About heatherrossnaturaleclectic

I am a published artist, designer and photographer. I am especially drawn to nature in all it's forms. My Gallery/Boutique Heather Ross { natural eclectic } located at 2170 Fir St. in Vancouver Canada is an evocative mix of art and authentic finds for the home. I'm currently working on a book The Natural Eclectic™ about artful living, and creating atmospheres of nuance and grace mixing new, old and found objects.

community : gardens

  Community  :  a group of like-minded individuals sharing a commonality 
  Garden  :  a place where natural things can grow & flourish

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Community gardens are a place where these two things can flourish together beautifully.

Daisies in the community gardens

I don’t have a plot in the community garden for I have my own flourishing patio garden at my home just a block away. I walk along the tracks and gardens to and fro from my shop each day though. Often my meander home takes hours longer than my quick pace to open up, as I’m so captivated by all the natural wonder at dusk I linger so along the way.

muave iris by Heather Ross

An artist, photographer and nature lover I’m always capturing the gardens with my camera. I also like to sit in them when I write, or need to make some calls. Currently I am seeking shelter in them while my home is under renovation and my own garden is upheaved.

stump desk Heather Ross

I also turn to the gardens when I am weary and overwhelmed by the hectic pace of urban life and always get centered by the grounding aspect of this natural environment. Surrounded by blossoms, bumble bees, open space and sweet air my spirit always lifts.

Centered by Heather Ross

shell with raspberries

Flags

So you can imagine my shock and dismay to learn that CP Railway has asked all the gardeners along the abandoned railway tracks to upheave their plots by months end. That’s right, peak of summer. Raspberry canes just starting to drip with berries, poppies in full abundance, apple trees about to bear fruit, and children, dog walkers, nature lovers all milling around enjoying a feeling of, yes, community….

community garden Heather RossMost likely it’ s a bluff, a bullying gesture. Seems highly unlikely an active train is going to run through gentle neighbourhoods, parks and gardens all along our fair city. Yet this is what is being proposed. It seems our world ( and city ) is going in two directions. Farm to table movements rise,  people are turning their decorative gardens into active food plots,  magazines such as Kinfolk flourish and wonderful local groups such as our  Farmacie put on community dinners to promote and support going green in our urban environments, yet federal & corporate policies threaten the bounty of our land. I’ve never been an activist nor involved in politics, yet for the first time ever my heart strings felt so pulled by the news about uprooting the gardens growing along the old railroad tracks I envisioned myself staring down a train as it was trying to thunder through my neighbourhood.  I’m happy to be providing props from my boutique for an outdoor long table dinner party hosted by Farmacie July 12th on the grounds of a school that has it’s students growing a fabulous kitchen garden. I look forward to breaking bread and connecting with a new circle of people that want to nourish our children and our urban environments.

daisies by Heather Ross

I am committed to nurturing our natural world, capturing it’s beauty so that I may share it with others, and honoring it in such a way that hopefully generations and creatures to come will also share it’s bounty. It’s become clear to me over this past week that this is my place and purpose as an artist. This is where I belong. All these images were captured by myself in the community gardens just one block from my home.

childhood by Heather Ross

Copyright Heather Ross 2014

 

 

Clean & airy urban living

Sharing a  Boutique Hotel-Inspired story we shot for WL CONDO ~
Inspired by chic hotels, a jet-setting writer brings the look home. Enjoy!

