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Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Unique End of Sports Season Gifts for Seniors

Posted by Kyle Design on April 21, 2014

Water Polo Ornament for End of Season Party

Water Polo Ornament for End of Season Party

For many high school students, senior year is their final year of sports. Make their end-of-season party all the more special with an engraved ornament keepsake from Kyle Design. Kyle’s handcrafted, beaded sports ornaments can be engraved with each athlete’s name, their school and the year. Or, add your own inspirational message as you congratulate them on their hard work and wish them success in their futures.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift to give seniors as end of season gifts, you’ll love Kyle’s custom ornaments featuring her etched metal sports designs. Shop water polo, tennis, softball, cheer, hockey, golf, lacrosse, track, swimming and other popular sports designs. Each ornament can be personalized with high school team or squad colors and individualized engravings. Kyle’s unique sports gift ornaments for end of season presentations make fantastic gifts for coaches too.

How to Order a Custom Sports Ornament from Kyle Design

There are 2 easy ways to order an end of season sports keepsake ornament for coaches and seniors.

1. Click to Shop Sports Ornaments – find your sport and select it to order in gold or silver and personalize with accent colors and engraving.

2. For a fully customized ornament, click Customize My Own Sports Ornament – you can choose from 7 of Kyle’s decorative ornament shapes in silver or gold, add any sport, hand select the accent, ribbon and bead colors, and add a personalized engraved message.

It’s that easy! Your unique athletic awards will be handcrafted in Kyle’s Northern California studio and shipped out within just 1-2 business days (that includes engraved award ornaments). So even if you’re looking for last-minute gifts, these custom end of season ornament awards are the perfect solution.

Posted in Gifts, Online Shopping, Schools, Shopping, Sports, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Unique Retractable Badge Reels for Employee IDs

Posted by Kyle Design on March 10, 2014

Shop Retractable Badge Reels

Ditch that plain, boring badge reel and replace it with a fun, colorful, retractable badge holder that reflects your personality. Whether you prefer a lightweight, plastic badge reel with a nylon cord or a heavy-duty metal reel with a steel cord, you can easily order a decorative reel that fits your style.

Kyle Design carries 10 different styles of retractable badge reels ranging from the super lightweight to the super heavy duty. Each work ID badge holder comes with a decorative metal center featuring one of Kyle’s unique artistic designs. There’s truly something for everyone – baseball for the sports fan, artistic designs for the creative thinker, dogs for the pet lover, fashion themes for women, occupation themes for your office, numbers, monogram letters – and so much more!

How to Order a Personalized Badge Reel at Kyle Design:

It’s easy and fun to create your own personalized badge holder – we promise 🙂

Decorative Badge ReelSimply click to select a reel with the features you desire – for example a nylon cord verses a steel cord or a fully colored reel verses one with only a gold or silver design.

Once you select the perfect badge reel for you, customize it. Use the design chooser to customize the center design. Shown here are 2 of Kyle’s designs – high heel shoes in gold and a silver decorative crest – but there are hundreds to choose from. Select any design in gold or silver.

Finally, select a color for your new badge holder. Our sample reels are purple and teal but you can also have red, pink, blue, orange, black, yellow, green…you get the point.

Click unique decorative badge reels to get started. Customize a reel for yourself or for a co-worker’s birthday, your son or daughter’s first day at a new job, or as a fun welcome gift for a new employee.

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The Perfect Gift for a Teen Girl

Posted by Kyle Design on February 20, 2014

Teen girls can be difficult to shop for since clothing and jewelry trends change so often. But with all the selfies being posting nearly around the clock we do know 1 thing teens love, and that’s looking at themselves. If you’re shopping for a birthday gift for your daughter or niece, get her something you know she’ll use – a personalized decorative mirror from Kyle Design.

If you haven’t shopped Kyle Design before, then I’ll let you in on a little secret our shoppers have been taking advantage of for awhile – every gift is personalized just for you.

