Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spring Meets Fall

Spring and fall are my favorite seasons, in that order. I love all of the promise, light and color that spring brings, and the crisp leaves, cool air, the return to post-summer routine, and some semblance of calm that fall brings, before the craziness of the holidays begins. And have you noticed the cool shadows of fall?

I also love the deep colors of fall, especially the leaves and flowers. Yesterday, I went to my favorite neighborhood market specifically to buy red-orange dahlias for my kitchen. While there, I decided I needed orange tulips for my office too. When I arranged the dahlias, they looked pretty sparse in the vase I had chosen (a Deruta Italian pitcher – my favorite kind of flower vessel) so I added the tulips, and loved the way the spring tulips co-mingled with the fall dahlias. The arrangement ended up on my desk, instead of in my kitchen, and it is just the inspiration I needed to crank out some work… and I get a little lift every time I look at them. Aah, the power of color delights my senses once again!

I also visited the gorgeous and lush dahlia garden at Volunteer Park and again thought about how lovely spring colors mingle with the beautiful fall dahlia blooms.

With names like Wild Man

 and Wynn’s Dapper Dad,

and colors ranging from lavender

 to bright pink

to chrimson red

and even a hybrid of colors.

From huge full heads

to dainty darlings

to stunning star-like blooms, it is a fabulous display.

If you live in Seattle, I hope you get the chance to see the blooms in person before they are gone. If not, pop down to Pike Place Market or your local farmers market and buy some dahlias for your home and office. Either way, I hope you enjoyed these shots, and that you’re relishing the changing of the season.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What Inspires You?

Hello friends,

This morning I finally completed a project I have been thinking about for several months: an inspiration board for my office. I am thrilled with the result and I wanted to share it with you. It’s just the kind of project I needed on this gloomy fall day to get my creative juices flowing. And the added pop of color in my office is fabulous!


I also wanted to share this inspiring blog post I came across today that poses a “fun way for sewists (I’ve never heard that word before!) to get their creative juices flowing, by challenging (her) readers to create a seasonal mini-wardrobe based on an inspiring color palette.” Each sewist has eight weeks to create a moodboard and color palette that inspires her/him for the season and to sew the projects based on their color palette. In the end, they will (hopefully) have a coordinated mini-wardrobe. I’m not up for the sewing part, but coming up with a moodboard and color palette for fall sounds pretty fun to me . . . and inspiring. What do you think? 

My friend Jeanne's blog always inspires me too. I'd love to wear this outfit she painted . . . if only I could sew!

If you end up creating your own inspiration board or fall moodboard and color palette, do let me know. I’d love to see what inspires you!

Happy Monday friends.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Glorious Colors of Tahoe

On the eve of the first day of fall, I am finally getting around to writing this post about the glorious colors of Tahoe we experienced on our annual visit in August.  Before we get too deep into the warm, rich hues of fall I wanted to share these images with you.

In a word: Tahoe is blue. From transparent light blue and turquoise water to bright sky blue. There is something about blue that is so calming and tranquil, almost heavenly. There is a reason Tahoe has a ski resort called Heavenly and the Lake is known as the “jewel of the Sierras.”

There is also an abundance of green (trees), brown (earth) and gray (rocks) in Tahoe in the summer. (In the winter and spring the predominant color is white, but that is for another post when we go spring skiing!)

The sky and the lake are the bluest of blues - bright and sparkling and pure. The greens are deep and serene. Brown is grounding. The large gray granite rocks along the water's edge evoke strength and sturdiness . . . this glorious place will be around for a long time.
And since summer came late this year, we enjoyed accents of yellow, purple, red and orange wildflowers. What a treat!

This is one of our favorite spots to anchor the boat at D.A. Bliss state park.
We simply refer to it as “Bliss” for obvious reasons!

The water literally sparkles when Geoff glides across it on skis.

On top of the world!
The view from one of our favorite perches atop Eagle Rock on Tahoe’s west shore.

We even enjoyed a beautiful performance by the Tahoe Youth Ballet set amongst the huge sugar pine trees and the Lake as the backdrop. Simply beautiful.

How about this sunset? Have you ever seen something so gorgeous?

In addition to the natural colors in Tahoe, deep brown mahogany “woodies” abound on the Lake. 

Our favorites are the Italian Revas.

We were married on the shores of Lake Tahoe 14 years ago. For our anniversary, Geoff gave me this hand-made Tahoe bluebird necklace from Bluebird Designs.  I saw bluebirds every day in Tahoe – they bring me peace and strength.

And I just had to throw in a picture of Sofia in pink with the backdrop of glorious Tahoe blue!


There is a huge effort among locals and regular visitors to “Keep Tahoe Blue.”  I hope you will agree it’s a worthy endeavor.

Ok, now I “think” I’m ready for some cozy fall days. How about you?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What a Greek Weekend!

Well, I didn't make it to Greece as my friend Jeanne suggested in her post on Friday, but I did my get fill of Greek food, music and culture at the Seattle Greek Festival that is hosted by Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in our neighborhood every year. It's a fun excuse to eat, drink and be merry - all weekend! It's also a great excuse to don some blue and white. Sofia and I painted Greek flags this week in anticipation of the event, which we affectionately refer to simply as "Greek Fest."

I'm not Greek, although my maiden name (Hermes) is and I've been told I could pass as Greek with my dark hair and olive skin, I embrace my "Greek heritage" every year for this festive weekend.

Gyros are always my festival favorite. Sorry I didn't get a picture of the real thing. I downed it before I thought to take a picture. It was that good!

And a little Greek Ouzo goes a long way!

It's also a great excuse to have a party. We've been hosting our annual Greek Fest pre-func for as long as we've lived in our house - 13 years now. It's fun to welcome new and old friends into our home and share in some Greek culture together.  I think our friends look forward to it as much as we do now - some start asking about it in June.

Although hardly a Greek tradition, the "shot-ski" always comes out at our party. In unison, the participants chant "I ski, you ski, we all ski for shot-ski" before taking a shot of licorice-flavored Ouzo from shot glasses that are attached to a ski.  It seems like something you'd see in Scandinavia rather than Greece! No matter, it's a fun crowd pleaser. My lovely girlfriends (from left: Alisa, Megan and Megan) enjoyed a shot-ski with me!

We had dinner at the festival tonight to help celebrate my mom's birthday. Five years ago we announced to her over gyros that I was pregnant with Sofia. Greek Fest has become a special tradition for us. I'm not sure what it is about the Greeks, but they know how to put on a good party.

Until next year... Opa!