Flower of the Day – August 5, 2012


Flower of the Day – August 5, 2012

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Anthers and a Stigma,” Lily, Orenco Station Farmers Market, Hillsboro, Oregon. Copyrights belong to the photographer: Louise Edwards, L&L Photography, L&L Images, © 2012 All Rights Reserved.

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Flower of the Day – July 23, 2012

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Flower of the Day – July 23, 2012

This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” ~ Susan Polis Schutz

Red Dahlia,” Farmers Market, Orenco Station, Hillsboro, Oregon. Copyrights belong to the Photographer: Louise Edwards, L&L Photography, L&L Images.

Photo of the Day – July 4, 2012

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Photo of the Day – July 4, 2012

The War between the States… produced the foundation for the kind of government we have today: consolidated and absolute, based on the unrestrained will of the majority, with force, threats, and intimidation being the order of the day. Today’s federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. … [The War] also laid to rest the great principle enunciated in the Declaration of Independence that ‘Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
~ Walter E. Williams

“Red, White, and Blue,” Independence Day, Hillsboro, Oregon

Beads Anyone?!


Okay, I had thought this post, posted last night. Wow, I must have been tired. Is it me or does time fly faster when we are adults. What happened to those days when summers seemed to last forever and so unfortunately, did the school year. Now, one week flies by faster than I can keep up. So with that, well, the Sunday Market is nearly here again, and I find that I am now writing my blog about the person who I feel screams out “Wow!” or as I like to call it the “Wow Factor”. Someone who is a local vendor whose crafts originate in Oregon.

In the past I have featured, C James, Nursery, “Fancy My Feathers,” and Soleil de Provence to name but a few. The “Wow Factor” name I coined (not really, but yes did), defines a product crafted by a local artist that basically makes you stop and go “Wow!” or “Wow!, I love that (product) and simply must have one! This weeks “Wow Factor” feature is from Iona ILONA’s BEAD WERK. Her bead works and Jewelry is some of the most beautiful, high quality jewelry designed by Ilona , I have seen at a Farmer’s Market. Her jewelry is gorgeous. I will let the photos of her work speak for me when I say wow.

Meet Ilona Herlinger and here fabulous collection of jewelry. Every piece is heartfelt and it shows as her work, designs, bead colors, and sterling silver collectively create some of the most interesting and unique jewelery I have seen. Her collection is amazing and very reasonably priced.

From necklaces to bracelets, there is something to please everyone. Ilona doesn’t disappoint; as I have said she uses sterling silver, bright wonderful beads, and stones for her wonderful creations, that are unlike any I have seen, especially of such high quality. Watch out for those copycats. We have a strong dislike for copycats.

Ilona works very hard on her unique and one of a kind pieces which prevents others to even try to compete or copy. She is in a league all her own and her pieces are so well made and amazingly beautiful.

This image is undeniably my favorite that illustrates the wonderful autumn colors and details the stones, beads, and silver.

There is a wonderful earthiness about Ilona’s beads and her designs. Shown here, hanging from a unique hand crafted display you can get a bit of an idea of what you can expect when you see her at her booth.The farmers markets is but one avenue where one can actually pick up and touch the pieces. I am sure that if you were to order from the internet, once you received your piece of jewelry you will agree, she has a gift and how wonderful it is to own one of her pieces. I sadly must say I don’t own any of her pieces. I made the mistake of taking up photography and told my hubbie no more jewels, only camera accessories and another computer please. That, and the occasional trip. Truth is I own so much jewelery it sits at the bank displayed inside the box for all the fairies and dust bunnies to see.

I hope that the next time you are at the Orenco Station Farmers Market, or any of the other local markets you look up on the internet to see if Ilona is there. You can’t miss her as she is the attractive lady with an inviting smile who welcomes all who pay her a visit. For those who stop by, you will find a charming lady who is wonderful to talk to. Her booth is simple of burlap and wood and reads on the front burlap IIona’s Bead Werks. Her pieces are worth every penny, and very reasonable. So, if you are at the markets around Portland look for her and tell her I said hello. For those interested in her wonderful designs she can be contacted here.

