Jun 20, 2012


This gorgeous plant is an obsession of mine. I got 2 new varieties this year and I cant wait to cut them all up for Erin's wedding!
 The Heuchera (Coral Bells) is an American genus with lobed leaves and tiny bell-shaped flowers on wand~like stems. Determined breeders have turned these perennials into some of the most attractive foliage plants out there. They make themselves at home in moist but well-drained, organic-enriched soils. Attractive to hummingbirds.
The irony is that Heuchera started all green and evolved into the color palette that we enjoy today.
Go out and get yourself one to start your collection , you'll love them, I promise!


Jun 18, 2012

Pride and Passion Tuesday/Shades of Grey

Long ago in a land far away, before the naughty book was published ,  Attalie Dexter  started making jewelry while living in Asheville, North Carolina, the year was 1997 . The stunning natural landscape and artistic community nurtured Attalie's desire to experiment with materials and explore new ideas. When she couldn't find the kind of pieces of jewelry she wanted to wear, she made her own.
Heavily textured and muted tonal qualities, complicated geometric shapes and layers define Shades of Grey Jewelry. Incorporating vintage dead stock beads and natural materials such as leather and ribbon, the pieces become more interesting with wear. Certain pieces are embedded with positive meaning or bear a metaphysical effect on the body. The spirit of experimentation and nuance is very much in tact in every Shades of Grey piece today.
I met Attalie at Indie Wed earlier this year and immediately became her fan! There is a peaceful feeling about her, the pieces are so unique and well balanced, I started my collection right there and then. This is one of a kind jewelry and it will become your signature look for the year. I can't stop wearing and layering mine!
Here is a little bit about Attalie, who by the way, is fresh out  of the pages of Turkish Vogue! Yay! Congrats Attalie!

Tell us a bit about yourself and Shades of Grey?  I started out by just
making pieces for myself. My friends (and even a few strangers!) wanted
their own, so I started making things for others and decided to actually
start Shades of Grey in 2009. My friends have honestly been a huge push
and support system for me!
What/Who inspires you?  I am most often inspired by others...sometimes I
know them and sometimes I don't or they are fictional. I like
hearing/reading/viewing memories of others and how people perceive things
and what is important.

How would you describe your work?  Very nostalgic, but modern.

Please describe your creative process. I work largely with vintage
materials, so I am always collecting pieces. When I create a collection, I
either have a theme or mood in mind or I will go through everything and my
subconscious comes out and I find a link that always ends up happening to
relate to something I recently saw. I'm always collecting moodboard images
as well.

What propelled you to start your business? The work I did before was
almost entirely online and although I love that in some aspects, I felt
like I needed to start creating something tangible.

 What do you think is the most wonderful part of owning a business? I get
to make all the decisions.

What are your struggles owning a business? The decisions get harder and

Best business advice you’ve been given? This is more like wisdom I was
given rather than advice: The first year that you are fully committed to
your business is the hardest year.

Advice to other creative entrepreneurs? Never stop working and be true to
yourself while creating something unique.

If you can tell the world one thing, what would it be? Trying something
and failing is so much more fulfilling and better than never trying.

You can follow Attalie's design adventures here.

Jun 11, 2012

somewhere in the suburbs

In the middle of May I got an email from Lynne titled, "lily of the valley", email just said "want some?", my answer was YES!!!!
Had not been to her yard since one of her fabulous wisteria is blooming parties, a few years back.
 Lynne is a free spirit with one of the best and most positive out looks in life I've ever experienced, her husband a meticulous architect and together they created a glorious retreat of a yard.
Every corner filled with flora delight. Layers upon layers of goodness at every turn, this is the kinda place that transports you out of a busy day into a peaceful place. I'm so jealous, take a look!

