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Originally published May 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM | Page modified May 4, 2013 at 10:06 AM

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Sea-farin' stuff to float your boat

Get the goods to get out on the water, or feel like you are, from the Domestic Goddess.

Pacific NW associate editor

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OPENING DAY. Breathe it all in, the wind, the sea, the aroma of Agua Verde Café nachos wafting across Portage Bay. It's time to get out there and sail, motor, paddle. Or float. Just float. Here's this from "The Wind in the Willows" to get you going: "There's nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as messing about in boats."

Let us now go and mess about.

Setting sail, again

The Rutherford family could not bear it, parting with memories all wrapped up in the old mainsail of their Valiant 40. So they did not. It became a tent, a wedding shelter. And then Dave Rutherford, architect by day, had another idea. Tote bags.

Now Dave's out in his Madison Park garage sewing up tote, duffel, shoulder, diaper and nautical-tool bags. Each reveals its past life: "Batten pockets, cringles, reef points and boltropes are left in and give each bag its own identity." He'll even make your own beloved-but-battered sail into a custom bag.

Company's called Barkley Sound Bags (family favorite cruising destination). Blue Water Tote line is made from Dacron sails. Reinforced bottoms, pockets as needed, carrying straps modified for dragging tools around engine rooms or rowing picnic gear to rocky beaches. Hood River Totes are most colorful, made from windsurfing sails. The Box Duffel was designed for international carry-on dimensions and can be carried backpack style. Smalls, mediums, larges. $100 to $175.barkleysoundbags.com.

Some things are fishy

Perhaps you can't get out on the water right off. Bring the sea life home.

Umbra's Fish Hotel. A modern take on the goldfish bowl. Square bowl is glass with groovy plastic outer shell and asymmetrical windows. Best part? They stack, thus becoming fish condominium! Stacking and striking. $44.

Next up, a fish you need not feed (or flush). The Thomas Paul Fish Flax pillow. Image reversed on the back. 22 inches by 22 inches. $90.

Find Fish Hotel at www.petswag.com. Pillow at www.designpublic.com;www.amazon.com. Also, Digs in Ballard for fish hotel and Thomas Paul items, 2002 N.W. Market St., online www.digsshowroom.com.

From the deep blue sea

Seattle is a very octopussy kind of place. We are so concerned about our local icon, the giant Pacific octopus, that the Seattle Aquarium puts out a call for help with the annual census.

Here's a couple that can't swim away. In shower curtain form. Octopus by, yes, Mr. Thomas Paul (sea life is his thing). The other by Miami artist Valentina Ramos.

Octopus is "one big dose of modern nautical wow," say Design Public folks. Bold and leggy, 100 percent cotton. Hand screened. Charcoal screen print image. $120. www.designpublic.com.

If you'd like your octo with a little deep-blue-sea action, go for Ramos' Octopus Bloom from DENY Designs, $89.

DENY (Kim and Dustin Nyhus) selects artists whose work they feature on various home-design products, thus Octopus Bloom as duvet cover, pillow, blanket, clock, magnet board. Artist receives $$ from each item sold. "It's a great way to support the arts community," Kim says. "Valentina was one of our first artists, and she's seen a lot of success in the past few years." www.denydesigns.com.

Reach out to The Goddess at bteagarden@seattletimes.com. The Goddess is also very Pinteresting. Find her there at http://pinterest.com/rtea/.

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