Friday, December 08, 2006

NW Style: Gift Giving Season Recommendations

First - I must say that I am shocked at my own overflowing amount of exclamation marks in this post. It's only because I absolutely believe in and love each of the items, companies and services that I'm recommending here. Fair warning - exclamation marks abound. Also - my first recommendation is shamelessly self promoting - then I list a bounty of delights for you to discover new and exquisite gifts for all of your loved ones. It's a pleasure to send new people to these artists and local businesses.

Sidenote: Due to the fact that my blog host has suddenly stopped allowing me to create direct links in the body of my post - please note that you can copy and paste the given web address for each link in your web browser.

Shameless Self Promotion:
Gift Certificates for Sophisticated Candids by Serena Davidson
On Location Portraiture, Event & Wedding Photography:
If a gift certificate for photography is right for anyone on your gift list in the Portland, Vancouver, Olympia, Tacoma or Seattle metro areas or for your gift to yourself this year - I'd love to talk with you and create a personalized gift certificate for any amount from $100 - $3,000. Simply drop a line to

Gift Photo Session Ideas:
A unique "day in the life" documentary session for a special family on your list, entrepreneurs, performers, and anyone who has an active blog or myspace page.

Headshots for the entrepreneurs, artists and performers in your life. Also a great idea for anyone who is trying to find love online. Great photography really makes an impression online for business and personal use.

Lifestyle Photo Sessions at Home: babies first portrait, pregnancy photography, nudes, family portraiture and engagement portraiture.

All of the photography you see in this post and on every post of this photoblog are images I've captured. You can view more of my photography in my official online portfolio at

My Personal Recommendations For Everything Else Under the NW Sun:

Listed below are my own personal favorite recommendations for unforgettable gifts that anyone would be lucky to receive. I've included recommendations ranging the price gamut from zero dollars for virtual presents online to gift certificates for any amount you wish to bestow. Some of the services are available only in Portland, Oregon - but I've also included a jewelry designer from Seattle, a very sweet shop in the newly revitalized downtown Tacoma and many unique creators you can purchase from online who ship anywhere in the US and Canada.

Virtual Gifts:
Send a special email to share these fun blogs, web based comics and a link to a very funky show on the BBC.
Ms.zigzag blog - Intelligent observations about the world we live in and the dirt on life as a creative

The Mighty Boosh Clips on Youtube - the best British comedy I've ever had the pleasure of knowing (it's not what you expect)

Making Fiends - one of the silliest things to capture the joys and evils of existence

The Show with Ze Frank - 3 minutes stints of daily news for those who either don't like to watch the news or those who like to mock the news

$10 and up Gift Certificates:

$10 - $100 Gift Certificates
In Other Words - women's Bookstore - The last non-profit women's bookstore in the nation and the best place to find children's books that offer great alternatives to the Cinderella complex and other Disneyland brand ideas.
My personal choice: Copy & Paste this URL to go directly to gift certificates:;jsessionid=abccCtY3jIDx-5FmgRF9q?s=giftcertificates
Staff Nicole Georges Book Recommendations:

$25 - $800 Gift Certificates
Charmaine at Fleur de Lys: Pedicures that make you feel like your whole being has just been replenished. I'm not really a pedi/mani kind of girl ... at all. However, Charmaine gave me a pedicure that relaxed me body and mind. It was heaven on earth. Fleur de Lys is open Tuesday through Saturday. Appointments are necessary and can be made by calling, 503-282-8288.
For more rave review on Charmaine and Fleur de Lys:

$50 - $900 Gift Certificates
Firiel Massage Therapy: True story: I had a muscle pain from shooting a very full season of events and Firiel absolutely cured my aches with her highly skilled and intuitive care in just a single session of deep tissue massage. My muscles have gone from pins and needles burning to relaxed and happy.

$60 - $600 Gift Certificate
Creative Career Counselor Vicki Lind: Buy someone in transition or in need of transition a motivational career enhancing session with this very experienced career counselor.

$40 - $800 Gift Certificate
Creative Life Coach: Zig Zag
personal pick: 1 session each week for a month as a great gift for anyone with resolutions for the new year. Especially those self employed creatives in your life!

For Children, Parents and Adult Children:

Black Wagon - anyone with children or parents on their list should definitely know about this uber cool shop!

