Cubicle Creativity, NW Jobs (Seattle Times), April 18, 2010

Sadly, the following section from the Seattle Times was canceled after one year.

Moore Memorable
Maple Valley couple turns to local shops to make wedding at the Moore extra special

By Kerrie T.
Shop SE Contributor

Two weeks ago, Julienne Haws said she was insane. Planning a wedding do that to a person, especially if more than 400 guests are expected. But, luckily for Haws, she had help and resources for the Sept. 1 even that went off without a hitch (pardon the pun).

Haws, a 27-year-old technical designer for clothing and accessory company Zumiez, met future husband Leif Andersen, 25, while he was working at the Lake Wilderness Starbucks in Maple Valley. A year later in 2006, Andersen, a member of the punk band Sirens Sisters, asked Haws to marry him on the stage at the Moore Theatre in Seattle.

"He asked me if I would be his wife, and I say, 'Yes,'" Haws says. "He suggested we get married on the stage, so we tried really hard to get the wedding at the Moore." And they did. But how do you transform a 100-year-old theater into an intimate setting for a wedding?

Haws turned to her favorite places to shop in Southeast King County. She also had help from her new mother-in-law, Sue Roberts,  owner of Three French Hens, a home decor and interior design store in Maple Valley.

This isn't the first time Robers has done a wedding. "We did my dauther's two years ago in Enumclaw," she says. "It was so decked out, King County came and took pictures."

Roberts says Three French Hens designer Ann Steward "did all the magic." Haws wanted the wedding to invoke an old Hollywood glamour feeling in her guests. "We wanted it to be more like a swanky part," she says.

Three French Hens delivered. Steward and Roberts used silk flowers and faux jewels for table centerpieces, along with vintage instruments and antique sheet music as a tribute to Andersen's career in music. On the Moore's stage, 10-foot-tall hanging mirrors framed the dance floor and the huge chandelier rented from the Seattle Opera House.

Local graphic designer Jenny Phillips created the backdrop for the stage. "She made distressed canvas look like old sheet music," says Haws.

Roberts says guests had to have a ticket to get into the wedding. "It actually felt like a felt like you were in a Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra lounge."

And she says they couldn't have done it without the help from the theater. "The Moore went above and beyond for us."

Kent antique store Whimsical Whites went all out for the wedding, too. Owners and sisters Kathleen Sanchez and Kristeen Casaus created bouquets for Haws and the 11 bridesmaides. They also made boutonnieres and corsages for special guests using herbs grown in the garden behind the store and vintage trimmings they started collecting well in advance. "We knew the wedding was coming up," says Sanchez, "so we loaded up on the trim, laces, ribbons and feathres." Plus, they grew the herbs specifically for the event. "We used veronica, sedum, lavender, and specially grew dusty miller and lamb's ears because of the color. She liked the silvery colors," explains Sanchez. "Everything in the bouquets was vintage, except the flowers, although we did research on the era to choose them."

Casaus and Sanchez combined silvery, metallic ribbons from the 1920s with antique brooches, diamonds, feathers, herbs and white roses to create each piece. "They listened to what I wanted and ran with the idea," says Haws, who has been shopping at Whimsical Whites for years. "I love them. I love theri store," she says. "If I need something for a bridal shower or Christmas, we go to them."

Haws went to Wild Wheat Bakery, Cafe & Restaurant in Kent for hors d'oeuvres and cake -- lots of cake. "We wanted (the wedding cake) to be really massive, a show-stopper," says Haws. "We decided to do it not completely real." Since the wedding cake was mostly non-edible, Haws and Andersen asked Wild Wheat to make a variety of cakes for guests.

Wild Wheat owner Mark Handman says they created 20 cakes for the wedding. "We don't do regular wedding cakes," he says, but Wild Wheat Bakery has done a lot of weddings. Handman says they made everything from chocolate mousse to chocolate ganache and lemon mousse cakes to marjolaine, which has layers of ground hazelnuts, meringue and chocolate French buttercream.

A wedding has to have more than cake, though, so Wild Wheat created hors d'oeuvres that included mozzarella caprese toasts, bruschetta and lemon honey chicken skewers. Handman says they make hors d'oeuvres for special occasions only. "When somebody asks," he says, "we'll do it."

