A Local Arts & Crafts Find

The Arts & Crafts era has always been my favorite.  Over the years I’ve gathered little things here and there that capture the lines, colors, weight and labor of that period.  I also get the occasional Arts & Crafts book.

A couple of weeks back I went to an estate sale and found this rather interesting chair.  It was $90.


Heavy and with a nice old leather seat, it was low to the ground and very comfortable.  You can’t see the size but it has a slightly wider and deeper seat than most arm chairs.  There were also interesting curves…the seat back curves down, and the arms have the little extra curved pieces.

Oregon Chair Co. Arts & Crafts ChairIt is in rather rough shape surface-wise.  It has been varnished and that is chipping away, but it is really solid.  It does not creak anywhere…

Here’s what really got me excited though!  When I flipped over the seat to look at the underside, I saw this label.

a&cchair3There was a company in Oregon called the Oregon Chair Company and I did find a little write-up about it in the book Arts & Crafts of the Pacific Northwest.  I also found a little obit piece about it’s founder, Arthur Kingsley.

He spent his early life in his native state, where he acquired a common school education and when yet a lad in years he began providing for his own support as an employe of the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad. He spent a few years in that connection and then became an employe of the Grand Ledge Chair Company, with which he remained for a period of eight years. At length, having acquired comprehensive knowledge of every phase of the business he determind to start out independently and leaving Michigan in the summer of 1906 he came to Portland, where he organized the Oregon Chair Company. He was the pioneer in this field and up to this time all trade of the kind had been conducted with eastern firms, so that Mr. Kingsley had to overcome custom and prejudice in establishing his business. He persevered, however, and his industry, determination, fair and honorable methods and his progressiveness at length brought their reward, and today the business of the Oregon Chair Company stands as a monument to the energy and ability of Mr. Kingsley.


Oregon Chair Company


Aside from these couple of write-ups, and two historic photos from Oregon State, I can’t seem to find much else. I am intrigued with this company if anyone knows more?




36th Portland Int’l Film Festival starts!


PIFF 36 is here!  The opening night film was a great start to the festival –

You should see Blancanieves when it comes your way –  a Spanish version of the Grimm fairy tale Snow White…with bullfighting at its core. Set in the 20s, this b/w silent film has gorgeous cinematography and a moving score.   It was Spain’s submission for Best Foreign Film.   This little piece of art was directed by Pablo Berger.

Cime di licious!

When friends go out of town you graciously step up to feed the cat, take in the mail, etc. Little did we know that one of our ‘tasks’ was to take the farm fresh veggies our friends get delivered and use them ourselves!
I have always wondered what these basket of treats would be like. Would it just be something like 12 pounds of chard? Well… happy to say it was fabulous! The best part is that you often don’t know how to cook what you get – so, you get to learn something new. Believe me – something new in the kitchen is ALWAYS appreciated.
Our particular basket of goodies came from Pumpkin Ridge Gardens. They offer a subscription service for veggies direct from their farm – located just outside of Portland.
I knew most of the goodies in the basket by sight (though the kale had me stumped until I looked at the sheet that came with the basket). The other I still couldn’t wrap my mind around even after reading its name ‘cime di rapa’
A quick Google and I found several recipes. Most were around a dish that had cime di rapa/ orecchiette pasta as the two ingredients. All recipes said that the stems were blech. so…here’s my take!
1. Get the cime di rapa on a cutting board so you can cut it from the stems!
cime di rapa
2. Put the pasta on and then put the cime di rapa in with the boiling pasta (towards the last 6 minutes or so…) – This step felt wrong but it worked!
cime di rapa in the pasta water
3. In a saute pan put some garlic cloves and a little red peper flakes.
4. Then put the strained pasta/cime di rapa in the saute pan too! (wait! that’s not orechiette! I know, right? I only had some rigatoni around but it was good!)
cime di rapa and pasta in the saute pan
5. grate a little romano over the top and serve!
dinner is served
This was so easy and delicious!

Favorite Portland Ice Cream…

Ok, so they’ve only been open a month or so…but OMG! The ice cream at Cool Moon in the Pearl is just soo delicious! I was feeling a little guilty by the number of ‘little tastes’ we were taking…but the flavors were all so unique and delicious! Lets see, we sampled grapefruit, banana, and a bittersweet chocolate with white chocolate speckles, named Perseid Meteor Shower…and it looked like a little meteor shower! Lots of fun flavors, and the owner seems just as excited about making all of these fun flavors. I picked up a pint last night for only $4.95. (half Perseid/half cinnamon). I do believe I’ve found my ice cream shop (check that box!) – in the dead of winter no less!

