Thursday, August 25, 2011

Unique Lighting for your Kitchen

In today’s kitchen, lighting is no longer the forgotten element of design.  Pendants, chandeliers, and ceiling-mounted lights are often used to provide ambient light.  These chandeliers look great in a group, but just as good singled out alone over the dining table.

Depending on where you live, you might find yourself with a relatively small space available for your kitchen. If this is the case it is more important than ever that you plan each and every nook and cranny so you get the most bang for your space and your buck.

Mercury Glass pendant lamps - 60 watt maximum - comes with a 6' cord and plug.

Three choices for you to choose from: Bell Shaped ( 6.5 x 6.5), Hobnail (6.50 x 6.25) and Classic (7.50 x 5.75)

$58.00 each

Industrial Wire Cage Lighting - Raw rusted metal industrial pendant lighting combined with antique brass and twisted cloth cord.

Measures 6 x 13 diam. x 19.  100Watt Max

$100 each

Find these and other unique lighting elements at the Pink Pig.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Relax in a Pair of Boxer Shorts by Clairidge + King

Wearing soft, comfortable boxers as loungewear has been a trend with woman for years.  We've found the perfect solution for how you can enjoy your boxers without having to raid your boyfriend/husband's drawer.  No need to shop in the men's underwear area of your local department story either.  Clairidge + King has come out with a line of boxer shorts cut especially for women.

Inspired by His, Made for Her

They've borrowed his boxers and her tap pants and melded the best of both to create our flattering sleep shorts. Made with 100 percent long-staple cotton, they've bundle two pair to a pack.

Fashioned with fine shirting fabric
Grosgrain ribbon-edged back pocket
Side slits on each leg
Comfortable elastic waistband lined with our signature pewter-striped fabric
Wear at your waist or folded over and inched down to your hips
Packaged in a quilted, zippered pouch

Package of 2: $32.00 at the Pink Pig
Available in White, Pink, Blue and Pinstripe
Sizes Small, Medium and Large


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Marla Shaw’s Steamer Trunk Mystery

I love mysteries! I received this story from Sofie Couch, an author who re-purposed an old steam trunk and thought it might be the basis of a new mystery novel.  Thanks Sofie for your email and let us know if you decide to write this story!

Marla Shaw didn’t like worms, or any creature that had the potential for being found under a rock, but upon opening her wardrobe steamer trunk, a can of worms was precisely what she found.

A knock on the door of her compartment accompanied the satisfying snap of the latches on her trunk…

Okay, that could be the opening of a story, or it could be your new life as a writer when you unlatch your own re-purposed steamer trunk. The satisfying click of the latches, accompanied by the anticipation of mystery… which you write, because upon opening this trunk, you’ll find something more than you might have expected – an entire home office.

It all began when I was wandering around my house looking for purpose. My laptop had been returned for warranty repair, and without it, as a writer, I’m pretty much lost. Pen and paper just aren’t the same. It took me several days of wandering before I realized I was searching for my writing space. Oh, I have a desk, and an office, but without my laptop, it just wasn’t the same. I needed occupation.

And it was about that same time I received a call from my mother who owns and operates an antique mini-mall. She doesn’t need to go out on the hunt much these days. Folks just seem to find her with their treasures, and on this particular day, someone pulled in with a beauty of a wardrobe steamer trunk on the back of their truck. A phone call later, and we had struck a deal.

This trunk was ROUGH. The lock had, at some point in time, been pried open and was/is irretrievable. (Hmmm, what were the circumstances surrounding the forceful opening of the trunk. Could it be incorporated into a story?) It had also been stored in a barn for heaven knows how long, so it… er…reeked is the word that comes to mind. Probably black mold. I’ll let you know if it kills me. It hasn’t yet, but I did immediately break out the bleach.

Following a once-over cleaning, including, in addition to mold removal, spider eviction, I stood back to look at the trunk’s potential. And then it hit me! This could be an office for someone with limited real estate in their home.

And a re-purposing project was born. The materials necessary, (beyond cleaning/de-bugging materials,) are the following:

4’x 8”x1” pine board, cut into two pieces to fit interior of trunk

9” piano hinge

4’ of thin chain

glass beads or a two tassels

wall paper

upholstery trim

embellishments of your choosing.

