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Little Yellow Couch

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Event

Costume Party: Famous Painters & Paintings

Earlier this week, we showed you our invites and decor for our Day Of The Dead party.  Now we want to show you how it all turned out.  We asked all of our guests to come dressed as a famous painting or iconic, famous painter.  Not only is it the season for Halloween and costume parties, we're also focused on the theme of ART this month: discovering it, collecting it, creating it and displaying it!   So Karen June dressed as her favorite painter, Frida Kahlo and we set the scene, as we imaged Frida would do, to celebrate the Mexican holiday, Day Of The Dead.  Here we all are, next to the originals... 

 

The Painters

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Andy Warhol

Jackson Pollock

Salvador Dali

The Paintings

"Girl With A Pearl Earring" by JohannesVermeer

Oil Painting, 19th Century, from the Turkish School, (artist unknown)

"Oh Jeff..." by Roy Lichtenstein

"Son Of Man" by Rene Magritte

"Madam X" (with cast) by John Singer Sargent 

We had a blast with this party!  If you're in need of a costume this Halloween, consider using one of these ideas, and if you choose one that's a little less well known, you could always print the original, pop it in a frame and carry it as a prop.  That way, you won't have to answer the annoying question, "who are you supposed to be?" all night long.  And you'll have the satisfaction of being the best educated art historian in the room.  

xoxo

Karen June & Zandra

How To Host a Jewelry Workshop

Earlier this week we shared our ideas on how to use a collection of found vintage jewelry to create a new statement necklace in preparation for our Little Yellow Couch Found Jewelry Workshop.  If you are inclined to follow suit,  we highly recommend making your accessories with a group of friends and a couple of bottles of Prosecco!

The best part of getting ready for a jewelry making workshop is that you'll have an excuse to do lots of thrifting and antiquing to stock up on vintage baubles to work with...

To set up, we covered the table in black paper and used a white pencil to outline the various tools we'd be using, including an outline of a ruler for measuring chain lengths.

Add a piece of felt to a tray to keep your beads from rolling off the table.  And don't forget to mark a place for water and a champagne glass!

We gave each person a set of three different jewelry pliers and Karen made these sweet tool bags adorned with vintage brass stencils we picked up on one of our antiquing sprees.  

We went over the basic steps of how to string beads and cut apart and put together jewelry pieces, either using jump rings or wire for wrapping.  There are so many great how-to videos on You Tube that you can refer to if needed.  We also spent some time talking about how to think about designing a necklace based on what you're going to wear it with, time of year, color, style, etc.  Check out our full post here.

By the end of the afternoon, everyone had come up with a terrific composition for their one-of-a-kind necklace.

The best part of the day was the pleasure and satisfaction everyone felt after creating something so personal with their own hands!  These necklaces will get a lot of wear.  And attention!  Great job, everyone!

XOXO 

Zandra & Karen June

FOUND: A Jewelry Making Workshop

If you'll be in the Boston area, we'd love to have you join us for a special workshop!

We will lead a small group of people in the design and techniques of making a statement necklace that you can take home.  NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!!!

Each participant will receive a basic jewelry making tool kit, a handmade tool pouch, and a variety of vintage jewelry, beads, chains, pins and ephemera to work with.  

No LYC event would be complete without cocktails and sweets so plan on spending time socializing as well!  

* Bonus Jewelry Rx: Bring any broken chains or jewelry pieces that you'd like to fix and we'll do our best to mend them!  

Cost: $40 Materials Fee

RSVP to info {at} littleyellowcouch {dot} com

Spaces are extremely limited!  

Hope you can make it!

xoxo 

Karen June & Zandra

Printable Workshop Flyer can be found HERE.

Retreat for Small Businesses and Indie Creatives

As we come upon our blog's 1st year anniversary this September, Karen and I knew we had to make time for some big picture thinking about our business.  Earlier this week, we shared our ideas on how to hold a creative retreat for exploring artistic endeavors.  Today, we're going to show you how we put together our business retreat.  We encourage all of you other small business owners (bloggers, indie creatives, artisans) to take time out to reassess your big picture, drill down into the nitty-gritty of the "to-do" lists and dream about the near and far future.   And leave a little time for some beach combing, too.  

