The first days of June have arrived.  It seems like this spring has gone by pretty fast.  We still seem to have a lot of projects around the house to do and summer is almost here!  I’m still impressed with all the nice weekends we have been having.  I think I have spent more time in my hammock than I did all of last year… maybe that is why the projects are not getting done?

We would like to announce our next giveaway.  Last week we did a story with Ragan Corliss from Decorating Den Interiors about using stencils from Cutting Edge Stencils to change the look of a room. Well, Cutting Edge was gracious enough to give us a stencil kit to give away.  All you have to do is go to our Facebook page and ‘Like’ us to be entered for your chance to win!

Collectable Glass

A lot of people have old pieces of glass in their homes.  It could be a plate or a vase that has been handed down from family member to family member.  Sometimes we are not sure of the history or the value of this unique art form.  To get a lesson on collectable glass we stopped by and chatted with Gary Germer from Gary Germer and Associates (503-235-0946).  He told us that glass has been produced for thousands of years, but he would do his best to give us a 5 minute primer on glass.  We started with pressed glass.  This glass is from the beginning of the industrial revolution.  The process allowed glass to be mass produced and brought the cost down for everyone.  This meant everyone could own nice glass pieces.  Next we moved to the ‘American Brilliant’ period cut glass.  This was the finest cut glass ever made and the quality was outstanding.  This glass had patterns cut into it and what makes it so much better than cut glass from today is that they hand polished the glass to really make it shine.  In the early 20th century there was a lot of experimentation with colored glass and patterns.  They would even make a glass in one color and then heat it to create different colors beyond that.  Tiffany and Steuben started to work on iridescent glass, which became the finest in American art glass.  They took their inspiration from old Roman glass and made it unique to the 19th and 20th century.  This is what the wealthy families collected at that time.  For the rest of the populace who couldn’t afford the iridescent glass, the manufacturers came up with a cheaper version called ‘Carnival Glass’.   It is very collectable now and the market is pretty depressed so you can get some good affordable pieces.  We also looked at some of the different pieces from Europe as well that included carved glass and even one that looked like an aquarium.  If you are interested in picking up a piece of collectable glass or you have a piece that you think may be worth something, stop by and see Gary and his staff.

LoneSomeVille Pottery Process

Pottery is a lost art.  Sure you can find pots at your local store, but the high quality, high fired, pottery is now mass produced and that it why it is great to know that one of the best pottery houses on the west coast is right here in Portland.  We dropped by LoneSomeVille Pottery (503-774-5387) and met with Wayne Hughes, one of the owners and learned how they make this incredibly decorative pottery.  It all starts with an original design by Northwest artist Danny Hills, then Todd or Jose makes a mold of that design.  Then they glaze it and fire it, producing a limited amount of pieces and then sell it around the country.  The influence for the piece can be found in pottery houses from the 1930’s.  The other big difference is the high fired technique they use.  Low fired pottery is not as hard and will chip and break easily.  The high fired process also means that it is dishwasher and oven safe.  They also work really hard to made pottery with multiple glazes.  This means that there is a big variation of colors even within the same piece.  We then moved inside the house to see their showroom and were blown away by all the different styles of pottery they made from plates and cups to tiles and vases.  There was quite a selection.  Your chance to pick up some of this pottery is this weekend at their Spring Open Gardens and Studio Sale.  It happens June 2nd from 10am to 4pm.  If you happen to miss the sale you can head to one of the great local retailers they supply.  You can find a complete list of locations on their website. 

Port Cocktails #1

The old image of port is one of old gentlemen sitting around smoking cigars and sipping port.  That image is really changing.  Port is now part of the cocktail scene.  To learn more about port and how to use it we paid a visit to the Rum Club to talk to Lorenzo Bakewell-Stone who is from Portugal.  First we talked to Mary from Park Kitchen (503-223-PARK) she is also from the group LUPEC, which stands for the ‘Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails’.  The group promotes women in the industry and they have fun doing it.  She made 2 drinks.  The first was a Pink Drink using Croft Pink Port and New Deal vodka and sparkling wine.   While she got started we asked Lorenzo about port.  Port is a fortified wine.  That is a wine that has a grape spirit added to give it more flavor and more alcohol.  The port we were using was the first Rose port; it is lighter and easier to drink than some of the older style ports.  It is also lighter in cocktails!  That means the second cocktail was a coffee cocktail which was made with Portland coffee!  It was delicious!  If you are looking to have something new and refreshing this summer, try a port cocktail!  You can find a downloadable book of recipes at www.PortCocktails.com

Pollo con Pedro Ximenez

Chef David is at his happiest when he is in the kitchen and he is REALLY happy when he gets a new cookbook!  We recently received the cookbook ‘Espana, Exploring the Flavors of Spain’ by James Caruso and David found a great recipe in it that he just had to make.   The recipe is called Pollo con Pedro Ximenez.  Pollo is chicken and Pedro Ximenez is a Spanish Sherry.  As a chef he was also excited about using the EaziStore Cookware from Natural Home which we were given to try out in the kitchen.  David loves the way it cooked evenly and how well it stacked in the cupboards to save him lots of room.  For the recipe he started with 15 large cloves of garlic and about a ¼ cup of chopped onions and sautéed them in some olive oil for about 10 minutes on medium heat.   He then added 6 medium sized boneless chicken thighs and browned them on both sides for about 4 minutes per side.  Then he removed the chicken and added some liquid ingredients including chicken stock, orange juice, vinegar, and then the Pedro Ximenez sherry.  You cook that on medium heat for 3-4 minutes and add the chicken back in.  While the chicken was cooking David prepared the final ingredient, orange segments.  When you do a recipe like this you want the orange segments to not have any of the white pith so he showed us how to remove that from the orange.    David removed the chicken for the final time and added the orange segments to the liquid mixture and just let it cook for a couple more minutes.  Then it was time to dish it up.  You place the chicken on a plate and spoon the orange/Pedro Ximenez mixture over the top and serve.  It was incredible!

Ludeman’s Cushions

If you are looking to change the look of your deck or patio furniture it is easy to do with a quick and simple change.  Just replace your cushions on the furniture.  It is easy and inexpensive.  You can find replacement cushions at many local furniture and variety stores.  We found a huge selection at the Ludeman’s (503-646-6409) in Beaverton.  When you go looking for new cushions look for ones that are water resistant and UV protected.  Get a couple of different patterns and then you can have 2 or 3 different looks all summer long.

Quick Tip – Changing Out Cabinet Hardware

One of the quickest ways to change the look of your cabinets is to change your cabinet hardware.  We stopped by Parr Lumber (866-214-7277) and asked Amber how to do that.  Her big recommendation was to measure your old handles first.  Make sure you know how much space is between the screws of your old handle before you buy some new ones.  For her example, the space between screws on her old hardware was 3 inches.  Now she knows her new hardware screws have to be 3 inches apart for it to fit so she doesn’t have to drill new holes.   The second tip was to make sure that you know the thickness of your cabinet doors.  You don’t want to get screws for your new hardware that are too short or too long.  If you have any questions, as always, you can check with the experts at your local Parr Lumber store.


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This page last modified
June 08, 2012.