This Summer We Swim

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Well, hello there, Summer! The raspberries are so ripe they are falling off the cane. Neighbors gather and leisurely enjoy them while catching up on the local summer happenings. I’m picking shirt-fulls of strawberries every morning from my berry patch, each one dewy and sweet. We have swung fully into summer mode: beers on porches, happy hour on sunny patios, punk shows at book stores, and riding our bikes everywhere. There is a lot to celebrate this summer. Notably, this is the summer that we begin swimming in the Willamette. I’m not sure how quickly Portland culture will be transformed or in what direction this might lead us, but it feels big.

For years we were told that the gentle, beautiful waterway that bisects our town was too polluted to swim in. On hot summer nights we would ride our bikes across the Steel Bridge allowing the upriver breeze to cool us. Who didn’t want to wash away the summer sweat with a quick plunge from the banks? We all longed for moonlit skinny-dips or splashy romps at Cathedral Park with our friends. While riding along the Springwater corridor I imagined myself swimming bravely out to Ross Island.

Our city that works has completed the Big Pipe Project keeping those pollutants that once fouled the waters during heavy rains out of the Willamette and the Department of Environmental Quality has proclaimed the river to be safe for swimming. To celebrate and spread the word, the good people at The Human Access Project are inviting us to swim and float with them on July 27th. I can’t wait to see fellow Portlanders launch canoes, inner tubes, and rafts from Poet’s Beach. Whether you find us there, at Hawthorn Cove, Cathedral Park or the secret Swan Island spot, if you are swimming with us, you are diving into a new Portland culture.
– E. F.

Little Boxes!

Portland has a ton of things to be proud about: good food, great coffee, acres of parks, the amazing climate… climate for small businesses, that is! This is our third year participating in the Little Boxes play & win Black Friday (and Saturday) shopping event, which showcases the incredible spectrum of locally owned shops around town. This year there are over 90 ways to win, and those geniuses built a free phone app to make multiple entries (and unlocking discounts) even easier. Check out the map and plan your route; this is a great opportunity to visit new shops, your old favorites across town, or the one you always spy on after hours; and while you’re having so much fun about it you can be GETTING ALL YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING DONE! We’ll be open from 10-7 both days, and in case all of that wasn’t a sweet enough deal, we’ll have hot cider and champagne. photo 1

Five Photo Writing Prompts, #2

We’ve got more photographic inspiration for you. Sifting through the big birdbath of photos is one of my favorite things. Enjoy!
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This one said “St. Johns, ORE” on the back

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Come see for yourself; there are hundreds, and they’re just a dollar each.
XO Sara

Benefit & Silent Auction

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If you can manage to make it to Mississippi Avenue on Saturday, stick around for this benefit auction that’s been put together for Cristine Bowman, a longtime employee of the wonderful shop Noun, who’s been battling cancer. This is sad news to post, but it does make our hearts swell with joy to see the community pulling together this way. A silent auction and DJ set will be happening at Mississippi Studios from 7-9 pm (the amazing benefit concert with Typhoon is sold out!), so stop by, have a beverage, and make some bids for a very worthwhile cause. Here’s a list of contributors to the auction…

LOCAL BUSINESSES:
EDEN
PORCH LIGHT
BLAKE
SWORD + FERN
INK & PEAT
TILDE
DEMIMONDE
ARTEMISIA
LOWELL
PALACE
OKO
YOGA UNION
MANIFESTO SHOES
FLUTTER
PEDX SHOES
JULIE LAURENCE YOGA CENTER
ALDER & CO
FRENCH QUARTER
HILARY HORVATH FLOWERS
AD ASTRA HAIR SALON
THEATRE THEATRE

LOCAL RESTAURANTS/BARS/CAFES:
MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS
ENSO WINERY
SAINT CUPCAKE
LITTLE BIRD RESTAURANT
COAVA COFFEE
HEART COFFEE
ZUPANS
DICKS KITCHEN
AALTO LOUNGE
SPEEDBOAT COFFEE
SONGBIRD CAFÉ
FIREHOUSE RESTAURANT
GIGANTIC BREWING
COELHO WINERY
DOLCINO WINERY

