Category Archives: Events

Time Flies

Wow, has it really been exactly one year since my last post? Um yes. Yes it has.
Believe me, I didn’t plan to be away so long! It’s been a busy year. But here’s a quick update on a couple of things ’round here.

First off, M and I moved from south of Seattle to just north of Seattle, and it’s a way better situation! We found a cute little rental house on a quiet street. It doesn’t have ants (YAY). It doesn’t leak heat (YAY). And the best part – which really sealed the deal for us when we were house hunting – is this big utility room connected to the garage that ended up being perfect for a ceramics studio!

DSC00948wHere it is all full of my stuff. It has super tall ceilings and a big window that lets in great natural light (something my last studio space was sorely lacking). Most of the time it is a huge mess in there, but it’s fantastic to have the space!

The second big event in the last year occurred right before Christmas.
M and I had our first baby. That’s right – we’re parents now!

Here’s the little guy…about two months old here:

DSC00810wHis name is Ethan Quinn, and we think he’s pretty darn adorable πŸ™‚

DSC00852wBecoming a mother definitely changes your life. In very real and practical ways (not to mention emotionally). It’s amazing how much time a little helpless person demands of you! Caring for a baby is exhausting, but it’s pretty cool to see him literally change and grow before our eyes. Every day, I can see the little gears in his head working and figuring things out. When he breaks into a smile, it pretty much makes it all worth it.

So as far as my ceramic working goes, I’ve reduced my hours to hardly anything. Every chance I get, I run out to the studio to do a little work, but in the grand scheme of things, I can’t get much done. But I’ve told myself I need to enjoy these early days with Ethan, because they go by so quickly, and he won’t be a baby for long.Β I hope that when the weather starts warming up, and he’s a little bit older and can entertain himself more, I’ll be able to bring him out to the studio and I’ll be able to work while he plays. We’ll see! It’s a learning experience for us both πŸ™‚

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Filed under Day to Day, Events

Young House BOOK Love!

On Friday I took half the day off to head down south for the Home & Garden show at the Tacoma Dome. I’ve never been to this event before, and I probably wouldn’t have gone this year either, except John and Sherry Petersik from Young House Love were making a stop to promote their book!

I have been a devoted reader of the YHL blog for, oh, like 4 years now – I first stumbled upon their site in 2009 when I was searching for DIY Backyard Wedding inspiration. Sherry and John have a great recap of their homemade wedding, and it also lead me to their daily blog posts. I’ve been hooked ever since!
Their open, honest approach to blogging about their home improvement journeys, as well as their goofy humor and real-people personalities had me from the get-go.

And guess what? They’re just as fun, adorable, and hilarious in person!

John & Sherry Petersik at the Tacoma Home & Garden Show

John & Sherry Petersik at the Tacoma Home & Garden Show

When I found out they were writing a book, I pre-ordered my copy from Amazon right away. Not only was I confident I’d love it, but I also wanted to show my support for these young’uns who entertain me every single weekday for free through their blog.
And when I found out they’d be making a book-tour stop close enough to attend, I was way too excited (M will vouch for this).

So my mom was a great sport, and she came along with me. It was really nice to spend a good few hours with her, and there were plenty of home & garden inspiration for her new business project (I’ll have to expand on that sometime soon here!).

Sherry and John gave a fun and concise presentation for a good-sized crowd, and then we all waited in line to get our books signed. πŸ™‚

Now, because I am a huge nerd, I wanted to give them some kind of gift, to say “thank you” for sharing themselves the way they do. It’s totally corny, but because of their blog, they feel like friends, even though we’ve never really met. So, I made them a little ceramic plate, very similar to this guy in my Etsy shop. Except the woodgrain plate I made for John & Sherry has a heart in the middle with “yhl” carved out. Somehow I totally forgot to take a picture of it before I gave it to them – of course.

When I got to the front of the line, and presented my little gift, it was a little intimidating (yes, I’m a nerd!) but Sherry was so enthusiastic and so genuine when she saw it!

Sherry's mind - BLOWN

Sherry’s mind – BLOWN

She was like “Oh my god! You made this!? That looks just like our LOGO!”
And I laughed and said, “Yeah, that was the idea!”

