Parts and Labor boutique presents the unique

June 29, 2005

Art, function, and a bit of history meet at Parts and Labor, a “modern lifestyle boutique” that opened June 11 at 112 Third St.

Owner Casey Cunningham sells men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, as well as jewelry, candles, picture frames, belts, gift items, and other items.

“I try to keep a mixture of unknown and name brands,” Cunningham said.

“I like finding things that aren’t available at other boutiques. I got bored with going to places in Portland and finding the same things you’d find in stores in other places.”

One of her favorites is a line of dresses by Portland designer Karaline; just two other stores carry her dresses. Another is Pre-Loved, a collection of vintage sheets made into shirts and dresses.

Plenty of unusual merchandise stands out on the shelves.

“Yesterday I sold the Camaro,” Cunningham said, pointing to the line of handbags on one wall. They are the creations of Kim White of Los Angeles: handbags made from upholstery of 1970s cars such as Gremlin, Camaro, and Firebird. Cunningham said White found a warehouse full of the old upholstery, and dreamed up a new use for the obsolete material.

She also sells vintage slips, hand-dyed in new, pastel colors, known as Glam Garb.

Cunningham goes to trade shows and shops on the Internet, often dealing directly online with the person who made the product.

“I like finding things that you might not find anywhere else in Oregon,” said Cunningham. “It’s fun. You’re not always dealing with reps but with the people who actually make the product.

Enter the very name Parts and Labor: she almost opted for another, more feminine shop name before realizing that she would also carry men’s items. Cunningham plans to design her own t-shirts and other products.

“It takes the labor to come out with the product,” Cunningham said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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