Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An antiquing score

While driving out to the Needlepoint shop last week I noticed a 'Going Out of Business' sign on Antiques & Oddities. I don't get into their shop much, but I do admire their collection of windows while I pass by. Everything was marked to 50% off. I decided to stop by to see if there were any china hutches  since we are in desperate need of storage for our Dining Room, so much is still in boxes in our basement.

By the time I got there everything was pretty much picked over and very few large furniture pieces remained. But I did score a few items. I spied this pair of Eastlake style vases. There are different images on each side of the vase. The green color is perfect with the new fireplace tile as well as the wallpaper I am thinking about using on the walls eventually. They were made by Charles Barlow of Smithfield Works and thanks to the internet I was able to learn that this studio was indeed doing work in the time period I guessed, from 1880-1892.
I don't think I could have found a better pair for our the new Eastlake mirror! And at $50 for the pair, and 50% marked down I couldn't not buy them.
 Mr. W and I have long joked about getting a valet for him, but it isn't the sort of thing one comes across regularly in Oregon, and certainly not high on our list of needs. As I was getting rung up I did a quick scan around the room and noticed this awesome brass valet I had overlooked when I came in. 50% off $125 and I knew it was meant to be for Mr. W.  He was happier than I expected to see his new valet.

And honorable mention to Baby Boy and Punkin for allowing me to cruise through the store without too much trouble. I'm lucky they are easy children.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wallpaper ideas

I received an email from Bradbury and Bradbury that they are offering to waive their design fee for their B.J. Talbert roomset. This was one of the wallpapers that I ordered samples of last year when I was getting ideas for exterior paint colors. Conveniently for us, this roomset has a 14"h border, most are 24" or much smaller, like 8-10". The picture rail is set at 14" below the ceiling in every room in our house so it is a challenge. Also this roomset compliments our new fireplace tiles so well! Bradbury charges $600 (!) so it is definitely a good opportunity since I could get an idea of how much wall & ceiling papers I would need to order; and therefore, know how much money we need to save up for this room. I think they would be better at doing the reflected ceiling plan than me. I have no experience with that.

The upper sample is the wall fill ad the lower is a dado paper for the lower half.  It pulls out all the colors from the new tiles.

These are the frieze options. I like the one on the right with the  larger flowers. Anything would be better than what we currently have.  A girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to School dinner party

 I love our little tradition of a special dinner party the night before the first day of school.  This is our third one and this year we have two new students. Although he is only 2, Baby Boy is going to a pre-Preschool playgroup at a local community center. Yes, he'll get dropped off 2 mornings a week for an hour and a half each day. This should allow him some big boy fun and me some one on one time with the baby.

A place is set at teh table for our new Kindergartener.

And one for our Pre-Preschooler
 Each year I search the internet for ideas to steal from other people's back to school dinners. I loved the idea of paper airplanes suspended from the ceiling form the Glamorous Housewife's blog.
 I also stacked up some reference books. Will they even use dictionaries... or will it all be online?
 A few from the other side of the table. I was able to find more of my things this year post move. I've had that crayola tin for forever.
 Playing off the apple for the teacher idea, we had pork chops and apple sauce. Also corn which we picked at a birthday party on Sauvie's island over the weekend. This variety of corn is called peaches and cream and it is SO good!
 I found this school days scrapbook at LoN a few years ago and have been waiting to give it to my little student. I think it will be a fun way to look back at the previous school year before a new year commences.
 Our Little Helper loves all meats, utensils not so much.
 Daddy reads aloud from Curios George and the Alphabet to get us i the mood for learning to read this year.
The baby listens intently.
 Baby Boy fell asleep right before diner started, so we let him sleep. He doesn't eat dinner foods yet anyhow.

Monday, September 9, 2013


We went to a birthday party at a farm on Sauvie's Island and before we left we checked out the farm stand.  They had pickling cucumbers AND dillweed so I bought a big bag to make some pickles. It's been several years since I've done it, and this year I actually followed through. (I think last year I bought cucumbers, but couldn't find dillweed and the cucumbers went bad.) I had stocked up on apple cider vinegar though so I had everything I needed with the exception of garlic.

I used this recipe as a guide. I bought a huge bag of pickles though so I had to quadruple it. I also decided to cut the cucumbers into spears this time so that I could fit more of them into the jars. I was worried I didn't have enough wide mouth jars and I was right. So I did a quadruple batch of spears, then I went to Mirador Community store to stock up on more wide mouth jars and a few other canning tools.

I did the remainder of the pickles as slices for sandwiches. Several of the recipes I saw on line recommend adding grape leaves to the jar to keep the pickles crunchy. I don't have access to those, but I'll have to keep an eye out for them.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Under The Sea 6th Birthday Party

 My Little Helper always seems to pick his birthday party themes a year in advance. As I work on the finishing touches for one party, he is already planning the next. After we made last year's dragon pinata he decided the blue tissue paper would be perfect to make a whale pinata for a Whale Birthday party for his 6th birthday. Then a shark pinata for a Shark Birthday. Then a Squid Birthday.  I decided it would be prudent to combine them all into one Under The Sea party.

I wasn't keen on making another pinata so soon; and once we learned we would be welcoming a new baby this summer I definitely knew the pinata was out.

He decided he wanted a squid birthday cake. I copied this design. I debated whether or not to make two squids since it only serves 8 people, but decided to just frost the other cake round and serve it like a sheet cake.
 With a summer birthday we can have the party outside and we set up two wading pools and invited everyone to wear their swimsuits for some water fun. I found some water paper at the Learning Palace (meant for a bulletin board I'm sure) and decided it would make a good back drop for our activities. We found the sea creature cut outs at Lippman's.
One of the wading pools we set up for Bobbig for Sea Creatures. We found floating and non floating creatures at Lippman's.  We borrowed the other wading pool  from my mom and set up our sp[rinkler.

We had a craft station to keep children occupied while everyone arrived. Foam stickers of sea creatures and water paper to create their own sea scapes.

Once everyone arrived it was playtime.
 Bobbing for sea creatures.
After all that the children worked up quite an appetite.  The table was set with blue plates from the Teddy Bear Picnic birthday party and sea shells both collected and purchased. Grandpa is here visiting and picked out the big dolphin balloon.
I purchased this whale cup over a year ago at Anthropologie when he first mentioned he wanted a blue whale birthday party. I finally got to give it to him.

Bowls of peachy penguins, gold fish crackers, blue gummy sharks, and Swedish fish complete our Under the Sea theme.

Also on the menu, a fruit salad in a watermelon carved into a shark.

And Octo-dogs

We opened presents and then it was time for the Squid cake!

For party favors everyone got a bucket, which they used to collect their creatures from the Bobbing game. I used stickers from the invitations to decorate the buckets. They also got dolphin pinchers.

Happy 6th birthday to Our Little Helper!! I hope it was all the Under the Sea fun you wanted!

And a proud papa moment. Mr. W found this mermaid costume at Lippman's and just had to have it for Punkin. He's so funny with her, but I said okay since I knew she could wear it for Hallowe'en too.