STAYING THE COURSE…

Happy 2015!  This brand new year really snuck up on me, and I can’t believe we’re already three weeks into January.  Right after Christmas, James and I were lucky enough to get the chance to sneak away for a full 8 days to Arizona, where we enjoyed hiking amid the Saguaros, delicious Mexican food, the company of good friends, and constant sunlight.  Such a relief after weeks and weeks of that Pacific Northwest grey foggy drizzle we’re so famous for, and we thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.

Towards the end of the trip, on a particularly cozy evening filled with good wine, board games, and a homemade pasta dinner, I asked the inevitable question to our group of friends… “Any New Years resolutions?”  It’s exciting to start anew… to make those grand promises to yourself that you will strive to follow, and I always love hearing what others are planning on adding to their own lives.  But to my surprise, my favorite answer came from a dear friend, who simply stated, “To stay the course”.  This is a person who has had his share of trials and tribulations over the past few years, and only through hard work and a lot of sacrifice, has arrived at this place that he can truly call his happiest. What I loved that evening, is the recognition that in order to continue to feel fullfilled and content in life, there must be a certain amount of patience applied to your journey.  We can get caught up in overarching and broad goals, or the pressure to succeed very quickly, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that old saying, “slow and steady wins the race.”

Although I have a few resolutions marked firmly in place, and I can’t wait for all that 2015 brings, I plan on reminding myself of this friend’s outlook on life as often as possible.  Cheers to a new start, as well as satisfaction and confidence in the journey we are on!

Arizona Image

Following the winding and steep Apace Trail,   Monster Saguaros,   One of many sunlit desert hikes,   Palo Verde…the state tree of Arizona,   A very Southwest looking gingerbread house at the beautiful Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch,   Montezuma Castle National Monument….remains of the cliff dwelling Sinagua people,   and of course one more stunning cactus from Saguaro National Park.

CHRISTMAS EVE WRAPPING TIPS

If you’re anything like me, your Christmas gifts are waiting in the closet for their final holiday treatment.  It’s traditional to shop and wrap gifts on Christmas Eve, but the additional step of wrapping everything up can feel a bit stressful with so many things going on this time of year.  I wanted a quick fix, and Adrian Perry is my go-to for the most practical yet stylish solutions to a busy life here in the Northwest.  We asked her to stop by and share a few tricks she has up her sleeves to give those gifts that final, special touch.

 

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Wrapping has become such a fun and creative part of the holiday season, with all of the beautiful papers and note tags, it can be hard to choose from so many options.  Because of this, Adrian likes to keep a stash of non-seasonal wrapping paper year round, and chooses to embellish her gifts with details that speak to that particular holiday or event.  It tends to keep the aesthetic more true to one’s personality, and as she points out, saves a ton of money on constantly buying new rolls of paper.  Paper Source is one of the best spots for gorgeous, high quality neutral paper to keep on hand throughout the year.

 

 

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A classic black and white palette was chosen with bursts of red throughout.  Rifle Paper Company is a favorite of Adrian’s for their whimsical designs and unique pieces, and was perfect for jazzing up the neutral base…how cute is that mini composition book!?  We love their selection of adhesive gift tags in floral designs as well.  So pretty and festive, and easy to use.

Kate Spade Saturday has been making these awesome printed gift boxes, which are genius for the SUPER last minute gifter.  Just add a bow and you’re set!  Colored kitchen twine is also a nice thing to keep around, as you get a ton of it in each roll, and it always looks pretty wrapping up a gift.

 

 

Adrian Wrapping Tutorial 1

Adrian approaches gift wrapping in a similar way to setting a table.  Start with the foundation, she teaches, and work up in layers to allow each detail to stand out as you go.  To start, she visually measures the amount of paper needed by placing the box and cutting away the excess paper, saving that for a smaller gift or homemade note tag later on.

 

 

Adrian Tutorial Folding

When folding the ends, take care to make a double fold before taping.  This cleans up all the messy edges you sometimes forget about.  Adrian uses double sided tape inside of the folds as opposed to taping it all down at the end…an ultra polished effect!

