Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Moth The Seattle Grand Slam

Last night, I attended a fascinating sold out event called The Moth Grand Slam in Seattle. The Moth hosts live story-telling events around the country and the individuals' stories are broadcast weekly on NPR. My husband was a regularly listener to The Moth when he traveled every Sunday for work. My dear friend Tracy, who is visiting from Grand Rapids, Michigan has loved the program for years and was the one who noticed that this live event coincided with her trip to Seattle. 

Since Tracy declared back in the early 90's that I should consider being a professional story-teller, it felt like it was kismet that we could attend this special competition.

10 individuals, who had each won their evening earlier in the year, were given the stage and 6 minutes to woo us with a true story. Some were about humiliation and growth, others were about losing and finding love, all were very real and it was obvious that the finalists felt great pride at making it to Seattle's The Moth Grand Slam.

Three teams of seasoned Moth listeners scored each story and in the end, Sam Blackman won with a lovely narrative about loving, leaving and after 35 years, reconsidering his religion. Congratulations, Sam.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Salmon Skewers: Posh Picnic Fare

My mind is swimming with recipes that I want to try, experiences I want to have, things that I want to photograph. As a day or week develops, I try to think of a good fit for the circumstances to make the most out of life.

For example, we were expecting a beautiful day in the low 70's last week and we had been eating indoors at home a lot lately. I wanted to get us out into the fresh air and I wanted to eat outside. Grilling at home is fun, but if we went to a local park and used their grill, we could enjoy a few hours of cooking and relaxing.

I keep a stash of disposable grill toppers in my picnic supplies. Have you seen these? It lets you use a grill in a public park while giving you a clean surface to grill your food on. 
At home, I cut fresh salmon into equal-size square pieces (so that they would cook at the same rate) and placed them on Press n Seal cling wrap. I put another piece on top and sealed around each piece of fish so that it wouldn't dry out. That way I could bring everything to the park on ice and assemble the skewers on site.
I threaded pieces of lemon, cherry tomatoes and salmon onto cedar skewers that I had soaked in water (so that the wood doesn't catch on fire). On other skewers I threaded fresh mushrooms, zucchini ribbons (cut carefully on a mandolin at home and doused in olive oil) and cherry tomatoes. These vegetable skewers cook faster so I placed them on the grill after the fish had started to cook. I covered the cooking area with non-stick Reynolds Wrap foil to keep the heat in and speed up the cooking. When the fish was cooked, I basted it with a mixture of Dijon mustard and apricot jam. The flavor of the glaze combined with the grilled lemons made the salmon even more delicious.
I brought cooked asparagus from home and placed it in a foil packet on the grill to reheat. I also brought a cold salad of drained canned beets (cut in quarters) mixed with 2 cans of drained mandarin oranges, a splash of olive oil and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. I transported the cold beet salad double-bagged in gallon Ziploc freezer bags in the cooler on ice. It was a great addition to our meal.

Yes, I brought along a set of melamine dishes, wooden silverware and paper napkins to make the meal look pretty and give us a stable surface to eat from. I always bring along a kitchen trash bag to transport the dirty dishes back home and it works out just fine.

We had such a nice time in the local park listening to the birds chirp and the children squeal from the nearby playground. It was a great start to a summer of fun.

#picnics #seattle #salmononthegrill #momentsofdelight

Friday, May 12, 2017

Seeing Nature inside the Seattle Art Museum

The rain of Seattle kept me inside this spring (plus I've been decorating the new house) so I had no idea that the special exhibition "Seeing Nature" (a collection of landscape masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection) was closing so soon. Get thee to the Seattle Art Museum before May 23. 

I am very new to Seattle and am very interested to learn about influential figures in the area. It is unlikely that I will ever run into Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) at a party, but if I ever do I can now chit chat with him about his landscape art collection. 

What first struck me was that while all technically landscapes, the styles are so diverse. I would love to have heard the logic behind curating this collection. Some paintings are cram jam with perfectly represented objects, like Jan Brueghel the Younger's The Five Senses: Sight. The happy clutter reminds me of my old studio on a busy day.
And then not much farther into the collection we see the dreary gray and black gas station known as Untitled by Ed Ruscha. While it may convey a stark commentary on the place of energy in our past, it hardly seems to fit into the collection as a whole. 

