Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Loving lavender all over again: new line at Pomegranate

Last month I added a new spot to my 'happy places' list. Go ahead, laugh at how silly that sounds, but when I'm having trouble sleeping, I dredge up these places and think about being there. And then I fall asleep, content.

My new place is Matanzas Creek Winery in the Bennett Valley area of Sonoma. We were lucky enough to visit them last month at the tail end of our family road trip. It's a lovely winery (with great wines) set in this gorgeous location with vineyards and mounds of lavender spread out like a velvety skirt below the tasting room. The tasting room is serene and contemporary and features – aside from their delicious wines – a line of products made from their own estate-grown lavender. We loved it all (including the packaging) and thought it would be a great addition to our offerings at Pomegranate. A little piece of lavender heaven from Sonoma.

And here it is! I love the lavender body butter in that sweet little jar. It smells wonderful, and goes a long way. When my hands are really dry (all the time), I rub some of that in and feel instantly better. We also have a lavender/chamomile butter, lavender lotion and soap, and lavender essential oil in a little roll-on vial.

Here's what I learned about lavender oil (in the past I never really knew what you were supposed to do with it, so we didn't carry it). Not only does it smell great (and is very soothing), it is a natural topical antibiotic, so you can keep a vial in the kitchen for burns or cuts. Apparently it's what many soldiers used in WWII to help heal wounds.

In the culinary department, we also brought in their great little tins of Herbes de Provence (with lavender, of course), a fabulous dry rub, and culinary lavender. All of which make great gifts. And here's something we learned about culinary lavender: a little goes a long way. If you want to dress up a plain goat cheese, just make a little row of culinary lavender buds along the top, but not too much. About one little bud per taste is enough. What makes it culinary? It's organic, for one, and it has to be the right variety of lavender. In our little educational tour at Matanzas, we tasted different varieties of lavender, and some are outright bitter... so don't just use any old lavender growing at home.

It all just arrived at Pomegranate. Here are a few pictures.

I wanted to move into this barn with hundreds of lavender bunches drying in the rafters. Just give me a little cot and I'll be happy...

Inside the barn with all the lavender products. Heaven!

Lavender body butter is rich and soothing.

Lavender/chamomile butter comes in a great box.

Lavender essential oil in tiny vial.

Hand-crafted lavender soaps wrapped in beautiful paper.

Culinary lavender and herbes de provence in tins.

Favorite new must-have on my nightstand.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Open for business, and yet...

I'm working at home today; just called Robert at the shop and asked, "So, are you swamped?"

I was expecting to hear a resounding yes, but instead he told me to check email. And there it is, a giant truck with a blown starter motor, a bit jackknifed and completely blocking our little driveway. Apparently the giant tow truck is now blocking what was left of any access. Not sure what they're going to do, but if you're an intrepid hunter and want to visit Pomegranate today, you'll have to park at Macy's and walk across. At least the rain let up a bit.


{Later: we ended up having a really great day anyway. Determined shoppers parked across the street and made their way over, truck or no truck. We thank you!}

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vintage offerings at Pomegranate

We returned not too long ago from a wonderful friends and family vacation, and filled our car with finds along the way (we barely missed having to tie stuff on the roof). We are compelled to shop everywhere we go. And so we bring you just a little taste of some of our new vintage items... many more to come (as soon as we find room for them in the shop).

We gathered a little collection of beautiful vintage cloisonné pieces, plus a few hand-painted Russian boxes.

Vintage lacquer box, industrial letters.

Spaniel doorstop, very old, very heavy. Home from the hunt?

1890's brown English transferware (wonderful for  your Thanksgiving table).

More Pomegranate holiday pix

Seems I forgot a few pictures in my last post. Blame it on the dog (we are puppy sitting), who was biting my toes at the time. I'd rather have a foot rub, really. Here are some more sneak peeks at a few new holiday offerings at Pomegranate.

Deer plates (in great box): fill with chocolates?

Adorable clipboards make great stocking stuffers (and they're on sale!)


A new crop of velvet pumpkins arrived today – luscious!

Sweet felt bird.

Mercury glass mushrooms for your woodland scenes.

Silvery votives.

Happy felted snowmen.

Snowy village.

Grapevine skis

Christmas cards – just a small grouping.

A store full of new goodies for the holidays...

Feet up, glass of wine in hand. Finally, a moment of rest after what seemed like weeks getting Pomegranate ready for the holidays. It's never officially done; there's always something else, but wow, are we full of great ideas for the season. Really full. We have jammed goodies into every little corner possible, and there's more coming. Here are some pictures of just a few of our favorites, so far.

Lots of sweet woodland birds

Wonderful foaming soap and deer tray

Love these felted creatures!

Felt ornaments (black lab especially cute).

Frasier Fir in stock: our favorite winter scent.

Felted snowman (two sizes)

Love the little guy in the hat and bowtie.

How many trees do we have this year? Lots.

Great stockings and stocking holders (plus wreaths)

Holiday matches should go with all your candle gifts.

Holiday napkins. Have a bunch ready.

Lovely sprays and trees to dress up the mantel.

Fabulous sleigh (for a centerpiece, entry table or mantel).

Snowy bark bird.

Add some sparkly sprays to branchy winter arrangements, or intersperse them into the Christmas tree.

Bucket of glittery sprays.

O Tannenbaum...

Ice skates made from grapevines – perfect for the cabin.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

please don't call it spooktacular

Spooktacular. I'll be happy not to ever hear that ersatz word again, especially in conjunction with an October sale at a big box store.

But we did do kind of a fun and crazy – some said spectacular – halloween display at home, in honor of the several hundred kiddies (and parents) who plowed through our neighborhood collecting treats last Wednesday eve. Our theme was creepy doll parts, and we really had fun finding all the little bits and pieces (from the dollar store, garage sales, thrifts, here and there) this last year (yeah, you have to start early and keep throwing the bits into a box until the big reveal). Some of the parts ended up in a crusty tool bucket; some were hung in the trees or stuck on the ends of twigs; some were half buried in a berm, their little crunchy arms and legs akimbo. All the doll eyeballs ended up at the shop, however, where we were encouraging people to stick them into cupcakes or jello. One customer bought some to decorate a meatloaf, which I thought was a brilliant idea.

Our little home display was even better at night, when Robert had uplights shining into all the trees, and we had a moany groany halloween sounds cd blasting outside. It was so much fun. I think we gave away 450 pieces of candy (minus – ahem – just a few that we ate). The kids were sooooo cute, and we appreciated all the clever costumes, many of them not at all store-bought. My favorite quote from a little boy who I had mistakenly identified as a ninja: "NO. I'm a power wanger!" [Rhymes with ranger.] He returned to his parents and said, "Peh! SHE didn't even know what I WAS!"

Just about everybody laughed at our goofy concoctions. We may have offended a few people, too.

Broken porcelain faces and legs stuffed into a bucket with mossy twigs, next to headless doll waving hello.

This little doll went to hospital and never recovered. She's really kind of horrifying.  Look at Granny's picture the wrong way and she appears to have fangs and vampire attributes. 

Mysteriously dead tree. Perfect for random heads and feet.

This formerly lovely bush withered appropriately in time for halloween. Our homemade gravestones tucked right in.

The parts tree.

Skeleton emerging from the berm.

Dollar store dolly (with shredded muslin garment) twisted in the wind.