Hello everyone!

Well, after about a month-long hiatus, I am pleased to say we are back! We have been so busy over the past month, and will be writing little mini-posts about our adventures soon, but wanted to give you a quick update.

In the past few weeks, we have:

*Adopted a precious kitten, Pokey

*Hosted Bearmonkey’s parents on a long vacation to Bend and the Oregon Coast

*Moved offices (yes, both of our employers moved in the same month… yikes!)

*Gotten stung by a bee (poor Bearmonkey)

*Repaired a broken down car on the coast (thanks, Badger!)

*Purchased a 1980 VW Caddy Truck… Badger’s latest project

*Toured the Oregon wine country

*Moved to a sweet new loft downtown

and… I went to DC to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure! That’s 60 miles in 3 days, folks (video and full recap to come soon!). The above list has worn us out and I think we are both excited for fall’s arrival…lots of nights in being crafty, making soup, watching footy, drinking red wine, and snuggling up under a nice, soft blanket.

Also, as we are now live on Etsy, we’ve been busy responding to customers and maintaining the store. Thanks to your support, Badger is looking for a larger and more permanent work space to focus on all kinds of woodworking goodness.

Look for our next post soon! In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite photos from our vacation:

 

Hearts and Hugs,

 

Bearmonkey

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Hi, Everyone!

Bearmonkey and Badger here… with a new little member of our pack in tow:

He already has good taste... reading the Portland Mercury on my favorite chair!

We brought this teeny guy home from the shelter yesterday, so needless to say it’s been pretty busy around here! He’s a 4-month old Manx kitten. His name is yet to be decided, but he’s stolen our hearts with his antics and purrs! He adjusted to his new pad pretty easily, and loves to cuddle on the couch with us. He definitely likes to be with his “people” and cries every time we leave the apartment… that sound is so heartbreaking, but I know soon enough he will be used to our routine and probably going on lots of indoor-adventures while we are away.

Contemplating what his new name will be whilst gazing at the drapes...

Contemplating what his new name will be whilst gazing at the drapes

More pictures (and a name) to come…

Hearts and Hugs,

Bearmonkey and Badger

Hello there, intrepid readers! We hope you all had a great weekend and a (…dare we say it…) awesome Monday!

Bearmonkey had a few days away from work last week and decided to go on a mini-vacation to. So, while Badger was hard at work building the “Wild West” table, I was relaxing here:

Indian Beach at Ecola State Park

I went to Indian Beach, just south of Seaside, Oregon, to celebrate my 2-year “Oregaversary” (…get your mind out of the gutter!). I can’t believe that I made the move from my home state of Kansas to Oregon two years ago. The time has flown by and I become more enamored with my new home each day. Sometimes I have to pinch myself and say “This. is. where. I.live?!” because it’s hard for me to fathom being an hour from the coast and the mountains all at the same time. Growing up in Kansas, I had the spirit of a salty dog trapped inside of a land-lover’s city with no means of getting to the coast without $500 and an airplane. (Unless you want to call the Lake of the Ozarks a beach…ha!) I did somehow manage to spend a semester of college living on Daytona Beach, but Florida beaches are a lot more muggy and I didn’t really feel like spending the rest of my days living in an MTV Spring Break destination.

One thing there is an abundance of in my home state? Sunshine. And 100+ degree temps in the summer. Oregon really doesn’t have either of those things, and I have been notorious for complaning about the grey weather ever since I moved here two years ago. Kristian grew up in Gold Beach, which is a coastal town about six hours southwest of Portland, so he is very much used to our normal weather and actually likes it. He used to surf year-round (crazy, I know) when it was 45 degrees and raining outside! He likes to remind me of how good Oregonians have it because we barely have to deal with snow, and the summers are idyllic. I may be a grumpy gus most of the year, but each time I get to enjoy a perfect day on the beach and know my apartment is only an hour away, I start to think that maybe all of those rainy days are sooo worth it.


Next step: figuring out how to get more beach days into my schedule. And, how to bring Badger along with me next time.

