Dream Powders

The powder room is the one room in your home guests are assured to visit if they stay for any period of time. Builders, designers, and homeowners go all-out to impress. This is the one room in the house guests are most likely to spend time privately, taking care of business and perhaps some extra time admiring your fixtures and faucets.

Enjoy the following photos, which I took at this year’s Street of Dreams, Quinn’s Crossing (see July 23rd post for Dream Entries). I love powder rooms – the sinks are works of art, and the color schemes are always surprising and elegant.

Dream Entries

This is the first of a multi-part photo post of my tour of the Street of Dreams, Quinn’s Crossing, this last weekend. I was up at the crack of dawn in Seattle to be out there both mornings at 8 AM, when real estate professionals are permitted on the grounds with clients (my “clients” were my parents on Saturday morning, who live only a mile from the site, and my husband and brother-in-law on Sunday morning).

There’s nothing like being able to walk thru these beautiful homes unimpeded by crowds. Makes for great photo opportunities, too.

This Street of Dreams is Built Green. The Urban Lodge had the best signage – every single room had a framed sign listing all of the green features in that room, and it’s source and/or creator/designer. It was very informative.

These photos do not have captions and are in no particular order. I didn’t take notes so if you’re curious to see what goes with what, you’ll just have to visit yourself! Just enjoy.

Spoiler for Muggles

What’s the most magical thing about the new Harry Potter book?

The Bite
It’s not a plot twist, a dead main character (um, well…), or even a sweet new spell. As the last in the best-selling children’s book series of all time, the printing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows novel will use more sustainable paper than any previous book. And that’s no fiction.

The Benefits
Sustainable paper. Of the 16,700 tons of paper used in the first printing of the final book, 65% was certified by the the Forest Stewardship Council as sustainably harvested.

Setting an example for the publishing industry. U.S. book publishers use 20 million trees per year, so moving to greener paper is a big deal.

An even more gratifying read. You’re gonna read it anyway, but Harry’s final showdown with You-Know-Who reads even better on sustainable paper.

Wanna Try?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – you can purchase it anywhere, but this retailer puts profits toward building libraries in Asia ($28).

This was Today’s Tip from Ideal Bite

Hostas, hellebores, hebes – oh my!

Saturday is a rare chance to visit three beautiful and amazing Bainbridge Island gardens, plus the Heronswood Gardens at Kingston, through The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program (read my previous post here).

The national program, begun in 1995, offers the public a glimpse at hundreds of private gardens around the country and encourages the preservation of exceptional American gardens.
The Bainbridge gardens, each of which will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., are:

• Little and Lewis Garden Gallery, with exotic plants, colorful concrete sculpture and water features, 1940 Wing Point Way N.E.

• McFarlane Gardens, which includes a meditative Zen garden with a ceiling of evergreens
above a burbling water feature; a reflecting pool with bronzed goddess; tropical plants; and themed areas reflecting Northwest, Asian, English, Italian and Mediterranean influences, 9340 N.E. South Beach.

• The Skyler Garden, with hostas, hellebores, hebes, spirea, perennials and more than 85 varieties of ferns, and a shade garden with a pond and feeders that attract many birds, 9734 Manitou Place.

• Heronswood Gardens in Kingston, now operated as a research garden by W. Atlee Burpee & Co., will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features rare plants in a variety of microclimates, from a shady woodland to a sunny rock garden, 7530 N.E. 288th St. Plants will not be for sale on site, but many are available online or through the Heronswood catalog.

Each garden will ask a $5 admission fee to help the work of The Garden Conservancy. For more information, call 888-842-2442 or see www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays.

Street of Dreams = Street of Green (and yes, you also NEED a lot of green to buy one of these beauties)

It’s just around the corner – the Street of Dreams. The street where 20- and 30-somethings go to admire the life of the rich and maybe famous…to dream about what they might like in their own dream home someday…to wonder aloud to each other why towel warmers are only for the rich when they are so environmentally smart (they heat the room and the towel, and can even dry socks – I know because our dinky hotel room in Florence, Italy had a towel warmer and after being caught in a snow storm we had to dry our Smartwools overnight). The over-40 crowd may be serious shoppers – but you won’t see ANY serious shoppers during regular tour hours. They will be there, touring the home privately with their buyer’s agent, at the bright and chippy hours of 8 AM (for no charge).

