Thursday, March 23, 2023

Makerspace: Bellevue Library Offers So Much

My focus on delight has included highlighting things that are beautiful and interesting. In this case, it is a location where the beautiful and interesting can be created.

In the last 10 years, the equipment available to make things has exploded. There are 3D printers that make something by printing with plastic, Laser cutters that can engrave wood & acrylic, Cricut-style machines that cut adhesive vinyl, leather, balsa wood, Sewing machines that can embroider intricate designs. My mind has been swirling with the possibilities. The trick is knowing what you want machine would suit you best, exploring how to use it and considering if you'd like to own one.

When I read that the Bellevue, Washington library had a Makerspace available to adults and kids I was very interested to see how it worked. For my purposes, I wanted to see a Cricut and how it worked and ask about what was required to use a laser cutter. I made a reservation for the Open Lab and spent 2 hours investigating the process.       
The staff librarian was very helpful and provided me with a laptop and headphones to log into the Cricut Online Training website so I could create an account and watch a few tutorials as I compared the video to the machine in front of me. They provide scrap vinyl and encourage attendees to plan their projects ahead of time to maximize their lab time. 

I really just wanted to be an observer and I was really interested to see a young mother and her 2 children arrive and she start using the equipment at the next table immediately. At the same time, a middle age man was designing on Adobe Creative Cloud software in one glass room, while another patron was using the laser cutter with supervision in another glass room. It was so great to see these expensive and complicated tools available to the public for free.

Anyone with drive and a library card could teach themselves how these machines work and get some hands on experience. 

I concluded that I did not have a future in cutting vinyl or wood. There are simply not enough projects that I want to make that would warrant my mastering a new machine. Yet I got a great explanation and could see it all up close, which I appreciated. I learned that I should become comfortable with Adobe Illustrator (and perhaps design what I want to print ahead of time) if I decide to pursue laser cutting. This is what I needed to know! 

Always be on the lookout for special opportunities to explore new technology or crafts. I may not be a regular patron at this library Makerspace, but I can tell people all about how it might work for them. 

#makerspace #beautifulandinteresting #finddelight #bellevuewa #technology

Monday, March 20, 2023

First Day of Spring: Embrace the Power of Primulas

This is the best photo I have taken all week. What I love about this display is that this QFC grocery store is so confident that their customers will swarm them for primulas, that they've put out the maximum number of plants possible. It's almost a many can you buy at once? They are bright, healthy and exactly what you want. It's Spring and this is a Moment of Delight!

#springflowers #primulas #colorfulflowers #yellowbluepink #grocerystore #finddelight #indoorplant #outdoorplant #springtime 

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Cigar Box Purse: Upcycled Art

I am looking forward to spending time making cigar box purses this week and next. I had a week of the Northwest Flower & Garden show and then a wonderful week showing my niece around Seattle and now I can think about making handbags. My delightful life has a lot of categories. When you get a chance to make, what do you reach for first?

Today I am going to upload a few new purses to the Etsy shop and start the custom fabric lining on some new boxes. I've got a spring in my step!

Do you like this photo? When I was first starting out, I sold my purses in summer art shows in Michigan. I had this image made into a 2 x 3 foot poster to hang in my tent. It was so dramatic and beautiful.

#upcycled #wearableart #etsy #finddelight #annereeves  #cigarboxpurses #springgreen

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

International Day of Women: Unexpected Delight

That's me with a new Girl Scout shirt in this delightful flashback photo. Have you ever had someone else's organization project benefit you? Out of the blue, my dear elementary school friend Ann (above right), messaged me that our mutual friend was organizing things and came across a bunch of terrific photos from our days as Brownies and Girl Scouts. Last week, we sent messages back and forth as we tracked down emails for some of our old friends and then forwarded the photos to them too. The pictures made us so happy we wanted them to see them too. Delight was expanding.
I scrolled through pictures of our trip to a horse camp, the time we cooked hot dogs on a stick, a fashion show, singing songs and an exciting ferry ride to Boblo Island. We had wonderful years together and I feel so thankful for all of the learning experiences and just plain fun moments I had because of the Girl Scouts and its volunteer women leaders. 

