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Dec 31, 2012

So Long 2012

Tonight I'll be watching 200 Cigarettes while I get ready for an evening of fun (I watch it every NYE). We're having dinner with friends, will make a stop at a party and then head back to our house to drink pink champagne and watch the fireworks on the top of the Space Needle from the view at the end of our block. A few traditions, good food, great friends and sparklers at midnight sound like the perfect evening to me!

It's been a fantastic year for me and for Vivi Dot. Lily joined the team, we remodeled our kitchen, Duncan and I celebrated our first year of wedded bliss and so much more. If you're interested in looking back on our year I think the best way to do so is through Instagram.

While it's fun to look back on all the awesomeness of 2012 I'm also really excited as I look on to the new year ahead. We're working hard on a bunch of fun new designs that will be released at the POOL Trade Show in February. We're also in the beginning stages of site redesign that we're super excited to see come to life.
I had an eye appointment last week and confirmed what my tired eyes were telling me- I need glasses for computer and other up close work. I guess staring at a computer screen only to switch gears and assemble hundreds of necklace chains has finally caught up with me. The good news is I'm super excited about my newest accessory. The colorful specs in the photo above are what I chose.

I'd like to take a minute to shout out a big, huge thank you for all of your support in 2012. Your purchases, your tweets, and your online and offline friendships mean a great deal to me. Thanks for stopping by here and for being interested in what we're up to! I hope you have some fun plans for this evening and are excited for what lies ahead in 2013.



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Dec 19, 2012

New Item: Hand Painted Metallic Necklaces

As Lily mentioned in her last post, I've recently launched a few new products that feature hand painted dots. I've been wanting to add gold accents to solid fabric dots for a while now and I figured with New Year's Eve around the corner there's no better time than now.
So far there are two options with various colors available in each style. The Lexington Necklace features three buttons painted with geometric shapes. The gold plated chain is extra shiny and festive.
The flower necklaces feature a solid colored button that's also hand painted with an eye catching metallic gold paint. It is surrounded by gold plated petals with strong linear details that pick up the light beautifully.
Don't forget that today is the last day to place your orders for pre-Christmas delivery! Hope your holiday festivities are bringing lots of cheer to you and yours.


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Dec 18, 2012

K BYE 2012

Amidst all the holiday stuff, it's easy to forget that a mere six days after Christmas comes good ol' New Years Eve! Every year I hear myself telling someone that this is the year I'm going to go with the proverbial flow and not worry about what I'm doing that night, but every year around this time I start asking everyone what their plans are, sharpening my glitter eyeliner pencil, wondering what time I have work on New Years Day, etc. And in the grand scheme of relatively pointless holidays that we celebrate, it sincerely does make sense to me that this one should be celebrated wholeheartedly. What better way to bring in the New Year then surrounded by friends and family in a fancy outfit with a whole lot of booze?
Here are some crucial NYE props sure to provide a party-centric night.

Dot a Hold On Me Dress (via Modcloth)

My wardrobe is relatively dress-centric as is, but there are definitely certain times that I want to up my dress game a little bit without going all out. I love that this dress is on the casual side of formal, but could totally get played up with the right shoes. Plus it'll look just as sweet under a wool sweater and a huge coat, which is My Life For the Next 5 1/2 months.

Mason Jar Sippers (via Butter Home)
These super cute mason jars would be perfect to fill with a lil' bubbly. Bonus points for the equally precious paper straws, sold separately.

Leopard print nail decals (via Pretty Girly Girl)
I was born a nail biter and will (probably) die a nail biter so generally speaking any attempt at sprucing up my nails is a total waste of time, but I LOVE how these nail decals look and virtually see them everywhere. Stick em on and party hard!

Vivi Dot Necklace (via Vivi Dot, duh)
Molly came up with these hand painted designs a few weeks ago and I am FREAKING OUT over them. If there's a better way to add a little last minute oomph to an outfit, I'd like to hear it. What are your crucial NYE party accessories this year?