Yet that is the beauty of art; where color and content are in charge and the message is up for interpretation. 

I found myself jealous of the Paul Allen who owned one of Monet's Water Lilies, happy for the Paul Allen who saw beauty in a psychedelic work titled The Grand Canyon by David Hockney and worried for the Paul Allen that selected Untitled by Ruscha. His life is surely as complicated as his art collection and I appreciate that he was willing to share it with the public. 

People talk about the vastness of the ocean and how small it makes them feel. I get that feeling when I stand close to the dried paint of a masterwork. 

The collection Seeing Nature includes 39 significant works that span 400 years and is only on display another week! The paintings are by a wide range of artists including Gustav Klimt, Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne and Georgia O'Keeffe and I think you will have a thoughtful and interesting experience viewing them. Let me know what you think.

#seeingnature #momentsofdelight

Monday, May 8, 2017

Pop Up Shop: ANA Cigar Box Purses

I want to extend a big thank you to Troy Salon in Issaquah, WA for inviting me to host a Pop Up Shop during the May 5th Wine Walk.

I met so many people, was welcomed to the area and got the citizens perspective on the many art shows and events on the east side of Seattle. I am grateful for their input and support and had a very successful night.

I'm including this link to my online store on Etsy so that potential customers can find my cigar box purses easily. 
Thank you!

#cigars #cigarboxpurses #winewalk

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Seattle: Ferry Season Returns

I absolutely love riding the Washington State ferries and we were finally able to take a ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island yesterday.  When I take the ferry, I want to stand on the deck and enjoy the incredible view, so I have been holding off our trip until the weather cleared.

You see Seattle just experienced the most-rainfall-ever-recorded-between-October-and-April (since 1895!) and everyone in the Pacific Northwest is overdue for the bright blue sky and fresh air. 

Sunday May 7th was the perfect day! Notice the woman at the bow (above) reenacting the Titanic's "king of the world" moment. We were all feeling that way when we felt the sun on our skin.
After a beautiful day of shopping and snacking on Bainbridge Island, we took the ferry back across Puget Sound. I don't think any of the ferry passengers stayed indoors; we all seemed to be out on deck taking pictures of Mount Rainier.
Selfies, however, were more of a challenge.
The city looked beautiful and it was exciting to think that we live just 30 minutes from this vibrant city. It has been a challenging winter but things seem to be returning to the climate we expect. Hallelujah. Picnics, here I come!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Fresh Air and Fresh Flowers: Issaquah Farmers Market

Saturday. May 6 was the season opening of the Issaquah Farmer's Market. After a long winter, it feels like fresh air and fresh flowers are all I need.

The reddish pink bouquet I'm holding is a variety of peony tulips. They have more than twice the petals of a classic tulip and sport slightly green touches on the tips of their petals. The flower vendor was surprised that I didn't want any greens or filler flowers. I knew that they would make a wonderful arrangement all on their own.

We also bought fresh rhubarb (here comes my crisp!) and a large bunch of asparagus. Oh! and a square of real honeycomb from Bees in the Burbs to serve with cheese and apples. *sigh* I love this time of year.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Green Accents: When Color Makes the Meal

Nothing says spring like verdant green accents. The trees are bursting with bright green growth and my table is reflecting that happy time. 

I've combined some inexpensive green glasses from CB2 (sadly they have discontinued this color), my Tea Time trivet project and some bright green Heather Bailey napkins to bring the table alive. 

When I bought my latest multi-hued hydrangea (pale green with pink splashes), a bloom broke off and my pull toward green and pink began.

The most important message of this post is this:
I set the table even though nothing is happening and no one is coming over. I like to look at beautiful linens, flowers and colors and I shouldn't have to wait for an occasion to use what I have. When I set the table, the house comes alive.

If your kitchen table is collecting bits and bobs, go clear it off and make yourself a pretty table setting. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Camp Thundercraft: Urban Craft Uprising Creates A Weekend Camp for Small Businesses

Last month I went to camp...Camp Thundercraft! Because I am a fan of the Urban Craft Uprising indie craft shows in Seattle, I saw information via their Facebook Page about their new camp for small business owners/makers. How could I resist? 
The weekend event was held on Vashon Island (a short ferry ride from Seattle) at Camp Burton, a rustic waterfront camp with cabins and meeting facilities. When I got an email with my cabin assignment, I knew it was real. 

