Friday, November 30, 2012

Favorite Friend Friday: Jenn Blake of SCOUT

Jenn Blake fits the term Favorite Friend perfectly: a dear, sweet friend that we love to laugh and drink champagne cocktails with, plus one of the most talented people we know. The owner of Scout Vintage Rentals, as well as the author of the heavenly-designed, A Blog Called Scout, she's a hardworking stylist and entrepreneur who just happens to be down-to-earth and lovely. We have been lucky enough to work with her on a few projects, including a buttery, white monochromatic, quilted tablecloth for her styling shoot with Jasmine Star, an Apartment Therapy Design Night, and she helped a bit with Andie's wedding! Meet our sweet & beautiful friend, Jenn:

jenn blake of scout vintage rentals photo by sarah rhoads
Photo by Sarah Rhoads

Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I'm an event stylist/designer here in Seattle, own a boutique vintage rental company and also write a lifestyle blog called SCOUT. I spend most of my days engaging with clients, sending invoices for new rental orders, making deliveries around the city and coming up with ideas and visions for new styling projects and posts for my blog. I invest a lot of my creative energy in engaging in collaborations with other individuals in the wedding and creative industries. Collaborations are definitely where I get the most fulfillment from what I do...I think that's why I love wedding days & styled shoots so much. There are so many individuals that have to come together to make the day or event great. One of the most important things to me in life is creating beautiful imagery and I love doing this by assisting in capturing interactions between my clients and through prop and wardrobe styling.

jenn blake of scout vintage rentals in wedding photo shoot with jasmine star
Photo by Jasmine Star

Little known fact, you used to be a nurse! What was it like to make the decision to move into a creative field, and what do you miss/not miss about it?
Deciding to leave my nursing career was definitely not an easy one, but a bit of a decision that I was forced into. I was a public health nurse and was laid off from a job I really loved. BUT as much as I loved my work as a nurse, I always had this aching feeling like there was this whole other side to who I was that wasn't being lived out. Since as far back as I can remember I wanted to have a creative career and never felt like I could pursue it. I spent 8 years before nursing as a visual merchandiser for a retail brand and had been actively "moonlighting" on the side - coordinating friends wedding days, making paper goods for friends showers, parties etc., and spending way too much money on decor for my own events and celebrations. So when I left that nursing job I had this overwhelming desire to take a leap of faith into the creative world. I took a two month trip away on my own to do some soul searching, and came to the realization that if I was going to follow my dream of becoming a stylist it was now or never. Making the transition has created some of the most challenging years of my life, but I've never felt more like myself, which is worth its weight in gold. I do very much miss my days as a nurse - I loved knowing that I was making a difference in people's lives on a daily basis and making them feel better. I also miss the stability and routine of a medical career (the stable paycheck wasn't half bad either!) and my previous friends and colleagues at work. But I've learned that what I do now is also helping to make people feel good about themselves and am hopeful the work I do inspires others to find and follow their own dreams and passions.

You travel a LOT for your work, what are your favorite destinations and why?
I do travel a lot for styling opportunities, and as I mentioned above, a lot of these travel opportunities are because I want to invest the time in working with others across the country and around the world. I have learned so much about myself as a person and creative business owner through these travels, and the relationships I've built along the way mean so so much to me. I love being pushed and challenged by other people, places and cultures and hope to do much more traveling in 2013. My favorite destination would most certainly have to be Europe, in particular France and Italy. I really love how much the European culture values art and creativity, and how their society prioritizes things like family and self care time. They don't feel guilt in experiencing the simple pleasures in life in ways I think we sometimes do as Americans.

Do you have any projects coming up in the future that you're excited about?
I have a few travel opportunities that I am extremely pumped about, a few which are about exploring friendships and how those are built and maintained. I also have some amazing styling opportunities with a handful of photographers that I greatly admire that will be really exciting to share with my blog readers once they are complete. I'm hopeful the next year will be filled with endless collaborations and partnerships with others who also value this sort of creative engagement and environment.

What do you like to do in your off-time?
I feel like I work ALL.THE.TIME. but when I do take time to relax and reboot, I like to travel, travel, and travel more! I also love spending time with my husband and puppy dog and exploring our favorite areas of Seattle together. I also try to visit my family back home in Colorado as often as I can during downtime. Oh and sleep.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Paris. It's where I feel most alive and most like myself. Ummmm....the crepes are also pretty amazing too!

If you could eat at only one local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?
There is this little family owned Thai place right up the street from us called Phad Thai. I love supporting small businesses and the family that owns the place is so kind and nice every time we go in or order out. I love that they know our order and our names. It reminds me of our favorite place back home in Colorado - they really make you feel like you are important and that your business means a lot to them. I'm also obsessed with spicy food (the hotter the better!) and Thai cuisine has quickly become my favorite of all.

What's your dream job, besides what you are doing now?
I would love to be a full-time travel blogger. I'd love to write & take pictures all day long of the cultures, people and new experiences that inspire me and are available when you immerse yourself in new places. I would travel non-stop if I could. Of course with my hubby and pup in tow!

jenn blake of scout vintage rentals in paris france la maison rose
Jenn in Paris. Photo by Mae Stier

You get to organize a dinner party, who is there?
I think I would have to say my Grammie. She passed away before I left my nursing career (she was a nurse herself) but I think she would be incredibly proud of how far I've come in the past two years. I feel like I got every ounce of my creativity from her and I would love for her to be a guest of honor at one of my dinner parties to see where her own creative spirit has led and inspired me. I'd also like my closest friends and family to be at the table. Those people who have been most supportive, understanding and loving during my transition to this new creative pursuit.

What one famous person would you love to collaborate with in some way?
I would love to collaborate with Annie Leibovitz or even just watch her creative process. I think she is so bloody talented at evoking emotions and translating people's stories through her images. I'd love to learn how to do more of that in my own styling and design work. It'd be a dream collaboration for sure.

Thanks, Jenn!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Those Girls: How Do We Spend Our Time, Really?

Andie wrote this post a while back about how being perpetually busy is a mix of what you need to do and how you manage your time. I'm sure everyone can agree the the holidays add more things to our to-do lists. For me, it is the season mixed with Assemble's big move online, and a second son due in two months. My own "Day in the Life" pie chart is a generalized peek into my current habits. What are the expectations of a modern mom/wife/business owner and what should I, or what do I want to change?

not enough hours in the day pie chart

I wonder, "How do people fit in all of those other things, like putting on lipstick and coordinating outfits and Instagramming the leaves blowing in the wind?" As you can see from my chart, time to shower is minimal, and tea with neighbors wouldn't even make my monthly list! If you count it all up, I actually put more than 24 hours of activities into my day, but that's because things like watching TV are also (admittedly) times spent with Henry and/or playing on the web.