Since our theme this month is "On The Waterfront," we have beaches, lakes and rivers on our minds as the perfect retreat settings.  We were lucky enough to use a beach cottage owned by Karen's parents on the South Shore of Massachusetts.  (Thank you, Barbara and James! ).  

Preparation and Logistics

If you're a solo entrepreneur, ask a few friends who are also running a small business and go in on this together.  You can keep each other on task and afterwards, you'll have the benefit of being accountable to each other for the goals you've written on the retreat.  As the host, you might want to consider preparing a little welcome gift for your guests.  Or, when you invite your friends, you could ask that everyone bring something for someone else.  Sort of a summer time "Secret Santa" kind of thing.  Here are the baskets that Karen and I made up for each other:

Karen put together all of the pieces I'd need to make a bespoke journal, specially designed for our retreat.  She cut up small squares of nautical paper and sewed smaller squares on top creating labels for some of the most important things we'd talk about.  To attach the labels, there's some nifty blue and white striped fabric tape (very beach-y!) as well as a dispenser for blank tape.  She also included a rubber stamp that's laid out like a to-do list so I could keep myself in check.  She then decoupaged a blank journal with some of my favorite whale paper (and added another whale inside the cover).  But probably my favorite thing was the vintage trading card picturing my favorite seaside bird, the Loon.

For Karen's basket, I tried to think of objects that would make her feel a little pampered on the retreat.  I found her a drinking glass to have at her side as we were planning and scheming.  It's painted with two girls rowing a canoe, in keeping with our waterfront theme.  There's a chocolate bar because that's pretty much a necessity.  I also embellished a journal for Karen and added some festive looking sticky note flags and a set of colored pencils.  She loves scented candles so one of those made it in the stash so she could light it before bed.  And speaking of bed, I appliqued a big number 3 (that's her favorite number) on a pillowcase for her to use over the weekend.  

Everyone can get a little punchy when they're spending lots of time hashing out big picture thoughts.  To embrace this, we came up with a bright idea (pun intended...keep reading).  We cut out yellow lightbulb shapes and glued them onto skewers, keeping them within reach.  Whenever one of us had a brilliant brainstorm, we'd grab a lightbulb, jump up and down and scream out our idea.  (Karen and I are known to be quite loud when we're excited).  We also had strips of paper at the ready so we could record the idea and stick it on the lightbulb.  I highly recommend making a batch of your own lightbulbs before your retreat.

And here's where the magic happens, people!  (Oh, yes, retreats do encourage magical thinking!).  

We spent quite a few hours here, writing on a big sheet of butcher paper we rolled out on the table.  And when we needed a change of scenery, we took our laptops and moved a few feet over to the couch.  We had antipasto for dinner (no cooking, no clean-up, no leaving the cottage) and reveled in the knowledge that we didn't have to stop talking at a specific time.  To make the most of the weekend, we put together an agenda and stuck to it.  We've made a template for you to use for your own retreat.  If you work alone and are bringing a few other solo-preneurs with you, you can all use the same template but obviously, you'll each write out your own agendas and then share them with the group.  (The sharing is the important part, bouncing ideas around and challenging each other to push past insecurities while not biting off more than you can chew).  

TEMPLATE FOR YOUR AGENDA

Click on this link to download a printable agenda for you to follow on your own creative business retreat.

If you do decide to create a retreat for yourself and a few colleagues, please, please let us know!  We'd love to share your photos and stories with the rest of our readers!

xoxo Zandra

Glamping, Little Yellow Couch Style

 Pinewood Lodge campgrounds, Plymouth, MA.

Pinewood Lodge campgrounds, Plymouth, MA.

Once you've gone glamping, you'll never go camping.  At least that's what some of us declared.  I happen to have kids who love to sleep in actual tents so I'm not off the hook.  But now that I've experienced the great outdoors in luxurious accommodations, I've got the glamping bug!  Little Yellow Couch had it's first foray into extending our monthly party into a weekend adventure.  Here's how it unfurled:

 One of two yurts we rented for the weekend.

One of two yurts we rented for the weekend.

We rented two yurts which is about as close to roughing it as Karen can stand. (I, on the other hand, am much more rugged and can definitely sleep in a tent as long as I have an air mattress).  Here are the "BEFORE" photos: 

 If you know us, you won't be surprised that we brought our vintage luggage glamping.

