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Monday, December 30, 2013

My Chair Obsession

One pillow, three chairs. 
Really excited about some fun new lines we're bringing into
 Passionflower in 2014.

Like this  locally made (!) new pillow line Opal at Home
Christy Bishop, the multi talented visionary behind the line, was kind enough to gift me with a pillow of my choosing. 

I'm such a geek, I could spend hours putting this pillow on different chairs and enjoying each one.
If I were to curate a museum, it would be a museum of chairs. 
And now, just to complicate things, pillows get thrown into the mix.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Some scenes from Christmas past~ like the one that just passed!  Giftwrapping....

a touch of nature with a white birch branch

Beeswax candles ....as many as possible.....and some evergreens....

And my papier mache pony from Puebla gets a little ornament around his neck.

A gift of plum wine and a paperwhite bud....everyone says my house smells good and it's beeswax, and old books, and lilies, and paperwhites, and evergreens, and roast potatoes  but just the faintest amount of each all mixed together.....

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Neither slow nor rain etc...etc....

Oh my what a year it's been, this will forever go down as the year there was six inches of snow on the ground during the first week of  December.  Cutest pic ever of Taylor taking flowers out to the delivery van in the middle of the storm.  Because " neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds".  That's us.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Romantic Hair Accessories

Fun new section in the store~!  Who doesn't love a new little bauble for their hair?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Traditions

He comes out every year at Christmas...my funny little stick man. I bought him on Market Street in San Francisco, the first time I went to a trade show almost twenty years ago  when the San Francisco show was amazing and  attracting designers from all over the world.  Pottery Barn, Smith & Hawken, Gumps, Sue Fisher King, Filamento, de Vera,  Williams Sonoma  and other iconic Bay area companies were fueling the fire.   California designers were defining a more relaxed style that incorporated industrial and vintage pieces. (Sound familiar?)   And there was a fabulous Asian component to the whole thing too.   I think about this and other things too, every time I bring him out.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What is the Sound of Two Wings Flapping

Well owls are "in" this year. Whatever that means.  We've always been fascinated by the silence, the majesty, and the hunting prowess  of these nocturnal creatures.   But one thing it means is that several of our favorite designers are interpreting one of nature's finests.
John Derian has a tray and a postcard of this owl above.  Kind of looks like it's  on high alert.
And Laura Zindel gave us this drawing of a barn owl on a plate......funny guy with a round face and a pointy nose but watch out for those claws.

And the ever classic Cavallini did a lovely desktop calendar featuring this creature of the night.
Lots more bird love Chez Passionflower.

A Wintry Tale

Snow boots, circa 1970's......it's been massively cold around here....like the coldest it's been in 40 years....and joy of joys, it came with six inches of snow on the ground.....and while this is a little bit of a nightmare for me, retail wise, I love the snow and the clear skies.  A lot.

This is what it looked like last Friday the day of our holiday shindig, which needless to say, we have rescheduled.  The wine is still good, the musician was able to fit us in and our magnaminous mayor, the Honorable Kitty Piercy has time in her schedule this coming Friday to pour as well.
What can we say?  The party must go on.  And we've been managing to get to the store and keep it staffed.
And all our neighbors have been open too! 
There's been a fun, neighborly spirit through all this, but now we're on Day 5 and I have to come back to the real world from this winter wonderland.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's a Do Nothing Kind of Morning

Putting the last little finishing touches on some display work at the store today.  Probably should have gone in early, but stayed home and messed around in Picasa with some ideas for a Holiday card.  Sometimes I just have to do that.  Just play around make something with  no deadline, no goal, no customer, no critic, no clock. So that was fun.  And now, hi, ho, hi , ho, it's off to work I go.
Feeling good about today.

Things that Make your House Smell Good

Lately, I have been pretty crazy in love with these big white and yellow lilies.  They're called c'onch d'or which means, loosely translated, something like shell of gold.  Just one stem makes my whole living room smell amazing.  And then there's paperwhites.  And how my car smells when I'm bringing all these  fresh cedar and fir  wreaths to the store.  I love how everything smells so good  this time of year - sort of angelic and heavenly and earthy and woodsy all at once.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Times they are a Changing....


Okay, it's been un peu of a wild ride chez Passionflower lately.....as you know  my longtime beloved manager, Miss Becky Tonkin took her show on the road and moved to Astoria where she has been posting really awesome pics like this one above which let us know that she is alive and well and as awesome as always.  I miss her something fierce....And in the meantime, I hired another manager and she worked here for a total of four days  (ouch) and there it was the end of October going into the holiday season and potential for shipwreck was looming.  But lo and behold, the winds calmed, the storm broke, and those lucky stars that follow me around shone their little light on the good ship Passionflower and now all is well with the world  (that's kind of the short fairytale version but accurate)....