My Homework: Dispel the myth that all of those other girls have more than 24 hours in a day. How? Here is the chart I concocted based on how I perceive those girls to spend their day. I'm pretty embarrassed to admit I actually think people live like this--a completely balanced life of friends and work and plenty of sleep.

not enough hours in the day pie chart

So, if we perceive each other as 24-hour super managers, then we may also realize that we all work pretty hard to get things done, while supplementing with fun projects and activities that might not further our status as Woman of the Year. And that: is just fine.

What does your day look like? Is there something you should change for productivity's sake? Or, should you do the opposite, and take on an hour or two to relax for self preservation?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Instagram Palette: This Week's Sweets + Andie's Baked Cherry Cream Pie

baked cherry cream pie recipe and brioche photos

Well, it's no surprise that I'm in the process of cutting back on calories after these two miracles. At the top, an absolutely beautiful brioche baked and gifted by our sweet friend. At the bottom, a cherry cream pie that I created for Thanksgiving, after finding NO recipes for baked cherry cream pie. Quel désastre!

You know you're eating lots of yummy, sugary goodness when your palette looks like an ice cream shop with butter. Mmm--just delicious. I'll make next week's more green. So, here it is for your consideration! Now, (mind you--as Emily would say) this was a first time recipe, so it still needs some tweaking. Have fun experimenting!

Andie's Baked Cherry Cream Pie
• 2 homemade -or- store-bought pie crusts of your choice
• 2 cans of cherry pie filling -or- 2 lbs of pitted cherries
• 1/4 cup of sugar if using filling, 3/4 cup sugar if using fresh cherries
• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 cup heavy -or- whipping cream
• 3 egg yolks (save the whites)

- Heat the oven to 450° (or degree pertaining to your specific pie crust recipe).
- Line the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan with one sheet of pie crust, and lay a sheet parchment paper in the bottom, on top of the crust. Use pie weights or rice to weigh the crust down, and pre-bake for about 10-15 minutes.

To make the filling:
- If you are using fresh, pitted cherries, cut them in half and put them in a medium saucepan with about 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the cherries are steamed well, about ten minutes. Remove the heat and mash them into a lumpy, puree. Add the sugar, cinnamon and salt, and stir to mix well. Place in a cool bowl.
- If you are using cherry pie filling, put the filling into a colander and shake over the sink, to get as much of that oozey (and delicious) liquid out. Do this for about five-ten minutes. Once complete, put the filling into a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar, cinnamon and salt, and stir to mix well. (Remember you will be using less sugar with the store-bought filling).
- In another bowl, combine the cream and egg yolks and stir with a whisk or fork to combine.
- Add this mixture to your pie filling, and mix until blended.

To finish:
- Pour the filling into your pre-baked pie crust (you may have a bit left over, just put that to the side for ice cream toppings!)
- Place your second crust over the top, crimp edges together and decorate as you wish.
- Use the remaining egg whites and brush over the top of the crust, until shiny. This will give you a golden brown finish.
- Bake the pie for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Cool on a rack or tea towel and serve!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Trimming the Tree Playlist

Really good Christmas music is one of my favorite things on Earth. Really BAD Christmas music is probably one of the worst. We went ahead and made an Assemble "Trimming the Tree" playlist for you all to enjoy while you're doing just that, making ornaments, or just hanging out with a glass of wine. Tis the season! Click below:

trimming the tree winter holiday playlist

PS. Downloading Spotify is free, but here's the full tracklist anyway:

Little Saint Nick: She & Him
Just Like Christmas: Low
Here Comes Santa Claus: Elvis Presley
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home): Darlene Love
Give Love on Christmas Day: Jackson 5
White Christmas: Otis Redding
I've Got My Love to Keep You Warm: Billie Holiday
The Peace Carol: John Denver
It's Christmas! Let's Be Glad: Sufjan Stevens
Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto: James Brown
Frosti: Björk
Angels We Have Heard On High: Sufjan Stevens
Merry Christmas Baby: Beach Boys
Blue Christmas: She & Him
Christmas With You: Johnny Cash and June Carter
White Winter Hymnal: Fleet Foxes
Carol of the Bells: The Bird and the Bee
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Judy Garland

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crafty Projects: Sweet, Polymer Clay Ornaments

I'm a sucker for quirky ornaments on a tree, especially neon! I have a pre-lit, artificial, white tree, (due to the fact that I have a vacuum for a chihuahua and she would eat the fallen needles) which really showcases snazzy ornaments. So, I really had fun making these for friends, family--and a few for Assemble! Plus, they're super easy to make:

what you will need to make polymer clay ornaments

What you'll need
Cookie cutters. My favorites are the crust punch-out cutters from Williams-Sonoma because they also make an impression on top of the clay (or dough, if you're using them for baking). I used a few of their seasonal ones, some Star Wars favorites and some good ole' woodland cookie cutters.
A rolling pin. I've found that ceramic ones work best with this project, because the wood tends to soak up oils from the clay and stain.
Polymer baking clay. I used Sculpey, but you can also use Fimo or any other type you find at a craft shop.
Not pictured, but still needed:
• Parchment paper
• Cookie sheet
• An oven
• Double-sided tape
• Twine or string to hang on the tree!

how to make polymer clay ornaments

Unroll a piece of parchment paper as wide as your table and place double-sided tape under it, to keep it as stationary as possible. Tape doesn't hold parchment paper well, but this will help when rolling. Use a different sheet for each color. Roll the clay until it is roughly 1/8 of an inch. Try not to fold the clay over too much, as it will create air bubbles.

how to make polymer clay ornaments

When the clay is completely flat and even, cut out your ornamanents gently! Then using your toothpick, poke a hole big enough to get your twine or string through. Make sure to make the hole in a place where the weight of the ornament will distribute evenly, and hence, hang straight.

how to make polymer clay ornaments

Place them on a non-stick cookie sheet (use another sheet of parchment if you would like), and bake them according to the clay's instructions. I baked mine at 275ºF for about 20 minutes.

how to make polymer clay ornaments
When finished, take them out of the oven to cool, string, and hang on your tree, or tie them to gifts for a little added touch. If you're not up for the craft, we've got some here at the shop for $2. Merry, merry!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday Special! 15% off

We're getting geared up for our transition to online-only and are excited to be offering a special for our first Cyber Monday! Enjoy 15% off when you spend just $15 or more in our online shop from 12am Monday morning to 12am Tuesday morning. Use discount code: CYBERMONDAY. Happy Holiday shopping! Andie & Emily

First row from left: "Her Face.." by Janet Hill, Cornish Cream Pantone Mug, Chevron Napkins
Second row from left: Seattle stamps, Fox Crewel Embroidery kit, Bicycle pendant
Third row from left: Bird & cage stamp set, Green Marketweave tote, "Brown Owl..." by Danielle Krysa

Friday, November 23, 2012

Favorite Friend Friday: Melanie Biehle of Inward Facing Girl & genuineMIX

The perfect Jane-of-all-trades, Melanie Biehle is one of those special people that seems to have about three thousand talents. Aside from being pals, we were lucky enough to be one of her first clients in her brand new business, genuineMIX: a creative consulting, branding and design business. Working with her was excellent and we learned sooo much. Walking away from our meetings made us feel empowered to build Assemble in the direction we want. On top of all of that, her successful blog, Inward Facing Girl, is a delightful read, and completely inspiring. Meet this week's Favorite Friend!

