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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pantone Color of the Year looks good in the Pacific Northwest

 Thank you style gods that be, Pantone has selected their 2013 color of the year and it is  green!!!!  (Hello favorite all time color)...and not just any green, a deep rich, green with a lot of blue....a jewel tone..emerald they call it.  I say enough with this honeysuckle and tangerine (pantone's colors for the last two years).  We are not 14 and not all of us live in Miami.  Don't get me wrong, I love a pop of pink and tangerine first came to my attention as a trendsetting color when I saw John Derian wearing a pair of orange boiled wool pants at NYIGF.  (Seriously, the first time I met John Derian, before I knew who he was, and when he really was a small NYC manufacturer, he was wearing those pants and I remember thinking, "Now who is that unassuming guy over there in those fabulous pants - ?")...it's not that I don't think orange and pink (read tangerine and honeysuckle) have their place, it's just that manufacturers look at those Pantone predictions and start making everything in those colorways and, frankly, those colors don't really fly too well in the grey and moody Northwest.  So yeah to emerald!!!!

all images courtesy pantone

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Crabby Christmas

 I love setting a festive holiday table......it usually starts with the food.  In this case -crab....typically what I would think of for New Year's but somewhere got it in my head I wanted to have crab. I was going for something sort of earthy but bright and happy....a little bit clean and not too fussy.  I decided we'd serve ourselves most of the food  buffet style in the kitchen and then just have the crab and accoutrements on the table.

 I went out for a  walk in the filbert orchard behind my house and came home with some goodies for the nature part of the table- lichens and moss and a sweet little licorice fern (something very special about licorice fern) ...starting to look a bit like Christmas.

 But uh, oh, starting to get a little crowded on that table with all the crab paraphernalia - you know crackers and pickers, and lemons and aoili, and the crab itself and places for the shells. Plus we needed candles and  I wanted to have three little mossy vases down the table but I was definitely running out of room.

 Problem solved, I would just run red and white string up and down the table.....lots of color punch and it wouldn't take up any space. 

Keeping with the new design directive that all decorative elements must lie flat on the table, I added these  masks I was going to give away as party favors.....a little devilish for Christmas perhaps but the red seemed just right.

What can I say?  Try as I might (never), I'm not a minimalist......
And the food hasn't even made it to the table.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Blessings on this Day

A healthy and happy holiday to you and yours from the deep, green woods of Oregon and all of us at
Passionflower!  We love the holidays, we love our customers,and we are so thankful to have a lovely day off to celebrate with family and friends! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Amazing Becky Tonkin

 I want to say a few words to Passionflower's amazing store manger, Miss Becky Tonkin.  

 First off , you are a great sport and let me post all sorts of quasi flattering  photos of you for Pflower promotional purposes.  And I super appreciate that. :)

 I also think you could have a second career as a make up artist (I really do,that is if you lived in LA I guess)...just one more of your many talents.

But what I really wanted to say is that I thought you looked spectacularly beautiful at our Holiday Party this year - and you kind of rocked my world with all those jewel tones - the red of the rose, the deep plum of your lipstick and the emerald green of the ayala barr necklace were all just reverberating!!  Thanks for being the most beautiful manager a girl could ask for. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lovely Little Holiday Sachets

We were happy to find these lovely little bee themed , lavender filled sachets to add to our apiary themed section of the shop.

Bees and all things bee derived (like honey and propolis and beeswax and even pollen) are near and dear to my heart!
I used to have a friend who kept hives in my backyard in Portland and (fair warning I'm about to launch into a woo woo interspecies communication experience) the first time i worked with him, I was covered from head to toe in a layer of bees.  Beekeeper friend said he'd never seen anything like it.  Mostly it made me move in a very thoughtful and slow way as we worked.  Plus there was this tiny humming/buzzing sound all -
 around me and surprisingly I didn't feel scared that I would get stung.  I just felt sort of safe and contained.  Afterwards, when I was all desuited and de-beed, I had that feeling  like when you've been on a boat and you get off and the ground seems to be still rocking around you.  It was kinda like that - kinda.  My friend says bees and the hive are about pure love energy and that's why all bee products have such healing properties.  Seemed about right to me after my bee encounter.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Krampus at Passionflower

Passionflower's quirky little version of Krampusnacht......the devil santa who takes care of bad children....
well actually it's from our Halloween window but we thought he could do double duty.  This is the first year, this myth has crossed my path and it seems to be popping up a lot.  Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish bad children during the Yule season, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards nice ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair.
Krampus is represented as a beast-like creature, generally demonic in appearance. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore.