Jun 6, 2012

escape from condotraz

I've been trusting my little pup more and more these days, walks without a leash, hanging out in front of the shop taking in the sun, you know...summer fun !
 She's been doing really good as long as no chipmunks are around, sticks to my side and comes back when I call her. That is until last Tuesday morning.
We came out early in the morning to go to work, I usually let her smell around and investigate for a bit and do her morning dooties while I load up my car; purse, bag with crap that does not fit in my purse, lunch, files and breakfast protein shake, the usual. All done and I called out her name and nothing! I started walking towards her favorite spot and she was nowhere to be found, my heart sank as I piked up the pace screaming  LOUISE!!!! and nothing...I wanted to die.
 Looked everywhere, in the woods behind the house, the sides of the building and in the storm drain wholes. It was so quite  out, just a hand full of birds chirping and all I could think about was the giant hawk we saw the day before perched low on our tree. Still calling her name, now sobbing, hoping to hear the jingle of her tags. Twenty minutes later (which by the way felt like a month) she comes running out of the woods with the most exciting and gratifying face I've seen on my weinerbeagle EVER!!!
I wanted to kill her, but instead I loved her. I asked her all day Tuesday what she did in those twenty minutes and she just wagged her tail...

Jun 4, 2012

pride and passion tuesday/ Esther's Place

We set out on our adventure on a brilliant  Sunday afternoon, Nick, Nat, (my sister's kids) Louise and yours truly. Our mission to learn something new from the sweet ladies at Esther's Place.
 Nick and I used to have dates all the time when he was a little bean, but now that I lead the glamorous life of a small business owner, time is at a premium and poor little Nat has been suffering the consequences of my busy schedule. 
So this summer I decided to try to change that a bit and what a great place this was to start our adventures!

Esther's Place began with a small flock of sheep and a wheel and has since grown into a fiber arts studio and rereat center . Named after one of their first sheep,  Esther's Place was founded by Natasha Lehrer at the age of nineteen. With assistance from her parents and others, she wrote grants, learned everything she could about different fiber arts, helped furnish Esther's Place restored 19th century Victorian building, and began this vibrant community resource in the sweet rural town of Big Rock, Illinois. 

Twice a year Esther's Place holds an open house weekend, where you can come explore the possibilities 
and have a meet and greet with the flock and yes Esther was there too!

We explored the studio, enjoyed a felting class and sampled delicious baked goods and refreshments the ladies made. It was delish!

Then Natasha escorted us to the pastures to meet Esther and her friends. Natasha was delightful, passion poured out of her with every explanation and with the animals. She loves what she does and we got to reap the rewards. The kids loved it! Nat said she wants  to be a farmer when she grows up :)

We got to feed the flock and pet the baby lambs, they were sooooooooo sweet.

It was a great day all around, we learned how to felt and about the life of a sheep farmer, left with lots of great goods for future projects, delicious homemade breads and we made fun memories we will share for a lifetime. I will be taking a class there this fall and would love it if you would come along with me and support this heartFELT small business with large passion !

Jun 3, 2012

for the love of flowers

Flowers! Oh how I love flowers! Question is... do I love them more than I love myself???
The wedding industry has become so glamorized and at times I feel a bit detached from all of that, like somehow I don't fit in.
I love the brainstorming, planning, the excitement of it all; ripping the boxes open and putting together what we've been planning for a while, making  reality a vision is basically like crack for me. Yes!!! I have an addiction, so much so that I forget what I even look like the day of the wedding. Normally hair back, still a bit of dirt under my finger nails and no make~up.
Always hiding from the guests hoping to catch a glimpse of couples reaction to the room. Wedding planners walking around in pretty little Anthropologie dresses, photographers in cool urban outfits with kick ass gear hanging from their necks, like the most amazing pieces of jewelery I've ever seen and here I am a hot mess. What in the world?!
 The thing is, I feel bad for about an hour and then on the way back to the shop all I can think about is getting some more crack and a nap... anyone else feel this way?

Jun 2, 2012

over the moon

I'm so excited! My cousin Lucy is coming to visit! We grew up five doors from each other and now we are continents apart. Shes a bit older then me, still never to cool to hang out with her younger cousin.  She took me to my first concert and bought me my first bottle of perfume, it smelled like honeysuckle :)  I looked up to her then and look up to her now. Love her so.

 Been planning her visit for a couple of months now, I rented a place smack in the middle of everything and can wait to show her this beautiful city of ours!
We have two days of frolic in the city! any thoughts or ideas? Think of us while you're enjoying the weekend and let me know! Can't wait ;)