Decorative Mirrors for Teen GirlsEvery gift that you see can be completely transformed. For instance, this framed mirror is maple, but you can order it in 6 other finishes to match your teen’s room – black, silver, white, cherry and more. That hot pink color peaking out from behind the “K” – well, if your teen is crazy about blue or yellow or purple you can change that too. There are 30 awesome color choices. And the monogram letter K – that comes in silver and gold. But if you don’t want the letter K, there are 500 other design choices to fill that space. You can add your daughter’s monogram letter, age, astrological sign, favorite sport, favorite animal, hobby, food, nature and weather designs….the list goes on and on. Each design was created by the talented female artist Kyle McKeown Mansfield. And each gift available on her gift site – www.kyledesigns.com – comes handcrafted with your favorite colors and designs.

Kyle’s handcrafted framed mirrors for teens can hang on a wall (perfect for selecting jewelry) or sit on a table or counter top (great for putting on makeup). Personalize one for your favorite girl on her birthday, graduation or other special occasion.

Shop all decorative wall & table top mirrors.

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Extra Crispy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp And Pie – Experimenting is Fun!

Posted by Kyle Design on June 13, 2009

It is fruit and berry season again, and the first day of summer vacation for the kids. I’ve just baked my second pie of the week plus a strawberry rhubarb crisp, with the help of four kids – my girls, age 10 and 13 and their boy cousins, age 11 and 14. Baking is a great way to keep kids busy, have them learn some new cooking skills and have them experiment with some new flavors. New for the boys: cardamom. New for all the kids: rhubarb.

Fresh Fruit Business Card Holder for farmers, foodies and anyone who loves summer

Fresh Fruit Business Card Holder for farmers, foodies and anyone who loves summer

(My first pie of the season was a bit of a disaster – my oven broke while the pie was in it baking – no flaky crust there! Just a soggy mess – sooo disappointing.) Oven has been fixed, and I was wanting to erase the bad pie memories with the wonderful smell of fruity baking goodness.

Love to bake? Enjoy fresh strawberries? Capture the spirit of the season with a strawberry name badge holder.

Love to bake? Enjoy fresh strawberries? Capture the spirit of the season with a strawberry name badge holder.

Today’s pie is a strawberry rhubarb pie, which was my dad’s favorite. With Father’s Day coming up next weekend, memories of him are on my mind. We used to grow rhubarb in our backyard growing up and when I saw it at the Farmers Market I knew that was the right pie for this new memory making job.

We made pie dough from scratch – really not hard or too time-consuming when you have a Cuisinart, although it turned out a little sticky for some reason this time. While waiting for the pie crust dough to sit in the refrigerator for an hour, however, we whipped together a slightly different strawberry rhubarb crisp that was really good (and gone before the pie was even come out of the oven, so I guess this new flavor was a winner!)

I’m an artist  – I love to experiment and try new ways of doing things and trying new flavors. Yet another creative outlet for me! My youngest daughter does not like fruit (horrors!), so I make a batch of crisp topping for her separately. This time we made a double batch and discovered that the extra crispy bits were especially good mixed into the regular crisp. Always something new….

Extra Crispy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Filling

2 c. rhubarb, cubed into 1/2″ pieces

Encourage Kids to Cook and Plan Meals with a Cooking Bookmark for Cookbooks

Encourage Kids to Cook and Plan Meals with a Cooking Bookmark for Cookbooks

1 c. sliced strawberries

1/2 c. sugar

3 T.  flour

1/4. cardamom

dash of nutmeg

Combine and pour into a greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan.

Topping

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. flour

1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 t. ground cardamom

dash of nutmeg

1/2 c. softened butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine topping ingredients in bowl or plastic bag and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle half of topping mix over filling. To create the extra crispy topping, pour the remaining topping mix into a separate greased oven-proof pan and bake at the same time as the pan of filling and topping. Remove the crispy topping after about 20-25 minutes (keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn), and continue baking the filling and topping pan for about 10-15 minutes more, for a total of 35 minutes.

Serve up the crisp filling and sprinkle the extra crispy topping over it, stirring in if desired. The result is a delicious chewy, crispy, sweet, sour mix of flavors and textures.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - Good memories in the making, and the baking

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - Good memories in the making, and the baking

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – This Pie Is Really Good!

3 c. rhubarb, in 1/2″ slices

1 1/2 c. sliced strawberries

1 1/4 c. sugar

3 T. tapioca

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. ground cardamom

1/8 t. ground nutmeg

3/4 t. grated orange peel

Strawberry Pie ala Mode Christmas Ornament - A great way to capture those memories of baking together.