Today was the first chance I had to tell you about my surprise gift of old photos and it happens to be the International Day of Women. It feels like serendipity that I can share these photos today and appreciate the first women leaders I saw. 

Delightful Idea: Try pulling out a few old photographs and then sending a digital copy of the photo to whoever would appreciate an unexpected trip down memory lane. If the photo is not digital, you can use an app like Photomyne for an easy way to scan old pictures with a smartphone and then retain a digital copy.

#internationaldayofwomen #girlscout #womenleaders #photos #lifelongfriends #shareoldphotos #tellsomeoneyoumissthem #tellsomeoneyouremember #finddelight 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Sosio's Fruit & Produce: Kindness & Mushrooms Are Having A Moment

When I was at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival Feb 15-19, I posted all kinds of content on my @FindDelight Instagram account, and one trend was that mushroom are having a moment. They were all over the show as cement garden ornaments, or wooden decorations for your home. They were imbedded in logs to grow in your kitchen or the subject of books for sale along side mushroom notecards. Mushrooms are having a moment for sure, so I wanted share this photograph of them in their original edible form (wink). This beautiful selection is available at Sosio's Fruit & Produce at Pike Place Market right now.  

I'd like to tell you a little story about Sosio's Fruit & Produce, if I may. They showed my family a simple kindness that I will never forget. When my mom had a terrible fall last March, my two brothers flew in from Detroit. Only one family member could enter the hospital per day due to Covid restrictions, so while I was at the hospital my brothers wandered around Seattle hoping for good news. One brother struck up a conversation with Mike of Sosio's and explained how they were certainly visiting Seattle, but not really sightseeing, just at loose ends, worrying about my mom in the hospital. My brother was surprised to see Mike start picking out plums, apples, grapes and putting them in a big bag as a gift for the family. Mike told him to have me eat lots of fruit to stay strong as I went in and out of the hospital at this trying time. 

It was lovely and unexpected and certainly welcome when I was on fumes. Later I made sure to write a thank you to Mike and share that my mom was out of the woods and that my brothers had flown home relieved. 

I can't tell you how wonderful it felt to find Sosio's in Pike Place Market, buy some plums and grapes knowing that life was so much better almost exactly a year later. 

#thankful #kindness #pikeplacemarket #seattle #beautyofeverydaylife

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Shopping the Seattle Northwest Flower & Garden Festival: Brocante Beach House

I fell hook line and sinker for the world Kim & Dino Medica of The Brocante Beach House created at this year's Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. They had a booth in the vintage market section and created a City Living Display named, "Coastal French Cottage." 

I was talking with Kim and she said that they opened their shop on Alki Beach during the pandemic. I told her that we would be sure to visit this Spring when we started visiting the Alki farmer's market again. I can't wait. I mentioned that the mannequin that I had photographed (above) was missing, and she told me that a woman bought it for her daughter who would be wearing it for her wedding on the coast of Oregon this spring! They arranged the whole transaction on the phone from the show and Kim was excited to tell the bride that the dress had been made for the Seattle Opera. How glamourous!

You can see my plate on display (above). I bought two of these gorgeous blue French plates that I can layer in with some of my other dishes. Note to self, plant more medium blue grape hyacinth. They are everything.

I also bought several bundles of pussy willow branches wrapped in brown paper. They were so beautiful and elegant I simply couldn't resist.

"Coastal French Cottage" in City Living section

I absolutely laughed out loud when I read, "I love you. In French" As if she really wants you to know it, and then tags on a way to make it even better. I can see this being used a lot of brilliant ways and I'm here for it. I love the old cloth. I love the block white letters. I love the dirt. It's absolutely great.

It's so great that it took me a while to see the rest of the display. The lion with the hat askew. The cream tin canister planted with blue grape hyacinths. The fact that the dresser has different knobs and pulls all the way down. 

The artist's painting on the easel and a palette smeared with paints - wonderful. A champagne bucket filled with moss -love it. Vibrant double white daffodils sprouting from the cabinet drawer. It all adds up to great visual storytelling.  