Solstice Greetings

It really is such a beautiful time of the year.  Santa Lucia, Guadalupe, Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah and more. People around the world really know how to celebrate.
photo courtesy Right Livelihood Award, the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize FB page (so random that I stumbled upon this image but I love it)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fun Stocking Stuffers at Passionflower

Best little stocking stuffer ever or fun to use to decorate a package, our friend Peggy Flynn from Portland has re-invented her business and is offering these super fun buttons. Besides 'Earth Steward' , you can choose from 'Loyal Friend', '#1 Hostess', or our favorite  'Excellent Human'.....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Jewelry Bling at Passionflower

 I am suffering from world's most annoying headcold.  And so, because I can barely put two sentences together, thought I would leave you with a little photo montage of some of our holiday jewelry from some of our favorite vendors.

Gorgeous cloisonne pendant from Swallow.

 One of a kind Susan Goodwin.

Gypsy makes this dramatic pearl turqouise lariat.
And longtime vendor Exstasia with a handcarved mammoth ivory acorn on a carnelian chain. 
Like Becky says, we're glamourous nature girls, because after we come home from that lovely trek in the woods, we want to take a hot bath and put on some velvet and bling and go celebrate the season ((As soon as the headcold goes away!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ordering flowers Online in Eugene

Okay folks, this is kind of some big news here :  You can now order flowers online from us!!!!  You asked, we listened....so the next time it's midnight, and you remember that you forgot your Mom's birthday, no worries,  you can get online and order!  And don't freak out,  we haven't gone all FTD on you.  In fact,  there's not even a cookie cutter photo gallery of arrangements to pick from because well, flowers are always changing and every arrangement we do is custom just for you!  So it's an open ended order form - you tell us the occasion and a few details and shazaam, we make it all beautiful.  But you do kind of have to trust us that we will use the most beautiful flowers available and make it spectacular.  Because we will!
Click here to go to our website and then click on the "order" button on the top right of the page to get started.  And you know what?  If you want us to follow it up with a phone call to confirm all the itsy bitsy details, we're happy to do that too! 

Hosting a Holiday Party

 A few ideas for great holiday parties.  Tis the season and we're here to help with just about everything but the food.  I love entertaining
 Hello, start with candles.  I start with a big lantern outdoors to welcome people.  And in my world you can never have too many candles - the more the merrier.  I scatter these beautiful cast iron Sequoia candlesticks down the center of my dining table.  They're dramatic but delicate and people can still talk over them. I like the beeswax candles because they put off just the subtlest hint of honey without being overpowering at the dining table. Plus candlelight always makes your guests look good.  And if you have one, make sure that fireplace is all aglow.

 And flowers - again the more the merrier although I think you can do just fine with a few dramatic and strategically placed blooms.  Don't be shy.
And music counts, for a lot!!! Live music is best, so welcome friends young and old who like to play but have a good selection of CD's already cued up.  Music totally sets the tone.....

 And try to have something slightly nerdy & ridiculous for folks to do......it loosens people up and puts them in the party mood.  Mistletoe, a guessing game,white elephant, sparklers, sing alongs and more all work.   If there's going to be lots of kids, considering hiring a sitter and have a play place for kids to hang out (and I don't mean putting them in front of a TV). 
So there you have it candles, flowers, music, (and food too) but really the most important ingredient at your party are your guests!  So enjoy them and have fun!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thoughts of Mexico

I thought that since today is the day that, all over Mexico, people celebrate the milagro of the Virgen de Guadalupe, I might share with you notice of a little tour to Mexico I am organizing.   My pal, the teacher and artist, Jill Cardinal and I are planning another art making adventure to Oaxaca Mexico this coming March.

