Thursday, March 05, 2015

Arrowhead Chocolates in Joseph, Oregon

On our fall visit to Eastern Oregon, we came across Arrowhead Chocolates. We're always on the look out for new and unusual places, (which I love to feature in my Blog), but who would have expected a Chocolatier in the small town of Joseph? This is a charming chocolate shop, but they also have amazing coffee, scones, waffles on Sunday, and gift items. 
The chocolates are handmade right in the shop, of course we couldn't resist bringing some home.  The western designs, butterflies and fish were too cute!
On the day we stopped by, several artists were Plein Air Painting around town. Joseph seems to be a haven for artists, and it's easy to see why with the dry weather and amazing scenery. 
 Inside the chocolate shop was nice and toasty, and we were tempted to come back for the waffles that they serve every Sunday, but unfortunately had to get back to Portland.
If you stop for coffee, be sure and enjoy a scone.  They're very moist and delicious!  
I loved all the teas and tea accessories in the shop, and I managed to do some one stop Christmas shopping.  I bought one of the colorful mugs with strainers to keep my tea warm when I'm in my office. 

Best of all, they ship everywhere, so I definitely plan to order some chocolates to tie me over until I get back to eastern Oregon again!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Riding the Rails in Joseph, Oregon

Last fall we had a family trip in Eastern Oregon.  The little town of Joseph is a hidden gem full of surprises, with some fun and unusual things to do. 
I think my favorite thing was the Railrider trip. An ingenious former bike shop owner, Kim Metlen, built these lightweight cars that you peddle on abandoned railroad tracks.  This route had us riding 6 miles to the Terminal Gravity Pub in the town of Enterprise, and then returning back to Joseph.
The scenery along the way was so beautiful, and peaceful!  We saw lots of cows, white tailed deer and open fields, plus a few abandoned railroad cars.
Our son Bryan, organized the trip, and it almost looks like he's sitting on an old horse and buggy.
The cars are lightweight enough for two people to lift them off the tracks so we enjoyed a beer, and split some yummy Nachos at the Terminal Gravity Pub.
You don't want to overdo the spirits since you have a 6 mile ride back, uphill with a 1.5 grade. 
This was so much fun!  I can't wait to do it again!
Ironically, as I was writing this post, a show on OPB, Oregon Field Guide, airing a segment on the Railrider cars - talk about serendipity!
2015 opening season for this fun activity starts May 22nd, through Oct 4th, three rides daily F-M. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

More Tiny Trailers, Girl Caves, and a Step Back in Time

Last Saturday, my 'partner in crime,' Barb, asked me to accompany her to the annual Junk Salvation, out at the Hillsboro, OR Fairgrounds.  Vendors come from all over with Vintage goods, antiques, and re-purposed items.  We got there as there doors opened, and a long line had already formed into the parking area.  
I was hoping to see more Vintage Trailers at the show, since I love to see how people have renovated these timeless gems, but I only found one.  It seems like there's lots of interest in Vintage Trailers and Tiny Homes, with the whole downsizing, minimizing movement. However, I found this cool website which featured a Vintage Trailer classified section - where there is lots of eye candy for the renovated trailer lover
Meanwhile, this trailer captured the ambiance of the day - the flamingos, the Tiffany Blue, the melamine dishes.  Unfortunately, there were no palm trees in sight!
Above, I love how compact this camper is with the table turning into a bed for more sleeping, and the kitchen area so accessible. This set up brings back a lot of memories of camping with my family on trips to Lake Shasta and Lake Almanor, in California. I also love the idea of using these renovated trailers for a girl cave, office, or guest quarters.

My friend Barb with her 'Vision Board' trailer.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Vintage Style Jewelry - Channel Your Inner Lady Mary

After the Holidays there's always a bit of a letdown.  Things run at a hectic pace from Thanksgiving through New Year, with parties, activities, family gatherings etc. Although, once the calendar turns to the New Year, it's nice to turn a new page and catch up on everything that didn't get done the past two months!  However, things can get a little dull in the dead of winter, when it's sometimes hard to even get outside for a walk!
One bright spot in the US, is that the captivating PBS series, Downton Abbey is back!
I've been having fun channeling my inner lady Mary with thinking of, and designing some Vintage Style jewelry. 
Honestly, I don't know how anyone in the Upper Class Edwardian Era got anything done, since all they seemed to do was change clothes for meals and their various activities. Dresses of the day draped the figure, and were broken by pleats and sashes.  Empire waists, kimono sleeves, and beaded dresses reflected the influence of the Orient, on the fashions of the day.  Figures of nature, flowers and animals had a huge influence on the jewelry of this era.
Rubies, Sapphires, and diamonds were big for those who could afford them, until synthetics became popular in the 30's.
Diamond cuts and architectural styles found it's way into all styles in that era, including jewelry.

See these designs and more at my