Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Here's the run down of the fun and exciting Creative Workshops and Studios available at From the Summer's Garden in 2011.

Creative Workshops are one session experiences focused on a specific project. All materials are provided.

Hypertufa Studios offer a collaborative experience where you learn to make Steve's "green" version of HYPERTUFA, a mixture of cement and other earth-friendly materials. It is a fascinating medium with great creative potential., You will mix, mold and sculpt concrete and hypertufa into unique and functional garden art. Choose the studio that best suits you;
Beginning Hypertufa, Advanced or Hypertufa Lite.

Handmade Paper Studios provide the opportunity to explore the art and craft of handmade papermaking using natural elements from the garden and recycle materials. It's fun to experiment in the creation of beautiful papers and use them along with paper pulp to make bowls, cast ornaments, books and papermache sculptures.

Look for posts titled Creative Workshops, Hypertufa Studios and Handmade Paper Studios for specific session descriptions and how to enroll.


Hypertufa Studios

The Hypertufa Studio offers a collaborative experience where you learn to make Steve’s “green” version of HYPERTUFA, a mixture of cement and other earth-friendly materials. It is a fascinating medium with great creative potential. You will mix, mold and sculpt concrete and hypertufa into unique and functional garden art including planters, platters, bird baths, stepping stones…if you can imagine it, we’ll try to make it! Most participants happily take home 4-5 finished items from the two-day session. Each is made up of a Saturday and Sunday morning from 9:00-12:00. Cost for this studio is $75.00 with a $50.00 non-refundable registration.

July 30/31

August 6/7
August 27/28
September 10/11
September 24/25

Advanced Hypertufa Studios

The Advanced Hypertufa Studio offers a collaborative experience providing experienced HYPERTUFA makers the opportunity to create special projects of their own or involving advanced techniques building upon knowledge acquired in the Hypertufa Studio. This may include multiple planters coordinated by design, unique water features, garden sculpture and furniture, both functional and aesthetic. Output depends on individual concepts and rate of working. Each session is made up of a Saturday and Sunday morning from 9:00-12:00.Cost for this studio is $75.00 with a $50.00 non-refundable registration Additional costs may result due to special materials or equipment required for specific individual projects.
July 16/17
August 13/14

Hypertufa Lite

Hypertufa Lite offers the chance to get a taste of the process in just one session. You will learn to mix Steve’s “green” hypertufa , make a mold and cast a planter to take home, all in the same three hour session on a Tuesday or Thursday evening. Cost for Hypertufa Lite is $65.00 per session with a $25.00 non-refundable registration.

7:00-10:00 pm Tuesday or Thursday Evenings
Thursday, July 7/21
Tuesday, August 8/16

Register and secure your spot in the Creative Workshops
and Studios by sending the registration fee to:
Steve Hess
8601 Barkley Street
Overland Park, KS 66212


Handmade Paper Studio

The Handmade Paper Studio provides the opportunity to explore the art and craft of handmade papermaking using natural elements from the garden and recycled materials. It’s fun to experiment in the creation of beautiful papers and to use them and paper pulp to make bowls, cast ornaments, books and paper mache items. You will not only learn how to make handmade paper, but will also learn to make plaster molds for casting paper pulp. Most participants happily take home 4-5 finished items from the two-day session. Each is made up of a Saturday and Sunday morning from 9:00-12:00. Cost for this studio is $75.00 with a $50.00 non-refundable registration.
August 20/21
September 17/18

Register and secure your spot in the Handmade Paper Studios by sending the registration fee to:
Steve Hess
8601 Barkley Street
Overland Park, KS 66212

Monday, December 20, 2010


It’s bitterly cold outside and the ground is frozen hard. There’s not much left to do in your garden and besides it’s no fun in the cold. It’s a perfect time to think about the design elements in your garden and develop a simple plan to make your garden even more exciting for the coming season.
A sense of beauty combined with a sense of humor helps to make a garden warm and inviting. It is far more exciting to become enchanted when you enter a garden than merely impressed by scale or expensive plants. The way you arrange the space in your garden influences its’ beauty and its utility. The garden path often achieves this purpose. Pathways divide the space and direct passage and flow through your garden space.

Light-hearted stones can show your sense of humor.

