This site is dedicated to two companies, who create unique greetings cards related in their own way to the area that inspired them, Mount Hood.
Mount Hood, otherwise known in the language of the Multnomah tribe as Wy’east, is located in the northern part of Oregon, USA. With its perpetually snowy peaks crowned by twelve glaciers, it is the highest mountain of the state and and the fourth highest in the Cascade Range. Throughout the history, various heights have been assigned to Mount Hood. Currently there are 3 different heights with the top one being 3,429 m.
Wy’east is also a potentially active stratovolcano. Stratovolcanos are conical and they are built up by numerous layers (strata) of hardened lava, pumice, volcanic ash and tephra. The last eruptive period however took place somewhere in-between 220 and 170 years ago.
Mount Hood is home to a National Historic Landmark, Timberline Lodge, which offers a total of six ski areas, some of them are available for all year-round skiing. These areas are: Timberline, Mount Hood Meadows, Ski Bowl, Cooper Spur, Snow Bunny and Summit. After skiing, you can enjoy some red wine by the fire in the Timberline Lodge whilst admiring wonderful views outside.
Mount Hood belongs to the Mount Hood National Forest. There are picturesque alpine lakes, with charming names as Mirror, Lost or Trillium and four wilderness areas with forests, valleys with lavender in the spring, and fruit trees and berries in the summer. The abundance of fruits on the stretch between the mountain and the Hood River town is such, that the whole area is called Fruit Loop.
There are numerous legends relating the origin of the Multnomah name of the mountain, Wy’east. One of them talks about two sons of the Great Spirit Sahale, Wy’east and Pahto, falling in love with the same maiden, Loowit. In their fight for her attention, they burned the forests and destroyed the lands. All three of them got killed by the enraged father of the two brothers, who later on erected three mountain peaks, one for each of them. The present name however was given to the mountain in 1792 by a member of Captain George Vancouver exploration expedition, Lt. William Broughton.
The amount of activities that this area offers to the nature lovers is endless, be it skiing, climbing, hiking or relaxing in the lodge. Just one hour drive away from Portland you will be blissed with the beauty of nature. Old Salmon River Trail with its old-growth forests, Zigzag Canyon, Tamanawas Falls Trail just to mention a few inspiring places.
Ultrasol is a company dedicated to creating handmade artisanal greeting cards. All their products are unique and influenced by the mountains and the flora and fauna of the region. Ultrasol was set up by a couple of friends in 1999. It all started, when Juniper and Mandi went to buy a birthday card for their close friend. They read every single birthday card there was in the shop and they left with empty hands. They didn’t find anything they liked. Instead, they went straight to a stationary shop to buy a bunch of coloured papers with different textures and patterns, scissors, glue. Without realising it, they went on to create the first of many to come series of their own personal greeting cards.
Some of the techniques used by this creative team include:
- quilting – strips of paper are used to create delicate shapes; they are coiled forming flowers and other forms;
- embossing – creating raised images on the paper with application of colourful powders
- paper cutting – cutting out dainty designs in the paper
- block printing
What was meant to be a creative evening spent scrapbooking and creating a birthday detail for their friend, very quickly became a symbolic beginning of their regular creative meetings. Bit by bit, their friends, and their friends would place orders for cards and invites. Eventually, Juniper and Mandi converted their hobby into an activity, which started to pay for itself in question of a few months. Then, they took bigger steps, started to show their work on artisan markets. They have grown so much, that Ultrasol greeting cards can be found on Etsy, a global marketplace for handmade items. The brand ships worldwide. They are in the process of creating their own online shop.
Grania is another greeting cards-related company we’re proud to mention. A German yoga instructor and a Canadian diet and nutrition specialist, joined forces both in their personal life growing as individuals and as a couple, as well as offering retreats to small groups. After travelling for a number of years, Tanja and Pete have decided to settle down in a village near Mountain Hood, that won their hearts from the first day they saw it. They love exploring what nature has to offer in the Mount Hood National Forest. Being free souls they are, they see the surrounding them world with eyes wide open and an awe of a child. This refreshing attitude is expressed in their art: Pete’s photographs and Tanja’s watercolours. They each have their regular returning clients, who constantly enquire about the new additions to their portfolios.
To satisfy the ever-growing demand, they have decided to offer printed versions of their artwork. They sell post / greeting cards, as well as posters. The series of prints are very limited, usually they wouldn’t exceed 50 units per poster and 100 per card. The printing is done in a local print house on high quality acid-free paper, which guarantees quality of colour and very high light tolerance. All of the greeting cards can include, upon request, a spiritual or philosophical message, which you can chose from collection of quotes. The artists’ focus is on these two lines, prints of their own photographs and watercolours of Mount Hood area. They plan on organising a joined exhibition to promote the visits to the area.