Try This: Earth Day, away!

By Ashley Swanson April 19, 2014 6 a.m.

The Clark Public Utilities StreamTeam hosts its 15th annual Earth Day celebration, with more than 40 organizations participating in the EcoFair. Activities include nature walks, live music, children's crafts and more. The Audubon Society of Portland will present a birds of prey show, there will be fish releases by the Northwest Wild Fish Rescue, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry will have an interactive insect and reptile station.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Double bassist earns solo spotlight

By Ashley Swanson April 19, 2014 6 a.m.

Nicholas Arredondo wanted to make his last concert with the Portland Youth Philharmonic one to remember. He will be one of two soloists featured in the philharmonic's spring concert, which will wrap up the orchestra's 90th season. Not only will the concert feature two soloists — a rarity, according to Arredondo — it will be the first time in the philharmonic's recorded history that a double bassist will be a featured soloist.

Styles wow at Couve Couture  

By Ashley Swanson April 18, 2014 6 a.m.

Downtown Vancouver celebrated a fashionable ode to spring during Saturday's Couve Couture. Ten local designers showcased their different design perspectives during the fashion show held at the Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay. It was also Seth Aaron Henderson's last Vancouver show before his upcoming move to Los Angeles."All the feedback that we've had so far, especially online, has been great. People are already excited for the next show," said Alisa Ann Tetreault, one of the show's organizers and designers.Other designers included Nike Pappas, the recipient of the show's junior designer scholarship, newcomers Kate Beeman, Nicole Smith of Sweet Spot Skirts, Carlie Bailes and Caryn Stockwell. It was a strong showing from returning designers Lydia Wagner, Dawn Elise and Kelsey Lovelle.All 600 seats that could fit in the venue were filled with attendees. The event was a community effort, said Tetreault, with a volunteer staff of 200 models, hair stylists, makeup artists, caterers and audio-visual crew working to transform the hotel space. Local catering was provided by Bleu Door Bakery, Compass Coffee, Niche Wine Bar and Willem's on Main.After the show, designers set up tables to sell and take orders for their designs. "You couldn't even get to the tables, because so many people wanted to talk to the designers," Tetreault said. "To get encouragement from the people in the audience, that's such an honor for a designer.""Brett (Allred) and I are already talking about next year," Tetreault said. And if someone happens to have a warehouse Couve Couture could borrow, she said with a laugh, they'd loved to take it over for their next show.

Try This: You can count on critters

By Ashley Swanson April 12, 2014 6 a.m.

Lizards, frogs and newts are waiting to be found by amateur herpetologists during the 14th annual Critter Count.

Couve Couture spring fashion show

By Ashley Swanson April 11, 2014 6 a.m.

Couve Couture has cultivated another lovely garden of designers for its spring fashion show. Ten local designers, including Vancouver's Seth Aaron Henderson of "Project Runway" fame, will showcase their latest looks at the Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Surprise frog reigns on canvas

By Ashley Swanson April 5, 2014 6 a.m.

It was inspired by an unexpected frog. Rather, a lot of unexpected frogs. Fascinated by the flowers of Hawaii, watercolor artist Lynda Raven Brake was taking pictures of the water lily ponds during her trip to Kauai's National Tropical Botanical Garden. "I didn't see frogs at the time, but when I developed the pictures, there were frogs everywhere," said the Felida resident.It was inspired by an unexpected frog. Rather, a lot of unexpected frogs. Fascinated by the flowers of Hawaii, watercolor artist Lynda Raven Brake was taking pictures of the water lily ponds during her trip to Kauai’s National Tropical Botanical Garden. “I didn’t see frogs at the time, but when I developed the pictures, there were frogs everywhere,” said the Felida resident.

Try This: Tulips, in still life or full trot

By Ashley Swanson April 5, 2014 6 a.m.

The tulip-themed events are one of the many options for getting out and about this weekend.

Sunbreaks bring out Clark County horse riders

By Ashley Swanson March 30, 2014 6 a.m.

For horse owners, spring is the season for conditioning their animals, after horses spend a long winter in the barn and the pasture.

Try This: Enjoy Japan's culture

By Ashley Swanson March 29, 2014 6 a.m.

The festival is one of the many options for getting out and about this weekend.

Try This: Dance, Play, Learn in Clark County

By Ashley Swanson March 22, 2014 6 a.m.

