Arts Council of Lake Oswego Lets You Have All the Fun of Family Art Making Without All of the Mess :-)

Artists-in-residence at the Arts Council of Lake Oswego’s Family Art Making program display their masterpieces.

Imagine if you could have all the fun of doing an art project with your child without all of the mess!

Thanks to the Arts Council of Lake Oswego’s Family Art Making Program, you can.

The program was started in mid-2017 shortly after Kelsey Ferreira joined the Arts Council as the Public Art and Program Manager. “I come from a museum education background and love to see kids creating and making art in our gallery space,” she explains.

Last year over 200 budding artists and their families took part in the program. Ferreira tries to tie projects in with what’s being exhibited in the 510 Museum. Past masterpieces have included Picasso inspired paper faces, valentine collages and printmaking techniques.

Some of Ferreira’s favorite moments in the program are when “kids just create, get messy, and interpret the project in their own ways.” A recent glitter activity was a big hit with both the kids (who could glue with abandon) and parents (who didn’t have to clean up!)

Family Art Making is geared towards kids 3-8, but younger or older siblings are welcome to make it manageable for parents’ schedules. It is held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the last three Thursdays of the month with updates on the Council’s website and Facebook pages. All supplies are provided; however a $5 donation is suggested to cover the cost of materials. Registration is not currently required.

Here are the remaining April projects scheduled:

Earth Day Muffin Tin Prints on April 19. This one has kids painting the bottoms of muffin tins—see why you want to do this at their place and not yours?!

Springtime Cardboard Flowers on April 26.

Check the website for May’s calendar.

Support the Arts Council of Lake Oswego by attending their annual fundraiser: Art in the Garden on Saturday, May 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Tumwater Vineyard in West Linn. Food will be catered by Nicoletta’s and the evening will feature a silent and live auction. Tickets are $95 and available online.

Be sure to sign up for weekly updates on what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Celebrate National Poetry Month by Entering Lake Oswego’s Sidewalk Poetry Contest

It’s National Poetry month so literature lovers everywhere are encouraging you to read more poems. Lake Oswego’s Old Town Neighborhood Association is taking that advice one step further and inviting you to write a poem that residents can walk all over as part of their Sidewalk Poetry project.

Old Town Neighborhood Association Chair, Craig Stephens, ran across the idea when he was researching ways to address two issues: improving some of the neighborhood’s sidewalks and incorporating poetry into the area’s landscape. The City of Lake Oswego inadvertently helped with the first concern by pouring some new panels as part of the water pipe project. Then Stephens read about a city near Minneapolis called Richland that pairs its ongoing sidewalk rehabilitation project with a poetry contest to cast poems into the new panels each year. He submitted an application for a Neighborhood Enhancement Program Grant from the city and the Sidewalk Poetry project was declared a winner.

Three poems will be selected (one in the youth category) and entrants must be Lake Oswego residents and submit by the April 15 deadline. A complete list of guidelines is available here. They’ll be located on Durham Street at the cross streets of Leonard, Church and Wilbur as this is along the path most groups, visitors and residents follow when taking a historic tour and following markers.

Stephens hopes the poetry project will catch on.

It already has. In cities across the U.S. From Cambridge, Massachusetts to Santa Clarita, California, residents are submitting poems you can read right under your feet. Artist Marcus Young who inspired St. Paul Minnesota’s annual sidewalk poetry contest attributed the appeal of the contest to our “natural desire to stick our fingers in wet concrete.”

And there are variations. Boston is doing something Lake Oswego might consider—a “Raining Poetry” project that uses biodegradable water-repellent spray and stencils to publish poems in Boston’s sidewalks that passers-by can only see when it rains. Fans explain how it “brightens up a rainy day.” Sounds like something a lot of cities in Oregon could benefit from.

I may not be poetic but I can sing the praises of moving to Lake Oswego. If you’re thinking about it, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check out my website. I’d love to help you move in, move out or move on.

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Lake Oswego Celebrates Tree City of the Year Designation During Arbor Week

Trees—we have so many in Lake Oswego, (an estimated 60,000 just on our streets alone!) we tend to take them for granted. That is, until they start putting on showy displays like the Japanese Cherry blossoms lining our streets right now. Or when the City of Lake Oswego celebrates Arbor Week April 1-7 with more than a half-dozen special events.

This year the city has one more reason to celebrate after being named the 2018 Tree City of the Year by the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Community Trees.

While Lake Oswego’s contract arborist Morgan Holen considers the award an honor and a surprise she has a hunch as to why the award went to Lake Oswego this year. “I think it’s the fun and creative ways the City celebrates urban forestry and the variety of efforts to promote education, dialogue, and voluntary stewardship over the years that led to this award,” she explains.

This year’s lineup of Arbor Week activities speaks to just that. Take advantage of one of these opportunities, learn more about the city’s forestry plan or sign up for a stewardship opportunity.

OREGON TREE CITY OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTATION AND STAFFORD GROVE TREE PLANTING. Join Lake Oswego staff and neighbors from the First  Addition/Forest Hills Neighborhood Associations to plant a commemorative tree in honor of being named the 2018 Oregon Tree City of the Year. Enjoy cake and coffee afterwards. Monday, April 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Stafford Grove Park, 1061 Sunningdale Road.

GARDEN BABIES. Enjoy sensory garden-based activities with your preschoolers while strolling around Luscher Farm. Hear a story about trees and check out the Heritage Trees. Wednesday, April 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road.

RECYCLED POTS AND SEED STARTER NECKLACES for grades 6-8. Dennis’ 7 Dees will provide the supplies and instruction to help your kids get your garden started early. Thursday, April 5 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Lake Oswego Library, 706 Fourth Street.

PRESCHOOL NATURE WALK: CELEBRATE HEALTHY TREES.  Discovery buckets and exploration tools will be provided as children play healthy tree bingo as they walk through the park. Geared for ages 2-6 but all welcome. Friday, April 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at Springbrook Park. Entrance at Uplands Elementary School, 2055 Wembley Park Road.

SEED THE WORLD AROUND YOU for grades K-5. Kids will learn how to make seed balls for planting in the garden at home or scattered in the wild. Supplies will be provided, but be prepared to get dirty. Saturday, April 7 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street.

ARBOR DAY ART CONTEST. Tree themed entries that celebrate the city’s designation as Oregon’s Tree City of the Year are welcome from students in grades K-8. Three prize winners will be announced in each of three divisions. Deadline is National Arbor Day, April 27. Read here for further details.

FORESTRY AT FARMERS MARKET. Take part in forestry activities on opening day at the Lake Oswego Farmers Market. Watch a pruning demonstration, receive free tree seedlings, participate in activities for kids and adults. Saturday, May 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Millennium Plaza Park, First and Evergreen.

Don’t miss out on what’s happening in Lake Oswego and why you just might want to move here, if you don’t already! Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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What to Do With Your Stuff After Spring Cleaning Your Home in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Chances are if you’re like most Americans, you’ll find yourself with the urge to do some “spring cleaning” this month (Spring Cleaning Week is usually designated as the last week in March).

Why? According to a survey conducted by Clorox last year, 37% of you do it for your own sanity—the old “clean house, clear head” motivation, while 14% of you see it as a ritual and 9% of you actually enjoy it.

Another 32% of you do it to get rid of old stuff, make room for the new. But what do you do with the old stuff? Trying to figure that out can be a stumbling block to even getting started (apparently 54% of you have a hard time getting motivated) so I’m here to give you some local resources to help you unload, dispose of, recycle, or consign items that you no longer need.

Consigning Women. Consignment shops like this one offer a financial incentive for cleaning out your closet. Bring in your designer clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories and they’ll share the profit off anything they sell. What you earn depends on what your items sell for. Any clothing less than $150, you earn 40% of the sales price; over $150 nets you 50%. Handbags garner 60% payback. Consignment periods vary from 60 days for clothing to 120 days for handbags. As with all consignment shops you want to be sure your items are clean and in good condition, seasonal, and fairly new—like within the last year or two. High-end department store or designer labels are preferred in both contemporary and classic styles. 1235-B McVey Avenue, 503.697.1636.