LOCAL JEWELERS/ARTISTS:
TALIA BROWN
KIERSTEN CROWLEY
LUMAFINA
TASI DESIGNS
BETSY & IYA
ATTIC JOURNALS
RACHEL AUSTIN
JESSECA ANNE
PUJI SHERER
LEAH NOBILETTE
ANNA JOYCE
JULIANNA SWANEY
NAN-MADE OBJECTS
ELIZABETH SOULE
ADBUSCH
REBEKAH DORTMUND PILLOWS
BACKCOUNTRY GEAR
HOO HATS
PETER SCHWEITZER PHOTOGRAPHY
JIM LEISY PHOTOGRAPHY

Five Photo Writing Prompts, #1

photo 1Hey there! For the longest time I’ve been wanting to scan some of our old photos and post them as writing prompts.

photo 5Since I don’t have a scanner, but I do have a decent camera on my phone, I decided to seize the day and post away.photo 4Here’s the inaugural post, with five snaps that once were lost and now are found.photo 3 Lucky you! It’s a peek into an oft-overlooked stack of treasures that begs to be mined for ideas for a poem, script or story. photo 2 I’ll try to do this regularly, since we have so many good ones come through here. XO Sara

Flutter + Emerald Petals = Extra Lovely

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By now you may have heard the news that Emerald Petals, purveyor of flower and plant delights extraordinaire, has moved in to share a roof with Flutter. They’re cozied up under the skylight in the back and we’ve magically jigsawed all of Flutter into the front 2/3 of the shop! We are so excited about this new development, which has been in the works for quite some time. It looks-and smells!-wonderful in here. If you are far away or haven’t been able to make it in yet, here’s a little tour of our place for your perusal.

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Across the River: East Meets West

When Flutter / Eden and Porch Light owners Cindy Rokoff and Keiran Best decided to split the space at 221 NW 11th Ave. (formerly Versailles Interiors) last spring to open two new shops, they had a good feeling about Portland’s west side.  Friends and former Mississippi Avenue neighbors, Best and Rokoff turned out to be far from the only business owners to sense an opportunity across the river.  

There’s currently an east-side exodus of shops, coffee houses and eateries moving or setting up second (or third) locations downtown, in the Pearl and in Portland’s newly christened “West-End” neighborhood.  In case you’re an east-sider who hasn’t been downtown in awhile, or a west-sider who may not yet have gotten around to exploring new neighborhood businesses, we thought we’d shine a little spotlight on some of the new additions to the west side neighborhoods!

Stylistically speaking, Eden is undoubtedly a relative of Flutter – you can find perfume, art books, gifts, candles, vintage furniture and clothing and locally designed jewelry.  Eden differs from Flutter with a more refined, curated aesthetic (think less Flutter-Clutter,) taking note from London’s swinging 70’s, a love of nature, an exotic influence (imported textiles, jewelry and antiquities) and rock and roll 

Next door neighbor Porch Light presents a decidedly different look compared to the location it moved from; while the Mississippi shop courted a flea market aesthetic, Porch Light of the Pearl features a tightly curated range of products, new and old, neatly arranged on sunlight wooden shelves and adorning the tops of found barnhouse furniture.  

Halo Shoes, notable for their high-end and bespoke selection of mens and womens’ footwear, moved from Irvington to the Pearl District in 2010.  Find brands including Costume National, Cydwoq, Dries Van Noten, Luciano Padovan, Grenson, Moma and Wolverine 1000 Mile.

Right down the street from Eden, Popina Swimwear Boutique set up a second shop just two years ago (their first is on NE 42nd Avenue,) offering a range of swimwear and swim accessories, including some of owner Pamela Levenson’s designs.

In our building, eatery Oven & Shaker moved in just a few months ago.  A collaboration by Cathy Whims (of famed SE restaurant Nostrana,) ChefStable’s Kurt Huffman, and Aviation gin’s Ryan Magarian, this new restaurant serves up pizza, small plates and artisan cocktails.

Around the corner from Oven and Shaker, EAT Oyster Bar is currently building out the space directly next to Porch Light.  The new restaurant is going to be called Parish and we can’t wait to see what they cook up!

Mississippi neighbors Mee Sen Thai just purchased Jinx Cocktail Lounge, bringing the East side head count in just our building up to five!

Fellow Mississippi vintage shop Animal Traffic has happily found a second home in the neighborhood as well, with a brand new location on SW 10th Avenue.  Expect to see slightly different products in the new store with the same western / heritage aesthetic that Animal Traffic has become known for!

A few months before Eden opened, Barbara Seipp moved and rebranded her clothing store (formerly Phlox) and opened Isaac Hers (also the name of the clothing line with Seipp designs) just south of Burnside on SW 13th Avenue.

