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Dec 30, 2010

Inspiration Board DIY

The end of the year is just a day away now and I'm itching to finish up some things that should have been done months ago. I always have a bunch of little things on my todo list that tend to get shoved aside for more pressing matters. Hanging photos, cleaning up the mess of cords under my desk and other stuff that will help me feel less cluttered and more organized without much effort. I have been focusing on clearing these sorts of things off my list this week to start the new year off feeling accomplished and ready for what's next.

Right after I moved into my current house I started a DIY project on some cork boards I had set aside for my office. I was less than impressed with the outcome of this project and never hung them up. Last night I decided to just try something new to cover the DIY don't and turn it into something I'd be excited about. I'll start backwards and share the finished product first. Here's my brand new inspiration board: Book Pages Inspiration BoardNot only am I really excited about how much I love the finished product, but I also have a new blank canvas to fill up. I'm thinking wedding inspiration, ideas for new Vivi Dot designs, keepsakes from the year that has past and new ideas for the year ahead!

This project was super easy! All you need is a cork board (or three if you want to do it just like me), black duct tape, Elmer's spray adhesive, and an old, beat up paperback book (mine was left over from this project). If you want to connect multiple boards together then you'll also need some screws and a power screw driver. Inspiration Board SuppliesTo start, simply spray the adhesive on individual pages and cover the cork on the board. I alternated horizontal and vertical, overlapping at different widths so nothing looked too uniform. Once the entire board was covered I ripped a few pages on the diagonal and glued those over the top every once and while to create some more interesting patterns. Next I simply covered the frame with black duct tape to give it a nice bold, finished edge. Book Page CollageI tried a ton of different layouts on the floor before deciding on this vertical option with one diagonally in the middle (on top of the others). Inspiration Board DIYMy handman, Duncan, drilled the screws in to attach the boards together and then I attached them to the wall as he used a level to make sure everything lined up just right. Inspiration Board DIYI bought some thumbtacks that have magnets on the end of them which are perfect for special prints like the fashionable ladies that are on the board now (by Danny Brito). I think I'll make some pretty thumbtacks out of Vivi Dot buttons as well for things I don't mind putting holes in.

Do you have an inspiration board? If not, are there other ways you like to visually get inspired for what's to come in 2011?
If you prefer to compile your inspiration online via Pinterest make sure to follow my boards there!Pin It

Dec 27, 2010

Face Time

It actually feels really good to be back at my desk and back to work today! I think my body deserves a nice break from all that holiday merriment! I promise this blog won't turn into a non stop Audrey photo fest, but for now I'm a proud new Auntie that's just dying to share. Duncan, my mom and I flew out to Las Vegas to meet this little cutie last week. She's only a week old in these pictures, but she's already keeping us entertained with a wide array of facial expressions. I could just stare at her for hours which is pretty much what we did. Audrey SmilesGrandma Pam was in heaven! Grandma PamI hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have some fun plans brewing for the new year!Pin It

Dec 17, 2010


I'm an Aunt, my Mom's a Grandma, Duncan's an Uncle, Grandma Dot is GREAT Grandma! Most importantly, Emily and Bryce are Mom & Dad! Audrey Jean was born at 2:02 pm yesterday December 16th and I can hardly wait to go see the little cutie in person next week. She's got a full head of hair and is just so pretty already! Emily and Bryce were deciding between a few names and I'm so happy Audrey won out. It was my top pick and I think it fits just right. Jean is my Mom's middle name and Bryce's Grandma's name which makes her middle name so special.
My heart is melting!Pin It

Dec 15, 2010

Merry Stressmas!

I always have such great expectations about what I want to get done and blog about in December. Well, truthfully it's a year round struggle, but December just seems especially difficult when it comes to time management. There's the usual: full time job, teaching dance classes, and Vivi Dot orders to take care of with the added holiday craft shows, festive parties to attend, shopping to be completed and, and, and. I need to face that fact that my visions of multiple, fabulous, holiday DIY tutorials and new handmade decorations likely ain't gonna be executed. As of today I'm allowing myself to feel okay with that. Heck, I haven't even bought a tree yet! So with literally no time to deck the halls I've decided to the deck my workspace in the meantime. I strung up these adorably festive stickers by Michelle of Bubbly Shnooks above my desk. I do spend a good 10 hours a day in this very spot so it makes sense to start here. Plus once I do finally get to some holiday gift wrap blog posts (I WILL do at least one of those) they'll be nice and handy! Deck the Desk
Do you find time management extra tough during the holidays too?Pin It

