Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Flowering Cherry Trees: Groceries Made Grand

I really appreciate when a landlord puts money and thought into their landscaping budget. Just look at this magnificent flowering cherry (I believe it is a Shogetsu) that I photographed yesterday outside of my favorite grocery store in Issaquah, WA. Can you stand it? 

The entire parking lot is studded with these fine flowering specimens and it was so beautiful I had to stop what I was doing and take a picture. Have the flowers of spring moved you to photograph plants out in public? It's good for you and it draws attention to the beauty around you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hot Stove Society: Junior League Sustainers Connect and Enjoy

I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen and that's why I think a cooking class is a wonderful way for a group to connect and get to know one another.
As a member of the Junior League of Seattle (I'm a sustainer, which is like an alumnae), I enjoy attending social events that help me connect and establish relationships with other members. The more connected we are, the easier it is to volunteer together and take  action for great causes. Women get things done and I am very impressed with the women I've meet so far.
The 5 o'clock class was designed to let our group of 25 make assemble, cook and eat 4 different appetizers. Instructors made their way around to the cooking tables and gave up tips and tricks to follow the recipes. My table had shrimp wontons and we learned how to fold, pinch and seal the ingredients inside to prepare the wontons for cooking. 
It was a fun and light-hearted evening. I really appreciated the women who volunteered to man the stove, for their contribution was far more important and quite a bit warmer. The food was delicious (shrimp wontons, empanadas, cheese puffs, chicken skewers AND mini Tom Douglas Coconut Cream Pies) and we loved it. I took lots of pictures of us commanding the kitchen, but I didn't want to post people's photos without their permission, so please imagine a lot of happy faces threading chicken on a skewer and holding up whisked bowls of whip cream.

Thank you, Junior League Sustainers and Hot Stove Society, for a fun night.

#seattle #hotstovesociety #tomdouglas #cookingclass #juniorleague #girlsnight #foodie

Friday, April 13, 2018

Tulip Time: Computer Generated Watercolor

Magnifique! I took this photo at Pike Place Market and I converted it into a watercolor print with the Waterlogue app I bought. Waterlogue is a marvel that creates computer generated watercolors from your photographs on an iPhone or iPad. I have high hopes for finding an online printer that can print this as a note card. Wouldn't that be the best?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Avocado Toast: A Light Bite at Bellden Cafe

I keep notes in my phone (and a larger notebook at home) of recommendations so that I can pursue people's favorite spots when I'm in the vicinity. I was at the intersection of lunchtime and Bellevue, WA when I realized that I could track down the cafe of the woman who spoke at the Facebook Women in Business event. Her name is Claire Sumadiwirya and her restaurant is Bellden Cafe. She spoke about her desire to create a place where the community would be drawn to the food and the warmth. It sounded like an "everyone knows your name" kind of place and I wanted to support her and visit her cafe.

I had my first avocado toast (it's all the rage on Instagram, you know) and it was delicious. Ricotta cheese, Himalayan salt and crusty bread made it special and satisfying. I'm so glad I had to visit and share this delightful cafe with you. If you're in Bellevue, I think you'll appreciate having this spot on your radar.

#avocadotoast #bellevuewa #foodie #belldencafe #momentsofdelight

Friday, April 6, 2018

Ranunculus: A Bright Floral Story by my Sidewalk

I swooned when I saw these white and pink ranunculus at Lowes. They must have been just delivered to the giant warehouse store because they were in perfect condition. 

I bought 5 or 6 beauties and have planted them by my front walk to add a little Spring cheer now that the bulbs have faded. I just read that cutting the blooms encourages new flowers, so I am going out and cut a small arrangement today. It will look darling by the windowsill.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Great Junk Hunt in Monroe, WA

I went to The Great Junk Hunt in Monroe, WA and it did not disappoint. The event was in a large barn in early November and will return again to the same location on November 2-3, 2018.

I loved seeing the mix of antique and flea market finds, along with a jumble of sentimental toys, fabrics and ironwork from days gone by.
This beautiful set of cutlery reminded me of the time I take to line my cigar box purses with small scale fabric prints. It looks darling, doesn't it? I have never seen a formal silverware box lined with a cotton print before, have you?
This is my favorite display from the show. Aren't the red plaids fabulous? This is a Country Living magazine come to life: It looks cozy and All-American.
I was happy to see vendor Butch's Baskets making a statement at this show. I know that the secret to a great display is incorporating live plants. I would have bought the 2 window boxes planted with 3 cypress in a minute if I had a porch and I still regret leaving the orange watering can behind. J'adore!
Another fun thing about shows like this is that they appeal to like-minded people! I ran into a friend I made at Camp Thundercraft on Vashon Island. Hi Karla!