Heather Ross PhotoBY AMANDA ROSS. PHOTOS BY HEATHER ROSS.
From Mexico City to Tasmania, acclaimed food and travel writer Kasey Wilson has slept in a thousand inns, resorts and hotels (and brought home a thousand more souvenirs). But these mementos from her life on the road just weren’t enough—what she really wanted was to bring the boutique hotel room look home, too. “I’ve always been inspired by hotel spaces. The best ones have a clean, modern feel and subtle colour schemes—and you always know where to find everything,” says Wilson. In her own space, she was having a hard time finding anything among a lifetime of keepsakes. It was time for a change.
While Wilson’s Yaletown condo had good bones—the building was designed by Bing Thom—the oh-so-’90s scheme of dark walls and terracotta tiles was in serious need of an upgrade. She turned to principal Kelly Fast and design associate Brittany Judd of Scout Modern to help achieve a simple-yet-luxurious hotel room vibe without the $300-a-night tab.
One of Scout’s first tasks was to get Wilson to take inventory—that meant sorting and purging the clutter, and stowing any remaining items she couldn’t part with in her building’s storage. “It was about creating effective storage solutions and a more simplified life for her,” says Judd. What could have been a Herculean task ended up being simpler than anyone had predicted—including Wilson herself. “I’m not very sentimental,” she says. “I was very open to it, as I’m more interested in collecting experiences than things.” Out went the boxes filled with press kits, maps and mementos, as well as a lifetime’s supply of corkscrews, framed menus and wine glasses. Shelves that groaned with cookbooks were lightened, and grandkids’ toys were stored at her daughter’s.
Wilson’s relentless decluttering was the first step in stripping the home back to a blank slate. She then promptly packed her bags, handed the keys to her design team and left for Ukraine for three weeks of work. “She had a lot of trust in us,” notes Fast. “And we had her email to ask her opinion when we needed it!” The designers set to work. To lighten the room, they painted out the 1,000-square-foot space in crisp Oxford white; to warm it up, they installed 10-inch laminate grey wood flooring. To create flexibility, they replaced the threesolid-core office doors with frosted glass Shaker-style panels on tracking systems, able to slide shut for privacy or open up for additional entertaining space when needed. The master ensuite and the kitchen were updated with oversized marble-like porcelain tiles and quartz countertops. With only one real hiccup while Wilson was away (the concrete subfloor was too uneven to salvage when the existing tiles were jackhammered out, so laminate flooring had to be laid over top), the construction played out smoothly—on time and on budget.
Form and function are now the operating system. Timeless wood stools add West Coast warmth (and, of course, offer seating when pressed into service). Poufs double as a soft seat in a pinch, too, but primarily serve as playful beanbags for the grandkids. Carpet tiles were laid down in the bedroom, but segments can easily be replaced with new ones should wear and tear necessitate. Chalkboard paint creates a dramatic feature wall that doubles as a useful writing surface for reminders and inspiration. “I can never find a pen, but nobody ever steals chalk,” laughs Wilson. HEATHER Ross Photo

Bar stools line the expanded kitchen countertop, perfect for serving breakfast to the kids or entertaining friends while prepping veggies for dinner parties. “I entertain a lot more spontaneously now,” she says. “The space is so much easier to keep clean and tidy with upgraded surfaces.” The hidden wine cooler—tucked into the kitchen pantry behind white Shaker-style doors with frosted glass centre panels—doesn’t hurt the party vibe, either.
When Wilson returned from her trip for the big reveal, she loved her minimalistic space so much she was inspired to get rid of most of what she had put in storage. Dining-rooom.tiff

She then signed up for several home-exchange websites: within a month she’d had countless offers from all over Europe and Asia from people vying for a stay in her own personal hotel room. “That’s how I feel when I open my door,” she says. “It’s like I’m walking into a high-end hotel suite. The clutter is gone and I’m motivated to keep it that way—you don’t realize how ‘stuff’ takes away from your quality of life.”

Heather Ross Photo

BLANK SLATE Colour comes to the white-on-white kitchen from easy-to-swap-out accessories like the turquoise “Sky” KitchenAid mixer stationed on the countertop. Throughout the home, modern touches (a glossy dining table with crisp lines) are balanced by organic elements (acacia-handled Schmidt Brothers knives).


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GOOD WORK A glass top popped onto a plain white desk is a simple Ikea hack that elevates Wilson’s workspace.

