Hunting for treasure in downtown Camas

The 10th annual Vintage and Art Faire brings unique art, antiques, handcrafted goodies to downtown streets on Saturday

A chair painting by Heidi Jo Curley. (Photo courtesy of Patti Ewart)

An all steel scale that can be found at the Chippi Chix booth during the Camas Vintage and Art Faire Saturday, Aug. 25. (Post-Record File Photo)

The Steady + Flight mugs designed by Earl Grey and Polka Dots creator Sara Pietila. The mugs will be available for purchase and cost $40 during the Camas Vintage and Art Faire, Saturday, Aug. 25. The mugs are meant to be used like friendship necklaces in that buyers keep one and gift the other to their best friend. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Pietila)

The Steady + Flight "space for dreaming" notepad designed by Earl Grey and Polka Dots creator Sara Pietila. Pietila uses recycled paper and compostable plastics for her products in order to be eco-friendly. Contributed photo courtesy of Kevin Pietila

An anchor design for the Steady + Flight line of Earl Grey and Polka Dots, designed by owner Sara Pietela. The anchor represents Pietela's best friend who died last year. Contributed photo courtesy of Kevin Pietila

Items from the Chippi Chix antique collection by Patti Ewart. The Chippi Chix booth will feature a wide variety of antiques with a rustic look during the Downtown Camas Antique and Arts Faire, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25. Contributed photo courtesy of Patti Ewart

Treasures await the community at the 10th annual Camas Vintage and Art Faire, which will fill the city’s downtown streets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25.

More than 60 vendors will showcase a wide range of vintage home and garden items, antiques, handmade jewelry, locally designed products and art, along Northeast Fourth Avenue and Northeast Birch Street.

Getta Gyro, Hello Waffle and Truly Scrumptious are among a handful of lunch vendors that will be available on Northeast Birch Street between Northeast Third and Fourth avenues.

Carrie Schulstad, executive director of the Downtown Camas Association (DCA), said this year’s Faire will feature new pottery, fresh paintings styles and repurposed items.

“People will be surprised at the breadth and depth of offerings,” Schulstad said.

Not only does this year’s vintage art festival focus on new and upcycled, it also honors a longstanding tradition, bringing live music to the corner of Northeast Fourth Avenue and Northeast Birch Street, with acoustic guitar and jazz music earlier in the day, and the Carol Rossio jazz trio playing through the afternoon.

Tables draped with vintage tablecloths and flowers offer festival-goers a place to sit, relax and enjoy the music. Need a restroom or water break? Journey Community Church, at 304 N.E. Fourth Ave., will offer free water and public restrooms.

The relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere and treasure-hunting offered at the annual event make it an exciting day for the community, Schulstad said.

Val Mouser, the festival’s vintage coordinator, said the event has a great vibe.

“People come to shop, but they linger to just take in the feeling,” Mouser said. “It’s just a really well-loved event in a setting that can’t be beat.”

Mouser said she likes the fact that the vintage vendors always bring a few surprises.

“From unique dolls made from found, old objects to repurposed clothing, along with all the wonderful tidbits of yesteryear — you have to just come and see,” Mouser said.

Below, we feature a few of the dozens of artists and vendors who will be at this year’s Vintage and Art Faire, including Heidi Jo Curley with her abstract paintings, Patti Ewart of Chippi Chix antiques and Sara Pietila of Earl Grey & Polka Dots.

Artist Heidi Jo Curley

Curley creates abstract paintings using her finger tips, and only occasionally uses paint brushes. She said she likes the way painting makes her feel and the freedom it provides.

Curley, 50, went on a trip to Italy in 2012 through the Art, Women and Wine studio membership by Elida Fields, of Elida Art Studio and Gallery in Camas, and discovered her passion for creating her abstract and mixed media paintings.

“I really do paint from whatever emotions or feelings that I’m having that day,” Curley said. “The art just kind of comes out.”

Curley will return to the downtown Camas Vintage and Art Faire for the second time with her art, and will provide live painting demonstrations.

She said she looks forward to talking and connecting with the people who visit her booth.

“When people come by, you can see them connecting with (your art) somehow, and hopefully I’ll be able to talk with them about their own story,” she said.

Curley, who experienced a family tragedy in 2010 and her mother’s death in 2016, said painting helps in her healing process.

“I began to paint and paint and paint. I was emotional and raw,” Curley said in her online biography.

