Tag Archives: holiday

Make your own luminary for the Festival of Lights

Your tin can lantern might look like this. Photo by Elin B.
Your tin can lantern might look like this. Photo by Elin B.
SEEDarts is hosting the South Seattle Solstice: Festival of Lights at 4:30 pm on December 21. Participants, carrying lit luminaria, will walk from the Rainier Valley Cultural Center in Columbia City to Hillman City, with an event at the end of the walk to “celebrate community on the darkest day of the year, with light, music and refreshments.”

Don’t have a lantern to carry? Fear not. This Saturday is a free lantern-making workshop to prepare for the solstice event. Bring a large tin can that has been filled with water and frozen solid. (Rumor has it, it’s going to be cold this weekend. The freezing part might be easy.) The workshop is open to all ages, and it’s from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 South Alaska Street.

For more information about this event, contact Abbey Norris, Public Art Manager, norris@seedseattle.org, (206) 760-4289.

More holiday lights: Beacon Avenue South

Here’s another house with some holiday lights, in the 5400 block of Beacon Avenue South. Know of any decorated houses? Email us so we can feature them here!

I think they need more lights on the upper part of the house. Imagine this house with lights around the roofline.
I think they need more lights on the upper part of the house. Imagine this house with lights around the roofline.

And here’s the updated version of our map of decorated houses. Scroll up and you’ll see the location of yesterday’s house:

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Holiday lights on Beacon Hill

When I was very young, the local newspapers used to host a Christmas light contest each year. People would decorate their houses in amazing ways, and the newspapers would publish the list of competitors. My parents would then drive us around to see the decorated houses.

Then came 1973, and the oil shortages. Suddenly it was irresponsible to have holiday lights. The contests went away, and the city because a lot less festive. It was years before we started seeing a ton of lights again. And I missed the light shows of my early childhood.

Now, we’re back to the 1973 state of things in many ways. It’s not “green” to waste that much energy. But I still enjoy the lights anyway, at least for a few weeks each year in Seattle’s terribly dark winters. They brighten up our evenings and make the darkness easier to bear.

We’ll be featuring Beacon Hill homes with lights and decoration periodically until Christmas. Do you have some cool decorations? How about your neighbors? Please write and tell us, so we can post a picture.

Our first featured home is on the 1500 block of South Atlantic Street. (See the map at the bottom of this post.) Tons of lights, a countdown clock to Christmas, and Santa in a helicopter!

Notice the countdown clock above the door.
Notice the countdown clock above the door.
I love how colorful this one is.
I love how colorful this one is.
A very cheery house and front yard.
A very cheery house and front yard.

Here’s a map to help you find the house. We’ll add other holiday houses to the map over the next few weeks.

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Holiday shopping on the Hill? It can be done

What if you had to do all of your holiday gift shopping without leaving Beacon Hill? Is it possible? The Hill is not known for having a ton of retail, but that doesn’t mean we have to head for the ID, Georgetown, Columbia City, Downtown, or (God forbid) Southcenter to find gifts. Our neighborhood has plenty of great gift ideas to choose from, easily accessible by foot for many of us, making shopping on the Hill a healthy and green option as well as one that supports our neighbors who do business here.

I spent “Cyber Monday” not online, but on foot, browsing North Beacon Hill for shopping opportunities. I was not disappointed. Here’s what I found.

Soaps and other gifts at 3 Brothers gift shop. Photo by Wendi.
Soaps and other gifts at 3 Brothers gift shop. Photo by Wendi.
3 Brothers Cleaners, a dry cleaner at 3210 Beacon Avenue South, is not just a dry cleaner. They also have a small but well-stocked gift shop in the front of the building. The shop has the usual gift shop merchandise: knick knacks, glassware, clocks, candles, soaps, decorations, and the like. The prices seemed very reasonable. I bought a very pretty faux-silk embroidered drawstring pouch for $3.

Victrola Coffee, in the old Galaxie shop at 3215 Beacon Avenue South, has Victrola logo ceramic mugs for $7.95, and travel mugs for $14.95. Combine either of these with some fresh coffee beans, and you have an excellent gift for any coffee lover.

