Friday, August 26, 2016

It's Mostly Honey: A Journey Through the Airport TSA

A day in the life of our move: 

When Dan was home, I gave him a postal priority box packed tight with treasures marked "suitcase." I told him, "It's mostly honey." 

He forgot and put it in his carry on. He called later to say he's now known at TSA as the honey whisperer. They couldn't believe that the box was full of jar after jar of honey (from Paris' La Maison du Miel and the Paris Opera House, from the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria B.C. and from Beekman 1802). 

When they got to the beautiful jar of lavender buds mixed in white sugar, they relented and told him he could check it. Do you remember my Honey Bar
Sometimes it's hard to move delight.

#TSA #moving

Sunday, August 21, 2016

All is Well

I haven't blogged in a bit, but I want you to know that everything is fine. I am in the basement of the house I've lived in for 19 years, packing away my treasures for the big move to Seattle. 

What have I found? Cigar box purse handles just waiting to be made into an ANA Design. Nordic Ware pans in every shape imaginable. And photos, photos, photos, like this beauty from our stop at La Fromagerie in London. I will resurface as soon as possible, I promise!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sequim: Lavender Festival and Blackberry Forest Farm

We went to our first lavender festival in Washington and it did not disappoint. Though as I read through the handful of pamphlets I picked up, I realize that it is far larger than I thought and we barely scratched the surface.
There is a large and popular Lavender Festival each year in Sequim, Washington (Save the date: July 21-23, 2017). We arrived in the heart of lavender country around 3 o'clock after a late picnic at Fort Worden. There is a lavender farm tour driving guide (click the link) that I found very helpful. Would you believe there are 7 lavender farms in Sequim!
We arrived at Blackberry Forrest Farm and it was everything we had hoped for. Beautifully tended lavender mounds in full bloom, dried lavender buds and products for sale under a tent and the chance to cut fresh lavender ourselves  - $5 to fill a purple grocery-size plastic bag. What a great price. I bought enough to make 3 large bundles, which I tied together and have drying in Seattle. They will be ribbon ready when I get back and I can hang one on the wall and give 2 away. I was so happy to be able to capture the photo (above) without any people in it, as there were families taking selfies in every direction.
After our farm visit, we drove over to downtown Sequim so that we could spend some time at the outdoor arts & crafts street fair. It was a gorgeous day and I love to see what local artists are up to. I saw some interesting jewelry where the jeweler had trapped lavender buds inside a glass pendant. I was hoping to see even more artistic innovation at other booths, but it was not to be. There were many lavender-related products (culinary lavender, bath products, bulk lavender buds for sachet-making and even lavender-inspired print fabrics) and the attendees were happy to be out and about on a summer day. Did you take time to marvel at the small lavender bundles arranged in a circle in one of the photos above? A great option for those who aren't stopping at a U-Cut farm. 

Do you remember when I used flower petals to enhance my own watercolor painting? I should do more of that! 
My favorite photo of the day was this beautiful antique cart loaded with large fresh lavender bundles. Needless to say, the whole experience in Sequim was fragrant and lovely.

Upon reading the brochures, I realized later that there are 2 other destinations that host pay-to-get-in events the same weekend - Purple Haze Daze and a 2-farm event Olympic Lavender/Jardin de Soleil festival.

What I was missing in the street fair/farm visit (cooking demonstrations, make a lavender wand lesson etc.) seem to be offered at these other two events. 

I love a Lavender Festival and I am sure that we will find ourselves back in Sequim during lavender season before long. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sunset on Lake Michigan

The sky was so interesting for this sunset! It had every shade from purple and denim blue to apricot, lemon yellow and black.  

This is a late July sky on the 45th parallel overlooking Lake Michigan. We are the Great Lakes state and we aren't kidding. This is just about the same view during the daytime. Magnifique!
Yes, the state of Washington is beautiful, but Michigan is pretty darn gorgeous too. I am lucky that I can spend time in both.