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August 2011
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October 2011

September 2011

Just a little more Portland!

I loved this city and am living off my memories ... can't wait to get back so I can really explore more of the districts we ventured in to ... Hawthorne and Alberta Ave and Mississippi Market. I loved the made up names of some of the stores and restaurants ...  they made you stop in and see if the name lived up to what you thought was inside. Sometimes they did ... sometimes not.


Guessing by the intense crowd Gravy had great food. I thought the curtain tabs made from ties was more interesting!


Comforting antiques ... just like the name implies. What memories does porch light convey to you?

Best handmade sweet potatoe fries ever. If you need refreshments try the Farmer's Daughter.

By far my very favorite store! If you love love love creative components this is where you need to be!

I think what I loved most is that there was art just about any where you looked. The authorities obviously had no issue with creative tagging and we saw lots of that. Lots of old buildings with all the character they contain, too.


And then there were the dinner options! We walked ten blocks one way and ten blocks the other trying to decide ... we'd say "let's just walk to that red sign" or "let's just go to the next block" ... and we'd pass by one place after another serving things that you just don't find in White Bear Lake! We settled on Suzette ... can you guess what they serve?

We got there in time for happy hour ... small servings of entree crepes that were the perfect size. Let us save room for dessert! This was probably the very best meal we had in Portland!


There were photo ops everywhere ... 400 pix later it's hard to choose the best ones to show. Did I mention I can't wait to go back to Portland?







And in case you didn't get the meaning of the sign with the crow ...


Cool Cottons ~ Portland OR

If I lived in Portland, Cool Cottons would be on my short list of terrific quilt shops! Marie was great ... she was working alone like I usually do and dividing her time between chatting and cutting and running the cash out ... and she was so calm about it. She told us the store is four and a half years old ... its in a great old house where she's managed to use every space without it feeling cramped.



There's something wonderful about this old sewing machine framed with extremely modern fabric!



Lots of emphasis on sewing for kids. So cute!!

Cool Cottons gets the award for great use of space. Bolts were cut down and rerolled with short ends of fabric ... those annoying pieces that are too big for fat quarters but look horrible left on the bolt. Totally deceiving at first until you recognized what they were!


The stairs to the second floor were blocked and turned into display space.

Lots of open space and tons of light. It was a happy store030

While we were there a customer came in for quilting advice on this quilt. I love the white background ... she pieced the back with a bunch of different fabric. I thought it was funny that she said she sewed it from her stash ... and her stash all came from Cool Cottons! She had some stash!!


I'd go back to this store in an instant! Its in an area called Hawthorne district ... that neighborhood is filled with interesting stores and places to eat. You could spend the whole day there ... after you get done with Cool Cottons, of course!


Super easy home dec tweaks!

I like going to the Bachman's Fall Ideas House for the beautiful Autumn colors ... but also for the clever home dec ideas they have.

Like these book shelves. The books are shelves. Literally.


An old wooden box hung as a shelf ... love how they've used old jars and then made a chalk board on the front so you can label what's in them.

Framed metal numbers turned into a headboard in a little boys room.



They took a cabinet and lit it from the inside out. It brought what could be a dark corner to life and let  you see what was stored in there!



Same thing with another refurbished cupboard ... they painted the inside teal and then added shelves and electricity to light it up.


Teal is the latest color paired with black and white.


Anyone can make rolled paper flowers to fill a wall urn ... these were made from ripped magazine pages ... they had a lot of body and were so interesting to look at!

Used bike rims as wall art and wall organizers!





So many of the pieces were made from items you'd have at home ... or that were easy to get at the flea or thrift. I think they're showing that recycling can be hip and cool and fun!!


Fabulous Autumn decorating!

I love the Bachman's Ideas House for it's great decorating ideas but the Fall ones really are so terrific! Has to be because of all the orange and red and purple, right?


Lots of burlap in home dec lately.


Isn't this a fun idea? I love how the base of the pot was heaped with velvet and pottery pumpkins.




Cute way to wrap utensils on the sidebar ... leather ties held them together.

Another fun way to tie up the utensils. And they had pears with the guests names written on wired ribbon and wrapped around the top. Easy way to make the table feel special.

Loved the purple in this centerpiece.

Fall and wineries seem to go hand in hand ... they cut the barrels down and hung them on the wall to display the various kinds of wine and then spelled out the name in stamp press letters. Rustic looking.