(Sidenote: I got a horrible sunburn from falling asleep in my lounge-chair. Amateur hour, I say.)

For now, I will leave you with that gorgeous beach photo, but stay tuned because we have lots of updates this week. And I mean LOTS!

Hearts and Hugs,

Bearmonkey

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Bearmonkey here…sorry for our week-long hiatus; we’ve been super busy getting things ready for our Etsy store opening, and Badger was filming for the 48-Hour Film Festival this weekend (he was on set from 6 a.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday. Wowza.)

Thinking back over this past weekend reminds me of when I was a kid and I would look forward to Friday nights at home. During school days, I eagerly counted down to Friday, because it was pizza and board game night with the fam. I’m not quite sure when this tradition started, but without fail at 6 o’clock every Friday night, the doorbell would ring. I would scamper up to our foyer and there would be the Pizza Hut delivery guy, with a fresh melted pile of pepperoni and cheese just for us. Looking back on how much Pizza Hut I must have eaten as a child makes me a little queasy, but I still have fond memories of schooling my parents at Balderdash and the three of us laughing together over a meal.

Fast forward 15 years; Kristian and I have our own Friday Night tradition going, and it involves dressing like this:

Yes, that is Bearmonkey wearing a Rubix Cube costume...

 

Yep, whenever we can, we get all glammed-up and head over to 80’s Night at the Crystal Ballroom here in Portland. It’s a far cry from pizza and board games, that’s for sure! (Sidenote: dancing is a lot healthier than pizza for both of us… the obsession with glitter, leggings, and wayfarers? Not so much.)

We have such a blast dancing together and going out with our friends, and I’m hopeful this tradition will stick around for a little while.

I also went thrifting this weekend and scored some pretty fab finds for repurposing, another hobby of mine that I’m hoping to pass along to my family someday. My mom (or should I say, Her Royal Highness, Queen of Estate Sale Jewelry) is a very crafty lady and I am thankful we spent so much time together coloring and decorating together when I was young.

I love wearing vintage jewelry... it always reminds me of my mom.

I love wearing vintage jewelry... it always reminds me of my mom.

Jewelry found on Eco Bling Couture and The Antique Attic

What are some of your favorite traditions with family and friends? Do you have any heirloom pieces in your house that remind you of your family? We want to know!

 

Have a great week everyone. More to come soon…

 

Hearts and Hugs,

 

Bearmonkey

 

 

Good morning everyone!

This is probably the first time EVER that I’ve been excited it’s Tuesday! Why am I so happy that it’s my least favorite day of the week?

Well, because it’s time to see all of your creative work from the Pinterest Challenge!

Here’s our inspiration:

…and our awesome new headboard that Kristian made as a result!

So, whaddaya think?! Would you believe the materials were all reclaimed and under $50 total? What a steal for a beautiful piece that was relatively easy to make.

Feel free to start a conversation on your thoughts and stay tuned for the construction play-by-play!

Happy Tuesday,

Bearmonkey

Well, I figured it was about time that you heard from Badger, as up to this point I must have seemed like some mysterious and mythical creature conjured up by Bearmonkey to make our moniker sound more interesting.

Not the case, however. As you can see, here I am gathering the all important reclaimed materials from ReBuild for my piece that I completed this weekend, as well as some inspirational canvases for upcoming projects (stay tuned).

Lots of reclaimed wood to choose from!

Lots of reclaimed wood to choose from!

Selecting the perfect pieces

This weekend we made yet another important step to getting our name out there and our business off the ground by completing a project to submit in the Pinterest Challenge put on by Style by Emily Henderson, Young House Love, Bower Power, and Making a House a Home. Fantastic idea, guys! You can see the original call for submissions video here, BTW (the outtakes are pretty funny).

