We are always delighted and privileged to open our studio to Don Schulte of Notable Greetings. Don and I met eight years ago; since then, we have become the best of friends and ongoing collaborators. Don, who is a graduate of the College of Creative Studies, has his own photography business, providing services for corporate clients as well as local and regional publications. He also shoots frequently in my garden, including images of butterflies, traditional garden favorites and, most especially, Michigan wildflowers. Don will once again feature his lovely notecards and fine art prints, including the debut of his newest set of Michigan Wildflower Notecards, Spring 9, including images of Swamp Buttercup (Ranunculus septentrionalis), Wild White Indigo (Baptisia alba), Rattlesnake Weed (Hieracium venosum), Early Virgin's Bower (Clematis occidentalis), Red Honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica) and Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum).
2007 was a very good year: I not only met Don; I also met Chris Hopp of Farmbrook Designs, another "best of" friend and collaborator. Chris - who is self-taught - takes humble bags of Portland Cement, Peat Moss, Vermiculate and Perlite and turns them into amazing garden and home decor. From candleholders and block letters (you can spell out all sorts of cool things with these!) to gorgeous, one-of-a-kind fountains and troughs. His garden pieces - including lanterns and planters - are frost proof and designed to withstand our severe seasonal fluctuations with aplomb. I particularly like one of his more recent designs - his columnar candleholders - which work beautifully in both formal and informal settings.
Since 2011, we have featured a local author at our Holiday Open House. This year, we are pleased to welcome Anita Pinson, who will be sharing her new children's publication, Voices Across the Lakes: Great Lakes Stories and Songs. Anita - a music teacher as well as an author - combines original stories with genuine songs, creating a narrative that defines the Great Lakes States. Anita will be signing her book - the perfect gift for that favorite child or grandchild - during the open house.
And, of course, we'll have Black Cat Pottery products as well, including our new Winterberry Serving Suite - bowls, trays and other designs perfect for entertaining all year long.
Hope you can join us!