Strawberry Pie ala Mode Christmas Ornament - A great way to capture those memories of baking together.

Mix above ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes before pouring into unbaked pie crust.

Pastry for two-crust pie

Roll out pie dough and line a 9″ pie pan with one of the crusts. Pour in fruit mixture, cover with top crust and crimp edges. Cut a few slits in the top, sprinkle with a little bit of sugar. (To protect edge of crust from getting too dark while baking, cut length of foil, cut in half length-wise and wrap over crimped edge of pie.) Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes, removing foil after 30 minutes if used.

If you love to bake or know someone else who does, please be sure to visit Kyle Design’s Baking and Cooking Gift Ideas pages, as well as our other pages for Strawberries, Fruit, Pie, Christmas Ornaments, Business Card Holders, Vitamin Boxes and Bookmarks for other interesting gifts for those who appreciate the different.

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Posted in artist, Artistic Gifts, Badge Holders, Bookmarks, Business, Business Card Cases, business card holders, Christmas Ornaments, Cooking, Creativity, family, Father's Day, Food, Gifts, Healthy eating, kids, Lifestyle, mom, Online Shopping, Pill Boxes, professional artist, Recipes, Shopping, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Does Giants Pitcher Randy Johnson Need 300 Win Business Card Holder?

Posted by Kyle Design on June 6, 2009

Livermore’s Randy Johnson joins baseball greats with win 300 this week pitching against the Nationals and guess what, Kyle Design has just the thing to mark this achievement: our Number 300 Business Card Holder. Know someone else who needs a special business card holder with a significant 3 digit number? Have a friend who bowled a perfect 300? Met a personal goal? Loved the movie 300? Want to commemorate a major (league) milestone with a special gift? Now you can with Kyle Design’s new Three Icon Business Card Holders with any “Big Unit” up to 999.

Pitched a 300 win? Bowled a 300 game? Number 300 business card holder says it all.

Pitched a 300 win? Bowled a 300 game? Number 300 business card holder says it all.

You design it, we make it: I’ve created these cool new biz card cases so you can put together three numbers, letters, sports, professions in any combination you want. How about two initials and the symbol of a favorite pastime? Or a three letter monogram? MLB? Company acronym? An initial and a birthday number? The letter “I” plus a heart plus whatever it is you love? You get to be the designer using a business card case as a canvas with images I provide. (Hundreds of choices! It really is quite fun to put them together!)

Hey all you MLB players who like fresh, clean pieces of gum: Baseball chewing gum holder keeps it appetizing!

Hey all you MLB players who like fresh, clean pieces of gum: Baseball chewing gum holder keeps it appetizing!

And speaking of knowing Randy Johnson, he grew up right here in Livermore, CA, and went to Livermore High School (Class of 1982) with the best man at my wedding. So what does that make it in the Human Web: two degrees of separation?

Being about the same age as Randy Johnson, I think what he did is pretty darn impressive. To maintain that level of skill and fitness is amazing. I’m sure he has worked very hard and so deserves all the accolades coming his way. Congratulations!

So if you’re a MLB baseball fan or knows someone who likes to play ball, be sure to check out Kyle Design’s Baseball Gifts where you’ll find some really cool items you’ve never seen before. Honest.

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Posted in Business, Business Card Cases, business card holders, Gifts, Online Shopping, Shopping, Sports, Travel Cases, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hey Artsy Smartsy Types! Maker Faire for Creative Tech Arts This Weekend in San Mateo, CA

Posted by Kyle Design on May 30, 2009

The coolest fair ever, the Maker Faire – science masquerading as art, high tech passing as toys, creative solutions to world problems pretending simply to be fun – is this weekend, May 30 and 31, 2009 in San Mateo, CA.

Get yourself a creative business card holder that reflects both hands-on and high functioning.

Get yourself a creative business card holder that reflects both hands-on and high functioning.

Any of you (and your kids) who love crafts, computers, music, making, DIY, tinkering, technology, recycling, building, inventing, collaborating, this is THE place to be. You’ll come away inspired, informed, invigorated and happy. Find suppliers of really unique crafts and tech materials for future projects, websites with cool things to do, and entrepreneurs who have turned hobbies into fun businesses. A “DO NOT MISS” for families.

