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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lightening Up for Summer Bedding

 Some of our favorite summertime beds from Pine Cone Hill.

Blues always keep it feeling cool in the summer.  Plus there's lots of gauzey linen for those breezy mornings.
And we're now carrying Pine Cone Hill curtains.

And there's just something sweet and innocent about this new trellis pattern.  I might get myself a couple of pillowcases to freshen up my bed.

all images courtesy Pine Cone Hill

Monday, July 30, 2012

I Heart New Jersey (seriously)

Something I forgot to tell you.  I  took a week off last summer before the New York Gift Show and went to the Jersey shore with my family.  This is what I forgot to tell you:  the outer barrier islands and the delaware bay of southern New Jersey are over the top, amazingly beautiful.  Like mind blowing, peacable kingdom paradise full of all kinds of bird and sealife. 

I went kayaking at the Wetlands Institute and  learned about horseshoe crabs.  I took some nature hikes and saw flocks of night herons roosting in the woods.  I learned that there is a cactus native to New Jersey (who knew?).  And all in all pretty much fell in love with the place.

Wherever your travels find you this summer, I hope you discover something wonderful where you least expect it.  Because I never thought that's what I would find on the Jersey Shore.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Lotus Flower Love

 Kind of got excited thinking about lotus flowers the other day and found these old photos i took in Mexico of some purple lotus.

Isn't it amazing that this big beautiful flower is supported by such a slender stem? 
And click here is you'd like to read an extensive plant study on the lotus flower by Shari Siwek, a member of the Flower Essence Society.  FES members are trained to do rigourous, scientific plant observation but to couple this with intuition and insight to achieve a holistic understanding of  a plant and the gifts it might offer.
I really enjoyed her observations.  There is so much that meets the eye if we pay attention. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gone Fishin'

 It seems like I haven't had a camera in my hands for, for a long long time which seems un peu strange since
for a while there, I was looking at everything scrolling through a screen.  So I had to mine some old photos to find something to show you.

And these coral and cuttlefish  images seemed just right since I am feeling all watery and emotional lately.  And it is the middle of the summer and all I want to do is water my garden in the morning and swim in the river all afternoon with a little thing called work in between.  . 

The Lotus Flower

I'm not usually trolling the internet for photos to show you but this collage piece by New York city artist Susan Benarcick just stayed with me.  The lotus  flower (pictured here) was once explained to me as signifying spirital awakening because it grows towards the light from the murky and dank depths of a pond
and slowly unfurls petal by petal as it reaches the light. You'll often see lotus flowers in Buddhist paintings.
Sometimes we used to be able to get fresh green lotus pods which I always loved using in arrangements.  These days, not so often available.  But the brown pods with their big seeds rolling around inside are a staple of the dried world.  And I'll never forget Longwood Gardens (really amazing place) outside Philadelphia is where I first saw pond after pond of these beauties. I love this flower.

photo courtesy Susan Benarcick.  Click here to go to her site and find out more

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Face of Passionflower

Becky Tonkin, you are completely my hero.  You have a beautiful spirit and a zest for life, a supreme kindness, innate intelligence, not to mention happening to be one of the mosty stylish, creative and funniest people I have ever known.  I thank my lucky stars every day that you chased me down that Sunday afternoon in the Kiva parking lot.  And I know I speak for zillions of Passionflower customers (and some employees too) when I say, "Thanks so much for brightening so many of my days!".

Monday, July 16, 2012

Passionflower Website Has Arrived

Okay, I can hardly believe I'm writing this post.  Our new website is live.  You can go to it by clicking here.
In fact you would be doing me a huge favor by going to the Passionflower site because we are apparently going to lose all our search engine rankings while we switch over and the more traffic
(that's you - you're the traffic) the better.  Also if you want to give us any feedback about glitches, or kinks, or things that work or don't work for you, that would be much appreciated.  This is the longest project  I can ever remember working on.  The site was made in 1999 (not joking) and had not changed too terribly much since then.  I will not go into the number of missteps I made, but suffice it to say I learned a lot and in website world things seem to become obsolete within minutes.  I hope to not wait fifteen years before the next revamp. We aren't doing online sales yet, but look for that next along with lots more flower, plant, and wedding photos.  In fact, our plans include adding a curated shop of seasonally changing objects for sale and also taking flower orders on line.  My deep thanks goes to the great team of folk who helped me with this site including Michelle Nicholson, Thomas Dick, & Nate York.  It never would have happened without them.  It's hard to capture the essence of Passionflower in forty online photos and some text but I think we did it!!  I hope you enjoy the site.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Is it a Bracelet? A Necklace? A Hairtie?

Get your summer on.  I like wearing just one.  Some folks like wearing them inches thick.  Made of grass. Made in Kenya.  Made by women living a traditional lifestyle.  Read the story here.  It brought me to tears the first time I heard it which makes me love wearing them even more. The price is so right, I've been known to give it as a gift to  a perfect strangers right off my wrist just for admiring it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Edible Bouquets

At Passionflower, we always love incorporating fruits and veggies into arrangements.  We've used mushrooms, and apples, and carrots, cauliflower, artichokes, citrus of various kinds and a few weeks ago it was snow pea pods on the vine (so lovely I could hardly stand it).  This week our friend Amy Daniel over at Fall Creek Nursery brought us these amazing blueberry bushes which she wanted us to cut and incorporate into floral designs.  Hello big yummy.  You could definitely graze on this lush  and wild bouquet Sarah made.   The deep blue of the blueberry is a color rarely found in nature. Come to think of it, where else do we really find that color in nature?  the hair of certain dogs?  some kinds of cabbages?   maybe in some minerals?  What is it about color that makes the world come alive?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Gearing Up

Our Summer Sidewalk Sale starts a week from today!!  And there's going to be some super good deals on clothing and lots more.  It's always fun to do a little housecleaning.  So check it out next Thursday.  Come early for best selection.  See you soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Our Picks - Top 5 Wedding Gifts

Passionflower's pick for top 5 Wedding Gifts from the store Summer 2012 -
with a nod to the practical because we think a great wedding gift is one that gets used a lot. 