#thegreatjunkhunt #monroewa #shabbychic #upcycling #thrifiting #antiques

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Emma Bridgewater at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

I absolutely love Emma Bridgewater china. In fact, I made it a point to visit her factory in Stoke-on Trent when I was in England. Swoon.

So when I was shopping on Bainbridge Island and saw this pretty display of Emma Bridgewater at Churchmouse Yarn & Tea, I snapped a photo and posted it on Instagram. 

And a representative from Emma Bridgewater asked me if they could use my photograph on their web page. Why yes, of course! I didn't think I'd get to do a favor for a favorite brand, but I'm happy to oblige.

#churchmouseteaandyarn #churchmouse #emmabridgewater #bainbridgeisland #livingonbainbridge #seattle #tea #yarnlove #knitting #photography 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Brighten the Kitchen with Real Flowering Plants

Remember when I planted these boxes full of flowering bulbs for Easter? Well I loved it and it was beautiful. But...the timing was right for the bulbs, but not for the holiday and all of the plants faded before my guests arrived for Easter.

So I went to the Nursery at Mount Si and bought pansies, primulas and assorted pops of color in yellow and orange to make a fresh new arrangement. You know what made it perfect for Easter? Last year I made Pysanka Eggs with faux eggs and simple decorative sleeves. I tucked them into the greenery and it looked beautiful! The rich colors in the eggs made the flower colors make sense. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Fishing Village:Seaside Decor at Michaels Highlights Leland

You know that I have spent my summers in the little resort town of Leland, Michigan, just like my mother. Well, imagine our surprise when we rounded the corner in Michaels Craft store (on the East-side of Seattle, no less) and saw this stack of crates! 

Our only explanation is that the designers must have Googled fishing village and found my favorite little town! My mom bought one of these cute crates. It corals her magazines and reminds her of where she will be in a matter of weeks. Isn't it a wonderful coincidence?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Easter Display: Creating A Happy Kitchen Display

Tah-dah! I knew it would be cute, but it came out even better than I imagined. 

I bought the 2 drawers at Michaels Craft. I lined them with plastic sheeting, cut and taped to fit, then I set a plastic tray that covered 2/3 of the drawer inside. I protected the last section with a gallon Ziploc freezer bag (with the sides folded down) and planted the bulbs inside. I arranged the other bulbs in the tray and put some bagged top soil in the sparse areas with a measuring scoop. I watered gently and then tucked pieces of dry green moss (bought as a dried sheet of real moss at the craft store) to cover the plastic and prop up the bulbs. Love love love.

You might remember that originally, I thought that artificial moss squares would work (cutting slits and poking the real growth up through the moss), but instead I used dry clumps of real moss to fit into the empty spaces as needed.
The secret to this project is finding a store that sells bulbs about to bloom. The grocery stores in Seattle sell growing bulbs out front! I took this photo outside of a QFC (Kroger) in Sammamish. I'm in heaven out here - truly.

I planted pink tulips (on their way to blooming now), narcissus, tiny lt blue grape hyacinth (that were so small I wasn't sure they would produce a stalk inside - they did!) and a few white/yellow fluffy daffodil variations. I plan on replacing the spent bulbs as they fade with new bulbs on the cusp. And yes, I will stick the spent bulbs in the front garden bed with hopes for next year.

The cute ceramic bunnies in my display were from Cost Plus World Market about 10 years ago. I am so glad I bought them. Remember my motto when you are thinking about buying something seasonal, cute is forever.

#easterdisplay #floweringbulbs #springinside #livingarrangement #easterdecorations #kitchendesign

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Anne Held Reeves, Beta Pi, Michigan State has Moved to Seattle

I am honored to have this little article I wrote published in print in my sorority's national magazine, as well as online on their website. Enjoy!
(Photo after a trip to my new favorite haunt, Seattle's Pike Place Market)

I was moving to Seattle and could count the number of people I knew out there on one hand. Kappa Alpha Theta has an alumnae chapter in Seattle, so I transferred my membership with high hopes of making friends out West.
I immediately joined the alumnae chapter’s book club. I famously arrived at my first meeting directly from the airport the night I moved. Now, when we all introduce ourselves at a chapter event, one of the girls invariably remembers meeting me when I first arrived in Seattle and tells everyone, "And I mean when she first arrived!" It's fun, and it tells the others that connecting and showing up when I say I will is important to me. 