If you know us, you won't be surprised that we brought our vintage luggage glamping.

 Plastic chairs and table were the first things out the door.

Plastic chairs and table were the first things out the door.

Lots of creative and fun-loving gals who are pros at glamping go for the retro 1950s - 1960s look.  They own the sweetest airstreams or teardrop trailers and fill them with vibrant kitchy dinnerware, linens and picnic gear.  We do love this look but we had something different in mind.  I have always dreamed of going to Kenya on safari, in the classiest of ways.  Not that I want to support the division of the haves and the have-nots...in fact, I think everyone deserves a turn at living in luxury in out-of-the-way places, just because it's wildly entertaining.  Anyway, my ideal version of glamping is to do it up the old-style British aristocracy version.  Without the servants.  

 Glamping, Little Yellow Couch style.

Glamping, Little Yellow Couch style.

 Hanging birdcages and artwork seemed important.  Or ridiculous.  Either way, they made us happy.

Hanging birdcages and artwork seemed important.  Or ridiculous.  Either way, they made us happy.

Now, to be clear, we didn't go out of our way to buy anything expensive for this trip.  We already owned the couch (naturally).  We borrowed the rug.  We picked up a few of the smaller items at thrift stores and the rest came from our houses and those of our guests.  We don't want you to think you have to spend loads of money to recreate as a glamper!  For the sleeping area we brought super soft white linens because of their timeless, elegant style.  We hung reproductions of art prints above the bed to add to the feel of a well appointed bedroom.  Next to the bed was a bedside table with a vintage travel clock, a framed photograph and a candle for reading.  

 Sweet Dreams.

Sweet Dreams.

In Victorian times, travelers would set up their portable writing desks so that they could send letters home and write about their adventures in their journals.  To give a nod to this very civilized practice, we used a vintage suitcase on top of a folding table.  We set a serving tray inside to use as a flat surface.  While you may not want to bother with this while glamping, you could easily set up a little writing area like this in your home! 

 Portable writing desk: folding TV table, vintage suitcase, serving tray.

Portable writing desk: folding TV table, vintage suitcase, serving tray.

In the bathing area, we set up a vintage water basin and pitcher and had a mirror hanging behind it so we could refresh our make-up and tidy up our hair.  We thought the peacock feathers were a nice touch...sort of reminded us of the eccentricity of those wealthy world travelers who collected flora and fauna on their adventures.

As for the living area, no yurt would be complete without a little yellow couch!  We also laid out the oriental rug (this was the BEST idea ever) and had candles on top of our steamer trunk and on the little side table where we could set our drinks and appetizers while socializing. The rug allowed us to comfortably walk around in bare feet and not feel icky.  Icky is not good.  Karen does not do icky.  And I don't think I can ever do icky again.  So from now on, "no rug, no camp."  

 The Little Yellow Couch goes glamping.

The Little Yellow Couch goes glamping.

Before getting the little yellow couch fully situated, we decided to take a few photos with our mascot outside.  I mean, why not?  It seemed obvious to us that if you're going to the trouble of lugging your antique velvet couch all the way to a campsite, you might as well set it down in several woodsy locations to fully appreciate it's versatility.  We asked all of our guests to wear something that reminded them of Meryl Streep in "Out of Africa."  I'm sure they thought we were out of our minds.  But these are "All In" kind of gals and they gamely complied with our wishes and are looking quite smashing, don't you think?  

 Left to Right, Standing: Laura, Sam.  Sitting: Ellen, Karen June, Zandra

Left to Right, Standing: Laura, Sam.  Sitting: Ellen, Karen June, Zandra

After setting up our yurts and taking photographs were were all a bit weary and hungry.  And in need of a cocktail.  The plan had been to start a fire and get cooking but thankfully it started to rain.  We had no choice but to change into our cocktail dresses and hit the town.  And it made sense to dine out on the first night so we wouldn't have to do any more work.  Work is so tedious after all.    

 The perfect Mojito.

The perfect Mojito.