This year’s theme is Re-Make America, in keeping with President’s Obama‘s  call to action for “the risk takers, the doers, and the makers of things” to help re-invent the USA. This is the fourth annual fair, and in past years things that captured my family’s attention were the crazy parts bikes, the motorized giant cupcake-mobiles, Fiddlesticks bendable fabric building sticks, the computerized elaborate egg decorating machine.

Robot Memory Box in Wood - A creative way to store memories of fun events.

Robot Memory Box in Wood - A creative way to store memories of fun events.

I’ve always loathed the term “artsy fartsy” because it seems intentionally disrespectful to those are trying to do something different. If you never try, you’ll never succeed! So I much prefer the term “artsy smartsy” because it better represents what inventors, designers and artists are all about. It certainly sums up this show. Bright ideas and creative execution. Really smart, funny people who express that humor in their art and technological products. I love being an artist and I LOVE this fair!

The Maker Faire website describes the event as “The ultimate DIY festival – It’s county fair meets science fair meets farmers market meets burning man for families! Maker Faire will showcase individual creativity and grassroots innovation in the largest festival devoted to DIY culture and technology in the country.”

Have a crafts room or workshop? This Building Tools DIY light switch plate is the perfect finishing touch.

Have a crafts room or workshop? This Building Tools DIY light switch plate is the perfect finishing touch.

The fair is open 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday at the San Mateo County Expo Center.

Maker Faire Tips:

Buy your tickets off-site or ahead of time online. The crowds keep growing every year and I can only imagine what it will be like this year. Chronicle story in the paper yesterday about it, too.

Come early – lines are long just to get into the parking lot, let alone the door.

All you black sheep out there who are making a living in an unexpected way, here's a wallet that reflects your independence!

All you black sheep out there who are making a living in an unexpected way, here's a wallet that reflects your independence!

Bring food if you don’t like fried, (keep it in an ice chest in your car). Plus you can, once again, avoid long lines. (Although I am hopeful that there might be more of an emphasis on good food with the suggestion that there will be a Farmers Market.) This fair is so fabulous you will be tempted to starve rather than miss anything waiting in a line somewhere!

Wear a hat: Half the events and projects are outside, although this year it looks like it will be overcast most of the day.

Take a quick peek into each building first: Each building has a different theme and you can get stuck in any one of them for hours, so see which one looks like it is most interesting for you and your kids before getting involved. You WILL run out of time and not be able to see or experience everything.

If you appreciate creative approaches to life, please check out Kyle Design for unique gifts and home decor. We have switch plates, business card holders and practical gifts for those interested in robotics, crafts, science, music and more.

Posted in American Made, art, artist, Artistic Gifts, Arts and Crafts Supplies, Business, Business Card Cases, business card holders, Cigarette Cases, Computers and Technology, crafts, Creativity, design, designer, DIY Crafts, Electrical Devices, entrepreneur, Events, family, Functional Art, Gifts, Hobbies, Humor, Innovation, kids, Lifestyle, metal, Metal Wallets, New Uses, Online Shopping, Pill Boxes, Science, Shopping, Switch Plates, switchplates, Valentine's Day, Wall Plates, Wood Boxes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Livermore Wine Country Festival May 2 and 3 in Charming Downtown Livermore CA

Posted by Kyle Design on May 3, 2009

This weekend is the 18th annual Livermore Wine Country Festival right in beautiful historic downtown Livermore, CA. If you haven’t been to Livermore lately, this is a great opportunity to visit the Livermore Valley Wine Country, do some wine tasting and enjoy the atmosphere. Festival hours are 10-6 on Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday and there will be a lot to see and do for both adults and kids. I’m taking my girls and I’m on my way!

Wine Business Card Holder - For those who know appreciate wine - wine drinkers, vintners, winery owners

Wine Business Card Holder - For those who know appreciate wine - wine drinkers, vintners, winery owners

A Beer Handbag Holder is a must if you are visiting tasting rooms - keeps your purse where you wont forget it.

A Beer Handbag Holder is a must if you are visiting tasting rooms - keeps your purse where you won't forget it.

