Thursday, February 26, 2009

Same gift - two ways to wrap

We love recommending glassybabys to our clients to give as tokens of appreciation to their friends, families, and associates and we LOVE to wrap them. The compact packaging is a gift-wrapper's dream. It's great fun choosing the materials to compliment the occasion and our paper/ribbon design selections are specific to the client and are only used once.

Celebrate the New Year Elements in this project included: off-white Japanese silk/hemp paper, green hand-marbled paper, Midori gross-grain and double-faced satin ribbons. Our custom-made floral attachments (dried seed pods, paper and satin leaves) added the finishing touch. A small card accompanied each gift.

Spring in Seattle Wrapping fifty glassybabys gave us the opportunity to really improve our skills! Components in this project included: two layers of white tissue, Japanese silk-screen cherry blossom paper, and pale pink matte ribbon. Midori red herringbone twill, secured with a square knot, tied it all together.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wrapping it up/creating beautiful packages

Do you love giving gifts? Isn't it great when you find just the right thing? Here at DIY Good Tastetm we have the best time working with our gift-giving clients. We assist them in selecting meaningful items and then we wrap and mail the gifts as well. 

One of our recent corporate gift projects involved LOTS of little house banks. Our client wanted to send tokens of appreciation to associates, friends and vendors. A magazine article by lifestyle maven, Kelley Moore, featured these little houses and I knew they'd be perfect. 

Each house was wrapped in embroidered satin/silk cloth, a take-off on a furoshiki (a type of traditional Japanese cloth that is frequently used to wrap gifts). The gift card, tucked inside with the bank, thanked the recipient for their support and friendship and added that a donation had been made in their honor to a local charity. Information about furoshiki traditions was also included.

Custom hand-done calligraphy name cards added the finishing touch. The little houses were very well-received and our client was thrilled. We're looking forward to our next wrapping project and making someone else's day.   

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Creative inspiration - it's in the details

Everyone has little treasures - mementos of trips,  gifts given by friends, a favorite cup. Where do you keep yours? These little 'happys' are on my kitchen window sill. They greet me every morning, sharing space with ripening fruits. This simple still-life makes my view out the window richer, adding texture to my creative life. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Making and mailing fun postcard art

I love getting mail - especially 'good' mail. Fortunately, I do get great mail every month since I belong to an artists' postcard group. All the members create original postcards, mail them out and receive postcards in return. We send all sorts of stuff - sewn cards, collage cards, metal cards . . . 

For this month's mailing I played with cards and papers that I had in the studio. The photos to the right show the process. It's easy to make postcards from materials you have on hand. Card stock works best, but you can glue several sheets of text weight paper together or use recycled cardboard from boxes. Just make sure that you add enough postage when you mail your cards. I generally over-post, since I don't want to get my mail returned.

Try surprising friends with art mail  - they'll love getting 'good' mail. And you'll have fun creating it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Layer upon layer - bulletin boards revisited

Bulletin boards give you a concentrated glimpse of into a person's life. glassybaby cards - I get one every time I visit their shop - they look like glass gumdrops. Postcards from family and friends, a recipe that looks interesting, the newspaper horoscope from my birthday . . . layer upon layer, I tack one on top of another - to create a rather chaotic collage of my interests on any given day.    

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fresh flowers make my day brighter

I love to give flowers - and I love having fresh flowers in my home. They contribute much to my well-being. The soft textures and spots of color allow me to escape to places of gentle beauty. 

Right now tulips are everywhere - they have bunches of five for $4 at my local market. It's fascinating to watch tulips grow in the vase - as they absorb the water, they get taller. I cut them shorter in order to keep them going longer. For less than the cost of latte and muffin I get an abundance of pleasure and a glimpse of the upcoming spring. And they're calorie free!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Morning rituals help start the day

Do you have morning rituals? Daily habits to help you enter the day? I have several - my favorite being to read newspapers - our local paper and the New York Times. I make a pot of tea and cozy down in a chair near the fireplace. On Tuesdays the NYTimes science section grabs me and on Thursdays it's Style and Home. Sometimes all I have is a moment for a cursory look, but I always make a point of reading at least one article from each paper. 

To me, newspapers are like libraries; full of information, ideas and beliefs. I might be interested in one item and another will catch me - often with a photograph or a compelling headline. And then I'm off - reading an article on a subject that I didn't know anything about   - adding to my creative storehouse. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Felted Tea Cozies Keep Tea Hot

Today I'm showing my friend Michele from Earthues how to start her own blog to talk about her wonderful work with natural dyes. In early March I will be teaching a class at her Earthues Studio in Ballard, called Keep the Pot Hot and we'll be creating felted tea cozies. We'd love to have you join us.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Volunteer DIY project makes big bucks

At our DIY Good TasteTM studio we have the best work table! It's huge, the perfect height and even has cubbies for our clients' DIY project materials. Guests love coming to the studio - and they get very excited when they see this table - it just begs for cool art to be created upon it.

This wonderful DIY project was for Robin's (my sister-in-law) school auction. Her students (1st and 2nd graders at Sunnyside Environmental School, in Portland) began by painting paper and cutting out shapes, which they then meticulously glued together, creating charming animals and objects representing the letters of the alphabet (impressive hand-eye coordination I must say). 