Once we were back "home" we all slipped into our PJs and hunkered down for the night.  Admittedly, even with real beds, none of us slept very soundly.  There were several treks to the toilets with flashlights, tripping over tree roots and trying not to notice the very large bugs gathered around the florescent lights in the bathroom.  The next morning, two of our guests made a coffee run, which was soooo appreciated, especially since I forgot the Keurig.  After showering (25 cents for every 3 mintues of water...I thought Karen was going to die over this particular barbaric notion), we put on our sandals (I don't think any of us even considered bringing "sensible" shoes) and hit the antique stores in Plymouth.  

 Antiquing in Plymouth, MA

Antiquing in Plymouth, MA

 Left to right: Laura, Karen, Sam, Ellen, Zandra

Left to right: Laura, Karen, Sam, Ellen, Zandra

Afterwards, we decided taking a walk down to the lake wasn't going to be too taxing and so off we wandered.  Happily we found a beautiful scene with docks, beach and calm water so we dipped our toes for a while, enjoying the light breeze and warmth of the sun.  (This is the part when we felt like we were true campers and probably would be earning some kind of merit badge for hiking or something).  

 Sam follows the path to the beach.

Sam follows the path to the beach.

 The docks where you can cool your toes.

The docks where you can cool your toes.

We then had all night to start our fire, cook our steaks and set up our dining area.  Transforming a sap-laden picnic table simply by covering it in white linen does wonders.  Naturally, we brought our china, stemware and silverware, plus cloth napkins and brass candlesticks.  I couldn't tell if the other campers who passed by, staring at us, were impressed, jealous or thought we were crazy.  One of them simply said "Kinda fancy, don't you think?"  I'm guessing they went with "crazy." 

 Setting the table for glamping.

Setting the table for glamping.

 Don't leave your china at home!

Don't leave your china at home!

Oh, but camping sure does bring out your appetite!  We had the stamina of kings when it came to food.  Every site had a grill so it was easy to cook the steak.  I had brought along cooked pasta, (sealed in ziploc bags with a little olive oil) to avoid having to boil water at the campground.  We added the pasta to an aluminum foil packet of fresh veggies (also prepped at home), salt, pepper, herbs and Parmesan cheese and stuck the packets, all wrapped up, right on the fire for about ten minutes.  We sliced the steak, poured our pasta onto our plates and dug in for a leisurely meal.  We ended the evening around the campfire eating roasted marshmallows.  No one can resist a good, burnt marshmallow when you're roughing it in the woods!  

 The candlelight looked beautiful at night.

The candlelight looked beautiful at night.

 Pasta, veggies, steak and wine.  Perfect glamping meal. 

Pasta, veggies, steak and wine.  Perfect glamping meal. 

It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.  And I'm pretty sure Karen would be open to the idea of glamping again, as long as I promise there will be no bugs.  I'm going to lie and tell her that we're choosing a bug-free campground.  I think she'll believe me when I say they exist because she doesn't get outside much.  Please share your glamping (or camping) stories and photos with us!  We'll post them in our Glamping Resources Guide!  

xoxo Zandra

P.S.  A big thank you to Sam O'Donoghue of the accessories shop, So Sam for additional photography. 

Outdoor Pleasures: The Country Living Fair

This past weekend, Karen June and I got to do one of our most favorite things for the blog: we attended the Country Living Fair, compliments of Hometalk, an online forum for home improvement project ideas, DIY help and hiring local pros.  Situated in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York, the fair is a great place to meet up with friends and spend a couple of days antiquing, finding new artisans and eating at one of the many terrific restaurants in the area.  Below are some of the photos we captured of the fair, including many outstanding displays of treasures to buy or be used as inspiration.

We had the pleasure of meeting up with Cari Cucksey of RePurpose (and former host of HGTV's "Cash & Cari").  She was debuting her new line of paint and we happily picked up a couple of colors and will share our projects with you soon.  

We also met the new Editor-In-Chief of Country Living magazine, Rachel Hardage Barrett. She's spearheading the move of CL offices from New York to Alabama and we're looking forward to seeing what's up her sleeve in the coming months.  

A big thank you to Miriam Illions and Diana Mackie of Hometalk for hosting us.  We currently have a few projects up on their blog and look forward to working with them regularly!  

If you're kicking yourself because you missed last weekend's fair, don't fret!  There are two more Country Living Fairs this year: Ohio in September and Georgia in October.  And if neither of those are in your neck of the woods, here's a very helpful list of the best antique fairs across the U.S. compiled by Country Living.  

