Aimee Miller is a window dresser, but not just any window dresser. Miller creates complete environments for stores such as Dazzle, Finn and Gilt, as well as Cargo , a giant warehouse of global goodies (it takes up over 20,000 square feet) that sits smack dab in the middle of the Pearl District. Cargo's owner, Patty Merrill, hired Miller over a decade ago to help her out in her store, and that's how Miller, who looks a bit like a character out of a Luc Besson film, started creating her works of "enviro-art." Over the past decade the 42-year-old visual artist has created at least 75 altars, including two huge ones currently holding court at Cargo and one tiny, tiny one at Guardino Gallery on Northeast Alberta Street. In honor of Friday's Day of the Dead Festival, Miller supplied WW with all the necessary steps to make your own DIY Day of the Dead altar .
Step One: Build the bones of your altar.
The first thing you need to do is set up the basic structure of your altar. Stack your tables and boxes into a structure that's pleasing to you. You can put your focal point in the middle at the top of a pyramid and work down from there. And remember, your altar doesn't have to be big—it can be tiny enough to fit on a windowsill.
Step Two: Decorate it!
Put all your offerings and decorations on the altar. This is the fun part. Really go crazy here. It's easiest to place your larger items first, and then the small stuff. You can pack your altars full of stuff, or take a more sparse approach. Remember, there are no rules. It only has to be meaningful and beautiful to you!
WEDNESDAY OCT. 31
Rabbit in the Moon has been making wild, multimedia-driven shows for over a decade, but this is the influential Florida group's first trip to Portland. On Air has the potential to be one of Portland's coolest new venues with a 1,400-seat capacity and an allegedly kickin' sound system. Your new Halloween plans are set.
THURSDAY NOV. 1
The North Portland Tool Library's first fundraiser's got everything—bicycling, Proper Eats and cinema! NPTL is hosting a costumed bicycle ride with gravesite pit stops at nearby cemeteries—including a stop at the grave of the founder of St. Johns himself, James John. Finish up with a flick at the St. Johns Twin Cinema-Pub ($4 of the $10 ticket price is donated).
[FAMILY] Ice Queens
The Disney merchandising juggernaut is here with "Princess Wishes," featuring the stories of seven Disney princesses and the fulfillment of their deepest wishes. Our wish is for a bigger magic wand to whack them with. Rose Garden Arena, 1401 N Wheeler Ave., 235-8771, rosequarter.com. 7:30 pm Thursday-Friday; noon, 3:30 and 7:30 pm Saturday-Sunday. $16-$60. All ages.
FRIDAY NOV. 2
Kickball shows are one part fridge-magnet poetry, one part Eastern mysticism, one part hard bop and one part pep rally.
SATURDAY NOV. 3
Siren Nation is doing Girl Power the way it should be done: with balls! Tonight finds old friends like dreamy-nerdy Mirah and soulful Siren's Echo performing alongside new guitar-shredding sensations Swan Island and Marisa Anderson. Don't be a bitch, go check Siren Nation out.
MONDAY NOV. 5
Nibble hors d'oeuvres and see the fruits of PlayWrite Inc.'s dramatic-writing workshops for Portland teens, performed by the likes of Wade McCollum and Noah Jordan.
TUESDAY NOV. 6
Measures 49 and 50 ain't gonna pass themselves. Get your ballot to a designated dropsite by 8 pm tonight, or Dick Cheney will eat your first born.
Cargo, 380 NW 13th Ave., 243-7804. Take a virtual tour at cargoinc.com. Guardino Gallery, 2939 NE Alberta St., 281-9048. The gallery's Día de los Muertos display continues through Nov. 18.