THE ART OF TABLESCAPING WITH LULULEMON

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IF YOU TOLD me a year ago that by this time this year I’d have a summer’s worth of experience styling weddings (learning from the very talented, Ashley Bond of Spread Love Events) and 3 solo events tucked safely under my belt (and into my portfolio), I’d of told you you were nuts. But. Here we are. It’s been almost a full year since I made the decision to leave my full-time job at lululemon and I am so glad that I took a leap of faith to pursue my other dreams. Now in a very “full-circle” way, I’m back over on the the lululemon blog sharing 9 stress-free holiday table-setting tips.

Piccolo Design Co. styling

Event design and styling was always sort of that thing in the back of my mind that I wanted to do but held myself back because I thought I didn’t have the proper experience to actually do it. Graphic design and branding, that was safe and I have the piece of paper to back it but events was this scary unknown – I had an inkling that I might be kind of okay at it but I didn’t really know where to begin.

Fortunately, sometimes being passionate about something (and having a great mentor) is all you really need. It also helps to have a network of people who believe in you more than you do. I am very lucky because I have a lot of those people constantly cheering me on and enrolling me in opportunities.

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When my old team mates from lululemon called  me up to style the table for this photoshoot I just about died. It felt so good to be back with the people I loved but this time doing something I love.

Make sure to head on over to their blog  for more pictures and the details on how to pull together this table just in time for the holidays!

[all images c/o lululemon]

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KINFOLK GATHERINGS: THE PHOTOS

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I PROMISE YOU this is the last time I’ll speak Kinfolk until at least the next one (if I have the pleasure of hosting again, that is). But please do head on over to piccolo design co. to check out some of the awesome photos taken that night. I am so proud of how the whole thing turned out (not something I say often of my work) so I can’t help but want to shout it from the rooftops.

How cool is this photo series that Jourdan Tymkow captured? I took the liberty of turning it into a GIF. I just thought it perfectly summed up what Kinfolk Gatherings are all about. Strangers gathering along a long table for an evening of good food and better company. Most of the diners I talked to told me they were delighted by the people they were seated next to and the new friendships they formed.

The theme for the dinner was Wabi-Sabi which is an ancient Japanese concept and aesthetic that celebrates beauty in the imperfection and the natural cycle of growth and decay. I shouldn’t be too hard to spot how this theme came to life in the tablescaping and decor. Most notable (though it was hard to get the full effect in photos) was how the florals went from dying and decay on one end of the table and transitioned into growth and greenery on the other. It was simply beautiful.

On a separate note – I have decided to go freelance full-time and really give piccolo the attention it deserves. Today I officially registered it as a business and everything! So if you need design or event work – please do hit me up! Girls gotta make a living.

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KINFOLK GATHERINGS: A THANK YOU

Kinfolk Dinner - Vancouver 2014

IT’S HARD TO believe but as quickly as it came – it went. Okay maybe not as quickly as it came… there were a lot of “holy eff” moments that preceded “okay I’ve got this” moments before the Vancouver edition of Kinfolk Gatherings actually happened. But, nonetheless it’s hard to believe that 2 months of planning equated to a few (albeit amazing) hours on the eve of October 11.

While I’m eager to share a bit more of the planning/designing/creating/executing process with you (in particular the photos!!!) I don’t have all of them yet so instead I wanted to put down on paper the web a digitized version of the thank you speech I shared with our dinner guests that acknowledged all the amazing local talent that went into making this dinner possible. My apologies if I sound like a broken record but you guys, these businesses are the coolest and even if they weren’t involved in this dinner I’d be shouting their praises from the rooftops anyway.

About 30 minutes leading up to guests arriving I looked around at the room taking in what we’d created. I realized that – safe from the table cloths and the lighting – pretty much everything else was carefully curated and contributed by local artisans and/or businesses.

This was particularly special for me because I love Vancouver and the talent that lies within it. My preference is always to shop local choosing a small coffee roasters over Starbucks any day.

