Tuesday, February 18, 2014

L Is For The Way You Look At Me

Valentine's Day has become a gimme on the list of celebrations here at Unboundary.
For 2014, I wanted to do a hanging installation of candy hearts. 
The snow and ice thwarted the initial effort to hang them at the windowed entrance to the office,
but gave way to a better option: to hang them around the party venue 
(thank you, Jessie, for your vision!).
Large hearts showcased our names, and medium-sized and smaller hearts 
carried the usual candy-heart sentiments.
[Google seemed to be on the same candy heart bandwagon with their Valentine's Day homepage!]

Here's the party.
Wine, good food, and opening our Valentine cards . . .
it's a holiday, smack dab in the middle of dreary winter, 
that warms the soul like a summer sky.

[Photo credit: Tod Martin]

I really struggled with my Valentine cards this year.
Typically, I'd have them done by end of January, but the creativity just wasn't flowing, and it was approaching the week before the big day.
I brainstormed while browsing Pinterest, I lay in bed at night hoping a dream would 
jolt me awake with "the idea", I locked myself in my craft room and glued, bejeweled and trimmed with no outcome worth salvaging, much less gifting to my coworkers.
Then I remembered the quotes I had incorporated into a going-away event for our pastor. 
Done and done.
I went online and found all kinds of quotes about love.
I collected 24 of them, 2 for each coworker, 
and totally got into figuring out who would get which quotes.

I printed out the quotes on a nice matte-finish ivory stock. Cut them out.
Then sewed them onto fabric. Cut the fabric with pinking sheers so that it peeked out from the card.
I opted for a pretty pink floral and a primitive leaf pattern in black and blue/gray.

I tucked one-of-each-fabric quote into a glassine sleeve; 
for the girls I put the floral on top, and for the guys, the blue leaf.
Folded the envelope, and under the flap taped an ivory satin ribbon 
stamped with the recipient's name.
Then sealed the envelope with a printed circle "Happy Valentine's Day! Dawn E. girl"

For my card-collecting vessel this year (last year I used a vintage mailbox), I went with 
an IKEA planter tied with a pink ribbon and a glass heart-shaped charm.

The love didn't stop at the Valentine's Party! With Harleigh home for the weekend (a camp commitment helping with interviews), we were able to also celebrate her birthday! She turns 22 this Thursday. I got her a Betty Crocker cookbook. I don't care that she'll use her smartphone (googling, Pinterest, etc.) for finding recipes and looking up cooking tips; everyone needs this book on a kitchen shelf. I still refer to mine!

Since she's so smitten with lambs, I decided to get her something sheep-related and frivolous and adorable, something that she'd never get for herself. I found this resin lamb online. It's sort of like my ceramic Old English Sheepdog that has no use, but that I'd never part with.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The First Time I've Fallen In Love With An Olympic Uniform

Here's the blurb from Snowboarder Magazine:

To design the uniform for the 2014 Sochi Games, Burton once again turned to America’s heritage for inspiration. And nothing represents Americana more than handcrafted patchwork quilts and the American flag, which are both at the heart of the 2014 uniform. After a long hunt, Burton designers found the perfect vintage quilt at an antique fair. Then, they brought it home to Vermont where it was deconstructed and re-constructed by a veteran Vermont quilt maker in order to get it ready to replicate onto the outerwear fabrics. Following this, Burton developed a method to print exact replicas of both the quilt and a vintage American flag onto the fabric of the jackets. The end result is that the quilt pattern on the jackets looks like it was hand-stitched with patchwork squares – just like the original. And an exact duplicate of the vintage American flag is proudly featured on the jacket’s sleeve.

How can you not love this?!?!?!? Hats off, Burton. Job well done.


Our office Valentine's Day party is this Friday. Am working with Jessie to do an installation. She'll be leaving us on the 21st for a new job in Austin, and I'll miss having her help in all things event-related here at Unboundary. [She and I were quite the creative duo for last year's Feast.]

For the 2014 Valentine party, I'm going a bit kitschy.
And what says Valentine's Day better than a naked baby holding silk flowers?
(I can't even pass him off for a cherub; no wings on this little dude.)
Found him recently and could not pass him up.

This next treasure has an interesting story. Was at Simple Finds this past Sunday (the antique mall where I have a booth), and one of the booth vendors, Candy, was talking about two houses down the street heading for demolition within the week. She was given carte blanche to go into both and take whatever she wanted. She encouraged me to drop by. I've never done this sort of thing before; was definitely intrigued, and so I hopped in the car and headed over, not knowing what to expect.

The first house I went into had been used as a halfway house. A modest brick rancher pretty beaten up and trashed. Random furniture throughout, but none worth taking. There were some sweet wooden shutters in both bathrooms, but I have tons of shutters at home and wasn't up for grabbing my tools and disassembling them.

The second house, while in equal disarray, had a grandmotherly charm. Lots of vintage wallpapers and heavily silk-draped windows. Candy and her husband, and a handful of day laborers were finishing up a second truckload worth of goodies when I arrived. While I didn't see the first load they had taken, what was left to be loaded was a worthy stash. French doors with glass doorknobs. A crystal chandelier. Ceiling lamp fixtures with painted shades. Old wooden doors from a shed out back. Furniture. A ton of great items that would have been razed, but would now find good homes.

While I did find it all heart-racingly exciting (sorta like chancing on a yard sale selling everything you love), there was a sadness to it. Lots of memorabilia left behind. Family pictures, swim team ribbons, letters and paperwork. We moved through the house with reverence and purpose; items were carried out as if they were bodies of loved ones, gently removed from the rubble of war. What came home with me seemed to have a soul. 

I wish I'd had the right tools with me: the wooden mantles and scalloped trim in the kitchen were priceless. But I hadn't' the time, and so I took what would fit into the back of the SUV. Two mirrors, one of the distressed and chippy shed doors, and this folding door from a small hall closet. I nestled it behind my server in the living room. The bottom part of the door, solid unlike the spindle-top, does a nice job of hiding electrical cords.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lots to Love

Let's begin with a visit to see Parker Grey Wittorf.
We couldn't get enough of this little man.

Harleigh has found a new passion: watercolors.
She finds it relaxing, and is creating Valentine cards.
The creativity gene lives on!
So proud of her.
[She sent me these pix via message; I love the mason jar of flowers!!]

I moved to a bigger booth at the antique mall (Simple Finds), and I'm loving it!
Much more space for furniture (which is selling like hotcakes!!!!).
One of the Simple Finds employees told me that Vern Yip 
(from TLC Trading Spaces and HGTV Design Star) was in a few weeks ago,
and loved my scrapbook paper folding screen (see below).
Well, if that didn't feel good.

I've been stocking up the booth with lots of Valentine's Day crafts.
Have raided my Candy Spelling gift closet for little gift boxes to wrap and decorate.

The two images below are of a vintage Valentine's Day chocolate box 
that I turned into hanging decor for a wall or door.
It's reversible, too!
[Forgive the mediocre iPhone photos.]

These primitive, hanging heart shapes got some fabric backing, flowers and ribbons.

Labor of love:
For her church, my mom is co-chairing a Mardi Gras event for their women's club.
For decor, I suggested a beaded chandelier to go over the food table.
This was a bear to make (attaching the cardboard sleeve to the hula hoop 
and creating two level tiers was a be-atch),
but we did it — in 4 hours! And it looks spectacular.

And who doesn't love this guy. 
Always underfoot.

My little Ferdinand the Bull.
Asleep in a cool clump of monkey grass.

A tilt of his head when I ask if he wants a cookie.
I love this dog.

Asleep. Adorable.

He loved the snow we had.

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