Melanie Biehle Inward Facing Girl and genuine mix photo by sandra harris rain coast cottage
Photo by Sandra Harris

Tell us a little bit about how you came to be a blogger and consultant, and Inward Facing Girl.
I've always written things and kept diaries, ever since I was a little girl. When I was a teenager, that turned into bad poetry. Then when I got older I started exploring short fiction, essays, and screenwriting.

In 2003 I moved to Los Angeles to become a screenwriter. I'd worked in market research in Seattle, so I decided that I'd take a day job in film marketing until I became the next Nora Ephron. My political romantic comedy never made it to the big screen, but I did option my screenplay, which is pretty cool.

inward facing girl melanie Biehle typewriter
Inward Facing Girl

Ultimately, working in the film industry killed my creative mojo. I spent my time working long hours and telling studios how to market and edit their films. After that kind of day, I just didn't have the energy to work on my own stuff. In 2008 I moved back to Seattle, far away from moviemaking, and started Inward Facing Girl to ease myself back into creative writing. I never planned for it to be such a huge part of my career or that creating that blog would provide inspiration to start my own consulting business.

You've just launched your brand new business website, genuineMIX. We were so happy to be one of your first clients! What kinds of services do you offer?
Fun ones! I offer social media and branding consultations, graphic design services, and creative coaching. I'm interested in several different things, like a lot of creatives are, but I've found that these services really complement each other and give me a way to combine my educational and professional background in a unique and authentic way.

inward facing girl melanie Biehle genuine mix

What is it like to work for yourself? What are the downsides and upsides?
It's pretty awesome. I love being in charge of my own day. I can decide how I want to spend my time and if I want to get dressed or not. I love being able to do work that I'm completely passionate about, and that I know there are opportunities out there that I haven't even thought about yet. The downside of being a creative entrepreneur is related to an upside - I love being in charge of my day, but it's all on me. I'm the one who is responsible for bringing in new clients. I'm the one who is responsible for marketing myself and my work. I'm the one who is responsible for my own income. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time!

What would your advice be for anyone who wants to be their own boss, whether in the creative field or not?
Have at least a partial plan. Be open to switching gears if something doesn't work out exactly the way you'd hoped. Organize your time! That's a huge one. Typically when you're starting out all the work falls on you and you have to make room for the day-to-day and the big picture.

How do you balance being a mom and wife while working at home?

It's interesting. My husband works from home too. Until recently we both worked side by side in the same room, then one morning I asked him to help me move my desk into our bedroom. I'm probably more productive now. :) I have a two-year-old son who is in day care 5 days a week, so when he is gone I am in full-time work mode. I try not to do too much work on the weekends, but it's not always realistic when you start a new business. If I have to work on weekends, I try to do everything really early in the morning while my husband and son are still sleeping or during my son's nap time. Balance is something I'm constantly adjusting.

Do you have any new projects you are excited about?
I'm excited about getting new projects! I finished redesigning my website earlier this month, just met a lot of incredible people when I went to Camp Mighty that I'm hoping to work with, and I'm speaking at Altitude Design Summit in January. I'm excited to see what 2013 will be like, and I'm looking forward to meeting and working with some awesome people.

smilebooth camp mighty melanie Biehle sandra harris alt summit photobooth
Smilebooth at Camp Mighty

If you could work with anyone on a collaborative project, who would it be?
Sofia Coppola. I love her.

What do you like to do in your off-time?
LOL! That's a good one. You're hilarious!

Okay, so my husband half-seriously jokes with me that I'm always working. It's kind of true when you have a blog that is largely about your life and the stuff you're interested in and like to do. There are times when I leave the camera at home and focus on experiencing the moment, but it can be really hard to turn it off sometimes. One of my personal goals for 2013 is to be more present when I'm doing one of my absolute favorite things, spending time with my husband and son. I'm not someone who is constantly on my iPhone, but I'm on it more than I'd like to be and my mind wanders too much sometimes.

In my on and off-time I also love visiting contemporary art museums/galleries, taking photographs, hanging out at coffee shops, having real conversations with people (small talk makes me tired), and reading a million blogs.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I'm not a pick one place kind of person. I'd like to have the freedom to move about - not constantly, but I don't see myself as being tied to one place. This is my fourth time to live in Seattle! :) I would love to spend a huge chunk of time in Europe so I could take short trips to places I've already visited and loved and those I have yet to see. I'd probably make Hamburg my home base because one of my dear friends lives there. I could see myself living in Portland or San Francisco for a while. I'd like to spend a few weeks a year in NYC. I'm a nomad. :)

If you could eat at only one local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I hate you. (editor's note: we made an exception--three restaurants!)
Breakfast - Wild Mountain Cafe
Lunch - Uneeda Burger
Dinner - Serious Pie

What's your dream job, besides what you are doing now?
Novel writer

You get to organize a dinner party, who is there?
Sofia Coppola, Andy Warhol, Judy Blume, Wonder Woman, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Loralei Gilmore

Thanks, Melanie! Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, from the Assemble Family

One of my favorite things to do with my husband, is get all cozy with a glass of wine and listen to him read Etiquette, (the 1956 edition) by Emily Post. I know it seems strange, but he puts a vocal spin on the words that always just kills me, and I end up giggling all night. In honor of Thanksgiving, he allowed us to film him reading a portion of the Table Etiquette chapter. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Mr. Powers Reads Emily Post: Table Manners from Assemble Shop and Studio on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Some People Put Everything Into Their Work..."

This commercial nearly makes me cry every time I see it. It's so special. Remember to Shop Small this Saturday, the 24th. We will be open from 11-6. Shopping small doesn't necessarily mean in the shop either! You can shop online with us as well!