But I digress. I am particularly excited this year since the Street of Dreams is back in my old stompin’ grounds, located midway between Woodinville and Monroe, near Echo Lake. Yes, I grew up a country girl (my folks moved the family from Ballard when I was 7 – and I graduated from Monroe High School in 1988. Go Bearcats!) Maybe that’s why I love West Seattle so much. It feels like the country but is close enough to all the good things in the city that I missed out on growing up. YOU try being 10 miles from the nearest town with no way to go anywhere (too young to drive, and no public transportation). I spent my summers reading – until I complained about being bored. Then I hauled rocks and stacked firewood for the rest of the summer. Year after year. I never did learn to not complain.

But again I digress. It must be this blasted heat. The A/C in this office can not possibly keep up with the outdoor temps. I am really looking forward to tomorrow – after spending 2 hours in the dentist’s chair in the morning, and meeting movers at my house to get a quote on how much it is going to cost us to haul 30 boxes of books and a bunch of other stuff up the hill to our townhome in High Point – we then are meeting our home inspector at High Point to find out all that’s wrong with new construction. I hope I am not too disappointed since I know Polygon has been trying to improve their quality track record. I feel sorry for my inspector – but he’ll have a story to tell, of inspecting this brand new 3-story townhome at HP on the hottest day of the year.

Holy cow, I need to rename this post! I can’t seem to get to the Street of Dreams! The 2007 Seattle Street of Dreams is located in the brand new community of “Quinn’s Crossing” in unincorporated Snohomish county near Echo Lake – a stone’s throw from where I grew up – just off State Highway 522 midway between Woodinville and Monroe (near Echo Falls Country Club – which didn’t exist when *I* left home). Five eco-friendly show homes, ranging in size from approximately 4,200 – 4,750 square feet will be featured. The show homes will be priced up to $1.975M with each home uniquely designed and displaying the latest trends in architecture, interior design, home technology and landscaping. These homes are Built Green certified.

The show starts THIS Saturday, July 14th. You can find more show information, including ticket prices and shuttle information, here. Of course, if you are interested in purchasing one of these homes and would like a private showing (we can avoid the crowds between the hours of 8 AM and 9:30 AM daily from July 14 – August 19), please email me to let me know and we can schedule an appointment to view these five beautiful Built Green homes.

You’ll probably find me showing my parents around early one Saturday morning. If they can tear themselves away from their nearly-born first grandchild, courtesy of my sister. Go Allison! Can you say “epidural” when out of breath, screaming in pain, your eyes crossing and cursing your darling husband for doing this to you? I hope you can manage it. Good luck!

Creative ways people and businesses are getting greener

I was catching up on my email this morning and opened up a newsletter from 8 Limbs Yoga (studios located in West Seattle, Wedgewood, and Capitol Hill). They’ve started asking themselves difficult questions about the impact they are making on the planet (and this from yoga folks, some of the most zen people on the planet). Here’s what it said that really caught my attention:

July 2007

From the Director:

Last week we held one of our regular 8 Limbs Teacher Meetings and our introduction question was “how are you reducing your footprint on the planet?” The teachers’ answers were informative and inspiring. One teacher got Lasik Surgery to be done with all the disposable contacts and saline bottles. Another is in the middle of a remodel and spending extra time to find renewable materials for the work.

The most recent change we have made here at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill is to discontinue ordering and selling disposable plastic water bottles. We don’t want to contribute to the massive overuse of resources that comes from both creating the plastic for each single-use bottle and the resources to move this water. At each studio we have a water source that you may use your own container to fill from but will no longer provide cups (at Wedgwood, we have tiny ones for those emergencies as there is no water fountain). If you want to use our water coolers to fill your own container regularly, you may join the 8 Limbs Water Club ($5/month) to support our ability to offer the coolers at Capitol Hill and Wedgwood. The best thing to do is bring your own water from home as the water in our coolers also has to be trucked here.

Little things add up! Have an idea of how 8 Limbs can be greener? Send it to me (annephyfe@8limbsyoga.com) and if we use it (and hadn’t already thought of it) we’ll give you a free Elephant Magazine (while supplies last). By the way, Elephant (for sale at 8 Limbs CH) and Conscious Choice (free Seattle monthly) have been amazing on sustainability reporting. Check them out!

Happy Summer to all!
Anne Phyfe Palmer, Director
8 Limbs Yoga Centers


Yoga With Your Dog (read previous post here) instructor Brenda Bryan teaches a yoga class in West Seattle that I am trying to get to more regularly. Which is why I am on the mailing list.