So, in no particular order here’s my Oscar-esque thank you to all our amazing partners…

Union Wood Co for kinfolk

To Union Wood Co. for their generosity and hospitality! We are happy to say we were the first to use their new woodshop/venue Bon Accord. Also – for the amazing serving boards each guest dined off of (and got to take home with them). Huge shout out to Craig for letting me ask “one more question” about 100 times. Check out Union Wood Co. for beautifully designed and constructed reclaimed wood furniture and goods.

Juno Kim for Kinfolk

To Juno Kim (and his team) for crafting the most delicious, inspired and progressive 5-course dinner. His attention to detail and dedication to the theme (Wabi-Sabi) did not go unnoticed. Juno hosts pop-up dinners around Vancouver  – follow him on instagram @Jun0K (thats a zero not an ‘o’) for more information!

Postmark For Kinfolk

To Postmark Brewing for sharing their beer with us. This is an awesome new brewery located in historic Railtown and certainly worth checking out.

Written Word Calligraphy for Kinfolk

To Karla of Written Word Calligraphy for providing this gorgeous print that each guest got to take home with them. It reads “limit everything to the essential but do not remove the poetry”. This quote served us as our guiding principle during the creation of the dinner.

The Pie Shoppe for KinfolkTo the lovely ladies of The Pie Shoppe for the amazing pumpkin tart that we served for dessert.Earnest Icecream for Kinfolk

And to my personal favourite ice cream makers in Vancouver – Earnest Ice Cream for developing a custom flavour – White Miso (!!!) – for our dinner. Meeting Erica (co-owner) was a little bit like meeting a celebrity for me. I LOVE me some ice cream.

Pallet Coffee Roasters for Kinfolk

To Pallet Coffee Roasters for orchestrating an amazing coffee service to accompany dessert. AND for giving each dinner guest a bag of coffee to bring home. They’ve got a new adorable little shop in East Van – I highly suggest you add them to your coffee rotation.

Greenstems for Kinfolk

To Heather and Sven from Greenstems for taking an impossible venue and challenging theme and absolutely killing it with the florals. Their installation along the 60 ft table went seamlessly from Decay to Growth inspired by Wabi-Sabi. It was actually mind-blowingly beautiful.

Woodlot Candles for Kinfolk

To Woodlot for lighting up our table with their incredible coconut wax candles. And for not thinking I was crazy when I asked them to fill “imperfect” and/or broken ceramics from the lovely Heather of Dahlhaus.

Niche Wine CoTo Niche Wine Co. (a dear friend of mine) and Tantalus for providing us with some amazing Okanagan Vino. Spruce Vintage Rentals for KinfolkTo Breanne and Elisa from Spruce Vintage Rentals – arguably my favourite mother/daughter duo – for the amazing enamel jugs, washtub and reclaimed wood benches… but mostly for not hesitating for even a second to return to Abbotsford to pick up more seating when we realized we did the math very wrong (hey I went to art school). You guys saved the day – I (and 25 guests who would have been sitting on the floor) are so grateful!

Janaki Larsen for KinfolkTo Janaki Larsen for her beautiful Wabi Sabi ceramic plates that we served our first course on. What an amazing way to start our dinner. And in case you didn’t know – she’s the same lovely lady behind Le Marche St. George one of Vancouver’s best cafes (in my humble opinion, or course).

Lock and Mortice for KinfolkAnd last but certainly not least – Lock and Mortice who – in the eleventh hour pumped out a ridiculous amount of wood serving boards at the request of Juno our chef. They were stunning.

And of course, a shout out to our volunteers – all of whom I am lucky to call my friends. To Victory Gardens for giving me the opportunity to work on this dream project with them, to Jourdan Tymkow who’s photos I’ll be sharing soon, and to Tiff – my bestie who was my partner in crime. This event would not have happened without her love, support, logistics brain and hard work.

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