Saturday, February 26, 2011

Passion for Purple Fashion - Challenge

In my closet I have an entire section dedicated to PURPLE.  Purple skirts, shirts, jackets, sweaters..you name it.  These items have been collected over the years because of customer demand.  At first it was little hints during the Farmer's Markets like, "You should wear purple to match your booth". 
So we did.
Then on the days we forgot to wear purple it was, "Why are you not wearing purple? You are the Lavender Ladies, you need to be wearing purple".
Anyhow, long story short, we now have an eye for ANYTHING purple or lavender. So of course when we saw this darling little "Lavender Baby" decked out in her lavender dress riding a purple pony, we had to get a picture. 
A real "Lavender Baby". So Cute!

 The entire time I was taking her picture the song by Blood, Sweat & Tears: Spinning Wheel, kept going through my head.  Especially the first part, "What goes up, must come down",  because she kept sliding off the back of the rocking horse.  Her cute little tights did not supply any traction.  

I also think that the lyrics should be changed to, "Ride a PURPLE pony, let the spinning wheel fly" instead of, "Ride a painted pony....".  And I am sure that I am taking the lyrics way to literal and out of context, but what can I say?  I am only 29 and the 60's are still a mystery to me.

PASSION FOR PURPLE FASHION CHALLENGE:
SO, if you to have a Passion for Purple Fashion, send me a picture of YOUR interpenetration of the perfect purple outfit or accessory and I will post them here on the blog. 
Remember to keep them tasteful. 
Ideas:  If you are a Gardener and you have a pair of purple overalls that you wear every time you garden, submit a picture of you in your garden in your purple overalls.  If you are a Baker and have a purple apron, send in a picture of you baking in your purple apron.

WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN:
Once there are 20 photos I will draw a number (1-20) from my hat to choose the winner.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Grand America - MS Boutique- Lavender Hill

Every year we allot a certain amount of money and time that we plan on donating throughout the year. Whether our donation ends up being a gift basket that is to be raffled off to raise money for a trouble youth school, or a free "How To Grow Lavender" class, we make sure to give back. 
This year we were able to raise money for the National MS Society by participating in their boutique. 
The 12th Annual Women on the Move Champagne Luncheon and Fashion Show presented by the McCarthey Family was Saturday, February 12, 2011 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
 For those of you that are not familiar with the Grand America Hotel it looks like this:
Photo borrowed from the Downtown Hotel Directory
The hallways are full of chandeliers. 
And if you had to go to the ladies room you were sure to see this:
Photo from saltlakecity.about.com article on "Americas Best Restroom".
Lucky for us there were signs directing us which way to go.
 Baskets lined up for bidding.  
 Paintings and jewelry were also up for auction.
Once in the boutique, each of the vendors were donating 30% of their sales.
 Lavender Hill at the boutique.
My Mom & business partner, Jackie.
Lavender Hill goodies.
Mini fragrance bags & handsewn fragrance bags perfect for your dresser drawer.
Handmade lavender soaps. 
Cozy lavender blankets.  They are perfect when you spritz them with our Lavender Mist.
At the end of this day I was tired, exhausted and ready to take a nap.  My toes were numb from standing in high heels all day long.  I then thought of all the ladies with MS, they feel exhausted every day.  We didn't stay for the lunch and fashion show, but from the sound of it, it was a great fashion show. I am glad that were were able to help raise money to find a cure.
What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by the disease.

The National MS Society has created a website to inform, educate and support.   
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn't.
To read more about MS click: HERE

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunshine and warm weather = JOY

Today I went out into my back yard.  I have two back yards.  The first back yard is what we call "Lavender Hill" and is in Eden, Utah where my parents live.   The other is in South Ogden where I live with my little family.   So when I say I went into my back yard, I mean the one in South Ogden. 