#nwfgs #cityliving #springvibesonly 


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Nature Perfect at Northwest Flower and Garden Festival 2023: Aquaponics in the House

A short video of the stream in action

I want you to really appreciate what Nature Perfect Landscaping & Design created at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival with a show garden inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater including a greenhouse built by Northwest Green Panels. This incredible building puts the beauty of an aquaponics system on display. Aquaponics is a form of agriculture that combines raising fish in tanks while growing plants from the resulting enhanced water. "In aquaponics, the nutrient-rich water from raising fish provides a natural fertilizer for the plants and the plants help to purify the water for the fish."

The fish live in the water inside the greenhouse (above)

Nature Perfect Landscaping designed it so a stream could runs into the green house to a koi fish pond and then that water would flow under the greenhouse floor over to the hydroponic area where plants could thrive on the nutrient-rich water while growing in the greenhouse. It's interesting, creative and a dynamic approach to harnessing the power of byproducts. I almost wish there was an audio narration running inside the greenhouse, as I'm not sure that everyone who toured it understood what they were seeing. Wow. Every elementary school science class should see this as part of a field trip - it opens your eyes to the possibilities and it was built with intention. I loved it.

 The plants are growing hydroponically in the enriched water (above)

I was really taken with the beauty and ingenuity of this show garden. The style was true to the Pacific Northwest with the beautiful evergreens, native plants and bronze koi fish sculpture. 

#aquaponics #greehouse #hydroponics #nwfgs #ingenuity 

Monday, February 20, 2023

2023 Seattle Northwest Flower and Garden Festival Show Garden Spotlight

I want to shine a spotlight on a few exceptional show gardens at this year's Northwest Flower and Garden Festival in Seattle. I loved these 2 gardens for their inspirational qualities that urged the viewer to feel transported.

Show Garden: "Evoke Your Inner Yellowstone"

*photo above by Erica Brown Grivas

Show Garden: "Evoke Your Inner Yellowstone" was inspired by the idea of a Yellowstone campsite combined with the luxury of the Snoqualmie Lodge by Method Hardscapes. I loved their interpretation of Montana chic, from the the large canvas tent with a full bedroom outfit made cozy with a Pendleton prints to the soft glow of light coming from the natural antler chandelier. Pour my coffee in a tin cup, I'm staying.

The entertaining area was grounded by a massive pergola and featured cowhide chairs pulled up to a dinner table perfect for a family dinner under the stars. A pot simmered over a "smoking" wood fire and the atmosphere really made me believe that Method Hardscapes understood the Pacific Northwest aesthetic.  

Show Garden: Afterglow by Redwood Builders Landscaping and Bonsai Northwest wants viewers to "step into the afterglow of disaster and appreciate the light and life that comes next." The show garden includes charred wood reminiscent of forest fires and the honors the resilience of nature. The square drop water screen was visually dramatic, yet gentle on the ear, which was an interesting juxtaposition. Sculptural bonsai and dramatic rock placement kept attendees standing transfixed. 

The scale and drama of these two gardens made me want to highlight them first. I promise there is more to come! I'll show you more of the show gardens in another post. 

#nwfgs #seattle #gardenshow #finddelight 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

My Mom & Seattle Northwest Flower and Garden Festival

It's taking me longer to write blog posts these days. In my mind they burst like firecrackers, but getting them past the keyboard seems to take longer these days.

So I want to stop and tell you that this year, for me, the best part about the Northwest Flower and Garden Show was that my mom could attend. She had a frightening fall last year at this time and I wasn't sure about anything. But here she is, happy and enjoying it all and I am amazed. And thankful.

Dan took the day off work to enjoy the show with us and help with with logistics and we had a really great day.

Can you see us in the mirror? This show garden by Hello Garden and we loved all of her sweet entertaining touches - silverware, plates and platters mixed around her display garden. It was darling. 

