Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spring 2013 Pantone Color Report

This year's Spring 2013 Pantone Color Report appears to me to favor pastels over bold and bright. There are still some eye popping colors like lemon zest and poppy red. However the colors dusk blue, grayed jade, African violet and even nectarine appear softer hued in their color swatches and examples than last year's colors. Pantone has suggested color palettes for women and men.

Pamper your purse with a pastel African violet purse charm from EDCCollective or perhaps you'd like to bring in a bit of dusk and Monaco blue with this blue sponge coral necklace.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Garden Coaching

If you are on the right mailing lists, seed catalogs have probably already started showing up in your mailbox, soon to be followed by flower, edible plant, bulb, ornamental plant and/or garden supply catalogs. If you join in the annual ritual of pouring over these catalogs, marking things that look like they would be great additions to your yard but are unsure just what you would actually do with everything if you were to order and have them show up on your doorstep, then hiring a garden coach might be just the thing for you.

Hire a garden coach? Just what is a garden coach, you ask?

I was quoted in an article on garden coaching in the March 2010 Costco Magazine, "A garden coach is like hiring a professional trainer for your garden", explains Costco member Cathy Stein, owner of Eclectic Design Choices and a coach in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. "The role of a garden coach is to show a homeowner how to make improvements and maintain their landscape, to access the needs of their landscape and to show them how to put it into top shape".

Garden coaches offer a variety of services to help you turn your landscape visions into reality. They may help you with design, plant selection, shopping for healthy plants, plant care instruction, plant identification and lists of professionals for the parts of your yard transformation that you don't want to tackle yourself. By doing all of these things, a garden coach can actually help save you money by avoiding costly mistakes. For more of my thoughts on what a garden coach can do for you, click on my garden coaching tab above.

If you live in another part of the U.S. and would like to find a garden coach near you, you can find listings for garden coaches in your state in this garden coach directory. There are even international listings there as well. If you live in the DFW area, I'd love to talk with you about setting up an initial consultation.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Artist Spotlight – Frontier Gallery

The artisan behind Frontier Gallery produces amazing pine cone duck “decoys”, pine needle baskets and gourd art. I first saw Dee’s work at the Dallas Handmade Arts Market last September and loved her nature inspired work. She was at the market again when I vended there last October. Spending time talking with her, watching her weave her pine needle baskets and looking at her beautiful pieces left me with just one question, did I want a pine cone duck, a pine needle basket or a gourd creation?

It was not an easy choice. All of her items were amazing. Finally I settled on a gourd creation. The one I chose had such great flow and motion about it. The gourd was cut such that the upper edge undulated up and down. Several layers of pine needles were coiled along this edge. The pine needle coils also held a shed deer antler in place. She completed the adornments on this gourd using feathers and metal beads. The patina on the gourd was created with alcohol ink dyes in blues and golds. It is a lovely addition to my eclectic collection of art forms displayed in my home.

You can find Dee’s handcrafted pine needle, pine cone and gourd creations in her Etsy shop along with her polymer clay wildflowers and naughty Christmas ornaments.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) 2013

It's almost here, the 16th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) and it is new and improved! You don't have to be in North America to participate. The GBBC has gone global. Count birds from Friday, February 15 through Monday, February 18. A good pair of binoculars and a field guide are handy but not required for your participation. You will want to download a bird list tailored to your region so that you can tally the birds that you see while you are birdwatching and counting. Take this opportunity to get out and enjoy some fresh air and the natural world while providing important data to researchers.

The data that is collected from all participating citizen scientists (Yes this is what you are if you collect and submit at least one day's worth of data.) is analyzed to find out what effect weather patterns have on bird populations, whether migratory patterns are changing and much more. More details such as how to participate in the count and the photo contest as well as why it is important to count the birds can be found on the Great Backyard Bird Count website.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Thanks for the Treasuries - January 2013

Four different Etsians and one Etsy team let me know that they had featured one or more of my items in a treasury during January. Six January Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one of my creations. In addition one treasury included an item from each of my shops. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during January. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below (in alphabetical order) links to the 4 Etsy sellers that let me know that they featured one of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like in addition to the TexasFriendsTeam that also featured an item of mine.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the shop links of anything that catches your eye.

This artisan's shop specializes in Euro jewelry and add a bead bracelets.

Find gifts for the wine connoisseur who happens to appreciate hand made items plus more.

This glass artist's painted and fuzed pendants sport a variety of colorful and whimsical images.

Past, present and future Texans are welcome and encouraged to join this team. The only real rules of the group is to promote friendly, The Texas Way and be respectful to all who participate.

Items such as fabric flowers and goodies for your hair are found here.