Here are some of our favorite local businesses, that would love your support on Saturday:
Santoro's Books
Queen Anne Books
Drygoods Design
Trophy Cupcakes
The Chocolate Shoebox

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Thanksgiving Miracle: Andie's Dream Holiday Tablescape

We're two days out from Thanksgiving! That means, we're on the 2-day Countdown in our Thanksgiving Week Series. Next up, see below for my dream Thanksgiving Table-scape:

modern thanksgiving place setting

1. Super-chic + rustic Chilewich Bark Basketweave Runner, available at Sur La Table. Saw this same runner at Design Within Reach for $200! Thanks, Sur La Table!! $45

2. My favorite hand-screenprinted napkins in black & white chevron from Piano Nobile. Hurry up, these are a limited edition! $20

3. Stoneware...mmmm. Grab yours at Crate & Barrel. Stay away from mine! (just kidding).... $12.95 for dinner plate.

4. Mini pies!! Concoct your own with help from the experts at Williams-Sonoma! (My favorite is cherry!)

5. Truffle salt. Oh boy, this will be my downfall. I put it on everything, from chicken to eggs on toast! Grab some at Williams-Sonoma, $29.95.

6. Take a look at all of the gorgeous, vintage Pyrex on Etsy, and find yourself bleary-eyed and confused, five hours later! I love the ones with little "stories" painted into the designs. These are good ones: from The Retro Piece on Etsy, $27.95.

7. Find yourself stuck at a table with a bunch of crazy nuts and nothing to talk about? Grab one of these. I will stand by this game until the end of time: Table Topics: The What Would You Do? Edition. Waaaay better than a game of charades. $25.

+ for a bonus coup de grâce, I will answer some of the What Would You Do questions! (I encourage you answer me in the comments, or I will be a lonely cheese, standing alone in the Farmer's Dell of honest confession).

A selection from the What Would You Do Table Topics. Wanna play?
Have you ever pretended to be sick to get out of something? Absolutely. I used to hold the thermometer up to light bulbs to get out going to school. One time I had a 110 degree temperature. Whoops.
If you were asked to lie on a job recommendation for a friend would you? No. I can't see a situation where that would be okay. Unless my friend was starving and on the streets.
Would you repackage a gift in a trendy store box to lead a friend to believe that you purchased it there? No. They know I ain't got no moneys!
Which virtue do you struggle with most? Probably temperance. I have a habit of saying whatever pops into my head without thinking.
If you found $200 at an ATM machine would you return it to the bank? Knowing myself, my gut reaction would probably be to return it to the bank. If it were after hours--not a chance.
Is justice or mercy more important? Mercy. Everyone needs it once in a while.

Felt Turkey Dinner! (with pattern & instructions)

Oh goodness gracious, I love felt. What can you not make out of felt? Emily is out of town visiting family for the holiday, so I decided to spend the day making a felt turkey dinner. Boy, do I love my job!

how to make a felt turkey dinner food for the holidays thanksgiving christmas with pattern and instructions
Tea Towel and Napkins: Stonecrop by Piano Nobile, $20, $18

Supplies you'll need:

THIS (slightly crude) print-out pattern I drew
• about a yard of light brown felt or fleece & a 8.5x11 sheet of white felt
• embroidery thread in white & brown
• Polyfill or cotton filling

Tools you'll need:
• Sewing Machine (optional--you can hand-sew if you prefer)
• embroidery needle
• scissors
• sticky-back Velcro (also optional)

how to make a felt turkey dinner food for the holidays thanksgiving christmas with pattern and instructions

• Cut the body and bottom pattern pieces out of the light brown felt. Follow the pattern and machine stitch (or hand) the two body pieces along the top, curved line, with the inside pieces facing out.
• Begin to sew (with inside piece facing out) to the opening of the two body pieces. Leave about a four-fingers width hole open.
• From that hole, flip your turkey body right-side out.
• Fill with stuffing to your liking. (The cotton kind!)
• Hand-stitch the opening closed with the brown embroidery thread and needle. I used the blanket stitch.
• Fasten off the thread by knotting it several times and put the body to the side.

• Cut the wing pattern pieces out of the light brown felt.
• Machine stitch along the edge where indicated, with outside pieces facing in.
• Leave a two-finger hole for stuffing.
• Flip the wing right-side out. Use a bone folder or eraser side of a pencil if you need to.
• Stuff the wing and hand-stitch closed with the brown embroidery thread and needle.
• Repeat for the second wing.

• Cut the leg pattern pieces out of the light brown felt, and the bone pieces out of the white.
• Machine stitch the leg pieces along the edge where indicated, with outside pieces facing in.
• Leave the end of the drumstick open for stuffing.
• Flip the drumstick right-side out.
• Stuff the drumstick and hand-stitch closed with the brown embroidery thread and needle.

• Machine stitch the bone pieces along the edge where indicated, with outside pieces facing in.
• Leave the straight edge open.
• Place the "cap" over the end of the drumstick.
• Curl white felt edges in slightly, and hand-stitch all the way around the white edge to adhere to drumstick. (see pattern).

• You've got all your pieces! Now to put them together: use the sticky-back Velcro to create detachable pieces or lightly stitch to attach with embroidery thread (like a button).
• Garnish and serve!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Emily's 9 Holiday Pantry Must-Haves

It's almost Thanksgiving! We want to celebrate here at Assemble with a special Thanksgiving theme week. Now through Thursday, a new post just for the season! Today, Emily takes it from here!

. . .

More than presents or decorating, in our house, holiday means baking! I find myself stocking up the pantry with the very first signs of fall, in anticipation of breaking out my cookie press and loaf pans. I want to share my nine favorite pantry staples, from an otherwise very long list. I'd love to know what's in your cupboards, too!
holiday pantry must haves for cooking and baking entertaining in the kitchen

1. Chocolate Chips
I am a firm believer that higher quality ingredients make a huge difference in baking. So it's funny to me that I really like to use good-old-fashioned Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips in my cookies -- I keep both milk and semi-sweet in the pantry year-round. The result is always consistent.
2. Tillen Farms Maraschino Cherries
From filling my mother-in-law's cherry bread to garnishing whiskey sours, maraschino cherries have a place in our holiday pantry. But I simply can't stand the bleached-and-dyed processed ones. Tillen Farms is a Pacific Northwest company that makes these all-natural cherries without dyes, sulfates, or preservatives. Score!
3. Solo Almond Filling
Almond paste is easy to find all year long, but I have a harder time finding almond filling for pastries, so I stock up as soon as I see these in the fall!
4. Darigold Unsalted Butter
Good butter = good baking. Darigold is a Northwest, farmer-owned, dairy co-op. I usually use unsalted when I bake, but their sweet cream salted butter is wonderful for cooking or buttering bread.
5. Crisco
Good thing Crisco has a very long shelf life, because I use it only once a year. But it is important -- recipes that call for shortening mean it. It'll make pastries flakey and cookies crumbly, where butter will fall flat (literally.)
6. Walnuts
I keep pecans and almonds around most of the time, but for some reason, holidays mean baking with walnuts. I prefer to buy them raw, in the bulk bins at our market. Nuts are expensive and get bitter if left out too long, so I just buy what I need.
7. Neilsen-Massey Bourbon Vanilla
Buy the best vanilla you can afford. You can smell the difference.
8. King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
I swear by King Arthur products, especially when baking bread! It has the most versatility, and will create high-rise breads or super tender pastries.
9. Organic Pumpkin
From October through December, I love making anything pumpkin flavored. I started using this Farmer's Market organic version and like how rich and pumpkin-y it tastes. Although, Libby's recipe for traditional pumpkin pie is impossible to beat!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Favorite Friend Friday: Rosanna & Joel of Iron Curtain Press

