Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oregon Trip

I still haven’t adjusted to the time change yet, but I wanted to share my photos of this awesome trip I took to Oregon with my sister Lisa.

We started out in Portland. The first day we went to Multnomah Falls with our “tour guide” cousin Jeannette, who moved there from Chicago 30 years ago. We hiked one mile uphill to view the falls from this bridge suspended over the rushing river below. With the falls continuing to tower above us it was simply awesome on this misty day, typical of Oregon weather.

Next we saw the famous Portland Japanese garden—equisite and serene. 

River rocks and moss are recurring themes throughout the garden.

We have a lot of moss in our yard at home and I always considered it a nuisance, but here, the moss was embraced and incorporated into the garden as a beautiful ground cover. 

 Loved the simplicity of this bamboo fence.

Our second day was spent shopping in the city. We loved the vibe of Portland—very mellow and laid back. (I’m used to New York City which moves SO quickly—here many of the streets were almost quiet).  

Although West Elm has stores in many cities across the U.S. neither Lisa nor I have one in Hartford, CT or St. Louis, MO. We were excited to wander around the Portland store and see things that we only admired in their catalog.  We loved this tree covered with pages from a book.

Lisa teaches high school art and wants to do a project with her students using this idea. I am thinking of creating something for a Rosh Hashanah centerpiece with Hebrew type. 

Another fun store was Cargo—eye candy for designers!  This store imports goods from the Orient and other countries. It had some of the most unique and funky items I’ve seen. 

Another beautiful garden we visited in Portland was the Chinese Garden. I especially loved the way they laid the stone floors. The pattern reminded me of an antique quilt. 

 Me and Lisa at the Chinese Garden.

Our last few days in Oregon, were spent in Ashland, five hours south of Portland. This small town is hopping with tourists all summer because of the many outdoor theaters.

We didn’t have enough time to actually attend any of them, but did see the gorgeous town and shops, while visiting dear friends who grew up with us in Cleveland. 

This shop was filled with unusual accessories and furniture for the home...

Wonderful trip to the Northwest!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moussia's Room

The finishing touches are done so it’s time to post my granddaughter’s room.

Just in case you missed the story about how I found her bed, click here. (You'll need to scroll to the bottom).

Hanging from the ceiling, just for fun, are colored lanterns in blue, green and turquoise—repeating the colors found in her Marimekko West Elm duvet. I found the lanterns, here.

A Hemnes Ikea dresser, gets personalized with green ceramic knobs from Anthropologie.

The hutch belonged to my mother-in-law. It was originally a dark brown oak, but a fresh coat of soft grey makes it work much better for a little girl’s room.   On the back of the hutch are pieces of foam core board, covered with fabric to add interest and softness.

The paper suitcases on top of the hutch were purchased at Essentials, in Northhampton, MA.

The inside was painted a bright apple green for an unexpected surprise. 

As seen on the Shabby Nest
Thrifty Decor Chick

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shades at Last

Although we’re lived in this house for 6 years, I am embarrassed to tell you that up until a few weeks ago, our bedroom still had the ugly white vinyl roller shades that came with the house. 

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to replace them; it was the weird sizes of the windows that kept me from doing anything. I wanted to buy something off the shelf, but the windows were not standard sizes and I didn’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars for custom window treatments. 

Finally, the large shade ripped and the time came to replace them. I took my measurements and went to Lowe’s. I was surprised and delighted to find these Solar Shades by Levolor. Not only did they come in my choice of colors, the package said Trim&Go! 

I found the nice lady in window treatment department to cut them to my exact measurements and as advertised, they were super easy to install. They open and close smoothly, and the price was under $150 for a total of 92 feet of window covering.  

The best thing about them is while I can view the outdoors, others can’t see in. They can work in almost any decor, from contemporary to traditional.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Homemade Lemonade

Summertime at our house means lots of lemonade. Easier said than done. 

1. It must be kosher.
2. It can’t have artificial ingredients like high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.
3. Organic is preferred. 

It’s pretty simple to make Lemonade from scratch and with Trader Joe’s selling a bag of organic lemons for $1.99 how could I not try?

Here is the recipe I followed. The key is making the simple syrup first, then adding water.

Perfect Lemonade
Simply Recipes
1 cup sugar (can reduce to ¾ cup)
1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
1 cup lemon juice
3 to 4 cups of cold water
1. Make the simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves completely.
2. While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
3. Add the juice and the water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water,  more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 40 minutes. Serve over ice.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Console Table Revamp

This console table was a hand-me-down…most likely from the 60’s.  I remember seeing this type of furniture where I grew up in Cleveland, topped with these kind of colored glass vases in weird shapes...

You'll notice the "before" picture has two large openings on top where I removed two marble slabs. They were chipped and yellowed and did nothing to enhance the piece.

After a quick trip to the local lumberyard, I had a new top cut out of Masonite and a strip of molding to replace the metal work on front.  Next it was time to sand and prime. The paint from Lowe’s is Valspar La Fonda Teal which they made up in the No-VOC version.

Aside from the color, my favorite part of the makeover are the knobs.  I simply glued stones to flat knobs for an organic, Anthropologie kind of look.  (Not my idea but love the suggestion--thanks, Lea)!  Now this console is much better suited for this young, hip, family.
As seen in Turquoise Lovin

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Shavuot Flowers

The Jewish holiday of Shavuot this year falls on June 8th and 9th. The holiday commemorates the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. To learn more about Shavuot, click here

The Sages tell us that although Mount Sinai was in a barren desert, when the Torah was given the mountain bloomed and sprouted flowers. Since Shavuot is also called a "Harvest Festival," it is customary to adorn the home and synagogue with fruits, flowers and greens.  Whether you are entertaining or just want some beautiful floral arrangements in your home, here are some simple ideas that are not only easy to do, they won’t break the bank.

Flowers + Fruit=Elegant

Find a container to use for your arrangement. I used an urn I had in the closet, but you can use anything from a soup tureen, to a soufflĂ© dish. I placed a flower frog in the bottom, but if you don’t have a frog you can use small stones or oasis to hold the flowers in place.

I cut the greenery from my backyard.  (If you live somewhere like NYC this probably won’t work—you’ll have to buy your greens).

Finally, I went to my supermarket and bought the flowers and fruit. I used Alstroemeria, (it lasts a LONG time) green grapes and small key limes.  I inserted wood skewers into the limes and arranged them in my urn making sure to cover the skewers with flowers or greens. 

Flowers + Manischewitz=Funky!

I got stole this idea from an old Martha Stewart story. She featured beautiful English tea tins filled with various flowers. I thought it would be fun to do the same with kosher food cans (actually, I had to dump some of the food into Tupperware containers to use the cans, but Michael really enjoyed the gefilte fish). Stick to one kind of flower or green per container, please.

Flowers + Paper bag=Simple

Couldn’t be easier—pop any waterproof container into a plain paper bag, fill with flowers of your choice and tie with a ribbon. More fun than a plain vase.

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