Meeting Sherry & John at the Tacoma Dome

Meeting Sherry & John at the Tacoma Dome

My mom was so great and snapped all these photos while I talked to them – Thanks, Mom!
So then Sherry insisted that I sign the back of the plate and she handed me her red sharpie, so heck, I couldn’t refuse! I signed the plate while Sherry signed my book!

everyone sign something!

everyone, sign something!

And then we got a little group photo πŸ™‚

Young House Love book signing - BFFs! lol

Young House Love book signing – BFFs! lol

Anyways! So much fun. I love those guys! In a totally non-creepy kind of way, I swear.

Now my book is signed!

"Thanks for the love"

“Thanks for the love!”

Thank YOU, Sherry & John. πŸ™‚

Young House Love by Sherry & John Petersik

Young House Love by Sherry & John Petersik

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Filed under Blog love, Books, Events, Inspiration

Wash, Tashi, and the Tardis Urn

So, I was debating whether I wanted to write a blog post on this topic. On one hand, it seems (to me) like such a private and sensitive thing, and also I don’t want to appear to be using this very cool experience as way to get publicity. Yet on the other hand, I am so incredibly proud, humbled, and grateful to have been a part of this, that sharing about it won out. And if I can’t share these kinds of things on my own blog, why should I even have one, right?

A little over a month ago, a post showed up on Regretsy.com which told the story of a young man Wash and his wife Tashi, who have been battling brain cancer that he’d been diagnosed with over two years ago. It’s a tear-jerker of a story and you should totally click over and read it.
Tashi reached out to the Regretsy community (which is a powerful mofo, lemme tell you), in search of an urn for Wash’s eventual cremains. Specifically, an urn in the shape of the Doctor Who TARDIS. A dying man’s wish.

My first reaction to the request was, wow, this is right up my alley. In fact, I had made, just a few months prior, a Tardis Urn for another family. But my next thought was, of course, No, I’m sure with Regretsy on the case, they’ll get someone amazing to do this in like 2 seconds. (I have issues with judging my self worth and that of my work, in case you were wondering. )
It’s funny, the little things..but within the day, I got a message through Etsy from a person I didn’t even know, asking if I’d seen the Regretsy post, and encouraging me to offer my work. I was blown away. That was all the prompting I needed, and I sat down and wrote an email including pictures and specs to April Winchell aka Helen Killer at Regretsy.

Within a few hours, I got a reply from April, and then another reply:

Well, needless to say, I was thrilled to be corresponding with April, ‘cuz she’s, like, a celebrity. An internet demigod. I thought it was pretty cool. Especially seeing that she thought my work merited 4 exclamation points. *squeee*

After that, three weeks went by, and I didn’t hear anything else. I was a little disappointed, because that certainly meant that they chose someone else to make the urn, which wasn’t too surprising, being that the whole of the Internet seemed to have come out to support Wash and Tashi.
But then! On April 5th, I got a short email from April asking if I was still interested, plus a forwarded email from Tashi, in which said: … ‘When Wash saw Rebekka’s email though and her work he was just captivated. “That’s it! That one!”‘
Of course, I immediately replied YES. And I got to work on it that very day.
Two days later Regretsy posted an update on the urn search, which mentioned me.
Again – coolest. thing. EVER. My name on a blog, that I myself read??? Awesome.

I corresponded with Tashi, who is just about the sweetest gal out there. And her blog, Learning to Hope…jeez…your heart just goes out to them.

I was able to get the urn finished in just about 2 weeks (it would have been less time, but Seattle Pottery Supply is still being lame about keeping my glaze in stock…so frustrating. But the folks at The Potter’s Shack in Portland are awesome, FYI).
I really think it’s the best Tardis I’ve made to date.

Wash requested some special custom details, which I did my very best to apply.

A small chemical equation (oxygen –> gold), a reference to Watchmen. And written inside the lid, the words As you wish.

The urn arrived to Wash and Tashi’s place yesterday and they’ve blogged about receiving it. And I think this picture right here is the one that just hits home for me:

Wash with his Tardis

So, thank you Wash and Tashi, for letting me be a part of this. You are amazing.

