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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.