I had never been to camp as a child (apart from a wonderful Girl Scout overnight), so the only reference I had were scenes from The Parent Trap. I ordered a sleeping bag on Amazon and was giddy with the idea of meeting other makers.

There were 5 of us in our cabin and I really connected with the girls right off the bat. We seemed to chose the same classes and spent a lot of time together at meals or walking between events. It reminded me of the best times in college when our time was our own and we could talk face-to-face about the things on our mind. It was very interesting to me that although we are all very dialed in to social media, this group was not lost on their phones the whole weekend. We understood that this was a rare opportunity to connect and we weren't going to squander it.

On Friday night after a grand potluck dinner, we broke out into groups and talked about the highs and lows of business/making and discussed the tools we use to make life easier. It was terrific.

There is something reassuring about talking to other women who run their own small businesses. Filing taxes, iPhone credit card apps and business card font issues can almost be discussed with a glance. We've been there, done that. Our experiences were similar enough that we could skip the basics and really communicate about the solutions. It felt wonderful.
You know what else I loved? Encouraging others. My favorite moment was when a group of us admired someone's art collage and encouraged her to pursue scanning and selling it as a print (something that can be sold over and over) vs. selling it only once as an original. She was thrilled that we saw a larger audience for her work and we felt like we helped someone to imagine the steps to a broader revenue stream.

The camp had morning and afternoon classes available on so many different topics (wholesale and private labeling your work, product styling and photography, DIY business taxes & record keeping) that choosing just one each session was difficult. A plus is that the organizers have promised class notes & resources available online after camp, so we can always investigate something we missed. 

You know what else was great? We now have our own Facebook group. I can pop over there and remind myself of a name or business website with just a click. We can easily stay connected and share relevant information as we learn it. This type of connection helps us to remember each other and I look forward to attending the Urban Craft Uprising events and seeking out some of my new friends.
On Saturday evening, we took a breather from the din of conversation to enjoy some tea & macaroons (mine was tie-dyed!) while we reflected on camp and what message we wanted to come away with. We all wrote a note to our future selves on pretty stationary by Annie's Art & Press knowing that it will be mailed to us when we need a kick in the pants just before the rush of the 2017 holiday season. 
On Sunday morning, before breakfast in the main lodge, some of us took a cup of coffee down to walk along the shoreline. It was so very quiet and peaceful that I didn't want to leave. 

I could have had a session on planning and implementing a social media timeline while sitting here like a bump on a log. The irony of that is not lost on me, but it still feels like a great idea.
After losing power for a spell on Friday night, we really lucked out with the weather that weekend. Look at the sand dollar (above) that my new friend, Becka found for me to photograph. The tide was low and so many treasures were exposed. As a Michigan girl, the opportunity to see shells on the shore are only possible on a tropical vacation. Seeing them here so close to my new home was a thrill.

Since I am new to the Pacific Northwest, my main objective for camp was to meet creative people living in this area. Where do you shop for materials? What's it like to sell at Pike Place Market? I am not settled enough to take the world by storm, but I am ready to make some friends and start exploring a new normal. 

I really had a great time at Camp Thundercraft. I met some very interesting women (and one cool ceramicist named Sean), got my head around the phenom called Instagram and I left with a list a mile long to tweak and improve this creative life.

What more could I ask for really? Bravo, Urban Craft Uprising, I am your newest biggest fan.

P.S. Don't you love the glamping fabric at the top of this post? I toyed with the idea of making myself a travel makeup bag for Camp Thundercraft, but then I talked myself out of it. Mistake! Always err on the side of super cute. If you'd like some of this fabric for your foray into the woods, click on the link above.

#urbancraftuprising #campthundercraft #vashonisland #creativelife #seattle

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Seattle: Birthday Dinner at Scout

Dinner at Scout within the Thompson Seattle hotel was delicious. I ordered the rather manly dinner of a New York Strip Steak and when it was placed before me, this whole scene came together. This image could double as a promotional photo for my ANA cigar box purses, don't you think?
Our birthday celebration filled the 2 tables inside Scout's indoor wooden gazebo. The design definitely makes the party seem private while still being accessible. 
We took our time, enjoyed great drinks, a lovely meal and a chance to catch up on conversation. I highly recommend this chic spot in Seattle.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Seattle: Nest: Day and Night

This view from the rooftop bar Nest at Thompson Seattle confirms what you thought, only the eagles have it better. 

