one on one – Shannon Castillo …

I have been wanting to write this post for a very long time.

This “one on one” post is dedicated to the lovely …

Shannon Castillo

Thistle - Floral and Home - Shannon Castillo

and her sweet and charming shop in Kingston, Washington …


Floral and Home

Thistle - Floral and Home - Exterior of Building
I actually met Shannon years ago

when our son’s were playing football at Strawberry Hill Park here on Bainbridge Island

and then again when our son’s were playing baseball in little league.

As I watched my son grow up …

I also watched this amazing woman grow into the beautiful,

compassionate, and hardworking woman that she is today!

I have complete respect for women who go after there dreams …

and ultimately find them – and Shannon is one of them.

Thistle - Floral and Home - Succulents
Shannon’s dream can be found in the beautiful relationship

she has with her husband and her children …

and also in this beautiful business that she and her mother have put their hearts and souls into.

.  .  .  .  .

So … when I opened my monthly pop up shop at my studio a few months back …

I knew I wanted her to do the flowers for my opening!

Komedal Road - Opening Flowers - by Thistle Floral and Home
I can not begin to tell you how happy I was with them

as they were truly spectacular!

They were perfection really – just what I was looking for …

Komedal Road - Opening Flowers by Thistle Floral and Home
a large yet simple flower arrangement for the center of the studio

with only white flowers …

Komedal Road - Opening Florals - by Thistle Floral and Home
I truly could not have been happier!!

Komedal Road - Opening Flowers by Thistle Floral and Home - 2

and recently I stopped by her shop and bought a bunch of these lovelies below for the studio …

(you can see what I did with them in a previous post – here)

Thistle - Floral and Home - 4
What is so wonderful about Thistle Floral and Home

is that this little shop can not only create a gorgeous arrangement for special events …

they also have gorgeous floral stems and wonderful seasonal plants!

Thistle - Floral and Home - Exterior
From the minute you walk in you feel you are in a special place …

a floral shop that is not only beautiful – but very special in so many ways

Thistle - Floral and Home - 2

It is businesses like these, by women like Shannon that are what I want

to celebrate here on these “one on one” interviews!

So … here is a little more about Shannon and her lovely shop …

in her own words!

.  .  .  .  .

Where do you find your passion for Floral Design? …

My passion comes from seeing the joy that flowers bring. On the happiest of

occasions, saddest of occasions or just because. Flowers make people smile. Flowers

let you know that someone is thinking about you. What can be more fulfilling than

letting someone know they are loved? I get to do that everyday. ❤

Thistle - Floral and Home - Gorgeous Floral Bouquet - Photo Credit - Shannon Castillo–  photo by Shannon Castillo / Thistle Floral and Home  –

Who has influenced you most in you business and why?

Easiest question ever! My Mom. She has more talent and confidence in what she

does than anyone I know. She has the ability to transform the ordinary into the

extraordinary. The floral industry has been my Mom’s life since she was a young

adult. It is not an easy business and she has persevered with her great work ethic,

dedication and talent. I can only hope I can be half as great as she is…..

Thistle - Floral and Home - Shannon and Robbinphoto by - BB Image House

Can you tell us more about the name Thistle Floral & Home …

I saw thistles while I was driving through the Palouse in Eastern Washington. It was

my first trip to visit my daughter, Cera, in college. It was the one thing that kept

me from tearing up on the way home, leaving my little girl at school. The hills were

covered in dry thistle and golden finches were swooping and playing while they ate.

I realized that thistle is strong and beautiful. It has the ability to survive and thrive

in such a rough environment, just like my daughter going off to college.

Thistle - Floral and Home - 3

What is your Favorite Floral Style? …

There are so many floral styles out there but my “go to” favorite to be an English

style. It is not a structured arrangement; it is more of a free form style. I always

picture it as the way flowers would be if we just let them be themselves. An

arrangement that is a little wild with flowers blooming at their peak. A garden rose

at its peak is stunning. Just classic.

