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Friday, December 30, 2011

Best Calendar for 2012

One of my favorite new calendars for 2012 ......Mates for Life........from one of my favorite Passionflower paper goods vendors....Screech Owl Designs.....(see a previous post about Screech Owl by clicking here)....
Ms. Screech Owl herself (whom I had the pleasure of meeting last year at the gift show where we had a pretty interesting discussion about business ethics and loyalty and when it's OK to switch teams and how to best go about that) recently got married - which perhaps in part explains her choice of subject for the 2012 calendar.   Read all about her interesting and unconventional  wedding in this Sunday NYTimes post by clicking here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Getting a Little Crafty with a Homemade Journal

Some holiday gifts I made for my nephew and his mom.....hope they like them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Introducing the Chia Angel

 Look what I brought back from Mexico with me....the little angel of the chia,  distant relative of the famed chia pet which has spawned everything from chia mac to chia Mr T.... I couldn't wait to plant my little piece of folk pottery.

  I think it's fair to say, one can fall in love with inanimate objects.  Because I am completely smitten watching the chia angel grow.  She's been watching over the holiday table.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Blessings on My Meal

The house was all festive and sparkly for Christmas Dinner.  See it above in it's half finished stage...my foolproof trick:  hang garland everywhere. Then the, not so foolproof but definitely tricky, selection of the meat portion of the holiday meal.  And so it was rather capriciously, but not completely capriciously because I had had my favorite holiday meal at Sfizio and it was porky and delicious,  that I settled on  pork shoulder (bone in) and then learned everything I could about it....I quizzed the man at Longs who assured me that if I cooked it just right the bone would practically fall out on it's own.  Stephanie Pearl from Marche was gracious enough to give me an impromptu consult while she checked out  at the Passionflower counter.  I read up on it in the Joy. And then, because I was still dreaming of that great meal I had at Sfizio, I roasted squashy type vegetables with cumin and honey.  There was kale salad, and dill beans, braised cabbage with walnuts and a Territorial Vineyards 2006 Pinot Noir among other good wine picks..  The pork turned out great, though it was touch and go for a while there.  I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to enjoy the food bounty of the Pacific Northwest, to have so many great chefs in our midst who are so accessible,  and to have so many food loving friends with which to enjoy all these things. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Christmas Eve Tradition......

I give away all the last of the wreaths to employees, neighbors, and  friends.  I let the last few straggler Christmas Eve customers come in and make a purchase after we have closed.  They invariably tend to be other merchants who have been busy in their stores all season.  I load whatever is left into my tiny rig.....there's always some garland and a wreath and lots of candles.  Then I pick up my dad at the airport,  go home and decorate.....because Christmas Eve is when the holidays begin for me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Amanita Mushroom Makes a Magical Wreath

Ha!  I'd never seen this one before -a holiday wreath made from the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom via Studio 391 Gallery in Mendocino.....Apparently , some are claiming Christmas traditions as harking back to Siberian shamans, high on amanita  flying through the woods with their reindeer spirits.  Or something like that....you can read about it here..   Or go here and scroll to the end where you will find this theory completely refuted.  Whatever the truth, there is something magical about coming upon these fungus in the woods (it's only happened to me a few times while out picking chanterelles up in the Mt Hood National Forest) and I love how they are celebrated here in this wreath.  (P.S.  They look fun in a wreath but don't ever try to eat them)......

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Please and thank you

Here's a funky little card I made last year using a page from a tattered up version of the Joy of Cooking and a red ink stamp pad..this is part of my ongoing quest to become friends with the color red...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tis the Season

People don't make yourself crazy or exhausted or stressed out with Christmas decorating.  Thing of it as time to light a lot of candles and bring the boughs of greenery into your homes and make everything smell good. Time to pull out a few time worn treasures from their boxes and bring a new treasure or two home. Time to bask in the warmth of the season and put a wreath by the door to welcome all who might enter.   We're chock full of  beautiful wreaths.....and this year we're fond of playing off the brown of the cones with lots of rusts, and persimmon, and oranges and ruby tones.....Click here to find out more about the history of wreaths.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa's Stockings

Our lately best selling sock, over the knee ( which means they keep you warmer plus they look great over a boot), from In2green......more warming thoughts from yours truly on a cold winter morning.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A little something to amuse you on a cold winter morning.

One of our best selling stocking stuffers....handknit finger puppets - organic cotton and fair trade.We searched far and wide for the best finger puppets out there and these are them...they hail from Peru where the tradition of handwork be it weaving, knitting, or crocheting is alive and well. I had always heard that most of the knitters in Peru are men and this fabulous post about textiles in Peru seemed to confirm that.  Check it out here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

There's Something About Tillandsias.....