When Clare brought this idea up to me on Thursday, and told me that @younghouselove had already responded to our inspiration photo on our twitter page, I was ecstatic. I wasn’t sure what it all meant, but I was excited! I quickly dropped what I was doing at work, went to our twitter page, looked at our tweets…and then it dawned on me. Up until then,  had no idea how twitter worked, who was talking to who, nothing. This was very much an “a-ha” moment. Maybe I will make an appearance on twitter every now and then, since I know how to use it! That is, if Clare ever stops tweeting about the Bachelorette finale so I can wrestle the iPad away from her…

But I digress. The challenge was to create something that inspired you from an image that you had on your Pinterest board. Here is what Clare and I had found that we thought was of particular interest:

(This photo was originally found on style-files.com)

Now, we already had a perfectly nice headboard, but I really liked the idea, and was excited to tackle this challenge for our weekend together.

Our unassuming old headboard...

So, Sunday morning, instead of being the day of rest, it was the day of frantic production for me so I could complete this before heading back to Seattle for the work week. It came together quickly and easily, and is definitely a piece that I am proud of.

Come on in...

Come on in...

Our new Pinterest-inspired headboard!

Well, writing a blog post wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be! If you made it through this post, liked it, and had a chance to check us out, let us know how we’re doing. What you like/don’t like, opinions, comments, and what you’d like to see from both of us in the future. Thanks for reading.

Cheers,

Badger

Bearmonkey here! I just wanted to say a quick “thank you” to everyone who has been throwing support, kudos, and positive vibes our way as Badger and I embark on this crazy journey of business ownership.

Kristian just hatched this baby two weeks ago when he was inspired to start building tables out of reclaimed cabinet door scraps found (on a whim!) at The ReBuilding Center in Portland, and I immediately jumped at the chance to put my social media hat on and partner with him to promote his work. The response we have gotten from our pieces so far has been overwhelming and people are (literally?) crawling out of the woodwork to encourage us. Sidenote: it’s so awesome when your next door neighbor drops by to borrow some baking soda and the first thing they say is “That coffee table is awesome! Where did you get it?” (and I get to tell them that my partner made it!!).

We truly appreciate the kind words, laughter, and support we have received from our families, friends, and complete strangers. We also have been very grateful for your patience as we work on our inventory and finding a more permanent work space. I’ve been posting sneak peeks here and there, but we both want to make sure that you get to see Kristian’s handywork in the best display possible (read: clear, professional photos not taken in our dark apartment) when our store goes live.

 

Again, from bottom of our little hearts, thank you, thank you.

 

…Aw, what the heck, I’ll throw in a dark, unprofesh photo of our numero uno table for good measure.

 

Hearts and Hugs,

 

Bearmonkey

(L to R: Optimistic Elm BowlSmall Lotus Bowl; Vintage Danish Stacking Bowls; Mini Berry Bowl; Natural Live Edge Wooden Serving BoardWhite Pomegranate Vase. All images found on Etsy and Svpply.)

I love the clean and whimsical combination of white with elm wood.  And, I think Wednesday is an appropriate day to mix and match what you’ve been  loving over the work week, don’t you?

Monday and Tuesday felt a lot like the white ceramic pieces above… with the sun in hiding, I was seriously craving some bursts of color and could imagine putting fresh picked berries into those gorgeous bowls. I’m hoping that the elm wood will carry me into the weekend… so many foods I could serve to friends on the wood board (and I’m envisioning a homemade salsa in the stacking bowls). Ole!

Hearts and Hugs,

Bearmonkey

You know those days when you walk around feeling like your hair is on fire and you’re the only one who doesn’t have a clue? Well, Bearmonkey had one of those days today, bigtime. Clearly, today was Tuesday, and I have a theory about how Tuesday is plotting to hunt me down and force me to do things I don’t like every week, such as eating brussels sprouts or getting a root canal. BUT, instead of spewing a laundry list of all the little things that went haywire  today (flat tire, anyone?) I will share this with you instead:

 

Aaaaahhh… I can finally breathe! I love being able to come home to a happy, inviting, and relaxing space. That chair might not look very substantial, but don’t let its minimalist stature deceive you! It is the perfect place for a book, a glass of wine, and maybe a little nap. It was one of Kristian’s pieces that we grandfathered into the space, and now I can’t imagine the living room without it. I’ve almost become somewhat territorial over it being “my” chair. What? A girl’s gotta have her go-to chair, that’s what I say.

