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!

Friday, October 21, 2022

Summer Colors in October in the Pacific Northwest

This is why I can't by mums. I mean, I buy mums but they are for my mom's patio. At my house, east of Seattle, it is October 21 and the roses and sweet peas are still producing bloom after bloom. We haven't had a freeze. The deer are being reasonable (for now). And I have more pink, yellow and dayglo pink buds coming. It's glorious, but it is not a Fall palette. Mums would look dumb. 

My sideboard, however, looks amazing with sweet peas and roses afire in a Target Magnolia Hearth & Home propagation vase. Fall is Relative.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

When Gourds Are Art: Gordon Skagit Farms

Last year, when I saw the gorgeous photos about family-run Gordon Skagit Farms that were published in the September issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine, I wrote "Gordon Skagit Farm Oct 1-31" in the sidebar of my calendar for October 2022. 

Do you ever do that? Make yourself notes so you don't miss the good stuff? Then I color copied the article and mailed it to my GardenComm friend who writes for the Seattle Times with a Post It saying, "We're going!" I like to let people know when I'm making big plans.
We went on a weekday afternoon to be able to take photos without the crowds. The selection is staggering. It's a wonderful to buy every color of unique gourd, squash and pumpkin right from the farm that grew them. We were told that they are experimenting with breeding too, so you may see some exclusive varieties when you visit. 
All of the displays are photo ready and I loved it. Why wouldn't you display your medium to its advantage? Honor the product. 
The specimens were beautiful and there were plenty of open areas to let your mind wander. There's room to think about what you really want in different displays at your home or business. It's terrific. And there are different color stories everywhere so you can consider everything. Here is a master list of pumpkin varieties to help you identify some favorites.
And bird house gourds! My mom and Dan have successfully converted a bird house gourd into a birdhouse - you can see it here. I bought my mom 2 gourds on this trip because I just couldn't decide.
There were other displays that made me want to question everything. The paintings (I assume created by Eddie because he mentioned sketching the large owl on Instagram) are incredible. This vignette (above) is worth the drive north to the Skagit Valley. To see the colors of the squash echoed up onto the canvas and then the trees and changing leaves reflecting down, with a false perspective of the farm going far into the distance blew my mind. I stood there thinking about how the squash, which Eddie grew, were as important to this painting as the paint. I wondered about a lot of things and none of it had to do with a pumpkin farm, which was weird. I was blown away and I didn't tell Eddie either, which is wrong. 

But I was in a family business, and I respect that the season to sell is S-H-O-R-T. He was busy with the day to day, and I could see that the gourds, squash and pumpkins the family had grown were the focus. There will be time to talk about art later. But holy cow, the art on site that supports the farm is stunning.
This year the farm opened to the public September 27 and was open through Halloween. We had a glorious day to walk around and explore. You must get out a pen and write "Gordon Skagit Farm" in the margin of your October 2023 calendar, ok?
I'd like to bring a large group of friends here for an afternoon next Fall. Wouldn't that be neat? Shopping the local nurseries and gift shops, having coffee and pie and then stopping here for heirloom pumpkins?
It's easy to make it sound good.
They have a small farm stand that sells local produce and honey too. I loved it and I am so pleased to have visited. I will be back again and again. Happy Fall everyone. And be sure to tell others when you find a treasure.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Lemon Slice Citrus Cookies

We have a contender! Have you been searching for an elegant and delicious lemon enough lemon cookie? I've found the winner.

And when you see how darling they are, you're interested, right? These are made with Nordic Ware citrus cookie stamps, using the recipe on the box, which technically uses lime but I swapped throughout for lemon. These cookies are so very good. 

My dear friend Amy gave me these for Christmas last year and said she bought them with the hope that we could make them together. Now I think that is wonderful. We went out to dinner at Saints & Scholars Pub first and then we came to my house to bake and glaze the cookies. I'd made the cookie dough ahead of time to give us a head start.

It was such a fun night and although it took us a few tries to get the dough to release from the cookie stamp, we got a whole batch successfully on the trays (we decided that the whole lemon slice was the most effective design) and they baked in no time. We decided to glaze each cookie on the back to make sure we preserved the perfect design on the front. 

This recipe is going to go in my "perfect" recipe folder - I loved the tender crumb and sharp lemon icing.

