printing start this week. Lechuga is also hoping to start Toddler Tuesdays, a time when moms can come to the shop, craft and feel safe letting their kids run around.

“We really hope for this to be a communal space for people to gather and be inspired,” Lechuga said. “Come have some tea, hang out and make something.” For details, visit

Woman in the Woods

Mary Braukman has always loved antiques, so she finally opened a store on Main Street in Banks where she can sell antiques, resale items and crafts.

Local carvings of bone and antlers, handmade soaps and creams, knitted items, jewelry, antiques, home décor and vintage items fill the store. Other would-be vendors are on a waiting list.

“It’s not surprising for the times,” said Braukman, who opened Oct. 17. “There are a lot more people wanting to sell grandma’s furniture.”

Braukman has immersed herself in antiques for years. In fact, she’s squeezed so many into her home — and an extra shed — she figured it’s time to start selling.

A Timber resident, Braukman commutes to the store at 13650 N.W. Main St.

It’s open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Homemade stuffed animals will be at the Crafty Fox all season. Red Cottage Artists

Dorie Horne’s idea didn’t click with reality until she walked into the Spin A Good Yarn store and noticed all the empty space.

Horne, who operates Midnite Oils out of her Cornelius home, realized the space would be perfect for her vision of a holiday bazaar featuring local vendors.

Horne brought store owner Shawn Meinung on board and recruited about eight vendors from Washington County to set up stalls at the yarn store, which opened May 1 at 1703 Pacific Ave. in Forest Grove.

The bazaar, which debuted last Friday, Nov. 1, will be known as Red Cottage Artists, after the bright red exterior of the store.

Horne, who teaches knitting and crocheting classes at Spin a Good Yarn, has an art education degree and says the handcrafted bazaar offerings are far more than homemade potholders.

“Those are exquisite pieces of art,” she said of the carved and painted gourds by Rhonda Gill and the hand-carved canes by her brother, Jon Walters. Also participating is Horne’s father, an 89-year-old World War II veteran and stained-glass artist.

Other offerings include ornaments, quilted wall hangings, candles, honey, jams, coffee beans, hats and jewelry. Red Cottage Artists will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through Dec. 14.

Interested vendors can contact Horne at 503-516-3513 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Valley Art

As always, the grand dame of local art galleries will have premium Northwest art for sale this holiday season.

The nonprofit Valley Art, 2022 Main St. in Forest Grove, offers a wide variety of one-of-a kind pottery, cards, paintings, garden art, sculptures, ornaments, jewelry, origami, glass art, woodwork, silkscreen, baskets and more.

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