That winter, I attended several Theta alum book club nights and it felt wonderful to belong. It might sound funny, but after a day of strangers, it felt so nice to be invited into someone’s home. The tradition in this book club is for the hostess to serve a light meal, usually a hearty soup with fresh bread. The members do their best to contribute wine, appetizers, and very often store-bought cookies. We have a glass of wine and spend the first little while getting reacquainted. It’s great because in addition to the core 10 members (who may or may not make it each month), we always have one or two new women drop in. The attendance ebbs and flows due to work schedules, and that’s okay. The members are understanding. You’ll be interested to know that our ages range from mid-20s to early 70s. 

The differences in our lives foster terrific book discussions. Although most of the book club members have lived in Seattle for at least a few years, when we start talking, our anecdotes and reflections remind us that we began our lives as Thetas at different times and places all over the country. It is that life experience that makes our discussions so rich. Making friends as an adult is challenging, but leaning on your affiliations (school, church, volunteer) can really help you get a leg up. I am so thankful to have our sorority to help us connect (finger snaps).

It has been two years since that first night at book club and I am indebted to these women who were the first in Seattle to learn my name. In that time, we have built a house, moved all our possessions out of storage and have started making a life for ourselves in the Pacific Northwest. 

It was such a nice night! We tried new recipes and ate a lovely meal out on the patio. We even talked about the possibility of making an all cookbook book club, because we all like to cook and really enjoyed having a full meal at our gathering. Who knows, it just might happen! I look forward to whatever my Theta sisters cook up.

I wanted to highlight our book club and this evening in particular because it was the night the Theta alumnae dedicated our August meeting to our love of cookbooks. The leaders suggested we check out fellow Theta and Seattleite, Heather Christo's cookbooks and blog for recipe ideas. Heather was the guest speaker at our 2016 holiday luncheon, and she has a gift for making allergen-free recipes look especially tempting.

Anne Held Reeves, Beta Pi/Michigan State, is a member of the Seattle Alumnae Chapter.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Primula Power

It's as easy as setting plants in a formal serving piece. I absolutely love this happy display on my kitchen table. The plants have quite a lot of dirt on them, so I didn't add soil or anything but a little water. For now, they love it and that's all I ask.

#springflowers #primulas #easterdecorations

Sunday, March 11, 2018

RAGS: 2018 Wearable Art Sale to Benefit YWCA's Domestic Violence Prevention & Intervention

Since I have my own accessories company focused on one-of-a-kind pieces, my new friend Stacie invited me to attend the 2018 RAGS Wearable Art Sale with her and suggested that I consider it as possible venue for my brand. Wasn't that nice of her? I certainly need to know about events like this in my new hometown.

As described on their website, "RAGS is a juried wearable art competition and sale that benefits the YWCA’s domestic violence prevention and intervention programs."

The show is held at the Larson Mercedes-Benz of Tacoma and the showroom was filled with 55 artists selling beautiful wearable art pieces - woven and felted scarves, carved wood necklaces, unique hats, paper crowns and handmade purses. I was very impressed with the quality and variety of the designs for sale, as well as the originality. I have seen a lot of art-level accessories for sale over the years and this selection was top notch.

#artist #charity #seattle #wearableart #rags 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Mountain is Out

What a spectacular sight! A friend took me tooling around Puyallup, WA today and Mount Rainier was covered in snow and as clear as a bell! I still long to go to that National Park and see the wildflowers in the summer.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Primulas: Brighten Your Table Instantly

I just wanted to take a minute to encourage you to buy primulas. They are an easy way to bring a happy touch into your home. On the West Coast, primulas have been available for a while now and they should start appearing at home improvement centers in the Midwest any time now. These happy-go-lucky plants are reasonable (often $1.25/plant) and they look so pretty in the center of the table.

I know that on the West Coast, these annuals are often planted in casual landscaping or in pots outdoors and have a long bloom time. I must confess that I do not buy them with the plan to keep them around. My wish is to enjoy them for 2-3 weeks of color and cheerful decoration. 