Until next time, if there is something at the market that screams “Wow” be sure I will find you and you might even end up on the pages of my blog.

Cheers!

L&L

Soleil De Provence, I Struck Gold!


Well another Sunday and Market has come and gone. Hard to believe another one is nearly here. Each day at the market I like to select a vendor that represents a special “Wow Factor”. If you read last weeks blog you I featured  “Fancy My Feathers” which exemplified the “Wow Factor”, a named I coined (not really) which defines a product crafted by a local artist, chef, or florist, that basically would have what I consider the “Wow Factor”,  or “Wow”, I love that!  This weeks “Wow Factor” or feature product is by far the epitome of Wow. I am merely disappointed in myself for waiting so long to feature Nazare Dufosse and her business – Soleil de Provence, and the beautiful handcrafted tablecloths she creates. They are truly a work of art and made to make any table you own beautiful and the envy of those who see them.

Meet – Nazare Dufosse, Soleil De Provence

Nazare is a wonderful lady from France, we have chatted with on several occasions during our rounds at the market. She designs a unique line of tablecloths, table runners, place mats, and napkin holders all handcrafted from fabric originating in the Provence region of France.

Each piece is unique handcrafted by Nazare. Whether it is a tablecloth or the double-sided place-mats, her work is impeccable. The best feature is the fabric does not stain. Perfect for those occasions with guests and oops a spilled glass of red wine or barbecue sauce. No problem, the cloth is easy to wipe clean. The fabric is not the cheezy plastic kind that can wipe off. This material is fabulous. Each piece inspired by the french designs, with the quality top of the line and won’t break the bank. A mere wash off, and they are good to go for the next meal. Each tablecloth and set of place mats are perfect for either indoor or outdoor use. I prefer the above patterns for the outdoors, and her Jacquard patterns below for indoor use. That is merely my preference. They are for use for either indoor or outdoor use. These patterns are offered for round, square and oval-shaped tables. As I said perfect for outdoor use, matching place-mats designed for either round or square designed tables. Very unique. It is often difficult to find a place mat that will work well on a round table. Her designs work perfectly.

Place-mat for round table.

Her unique prints are available at least ten different prints, I am actually not certain of the number but there is one for just about anyone’s taste. All are unique to the region of Provence. Each table-cloth has a lovely colored bordered sewn around the end of the cloth. Depending on the pattern the colors of the border change with the design. She often offers a choice of borders. I love the lavender prints, for which we have two; one in yellow with lavender sprigs and a gray color with lavender sprigs. We also recently purchased a cloth with a bird pattern. Each color are popular designs within the French region of Provence.  Our tablecloths are round and custom-made to fit all our tables at no extra charge.  We use the yellow lavender cloth and the beautiful bird cloth for our two bistro tables on our front veranda. We use the grey lavender print for our backyard round table.  These table cloths are best ones I have ever owned and look very expensive but are very reasonably priced, as are all of her items. Trust me, you will be very happy with any of the patterns she carries. And will likely want to buy more than one.  We decided to have three different prints as they are so beautiful, I couldn’t decide on just one print.

Above, a place mat and matching table-cloth for a square table. Below are the numbers of prints available.

As I have said, all the cloths are popular french patterns used widely in France for table cloths and dish patterns. The quality is higher than I have seen in the stores or on-line.

Each tablecloth is stitched with a colored border for which she has usually one or two different colors to choose; whether you buy your tableware from her at the market or whether you order on-line via email, Nazare will take very good care of you.

This image displays the napkin holders which are very unique and made from the same fabric and prints used for the tablecloths and place mats. Your table will look fabulous with all three. We love ours. It makes everything more elegant.

