Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beatriz Ball serveware has landed (for weddings... or yourself)

I just fell in love with the new designs in this line, and had to have it for our shop. Beatriz Ball pieces are hand-crafted and beautifully finished (and each is signed with the artist's mark). I love the organic lines and simplicity of it all – each piece is a wowie, should you choose to give one as the perfect wedding gift. Perfect, I think, because they never break, they're totally functional for serving and for baking, and you never have to polish them. Each comes in a nice flannel bag for storage, and of course we're happy to put them in a pretty gift bag at no charge. Come take a look while we have a really nice selection to choose from (we can take special orders, too). Just arrived yesterday!

beautiful large tray with antler design handles

faux bois ice bucket for your champagnes

versatile oval tray for serving... anything

square pedestal bowl for salads, fruits...

gorgeous salad bowl holds anything

smaller version of the square pedestal bowl

New arrivals we love

Boxes and boxes of goodies have been showing up at Pomegranate's door. Somehow we've got every little nook filled, and more is coming. What? Here's a small sampling of some of our new favorites, from easter treats and sweet things for kids, to rustic sculptural pieces, baskets, books, cards...

sweet felt bunny holding a carrot

darling felt bunny & chick ornaments
(put one at each place setting for easter!)

mini cloches
ohhh, new nectar soaps and lotions – delicious

"calm"handcreme  – the latest from lollia
stinkin' cute sticky notes

luggage tags – bon voyage!

the sticky note obsession continues

adorable book (definitely want one of these at home)

all dressed up and ready for easter
simple, rustic, sculptural fish for mantel or table

hand carved and painted wood horses

found these again: word cubes in wood (poetry for the table)

a great selection of baskets for hauling or storage

store magazines, or head off to the beach – your choice
we love books, too

puppy puppets, the cutest ever – woof!

a happy monkey, just like you

stuff on sale...

We are so out of room in our little shop, so we've cleared out some more goodies to our sale shelves in the cottage, and put additional items on sale inside the store. Didn't get pictures of all of it, but here's a sampling of our half off items: gorgeous jewelry from LA designer Connie Brooks; snarky cocktail napkins; etched fleur de lys glassware; mulling spices (the best we've found – will keep for a long time if you don't use or give away soon); 2012 calendars and diaries... and more!

Back from the land of almonds and honey (and olives and wine)

Last week we escaped for a little working vacation, aka buying trip for the shop. Have to say, it was fabulous just to get away (even if we did have to close the store for a few days), but what made it the perfect week was seeing old friends*, visiting mom, and having a teeny bit of time to enjoy the bay area. Oh, and perfect weather didn't hurt, either. Ahhhh. We went to the San Francisco gift show, which sadly, is a mere shadow of its former self, but still full of good finds, enthusiastic vendors, and creative, lovely booths. Going to a smaller regional show means you might bump into some smaller artisan companies that may not have the budget to show at the major markets, and that's what we found. [Had plenty of exposure to the 'biggies' at the Atlanta market in January.] I'm so happy with all of our buys, some of which we brought home with us (some really good vintage finds!), and some that will ship later.

Highlights of the trip: going to The Legion of Honor on opening night of a new exhibit called The Cult of Beauty (on loan from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London). It's an amazing and wondrous group of objects and paintings from the Aesthetic Period (late 19th c to very early 1900s), and well worth an expedition. We went with dear friends and ran into some other great friends we hadn't seen in a long time. Happy, happy, happy. Dinner at a darling little SF bistro called L'Ardoise (the chalkboard). Then there was the trip to Pt. Reyes: what a gorgeous, perfect day that was, ending with a fab dinner of barbequed oysters we picked up fresh from the oyster ranch on the bay. Next day we visited the B.R. Cohn winery with the hope that we could pick up a couple of cases of their wonderful olive oils and vinegars, which we've carried in the store before (but had never visited their location). Another sunny, perfect day (about 72ยบ – doesn't get better than that!). They were so welcoming and wonderful: not only did we pick out numerous cases of our favorite olive oils and vinegars (omg, that blackberry balsamic!) to bring back to the shop with us, we got a personal tour of the gorgeous grounds and did some wine tasting with some extra special pours.

