Eugene, OR: Staycation Idea #1

Vero Espresso House, in Eugene, Oregon.

It's a long weekend across the our country and Mr. Monkey and I are looking forward to spending some quality time at home. As I drive around town I've been thinking about if I were not driving and I was walking or biking instead how would I want to spend a luxuriously relaxed morning in Eugene. 
So here's my walking tour of how I would spend about 3 hours in town on Willamette St., one of the central arteries of Eugene life. 
Stop 1: Holy Donuts (1437 Willamette Street). I would start my morning at the locally started & fostered Holy Donuts. On a nice day you can sit out in the courtyard sipping coffee and savoring each bite of your organic, dairy, and egg free donut. My faves are the itty bites that you can get for a dollar a piece and they are great for a taste of the entire donut without the after-sugar whole doughnut guilt.  Word has it that they now have their own version of the Maple Bacon Donut that competitors Voodoo Doughnuts are famous for. With Voodoo just opening up about 6 blocks away there is sure to be some healthy (or not-so-healthy) competition. After talking to whoever is in the shop at the time about Eugene goings-on I would walk north on Willamette for some shopping. 
Stop 2: Delux Fashion Shop (1331 Willamette Street). From the Yelp reviewers you can tell that this is a great place to spend an hour or so. Search for treasures in an excellent variety of locally made clothes and jewelry as well as gently used vintage items. Often the jewelry I've bought here have turned into  great discussion starters at social gatherings. I have a favorite little felt pin of a one pearl-eyed octopus monster thing that despite that description I always receive compliments for when wearing. The shop owners too are great initiators of the local DIY culture by annually hosting and organizing a "Parade of Custom Made"; this year's theme was the "Carnival of Couture." After looking for goodies for an hour I would wander one block south to the new decor store.
NEST Interior
J. Pogan Bird Sculpture found at Nest on Willamette St. in Eugene, Oregon.
Stop 3: NEST: art, antiques, and decor (1245 Willamette Street). They've only been open for about a month. So I don't yet have a lot to report other than to say stop by and visit this little shop owned by a creative mother/daughter team. They have some unique items created by the daughter of the team as well as a number of other local artists. My picture below doesn't actually represent the best of what thy have. You can see it's a small space so can check everything out in a small period of time. My fave items were these incredible metal bird sculptures by Joe Pogan. Some of their items were too country chic for me but many of the items had a more modern feel that I could really appreciate it. I look forward to continuing to visit as they fill up the store with a larger variety of local artists. I would leave Nest and walk over a block to Oak street and south a couple of blocks to the best vintage store in Eugene. . . 
Stop 4: Oak Street Vintage (1409 Oak Street). I know you guys have heard me rave about OSV for years now but my enthusiasm has not wavered and my favorite day spent in Eugene would certainly involve a stop over. Last time in I picked up a gorgeously colorful 1960's Italian pitcher - used last night for beet, mint, lime juice, and vodka cocktails plus a vintage bar set that I've have yet to take out it pretty box. Here's a picture of a cabinet I was considering and I think has since been sold. So I think all told this would add up to a couple of hours of shopping an walking (heavy on the shopping side) so I think I would need a sit down for a refreshment. Off to my final stop of this relaxed day. 

Stop 5: Vero Espresso House (205 E. 14th Street). Just a block away from Oak Street Vintage this is the perfect place to sit outside with an italian soda, a panini, and a friend for lunch. The interior is cozy and the outdoor patio is usually packed in the summers. With free wifi and a friendly staff even a business meeting can pass as pleasurable here. Ah, even though I didn't actually make these rounds this morning I'm feeling remarkably blissful. I hope this weekend brings you similar sensations! (Vero Yelp reviews here.)


Mod Livin' in Denver: Part 1 Lee Alex Decor

Friends, it's hump day and while I found little modern living inspiration in between my meetings today my mind occasionally wandered back a few weeks in time to Denver C - O. For work I went but a few hours I stole back to visit a couple of stores that I wanted to share with you so that next time you're in DenCo (they love their abbreviated neighborhoods there) you can check out their vintage scene. First Up, Lee Alex Decor! You can find this vintage modern shop in SoBo (aka Baker Neighborhood from what I can tell - S. Broadway St.). I did a lot of toe tapping in the store to the funky beats that Lee has on while you shop. The store was immediately welcoming and it seemed like everyone who walked in was a regular and in fact I felt like one even though it was my first time there! Lee was super nice and pointed out these amazingly gorgeous candlesticks with a big O on the bottom for Rude Osolnik (1915-2001) that he had just picked up. They were indeed elegant and surprisingly sturdy. While I did not pick up the Tulipwood candle holders I brought back a singleton of Danish derivation. There is a picture here at Etsy ShopVintageStyle that sold back in 2009 of the same family. Maybe the coolest thing about talking to Lee was his seeing his tattoo! Check it out below. This cat is dedicated to his Vintage Modern aesthetic and it was wonderful to meet him and check out the store that he and his wife have worked to pull together. Lee was also nice and suggested a couple of other Denver vintage spots to stop at - those will be in the Part Deux posting.  For now please admire a few shots of Lee Alex Decor (this link to shop's twitter feed) and check out that tat!!! Totally atomic!