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Dec 7, 2012

The Big Kitchen Reveal: Before and After

I thought I'd start off the big kitchen remodel reveal with some photos of our house when we first viewed it (back when it had pink carpet and a different owner).
The kitchen also had chicken themed decor. It was charming, but so opposite of our style. We were excited to dig in. In fact, we ripped up the pink carpet within about 3 minutes of getting the keys and walking through the door. Duncan refinished the hardwood floors beneath the pepto pink carpet the week before we moved in.
Now for a few 'middle' photos. We lived in our house for a year before the remodel so here you can see a bit more of the kitchen during that time. We really didn't mind the look of the kitchen (minus the chicken wall paper), but there wasn't nearly enough storage or counter space.
Here's one of the two walls we removed.
Now for the exciting stuff! We opened up the entire space by taking down the walls that separated the kitchen from the dining and living room. This required a new beam that we left exposed and posts that go down into the foundation (in the basement).
The black and white floor was a must. Duncan and I love dancing in the kitchen and we've always dreamed about having an awesome black and white checkerboard floor. We put our own twist on it by doing rectangle tiles instead of squares. We figured the shinier the better and went with porcelain tile. The surround sound speakers in ceiling are awesome for dance parties too.
The countertops are granite, black pearl granite to be exact. We went with white subway tiles with gray grout for the back splash. The cabinets are Ikea (we saved big with their annual kitchen sale).
We kept the sink in the same location and kept the existing windows as well (both big money savers). I am so in love with our huge single basin sink. It's amazing! The faucet with touch technology is one of our favorite upgrades.
I have been lusting after a vibrant vintage pendant light for a while and the stars aligned just at the right time with this find. We removed the gold chain to update it a bit. It casts an amazingly warm glow over our dining room table.
We have plans to liven up the area under the bar overhang (behind where the stools are). I'll be sure to share that project once we tackle it.
We went with open corner shelving so we'd have space to display some of our favorite things and brighten up the otherwise all black and white kitchen.
We have so much more storage now it's incredible. All of our serving pieces are right upstairs next to the dining room instead of collecting dust in the basement. We also got a nifty outlet with two USB plugs and a regular outlet for all our charging needs.
And here's one last angle for good measure. Please note that gorgeous dining room table over on the left. That was Duncan's first adventure in furniture making and it turned out beautifully. It's made out of the wood from the original wood beam we replaced. The house was built in 1946 so it's pretty sweet to have used an old piece of reclaimed wood that has some history behind it. We bought the hair pins legs on Etsy from Hair Pin Love.
I'll be back soon with photos of the rest of the living room including our newly blue fireplace!
If you're in the Seattle area and are looking for a contractor I can't say enough good things about ours, Adam and Wally with Alder Building & Renovation. Shoot me an email if you'd like me to make an introduction!


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Dec 6, 2012

GIMMEE

It feels oddly good to be at the point in my life where (mostly,) things I need and strongly desire I can obtain just fine on my own. The past couple of years I've noticed that once the holidays roll around it's increasingly difficult for me to come up with things I want because I either buy what I need, save up for what I want, or don't successfully save up (thus proving to myself that I probably didn't want it that badly anyway,) and promptly move on. That said, being that this season is of the gift giving variety, there are a few things I wouldn't mind owning..

'Talk to the Hand' Necklace
In God We Trust NYC makes really sweet and simple everyday jewelry, and I'm obsessed with this line of necklaces because the sweet little gold hearts offer really sassy (and sometimes sorta dirty) messages on them.

Royal Rose Cardamon Clove Syrup

Literally every item on the Catbird website is a dream to me. Known mostly for their jewelry and accessories, their site features a pretty impressive amount of homewares and various other magical odds and ends, including this delicious sounding syrup.


Knee Pad tights
I saw a girl wearing a pair of kneepad tights when I visited Portland for the first time three years ago and apparently haven't gotten it out of my system since then.

Harold and Maude pin set

I've mentioned this before, but Harold and Maude is my all time favorite movie. What better way to rep it then to carry some stills with me everywhere I go?





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Dec 4, 2012

Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The holidays are creeping up on us at an alarming rate! Please take note that to insure that your Vivi Dot item arrives by December 25th, domestic orders must be placed by December 19th, and international orders by the 8th. I happen to have a few Vivi Dot pieces in particular that would make a sweet as can be gift. Curious?