                Always a classic, can't go wrong with a salad bowl or servers. Guaranteed use for years to come.

        We like any of the whimisical ceramic pieces from Laura Zindel featuring her original drawings.
                                           Seriously, any of them.

Ditto John Derian decoupage pieces.  

Another classic: a Pendleton Blanket - we carry a small, handpicked selection and can special order any of them for you.

Or, still on the practical side, how about a Duvet Set or a pair of beautiful pillowcases from Dwell Studio?

A Love Affair with Glass

Purple Bohemian Glass Pitcher, Czech Republic, sunlight, fresh squeezed orange juice, sunday morning, outside.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Festive Table

May we at Passionflower interest you in some happiness bringing food accoutrements?  Bowls and other tableware from Judy Jackson?  Custom made, you can choose  which bowls, plates or platters you want and pick your colors too. Or for more immediate gratification ceramic colander, egg cartons, and fruit baskets for pick up, fill with goodies and put in your fridge right now.

  P.S.  And for those of you in the know, and I think that might be about two of you reading, the deep purple scalloped piece holding the pea pods is not Judy Jackson, it's a vintage Great Impressions red cabbage bowl. Great Impressions was an iconic California studio operated by Patricia Garrett in the (I think) 80's & 90's.  She is like the pottery world equivalent of Alice Waters and she was of that geography and generation. Garrett studied in Japan and married an eastern minimalist aesthetic with a feeling for realism.   All her work reproduced fruits and vegetables. You can sometimes find pieces for sale on Etsy or antique stores.  She's been knocked off a zillion times but no one did it quite like she did.  She used to sell her work at the San Francisco Gift Show and I remember when she told me she was closing her studio.  It reminded me, nothing lasts forever.  I am so glad I kept a piece or two of hers for myself. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gearing Up For Wedding Season

REally like this marketing piece my friend Michelle Nicholson over at Black Cat Communications put together for us.  Because , it's getting to be that time of year.  We're gearing up and starting to do wedding flowers which we love because we can strut our stuff.  And also lots of folks coming in for wedding gifts.  We even have a bridal registry for those organized amongst you.  Happy Summer. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pamper Yourself

 We're having a party and it's all about pampering yourself and loving your hands and feet!   We'll have 50 Butter London nail colors for you to try.  Plus a rep from the company will be here to teach us all about how to use all their nail care products for healthy nails and long lasting polish.

All their fun colors are great for summer toes too! Lots of free samples too!
 Plus we'll have our favorite palm reader Charles David here and you can get little mini readings.

Images courtesy butter london and google images

What's Going On?

Who says there's nothing going on in Eugene?  Oh, that would be me.  Frequently. Sometimes I am wrong.  Like last month on First Friday.  Passionflower is taking the summer off on First Fridays which means I actually got to enjoy the going ons of downtown.  And I wandered into this fabulous show put on by the Everybody Art Collective.  Lots of young, hipster art students from U of O having a great time.

I also  picked up this great print for a song.  So, to the customer who came into the store this week and asked me, " Now that Opus VII is closed, where can you buy original art in this town?".  I  would say to her, get thee out to First Friday and buy some local art.  Make an artist happy.  Spread the love.  And take something beautiful home.
P.S.  You can also go over to the Art Annex where Kirsten and Karin feature work of Northwest Artists and what about another favorite White Lotus for something more asian inspired?  And of course, you can always poke around Passionflower and find something inspirational for your walls too!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Private Worlds

Have you checked out our favorite terrarium book from Portland designer Amy Aiello?

 And while you're at it, you can peruse our new batch of tillandsias which clearly put Sarah in the mood for a little terrarium love.   Check out these lovelies she put together.
 We've got all the goods to help you create your own little world.

 Or do what this customer did, she brought her own glass container in and let Sarah do her magic.

We're thinking of having a little terrarium party where you can come in and make your own. Stay tuned.  And click here to find out more about Amy Aiello's shop Artemisia.

Monday, July 2, 2012

How to Pick a Paint Color

 Okay, truth be told, the store has been leaving me feeling a little uninspired lately.  Now it's not like I've never been in this spot before and I keep being able to pull a rabbit out of my hat.  Although there is this tiny little voice wondering if maybe this is it, the time the mojo leaves and never comes back. And then I manage to pull myself back from that abyss, calm myself down a little, and just keep at it knowing that this too shall pass.
And it does, when Becky says, "We need to do something with this butterfly cabinet".  And I think, "She is so right, hmmmm what can we do?".....Hmmm....nothing a little paint couldn't solve.

And off I go, Sferra linen napkin in hand, to the paint store.  "Can they please match this napkin color for me?".  And then I watch Chris go, go paintbrush in hand.  And there is some extended discussion amongst us as to whether we ought to paint it completely blue or leave a white frame.  And the white frame won.
And would that it were always this easy.  One blue cabinet later and I am completely re-inspired about all the possibilities for  making Passionflower the best store it can be. Amazing what a difference a paint can can make.