Making art became a way for Curley and her father, Jim Sells, to connect, as he makes all of her wooden canvases.

Curley’s paintings offered her a relief from darker emotions.

“(Painting) was to heal my grief and work myself out of the darkness and into the light,” Curley said. “And now my art frees me.”

For more information, visit heidijocurley.com, or visit her booth at the Vintage and Art Faire on Aug. 25.

Chippi Chix by Patti Ewart

The Chippi Chix booth, anchored by owner Patti Ewart, will bring a variety of antique carpenter chests, vintage tool boxes and household items to the faire this year.

Ewart said she got hooked on antiques after searching for items for a family-built cabin about three years ago, and has since found a home for her antiques inside Camas Antiques in downtown Camas.

Her collection has a variety of antiques, but is, overall, more rustic.

“I have a lot of farmhouse-type items,” Ewart explained. “I like some industrial, too, and I like a wide variety.”

This will be Ewart’s third year at the Vintage and Art Faire, and she said she’s excited to show her antique carpenter chests, tool boxes, a large vintage postal scale and a big industrial table.

“It’s going to be a perfect day in regards to weather, but I’m just looking forward to having fun and talking with everybody,” she said.

Ewart said the best aspect of collecting antiques is the thrill of the hunt.

“That’s the most fun part, and I’ve met a lot of great people out and about doing this,” she said.

For more information, visit Chippi Chix on Facebook.

Earl Grey & Polka Dots by Sara Pietila

Sara Pietila launched Earl Grey and Polka Dots, her collection of greeting cards and stationery, in 2015. She will feature her new line, Steady + Flight, at the Aug. 25 Vintage and Art Faire.

The new line honors Pietila’s best friend, Lisa Cortney, who died in 2017.

Having first met when Pietila was only 12 years old and Cortney was 31, the two later became best friends who bonded over coffee dates that lasted three or four hours.

In her online description of the new Steady + Flight collection, Pietila describes the journey toward best friendship as a bit long and complicated, but says Cortney was her first mentor, and then, as she became an adult, her best friend.

“She was my person,” Pietila stated. “She really was the one I could say anything to; there was no shaming or judgement in our relationship. In the safe space that was our friendship, I thrived and came alive.”

When Pietila got married in Sweden, she gifted Cortney, her matron of honor, an anchor necklace.

“I told her she was the thing that kept me grounded (and sane while I was planning a wedding in a foreign country) and always reminded me of my deeper purpose,” Pietila said.

In Cortney’s matron of honor speech, she said that if she was Pietila’s anchor, the new bride was a hot-air balloon that lifted her and kept her from becoming too cynical.

After a brief illness, Cortney died on Oct. 24, 2017.

As Pietila wrote a eulogy for her best friend, she recalled the anchor and hot-air balloon story: “Together, we were the perfect mix of steady and flight.”

The Steady + Flight line includes two mugs — one with an anchor and the other with a hot-air balloon. The mugs will be sold for $40, at the Vintage and Art Faire.

The mugs are meant to be purchased as a set and used like a friendship necklace: you keep one for yourself and give the other to your best friend, Pietila said.

“For me, I guess the thing that sort of happened to me in the last year, since she passed, has been taking my business from these beautiful and fun products to deeply meaningful items,” Pietila said. “They’re more than products. The product is just the physical manifestation of the emotional component.”

Pietila said she hopes the mugs will be able to help connect friends.

“I dream specifically, with the friendship mugs, that people are sort of coming together and sitting,” she said. “My favorite thing to do when I spend time with friends is to cuddle up on the couch with a cup of tea and just spill, have it all come out. I think (the mugs are) just creating a space for people and a reminder that the connection is there.” Pietila said she started Earl Grey & Polka Dots by creating stationery, because although she loves being able to text and email, the things she loves the best are handwritten notes from people.

“I wanted people to be connected with each other,” she explained.

One of Pietila’s goals is to make her products as eco-friendly as possible, she said.

Almost all of her paper products are created using 100-percent recycled paper, with the exception of her notepads, which are made of partially recycled paper.

The wrapping around her notecards and notepads is made from plants and is completely compostable.

“It’s super, super important to me that I’m not adding more waste to the world,” Pietila said. “All of my notecards have been 100-percent recycled paper because I don’t want any new trees to fall for my products. If I can avoid it at any cost, I try.”

For more information or to order online, visit earlgreyandpolkadots.com.