Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Learn New Crafting Tips & Tricks at Pine Needles

There's no time like the present to start actively expressing gratitude for the many blessings in your life. Need a little visual reminder? Why not create a gratitude banner with help from your friends at Pine Needles.

As last year was coming to a close, I knew I wanted a project for my home that would work as a visual display of the many blessings my family has received and continues to receive. Something we could add to as the year goes on. Something that will grow with us and continue to remind of us of all we've been gifted. So I went into Pine Needles and spoke with the shop manager, Holly, who was so incredibly fun and willing to help. Together, we brainstormed and came up with this happy fabric banner. 

I'm a relatively new resident in Fabric Town, so I appreciated Holly's willingness to walk me through amazing pointers. Here's a cool tip I learned while visiting: 
You can write on fabric with fine-point Micron pens by Sakura! 

Wow! I was blown away by this concept. As a scrapbooker, I have many journaling pens in my stash. Now I have a new and fun way to use them! I started by jotting down a few things my daughter and I are thankful for directly onto strips of fabric. So easy!

When I got home, inspired by Holly's direction, I looked to other craft supplies I could use on my design. Stickles, a glitter glue by Ranger Industries, was just the ticket. I could write "give" "T-H-A-N-K-S" directly on the fabric with this sparkly medium. 

I knew I wanted to add a few design elements, so I decided to also create little home-y doodads from fabric scraps. 

Thanks to the helpful staff at Pine Needles, I had no trouble picking a color combo that will look lovely in my home all year through.

Now I simply leave a basket of fabric scraps out on the counter, as we think of things to be thankful for, we jot them down and tie them on our ever-growing gratitude garland.

Whether you decide to stop in for some one-on-one help, as I did, or you prefer a more structured learning environment, Pine Needles has what you're looking for. They offer an impressive line-up of classes throughout the year. Simply visit their Events/Classes page to find out what's in store

From Beginning Quilting to more advanced sewing and quilting ideas, there's something for all skill levels and needle-art interests. Prices range from $15-$45, depending on how involved your project may be. Plus, there's also Open Sew time, which is completely FREE, if you're looking to get in and have some general help on any project you may be working on. 

Yes, new friends and new crafting techniques are two things I'm definitely thankful for this year. And that's all because Pine Needles welcomed me and my project idea with open arms. I can often be found in this sweet shop. Here's hoping I see you there sometime soon!

Megan Hoeppner

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

FREE Interior Design Classes at Down to Earth

On your next trip to Gardner Village, make sure you make the full rounds, as there is a special surprise in the back of the Village. Standing tall and beautiful is a red barn. Inside this barn is a home decor dream come true—a dream called Down to Earth. 

This shop has been described as Anthro-meets-affordable, as it has high-end style at very reasonable prices. But that’s not the only reason to pay Down to Earth a visit. They also have experts on hand to help you with your home decor dilemmas. 

My big question: Can I do gray and white furnishings and accents without having to first paint my light brown walls? 

The answer: Yes! And they even had a room set up that illustrated the look I was after. It was just what I needed. 

Take this a step further, and join them in February for one of their FREE Interior Design Classes, taught by the very knowledgable Michael Roberts. Michael’s resume includes work for The Parade of Homes and designing model homes for builders. In other words, this guy knows his stuff. 

Each class is about an hour long and will seat 35-40 people. Simply call the store ahead of time to reserve your spot. You’ll want to place that call soon at 801.984.4105, as space is already limited.

The class will cover five main topics: 1. Basic Design Principles; 2. Design Inspiration; 3. Space Planning; 4. Color Concepts; and 5. Accessorizing. 

Each class will include demonstrations, a Q&A session at the end (so come with your questions), and the store open for you to shop following the class. Oh, and did I mention the discount?

Receive 25% off an accessory purchase on the day/night of your class. AND receive $50 off of a $500+ purchase! See, it pays to come in and have some fun at our free classes! 

To give you an idea of what’s in store for you, here are just a few of the awesome tidbits I picked up in visiting with Michael and walking through Down to Earth. 

Tip #1: Blend Texture with Neutrals
The “Newspaper Look,” is what Down to Earth is using to describe the current popularity of decorating using neutrals. In this space, the interest comes not from color but from the blending of textures. So, if you find color matching intimidating, avoid it all together and go with a warm, neutral palette that brings in a variety of inviting textures.

Tip #2: Add One Accent Piece to Direct Your Space
Look at adding one accent piece of furniture, such as this attractive ottoman, to bring a splash of color to an otherwise neutral space. With this ottoman leading the way, it was easy to then choose throw pillows in coordinating colors for additional hints of hue. 

Fun Tidbit: Michael actually owns this sofa. I asked him if it was scary having such a light sofa in a home with children. Being the mother of a two-year-old, this is the first place my brain goes. He assured me that it’s actually quite easy to keep clean, as it has gray woven in to the fabric, which disguises dirt. He also said that the store has an excellent care policy you can add to your furniture purchase for that added insurance should anything happen. *gasp*

Tip #3: Create a Relaxing Space Using Cape Cod Styling
This inviting space was put together using white furniture that with clean lines, known as Cape Cod styling. The crisp, clean white is then paired with a beach-y tone—in this case a sandy beige wall—to create a relaxing atmosphere. Added texture was then incorporated with the wall of mirrors. You’ve heard of a gallery wall created with framed photos? Well, this reflective approach takes that concept to a new and exciting level. 

Tip #4: Make it Masculine
Down to Earth is working to bring in more masculine design options for you in the coming weeks. They’ve been told this is an area of design that can be challenging to tackle, and they want to provide the answer. This space is a brilliant illustration of just how easy it can be to give an older boy a fresh design in his space. This styling would also work well in a neutral space, such as a guest room. Or you can even play it up to be feminine, just by swapping out some accents. These are tricks you’ll discover in class.