Napkin holder

Jacquard patterns used for either indoor or outdoor use as well. This material is much more elegant for inside use. And the sizes vary, designed to fit most tables and can be custom fit to your table.

This fabric is also used to make hand crafted table runners. There is also a special coating on the fabric which helps to prevent stains. The fabric is very elegant and soft. Your table will look so elegant with one of the many designs she carries. I was amazed at the choices in fabric. The colors are vibrant and each patter different. It was difficult to choose but we had to of course purchase one of these as well. I opted for a table runner. Then decided when we got it home we wanted to use it for our coffee table. It made our living area table look more elegant.  The colors are vibrant and the fabric is very will stitched.

This image shows the unique french design in the Jacquard print. The material is soft and very well crafted. I am by no means an expert on table cloths, but these are some of the finest cloths I have seen. This fabric also has a special repellant to make clean up a breeze. The feel and look are very luxurious and soft. I am not sure if she makes napkins that match this material, but she might do so by special request.

As one can see, Nazare has a fantastic collection of colors in stock and take’s special and custom orders for anything you need to make your tables look fabulous and very elegant. You will have many colors and patterns to choose from. And from the quality you will not be disappointed. They are all crafted by hand with the utmost care.

One last glance at more colors. We love the high quality prints and patterns Nazare uses to make such beautiful and elegant tableware. We highly recommend her and her beautiful handcrafted tablecloths. So if you are looking for a gift for someone, or for yourself you will not be disappointed. Nazare takes immense pride in each piece she makes; each piece is a work of art. I don’t believe in featuring a product I have never tried out first or in most cases purchased. Whatever the occasion, Soleil de Provence will fit your needs. We receive so many compliments on how beautiful our tables look.  We decided to share the wealth with our friends and to those who follow us online, if you are looking for tablecloths, you must definitely check out those from Soleil de Provence. Nazare’s prices are also quite reasonable so don’t worry you will not break the bank to have your table look like a million dollars. If you don’t see Nazare at the Sunday market drop her an email, or contact here via phone. If you do decide to buy one of these high quality tablecloths, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do ours. All of ours are well used and well-loved.

Cheers!

L&L

Who Brought the Money?


The weather in Portland this time of year is generally in the high 70s to mid 80s with an occasional not so nice day. As the summer greets the area in July the temperatures are generally in the 80s most days with an occasional 90+day tossed in for fun. August is generally a repeat of July with warmer days and the occasional 100+ day tossed in just to make sure you are paying attention. So, imagine if you will, when in June the temperatures are in the mid to low 60s with an occasional 50+ added in the mix, just so Portlander’s can complain. And let me say they do complain. Myself included. It is ridiculous, having cold horrible weather. Did the weather gods not get the memo that is summer in the northern hemisphere? And to think this entire week I will be dressed in my winter woollies as the temperatures will not surpass 60. Maybe next week it will finally arrive. Summer. We can always hope.  It is rainy and cold. We apparently didn’t receive enough rain this winter and spring, we must contend with more. Note to the weather gods, we received plenty of rain this winter and spring. Thank you. Can we please have summer.

This being said, all of the signs of summer are here. The market we attend each week is booming, the flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, kids running around as classes are over until September – summer is here. This past weekend the market was busy with more people than last year, even given the questionable weather, which mind you was on the cusp of raining. It becomes frustrating as I pack my hat, scarves, and any extra warm clothing I can shoove in my handbag, which has grown to the size of a small suitcase, in order to also allow room for my camera, to go anywhere. This past Sunday was no exception.  I packed myself up, Lloyd and I headed to the market. I wore at least three layers of clothing. I fit right in. The markets in Portland attract an often eclectic clientele which dress in anything from near nothing to being bundled up with so many layers one can barely move, which adds to the fun of shopping for produce and whatever else excites one about shopping at the market. This past Sunday we were finally in the mood to buy plants for our patio and front porch where we like to sit outside and enjoy the summer warmth. Who brought the money?