Heather Ross photoHeather Ross photoSOFT TOUCH Inspired by the full walls of drapery found in luxe hotels, the designers layered sheer Ikea curtains in front of the windows; the fabric diffuses the light beautifully, creating a soft, elegant glow. Other luxurious textiles—an upholstered headboard, crisp white sheets and a cozy throw blanket—complete the upscale vibe. ( Heather Ross  over the headboard )

Heather Ross PhotoHOME SPA Turkish cotton towels hang off a vintage ladder. While the room wasn’t renovated, a fresh coat of paint on the feature wall—Benjamin Moore’s Willow—makes the space feel new. ( This cool vintage ladder came from our shop, a great way to display towels! )

Sowing the seeds of Mother Nature

These lemon yellow poppies have been cultivated from my mother’s garden. They grow wild in our region of BC and scatter each year as the little poppyseeds are caught with the wind and move along the terrain to find a new home. poppy pod Heather Ross

I love the seedpods when they dry, they become little beautiful architecture spikes that I shake throughout my garden to keep them multiplying up through my other plantings.

Yellow poppy Heather RossThey’re blooming outside my bedroom window at the moment in the planter box and I am appreciating them especially at this moment as soon my condo will be under construction and my lovely view of them may be obscured.

poppies thru my window

As they came from my mother’s garden it seems appropriate for them to be flourishing in time for Mother’s Day. Flowers are truly a metaphor for life. The seeds are sewn and rise with warmth. They bloom, shine and glow in the moment of their glory. Eventually the petals start to fade. One by one they drop and return to the soil they came from or are lifted away on a warm wind to dry and rest a while elsewhere. In the case of these wild poppies the foliage will submerge back into the earth until another winter passes. Then the cycle of life continues once warmth returns to nurture life and they spring again like little potentials of hope in a tiny seedpod that flourishes and brightens the day like sunshine. Peony grid by Heather Ross

I discovered these peonies on an afternoon stroll in my neighborhood the other day. I believe it was a Peony tree that rambled high over this picket fence with larger-than-life magnificent voluptuous blossoms that could fill both my hands.

magnificent peony  by Heather Ross

peony profile Heather RossI meant to be on a powerwalk but these powerful peonies stop to me in my tracks and my need and desire to immerse myself in the beauty of nature overrode my need to be svelte.

cluster of peonies heather Ross

Mother nature nurtures us all, even those who are not so aware. I believe those that embrace and cultivate the natural world have greater peace and beauty in their life. Nature reminds us of the magic of life and all it’s beginnings and resiliency.

Peony pod by Heather Ross

Some mothers do nothing more than birth a child and set it free to live a life and that is gift enough. Some may adopt a child and care for it as if it were their own, giving them the best chance to flourish. Some (such as myself ) will not raise a child for life but instead see the wondrous child in all and strive to inspire all the beautiful potential of each soul. Some may seek sun, some shelter in the shade, and others boldly weather storms… but each life is a perfectly unique and magical mystery like the patterns in the blossoms and the leaves.

peony petal perfection Heather Ross

I love my mother as I love my garden. I love mother nature for teaching me all these things.

All photographs and words copyright Heather Ross. please credit appropriately and obtain permission in writing before reblogging ~ thank you.

 

Ikat ~The original Ombre

Ikat…50 shades of indigo.
It’s interesting to see how popular ‘ombre’ effects have become in design. A term used more currently to describe a graduated look in hair highlights, cakes & tonal bridal bouquets, the word OMBRE is French in origin meaning ‘having colors or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark’

True blue Indigo  Heather Ross

 

Ikat weaveIt seems to me the century old traditional technique of textile dying and weaving known as ikat was the original ombre. I recently came across some fabulous panels of Ikat which I picked up for the shop. I’ve always loved working with cloth and at age 15 learned how to spin yarns to make hand knit sweaters. I used natural elements such as lichen and indigo to create natural beautiful colors. ( In addition to my fine arts education I continued to pursue  textile design and ceramics as I loved the hands on feel.  I went on to develop my own bespoke  line of  handprinted fabrics for interiors which sold to the trade and through finer boutiques across Canada in the 80’s and 90’s ) Indigo, while rarely in its natural form nowadays is a die color that came from plant material. The color actually starts green but oxidizes in the final stage of the dying process to the fabulous indigo blue we all know and love now as denim! Indigo fringe Heather Ross The leaves are soaked in water and fermented in order to convert the glycoside indican present in the plant to the blue dye indigotin.] The  the fermented leaf solution is mixed with a strong base such as lye, pressed into cakes, dried, and powdered. The powder was then mixed with various other substances to produce different shades of blue and purple.

