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Saturday, November 29, 2014

the Rebel's Thanksgiving - 2014 version.

[Portland, Park Blocks].

I know I might've turned a bunch of you guys off with the post title.

It's really not that serious.

More of a joke between my cousin and myself to deflect the blowback we get by spending Thanksgiving 1,000 miles from the chaos that is dinner with my in-laws.

Let me explain...

My cousin is actually my husband's cousin, she just happens to be a good friend of mine.  A few years ago we decided we'd had it with the chaos and inevitable fights and tears that go down during the family's Thanksgiving get together.  So every year, she flies to Portland for what we've dubbed Rebel Thanksgiving. So named because we get a lot of flak for our choice, while we just smile and nod and secretly plan our super-fun agenda.

Mostly it involves eating our way through the entire city of Portland.
[breakfast at Mother's Bistro, downtown Portland].

Breakfast at Mother's Bistro in downtown Portland is a must. Seriously. You must go if you're ever in town. I recommend the Wild Salmon Hash, it's simply incredible.

If the Winterhawks hockey team is playing at home [yes! they were at home this year]: we take the train to the game, yell ourselves hoarse, and yes, they always win when we go! It's like we're some kind of crazy good luck charm. Or it may have to do with their skill...they've been Western Conference Champions for the last 4 years.
[puck drop at 7pm].

A trip to Powell's is always a good idea. Love this mug I saw there!
[you know that's right].

To work off all the food we eat, a good hike is in order. This year we got soaked at Multnomah Falls, then hiked to the top of Beacon Rock. We barely got off the rock before dark. Whew!
[beacon rock].

Thanksgiving morning we took a beautiful walk through the Park Blocks in downtown Portland. There were still lots of gorgeous yellow leaves on the trees and barely a soul around. It was so peaceful.
[Portland, Park Blocks].

Das boots!

The shining cap is our annual Thanksgiving dinner at Jake's Grill.  My cousin and I probably have 2 drinks a year and this is it  :-)

Wild, I know.
[yay Disaronno!]

This year we added a new member to our Jake's club, my niece who recently moved to Portland.
We were pretty raucous...gee I hope we didn't scare her off!  She doesn't look too appalled in this picture so we might convince her to join us old ladies again next year.
[at Jake's].

I hope you guys had an amazing Thanksgiving too!
Do you have any activities you like to do every year? Like a Turkey Trot?

I love reading your Comments!
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY - beautiful bleached pinecones.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, pinecone gathering can be done with your eyes closed.

I mean, they're everywhere.

Since I love decorating with natural elements, I've got a pretty big stash of these guys.

I love them natural, painted...and now bleached!

I first read about bleaching pinecones on Country Living Magazine's website.  Their instructions are wonderful and really basically boils down to this:

Step 1: place pinecones in a glass container; I chose a glass cylinder vase:
[step 1].

Step 2: fill the container 2/3 full with bleach, fill the rest with plain water
Step 3: pinecones float! place something inside your container that will keep those rascals submerged. I used a juice glass:
[step 2 and 3].

Step 4: leave pinecones submerged in the bleach mixture for 24 to 36 hours.  You'll notice I've got mine down in the garage.  No sense smelling that stuff inside the house for 2 days, am I right? Plus yikes you wouldn't want to spill it inside.

Step 5: remove the pinecones and rinse with clean water. the pinecones will be closed up.
Interesting sidenote: even after 36 hours, most of my pinecones still looked pretty dark brown and I'll admit I was disappointed because I thought it hadn't worked. so I left a couple in the bleach mixture for an extra 24 hours and the rest I put in the dryer to dry.

Step 6: dry the pinecones. I have a rack for my clothes dryer so I put them on the rack and ran the dryer on medium, checking on them regularly. After about an hour, they had turned a lovely shade of light tan and had started to open up again:
[step 6].

Step 7: display your beautiful bleached pinecones!

Aren't they the most gorgeous creamy tan color?
Here's a closeup, I love how the tips still have a bit of darker brown on them:

Remember the couple of pinecones that I said I left in the bleach for an additional 24 hours? They did indeed get whiter, but you can see this one came pretty close to disintegrating:
[creamy white pinecone left in bleach an extra day].
So I think I'll stick to the 24-36 hour rule in the future!

Have you tried this project yet? I'd love to hear about it in the Comments below and as always I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

a farmhouse Christmas - creating a vignette.

Ok don't hate me.

I know it's still November.

I couldn't help it. I was putting away the Halloween decorations and mine eyes fell upon the Christmas decorations...and I just grabbed one bucket. Just one.

The magic was that bucket held the blue milk glass globes that I scored on clearance from Wisteria last year. But today is your lucky day, because they brought them back again this year!

I thought I'd do something a little different and show you the evolution of my farmhouse Christmas vignette.

For me, farmhouse is natural elements, lots of texture, rubbed and worn wood tones, with just the merest hint of sparkle thrown in for balance...

Ready? Here we go...

First, I placed a tree and a mason jar snow scene on the console table: 

Next came my rustic Target lantern [another clearance score!], filled with simple white glass ornaments:

Added another mason jar snow scene. Can never have enough of those!:

Oh hello Mr. White & Gold Reindeer, aren't you pretty?

Now how about a blue milk glass globe and a twig snowflake:

Every Christmas vignette could use a lovely soft green wreath, and more milk glass globes, right?  You'll see I also flipped Mr. Reindeer to face the other way and moved the twig snowflake down to lean against the lantern:

As of this second, this Christmas vignette is done.

Famous last words.

Who am I kidding? I'm sure I'll be fussing with it for a few more days!

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

diy lattice feature wall

[DIY lattice wall].
So after the Great Board & Batten Wall, and the farmhouse Plank Wall, my nail gun was getting antsy and looking for a new project...

Ta-da! A lattice wall at the staircase landing was born.


This is the wall at the bottom of the staircase in view of the dining room, so it was a good place to do something fun.

Cost: at $0.70 a foot,  this one came out to $42 for the lattice. I already had the paint from the farmhouse Plank Wall project.

Since I measured and cut each piece on site, I just brought the miter box up from the garage instead of using the circular saw.

I used my awesome Ryobi nail gun to tack the lattice pieces to the wall.  Have I mentioned that buying that nail gun was my most favorite-ist purchase I've made in years? I have? Ok.

I measured and put the verticals up first, then filled in the horizontals. These lattice pieces were so super-lightweight that I didn't worry that my design missed every stud in the wall :-)

Here it is nailed up and ready for paint:

Finally, it was time for a couple coats of paint.  Last step: hanging my Oregon map art:

Yes that is my gorgeous Grandmother's high school picture underneath the light fixture:

I still can't decide whether to hang more stuff on the lattice wall or leave it empty and clean. What do you think?

Sorry for the grainy pictures, guys. One day I'll get myself a real, big-girl camera!

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

free Thanksgiving printables!

Hi friends!
One of my favorite, affordable ways to decorate is to change out the art in my frames.

So I was taking down my Halloween decorations and thinking about Thanksgiving.
And I realized that I didn't really have any Thanksgiving art.

So I whipped up these simple printables, which you can download for free below.

Just right-click on the image and choose Download Image [depending on your browser it might say something like Save Image].

Have a wonderful holiday!


The full size of each of these is 3200 x 4000 pixels, so they should be able to be printed up to 16" x 20".

A couple with a pumpkin-colored background:

My personal favorite:

A simple white background:

A few more pumpkin-colored ones:

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