Dec 14, 2010

Graphics Alive 2

Last spring I was contacted by Victionary and asked to submit a ton of product photos for a book they were putting together, Graphics Alive 2. This book is a follow up to the best selling first addition and I was elated to be in the running for the second! Duncan and I had a week full of late nights snapping photos, editing photos, and answering their questions. I am beyond thrilled to finally share with you that we are IN! Not only are we in the book, but we're the first brand featured! I always thought that even if I didn't get selected it would be an honor to be considered, you know just like being nominated for an Oscar? Though I still think that's true, it sure feels darn good to have made the cut. Graphics Alive 2 By Victionary
I know I'm a bit biased, but this book is awesome. If you're into product design or graphics at all I think it's a must have. The cover alone would have sold me on it in the bookstore! It has a canvas, soft cover that slides inside this amazing sleeve and the eyes are holograms that appear open and shut from different angles. Graphics Alive 2 CoverGraphics Alive 2 Cover SleeveGraphics Alive Cover SleeveHere's the first page after the forward. Vivi Dot!! Vivi Dot in Graphics Alive Unfortunately, they didn't quite get the credits right. Duncan and I did the photography. Hanna Brooks Nation created the girl images I use on my packaging and Kami Shallenberger created the very popular feather image. They also changed some of the wording for the descriptions, but ah heck who cares.Vivi Dot Graphics Alive Credits
The second and third pages for Vivi dot: Vivi Dot 2nd & 3rd PagesDuncan and I did get our names listed in our bio section in the back! Vivi Dot Bio - Graphics AliveThanks for reading and sharing this exciting day with me!Pin It

Dec 13, 2010

An EventFULL weekend

I had quite an eventful weekend! I'm lumping Thursday and Friday into my weekend too because that's when I took off for San Francisco. My alarm woke me up at 4:15 am on Thursday morning and it was pretty much non stop until Sunday night. I headed straight into the office after I landed and picked up my sweet Ford Fiesta rental car (a total party). I worked from the office all day and then headed out to a client dinner at Alexander's Steakhouse. The food was really incredible and I had a cocktail I'll definitely be trying to recreate (vodka, muddled strawberries, mint, balsamic syrup, and black pepper). After dinner took almost four hours I headed over to my friend Jeni's house to catch up over a few more drinks before hitting the air mattress. Jeni and I used to be roommates so it was good to snuggle up with this old roomie too (Luci).LuciI was back to the office Friday morning and then headed across the city after work to the Mission where I'd be staying the rest of the weekend. I got dressed up for my office holiday party and headed out to another tasty dinner and some good times with my coworkers. I rocked my new favorite accessory (a Giant Dwarf Starlette Crown) as a belt that night. Giant Dwarf Starlette CrownSaturday morning Allie, Summer and I hit up Greens for lunch before we did some great holiday shopping at the Bazaar Bizarre at Fort Mason. We squeezed in some downtown shopping as well, went out to dinner, and to a holiday/bday party. The three of us finished off the night dancing in the Mission for old time's sake. Allie Summer MollyDonald Glover was also there and since I am a huge Community fan I couldn't resist and said hello. I met Danny Pudi earlier this year when he randomly ended up stopping by my Brother In Law's birthday party. That's two characters from the show down- now if only Joel Mchale would be next!

After a quick coffee date with Vivianna on Sunday morning I was headed to the airport where I FAILED the body scan. Apparently there was an area of my body they couldn't 'clear' so they ushered me to a private room where I had a very thorough pat down. It was so crazy! What the heck did that machine think I had inside of me?!! My flight was late which is always a pain, but I kind of welcomed the chance to have a glass of wine to unwind after my TSA groping.

Mr. Joe Zee (the Creative Director of ELLE Magazine) made my day much better when he posted a message I had tweeted him to all of his followers. I get really excited just thinking of the fact that he's now read the name ViviDot! Now I'm just waiting for my call about that big magazine feature ;)
I went straight to the Vivi Dot workshop to finish up orders and prep them for shipping. Olive completed her final shipment checks as well.Shipping KittyDuncan was very excited to have me back home and I was rewarded with some of my favorite things- pink champagne, fancy cheese, a fire, and cozy time on the couch with the fam.Indoor Picnic
I packed in a ton of fun, but I'm also excited to have a relatively low key weekend before the final Christmas countdown begins. If you need a little relaxing escape I suggest watching this dreamy time lapse video Duncan made while I was gone.