We were celebrating a friend's birthday last week with dinner at Scout (inside Thompson Seattle) and we arrived a tad early, so we went up to Nest to have a drink and enjoy the sun.

I ordered a citrus mocktail and enjoyed it while watching the Washington State ferries travel back and forth to Bainbridge Island. 

Though I am so very happy to be living in the same city as my husband in a beautiful new house, I am still grappling with the reality of moving to the Pacific Northwest. This isn't temporary. Our house is Michigan has been sold and my friends of 20 years are trapped on the other side of my glass monitor, residing within Facebookland. 

When I am in my home office, life feels weird. When I am in a big city on a weeknight looking at this view, life feels exciting.

After a delicious dinner, we returned to Nest where the management was holding the indoor corner lounge for the birthday girl and her guests.
I dashed between the raindrops out on the rooftop deck to take this photo. From left to right, you can see the blue arc of Century Link Field (home of Seattle Seahawks football), a cruise ship docked in Puget Sound with her lights ablaze, the Great Wheel Ferris wheel and then the bright red sign "Public Market" at the entrance to the famous Pike Place market, where fresh fish are thrown and fresh flowers are photographed. 

What a view! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cigar Box Purse POP UP Shop during Issaquah WINE WALK

Announcing my first POP UP Shop for cigar box purses 
in the Pacific Northwest!

Troy Salon (195 Front Street, Studio C, Issaquah,WA) 
is generously hosting me during the 
Issaquah WINE WALK on Friday, May 5 from 6-9 pm.

Come see a grand display of one-of-a-kind ANA cigar box purses. Each purse is a signed and numbered art piece.
The inside of each purse is just gorgeous - hand lined with fabric and matching gussets (to help keep the contents inside), velcro closure (for added security), tiny metal feet and an 
ANA ceramic logo tag. 

I use real cigar boxes and carefully select only the ones in the best condition to make into a purse. I try to preserve all labels too - except the smoking warning, those I remove when I can.

 Talk about a conversation piece! My purses have been sold in the Ritz Carlon Hotel, within resort gift shops and shipped individually to diserning buyers around the country. 

My kiln-fired ceramic ANA logo distinguishes my unique brand.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Pysanka Easter Eggs

What a gift! Do you love these as much as I do? A friend sent me a set of Ukrainian Easter egg sleeves in the style called Pysanka

The egg sleeves are incredibly easy to use and since I had some faux Easter eggs (made of plastic, but textured to feel more like a real egg) I will be able to keep these treasures forever.

The instructions were to slide an egg sleeve onto an egg, rest the covered egg in a large spoon and quickly dunk the egg in a pot of boiling water. "Sloop!" the sleeve shrinks in seconds to fit the egg perfectly. I realize now that this technology has probably been around for a while and used for children's egg kits featuring superheros etc., but this is my first experience with it. 

If you are celebrating Easter, I hope that you have a glorious and meaningful holiday weekend. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Paas Botanical Easter Egg transfers

I made my first little instruction video. This is a 2 minute video on how to apply the new Paas Botanical transfers to faux Easter eggs. They are so beautiful and I can keep them for years.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Skagit Valley Daffoldils: April 1

"This is Anne Reeves, reporting from the Skagit Valley..."

It's gorgeous in the valley, but the tulips are not ready! Spring has been late this year. Don't worry, just give it a little time. If you are in the area and need a lift after a long winter, there are fields of yellow daffoldils in bloom. 

What I love about this modern age is that you can "like" a Facebook Page for an event (Skagit Valley Tulip Festival) and get real time photos. When the flowers make the festival, we all need current information to show up at the right time.

I was in the Mt. Vernon area for the April 1st Vintage Spring Market at the Skagit Valley Fairgrounds and my friend and I drove the tulip route in case we could see some signs of spring. These daffodils were just what we needed!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Seattle: University of Washington: Clouds of Cherry Blossoms

I love flowering trees and have been hearing about the cherry blossoms in the University of Washington's quad being in bloom from several sources lately. The sun was out and I decided to swing by campus and try to find delight.