New(ish) New York style pizzeria Sizzle Pie found such success on East Burnside that they opened a location on West Burnside just across the street from Powell’s Books.  With vegan and vegetarian options, Sizzle Pie has quickly become a crowd pleaser on the west side as well.

Fellow East Burnside business Lille Boutique opened a second location last year called Lille Trousseau, which specializes in wedding and honeymoon lingerie (conveniently it’s located right next to The English Department on SW Alder Street!)

And don’t worry, there’s coffee, too: east-side coffee shop The Fresh Pot opened a third location last year on SW Washington Street!

We’re tremendously excited to be part of a movement of businesses re-energizing, re-innovating and re-imagining Portland’s West Side.  We can’t wait to see who joins us next!

The Portland Bazaar

Flutter and our sister store, Eden are participating this weekend in The Portland Bazaar!  The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday at The Sandbox Studio from 9 am – 6 pm.  There will be over 50 local vendors, food, craft classes, liquor tastings, book signings and plenty of shopping.  We’re bringing down a lot of inventory from both shops as well as highlighting some local designers in our booth.  Here’s a taste:

 Reconstructed vintage dresses from Ark Clothing.
 Chocolate truffles, wishbones, mustaches and lumps of coal from Neopolitan Chocolates.
 Terrariums and wreaths from our Mississippi neighbor Emerald Petals.
Brehan Todd Jewelry (the designer herself will help man our booth!)
Jesseca Anne Jewelry (the designer will also be at the booth with us both days!)
Pure Jewelry.
 Seaworthy Jewelry.
 Handmade leather wallets and pillows from Lees Lamar.
 Fur stoles with bright silk linings and bow-ties from Lees Lamar.
Pillows handmade from vintage Turkish suzanis.
 
…plus a few surprises we’re keeping up our sleeve.  Stop by 

A Few Fluttery Things.

Happy Sunday! I hope you all are feeling well-rested with an extra hour of sleep thanks to Daylight Savings Time. Today I have a few things to share. First, I must mention that our sister store Eden (located in the Pearl District) now has an online shop, as well as a stunning new lookbook! The photographs, by Annie Montgomery, were shot in a Washington Forest and feature beautiful jewelry and vintage clothing, models, and even furniture (yes, put in the middle of the trees.) I think it all turned out so beautifully, and am quite happy Eden goods can now be purchased from all over the USA!

Second, we have some new lovely items at Flutter that I’d like to share. All can be purchased in our shop, and most online…


1. ‘My Mom, Style Icon’ from Chronicle Books ($18.95), 2. Rock candy! ($2), 3. Super cute animal nodders are back ($10), 4. Antiqued corkscrews in various styles ($34), 5 and 6. New scents in lovely containers from Voluspa ($26 and $20), 7. Set of six spinning wooden tops ($12.50), and 8. ‘Instrument,’ also from Chronicle Books ($29.95)

And lastly, just some shots from my recent workdays. Every day I’m there, I can’t help snapping photographs. It’s just too dang pretty inside!


paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling.


pretty vintage garments all hung in a row.


a tray of old photographs. Loving that pretty lady on top.


King, mid-meow. He’s the best.

Portland Monthly

Here’s the recent article about Flutter in this month’s issue of Portland Monthly. Many thanks to Jill Spitznass and the Portland Monthly for including us in their fine publication!

Roadside Attraction
by Jill Spitznass

Flutter owner Cindy Rokoff admits that, as a teenager in rural Kansas, she was embarrassed by her mother’s then-unfashionable gift for junking. “She’d pull the station wagon over to see if an old chair had potential,” Rokoff recalls. “I’d say, ‘Can’t we just go the mall and buy things?’”

Today, surrounded as she is by the collection of intriguing home and body items at her N Mississippi Avenue shop, it’s clear that Rokoff inherited her mom’s eye for the unsung beauty—or the charming quirkiness—of an object. A jumble of vintage woodcut letters is strikingly handsome, for example, when displayed in an elegant glass jar atop an antique table, while a stunning milk-glass chandelier hovers above a wooden boxful of chrome trophies resting on the velvet cushions of a 1930s couch. Meanwhile, eight finches (Flutter’s de facto mascots) chirp and preen inside an oversize French birdcage, entertaining shoppers who peruse reworked vintage apparel, classic holiday garlands, and imported bath luxuries.

Now the mother of two, Rokoff concedes that history is repeating itself at home. “I recently found my 9-year-old moving furniture around the house, and I thought, ‘Oh, no—it is genetic!’

Published: December 2008
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