At this point I don't believe that festival season in Portland will ever actually come to an end, and that's okay with me. Design Week Portland is one of this year's new additions to the throng, premiering October 9 and running through the 13th. A joint effort between numerous design-oriented organizations, the not-quite-a-week-long schedule is brimming with presentations, tours, talks, and workshops that touch on virtually every department in the design world, and many of the events are free or very inexpensive (like $4) to attend (though space may be limited). Registration for most doesn't start until Tuesday, with more events opening up daily through the 22nd, but you can start planning your busy schedule now.

Even if you're not directly employed in the design world, you can still take advantage of the hands-on events and pick up new crafty skills. Em Space, for instance, is hosting the Print Make Share contest, in which individuals and teams can enter their original designs carved onto 18 x 24” linoleum blocks (basically giant stamps), prints of which will be auctioned off to benefit Em Space’s book arts workshop program. But even if you're like, "Linoleum what?" you can still get in. Em Space is also hosting the charmingly titled "Wino Cut," an evening of instruction and wine drinking on Sept 23 (5-8 pm) for free (though there's a $25 fee per team to join the competition). Get out there and learn something. With your hands!