The festival is being held on First Street between P and Maple, and on Second Street between N and K Streets. The Sunday morning Farmers’ Market will be going on at the same time on Second Street from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., so you can even get in some healthy food shopping while you’re at it.

There will be about 250 arts and crafts vendors, 3 wine tasting stations and locally brewed beer. There are five sponsoring wineries who will be featured at the Premier Wine Pavilion at the Livermore Valley Plaza in front of the Bankhead Theater (First and McLeod Streets): Big White House Winery, Garré Winery, Page Mill Winery, Mitchell Katz Winery, John Christopher Cellars. Local breweries sponsoring this festival include Lagunitas Brewing Company and Schooner’s Brewery.

For the kids there will be games, rides, activities and water fun. There is also a great toy store on J Street called Whoopsiedaisy Toy Shop that always has creative, unusual toys (and they encourage your kids to play with them!). Older kids can check out the 6TwentyOne Skate Shop.

Many people in the S.F. Bay Area are familiar with downtown Livermore from their very popular Downtown Halloween Night when the local businesses hand out candy to all comers. Livermore has completely redone their downtown with wine streets, trellises, fountains. We have the stunning new performing arts center, movie theater, restaurants and businesses. Livermore is really a nice little town to visit, and if you do like touring wineries and checking out wine tasting rooms, there are more than 40 local wineries right here. So you can really make a day of it when you visit!

Kyle Design of Livermore also has many beautiful wine, beer and arts themed gifts. If you’s like to see more of Kyle’s unique items, visit her web site for Kyle Design’s Wine Gifts, Kyle Design’s Beer Gifts, Kyle Design’s Arts Gifts. You’ll find business card holders, flasks, purse hooks, and so much more with artistic, original designs by local Livermore artist Kyle McKeown Mansfield.

Artist Drinking Flask - A stylish way to hold your liquor, wine and beer on a cool afternoon.

Artist Drinking Flask - A stylish way to hold your liquor, wine and beer on a cool afternoon.

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Last Minute Gifts for Mom on Mother’s Day – Cool Practical Gift Ideas for Her Special Day

Posted by Kyle Design on May 2, 2009

It’s almost Mother’s Day – have you gotten your Mom anything special yet? Looking for unique last minute gifts? If not, Kyle Design can save the day for you with our unique, useful gifts for moms. If you just get some silly, frivolous impulse item from the mall at the last second, your MOM WILL KNOW. There is still time to get your wife, mother or mother-in-law a special gift that shows how much you really care. A present from Kyle Design quietly screams, “A Truly Unique Gift Custom Made for You!”

Mom Rules! Even when things get dramatic! Let her know with a cute Comedy and Tragedy tape measure.

Mom Rules! Even when things get dramatic! Let her know with a cute Comedy and Tragedy tape measure.

Artistic Gifts Made To Order – Mom will not have seen anything like a gift from Kyle Design before, and better yet, we custom make each item to order with her favorite color, design, silver or gold metal finishes and personalized engraving of choice. We ship within a day, too, and even the same day if you ask, so we can help you get her gift there by Mother’s Day. Can’t beat it!

Fast, Easy, Safe: Mom doesn’t need to know that shopping online at Kyle Design was faster than getting in the car and driving to the mall, easier than searching through racks at a dozen stores (unless you really wanted to get in that 5 mile walk at a noisy mall after work), and a whole lot safer than being around crowds during a swine flu outbreak.

Fresh, Practical Gift Ideas from Kyle Design

So here are just of a few of our many new, useful gift suggestions that might work for your mom:

Give mom a goddess purse hook - then shell know just how amazing you think she really is.

Give mom a goddess purse hook - then she'll know just how amazing you think she really is.

Purse Hooks – New on the scene, these really practical holders for handbags are a hot item. When mom does have time to get out, make sure she can really relax and have a good time without having to keep an eye on her purse. Handbag holders get her purse off that disgusting restaurant floor, keep her handbag right where she can see it when sitting at a bar. So easy to use – just slip the purse hanger over the edge of a table, bar or desk and hook the purse strap over it. Great for holding umbrellas, digital cameras and shopping bags, too. No more worries! That is the best gift you can give any mom.

