Cascadia Wildlands: Come to Dinner

Exactly one week from today will be the Annual Wonderland Auction, a benefit for Cascadia Wildlands. Cascadia is a small non-profit based here in Eugene. Cascadia works for the protection of ancient forests and imperiled wildlife. You might not know that Mr. Monkey is on the board and he's actually the president of the board. You might also might not know that Mr. Monkey is an excellent excellent chef!!! All of this is important for you to know because this year amongst the usual fabulous array of silent and live auction items there will be a live auction item that will include dinner for 4 prepared by forest protector, MHA-builder, plant whisperer, back packer, hubba hubby, and all around wonderful president of the board of Cascadia - Mr. Monkey aka Jeremy Hall. The dinner will of course be served and enjoyed at our modest home in the new super kitchen and entertaining space. Mr. Monkey will be serving organic lamb raised from his family's Southern Oregon farm and we've already received a wine donation for the evening from our favorite Applegate Valley winery Wooldridge Creek Winery and Vineyard! So frickin' excited! Even you if you don't bid on dinner with us you'll have a blast drinking Ninkasi beer, eating Ring Of Fire food, and supporting a high-impact small non-profit.

Register Guard Profile: Loving the space we live in

This is the before of the next picture.

This is the after from same perspective!
We've had a beautiful fall here in Eugene. Sunny and crisp cold days make for a wonderful running, walking, and wine tasting season. It's also been a wonderful season to stay in the house by the warm wood stove and snuggle. This is the first fall/winter we've lived in the new kitchen/living room space and we are indeed loving the space we live in. We love it so much we want to share it. We were able to recently share the kitchen in our local newspaper the Register Guard. Here's a link to the Register Guard Kitchen story. Be sure to click on the tab above the article to see the photos. I've added some photos here that I took awhile ago so you can get the whole perspective.
David from engage: ARCHITECTURE and Jonathan (Bunchberry Woodworking Blog here) came over to answer Kelly's, the staff writer, questions. It was fun to have David and JP here again and seeing the space lived in. Mr. Monkey and I of course cleaned the kitchen for hours before the big photo shoot but Mr. Monkey couldn't be here the day of the photoshoot. The photographer wanted to come back to get pictures of Mr. Monkey and I together in the kitchen and after 2 missed appointments (not due to us) we finally made it happen. We do like the pictures and my only regret is not having my love quoted in the article as well. Mr. Monkey always has good insight to offer. In the end it was a positive experience and now we're wondering if we should try to share the work beyond our little region. Does anyone know a Sunset Mag staffer?


Autumnal Happenings in Eugene

Mr. Monkey perfecting a Saturday morning omelet with tomatoes and basil (still) freshly picked from the garden in October!

I'm getting my running routine back in action. Easy to do with skies like this at the track on Polk St. last week.
Mr. Monkey sorting through the colorful pepper haul at the Lane County Farmer's Market.

He did the planting and watering and I did the picking. We thought the rain was coming but we're still picking tomatoes off the vine!
Sorry for the feeble blogging as of late. I took a little break from the blog to enjoy the kitchen, our community, and enjoy this gorgeous fall that we're having. Here are some recent pictures of this seriously amazing October weather and the Eugene sights from around town. All the way down at the bottom is a silly picture of the boxes that just arrived on our front step. Looks like Mr. Monkey and I have a job to do this evening! I had to wait quite awhile to buy this next set of 2 wire bar stools from Modernica. I thought it was actually going to be a longer wait but a couple of weekends ago Modernica kindly had a 20% off sale. The sale saved us over $100 big ones! We're pretty happy that our fall entertaining now has seating for 4 at the magnificent island that Misters Schmitz and Plummer made.

Spectacular view of the sun and clouds doing a dance from up top the Margarita Holding Area (MHA).
Two boxes - two stools - two happy monkeys!


Jones Ceramics Kitchen Warming Gift

Thanks to my mother, Momma Monkey, we have this lovely addition to the kitchen. It's called an Ikebana Vase and it was handmade from Jones Ceramics down in Laguna Beach, CA. My mom knows the artist, Robert Jones through her association with the Sawdust Festival in Laguna and I have to say I'm certainly thrilled she does. The color is gorgeous and the lines are clean. So naturally it fits right into the kitchen and ties into our color scheme. The Calla Lilies came from the front yard and are now in the fall weather almost a distant memory. I look forward to having flowers in our Ikebana throughout the winter. We won't even know it's winter with all the brightness the new kitchen and sky lights provide.


Blueberry Margaritas Being Held in the Area with a Chaser of CB2 Inspirations

Blueberry Margarita.
Sad to say the summer's climax (labor day weekend) is upon us. It's also the very end of blueberry season. If you're not sure what to do with the final few blueberries you can always make a blueberry margarita and take it up to the top of your local Margarita Holding Area (MHA). If you don't have one of those maybe you have a Blind Pig in your neighborhood. Perhaps it's housed in a friend's garage or the patio of a loquacious neighbor. Either way it seems that blueberry margaritas are meant to be shared. If you want the recipe you'll have to contact Miss Single USA who first shared a pitcher with the Board of the MHA. Way down at the bottom of this post you'll find some more recent pictures (June) of the MHA. It's been awhile since the MHA has made a post around here with all the glitz and glamour of the kitchen to share. I wanted to let you all know that the MHA has definitely not been overshadowed. We make regular trips up top. Sometimes just to stretch after a run, sometimes to read, sometimes to watch the sunset. Earlier this summer we were inspired by advertising (sad to say) from CB2 (but they do such a nice job) and in fact Mr. Monkey made Watermelon Margaritas to quench our thirst in Tucson. The point is if you haven't made margaritas yet this summer, find your closest, freshest fruit, friends, a decent place to sit, maybe in the shade or the sun if you prefer, take a deep breathe and enjoy. 
Blueberries at the start of the season from Mr. Monkey's garden.

