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BLOOM in Queen Anne: May 5

April 12th, 2012 by SA

Today I took a little jaunt around the neighborhood to Trader Joe’s. Walking past Charley + May I decided to pop in and introduce myself. The timing was most fortuitous, since Maggie from the Queen Anne Farmers’ Market was visiting, as well as local PR guru Lesa Linster.

We exchanged business cards and it all felt very proper and grown up. I’ve been doing this for more than twenty years now, and I still feel like I little kid playing newspaper when I hard over that card. Anyway.

Charley + May had delightful little temporary tattoos for business cards, with all the shop information printed handily on the back:

charley+may

Stopping in also brought the news that participating Upper Queen Anne Merchants will be handing out flowers to celebrate the arrival of spring. “The merchants appreciate the support of the many people who shop local in Queen Anne and we thought handing out flowers would be a cheerful token of thanks,” offers Lauren Formicola, of Charley + May.

So come out to stroll along the boulevard, and pick up some beautiful spring flowers with many thanks from our merchants!

Bloom in Queen Anne

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Hilltop Yarn is hanging up its knitting needles, closing its doors for good March 29

March 5th, 2010 by Thea

After nearly nine years running a neighborhood yarn and knit-centric craft shop, Queen Anne resident and Hilltop Yarn owner Jennifer Hill says the store will be hanging up its knitting needles for good at the end of the month.

Hilltop Yarn, located at 2225 Queen Anne Ave N. will be closing up shop Monday, March 29, and is offering sales on its stock from now until closing.

Hill said the decision was not taken lightly. It came after two years of serious consideration–after an electrical fire in their previous location in late 2008 almost burned the shop down and left the entire stock with smoke damage; after sales tax went up, again.

“It’s been coming for a number of years,” Hill said. “I think most small business owners would tell you they have pretty complicated relationships with their business. You’re constantly toying with the idea that tomorrow will be better. We’re pretty optimistic people, small business owners–we’re intrinsically optimistic.”

Like many small business owners, a couple unfortunate events alongside the economic downturn has made it hard to make ends meet. Hill hasn’t been able to take in income for nearly two years. Instead, she’s been looking for jobs.

“I’ve applied for a lot of jobs over the last year. My business really hasn’t paid me any significant amount of money since the fire, so I’ve been applying for the last two years and I’ve been turned down and turned down,” Hill said. “I heard a lot of ‘You’ve been your own boss for a long time. You don’t really want to come here and have me be your boss.’”

Until finally Nordstrom’s saw her years experience as a business owner as a plus and offered her a job. And though she’s sad to say goodbye to her own shop, Hill can’t hide the fact that she’s ecstatic to have a full time job.

“I’m fully employed. I’m thrilled!” she said. “Nordstrom’s was the first place that valued that I’d been my own boss. It’s a good fit.”

Hill, who has lived in Queen Anne since she was 12 and is very involved with the Upper Queen Anne Merchants Association, said she will be most sad to leave the league of neighborhood business owners that work to bring the community together through organizing programs like Holiday Magic and Halloween trick-or-treating.

“It’s been really exciting to work with all the other business owners on the Ave and make the community great,” she said. “That’s the one thing I’m so grateful to my business for–to be able to really make in impact in my own neighborhood. I’ll really miss that.”

And though Hilltop Yarn will no longer be open, Hill has no intention of letting all of the knitting fun born out of the shop go to waste. Over the years she has compiled a network of knitting lovers who frequently attend specialty classes offered at Hilltop or meet for weekly knitting groups.

“I have two amazing women who work for me who are teachers, and I’m meeting with one of them tomorrow morning to get their website set up so she can continue teaching classes,” Hill said, noting that someone suggested she sell her contact list, to which she responded, “These are my friends and neighbors and I’m not going to profit off of that.”

As for the two active knitting groups who meet at the shop on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Hill said she’s talked with Brent, the owner of Muse Coffee Co. on 10th Ave W. and Greg over at Eat Local, just kitty corner from Hilltop, about hosting the group after the shop closes.

As for what is to become of the building, Hill said she’s looking for new tenants.

“The building owner in my new space is probably one of the most positive people I’ve ever worked with–she’s wonderful!” she said. “I’d love to see some exciting entrepreneur jump in there and make great use of that space.”

In preparation for closing, everything at Hilltop is now 10 percent off, and Hill said the discounts will increase every week until the 29th.

“By the last week things will probably be 30, 40 even 50 percent off. So hopefully there will be some good deals to be had!”

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The Queen Anne Halloween lineup is here

October 13th, 2009 by Thea

With Halloween just a couple of weeks out, Queen Anne is gearing up for its many festivities. The Upper Queen Anne Merchants Association is putting on its annual Trick or Treat festival on Saturday, October 31. From 3-5 p.m. merchants will be handing out candy to kids on Queen Anne Ave N between Galer and McGraw.