Anyhow,  I walked around the yard with my husband and the kids played in the little snow that remained in the shadows.  We talked about where the shed was going to go and I did a little deadheading that I didn't get to last fall.  The best parts of our little walk was trimming the lemon grass and smelling that wonderful smell, fishing some leaves out of my rosemary and again smelling that wonderful aroma, seeing little chive tips breaking through the frozen soil.....I could go on and on.  Today was wonderful because all these little signs mean spring is just about here. 

FARMER'S ALMANAC TIPS FOR THIS WEEK (2010*)
Feb 4th - plan herb garden
Feb 6th - avoid walking on wet soil
Feb 7th - In warm summer regions, prune Roses
Feb 8th - Firm down soil lifted by frost
Feb 9th - Trim vining ornamentals 
Feb 10th - Mulch with manure where needed
Feb 11th - Prune fruit trees
Feb 13th  - Build raised beds


The above tips are taken from the 2010 Almanac.  If your backyard is in Eden like my parents, then you will be a month behind on all of this spring prep.  So just wait a few more weeks (I know it is hard).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cuticle Balm - Simply Lavender

Here is a sneak peek at one of our NEW products for 2011. 
Simply Lavender Cuticle Balm
Perfect for the gardener in your family.

Wands UP

If you have children between the age of 2-5 you are well aware of the Super Readers on PBS.  When I was thinking of a post title for this post, "Wands Up", naturally came to mind. 
These are "Wonderific" Lavender Wands. 
I make them in the summer time when the stems are fresh, and then I finish them as needed.  Here is a basket full tagged and ready for the MS Event.
LAVENDER WANDS (also known as “Lavender Spindles” or “Lavender Bottles”) are a handmade treasure.  They can only be made by hand with freshly picked lavender and each one is unique to itself. 
I make my lavender wands every summer when my lavender is in full bloom.  I use ‘Grosso’ my favorite variety to make my wands.  Grosso stems are long and their fragrance is strong.  I use 3/8” double faced satin ribbon when I weave over-under-over-under the stems encasing the blossoms inside.

Place you Lavender Wand in your linen closet, in your dresser or on your desk top to add that fresh scent that brings a smile to your face.  If you are looking for a more restful sleep, place it on your nightstand.  To refresh your wand simply roll the woven head between your hands. 
Lavender Wands make excellent bridal shower gifts with a hint of tradition, as they were once used to mark stacks of dozens or half-dozens of linens in a bride’s dowry chest.

Trunk with Purple Flowers

We have been preparing this week for the MS EVENT at the Grand America on Saturday.  My Mom and I were on a "Trunk Hunt" for the perfect trunk to display purple soft quilts in.  We came across a few, but they were to big or to much money.  We were leaving Salt Lake City when we saw on the right 
Chic & Unique.  It is a consignment/antique store that has been open for about 9 months.  They are right next to the Ruby Snap Bakery (yumm).

Anyhow, we found a trunk.  Perfect size, perfect price...but it wasn't quite the right colors.  My Mom turned to me and asked if I was up to PAINTING the flowers. SO here it is.
Before in it's Tuscan red color scheme.
 After, in it's purple color scheme.
If it wasn't for the kids going to bed early and a great chick flick, the trunk would still be under the Tuscan sun. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Purple Sun Shadows

The sun was shining JUST right though my window today.   It cast these purple shadows through my glass bottles.  The shadow's random pattern reminded me of the ocean. The way the bubbles would collect on the surface of the water after a wave has just crashed on the sand.  


Our little Lavender Fairy was enjoying the sun too.
I am needing it to be spring, or my husband to build me a fireplace in our living room. One of the two would be great. 

Growing Lavender Indoors

People ALWAYS ask if you can grow lavender indoors.  Well, you can, but most Lavender does best outside.  Here is our winter experiment to show you what it would look like.
This is one of our 4"  "Lavender Babies" from Fall 2010
Our test specimen is L. x intermedia 'Grosso'.
 Grosso's stem length is 14-18"  long (or longer) and there is not enough "real light" indoors to give it the vitamins it needs to grow properly. 

