Temple Lentz

Home decor for the holidays

This year, trim with bright saturated colors, gold and natural elements

Winter holidays are upon us – and while your annoyingly well-prepared neighbor might already know exactly what they’re going to do to decorate, let’s be real: most of us are probably still trying to get around to putting away the stuff from Halloween. So what’s a person who’s short on time but wants their home to look great for the holidays to do?

According to local interior designer Carma Zarosinski, this year’s trends for holiday decor are fun and simple. Whether you’re inclined to give your whole house a makeover or just add a little zip to your table, Zarosinski laid out the basics for staying current during Holiday 2012.

“There’s hardly ever one rule or style,” said Zarosinski, who serves clients out of her Camas studio, Carma for Design. “This year,” she said, “there are two main prongs. One is strong, saturated and vibrant colors. Pantone, the world leader on color, came out with the color of the year this year being a strong, bright tangerine. You’ll see that infused into holiday decorating a lot, along with bright blues, purples, magenta – a lot of colors sort of in the Mediterranean color palette. And then on the other side, more pastel and subdued colors, especially blue.”

Organic materials and looks are also trending, and the main accent color she says we should expect to see is gold. “The big reintroduction this year is gold,” said Zarosinski. “In the past few years you’ve seen a lot of silver, but warm yellows and golds are going to be making a comeback this year. And anything natural or using that natural color palette: driftwood, bamboo, anything organic in nature will be really dominant.”

OK, great – now we know what’s hot – but what the heck do we do with that information? Zarosinski has a couple of simple ideas anyone can do at home.

“Add a little gold to what you’re doing,” she said. “You can find gold wire to use on wreaths, ribbon, and other small accents – it’ll be a really nice warm, yellowish gold.” If you have a tree to decorate, you can try adding in ornament balls in the gold and bright colors, or use them to make a wreath or a swag to hang indoors. “You can also try filling a clear glass hurricane with gold balls, and maybe throw in some of those dynamic colors. Or just try adding some gold ribbon to your tree. Little infusions of sparkle can be really easy.”

For those leaning more toward the softer hues, Zarosinski recommends dashes of pastel color with the natural elements – and, of course, a little sparkle. “You might try some driftwood-color, or woven mats for your table, and intertwine them with some gold ribbon. It’ll be a really nice juxtaposition of the earthy with the sparkle.”

Carma Zarosinski

Carma for Design

231 N.E. Fourth Avenue, Camas


360-834-6091 (o)

360-624-8220 (c)

Crave Grille

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photos by buck heidrick

Chef Jake Hambleton worked for his family’s sawmill business, but had always loved cooking. He and a co-worker, Mike Miller, started a small catering business on the side, and talked about expanding operations, possibly opening a food cart. As they grappled with Clark County regulations for food carts, they realized that the building they were considering for a “home base” kitchen could just as easily become a restaurant. And so, Crave Grille opened in downtown Vancouver in late 2011, serving breakfast and lunch to downtown workers, visitors and locals hunting for the perfect burger.

Hambleton is a self-taught chef, and most of his recipes are his own concoctions. “Our most popular items are our Kobe beef burgers,” he said. Sandwiches are a restaurant staple – from burgers to pulled pork, to roasted turkey, or a Cuban sandwich made with ham that Hambleton smokes on-site. “We also smoke our own salmon,” he said. On Fridays, “folks are beating down the door for the smoked salmon chowder.”

And with good reason. The salmon in the New England-style chowder is perfectly smoked and fills every spoonful. A cup is a hearty meal in and of itself, but visitors would do well to leave room for a burger or sandwich made to order, maybe with a side of waffle-cut sweet potato fries. Or, if you’re trying to behave, you could try a salad with house-made Caesar dressing, topped with portobello mushrooms.

Crave is a welcome addition to Vancouver’s growing dining scene, serving Hambleton’s basic, hearty food with a gourmet sensibility.

Crave Grille

609 W. 11th Ave., Vancouver


360-816-0054 | Facebook icon

Try it our way

Drink handcrafted coffee in style at Torque

photo by annie becker

Inside Torque Coffee

In the newest chapter of downtown Vancouver’s continued revitalization, a local entrepreneur has turned a former tile factory at the city’s southern edge into a popular coffee house and gathering place. Torque Coffee Roasters embraces the rough, industrial quality of the space, which was an auto shop for years, and creates a welcoming, urban space unlike any other coffee shop in Vancouver.

Owner Ryan Palmer has a long history in the coffee business, with 14 years of experience with companies large and small, all over the country. Most recently, he owned and ran Meriwether’s Cafe, inside Vancouver’s Firstenburg Community Center. With Torque, he’s taken it another step. The lofty space is open and very hip, with plenty of reused tables and chairs or a coffee bar to sit at, and an urban patio decorated with one of the ubiquitous Vancouver murals. The coffee house, he emphasizes, is bike-friendly and dog-friendly – you can bring both inside.

The shop currently serves Coava Coffee at the bar, though he plans to begin roasting his own beans in the near future with the large roaster sitting in the corner. He also serves and will soon be certified to bottle cold-brew coffee. “We try to make our own syrups, chocolate, chai, all of it, in-house,” he says. “We also make our own tea and have a filtering system we developed ourselves. You get a fully-brewed cup of tea, not a little bag or some floaty stuff in your cup.”