Must have had a lot of wine! The corks were great for holding the candles in place.

On the wall in the dining room they hung botanical prints on to old pieces of wood with upholstery tacks. It was perfect with a gigantic flower arrangement sitting in front.


I think my favorite Fall decorating has to be their scarecrows, though!




Enter ... if you dare!

The Bachman's Ideas House is starting to become a seasonal ritual for me. This is my second Fall house now and I have to say, it's a close runner to the fabulous house from last year! After taking almost 200 pix in about 45 minutes ... well let's just say there's a lot to show and it may take a few days. I was so concerned about not wanting to miss this house that my entire flight schedule to the west coast was planned aroung being able to hit this first!

Hands down, Halloween is my favorite and the garden shed was stuffed with a cauldron full of great party ideas. By chance, the designer who lucked out on this assignment was in there tweaking stuff. Paul was a fountain of information about how the design team takes the overall idea for each part of the event and then each designer runs with it. He did a fabulous job on the shed ... I want him to do my next party!!





I thought the snake eyes and the broken frog hearts were an especially nice touch! There were so many suggestions that you could pull for a Hallween party!





It was cool that there was a three dimensional effect ... the windows were boarded up but you could see through them into the gardens outside. And to transition into the house ... here are some pretties of the displays outside.






Button button who has Mom's buttons!

Buttons 1
What is it about opening a tin of buttons that sends you right back in time? My sister Sue gave me this tin last Spring and being busy, I stashed it on a shelf in the closet. Once or twice I've looked at it ... or moved it ... but today I opened it up for a quick peek. My mom worked at a coat factory when my sisters were little so had quite a stash of buttons ... and there were always huge ones that would have been on some glamourous jacket. But I remember the blue ones because they were on my sister's dresses!

Buttons 2
In that same box of stuff that day was a bag of buttons ... they look so much better in an old strainer! A few weeks ago Sue's itty bitty grand daughter was in the hide out and the first thing she went for were the buttons. That little apple didn't fall far from the family tree ... straight down from Great Grandma!

Buttons 3
I don't get why I can not force myself to pull buttons from these old button cards. Look at them ... they're duplicates for crying out loud! What is wrong with me?

I have my own stash of buttons I've collected over the years. Is it any surprise that my first 4-H demonstration at 9-years-old was about buttons? The history of buttons ... how to make a button display ... how to sew on a button.

Sue has the coveted Old Dutch Potato Chip can filled with all the buttons we used to dump out and play with under the table. But somehow ... shortly after Mom died ... I ended up with the small Emerald Walnut can. It's kind of scary to open because it's edges are sharp ... opened up originally by one of those old fashioned can openers. But that's ok because I know almost by heart what's inside. There are the white buttons with red deep inside the opening where the sewing holes are ... there's a terry cloth covered button from my Mom's bathrobe ... and there are the parts of my pink and gold bracelet waiting for someone to string them back together. Just catching a glance of it now and then makes me feel happy!

Buttons 4

If you love Halloween ... grab your needle and thread!

Are you in the mood for Halloween? You will be when you see this new block of the month called Witches In Stitches!  We've been working like crazy trying to finish the  project ... we're not quite there yet but we're close! I know some of you have been in and have seen the marvelous work Jan did stitching it for us ... like us you've fallen in love with it! Once we get in one more piece of fabric we'll be able to complete the top.

Our block-of-the-month will begin on Thursday October 20 and will continue each month on the third Thursday. We'll have groups at 11am or 6:30pm. When you come to class, we'll get you going on each month's stitching and will give you basic instruction on how to sew the pieced blocks that make up the quilt. Keep up with us and by May you'll have it ready to send to your quilter ... it'll be hanging in your house next Halloween!

The registration fee for Witches In Stitches is $60 plus MN sales tax. That will get you started with the BOM pattern, floss kit, first month's fabric kit, and instruction. The following months are $13 each plus tax ... ya ... a little superstitious! You'll pay for the next month before you leave class. In between classes you'll have homework so that you can keep up ... we want you to get finished!

When you sign up, make sure you indicate which time period you want to register for. Seats in class are limited so don't wait too long to sign up.

You have to come in and see how detailed and fun each stitched block is! There are things that will surprise you and each time you look you'll see something you missed!!