A floral business or credit card holder makes a beautiful gift of flowers for mom on Mothers Day.

A floral business or credit card holder makes a beautiful gift of flowers for mom on Mother's Day.

Credit Card Holders – Our slim, feminine credit card and ID holders are the perfect place for mom to stash her wallet essentials without the bulk – driver’s license, credit cards, ATM card, business cards and a little cash. Keeps mom streamlined and organized. We have hundreds of designs, but if you select a card case with flowers on it – roses, irises, sunflowers, orchids or hibiscus – you’ll be giving mom flowers that last! No need to water, either. This special gift reminds her daily to stop and smell the roses, too.

Bookmarks – Ah, to take a few minutes to read a favorite magazine or a good book – there’s a real luxury in our busy lives. A beautiful book mark that says “I Love You” is a wonderful way to let mom know  you love her even when she is taking a break from all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands and whatnot required to keep her share of the household running smoothly. Maybe give her that latest best-selling paperback book she’s been wanting to read along with the bookmark and she’ll know you really mean it.

Give your mother a unique bookmark that says I Love You every time she looks at it.

Give your mother a unique bookmark that says "I Love You" every time she looks at it.

Make Mom Happy with a practical gift from Kyle Design that she will really use and enjoy. If you’d like to see more of my fun gifts ideas for mom (available in 100s of designs), please visit Unique Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Mom where you’ll find so many unusual, innovative gifts made exclusively by Kyle Design. We’ve been in business since 1982 and are known for our beautiful gifts and excellent customer service, so you can be assured that we’ll help you take good care of your Mother. Give us a call at 800-551-5953 between the hours of 9:00-5:00 PST if you’d like any help at all choosing the right gift.

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S.F. Bay-Friendly Garden Tour April 26th – Earth Week Tips for California Gardening

Posted by Kyle Design on April 25, 2009

Kelys Garden in Fremont, CA, features a gorgeous glass tile fountain with water lilies

Kely's Garden in Fremont, CA, features a gorgeous glass tile fountain with water lilies

Another excellent Earth Week event is the 6th Annual Bay Friendly Garden Tour is happening tomorrow April 26, 2009, around the San Francisco Bay Area and my sister, Kely, (Kyle, rearranged!) is one of the participants this year. In fact, Kely’s garden in Fremont is the one featured on the Bay-Friendly Garden Tour flier, with shots of her fountain and succulent garden.

Kely has a huge lemon tree, hammock and succulent garden which create a peaceful place to enjoy nature.

Kely has a huge lemon tree, hammock and succulent garden which create a peaceful place to enjoy nature.

Water Feature – Her garden is absolutely gorgeous, with a glass tile water fountain in blue, green and aqua shades. The fountain also provides water for wildlife and the resident goldfish eat mosquito larvae.

Organic Garden – Kely’s garden is pesticide-free. She has an organic kitchen garden with vegetables, fruit trees, edible nasturtiums (used in salads) and herbs. Other areas of her garden have bamboo, bearded irises, Japanese maples, and grasses. A huge lemon tree planted about 90 years ago provides shade over a hammock slung between posts of an arbor. Her garden is colorful, calm, and environmental conscious.

Native Plants – Kely has made an effort to create a beautiful yet environmentally-friendly garden. Her succulent garden is a gorgeous mix of chartreuse and pink-gray plants. A couple of years ago she redid her front garden, removing the water-thirsty grass lawn and replacing it with a mix of native California plants and other drought-tolerant bushes, (except for her roses, which she couldn’t give up.) She had landscape designer Tom Wilhite of Green Man Garden Design create a drought-tolerant cottage garden site plan for it with gorgeous results. He created pathways past plants with interesting textures and colors. The contrast of the California poppies and lavender bushes is particularly stunning.

Kyle Designs Garden Gate Holiday Ornament - A beautiful gift for those who love gardening and going green.

Kyle Design's Garden Gate Holiday Ornament - A beautiful gift for those who love gardening and going green.

Kid Friendly – Her daughter loves playing in the garden now because of all the interesting insects – butterflies, bees, ladybugs – that are constantly at work. Children playing hide-and-seek can hide behind the big miscanthus transmorrisonensis. They makes posies with the flowers and everyone loves how fragrant all the plants and flowers are. The kid-friendly arbor also has a swing in addition to the hammock. The kids spend a lot of time outdoors now!