So, please keep in mind, each Sunday morning you will find us at the market – we never miss a day, not even if it is pouring down rain. So one would think we would be ready with money in hand to buy our produce and other items (plants), in case the vendors don’t take a card; this past Sunday no different. We forgot the cash. No problem there is a cash machine handy to help those of us non-planners get cash. That is unless the cash machine is broken, which it was (I swear it is every week). This creates a bit of a problem when one has all of their plants ready to go to the car and oops, no money. We look at each other like the other should have it. Well, it would have been a disaster not to mention an embarrassment and disappointment to leave behind the items we had picked out. We were nearly living in that situation, when this delightful man who sells plant hangers and squirrel feeders leans inwards and whispers “you know that you can buy tokens at the information desk.” No kidding!  Who knew one could simply buy tokens at a token booth for use at the markets. Where have we been? We have come to the market for the past five years….. I never noticed anyone buying their produce with tokens before, but interestingly enough each vendor accepts these tokens, our problem was finally resolved. While Lloyd went to secure our tokens, I thanked the nice man.  I could now relax and began mission number one to snap a few photos, while we made our way around the market checking out who was there, chatting with a few friends we happen to run into, eat (Lloyd loves to eat from the Bohemian stand and loves their fresh gnocchi. (Bohemian Gourmet Food) I pass on the food offerings as A) I don’t eat food with gluten, and B) I generally eat before we come to the market, so that I don’t pig out on the gluten-free desserts, newly available at the market this year. Must stay away from the dessert booth. Mental note to self.

I love lavender. The fellow above made its way home with us to sit on our porch and made the air around us smell of fresh lavender.  For those times when we can enjoy our porch. Last year we sat out on the porch two time. Twice, because it rained the entire summer. This year I am determined to sit out there if I have to wear my layers – hat, scarf, and blanket if necessary.

Bows that are as bright as sunshine for every girls hair. These are very cute. I actually purchased some last year as gifts. I noticed that two vendors seemed to be selling these it looked like. I could be wrong. The booth was too crowded for me to find out for sure. I will check in case anyone is interested in buying some. I can post this next week. They are about three dollars apiece. Last years prices anyway.

Freshly grown organic herbs and vegetables.

Hand woven baskets. I keep looking at these baskets. I may end up with one for Lady Morgana, our little girl kitty. She is a bit too big for her basket bed now, even though she gets in it each night. How, I have no idea.

The wool products shown here are from sheep and alpaca and some silk. What makes these items different from others around is that the wool comes from a local farmer and is is spun on a spinning wheel.  I featured this vendor in a blog last summer (See archives August 2011). The yarn is then used to either knit or crochet these remarkable products from hats, gloves, scarfs, and shalls (which are extraordinary, shown below), potholders, and various stuffed toys.

My favorite place at the market apart from people watching and taking photos of the people is the flower vendors. I love shooting photos of the wide selection of flowers that come through the market. All are grown locally from nearby farms and brought to market each week. It is fun to watch as summer temperatures change so do the varietals of flowers.

Typical flower arrangements that make any room or patio look lovely. You will pay between 7 and 15 dollars for the flowers. Most are 10 dollars. Very reasonable. The number of vendors this year has increased thus the prices are very competitive. I would buy some each week if I weren’t allergic to most of them. This is in part why I love to shoot flowers; it is the only way I can enjoy them. Plus if we had flowers, I am sure our cats would love them too. Best remained in picture format.

Quite an eclectic group of people from the neighborhood and some that actually drive specifically to this market each Sunday to purchase local products.