Want to know our strategies for getting the most out of a large fair? How do you keep from getting overwhelmed?  What do you buy and what do you leave behind?  How to increase your stamina?  We'll share our tips in this Friday's newsletter, so sign up now!  Just scroll up and you'll see our subscription box in the left column.  We'd love for you to join us!

xoxo Zandra

Container Gardening Workshop

All week we've been sharing pieces of our Container Garden Workshop, from what we gave our guests (garden glove invites and an apron) to the decor (a vintage seed packet bunting) and the recipe for our new cocktail, the Beekeeper Sunrise.  But we've saved the best for last.  We are soooo excited to share the photography from the actual workshop. Nothing beats taking photos in a perfectly sun-lit greenhouse!

 The entrance to  Windy-Lo Nursery  with the greenhouse in the background.

The entrance to Windy-Lo Nursery with the greenhouse in the background.

For this month's party, we knew we wanted to do some kind of floral workshop to cap off our May theme, "Flora & Fauna."  Learning how to compose a container garden seemed to be a perfect activity that would also allow for some socializing. Our challenge was figuring out the right place to host half a dozen people all needing access to flowers, soil, tools and a place to do their planting.  And were we supposed to choose all of the flowers ahead of time?  That seemed logistically unfeasible.  

So instead, we asked Windy-Lo, one of our best local nurseries, if they would allow us to host a small gathering of friends somewhere on their property.  That way, our guests could wander the nursery and pay for whichever flowers they wanted directly from Windy-Lo.  I highly recommend doing it this way because then the nursery also benefits from the event.  Owner Sally Flagg was so wonderful about our request that she opened up one end of their beautiful greenhouse, supplied us with tables and soil and allowed us to take a gazillion pictures.  

Along with providing everyone with a pair of gloves and an apron, we offered several different kinds of vintage containers to choose from.  To prepare for the party, we had a lot of fun scouring thrift stores and antique shops for anything that would hold plants.  (We keep having to remind our husbands that "we are working...this is our JOB.  We have to go antiquing.  Seriously).  Our guests ended up choosing a porcelain serving dish, a metal colander, a wooden crate, old food tins and a lobster pot.  We loved how the different personalities of the containers influenced what each person planted!

containerparty16.jpg

Along with borrowing the perfect setting, we also had the smart idea to not lead the workshop ourselves.  Instead, we asked a very knowledgeable friend to step in.  If you know someone who has a green thumb, it's kind of a relief to give this part over to them so that you can concentrate on the other aspects of the party.  (If your entire circle of friends consists of people with brown thumbs, call a local garden club or horticultural society.  They just might have someone who'd happily volunteer for the job).  We were so happy to have Elizabeth Carroll teach us how to prep a container garden as well as offering input as we walked around the nursery and chose our plants.  

 Our workshop leader, Elizabeth Carroll (L), and guest, Amy.

Our workshop leader, Elizabeth Carroll (L), and guest, Amy.

Here are Elizabeth's

TOP 3 CONTAINER GARDEN TIPS:
 

1.  Plant for how you want the container to look right now.  In a garden bed, you'd space out the plants, leaving room to grow over the next couple of years.  Containers are meant to give you a spectacular show right away.  (I personally love instant gratification and was very happy with this tip).  Go ahead and stuff your plants so that the arrangement looks full and lush.  You won't be saving it past the summer so don't worry about it overgrowing.  You can always replant the flowers in your garden bed if you want to keep them long-term. 

2.  Go for at least one of each kind of plant: a Thriller, a Spiller and a Filler.  You know those gorgeous containers you see in magazines that look so complex?  Here's how.  You choose something with height and drama for the center (the Thriller) then you choose a plant that will spill out over the edge of the container (the Spiller).  Vines work well for this such as ivy, sweet potato vine or even trailing flowers like certain petunias.   Then, you fill in the empty spaces with a plant that is more compact (the -you guessed it- Filler).  The fillers offer color if they are floral or offer interesting texture if the plant is leafy.  

3.  The final tip is simply to think outside the terra cotta pot when it comes to containers.  You can line wood crates with plastic wrap and use a staple gun to hold it in place so that you keep the water in.  You can hammer a nail into the bottoms of tin pots and then remove them to create drainage.  You can throw empty plastic bottles in the bottoms of larger containers so that you don't have to use as much soil.  Just pick a great shape and imagine what it would look like holding beautiful flowers, herbs or succulents!