Ikat textiles at Heather Ross

While there are many ikat ‘look’ textiles the true process starts with dying just the weft threads which are set up on a loom before it is woven. Much like tie-dye the threads are selectively wrapped and protected to prevent die from taking on certain areas of the threads while other areas on the loom have a die such as indigo applied. Then the warp threads (which are the fibers that go across that the fabric ) are woven back-and-forth in and out between the weft threads. Ikat Motifs Heather Ross

Typically the weft is  not died except in certain areas to create a specific pattern or motif… when combined with the interspersed dyed weft treads you get this wonderful feathery shaded textile. There are many gorgeous examples of Ikat textiles in a myriad of tones such as this panel I picked up in a lovely coral, indigo and soft grey/green.

Ikat threads

ikat with coral Heather Ross

There is something so classic and beautiful though about a traditional blue and white Ikat fabric that looks so gorgeous whether it’s in a beachside cottage, a crisp guestroom, an exotic abode. It is striking in a sophisticated living room or bedroom used as upholstery fabric or toss cushions.Indigo Ikat Heather Ross
Indigo fringe Heather Ross

More complex than tie dye, more elegant than batik, and certainly more timeless than Ombre, Ikat has been around for centuries and will endure.

Copyright Heather Ross all words & images ~ please credit appropriately and do not reblog without written permission ~thank you!

Jelly bean colors for Spring!

While I tend to prefer muted, earthy tones, spring is such an nice time to embrace to a fresh pretty palette, if even just for Easter weekend! In Vancouver we are blessed with Cherry blossom and Magnolia trees flowering in March and April, intoxicating us all with their frothy pink blooms. It sets the mood for a sweet season.

trees in bloom Heather Ross

jelly bean colors Heather RossSo on that note I am sharing some playful adorable lighthearted palettes for spring. Fresh greens, aqua, turquoises, petal pinks, powdery sky blues and little touches of yellow.little bunnies Heather RossMagnolias Heather Rossa girl & her hen Heather Rossjelly bean colors Heather Rossblue eggs Heather Rosslittle bunny By Heather Rossblue white & green Heather Rossa gift of flowers Heatehr RossEnjoy and have a wonderful weekend no matter how you celebrate it.

All images & words copyright Heather Ross

 

 

breath of fresh air

Spring has finally arrived with flowers and sprigs of green rising from the earth! Recently I was looking around at all the different vintage and antique vessels at our shop and thought  they’d be charming potted up with succulents into adorable little groupings. It had me thinking….how is it that house plants have become trendy again?

succulent display Heather Ross

All of a sudden everybody wants terariums and succulents, macramé hanging baskets and curly leafed fig trees. Just yesterday I was looking at the antique Chinese noodle cupboard in my living room ( atop which I’m currently storing two lampshades ) and thought “I should put some ferns on that”. My partner’s out of town and I find myself wanting to play house and freshen up this place but I never really been one for houseplants. So I had a chuckle with myself. I thought ‘you’re being influenced by trends’! lily of the valleyOf course were all influenced by trends but it’s one thing to be a slave to them and another to be aware to the nuances of what is timely and what is now. The interesting thing about an eclectic aesthetic is it’s about mixing new and old in a way that feels timely without being trendy. It takes things that are old and looks at them in a new way, combines them in a new way so they become something altogether different. It’s what makes antiques still feel fresh.

