Monday, March 19, 2018

Fishing Village:Seaside Decor at Michaels Highlights Leland

You know that I have spent my summers in the little resort town of Leland, Michigan, just like my mother. Well, imagine our surprise when we rounded the corner in Michaels Craft store (on the East-side of Seattle, no less) and saw this stack of crates! 

Our only explanation is that the designers must have Googled fishing village and found my favorite little town! My mom bought one of these cute crates. It corrals her magazines and reminds her of where she will be in a matter of weeks. Isn't it a wonderful coincidence?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Easter Display: Creating A Happy Kitchen Display

Tah-dah! I knew it would be cute, but it came out even better than I imagined. 

I bought the 2 drawers at Michaels Craft. I lined them with plastic sheeting, cut and taped to fit, then I set a plastic tray that covered 2/3 of the drawer inside. I protected the last section with a gallon Ziploc freezer bag (with the sides folded down) and planted the bulbs inside. I arranged the other bulbs in the tray and put some bagged top soil in the sparse areas with a measuring scoop. I watered gently and then tucked pieces of dry green moss (bought as a dried sheet of real moss at the craft store) to cover the plastic and prop up the bulbs. Love love love.

You might remember that originally, I thought that artificial moss squares would work (cutting slits and poking the real growth up through the moss), but instead I used dry clumps of real moss to fit into the empty spaces as needed.
The secret to this project is finding a store that sells bulbs about to bloom. The grocery stores in Seattle sell growing bulbs out front! I took this photo outside of a QFC (Kroger) in Sammamish. I'm in heaven out here - truly.

I planted pink tulips (on their way to blooming now), narcissus, tiny lt blue grape hyacinth (that were so small I wasn't sure they would produce a stalk inside - they did!) and a few white/yellow fluffy daffodil variations. I plan on replacing the spent bulbs as they fade with new bulbs on the cusp. And yes, I will stick the spent bulbs in the front garden bed with hopes for next year.

The cute ceramic bunnies in my display were from Cost Plus World Market about 10 years ago. I am so glad I bought them. Remember my motto when you are thinking about buying something seasonal, cute is forever.

#easterdisplay #floweringbulbs #springinside #livingarrangement #easterdecorations #kitchendesign

Monday, March 12, 2018

Primula Power

It's as easy as setting plants in a formal serving piece. I absolutely love this happy display on my kitchen table. The plants have quite a lot of dirt on them, so I didn't add soil or anything but a little water. For now, they love it and that's all I ask.

#springflowers #primulas #easterdecorations

Sunday, March 11, 2018

RAGS: 2018 Wearable Art Sale to Benefit YWCA's Domestic Violence Prevention & Intervention

Since I have my own accessories company focused on one-of-a-kind pieces, my new friend Stacie invited me to attend the 2018 RAGS Wearable Art Sale with her and suggested that I consider it as possible venue for my brand. Wasn't that nice of her? I certainly need to know about events like this in my new hometown.

As described on their website, "RAGS is a juried wearable art competition and sale that benefits the YWCA’s domestic violence prevention and intervention programs."

The show is held at the Larson Mercedes-Benz of Tacoma and the showroom was filled with 55 artists selling beautiful wearable art pieces - woven and felted scarves, carved wood necklaces, unique hats, paper crowns and handmade purses. I was very impressed with the quality and variety of the designs for sale, as well as the originality. I have seen a lot of art-level accessories for sale over the years and this selection was top notch.

#artist #charity #seattle #wearableart #rags 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Mountain is Out

What a spectacular sight! A friend took me tooling around Puyallup, WA today and Mount Rainier was covered in snow and as clear as a bell! I still long to go to that National Park and see the wildflowers in the summer.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Primulas: Brighten Your Table Instantly

I just wanted to take a minute to encourage you to buy primulas. They are an easy way to bring a happy touch into your home. On the West Coast, primulas have been available for a while now and they should start appearing at home improvement centers in the Midwest any time now. These happy-go-lucky plants are reasonable (often $1.25/plant) and they look so pretty in the center of the table.

I know that on the West Coast, these annuals are often planted in casual landscaping or in pots outdoors and have a long bloom time. I must confess that I do not buy them with the plan to keep them around. My wish is to enjoy them for 2-3 weeks of color and cheerful decoration. 

I brought out 4 neutral place mats, some bamboo-style silverware and 4 print napkins that my aunt gave me for Christmas. What makes the table look finished? 6 fresh primulas (still in their original plastic pots) resting on clear plastic saucers to protect the table. Voila!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Cigar Box Purse: Happy Customer

"Anne - Hi! I just wanted to reach out to let you know that the cigar box purse was a HUGE hit. I wore it to a Cuba themed gala. I thought a lot of ppl would have cigar box purses, but none did! I had more compliments than you can imagine. Here is a pic for you. One of the society magazines was more interested in a pic of the purse than they were of me. If it makes the magazine, I’ll send you a copy. Thanks for taking care of me for a Noche en Havana to support Phoenix Children’s Hospital!!!" 3/5/18
Oh happy day. I just heard from a recent Etsy customer that she LOVED her ANA cigar box purse and received lots of compliments at a charity gala. Doesn't she look fabulous?! How wonderful. I want to thank her for passing on the photo and the praise.

If you'd like to shop my collection of handmade cigar box purses, click here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Facebook: Women in Business: Boost Your Business

Today I attended a 2 hour training session tailored to women who want market their small business brand through Facebook. The information was fantastic.

Grace Hilty, from the Facebook Small Business Team, was the moderator and she was composed and as clear as a bell. The topics ranged from tips for taking better photos (white foam board can bounce light and marble contact paper can make your work surface look expensive when photographing food) and the importance of capturing people's attention in the first few moments of a LIVE video when the sound is off. Great information and we were only a few minutes into the program.

I appreciated that the content was part presentation, part video learning, so that the Facebook team could show us exactly what the screen looks like when you use the CreateAds tool or boost a post. 
What I found most valuable was that I can learn more about how to use the Facebook products for my business in these 3 places. It makes sense, but I didn't realize that they had organized a learning area and I know that I will benefit from it.

The event included a panel discussion with 3 local women business owners and they did a terrific job. Debbie Page (business mentoring), Claire Sumadiwirya (Bellden Cafe in Bellevue) and Jennifer Jedda (JJ Caprices (accessories). They gave real-life examples of how they use Facebook to connect with customers and target their advertising specifically to the demographic that generate sales for their business.

There are a lot of classes/seminars/events that promise results for small business people, but this session felt like it was truly loaded with helpful guidelines. As with any endeavor, the time and effort required to learn to use Facebook as a marketing tool rests solely on the business owner. For their part, I think Facebook has done a good job making the tools easy and user friendly. And with any worthwhile session, I felt antsy for it to finish so that I could get started. Nice work and thank you for providing this free training.

#shemeansbusiness #finddelight  #womeninbusiness