Here are a few tips for creating pathways with stepping stones.
1. Vary the size and shape of stepping stones to define key points along your pathway. Begin and end your garden journey with stones that are larger or more distinctive. These entrance and exit stones should be large enough for someone to stand on with both feet. Place a large stone near any “event” or point of interest you’d like people to notice. Smaller stones lead people to the various events and call for them to look down as they place their feet.
2. Choose stones to suit the setting or concept; large rectangular stones for practical areas receiving high foot or utility traffic and decorative and meandering stones for discovery and interest.
3. Be careful with the pacing. Think about the various gaits and strides of the people who will be moving through your garden. Some move slowly and take small steps while others move quickly, taking longer strides. Just remember how frustrating it is to walk down a stairway with a low rise and wide steps. Generally speaking, stones measuring 12-18 inches across should be spaced about 3 inches apart. This works well for most people. Smaller stones can be placed in a right-left-right-left pattern to mimic walking.
4. Get the stone height right. If you place your stones within lawn that needs mowing you will need to place them below the desired level of your grass. In the interior of the garden they should be set at least 1/2 inch above whatever is around them.Any higher and people are bound to trip along their walk.

5. Strive for a sense of seamlessness. Arrange stepping stones for a feeling of rhythm, complimenting the total look and feel of your garden. Fit them together so they feel right, paying special attention to the transitional areas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Merry "Sweet" Christmas
from Steve, Laurie and
the Studio Assistants at
From the Summer's Garden!


Sales of our soaps and skin cremes generated $600 which has been donated to St. Innocent's Orphanage-Project Mexico. Executive Director Geoffrey Bray has informed us that these funds will be matched through the generosity of the Nehemiah Foundation. This will help Project Mexico reach out to many orphans and alleviate the poverty of countless needy families. For more information visit Project Mexico's website.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Bill Jones made wonderfully fragrant handmade soaps and skin cremes for Heaven and Nature Sing, and Lori Woods made custom votive candles to match these same scents. It makes it easy to put together color and scent coordinated gift sets. You can also add an interesting leaf or snowflake soap dish in the same colors or a textured ceramic soap dish by Lynn Baxley. Bill has worked with Project Mexico for many years. A portion of his profits from this sale are generously donated to St. Innocents Orphanage through Project Mexico.

Nature Sings is a wonderful blend of bayberries and cranberries with a top note of freshly crushed cinnamon bark with hints of orange zests.

Angel's Song is refreshing and clean. It will remind you of the fresh clean smell of winter air while walking down a snow-covered path. This fragrance begins with top notes of fresh lime and menthol; middle notes of Douglas fir and lavender; with full-body base notes of eucalyptus and pine.

Ready to start decorating for the Christmas season? Why not decorate your home with the scent of fresh Christmas tree? Underneath the Christmas Tree fragrance begins with top notes of pine and fresh lime; with middle notes of cardamom and pepper; with a base note of Scotch pine.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This is one of three handmade paper ornaments in the Heaven& Nature Sing collection this year. Each piece is hand cast from recycled paper pulp and coated with French gesso giving it a porcelain-like finish.

The same three angels are also available as photo or card picks handy for placing into potted plants or floral arrangements.

This is a detail of the angel paper bowl in the collection for this year.

Heaven & Nature Sing Paper Mache Collection

Sunday, November 14, 2010


With the recent daylight savings change it seems that night falls heavily and quickly. I am having difficulty letting go of the long, light days of summer. Tonight though, the sky was at peace and the winds were still. The lights in the garden were especially beautiful. Sale time is exciting and we thank you all for sharing it with us.

This happy snowman was given to us when discovered on its way to the dump in a customer's trunk. A bit of touch up and now he greets customers as they arrive at the Holiday Gift Open House high atop his arbor post.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Lori Woods from 5B & Company Candlemakers in Brookside has done a fantastic job creating our custom votives for Heaven & Nature Sing. This year we are featuring NATURE SINGS, ANGEL'S SONG and UNDERNEATH THE CHRISTMAS TREE. In addition to these themed scents, Lori has 13 popular scents at the Holiday Gift Open House that will add a sense of warmth and fragrance to your holiday celebrations.