Clouds Over the Puget Sound from Duncan Hooper on Vimeo.

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Dec 9, 2010

Crafty Moving Pictures

For someone with a video editor for a fiance I sure don't have many videos up here on the blog! Now that Duncan has a new camera he's really excited to use I'm hoping to change that starting with this video from the Urban Craft Uprising show where we had a booth last week. As I mentioned before, my Grandma Dottie (yes she's half of the Vivi Dot name) came by to check out the event. It marked her first time seeing Vivi Dot in action so make sure to watch out for her special shout out in the video. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Vivi Dot at The Urban Craft Uprising from Vivi Dot on Vimeo.

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Dec 8, 2010

UCU Finds

I did some speed shopping at the Urban Craft Uprising show last weekend, usually on quick trips to and from the bathroom. I always had to hurry back to my booth so I'm sure I missed some good stuff, but I found lots of great items. There are a few I'll have to keep under wraps so holiday surprises won't be ruined, but there are some things I can share. Dave from Manticore Stencil Art was right next to the Vivi Dot booth. He stencils iconic pop culture characters onto records. His wife made a trade with us at the end of the second day so I got this rad Labyrinth Bowie record and Duncan got a crazy one with E.T. and Michael Jackson on it. Good stuff! I don't know why it's such a strong memory, but I totally remember watching Labyrinth at my friend Erin's house when I was little. We ate popcorn and dipped it in Taco Bell hot sauce while we watched. Random, but true!labyrinth Bowie
Next up is this pretty little notebook I picked up at the very end of the show. It's by R&L Goods, comes with a moleskin notebook and good old #2 pencil! R and L Goods
Duncan and I love our hot sauce so we bought this spicy bottle of Tabasco by Rakkadeer for our kitchen.Rakkadeer TabascoI'm pretty sure my not so subtle hints may lead to one of these under the tree for me this year. Material and Movement NecklaceHeather from Material and Movement makes the most stunning and unique jewelry with pieces she makes from fine china with pretty patterns.
Last, but certainly not least is Berkley Illustration. I'm hoping I'll end up with one of these this Christmas too though I have no idea how Duncan would be able to choose which one! Berkley IllustrationIf you're still looking for holiday gifts may I suggest jumping over to Scissor Quirk's Blog Party. Michelle has all sorts of fabulous giveaways going on this week including a gift certificate to the Vivi Dot shop for 40 big ones! Go, go now! Pin It

Dec 6, 2010

An Urban Craft Weekend

My first Seattle show is complete and I am so happy to report that it was a great success. It was actually my most successful consumer show yet! The Urban Craft Uprising was held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, right in the shadow of the Space Needle. There were 120 vendors which seemed like the perfect size with tons of great stuff to choose from without being totally overwhelming. I bought so many great gifts that I wish I could show you, but I worry I'd ruin the surprise for the people they're for.
It was also a special treat to have my family finally be able to see a Vivi Dot booth in action. My sister has been to my shows before, but this was the first show for my Mom, Aunt Diane, Cousin Katie and Grandma Dot. Yep, Dottie half of the Vivi Dot name was there and helping out in the booth. She also reads this blog so, Hi Grandma! Thanks for coming and helping out! Duncan shot a bunch of footage of the show on our new camera so I should have a nice little video to share with you in the next few days.

Now that my big show for the holidays is complete I'm hoping I'll have some more time to decorate my house and blog about some fun gift wrapping ideas I have. I'm also headed down to San Francisco on Thursday morning for work. I'll be packing in some client meetings, an office holiday party, as well as some dinner and shopping with some of my San Francisco friends I miss dearly. Can't wait! Oh and.... my sister, Emily, should be having her baby girl any time now! She's due on the 11th so we're just waiting to hear 'it's time!'

What are you up to this week?Pin It

Nov 30, 2010

Make A Statement

I'm so excited that my line of statement necklaces are finally available in the shop! It seems like forever ago that I started working on them and now I can finally share them with you all. The first prototypes were made right before we moved from San Francisco to Seattle so each of the different necklace shapes are named after memorable places from the city by the bay. Some are places I'll never forget, like the Conservatory of Flowers where Duncan proposed. Others hold special meaning like Lexington, the street that our first apartment was on. The 'dots' are all attached to laser cut, sustainable, bamboo pieces that I dreamt up and Duncan made a reality. He officially earned his VP of Product Development title with these! If you want a chance to win one of these new necklaces hop on over to enter Taza's Rockstar Giveaway before December 3rd.