Hello Garden added grow lights to this vintage cabinet to create a gardener's dream set up. We could all take a page from her book and do this! Isn't it awesome?
Aren't the plantings beautiful? I must plant coral tulips and white crocus.
My mom insisted I zoom in and photograph just the coral primulas (photo above)

Anyhoo, 11 months ago I was scared to death, yet here we are walking among the flowers and buying seeds to plant this spring. This is the beauty of every day life.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Blooms & Bubbles: Slow Flowers at 2023 Northwest Flowers & Garden Festival

I enjoyed watching Debra Prinzing's Slow Flowers workshop Blooms & Bubbles. Tyra Shenaurlt of the W.W. Seymour Conservatory taught this workshop on building a living arrangement with spring plants. 

Slow Flowers doyenne and author of 10 books and her acclaimed Slow Flower podcast, Debra Prinzing welcomed the thrilled registrants to the plant arranging demonstration and gave a warm introduction to horticulturist Tyra Shenaurlt. 

Everyone seems so very engaged and happy. I think it's great to have additional for-purchase activities for interested attendees at garden shows like this. I would happily plant an herb pot or plant a wire head with succulents on top - it would be fun!

The pot, plants and supplies were arranged at each place, along with a pot of dirt to pull from in the center of the table. The attendees listened to each step Tyra explained and then you could hear the swell of chatter and laughter as everyone relaxed and got to it. I think the show would benefit from more workshops like this because everyone really liked bringing the aspirational ideas of the show down into their own two hands. The project wasn't hard, but it was satisfying. And that is what people want, to feel like they accomplished something in a space of time and have something to show for it. Win-win.    

#nwfgs #bloomsandbubbles #slowflowers #finddelight #seattle #indoorgarden

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

GardenComm Friends at Northwest Flower & Garden Festival

It is such a joy to be able to participate in the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival again this year. I met my dear friends Mary-Kate Mackey (burgandy) and Marinne Binetti (cream) in the press room at this show in 2016

Erica Brown Grivas (coral) and I got to know each other through GardenComm at one of our Regional Connect Meetings just a few years ago and we have talked a mile a minute ever since! She is a phenomenal National Director for our GardenComm Region VI, which covers a vast portion of the Western United States and has been so great to work with.

We all missed being able to see our garden industry friends & colleagues during the pandemic and this photo was taken after the 2023 Press Tour - the start of an incredible week in Seattle.
While I was organizing my photographs, I kept noticing this photograph in my garden show pics and thinking that our group shot (above) matched it. You decide, did we dress for...Spring Vibes Only?

#nwfgs  #springvibesonly #finddelight #gardencomm

Monday, February 13, 2023

Northwest Flower and Garden Festival: A Gardener's Delight

As I slowly get my bearings in the Pacific Northwest, I still have a lot of questions when it comes to the garden. It was exciting to move to a more temperate zone (from 6a to 8b) but my new-construction house means my blank slate garden has gotten softer edges and a bit of texture, but not really changed all that much in 5 years. I now know that roses love it in pots here, so I can take advantage of the sun at the front of the house and have enormous healthy rose bushes.  

Where do I flush out ideas for our future? The Northwest Flower & Garden festival. My experience with the GWA (Garden Writers of America, now known as GardenComm) began in the show’s press room. As a blogger since 2007 and a flower enthusiast, I was thrilled to cover this famous show. I have self-published 3 books that highlight my love of flower arranging, gardening, edible flowers and floral portraits.  My mission as a writer and photographer is to dissolve the barrier between busy American women who get their information and inspiration through their phones and the intimidating “you-need-to-know-a-lot” world of flowers.

I was carrying one of my DELIGHT magazine bags (the Rose issue) and it caught the eye of Marianne Binetti and Mary-Kate Mackey. We all started talking and the next thing I knew, they were introducing me to everyone in the press room (loads of GWA members, of course) and encouraging me to come to the GWA Connect Meeting the next night. I met a whirl of members who echoed a message of “I’m so glad you joined!” They were supportive of my work and how I fit into the new definition of garden communicating.

It’s been 7 years later now and I feel like I’ve found long-lost cousins. We speak the same language and love the same things. I walk into the Washington Convention, and I am back at a botanical family reunion, hugging those I’ve gotten to know better through Facebook and introducing myself to names I only know on-screen. It is fantastic.

