Catching Up

A few weeks ago, at one of my favorite spots, I thrifted all of this:

catchingup1The threadbare rug now lives in the kitchen; it’s a bit too large, but that’s because my kitchen is so small that any attempt to do jumping jacks would result in one hand going through the window while the other hand smashed into the fridge. The teeny blue pot is now the home of a little succulent dude that my son found rolling around on the sidewalk. The cotton fabric is actually a set of IKEA drapes that I turned into slipcovers for Poangs. The boat is one bookend; my partner thinks that purchasing this item is an act too stupid for words. The heart lives on the kitchen wall. And the lamps became this:

lampwith the addition of gesso, a very thin wash of lilac acrylic paint, and some gold paint that I added for absolutely no reason at all. I was happily slapping this mixture on the lamp bases when I noticed that it might be leaking down into the brass neck area. I have some kind of twisted fear of plugging in electrical appliances (I practically shit bricks sometimes when I have to vacuum) and I was suddenly freaked out about plugging the lamps in and turning them on, so I let them dry for an extra day until my visions of electrocution had subsided. Moving on, all is well. Coming up soon: some posts about stuff that I found on the street.

lampy   slipcover


Sunday Baking

shortbreadCrazy week. I found out the hard way that I’m allergic to yellow jacket venom. But you know I wouldn’t leave you without some of my partner’s baking. This weekend: Chocolate Chip Shortbread.

Market Day

parkblocksStrolling through the Park Blocks to the PSU farmer’s market.

fmarket1This picture is just a fraction of what is there; this is the view from the center.

gbeansHella green beans. These beans were the longest I’ve ever seen, some were easily 10″. Crazy!

sblossomsWhile I was waiting to take this photo, I overheard this conversation:

Some Guy (picking up flower and waving it around): Why do people get these?

Some Other Guy (with authorative voice): Oh, they rip them up into pieces and throw them on salads.

Okay. “You think that? Act that way.” – Al Pacino as Ricky Roma, Glengarry Glen Ross

cheeseThis cheese is made by Willapa Hills cheese. We usually get the Big Boy Blue. Very tasty! I asked the nice women at the booth, “Can I take a picture of your cheese?” and they acted like I was a normal person. I’m not, trust me.


After we shopped, we stopped by Case Study for a caffeine break and some bagels. I had this onion bagel made by nuvrei here in Portland. So many onions! A properly chewy and dense bagel with a lot of flavor.

A pretty good morning, I’d say…

Road trip / Aurora : Part 3

After tormenting our child by dragging him to several stores and igniting in him a burning hatred for antiques for all eternity, we left Aurora and headed home. I’ll throw in one last beauty:

basinI love the Greek Key design, the lilac color, and the scale- the basin is nearly 2′ across. I could see this in a black and white bathroom…ahhhh.

On the way home, to prevent our son from gnawing off his own arm (you need more restaurants Aurora), we looked for food. We took a chance on a small Mexican place in Canby, and we were not wrong. We were victorious.

El Chilito, I praise your chile rellenos platter:

el chilitoHomemade escabeche, homemade salsa that called itself hot and actually kinda was (it did not pass my Dad’s “pain and tears” test, but it was pretty hot), big chiles, goopy cheese, and tortillas that seemed to be homemade. This place was homey and simple, the people were friendly, and it definitely had the crucial “Three B’s” : bueno, barato y bastante. And my personal fourth indicator of quality: styrofoam. Yes, I know it’s not eco-friendly, Portland. Give a little, get a lot. This is the real shit.

chilto2We drove home in a carb-induced stupor with memories of California in our heads. It would be worth it to go out to Canby just for that. I highly recommend this place to homesick Californians.

Here we are at the end of this trip and I hope to take some more soon. It’s good to get away from home and get some perspective.


Road Trip / Aurora : Part 2

We went to several antiques stores in Aurora, but the one that blew our collective minds was Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage. Even the outside of the building is impressive:

salvage1I didn’t know anything about this place, and had no idea just how amazing it would be. Portlanders, this place makes Hippo Hardware look small. There was more than I could even hope to take pictures of…here were some of my favorite things.

Tons of industrial lights:

salvage2These amazing sawhorses (and the Sick Room paned glass!):


salvage3There were many oversized items, it is hard to convey the scale of some of them, like this farmhouse table:

salvage8which must have been about 7′ long and had the palest pink legs. Or this canoe with incredible turquoise paint:

salvage7  salvage9…and this crazy iron skillet clock that was about 3′ in diameter. These were small, a child’s set with beautiful patina:

salvage4This dough trough should be mine, mine! :


salvage5There was also this lamp made from some industrial part:

salvage6And finally these French canning jars. So big! I had my son do some hand modeling to convey the scale:

salvage10Do not come here expecting country prices: this place is only 35 minutes from Portland, their stock is impressive, and they know what they have. You will be paying full retail. Having said that, it is well worth the trip, and is easily one of the best antiques places I have been to in Oregon. My partner kept saying, “We really need to make more money…I see some stuff I need to get”.

Final installment tomorrow…



Road Trip / Aurora : Part 1

We actually got out of town this weekend and headed to Aurora, the “Antiques Capital of Oregon”. Aurora is a small town of just over 900-ish residents that was founded as a Christian utopian colony. Today it is known for having an abundance of antique stores and historic buildings, many of which are white and reminiscent of New England. aurora5

white doors



blue shuttersYou’re never far from hippie business in Oregon:



treeheartOur first stop was the White Rabbit Bakery, which was cozy and clean and had great pastries.

whiterabMy partner had this mushroom and spinach quiche:

whiterab2and I had this tomato pesto galette:

whiterab3This had an amazing buttery,flaky crust and whole slices of tomato inside. Damn, it was good. Afterwards, we stopped at a garage sale where I picked up my only purchase in Aurora, this $1 bowl:

rbowlDefinitely redware…

rbowl2definitely older and handmade…

rbowl3maybe a vintage Mexican piece? It’s too much to hope that it could be American. I once found a redware plate with slip decoration that had a chip. I thought that it might be a recent reproduction so I passed it up, but at soon as I got home, I could just feel that it was actually old and I wasn’t able to go back and get it. Arghhh! I frustrate myself when I ignore my intuition.

The lady of the house also tried to sell me a rabbit. I had to decline. (Cue my son jumping up and down saying, “I want a rabbit. Can we have it? Why can’t we have the rabbit?!…”)

Part 2 tomorrow…