Oregon's Frank Lloyd Wright House, Ninkasi Brew, + Local Food!!!

Friends, I don't know how I could have forgotten but . . . this Sunday is the annual summer fundraiser for the Gordon House, Oregon's only Frank Lloyd Wright house. You can check out the details of the event - A Taste of Frank Lloyd Wright - here. I only learned about the fun-draiser heading into it's 8th year about a year ago right after last year's event had occurred. And this time I nearly forgot it until my friend, Mini Monkey, remembered that the event is this weekend. Basically this event is a wonderful opportunity to drink Oregon wine complimented by Oregon food and wander in the world of the FLW Gordon House. I promise of course to take pictures and to post. The good thing about A Taste of FLW is that it is from 3 - 6, allowing me just enough time to drive home to Eugene and make it to Ninkasi's and Slow Food Eugene's Carts and A Cold One Cook Off from 5 - 8pm, the bad thing is that I am going to have to run super long and fast in order to work off all these munching drinking Willamette Valley calories! I can't wait. See you there?


Eugene Friday Night Plans? Meet Your Maker

from Meet Your Maker. Follow them on Twitter here.
I'm super excited to attend my first Meet Your Maker gathering this Friday at the Pizza Research Institute from 5:30 - 9:30pm. One of my fave local Eugene Etsy makers will be there, Poppy and Moe! I've gotten tons of compliments on my flying owl tank, the t-shirt version is pictured above from Poppy and Moe's Etsy site. Wish I could wear it everyday. Ahh, alas. But fortunately they as well as many other talented local folks will be sharing their wares at PRI where we can drink (Ninkasi beer), be merrily munching pizza, and shop from those that make beauty through an interaction between their hands, minds, and a range of materials found around them. This is Eugene, OR DIY functional art at it's best. See you there!
For those of you who don't live in Eugene, do you have a similar affair in your town? What's it called? Send the link so we can check out what other DIY and crafty art types are up to. Cheers.


Simply Modern Summer Garden Parties

Mr. Monkey & I love to entertain. Especially in the summer months because our house is wee for large groups & it's best if we can maximize our living space by creating outdoor living spaces. Here are few pictures from table settings that I've recently set for potluck style gatherings plus some quick tips for simply modern table set-ups. 
1. Choose a color scheme & gather plates, cups, utensils, serving platters that fit a similar color scheme over time. I've done this by sticking with mostly shades of greens, blues, & clear glass. It's not perfect but we're getting to the point where we can grab any combination of our entertaining arsenal and have it looked pretty pulled together. 
2. Instead of spending a bunch of money on fancy modern table cloths (Apartment Therapy Round-up) just go to your local fabric store and buy a solid color of quilting fabric. A couple of yards will cost you 8 -10 dollars for a small table and up to 20 dollars for a larger table. If you have a pair of pinking shears you can cut the edges so they look finished. 
3. Another great source for alternative tablecloths are vintage stores. You could even find some nice vintage scraps at your local thrift store. About a year ago I found this great fabric remanent at Oak Street Vintage (check out their new website!!) & I loved it as a table cloth. The price was super affordable and it fit my little coffee service/potluck dessert table perfectly. 
4. Fresh flowers are essential to any summer party. You don't have to have a fancy vase. Just stick them in a jar or you can see I used a vintage 1960's Italian pitcher below (from Oak Street of course). 
5. Get creative with containers you already have. I used the picnic basket above to hold all the clean cloth napkins plus a few paper ones as back up in case we ran out.
6. The picture at the top of this post is from an island bridal shower for my dear friend, Momma Poet Monkey. Because we had to transport all decorative items up to Canada and over the water via ferry we were somewhat limited. We couldn't bring fancy table cloths and table runners so we stuck with the basics; white linens provided a clean neutral base, flowers picked fresh that morning from an island garden, and we got creative with the table runners - wrapping paper. We just had some pretty wrapping paper lying around and that worked
 perfectly to add a nice pattern but not take away from the flowers. Plus the paper was recyclable after the party! 
7. You'll notice that most of the tables above are actually indoors. This is another secret to our summer garden party success. Keeping the food indoors helps to keep flies and other insects away from the food. I like to set up the drink stations outside where flies aren't really interested in our cocktails & lemonade. Also by keeping the food buffet line indoors you help to keep the flow of the party moving. People will keep coming inside for food but then come back outside for eating. 
I hope you find yourself having a summer potluck soon! Sometimes though it just takes a circle of chairs and some ice cream. Cheers.


