Monday, December 31, 2012

Creation is a Collaboration

Sometimes getting the spiritural side of ourselves to work with the physical side ourselves calls for major intervention. So what is exciting is when we do have a idea or inspiration it actually affects us physically. Divine influence or action on a one way of defining 'inspiration'.
'The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul..'says Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He also says "Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment' and 'one of the ways...we find a fullness of joy... and eternal happiness... is by creating things'. 
I also love what Brigham Young said...'Progress and improve upon everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitation, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that the angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations.
I'm excited about the constant opportunitiy that we have to create! This year I'm working on a line of fabric made from original artwork that me and my children have done together. We will begin a introductory roll out this spring!
May God Bless us all this new year as we fulfill the measure of our creation!

The image at the top is a painting that Dawnelle did as a child, I did use filters on instagram. Dawnelle and I will be working together on the fabric project. The quote came one day while pondering and was first posted on instagram. Follow me there @homevestures to see design projects or @stechev for more personal and family stuff. Also, for all her insights and projects. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sculpting 'Miss Fitt' China Plates In Hurricane Lanterns

Brigham Young said "use it up, wear it out, make due or do without". For me it was easy to embrace the first two parts...but the 'do without' part...well I confess deep down inside I am thinking really..., is that necessary? Let me find a way. So, maybe finding a way is a form of using it up, making do. By that I'm not really having to due without. It has been said that 'necessity is the mother of invention'. Therefore, maybe while in the act of 'using it up and wearing it out' we are actually in the act of inventing or creating something?

So here is my latest 'use it up, wear it out' creative invention.

Yup,that's right, stacked, cast off, miss matched china plates and undesirable cast off glass pieces, in a super sized @ikeahurricanelantern. (Did I ever mention to you that my maiden name is 'Miss Fitt'?) So... maybe it's that I really have a soft spot for things that don't fit in. (And did I ever mention to you that I have really BIG curly red hair?) I think my hair was bigger than my body growing up...yeah...insight to my inner psychic...

 Here's more, stacking plates in an artistic fashion is not for the unenthusiastic artist, designer, merchandiser, or attemptee. One must approach this with sculpting in mind, which could take hours. Oh... I've lost you now...Seriously, I think this project took me four hours or more to get the edges 'right' which is a relative term. And further examines my inner psychic.
The time was split for me between mocking it up outside the lantern then placing them inside...and occasionally pausing for a snicky snack and to cool the jets!
Key to my vision of this leaning tower of porcelain was interesting scallops and edges along with creating or fashioning recesses that graded in and out with smooth and fluid transitions from plate to plate.

My daughter featured 'A Little Homevestures Christmas Inspiration' on there you can view more photos of my home this year.
We entertained for a group of friends and added a short hurricane lantern to this scape and incorporated candlelight on the stacked towers of plates. It was stunning! 
Merry Christmas!
I look forward to sharing more of my ideas and inspiration this coming year!!!!
See you soon!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Vanity Kins

Hello....! It's been so long. But hopefully worth the wait on this one after all it has been brewing for a year now and like Frankenstein has been brought to life. Don'tcha wanna watch that movie with your kids for Halloween. OMG! It's soooo... sad and strange.

Well without further's what I made this week and I've got to tell you I had everyone looking and entertained by the strangeness of these beautiful models and handsome men stitched up into my 'Vanity Kins'. Ok... so you CAN do this with your children. is always helpful for us as parents to give them a vision. Otherwise the whole project washes down the drain. Sounds simple, and it is, but there is some manipulating and some coordinating, and some juxtaposition to be had. So why not use this little magazine/cut-out/arrangement/decoupage project to teach some basic cohesiveness, or not cohesive skills? See... cause the eyes could eat up all the room and leave nothing left for the nose, if you want one, or a mouth.

For me to get the inspirational juices flowing I have to have a stage or space or wall. Otherwise I just kinda feel's the space I chose, it's in my foyer. Well there is a straggler bat there in the picture. We ended up with a over the head hovering branch and about 40 upside down bats.'s.....'VANITY KINS'!

A collection of vintage jewelry that I sell in my etsy shop is displayed here to punctuate the vain.

Last little tid bit, see if you can find Obama's nose, and eyes. Ooooo....


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Captivating the Coterie

We have learned in our family that if everyone cooks, prepares, and sets, then we will have a captivating and broad culinary feast  that will include all delectable delights.

On these occasions when everyone is cooking and checking, dicing and researching, someone has to set the table. So... based on who sets the table will actually determine how the dinner not only functions but also how it is perceived, (as in lets hurry and eat), or my version (lets stay for awhile).