From the classic ballet of "Sleeping Beauty" to the iconic contemporary dances of Bob Fosse, "Columbia Dance Presents!" crosses dance genres. Columbia Dance's signature performance will include excerpts from the ballet, three pieces of Fosse choreography and a premiere work by Artistic Director Jan Hurst. The matinee show will feature a performance by the junior company dancers. The evening performance will include work by guest choreographer Eowyn Emerald.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Vancouver designer slips into lingerie week

By Ashley Swanson March 21, 2014 6 a.m.

Kaaren Bedi's slips, gowns and chemises are not something you'd find in a Victoria's Secret.

Try This: Season opens at farmers market

By Ashley Swanson March 15, 2014 6 a.m.

Say hello to vendors old and new during the opening of the Vancouver Farmers Market's 25th season. With spring right around the corner, market shoppers may find many vegetables making early March appearances. Visitors can be on the lookout for carrots, herbs, wild mushrooms, leafy greens, potatoes and radishes, along with bouquets of daffodils. Fresh-baked goods, local meats, handmade crafts and beverage samplings are some of the market's year-round items that are sure to start your weekend on a good note.

Try This: 'Spring Awakening' rocks Clark

By Ashley Swanson March 8, 2014 6 a.m.

Set in 19th century Germany, "Spring Awakening" follows the trials and tribulations of the teens Melchior, Wendla, Moritz and Ilse as they struggle with growing up in a society of repression and rigid expectations. Clark College Theatre presents this award-winning Broadway rock musical by Steven Sater with music by Duncan Sheik. The production is recommend for mature audiences due to language and adult themes.

Bits 'n' Pieces: A 'quiet' debut from N.W. writer

By Ashley Swanson March 7, 2014 6 a.m.

Dan Berne began his novel, "The Gods of Second Chances," three years ago as a longtime resident of Vancouver. Now a resident of Portland, Berne will be reading his novel Sunday at Powell's City of Books in Portland as part of its debut launch.

Try This: Partake in native culture

By Ashley Swanson March 1, 2014 6 a.m.

The Pow Wow is one of the many options for getting out and about this weekend.

Try This: The sound of 'Gold'

By Ashley Swanson February 22, 2014 6 a.m.

Two unusual orchestral concerts will take place this weekend, one spotlighting the musical talents of Charlie Chaplin, the other highlighting a tuba concerto.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Painting the flow of waves and time

By Ashley Swanson February 22, 2014 6 a.m.

Ridgefield artist Robert Bickel has painted his whole life, with periods of ebb and flow in activity. Bickel has been an architectural designer for 25 years. His work incorporates the familiar aesthetic of straight lines and geometric shapes against more abstract and natural forms.

Try this: Horse expo brings all things equestrian

By Ashley Swanson February 15, 2014 6 a.m.

All things equestrian return to the fourth annual Washington State Horse Expo. There's something for everyone, from the Extreme Cowboy Race and BlackPearl Friesian Dance Troupe, to the clinics by trainer Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship, clinician Craig Cameron and demonstrations by Marvin Pierce's Cow Dogs. Plus multiple vendors, show horses and more.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Lincoln's Beard band sees growth

By Ashley Swanson February 7, 2014 6 a.m.

In many ways, the fourth album by Lincoln's Beard will be the band's first. Titled "Honorary Sibling," it's the first record with the band's new members, guitarist Aram Arslanian and drummer Abe Holderman. It's also the first with a big record release concert, set for this week at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland.

Try This: Weekend offers diverse options for live music

By Ashley Swanson February 1, 2014 6 a.m.

The concerts are among several options for getting out and about this weekend.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Aspiring designer in fashion spotlight

By Ashley Swanson February 11, 2014 11:28 a.m.

Aspiring fashion designer German Madrigal, 25, will be showcasing his work on the fashion world's biggest stage. And it will be his second runway show.

Try This: Take a hike to beautiful Moulton Falls

By Ashley Swanson January 25, 2014 6 a.m.

Even in the winter, the Moulton Falls Trail, outside of Yacolt, offers plenty to see. Moulton Falls Regional Park is home to three waterfalls, volcanic rock formations and a three-story-tall bridge over the East Fork of the Lewis River. A moderate 2.5-mile trail runs from Moulton Falls Park to the Hantwick Road Trailhead along the riverbank. Hantwick Road connects to Lucia Falls Park via a one-mile loop, that also can be accessed from Northeast Lucia Falls Road. The area also includes parking, restrooms, picnic areas and equestrian trails.

Try This: Treasures galore at fairgrounds

By Ashley Swanson January 18, 2014 6 a.m.