You can see the original foliage toward the center, it is more silver in color.  You can see all of the new growth, it is bright green and drooping.  All of the new growth is very, very tender.  There is NO sign of flowers on the new growth.
We do have to give this little guy some credit, he is trying.  

Conclusion:
If you are wanting to grow lavender indoors you should choose a French variety or a small English variety that has a short stem length.  Smaller lavenders will fit in smaller containers, which are easier to move around, decorate with and care for. Additionally, smaller lavenders are easier to use supplemental lighting on since the plants will fit neatly under a grow lamp. 

Possible Indoor Candidates: 
Lavandula multifida/L. pinnata 
Lavandual canariensis
Lavandula dentata

The tender French varieties do well indoors.
This plant is slightly less aromatic than other lavender plants. You can recognize it because it has serrated leaves.  French Lavender is Zone 8-10, so if you are planting it outside in any of the cooler zones, then you will need to mulch to protect it from freezing (or bring it in doors over the winter)


 Indoor Soil & Light Requirements
       (ehow.com had this great description)
Like many herbs, lavender requires well-drained soil with a high organic content and a slightly acidic pH that ranges from 6.0 to 7.5. The plants need full sun for at least six hours daily outdoors. Lavender that is cultivated indoors will grow well if left 6 to 12 inches beneath a grow lamp for up to 18 hours daily. Smaller lavender may be left in a south-facing windowsill if rotated periodically to provide even sunlight. Lavender should never be over-watered. Wet soil will promote root rot that can kill lavender plants.  
To read more of this article click here:  Read more:


You Can:
1. Start "starts/cuttings" indoors under a grow light. (starting lavender from seed has a very low germination ratio, and the plants are inconsistent in appearance)
2. Harbor a small lavender plant over the winter indoors and then plant it (as soon as the soil does not cling to your shovel when digging a hole) in the spring.
3.  Pull your large planter off your patio into a sun room for the winter to protect your potted Lavender.
4.  Try some of the smaller varieties mentioned above. Don't get discouraged if it takes 3-4 tries before you find the right combination of light, species, pot, soil and water (over watering is the biggest killer).


SPRING PLANTING TIP
If you did harbor a lavender indoors over the winter and it put forth bright green new foliage...chop it off before planting it in the spring.  If you don't, as soon as you set your plant outside, all of that nice green foliage will turn brown and shrivel up.  So, just chop it off.  And then on the sunny pre-spring days, set your plant outside for a few hours a day and then bring it back in for the night.  This is called, "Hardening off".  It transitions your plant or new seed starts (like tomato starts) from your nice warm house to the cold of spring.  
~
Send in your sucess story with a picture and
I will put it here on the blog.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Little Hands, Big Art Fundraiser

Are you craving some of my Lavender Lemon Cookies and some great art? 
You can get both when you go to the Universe City Gallery
"Little Hands, Big Art" Fundraiser.  Bidding/auction starts Feb 4th!

Weber State University's Nontraditional Student Center presents Little Hands, Big Art: a fundraising exhibit of art by children of WSU Nontraditional Students, at Universe City, 2556 Washington Boulevard in Ogden.

The exhibit opens in conjunction with First Friday Art Stroll, Feb. 4 from 5-8 p.m. and continues Fridays: Feb. 11, 18 from 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays, Feb. 5, 12, 19 from 1-6 p.m.

The exhibit of biddable art will include the children’s work, Chinese Art, art donated by local artists, designer cakes, jewelry, Valentine cards and other gifts suitable for those you want to impress.

For more information click: HERE

Bids for the art will begin on opening night, with any edible items sold on the first night. Bidding on other items continues during regular gallery hours and closes at 4 p.m. on Feb. 19.

Here is a sample of one the pieces up for bidding.
This charming painting was created by an 8-year old. Sun, stars, moon and mountains...he said. So fun!  It's so vibrant in person. Universe City on Friday from 5-8. Silent Auction online and in person.