Monday, March 30, 2009


I almost had a heart attack this afternoon - in a good way - I was catching up on some blog reading and logged onto http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ , went to the San Francisco link and lo' and behold - there I was - well not me exactly, but some of my work. YIPPEE!!!!!! There was also a really lovely mention of my shop and several pictures of a seriously dramatic do-over client project. Many grateful thanks to Lily at Apartment Therapy for the lovely comments! I have had over 450 visitors to my website because of it! Having never had this happen before, it feels like I am on top of the world! Here is the link to the actual article. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/inspiration/before-and-after-interiors-by-digs-080556 and if you have not been to this site - you have to check it out - so much useful and interesting information - from LA, DC, SF, NY, Boston and Chicago.

And just for the fun of it here is an image of some new lighting by Robert Abbey and Mobital that we are getting in the shop this week.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a good night!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

NEW STUFF ALERT! With the gardening season well underway, the shop is now filling up with pots, plants and all things garden related. We have also been planting up succulent gardens that would look great as a centerpiece on your outdoor table. I love succulents, I guess you could even say I am obsessed with them....I love Agave even more....particularly Agave Paryyi 'truncata'.....yummy! We have some super cool planters with Agave in the shop - but silly me - I forgot to get pictures of those! But look at the cool chimney pots....and the fab garden stools......we have them in black and turquoise. These stools are much larger than the ones in all the shops now, so they really make a great and comfortable seat..... have the turquoise stools in my garden and I have put two of them together to use as a coffee table or also as extra seating. We also have recycled rubber - out of tires garden pots in three sizes and FINALLY - a photo of the French Shopping Carts - so cute! Please come by and check out our new stuff.......as always, the espresso is on us!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

French Shopping Cart

TRES CHIC! We got the coolest thing in the shop today! LOVE IT! As I mentioned before, my darling husband is French and when we are in France you can't help but notice all the chic french shoppers with their way cool carts! Now, you are going to have to use a bit of your imagination here...I could only find a picture of the bag and a picture of the pattern, but on two separate images......soooooooo....put the two together (hey, I got chocolate in my peanut butter......) and you will come up with the perfect French Shopping Cart! Come on down and kick a tire or two - one of these beauties could be yours for the low low price of $70! YIPPEE!!!!! Hope to see you soon - au revoir!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The coolest new addition to my garden

I am such a geek! ....about many things.....fabric, furniture, purses, agave, blah blah blah. But I think my biggest geekness (is that a word?) comes out in my garden.....usually in the form of plants, but this time it is more on the garden hardware side. I was flipping through a copy of "Lawn and Garden Retailer" (geek) and came across an ad for "The Garden Cam" ......ooooooooooo...what's that? Ok, so you take this Garden Cam or their other option Birdwatch Cam (brinno.com), configure it with your computer and stick it in your yard. The Garden Cam is time lapse photography for your plants - SUPER GEEK! YIPPEE!!!! Let's say you have just started some cool veggies or dahlias or a new variety of agave - ok, maybe not agave since it is so slow...but you aim the camera - pick a setting - like one photo every 5 minutes, one hour, 2 hours, etc...let it sit for a week or two or a month (which is about how long the battery will last), load it into your computer and see the growth that you have no other way of seeing! See, I told you - SUPER GEEK! I love it.... Needless to say, I ordered them and should have them in the shop next week. I will also have a series of photos from my own garden to show the progress. This afternoon I will be aiming it at the daffodils starting to bloom up my walkway, and then I will aim it at the hostas that will be unfurling themselves soon...I can't wait to see that. The hostas are always so beautiful emerging but you never really get to see the actual unfurling, so this is the perfect device to watch.

"Bodacious" dahlia from Swan Island Dahlias at dahlias.com - my favorite variety and the biggest flower in my garden - always impressive!

Hostas emerging and unfurling in Spring.

"Orangerie" daffodil from Brecks at brecks.com. True orange and way beautiful!
As for the Birdwatch Cam, it is a motion sensitive camera that you can aim at a birdhouse, bird feeder, bird bath or at your back door to watch the parade of raccoons on your yard - anywhere you might expect wildlife in your garden. When a motion occurs the camera will take 20 photos in 20 seconds to record the action (action is a funny word - it makes we think of Starskey & Hutch or something...) and then go back to sleep until the next motion occurs. I have already learned about a few birds visiting my garden that I was not aware of..... The super cool, bright orange and yellow Western Tanager. At first I thought it was a tropical bird that got out of a cage or something since I have never seen one! We also are looking forward to catching our three resident Anna's Hummingbirds that are always duking it out over our water feature for water rights. I am always amazed at how such a small bird can be so aggressive. Their antics are hilarious - they even chase away a herd of at least 20 bush-tits that like to bathe together.

The Western Tanager.

Anna's Hummingbird - does not migrate from the Northwest - stays in residence all winter - much to our enjoyment.

Pack of Bush-Tits. They always travel in groups of 20 or so. So cute and little!

Both of these cameras are super easy to use, come with their own data storage chips and are under $200 each.....way cool! Wouldn't it be funny to have an outdoor dinner party and set up the time lapse cam and watch the progress...watch the light change, the garden lighting illuminate, your friends with cocktails and so forth......Woo Hoo! Outdoor dinner party!!!

We should be getting these cameras in the shop within the next week, so please stop by and we can show you how it works or give the shop a call and we would be glad to mail one out to you! I am so excited to share this with my fellow garden geeks! Thanks for reading and here's to dirt under your nails!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Almost a Francophile

DEAR GOD I'M EXCITED!!!! Today we received so many fun, colorful and cheerful things at the shop that I can barely stand it! I don't know if you know this about me but I love France and almost all things French...including my lovely French husband. For those of you who do know me you know that I also love all things Dutch, being that my family lives in Holland and all, but that is for another time......

I love travelling to the south of France and I love the market shopping almost more than anything. Once a year I take a very small group of clients to the south of France for of wonderful shopping - a different market every day, garden tours, antique shopping, architectural ruin viewing, lavender field strolling, sunflower field gazing for an entire week of French bliss. Oh yes, don't forget the day at the vineyard and the evening at the cooking school.....just delightful, oh and the stay at the 16th century mill house! To be honest, I took last year off (I was a little tired!) but I am back on track this year for the 2nd week of June.......3 openings left, by the way.....

Anyhoo......at the wonderful marketplaces, you will find French market baskets, well, Moroccan actually, at every market and in every color and texture. Well finally, I ordered some for the shop! YIPPEE!!!! Perfect for a picnic basket, we are showing them with beautiful powder-coated French bistro sets, my favorite is in orange, of course.....and also with bright and colorful french picnic table linens. The one thing I have been searching for - and continue to search for - is a good source for Moroccan babouches - you know, those fun little leather pointy toes slippers. I could live in them! I thing I have 12 pairs - in all bright colors. So cute - so comfy! As it was a beautiful day here in Portland today (don't get too excited, it is likely to rain tomorrow) people were out walking around and thinking about spring and just how much they really want great French tables and chairs, linens and picnic baskets! Here's to Spring on Friday! We would love to see you in the shop...and as always, the espresso is on us!

Monday, March 16, 2009


We have just put out all of our Spring merchandise at the shop and just look at all the color! The orange bench is my particular favorite - it is by Fermob and it is part of the Luxembourg collection. If you happen to be in France and go to the Luxembourg Gardens, you will find these benches and the chairs in green. Lovely!

I love our gnome dinnerware by Kiss That Frog, the wicker - beachy - chairs, the bug & skull pillows and the recycled tire buckets - great for planting in the garden! We just put out our samples of the new outdoor fabric collection by Trina Turk for Schumacher. Look at the Obama metal sculpture by Sugarpost. Next week we will be getting wonderful wicker market/picnic baskets from the south of France and beautiful tablecloths and napkins. More color If you happen to be in the area - please stop by and take a look! So much good stuff!

I am so excited! My capucine chairs are being shipped out today! I ordered them in New York and they are finally done! YIPPEE! Here is a picture of them........
You know, I almost hope they don't sell in the shop - that way I get to keep them for myself!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

...it's about time!

I have had such a great few weeks! Some many wonderful things have happened! For starters, one of my best friends had a new baby boy.....Congratulations Hester and welcome Caio! My puppy Stella finally got the cone off her head. YIPPEE! She really is such a great dog....it was just a pity that she kept trying to play with the cats.......noting quite like an eyeball injury to quickly run up a vet bill!
I was also lucky enough to attend a fab and inspiring lecture by Eric Cohler at the Kravet Showroom. Eric Cohler is on the very short list of my favorite designers. This is the third time I have heard him speak and I am always struck by the way he takes history and makes it fresh again, mixes the very old and/or historic with the very new. Not only can he visually make that happen but he can also tell you in detail about the history itself. He just gets it. During his slide presentation he was able to show us how he looks at something historical and translates it into his designs, either in a piece of furniture or the look of a room or even in the inspiration from a painting. You should Google him and check out some of his work...like the Kipps Bay Show House..YUMMY! He is so well traveled, education an amazing power of observation. It was actually quite validating for me. I have always needed to get out of my own environment to just go and stare at things. I love the history of things and places and have a weird ability to remember crazy historical details and sometimes I feel like a total geek because of it....so it is nice to know that there are others. We also learned that Eric Cohler's grandmother was a friend of Lucille Ball's and because of his deep rooted love for all things Lucy, he helped with the design of the new Luci & Desi museum in Jamestown, NY. When I was growing up, we lived for 2 years in the Middle East, Jordan to be specific and there were only 2 English shows on TV..one happened to be I LOVE LUCY and the other one was some weird English sci-fi thing. I still love Lucy to this day! Thanks Eric!
I have so much to tell about what has been happening at the shop, new products, etc, but DUDE I am seriously tired and I need to finish watching Bride & Prejudice for the millionth time. I do love Jane & Austen & Bollywood..........more later!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Now that it seems that the last of the snow has occurred here in Portland, I can finally take my car to the windshield guy and get a new one. I have had two enormous cracks running the entire length of my windshield since December. What is the point of getting it changed if you know you are going to get more snow and your new windshield would not last the week with the amount of gravel we put on the roads over here. Besides, I think it has been kinda fun watching the cracks travel so far. Now that I have that taken care of I can move on two my two new obsessions this week; 1) Starting my seeds for spring and 2) Plant Nerd Night with Mike Darcy. OK, maybe there is a third thing; more of a burning question really, like how is it possible that 8 chairs leave the manufacturer at one time, on the same truck and with the same tracking numbers and just two days later, only three of the eight actually arrive? Why? I guess it will remain a mystery for the ages.