Simply Posh and Posh Jewelers. Simply Posh is on the lookout for the same quality and condition of items as Consigning Women. “We accept the items we believe our customers will love,” they explain on their website. Judging by what’s featured online, their customers prefer high end merchandise like a Coach Clutch and Wallet Combo for $139.99, a pair of Prada Ankle Boots for $119.99 or a Kate Spade dress for $85.99. Consignment periods vary from 90 days for clothing and accessories to six months and longer for jewelry. Their pay rates offer you 40% of sales less than $49.99; 50% for those between $50 and $199.99 and 60% over $200. Fine jewelry has its own consignment schedule. In case your closets are looking rather empty after all that spring cleaning, you might want to take note that Simply Posh is reviving a special discount for new consigners–enjoy 15% off anything you purchase on your first day of signing on.  101 A Avenue, 503.343.3444.

Poshmark. Billed as the “largest social media marketplace for fashion,” Poshmark lets you strut your new and gently used clothing and accessories online in front of thousands of shoppers. Download the app and do it all from your phone. It’s easy—just take a photo of your item, upload it, write a description, set a price, and share it. Once a sale is made, Poshmark will email you a prepaid shipping label. For items that sell under $15, Poshmark charges a flat $2.95 service fee. Anything over $15, they take a 20% commission, leaving you with 80% of the sales price.

Oswego Trading Company. Know you need to make more room but can’t decide what to part with? Owners Sally Caplan and Ken Ackerman are happy to offer their input. Their high end consignment and design showroom is filled with an eclectic mix of furnishings, artwork and décor. Name dropping happens here too with brands like Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn included in the lineup. Facebook fans speak to the “amazing selection,” “great service,” and “top notch.” While everything in the store is consigned, some of the merchandise is new as the owners accept floor displays from some Portland stores that are rotating their stock as well as artwork from local artisans. It’s easy to run your stuff by them—just complete an online form with item details like age, manufacturer, purchase price and condition and upload a photo or two. If they decide to carry it, and the item sells, you make 50% of the sales price. 17475 Pilkington Road, 503.636.1506.

Goodwill Donation Centers. For those items that don’t make the designer, high end cutoff, there is Goodwill and now there’s a convenient drop-off location on both ends of the lake. 17150 Lower Boones Ferry Road or 401 S. State Street. Call for hours: 503.238.6100.

Lakewood’s 20th Annual April Clothing Resale. Clean out your closet and get paid in goodwill by donating your clean, gently used women’s, men’s and children’s clothing to the Lakewood Center’s annual fundraiser. Drop-off donations will be accepted Tuesday and Wednesday, April 3-4 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Early donations? Call Nancy Sergeant at 503.635.5221). The sale takes place Thursday, April 5 through Saturday, April 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday.

Recycling. Maybe you find yourself with the less-than-glamorous stuff you want to get rid of like old batteries, paint cans, outdated computer screens or appliances. Far West Recycling right in Lake Oswego accepts some items. Check their website for a complete list. For everything else, go to oregonmetro.gov and find a recycler. All you have to do is plug in your zip code and what you want to get rid of and Metro will direct you to recyclers in your area. Some provide their service for free; others charge a fee.

If you find yourself spring cleaning and decide “out with the old, in with the new,” includes your house, give me a call. I’d be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss what you’re looking for in a new home and how much you can expect to get for your old one. Check out my website or reach me at 503.939.9801.

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5 Slam Dunk Moves Homeowners Can Make When It Comes to House Remodeling

It’s March Madness time so most of us are glued to our televisions watching college basketballs stars make great moves on the court.

Who says they get to have all the fun and the glory? What kinds of moves can homeowners make to their homes that are considered slam dunks in today’s real estate market?

I took a look at the National Association of Realtors annual Remodeling Impact Report to help you come up with a game plan when you’re ready to make your next move. Consider one of these plays.