I want to commend the director of 8 Limbs for posing this question to her staff – and the teachers for having put some thought into this dilemma in their own lives. I think it’s great that 8 Limbs is “going out on a limb” and taking a stand on this issue. The quality of Seattle’s water supply is one of the highest in the country. (Read SPUs water quality information here.) Elimination of disposable water bottles is a recent choice I have implemented in my own household as well. It’s a struggle to drink enough water each day and I had taken to carrying a whole case of water in the boot of my car (I drive a MINI Cooper – see a photo of us at the BMW CCA Car Control Clinic here) so I had no excuses. I spend a lot of time on the road in my real estate business and hated stopping at gas stations and buying a single bottle of water when I got thirsty. It was a time waster and it was expensive.

The solution to making drinking water portable is having quality, safe containers – and enough of them – that you always manage to have one available to you. I made the investment and spent over $150 on water containers with a variety of different bottles from Klean Kanteen and SIGG. It seems like a lot of money to spend, and it is. But these bottles are not made of plastic, will last forever with proper care, and by spending so much money on them I motivated to NOT spend money on water in a plastic bottle and get use out of my new portable water containers.

I have found the real trick to enjoying clean, fresh water every day is to not leave the container in the car on a hot summer’s day. The containers are not insulated like a Thermos, and pick up (and transfer) heat easily. There’s nothing more gross than taking a swig of hot plain water when you were expecting a shot of something fresh that would make you feel cooler. Take the bottle with you – you are more likely to drink out of it that way!

COUNT DOWN TO LIVE EARTH : Hear Live Earth for free on SIRIUS Satellite Radio

Want to hear all 7 continents of the Live Earth concert for free? Now is the time to give the SIRIUS Satellite Radio “Try SIRIUS for free for 3 days” offer a spin. They offer a free trial subscription via the internet – no special receiver needed. Visit SIRIUS to sign up now.

It is completely INSANE the incredible lineup they have for these shows, around the world! Having access to special events like is is just one more reason why I love SIRIUS. I have been a subscriber since December of 2003 and I will never go back to commercial radio.

7.7.07 Live Earth will use the global reach of music to engage people on a mass scale to combat our climate crisis. Live Earth is a 24-hour, 7-continent series of 8 concerts taking place on 7.7.07 that will bring together more than 100 artists and 2 billion people to trigger a global movement to solve the climate crisis.

You can hear complete, commercial-free coverage of each Live Earth concert on SIRIUS beginning at 9 pm ET on July 6. Check out the locations below for details on artists and channels. SIRIUS also will broadcast “The Best of Live Earth” highlighting the most memorable moments on Super Shuffle channel 12.

Want to get a head start on the shows? Tune into Green 119: The SIRIUS Live Earth Channel starting July 4. Channel 119 will feature stories and interviews with SIRIUS personalities, environmental tips and myths, political commentary and more. You also can search by artist and get lineup information by calling the SIRUS Live Earth hotline at 877-33-SIRIUS; press “4” from the main menu. (Channel 119 is not available via the internet subscription.)

Finally, SIRIUS will exclusively broadcast the “Stop Global Warming Concert” on Friday, July 6 at 8 pm ET on The Spectrum channel 18. This concert, recorded Earth Day, April 22, 2007, features performances by Sheryl Crow and Carole King as well as a speech by the producer of An Inconvenient Truth.

Click here to see who’s playing, where and when. And don’t miss it! Or scroll down for the complete list.

Hear it on SIRIUS Hits 1 (channel 1), 7/7 2:30 pm ET; rebroadcast 7/8 12 am ET. SIRIUS Hits 1 will also carry live backstage coverage from New York.
Kelly Clarkson
The Police
Dave Matthews Band
John Mayer
Smashing Pumpkins
Keith Urban
Kanye West
KT Tunstall
Bon Jovi
Roger Waters
Fall Out Boy
Melissa Etheridge
Alicia Keys
Taking Back Sunday

Hear it live on Alt Nation (channel 21), 7/7 8:30 am ET; rebroadcast 7/7 6 pm ET
Beastie Boys
Foo Fighters
The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Duran Duran
Bloc Party
Damien Rice
Corinne Bailey Rae
James Blunt
David Gray
John Legend
Paolo Nutini
Black Eyed Peas
Snow Patrol
Pussycat Dolls
Spinal Tap
Terra Naomi

Hear it live on The Spectrum (channel 18) , 7/6 9 pm ET; rebroadcast 7/7 6 pm ET
Jack Johnson
Crowded House
John Butler Trio
Toni Collette & The Finish
Blue King Brown
Eskimo Joe
Missy Higgins
Paul Kelly
Sneaky Sound System

