It is great to be back working on Fusion. We had a great run in the spring and we forgot how much fun it is to be doing cooking segments, meeting new designers and learning how to tackle some of those fix-it projects. We have already been laughing a lot and we hope that you have as much fun watching the show as we have had taping it.


Shady Looks

Your indoor lamps are one of the most overlooked décor items in your house.  As you paint and decorate you just move them from one room to another and miss the decorating possibilities that they offer.  To help give you some ideas we traveled to Naomi’s Lampshades (503-636-1884) in Lake Grove.  Bea Searles is the owner and she brought out a couple of lamps to demonstrate.  She made a quick change to one lamp that gave it a fresh new look.  But the problem was the height of the new shade; it was sitting too low on the lamp so all she did was change the ‘harp’.  The harp is the metal loop that goes around the light bulb to protect it and creates the structure to attach the shade to.  The fitting of the harp is very important when changing the shade.  Bea recommends that you bring your lamp into the store when you are looking for a new shade so you can see how the shade fits.  You can even change the look by changing the finial which is the part at the top of the lamp.  For more tips you can check out their website, or visit them on Boones Ferry Road in the Lake Grove/Lake Oswego area.

Must-Have Appliances

If you have a wedding or graduation in your family this spring you may be at a loss to pick the perfect gift for those lucky recipients.  Robin talked with Chase Voelker at Bed Bath and Beyond (503-624-9242) to see what the best gifts to get for these people are.  He first showed us the Keurig K-cup coffee maker.  This is a single use coffee maker that is all the rage right now.  All you do is put in the coffee close the lid and push the button, you get your coffee and you don’t ever waste a full pot.  It also has lots of different choices when it comes to coffees, hot chocolate and even teas.    Next we looked at the Krups electric kettle.  This is great for heating water for noodles, drinks or soups; a perfect appliance for the college student.  A reminder, some colleges have restrictions on electric cooking and heating items.  You can check with your college or stop by Bed, Bath and Beyond to check their list of colleges and see what is allowed, there is no guessing!  We then moved to the Magic Bullet.  We all thought this was just a TV gimmick, but Chase told us this is a great gift for anyone.  It chops, blends, and grinds all kinds of different foods and takes very little space on your countertop.  The next item was the Kitchen Aid mixer.  This one is a must have for new couples and comes with lots of different attachments so you will never need to buy multiple kitchen tools to get the job done.  Finally, the one fun item that Chase brought out was the Margaritaville Fiji Frozen concoction maker.  This party machine grinds the ice, blends the drink and is a lot of fun!  To find more great gifts for couples and grads stop by Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Drake’s Outside-in

For the garden lover there are lots of ways to bring the outside in to your house to add color and texture to your décor. We stopped by the new Westside location of Drakes 7 Dees (503-292-9121) to get a few tips from Lynn Snodgrass. There are lots of different plants that you can use both indoors and out to really enhance your decorating. Lynn had a flowering plant and David was holding a succulent. Both of these can easily make the transition from outside to inside and are only a small example of plants you can choose from. Next we moved to another part of the nursery to talk about using garden accents to add to your décor as well. There are lots of earth-toned accents that will really create a splash in your home. Your chance to check out these different plants and decorating ideas is made even better during the next 2 weekends during the Grand Opening of Drakes Westside location. This weekend there are lots of things happening for the kids, with kid-friendly projects and activities. You can even meet children’s author Ruth Saltzman, the author of ‘Poppy Bear’. The following Saturday you can meet Michael Allen Harrison and sign up to win a private gardener for a day. With food, music and prizes it should be a great couple of weekends.

Lynn was also proud of the new group that Drakes belongs to called Northwest Neighbors. The Northwest Neighbors group is a select group of businesses that have been hand picked based on their reputations, quality of service and longevity in the area. We are talking about some businesses that have been around for nearly 100 years! These businesses are strong local leaders and they offer service and expertise that you can’t find at your local big-box stores. If you are tackling a project, either in your home or your garden, you can check out their website find a great business to partner with you to get the job done!

Rhubarb Soup

Rhubarb is one of those old-time vegetables from your grandmother’s garden.  Who would ever eat this stuff if it wasn’t in a Strawberry-rhubarb pie?  Well, count us as people who are rhubarb lovers!  Chef David Musial joined us again for a recipe that will change the way you look at this vegetable.  Rhubarb is considered a sour or bitter vegetable.  The leaves are not good to eat and can give you an upset stomach if you eat them, but the stalks are where the flavor is.  Chef David used a couple of cups of rhubarb chunks, some sugar, orange juice, water and orange zest to make this wonderful chilled, soup recipe.  It is another great way to enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season.  Check out the recipe here.

Rhubarb Margarita

Earlier Chef David showed us how to make a wonderful and tasty rhubarb soup.  Now he showed us how to use that same recipe to make a cool and unusual cocktail for your next party.  First he took the base soup and strained it to get more of the fiber out of it. Then he added Triple Sec, Tequila and lime juice.  He also added a little bit of chopped rhubarb to give it a tiny bit more ‘bite’.  Shake it up and serve it over ice and enjoy yet another taste from your garden! Check out the recipe here.

Painting Your House

Painting your own house can be a daunting task. But David showed us a few tips for doing it right the first time. We were working with pre-painted wood siding. If you have vinyl siding you may have a few extra steps in the process. To begin, you need to have at least 3-4 days of dry, warm weather; at least 50 degrees for the paint to cure. First he gave the house a good cleaning. A power washer set on a broad spray helped knock off all the dust and dirt. Don’t use too much pressure or you might damage the surface. Next look to scrape off the loose bits of paint and caulk the cracks and fill the holes with a paintable caulk. Find rusty spots (nail holes to weather stripping) and sand them down. Touch up those sanded areas with a good primer. Now you can hit it with the paint. We use a good latex paint that is breathable, will give us good coverage, and is easy to clean up. We apply the paint with a painting pad. This gave us a good coat and eliminated the need to do touch-ups. Some people like applying the paint with a sprayer, but that can sometimes leave too thin of a coat and then you have to back-roll to get good coverage. Finally we went around and did some touch ups with a 1-2 inch brush. Of course these are just basic tips and you should always check with your local paint supplier for more tips and information.

Kitchen Sink Accessories

If you only have hot and cold water on your sink you need to get with it.  Dave Charvet from George Morlan Plumbing (503-224-7000) invited us over to show us some of the new gadgets that you can have with your sink to make your life in the kitchen easier.  The first appliance was the Insta-hot water heater.  This is a mini-hot water heater that fits under your sink and delivers a stream of 190 degree water when you need it.  Great for instant oatmeal, soups and coffees.  We then saw the latest in garbage disposers.  Insinkerator was the pioneer in building these and their latest model is now 60 percent quieter than their older models so you can even have a conversation while it is running.  You can even install this in an afternoon with a special air switch that makes it simple to operate with a touch of a finger. And don’t forget soap dispensers.  They are perfect for liquid soaps or hand cream and now they can be easily refilled without climbing under the sink to do it.  Stop by George Morlan today to check-out these products.

Yeast in your Toilet

This little quick tip is one that been around for many years and is supposed to help extend the life of your septic system. The tip is to add a tablespoon of brewers yeast to your toilet once a month. The yeast will help the bacteria in your tank and drain field break down the waste. Of course, the best way to promote a healthy septic system is to not add any non-biodegradable materials or caustic chemicals to your system.



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This page last modified
September 24, 2009.