Sunday, October 28, 2012

Winter Wonder at Anthropologie

I took part in a design workshop today at the Anthropologie store in University Village.  I wasn't exactly sure what this workshop would be about, but it turned out that the design team was working on creating the Christmas decor for the store.  This year the theme is winter critters, as one of the young women put it.  There is a sort of arch, or cave entrance perhaps, made of pieces of wood and coming through this arrangement is a polar bear.  There will be two cubs, also, when it is all finished.

Besides the polar bears, there will be owls and squirrels and at least one snow bird.  These amazing winter white animals are made with either a chicken wire armature or crumpled paper and lots and lots of masking tape.  Various papers were used to create the fur or feathers----paper toweling, Tyvek, waxed paper and some other sort that I am not sure exactly what it was but it had a sort of felt-y feel.
The papers were torn into either fringes, or tear shaped petals, and the Tyvek was torn and encouraged to be shaggy and then hot glued to the armature.

Here you can see Mr. Squirrel.  He was so cute!

There was a group working on the back end of the polar bear, gluing and shaping the papers to form the fur.

This is the right foreleg of Mrs. P. Bear.  I worked on this and had a great time.  I will admit to getting a couple of blisters with the hot glue (I have never been very careful with hot glue and I should be---it's HOT!)  It was lots of fun to work the paper in and add some Tyvek fur and try to make it all look shaggy and properly tousled.

You can see the armature for the snow bird in the front on the edge of the table in the above photo.

I loved the screen of pine cones that hang in the windows of the store.  It's woodsy and winter-y and natural---and quite beautiful.

I realize that the Anthropologie staff has figured out a way to get lots and lots of free help in creating the decor for the shop, but we all had so much fun!  I don't think there was one of us who felt ill-used, just very pleased to be a part of creating some Christmas time magic for the store.

 Mrs. Bear was coming along nicely when I had to leave....

....and the snow bird was taking shape, too.  Amazing what you can do with masking tape, crumpled paper, Tyvek and some inspiration!

I had such a good time.  Everyone was so nice, both the staff of the University Village Anthropologie and all the attendees.  I will be sure to return in December to see the magic that the store decor is sure to be.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blue Bird Cafe

When I head up to my cabin, I always try to stop for lunch at the Blue Bird Cafe.  The Blue Bird is one of those places, those very American places, that are steeped in diner tradition.  This little spot in downtown Arlington offers all the components that make for, in my opinion, the perfect old-fashioned diner.

There is the dry erase board propped up just by the front door, listing the specials of the day.

Entry ambiance and specials board....check!

It has the right look, too.  Big, well-used booths with the benches somewhere between too bouncy and too squishy.  They are just right....Check!

The hamburger deluxe is my burger of choice.  It has just enough veggies to fool me into thinking it's not all bad for me....and is good enough that I didn't remember to take this photo until I'd already eaten half of it!

Perfect burger.  Check!

For a proper, full on diner experience, you need a dining companion, one who also is highly invested in a perfect burger.  And mustard and catsup, too, of course....

The Blue Bird scores on both mustard and catsup and I supplied the dining companion.

Check and check!

There must be onion rings.  REAL onion rings, made with real onion slices, not those horrid chopped and reconstituted onion rings you get some places.  They have to be real onions from real onion rings and they need to be lightly breaded and very crispy, but not greasy.

The Blue Bird has these.  Check!

The Blue Bird also supplies these little sheets with esoteric trivia questions and horrible old jokes for pre-burger dining.  (Too keep the patrons, the anxious and hungry patrons, from banging silverware on the tabletops and chanting, "Me want food!  Me want food!"  Just enough reading material and drinks delivered to the table practically immediately too keep us in line.


The Blue Bird is darn near perfect.  Check it out for yourself the next time you swing through downtown Arlington and see for yourself.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch Fun

My DH and I spent last weekend visiting our eldest daughter and her family.  On Sunday we all went to the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch.

Rawlings got to ride around in a red wheelbarrow.  Her father was the driver and he went faaaaaaaaaassssssstttt.

Dad and Rawlings took a tour all through the pumpkin field.  Then it was on to Hay Mountain.  There was quite a pile of hay bales and Rawlings was a surprisingly nimble climber.

Rawlings and Grandpa at the summit of Hay Mountain

Dad waited for the little one to catch up.....

....and when assistance in achieving the summit was required, he gladly provided it.

After all the climbing, Rawlings had quite a grand time in the big box of corn kernels.  I had never seen such a thing.  It proved to be a most fun activity.  When someone got bored with shoveling the corn around, her Daddy happily began to bury her in all the golden kernels.

I was surprised at how comfortable it actually was.

While Rawlings played and explored and tried all the activities at the pumplin patch, her baby brother, Reid, caught some zzzzzzzs in his stroller.

Daddy is even entertaining when you get back to the car to head home.  He makes monster faces through the window and growls and snorts and is ever-so-amazingly-fun-and-funny!

Rawlings had so much fun she had to take a little rest on the way home.  It's a good thing blankie was waiting in the car seat, ready to lend a snuggle and a bit of comfort.

Gramma and Reid had a little play time when we all returned home.  And, yes, I do dote.

Just a little.....

Friday, October 12, 2012

Meeting Reid

We are off today to meet our newest grandchild, Reid.

We are very excited to see his big sister, Rawlings, too!

We might even  spend a little time with their parents, as long as we're there, anyway.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October Morning Walk

Take THIS New England!!!
Autumn has truly arrived in Edmonds.  It's cold in the morning---nippy and chill.  The leaves are turning glorious colors.  We have been enjoying a long, beautiful stretch of glorious weather with afternoon temperatures in the low 70s.  Alas, that seems to be changing and now it's overcast and gray.

I took a different route this morning on my daily walk and went past the inter-tidal  marsh that is a bird sanctuary.  I didn't see too  many birds, but with the tide way out today, the grasses looked particularly
pretty in their autumn colors.

There were quite a few lovely ripe blackberries along the way, too.  A sort of pre-breakfast for me!