Kitchen Upgrade. Whether you plan on selling your home or staying put, a kitchen upgrade looks to be a winning strategy. Fifty four percent of Realtors surveyed suggested that sellers complete a kitchen upgrade before putting their houses on the market and 23% of them indicated that an upgrade helped them close a deal. While the estimated cost of an upgrade (for a 2,400 square foot home) came in at $35,000, Realtors expected that $20,000 of that cost (or 57%) would be recovered in the sales price. Of course, upgrading may have changed a few remodelers’ minds about moving. Eighty one percent of them reported a greater desire to be home after updating the kitchen and 76% experienced an increased sense of enjoyment when home. So either way you go, you can’t lose!

Complete Kitchen Renovation. Again, this is a play that will net results whether you decide to stay in your home or move. While only 18 percent of Realtors found themselves suggesting this option before selling, 14 percent thought it helped close the deal with 62 percent of the estimated $65,000 remodel being recovered in the sales price. Ninety one percent of the homeowners found themselves wanting to be home more after the remodel and 89% felt a major sense of accomplishment after it was done.

New Master Suite. This might be a project for you if you’re planning on staying put. Only four percent of Realtors suggested a new master suite before selling and only one percent thought it helped cinch the sale but 83 percent of homeowners expressed a greater desire to be home after the project was completed so the enjoyment factor is significant.

New Roof. If your roof is looking questionable, this is a slam dunk move for sure in terms of resale value. Fifty four percent of Realtors recommended this investment and 32 percent thought it was a significant factor in the buyer’s decision. In terms of value recovery, this particular project is the clear winner, recouping 109 percent of the cost in the sales price.

New Garage Door. If you’re looking to move this is another investment that adds considerable value with 87 percent of the cost being recovered upon selling. And as remodeling projects go, it’s on the lower end cost-wise with an estimated $2,300 cost for a 2,400 square foot home.

The National Association of Realtors’ survey also indicated that 35% of U.S. homeowners would rather move than remodel their home so if you find yourself on that team, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check out my website. I’d love to put my 25 plus years coaching homeowners on their home buying and selling decisions to work for you.

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10 Things You Should Know to Make Your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Lake Oswego a Little Greener!

Irish eyes are smiling this year because St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday. That makes it easy to catch Maher’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival which kicks off at 352 B Avenue on Friday, March 16 at 12:00 p.m.  and runs through Saturday, March 17 until the last person leaves the bar.

So whether you are 99.3% Irish like me or just enough to claim heritage one day a year, here are some fun facts to help you celebrate in Lake Oswego.

  1. The An Daire Academy of Irish Dance will be performing at Maher’s on Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.
  2. You don’t have to feel bad about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day if you’re not Irish. Turns out even St. Patrick wasn’t! He was born in Britain but captured by Irish pirates when he was 16 and sold into slavery. After escaping six years later he entered a monastery, eventually returning to Ireland to convert them to Christianity.
  3. Maher’s festival is family friendly earlier in the day with Irish dancers and bagpipes, but after that, it becomes an adults-only event.
  4. They say the Irish have the gift of blarney which may explain why legend has it that St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland even though biologists doubt snakes ever lived there because of the cool temperatures. Could have been a more colorful way of describing how he drove out the pagan religious customs and beliefs that preceded him.
  5. The legend lives on at Maher’s where they’ll be serving up Snakebite on their Import Draught menu (Magners/Guinness) as well as Dancing Leprechauns (Paddy’s whiskey, fresh muddled lemon, soda and ginger ale), Jameson Moscow Mules, Irish Coffees, Whiskey flights and a long lineup of beverages to toast the occasion with.
  6. St. Patrick’s Day was actually a dry holiday in Ireland until 1970. Before that it was deemed a religious holiday so pubs were closed. Wonder if Guinness lobbied for it to be reclassified as a national holiday which it was in 1970, opening up the bars to serve up part of the 13 million pints downed by revelers.
  7. We have the Irish to thank for many things (including me, my wife would say) but one of the best is Irish stew—the ultimate comfort food—that even poor families could improvise with during lean times.
  8. You can order yourself a bowl of it at Maher’s accompanied by Irish soda bread. Other Irish staples include bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie.
  9. You’ve likely heard of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City (which as it turns out is older than the United States itself, dating back to 1762). But have you heard about the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade? Several cities try to lay claim to it, but seems the original started in Dripsey, County Cork and ran from one pub to another, just 25 yards. West Boylston, Massachusetts tried to challenge that with a “parade” between two pubs (Finders and Keepers) separated by a driveway. Seems Hot Springs, Arkansas and Boulder, Colorado also have parades in the race to be called “the shortest.”
  10. Perhaps Lake Oswego could try entering the fray here with a pub crawl—strike that—“parade” from the B Avenue entrance at Maher’s to the outdoor patio in back. Sounds like anything is game!