#nordicware #lemoncookies #lemondesserts #ilovelemon

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Saints & Scholars Irish Pub in Snoqualmie Impresses

Ribbon Cutting at Saints & Scholars 10-3-2022

I am thrilled to share an inside look at Saints & Scholars Irish Pub in Snoqualmie, Washington! Our dear friends, Amanda & Adrian spent the last 2.5 years pouring their heart and soul into this magnificent project and it is stunning. 
Amanda & Adrian share remarks with Mayor Katherine Ross

A view into the bar before the crowd streamed in

The ribbon cutting was at 2 o'clock and as everyone gathered, live bagpipe music brought a celebratory mood to the air. Mayor Katherine Ross spoke of the enormous challenge Amanda & Adrian had faced when taking on a new restaurant and bar. Little did anyone know that 6 months later we would face a global pandemic. The couple had always imagined expanding the kitchen to be able to serve a full menu and they definitely wanted to convert the space into an upscale Irish experience, but I don't think anyone thought that it could be this beautiful. Amanda is the secret sauce that that elevated this combination of tables, food and mood into an establishment to remember. And be drawn to again and again. 
A moment for a pint during an afternoon filled with bagpipe music

A drink with our neighbors Nicolette, Trevor and Dawn after the Ribbon Cutting

The Glendalough: Botanist Gin, Fresh Lemon, Cucumber, Basil, Lemon Agave

The custom millwork was made in Ireland.

Guinness & Shepherd's Pie and Fried Chicken Sandwich with Side Salad

Dan and I had the Shepherd's Pie and Fried Chicken Sandwich with a side house salad dressed in champagne vinaigrette. Yes, this is going to be very popular place. 

Look how beautiful this little hallway is! Each piece of art was chosen with care.

Amanda joined us for a little while to celebrate.

The Apothecary cabinet and botanical prints - a nod to the wonderful world of drinks and spirits.

The beautiful and bountiful selection of whiskey

Aqua lights are a mood

In the formal bar area, a stream of aqua light glows from beneath the bar to compliment the stained glass panels that were painted, fired and glazed in Ireland before being set in the wall at Saints & Scholars. The menswear suiting that lines the back of each leather barstool is a nod to the rich history of Irish tweeds and seeing this touch made my heart swell. 

Did you notice the hanging crystal decanters used as decorative lights in the front window? Do you remember where all of the beautiful cut glass crystal wine glasses came from when you were registering for your wedding? Ireland. These chandeliers bring a touch of jewelry to a beautiful ensemble called                Saints & Scholars Irish Pub. I insist you come and experience this 
bespoke Irish restaurant for yourself. 
Bailiey's Creme Brulee - someone's a genius

Bless Amanda, Adrian and their entrepreneurial spirit, for building this restaurant from scratch during a pandemic was a Master Class in design, planning and grit. Slainte!   

*Note: Saints & Scholars Irish Pub is wildly popular already and they are relying on Open Table to manage the reservations for dinner. You can check availability and reserve a table here.

#saintsandscholars #irishpub #irish #snoqualmie #snoqualmiewa #grandopening #newrestaurant #seattle #seattlerestaurants #seattlefoodie #finddelight

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Simple Goodness Sisters: Small Batch Syrups make Delightful Drinks

If I was able to put together this table at a GardenComm "Color in the Garden" event, then you know I'm well and fine. I've been away caring for my mom, but things are much better now and I'm happy to be able to backpedal a little and fill you in with the moments of delight that have happened while I've been away.

I want to highlight a lovely small batch syrup brand called Simply Goodness Sisters. They craft "garden-to-glass inspired syrups on our 10 acre cocktail farm in Buckley, Washington." Do you love it? I do! 

This lovely woman-owned company donated some of their luscious syrups to create botanical drinks to support a GardenComm event we hosted called "Color in the Garden." They sent us: Rhubarb Vanilla, Blueberry Lavender and Lemon Herb to combine with sparkling water to refresh everyone on a blazing August afternoon. We topped our drinks with edible flowers like nasturtiums and pansies and then offered blueberries, mint and herbs if attendees wanted to experiment even more. 

What I loved the most was the enthusiasm for the product. We had plenty of opportunities for them to try all 3 and they did! The ladies talked and drank and adorned their glasses over and over. It was a success x10. And the interestingly, they seemed to like all 3 equally. They were drawn to the Rhubarb Vanilla first. Then Blueberry Lavender. Then Lemon Herb. But they enjoyed them all and they were excited to hear that the company owns and operates a Soda Shop in Wilkeson, WA that make everything from milkshakes to mixed drinks. Sisters' Choice and it sounds delightful. Personally, I know I need to take a field trip. They are open through mid-December and then close until Spring. 