Let's see, then there was the return trip to mom's in Chico, where (lucky us) the almond trees were nearly in full bloom. It only happens for a few weeks in late February, and the whole place explodes in these pale pink clouds of blossoms. Took a few pictures, but couldn't capture the full effect of the beautiful trees. Everywhere we went, things were lush and green and blooming. The mustard under the grapevines. Camelias in four different technicolor shades. Tulip trees in full pink bloom. Sigh.

Need I mention that it's snowing hard in Bend right now?

View of the vineyards from the back of B.R. Cohn winery.

This is where your olive oil came from. Olive trees on
left are of the Picholine variety (one of my favorites!)

Almond orchard starting to bloom

Each flower will be an almond

If only you could hear the happy, buzzing bees all around...
*uh, gulp, to all of our other dear SF friends: we couldn't fit it all in and call everybody, because it really was a very tight, quick trip... will do it again, with more time to spare next time...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Petite treats for Valentines (a partial wish list)

So many new things have been rolling in at Pomegranate; lots of it from our recent trip to market. Fresh picks for spring, for your Valentine, for yourself! {Note to guys: we can help with Valentine's Day gift ideas... sweet things, beautifully wrapped, that don't break the bank.}

New b&w dishes and napkins (with the best napkin holder!)

Bird keychains are stinkin' cute.

Tapas? New small plates/serving bowls in the Daisy collection.

French egg soaps (mayhem ensued after appearing on the "O" list).

Handbags, totes in fun spring colors

Boxed set of three little dishes with three little words = adorable

New bird and crown dish collection with nesty card holder
Just took a couple of snaps here and there yesterday... so much more to see.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Painting is, uh, fun...

After stripping all the holiday remnants out of the shop last month, the place was looking a little bleak. There's always that bit of sadness from seeing your surroundings go from rich and full and warm and ready for you to sit down with a cup of hot cocoa to... emptier and less colorful. That's January. But on the good side, don't you feel like starting fresh, moving things around, and redoing certain areas? Spring cleaning has its upside.

So we decided to do a little painting here and there. Nothing too dramatic, but it feels that way to me. A few years ago we had painted our little soap room walls pale pink and chocolate. Only the pink never sat right with me. The minute we moved all our displays and 300 soaps back in, I decided I didn't like it. Too dark, too peptol. Guess what reaction that was met with? Heh. So we lived with it until now, and just redid it, quite to my liking. I went with the palest, sheerest pink I could find for the upper wall area (it's divided by a sort of chair rail), and a medium, pebble gray for the bottom. It's just perfect now (and I'm keeping good records of the colors so we can find them again if needed). Other parts didn't go so well, and we had to redo a few things here and there. I learn more every time. So here are a few Handy Tips for Choosing Paint:

Paint will always end up darker on the wall than it looks on the sample chip, or even the little brushstroke on top of the can. Go paler in the same color family to get the effect you want. That pale pink we just used? It was so pale I thought it would be mistaken for white... but it is perfect. The color is also going to change depending on how the light reflects off of it. Different times of day will change it, too. There's nothing you can do about that.

Some colors are harder than others to get right. Yellows and reds are the toughest ones. For one section, I wanted a pale, creamy buttery yellow... the lightest possible version of ochre. But yellows tend to go green, or too peachy (ugh!), or too bright. Instead of that warm, creamy color you were dreaming of, you end up living inside a banana. Be careful. And red: ohh, better to just stay away. We didn't do any reds here, but I know they're tough. Getting the red right is the first battle; it can also go too orangey or too brown or too deep. But the worst is yet to come: when you want to change that color, you're going to need at least a coat or two of primer, and probably several coats of the new color, because the red does not want to go away.

Go with a good paint brand to begin with. The cheaper ones don't go on as well, and coverage can be streaky or spotty, forcing you into another coat or two.

Finally, keep your color chips and notes in a folder you can find again. Makes touching up so much easier. Especially if you forget and store your paints in a spot that freezes, because that wrecks them. Yep, found that out the hard way.