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.

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.....

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.

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.
 

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.
 
 

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.

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