What else do you carry at Thistle Floral and Home? …

We carry a fun variety of vintage, repurposed and unique wares. Stemming from

our own eclectic style of “home” featuring furniture & accessories that we love.

Finding new ways to use “old” things creatively thinking outside the box. I enjoy

having a storefront that can support other artisans in the area with their goods too.

We have soap, jewelry, art and greeting cards made here at home in Kitsap county.

Thistle - Floral and Home - Lotion

Outside of work – what is your Favorite Family Activity? …

Funny you should ask this…. knowing how Liz & I met. We are a baseball family,

much to my daughters chagrin. Now baseball seasons have passed us by as my son

has gone on to college and is not playing anymore. After years of youth baseball, my

husband has just realized that garages sales can be loads of fun! So, that may be our

new adventure together!

What is your all time Favorite Flower?

My favorite all time flower is the Tuberose. It really isn’t a very pretty flower but the

scent is out of this world! I love to take one small stem and set it on my nightstand.

My entire bedroom smells heavenly. The interesting thing about a Tuberose is that

it is a night blooming plant. I would love to take an evening stroll through a garden

filled with them some day!

And finally – what is your Favorite Color and how does it make me feel? …

I can never waiver from my one true favorite color, green. I love green for all of its

different shades; from a wet forest in deep evergreen to the kelly green of clover, to

a sea of green. So many shades to choose from. Green makes me feel adventurous….

that there is so much to see in the world. It can also ground me and relax my mind.

Just sitting in my yard watching my chickens in the green grass makes me happy.

Komedal Road - Floral closeup - Florals by Thistle Floral and Home

I have loved watching Shannon follow her dreams …

and I have also loved getting to know her a little bit more in the process of this interview!

So – if you are ever in the Kingston area it is definitely worth a visit …

or if you have a celebration happening soon – I would highly recommend her!

Thistle - Floral and Home - Building Exterior

Thank you Shannon for sharing your vision and dreams with us!

I will stop in very soon …

as I am sure your shop will be filled to the brim this Holiday Season!

Thistle - Floral and Home - 1

Peace, Love and Happiness to you and your family – enjoy the journey!

xoxo – liz

.  .  .  .  .

Thistle Floral and Home
25960 Central Avenue Northeast, Kingston, WA

Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
Sun 11am-4pm

.  .  .  .  .

all photos by Liz Le Dorze – unless otherwise noted and linked above with the image.
(Permission to use the photos were given by Shannon Castillo)

one on one – kimberly taylor images …

I am very excited to launch my “one on one” series . . .

and – I am thrilled to start it off with my dear friend Kim Taylor . . . from Kimberly Taylor Images!


( photo by Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon )

Kim Taylor is a woman of many passions and someone who I truly admire – both personally and professionally . . .

I originally met Kim through the blog and vintage world several years ago and she has become not only a friend, but someone who continues to inspire me over and over again.  I admire her eye behind the camera lens . . . her love of food in the kitchen . . . and her passion to help those in need.  She lives a “farm to table” life – by starting her mornings collecting eggs from her chickens, and if weather permits – greens from her garden.  She often ends her day – with a table full of great food and lots of laughter, with both family and friends.  I love that she lives by her own set of “truths” . . . she follows her passions – while keeping her focus on what truly matters most . . . her family!

Here is a bit more about Kim – in her own words . . .

Behind the lens . . .

How did you find your passion in photography?

My grandfather was a wonderful lifestyle photographer and had photos from before my dad was born.  I still have many of his old black and whites that he developed and I cherish them.  Because of him I have carried a camera around most of my life.  I am the one that is now sharing photos from elementary and high school on facebook! (much to many friends’ horror…)  🙂



Film or Digital? . . . and why? 

I obviously began in film as that was the 70s.  I switched to digital in the 90s for its convenience and really let film go for many years.  Just last month I bought an old Nikon FE2 and a couple of rolls of film, just to play around.  From that first shutter sound when I took that first image I was completely and utterly smitten.  I love how she feels in my hands and the beautiful images that I get back.  I also love that I have to be so incredibly focused when shooting with her which really makes me feel in the moment with each shot.