My task was to make these whimsical artworks work together. A quilt-inspired background grid was the base, using five colors of card stock. Lower-case letters were die-cut using our Slice tool. The kids' creations were arranged on top and glued down. A lovely recycled wood frame held the finished artwork.

The winning bid of $400.00 was a gratifying result to our fun day in the studio. 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Everything will return to normal a few days from now

Lovely weather greeted us on Saturday and a leisurely walk with my sweet husband was the perfect Valentine. Strolling from our neighborhood to downtown Ballard was delightful - many people were out taking advantage of the warm weather and everyone was in a festive mood. It was the perfect opportunity to take my camera along and photograph things that captured my attention as we meandered though the industrial, residential and commercial blocks that comprise this part of Seattle.

The sensuous calligraphy in the first photo is in the window at Souvenir - a wonderful shop on Old Ballard Avenue. Curtis Steiner is the artist/owner of this little gem of a store -  he's a collector extraordinaire and creates beautiful displays and cards. The window display changes on a regular basis - do check it out. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bits and pieces on bulletin boards

What do you do with all the paper you get? Not the bills and big things - but the little bits and pieces of paper ephemera that land in your life every day? I'm talking about business cards you like, cool stamps, that really good fortune cookie fortune - whatever strikes your fancy - those things that you aren't quite ready to part with.

Here at DIY Good TasteTM we have bulletin boards, in our personal offices and downstairs in our work studio. My office board is from Pottery Barn - it's big and simple - right behind my desk. Sometimes the random juxtaposition of items catches my eye and jump starts a creative idea - two colors next to each other that I'd never considered, a jazzy typeface that would be perfect for a client's invitation. This board is a constantly changing inspiration collage.

What we keep speaks to who we are - even the little stuff. Do you have a bulletin board? If so - what's on it?  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What do you love & collect?

What do you love & collect? I love dots, type and hearts. (My glassybaby collection is another story.) I've collected hearts for years - I buy them - recycled glass hearts from Bedrock, my husband gives them to me (the ceramic heart), my daughter gives them to me as well - the dotted stone heart from Earthues. The "M" sphere is a gift from my sister-in-law, the wooden "dot" bowl from a friend. It sits on a table in our living room - we're often re-arranging the bowl's contents and they're a big hit with visiting friends' children. 

My Good Taste gal-pal, Jody loves frogs. Laura collects hearts - but only stones that she finds in the shape of hearts. One of my invitation clients collects pigs. An artist friend has hundreds of collections - her wonderful home is chock-full of the most interesting objects - bowling balls, globes, old hankies, poker sets, religious icons . . .  a visual cornucopia. My buddy Susan always has unusual things on her living room side-tables - fossils, stones, seed pods - each has a story. 

Being surrounded by my 'treasures' enriches my visual life. I appreciate the artistry of each object and often 'looking and thinking' about my stuff (and my friends') leads me in new creative directions.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Adores family and all things French

"Adores family and all things French." Several days ago I wrote this six word memoir for my dear friend Anne. She passed away this morning. Anne's generous spirit, singular style and gentle laughter will be sorely missed - she touched so many. The minute I met her I knew I wanted to be her friend. Our friendship was brief - it began when our daughters were 6th graders and now they're college sophomores. Conversations with her were rich - about big things, little things, nothing - we laughed a lot. 

Two summers ago we spent time in France, together with our families - my first time - I don't know how many times she'd been - her French was excellent - she was often mistaken for a native. Her enthusiasm for all things French was contagious and I tried to soak up everything I could with her as my guide. 

I took this photo in Paris - at a little cafĂ© near our hotel in the 5th. We'd go there every morning and have coffee and pastries and the cat was always there. 

Now every time I look at anything "French" she'll be with me. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Give a Valentine to your sweetie

Valentine's Day is Saturday - and while this year I won't be getting flowers, jewels or gifts (we're finally getting iPhones - way better than 'bling' in my opinion) - I love making little cards and giving notes to my sweet husband, delightful daughter and fantastic friends.

Here at DIY GT we've been consumed with "Six Word Memoirs" so I decided to use this concept as the basis for my cards. It's a challenge to describe someone or something in only six words.

Here are the card specifications: base card: 80# (weight) cardstock - the card measures 18 x 3 - with scores every 3 inches and folds 'accordion' style. The six words are typeset and laser printed on heavy text weight paper. Additional papers create the 'builds' and polka-dotted rayon ribbon left over from another invitation project ties the folded panels neatly together.

I like the way the card folds out enabling you to see all six words. The recipient's name is on the front and I wrote a personal note on one of the back panels. Now I have to make a bunch more and get them in the mail!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday - more than just the beginning of our week

Generally. we gals at Good Taste Events aren't so crazy about Mondays. Our weekends are event-filled and come Monday we're dog-tired. We like to hole up in our respective offices, light scented candles, fire-up our laptops and attend to emails and client requests.

Today is different - I'm delighted to announce that DIY (Do-it-yourself) Good TasteTM, our new creative endeavor is up and running. Our fabulous studio is organized and projects are in the works: sleek custom-designed Save-the-Date magnets for an upcoming wedding, snappy six-word Valentines for our families and friends and limited-edition wedding books, to name a few.

To me, creating "stuff" is making a connection - from the simplest flat card or elegant calligraphy place-card to an outrageous, elaborate 3-D pop-up birthday card. The sincere gesture of giving hand-made art can mean so much, both to the giver and the recipient.

We invite you to come along with us as we make something beautiful every day.