planter Heather Ross

We can carry things from the past, antique treasures and nostalgic mementos from our our lives, place them in different homes and spaces as time goes on, yet not make them feel old, dated by the way we present them and give them new life. The problem I’ve always had with houseplants is they tend to get a little neglected and dusty, the leaves start to brown, and they never really look like how they first arrived unless you truly treat that growing treasure with great loving care like a pet. (Orchids are one plant other than cactus or succulents that I enjoy having at home. While they need a little tending, they stand like a sculpture overflowing with blooms for months on end ) One of the great things about succulents is they don’t need a lot of attention and they stay as they are.  As I started potting along with soil and gravel, using simple vintage vessels like pedestal bowls and pudding bowls with single plants, I perused the shop and found other antique containers that I thought could be even more interesting filled with plants. A fresh way to bring life to antique treasures and make them feel new again.blue willow Heather Ross

Blue Willow is one of the most popular, longest enduring china patterns every created. It is  a traditional classic. Yet see how different it looks when used to house this Echeveria plant. I actually even salvaged the rim of a Blue Willow bowl to create a unique border for another planting. Instead of discarding it, I looked at in an imaginative way and was able to reinvent it. repurposed Blue Willow

Very soon, terrariums and hanging baskets and such will start to feel common again, done, predictable, trendy again the way hanging macrame baskets did years ago when every bedroom had one. So the trick to being inspired by trends, is to be….inspired! Add a twist. Bring your own personality to it. Be original. Do it in your own way. That way it will be authentic and enduring. A breath of fresh air instead of a fad that will fade out.

All words & images copyright Heather Ross 2014 We’re glad we’ve inspired you but please credit appropriately on social media sites & do not reblog without written consent

Coming out of hibernation

So I’ve been hibernating a bit. It was a good snowy winter to do that. Sometimes just like the earth we need to go into a fallow state to lay the ground for a future garden to grow. We need to let the soil get fertile. Sometimes we need step back, or to step down in order to actually step up to the life we’re meant to live.

Hibernation By heather Ross

I’ve written a few introspective blogs of late ( incl this one! ) but I think I’m ready to move forward again. This blog for ‘The Natural Eclectic’ began as a platform for my book, and this winter I had a great new development. I met a dynamic and accomplished art director in the editorial and book publishing world. Excited and intrigued by my concept, they want to come on board to help bring my book to fruition. I felt renewed energy seeing that they were so inspired and couldn’t wait to start storyboarding and making tangible progress.

But then something odd happened. Life went a little sideways…and I found myself feeling atypically insular. Very out of character for me. I’ve always had a strong duality that interchanges between ambitious drive and a gentler side that desires to seek out nature, explore and just create…. but I rarely go dormant.

Snow falls Heather Ross

I see now that I needed to withdraw and go inner in order to soul search about my true path and what I’m meant to do/share/say? Painful injuries compromised my process and took me further away from the joy of making tactile things. Even quiet time editing on the computer was challenging. Some components in my work life were just not adding to a feeling of quality of life anymore, and quality of life is all that should really matter, to me or anyone else. It’s a main thread in the book.

I feel blessed to have a lovely little shop that is so well received and love being able to share beauty and exchange ideas with my clients.No doubt it’s rewarding to see my images in magazines and have recognition with awards or positive feedback from my peers. Somewhere along the path though, where photography changed to digital and everyone had phones that became cameras, it seemed the whole world started doing and chronicling things that before felt rather unique to me. Even though I’d been shooting for magazines for over 15 years and had successfully run my own boutique for almost as many, I felt lost in the shuffle. I went on Pinterest and there were millions of people creating inspiration boards on how to decorate, bake, knit, collect etc. Pop up shops popped up everywhere. Online vintage shops. Tv shows about pickers. I’d done these things since my teens in my own way without ever looking over my shoulder or comparing myself to anyone else until social media came along.  I started counting followers, I started feeling pressure.  Doubt and external demands started creeping in and distracted me on my path to creating my book. We all leave our own personal thumbprint on the world and none of us should ever feel watered down by others, but it’s hard to find the balance in the public eye. First and foremost I’m a visual artist yet I am also a metaphorical and expressive person that wants to share ideas and connect.  The best quote I ever discovered was  “Comparison is the thief of joy” Indeed!  Time to stop comparing and just start being me again!