Hear it live on The Spectrum (channel 18) , 7/7 8 am ET; rebroadcast 7/8 2 am ET
Chris Cornell
Katie Melua
Enrique Iglesias
Jan Delay
Lotto King Karl
Mando Diao
Michael Mittermeier
Roger Cicero
Snoop Dogg
Stefan Gwildis

Hear it live on The Boombox (channel 34) , 7/6 11 pm ET
Linkin Park
Abingdon Boys School
Ai Otsuka
Genki Rockets
Kumi Koda

Hear it live on The Vault (channel 16) , 7/7 9 am ET
Bonnie Pink
Rip Slyme
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Michael Nyman

Hear it live on SIRIUS Disorder (channel 24) , 7/7 6:30 am ET
12 Girls Band
Anthony Wong
Eason Chan
Evonne Hsu
Huang Xiao Ming
Joey Yung
Sarah Brightman
Winnie Hsin

Hear it live on Reggae Rhythms (channel 32) , 7/7 11 am ET
Joss Stone
Angelique Kidjo
Baaba Maal
Danny K
The Parlotones
The Soweto Gospel Choir
Vusi Mahlasela

Hear it live on The Boombox (channel 34) , 7/7 2:30 pm ET
Lenny Kravitz
Pharrell Williams
Macy Gray
O Rappa
Marcelo D2
Jorge Ben Jor
Jota Quest
Vanessa Da Matta
MV Bill

Hear it live on Super Shuffle (channel 12), 7/7 9 am ET

Got fruit?

Give fruit!

Armed with only a ladder, a few cardboard boxes, and a growing team of volunteers, The Community Fruit Tree Harvest is ready for another season of helping Seattle residents donate their homegrown fruit to food banks and meals programs.

The idea is simple: Many of us watch our backyard fruit trees produce more than we could ever eat, yet thousands of families here in our own community continue to battle hunger on a daily basis. These families rely on food banks, but finding fresh, locally grown fruit at the food banks is rare. Inspired by the 32,000 pounds of locally grown organic vegetables that Lettuce Link and P-Patch gardeners deliver annually to local food banks, the Community Fruit Tree Harvest continues to reduce food-insecurity with fresh apples, pears and plums from our neighborhood backyards.

In its second year (2006), the project delivered over 3,000 pounds of fruit to thankful meals programs and food banks. Similar established programs in British Columbia have gleaned as much as 20,000 pounds of fruit annually. While this amount may seem staggering today, with your help, it can become a reality in the future.

To Donate Fruit
To donate your own homegrown fruit, call the Natural Lawn and Garden hotline at 206-633-0224 or email mailto:info@lawnandgardenhotline.org CFTH is interested in pesticide-free apples, pears and plums that are in good condition. Remember, if you wouldn’t want to eat it yourself, they can’t accept it. They can help you with fruit tree care as well.

To Volunteer
Community Fruit Tree harvest always needs volunteers to help with picking and delivering from July through October! Call Lettuce Link at 206-694-6761 or email mailto:gails@solid-ground.org

Scout: Evaluates tree, equipment needs, and estimates size of team needed.
Harvester: Picks fruit as part of a team. Sign up for as many days as you’d like.
Harvest team leader: Coordinates harvest team and delivery.

Support The Community Fruit Tree Harvest
To make a tax deductible charitable contribution to this project please contact Gail at 206-694-6761. They also greatly appreciate in-kind donations. Their wish list includes fruit pickers, fruit ladders, scales, signs, gloves, and waxed boxes.

“Nature Made. Factory Built.”

Wired Magazine and LivingHomes have partnered on a “Wired LivingHome” – a modular-design prefab midcentury modernist home that was created for the 21st century. Because the home is designed in modules and prefabricated, you could build it yourself (if you owned a 150 ton crane). This home was assembled in 8 hours (I wonder how many people that involved…)

This place is so SMART. I wish I could live here. But in a city (L.A.) where $4M is considered “affordable”, I’ll be content with my BuiltGreen townhome in High Point (Seattle).

It is worth your time to take a virtual tour. You will learn more about practical application of recycled and reused materials here than almost anywhere else. What I love even more is that the site of this home was deconstructed (another home once stood here) and 70-80% of the materials were sent to Habitat for Humanity to be reused in another housing project. Watch the time-lapse videos here.

Great resource page on the LivingHomes site, including a link to LEED. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. Visit the U.S. Green Building Council web site.