Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's a Little Shirley?

No, this darling gal is not Little Shirley. She's Lauren Burman, creator of Little Shirley vases and founder of Material Good, a Seattle-based company with a big heart!

According to Lauren, Material Good was founded out of a desire to honor my grandmother’s life while supporting an important cause. In November 2008, I began training to run a marathon. A few months prior I had moved back to Seattle to spend time with my grandmother who was battling cancer. I joined Team in Training, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society‘s marathon-training program, to run and raise money for cancer research in her honor. I was interested in raising money in a mutually beneficial fashion. I felt that giving people a tangible gift in return for their donation would make them feel more connected to the cause and, in turn, support it on a deeper level. Little Shirleys were born out of this idea and named in honor of my grandmother, Shirley Larson."

To me, they are the perfect gift. Artful, colorful, handmade locally, reasonably priced and best of all 10% of all sales goes to cancer causes. Works for me!

You can read more about the inspiration behind Little Shirley vases here. In the meantime, I visited their fabulous studio in SODO recently and wanted to share some behind-the-scenes pictures of how these little darlings are made - handmade, that is!




Did I mention they come in 34 fabulous colors with fun names like bombshell, leap frog, kissable, hot tamale and neon, which happens to be orange and my favorite!

And Lauren's favorite, canal beachglass, which reminds her of the beachglass she collected on Washington's Hood Canal when she was growing up.
I keep my neon Little Shirley on my desk with a single bloom in it for daily inspiration.

You can find Little Shirleys at all Nordstrom stores with home and gift departments, online at Nordstrom.com, as well as lots of local shops. Lauren's in Las Vegas this week at the Gift Show spreading the Little Shirley love and hopefully picking up a bunch more accounts. 

Shirley sounds like a pretty amazing lady - just like Lauren. I think she would be exceptionally proud of her granddaughter's venture, and most importantly her big heart!

Next time you need the perfect gift, I hope you'll reach for a Little Shirley!

P.S. This very cool Little Shirley light fixture greets customers at the Material Good studio. If you visit, be sure to look up so you don't miss it!

Monday, January 28, 2013

LIfe is messy. Wear a smock!

Photo: Seltzer
And make sure it's COLORFUL!
I have loved this card for a long time, but it
seems especially appropriate right now.
What color is your smock?!
Happy Monday friends.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Praying for a Miracle

Definition of MIRACLE: 
an extraordinary event manifesting divine 
intervention in human affairs*

Skipper Scott and me sailing on the Columbia River last summer.

Do you believe in miracles? I do.

Many of you know that I received news two weeks ago today that my oldest friend from childhood, Scott, was diagnosed with colon cancer that has metastasized in his liver. Scott and I grew up across the street from each other and are like brother and sister. We met when we were 2 years old, the age of his youngest son, Zane.

In the two short - yet seemingly long - weeks since Scott's diagnosis I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions. But the one that is carrying me through is HOPE that there will be a miracle and Scott will be healed. Of course he is getting the best treatment possible for his type of cancer (at MD Anderson in Houston) but his family and friends are joining together and praying very specifically for:

 complete miraculous healing through divine intervention. 

We do not know when this will happen or what the road to get there will be like but we believe that a miracle is possible. 

Regardless of your religious beliefs, I ask you to join us in praying for a miracle for Scott.

If you feel led, please read this beautiful prayer that a parishioner at our church wrote for Scott:

“Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you with our hearts exposed, feeling raw from the news that a dearly loved friend and life partner is now so ill. We ask you, Lord God, to take Scott into your arms, tenderly embracing him, infusing his body with your healing touch, imparting to him your miracle of healing, renewal, and pervasive love. May this love enter his body and fill him with the knowledge of your great love for him, so that he stands before you, confident, knowing that he is your own beloved son and servant. Bless him in his new days in you to carry your spirit with him, in all his paths and in all that he does, knowing that you have promised you will be with us always, even to the ends of the Earth. You asked in your time on Earth that the cup would be taken from you, but thy will be done. We pray to you now, Lord God, to take from Scott this cup, giving to him the water of everlasting life in you, yet thy will be done. We join in a community of prayer and love to surround Amy, and Scott’s family, as they face the news that they have been given. Bless them to be peaceful and quiet before you, knowing how long to wait to hear your voice in their lives, that their waiting will prepare them to join you, as you care for your child, Scott. We thank you, Lord God. And we ask for your miracle, that Scott will be healed. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.”