Coffee is the focus at Torque – you won’t get a meal here. But incredible baked goods come from Portland’s Bake Shop, run by James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Kim Boyce. And he supports local food vendors by inviting them to set up outside, aiming “to have food carts or trucks here most days of the week.”

“We’re quality-focused above anything else,” says Palmer. Between himself and his six employees, “We’ve got about 45 years of experience behind our bar. A lot of us are former competitors in the U.S. Barista Competition – we have a different level of expertise than most people are used to.” That said, he also insists that you won’t get attitude from behind the bar. “We take the newer, fancier places that have popped up with a ‘No, we won’t DO that’ attitude, and we turn it around. Try it our way first. And if you don’t like it? We’ll do it your way.”

A citizen’s obligation

Vancouver couple lived frugally so they could give generously

At 98, Harris Dusenbery has been giving charitably longer than most of us have even been alive. “I’ve given all my working life,” he said, “as long as I’ve had income.” In recognition of Dusenbery’s commitment to giving consistently over his lifetime, he has been selected as a recipient of a new award from the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington.

The Lifetime of Giving Award, said Community Foundation President Richard Melching, “is intended to recognize people who have a long life history of giving back to the community. It’s a great way to recognize some people deserving of recognition who might otherwise not be known.”

Dusenbery began giving charitably largely at the inspiration of his wife, Evelyn, who died a couple of years ago. “One of my wife’s mantras,” he said, “was that we should live frugally and give generously.”

Dusenbery and his wife both attended Reed College and were married in 1940. He began working for the Social Security Administration in Portland when he got out of the Army in 1945, and they moved to Vancouver in 1951, when he opened and became District Manager of a new Vancouver office for the SSA. “We gave fairly regularly then, what we could. It wasn’t particularly generous during the years we were putting our kids through college, we didn’t have much left over. Really, our giving-as-a-large-percentage-of-our-income happened after we retired.”

On the advice of a co-worker, Dusenbery prepared well for retirement, being sure the house was paid off, the cars were relatively new and paid for, and they had no debt. He retired in 1969, and the couple found that they were able to live comfortably, travel extensively, and still give generously to causes that were important to them.

The Dusenberys gave extensively to nature-related organizations like the Columbia Land Trust, Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy, and to organizations that support women, like YWCA and Planned Parenthood. “I also started giving to the Community Chest in Portland right after I got out of the Army,” Dusenbery said, “and I have contributed to them ever since.”

One of their strong priorities was to support arts-related organizations, like the Columbia Arts Center. When that effort eventually folded, the Dusenberys transferred their fund to the Community Foundation, where they established an Arts and Learning Endowment Fund. “Later, we established a performing arts fund in Evelyn’s name,” Dusenbery said, “and I recently established a fund there for the homeless.”

Dusenbery’s ability to give generously even while living modestly is something that Melching said he finds “remarkable. He makes personal sacrifices and goes without so that he can give to others.”

“I think that’s one of the obligations of citizenship,” said Dusenbery. “To leave your community a better place than when you arrived.”

– Harris Dusenbery

Buddies At Battle

Gary Bock and Jim Mains take friendly competition to a whole new level

Meeting at Downtown Vancouver’s Java House for an interview a week before Christmas, both Gary Bock and Jim Mains are on the phone. When they finally end their respective calls, the two quickly begin bickering over who should have happier holidays.

“YOU have a delightful holiday.”

“No, YOU.”

…And so on…

This is the team that brought Vancouver its most successful, and possibly its first, guerrilla fundraiser-slash-online-community-spectacle in the last half of 2011. The two created “Gary Bock vs. Jim Mains” almost accidentally, when they started a friendly competition over who could get more mentions in The Daily Insider, a local e-newsletter.

The two set up a Facebook page for their battle in mid-June, and announced plans to donate $50 to the Children’s Justice Center if they reached 150 “likes” on their page by July 1.

“We met our goal within a couple of days,” says Bock, and matching donations poured in. They ended up presenting a check for $750 to the Children’s Justice Center.

“We thought it would remain jokey,” explains Mains. “But it became more real once we realized people were actually supporting our lunacy.”

Shortly after that first success, Bock and Mains began planning their next event: a charity “wrestling” match in which supporters would “bet” with donations. Bock, executive director of Vancouver Watersheds Alliance, and Mains, president of the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Farmers Market, decided to support their organizations with the “Clash in the Couve.” To do so, they “wrestled” on a sweltering summer day in sweatshirts filled with balloons, entertaining a crowd of about 100. They raised $818.

After the wrestling match, the two decided to take a break from fundraising and started “Think-Vote,” a mock political campaign designed to, well, encourage people to think and vote.

“As social media comes about as a way to communicate, connect and raise funds,” says Mains, “someone needs to experiment with it.”

“I can’t afford to experiment with my own organization,” adds Bock, “but there’s no reason we can’t have fun as ourselves!”

So what’s next for Bock vs. Mains?

“Surprises,” says Mains, noncommittally.

“We make this stuff up as we go along,” says Bock.

Well guys, as soon as you figure out what you’re doing next, it sounds like Vancouver is ready to support it.