Let me put the luck o’ the Irish to work for you if you’re considering moving to Lake Oswego or if you’re already here and just want to move up or out! Give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check out my website. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 25 years and would to put my experience into making your home buying or selling transaction a smooth one.

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5 Things You’ll Find if You Move to the Hallinan Neighborhood in Lake Oswego

There are so many great neighborhoods in Lake Oswego, how do you decide if you’re planning on moving here?

One suggestion is to read some of my earlier blogs on Lake Oswego neighborhoods here, here, and here.

It also helps to know what’s important to you. For Natalie Bennon, Willamette River access was one of the things she and her family were looking for when they moved to Lake Oswego, bringing Hallinan neighborhood to the top of her list. She uses the trail that runs along the Oswego Creek to George Rogers Park to get her river fix when she needs it.

But since settling into the Hallinan neighborhood, Bennon has found other reasons to love where she lives as have many of her neighbors.

  1. Abundance of nature. Besides the Oswego Creek trail, Bennon also enjoys walking through the Hallinan Woods on the way to and from Hallinan Elementary School. An active Friends of Hallinan Heights Stewardship Volunteer Party meet regularly to preserve the neighborhood’s natural beauty from planting sword ferns in Freepons Park woods to removing invasive species from trees in the Cornell Natural Area.
  2. Safety. When she lived in Southeast Portland, Bennon felt she had to keep her kids on a short leash when they played outside. “The Hallinan neighborhood feels very safe,” she explains, and finds herself extending that leash much further.
  3. Civic Mindedness. Perhaps it’s the size of Lake Oswego, but Bennon has found neighbors very invested in making their community a better place. Whether it’s in the school district or in the neighborhood association, Hallinan residents look for ways to engage. “You feel like you can have an impact,” Bennon explains. And it’s small enough, she points out that you can actually get to know your City Council members.
  4. Friendliness. Hallinan is a user-friendly place. People are out walking their dogs, playing at the playground at Hallinan School, throwing block parties in the summer. “And there are tons of kids,” Bennon explains, making it a great spot for families with young children to call home.
  5. Location. Depending where you live in the neighborhood, you can find yourself within walking distance to shopping and dining either at the corner of McVey and South Shore (Lamb’s Palisades Marketplace, Curry in a Hurry) or along State Street near Old Town and the Lakewood Center (Lake Theater and Café, Senor Taco, Nicoletta’s Table).

I’d like to add a sixth item: Affordability. While there is a high end range in the Hallinan neighborhood with homes over $1 million, there are more affordable homes available as well. There are five pending sales right now between $575,00 (for a 2 bedroom 2.1 bath) and $799,950 (for a 3 bedroom 2.1 bath). In the last six months there have been 33 sales between $441,000 (for a 4 bedroom 2 bath home at 2,123 square feet) and $1,569,000 (for a 4 bedroom 4.2 bath home at 5,922 square feet). The average sales price was $648,000. It’s a desirable spot, however, and it helps to be working with a Realtor who knows what you want and can give you a heads-up as soon as he hears of something. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check my website if you’re interested.

 

 

 

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