Why We Love Living in Seattle: Chihuly Garden and Glass

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition, opened at Seattle Center in 2012.

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Chihuly Garden and Glass features eight galleries of his work, with the Glasshouse – a 40-foot tall glass and steel structure inspired by garden conservatories around the world taking center stage. In the garden, Chihuly’s sculptures are interspersed within a magnificent display of trees, plants, and flowers. Those who still do not know his work, or have never seen it in person, will be enchanted by Chihuly’s genius and ability to transform spaces and create true glass forests.

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The museum recreates some of the major works of Chihuly’s career, and invites us to explore, imagine, photograph and compose. A wonderful tour that will tinker with your creativity and leave you inspired.

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Why We Love Living in Seattle: Northwest Folklife Festival

Since 1972, the Northwest Folklife Festival has been Seattle’s official start to summer. The Folklife Festival is a 3-day weekend of music, dance, and storytelling, workshops, crafts, vendors, and fun for the whole family. All ages and musical interests are welcome with events and workshops that are open to anyone who wants to participate or just listen. Admission to everything is free, although donations made at the door are appreciated.

This Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-29, 2017, at Seattle Center, join your Northwest neighbors and 5,000 performers from all over the Pacific Northwest including Washington, Oregon, Western Montana, Idaho, Alaska, British Columbia, and Alberta for a celebration of our diverse communities.

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Unique Furniture Stores of Seattle

Buy local and find those one-of-a-kind pieces you’ll never see anywhere else.

Looking to add some pomp and flare to your dwelling? Yearning for a unique piece to tie the room together? Look no further. Each of the stores on this list are small, independently curated boutiques, perfect for finding one-of-a-kind furnishings, vintage pieces, and home goods with a distinctly Seattle flair.

Adorn

This is a store with a super-stylish perspective. Adorn is a great place to find something unique for your home. The staff is well known for its friendly attitude and the always charming Rocco, the shop dog.

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Unique Find: Temporary wallpaper in uber-stylish prints

Ballard Consignment

This is a store with a super-stylish perspective. You’ll find an impeccably curated inventory of eclectic vintage furnishings and art.

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Unique Find: Warthog Taxidermy Mounted Head

Camelion Design

In addition to an amazing array of furniture styles and a seemingly endless selection of fabrics, it’s also a boutique housewares store full of goodies. You’ll discover gifts for everyone in their offerings of serving ware, candles, furniture, art, accessories, and gifts for baby.

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Unique Find: Modern furniture that doesn’t compromise comfort for style

Capers

Let your Seattle pride shine at this West Seattle home and lifestyle shop. Featuring the work of local, independent, and eco-friendly artists and craftspeople, Capers is a great spot to pick up a beautiful new cookbook that also serves as a coffee table book.

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Unique Find: Coated outdoor linens that are chic and functional with really stylish textile patterns

Digs

This Market Street staple has an exuberant mix of art, furniture, and craft; boosting a healthy mix of mid-century and contemporary pieces with a generous dose of whimsy.

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Unique Find: Life size cow sculptures

Fremont Vintage Mall

A basement full of furniture, art, and accessories could be considered the mother of all vintage stores. Spending a couple of hours browsing here is like shopping an entire antique district. Each visit will reveal new things. From the roaring ’20s to midcentury, this gallery isn’t stuck in a particular decade.

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Unique Find: 1950’s metal carnival clown baseball toss game

Phase Two Interiors

Gigi Buchanan opened Phase Two as an art, décor and furniture shop for gently used home furnishings that are worthy of a second life span, in a new home. The showroom has a large and varied selection spanning many different design styles.

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Unique Find: Scooter the shop dog apparently has great taste and is happy to help you find the perfect throw pillow

Second Use

The ultimate store for a hardcore scavenger; going to Second Use feels like being at a 100 yard sales under one roof. From old lumber, vintage cabinet pulls, and fun retro lighting options to modern appliances, unused doors and large stock piles of unused wood flooring options; they literally have it all.

