Tuesday, March 23, 2010

is the name of the Spring Gift Show we're doing at the Rexville Grocery on Saturday April 3rd.
A few of us who are Farmer's Market vendors just can't wait for the Market season to begin so we've decided not to wait.

And what better time and place than to have a gathering at the Rexville Grocery Pavilion in the middle of the Tulip Festival?

We've invited some other artisans and craftspeople and we think we have a great mix of unique and eclectic creations.

Kate Seabeck will be there with her Funky Country clothing & accessories collection. (as will Maurice, her adorable furry assistant who never misses a show.)

Each of Kate's handmade creations- garment, bag or hat is one of a kind and she's known for her love of bold colors and patterns. No little black dresses here.

Kate's created some fabulous denim jackets that she'll be unveiling at this show.

Kate puts the fun in funky!

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Janet Barton will be there with her UKDK.WA creations. UKDK?

                                    Unique Kreations for Dogs and Kats

Come on by and browse Janet's Pet Beds, Pads,Pet Slings,Tents and Coats.

click on any photo to enlarge

            All of Janet's creations are made from re-purposed and/or recycled materials.
Janet has a wide range of products to suit a variety of budgets and tastes.
Need something special? Talk to her about a custom design.

She also makes Tote Bags and Children's Bags. Her cleverly designed repurposed bags feature pockets, inside and out.

She also carries a line of natural cleansing products-all Environmentally Friendly.
All these products are tested for sensitive skin and are excellent for our 4 legged friends as well as the small 2 legged members of the family.


Paddy Sardis creates the most beautiful serving pieces. She uses Czech crystal beads and the non-tarnishing silver wire. Not only are the lovely to look at but totally practical. The utensils themselves are stainless -- so there isn't any real silver to keep polishing even though they look like silver. Paddy's servers are available with colored crystal beads as well as the sparkling clear beads shown here.


Want to be the HIPPEST HOSTESS in town?
Does your kitchen need a little RETRO spice?
Want to IMPRESS SOMEBODY and make them think you can cook?

Ms HBIC to the rescue.

Self -proclaimed HBIC (Head Bitch In Charge) Charity Gandolfo's vintage kitchen textiles are guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you use them.

The H.B.I.C. is the CEO of the Kitchen, the Head Hostess of the Home, the Director of all things Domestic and Ruler of the Roost. Whether you're a do-it-yourself diva or delegation goddess, you are the Queen B!

click on any photo to enlarge

Charity's blog, Home Deconomics is all about Home Ec and Home Dec and her Etsy Shop is a glorious riot of color and vintage patterned fabrics.

Everyone I know has at least one of Charity's coupon pouches or checkbook covers or her skillet mitts or her rick-rack trimmed dish towels...

Come to the Rexville Grocery and see what else our clever and creative HBIC has been up to.
 Everyone knows someone who's crazy about boats. If you're looking for a gift for a friend or if you're a boat enthusiast you'll want to see these gems.The great hand-carved boat ornaments and wooden sailing ships are a joint effort of husband and wife, John and Liz Nylen.

John carves out the boat pieces.  Liz paints them, and glues the parts together.

John then puts on the finish coat and
puts on hooks for hanging.

Each piece is a representation of what a real boat would look like.

John, a retired tug boat captain likes them to look like a working boat.

click  photo to enlarge


Jay Saxon's craft is woodturning. He produces turned wooden bowls for use and display. His creations include platters, goblets and wine bottle stoppers. Much of his work is gallery quality.  He says "The rest is just stuff that is fun to have and use." (It looks to me like everything is gallery quality!)
He coaxes the most beautiful objects from each carefully chosen piece of wood.

The enterwined rings of Jay's wedding goblets are a perfect, natural symbol of unity.

Jay's wine bottle stoppers are truly works of art.

click photo to enlarge

Jay's Etsy shop, Bowled Eagle has photos of several of his designs but pictures just don't do them justice. You'll want to come see them for yourself at the Rexville Grocery.

ART with a Purse Attached is a perfect description of Sheila Saxons's Felted Fantasies. As Sheila explains at her Etsy Shop " Needlefelting is like painting with wool. It has no pattern or specific design. Loose roving wool is poked into the knitted and felted purse with VERY sharp barbed needles to tangle the wool from the inside. Because of the freedom of using loose wool, great shapes and textures can be created." 

While Sheila draws much of her inspiration from nature, she's also created many custom portraits for proud pet owners. She encourages custom orders-any image, animal, flower. Let your imagination go wild and come talk to Sheila about creating something wonderful for you.

Designs By Roxanne.
Mixed media artisan Roxanne Miligan, specializes in fairy art work, dolls, and art journals.

Vivian Taggert Original Jewelry Designs
From the artist: I enjoy creating designs combining old and new materials. I like the idea of salvaging something of value that might otherwise be discarded because of its age. I scout out the local thrift stores and antique shops for materials. I purchase pearls and crystals locally to make fun designs that can be dressed up or down. It makes my heart happy to think that you will be cherishing and wearing my jewelry.

              She also does special commissions and can even make you something with your particular button. She's had requests from friends who have buttons from their grandmothers or mothers that she's transformed into a piece of wearable keepsake jewelry.