Boutique with blossoms Heather RossMy previous blog “what is love’ was rather sad but I needed to share it. I was afraid to put it out there in case it was too vulnerable, too deep. Aren’t blogs meant to be about DIY decorating, recipes and cheerful projects?  Yet I discovered that readers really responded to my message, and they in turn shared their stories. Someone who’d lost their mother recently said it was the most beautiful blog they’d ever encountered.

So as I move forward on my book I will be mindful of what my true intention is. I want to encourage and invite creativity and awareness, sensitivity and exploration of not only our interior environments and natural worlds, but also our emotional selves. The book will touch upon themes of many tactile and ‘material’ things but will not be about encouraging materialism, decorating to impress or in any way making others feel intimidated.  I cannot wait till I hold my book in my hands and share it with others. Of course I will marvel over the cover, the paper, the images chosen, the layout, the words, the weight of it all. I will launch it and feel proud and delighted when others cherish it too. But most importantly I will revel in seeing a dream, a vision come to life that hopefully touches and inspires others in a meaningful way.

Hope springs eternal by Heather Ross

I took a while to post this blog. It was snowing when I started and now the cherry blossoms are out. While I write I dream of us spending time writing my book in a country house. I see animals in a pasture and meadow walks with the one I love. A painting studio, maybe even a kiln?  Discovery and life anew as I ebb and flow from hibernation and fallow states into ones of full bloom. I see many stories and pictures coming to life…

All words and images copyright Heather Ross 2014

what is love?

What is love?

Is it a feeling?

Is it a bond?

An unspoken connection?

It is a gift to love and be loved, though sometimes it is through pain and loss we feel the true depth of our love. All the strings pulling, twisting, knotting, fraying…as we’re forced to cut the thread and let go.

Does love end when life ends? Does it live only within our physical sphere or endure in the ether, the matter between matter, the space where one thing ends and another begins. Where does the love of a living being go when they go? Does it only stay in the heart of the one left behind, fed by memories of moments,  touchstones and longings?

remembering Griffin

I just held a vessel. It is what remains of a creature I so loved. My Griffin. I loved him. He knew it. He loved me. I felt it. He was safe with me until the end. Trust. Affection. Comfort. Reliance. Companionship. Tenderness. An unspoken bond. A shared life. Mornings in bed with tea. Afternoons in the garden sunshine.

Griffin by Heather Ross

There are footprints on the windowsill I don’t want to wash away. They are evidence of so much more. One day they will fade. Will the love? Or just the memories and the matter? Is love not eternal…for all things great and small?
Griffin by Heather Ross
As a kitten Griffin was so shy, yet he learned to trust me and to love me. He had a sister Zoe.  She left us long ago but my love for her has not diminished. She was so dear.
Griffin & Zoe
Griffin was funny, sweet and loving. Soft. He calmed me down. He followed me and at times he ran away from me. He clung to me when he was scared. Called to me when he was hungry and cold. He pawed my eyelashes with a featherweight tap of curiosity. He slept by my side. He looked deep into my eyes. I miss him.
Love is sad but always worth it.  It comes in many forms.  Love is all that matters.
All photos and words copyright Heather Ross 2014

the natural season of giving

Heather Ross Natural Eclectic (1 of 1)

This weekend marked the solstice and longer days ahead. A gift for those who long for light. It snowed, got misty and dreamy.  Nature said ‘s l o w   d o w n’. I had much to do, like everyone else at this demanding time. I was blessed to sell four paintings this week and my clients hoped for them to be hung before Christmas. So Sunday between errands and parties I ventured to my clients home. A beautiful space overlooking a golf course, I was gifted with this stunning wintery vista above. We hung art and got to know the owners over a delicious espresso and Baileys.  Instead of feeling pressed for time I appreciated the ‘pause’ this had allowed me.   A small festive gesture on their part that warmed us before heading out to gather food for a few days of feasting.

                 Baileys, espresso & starburstsThere are many ways to share, to give thanks, to give. It can just be your presence, as opposed to presents. It can be as simple as a  well chosen special ornament. A little package that shows you put personal thought and special care into it’s choosing.