Now since this wasn't just a container garden workshop but also a Little Yellow Couch party, we naturally wanted to offer some tasty treats and libations.  We set up one table with vintage floral tablecloths and used very feminine handkerchiefs in place of napkins.  

Our bunting was strung across our workspace.  Before the party, we had already filled a few small tins and tea cups with pansies for a center piece.

We all had a great time learning from Elizabeth, chatting over scones and a morning cocktail, and going home with a beautiful living arrangement.  Karen and I think this makes for a great outing amongst a casual group of friends but it could also serve as a more formal party for a bride-to-be. Everyone could make two containers, one to take home and one to give to the bride!  (Wish I had thought of that when I was getting married).  At any rate, this is definitely a party that you could put together fairly easily and we highly recommend you do!

 Amy, Elizabeth, Dorothea, Karen, Zandra, Maura & Kat.  All happy planters.

Amy, Elizabeth, Dorothea, Karen, Zandra, Maura & Kat.  All happy planters.

Happy Gardening! 

xoxo Zandra & Karen June

An Enchanted Portrait Party

Chapter 5: The Enchanted Forest

In which all of the party elements finally come together

We've been so inspired by our favorite photographers this month that we wanted to create an experience we imagine we'd find on one of their photo shoots.  And for something as involved as creating a stage set, altering costumes, scouring for props and bringing in a make-up artist, we knew we'd want to invite people to join in the fun.  And so, the idea for an Enchanted Portrait Party was born. If you've been reading our posts this week, you know that the process of pulling this off has been anything but "enchanting."  But, spoiler alert, it DID all come together in the end, and if you ever want to do something similar, just skip over our mistakes!

Ok, so first we figured we'd have about 14 people milling around in elaborate costumes, waiting for their turn under the lights and acting as an audience for fellow party goers.  Luckily, Karen quickly scrapped that idea, realizing that she had limited time to actually edit all of the portraits.  Then we decided to nix the passed hors d'oeuvres because so much attention would be on taking the photos rather than the usual party activities such as imbibing in alcohol, playing charades and wearing lampshades on our heads.  So now, it was really becoming more of a photo shoot than a party.  But hey, we ended up ordering pizza, so in my book that still counts as a party.

Second, the setting.  As mentioned earlier, we imagined a black and white forest where we'd be able to capture people running or hiding throughout the woods.   We spent some time collecting about half a dozen large branches and painting them white.  We figured we'd string the 200 dragonflies (remember those?) from our trees.  All of this got me thinking about fairy tales for my portrait.  Using Photoshop, Karen could add an image of a wolf, chasing me.  Karen also wanted her portrait to be a wide shot where she'd be letting a bird fly free from a cage. She herself was going to channel a raven, giving the impression that one bird had the power to rescue another.  We probably spent several hours over the course of a week staring at the same couple of rooms in our homes.  We kept thinking that the walls would miraculously expand, offering up the exact space needed to install a woodland scene, in which we could set up the wide shot both of us envisioned.

Alas, the wide shot was simply not going to happen.  I wasn't going to be "running" from anything and Karen wouldn't be letting anything fly free. 

Once we finally accepted our spatial limitations, we decided on using a space in Karen's home that could hold four trees and no dragonflies.  If you're ever in need of a large quantity of paper insects, please call us.  

With our new, reduced space came the task of rethinking what our characters would be doing.  I had originally envisioned a heroine lost in the woods, but I didn't want to specifically play out a well known story such as Red Riding Hood. To mix it up, I decided to look for a light pink ball gown, something Cinderella might have worn.  Not sure when you were last looking for a cheap ball gown to fit a grown woman but I ended up in the prom section of JCPenny's.  I was so embarrassed to be trying on prom dresses at my age that when I went to pay for one I made a point of asking the cashier if my "daughter" could return this if she didn't like it!  In the end, I returned it because I found a much better (age appropriate) choice at Nordstrom Rack.  It was an evening gown rather than a full-on Cinderella dress but I was pretty happy with it.  