 

I’m not quite sure how I feel about the piece above the fireplace yet. I actually painted this while Kristian was constructing his first coffee table. I had a blank canvas lying around the apartment and decided to bust out the oil paints to match the color scheme I was hoping to achieve with the rest of the room. I like the contrast of the blue and yellow-gold, but I’m not married to the idea of it as a mantle showpiece. Maybe I am secretly hoping Kristian will commission some artist named Longines to come paint a mural of Bearmonkey and Badger touching their fingers across the heavens, a la Cam and Mitchell’s mural in Modern Family. But, I digress. As Kristian would say, the painting is “good enough for the girls!”.

This is a close-up of the vase next to the fireplace. The detailing on it is pretty sweet… it’s made out of small seashells! I’m an aquarius and ocean gal to boot, so the combination of this piece with the driftwood accent pieces really speaks to me. I can hear the ocean now! It’s saying “Clare…Clare…finish that glass of wine and get some rest, pretty lady! Tomorrow is going to be another wild and wonderful day!”

 

Here’s to relaxing spaces…everyone deserves a little corner of zen. Or, at least a vase that talks to them in ocean-speak.

 

Hearts and Hugs,

 

Bearmonkey

 

 

My, how the weekends fly! It’s hard to believe Tuesday is already looming…Kristian and I had such a jam-packed weekend that I hardly had a chance to catch my breath, but I think we both like it that way.

We are so excited about the opening of our Etsy store, Bearmonkey and Badger! Kristian spent some time on Saturday constructing the smaller “Revolver” coffee table. I’m giving you all a sneak preview below; our official shop photos are not done yet, but will be up soon, promise!

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Just a sneak peek at the gun show…get your tickets early,people!

Saturday night was full of everything I love about Portland in the summer: good friends, yummy food, craft beer, and the great outdoors. I ate so much pork tacos, quinoa salad, and pie that I thought Kristian would need to roll me out of bed on Sunday morning, but I somehow found the strength to get up early and go eat this:

20110725-223230.jpg

I know, it’s almost cruel for me to post this. While most of the country was roasting, I was sitting outside in the cool breeze, stuffing my cute little piehole full of coconut French toast from Isabel. (For the record, I am not really a Pearl girl, but when brunch on Sunday is as popular in Portland as well, church is in most other cities, sometimes you need to think outside of the box if you don’t want to wait two hours for a table.) I remembered going to Isabel with a gal pal a few months ago and suggested that Badger venture out with me to see what the crowd is like on a nice, sunny morning. We seated ourselves immediately on the patio, which felt like a nice extension of the interior space with the garage doors open. I really dug the community vibe that Isabel fostered (despite it being a chain establishment!) and how it felt like I was consuming home-cooked comfort food with a little bit of flair.

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I don’t care if the plate is as big as me, I’m eating the whole thing!

Yes, I did eat all of it. I probably consumed enough calories to negate the ones I burned off in spin class, but that’s what Sunday is for. Kristian and I got to enjoy a great meal together and brainstorm more construction ideas…maybe the Mexican Mocha had me buzzing, but I was so eager to capture everything and get to work! Thankfully, Kristian was there to ground me and we enjoyed the rest of our day being inspired at Ikea and watching old episodes of Modern Family. I’m so lucky to have him, he understands my emotions and helps me to take time for breaks, even when I don’t know I need them.

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My sweet Badger friend, ready to pounce on those breakfast burritos!

We both talked a lot this weekend about how blessed we feel to work with each other, and it’s just the beginning… our creative energies are so complementary, and I can’t wait to see what kinds of handmade treasures we can share with you, dear readers! Keep your little eyes peeled and ears to the ground for Bearmonkey and Badger design news… we are both so passionate about cultivating a handmade lifestyle and invite you to take this journey with us, in whatever way feels right for you and your family. I hope you were able to share the weekend with loved ones like I did. More to come soon!

Hearts and hugs,

Bearmonkey