Hunt for treasure or discover a new favorite knickknack at the ninth annual Clark County Antique and Collectible Show. With 400 booths filled with items ranging from large pieces of furniture to vintage Matchbox cars, visitors can also bring things from home for the five antique appraisers to evaluate. The Clark County Historical Museum will display its exhibit, "Vet Ink," featuring the stories of 11 Clark County veterans.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Featured artist embraces tradition

By Ashley Swanson January 11, 2014 6 a.m.

Battle Ground artist Cindy Lunde considers herself a "full-time artist, when I have time."

Try this: Winter's night & weddings

By Ashley Swanson January 11, 2014 6 a.m.

The first Second Saturday event of 2014 will explore a winter's night, which animals are out and about, the sounds they make and how they move. Second Saturdays explore a different topic each month through hands-on activities, crafts and games for children and their families. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Try This: Dive into fun

By Ashley Swanson January 4, 2014 6 a.m.

Starting today, a special families-only swim will be offered at the Marshall Community Center pool. Children and their adults are invited to splash about for free from 4:45 to 6:30 p.m. every Saturday. Children 15 and younger must be accompanied in the water by a parent or guardian.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Prairie girls dance into New Year

By Ashley Swanson December 28, 2013 6 a.m.

Spending your 18th birthday in London with your mom and best friend seems like a perfect way to kick off 2014.

Try This: A break for entertainment

By Ashley Swanson December 28, 2013 6 a.m.

The concert is among several options for getting out and about this weekend.

Try This: Toe-tapping holiday fun

By Ashley Swanson December 21, 2013 6 a.m.

Dance Fusion Northwest presents its fourth annual production of "Christmas Stories." Segments from hip-hop to jazz are threaded together by an original tale of a young mother and her daughter who hope to find Christmas Eve in the midst of financial struggles.

Weekend filled with fun holiday events

By Ashley Swanson December 20, 2013 6 a.m.

It's the weekend before Christmas and all through the house, the family is asking, "Can we please go out?" The season is full of sights aglow, as ballet dancers pirouette in sugar plum snow. Santa arrives by steam train chugging with cheer, and Scrooge's ba-humbugs echo for all to hear. As carols ring out with festive delight, here are Clark County holiday events for happy weekend days and nights.

Annual Santa Claus' Train to pull into station this Saturday

By Ashley Swanson December 15, 2013 6 a.m.

The ninth annual BNSF Santa Steam Train will be chugging into Vancouver on Saturday.

Try This: Laugh, drink & be merry

By Ashley Swanson December 14, 2013 6 a.m.

Consider boosting your seasonal spirit with two annual concerts this weekend. The 41st annual Singing Christmas Tree presents "A Joyful Night," as the 60-voice choir sets the stage for caroling performances, pageantry, a hand bell ensemble, local children's choirs and guest performances. Donations of nonperishable food is encouraged.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Artist transforms neighbors into larger-than-life works

By Ashley Swanson December 13, 2013 10 a.m.

Though the tools were familiar — charcoal, erasers, paper — the scale of artist Michael Smith's portraits also required the use his entire body. Often hopping up and down a ladder to reach parts of the 6-foot-tall portraits, "I was using a chunk of charcoal the size of my fist," he said. Smith viewed it as a "kinetic form of drawing."

Try This: Return of 'The Nutcracker'

By Ashley Swanson December 7, 2013 6 a.m.

A holiday tradition returns as Northwest Classical Ballet presents the ballet "The Nutcracker." Join Clara as she ventures into the land of sugar plum fairies, snow queens and rat kings with her Nutcracker prince. The production features the company's professional and pre-professional dancers led by Artistic Director Maricar Drilon.

Try This: Hornbuckle joins Trail Band

By Ashley Swanson November 30, 2013 6 a.m.

Soul and blues vocalist Linda Hornbuckle will join the Trail Band for a special performance by the eight-piece ensemble. “Making Spirits Bright” is the 10th annual benefit concert for the Salmon Creek Kiwanis Club. The Trail Band is best known for original and traditional arrangements that combine string and brass instruments, from tubas and fiddles to hammer dulcimers and penny whistles.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Foraging helps win Lamb Jam

By Ashley Swanson November 29, 2013 6 a.m.

Chef Sebastian Carosi of downtown's Muddy Waters restaurant, 609 W. 11th St, wasn't worried about making more than 600 "mini-burgers" for the Seattle Lamb Jam until his 200 pounds of local lamb shoulder arrived — unground.

Try This: A bounty of entertainment

By Ashley Swanson November 23, 2013 6 a.m.