How is it that tillandsias in all their earthy, organic, tropical strangeness can look so good with everything?  Even something frilly and romantic and victorian like this all glass box?
Click here to see something else we've done with tillandsias....and here and here and here too ! Oh here too.
Okay I just can't get enough of them....And we have a great selection right now.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Notes from a Conference

There were days way back when, say in the first decade of my career as a florist, when I just couldn't get enough.  When I was drinking in everything that I could.  When I planned to take over the world, or at least Eugene, with flowers as art. 
I was cleaning out some papers the other day and came across notes from a floral conference I attended during those thirsty times.  Here's some excerpts from that conference with my commentary in parentheses- "draping flowers are in the subservient position, the position of service, bending over and touching the ground.......read more rumi ",....".cultural roots can serve as inspiration (hmm...haven't quite been there).....source out hens and chicks and tillandsias (OMG I can barely remember the days before tillandsias- standard part of Passionflower repertoire now) ..".the idea of making little wreaths for boutonnieres could be super charming for a winter wedding"  (would still love to find a bride who wants to do this)...."try to sleep more on my back face up" (I have absolutely no idea what that note has to do with a floral conference but there it was)...'could be fun to hang a hammock in the store for a summer display"(yes it could be and I think I shall).
I'm glad I took notes and glad I kept them....It's different now.  While I might not have that deep drive I had then, I have something else.  It's deeper and quieter and more contemplative and instead of taking it all in, it's more like deciding what it is I want to put out......

A Good Cause

                The Eugene Symphony Guild asked us to "decorate" a dining room for their annual Holiday Tour of Homes....and since we think there are few things as wonderful as live music, and that Eugene is lucky to have  a symphony of this caliber, and to tell the truth, we absolutely adore the person who asked us to do it, we decided to help them out.  No matter that it coincided with our busiest weekend of the entire year, that it meant moving a bunch of our inventory off the floor for many days, and longer hours for yours truly and my amazing manager.  We went for it and had a great time doing it (except for those slightly panicky moments the day before when I couldn't quite figure how I was going to be able to get it all done).  But now it's fait accompli and on to the next ....Click here should you like to find out more about what the Eugene Symphony has in store for the upcoming season.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We're Deep in the Thick of Things Now

I've always wanted to carry an Advent Calendar at Passionflower but I've never found one I liked until I found this beautiful calendar letterpressed by Oblation Papers in Portland Oregon.....
Technically, of course, Advent starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas so even this calendar isn't quite right....

 But I like the slow build up....I like the daily ritual of lighting a candle or opening a window in the calendar.....

My favorite window (whoops I peeked) from December 18.....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Moroccan belt

                 We're chock full of beautiful belts and buckles at Passionflower......                                                                                                                                       

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Winter Visitor

Perhaps my favorite Poppy & Moe T shirt ever....their new four color design on a long sleeve shirt...And because it's so fun to unveil new designs, we're having a party First Friday, Dec 2nd.  See all their new goodies, find something fun,  meet Sabrina (the Poppy of Poppy & Moe) and generally help us celebrate the coming warmth of the Holiday Season.
  And just a little note, we usually have our big holiday party this evening but because there is a (yes this is true) a championship football game involving the Oregon Ducks, the general feeling amongst my fellow merchants was that we ought to postpone the party for a week ....which we at Passionflower thought was just dandy because now we get to have two holiday parties!
So if you can't make it on the 2nd, come revel with us on the 9th.  Open to 7 both evenings.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Johnny Was

Have I told you what we've been doing upstairs in our attic space a the store?  I don't believe I have because, well, it's kind of a soft, a very soft opening of our new clothing section Passion Fashion.  Because, well because,  I'm still figuring out exactly what we're doing up there.  But one thing I know, is that we're devoting it to clothes you can't find in Eugene, to lines we really think are extra ordinary.  And one of those is Johnny Was - the label alone gives you a clue of what's to come.  Romantic, bohemian clothes with fine details.  Pieces that stand alone or layer up...Pieces that make getting dressed fun....Come have some fun with us.
                                               Upstairs at Passion Fashion.  

The Thanksgiving Menu

I was inspired by the Patricia Curtan book and so I made this fun little guest book for Thanksgiving - everyone signed in, and we made a big long list of every kind of food on the table, and there were a couple of pages where we wrote down what we were thankful for and there was some room to write down other thoughts  too.   So now we'll have a lovely record of this year's Thanksgiving and I hope to do it every year because it's so easy to forget all the details  that make a day special....
P.S.We have a Thanksgiving tradition of having a new food we've never eaten before.  This year the food was fingerlimes and they are delicious....click here to find out more about them.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

From my house to yours!!!

Festivites & Shopping Make the World Go Round

 It's Party Time Chez Passionflower.......

 Won't you put on your party hat and join us for some Holiday Cheer?

 This holiday you have not one, but two occassions to do a little after hours shopping with a most festive air.

First Friday Artwalk in Eugene Oregon this December 2nd , we'll be open 4-7......Meet jewelry designer Katy Kippen and Sabrina Ridge from Poppy & Moe.....and if you can't join us then you'll have a chance to raise a glass with us during our Broadway Pearl Holiday Open House on Friday December 9th......
Should be a lot of fun.  Bring your friends and family!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mixing It All Up in Flower Land

We're trying, we're really trying to take better photos but we have a long way to go.....
Nonetheless I love these small pieces mixing fresh and dried flowers that Erin has been doing....