We met Rosanna of Iron Curtain Press when an intern of hers stumbled into our shop and told us it was a match made in letterpress heaven. She was right! We have carried her line of handmade, letterpressed cards and gifts from the very beginning, and they are an Assemble (and customer) favorite. Her original designs are currently some of our best-sellers. Of COURSE she would be a favorite friend, even after moving away to sunny, Los Angeles (not jealous of the sun or anything)...We just had to share such a wonderful and creative talent with you folks!

rosanna kvernmo and joel iron curtain press letterpress card design handmade

We originally met in Seattle, but you moved to Los Angeles last year along with your print shop. How's it going?
Rosanna: So far, Awesome! My husband Joel and I had been thinking about making the move for quite some time and we finally made it happen just earlier this year in fact. It was quite an adventure packing up our print shop containing tons of equipment (literally) and moving it all down the coast. I feel so fortunate to have had wonderful friends in Seattle help us with the move, and then once we were in Los Angeles, more friends to help with the move into our new space. The transition to living in Los Angeles has been so great, I really love it here. The biggest change to the shop is that Joel is now working with me! It's been wonderful being able to work together - the product photography has improved immensely. I am beyond thankful that we've been able to keep up with our existing clients in Seattle while making awesome new contacts here. We have stayed quite busy considering we've lived here for just about 9 months.

letterpress printing studio shop iron curtain press

Tell us about your printing process -- you letterpress the old-school way, don't you?
I use hand-set type and have a really great collection of typefaces and vintage blocks. Each color is printed one at a time, each piece fed through the press by hand. The press and paper-cutter in our shop are both from around the 1880s and are still going strong.

type vs polymer letterpress hand design

Technology isn't all bad though. I have a motor hooked up to the press, meaning I don't have to use a foot treadle to spin the wheel of the press. I am able to create blocks using photopolymer (a super hard plastic) so that I can print a specific logo or custom design for business cards and wedding invitations. I think my card line is a good example of the mix: about half the cards are type-set using rad old typefaces and colorful ink. The other half are hand-drawn, fiddled with on the computer, turned into blocks suitable for printing and then made into cards. I like the versatility.

Assemble sells more of your card designs than any other. What do you think makes your brand so special?
Woo! That is so fun! I definitely think I have a pretty distinct style: it's pretty minimal, but bold. I do think my cards are sort of fanciful too, even in their simplicity. As I've developed my line, I've worked to expand my range, while keeping to my style. I really do make cards that I LOVE, and I'm so glad other people like them too! I have always loved paper and stationery--and even to this day I am a total paper-goods-ophile. It's a good challenge to be inspired by others work, but to not be overly influenced by their style.

Do you have a personal favorite card design?
Right now I'd have to say the new Joyeux Noel card is a personal favorite. And I'm really loving these new birthday cards too. How can one choose a favorite!!??!!

handmade letterpress holiday christmas cards joyeux noel happy birthday to you

We love the new letterpress coasters! Anything else new/fun in the works for the holiday?
I'm loving the new coasters as well! I collaborated on a calendar for 2013 with my friend Jed--his fantastical illustrations + letterpress = pure beauty and joy. They are currently for sale and I personally think they would make excellent holiday gifts. Also! I recently found out that I will officially have a booth at the National Stationery Show in New York next May. I am be.yond. pumped and nervous for such a large endeavor. I'll have a bunch of new cards debuting at the show, some more coasters, another calendar. I'm also working on a line of small letterpressed notebooks which I hope will be as awesome as they are in my mind. So yeah, I've got a bunch of new stuff percolating, plus all the fun custom work for weddings/business/stationery that I also do.

iron curtain press letterpressed coasters and calendars

What do you like to do in your off-time?
I love to have friends over for dinner - I just love cooking and being with friends. I've taken up surfing since moving to California, it is awesome. I love camping and roadtrips too. It's great having a self-employed schedule. I can work really hard for a while and then take off for a bit. I'm working on getting my motorcycle license so I'm looking forward to some camping / motorcycle trips in the near-ish future.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I'm really loving living in Los Angeles at the moment. But if I could live a semi-nomadic life, that would be the best. Of course, with my thousand pound press, I'm not going anywhere fast, haha. Joel says he would move to Norway if he got the chance.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
This is always an impossible question. But really, I don't think I will ever be sick of a good burger. I've started making buns at home too and that has totally elevated our at-home-burger-eating experience.

If you could invite one famous person into your shop, who would it be?

Another impossible question! Joel says he would invite Ray Bradbury, if he were still alive. I am so inspired by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper, if she counts as a famous person I would want to have her over for coffee.

Iron Curtain Press's designs are available in-shop at Assemble, and will be carried in our online shop after we close our brick & mortar in late December. Thank you, Rosanna & Joel! We miss you!

All images via Iron Curtain Press.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What's Brown & Sticky?

...a stick! We're gettin' twiggy wit it. (So sorry, my inner dork really needed that one). We've been noticing a lot of really cool twig & stick couture lately! We thought we'd combine some of our favorites for you guys. Enjoy!

painted sticks plushy sticks, twigs watercolors and jewelry madewell

1. We love this collection of painted sticks by Ette. What would you do with them? We don't really know!

2. Thank goodness gold is coming back, we love it! Check out this pretty Tree Twig Necklace from Madewell. Sweet & subtle.

3. Love this watercolor. Another comeback we're excited about! From River Luna on Etsy, $40.

4. These are a shop favorite here at Assemble, and just $5. Only available in-shop! (Give us a call if you're interested in ordering). By Boris & Katusha.

5. Our favorites! We love these little guys so much that they have become a yearly fan favorite. Little, plushy sticks by Finkelsteins, just $12.

Those Girls: Being Present in Photographs

No one (I mean no one!) likes to see a bad photograph of themselves. I won't try to argue that vanity is all bad, but I think we should take a more forgiving and less critical look at ourselves.

My crow's feet and nose wrinkles tell you I'm laughing for real.

My perspective today comes from being a mom to a two year old and 6 months pregnant with another, and at the same time feeling accountable to Assemble as being put-together and stylish. The mirror and camera are not my best friends these days. So where Andie wrote the other day about hiding within a photograph, I tend to hide from them all together.