Find all the fixings for your Thanksgiving and holiday tables as the Vancouver Farmers Market hosts a special Harvest Market. Late-season produce, from squash to peppers, baked goods, and locally raised meats will be available for purchase. The Clark County Food Bank will also be in attendance for a holiday food drive.

Try This: Dark comedy at Clark

By Ashley Swanson November 16, 2013 6 a.m.

Clark College Theatre presents "Curse of the Starving Class," a dark comic exploration of the American family with an absurdist twist. The Tate clan consists of a drunken father, a burned-out mother, a rebellious teen daughter and idealistic son trying to hold onto their family bond, rural farm and traditional ways of living.

The art, craft of Etsy

By Ashley Swanson November 10, 2013 6 a.m.

In this golden age of online shopping, there is also a parallel trend of wanting to spend our money on authentic and meaningful things, from local produce to crafted furniture. Three local artisans from Clark County have catapulted their creative wares across the globe, thanks to the website

Skyview student walks catwalk for top designers

By Ashley Swanson November 9, 2013 6 a.m.

Not many high-schoolers can say they split their time between friends, homework and modeling for legendary fashion house Louis Vuitton in Paris.

Try This: Saluting native cultures, vets

By Ashley Swanson November 9, 2013 6 a.m.

Second Saturday at the Water Resources Education Center will honor Native American Indian Heritage Month with specific crafts and activities for children to learn more about native cultures. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Clark County Open Studios Tour Artists connect

By Ashley Swanson November 8, 2013 10 a.m.

This weekend offers 50 chances to find a new piece of inspiration as our community of artists open their spaces to the public during the Clark County Open Studios tour.

Try This: Family field trip fun for all

By Ashley Swanson November 2, 2013 6 a.m.

The field trip day is among many ­options for getting out and about this weekend.

Try This: Season sets on market

By Ashley Swanson October 26, 2013 6 a.m.

This is the last weekend to find that perfect vegetable at the Vancouver Farmers Market, as the market draws to a close on another season. It's the season for pumpkins, nuts, apples, corn and mushrooms, along with locally made baked goods, food and crafts. Keep an eye out for the special harvest and holiday markets that will pop up in late November.

Bits 'n' Pieces: 007 tunes to get shaken with a twist

By Ashley Swanson October 25, 2013 6 a.m.

Soprano Inessa Karakuts Crown said she has two goals for an upcoming concert with Vancouver pianist Jim Fischer: to show the best features of her native Russian culture and to have fun with the audience. And what's more fun than a James Bond medley?

Try This: It's pumpkin huntin' time

By Ashley Swanson October 19, 2013 6 a.m.

Among the pumpkins at the Pomeroy Living History Farm this weekend will be a Civil War encampment with re-enactors on the grounds. Visitors can take a hayride through the decorated Pumpkin Lane, full of 90 "pumpkin people" on the way to the farm's pumpkin patch. There will also be a hay bale maze, farm animals, the pumpkin flume, tours of the historic log house and music by Wayne Hoffman and friends.

Try This: Fall Leaves Special on Chelatchie Prairie Railroad

By Ashley Swanson October 12, 2013 6 a.m.

Autumn enthusiasts can delight in a train trip through north county’s fall forests, thanks to Chelatchie Prairie Railroad’s Fall Leaves Special. The trip will be powered by the railroad’s restored steam engine as its winds through a 330-foot rock tunnel and by Moulton Falls along the 12-mile round trip.

Couve Couture veteran pushes designs, herself

By Ashley Swanson October 5, 2013 6 a.m.

High runway fashion no longer is reserved for far-away cities or television screens. And fashion designers can come straight from Clark County.

Try This: Check out the 'pumpkin people' in Yacolt

By Ashley Swanson October 5, 2013 6 a.m.

The 18th annual Pumpkin Festival at Pomeroy Living History Farm features a hayride through the decorated Pumpkin Lane, full of 90 "pumpkin people" on the way to the farm's pumpkin patch. There also is a hay bale maze, farm animals, the pumpkin flume, tours of the historic log house and entertainment.

Try This: Harvest some fall fun

By Ashley Swanson September 28, 2013 6 a.m.

Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Festival will open Bi-Zi Farms' annual corn maze and pumpkin patch for the season. The farm will be filled with seasonal produce, bale pyramid and hay maze, calf-roping station, pedal-tractor driving, wagon rides and one pumpkin included with admission. The seven-acre corn maze will also remain open late for adventurers who want to tackle the labyrinth in the dark.