The first task was to cut the board to fit the interior of the steamer trunk. Did I mention I don’t do electric saws? I’m a pretty capable person, but darn it, I need all ten fingers for typing. So I took my measurements to the local home improvement store and they were happy to cut the board for me. I had to trim the corners to fit the curved interior, but I don’t mind using a hand saw.

With one board resting on the braces that were already in place in the trunk, I attached the second board to the first using the piano hinge. (This second board folds up when the trunk is closed, and folds down into a desk surface when the trunk is open.)

Next it was on to wallpapering. I was not looking forward to this. I enjoy a volunteer gig as a set builder at the local theater, but precision is never the goal. Safety is the goal and making things “look” level, but we never actually use a level, or worry about seams matching, etc. It went well though, with the exception of one split seam that will need to be resolved. The drawers were a bit tricky, because the pulls could not be removed and re-attached, (at least not with my skill set.) I may come back later and crochet coverings for the original handles, but for now, they’ll do as-is.

The upholstery trim finished off the desk-side wallpaper and the rest of the frills are a hodge podge of accessories I’ve found around the house or made using stuff I happened to have on hand – old jewelry, some glass beads, chain and a tassel.

The last touch will be four feet, probably wheeled casters, that will lift the whole thing about three more inches. The lap tray is a little low for working comfortably as is, but as you can see, this would well define your office space. Next task, a “do not disturb” shingle to hang up when working.

Enjoy while I get back to Miss Marla Shaw. What was stuffed in that trunk that made it reek so?

Sofie Couch is raising a “para normal” young adults… and writing in the same genre!” You can read her latest novel, ANGELS UNAWARES: Fall for Grace, available on Kindle and through discerning booksellers everywhere. To see the steamer trunk in person, you can join Sofie and a group of talented writers at “FALL FOR A WRITER”, a tailgate party/booksigning to be held October 15, 2011, in Keswick, Virginia. Follow Sofie at


Friday, August 5, 2011

Portrait of Jenny Linn: the Swedish Nightingale

This week I received an email from Mike Kiger with an incredible story about a chance find with an interesting story attached to it.  I hope he finally does some investigating to find out more about this treasure and the story of Jenny Linn.

While traveling on the Oregon coast with family, we stepped in to an antique shop that was having a going out of business sale. I literally stumbled over a picture that was sitting on the floor and being something of a history buff, I quickly realized that the picture or portrait as it may be called was of Jenny Linn. Jenny Linn was also known or referred to as the Swedish Nightingale. PT Barnum brought Jenny Linn over to this country as a young teenager to tour with Barnum’s show. It has been said that the gold miners in the California gold rush, were willing to pay a week’s pay just to hear Jenny Linn sing.

When I asked the owner of the shop about the portrait, the owner said that it had an interesting history. There was a one legged woman in a wheelchair who would wheel around Salem, Oregon collecting antiques. She had a son who was let out of an institution in California early so that he could take care of his mother. The mother and son became a fixture around Salem, Oregon with him pushing her around town while collecting antiques. The portrait of Jenny Linn was part of the woman’s estate. I did not buy the portrait that day and waited a week while mulling it over before sending a family member back to purchase it.

The picture measures twenty three by twenty eight inches and has the following inscription at the bottom of the picture “ To Miss Ruth Olvidge from a portfolio belonging to the late Viscountess Ossington in memory of her. From Miss CM Phillmore September 1891”

Being a private investigator, I always have hopes of doing some research on the inscription at the bottom of the portrait to find out more about the portrait. Yet much like the cobbler’s kids who never seem to have shoes, my personal projects always seem to be the last in line when it comes to being researched.

I don’t know how my portrait made it’s way from the east coast to the west coast, but I do know that it has found a permanent home with me and it is admired daily for it’s beauty.

Mike Kiger has been a private investigator in the Portend, Oregon area for over twenty years where he works all types of cases from aggravated murder to adoptions. Mr. Kiger specializes in adoption cases and he can be reached at