 

 

Adrian Wrapping Tutorial Creasing Paper

My biggest takeaway from this lesson, is to be sure to crease all edges tightly as you work.  This creates a clean edge and smooths out the surface of the wrapping paper.  It’s no fun to finish your wrapping, only to have a sloppy looking rippling effect going on.

 

 

Adrian Wrapping Label

Once you’re finished with the technical wrapping portion, begin to embellish!  Have fun, and think about the person you’re gifting this to.  It’s always nice to incorporate aspects of their personalities into the wrapping…Adrian points out how wonderful it is to see a person light up over the care and thought you’ve given to the presentation of their gift.

 

 

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Ta da!  You’re all set for a beautiful and stylish Christmas tree tomorrow morning.  Happy Holidays!  Sending love and joy to all.

 

Photos by Kettlewerks.

 

DREAMERS AND DOERS. SEATTLE BASED JEWELRY DESIGNER, JERI WARLICK

Jewelry is a constant obsession for most women… finding that dainty piece that’s perfect on a daily basis, or the occassional knock out statement necklace that adds instant glam is all part of the fun of dressing and being feminine.  I recently met jewlery designer Jeri Warlick, and fell hard for her unique and sculptural collections.  Jeri moved to Seattle from Little Rock just over a year ago, and I decided to pay a visit to her studio, meet her charming family, and discuss all things creative and sparkly.

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Tell us a bit about why you started this line?  

Initially, in my 20’s I was just designing and making things for fun that I loved and wanted to wear.  People started asking if they could buy the jewelry, and it eventually evolved into an entire business that has enabled me to live a creative life.  The Patina line that I introduced this Fall was all about embracing change.  I had just moved from Little Rock to Seattle… quite a switch, and it was inspiring to constantly force myself to be open to the unknown, that being out of one’s comfort zone can often result in the most beautiful and exciting things. The line reflects this with it’s simplicity of materials, and modern carved out metals.  A more serious type of adornment.

How do you stay inspired?  

Travel is the most important way I maintain my creativity.  Being out in nature, discovering unusual places, or getting off the beaten path thrills me.  I love a good vintage or second hand store…digging through the ruffage to find that gem, and seeing it transformed into something stylish gets my creativity flowing.  I love watching the way street style evolves, and all the different ways young people spin it for themselves.  Of course, African prints and textiles are a huge part of what I look to in my designs….my beaded earrings and strong metal chokers are heavily influenced by this part of the world.  Authentic people and good, structurally sound design are in there too.

Jeri's Supplies

As a mother, how do you balance your work and personal life?

I am very spiritual in my life.  I meditate every single day, and try to maintain that feeling of being grounded to the earth we walk on.  I try to focus more on the process of the work then the outcome, and to revel in the feeling of creating something.  I try to apply this same thing to raising children…enjoy the every day, the process of helping them grow into adults.  And, art is something that we make a part of family life.  Both of us are artists, and we teach our children to incorporate that into their every day as well.  It’s a major value in our family life.

jeri at home

When you’re not at work, or with your family, where can we find you?

Ha, at work!  My studio is a part of our home, so the two are very married.  If not there, which is rare, I’m outdoors somewhere taking a walk or enjoying coffee or a great happy hour with friends.

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Where have you traveled lately that sparks your creativity?

It’s not a long trip, but recently I’ve been very inspired by Discovery Park, which is right near our home in Seattle.  You can take long walks in the woods, or hike down to the beach…it’s an incredible place that I find endlessly fullfilling.  Having the ability to watch the tide come in and out, watching that ebb and flow in nature, keeps me grounded but also reminds me of what beauty we have around us every day.

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What is your next big adventure?

We’re headed to Yosemite National Park for Christmas.  I’ve been inspired lately by John Muir’s writings and adventures, and would love to bring that into my next collection.  We’re planning on camping with our 5 year old, connecting with the energy of the place, and just see where it all goes from there. Peru is also on the list.

Tell us a bit about your daily routine?  Take us through your day.  

