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Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 | 0 comments

Amy’s Handmade Holiday Wreaths

Amy’s Handmade Holiday Wreaths

We’ve always loved the look of Amy DeGood’s floral arrangements (we featured her Del Ray business Good Gardener last year). Now that the season for locally grown flowers has passed, Amy’s transitioning to the use of evergreens to create simple, elegant and natural wreaths. You can buy them at an open house in Del Ray this Sunday. Amy makes a variety of sizes and style wreaths. She mixes branches of evergreen, boxwood and magnolia from her farm (and collected around the region) with dried flowers and curly willow branches to create an elegant layered design. Amy says the key to keeping a natural wreath looking good well into the holiday season is to keep it cool, protect it from the rain/wind and give its branches a squirt of water if temperatures are unseasonably warm. Amy will be selling her wreaths at a sale this Sunday, November 20 from 1-3 pm at 415 E. Windsor in Del Ray. Quantities are limited, so the earlier you come to the sale, the...

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Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 | 0 comments

Meet the Artist: Samantha Testa

Meet the Artist: Samantha Testa

From street chalk art to custom water colors, hand-lettered invitations to wall art, local artist Samantha Testa embraces a wide variety of art mediums.  I met Samantha last spring when she participated in La Bella Strada: An Italian Street Painting Festival. Samantha cleverly used the artist-grade sidewalk chalk as watercolor paint to create an exquisite landscape. She also recently appeared on Art on the Avenue in Del Ray, where she sold the one-of-a-kind watercolors and hand-lettered paintings that she features on her Painted Palettes website and Etsy store. One of Samantha’s signature features is hand-lettering, which she makes the centerpiece of a piece, or an enhancement. Photo credit: @melindasnyderphotography She does many custom projects for clients as well. Her main requests are for watercolor animal portraits, watercolor venue/house paintings, hand-lettered invitations, and hand-lettered gifts, such as a wood slice with a family’s last name, picture frame mats hand lettered with a saying, wine glasses, ornaments, nursery art, and personalized art for specific rooms in a house. Stayed Tuned! Samantha...

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Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 | 4 comments

The Animal Welfare League’s Lady Grey

The Animal Welfare League’s Lady Grey

We love visiting our local animal shelter, the Alexandria Animal Welfare League. Both of our family pets come from the shelter including Wei, the sweetest Schnauzer mix you will ever meet, and BB-8, our Hemingway cat who has brightened up our lives since we got him in January this year. There is one special cat at the shelter named Lady Grey. She is beautiful and sweet as can be. Unfortunately, she has been at the shelter since January. This really upset both my kids because January is when we adopted BB-8. The thought of her being in the shelter all that time makes us sad. The Animal Welfare League has a great program called Adopt it Forward. There are generous people who pay the adoption fees for some of the animals at the shelter. Lady Grey’s fees have been paid! She has to be an only cat because she has an upper respiratory infection that is contagious. My daughter has a special affection for Lady Grey. She drew a...

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Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 | 2 comments

The Making of a Workout Studio

The Making of a Workout Studio

If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you may remember Angela Lutzker from her stunning home renovation we featured a couple years ago, or most recently as an artist in La Bella Strada: An Italian Street Painting Festival. Earlier this year, Angela embarked on a design project of a different nature, opening her own workout studio in town, Studio Barre. Leslie and I received a warm welcome when we stopped by to see how she’s designed the space and to try out a class. Angela worked hard to transform what began as an empty couple of rooms… …into a mirror-lined studio space with wood floors and dance barres along the walls. …as well as a set of French doors to lead from the front entrance and boutique into the exercise studio space. The finished studio is just as beautiful as you’d expect from someone with as much artistic and design talent as Angela — bright, airy, contemporary, with splashes of bold color and contemporary wallpaper — which...

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Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 | 2 comments

Meet the Maker: Mellenie’s Soap Subscription

Meet the Maker: Mellenie’s Soap Subscription

We’ve been big fans of Mellenie Runion’s eco-friendly soap business, Truly-Life, ever since discovering it a few years ago. In fact, her garden was one of the stops on this summer’s Urban Farm Tour. We love sharing news of local makers and Mellenie’s homemade business keeps getting bigger and better, now with a subscription service. Mellenie grows and creates her skin care products right here in her Del Ray home. The lavender that makes her soap and bath fizz so soothing grows in her backyard. The loofah grow on vines supported by a homemade trellis. It’s then dried and sliced and delicately tied with a ribbon on her packages (that little pot contains a bonus: seeds to start your own loofah plants at home). Her mud masks are made from coffee beans sourced from local coffee roaster Swing’s and the box is lined with, of course, part of a burlap coffee bean bag. Mellenie is now offering a subscription service where you can order — for yourself or as...

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