I recently read this Huffington Post article by Allison Tate, which convinced me that being present in photographs is incredibly important, especially for new moms. Our families want to remember us as we were, including our imperfections. I want my little boys to see a loving mom, however disheveled and baggy-eyed, who was lost in the moment.

So what am I hiding from? Well, besides general (and totally normal) embarrassment over messy hair and unwanted arm flab, I am more shy about appearing less-than-beautiful publicly as I represent half of a business in which pretty-looking things do matter. It seems like everyone else's blog posts are filled with gorgeous, airy self-portraits, or as if all of our fellow friends have glowing skin and perfect hair. Do they have more hours in the day?

So how can one person juggle both the expectation of being present and being presentable?! There is no real solution, other than acceptance. Andie and I often reiterate that "You can do anything, you just can't do everything all of the time." And so it goes... sometimes I'll be playing in a fort in pjs and sometimes I'll be attending art openings. I will most likely Instagram just the pretty ones, but just know that if I look cute, it probably took a lot of work and there are probably cracker crumbs in my hair that you don't see.

A Few Tips for Being Present and Looking Presentable in Photographs That I've Created for Myself:
Smile, for real.
Stand up straight, but don't suck anything in. It makes you hold your breath which looks unnatural.
• For a split second before the picture is shot, remember who you are with and why. That authenticity will be apparent.
• Remember that no matter how bad you think you look right now, in twenty years, you'll think you looked dynamite.

First photo by Jaquilyn Shumate Photography

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cookin' & Bakin' Playlist

I don't know about you, but my favorite part of gearing up for the holidays is hanging out in the kitchen with my apron on, glass of wine in hand, cooking and/or baking. I usually don't even end up eating what I make, but it's one of those things that just makes me happy. Usually, I'll use a Pandora station, but lately I've been creating my own mixes. Here's one I cooked up just for you guys, for when you're busy in the kitchen. It's full of all of my happy favorites that go perfectly with a Kitchenaid and a Pinot Noir. Enjoy!

Listen to or download the entire Cookin' & Bakin' playlist on Spotify, here.

cooking and baking playlist on spotify

I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm -- Billie Holiday
Hey, Good Lookin' -- Hank Williams
Too Darn Hot -- Ella Fitzgerald
Having a Party -- Sam Cooke
She Smiled Sweetly -- Rolling Stones
Bowm Bowm Bowm -- Francoise Hardy
9 to 5 -- Dolly Parton
Sha-La-La (Make me Happy) -- Al Green
Flowers on the Wall -- Nancy Sinatra
Silver Threads and Golden Needles -- Skeeter Davis
I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl -- Nina Simone
Et moi, Et moi, Et moi -- Jaques Dutronc

Any more suggestions?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Those Girls: What Do You Hide Behind?

I found this series of photos in my laptop Photobooth folder (God bless that wonderful app) and I was shocked at how many photos I have of myself covering my face (ie. my mouth) with something. Usually its a bag of chips or a cup of coffee or even my dog, but around 50% were like this! It got me thinking literally AND metaphorically: what am I hiding behind?

hiding self portraits assemble shop

I happen to have the gift of ignoring foresight, which means that I see what terrible things could happen if I go for a certain goal, but regardless of those things, I tend to leap anyway. Some would call that bravery, and others would probably call it stupidity. This "gift" has gotten me into plenty of scrapes, I have to say, but has definitely gotten me into several other lovely situations, including but not limited to: several lead roles in high school plays, a pageant or two (yes, now you know, get over it), moving to a handful of cities alone without knowing anyone (including Seattle), and loveliest of all: Assemble.

Regardless of this bravery/stupidity cocktail, I truly enjoy that Emily does most of the "appearances" for Assemble. I like to be the online/silent partner and she does just fine in the limelight, answering questions for interviews, speaking at conferences or just plain chatting with customers. Emily has a natural knack for formulating eloquent responses and always seems to be cheerful and lovely. I, on the other hand, develop an immediate social anxiety whenever I'm within two feet of 1} anyone I admire, 2} anyone who is asking me a question which may be published in any variety, and 3} whenever a camera comes anywhere near me. Document the silly things I say? No, thank YOU. I was fine as a teenager playing a part on stage, because they gave me lines! I knew what to say. But when it comes to the things that I know the most about (business, design, craft, Assemble), I freeze up like an Otter Pop. Why? I meet people all the time that babble on about things that they know nothing about, so why is it so difficult for me to represent myself and my business that I know so well?

otter pop andie
Otter Pop Andie drawing by Christian Powers. The rest, by Otter Pops

We chatted a bit a while ago about Imposter Syndrome. I truly believe that this plagues more of us than we realize. Incredibly intelligent, creative and innovative women (and men) who back away from possible successes because they are too unsure. Do you find yourself backing away because you either 1} don't want to toot your own horn or 2} because you are afraid that you might be told you are wrong or your idea isn't good enough? Does it stifle your words or your creativity? If so, I've got an activity for us all. I'm going to do it too.

Our homework today is:
Write a 'letter' or a list to yourself explaining your qualifications--what are your talents, your attributes, your successes? Write them down and keep them safe. I don't care how successful a person is, everyone needs to remind themselves of this from time to time. Even Oprah.
Identify what you are hiding from. Mine is in social dealings with customers, press or interviewers. Now ask yourself: what are you afraid will happen if you change this behavior? Mine is: I will say something stupid. I do all the time.
Do the thing that you have been avoiding doing because you are unsure or nervous. For example: submit your product to that shop you love, apply for your dream job, take a class in something you've always wanted to learn (and DON'T bring a friend).
Fail up. Say the above venture doesn't go as you wished it would. Learn from it. Ask questions. Document what you will do differently next time.
Repeat the entire process again and again until you get it right.

I'm interested to know: what do you hide behind?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Artwork by Danielle Krysa aka the Jealous Curator

Art work by Danielle Krysa [The Jealous Curator] is now available in our online shop to browse and purchase. It's lovely stuff, and the titles just make our day. If you have questions let us know!

car mixed media art work by danielle krysa the jealous curator
“Annie Nakagawa threw up on the passenger door.” by Danielle Krysa

Crafty Project: DIY Felt Mobile

baby mobile made of modern felt circles embroidery hoop and yarn

Our dear friend is having a baby shower this weekend, and we offered to make some cute and crafty decorations to celebrate the arrival of her baby girl. There is only one request from the momma-to-be: No pink, No frills. Don't worry, Karen, we got this!