Please keep Scott's amazing wife, Heather, and two young boys Chance and Zane, in your prayers too.

Chance and Heather


Scott (if you see this!): I look forward to getting back on the river with you bro and experiencing many more adventures together. You are going to kick cancer's ass!! I love you!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Jill!

Image 289
Photo: Powers Photography Studios

Today is my extraordinarly creative sister Jill's 39th birthday. To help her ring in the final year of her 30's, I wanted to share some of her beautiful and colorful floral creations with you. Cheers to a great year, Jill!

Image 88

This is one of my all-time favorite bouquets of Jill's. It appeared on the cover of Portland Monthly's Bride and Groom Magazine in 2008 with the headline: "A Day so Divine." That is what I am wishing for Jill's birthay - a divine day!

Portland B&G 2

The diversity of Jill's creations is simply stunning to me. This wedding especially struck my fancy! Modern yet old-fashioned and oh so beautiful.

Image H
Photo: Aisha Harley
Image E
Photo: Aisha Harley

image 5
Photo: Aisha Harley

And the story wouldn't be complete without a picture of Jill's beautiful daughter, Lilly, wearing a head-wreath by Jill.

Image Ds
Photo: Rebekah Johnson

I leave you with this beautiful image from the the homepage of her website...

And there's lots more eye candy on her Facebook page - so go here and "like" Starflower!

Happy Birthday Jill.  I hope it's divine!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Colorful Distractions

I've been having a hard time focusing this morning as I wait for word from my friend who is being seen at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. I put my work on hold, talked to two of my best friends, did some mindless email, and visited Facebook where I found some great colorful images that I wanted to share with you. They don't take away my stress but they definitely provided a great distraction. I hope you enjoy!

Did you hear about the Empire State Building Photo Contest? Help select the official colors for the tower lights. From Jan 14-20 see the different choices light up the building. Tonight is orange. (My vote!)  Like the ESB Facebook page and cast your vote. You can see more about it along with the schedule of colors to be displayed each night on their website.http://www.esbnyc.com/  Such a clever contest and use of color!
Finally, this is one of the best color infographics I have ever seen. I like how it ties the emotions that colors evoke with brands.... any surprises?
Once again, color comes to the rescue! How do you distract yourself during stressful times? 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Grace Notes No. 8

"The most beautiful thing we can experience
is the mysterious."
Albert Einstein

The Mighty Columbia River

"Even a genius doesn't have all the answers. No one ever does. Keep moving in the direction of your goals. Some minor mysteries do get resolved."

"Listen to the stirrings of your heart. Pay attention to your intuitions. Carry on a silent conversation with yourself. Don't question everything but accept the good and run with it."

Excerpts from Alexandra Stoddard's Grace Notes.

Hello friends! Happy 2013. I had not planned to continue sharing Grace Notes with you in the new year because I was hoping to have some time to write my own original content. Well, that hasn't been the case.... And these ones resonated so much with me this morning that I had to share them with you.
Several people have told me they enjoy how positive my blog is and I intend to keep it that way. But I also want it to be authentic and from my heart. This week I have been realing from the news that one of my closest friends has "incurable" cancer. I've experienced a whirlwind of emotions since hearing the news on Monday. From shock to sadness to anger to take charge, snap into action to more sadness. And I've shed LOTS of tears. Life is mysterious and it's hard to not have all of the answers. I know something positive comes out of every tragedy and I have SO much hope that there will be a miracle.
My mom sent me a verse this morning that a very wise man, Phil Smart, Sr., shared with me a couple of days after 9/11. This is my mantra for getting through this journey with my friend: