When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
At Live Laugh Love Glass, the hot shop and fusing studio are welcoming venues even when filled with molten glass. Open to students age 9 and over, classes in glassblowing invite tender-footed artists to cut their teeth by creating blown-glass pieces ranging from votives to colorful flowers. Those seeking something a little more low-key can head to the glass fusing studio, or partake in painting classes, which include all materials and easy-to-follow instructions to create a finished painting.
For more than 50 years, the geologists of Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals have invited the world to peruse their collections within a historic, ranch-style home in Hillsboro. But the specimens on display have been around for eons longer than that house has stood. There are cross sections of petrified wood, for instance, with a "Talking Log" exhibit to explain how wood transforms into stone over millions of years. Semi-transparent agate stones tell the tale of the planet's volcanic past with their intricately formed layers, and meteorites bear the pockmarks of their plummets to earth. A room of fluorescent stones glow neon in the dark?a remnant from the prehistoric days before cavemen discovered lava lamps.
Most of these collections are on display indoors, but the museum's outdoor grounds are also a draw. Visitors can wander along a sandstone-tiled path, exploring lush gardens filled with ferns, wildflowers, and rhododendrons. If you walk this path?whether during a spontaneous visit or during an organized event such as the summer festival?you may spot some natural wildlife, such as deer, rabbits, or hummingbirds frenetically sipping from a feeder.
The picture preservers at A Framer's Touch encase beloved paintings, photos, and keepsakes in artfully constructed wall hangings that have garnered numerous awards at regional and international framing competitions. After art is transported to the shop, certified framers embark upon the 10-step framing process by consulting with customers to decide on the piece's materials, design, and ability to hang. A stockade of approximately 2,500 moulding samples proffers ample aesthetic options for frames' outer boundaries, and a variety of mats, glass coverings, and needlework choices allow for mind-bending levels of customization. Though rates vary as much as each piece's framed-in contents, basic prices range from $39.99 for an 8"x10" frame to $139.99 for a 24"x36" frame with a mat. To ensure professional work and eliminate the chances of frames being lost or damaged while catapulted between store and workshop, all framing takes place in A Framer's Touch's art-coddling shop.
In 1792, Captain Robert Gray navigated his ship, the Columbia Rediviva, into a hidden river entrance. In doing so, he discovered one of America's largest rivers, and quickly named it after his trusty boat. Gray would be best remembered for his foray into the Columbia River, but that leg of the journey was just one part of his explorations throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Garibaldi Maritime Museum honors his voyages ?and those of others?with models and displays about sailing in the 18th century.
Eye Catcher: An eight-foot-tall reproduction of the figurehead of the Columbia, which was also the first U.S. ship to circle the globe without a big push from a whale
Permanent Mainstay: A half-model of the Columbia shows how the ship was provisioned for its journeys
Don't Miss: An exhibit on the history of the city of Garibaldi fills an entire wing of the museum with turn-of-the-century photos and artifacts
For the Little Ones: Staff costumed in tri-tip hats help kids to solve ship-construction puzzles and handle items such as hard tack and tea bricks
Portland Aquarium, a December 2012 addition to Milwaukie, introduces visitors to thousands of waterborne species. Guests can slide their hands along the smooth flesh of a stingray or the knobby arms of a starfish or engage in staring contests with leopard sharks and jellyfish. Other exhibits include a cold-water tank filled with fish native to Oregon's coast and a rainforest-themed jungle gym for children. The tropical touch-tank woos visitors with its displays of vibrant-color aquatic life while amphibious wonders, including poison dart frogs, thrill visitors. Those seeking bigger thrills may hoist various pythons species?including a 15-foot reticulated or 9-foot albino burmese snake?upon their shoulders or get their picture taken with a lorikeet. Land-loving iguanas and panther chameleons also lurch around in the mix.