Find out all about it by clicking here
And get in touch with me if you'd like to go and explore and make art.
Last year was our first tour and it was amazing. This year ought to be even better.  If you have always wanted to go to Oaxaca, or tour with a group of women, or make art amongst like minded folk, this just might be the trip for you.

Photo above is a journal page I  made on the art adventure last year.  I think I am going to use it for my journal cover for this years trip. 
Stay tuned.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Favorite 2013 Botanical Calendar

It's funny how sometimes you see just one little thing and it sparks a whole story. You know, like those decorators who say they built a whole room around a painting.  Well such is the case with this Snow & Graham calendar that I spotted during August at the New York International Gift Fair.  Charcoal grey (or very light black as Becky might say), green and pops of white. Who would of thunk?  I've built a whole story right at the entrance to the store around this colorway.  Oh and I popped just a dusting of silver into the mix to give it a little holiday sparkle.   Here's a charming blog post from the maker about her whole process in designing the calendar.  And she's right....you can never go wrong with white flowers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

I am trying to decide whether to have a tree this year.  And whether I want to do all white flowers or all red flowers.   And I know, whichever way I go, it will be fabulous and smell good and twinkle.  I just love decorating for the holidays.  Even if it's a single paperwhite or a rosemary wreath, there is something really wonderful about bringing a bit of something living and bright into your house during this darkest time of the year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Considering All that has been and all that will be

Greetings on a perfectly and very rainy Tuesday morning.  It is the beginning of my work week and I am feeling happy and pensive at the same time.  And this Julia Margaret Cameron photo of a woman and a Passionflower seemed just right.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's Party Time

Hello All -  A short note to inform you that It'S PartTy Time chez Passionflower!  This is our biggest party of the year and you're invited.  We'll have live music and bubbly and we'll all be dressed in our holiday finery.  Plus this year we've invited Paper Moon Photo Studio to set up a little photo booth.  So get dressed up, come  out and have   your photo taken and enjoy the convivial holiday spirit that is known as downtown Eugene during holiday season. Come put a little bubbly in your sparkle!  We would seriously love to have you join us.  And bring your friends!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Buying Local and Smelling Good

The buy local message resonates with me for the obvious reasons  (I'm a small local retailer !)....but I have also been taking it to heart and trying to do more of my buying locally.  Florists in Oregon are lucky in this respect because we have a lot of great growers working here....but I am trying to refine the local to get even more and more local.  (Like buying in Eugene instead of having it shipped from Portland).   And while I didn't gather the greens for my holiday wreaths in my backyard ( I was too busy, raising the sheep and spinning the yarn for my holiday gift giving (ha)), I think they are about as close to local as I can get.  And here's why that's good news for you - that means these are fresh, fresh, fresh, as in cut and made within a week from when you get it.  Which means they're going to last longer and smell better.  Just one more example of the win / win that comes from buying local.  So come buy a fresh, local wreath from us and we'll customize it for you with ribbon,fruits, cones, and flowers!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Holiday Motto

 This sign, made from vintage flashcards, was the perfect sentiment to grace our holiday window.  And it didn't last long.  Someone spotted it on her morning run and had it at her house by the end of the day. Had to order another one for the window ASAP because it just about says it all.  We have lots more of these somewhat quirkily inspirational signs. Come find one just right for you.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A post with no picture but instead a poem

There has been an absence of posts lately because I have reached my blogger limit of free storage space and I have to upgrade (and that is like asking me to pump my own gas! ha , I'm an Oregonian thru and thru) and I just cannot motivate myself to go through the tekkie gyrations of doing so.  But I will soon, I promise.  In the meantime I found a little e.e.cummings poem  on FB today about putting up a Christmas tree which  seemed just right.  And I also wanted to tell you, it has been a kind of nice time around the store lately.  We are busy as elves and it's starting to feel a little festive  and it's not so crazy busy with customers and everyone seems to be able to shop in a sort of relaxed, thoughtful kind of way.  And I like that feeling.  So today I offer you poetry instead of pictures -
something to ring in the impending holiday season with.