Buggy at 3315 Beacon Avenue South is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so we weren’t able to go in, but from previous visits we know that the shop is more than just a “baby stuff” shop. Yes, there are baby and kid things galore, including clothing and toys, but there are also knitting supplies, handmade bags, journals, and other gifts that even non-parents would enjoy. We particularly like some of the items from da-a tis.

Fragrance oils for sale at Spoons. Photo by Wendi.
Fragrance oils for sale at Spoons. Photo by Wendi.
Spoons Urban Apparel at 2516 Beacon Avenue South advertises “urban apparel and more,” including an assortment of fragrance oils for men and women at $5 per vial, and a collection of $10 t-shirts. They also have a very cool “Beacon Hill” painted sign inside the store, which is located in what was a long vacant storefront at the junction of Beacon and 15th.

Yoga on Beacon at 3013 Beacon Avenue South was also closed during our shopping trip, but we see that they have a nice selection of workout clothing. A class card or unlimited membership would also be a great gift for a yoga student.

Hello Bicycle at 3067 Beacon Ave South has an assortment of bicycling accessories, and bicycles as well. Their hours are limited; check the website or call before stopping by.

Edible gifts are a great option for the foodie in your life. Despi Delite Bakery at 2701 15th Avenue South has a great assortment of Filipino pastries and many other baked goods. They sell gift certificates for any amount, they say — just ask.

Gift certificates good for a bunch of baked treats may be found at the Despi Delite Bakery. Photo by Wendi.
Gift certificates good for a bunch of baked treats like these may be found at the Despi Delite Bakery. Photo by Wendi.
Local grocery stores such as the Hilltop Red Apple at 2701 Beacon Avenue South have premium candy, fruit and wine, and flowers to decorate the dinner table.

The folks at Culinary Communion at 2524 Beacon Avenue South sell gift certificates for their cooking and wine classes.

The shops mentioned here are less than half a mile apart in the North Beacon Hill business district. Who needs a car? But this is only North Beacon. Do you have favorite shopping destinations in Mid-Beacon or South Beacon? Please post a comment. We’d like to feature them, too.

Here’s a map of all the businesses mentioned here, marked with shopping baskets:

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Happy Thanksgiving — try a pie!

Pumpkin Pi! Photo by Paul Adam Smith.
Pumpkin Pi! Photo by Paul Adam Smith.
It’s Thanksgiving, and here at the BHB Jason and I are thankful for our wonderful readers, who have made our first month and a half of publishing such fun! To thank you, here’s a great pumpkin pie recipe from my grandma’s recipe collection. I’ve used this recipe many times and it is very good.

Pumpkin Pie

Start with 1 recipe pie crust. Set the uncooked shell aside.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Put 2 cups pumpkin (or one small can) into mixing bowl.

2 eggs beaten slightly (Egg Beaters work just fine if you want it to be lower-fat)

1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

then add:
1 c. scalded milk (skim milk works fine if you wish to use it, and so does
soy milk)

Mix all together. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes, turn
the heat down to 350, bake 45 minutes. It’s done when you can stick a knife in the
middle and it comes out clean.

Makes 1 pie. For two pies, use a large can of pumpkin and double everything
else exactly.


Wreath and Swag Workshop at Garden House, 11/15

Christmas wreath photo by Joe Shlabotnik.
Christmas wreath photo by Joe Shlabotnik.
The lovely Garden House on 15th Avenue South (it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest house on Beacon Hill!) is the site of a Wreath and Swag Workshop on Saturday, November 15, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Tickets are $20, and you will leave the workshop with either a swag or a wreath. Materials are included. More details and ticket purchase information are here. The Garden House is located at 2336 15th Ave South.

Pumpkin decorating at Columbia City Farmers Market

Pumpkin creativity; photo by Hint of Plum -- thanks!
Pumpkin creativity; photo by Hint of Plum -- thanks!
This Wednesday, October 22, is the last day of this season’s Columbia City Farmers Market, and the season will end with a colorful, glittery splash: a children’s pumpkin decorating event, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Pumpkins and squashes, along with paint, glitter, feathers, etc. will be supplied by the Market.

The Market is located at 4801 Rainier Avenue South (at South Edmunds). Directions may be found at the Market’s web page, or at Google Maps.