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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Autumn Flowers at Passionflower

Happy First Day of Fall to Everyone!!!!

I'm always so sad to see summer go.
Fruit & Flower Collages courtesy sunny morning in my backyard.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Ring for Every Finger

Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes!!!!  We are feeling a little bit of that ethnic thing around Passionflower these days. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

There is a method to the madness.....

Can we say obsession?  Rose geranium leaves are good for more things than bridal bouquets.
When I am not doing the autumn reset for the store, I have been deep in some kind of food preservation infatuation.
But what I really want to know is, whether it's tomato sauce or plums or green beans or blackberries,  how is it that my kitchen starts out all nice and tidy and organized 

And ends up some variation of this?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ma Petite Birthday Celebration Chez Becky

Becky has one of the most awesome houses ever.

 You know, one of those homes where your manners go out the window as soon as you hit the front door, and all you want to do is ignore other partygoers and walk around and ooh and aahh at everything. 

Except the table was so pretty, the food so good, and the company so fun that I resisted the urge and joined the party.

And since I was on my good manners and resisting urges, I did not steal the circa 2010, John Derian for Target, melamine plate either.  Though I was sorely tempted.
Thanks Beck, for sharing your wonderful home with us and throwing such a great party.
It was fun.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Visiting Bella Flora Studios

I really loved visiting my friend Elaine's studio Bella Flora last week when I was taking care of some business in Portland.  Elaine has always hugely inspired me...

  She's a big talent and a humble person.
She's the reason Passionflower is even Passionflower. (How's that for history?).  She first taught me to make a floral hair garland way back when, and that's how the whole thing got started.  She was a wreath maker, basketweaver, floral designer, wildflower gardener, mom , and more when I first met her.  Plus she was one of those people who always found great things.  You know the kind I mean.  The one who finds the bird's nests (and not just any old nest, it's a hummingbird nest made from horsehair) and the wild mushrooms out walking in the woods or some fab vintage dress in what looks like a pile of castoffs at the Goodwill.  She always had that touch. 

But now, as is the way of many a truly creative person, she is onto other things and her work has taken a decided turn towards vintage textiles and millinery with a special fondness for children's clothes. Though I know she still weaves a basket every now and then and makes a wreath or two. 

It was sort of bittersweet seeing her studio.   They're tearing down her building to put in some 50 apartments and she's moving over to 7th and Knott next to the Love Tabernacle Church.  I can't help but think of all the amazing artwork that has left through her purple door during the 15 years she's been on Knott St.  Elaine is the only person I know who has had her work mentioned by Russ Mayer in the L.A. Times (her pussywillow baskets) and had it shown in the windows of ABC Carpet and Home (her fairy furniture during the holidays).  Just to put things in a little perspective for you.  It feels like the end of an era.  But I cannot wait to see what she's going to do next. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

What Exactly is a Moss Ball

 There are some uber talented people out there in the world and Anne Korn is one of them.  Some of you may know her as half of the creative duo at Raven Frameworks or perhaps as she who was the baker at Cafe Soriah for many years.  But I also know her as someone who is a really excellent plantswoman and, though I don't stop in her studio nearly enough, I always know I will be enchanted by one kind or another plant obsession she has going on. Recently she showed me some sketches she was doing for things she called moss balls.  Be still my beating heart!  You know, one of those moments.


So Anne has worked up some beautiful moss balls for us at Passionflower and I am over picking my favorites.  She tells me that it's actually an old bonsai technique.  And we talk about collecting moss and a little about the life cycle of the plant and ethical harvesting.  Like how long does it really take for a say, 1' x 2' sheet of moss to grow back?  She tells me her favorite places to go collecting.  I am trying very hard to listen and not be distracted by all the wondrous plants and art around me.  Also we consider the most beautiful possibilities for containing the moss balls.  Anne favors flattish rocks or Asian dishes. And what about slabs of wood and clear glass? We are both a little obsessed.  Look for these little beauties any day now at Passionflower.
And click here should you like to learn more about Raven Frameworks and if you live in Eugene, might I suggest a visit to their studio where, if you are lucky, they might still have two amazing Rick Bartow pieces on display.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Terrarium Love at Passionflower

We're having a party and you're invited.  Sarah will be doing a terrarium making class with eight lucky people on Thursday evening September 27th from 6-8.  You'll have all kinds of goodies like colored sand, rocks, crystals, itsty-bitsy plants, crazy mosses, dried pods, feathers and more to choose from.  And everyone will go home with two different pieces.   We supply the containers too!!  But if you have a special one you really love you can bring it with you and fill it up.