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Lovely Passionflower Bride

We are trying not to count our chickens before they hatch, but the very talented Melissa Ferrell , the bride you see above, just had photos from her wedding picked up by a big wedding blog!!!!!  We had the pleasure of doing her flowers and  you'll see lots of other Passionflower touches in her wedding too.  For sure we'll let you know when it posts.
photo courtesy Kacy Kizer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Welcome Little One - Some Baby Gifts

 It's taken me a while - oh say like the last four or five years, but I'm finally getting the product mix in baby/children's section, where I like it.
It's mostly items for newborns/little ones.

 But a few big kid things too!!

 And at last, the perfect baby blankets from Austrian designer David Fusenegger.
  Sized and priced just right!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Setting an Inspired Thanksgiving Table

A great big shout out and thank you to Cara Munez and Christina Sherk from our daily paper, the Register Guard for coming over to my house and photographing and  writing up a story on creating a festive Thanksgiving table with ideas by yours truly.  I tried to make it simple and  approachable and not intimidating because you really do want people to have fun with their tables. I thought they did a great job.   My favorite line was the first - "...creating a beautiful Thanksgiving table requires a topic."   Read the full story here.
photo courtesy Register Guard

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The ever fascinating, always inspiring jeweler Susan Goodwin shows her work at the store Thursday the 29th of November.  That's the Thursday after Thanksgiving.  You can come over to the store in the afternoon from 4-7 and Susan will be here.  She'll take over our large middle table with color coded gems, one of a kind pieces and her own very special magic.  We'll play some Pink Martini and have a little bubbly, learn about some new gemstones, try on everything, and just have some fun.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Classic Book for the Holidays

I am so happy to be offering this book at the store.  It's a collection of three Capote short stories, vaguely autobiographical, about his life growing up poor and rural and not quite fitting in.  Okay, not remotely fitting in.  Here we see the tender, sensitive, young Capote,  early on, demonstrating  his sense of style and his flair for the dramatic. I try to read the Thanksgiving Visitor every year about this time and I always end up bawling.  I would love to read this aloud at Thanksgiving with a group of folks.  A little wonky but why not? We seem to have lost the fine pastime of adults reading aloud to each other.  Or perhaps it is something we do as couples more often.  You know, "Honey, check out this story in the paper today".  But not so much as a group.   I love it when someone reads aloud to me.  It is like being transported back to childhood.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Care and Feeding of Loved Ones

When I first started the store, I did not know much about orchids.  I did not know a ladyslipper from a moth orchid, or that they grew in bark, or which ones were fragrant, or that the vanilla plant was an orchid.  All I knew is that they were beautiful and exotic and a little hard to come by.  Nowadays they are everywhere for sale, but, to me, no less beautiful.  I almost always have a blooming orchid in the house.  Right now I have a big arching white and magenta spotted phaleneopsis at the end of my bed.  And an almost done mini yellow "phal" (as we call them) in the kitchen.  They bring me profound pleasure.
 So if you are anything like me, over the years, you might have accumulated your share of orchids done flowering - considerably less magical with their floppy leaves and slow growing habits.  But what I am here to tell you today is that, should you find yourself in this position, now would be a very good time to start feeding those orchids some bloom food.  Start a regularly weekly feeding and chances are pretty good that come February or March you might find yourself with a beautiful blooming orchid.
In the meantime, we've got a great selection and happy to sell you food as well!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Birds of a Feather

Just so you know, this is one of my favorite boxed sets of stationary, ever!!!  We've carried it every holiday season and I never tire of it.  It's always good to have a box of notecards handy for the quick thank you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Centerpieces in Eugene Oregon

 We would love to help you with flowers for your Thanksgiving table.  Whether you'd like a few spectacular blooms.....
to put together on your own.....
Or say something more spectacular for an entryway or a buffet or a mantle.....we are so here to help you do that.  We aim to have  a great selection of unusual blooms, fruits, foliage, and berries to help you set a perfect harvest table.