Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Snowy daisies trying to stay cheerful

Took this shot at 6:30 this morning: brave gerbera daisies taking a dumping of snow on the head. We know better than to get too excited about buying plants early, but do we take our own advice? Nope. Hope they and their little friends make it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

2010 Oregon Tourism Conference

So glad to hear the news that Bend (Riverhouse Convention Center) will be the site of the 2010 Oregon Tourism Conference. Something like 500 attendees from all over the state will descend upon us for the 3-day event next April. That's kinda big news for us, given that tourism seems to be the only industry we can still pin our hopes on. During last year's conference in Sunriver, we met several attendees who were using their free time to explore, have fun, shop, eat at our local restaurants... they were asking questions and taking notes, and I have to believe that they were returning to their home bases with a whole lot of good reasons for their constituents to visit Bend, too. The conference is not all about promoting Bend, of course, but it sure doesn't hurt that it's going to be held here.

So how does one of our venerable, local TV stations present this news (ad nauseum, on every newscast for two days)? The video footage rests on: a) a downtown lamp post still wrapped with holiday lights; b) a "for lease" sign in an empty downtown space; c) someone shuffling through meeting minutes at a Downtowner's monthly meeting; and d) a lone person walking down Minnesota Ave.

Arrrggghh! Hey, I know budgets are tight, but why not run some stock footage of Bend scenery? Or maybe walk down to Brooks Alley and take a little shot of Mirror Pond? A mountain? Downtown shops? Don't take umbrage at the lamp post by the way; it takes a crew of volunteers and extra long hours to put lights up and take them down. There's very little money to pay for that sort of thing downtown (unlike malls, which extract a certain percentage from tenants for lighting and beautification).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

And we have a Hot Mama winner!

Those of you on our email list know that we just did a fun little giveaway: a $65 gift certificate for a hand-crafted Hot Mama baby name necklace. Congratulations to winner Meghan E. -- and thanks for all the entries and nice notes from everyone. It was fun, and we'll do some more giveaways, promise!

Here's how it works: you have to be on our email list to get the announcements (not only for giveaways, but sales, special events, soirees, etc.). You can get onto the list by visiting our shop, or going to our website at www.pomegranate-home.com and joining there. We only send our little news updates once or twice a month, and try to make them fun and useful, not too much blah blah blah.

Meanwhile, here's the scoop on Hot Mama designs (guys, are you listening, because this is one of our favorite Mother's Day gifts). Made by a Boulder, CO artist, each one is custom created with children's or your own name or initials (all sterling). The necklace is great for a mom (especially sweet for a new mom!); the charm bracelets are fab for grandmas who may have many names to include. Multiple discs can stack or swing together, with or without the bezel-set cabochon birthstone. Prices start at $65 for the sterling ball chain and one disc; additional discs are $30 each/birthstones are $35.

Just one leetle problem: Saturday 4/25 is our last day to take orders if you'd like to have one of these made for you or your favorite mom (or sister, auntie, grandma) to arrive in time for Mother's Day. So come see us at Pomegranate, get your order in, and be a hero with this sweet, personal and thoughtful gift.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pomegranate website is up and running...

Well, it only took years, but we finally have our Pomegranate website going. It's not finished (probably never will be in my eyes), but close. And we're working on the whole photography thing. Product shots are tough, but we have a new light box/tent thingie arriving to help us take better photos... so they'll all be updated one of these days.

At least you'll be able to pull up a map to find our little side street location, check the calendar for fun events (hello, French Flea Markets!), recipe section, etc., and find some useful hints here and there. Check it out at www.pomegranate-home.com.

Now that that little DIY project is nearing completion, I have to learn to twitter and get into Facebook, apparently. Poor little brain can only take so much...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Saints & Angels

Just arrived at Pomegranate: the last of our favorite hand-carved wood angels and saints. This is all we can get, because sadly, the vendor is going out of business. So we scooped up what we could, got a little discount, and are passing it all on to you. Until they're gone, these charming saints and angels are 20% off. Hand-crafted in Mexico of reclaimed wood, we have St. Fiacre (with spade), St. Francis (with bread) and angels in several sizes.

Saint Fiacre's story: born in Ireland, he sailed to France seeking solitude. He asked the bishop for some land to grow food and herbs, and the bishop said he could have as much land as he could turn up in one day. The following day Fiacre walked the perimeter of the land he desired, dragging his spade behind him. Wherever is staff touched, the brush and trees were cleared and the soil was turned. The miracle of the gardener!

Saint Francis adored all the plants and animals on earth. Typically he is seen gazing down on some of the creatures he protects, but in this version, he is holding a loaf of bread, perhaps in admiration of the precious grains used to make it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

How to save your three (or more) favorites

Which three locally-owned, independent shops, restaurants or caf├ęs would you miss if they were gone? Here's a very simple way to save them, one bit at a time, one person at a time. It doesn't take much, and it's not a question of buying things you don't need or can't afford. Pick your three, and visit. Today.

Too often I'm hearing laments from our customers about businesses leaving. We all feel so sad whenever another local shop or restaurant is forced to close (and at the same time, a big, boring chain announces plans to open?!). Small indie businesses are what keep our towns thriving and interesting and unique. Micro businesses don't get loans or bailouts... in fact, ha ha, even those who bank with local banks are seeing their small lines of credit cut off. We all – from little bakeries to bike shops, delis and florists, gift stores and restaurants – depend on loyal, local customers.

It's one tiny thing we can do to help jumpstart things. And it's fun.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Skateboard-free downtown... at last

Skateboarding = fresh air and not sitting slumped in front of the TV. That's the good news. The one shown here is frighteningly similar to ones we use to blast around on, sans kneepads, helmets or anything safety-oriented. What were we thinking?

When we had our store downtown I noticed more and more kids flying full-tilt down our sidewalks, scaring the daylights out of everybody. The noise alone was deafening enough to stop a conversation: the real worry was someone stepping in front of three kids going as fast as a car on the sidewalk. We had this goofy glass door that was flush to the sidewalk (not recessed at all), so swinging the door open meant a perpendicular angle straight across the sidewalk. Which left maybe two feet of passing room between it and the very inconveniently placed bike rack right in front of us (even less passing room if the bike rack was jammed with five bikes). It made me cringe to imagine this scenario right out of a Mr. Bean movie: our glass door swings open and a skateboarder comes crashing through it at 20 mph; pedestrians jump and scatter and end up entangled in the bikes.

According to the news, the city council just passed an ordinance to levy high fines on downtown skateboarders. Kids need a place to skate; just glad it's not going to be the downtown sidewalks anymore.