Posts by Janelle Asplund
Hi there. I’m Janelle, Rejuvenation’s newest writer.
Let’s get this out of the way: I used to work for Martha Stewart. I was there when she went to prison, knitted the infamous poncho, and returned wearing an ankle bracelet. Although I learned much too much about the perils of insider trading, Martha also taught me tons about domesticity, decorating, and antiques. Which was handy, because after seven years in New York, I moved to Ohio and into a 1860s brick Italianate.
I have yet to find a lovably timeworn heap to call my own in Portland, but my itch for the historic, the genuine, and the one-of-a-kind receives regular scratching at Rejuvenation. Surrounded by lighting wonks and antique geeks, I feel just like I’m back at Martha - except that around here, when people talk about conviction, they don’t mean jail time.
Two truths and a lie:
My fondest hope is to start a goat farm
I have two French Bulldogs, both named George Foreman
My master’s degree is in theology
Last Thursday, The Oregonian published a piece about one of our very own: Justin Grow. Justin, one of our Portland salvage buyers, is making historically accurate concrete blocks for his 1910 home, using turn-of-the century machinery. Not only are we thrilled to see Justin’s painstaking preservation project gain the attention it deserves, we’re also delighted that we broke the story here first.
It’s well-known that Portland is a Do-It-Yourselfer’s paradise, and that the city celebrates people who make and do their own thing. Many of these folks pass through our store on a daily basis, in search of inspiration and beautiful products to complete their projects. Which is why we’re excited to host the hottest DIY couple around, Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love. The Petersiks will be at our store on Saturday, January 26, 2013 from 12:00 to 3:00 PM to sign copies of their new, bestselling book (aptly titled Young House Love).
The Young House Love blog started out as a hobby. The self-described “DIY dorks” decided to chronicle the transformation of their Richmond, Virginia ranch from a “needs-some-love house into a love-it-to-pieces home.” (Naturally, this is exactly the kind of undertaking we heartily support here at Rejuvenation!) With its cheery style and smart advice, the blog developed a devoted following – and collected some major media kudus along the way (HGTV, The New York Times, and Forbes, to name a few).
Thanks to the blog’s success (and a whole lot of hard work), the Petersiks were able to quit their day jobs, wrote a book, and are now hitting the road to meet and greet friends and fans across the country – hurrah!
So, Portlanders, mark your calendars because your chance to meet the Petersiks is coming soon. You can pick up their book, Young House Love, in advance at our store. We hear their book signings have been incredibly well attended, so you’d be smart to arrive good and early. You’ll also have a chance to win our new Skidmore Plug-In.
Entrances are some of a home’s highest traffic areas, and, as a result, they can get (and stay) cluttered. Yet they’re also the first thing you and your guests see when you walk in. With thoughtful lighting and a few well-placed accessories, these busy spaces can be some of the most pleasant and useful areas in your home.
A great ceiling light – with an easily accessible switch – is an entryway must-have. It should cast enough illumination so you can scan your mail, but needn’t be as bright as a task light – between 60W and 100W should do the trick. We also recommend installing a dimmer switch to control the illumination depending on your needs and the time of day.
The Blackstone paired with a Opalescent teardrop shade
Choose your light based on the dimensions of your space. Broadly speaking, the lower the ceiling, the shorter the fixture. And the roomier the space, the bigger the fixture. A narrow but tall entry might benefit from a long pendant with a slender shade while a spacious but low-ceilinged foyer might want a flush-mount ceiling fixture with a dramatic shade.
The Northrup paired with a clear tube shade
Wall sconces also work well in entrances, particularly when used in tandem with a ceiling fixture. They don’t take up much space and add elegance. Flank the front door with a pair or run multiples down the front hall.
A pair of Westons paired with Mission-style shades
If you have the room for a console or entry table, consider topping it with a statement-making table lamp. It will provide a welcome sight every time you walk in, and introduce your décor scheme.