I start every day with a bit of meditation…it centers me before a full schedule takes over. Opening the doors right away to the smell of the Sound is wonderful, and of course, coffee in a French Press is a daily must.  I usually sit and write out a few thoughts in my journal quickly, and then cook breakfast for my family…perhaps my favorite routine of all, and one I will do no matter how rich and famous I might become!  Every day for me changes with new orders coming in overnight, possible clients to meet with, production needs to address.  I spend the entire day working until we meet back together as a family for a home cooked dinner.

Jeri at work and home

Favorite local food and drink haunts?

El Camino for their delicious Margaritas and Mexican food!  I love anything spicy, and all the great ethnic food options we have here in Seattle are amazing.

Any artists, designers, or creatives that you look up to?

I love Ralph Lauren’s story…very grassroots and well branded from the start.  Kate Spade really made something out of nothing.  And Alexander McQueen for embracing the darkness in his life and turning it into something beautiful until there was no more.

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How would you describe your style?  

“Easy and unexpected”.  A good cocktail dress, stilletos, worn in jeans with a goodwill tee and sharp blazer.  I love going out at night, straight from working in the studio all day with just some lipstick and a great shoe added for a hint of glamour.

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If you’re in the market for a last minute Holiday gift, take a look at Jeri’s incredible works of art, and reach out to her here.

 

All images by Carlton Canary

ICY WINTER PINKS

As the season officially shifts to Winter, I’ve been drawn more and more to a softer color palette.  Icy Pink has been striking a chord lately, as I love the way it combines with all things holiday.  A few ideas on ways to bring this pretty hue into your life…..

 

Pretty Pink Drinks

I love the idea of using metallic accents to create a holiday story with these pretty pink drinks.

 

 

Diana Vreeland Painting

A new art site,  Buddy Editions has just popped up all over the blogosphere.  Created by Katie Armour, of the awesome blog The Neo-Trad,  the site offers limited editions by new artists from all over the world, at an affordable price.  Such a great way to find pieces that will complete that gallery wall you might have been working on, or perfect for a holiday gift!  I’m loving the painting above of Diana Vreeland by Miyuki Ohashi….so glam!

 

 

 

Jaipur Pink 1

Jaipur, India is on the top of my travel list.  Called “The Pink City”, due to all of the pink stone used to build the majority of the citie’s structures, it is a hub for all types of arts and crafts.  Image via Travel + Leisure

 

 

 

Pink Dress Looks

I’ve been seeing gorgeous party dresses in shades of Blush.  Found these sparkly options from Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, Nasty Gal

 

 

 

Pink Pearl Apple Pie

I’m excited to try some new baking this year.  Pink Pearl Apple Pie sounds and looks delicious, added bonus for matching your dessert to your outfit!

 

 

 

Rifle Pink Notebook

I have a little obsession with stylish organizational tool…this festive journal really speaks to me.

 

 

 

Pink Exterior Doors

This is about the time of year I start craving that Indoor/Ourtdoor style of living, and want to pack it all up and move to Southern California.  These pretty pink doors look so perfect with the intricate yellow and blue floor tiling.

 

 

 

ABC Pillows

ABC Carpet and Home is my design mecca.  Walk in those doors and you’ll be lost for hours in a dreamy land of dishes, textiles, and more.  These pretty pink pillows would look great grouped together

 

NEIGHBORHOOD LUNCH SPOT – THE BEAR AND THE BEE

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This week, we thought we’d pay a visit to one of our favorite new lunch haunts, The Bear and The Bee.  It’s right in the middle of Belltown, an area of Seattle that borders Pike Place Market, Downtown, and the Waterfront, and is chalk full of wonderful little shops, galleries, and restaurants…a great place to spend a day exploring.

We discovered this new sandwich shop a couple of months ago, and have been devotees ever since.  The sandwiches are just pure goodness, full of tasty ingredients from local providers.  The combinations lean toward the more creative, such as “The Smashed Potato”, which includes White Cheddar, Gouda, Leeks, Chives, and Fingerling Potatoes, all on an open faced Sourdough….so incredible!  It’s lovely to have a place in the area that caters to the local clientele who expect just a bit more out of their usual lunch break.