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Filed under Blog love, Day to Day, Events, Jadeflower Ceramics

From Pin to Party

I agree with the majority of folks out there that Pinterest is pretty fabulous. While I’m not one of those people who has to “pin all the things!!!” I do enjoy having a visual space where I can collect all my favorite finds from around the web in one neat little package. And it’s a great planning tool! You can find all my pins right here.

I used my Pinterest as a planning tool for an event I put on over the weekend. I celebrated my 30th birthday! In reality, I had a 4-day celebration, starting on my actual birthday (on Thursday) and through to Sunday, but my little party was Saturday, and Pinterest was a big help in guiding my inspiration.

Ever since my wedding, I really enjoy planning parties and executing all the little details! This one was no exception. I had a handful of fun craft projects.

First, I have been enamored of this tablecloth idea from the moment I saw it:

DIY Bunting Tablecloth from The Sweetest Occasion

Β I loved this idea for ages before I got around to making my own painted tablecloth.
I took a different design direction, but the process was the same.

Start with a plain white tablecloth or fabric. Line underneath with paper or dropcloth. Painting supplies: Acrylic Paints, Acrylic Fabric Medium, Sponge brush, paper templates cut into triangles

I wanted a kind of triangle confetti pattern, and I chose a dark orange, pastel pink and dark turquoise for the color palette. Fun party colors!
After an hour or so of stamping (M helped too, the sweetie!) this was the final result:

party tablecloth, finished!

Once the paint had thoroughly dried, the final step was to heat-set the paint with an iron (following the directions on the Fabric Medium bottle).

Once craft down! Many to go!
Next, I’ve loved the use of paper for decorations for some time. Whether it’s craft paper, patterned colorful paper, or tissue paper. Love it all! And these images really got me inspired:

pretty paper decorations, image from LeSueur Interiors

Pretty paper medallion backdrop, from Kara's Party Ideas

Tissue Paper Decorations, from realsimple.com

So for about a week prior to my party, I started folding paper into fans, and taping those fans into round medallions. All different colors and sizes. Some with petal edges, some just straight, some with doilies in the centers, some without. All of them coordinating with my blue-orange-pink color scheme.

My Paper Medallion Party Backdrop

I love the overlap of all the different sizes and colors! It just looks so cheerful!
To hang them, I used clear fishing line taped to the back of each medallion, then tied to clear push pins into the ceiling, visually gauging where each one would look the best with height and overlap. You could see the pins and the line if you looked closely, but for the most part they were invisible!

For party food, I knew I wanted to keep it simple (purchasing my veggie platter, sliced cheeses, hummus and pita, and mixed nuts), because the one thing I wanted to make myself was Cake Pops!

Cake Pop 101, from A Beautiful Mess

This was my first experience making cake pops. And in fact, my first time eating cake pops! But I’ve loved the idea and the cute presentation ever since first seeing it on Bakerella. I bought my sticks and candy melts from Michaels, and was all set to concoct these pretties.
I discovered that my mixture was far too gooey! One boxed cake + 1 can frosting turned out to be a very wet ratio! Next time I make these pops, I’ll start with less frosting and mix in more as needed, rather than dumping the whole can in at once (live and learn)!

cake pops, before being mixed

So as a solution, I quickly baked a half-recipe for simple chocolate cake from scratch, and added that to the mixture, which helped firm up the “dough.” All in all, my pops turned out super cute, and they were a big hit with everyone.

My finished cake pops

Another sweet treat that Pinterest inspired was Italian Sodas!

DIY Italian Sodas, from the Salty Pineapple

So I madeΒ  my own little drink station with fun soda-fountain glasses and fun stripey paper straws from HeyYoYo on Etsy!

Italian Soda station

My last bit of party planning wasn’t inspired by anything I’d seen on the webz. But as a ceramic artist, I wanted to share a bit of myself with my guests, so taking a cue from those “paint your own pottery” places, I set up a crafting table where people could glaze a piece of pottery I’d made especially for the occasion.

my very own "paint your own pottery" station!