Cost is $60 and includes all materials.  You can call the shop at 541-344-3857 or come in and pay in advance.
So many folks have asked us to do classes over the years and this is a first for us.  We're looking forward to seeing you.

Following a Dream

This post is way off subject from the normal subject of this blog which is all things Passionflower like clothes, and  jewelry and  flowers and  living well and beautiful things for your home but I had to share these photos of my friend Ritta's daughter,  Carrie,  releasing baby barn owls at King Estate Winery.  I am in complete awe of this young woman and the amazing work she does.  Carrie rolled a lot of burritos for her mom, worked night shifts, slung pizza, and even did a short stint at Passionflower, all the while holding out for her dream of working with wild animals.  And let's just say that Eugene is not exactly bursting with job opportunities in this field.  But she worked hard and kept her eye on the prize and now she works at Cascades Raptor Center and  helps rehabilitate injured birds and return them to the wild. WOW!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ode to the Scented Geranium

I have to tell you, it was Ted Kennedy Watson (my pal of the almost  eponymous shop in Seattle)  who first made me stop and take serious note of the scented geranium in all it's magnificence.  That is part of Ted's visual genius.  He makes you stop and slow down and fully consider one thing and just that thing.  He has led me, at various times, to a paperwhite, a piece of petrified wood, a feather, or a snippet of ribbon.  And so it was in part inspired by Mr. Watson that I planted my first scented geraniums this year.  What took me so long?
Besides, brides love them, they hold up amazingly well as a cut, they grow like crazy, and the scents are sublime.   What's not to love?  Did I mention they seem to thrive in lots of sun and not such great soil?
But what has really put me over the top with scented geraniums is that I found a recipe in the  much loved  Greens Cookbook in which you infuse blacberries with rose scented geraniums and something happens that makes you feel more like a magician than a cook.  Stay tuned.

And click here should you like to find out more about scented geranium love and read any of Ted's five or six posts on the subject.
And just so there's no confusion, the white flower (bottom right of the collage) is not a scented geranium, it's a white echinacea.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pantone and the World of Standardization

About every 6 months or so, I announce to Becky my new favorite color.  For a long time it was green, green, green and really it still is green but, since I must strive to amuse Becky, I decide to mix it up every now and then.  And truthfully I'm not really refering to my 'favorite' color, I mean the one that has somehow caught my attention.  And so it was that I picked up a grey magic marker at a collage class with Jill Cardinal about two weeks ago and it's been all gray, all the time.  I just can't get enough of it.
It is the color of shadow.  And, of course, the color of our soon to be skies here in the Northwest. 
The color in my baby pictures, and of the silverware I eat with. "Yes Becky, gray is my new favorite color".
To which she replies, "You mean light black?". And  I am deeply amused.

Image courtesy Pantone.  As a complete aside, I have been fascinated to watch the rise of the concept and the brand of Pantone.  Before 1963 there was no Pantone color system.  (What did those brides who needed their flowers matched to the color of the bridesmaid's shoes do?) The color of the year has only been around since 1999.  And now you can even buy these.    And click here should you like to read a little about the history of Pantone. And when you are done, you can ponder how it is that the colors of the world can be reduced to a mere 2,058 solid colors. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Seeing Red

On my trip to New York, at the gift show, and around town, I saw a lot of red that I liked.

And  some, not so much. I'll take a vintage leather trunk over this anyday. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Making Magic

 Country mouse (that's me) went on a trip to the big city (in this case Portland) and there, behind a purple door, fell into a deep, magical, fairy, fantasy world which I hope to tell you about really soon.
In the meantime a little photo collage I made for you. 
All pictures taken at Bella Flora Studios in Portland Or.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Some Advice for Future Brides

Wow, it's hard to believe Sarah has been with us designing flowers for almost a year!  How time flies.
And I have to tell you , if I were a bride, I would definitely be finding lots of inspiration on her blog - all kinds of wonderful wedding ideas and sources.  Check it out by clicking here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Trendspotting - Metal and Thread

 I might not go so far as to call it a trend.....but I've been taking notice when I see jewelry with fabric and thread thrown into the mix.....

 A couple of photos of some things that caught my eye in New York......haven't bought them yet. 


Still cogitating....sometimes it takes me awhile.