From boots to mail, umbrellas to shopping bags, every item that goes in and out of your house usually ends up making a pit stop in your entry. With the right set of accessories, you keep your space neat and inviting.
Mail is one of the biggest sources of ongoing clutter. However, with a couple of attractive, strategically placed baskets, you can sort “keeper mail” and “recycle mail” immediately, so it never piles up or gets lost.
Another clutter-fighter: hooks. As far as we’re concerned, you can never have too many – for coats, hats, dog leashes, and bags. With a handy row of hooks mounted firmly to the wall, consider another potentially unsightly pile banished forever. Plus, you may never misplace your keys again!
To keeps things clean, we love to have a perch where you can sit to remove muddy shoes and slip on house slippers. Don’t forget the solid copper “Remove Thy Shoes” sign that politely reminds others to do the same.
For the wall, a well-placed mirror will let you add that final touch of lipstick or straighten your tie. And to help keep your busy life on track, hang an oak-framed chalkboard. You can jot messages, make lists, and scribble reminders in a prominent place before you dash out.
These are just a few suggestions, and we encourage you to peruse our selection of entry accessories for ideas to inspire your own entry update and makeover.
If you’re like us, the holidays involve a fair amount of to-ing and fro-ing to parties, open houses, and dinners. And if you’re really like us, those events involve a cocktail or two.
Naturally, we’re drawn to cocktails with some history behind them. The Tom and Jerry is an old-timey winter standby that’s similar to eggnog. Some believe the drink was invented by British author Pierce Egan in his 1820 novel about two rowdy cousins, Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorne. Alternately the drink is credited to Jerry Thomas, a New York bartender who published the first American guide to cocktails in 1862.
Thomas’ recipe reads thusly:
5 pound sugar
1/2 small bar glass Jamaica rum
1 1/2 tea-spoon cinnamon ground
1/2 tea-spoon clove ground
1/2 tea-spoon allspice ground
(Use punch-bowl for the mixture.)
Beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth, and the yolks until they are as thin as water, then mix together and add the spice and rum, thicken with sugar until the mixture attains the consistence of a light batter.
To deal out Tom and Jerry to customers:
Take a small bar glass, and to one table-spoonful of the above mixture, add one wine-glass of brandy, and fill the glass with boiling water, grate a little nutmeg on top.
Adepts at the bar, in serving Tom and Jerry, sometimes adopt a mixture of 1/2 brandy, 1/4 Jamaica rum, and 1/4 Santa Cruz rum, instead of brandy plain. This compound is usually mixed and kept in a bottle, and a wine-glassful & used to each tumbler of Tom and Jerry.
N. B.—A tea-spoonful of cream of tartar, or about as much carbonate of soda as you can get on a dime, will prevent the sugar from settling to the bottom of the mixture.
(Reprinted from classicmixology.com)
While Tom and Jerry is a wonderful party quaff, here in the soggy Northwest, we’re also planning to pour quite a few hot toddies in between festivities. Not only is a toddy reputed to ease colds, it’s thought to have originated in 17th-century Scotland as a polite, palatable way for women to consume scotch. Tasty and empowering – we love that!
Though these are just two, festive wintry drink recipes abound. So we say, bring out the fancy glasses, mix up a cup (or two) of good cheer, and enjoy! And while you’re at it, tell us: What will you be raising a toast to this holiday season? And what beverage will you be toasting with?
It’s back-to-school season: time for new knapsacks and – we say – old accessories! Here are a few of our recent salvage finds that are (almost) too cool for school.
Given our commitment to preservation, is it any wonder we look back fondly on pre-PC days?
Vintage beakers concoct a chem-lab-like display.
Ah, globes: Remember how simple geography used to be?
Packs of pencils, from the days when they still were made with lead!
See things up close and personal with your very own antique microscope.
If you want to dress up your desk or home work space with one-of-a-kind schoolhouse salvage, stop by one of our stores or check out the Restored Antiques right here on our site.