I want you to buy two tickets to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show (early bird pricing is available thru 2/15) call a friend and attend the show. You will be inspired and delighted. I promise. Continue reading to see just what the show is like.

From my perspective, the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival covers the intersections of all the things I love. Cakes that look like birch trees; air plants arranged like wallpaper and blown glass vegetables that add visual vitamins to any kitchen. It is impossible not to be inspired. Attend free lectures. Watch experts compete in “Container Wars” over the best way to make a showstopping planted container.

At the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival, I start my week with the media tour hosted by Marianne Binetti.  Trying to absorb and photograph each of 18 grand show gardens in a manner of minutes is difficult. We all appreciate Marianne’s insight and coaching to keep our lenses focused on the important elements and story-telling details. This year’s theme is “Spring Vibes Only,” and I can’t wait to see the gardens. Built by some of the region’s best designers and landscape professionals, these show gardens are a breath of fresh air.  The outside is brought indoors. Green grass, blooming trees, water flowing, camellias flowering and a carpet of bulbs in bloom – it is the reassurance of spring that we all need in February.

I always take one day of the show to walk the floor with my mom. We admire the show gardens, search for seeds, investigate a vertical aero-growing system and always buy beeswax candles. When we stop for lunch, we always end up sharing a table with other plant lovers and these native gardeners give great advice. It is the perfect way to spend a winters day and I hope I’ve enticed you to join us this year. I know you’ll find delight.

#plantlover #gardener #northwestflowerandgardenfestival #springvibesonly #seattleevents #horticulture #seattle #garden #color #planning #livingwall

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Seattle Times: Secret Hideaways and Craft Rooms

Did you see my office featured in the weekend section of The Seattle Times article "Personal Spaces: From secret hideaways to craft rooms to parent retreats and kid studios - creating a personalized space" by Erica Browne Grivas? You can read the article as a PDF here.

As an artist I love to create, but I also love to talk about color, inspiration and delight. I've been writing and speaking about Finding Delight for years and the truth is it boils down to ideas like the Beauty of Everyday Life; The Power of Cute; Getting your Visual Vitamins. It was fun to be explain how my creative space came to be and how I make it work for me. 

I hope you enjoy looking around my blog and getting to know me. If you are on a computer, you can see the sidebar, which is loaded with links to articles about my Christmas traditions, Cookie Baking, or how I started designing Cigar Box Purses.
You can see the 3 books I've written (Moments of Delight, Paris:  Delight in the City of Light and Finding Delight) and listen to a podcast interview. Thank you for coming! 

My Instagram is @FindDelight

#seattletimes #seattlerefined #Seattleartist #momentsofdelight #cigarboxpurses #homeoffice #zoomworthy #creativespace #lectureseries #delightclasses 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Vintage Christmas Mantel

I am in a whirl this holiday season - decorating and planning for the season. I hope you are enjoying the hustle bustle too. I wanted to share this image of our mantel - it looks so sweet with my vintage Putz houses arranged in a village with a swag of ornament below. The house colors are in the same happy shades that the vintage Shiny Brite ornaments were made in and my whole first floor is leaning toward a whimsical jelly bean color scheme right now. That's what happens and I'm embracing it. I found the yellow Shiny Brite balls at an antique show this November and I love them! They really liven the palette up.

#vintagechristmas #vintage #shinybrite #retro #vintageornaments #putzhouses #collecting #christmas  

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Hummingbird Heating Pad

We live in the Pacific Northwest where the Anna hummingbird lives year-round. I love that they stay, but they also need our help to be able to do so. There are no food sources and they rely on feeders as far as I can tell. I have a heated feeder (so the liquid sugar water won't freeze) and I also wrap it with Incandescent Christmas lights because they give off a faint amount of heat with the light. 

I've found that the hummingbirds will sit on the lights and use them like little heating pads. They don't sit on the light when it is warm out - only when it is below freezing. See my photo (above) and say hello.