Monday, November 21, 2011

An After Dinner Apertif Chez Passionflower

Another way to linger over a great meal, because it's not just all about the food is it?  It's about leisure and conviviality and conversation....I've always been fond of a bit of port after a good meal.  And it always taste better in cut glass.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Bowl for Everything and Everything in It's Place

Might I suggest a small bowl full of fennel seed as an after dinner digestive for your Thanksgiving guests?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Food Happiness Continued

How fun would it be to eat pumpkin pie off these plates?  They come in four fun botanical designs.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Fruits of Our Labor

 Fresh apples, dried plums, and good, good cheeses seems to be what's sustaining me lately.....and somehow they all taste so much better served on wood platters and bowls.

Best way we know to make food taste good (besides salt) is make it look beautiful.  We're here to help.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Great Hostess Gift

                                                                   Thanksgiving is coming up pretty soon here and so I'm going to devote the blog to all things in the store that make me food happy.  Who wouldn't love getting  this newly published book featuring the letterpress work of artist Patricia Curtan? Curtan has had a longstanding collaboration with the famous Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse and in my mind has been an integral part of defining their aesthetic.  Mouthwatering locally sourced menus and beautiful art will have you clamoring to make your own Thanksgiving Menus. And I might do just that!.  Click here should you like to know more about Patricia Curtan's work.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another Great New Pillow at Passionflower

This one is for the imaginary cabin in the woods - plus there's deer and rabbits and racoons....

Monday, November 14, 2011

 Our very favorite cowgirl/potter (gardener extraordinaire)  Mary Briggs brought her very special brand of ceramics to Passionflower last week.
 Most of this work was fresh out of the kiln like this ewe and ram bookend.  Well this is just the ram side of the bookend, you'll have to come in to see the ewe.

 Monsieur le Pig.....this piece is amazing...Mary is moving into sculpture in a big way.

 And yet , what is this? Something super painterly....she's making big slabs and using them as canvas.  But Mary told me the thick, slab, cracking earth three dimensional quality of the work is important to her.

 Oh and some trees......these two platters sold quickly....
I helped Mary set up her work last week and want to tell you that having a show like this is  really one of the true pleasures of my job....being able to look at each piece with the artist , to see their work grow over time and  to hear stories from people who have been collecting Mary's work for years and to feel that, in some small way, we at Passionflower are helping spread the love of the handmade. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

For you

  I have been super busy lately working on display at the store. My reward for all this hard work is that I get to take photos after I'm done - kind of like my reward for cleaning my house is I get to put flowers everywhere.  So here, for your viewing pleasure, a photo taken after a long day of display at Passionflower.www.passionflowerdesign.com

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Things to Do in All My Free Time

Some friends and I put together a food swap....kind of like a cookie swap except with food we put up. The rather messy homegrown invitiation is above.

I made little cards for everyone to write down what they brought. 
I brought dried italian plums, fresh frozen cider, and some peach chutney and I went home with fantastic goodies including corned beef, thyme rub, dried brandywine tomatoes, pickled beets, salsa verde and some local honey. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Join Me on A Mexican Art Making Adventure

I am so pleased and excited to let you know about this trip I'm putting together with Jill Cardinal....You may remember Jill is a mixed media collage artist who has been offering classes at Oregon Art Supply......A few months ago Jill came to me and proposed that we offer a journal making  trip to Mexico and after much dreaming and visioning,  I am happy to tell you , our plan is finally hatching.  Now we just need fellow adventurers like you to join us.  The thought of making art for eight days in Mexico with a group of like minded folks sounds a little bit like heaven to me.  If it does to you, click here to find out more details.....And any help you might give us in spreading the word would be greatly appreciated.  P.S.  Not only will we make great art, eat fantastic food , and see amazing sites , I also promise to share with you two of my favorite shopping places in Oaxaca!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kind of Nutty

Passionflower's homage to the acorn.....o ye from which the mighty oaks grow....

German made (that's code for well made), naturally tanned leather, these small carrying bags can be clipped to a bag, to a belt or to whatever strikes your fancy....they come in two sizes and lots of great colors.
Completely random, but the guy who played the Wiz in Wicked came in and bought a bunch of them.
There is something a little munchkin land about them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fabbie New Pillows

 Quite possibly, one of my favorite new things in the store.  Beautiful in a child's room....or would that be scary in a child's room? I'm not sure.

The Edible Schoolyard

We thought this being November and all, harvest time, food time, thanks giving time, it would be a great time to bring in this beyond lovely and very soft to the touch flour sack tea towel designed as a fundraiser for the Edible Schoolyard Project.  Half of the proceeds from the towel support chef Alice Water's program to include gardening and food preparation as part of our school curriculum.  Click here to find out more about Edible Schoolyard.