Monday, March 16, 2015

Sunflower Flats

Sunflower Flats
3rd & Main St.
Tillamook, Oregon

Sunflower Flats Blog (link to blog)

Sunflower Flats is sensory nirvana. All my senses are simultaneously activated the minute I step foot inside this delightful gem of a shop. Vibrant colors, floral scents, and stunning displays abound. If I had to illustrate my experience with an analogy it would be this: Sunflower Flats is like active reading. 

As a former English teacher, I used to encourage my students to read actively, both as a reader and a writer. As a reader, we get meaning, meet the characters, and enjoy the plot. As a writer, we appreciate the writing style: the beautiful language, the stylish sentences, and the colorful imagery. In order to do both, it might be necessary to read and reread.

Being in Sunflower Flats requires active shopping. Let me illustrate using a photo.

First, you shop for stuff. Everywhere there are cool things - cards, garden art, sculptures, soaps, artwork, kitchen towels, ceramics, plants, wreaths, glass, yarn art, jewelry, signs, ornaments, driftwood art, books, Moonstruck chocolates, and unique flower arrangements. You'll find something you just have to buy. Trust me. 

Next, you shop like an artist. Just look at the displays. Cindy Gardner, the owner, has a seriously skillful eye for design. Her vibrant color palettes are visually stunning. As an artist, I could hang out there all day, getting inspired to play with unique color combinations. Cindy's ability to arrange flowers generalizes to her display vignettes. Each grouping is perfectly composed, like fine art. Photos will speak louder than my words.

See what I mean?  How could you not find something you adore here?

To get back to my analogy . . .  if active reading requires reading and rereading, then Sunflower Flats requires shopping and more shopping. One trip just won't cut it. You have to be a repeat customer to really take in all the cool stuff.

(Or, if you are like me, you'll keep coming back to soak up the atmosphere and marvel at the displays.)

So . . . At this point, you might be wondering why I am writing about this shop on a jewelry blog. I am proud to announce that 49 pieces of my jewelry have the privilege of living in this artful environment. (I find myself oddly jealous of them right now.)  They will be arranged on this gorgeous hutch. I'll stop back later this week to get a photo of Cindy's completed display. It will be gorgeous. I mean, look at the props and the potential here. 

Getting to know Cindy has been a delightful experience. I felt a connection with her immediately, given the things we have in common - our names and the fact that we are both retired 8th grade language arts teachers. What are the chances of that? Let me tell you, two former English teachers have fodder for hours of passionate conversation about our profession. Thank you, Cindy, for your encouragment, support, and fun emails. I am glad my little "children" are in your care. 

A special thank you to April Petersen for being such an inspiring connection to the arts, for introducing me to Cindy at the Festival of Trees this past December, and for suggesting this partnership. You rock, April! 

Also thanks to Kathryn Christensen for your encouragement, for being one of my Tillamook connections, for our "drawing" lunches, and for your support of my jewelry business.  Any time you need more earrings, just let me know. 

Now, go shopping at Sunflower Flats!

A sampling of my jewelry, available in the shop:

Jewelry Sets


  1. Loved the blog....and the beautiful jewelry! Wish I lived close enough to shop at Sunflower Flats (charming name too!). Maybe one day Ernie and I will take a road trip and end up on the Oregon Coast. I will be checking back to see a picture (or two) of the display when she gets it all put together.

    1. Thanks, Deb, for reading and commenting. Your kind words are much appreciated. Seeing you and Ernie here someday would be beyond amazing. Let's make it happen. We'll have great fun!