A random assortment of mugs and vase cylinders that could be personalized! It took some coaxing to get people to jump in, but those who did enjoyed it! I’ll be firing those pieces later in the week and sending it to my friends who participated! πŸ™‚ Hopefully they’ll be a fun little souvenir of the evening.

So in conclusion, I had a fantastic time turning 30.Β  And I am truly looking forward to a new decade and a new chapter in my life. I absolutely loved my 20s, but I have no regrets leaving them behind. Maybe because I enjoyed my 20s so much is why I’m optimistic about the next 10 years! Life is basically good, and I have a lot to look forward to. Not least due to my wonderful friends and family. ❀

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February 28, 2012 · 7:48 am

Do You Realize…

We’re officially in to Fall now?

That must be why my tomatoes are finally turning red! After waiting all summer long, it looks like M and I will finally have some home-grown tomatoes for our salads. Ah well, it’s worth waiting for, I guess!

1st home garden tomato

We’ll have about 8 more before they’re all gone. It just gets me brainstorming for how to do better next year!

You can feel the change in the air here, although the days are still pretty nice.
We had the chance to go to the Puyallup Fair for the whole day on Wednesday, thanks to my very favorite radio station, KEXP. Not that they were simply giving away Fair tickets – I actually won two tickets to see The Flaming Lips play!! I got the tix way back in June, and eagerly awaited Sept. 21st ever since! I can’t tell you how excited I was. And surprised, since good bands very rarely play the Fair (sorry P-town, I’m allowed to say it, since I used to live there).

The Flaming Lips @ the Puyallup Fair

Wayne came out in his space bubble and walked the crowd. They had giant balloons and huge confetti canons.

Giant Balloons and Confetti

The big screen behind the band was awesome. And there were lasers.Β  They didn’t tone down the show for the Fair, which I was very happy about! I really wonder if the Grandstand people knew who these guys were when they booked them, hehe.

MΒ  & I had an awesome time and yelled our heads off. What a great way to kick off the season. ^_^

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Filed under Day to Day, Events

Reflecting on July

This month I had another small re-vamp project that was on the list for ages. I seem to have a penchant for mirrors with decorative frames, especially if they are oval. So when I found this large ornate brass-colored mirror frame at Goodwill (for $5!!), there was no way I wasn’t taking this baby home with me.

brass-colored mirror frame

Yes, it also had a mirror, it’s just not pictured here….because – wait for it – I decided to paint the frame! I’m sure you saw that coming. πŸ™‚
The moment I saw it, I knew this frame would look so great in a solid color, to update the look, give it a more modern vibe. It is plastic (not metal), and the brass finish was a bit too grandma’s-house for my current decor tastes. So I settled on a glossy white (mainly due to the fact that M had purchased a can of spray paint in this color recently and there was nearly a whole can of it left over, score!).

So after many many thin coats of paint later:

mirror frame refinished in white

I love how it almost looks like a plaster, with just a hint of gloss.
You may notice in the reflection…yep, those are garage doors. I’m hanging this guy in the garage, in my studio to be exact. πŸ™‚

the jadeflower ceramics studio

My studio space is still ever-evolving in the decor arena; for the most part it is strictly functional. But here and there, I am trying to add little touches to make it a pleasant place to spend my hours. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may recognize some past projects like this and this.

Our garage is a quirky place. Did you notice it looks like outdoor siding on that wall above? Well, M and I have a (strong) hunch that the garage was added much later to the house. Exhibit A: outdoor siding. Exhibit B: that rectangle the mirror is hanging in front of is actually a window that the landlord covered up with a big sheet of foam insulation (and which I then covered up with some striped vintage wallpaper because it was ugly!). Oh funny old houses πŸ˜‰

In unrelated news, we had a busy July. One highlight was a housewarming party M & I hosted, now that we are pretty much settled into our new abode. We celebrated with tacos, fun drinks, and lawn games (with thankfully cooperative weather!). At the end of the evening we lit sparklers saved from the 4th of July! ^_^ Everybody loves sparklers, right?

sparklers!

