Introducing George!  His full name is “Gorgeous George” and no, we didn’t make that up – this stunning stuffed peacock was christened by his maker -er, taxidermist- a talented man by the name of Joel Mark Donahoe.

If you’ve been to Eden, then you’re probably already acquainted with George.  He is, after all, one of the first focal points upon walking through our doors.  Perching at a prime vantage-point on a shelf next to our front desk, George is not just handsome but tall – measuring nearly 7 feet from crest to tail.  And while he is currently the main mascot of Eden (until a shop kitty comes along,) it is possible to order a peacock of your very own.  (Imagine that!)

George and other taxidermy peacocks like him are hand crafted in Selah, Washington by Mr. Donahoe.  Donahoe founded his company, Natures Designs, in 1978 and has been active in running it ever since.

Growing up in East Africa as the child of missionary parents, Donahoe became interested at a young age in conservation and wildlife protection.  The first animal he “created” was a stuffed “panther” made from sheepskin.  His hobby blossomed into a career several years later.

Interior decorator and designer Phyllis Morris (another fascinating character) began stocking Donahoe’s animals in her catalog and soon after, they found themselves in many celebrity homes.  (Morris counted among her clients Joan Crawford, Lucille Ball, Gypsy Rose Lee, Liberace and Joan Collins.)

Despite it not being the mansion of a notable celebrity, George is proud (aren’t all peacocks proud?) to protect and oversee daily operations at Eden.  He’s a wonderful representative of Donahoe’s stuffed peacocks and would love to tell you all about his kin (who he assures us would be proud to share your home with you.)

Interested in ordering a peacock?  Come have a word with George or email info[at]edenportland.com

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You might know Miss Dottie Swain from Flutter on NE Mississippi or from Eden on NW 11th – she’s a marvelous lady who wear hats at both shops.  In addition to being a sweetheart of a person, a POS wizard, a closet metal-head and a realtor-in-training, Dottie has superb taste (including quite the nose for perfume.)  We asked her to select her favorite 5 scents at Eden and she obliged.

Here they are (from left to right) with descriptions of the scent (though we wish we could provide smell-o-vision!) As always, stop by Eden to sample one of our perfume testers in person!

Sage Machado Onyx: Black coconut, tobacco and oak-moss. Vanilla, amber and sheer musks.

Lily Lambert Pavo: Vanilla and musk, carnation,
mandarin oranges, cinnamon, peach and black currant.

Lily Lambert P (from SPECTRUM series) roll-on perfume: Waterlily, chocolate and mango with a whisper of nutmeg.

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles: pine needles, vetiver, bay leaf, spices, fruit and incense.

Voluspa Amber Lumiere Aqua de Senteur: light amber, vanilla benzoin and Indonesian patchoili.

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Clockwise from top left: Japan: Season by Season book • vibrant throw pillow by Trina Turk • gorgeous handmade earrings by Trune Jewelry • MOR Lychee Flower perfume oil (part of their little luxuries collection) • Pucci, a massive art book about -you guessed it- Emilio Pucci’s fashion designs • MOR Kale and Watercress soap • Seda France ceramic candle in Royal Incense • Annick Goutal perfume in Un Matin d’Orage.

All of the above (and much more!) available at Eden!

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Eden is quite proud to offer an array of jewelry designed and manufactured right here in Portland.  With so much artistic talent in one city, it’s no surprise that we are able to stock our antique cases with a bounty of locally made treasures.  Each one of our jewelry designers has their own totally unique style, process and aesthetic.

We sat down with Marisa Howard, designer of Seaworthy Jewelry for an interview about her training, technique, inspirations and plans for the future.  She’s got quite a lot to say, and this interview makes for a great read (if we do say so ourselves!)

Eden: At what age did you first start making jewelry?

Marisa Howard: I don’t recall the exact age that I started making jewelry, but I know that I went through all the necessary girlhood jewelry stages. I had a fimo bead making stage, a friendship bracelet stage, a hemp necklace stage and a beading stage. My mom has this amazing amber lucite jewelry supply case that I’ve always coveted. She had all of her jewelry making supplies in it from the seventies. She turned it over to me briefly as a teenager and the satisfaction of that always stayed with me. I think I did it all for the lucite case.

E: Did a particular individual (such as a mentor or relative) inspire / guide you at the very beginning?

MH: The women in my family are very creative. We always had crafty projects as children, if we weren’t outside playing, we were inside making something. At least that’s how I remember it. So, I would say my mom, my aunts and my grandma were very influential in that way.

My stepmom is also very innovative with fashion. A lot of what I know about thrifting, shopping my closet and color combinations I learned from her.

E: Do you still have the first piece(s) of jewelry you made?  What do they look like?

MH: I think the first piece of jewelry I made was a lovely paper clip necklace I made for my mom in grade school. Each paper clip was wrapped in a red sticky paper, I think it was actually quite nice. And, knowing her, she probably still has it. Dear mom, it’s ok, you don’t have to pretend to like the paper clip necklace anymore.

E: When did you first start to consider jewelry design a calling / career?

MH: What I know for sure is that I know NOW that jewelry design is a calling and a career. It’s a dream job really … that I never knew I was dreaming about. It’s not easy but I love it for that reason (and many others). Each step of the process has rewards, from hunting for vintage items, to forging metal, all the way to delivering the items and talking with shop owners – it’s such a treat. I haven’t called it my career yet, because I prefer to just keep my head down and keep working… if that makes sense.