Surviving Salem, Oregon

Friends, it's the time for road trips and summer travel. For those of you traveling in the Pacific Northwest you might find yourself somewhere in between Eugene and Portland and you might wonder and say to yourself, "Self, I'm hungry and I'm driving through a place named Salem and all I can see is a Denny's and a McDonald's, what should I do, where can I stop to satiate my burning desire for good and hopefully healthy food?" If that is indeed you talking to yourself, 1) stop addressing your self as "self" (you know who you are, you) and 2) keep reading, this little blog post is for you. If you can't hold over until you land in your foodie retreat of Eugene or Portland there are some points of food salvation to be found in Salem, plus there's a lovely art museum housed in a 1960's building. See the pics of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. It was a blah building before and they've attempted to add some color with the stained glass windows. I'm not sure how I feel about the Native American Indian and MCM style working together. I haven't been inside since it's opening in 1998 but it looks as though they have some interesting exhibits passing through. You can read about the history of the building here
 La Capitale. It's a block away from the actual Capitol Building and it's crowning golden man. You can see from the pic of my lunch below La Capitale had a nice mix of good and bad - good: lightly dressed salad, bad (for you): french fries, good: presentation, bad: lots of creamy goodness in the chicken salad open-faced sandwich, good: beautiful display of infused liquors, bad: the temptation of mid-day cocktails with their lovely display of infused liquor. Big idea: if you're in Salem go to lunch or dinner here. Would this restaurant be as popular if it weren't in Salem and were instead in Eugene or Portland? Maybe not, the food was good not amazing, not too expensive, any other place with a larger food scene might find itself slipping into the background - in Salem this place is a stand-out. If you find  yourself in Salem for breakfast you would do yourself a disservice to not drive yourself over to Off Center Cafe. It's quirky but the breakfast fare is beyond fair. I recommend Annie's Eggs or the Bibble and Squib. I've heard it's under new ownership, a relative of the previous long-term owner. I haven't been since this change. I can only hope the place has gone largely untouched. I hope this little post helps you out when you find yourself somewhere in between hipster- and hippie-ville. Happy trails!


Mid-Century Front Door: Crestview

In progress with 2 coats of stain.
Naked door.
Ugly before hollow metal door (read: double ick).
June was a wickedly busy month. I'm thrilled to be onto July when I'll have some more time for blogging. I've got a lot of updates coming your way. First up you might remember way back in Feb. 2009 I bought a front door, one of the last from Crestview Doors in Austin, Texas. Crestview started out as a husband and wife team who were interested in purchasing a front door for their mid-century modern home and could not find any high-quality retailers. They ventured out, took pictures in neighborhoods built in the 1950's and 1960's and came out with a dozen or so styles that ranged from exact replicas and others that offered a more modern twist. In winter 2009 they decided to restructure their business model. They wanted to get out of the business of shipping whole front doors and in the business of selling something a bit more compact. You can check out their website now to purchase a window kit to mid-century modernize your already existing front door. This is much less expensive then purchasing and entire front door mail order. It took me while to settle on s stain and to find someone to hang the door but finally it all came together about 2 weeks ago with the help of Jonathan Plummer from Bunchberry Woodworking and Mr. Monkey of course. The front door is up and the hardware is a whole other story. It will get it's own post once the final product can be shared. In the meantime here are some pics of the before and the during (not quite the after). I still have to put one more layer of stain and the top coat and then we'll call it beautiful. Cheers!