Within the last 2 weeks I have received about 20, OK maybe 10 seed and plant catalogs in the mail. Not catalogs so much as plant porn. With the help of these so called catalogs, my current seed obsession is for a new tomato called "Orange Paruche". Isn’t an orange tomato kind of an oxymoron? This variety has super flavorful and sweet 1½” fruit on a compact and vigorous plant and is available through Territorial Seed Co.(http://www.territorialseed.com/). I am also starting a beautiful all white radish called "Icicle Short Top". It is a very mild 4-5" radish that is ready to harvest in 20 days! I love a nice quick growing vegetable, talk about immediate gratification. You should really peruse tier catalog, there is so much good stuff - even quite a bit I bet you have never heard of! The best part of using seeds from Territorial is that they are local company here in the Northwest and I love to be able to shop local when I can.

You don’t need a greenhouse to start your seeds; a sunny windowsill will do nicely; but you are going to need a few supplies to get started. I am sure you have all seen the little seed starting peat pellets at your local nursery. I personally have not had any luck with starting seeds in that manner, so I use Black Gold seed starting mix and trays of 2” peat pots. With the pots, you actually fill them with the soil and a few seeds and voila! Water like mad and after the seeds reach about 2 inches, thin then out and give individual plants their own pots. When the plants get to about 7 – 9” and the weather outside is well past frost, the peat pots are ready to be planted outside. Mid April is usually about the right time. If you choose tomatoes, pick a site with PLENTY of sun, give them lost of water and good staking and watch them go! YIPPEE! Fresh tomatoes! This year I am going to start sugar snap peas, tomatoes and eggplant!

Last on my list today is the absolutely geekiest plant event of the year in Portland, but Dear God I LOVE IT! For those of you that are not total plant geeks like me and/or those who don't have a chance to be in Portland this weekend, please turn on your Portland filter now. This Friday is Plant Nerd Night with Mike Darcy and KXL Radio. What? You have never been? Well then mark your calendar for Friday, March 6th at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 2000 Country Club Road, Lake Oswego, Oregon (across from Lake Oswego High School). This is a free event, doors open at 6 and the event starts at 7 pm. Get there early as this is an incredibly popular event and it fills up quickly. Plant Nerd Night is a plant geeks’ dream! A place to see and be seen, your host, Mike Darcy invites local plant vendors to give a brief presentation about what is new and hot in their nurseries this year. After our usual gray winters, it is a spark of light and fresh ideas for the upcoming planting season. The participating vendors bring a ton of their best plants for sale between 6-7. This years vendors/presenters are Xera Plants (LOVE LOVE), Dancing Oaks Nursery, Terra Nova Nursery, One Green World (edibles only nursery)Thompson’s Nursery, (killer rhodies)and Hydrangeas Plus. There are door prizes of killer plants half-time entertainment from the Chorus of the Goddess Flora, a singing group made up of Hardy Plant Society members signing garden inspired lyrics to well recognized melodies – it is a total kick! So come on down to Plant Nerd night and prepare to be entertained! That’s it for now so Cheers! Here’s to dirt under your nails!

Monday, March 2, 2009

HAPPY MARCH! The weather report said it was supposed to be rainy here in Portland today, but I see no sign of it yet. I am sitting by my dining room window in a perfect little sunspot with my new puppy, Stella, snoring away at my feet. It is lovely outside! All of my daffodils and mini iris are working their way to a sunny bloom and I can't wait to get out in the garden this afternoon. But business first!

We did a few lectures at the Portland Yard Garden & Patio show yesterday with the subject of Outdoor Entertaining and we brought along a few new products from our store to share - look at these super cool outdoor solar lights by Allsop. Lit by LED light, they glow beautifully in the evening in your outdoor spaces. I also saw them in Sunset magazine this month (as well as a few other blogs).......they are very crisp and modern and I love them! They retail for $40 each. I think lighting is a completely underused element in outdoor spaces. It can make such a difference in the garden and this is a really easy way to bring a little light in. No cords or plugs necessary. Just charge in the bright sun for 6 hours and get 8 hours of subtle,glowing and ambient light. Perfect for a cocktail party! Did I mention that I love cocktails? Especially in the garden.....

We also brought in these ridiculously comfy "zero gravity" deck recliners by LaFuma from France. I love France. My husband is from France and I try to buy as many French products as I can (like to gnome dinner ware from a previous post). It used to be that LaFuma made only camping gear furniture, but they have moved more towards the fashion furniture thing recently and I am so glad. The orange is my favorite (of course) but we also have turquoise, fuchsia and lime. They retail at $165 each.

So there you have it...off I go into the garden for a bit! Here's to dirt under your nails!