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Store Update

It’s Fall here in Oregon and wine country is buzzing with harvest energy! As the new crop of grapes enjoy their last days soaking up the sun, we’re busy getting ready to launch the Dundee General Store website.

Photo of Stoller Vineyards courtesy of Janis Miglavs

We’ve already received some beautiful woven market baskets and table linens, but are anxiously awaiting other products. Unfortunately, the blue & white Cornishware dishes, bowls, and coffee mugs will be the last to arrive in early November. However, we plan to have the store website up and (if I can get it figured out) our archived blog posts transferred over in the next two weeks!

Thanks so much to all of our readers for the enthusiastic messages you’ve sent on here, Facebook, and Twitter. We are excited to embark on this new journey and look forward to sharing beautiful, timeless products for your modern country home.

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I’ve had a Makr wallet for about a year now and it’s one of my favorite things I own. Made by hand in limited quantities, Makr crafts uniquely high quality leather goods and bags. Although quality doesn’t come cheap, this iPad case is one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen!

Photos courtesy of Makr

My posts have been sporadic lately because we have spent every spare moment packing, painting, and moving to our new (old) house in Portland’s Irvington neighborhood. Yes, Portland is not the beautiful wine country of Dundee (we’ll get there someday!), but our craftsman bungalow, built in 1908, still has that old-world rustic charm.

I spent a couple of hours a few weeks ago, wandering the neighborhood with a friend, admiring all of the old houses. While our 1,400 sq ft bungalow is pretty modest, there are many grand old homes (mansions) nearby. The neighborhood streets are lined with large old trees that, when full of leaves, create a tunnel of green enveloping the road. Squirrels scurry about stashing their food for winter, and homeowners tend to their perfectly manicured gardens. We walked for hours admiring the old homes, stopped into my favorite nursery Garden Fever, and grabbed a bite at Petisco. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be living in this beautiful, vibrant, thriving old neighborhood with so much history and character. As I’ve said previously, there’s something about old homes that can’t be found in new construction. Yes, they have their creaky floors and energy inefficiencies, but new construction can’t replicate the stories and history these homes have. If only these 100-year-old walls could talk!

Is this not the most gorgeous entryway you’ve ever seen?!

This stately home, the Stuart House, is actually FOR SALE! Click on the link to the listing for some gorgeous interior pictures. Here is a blog post about its amazing history as the home of Scottish royalty.

Whether we want to admit it or not, Summer is coming to a close and Fall is upon us. As if the bags of candy or orange plastic pumpkins didn’t give you a clue! As the evenings get cooler and we unfold Grandma’s knitted afghan, there’s nothing better than snuggling up next to a roaring fireplace. We are lucky enough to be getting a fireplace in our new home. Granted, it’s a glass enclosed gas fireplace and not the “real” kind of fire, but, it’s an improvement from the “On-Demand Fire” video loop we played on our TV during last year’s Christmas party. Our fireplace surround is standard brick with a nondescript wood mantle, but I love it nonetheless! Still, I can’t help but envy these classic and rustic fireplaces from Country Home Magazine. Roaring fire or not, these fireplaces exude warmth and comfort.

I’ve seen a lot of amber glass apothecary jars and bottles lately in stores, on blogs, and most recently as a centerpiece on our neighbors’ dining room table. Restoration Hardware even sells a set of amber glass pharmacy bottles for bathroom storage. Our neighbors’ dining table vases, however, started as Brew Dr. brand kombucha bottles. To no surprise, Brew Dr. is actually a Portland, OR based company!

Photo courtesy of (my awesome neighbor) Kevin Ward

 Ever since I found out about this kombucha I’ve been drinking and saving the bottles for my collection. Not sure what exactly I’m going to do with them yet, but some ideas I had besides just as vases were hand or dish soap dispensers, oil & vinegar bottles, or room scent diffusers. I suppose I could just go buy some bottles instead, but the kombucha is delicious (and supposedly healthy?) and it’s kind of fun to clean them up and re-use them. Go to Brew Dr. Kombucha’s website to see where it is sold near you.

Industrial Chic

We surveyed our new house a few days ago, taking notes on room measurements and the paint colors we’d like to use. One feature we’re excited about is a bar along a big window in the kitchen looking into the back yard. I’m envisioning sitting along that bar, looking out at our small back yard with a mug of fresh hot coffee and my laptop. Problem is, we have no bar stools, and so begins our search for bar stools along with a larger dining table! I know my posts have been a little furniture-heavy lately, but since we’re moving, I can’t help it!

As I combed the internet looking for something a bit more unique than the IKEAfied West Elmed everyday furniture, I came across the Ohio based company of AT-95 American Furnishings. Inspired by their Mid-West roots of blue collar machinists, factory workers, and farmers, AT-95 creates furniture that looks like something their hard working ancestors may have used at a factory. Simple, chunky, and sturdy, these “industrial chic” pieces of art would look perfect in any modern loft or country farmhouse.

Next week marks the end of two years that Chris and I have lived on the 19th floor of the Ardea tower in the South Waterfront district of downtown Portland. It also marks two years that we have lived together! We’ve both survived so far so that must be a good sign right? Although we have enjoyed our river and downtown views, the access to public transit, concierge service, and friendly neighbors, both of us are excited to come back down to earth and into a house. Gone will be the floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views, but those will be replaced with a porch swing and a small back yard to grow our own vegetables. Join us in saying goodbye to the high-life as we reflect on our home in the sky. Although our next home in the Irvington neighborhood of NE Portland is still not the rolling hills of Dundee, it’s at least one step closer!

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