Haws and Andersen turned to more local companies and friends for music, invitations and bridesmaid gifts. Kirkland card company Natalie Eden created the invitations, and AshleyDanae Designs made the gifts. The Maple Valley company, which partners with Three French Hens, makes unique candles and Memory Block Tiles. Andersen's bandmates performed at the wedding, and the couple even hired Federal Way's Total Experience Gospel Choir to sing after the ceremony.

Two weeks ago, Haws said her wedding was going to be amazing. By all accounts, it was. "Not only was it beautiful, they are just a cool couple," says mother of the groom Roberts. "At the end, they came out to the edge of the stage and bowed."

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007 - published in SHOP SE, a special section of the Seattle Times


Little House Rugs
Judy Taylor spins a passion for yarn into a shop on her farm

By Kerrie T.
Shop SE Contributor

The sweet, distinct smell of lavender greets visitors at Little House Rugs in Auburn. There is no parking lot, but a narrow gravel driveway leads shoppers to Judy Taylor's passion -- a 12-by-12-foot detached, converted garage featuring hand-hooke rugs, lavender products and more. Dense fields of lavender, herbs and flowers surround the shop on Taylor's 7-acre farm, more than half of which is occupied by a flock of Jacob sheep and angora goats.

Little House Rugs seems at home on the farm. Taylor and her husband named the farm Edeldal, the Norwegian word for noble valley.

"I bought the farm and noticed grass doesn't mow itself," sayd Taylor, so what started as one pet goat has, 19 years later, turned into a flock of about 25. They're there for more than weed control. Taylor also shears their wool, sends it to a local mill to be spun into yarn and then dyes it herself.

She says the idea for Little House Rugs, which opened in June, developed on the farm. "I started with what I was growing and that led me to all these crafts," says the overalls-clad Taylor. "I'm just a crafty-type person."

Her small yet efficient shop is canopied with bunches of drying bundles of hand-crafted yarn. Hand-hooked teddy bears, rugs, sweaters, and homemade lavender spa products and sachets line the perimeter. "I love this little spaces," she says. It suits her earthy inventory. With the garage door open, the shop has the feel of the open-air markets where she originally began selling, and still sells, her hand-crafted products.

Taylor began spinning yarn in 1993. "I just showed up at a spinning guild meeting and learned,"she says. Soon after she took a rug-hooking class. "I was in love. I was hooked, as they say."

Taylor practices the Nantucket style of rug-hooking in which a thicker yarn, like what she spins, is used. Some rug-hookers use fabric strips, which also are available at Little House Rugs, along with yarn dye, hooking kits, patterns and other supplies. "Rug-hooking is very easy," says Taylor, who teaches classes and makes custom pieces for people. The Web site,, lists upcoming classes and events.

Rug-hooking enthusiasts Barb Delaney and her daughter, Sarah, made the drive from North Bend to Little House Rugs. "We found Judy's Web site on the Internet and just thought we needed to come check it out," she says. "We're very glad we did because now we have a bunny to hook and lavender sachets to make."

While the Delaneys stroll down the driveway to visit the sheep, Jeff and Julie Talvi of Covington browse the lavender products. They were on a Sunday drive when they noticed Little House Rugs. "We saw th sign and the lavender," says Julie. "We passed by, and we decided to turn around and come back." Taylor says many of her customers are her neighbors or people who drive by like the Talvis.

Inventory at Little House Rugs will change with what is in season -- think pumpkins, apples and cider-making in the fall -- but Taylor's handmade crafts always will be available at the shop, which has limited hours b ut also is open by appointment. "Little by little I'm trying to get more well-known," says Taylor. "I'll just keep learning and trying new things."

Judy Taylor's Little House Rugs is holding a teddy bear-hooking contest titles Miss Abearica. Four judges will decide who will take home the first-prize tiara for their bear and the $50 gift certificate to Little House Rugs. There also will be a $25 gift certifactes for a runner-up and a people's choice bear. For more details, visit The deadline for entries is Oct. 31.

Bear caption:
Judy Taylor has created about 100 bears and sheep using rug-hooking tools.
Kerrie T. photos

Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007 - published in SHOP SE, a special section of the Seattle Times