So may I introduce you to my new management team:  two amazing young women (both of whom, curiously enough are going through their Saturn returns)  Lila (on the left) and Jamie (on the right) have both been working here a while and stepped up to the plate and said, "Heck yeah, we can run this store for you"....And I think they can.  I know they can.   As in we had a fabulous month in November and my new team rocked it.   So I couldn't be happier, ecstatic really
(like kissing the ground and thanking my lucky stars kind of ecstatic), that we're going into the holiday season with a seasoned crew and a stable team.  And I'm really looking forward to where we're going to take the store moving into the New Year!  Wow, this sounds, uncharacteristically, like me welcoming change.  Who'd a thunk it?  And another thing I think about is that I have a really young crew working here.  There's all told eight of us who work at Passionflower and five of us are under thirty.  That's a pretty young crew.  And I'm excited about that too!  So that's my little update for you in the middle of this holiday madness.  Just file it away in your " sometimes things really do work out the way they're supposed to" file.  :) 
top photo courtesy Miss Becky Tonkin facebook feed

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Opening Our Online Store

You heard it here first.  We're open for online shopping!  Mostly jewelry but a few other goodies too.
It's a work in progress and it's been fun.  Check it out and enjoy!

photo by Jane in the Woods Photographie for Passionflower

The Inner World

Roost has a new product we're carrying called candelariums .  I guess that's like halfway between a terrarium and a candleholder.  Basically a big sturdy glass box with a carrying handle.

They're kind of fun, right?  Like a naturalist's take on the Jungian sandbox.

A little moss, an air plant or two and some Mexican church candles and voila!

But who says you have to play all neutral and mossy with these?  How about some colored candles, a houseplant or two and some cones, fruits,  and nuts in your candelarium? 
We only have two sizes left so come in and have fun putting your little world together.

Bottom photo courtesy Julie Benson, all other photos taken at Roost Design booth in NYC.

A Thanksgiving Placesetting

I LOVE it when customers send me photos of what they do with their Passionflower goodies.
A sprig of rosemary, a wee bit of velvet ribbon, and a gratitude card make for a most charming placesetting at this Thanksgiving table.  Thanks Julie Benson for inspiring me. 

My Shadow Self

It's been cold around here.  Really cold.  Like I'm hoping my jasmine which is supposed to be hardy to around 20 degrees is going to make it kind of cold.  Despite the temps,  there's still a few things to be foraged from the yard for Thanksgiving flower orders : some cotoneaster with their bright orange berries, huckleberry, boxwood, and  twigs of spirea.
(not to mention the purple callicarpa berries and larch cones that Chris brought in ).

And lo and behold, on my way to work yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving, the sun was out and I 
saw my shadow on the wall and snapped this pic which says just about everything I would ever want to say about how very, very grateful I am to live with all of you on this beautiful planet that we call home.
And another thing it says to me, is that , whenever things get tough, (and it has been a little rough  lately) I can always draw sustenance and nurture from my connection with nature. As long as I have that I just know everything is going to be allright.
A most excellent Thanksgiving Day to you and yours.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Table Tips

I love setting a table.  And I love entering a room with a beautifully set table and all the promise it holds.  And I love eating at a beautifully set table.  And I even like the aftermath!  And so with Thanksgiving coming up wanted to share a little table inspiration.  I am of the pre planning school.
I like to start thinking about and assembling things ahead of time.  (photo above shows me putting a few things together that I might want to use for a homespun holiday table).
First let's start with the must haves:  flowers and candles - personally I love lots of little votives down the table.  Candlesticks are also a nice option because they give you some height.  And flowers, well they're the life force on your table.  Think outside the box, leaves, fruits, nuts, berries plus flowers all fall into the "life force" thing. 
Linens count too.   Cloth napkins are the minimum.  I like a runner.  But I've been known to use really cool pieces of wrapping paper or brown kraft downt the center of a table.
And then there's the details.  I like to have a pitcher on the table, whether you're decanting red wine or pouring orange juice, pitchers let you stay at the table, pour for your guests, and there's just something graceful and
charming about serving or being served.
Every table needs a little sparkle which is where glassware can come in  - I like to use tall champagne glassed as vases for flowers.
Salts are fun and each guest can have their own little one set in front of them. (Food hygiene police at my house insist on this).
Party favors at each places setting give people something to do...give everyone a fortune, or a sparkler, or a mask , or a hat, or you get the idea.
In short, get a headstart on the game which allows you to really savor the details,  have fun, vary your heights, don't worry about matchy, match and always go for a little something unexpected to delight and amuse the guest.
And finally, enjoy yourself!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Creative Process

 You know the store is just packed with inventory, and our backroom is overflowing, and there's a ton of Christmas cards that constantly need restocking and well it's just like that.  But I still played hookie the other day and went to a class put on by the Friends of Buford Park on making cordage from nettles. 
Always been on my bucket list - the making cordage part that is.  I didn't know you could make cordage from nettles.  You use the stalk.  It has to cure for 6 months to a year before you can work it. 
Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy going.  It's also tedious but curiously satisfying. 