I had to do a double take when I saw this grass species, which is actually papyrus offered for sale by a local nursery that features native plants but also grows a few exotic species you may not find anywhere else in the area. The papyrus was special for me as we saw a lot of growing in Egypt.  I was reminded of our trip to Egypt and specifically Saqqara where we went to a papyrus factory and saw first hand how the papyrus was made into paper. It was a fascinating process that takes several days before ending up with dry paper that is tough enough to write on. We actually purchased a (extra large) large papyrus painting, which is now framed and hangs in our living room. The Egyptians make wonderful paintings on this paper. Ours papyrus tells the story of a married man and woman painted with gold, silver, and bronze flecked paint with turquoise, pink and a few other colors, and the story is told of their love for each other on the hieroglyphs in the scene. We had our names added in hieroglyphs at the top of the piece which made this piece very special.

You know you are at a market when you can buy Elk burgers and fresh fish not far from one another.

These planters caught our eye as we had seen several people in the neighborhood who have them, but never figured out where they purchased them. They are made in Australia by a girl named Mia, and sold by vendors in certain areas of the US and elsewhere. The plants literally grow upside down. They are beautiful. We purchased one of the terra cotta pots in the large size, which we had potted with a Martha Washington Petunia. Beautiful.  Our mission of purchasing plants was a tremendous success.  If anyone is interested I can get the information from the vendor this weekend. It seems that every vendor we stopped at were out of cards.

This planter was our other purchase. We have one very similar hanging on our porch but I wanted another one to match and offer more privacy from our neighbors.

Wooden hanging baskets up close. We have one hanging on our porch. They are three-tiered and nicely block the view to our neighbors porch. Love them.

This concludes our Sunday experience at the market with a few tokens remaining for next time. The hood strawberries are ready. Can’t wait. So, with plants in hand we made it home; the plants waiting to be hung. A job for Saturday. Now if the weather will recognize that it is summer, then we will be in great shape to sit outside and enjoy our flowers. I am hopeful the weather will at least give us one day this weekend to enjoy our porch. Keeping my fingers crossed.  Until next time.

Cheers!

L&L

Sunday Market May 20th, 2012


Sunday Market – May 20th, 2012

The day, Sunday, and what can I say, the weather sucked. Rain. The temperature was mild, but rain, rain, and more rain. That said, Lloyd and I bundled me up and we zipped as fast as we could around the market gathering produce, at mach speed; imagine speed shopping in a crowded store as I grabbed and held on to the produce and my camera, while, Lloyd pushed me around in Delores. It was a challenge. Finagle the produce, my camera, and occasionally hollering stop, so I could quickly re-finagle the goodies held in my lap and grab a  few quick shots, all without getting the camera extremely wet and tossing our wares on the ground. I can only imagine what we looked like. I didn’t much care at the time as we (I was) were on a die-hard mission to capture photos of the market. Surprisingly we weren’t the only ones out in the rain, as the market was hopping with people doing basically what we were doing without the camera and Delores (my chair). Some actually strolled along slowly, no particular mission in mind, and no doubt to watch people, and people like us. What can I say?  I covered up with a red blanket, stuck out like a red stain on white carpet, so the damage to me, and the camera was minimal. Lloyd received the brunt of the rain, as he failed to dress for the occasion. My only real issue despite being covered was, water tends to pool in flat areas, like my legs. And riding around in Delores, well, my lap was a rain catcher, with a camera poking its lens out for the occasional shot. I must say, in the end it was well worth the comedic act performed at the market, as I was able to capture some pretty great shots. That and the torrential rains didn’t really happen until we finished shopping. Rain damage was minimal. We actually wandered out later in the day for some more photos (a discussion for another time). What we missed out on was purchasing any new plants. We didn’t want to get the inside of the car muddy soil mixed with rain.

We refrained from all plant purchases until Memorial weekend, (I can’t believe this coming weekend will be Memorial weekend.) where has the time gone. The year is nearly half over, and I still have trouble writing 2012. Whatever is going to happen when 2013 rolls around. I guess pray for the fact that we all made it to 2013.  And by this I mean, we lived through the hoopla behind December 21, 2012. So here’s a cheer for the weekend, rain and sogginess at best. Our morning at the market.