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Unique Find: Antique Pine Winnowing Table used to separate the wheat from the chaff – great for a side table

Best of the Northwest Art and Fine Craft Show

With so much great art on view at Seattle’s museums and various art walks, it can be hard deciding which shows to prioritize. The Best of the Northwest Art and Fine Craft Show has long been a celebrated cultural event in Seattle for its carefully curated booths of more than 100 of the area’s best artists and artisans, but there are many other things that also make the annual show stand out.

  • The show is organized by the Northwest Art Alliance, a nonprofit organization that has supported Seattle artists since 1989.

Originally founded by a group of artists to produce a holiday art show, the NWAA has since become an important resource for artists. Exposure, education and essential tools to foster the growth of emerging artists is their primary function, along with providing the public access to the artwork of Seattle’s greatest artists that are not necessarily featured in local museums.

  • The booths are intimate spaces to view art.

While the exhibitions on view in each booth are conceptually rigorous and thematically expansive, the scale and installation of the booths invites close and thoughtful viewing.  The intimate setting also provides a special opportunity to talk with the artist about their work and their passion for their medium.

  • The show is held in a historic building: Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park.

The property is historically significant based on the role it played in the U.S. Navy’s expansion and development in the Puget Sound region, and on the architecture of many of its buildings. Hangar 30 has the distinctive Art Deco architectural style characterized by streamlined, rhythmic machine forms, exotic imagery, and the use of materials to give a feeling of motion.

  • Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park is adjacent to the NOAA Western Regional Center.

Created in the early 1980’s The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Art Walk includes six outdoor artworks by nationally recognized artists. The most recognized sculpture is “A Sound Garden“. This piece is located at the eastern end of the NOAA campus and features organ-like pipes that make sounds depending upon wind direction and speed.

  • The Popular Art-4-Kids Table

Kids 12 and under can enter the show for free and have a great time trying out numerous art techniques.

 

First Sign of Spring: The NW Flower and Garden Show

February 22 – 26 at the Washington State Convention Center

Just when we need it most, the NW Flower and Garden Show arrives each February to provide us with a breath of spring air; providing inspiration, education and motivation for gardeners – new and old. Whether in a backyard, flower box, or rooftop, this is where green lovers go to discover ideas while having fun.

Embracing the upcoming show’s theme, “Taste of Spring”, this year some of the Northwest’s most respected designers will incorporate elements of the theme into big, blooming gardens, as the show celebrates food, trends in organic and urban gardening, sustainability, and a variety of culinary experiences, such as outdoor dining.

In addition to the regular show, which includes grand garden exhibits, seminars, and the very popular Garden Wars, they have added a tasting room in the Marketplace, a container garden contest, and a garden-themed baking competition for local bakeries.

Tasting Corner

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The Tasting Corner will feature samples (and sales) from local merchants that specialize in gourmet food products of the Pacific Northwest, including infused oils and salts, floral elixirs and honey.

Container Wars

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Master Gardeners are tasked with creating three luscious planted containers—each drawing from identical plants—in under one hour. Container gardens are a fabulous addition to any outdoor space, be it a small deck off your condominium or part of the landscape in your backyard.

Bouquet of Cakes

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The cakes will feature artistic, unique and celebratory special event cake designs inspired by elements of flowers and gardens.

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Whether you are a new gardener in need of sensible advice or a seasoned pro, you’ll find scores of inspiring seminars and hands-on demonstrations filled with valuable education and entertainment. Dig in and learn how to solve your landscaping challenges, create livable outdoor spaces, and grow edible gardens for year-round enjoyment.

Why We Love Seattle Series: Frye Art Museum

Art Museums are always a labor of love by those who create them for their communities – especially when they are created, curated and then opened to the public free of charge. Charles and Emma Frye were avid art collectors and patrons of the arts, and following Charles Frye’s death in 1940, their extensive collection was gifted in perpetuity to the people of Seattle via the opening of the Frye Art Museum.

In addition to the Frye’s Founding Collection, they host a rolling calendar of exhibitions from many varieties of art, children’s storytelling hours that are augmented with art, musical concerts, classes, workshops and many other events – all free of charge. To discover what wonderful things they have scheduled this month – their 65th Anniversary – take a look at their Calendar of Events.