Ancient Dragonfly Soap is a small, eco-friendly family run business in the foothills of the Cascades. 
Kyra Breckenridge says "We handcraft an array of cold-process soap bars, soap balls and travel size soaps. Our line of skin care products is 100% natural and simply wonderful. We have a variety of balms, salves, scrubs, lotions, and oils, which contain the most natural and unrefined oils, butters and herbs. We buy local when available and always use high quality essential oils."

 Kyra's Etsy Shop  showcases her products and since I'm her neighbor at the Farmers' Market I can tell you first hand, they really must be seen in person to appreciate the light, subtle aromas of her soaps and lotions
to try samples

of her marvelous skin care and household products.

Tracy Kendall, jewelry artisan, will be joining us from her home in Port Orchard. She grew up on Fir Island-Conway so she's looking forward to
seeing the familiar tulip fields again..
Tracy uses sterling silver, Swarovski crystals, and natural stones to craft her jewelry and is always on the lookout for new and unique components when she travels.


    Bob Rainwater has been a wood carver for several years.

He has carvings at the Wood Merchant in LaConner. He carves figures, makes decorative fences and benches and sells his famous hot dog and smore forks made from golf clubs.

By definition an artisan is a skilled manual worker, so I'll be one busy artisan this week, baking fresh treats and next Saturday, as always, the sample bowls will be full and waiting for your furry friends.      
We hope you'll come visit us on Saturday. Make it a family day. Plan to have breakfast, brunch or lunch at the Grocery and spend some time visiting with the vendors and be sure to enjoy the beautiful tulip fields along the way.

Rexville Grocery

If you're coming up to see the Tulips, you must stop at Rexville Grocery.
must, must MUST! The Rexville what? a grocery store?  Believe me this isn't Safeway.
A Seattle PI article explains-
"You won't find Twinkies or Little Debbies. You will find canned mango pulp from India, tins of octopus in garlic from Spain, shrimp paste from Malaysia, Hungarian prune butter, several dozen hot sauces from around the world, and arguably one of the most complete collections of foods grown and made in the Skagit Valley....When you drop by, you may rub shoulders with Microsoft retirees, artists, refinery workers, migrant workers or valley farmers, who ride up on their John Deere tractors."

Owners Joyce and Stuart Welch stock the store with loads of unusual, good food things. Slabs of Swiss chocolate, Beignet Mix from the Cafe Du Monde in NOLA's French Quarter, a  huge selection of six-degrees-hotter-than-hell hot sauces, NW style smoked smoked salmon, organic coffee blends, Seattle's delectable Theo's Chocolate (from the only organic, bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the US) and a long list of microbrew beer and superb wines that will make your head swim.  Did I mention it's a good place to pick up some Blue Collar Dog Treats?

..and then there's the Cafe.  Heavenly sandwiches <sigh> (My favorite is the Rex Club.) Plan to have brunch or lunch at the cafe counter-(you can browse the shelves of organic, gourmet delights after you place your order) or get a Skagit Valley Bounty Box Lunch to take with you on your jaunt to the tulip fields. Call ahead and Joyce will have it ready for you
but I promise you won't be in a hurry to leave.

Rexville Grocery is like nowhere you've been. It has a lot of charm and a little bit of everything. It's where the locals go so PLEASE don't tell any of the locals you heard about Rexville Grocery from me. They won't appreciate hordes of strangers in there buying up all the octopus in garlic tins.

It's off the beaten path but not hard to find.
It's right on the way to the tulip fields-including  Roozengaarde Display Garden. (another must see)

Directions from Seattle: head north on interstate 5 and get off at Exit 221. Go west over the freeway and take the first right onto Fir Island Road. You will immediately pass through Conway as you make your way across Fir Island. Turn left onto Best Road as you approach the North Fork of the Skagit River (near the second bridge you cross). The market is on the right hand side, 1/4 mile after you have crossed the bridge.
Directions from Bellingham: head south on interstate 5 and get off at Exit 230 (Anacortes/ San Juan Ferry). Turn left on Hwy 20, you'll be heading west for approx 6 miles. Turn left onto Best Road and look for the grocery on the the left hand side after you have driven a few miles.

GPS?  Here's the address: 19271 Best Road,
Mt Vernon, WA 98273-8111, (360) 466-5522

Rexville Grocery isn't only about great food. Check their site frequently for an updated list of some of the special events it hosts in the covered outdoor pavilion...including the weekly Farmer's Market, Art Shows
and Craft Shows. The Eurasia Custom Bike Show is slated for mid July.
Need a venue for your event? Think about Rexville.


The Tulips are coming...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Year after year after year

every spring

for weeks and weeks and weeks

Imagine having to look at this

and this
and this
and this
and having to bring home things like this
and this
and this... to share with your visiting BFF from NOLA

and it's always the same- amazing... acres of breathtaking color and
natural beauty in our backyard. The Skagit Valley is in bloom again.

If you're lucky enough to live in western Washington put the family
in the car and head north up I-5 to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
It's not far. You don't need a map or GPS or signs. Just follow the color.
You can't miss it... and you shouldn't.