I walked around campus until I found this spectacular grove of trees. I thought that the trees looked like a crowd of debutantes in white dresses with crinolines.
Every bud on every tree lining the large walkway was in full bloom. The area was cram-jam with admirers and it was remarkably quiet for the number of people on campus. The crowds' mood was a mix of happiness and reverence. These trees are 80 years old and the idea that people would come out to enjoy this flowering walkway was initiated long ago.
Bright green grass, peeks of blue sky and clouds of cherry blossoms. That's a weather report we deserve after a long wet winter.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pretty Tablescape: Waverly Dishes Pop with Green Accent Pieces

We can finally entertain! Friends were coming for dinner and as I was setting the table, I came up with this new combination of dishes and glasses that I want to show you.

I decided to use a pattern by Waverly called Norfolk Rose that I bought years ago from a catalog in a 20-piece set. The plates are a soft shell/khaki color with reddish rose accents. Once I knew the color of the dishes, I bought 5 red-orange primulas ($.99 each!) to be the floral focus. They complimented the plates and added a very important touch of green with their leaves.

I had never considered mixing my bright modern green Marta glasses from CB2 (Crate & Barrel's answer to IKEA) with this rather traditional set of dishes, but as I was auditioning different combinations place mats and glasses, this one looked great!

I had some bright green paper napkins from IKEA and they matched the thin green glass perfectly. I pulled out my set of bamboo silverware and the table was set. 

It might seem silly to take this much time choosing the tablescape, but this is what I love and I haven't been able to do it in a long time. The moving boxes are unpacked and all of my treasures are finally within reach. 

In fact, as I create more pretty combinations I'll be sure to show you.

#entertaining #waverly #cb2 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Portland: Salt & Straw Ice Cream: Rose City Riot

I stood in line for Salt & Straw ice cream and it was worth it.

I was in Portland for the weekend and indulged in Rose City Riot (rosewater, saffron & pistachios) and Coava Coffee & Cocanu Craque (coffee ice cream with candied cocoa nibs).

How did this perishable part of Portland make it onto our itinerary? Facebook, of course! 

I "checked in" to Portland for the weekend and a friend in Washington, D.C. posted the three Salt & Straw locations in the comment box so I could visit the one that was closest to our route. Now that's a friend!

We all agreed that it was delicious and having an unusual flavor combination makes it memorable. I noticed that they had a tasting flight - 4 flavors to sample and savor. Next time!

3/30/17 Breaking News: 
Salt & Straw is coming to Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood! 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Planting Bulbs That Are Already In Flower

I know, you read that blog title and asked yourself what could she mean?

Perhaps the photo above will convince you. Some of the grocery stores and large markets with garden centers are selling a variety of bulbs in bloom. I planted them in my new front yard and it looks like I have been living here for ages. 

I have seen flowering bulbs in pots for years but these items are different. The bulbs are often exposed, with just enough dirt above them to keep them in the pot, and the green stalk is at least 6 inches with blooms forming. The pots are disposable, so its not as if they are meant to be a gift for the indoors. These bulbs (often 2 pots with several bulbs each, for $5) are not yeat blooming and MUST be for the outside, right?

I'm not sure how you would use them if you didn't plant them, so...I planted them! They look happy and make the front of our house look welcoming. Easter is coming and my little grape hyacinths are trumpeting the season. 

I planted 3 sets of grape hyacinths, 5 sets of tulips, 2 sets of narcissus and 3 sets of miniature daffodils. I love it! The next time you are at a grocery store or garden center, look for flowering bulbs that are ready to plant. You won't regret it!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Flat Rainbow in Seattle's Eastside

Yesterday I looked out and saw a FLAT rainbow! I put it on Instagram and joked that after this long rainy winter, even the rainbows need a lift - ha!

Have you ever seen such a thing? It was hovering over the town of Snoqualmie Ridge, with the Cascade Mountains in the background.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Seattle is a Terrarium: Bella Umbrella Has Symbolic Souvenirs

Seattle is like a terrarium. The bright green of every leaf, vine and shrub is due to the constant misting we get from the sky. I love the long growing season and the happy plants and am anticipating a glorious spring after a long wet winter.

We are known for our rain and the umbrella is a natural symbol of our fortitude. Interestingly enough, very few people who live here actually carry an umbrella. So few that I would peg the person as a tourist if I saw someone carrying one.

Why? I think its because if you live here, you know that the rain won't last long. That said, everyone needs an umbrella sometimes. It's just not an everyday thing, as you might think. The beautiful selection above is inside Bella Umbrella, a beautiful shop within walking distance of Pike Place Market that sells (and rents!) umbrellas. If I were to buy a souvenir of Seattle, this is the kind of lasting gift I would buy myself.
Want to see something cute? The gift shop at the Space Needle sells chocolate umbrellas! I love when whimsy, color and chocolate collide.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dreaming of Picnics in Washington State

I am ready to get out of town and recreate this photograph! It was a beautiful June day last year and we had taken a driving trip (via ferry too) to get from Seattle to Sequim, WA to visit a peony farm. It has been a rainy Jan/Feb/March and I am ready for some spring road trips!

I am finally living a life where picnics are likely. In Michigan, we always had the cottage as our home base, so lunch-on-the-go wasn't necessary. In Seattle, you can drive an hour or 2 in an any direction and find an area to explore for the day. That kind of spontaneity is fun and having a nice meal with us makes for a better trip. 

While this photo looks like a magazine shoot, I can assure you that it took very little effort to put together. The image is all about the angles. The lunch and silverware draw your eye to the right, following the checks, while the white of the mugs in the picnic basket draw your eye up to the left to see the mountains. The image is full of color and texture and it would make a beautiful puzzle, don't you think?

The picnic basket was a wedding gift to us 25 years ago! It came stocked with sturdy plastic plates and mugs that snapped into the lid with leather straps. It also came with a plastic tablecloth, perfect to cover a well worn picnic table. It had been gathering dust in our basement for years, but now that I'm here in Washington we are pulling it out every chance we get.

I added plastic silverware, 2 plastic wine glasses, and 2 meals-to-go from the grocery deli. 

The location? We pulled into Salsbury Point County Park and arranged our lunch on a picnic table facing the Hood Canal Floating Bridge. Look at the snow-capped mountains in the background! It was glorious and I didn't want to leave.

There are loads of parks on the Kitsap Peninsula and I know that we will be exploring many more in the years to come.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Girl Scout Glory: Remembering the Fun

"Who's the Girl Scout?," an acquaintance asked when she saw my sash and this magazine article on my front table.
"Me!," I replied.
"Oh that's awesome."

I think we all have a soft spot for the Girl Scouts and I was happy to see this article "Collector's Guide to Girl Scout Memorabilia" by Caroline Collins McKenzie in the March 2017 issue of Country Living magazine. It really jogged my memory. I thought back fondly to my green Girl Scout flashlight and the crisp plastic coin purse with snap. Treasures, they were treasures.

2017 is the 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scout cookie and this prompted the magazine to show a beautiful selection of Girl Scout memorabilia that has been available over the years. 

I knew I had to show you my own personal gem (above) full of badges that I earned each week along side my elementary school friends.

The Girl Scout organization, and more specifically our incredible Troop Leader, Mrs. Valerie Agresta, made an indelible mark on my life. I believe that my commitment to and success in the Junior League (a volunteer organization for women) goes back past my years of leadership in my sorority to my overall happiness as a Girl Scout. 

When I was leaving the home improvement store Lowe's last weekend, I chatted with 2 of the girls in uniform selling cookies. I told them that I was a Girl Scout too and that I still have my sash loaded with badges. 
"You do?," one asked incredulously. 
"Yep and I bet you'll keep yours forever too," I said, "I love Girl Scouts, learning things with my friends, earning badges. I'm basically you, only a lot older." 
She giggled and said, "Cool." 

Giving young girls a chance to learn from trained adult leaders is a wonderful way to expand their world and help them learn from a variety of female role models. Have you ever thought about being a scout leader?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Barbara Flores' Magnificent Pear Print

Oh Mi, oh My, Barbara Flores, you know what I like! 

This information-as-art print by Barbara Flores has the color palette of an Italian painting and the subject matter of a sumptuous first course. Pears! 

I have small collection of pears in cement, wax and glass. I love their shape and agree that they should be admired. 