As the Trick or Treat is always a busy event, UQAMA has taken measures to ensure participant safety, putting funds together to provide for officer assisted traffic control on the day of the event at the intersections of Queen Anne Ave and Boston, and Queen Anne Ave and Crockett.

The Queen Anne Farmers Market is also making a special return appearance for All Hallows Eve. Their “Pork & Gourds” Halloween market and street food fair will be filled with all things spooky (and delicious, of course!) Stock up on all you need for hearty fall cooking from 3-7 p.m. at Queen Anne Ave N and Crockett. Farm stalls will include Local Roots, Baird Orchards and Full Circle. There will also be some delicious street food vendors out to celebrate the holiday in style, including Maximus Minimus, Skillet, Kaosamai Thai, Dante’s Inferno Dogs and Patty Pan Grill. This special event will be a fundraiser for Queen Anne’s very own nonprofit market.

Enjoy tunes by The Blair Street Mugwumps from 3-5 p.m. At 4 p.m. there will be a Pumpkin Pie Contest, judged by Lorna Yee, food writer at Seattle magazine and The Cookbook Chronicles, and author The Newlywed Kitchen: Delicious Meals for Couples Cooking Together, which is coming out soon. After the remarkable turnout the market had at their 1st Annual Blue Ribbon Pie Contest, the Pumpkin Pie Contest will be limited to the first ten registrants. Pies will be judged based on taste, appearance, technique and creativity. Because this event is a fundraiser, registration will be $10, to be collected at the contest. The first prize winner will be awarded a Le Creuset pumpkin cocotte (cast iron casserole), and the second prize winner will get a lunch for two at the Belltown Bakery Boulangerie Nantaise. As of this afternoon, there were still six places available, so hurry! To register email qafarmersmarket@gmail.com.

At 5 p.m. there will be a Creative Costume Contest for adults and kids ages 16 and up. Registration for the contest is $10, and the top prize winner will walk away with a $100 gift certificate to How to Cook a Wolf. So get a head start on your creative costume today! For rules and to register, email Julie Whitehorn at qafarmersmarket@gmail.com.

(Thanks to Greg and the Upper Queen Anne Merchants Association for the picture).

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Upper Queen Anne Artwalk beckons in the end of summer tomorrow night

September 16th, 2009 by Thea

Say goodbye to the final days of summer with the Queen Anne Artwalk, put on by the Upper Queen Anne Merchants Association, tomorrow night, Thursday, September 17. The event will host local artists exhibitions, refreshments, and special events and talks scheduled at participating Queen Anne businesses at the top of the hill, beginning at 3 p.m. until the stores close.

Click here for a working list of participating merchants here. (Clue: It includes Queen Anne Frame, Skookum, Julia’s, Hilltop Yarn, Eat Local, Blue Highway Games, Chocolopolis, Lily’s Pampering Salon, Urban Kids Play, Fountainhead Gallery, Queen Anne Dispatch and Queen Anne Books itself). Or check out the event Facebook page.

Thanks to the Upper Queen Anne Merchants Association, Scott Ward and Heidi Kappes Belinsky for the graphic! Heidi, a local artist and scarfing extraordinaire, will be doing a demonstration for the art walk at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at Hilltop Yarn. View some of her work here.

Other exhibits:

Queen Anne Frame will host Philip Amdal, Joan Webster, Sarah Brooking, Angela Salvadalena and Francesca Lohmann starting at 4 p.m. Patsy’s Pottery will be at Skookum at 4:30. Seattle portrait photographer Davis Freeman will be at Julia’s at 5. Artist Elara Tanguy will be at Queen Anne Books at 5:30. Paper-cut artist Nikki McClure will be at Eat Local at 7. Scott Heffernan will be at Blue Highway Games at 7:30. Scott Ward will be at Chocolopolis at 8 (Scott’s the one who created the QA Artwalk poster). Sean Watson will be at Lily’s Pampering Salon, Kate Endle will be at Urban Kids Play, Michael Ferguson will be at Fountainhead Gallery and Queen Anne Dispatch will host Russ Morgan Chandeliers and Penny Eversole from Pinkerton Design (times unconfirmed).

Update 7:13 p.m. – According to Tegan, from Queen Anne Books, participating merchants should have orange and turquoise balloons to help art-walkers locate them. Although store times vary, all are open until at least 6 p.m. You can pick up an art walk “passport” at any of the participating businesses. There’s a prize drawing for art walk attendees (prizes provided by the Upper Queen Anne Merchants Association). All you have to do is get the passport stamped/initialed at all the locations and drop it off at Chocolopolis when you’re done. Be sure to write your name and contact information on the passport so you can be reached if you win (and don’t worry, your personal info won’t be shared or get you put on a mailing list).

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