I really believe getting outside your normal routine is important to the creative process - so I'm hoping, in some ways that I'm not even aware of yet,  that this little cordage class is going to inform my display work at the store.  Who knows? We shall see.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Thanksgiving Table

Because my love affair with the camera has become a thing of the past (Seriously , what's with that? I remember a time in the not too distant time before now when we were wedded at the hip.  ) I must resort to trolling the internet for visual treats for you.  And I suppose that's none too shabby an option because there's a lot, a lot, of great stuff out there.  So, should you want a little Thanksgiving table inspiration you may go here to this lovely Swedish (?) blog with 17 inspiring table ideas.
 Oh, and this one here really slayed me -


Friday, November 15, 2013

Favorite New Design Book at Passionflower

I admit, I was seduced by the cover of the book - spiral staircase, flotakis, tree trunks and multi paned windows are some of my favorite things. Doesn't everyone want a little retreat space like this? But it's really what's on the inside that sent me.  And maybe because I'm thinking about turning my garage into a studio space I'm extra interested in a book like this.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Life's Simple Pleasures

Napkin love chez Passionflower.  I have always used cloth napkins, and I always will.  It's part of the whole dining experience for me.  Here's a shot from New York show with me having fun putting together some table stories.  Wonderful new napkins from Pehr Designs out of Canada - runners too.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Keeping a Happy House

Best design decision I ever made - putting a birdfeeder outside my bedroom window - which jut so happens to look onto a quiet and private part of my yard - the birds love it.  And so do I.  I feel like I have my own private aviary framed by the window of my house. 

 It's better than a television except no reception at night! :). I got my little birdbook out and have learned to identify all the common feeder birds.  And some that feed on the ground below the feeder too.

  If you feed them, they will definitely come.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Johnny Was at Passionflower

Might we tempt you with some Johnny Was clothing?  In store and ready to walk out the door.
Today. :)
Really love selling clothing. When someone finds something that  looks great on them - that you know they're going to wear and feel really good in - that's a good feeling.  I guess I'm in a warm fuzzy I heart my customers mood this morning.
We've had some busy days and it's been fun

 photo courtesy Johnny Was Clothing

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Susan Goodwin Jewelry at Passionflower

  You might want to put this on your calendar.  Our Susan Goodwin trunk show starts the day after Thanksgiving and goes through Saturday afternoon.  We always like that we have what it takes in Eugene to show her the love.   And we definitely couldn't do it without you.  
As always , it will be spectacular.  Susan will be here Friday evening.  She's a wonderfully generous person (not to mention supremely talented) who has a knack for helping you find something just for you.
We are so looking forward to it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What month is it?

We booked our first wedding for next year this week.  That was fun.  Already thinking about peonies in June and we haven't even had Christmas.
Plus,  to entertain you, a little ad my graphic designer put together for us.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Eye Candy

Ooooooohhhhhh.....We're going to start selling online and  Melissa Ferrell from Jane in the Woods Photographie has been taking some pretty beautiful photos for us.
Really having fun .  Stay tuned

photo from Jane in the Woods for Passionflower

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Beautiful Velvet Bella NOtte Throw

Starting to get excited about doing our holiday store set.  We've got a lovely, scrumptious, silk velvet Bella NOtte bed we're putting together for you. Here's a little sneak peek! And maybe this is the year to break down and get that crazy expensive satin throw.  You know you want it ! (ha) Because remember, they might read high luxury,  but  all Bella Notte pieces are machine washable!  And they use low impact dyes and are made in the USA.
And then come in and oogle our samples and we'll help you put it all together.

Photo courtesy Bella Notte Linens

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A little walk in the woods....

We have been having a somewhat spectacular, last gasp, days of fall around here, haven't we?
These have been  bike riding, leaf kicking, breath taking , this may be the last sunny day of the year, drink it all in kind of days.  And daylight savings starts tomorrow.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Favorite Childhood Book

All kinds of lovely calendars in the store , right now.....here'a a peek at (predicatably) one of my faves, the new Rifle Paper Co. 2014 calendar.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Midnight Visitor

"While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door."
More Laura Zindel to entertain you this Halloween.  We'll be offering a few treats at the store and maybe some tricks too!