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From the darling movie 'Kate and Leopold', Leopold tells Kate...  "Food should be the result of reflection and study..." and so it is with 'Captivating the Coterie'.

Captivating-1. to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant: Her blue eyes and red hair captivated him.
Hence the whole idea of having family meals together... Think of what we can accomplish in all our relationships once the table is set.  Wasn't it Ester who put together the life saving feast that saved her people?
Coterie [koh-tuh-ree] 1. a group of people who associate closely. exclusive group; clique. 
Coterie also means the like minded people... and for me... those that love and share similar passions.

At our house the throw together table means, "get the fun napkins" and that becomes the table setting statement. It actually signifies 'something special is happening or going to happpen'.

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One of my favorite breakfast foods...fresh strawberries, bananas, coconut, and macadamia nuts.

Simple can be intentional and captivating at the same time.

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All things are created spiritually our minds and hearts. So, just as we think, plan and decide in our minds what we will eat and drink, we can apply the same principle to the table setting. You wouldn't forget a special ingredient in a favorite dish, hence the table needs the same planning and thought. If you find that your table is being neglected or at the last minute your rushing to bring together that vision you had, but didn't gather what you needed or wanted, try getting a large attractive wicker basket and begin gathering items as you pass by, this will help when the time comes to set the table.

When we incorporate the creative parts of our being into something so constant and necessary as eating, we experience joy. I challenge you to try this... and promise you that a very special joy will come and not just because your table looks beautiful...but because you have captivated the coterie. Then watch how the meal unfolds...

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Really a little... and I mean tiny bit... of planning can change the whole effect (power to produce results), affect (to impress the mind or move the feelings of...), and experience (encountering).
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So here I'd like to give some of my personal tips on the expandable table. Which in my house is important because we can go from 3-11 people everyday, and on special occasions 18-25 maybe once a month.
BIG TIP: I like to have a basic pallet of dishes and service ware to work from like white then I can accent with decorative dishes depending on the occasion. Here are some new dishes that are trending right now from West Elm and of course Anthropologie.
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With decorative plates like these you don't need a whole set...I kind of look at these plates as a spice item, you only need a few pieces to heightened the fusion into your table setting.
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Below is a collection I am so drawn to. It feels like vintage, new cottage chic/grandma's old swag mixed with chinoiserie and botanical...hummm!
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And here I tried my hand at mixing patterns with some vintage dishes I'm selling on etsy! I hope to begin a collection of individual settings that can be mixed and matched.
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BIG TIP: Or you go with nothing matching, as in all the settings are different. Caution- this takes some serious moxie to pull off.
The lacey rocks below I have used for so many merchandising installations and I brought them home for a Easter table setting that just kept evolving from simple to elaborate.
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There is always that decision as to whether to use a table cloth or not. Do! Or NOT do! Paper, fabric, flowers, boards, place mats, all work to add comfort and interest. A wonderful trick is juxtaposition (placing side by side) totally different things. It works well if you have an old table and new dishes, or vice versa.
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Both these patterns tempt me to use table cloths in my settings more than I do...but atlas, we know that is not always practical, so I usually reserve this kind of drama for the holidays.
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BIG TIP: Ikea sells this great set of kitchen utensils for $.99. So if you buy several sets you'll have what you need to put together a cohesive setting. This was a great discovery for me because I was always so distracted when the miss matched serving spoons came out and I would cringe at the old ugly silver spoon with black handle that was meant for the bean pot or camping.

AKUT 3-piece kitchen utensil set IKEA Gentle to pots and pans with non-stick coating.

Here is where I dropped the ball for so long...I never had matching tongs, and you can find them for as little as $.99 on up but these from Ikea sell for $4.99.Then again don't you hate when your tongs are way too big for the dish or better yet too small and they fall in!  If you invest in different sizes you will always have the right pair that will fit the scale of the serving dish which is nice...

IKEA 365+ HJÄLTE Tongs IKEA Gentle to pots and pans with non-stick coating. Materials in the handle provide a firm grip.
Also this set of 3 trivets from Ikea sell for $2.99 and sure beat the old food smeared pot holders.

I can' help but get all mushy inside when I think of lighting... good background music...and the rest...

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A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.Samuel Johnson
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. —-Virginia Woolf
Oh... the table..., neglected for the mear satiating urge. Vicki Stecher

Remember this can be applied to 'Captivate the Coterie' in alfresco dinning as well.

 Visit me on pinterest: alfresco, and captivating the coterie for some amazing inspiring table settings. Also my new shop homevestures on etsy for vintage items. Vicki Stecher on spoonflower to check out some fabric designs I've been working on.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Makin Fabric

Spoonflower my new obsession!