When I saw this poster on display in a Pacific Northwest horticulture booth at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, I knew I had to show you. I am pleased to tell you that this poster can be purchased directly from Barbara's website here, along with other gorgeous designs of hers. 

Bravo, Barbara, I love your work!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Collecting Chelsea: Having Tea

The funny thing about this picture is that is a great illustration of how my mom's input always seems to make my work a little bit better. 

I have been taking photos of my collections on my iPhone so that I can have a visual index of the pieces I own with me at all times. It has been so helpful and I recommend taking the time to do it.

I arranged some of my antique china (the pattern is called Chelsea or Grandmother's China) and at the spur of the moment it occured to me to spell out EAT with some Ikea cookies that I love. I thought it was hilarious and was ready to go. 

My mom looked at it and said "No, No! Spell: tea" which was remarkable easy because its the same 3 letters - duh. She was absolutely right, of course. 

TEA is perfect and here is the beautiful image for your enjoyment.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Friends Across the Miles: The Great Placemat Search of 2017

I did something unusual on Facebook last month. I asked for help with something silly. My facebook feed had too many political posts and not enough things to "like." I was in a entertaining quandry and I thought my friends would like the distraction. I was right. 

Here is my post:

Placemat A.P.B.: I know you're going to Target. Would you please swing by the placemat section? I need 2-4 more of these placemats. Cream with pink, gray, gold stitching. Only comes in one color way. Bought at Christmastime. Seattle-area has zero. I'll reimburse. Thanks!

We have a new house and are using a dining table that is new to us. It a beauiful table that can extend with leaves to seat the whole family. I know, that's a lot of placemats! When I originally found these placemats at Christmas, I bought 6. When I started to think about entertaining, I realized just how many mats I'd need. That is when I tried finding more of this pretty pink, gold and gray placemat and found that our local Targets were sold out. Target is everywhere and so are my Facebook friends, so it seemed like the natural audience to ask for help.  

It was neat to see the responses from across the USA. My college friend in Tennessee looked. My friend from Junior High looked. A girl from Junior League looked. It was so fun to see them check in and identify which Target location they visited and which "we" should therefore rule out. 

In the end, another friend of mine from Junior League in Michigan (that I haven't seen in at least 5 years BTW) named Carol offered to drive to any Target to get them, I just needed to point her in the right direction. So nice! I tracked down 4 placemats online, called the store and had them hold the placemats for Carol

She bought and mailed them to me lickety split. Fantastic. I noted that it was a job well done on the original Facebook post and that Carol had secured 8 perfect placemats for me, on clearance, no less! For a few weeks afterward, friends would ask me, "Hey, did you ever find those placemats?" 

They thought it was fun to help in a "not so important" search. If you are looking for something, I highly recommend asking your friends to keep an eye out. 

Your quest is my quest. Love, Anne

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Making the Perishable Permenant: Photograph Your Bouquets

I bought this stunning bouquet of tulips on April 27, 2015. I loved it then and I love it now - proof that my concept of using photography to "make the perishable permenant" is part of living a delightful life. 

It may be snowing here east of Seattle, but I can enjoy these parrot tulips all day long.

Sapphire Blue Caribbean Jewels: An Outdoor Plant Indoors

Have you ever wished that a plant was fake? Me neither, until now. 

I bought this striking flowering plant called Sapphire Blue Caribbean Jewels (Scilla peruviana) because of its unusual blue petals. I am in love with blue and I have never seen anything quite like this plant.

I know that it can't last here in my family room, but I am enjoying it while I can. The tag says that it is hardy to Zone 7 (ahem, jury is still out on what zone our new house is in - it keeps snowing!). I will plant it in a large container on the deck as soon as the weather permits.

I love real plants and would discourage decorating with anything artificial, but then I glance at this tablescape and wish that I could freeze it in time. 

I guess my message is, live a little. It doesn't make sense, but I will love this plant indoors for as long as I can and then I'll give it the environment it needs to thrive. 

Do come visit soon, it looks great!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Own Color Chart: Tea with Milk

The main table and chairs in our new house are actually a set my parents had from years ago. I have been calling the color of the wood butterscotch for months now, trying to shop for fabric to recover the chair cushions and to bring the overall decorating scheme together.

Yesterday, I walked past the table carrying a mug of tea and it became very clear that the color of this wood is Tea with Milk. Cute, eh?