Movie Review: Untraceable

Last night we went to see the movie, Untraceable, starring Diane Lane as a Portland-based FBI agent trying to nab a guy who is committing some sick, sick crimes streaming live online… So, thriller. The real thrill was seeing all of the Portland scenes! The people to the right of us were whispering to each other through the whole movie, but I didn’t mind..because I’m sure they were just pointing out familiar places to each other…like B and I were 🙂 How was the movie? Diane Lanes best work since Must Love Dogs. Read that however you will…
If you live in Portland you must go see this movie though. There’s a flyover shot of the Broadway bridge going westbound. Where the lanes peel off to the left and right…we live to the right! Also, someone from Sellwood gets the ax. Our favorite breakfast place, Fat Alberts, is in Sellwood. Creepy.
There’s also a scene where its raining on the Broadway Bridge. When they shot it they had to make Hollywood ‘rain’. Hello…When is it not raining on the Broadway Bridge?

Twelfth Night the other Night..

Its times like these, when the temp hovers in the thirties, that you really, really appreciate the warm little streetcar that goes around in a little loop from home, through the Pearl, downtown, by work, and back again. That little streetcar takes me everywhere and I just love it!
The other night we had another fabulous time at Portland Center Stage. This time it was Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

As is typically of me and Shakespeare, I was completely lost for about the first 10 minutes…then ‘poof’! the language soaked in and I could just sit back and enjoy. As usual, great performances by all. The interesting thing now is that next week, the same cast is going to do another play, The Beard of Avon, which is Shakespearesque and set in the same period. Should be fun!

Power in Numbers

Well, we got a white christmas this year! I took a grainy video of the snow coming down, but its so grainy, you can’t see the snow…so I won’t subject you to that…
Portland was quite the place to be for the holidays. We had the night of a hundred Santas – something to do with Santacon? We hadn’t heard of it and were ‘startled’ to say the least, by the number of intoxicated Santas we saw on the way home…when we got to our stop, low and behold! it was also a ‘meeting spot’ for the Santas – I snapped a pic then hurried inside:

Speaking of cheer in volumes…we also got to take in a little caroling with about 250 tubas…at Pioneer Square

On Christmas night we ended up watching The Big Lebowski at the Clinton Street Theater. We were at the 4pm show…Had we gone to the 7pm show we could have had White Russians with our movie! Maybe next year 🙂

One less car

Ok, we didn’t get rid of the car…but we did get bikes! The picture above is Bryan headed home on his new bike, shiny helmet and all! (a 3.7 mile ride).
Portland is THE bike town. Voted #1 bike town by bicycling magazine. The new bikes, and B’s new Birkenstocks…we’re really embracing all things Oregon.

Its fitting that not only is Portland big on bikes, but the drivers are the most courteous in the nation! Check out their survey.

So you have lots of bikes and lots of nice drivers 🙂 Just another reason to like Portland…

The House! The House! The House is on Wheels!

The Ladd Carriage House (1883)which used to grace the corner of Broadway and Columbia, was moved yesterday to a temporary spot a couple of blocks away, while its former block undergoes some fairly major redevelopment. Then in 2008, it will move back to its original home, though the neighborhood will have changed.
The Carriage House housed horses on the first floor (and carriages) and the coachmen on the second. It is just huge.
Yesterday we went down to watch them move it at around 7am…we were pretty much watching it until about 9:30 last night. Here is the short version – a time-lapsed view of the move start to finish – amazing!

Here’s some of my pics –
The house gets up on its wheels and moves out into the street. It is way bigger than I thought it was – and all sorts of workers running around underneath it steadying and getting the wheels straight.

Then it starts down Columbia for a 3-block trip…heading into the park blocks (which are lined with trees. Im wondering how they’re going to clear the trees. There’s some side story about the city only wanting them to cut the branches they needed to …as they passed…instead of cutting them all back early. Don’t know the details, but it made for an exciting squeeze!

Then we’re 1/2 there – smack in the middle of the park blocks, arborists hanging from the trees. The building looked particularly spectacular…what a beautiful thing!

Here’s a side shot from within the park looking out to the street. You can see more of the architecture :

Then we get through the park – phew! and now just have to squeeze between these two buildings…

and we’re home 🙂 At least until 2008, when it makes the trip back down through the park. I do commend the folks that went through all of this extra trouble to save such a cool building. The granddaughter of Ladd was at the event and talked about how you turn this corner and you see a building like that and it makes you wonder about a cities history.

Without these gems you really do lose that connection. I am so glad to be in a wonderful city that is really getting that concept.

My 3-D Adventure

The 3D Center of Art & Photography is a little museum between the Pearl and 23rd Street. We got there for the last day of an amazing exhibit of an original View Master artist – Joe Liptak. He had given over many of his models for the event and the museum had them displayed on a big table in the middle of the room, alongside View Masters containing the reels that the models were from.

Such a cool little museum – I highly recommend it. They offer classes in making your own 3D pictures as well! Its probably common knowledge that the View-Master came from Portland. A little Ginapedia…View-Masters came along in 1938. They’re still a relatively unchanged entertaining toy. No small feat with all the technology in our lives now! The military used View-Master reels for training. You can even find them on EBay from time to time.