PS- Hope you enjoy the mini holiday blog makeover. I'm too busy prepping for a show to decorate our house just yet, but Dot Girl couldn't wait a minute more to get into the holiday spirit.Pin It

Nov 29, 2010

O is for Overindulging & Oregon

I spent an amazing long weekend in the sticks of Oregon with Duncan and his family. We rented a house about 30 miles East of Salem and had a fantastic time. After dealing with our first ever frozen pipe on Wednesday morning we hit the road at about 1:30 for our four hour and forty minute drive. Four hours and only 100 miles later we finally got through traffic and made it to our destination in eight long hours in the car. TrafficOur Cabin in the WoodsI woke up early on Thanksgiving ready to get started in the kitchen. We cooked and drank and played games all day as we waited for the turkey to be done. We overindulged a bit on the pre dinner drinks because the turkey just wouldn't cook fast enough! I later realized that the oven door didn't latch all the way shut which is why it took a good two hours longer than expected.
The rest of the weekend was filled with Uno, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, hot tubbing, walks in the snow, movies, crashing on the couch with the animals and prepping for a Vivi Dot holiday show I have coming up next weekend. Handsome Duncan
Walks in the Snow

Gluing ViviDots
Peppermint Flower Bud Hair ClipIt was a cozy weekend full of too much wine and food and just the right amount of family time- just how I like my Thanksgiving!Pin It

Nov 22, 2010

Snow Day!

It's a winter wonderland in my neighborhood! So pretty and peaceful. I love it!

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Nov 18, 2010

Would You Like That Gift Wrapped?

My love of gift wrapping was inherited from my Mom. I knew how to create crisp corners and fancy handmade bows out of floral ribbon before I hit my double digit years. It was a running joke at my friend's birthday parties that the gift I brought could be spotted a mile away. My family is big into stocking stuffers too and we individually wrap every tiny thing that goes into them. The only sales we religiously hit on December 26th are the ones where we can stock up on fancy wrapping supplies at 50% off. Okay, I think you get it - we're into wrapping packages!

Unlike my Mom who has a boxes full of holiday wrap, bows, ribbon and gift tags I always end up scrounging for supplies. Now that Duncan and I don't plan on moving for a while I think I can finally warrant stocking up on some pretty, festive supplies. I think it will be fun to share with you my purchases as well as creative, eco friendly, and money saving alternatives here on the Dot Girl Blog as the days quickly countdown to Christmas.

I'll start off this 'Would You Like That Gift Wrapped' series with some of my all time favorite places to shop for gift wrap supplies as well as some fun new finds.

Target - I just spotted some incredibly cute holiday paper in the $0.99 section of Target. Unfortunately, it was when I was in Las Vegas so now I'm just hoping they have the same thing at the one I go to.

Daiso - Oh how I wish there were a Daiso in Seattle! Just about everything there is from Japan and costs $1.50. They have cute wrapping paper, but my $1.50's add up the fastest in the stationary section. Watch out for cute gift bags in varied sizes and adorable gift tags and cards. Lots of them have fun little sayings translated into English that almost make sense. That's the fun part!

Ikea - If you're willing to brave the crowds or are already there for other reasons Ikea usually has cute bags, tissue and wrapping paper at affordable Ikea prices.

Happy Tape - Japanese washi tape has changed me forever! More on that soon.

Paper Source - I could live inside a Paper Source store and be happy forever. So much cute stuff! Their paper products are really high quality, but you pay for it. I plan to share my tips on how to make the pricier stuff like this last so you get more for your money.

I love a good bargain so it's tough for me to spend a lot of money on paper products, especially when they're mass produced. I'd be happy to pay more for these handmade options though!

Ink + Wit - 'luxe gift wrap offset printed on durable 100% post consumer recycled paper' = SOLD! (found this shop via SFGirlByBay)

Alexander Girard - Handmade wrap so pretty it could be framed! (found this designer via Creature Comforts)

Viva Greetings - 'Letterpress Wrapping Paper with playful phrases in english, spanish and spanglish are perfecto!"

Here are some of my gift wrap creations from a few years back.
Contact Paper Branch with Holiday Berries and Leaves
Snakeskin Paper Christmas Tree
Festive Robots
Where do you get your gift wrapping supplies?
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