Our idea is to hang these modern felt mobiles above the dessert and/or gift tables for a pop of sweet (but not too girly) color.

baby mobile made of modern felt circles embroidery hoop and yarn

Here's what you'll need:
• 12" wooden embroidery hoop
• Felt (enough for at least 24 circles)
• Different sized circles to trace (I used a 5" mug, a 3" cup bottom and a 2" bottle opener!)
• 1 skein yarn
• Scissors
• Large-eyed embroidery needle

Here's what to do:

baby mobile made of modern felt circles embroidery hoop and yarn

Note: Keep the strands aligned tightly and neatly, until the entire hoop is covered. Knot the tail of the yarn and tuck it back into the strands to hide the end.

baby mobile made of modern felt circles embroidery hoop and yarn

Now you can start making your garland strands...

baby mobile made of modern felt circles embroidery hoop and yarn

Note: You'll make about 2-3 stitches per circle (more for larger sizes). The number of circles and spacing per strand will depend on the size of your circles and how low you want the mobile to hang.

Next: Tie the strands to the hoop, tucking loose ends in. For our 12" hoop, we made 5 strands with 5-8 circles per strand. Our strands hang approximately 18" long.
Then: Tie three to five strands of yarn to the top of the hoop (spaced evenly) and knot together in the center to create a hanging point.

baby mobile made of modern felt circles embroidery hoop and yarn

Have fun!

Friday, November 9, 2012

PS. Don't forget! The Jealous Curator, Tonight!

Don't forget that tonight (Friday, November 9th) from 6-9pm we will be debuting a new show Danielle Krysa --aka the Jealous Curator-- entitled alleglory. Read about it here. If you can't be there, join the Twitter party! Use #JealousofAssemble

jump by the jealous curator danielle krysa

Favorite Friend Friday: Berkley Illustration

Ryan and Lucy Berkley are some of the coolest people we know. Hailing from Portland, they are a husband-and-wife team in their art & design company, Berkley Illustration. Last year, we were lucky enough to host their new show, Folk Tales & Tails, which was so much fun to collaborate on. They recently had a little bébé, Ramona; and with parents like Ryan and Lucy, she will most likely be a creative powerhouse when she grows up, too. We are delighted to know them, and to introduce them to you.

ryan and lucy berkley illustration

Tell us a little bit about Berkley Illustration and how you got started.
Ryan: I drew dressed-up animals for the first time about 5 or 6 years ago for the very first Crafty Wonderland show here in Portland. I did an "ancestor series " theme with a small handful of animals and the originals sold quickly. I did another slew of them for the next show and so on.
In November of 2007, Lucy and I were able to afford a quality printer and started an Etsy shop. Orders slowly started coming in, and we were featured on Design*Sponge that December, and it kind of took off from there.

What is it like to be a husband and wife team?
Ryan: It's great in so many ways. We constantly bounce ideas off each other.
Lucy: Working with your significant other certainly isn't for everyone. We're lucky that we generally like to be together a ton because there aren't a lot of breaks! Sometimes it's hard to draw that line between home and work because they are so intermingled. We constantly remind ourselves how lucky we are to be in this position working together and for ourselves, despite the non-stop nature of it all.

What are your roles in the business?
Lucy: Ryan does all of the art, and I do the design, write of all of the animal biographies, and all of the business stuff and customer service. We work on conceptualizing projects together. My forte is brainstorming and starting up with the ideas and Ryan is great at running with them and adding/twisting/maximizing/sharpening them.

Do you have to separate work from daily life or does it all end up as one?
Ryan: Before we had our studio space, our house was constantly piled up with prints and supplies. We would work in the art room all day and then our work would spill into the living room most nights. With the studio, we are able to physically separate work from home life, which is especially important now that we have Ramona.

You have a new little one, Ramona! How has that changed your artistic process or business ventures?
Ryan: I haven't noticed much of a difference in my artistic process, but we have 100% noticed a difference in work efficiency with Ramona in the studio with us! She also has traveled to 5 major cities in her 8 moths for our traveling shows. She's a pretty good traveler and having her selling prints at a table with us all day is a lot of fun!

ryan berkley illustration otter and cheetah portraits
All images courtesy Berkley Illustration

People just go crazy for your animal portraits. Which one is your fan favorite? Have you ever thought of putting a book together?
The fan favorite these days is the sea otter. Used to be the cheetah, but I think he's been bumped to second place. Must be the otter's bowler hat? We have thought of putting all existing animals into book form, along with their stories and self publishing it. Maybe someday.

Which portraits are your favorites, do any of them have stories to how they came about (other than their obvious personal histories)?

Ryan: My personal favorite would have to be the great white shark. In terms of which he is most proud of artistically, it's a tie between the grizzly bear and the moose. There are a few of the animals are based off of people we know. The Meerkat is my grandfather. The Badger is a friend who passed away three years ago.
Lucy: My favorites right now are the Horned Owl, Chipmunk, Goose, and Red-Winged Blackbird. The last two are highly unpopular which could contribute to my favoritism. The Pigeon and Stellar's Jay are my two new favorites which will be released as prints later this month.

All images courtesy Berkley Illustration

Any plans for future projects?
There are plans to do children's books! We have ideas, we now need to find the time to create!

Now for Assemble's favorite questions:

What do you like to do in your off-time?

Ryan: Walks and hikes with the family and dog! Ryan is also an avid comic collector (focusing on Marvel silver and bronze age, specifically) and has an impressive action figure collection as well. He is looking to get back into drumming.
Lucy: I'd like to say "adventuring" but I think that might sound a little too fancy. We both love to travel. We're both vegan so we like finding new vegan places and making yummy food. We like our friends a whole bunch so we like seeing them. Unfortunately none of those things happen enough!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Ryan: Great question! I think about this all the time. Although I am thoroughly happy in Portland, I have considered Brooklyn and even Los Angeles. If I wanted to dream big, I could see myself living overseas. London?
Lucy: I'd like to split my year between Portland, NYC, LA, Hawaii, and the Southwest. And travel the globe in all my other off time. As for why? I just like those places and could use them in good rotation for a few months at a time.

If you could eat only one dish for the rest of your lives, what would it be?
Ryan: Artichokes. And more artichokes.
Lucy: Vegan mac and cheese with a side of sauteed kale. And cookies too, naturally.

What's your dream job, besides what you are doing now?

Ryan: I'd love to be a marine biologist, specializing in sharks. They have always been a huge fascination with me. Or a drummer for a really unique surf instrumental band.
Lucy: Probably a photo journalist. Traveling the world photographing cultures with Ramona strapped to my chest.

View Berkley Illustration's prints for sale in our shop! To see more of their work, go to their website. See more Favorite Friends on the right sidebar, then click the button that says "Favorite Friends!"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A New Series: Those Girls

If you are in a creative field like Emily and I, you will know how difficult it is to navigate the creative hemisphere and establish yourself as unique. I'm sure all of you can relate to thinking of a great idea, drafting it out and getting it started, then finding a blogger or designer who has done it first, and worse: better. We begin to imagine that they are better.