#hummingbird #annahummingbird #winterweather 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Great Junk Hunt in Monroe WA

We went to The Great Junk Hunt! It is such a great antique and vintage wares show - and the shows in November are focused on the holidays. We had a lot of fun looking at booth after booth of vintage treasures all in one spot.

You have to be ready to use your imagination. The booths vary from curated displays of housewares all in one colorway to a true mishmash of treasures (above). I didn't buy a lot at this show but I felt very inspired to get out my own collections and really go for it when I'm displaying this year.

I loved how this swag of antique jingle bells looked tied onto twine on the mantel. It was a charming touch in a very pretty color story. If you get a chance to visit one of the Great Junk Hunts on the West Coast, do it! The vendors are terrific and we had a fantastic morning together bouncing ideas of one another.

#greatjunkhunt #antiquing #upcycling #vintagechristmas #vintage #designereye

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Book Review: Paris: Delight in the City of Light

I can't help but share this kind review of my book that was posted on Amazon. Thank you, J. Wagner!

Subtle Pleasures of Paris
- J. Wagner on Amazon

"It's been 10 years since we've honeymooned in Paris and this softcover travelogue by Anne Reeves reminds us of the precious and personal memories that make the City of Lights so special. Most travel guides provide the standard information and photos of famous sites (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, bridges over Seine bridges, etc.). While these sites should certainly be on everyone's itinerary, this book captures the sublime moments that stick with you over the years - window displays of pastries, baubles or ribbons, rooftop panoramas from Sacre Coeur, a whimsical pink cottage off the Champs Elysees, the perfect brunch laid out on your courtyard table, the endless offerings of the perfect dessert. The missing narrative of the opening scenes in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, this book fills a unique niche you won't find elsewhere. 

Leafing through Paris-Delight in the City of Light is like spending the afternoon on the couch with your best friend, and being treated to her photos, tidbits and tales of her recent trip to Paris. Each page has bright photos and personal captions, sure to trigger memories in those who have visited, and likely spurring motivation to travel for those who have not. A perk of website addresses for the hotel, haberdasheries and pastry shops is appreciated and will be put to use. Leave the heavy lifting of travel planning to a Rick Steves or Michelin guide; pack this lightweight coffee table book in your carry-on to guide you to the more subtle delights of Paris." 

What's Gaby Cooking: Meeting Gaby Dalkin

I was a wonderful to meet Gaby, author of Take It Easy: Recipes for Zero Stress Deliciousness, but the cookbook signing event itself could have been so much more fun. When you decide to go to an event, you want things to be great and this event was lacking the extras that become the talking points you tell people after a great outing. I know that they didn't plan on having Gabi cook or talk to the crowd, but I would have loved to shop a table of her favorite kitchen products. They could have had little place card markers with Gabi quotes "I've had a similar Crate & Barrel bowl set since I got married" or "I actually keep 3 sets of these measuring spoons in my kitchen to keep up with my big batch cooking." Something personal and unique to Gabi/Crate & Barrel and that we hadn't seen before.

I have followed What's Gaby Cooking for about 2 years now, ever since my cousin Carol served her oh-so delicious Avocado Peach Summer Salad. I read her Instagram posts and try her recipes all the time. It was big news when she announced Seattle's University Village as one of the few stops on her book tour. My friend Darcie and I made plans to go and then I found out that the Junior League of Seattle Sustainer group was going to attend this event as a social night. Fun! 

I knew people all over the enormous line of Gabi's fans, which was great, but why did we have to wait outside the store for 2 hours, instead of shopping as we waited (maybe with a number?) inside the store loaded with new holiday merchandise? It was puzzling to all of us.

It was great to meet Gaby. She was so kind and relaxed. My friends and I shared a few moments talking with her and she was wonderful.  

It was fine, but it could have been so much more fun if we could have had the store's new holiday product to admire and discuss while we waited. The cookbook looks great and I can't wait to try out her new recipes. 

And guess what was just announced? Gabi is going to have her own tv cooking show called My Best Friend's Kitchen! The promo was released on her social media channels, and it looks very well done. I can't wait. Good luck, Gabi!