Vintage silver bells & milk glass Heather RossI love to bake sugar cookies, a childhood favorite of my sister and I. Every year I packed them off the Italy where my sister lived, knowing that upon opening the gift box she would be flooded with fond memories that made her feel close to home even though she was very far away. She has now returned home to her roots and we were able to decorate them together just as when we were young. The memories are as sweet as the cookies.

sugar cookies by Heather Ross

A very talented client of ours makes wonderful tag cards each year. Each one is customized to suit the recipient. She hand selects the elements, collages, pastes and paints them. Mine was a medley of duck egg blue and copper and gold, rustic mixed with finery and natural motifs. She knows me well! A cherished gift to receive within a little envelope in the mail. Lara Irwin tag, photo Heather Ross

A gentleman approached us in our shop with these lovely plaster cast sand dollars. With only a week to go before the holidays we were not really in need of more stock. But he had chosen the sand dollars so carefully, created moulds, sanded and drilled them, and strung them with hemp cording. How could I say no? He had gone to such effort and care. I have a particular attachment to sand dollars myself and of course just love natural forms, so I bought them all. It feels wonderful to be in a position to help support others and encourage creativity.silver & sand dollars

A client came in and chose some of the sand dollars to make a wreath. Though the shop was bustling with customers and sales, we found time to chat, and she shared about her new home that had just a smidgen of an ocean view she called “sea glimpse”. I came home after this full day at the shop a little weary but satisfied after such a busy successful day. To my surprise a lovely letter from this client was waiting for me in my inbox.

” Thank you so much for the lovely vintage lantern ornament and for the pretty sand dollar ornament collection.  Your shop is always such a delight to visit – the lovely ambience of the beautifully curated items is complemented perfectly by your charm, your unique style and your enthusiasm for the objects you’ve gathered or created.  I know pulling together this collection and running a retail outlet is a ton of work and it takes a very special gift to pull off the “natural eclectic” mix.  Your shop is a rare and unique treasure in a world dominated by chain stores and the quest for profit above all else.  You deserve every bit of success that comes your way.

P.S.  Thought you might like the following quote as I believe you see the beauty in many things others pass by ….“Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a lot to love a leaf. It’s ordinary to love the beautiful, but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.”

Bird lantern ornament

I was so touched ~ words can indeed be a gift too! So in this season of hustle and bustle remember that gifts do indeed come in many packages. While of course I appreciate beauty and wonderful objects, tactile finds and treasures, nothing takes the place of feeling special. Life is a gift. Love is a gift.

Sun and snow and even rain and fog are a gift. Time is a gift. Listening is a gift. Reaching out is a gift. Noticing is a gift. And things bought with thought or made by hand are gifts that will truly resonate. May you all feel joy and gratitude this time of year in the season of giving ~ Heather

Radiant Orchids and Emeralds

Emerald seas photo Heather RossIs it just a coincidence that Pantone’s color of the year ‘Emerald’…will surrender in 2014  to ‘Radiant Orchid’…. a lush violet/amethyst shade? On the color wheel they are exact opposite ‘split complimentary’ tones. Based on color theory they are very compatible together, pleasing, bringing out the best in each other, balancing, neither one competing with the other for attention. Green represents life. Strong, serene, natural, vital. Violet is more spiritual, floral, sensual… yet also regal { perhaps Pantone was inspired by the royal birth in England? } Violet, orange and green are considered secondary colors to primaries which are red, yellow and blue. It takes a deft hand to mix primaries all together in one setting successfully. Unless perfectly executed in a crisp coastal home or on the border of a Hudson’s Bay blanket, I feel they can look generic or childish. I’ve always preferred colors that are more subtle and nuanced with depth, the ‘in between hues’. While people often associate my work with blues,  I rarely ever paint with bright cobalt or royal blues. I prefer the more serene shades of blue that drift toward..that’s right..the green or violet side of things!

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When I do embrace a warmer palette, I love using greyed down shades of lavender.  I may not fully embrace  the tart vibrant fuchsia aspect of Pantones next darling, but I will indeed welcome all it’s gentler shades as seen in the sheer petals of this radiant orchid image I captured against linen on a sun filled day.