Down to Earth gets new things in each week, which means you can visit frequently and always find something new to inspire you. All of the spaces shown here plus many more are designed to give you ideas and offer you a springboard to the design of your home. There are even dining room spaces to check out in this two-story store. 

For a meager fee of $50, you can schedule a Down to Earth expert to come to your home and offer you a complete design consultation. I don’t know about you, but that’s now on my to-do. Seriously, this store is going to take all of the guesswork out of turning your house into a home, whether you visit to shop, come for a class, or call for a consultation. 

Happy decorating!
Megan Hoeppner

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Free Jewelry-Making Classes at Gardner Village

“Learn something new.”--A common New Year’s resolution. I know it’s one of mine. Whether you’ve resolved to increase your list of can-dos or simply want to come inside for some warm fun on these chilly winter days, we invite you out to Gardner Village this month, where classes are in full swing. 

I had the pleasure of visiting The Bead Farm this month, where I met two of the kind and sweet shop owners/instructors, Callie and Colleen, and learned to make a pretty bubble necklace. First, I got to pick my beads. This was my favorite part. There were so many beautiful options to choose from!

Next, it was time to position my beads in the order I wanted and get to stringing them. Yay! 

Yes, with sweet Callie was by my side, offering me help as I needed it and explaining what the different jewelry-making supplies and tools were all about, I was able to make a trendy bubble necklace for my daughter in no time. I’m so thrilled to think I made this myself! 

At The Bead Farm, you have two choices when it comes to class time. You can either sit down and create whatever design you’d like (what I did with my necklace), which is known as Table Time, or you can come for a structured class once a week (more details on each below). Either way, you leave with a finished piece of jewelry and new understanding of the jewelry-making process. 

So pick up the phone and give The Bead Farm a call today 801.938.1995. Their shop is so bright and colorful; it will add an instant burst of sunshine to these gray winter days. Plus, you’ll leave with both your own handmade jewelry and some new skills to be proud of. 

Megan Hoeppner

Who: Children of all ages are welcome! Those under age 12 are invited to string their own jewelry, but they’ll need help when it comes to using the tools and finishing their pieces. Adults are asked to supervise, and a staff member will also be part of the session.  

Cost: FREE
That’s right, Table Time costs you nothing more than the materials used to create your project. What a deal!

Schedule: Please call ahead to schedule your appointment. You can call the same day, but it is important to call first. Thank you!

Help: A staff member will be with you during Table Time, ready to offer friendly assistance and expertise. 

Classes are offered once a week throughout the year. For the latest on The Bead Farm class schedule, you can either sign up for their newsletter (simply click “Join My List” through their Facebook page at or you can give the store a call. 

Who: Ages 16+; No more than ten students per class. 

Cost: Free! Just the cost of the supplies for classes as well, which will vary depending on the class. 

Skill Level: All are welcome, whether you’ve been creating jewelry for years or have never strung a bead in your life. 

Supplies: No supplies are needed. The Bead Farm will provide everything you need to make your brilliant design. 

Bonus: Receive 10% off anything purchased at The Bead Farm on the night of your class! 

You can even schedule your next birthday party at The Bead Farm. Call the store for more information on their special party rates. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hello, FREE Cake, & a Happy Birthday Celebration

Hello! And happy 2015 from your friends at Gardner Village. May this year bring with it happy memories, health, time doing what you love, and plenty of your favorite indulgences . . . such as succulent carrot cake from our very own Archibald’s Restaurant. 

Better yet, why not enjoy a FREE slice of carrot cake any time in this month? That’s right, with the purchase of any entree, a slice of birthday carrot cake is on the house. After all, what better way to throw a birthday party than with cake? And since Archibald’s celebrates its 25th year this month, carrot cake is most definitely in order. 

Where are my manners? I got so caught up in the free-cake concept that I failed to introduce myself. My name is Megan Hoeppner, and I’ve been a long-time friend of Gardner Village. I remember coming to these shops with my mother when I was just a girl, and now she and I enjoy visits with my own daughter.

Yes, this is a special place for so many reasons. And I can think of no better time to beat the winter blues than right now, while free and delicious cake is on the menu. Bring your mother, your sister, your daughter, or, heck, why not get the fellas in on the act and make a family affair out of it? You’ll be glad you did. 

While you’re visiting take a minute to really take in the scenery at Archibald’s, for this building is more than just an amazing place to pick up a plate of world famous Fried Green Tomatoes (yum!). 

Archibald’s is actually on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally a flour mill, you can find many historic artifacts on display throughout the restaurant. 

I recently went from a full-time, career-centered woman in the workforce to a work-from-home-mom, which means my family has to be a bit more selective with our spending (totally worth it but still an adjustment). I adore that we can dine out at Archibald’s without breaking our modest bank. I also love that we can take our young kiddo and not feel like the latest circus act to roll into town. They welcome us with open and accommodating arms.

See this plate of grapefruit? Funny story. I had a delicious salad with slices of grapefruit on it. They naturally caught my two-year-old’s eye, causing her to suddenly lose interest in her own tasty kids’ meal. The staff, catching on to this, brought my daughter her own plate of grapefruit, complete with cherries on the side (gobbled up before I had time to snap this picture). Now THAT’S service! 

I’m delighted to not only have this opportunity to connect with you (yay!) but to also wish Archibald’s a very happy 25th. You can now rent a car and enjoy lower car insurance. ;) Thanks for serving Utah so loyally for all these years. In a day when local delights are being consumed by chains, it’s nice to know you’re still here, serving delicious and unique cuisine. The free cake? Well, let’s just say it’s the icing on the . . . oh, never mind.