E: Are you self-taught or did someone teach you the techniques you know?

MH: I am mostly self taught – I’ve taken a couple classes for some very specific metal working skills but mostly I just make it up as I go.

E: When did Seaworthy come into being?

MH: I consider the business, as it is now, to be about one year old. But I sold cards, journals and few key necklaces under the name Seaworthy for about 6 months before I really started a business.

E: What inspired the name of your line?

MH: Seaworthy means that a vessel is fit for travel. I like the idea of my jewelry being ready for an adventure, a new destination. I’ve always been fascinated and humbled by the ocean. I grew up visiting the Oregon coast. We would spend hours investigating tide pools and digging in the sand for creatures. My name, Marisa, has a Latin root, which means “of the sea”. My brother’s name, Dylan, means “born of the sea” or “son of the sea”. I was once captured by a sneaker wave (that really happens!) as a young girl, I was quickly pulled out into the ocean and tossed by the surf, my brother rescued me. It gave me a different outlook on the ocean I guess. It is unpredictable and completely stable in the same moment.

E: What are your goals for developing your business / Do you see Seaworthy moving in a specific / certain direction in the next few years?

MH: I hope to keep learning and honing my skills. I’d like to create more lines and meet more people. This might sound silly, but I just want to keep making jewelry, every day. I know that means I need to stay inspired and humble. My main goal is to start working with shops outside of Oregon. I’d love to be in shops in Austin, San Francisco and New York … big dreams!

E: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t making jewelry?

MH: Doing yoga and being part of a yoga community has changed my life. I feel like it’s opened me up both physically and mentally, and helped me to realize a lot of my life goals. I also love Portland bike rides and junk store shopping. I’m a sucker for succulents and a good glass of wine. I love gardening and creating landscapes…I’m excited about our vegetable garden this year!

E: Speak a bit to your process of creating a line…
Do you come up with a cohesive vision and work piece by piece to fill that or work in the opposite direction, building a line from individual pieces and letting what you’ve made influence the next designs to come?  (Or some combination or some difference?)

MH: I start by coming up with a color theme for the season that I’m working on. Then I put together an inspiration board of colors and style that inspire me. Then I sketch as many pieces as I can. Not all of them become pieces but it’s fun to get all the ideas on paper. This process usually includes digging all the scrap paper out of my purse and thumbing through my day planner to see what I’ve been jotting down. Once I have sketches and colors in place I start sourcing materials, this part is hard because I still don’t really have all the inside connections that I’d like to have, I’m getting there though. Then I make and remake, take apart, remake … until the piece is just right. That’s one process, the organized process.

The other process is I find something amazing…like a lot of vintage brass stampings and then a design is born from that. That happens a lot. I’m trying to stay cohesive within seasons but sometimes I just get too excited.

E: What (besides jewelry) inspires your designs / puts you in a creative place to be able to make jewelry?

MH: I am very lucky to be part of a circle of amazing crafty friends here in Portland. They are constantly inspiring and challenging me. I think when you get busy and overwhelmed, it can be hard to stay authentic. It’s good to have a support group reminding you of your unique and individual skill and talents. It’s very important to me that I what I make is a sincere reflection of myself and my life.

E: Speak a bit to your taste in jewelry…
What are your absolute favorite materials to use?

MH: Sterling silver and bronze are the metals I’m loving to work with right now. I’m always on the hunt for vintage raw brass stampings as well. I love them!

E: What type of jewelry do you find yourself drawn to?

MH: Chunky, tribal statement pieces seem to be calling to me lately. I also really love the egyptian themed pieced from the 1930’s and the lines of the art deco era jewelry.

E: Thanks so much, Marisa!

To see more of Marisa’s jewelry, stop into Eden!

Shown above: photos of Marisa Howard, her home and a sampling of her jewelry designs.  Photos courtesy of Marisa Howard and Mischa Ashton.

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One last sneak peek of the abundance of treasures available at Eden… we open our doors to the world tomorrow, May 20th at 11 am!  Please stop by, sip some bubbles and peruse Eden’s opulence!

Clockwise from top left: Lemon Emigrant butterfly • Garden of Eden by H. Walter Lack • A beautiful pair of earrings from Jesseca Anne by Paper Treasure jewelry (a collection designed exclusively for Eden) • Atlas Moth • MOR Cassis Noir Lip Nectar (part of their Little Luxuries collection) • Spot swordtail butterfly • Scented balsa wood lazer-cut fan • Crazylibelleule stick perfume in “26 Juin Ile d’Yeu” scent • Luxurious throw pillow by Tina Turk • Common Bluebottle butterfly • Voluspa jar candle in “Tuberosa di Notte” • The Day of the Peacock: Style for Men 1963-1973 by Geoffrey Aquilina Ross.

The backdrop of this collage is provided by the plumage of our stuffed peacock, George, and a display case lovingly filled with living moss by the incredible Hilary Holmes of Emerald Petals, a wonderful eco-florist located on Mississippi Street in Northeast Portland (and a neighbor to our sister store, Flutter!)

We’re incredibly excited to open Eden to the public and can’t wait to see you!  Come say hello to us in the Pearl!

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