One blender of margaritas looks something like this with the sunset in the background. 
Welcome to the MHA!
Golden Raspberries at the foot of the MHA, under the pear tree.
Come again!


Willamette Valley Flower Gardening

Mr. Monkey's Favorite Flower - Delphinium
My Favorite Peonie
While one of the benefits of life in the Willamette Valley is having your own garden (as proclaimed to us this past weekend by family from the Bay Area and former residents of the Friendly St. neighborhood - thanks for the reminder of what I'd forgotten) my great joy is all of our wonderful flowers. We've had a master plan provided to us in a work trade between Mr. Monkey (see Back to the Roots) and Landscape Designer and Eugene Weekly contributor Rachel Foster. Scroll down to the very end of this post for a sense of the full transformation of the front yard over the last several years and click here for an earlier post circa 2008.
View from the front door looking towards the street.
Transplanted Hydrangea from the backyard. It didn't bloom at all last year.

The end of the monkey flowers blooming next to the basalt fountain. 
Dahlia.  My white dahlia just opened its first flower. The reds have been going for about a month now.
Basalt Water Fountain and Columbines
Dicentra or the Bleeding Heart Flower
Fuzzy close up of Dicentras.

Late Winter 2008 
Late Spring 2009
Early Summer 2011


Oak Street Vintage Plant Pots

Hi All! Well the weekend is upon us and some of you might be looking forward to time in your garden. Ours is going gonzo with zucchinis and the tomatoes are kickin' in. Mr. Monkey tends to the outdoor plants while my job is to tend to the indoor plants. With the remodel I needed to find some house plant pot that would better suit our decor. Wouldn't you know it? Oak Street Vintage saves the day once again. Both of these vintage pots were $15 bucks each - a complete deal as far as I'm concerned! Now I just actually need to get some dirt in them so the plants are not sinking below and looking so very sad. I know that vintage stores are not your usual destinations for plant and gardening supplies but you might check yours out if you're not in the Eugene area. If you are in the Eugene area probably Oak Street Vintage has what your looking for. Happy Friday!


Knoll Handkerchief Stacking Chair

I hope you're all enjoying some great summer days. We're enjoying the benefits of summer in the Willamette Valley, mostly good wine and veggies galore from our garden, other people's gardens, and farmer's markets. This spring we also benefitted from Craigslist! We picked up these Knoll stacking handkerchief chairs in the tiny Oregon town of Azalea! They were red and faded because they had been used as outdoor chairs. But with a little spray paint these puppies cleaned right up and I couldn't be happier with them. They're super comfortable and easy to clean. The Danish table we got from Hawthorne Vintage up in Portland. The other 2 chairs were from St. Vincent's and with some spray paint and new fabric for the seats they cleaned up nicely as well (before pictures below). You can see the Flor tiles that we got from Modern about 3 years ago (past blog posts about Modern and Flor). Before the remodel the Flor tiles were the runner in the hallway but now they help to define our dining area. In the background you can also see how great the floor and door trim turned out thanks to David Schmitz, AIA (Engage Architecture) and Jonathan Plummer (Bunchberry Woodworking)! Having an actual dining room table has me actually looking forward to winter dinners and card games - but I don't want to wish away this sunshine and warmth.  I'm gonna go eat some sun-warmed blackberries that are creeping through from our neighbor's yard now. . .


Frank LLoyd Wright: St. Louis

 The Taste of Wright is happening this weekend at the Gordon House here in Oregon. We won't be able to make it this year. You can see pictures here and here (interior kitchen shots) from our visit last year. But I did make it to a new FLW house this past Spring in St. Louis. I was on my  way to the airport from a work meeting and wouldn't you know there just happened to be an FLW house about 30 minutes from the airport. So close I had to call and see if I could be there for the Sunday afternoon tour before my flight out of town. The tours of the Ebsworth Park Home are by reservation only and they only accept 10 people at a time. Lucky for me they had one spot left on the tour! Here are some pictures I took inside the Kraus House. Technically indoor pictures are not allowed but as long as you used a flash and didn't take the picture in front of the docent it seemed to be just fine. So my interior pictures are blurry and technically do not exist. Got it? (wink wink) The docents were a lovely retired couple. The gentleman had been an architect himself and had met FLW several times which added a very personal touch to the tour. I won't go into detail here because I don't want to get the facts wrong, but the basics are that the house was built on the concept of a parallelogram. The house then is shaped like two parallelograms slid together and many of the angles in the house are quite severe and include nontraditional shapes of drawers and beds. It took about a decade to build because no one in St. Louis had built a house like this before and most builders were nervous about taking on such a project. It sounded as though every single change in the house over the years was approved by Mr. Wright and his apprentices and so it remains a fine example of the Usonian type of home that Mr. Wright created. If you're in the St. Louis area, it's only 10 dollars and is so great to be in such a remarkable and well loved little building. If you're in Oregon this weekend you can go to the Gordon House for the celebration or come to Eugene for the Whitaker Block Party, both of which will be scrumptious summer events!


Curtains: IKEA Saved the Day!

The Final Scene (for now . . .)
I searched and I searched, I drove and I drove and in the end IKEA won and I won.
Crazy gauzy stuff, that is your iron on hemm from IKEA

I made a fold at the desired length, placed the iron on stick-um and folded the fabric over it.
The iron, the fold, and the scissors

The naked window.
The Dignitet from IKEA, cool but best used in a wall stud.

The Dignitet installed, but because it's not in a wall stud it's already pulling away from the wall. Ick.

I was not sure about the blue, I thought it may too much, but it's working for me. 
The whole front wall, Crestview door included.