12/17/14

One More Show!

The holiday season is winding down, but there's still one event on the books.  Moss + Mineral, the shop I created the window display for, is hosting a holiday open house. I'll be there all eve, and I'm bringing along a few new things, like these bird and ball ornaments.

Full details are below - I hope to see you all there!

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JOIN US at Moss + Mineral's Holiday Open House this Thursday, Dec. 18, 5-8pm! Start your Third Thursday Gallery Walk with a stop to say hello and refreshments - we'd love to see you!


Check out new work by local furniture maker, Steve Lawler, whose modern op-art designs in reclaimed wood are the bomb; paper artist, Laurie Cinotto, who created our quietly beautiful window display accompanied by tiny woodland artscapes; and jewelry artists, Regina Chang, Jennifer Lawrence Bennett, and myself - we've been working our little elves overtime to have just the right choices for you this evening!

We also have juicily colorful ceramic objects by well-known Seattle clay artist, Kristin Nelson; original art by Jeremiah Maddock and Ohm Cederburg; vintage barware, one-of-a-kind terrariums and select pieces of mid-century modern furniture.

 We're at 305 South 9th St., one block up from the Pantages Theater (and the downtown Christmas tree); 253.961.5220.

More information at www.mossandmineral.com.

OH, and while you're on the block, be sure to visit our friends at Mod Curio. They've got a holiday happening too, and will be featuring the work of local crafty gal, Ember Carroll.

12/16/14

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Each December, I have the extreme pleasure of creating florals and decor for the most amazing holiday party. It's hosted by Paul and Linda, who are two of the kindest people you'll ever meet. This event is their annual company holiday party,  and they put much thought and detail into creating a memorable time for their guests.

I remember Linda once told me that she thinks of parties as being one giant gift for those who attend. I think for her, it's not just about entertaining, it's about creating an experience, and a beautiful, uplifting, joy-filled moment that will linger in the guests' minds long after the party is over. It's also a way to show people she cares about them.  

I've worked with her on events for over a decade now, and this is the fourth year we've collaborated on their company holiday party. We work with some of the same elements each year, but build upon them to make it a little bigger, brighter, and more interesting for the guests each time. 

The party takes place in the Presidential Suite of the Seattle Westin, which offers the most spectacular view of Downtown Seattle. As shiny and sparkly as it is out there with the lights from the big city and the holiday season,  this little town created on one of the dining tables offers some big competition!

The townscape is packed with glittered houses, bottle brush trees, cypress trees, moss, and floral arrangements. It's populated by deer and other creatures. It's rich with details, and there are many surprises hidden within the display.

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Inside each house, there were flickering faux votives that added warmth and light to the display. I used polka-dot velum on the windows to create the illusion of falling snow.

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To add a little dimension and depth to the scene, I built the town on styrofoam risers and covered them with sheet moss. Once the city was built, and all was in place, the scene got a light dusting of artificial snow.

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We rented our linens and chargers from Choice Linens in Seattle. For this tabletop, we selected a linen with a really beautiful texture and weave - it was like a very polished burlap, with thread of silver running through. The chargers were an icy glass with a pewter edge.

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The second table had woodland theme. In the center of the table stood a tall acrylic tree, and it was surrounded by a dense forrest of cypress trees, birch trees, moss, many flowers and critters.

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Because this spot of the room was a little darker than the others, we used lots of artificial light and candlelight to illuminate the table. The pistachio and lime green flowers and metallic accents brightened the table, too.

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Tucked into the scene were bears, deer, birds, foxes and other animals. I positioned them to illustrate a story or show a dialog between the animals.  Foxes exchanges presents. Bears warmed their paws by the fire.

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The vases on the tables were packed with flowers. Included in the arrangements were lots of hydrangea, ranunculus, and roses.

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Glass bells with tiny bottle brush trees inside hung from the acrylic tree in the center of the table.

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Like the table with the townscape, there were many details for the guests to discover.

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At each place setting, there was a gift for the guest and a copy of The Christmas Story.

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On all the tables and surfaces of the room, many vignettes were created.  Linda and I collaborate on these vignettes - she finds these pieces, puts them in place, and I add the details.

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Flower arrangements and poinsettias filled the room. Candles were everywhere!

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It's a fair amount of work making all of this happen in the time that we have to do it, but it's all worth it when you see the reaction of not only the guests, but the hotel staff, too.  All of this holiday ambiance truly makes people happy.

Out of all the crafty things I do, this is always the highlight, and the most rewarding project of the year. I'm so grateful that Paul and Linda let me contribute to this event - it is always a thrill, and I love the creative challenge. I can hardly believe that it's even a "job" because it certainly does feel more like a dream.

I'm thankful for Sarah, who helped me set up and break down the event, and Harriette, Claudia, and all of the lovely people at the Westin who were so helpful and supportive.  You all made a hard weekend easier!

Thank you for taking the time to scroll through all these pictures! There are a lot, I know, but it's so hard to share this party in just a few.  Should you care to see more, I've got an album posted on Flickr!

Happy Holidays, friends.

12/3/14

Lots of Dots

There's a wonderful little store in downtown Tacoma called Moss + Mineral. Shopkeeper Lisa Kinoshita has filled the space with mid-century treasures, curious objects, art, an array of unusual plants, and Lisa's lovely jewelry. It's gem of a store.

A few months back, I stopped by M + M and while chatting with Lisa, she asked if I might be interested in creating a window display. I instantly agreed, and we decided December would be a great month to do it.

I was excited for this opportunity because while working retail in my younger days, I always LOVED doing any sort of display work. And, if you know me at all,  you know how I love the holidays. This would be the perfect month to tackle such a project.

For the display, I created many paper ball and sequin garlands to hang in the window space.

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I punched and folded over 1500 paper circles to create 150 balls in several shades of white and ivory, and in five different sizes ranging from 1" to 2.5" in diameter.

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They were strung on lengths of gold embroidery floss along with large, sparkly sequins. As I finished each strand, I hung them from my dining room chandelier to keep them out of the reach of my cats, who were very intrigued by this project. There's nothing cats love more than dangling, sparkly things, and those flashy gold sequins on gold thread sure caught their eye.

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Over the course of three days, I spent roughly 35 hours creating these pieces. I do enjoy repetitive crafts, and can sit making things for the stretch of many hours. I love making multiples of things and watching the quantities grow.

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Moss + Mineral is located at 305 S 9th, across the street from the Rialto Theatre. Of course you can see the windows anytime, day or night, but please come by during business hours (Thursday - Saturday from Noon to Five) so you can step inside the store.

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Lisa has a few of my holiday pieces for sale in the shop, and  I'll be there during the the Third Thursday gallery walk with more of my work. I'll be sharing more details on that event soon.

Thanks for this amazing opportunity, Lisa! I felt honored that you asked me, and it was great fun seeing this project come to life!