It’s Local


By |2014-04-20T20:07:16-04:00April 20, 2014|Inspiration, It's Local|

Today I’m going to introduce you to a very special place and special person.

Victoria Park Florist in Chapel Hill 

Victoria Park is owned by Margaret and David Pender. I met Margaret last November when she spoke at our Garden Club meeting. Her story is so unique that right away I was entranced and knew I had to, someday, feature her on the blog.

Meet Margaret:

IMG_3933_wm Margaret and Poppy, her gorgeous yellow love bird and constant companion!

 We spent an hour together in the shop with me taking pictures and getting to know Margaret, her space and her inventory. I then sent her these questions as part of our interview:

I know this is a very broad question…but how did you come to live and work in Chapel Hill? Did you consider other places in North Carolina?

Margaret:   We were living in Zimbabwe in southern Africa but the political and economic situation made things increasingly difficult for us and the security in the country was deteriorating rapidly. We sent our two daughters to college in the northeastern United States.  When we were at our youngest daughter Michelle’s graduation, we decided to stay […]


By |2014-03-30T17:28:37-04:00March 30, 2014|It's Local|

One of the things that has given me the most joy in moving to a totally new environment is the ability to make new friends. More than the ability there is also, for me, the need to do this, as I find myself wanting to share the things that interest and motivate me.  Of course I have made so many new friends on line through this blog, but the community in which I live, here in North Carolina, has become more important than I could have imagined.

Each fall we have an artists studio tour sponsored by the Orange County Artists Guild ….. and that is how I met
Elaine O’Neil.

Take a look at two (of many) of her textile collages:

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 9.32.22 PM

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 9.33.29 PM

 You can read all about Elaine and “her story” on her website.

Elaine calls herself a “textile collage artist.”  She certainly is that, but she is so much more. Having met Elaine in her house where her studio is located, I knew I wanted to see more and really talk to her. So a few months later I called […]


By |2014-03-20T14:57:00-04:00February 23, 2014|It's Local|

What better birthday treat than a day at the spa!

February was the birthday month for a good friend of mine and her celebration of choice was a day at the spa.

Neither of us had ever been to
The Umstead Spa
at the Umstead Hotel in Cary, N.C., so off we went.  The hotel lobby is lovely and features artwork from local painters and sculptors that is really outstanding. The flowers are eye catching, and the outdoor terraces make you long for warmer weather.

My friend definitely wanted to have a facial, so we each signed in for this service. I had never had a facial…. yes, never. Many massages, a hot stone massage,  mud baths (a favorite of mine!) along with the luxury pedicure and manicure etc. etc., but never a facial.

Umstead Collage 1

Umstead Collage 2

If you have ever been to a spa you know the immediate relaxation and immersion in an other worldly experience that awaits you the minute you put on that white robe! All is quiet. You sip exotic tea served in simple white cups and can choose from dried berries and nuts and immediately you feel healthy […]


By |2015-01-20T17:39:58-05:00February 2, 2014|Inspiration, It's Local|

Raise your hand if you know

How many hands do I see? Not many I think.

Spoonflower is a fabric and paper printing company and this is their tag line:
“At Spoonflower we make it possible for individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper, decals and gift wrap.”

In other words, anyone can create a design, upload it to the Spoonflower site, and have it printed on eleven different kinds of fabrics, two kinds of gift wrap, wallpaper or decals.
This is really C O O L.

IMG_8229_wm_wm Reception area at their headquarters in Durham, N.C.

The company was started in 2008 and has grown from, I think, four to almost forty full and part time employees. Aside from their main, and thriving, business of digital printing,they also offer all sorts of “Events” such as Surface Design: Creating a Basic Repeat with Paper or Mixed-Media Collages as well as opening their design space The Greenhouse as an open studio where you can bring your own project and work and meet others.

Spoonflower Collage 1

Spoonflowr Collage 2

IT’S LOCAL: Greensboro, N.C.

By |2014-03-20T15:19:13-04:00January 19, 2014|It's Local|

In keeping with the brand new look for the blog, I have a brand new feature column.

“It’s Local”  

In this new column I’m going to do stories about what is local to me. Local may mean right in my neighborhood or it may mean local to my 100 mile radius. It just depends on what I find. But I want to have some focus here on what’s happening and available around me, and thus what will be of particular interest to my local followers.

Today is a trip to Greensboro, N.C. which is an hour’s drive from my house.

I’ve been there several times since moving down here: my wonderfully fun friend, Mary James Lawrence (you can read about her here), lives there; we went to visit and tour the Civil Rights Center and Museum, site of the “Greensboro Four” lunch counter sit-in in 1960; we have had an excellent dinner at  Undercurrent Restaurant,  and then there is Architectural Salvage. Many cities and towns have such a place but they can be difficult to find and you really have to dig deep. Around here, Architectural Salvage is well known especially for their huge selection of doors and windows.

This […]


By |2014-05-13T21:31:56-04:00November 8, 2013|Friday Flowers, It's Local|

The title says Friday but no Flowers.
Flowers, at least from my garden, are pretty much over for the season. Now we are well into Fall.
Some people love the fall and say it’s their favorite season. Not so much for me. All I can think of is what is to follow: WINTER.
Now, I’ve never been crazy about winter. As a child growing up in Philadelphia our winters were fairly mild. But still….
I don’t like layered clothing.
I don’t like wool; in fact, I haven’t been able to wear it next to my skin for many years.
I don’t like socks.
I don’t like boots.
I don’t like searching for sweaters to wear around the house.
I don’t like dry skin, which happens to me all winter, although I’ve learned ways to deal with and ameliorate it.
I don’t like being cold, although my Mother would have told you that, as a child, I was always hot!
So there you have it.
Thank goodness down here in North Carolina the winters are shorter and milder and there is gardening just about year round.
Nevertheless, I was out taking some pictures yesterday morning and […]
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