You see, the thing is: these people don't exist--at least not as the superwomen we imagine. Don't get us wrong, there are some truly fabulous women out there. Perhaps one is amazing at cooking, and another is amazing at styling, another takes the most beautiful photos you have ever seen. These are talents that we should all respect and adore, but remember, that these are elements of a real person. And what does that person have to say? What is she afraid of, who is she shy around, what intimidates her? Making it look easy, doesn't mean it is easy.

those girls assemble andie and emily

The truth is, one of those girls (just like us) is shoving the garbage off of her desk or just out of frame for the perfect photo, and another is taking pictures of her feet only (trés chic) because she hasn't washed their hair in three days due to deadlines, kids, and visiting family. Those girls (you know, the ones we fabricate in our head) sure make us feel...well, like we are not enough. Emily and I have a saying (seriously tongue in cheek, please forgive it): "don't be jelly." And yes that DID come from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills! We love TV and aren't ashamed! Don't be jelly! Don't be jealous, be productive in your own ways!

We want to create a space for those of you who need a safe haven. Not for complaints about those who are doing well or who thought of that idea before you, but for complete honesty, respect and encouragement. We will pour our hearts out to you here, and we hope that you will as well.

Do you ever feel like there are too many things that you want to do in life and not enough time?

Do you ever feel envious of bloggers or designers who seem to have it all together?

Do you wonder why it seems to come so easy for others but not for you?

Guess what:? We all feel this way. In this weekly series, we want to share:

• encouraging comments
• fears and doubts about our work
• time-saving tricks to get it all done
• quick ways to eat healthy when you are super busy
• happy thoughts to dwell on
• things we are grateful for, things we need to remember
• fabulous outfits to make you feel confident that won't break the bank
• written exercises (break out those worksheets from school!)
• physical exercises! (no groaning)
• ways to find a truly well-crafted life: within yourself.
• etc., etc., etc.

Please join us!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special Guest Post: Danielle Krysa aka The Jealous Curator on her Brand New Show, This Friday at Assemble

Before we hand it over to Danielle for her lovely guest post, we just wanted to say how happy and honored we are to have her art work at Assemble for her first art show. The work is fantastic, funny and honest, just like her. We were lucky enough to get to know her a bit at her Girl Crush Seattle Tea Party that we co-hosted. Be sure to mark your calendars for this Friday, from 6-9pm. Show up, Skype with the artist on our Mac at 7pm, or if you can't make it (or just feel like having fun and chatting with the artist) come to the Tweet Party: hashtag -- #JealousofAssemble! Tweet Party from 6-9pm. See you there!! ALSO, please look for a special Artist Spotlight section in our shop on Monday, November 12th to purchase Danielle's work.

. . . . . . .

Hello! This is Danielle from The Jealous Curator popping in to do a little guest post! Ok, so I usually write about other artists' work, but today Andie & Emily have asked me to write about my own...gulp. That's a lot harder! Oh well, here we go:

This new series will be seen for the very first time at Assemble on Friday, November 9th {thanks for having me, girls!} The show is titled, "alleglory," a mixture of allegory & glory. Definition: "stories from my glory days." Yep, my mind has always been filled with snippets, almost little snapshots, of memories. From my sunny childhood, to my self-induced/drama-filled teen years -- they are a quick visual flash, that my brain insists on tagging with a one or two sentence story. Prom dates, old cars, and burning couches that boys jumped over at bush parties {seriously}. So, now you know how my brain works, but wait, there's more! I can't just have these images floating around in my head randomly -- that's right -- they're color coded! Here's a little peek:

Grey for my teen years:

alleglory show by danielle krysa the jealous curator teen years

And yellow for my childhood years:

alleglory show by danielle krysa the jealous curator childhood years

There you have it! These tidbits of memories will be with me forever, and now they're on the wall at Assemble! The show opens on Friday November 9th, from 6-9pm. I hope you can come... I'll be there via Skype!

{p.s everything in this show is a combination of gouache, latex, image transfers from my personal photos, and embroidery thread on watercolor paper.}

. . . . . . .

We had a few fun questions to ask Danielle while we had her attention here on the blog. Enjoy!

Assemble: How did you come to be "The Jealous Curator?"
Danielle: I started The Jealous Curator for myself almost four years ago. Being an artist myself I found that I was getting so overwhelmed by all of the amazing artwork I was finding online. I truly was jealous {the bad kind}, and it was eating me alive. Someone told me that jealousy that is kept inside becomes toxic, but when you say it out loud, it can become admiration... and so that's why I started the blog. I decided to shout my jealousy {the good kind} from the rooftops, and turn something terribly negative, into something wonderfully positive. And it worked!

Who are you most 'jealous' of?
I would say I'm most jealous of anyone who can go to their studio every day, and just work... artist block or not!

Who are your favorite artists or designers?

Oh boy, that's a very long list. I've written over 1000 posts, about artists I love, on The Jealous Curator - all of them are on my list!

We loved hosting Girl Crush with you in May, do you have any fun events coming up?
I loved it too! xo! Ok, well, let's see - I'll be speaking at Alt Summit in January {Salt Lake City}, and then in February I'm curating a show in Chattanooga, TN. I've been asked to speak the University the night before the opening, and I'm beyond excited! Speaking of excited, GIRL CRUSH Austin with Alyson Fox is on April 20th, and there a few spots left - who wants to come!?

After your artistic process creating this show, if you could give any advice to artists or designers (even bloggers) what would it be?
Just make stuff. At the beginning of the process, I got so caught up with making 16 new, "perfect pieces". It was paralyzing. I decided to prep 50 sheets of watercolor paper, and then just go for it! Whichever 16 I liked best would go into the show. The others, well, they will never see the light of day! {insert evil laugh here}

What do you like to do in your off-time?
What do you mean "off-time"? ;) I have a 6 year old son, so if I'm not designing, jealously curating, or making my own art you will most likely find me playing some kind of dinosaur game with him!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I don't know if I can commit to any one place, so I'd say Paris for a year, New York for a year, Bali for a year, back home for a year...and repeat!

If you could have one zany and unique talent, what would it be?
Hm. Well, I've always been in awe of people who can tie cherry stems with their tongues.

If you could have one famous person purchase a piece from your show, who would it be?
Kristen Wiig. I love her very, very much.

What's your dream job, besides what you are doing now?
I do absolutely love what I'm doing now, but if I could do a life-do-over, I'd be an actor. Or an interior designer. Or an actor who also does interior design.

Thank you, Danielle!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Quick 2nd Post: VOTE

election day instagram of president barack obama, mitt romney, and the glorious american flag

Regardless of who wins the election, let's all rejoice that we live in a country where we have a choice. Not everyone in the world has that kind of freedom. Vote values, vote LOVE, vote country, vote PEOPLE.

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