Thank you, Simply Goodness Sisters! 

#botanical #farmtoglass #pnw #drinksyrups #beverages #edibleflowers #gardencomm #region6


Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Northwest Flower & Garden Festival: Seattle Feb 9 - 13

Pinch me! It feels like an eternity since I could announce Seattle's Northwest Flower & Garden Festival, but in truth, they really only missed 1 year holding the show in person. Isn't it weird what the mind can perceive? 

All I know is that absence makes the heart grow fonder

If you are comfortable attending an event again (please note the safety guidelines), this is the show for you! House plants, garden inspiration, book signings, educational classes, art vendors. 

Happy Spring! P.S. We just bought a snow blower, as I live in the foothills of the Cascades, so I'll be ready for anything! ;-)

#nwfgf #seattle #spring #springfever  

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Northwest Flower & Garden Show: Emerge and Explore

I was able to attend the press tour for the Northwest Flower & Garden (before the show opens tomorrow), and I am so grateful to be back. If you read the health and safety protocols in place and feel ready to attend, I encourage you to come to the Washington State Convention Center and find a breath of Spring. The show is open Feb 9-13 in downtown Seattle. All show details, times and programming are at .


I loved this show garden by Urban Earth Nursery. They have so many layers of plants, woven trellis and edible aspects to their display. They've got my mind racing. In the image below, you can see they've layered in an old apothacary unit to add interest to the space. When you walk around to the front, you can't miss the welcoming picnic blanket emphasizing the theme of an edible garden. The show program states
"Urban Earth Nursery presents a whimsical, slightly futuristic, yet practical space featuring an abundance of stunning, edible plants. These unique perennial edibles provide a joyful, spring energy, perfect for those looking to grow their own produce while maintaining a beautiful aesthetic. Just be sure to admire this display with your eyes instead of your tastebuds!" 

I met Rooted In Landscape designer Smitha, who is a newcomer to the City Living design section (areas spotlighting ideas for apartment dwellers who may have balconies or may need to focus their gardening inside a small space). She had a fantastic entry loaded with ideas to add plants and great design to your work from home space. She featured a living chandalier over the couch and included a small modern fish tank to add style AND aquatic plants. Her #thelivingworkspace had humor and great design insight into how we really want to work at home. It was wonderful and I know you could get loads of great ideas working with her.
In another section of the massive convention center floor, I found a moment of calm admiring the sound of the water feature and magnificent trees in the Redwood Builders Landscaping show garden. I was forest bathing and wanted more. Please be sure to stop and admire trio of bonsai in the photograph below.
"Take a moment of silence to reflect in this tranquil garden. Named after the Japanese term for forest bathing, this serene display centers around a large and old ekianthus, water features and several bonsai. Destress and listen to the sounds of the stream or enjoy natural reflections in the pond while gazing at the expertly pruned bonsai set in stones and lava rocks." - NWFGF 2022 program
Of course I instantly loved this compact City Living display (below), "A Pacific Northwest Ode to Hygge" by Sunrise Design. The tonal colors of birch, flesh and cream offset the lush green so beautifully. Don't miss the beautiful macrame wall hanging that holds a plant in its pocket.
After we got our quick preview of the show floor, my GardenComm (formerly Garden Writers of America) colleagues and I took turns getting photos at the Hartley-Botanic greenhouse, which was loaded with orchids contributed by the Northwest Orchid Society. 
I'm intentionally ending with this photograph because it is not lost on me just how much WORK putting on a show of this magnitude is. I applaud the men and women who donned a mask, rolled up their sleeves and showed up. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The world is slowly moving out of the pandemic and it requires risk and heart to believe that the public will return and enjoy what we once held dear. This is the first Northwest Flower & Garden show since Covid 19 sent shock waves through the country and world and I am so grateful to be back. If you read the health and safety protocols in place and feel ready to attend, I encourage you to come to the Washington State Convention Center and find a breath of Spring. The show is open Feb 9-13 in downtown Seattle. 

All show details, times and programming are at

#nwfgs #nwfgf #gardenshow #seattleevents #gardens #plantlover #gardencomm #worththewait #growcookeat