The party was also to celebrate M and my first anniversary. Awwww πŸ™‚ It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since this fantastic day. My mom and dad brought us a vase of hydrangeas cut from all the plants that were bought the year before; she says that they’ll always have a reminder of our wedding with all the pretty blues/greens/whites of the hydrangeas that now decorate their property.

hydrangeas

A very fun and event-filled month! And August should be just as busy! Until next time πŸ™‚

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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Events, Jadeflower Ceramics, projects, Wedding

I’m back! Let’s start the wedding recap!

I’ve been such a remiss blogger as of late! Since the wedding (one month already!) I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to share, post-event, that it’s been too overwhelming to even begin. But last night M & I got to meet up with our awesome photographer (Sheila Addleman) and now we have all our wedding photos at our disposal on disk – it’ll be much more fun to show you wedding details using Sheila’s amazing pictures.

So where to begin?

There are so many things, I guess I’ll just jump in with an overall look at the wedding day.
It was, in every sense of the term, a do-it-yourself wedding. Every detail was created by M or myself, or friends and family, and the entire execution of the event was achieved by the loving effort of a whole army of people that descended upon my parents’ house the few days before (and after) the wedding day. I still have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to everyone who helped with our special day! There was really just so much love present, it was amazing!

Though most of the set up had been done the day before, there were still plenty of things to do the morning of the wedding, and you could find the bride either on a ladder with a power drill, hanging up panels of fabric, placing signs down the street, giving people jobs to do, greeting people and generally running around like crazy (though not actually going crazy).

My wonderful bridesmaids arrived around 10 AM and they also helped with last-minute details. But at noon, we officially stopped helping, and went to get ready in my parents’ bedroom & master bath. Sandwiches and mimosas in hand.

Everyone did their own hair and makeup (with help from each other). I did my own make up, and Brenna – wonderful friend, bridesmaid, and fashionista – graciously did my hair in a messy bun with little wispy sections framing my face, topping it off with my custom-made fascinator. I loved my hair!

M and I did a quick “first look” and then we headed down to the local park to take the wedding party pictures. Sheila did such a wonderful job!

She kept us moving and totally put us at ease. The shots she captured were on the casual side, but dreamy, which was perfect for the overall vibe of the day.

The wedding ceremony itself was perfect. My mom officiated (which was risky I know, but she is a professional and kept it together the whole time, haha), and she used just the right balance of humor and sentimentality.

I thoroughly enjoyed looking out over our gathered friends and family and seeing lots of eyes being dabbed (even the men!).

After the joyous conclusion to the ceremony, we set our guests loose for cocktail hour, and entertained them with live music. Our next door neighbor is a musician, and we knew from the start that we wanted his jazz trio to play at our wedding – vibraphone, bass & drums. They were so much fun, and everybody loved having live music!

There were entertaining details strewn throughout the yard and inside the house. We built a photo booth wall especially for this day, and people loved it (we got so many great pictures)!

And instead of a guest book, we had a “wishing tree” for people to write notes to us on paper leaves.

And we hung up a huge fabric panel, on which we hung ribbons clipped with over a hundred photos of M & I, from baby pictures up to just weeks before the wedding.

The dinner we served was just brilliant. Our very talented caterer, Drew Pritchard, is a long-time friend and current housemate, of my older brother. He’s an amazing chef and skilled banquet organizer, and again, we knew from the start that we wanted him to do our food. And he didn’t disappoint! Everyone was raving about how good the food was.

Lots of wonderful things were said during the toasts, and I almost lost it when I wanted to thank everyone for being there and how special and meaningful each and every one of our guests are to us. Luckily M jumped in before I totally broke down – we’re a good tag-team.

The cake was a work of art that my master-baker Uncle Bill created for us – a three tier cake (1 layer white w/ bavarian creme filling, and 2 layers of carrot cake w/ cream cheese filling) with blue hydrangea blooms between the layers, and airy whipped frosting with a simple dotted design. And my ceramic birdies topped the cake, of course.

The rest of the evening was spent dancing under string lights and paper pom poms, with our IPod as DJ. Lots of people stayed late into the night. M and I left just before it was clear that the party was over πŸ™‚

Overall, a perfect day.

More to come! I’ll go more in depth on all the details soon.

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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Events, food, Music, paper, projects, Wedding