Here are some amazing fabric designs I created today using my iphone and some original artwork me and the kids made. So you upload your image, manipulate the size and pattern and whala it's ready to go to print and become a pillow, ottoman, dress, shirt, wall hanging, scarf...the possibilites are endless.

This is a decoupage and acrylic project Hannah did at BYUI.

I painted this for 'The Taming of the Shrew'.

Here is a piece that was inspired by Dale Chihuly.

Another decoupage acrylic project I did.

This one is a Chihuly study Amber did.

I snapped this picture of a dough bowl filled with shells and driftwood from our recent Prince Edward Island trip.

The Zinnia image was taken this morning from my garden.

It's easy and so reasonable.  And... if your designs are ahhhMAZing you might think about opening your own little shop on Spoonflower!



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Birthday SWAG (stuff we all get)


What do you want? Think of one thing.  Got it in your mind?  Abracadabra. It's done.  Whoomp, there it is! Somewhere in the universe, it already exists.  See how clear it is?  You don't have to descend any crystal elevators to get closer to it.  You don't need to burn any karma to have it appear in front of you.  You don't even need to feel worthy, necessarily- none of that wading and waiting. Just exercise this belief (and yes, it's magical thinking): Somewhere in the cosmos, in the grand bazaar of life, in your very own postal code, what you want is already in existence, waiting for you to pick it up or, better yet, to call and have it delivered.
 The Fire Starter Sessions Danielle LaPorte pg117

When I told my husband that I blogged about birthday swag, he concurred with the idea and proclaimed "now that's useful!"  Of course it was from a purely selfish perspective on both parts, mainly because he never knows what to get me, and selfish on my part hoping he will choose something from my list. 

I really think the reason he never knows what to get me is because secretly I'm this wild woman on the inside who is always trying to show the strictest propriety (that's relative to myself) and so I think I have him fooled into thinking that what I'd really love is a pair of dog slippers, a can openers, tickets to Earth Wind and Fire (which we have done a couple times) dinner and a movie.

But what I really long for is a good old fashioned pair of tie dye jeans. And by the way I'm past doing it myself...True Religion has a stunning pair in size 29 that are perfect.  I know... I wish it were more like size 26, oh well I'm pushing 50.

Stella Tie dye jeans in blue

I have found that Anthropologie jeans fit THE BEST! Kind of like Victoria Secret Bras fit THE BEST. So... either splurge or get a pair on sale.  These above are Level 99 Lilly Straight Leg $98.00. Which for anthro is a great price especially since they are not on sale. Ahhhh... beautiful. Size 29 please....

I can tell this top from Anthropologie is going to be great on...accentuating the positive while hiding the bumpy know what I'm talking about girls.

I came across this motto from Anthropologie apparel designer Byron Lars...

 “I know what makes a woman
feel good in clothes. And when
you feel good in your clothes, you
project your best self.”

Here is another super fun top...Carolina Poncho $98 at Anthropologie size M.

This beautiful Mimeo Magnolia Blouse, also at Anthropologie, is on sale for $59.95! And they have it in my size...medium!!!

These look so fun! I think I'd wear them with the tie dye jeans!
Patola Slingbacks on sale 79.95...8.5 should do it!

I got this amazing sofa at Design Legacy and now I need some really great pillows.  I've been in Love with Mongolian Lamb since I was in my early twenties and bought my first pillow eight years ago in Jackson Hole as a souvenir for my family.  Talk about snuggle over kill...they all love it!
Anyway, the orange and yellow mongolian lamb pillows along with the sparkler pillows are from Anthropologie...the black and white mongolian lamb pillows are from West Elm they are over sized 26x26. WOW!

And here is my amazing couch from Design Legacy.

Design Legacy hand screens all of their fabrics in India.  It's a very expensive and extensive process that takes time.  So when ordering this sofa Kelly O'Neal encourages his buyers to "Have Patience, it will be worth it". This pattern has a 90" repeat and uses over thirty screens. It can be purchased through Homevestures. It sells for $3295 plus shipping.

Any of these pillows from Urban Outfitters.

Turmeric tripod table from West Elm would be the perfect table with my Design Legacy couch... the scale, color and finish are perfect.  On sale for $149 plus shipping.

Here are two chairs that I've been housing in my garage now for almost a year and I'm DYING to take them to the prison industries in Smyrna Delaware to get reupholstered. I'm thinking the deconstructed look that Restoration Hardware is showing but in indigo blue, with tuffting. about $375 each with fabric.

on sale for $1495
Probably would go with the 2nd one from the right or even the darkest indigo for the chairs...

Manzanita Bench Anthropology
Need we say more...Here is my wild card wish.

Lastly a darling mini cooper.

Well according to Danielle Laporte these things aready let me have that delivered!