Thursday, July 26, 2007

T-shirt Trend

You know how I like lavender...and coffee...and chocolate. My friend, Tracy, just returned from San Francisco and pointed me to a clothing line dyed with the natural pigments in food. 

It seems very innovative and I thought that I should share it with you. The brand I believe she was seeing all over is Crazy Shirts, a company that originated in Hawaii.

Candy Tin wallets

My dear friend, Heidi, has lived in Japan for the past 5 years. Knowing that I love graphics & product packaging, she brought me some amazing cookie tins to use as wallets (I already had cigar tins as wallets, so it made sense!) I love these pastel cookie tin wallets so much! They are green tea, strawberry pink & lilac. Check them out!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Garden Walk 2007

Tonight is the Roseglen Garden Club Annual Garden Walk. We had a mini-meeting last night and the plans are set. Refreshments will be lemon bars, brownies, & lemonade. The girls have made the invitations & tickets - with plans to hand-deliver this afternoon. I've finished the Garden Walk program/map and will provide the card table & paper goods. What is really happening? Three girls under 10 are showing off their flower knowledge to their parents and a few lovely neighbors while we walk around my house and finish with snacks on the driveway. Never underestimate the power of "making your own fun."

Friday, July 20, 2007

Oh, Clafoutis!

My parents have "camp" each summer at the cottage for the grandchildren. One week for the girls, one week for the boys - and I am the "counselor." It is a wonderful time full of summer fun. This week I had the girls with me at the tiny grocery store buying supplies, when a woman realized we were all at "camp," loved the idea that, as an Aunt, I got to spend quality time with the kids and offered her entire cherry orchard to us. "Come pick cherries, take pictures, enjoy the view, the place is yours!" It was wonderful. Now what do you do when you have lots of fresh picked cherries and no "Kirschen-wacker" (what I call my German-made cherry pitting machine) make Cherry Clafoutis! I remembered this rustic French recipe from a Williams-Sonoma catalog. The best part? Purists leave the pits in to perfume the dish. "Girls, we are purists!" I announced. It tastes like a thick sweet crepe - try it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lavender Farm

I love a scent, in a flower arrangement, even as essence in blueberry jam. At a luncheon recently, I was served a crepe with fresh lavender buds in the batter - they were delicious. Last summer I discovered a lavender farm that hosts an open house one weekend in July. They allow artists to paint the fields, they help you pick a large bouquet and they have a farm stand with culinary lavender salts and fragrant dried lavender sachets. Have you ever seen at lavender boutille or wand? Would you like to try your hand at making one? Here are some simple instructions.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Brigadoon in the Mist

Have you seen Brigadoon? It is a 1954 musical about 2 Americans that discover Brigadoon, a magical Scotish village that only "appears" every 100 years. It is a sweet story of finding love & honoring friendships. This part of the landscape of Lake Michigan is called "Whaleback" because the slope of the hill looks like a whale. On this particular day, it reminds me of Brigadoon appearing in the mist. It was absolutely still.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Master Gardener

I have no idea what type of plant this is. The leaves are enormous and so beautiful. I couldn't resist snapping a shot of it last week when I went to the home of a Master Gardener. I made a new friend when I attended a baby shower this Spring. I was talking about a Delight cover called Herb Appeal (above) and she said "herbs!?" We happily talked the rest of the party and she invited me to come see her garden when I was up north this Summer. What fun we had - we talked about iris, fern, and jack-in-the-pulpit. She casually handed me a leaf of pineapple sage and I ate it. She even encouraged me to become a Master that is an interesting idea. We finished the tour with a piece of her homemade raspberry rhubarb pie. Thank you, Michelle, what a lovely way to spend a morning.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Cherry Crush

Do you love it? Ripening on the tree along a country road - our magnificent Michigan cherries! Around this time of year, you often see water and squished cherries in the street, particularly at a sharp bend in the road. Cherries are carted in open crates full of water from orchard to market and they spill right out of the trucks sometimes. A true sign of cherry season in the cherry capital, Traverse City, Michigan.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Studio Arrangement

My world is about bringing people delight. Today I am leading by example and putting a fresh flower arrangment in my studio/office. It took 5 minutes to snip a rose, 2 dahlia, 1 foxglove, 1 snapdragon, 1 hydrangea (still pink - I'd better try another dose of Miracid) and 2 sprigs of ginger mint and slip it in an empty Fini balsamic vinegar bottle. It is just after ten in the morning and I know that I will "get" to look at it all day. That's delight.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Barn Dance

I was roaring along a country road when I spotted this beautiful barn and thought that the elements were right - blue sky, puffy clouds, hay...what more could I want? Sometimes it is the simple subjects that say the most. Barn dance anyone?

Fruit Soup with a Fairy Rose

Cold fruit soup with a hint of cinnamon and chopped raisins. A favorite from a little spot I love near Interlochen, MI. It's fun to have a beautiful lunch sprinkled with edible flowers. A fairy rose floats atop a mint leaf in cold lingonberry soup. Honestly, the entire lunch appears to have been made by elves. Sweet treats dusted with powdered sugar and designed to inspire. It worked!

Mint & Rose bouquet

Mint is my new secret "ingredient" in floral bouquets. I have quite a few varieties in my mint wreath (chocolate mint, ginger mint, lemon mint) and I have been tucking in a sprig when I make casual arrangements. The rose scent combined with the fresh mint is lovely - and the bright green leaves add a nice contrast. Try it!