And now, since I wouldn't be running from any wolves, we decided to go more with a woman who has be lost in the woods for several years after she left the ball (imagine Cinderella never finding her pumpkin carriage after losing her glass slipper).  She's never found her way out of the woods but has built a magical globe out of moss in the hopes that she can eventually find her way home.  (Yes.  She is crazy).  

For Karen's revised scene, she still wanted to look raven-esque and Greg did a fantastic job on her make-up.  Since there would be no birds flying out of her cage, she decided to set the butterflies free.  Symbolically, the dark and earthly raven contrasts with the light and ephemeral butterflies, representing an aesthetic that Karen is drawn to repeatedly.  The things she finds most beautiful in the world have a dark side, not in a sinister way, but in a way that shows the full spectrum of what it means to be human.  Ravens are often portrayed as the harbingers of doom but in this case, the butterflies fully trust the raven and freely interact with her.   Karen's photos are truly beautiful, in way that we may not have been caught in the scene we had originally envisioned.  

Karen1.jpg

Betty was also channelling the energy of a bird, this time, a peacock.  You may have seen her facial transformation in our step-by-step make-up post.  It all started with the jacket she chose to wear.  That iridescent, deep turquoise collar is just stunning and reminded us of that glorious bird.  But being that we wanted to find something that seemed unexpected for each character, we asked Betty to think of luring someone into the woods with mesmerizing peacock feathers and the promise of a juicy apple.  We imagined that the story continued with the bird turning into a wicked witch once the forest had grown thick and there was no where for her prey to escape.  

Laura had a great time with her character and had all of us rolling on the floor during her shoot. Her daughter suggested she pretend to be a chef or a painter or something and Laura remembered she had an unfinished painting she had been working on years ago.  Instead of being a painter, though, we thought she should interact with the painting as if the person in it were real.  And then, the slightly drunk, very proper but desperate socialite character came to life.  Laura perfectly acted out a relationship with "Harold," starting with a contrived "date" she had planned in the park.  Harold was at times flirtatious, humorous and even jealous, but always offering Laura much-needed attention as her suitor.  By the time her character was fully three-sheets-to-the-wind, Laura was even introducing Harold as her fiancee to the imaginary people walking by.  Maybe you had to be there but it was HILARIOUS.

So, in the end, our PORTRAIT-PARTY-TURNED-PHOTO-SHOOT was totally worth the effort and we all had a great time.  And boy, do we have the pictures to prove it! Or at least Karen and I think it was worth the effort.  When Karen was dragging 8 foot trees into her living room and painting them the day her water heater burst requiring Jason to explain his crazy wife to the plumber, we weren't so sure.  But by the evening of the event, Jason had withdrawn the divorce papers and got himself up on a ladder to take hundreds of photos.  Whew.  So if you decide to replicate any or all of our party, please know, there's no holding back on this one, folks!  You gotta go ALL OUT.   
 

xoxo Zandra (with Karen June's stamp of approval)

Vintage Librarian Social

You may know that we host some kind of event almost every month at Little Yellow Couch and we had a blast with this one!  For our "Bookish" theme we decided to make up a party that we hadn't heard of before....and here it is: our Vintage Librarian Social. "What the heck is a vintage librarian?" (I could hear our guests muttering when they received our invite).  Well, we knew she'd be smart, classy, and have a great sense of humor when she's with her other librarian friends.  Oh, and she'd be wearing a perfectly suited ensemble including sweater clips, to any social she was attending! 

We simply wanted to have fun, which to us means creating an excuse for dressing up in fab vintage clothing, sporting our retro glasses and talking books, books, books while sipping on tea (with a nip of brandy of course).   

We created a library reading room for our gathering.  Here are a few shots of how we set it up, complete with library posters: 

We each brought five books to share, giving each of them a short review and then trading amongst ourselves.  

A group of librarians, vintage or otherwise, can get a bit rowdy so we had to do a little shushing whenever we got overly excited about a particular storyline. 

All of our guests went home with a Library Kit, featuring due date cards and their envelopes we created with Smock paper, a date stamp, stamp pad and perfectly sharpened #2 pencil.  Oh, and a stack of new books to read, which was definitely the best part of all. 

We loved channelling our inner vintage librarian and we highly recommend you do so, too.  It's a great way to infuse a little humor into your next book club!  

xoxo Zandra & Karen June

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Little Yellow Couch

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