This weeks music under the rain tarp, while I didn’t get their names they played blue grass and country. It was nice to hear music along with the rain. And in all fairness    people didn’t seem to mind too much about the rain. We do live in Portland. It does rain. I am merely glad we don’t live in Seattle, where it rains most of the season, that and the horrendous traffic. Besides, a part of Portland’s beauty is due to the face we get rain. Portland wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful or green. Portland wouldn’t be Portland.  And in mu opinion, Portland is one of the best places to live. And I have lived in a few.

For those who haven’t followed my posts, on Sundays, rain or shine, we travel to the Sunday Market at Orenco Station, a small burb of Hillsboro, about 10 miles west of downtown Portland. and a few blocks from our home. The Sunday Market specializes in local vendors selling anything from food, kettle corn, honey, vinegars, gluten-free products, pastries and fresh bread, to art, pottery, jewelry, nursery plants, and bouquets of flowers, and probably other few items I have forgotten. Over the course of the summer, products and vendors change, so you never know what the market might carry that surprises you.

For me, I love to watch the people flock to the street vendors for food. Basically, I love to people watch. Today was no different, people were out eating the non-healthy as well as the healthy fast food from the variety of food vendors. It amazes me for an area that prides itself on being (eating) healthy, one can’t help themselves when it comes to market food. From what I have heard it is all good. Might not be good for you but, you didn’t hear that from me.

My other favorite thing to do at the market aside from people watch is to sit back and actually see how beautiful the market is. How so many people will come out in support of such a fabulous market which helps our local vendors, produce and nursery farmers, florists, and artisans. The market is all that and more. It is a great time for all.  This year, the number of merchants has increased considerably from last year and the choice and prices very competitive. One can find some great deals. As I mentioned we would wait until this coming Sunday to buy the rest of our plants when we bring the other vehicle. Rain plus soil equal mud, neither of which is allowed inside of the car.

I have no idea what this particular vendor was selling, me along with my camera shooed away. No kidding. Did she think I wouldn’t say something great or bad her booth in my blog? She had no idea I had a blog, for I couldn’t even get the words out of my mouth. That that by me having art featured in my blog was going to perhaps help her by all the people who read my blog. Now what they are going to see is how not very friendly or wonderful her ware are. Too bad so sad. Not for me, for her. I just tossed her under the bus.  I talk about everyone I see in my blog and if something is wonderful, I talk about that, in fact I go so far as to tell people how wonderful these people and their products are. Last year I featured one or two people in my blog. They were gracious as they realized they were getting free advertising.  I give credit where credit is due, when I can in the form of free advertising. Her wares didn’t look so special to me, but that is my opinion . But each to their own. Perhaps there is a large calling for ceramic leafs for your garden. The prices and not the lady scared me away. Just saying. And now for the awesome vendors.

The images in today’s blog are from the variety of nursery’s and flower vendors local to Portland and, all who offer beautiful flowers and shrubries. I felt right at home and the vendors all so friendly, have taken the time regardless of the crappy weather, to put together such wonderful bouquets either custom gathered while you wait, or already prepared bunches. The prices were rather reasonable generally from $5 to $10 for the small and medium sizes to maybe $15 for the large bouquets. Totally worth it. We would buy them but between our allergies and our cats, it is not feasible. We sometimes buy them in the summer for the back yard table if we are going to have guests over, but aside from that sadly we don’t. I simple live vicariously through the beauty of the photos I take. I hope you enjoy. And for more information you can check out the Orenco Station Hillsboro Farmer’s Market list of vendors.

Hanging baskets sold for between $15 and $30 dollars. Most were in the $20 to $25 dollar range. Great bargain beautiful large planters, your choice hanging or not.

I hope that you have enjoyed this weeks Sunday Market. We did, what we could about the photos in the rain.  We hope to see some of our local readers at the market. And for those living out of the markets range, I hope you at least enjoyed seeing out photos. All of our photos can be purchased on our website or by sending us an email. We can be followed on our blog, website or twitter We look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers!

L&L