West Elm Flower Recipe Book Event with Studio Choo

flowerrecipebook_10Last week I had the pleasure of attending an event celebrating the release of Studio Choo‘s The Flower Recipe Book at West Elm in Portland’s Pearl District. flowerrecipebook_8Leading the event were authors Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo, a renowned floral design studio in San Francisco. flowerrecipebook_1They provided tons of tips and tricks for creating beautiful floral arrangements, including creating a bed of greenery at the mouth of the container for the larger flowers to sit on, cutting flowers so their heads would sit right at the container rim, and planning the arrangement around a few key blooms. flowerrecipebook_4The wealth of greenery and gorgeous blooms available to us was breathtaking: enormous peonies, sweet pea, daisies, liliacs, ranunculus, and tulips dotted the benches at West Elm in a carpet of pinks and reds. flowerrecipebook_2flowerrecipebook_7flowerrecipebook_3flowerrecipebook_6We all walked away with a beautiful arrangement we made, a West Elm container, a pair of shears, and a signed copy of the Flower Recipe Book from Jill and Alethea. It was a fun night of learning and a great way to DIY a floral centerpiece for my dining room table.

flowerrecipebook_5flowerrecipebook_9 flowerrecipebook_11If you’re interested in flower arranging at all and are looking for a lovely book to help guide you (as well as jam-packed full of breathtaking photos, a stunning coffee table book in its own right), The Flower Recipe Book provides over 40 step-by-step “recipes” to create your own perfect arrangement, as well as longevity tips and tricks and a host of unusual and tips and tricks to gorgeous arrangements.


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DIY Gold-Dipped Wire-Wrapped Quartz Necklace

0.diyquartzgolddippednecklace_introSo, in case you missed being able to attend the Free People Portland x Chic Steals DIY Event over the weekend, here is the tutorial for these pretty wire-wrapped quartz pendant necklaces!  Inspired by the Banjara Wishbox Pendant Necklace http://www.shopstyle.com/action/loadRetailerProductPage?exit=ProductDetails-Image&id=404915087 available at Free People this Spring, this quartz necklace is fairly quick and easy to make – and looks lovely layered with other necklaces, or all on its own as a standout piece.  Here’s how…z.diyquartzgolddippednecklace_done2

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Free People Portland x Chic Steals DIY Quartz Necklace Event Recap

Hello lovely readers!  I really enjoyed meeting some of you at the DIY Event with Free People Portland that I taught on Saturday.

freepeoplediyevent_3About 20 people came during a 2-hour period to learn how to make a beautiful gold-dipped quartz necklace.

Explaining how to wire-wrap.  Some of the quartz pieces were pretty slippery!


Comparing to my finished example of how to twist the ends of the wire.

freepeoplediyevent_4 freepeoplediyevent_5 freepeoplediyevent_6 freepeoplediyevent_8

Adding the liquid gold gilding to the ends.

It was so awesome!  There were people of all differing levels of DIY ability and interest: some seasoned makers who were already quite experienced with wire-wrapping, and some who were just getting their feet wet.

freepeoplediyevent_10Also: if your store or boutique or event is interested in hosting a DIY project eventdrop me a line!  I’d love to work with you:-)

freepeoplediyevent_7Thanks to everyone who came to the event – and to Free People for hosting me!  It was lovely to meet all of you!

freepeoplediyevent_finishednecklaceP.S. And for anyone who wanted to stop by and couldn’t…I’ll be posting the tutorial on how to make one of these necklaces tomorrow!  Stay tuned…


Event photos by Kristin Rosario

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2012 Portland Mini-Maker Faire

So I visited the Mini-Maker Faire last week, and in the confusion of upgrading to an iPhone 5 (yes, I finally bit the bullet and switched from my beloved Blackberry!!  Ugh, touchscreens…), I didn’t transfer my phone photos quickly enough.  But here they finally are!

The Mini-Maker Faire is a smaller version of the yearly Maker Faire (sponsored by MAKE Magazine and Intel), a celebration of makers in all their forms.  It’s also the first Faire hosted here in Portland!  It’s a hotbed of creativity, a platform for geekiness, and an amazing source of inspiration for everything from crafts to home improvement to just plain wacky inventions.

This Klein Tools canvas bag, $80, available from Hand-Eye Supply in Portland, may be a storage bag for tools but I think it’s total industrial-chic.  Imagine paired with a trenchcoat and dark corduroys and using it as your handbag!  Awesome.

The trebuchets were quite popular, and hurled rotten pumpkins and foam balls (on the kiddie versions).

An 8-person bicycle-driven vehicle, which was steered by a guy wearing a pair of butt-less acid-wash jeans, displaying his bright red panties.  I kid you not.

Steampunk-style custom goggles by Steambaby.net.

3D-printed objects.  I believe that is Yoda’s head in the foreground.

Side tables made of welded copper pipe.

Lil Tot tested out an iPad drawing program for spaceships using geometric figures, pioneered by Make Space Ship.

Fiber arts using colorful wool spun into chunky yarns.

Lil Tot also made a chocolate penguin out of modeling chocolate.

And learned some archery with Trackers PDX, a group that he had Ninja Camp over the Summer with.

And he drove a robot using a Playstation controller.

It was a super-fun day for him, and we definitely saw some neat things, though I would have preferred to see more crafting and fashion-related items.  I’m hoping that they expand into a full-fledged Maker Faire for next year!  (And you just might see me there at a booth too!;-)


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