Nature Sings is light green in color and smells like a crisp winter morning.

Angel's Song is a rich, deep raspberry and brings to mind the winter garden.

Remember when you were underneath a real Christmas tree trying to hold it steady while trying to tighten the turn screws at the same time? This votive smells just like it did underneath your Christmas tree and is a beautiful deep green.


Lizz Dorgan is our talented new stained and fused glass artist at the Holiday Gift Open House. Take a look at this cool Christmas tree ornament, her latest invention. It combines fused glass pieces with recycled cork. They really catch your eye when as they hang on the tree or in a sunny window.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Mary from Rimman's Liquor brought considerable holiday cheer in the form of delicious wines from local wineries. Shoppers were able to taste and order those they liked at a discount while shopping at the Holiday Gift Open House. Many thanks to Mary for a very fun afternoon!

Glassware artist Kay Young was on hand to sign customer purchases of her colorful glassware. She offers a great selection of beautiful hand-painted glasses which serve as the perfect compliment to the wines available. These are on sale right now at the Holiday Gift Open House.


Karen Skillett has made wonderful magnet boards for this year's Holiday Gift Open House. She just brought in these terrific ornaments featuring four little magnets on a metal base. You can use the holiday image that comes with it or replace it with a favorite photo. This is a perfect gift idea for family and friends and looks great on the Christmas tree!


Friday, October 29, 2010


Our totem series allows you to select your own combination of pieces and to build your own totem stake. Here are two new stake components ready for Heaven and Nature Sing which opens Friday, November 4 from 10am-6pm.

Puti Angel
Nature Sings Message Tile

Sunday, October 24, 2010


From the time of her very first class in lampworking (glass bead making), Rose Marie was hooked. On weekends you will find her hunched over her torch happily melting glass. When she’s not working with glass, she enjoys creating in many other mediums, making felt pincushions is her current passion. Rose Marie is an excellent craftsperson and a top-notch designer. Note the precision and the beautiful design she achieves in each of these beautiful handmade beads. She's always had a strong love for color which is evident in her work.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Lynn has been working in clay for quite awhile but lately has been having a yen for fiber. The logical transition was to press fiber into clay. She discovered that weavings and crochet and lace make wonderful impressions in the clay surface. Now she has a whole new range of textures to explore!

Ceramic Wall Pockets

Lynn joined us for the first time at our Hollyhock Days sale in spring of this year. She offered beautiful ceramic orbs for use inside and out. For Heaven and Nature Sing, Lynn has picked up the theme of leaves and stars on these wonderful ceramic balls that make really cool votive or tea light holders.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010



There will be a focused area at our Holiday Gift Open House featuring wonderful things that will either give or reflect light. Lisa Freeman has made these fun suncatchers from recyled glass and all sorts of beads. Talk about sparkle, shimmer and shine!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


It is exciting that the well-known glassware artist, Kay Young, has moved to Overland Park and will be joining the group at the Holiday Gift Open House.

She started Kay Young Glassware in 1993 selling her work at small boutiques and fairs. She was accepted to the prestigious Baltimore American Craft Council Show in 1994 to exhibit her work to the wholesale market. She was an immediate success! Her work has been sold in over 300 stores including Van Maur, Borsheims, Neiman Marcus, Nordstroms, The Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Oakland Museum and many upscale galleries and boutiques. At one time she had 10 people employed in her painting studio and the pace was fast and furious! She still sells her work nationally, but has scaled down her business to enjoy a slower pace.

Along with having a previous showroom on 5th Avenue in New York City, Kay’s work has appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset Magazine, Cheers, The Crafts Report, American Craft, The LA Times, the SF Chronicle and other well known publications. She was interviewed for SF radio station KCBS after being invited to create a Christmas tree ornament for the Clinton White House in 1996. Her work has been collected by many celebrities including Kelley Preston and John Travolta and Sandra Bullock. She was featured on HGTV “That’s Clever” television show in 2005.


As a child Paula was always concerned about the feelings of her stuffed animal friends. That concern continues as she creates one-of-a-kind plush critters, allowing them to tell her just what their personalities are. They all have a strong unique appeal. Which one is going to end up with you?

These penguins are the newest critters who have posable arms, legs and even beaks!