Perfect Children: Handmade creatures designed and sewn by Marc for purchase online at

Ride Theory by Dan Howland
An independently published audio CD and book by a Disneyland historian and expert on the thrill of all things found in amusement parks all throughout history. A very unusual find indeed!
For books by Dan go here
For the audio zine of satire, spoken word, and collage by Dan Howland go here

Childrens Portraiture Gift Certificate: email your phone number and email address to with a note letting me know you are interested in a gift certificate.

Hi Hi Gallery - Lanterns, lamps and other hand created, custom designed lighting alternatives.

Siren Nation CD: Unbelievably awesome collection of women artists across genres and styles all come together on this amazing compilation CD. On top of that all of the sales benefit the first annual Siren Nation Festival scheduled for November 2007. Look for the cd at In Other Words or on-line at .

Bespoke & Designer Jewelry - online ordering available
personal favorites:

Cacao Drinking Chocolate: The best chocolate in town. Chocolate bars galore, the hot new trend in beverages - European drinking chocolate - something delightful holding the middle ground between hot cocoa and pudding in consistency - with all of the depth in flavor of the best chocolate bar you've ever had.

Pix Patisserie: my personal pick: blueberry, port, marionberry and rose Parisian macroons - colorful, delicious and fun.
For an evening out or a delightful treat to bring along to any party they also have an impressive selection of decadent pastries to savor every bite of.

More Books and Paraphernalia:

Make a wish list at and then share the list with all of your friends and family
Here is my personal wish list:

For the vampires in your life: Fiend - novel by NW author Jemiah Jefferson - sightings of her walking the streets of SE Portland after nightfall have been recently reported. While limited supplies last you can also snag the sexy Fiend T-shirt. Pricing and details found in the news section of Jemiahs website

Greater Puget Sound Area:

Olympia: - You can find something for everyone in your life who appreciates the finer hand crafted things in life. Amazing finds on this website that sells designs from local NW artists at a price that makes sense.
My personal favorite: Niki McClure Note Card Collection


Chalcedon Jewelry
Call Tina at
(253) 224-0024.



Maiden Faire: Gifts for Moms, Grandmas, and all who enjoy the feminine touch.
The best soap I've ever found - and exquisite taste in lighting. Vintage lamps and chandeliers will knock your socks off. Although my tastes have lately swung toward the contemporary in design - I was taken by the very fun and funky vintage chandeliers looking for a good home .

The soap is just a completely unexpected bonus. I'm definitely not a soap person. Generally it is too perfumed and cloying or smells like an attempt to de-humanize oneself. At Maiden Faire they have brought in a very enjoyable collection of mild, beautiful and honestly scented soap hearts. If you do have someone that needs a more general gift -candles and soap usually fill the gap.

Maiden Faire
760 Broadway
Tacoma, Wa 98402
(253) 383-1713

Whidbey Island:

Chocolate Flower Farm

This quaint farm in Langley on Whidbey Island is home to some of my very most favoritest flowers in the world! Specializing in a vast assortment of dark brown, red and somehow chocolate looking flowers and plants they have my attention. I was able to visit the farm myself this spring and had a lovely time finding specimens such as 'Voodoo Seedum'. The farm even smells like chocolate because they use cocoa pod mulch!
My personal picks:
Hemerocallis ‘Ed Murray’
‘Chocolate Drop’ Flowers
Zantedeschia ‘Hot Chocolate’

photo credit for all photos shown: Serena Davidson

Friday, December 01, 2006

Event: Espresso Arts Catering

Recently I was photographing a job fair for Workforce Network. During the event there was a very unique espresso cart set up for the job hunters and employers. The name of the company is Espresso Arts Catering. Run by Christine Herman and Wes Russell this is a coffee cart like no other.

Delicious Bakery Bar Treats

Using Stumptown Coffee fairtrade, direct trade and organic beans is only part of why I'm so blown away by them. They have also teamed up with Bakery Bar to provide some of the most scrumptious pastries I've ever had the pleasure of devouring.

Stumptown offered cupping during the NWRBC

After bumping into them again at the Northwest Regional Barista Championships (NWRBC) held at the Wonder Ballroom last month, I also found out that Christine recently graduated at the top of the class at Western Culinary. With a passion for the epicurean delights of life, and a genuine enjoyment of quality service, Espresso Arts Catering is sure to become a local favorite for events around town.

Christine pictured here cupping coffee at the NWRBC

To invite Espresso Arts Catering to enliven your next event, employee appreciation day, or wedding contact Christine Herman via email: