Archive for February, 2011

The $200 Microhouse

February 28, 2011

I really enjoyed this recent article in the New York Times about The $200 Microhouse, and thought you might be intrigued by it as well.  This little number is the Gypsy Junker, designed and constructed by Derek Diedricksen.  I watched a couple of his Tiny Yellow House videos on YouTube, and was quite entertained.  You have got to appreciate a guy that uses the door of a deceased front-load washer for a porthole-like window!


Salvage Garden Style

February 25, 2011

Please join me at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 3:30 p.m. in the Rainier Room.  I’ll be presenting a fun and fast-paced seminar on Salvage Garden Style.  Lots of ideas, hot tips and pictures of garden styling using salvage, found objects, and really good junk.  From hip and modern gardens to rustic and natural.  Lessons I have learned the hard way, and a couple of chuckles too.

Lots of Green Living

February 24, 2011


This year’s Northwest Flower and Garden Show is brimming with lots of green-living features.  These banners greet you as you walk in the door. 

I got a major kick out of this clever and attractive use for empty plastic water bottles.

These radiators were put to good use as low fencing.  “Paradise (to be) Regained is the title of this garden, created by Courtney Goetz, a 17 year old!         

It’s always a huge treat when Christianson’s Nursery does a show garden.  This one is titled “A Day Well Spent”, with its story being about small family nurseries.  I’m ready to move into this charming garden.

The magic of the flower and garden show – some blooming roses in February.  What a contentment producing sight!

I’m really excited about the seminar I am doing on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the Rainier Room – Salvage Garden Style.  Plus I’ll get to enjoy another day at this splendid show.

Funky Junk Judging

February 23, 2011


I  had the privilege of being a judge for the Funky Junk gardens at this year’s Northwest Flower and Garden Show.  I enjoyed sharing this fun gig with Matthew Levesque, author of The Revolutionary Yardscape.

The gardens are created by local high school students.  This background mural used green painted plastic bags to create an eye-catching dimension.

We really appreciated the use of native plants in this garden.

This design incorporated one-of-a-kind miniature homes to make its own inviting village.  Lots of individuality and effort went into these.

I was impressed with the effort and hard work these high school students put into their gardens.  And the excitement continued as I got a preview look at all the show gardens without the public throng.

The theme of this year’s flower and garden show is “Once Upon a Time…Spectacular Gardens with Stories to Tell”.  One of my favorites is Wish ‘Shoe’ Were Here, a take on the Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe.  Apparently the kids are grown, and now she is sporting a stiletto!  I’ll share more favorites in my next post.

And better yet, visit the show Feb. 23 – 27 and see it for yourself.  I’ll be speaking on Salvage Garden Style on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.  It would be terrific to see you there.

I Love Teaching!

February 21, 2011


Teaching at last weekend’s Ruffles and Rust show was such fun!  Timi and her wonderful staff did a bang-up job.  Talented vendors, friendly people everywhere, and an inspiring environment surrounded us all.

My classroom space was cozy and had great light.

The nicest people ever joined in the Blossoms & Buttons Cuff creating.

Here is Donna’s bracelet nearly finished.  Gorgeous!

Mark your calendars for the next Ruffles and Rust Show – October 21 & 22, 2011.  It will be worth the wait!

Ruffles and Rust Class Kits

February 16, 2011

My class kits are decorated and ready for this weekend’s Ruffles and Rust Show, Feb. 18 & 19 at the Monroe Fair Grounds.  There are still spaces left for the Spring Fling Necklace, from 10 a.m. to noon, and the Blossoms and Buttons Cuff from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.  Click on the Ruffles and Rust link to find out how to register, and for more info on this splendid show.

Kitty Harry has his kit all picked out.

He has tucked himself into the supplies for the classes.  Looks like he is ready to attend Ruffles and Rust too!

Ruffles and Rust Is Just Next Week

February 9, 2011

The fabulous Ruffles and Rust show is nearly here.  And so are the two classes I will be teaching.  There are still some spaces left.  I’d love to have you join me! 

Spring Fling Necklace

A big, foofy flower created from an antique, French lace bedspread, handmade lace, and real pearls adorn this necklace, and can be removed to wear as a pin!  Twists and turns of chains, snippets of French lace, and dangling pearls create some swag and sway.  More strands of chain are attached to a section of a vintage metal belt, anchored with a keepsake wooden French rosary bead to make an eye-catching tassel.  It’s a romantic look with a little edge, and a lot of style.  We’ll do some simple sewing and easy jewelry techniques, and have a bunch of fun.

All materials will be provided in a workshop kit.  Please feel free to bring any special trinkets, charms, jewelry bits and bobs you might want to add.  The color palette of your kit will be in neutral shades of creams and ivory. 

Tools to bring – two pairs of chain or needle nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters and a pair of scissors for cutting lace and threads.

Time:  10 a.m. – noon

Cost is $75.  Class size is limited to 25 students.

Blossoms and Buttons Cuff

You’ll wrap your wrist with ribbon flower blooms, vintage rhinestone, mother-of-pearl and glass buttons, all anchored to a gorgeous white velvet ribbon base.  The chic clasp, created from a vintage metal finding nearly steals the show.  If you can thread a needle, and do a simple running stitch, you can fashion these shimmering blossoms.  Attaching a few jump rings will be the only easy jewelry techniques needed.  We’ll spend a couple of hours stitching, and sharing a couple of really fun hours together!

All materials will be provided in a workshop kit.  Please feel free to bring any special buttons, ribbon segments, jewelry bits and bobs you might want to add.  The color palette of your kit will be in neutral shades of creams and ivory. 

Tools to bring – two pairs of chain or needle nose pliers, and a pair of scissors for cutting ribbons and threads.

Time:  2 – 4 p.m.

Cost is $55.  Class size is limited to 25 students.

For more info about how to register, and some exciting perks for taking these classes, please visit Come Junk With Us.

And please feel free to print this coupon and share it with all your friends:

Love My Subaru

February 7, 2011


I may not be stopping to look at free piles these days, but if anyone says free plants, I’m reaching for my gardening gloves.  Especially if they are drought tolerant and low maintenance ones.  One of our new neighbors in our big sister eco village only three blocks away, offered some strawberry trees, arbutus unedo and a couple of Portuguese laurel trees, prunus lusitanica.  My trusty Subaru could hold one plant at a time.

When it came time to dig up the laurels, I got The Good Husband, Raoul, to save the day.   The biggest laurel put up a good fight, but finally was persuaded to get in the car. 

I am so happy to have my gardening passion back.  We are really looking forward to designing and planting this new garden of ours.  No more plants that are trouble makers, thugs or water hogs!

2011 Provence Vintage Buying Tour

February 1, 2011

What’s your picture of the ideal vintage treasure hunt?  Mine is spending a week in Provence visiting my favorite vintage sources, finding jaw dropping prices, and enjoying delicious meals with a small group of like-minded friends, as we create a memorable adventure.

You are invited to join me for the 2011 Provence Vintage Buying Tour set for September 8 – 14, 2011.

We will stay in the picturesque town of Aix-en-Provence.  Our charming hotel will be steps away from the lively Cours Mirabeau, a wonderful street lined with stately trees, fountains, bistros and fun shops.  This beautiful town is brimming with gorgeous architecture along with modern amenities.  Best of all is its welcoming and relaxing atmosphere.

Joining us as our tour guide will be Jill Mitchell of Le Trip,  Jill and I have worked together on previous trips, and she is an absolute joy to work with – fluent in French, an expert vintage shopper, knows where the best meals are to be found, and can even navigate a large van through a cozy flea market parking lot!

Jill will share some of her secret addresses with us as we explore areas in and around Aix.  We’ll travel to other villages and towns to shop the vide greniers (community garage sales), brocantes (flea markets), consignment stores (similar to our thrift stores), and experience authentic vintage shopping with the locals.  I guarantee you will find bargains and exceptionally reasonable prices.

Besides shopping, we’ll enjoy French culture as we participate in a cooking class in a splendid chateau.  There will be free time to experience Aix on your own.  And by the end of the week, you will feel comfortable exploring one of Aix’s outdoor markets with an amazing offering of vintage linens, French clothing, farm fresh food gifts, spices and handmade soaps – on your own, or with your new tour friends.

We are keeping this group small with only six places, so each of you gets plenty of attention.  For more details about this trip of a lifetime, and how to register, please click the 2011 Provence Vintage Buying Tour page at the top right hand side of my blog.  If you have questions, please feel free to email me at deadline for reserving your spot on this memorable tour is April 1, 2011.

I hope you can join us!