22 July, 2013

Sunday Funday

Next month, two of my very good friends are getting married. It is going to be a very small (just 20ish people) and rather casual ceremony at a lake in California's wine country. I am delighted that they've asked me to help take care of some of the details, like the decorations and the food -- two things I love to take care of!

As everyone is traveling to get there (bride and groom included), we're aiming to keep things simple. They've rented a bungalow and the idea is to gather loved ones and to celebrate amidst the beauty of the natural surroundings. I'm told that the bungalow itself is such a lovely place, that we really won't need to do much to make it feel beautiful and festive.

The three of us (bride, groom, and myself) set up a Pinterest board so that we could share ideas and inspirations. Pinterest has always seemed a bit intimidating and overwhelming to me, but for this purpose, it's been fantastic! We shared some ideas for decorations, and came up with one that we liked -- simple flowers that we could make together whilst sitting by the lake. The idea came from here -- but rather than paper, we're going to use fabric. That way, they can be taken home by the guests as favors, and they might hold up to weather and travel better than paper would. I'm thinking it'd be fun, too, to attach some smaller ones to barrettes or bobby pins for any ladies who might want to decorate themselves as well.

Once we nailed that down, we needed to figure out the colors. We'd spoken about them, and I had a pretty good idea of what they had in mind, but I kind of wanted to see swatches. I was envisioning Pantone chips, or paint sample cards, but didn't know how to do that online. Silly me, I soon learned that pinning regular old images that utilize the desired colors is a much more dynamic way of getting the whole picture. I asked for color pins and this is what I got:

Fantastically helpful, right? I also loved that I could view all of this on my phone as I was shopping, and this is what I came home with:

Add to that some fabrics that I already had in my stash, as well as some hoarded vintage trim, and buttons:

For the process, I pretty much followed the how-to, but had to make some adjustments for the fabric.
I decided it would be better if the fabric were stiffer -- thus holding shape a little more. Luckily, I had fabric stiffener; I'd gotten it YEEEEEEARS ago for some project and it had been taking up space ever since - woohoo for using up supplies!

I made some petal templates and then used embroidery hoops as templates for some simple round circles. (Embroidery hoops make GREAT templates for tracing and cutting circles -- I've used this trick so many times!)

Cut out the shapes and painted them with the fabric stiffener. Allowed petals to dry flat (lifting them off the cookie-sheet work surface a few times during drying so they wouldn't stick) and put circles on top of inverted bowls to give them a little bit of shape.

And then put the flowers together with wire and floral tape.

Et voila:

I'm happy with these! I think we'll add some colors and shapes and textures, but this is how I wanted to start -- getting a feel for the project and knowing that I have the right supplies and technique before getting out there.

The flowers can be as simple or as fancy as one wants, so it'll be a good project for a few friends and family members sitting around a table whiling away some lazy hours by the lake in the days before the ceremony, right?

See the original inspiration/project here, on the blog Oh Happy Day (pretty sure I found this via Decor8) and if you'd like to try these and have any questions about the process I used, feel free to get in touch!

11 July, 2013

can you dig?

On the hoop this week (carrying over from last week) are some custom pieces for a small independent chain of restaurants in NYC called Dig Inn. I did the first of these pieces two years ago and I can't believe I never posted about it. (Maybe I did and I just can't find it?)

Though I've never been to one, I've stalked the site of Dig Inn and it all looks really good to me. The restaurant focuses on healthy seasonal foods -- seems they've got the right idea, and they must be doing well, because I've been asked to do a few more pieces. Woohoo all around!

I found a photo of one of the pieces here. Cool, right?
Well, my calendar is booking up with events and reasons to go to NYC this fall (many exciting things! I'll share with you as those things get closer...), so maybe I'll get a chance to visit one of the Dig Inns... Have any of you ever been?

03 July, 2013


Hey friends --
I went a little overboard with my last hoop order and now, I have A LOT of five & six inch hoops. Sooooo -- it's sale time! All five inch kits are $2 off, and all six inch kits are $3 off. Click on over here and stock up for summer projects!

(PS -- Three and four inch hoops -- that's a different story; those are as rare as hens' teeth these days! I've been waiting over two months for them on backorder... so frustrating!)

01 July, 2013

vignette love

A few weeks ago, I turned our bedroom upside down in an effort of getting a specific photo that I had in mind. (Obviously, I didn't turn it upside down, but I did make a mess, as usual.)

It was this one:

and lots of variations on it... I always tend to take too many photos and then can't figure out which one I like best...

I *really* wanted to get one with Emil in it, but he absolutely would not cooperate. I tried to lure him in with treats...

but he's a cat - he prefers to knock the treats off the chair and onto the floor.

When B came home I asked him to try to get one with Emil in it, even if it meant I had to try to trap him in my lap or something.

Again, no luck.

And you know what, all of this was just because I was remembering a photo that I had taken fourteen years ago, when I was living in my spartan (illegal) artist's loft in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood.

I was at my parents' place this weekend and dug that photo out:

(I have no idea why it is so large here -- tried everything I could think of to make it "normal" size... Ugh. Blogger keeps changing things and I can't keep up.)

Anyway -- I used to love creating little vignettes in that studio. It was an artists studio, so the walls and floors had been painted and repainted and spackled and slopped all over, so it didn't matter where I put holes or what color I painted all or part of a wall -- which were long and straight. When I first moved to Boston, I worked at a fancy-pants tobacco store across from the Harvard campus. Whenever we put out a new box of cigars, we ripped the tops off of the boxes. Ever the re-purposer, I used to take the box tops home with me and turn them into frames. I'd paint them to look like dark wood, mount a postcard or photo or magazine clipping to the center, and then use the latch hardware to hang it; small nails fit through just perfectly.

I still have some of those frames... And I still (obviously, you can see it in the top photo) have that chair! One of my favourite trash picks - plucked from the curb one night as I was walking home to my little Beacon Hill apartment.

Okay, that's enough nostalgic rambling! On the work table this week are wholesale orders and some custom pieces, so I may not get to posting again before the end of the holiday weekend. Whatever your plans may be, friends, have fun and play safe!