I brought out 4 neutral place mats, some bamboo-style silverware and 4 print napkins that my aunt gave me for Christmas. What makes the table look finished? 6 fresh primulas (still in their original plastic pots) resting on clear plastic saucers to protect the table. Voila!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Cigar Box Purse: Happy Customer

"Anne - Hi! I just wanted to reach out to let you know that the cigar box purse was a HUGE hit. I wore it to a Cuba themed gala. I thought a lot of ppl would have cigar box purses, but none did! I had more compliments than you can imagine. Here is a pic for you. One of the society magazines was more interested in a pic of the purse than they were of me. If it makes the magazine, I’ll send you a copy. Thanks for taking care of me for a Noche en Havana to support Phoenix Children’s Hospital!!!" 3/5/18
Oh happy day. I just heard from a recent Etsy customer that she LOVED her ANA cigar box purse and received lots of compliments at a charity gala. Doesn't she look fabulous?! How wonderful. I want to thank her for passing on the photo and the praise.

If you'd like to shop my collection of handmade cigar box purses, click here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Facebook: Women in Business: Boost Your Business

Today I attended a 2 hour training session tailored to women who want market their small business brand through Facebook. The information was fantastic.

Grace Hilty, from the Facebook Small Business Team, was the moderator and she was composed and as clear as a bell. The topics ranged from tips for taking better photos (white foam board can bounce light and marble contact paper can make your work surface look expensive when photographing food) and the importance of capturing people's attention in the first few moments of a LIVE video when the sound is off. Great information and we were only a few minutes into the program.

I appreciated that the content was part presentation, part video learning, so that the Facebook team could show us exactly what the screen looks like when you use the CreateAds tool or boost a post. 
What I found most valuable was that I can learn more about how to use the Facebook products for my business in these 3 places. It makes sense, but I didn't realize that they had organized a learning area and I know that I will benefit from it.


The event included a panel discussion with 3 local women business owners and they did a terrific job. Debbie Page (business mentoring), Claire Sumadiwirya (Bellden Cafe in Bellevue) and Jennifer Jedda (JJ Caprices (accessories). They gave real-life examples of how they use Facebook to connect with customers and target their advertising specifically to the demographic that generate sales for their business.

There are a lot of classes/seminars/events that promise results for small business people, but this session felt like it was truly loaded with helpful guidelines. As with any endeavor, the time and effort required to learn to use Facebook as a marketing tool rests solely on the business owner. For their part, I think Facebook has done a good job making the tools easy and user friendly. And with any worthwhile session, I felt antsy for it to finish so that I could get started. Nice work and thank you for providing this free training.

#shemeansbusiness #finddelight  #womeninbusiness 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

It's been whirl

Hello, dear readers! My life has been a whirl of late and I am bursting at the seams with content and inspiration. I just have to handle this second root canal (gasp!) and unpack the suitcases from my Houston trip. 

I promise you'll be delighted with bits and bobs from the Northwest Flower and Garden Show and much more. More posts going up Friday afternoon.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Connecting: Making Signs & Friends

I'm leading this post with my finished project, a stenciled sign I made at a Coffee Convo Craft event held at the Church on the Ridge. One of my new neighbors invited a bunch of us to come to this event and meet more people in the area. I think this type of evening is a terrific way to reach women in the community and based on the turnout, I'm sure they counted this as a success.
When we arrived, we checked in, received name tags and our table assignment and were encouraged to make a plate of snacks. Yes, please.
My favorite part of the beautiful snack table was that they had floral print straws to go into the beautiful cans of LaCroix sparkling water.
We had pre-selected and pre-paid for the sign we wanted to make. The choices ranged anywhere from custom signs with your last name, to bible quotes and fun slogans about coffee. I chose a sign with arrows.
The first step is to chose a stain, don your plastic gloves and rub the stain onto your wood sign using paper towel. I had always wanted to try staining wood, so this step alone was great (and easy). After the stain drys (20 min?), a coffee convo craft representative helps you to adhere your stencil onto the wood. I chose to tape off the silhouette of Washington state on my sign. I wanted to add stripes of colored "thread" to my arrows and I wanted to display my arrows flying horizontally. The Washington silhouette required it to be shown vertically. So I changed it. Always feel free to change a design to suit you.
I used painters tape to help delineate the lines for the colored thread. I dabbed on khaki paint to form the arrows first. Then I added color and filled things in. I love it! And look how many people were happily entranced with their project! There were at lease 60 women there. I was thoroughly impressed.
I met some women that live in my area; I explored a new craft; I started to feel at home. Thank you to Church on the Ridge, CoffeeConvoCraft and especially Valerie for asking me to join in on this fun night. I loved it.
#community #craft #girlsnightout #coffeeconvocraft #wotr