For a really lovely afternoon, grab lunch at the Gallery Café, tour the exhibitions and then visit the Frye Store for something gorgeous and unique to add to your own collection.

 

Pike Place Market in Autumn

Many people only think of Pike Place Market during spring and summer but the reality is that once autumn arrives and the tourists go home, Seattleites can reclaim their historic market place and enjoy it without all the crowds.

Explore the Market

Take time to wander the nine acres that encompasses all it has to offer. The Market will amaze, delight and inspire you. Washington farmers sell local, seasonal produce and preserves at farm tables year-round. More than 200 local craftspeople display their unique handcrafted works daily in the North Arcade. Four fish markets offer an abundance of fresh seafood from Pacific Northwest and Alaskan waters. Dozens of specialty food stores provide rare ingredients and exceptional local and international products. Beneath the Main Arcade are three floors of unique shops, specializing in collectibles, comics, jewelry, books, original art, magic tricks and oddities.

Discover Local Artisans and Unique Crafts

Get started early on your holiday shopping list and find unique gifts that your friends and family won’t see online or in their local shopping mall. The craftspeople create authentic, decorative and functional ceramics, apparel, fiber art, jewelry, glass and metal sculpture, leather goods, woodcrafts, natural body products and much more.

Eat

For those who simply love to eat; enjoy a feast of bakeries, cafes, intimate bistros, casual and fine dining restaurants, and take out counters serving quick bites. Take home handmade croissants for a Sunday breakfast or have a date night at some of Seattle’s finest restaurants.

Take it all in

Flying fish, street performers, Rachel the Piggy Bank, and the colorful people who work at Pike Place Market; these are just a small part of the magic. This is the market for the people of Seattle who truly love their city.

New Orleans Food and Funk Festival

New Orleans is filled with scrumptious French-inspired Creole and Cajun food, live jazz, street performers, and an appreciation for all the temptations of life.

If this sounds appealing but you don’t have time to fly to the Big Easy, we have great news for you. The New Orleans Food and Funk Festival will be happening at WaMu Theater this Friday, September 30, 2016. Much like a visit to the French Quarter, this event will be featuring the best food and music that New Orleans has to offer.

Numerous food vendors will be offering full plates or $5 snack size portions, allowing you to sample everything from fried alligator to Boudin. Music is a huge part of this event and it looks like your dancing shoes will be a very good idea. As they say in NOLA, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

Luminata Lanter Parade – A Festival of Dark and Light

The Luminata Lantern Parade in Fremont is happening tomorrow, September 21, 2016. Luminata is a procession of light, celebrating the arrival of the autumnal equinox and heralding the plunge into darkness that is winter.

The autumnal equinox happens the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, which is an imaginary line in the sky that corresponds to Earth’s equator. Every year this occurs on September 22, 23, or 24. From here on, the days get shorter until the winter solstice in December, when the light will begin its slow climb back to long summer days.

More than just a parade, Luminata is also a celebration of art. Participants prepare and create their lanterns for weeks in advance and the results are stunning. By attending this parade, you are already a participant – even if you have no lantern! Revelers bring drums, musical instruments, wear lighted costumes and umbrellas.

The parade starts at dusk (around 7pm) at the Boat House on the south shore of Green Lake Park. Don’t forget some comfortable walking shoes!

Guide to Seattle Art Walks

If you like interesting art, visiting with artists, wandering through neighborhoods, museums and cafés, an Art Walk is a great activity, no matter what time of year.

These Art Walks offer a free and easy opportunity to enjoy the arts in neighborhoods across the city, and by bringing the community together, they support both Seattle’s talented artists and small businesses. Interesting Fact: the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square (started in 1981) was in fact the first in the nation, and set the stage for over a dozen Art Walks now held regularly throughout the city – and nationwide!

 

Ballard (2nd Saturdays)

Belltown (2nd Fridays)

Capitol Hill (2nd Thursdays)

Columbia City (Summer only)

Fremont (1st Fridays)

Georgetown (2nd Saturdays)

Phinney/Greenwood (2nd Fridays)