Every drop of water is important in states like California which are facing drought.

Every drop of water is important in states like California which are facing drought.

Save Water, Save Money – Kely has used a variety of earth-friendly techniques. She installed a drip system and sheet mulching. To help retain the water, she first covered the drip lines with a newspaper barrier then mulch on top of that. Frequent mulching keeps water usage low. All these are important gardening tips for drought-stricken Californians. She has water-permeable walkways with inset solar lighting. These walkways help protect local watersheds because permeable paving helps prevent runoff. She also reused the concrete walkways that were torn out, turning them into pavers, and thereby reducing waste in garden. She conserves water by planting perennials and saves energy with deciduous trees (Sycamore, Japanese Maples) that shade the house in the summer and provide light in winter.

Registration for the garden tour is now closed for this year but if you’d like to be notified about next year’s tour, be sure to sign up at StopWaste.org.

Vegetable Garden Business Card Holder - A great way to promote organic gardening techniques

Vegetable Garden Business Card Holder - A great way to promote organic gardening techniques

If you’re looking for more unique gifts for gardeners, please visit Kyle Design’s Gardening Gifts page. You’ll find Christmas ornaments, sunglasses cases, jewelry, business card holders and more in nature theme designs like water, gardening tools, ladybugs, flowers, fruits, vegetables and bamboo.

Posted in Artistic Gifts, Business Card Cases, business card holders, Christmas Ornaments, Creativity, Decorating, Decorating Ideas, design, designer, Events, family, Gardening, Gifts, Healthy eating, Home Decor, Jewelry, kids, Shopping, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tarantulas Invade CA, Celebrate with Spider Festival April 25th

Posted by Kyle Design on April 25, 2009

If that tarantula stings, have your pain relief pills at the ready in your Spider Bill Box from Kyle Design

If that tarantula stings, have your pain relief pills at the ready in your Spider Bill Box from Kyle Design

Tarantulas are on the march, heading towards Concord, CA, and the (San Francisco) Bay Area Tarantula Society’s Spring Sling Fling. This spider festival is being held today from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Concord Veterans Memorial Hall at 2290 Willow Pass Rd., Concord, CA, 94520. Admission is free – all you need is courage to overcome your fears of these creepy crawlies.

Are your fears justified? You’ll see these tarantula collectors (apparently they becomes quite addictive) allow these large invertebrates to climb all over them with hardly a care. Are these people crazy? Do they have a death wish? No and No. Members just want to spread awareness of these creatures, and no humans (on record) have ever been killed by a tarantula.

Afraid of the dark? This stained glass Spider Night Light will help calm arachnophiles fears.

Afraid of the dark? This stained glass Spider Night Light will help calm arachnophiles' fears.

However – tarantulas are not just cuddly balls of fur on the move. They really can sting if inclined using the fangs in their front legs. Plus their hair is barbed and contains a very toxic irritant. Sounds fun! Best to pick a tarantula with a laid-back disposition if you are going to start collecting them.

In our house when we hear “DAD!!!! There’s a spider!“, it’s on the ceiling. When we hear “MOM!!!! There’s a spider!”, it’s on the wall or the floor. (Lucky me.) In both situations, the inflection in our daughters’ cries would imply that the spiders are as large as tarantulas. Maybe some education about arachnids in general would be a good thing. This festival would be a good place to teach your your kids about spiders so they are brave enough to deal with them by themselves. Maybe a spider night light would help inure them to their innate fear of these fun invert pets!

How long do tarantulas live? Females can live up to 20 years, so make sure you aren’t the type who has commitment issues.

Spiders are found all over the world, just like the World Wide Web, and are serious business to arachnophiles. Here is the perfect business card holder for them.

Spiders are found all over the world, just like the World Wide Web, and are serious business to arachnophiles. Here is the perfect business card holder for them.

Festival events will include demonstrations, sexing instructions and mating exhibitions where these arachnophiles intend to prevent the females from eating the males post coitus.

Fascinated by spiders? Check out my Spider Gifts where you’ll find Pill Boxes, Night Lights and Business Card Holders with spiders and arachnids.

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