In the kitchen . . .

Who influenced you the most in the kitchen?

I don’t know that anyone influenced me in the kitchen as I really discovered my love for cooking when I first moved out on my own.  I lived in a suite in the home of my great auntie Tiggy.  I can say that she is the one who influenced my appreciation for things like slowing down for a cup of tea, or taking time to enjoy lunch out on the deck in the sunshine.  She used to make old english things that were so foreign to me and I think it encouraged me to experiment in the kitchen.  I will say that much of my current way of thinking about shopping for food, finding joy in the preparing of it and of being creative when it comes to using leftovers comes directly from my friend Ange who lives in the south of France and is a genius when it comes to food!



Favorite raw food?  carrots in hummus, sushi, fruits from the garden- okay, anything from the garden


In the shop . . .

Tell us about how the pottery got started?

So about three years ago I decided that I wanted to renovate the studio space attached to our barn.  Up until then it had been used as a place to toss any and all junk we had.  The roof leaked something awful and every rainy season (think 9 months a year here in Seattle…) I would carefully position about 12 big rubber bins to catch all of the water leaking through the roof.  My husband thought it was silly to put a new roof, better yet any time or energy into an old space but relented in the roof and left me to do all of the work inside.  After a few months of removing old drywall, insulation and garbage, painting and organizing I had myself a photography studio- yay me!  The light was perfect, everything was white and all of my props were nicely organized.  Jump forward about a year and I am in France with the above mentioned Ange, enjoying a glass of wine on a gorgeous afternoon.  Handsome husband send me a photo- of his big pickup truck with a big box that says “kiln” on the outside, another box with the words “potters wheel” and 500 lbs of clay.  My first thought is “where on earth is he going to put that?”  quickly followed by “oh lord- my photography studio!”.  He assures me that he is only going to take up “a small corner” of the studio.  Famous last words…


Said studio has now become a pottery studio, all photography is now done in the kitchen and my incredibly potter of a husband was born.

How do you decide on what products to carry in your shop – Tiggy & Grace?

For me the products have to be things that I love and would use.  I love a beautiful esthetic but also insist on functionality.  Basically what I list are things I already own and love.




Helping others . . .

Tell us a bit about your mom and what she is doing in Uganda.

My mom has been working for the last three years building an amazing children’s home with the help of Edwin- who lives in Uganda.  They have taken an empty piece of land and created an incredible home where, come July, the first set of children will move in.  Can you imagine?  Their first proper home, with reliable meals and toys and clothes.  I am so excited to be able to be there with my mom, who I am incredibly proud of, to capture those first days with the children getting settled.  I am quite certain it will be life changing.

How can we help?

There are so many things that would be wonderful.  The most important thing is finding ongoing funding for the day to day care of the children.  Right now it would be wonderful to find a church or two that wanted to help with that.  We will also want to find sponsors for things- so basic financial aid.  I will also be hosting an online auction on my business facebook page in April to raise funds to purchase as much as we can to bring with us.  We hope to bring as many medications like topical antibiotics, children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen as well as gauze, band aids, and such.  I would love for as many people as possible to take part in that, either by donating an item or bidding on things.


 ( Jaaja Barb’s Home of Angels )

Random . . .

Favorite family activity?

dinner time- hands down.

We laugh a lot, share our day and connect as a family.  It is the time of day I most miss #1, who moved out in September.


What is your favorite color?  How does it make you feel?

I have never been able to narrow down a favorite.  I love green- it reminds me of summer days outdoors.  I also love white- especially in the gardens.


Thank you Kim for letting us all get to know about you a bit more!

. . .

Yes . . . I am very inspired by Kim Taylor – and feel so lucky to call her my friend!

Hope you are all inspired by her as much as I am!!

For more inspiration – you can find her blog here . . . and her lovely online store here!!

. . .

Until next time . . .

Happy Weekend everyone!!

Peace and love – liz

. . .

( All photos are by Kimberly Taylor unless otherwise noted )