Marcus Johnson, one of the owners, sat down with us to answer a few questions about running such a great addition to the neighborhood.

 

Tell us a bit about the shop, and why you decided to open it here in Belltown?

Jessica Gifford and I, after opening a few bars in Belltown, decided the neighborhood could benefit from a small and comfortable sandwich shop that would serve high quality foods and stay open through the Seattle food witching hours (3-5) until 7p.m.  We wanted a fresh approach to classics like the Italian sub (The Milan-Torino) or the BLT (we add shaved onion and fresh avocado).

Bear and Bee Inside Look

How did you get into the restaurant industry?  What made you decide to tackle artisan sandwiches?

I’m a big foodie, but I’m a career barman so my experience with professional food prep is a bit naive to say the least, and I figured if we were to expand into the food scene we had better start small with a solid staff from which I could learn.  The Bear and the Bee is hopefully a stepping stone and research tool towards bigger things.

You own several other establishments in the area.  Tell us about these, and how you manage to keep balanced while running all at the same time.

We own and operate three bars within a one block radius in Belltown, off 2nd and Blanchard.  Bathtub Gin & Co. (built from scratch) is our slightly hidden cocktail bar.  The Rabbit Hole (a former Thai restaurant) has become our Cheers of sorts with skeeball, a full kitchen open late, and a couple televisions for the games.  Lava Lounge was on the verge of being closed when we decided to buy it, redo the mural, and basically just keep it the way it has been for the past twenty years.

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Your ingredients, the bread, the juice, the wine and beer….it’s all so excellent.  Where do you find such great purveyors?

The sources for our products are very important to us, even for a tiny little sandwich shop.  Besides produce from Frank’s and other vendors in Pike Place Market, and Zoe’s and Grand Central Bakery for meats and breads, we also brought in a local juicing company Healthy Bonez, for our personalized cold pressed juices.

Who are your favorite Seattle chefs?  Best places to get a meal in this city?

I just can’t say enough about how lucky we are to have so many great chefs and restaurants in the Seattle area.  I wish I had more time (and deeper pockets) to explore and re-visit every chef and their restaurants in town, but a few of my favorites: Renee Erickson; The Whale Wins,  Scott Staples; Quinn’s,  Jason Wilson; Crush,  Maria Hines; Tilth,  Matt Dillon; The Corson Building. So many good spots.  I also really enjoy the old staple restaurants that locals know and love: Palace Kitchen, Machiavelli, and half the restaurants in the International District.

The Making of a Sandwich - Bear and Bee

What is your favorite part about living and working in the Northwest?

I moved to Seattle about 13 years ago and am thoroughly enjoying planting my roots here.  I like the direction the city is moving and I see many opportunities in the future.  But the people, the water, the culture, and of course the 9 month anticipation of summer keeps me here.

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Any new dining trend you’re loving right now?  Any you’re so not into?

What I’m really loving right now, is restaurant design.  Although the food and service should be number one, I love walking into a well thought out room such as Westward or The London Plane.  Trend in the industry that I’m not too fond of? Lazy, uncaring service is always old.

Bear and Bee Interior

What are some important lessons you’ve learned about running a small business, and being an entrepreneur?

Being a small business owner has taught me many things and I have come to realize that it’s becoming an eternal classroom that fortunately lets me meet new people and pay the mortgage.

We love the look of The Bear and the Bee…tell us a bit about the thought behind it? 

I’m glad you enjoy the design of the place.  I thought a little wood (maybe a lot), some easy colors, and random art on the walls would sit well with a small open kitchen.  And I wanted to make sure we had a front sitting area up against the large floor to ceiling windows looking out at 2nd Ave.

 Bear and Bee Look

Best sandwich on the menu?

These days I’ve been enjoying The Southpaw. Ham and swiss with some sloppy sweet and sour slaw.  So good.

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Go check out The Bear and The Bee at 2211 2nd Ave between Blanchard and Bell in Seattle, Wa…. You won’t regret it!

All images curtesy of KettleWerks.