Saturday, February 17, 2018

High Praise: Happy Comments About Paris: Delight in the City of Light

(Gazing out the enormous clock at the Musee D'Orsay)

Ooh la la! I ship a lot of my books out inscribed as gifts but I don't always hear back about what my readers thought. Today I received the nicest feedback on Amazon for my book Paris: Delight in the City of Light. My book is a soft-cover modern coffee table book devoted to PARIS. Enjoy 120 pages of full-color photographs on every page, including addresses & websites of my favorite places in Paris.

Anne Reeves is just as delightful as her book. The book, Paris - Delight in the City was a nice pick me up for the February blahs, and it came wrapped in beautiful pink tissue accompanied by a Paris themed personal note which I plan to save because it was so pretty. 
(a puff of pastry at Laduree)

Thank you Mary!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Shopping the 2018 Northwest Flower and Garden Festival

I want to spotlight some great items I found for sale at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival. I combed the show and picked out some unusual items that might strike your fancy.

I consider these hats part of the "Eat Your Vegetables" series. They are handmade and just darling and made by Art by Namaste (above).
The artist at Rusty Birds made this sweet combination of what I think is a gold finch perched on an echinacea. I don't normally go for garden art, but I think this guy is charming.
I love that University Bookstore (the sponsor of the televised book club through Seattle Refined that I've been attending lately) brought stacks and stacks of beautiful garden books. Their booth was humming with customers shopping for self-help guides to growing plants, flowers, trees and shrubs.

#NWFGS #shoptillyoudrop #momentsofdelight #finddelight #NWFGS #seattle

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I Love Daffodils and Easter is Coming

And since you know me, you realize that these declarations will change week by week as the weather warms up. I love flowers sums things up better, but it is not how I feel today.

My head and heart need bright yellow and the daffodil delivers. I took this photo at Pike Place market on April 6, 2014. The grocery stores have already started selling bunches of daffodils and I am working on a triumphant centerpiece for my kitchen island for Easter week. 
So far I have some tulips and narcissus, but I'm planning on 2 crates (from #Michaels!) with lots of bulbs blooming through the moss. I love this time of year! 

*Note: See March 16 post for final product!

#easter #floweringbulbs #finddelight #makingahome #easterflowers #decorating

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Northwest Flower & Garden Show: GH Horticulture Creates Wonderful City Living Display Garden

I am so proud of my friend, Grace Hensley and her company GH Horticulture. She specializes in small space garden and container design (she is also an exceptional photographer) and this year she was chosen to design a City Living garden for the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. Go Grace!
I swear that I had chosen her 6' x 12' display as my favorite long before I realized that it was hers. The soothing grays punctuated with black and softened with pink won me over. The City Living spaces are intended to give apartment dwellers inspiration and show them that small spaces can still boast big design ideas.
In order to trumpet the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival's 30th Anniversary, Grace designed around the word and color pearl. It is the Pearl Anniversary, you see. This camellia is Nuccio's Pearl. It was pale pink and gorgeous. If you'd like to read about Grace's process, check out her blog post about preparing for the show.
Three of my favorite elements from her display are in this photograph (above). Grace hung a magnificent natural shell wreath (I want!) on the front door and don't miss the Amazon package on the front mat just waiting for the busy Seattlite to come home from work.

She also added a fairy door to her vignette, complete with tiny beautiful containers. Sooo sweet!  Great job.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Northwest Flower and Garden Show: 2018 in Seattle

Hey, kindred spirit! It's time! The Northwest Flower and Garden Show opens tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb 7 - 10 from 9am- 8pm, and Sunday, Feb 11 from 9 am - 6 pm. 

I was so happy to have a chance to attend the Press Tour this morning and get a first look at the magnificent show gardens before they are judged and awarded Gold/Silver/Bronze. I wish them all luck...their hard work was on display and every garden was worthy.
All of the gardens gave a nod to this year's theme "Garden Party" because 2018 is the 30th anniversary of this incredible garden show in Seattle. If ever there was a "girl's trip" worthy event, this is it. Art, plants, antiques, landscaping ideas, local knowledge. Their cup runneth over. 

#NWFGS #gardenparty #seattle #garden #imsogladilivehere #gardenerdream