Margarita Holding Area Progress: The MHAP Report

MHA progress is happening fast and furious over here and I am about 2 weeks behind Mr. Monkey. Last night we went up to the future Margarita Holding Area and held some beers - Ninkasi's Spring Reign to be exact. It was the perfect way to start a spring weekend. These pictures show Mr. Monkey and friend, Mid-west Monkey getting those posts up. They reported to me that they were very heavy. So afterwards we all scaled the ladder & those 2 monkeys had beers. I just admired the view and their hard work. We felled a tree from the backyard (it was a dying Doug Fir) to make the posts. By "we" I mean we hired someone to do it safely and without the use of beer but with the help of plenty other tools. Mr. Monkey slapped some spar varnish on the posts and voila! It's RuMo fo' sho' (RuMo = Rustic Modern)! I think before the weekend is up I'll have to get you some pictures of the incomplete staircase because it is just that cool.
In the meantime however it's frickin' gorgeous outside so I'm going to go for a run and head to the farmer's market. For those of you in the local area I saw one of the Bald Eagles yesterday on my run along the waterfront by Skinner's Butte! We've got a pair of urban dwelling Bald Eagles in Eugene - even these raptors are smart enough to know that creating higher density living spaces are the way to go! Be well, live modern!


Cheap Fun: Milk Glass

An always fun weekend activity for me is spending an hour or two thrifting around town. The little treasure hunter in me comes out - you know the one that wants to find something beautiful for a great price but I also want the object to reveal itself to me without too much work and effort - it's the weekend after all. Milk glass has over the last couple of years been one of life's little pleasures for me. (See office post here - note milk glass ash trays as paper clip holders.) Recently I found this amazing milk glass (Brody) pitcher. I will say I used it with great gusto for about 3 months until Mr. Monkey - trying to do his best to be a gracious host for a board meeting of Cascadia Wildlands - placed the pitcher filled with water in the freezer to cool the water quicker. He got busy with the meeting and quickly forgot the lovely porcelain being in the freezer only to find it in the morning irreversibly cracked. He apologized and I know he feels bad. Nonetheless I do miss it. The great thing about milk glass is that the little pitcher did not cost too much - maybe $15 bucks max. So I don't feel too bad about it and I feel confident that someday I'll be able to find one again. More recently I found the pretty little bud vase above for a buck at Goodwill. Gotta love it. For you last minute cash strapped Mother's Day shoppers - head to your local thrift store and see if they have any little milk glass bud vase. They're collectible, beautiful, and filled with flowers they will make any mom swoon upon sight. As always reusing an item rather than having it end up in the land fill is a wonderful gift for Mother Earth too - so on that cheezysappyending - Cheers to all moms (especially mine) who are always so good at showing their children how to appreciate life's little pleasures!


Margarita Holding Area & Modern Fence

Welcome, friends! I've been kinda floundering over here for the past month without a camera. On our last trip (to Chicago) I left our camera on the airplane in the pocket in front of my seat. I felt so sad about this because 1) we had just bought it in December, 2) we had pictures on it of the MHA and of our trip to Chicago, 3) I had pictures from my brief visit to the Jonathon Adler store. If you're in Chicago and looking for a colorful place to hang out for an hour or so go to the Jonathon Adler store. It was beautiful to see his vision so bright. The good news is that I have once again purchased a camera - a slightly bigger better res camera. I'm super excited to get some photos up. I'm in Denver now and taking a few pictures of cool Vintage shops and boutiques around town as I encounter them. That will be next weekend's post. For now here are some pics of the MHA and Mr. Monkey's start to the modern fence. Further narration below . . .
This is the first step up to the MHA. The wood pillars are from a big Doug Fir that was dying in our backyard. We hired someone to cut it down and Mr. Monkey took it to a local guy to have it milled or quartered or something. Now it's cut into these long pieces that Mr. Monkey will be using for the MHA's support for the railing. In the concrete step here a neighborhood cat was walking by and decided to leave his mark (thanks a lot, Squeaky!) so while at first we were disappointed we are now pleased at the character it adds. The concrete pillars are the base of where the wood pillars are going to be attaching to support the railing. The MHA is definitely going to start a new design genre - Rustic Modern?

Here is the start of the fence that backs up to the alley. You may recall that we took our inspiration from here the house on college hill with the cool modern landscaping and fence. I was hoping for a more chocolate color than a coffee color but that's how it turned out and Mr. Monkey did not find it funny when I asked what it would entail to make that change. So it is what it is. It's not bad just not what I was going for. In fact now it is an even closer match to the fence on college hill because the colors are very similar. It's growing on me and I'm just so pleased everyday when I look out into the backyard and see how great it looks and how it works - it keeps prying eyes out of the backyard. I love it! The last note is that I got to visit the MHA for the first time with Mr. Monkey and our friend Mid-west Monkey and the view is great and will be perfect for sunset viewing! Cheers!