Holiday Bow Hair Clips:

These clips are sweet because they are a perfect blend of festive and everyday. Crisp white bows, bright red background, little hair clips? As cute as ever for anyone who loves a good hair accessory.

Christmas Gift Set:

Perfect for a gift giver that's crunched for time! Our set includes a Peppermint ring and dot earrings, and a holly jolly button set of 3 pins that can double as gift tags.

Delicate Lace Ring:

This ring features a gentle white lace overlay with a bright red design underneath. This is another piece that qualifies as festive but can be worn all year long, and tiny enough to fit in the smallest of stockings.

Gnome Bookmark:

A perfect gift for lovers of books and gnomes alike!





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Dec 3, 2012

Remodel Sneak Peek

The dark, wintery Seattle days are making it tough to get bright house tour photos of our finally finished remodel. So while I wait for that perfect timing of light through the windows partnered with a clean kitchen I though I'd share a couple of sneak peeks.

First up is the amazing table Duncan made from the original support beam we removed from between our kitchen and living room (we replaced it with a more sound, exposed beam). I bought legs from Hair Pin Love on Etsy.

The next little preview is in our hallway. We had a little bit of extra space to create a very narrow shelving unit so we had our contractor make it fit four shelves of records. The skateboard image inspired the ombre organization.

I bought and made these curtains for the corner of our kitchen all in one day. I normally purchase the fabric and then let it sit around for a good few months before I do anything with it.
Well that's it for now. I hope to be back very soon with a full tour of our now fully open kitchen/living/dining room.


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Nov 30, 2012

You're Invited!

We're excited to announce that our friends at Assemble Gallery are hosting a designer showcase featuring Vivi Dot on Saturday, December 8th from 5-8 pm. Think wine, holiday (edible) treats, mingling, a hefty handful of Vivi Dot items on display amidst a fantastically well curated shop filled with independent designer wares! We've talked about Assemble before (how could anyone forget the DIY campfire they built?) but we'll never get tired of bragging about how cool they are.
Friends Andie and Emily opened Assemble in 2009 with the intent to create a space that could be utilized as a gallery, community workshop environment, and retail storefront. Dreamy, right? Recently they decided to close the doors on their retail space as of January 2013 to focus their energy on maintaining an amazing online store and fostering the online community that goes with it. With a shop that sells a range of gifts, DIY kits, jewelry, prints, journals and housewares, we support them wholeheartedly. Here are some pieces I'm excited to see for myself on Saturday.
1: Jeweled Bird Crewel Embroidery Kit, 2: Be Brave Print, 3: Pantone Mugs and Stationary Items, 4: Reusable Produce Bags

Excited yet? Here are the details for Saturday: The designer showcase will be held at Assemble Gallery (7406 Greenwood Avenue North Seattle, Washington 98103) from 5-8 pm. Expect wine, snacks, and a whole lot of Vivi Dot products, as well as the usual Assemble inventory. If you have any questions about the event (or anything in general, really) feel free to email us at info(at)vividotonline.com. Please also check out and RSVP to the event on our Facebook Page. We sincerely look forward to seeing you there!

 




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Nov 29, 2012

DIY GIFT IDEAS

It's Thanksgiving this week, which means it's practically nearly almost essentially Christmastime. The past few years I've adopted a DIY attitude when it comes to gift giving to extended family, which has more or less been successful (sans the greasy pancake-esque vegan cookies I made everyone last year, despite the fact that I managed a year and a half of veganism with the fluffiest and most aesthetically pleasing cookies around) and always appreciated. I think it's definitely a growing up thing, but there is something so sincerely special about the kinds of gifts that are MADE and not bought.

It's hard because I come from a pretty crafty family- my mom makes soap and laundry detergent, like, for fun- but I think I want to up my game a little bit this year. Here are some ideas I found floating around the internet that seem fun, easy and enjoyed by all.

DIY Sugar scrub:


Sugar scrub is cool because it literally consists of sugar, binding oil and the scent of your choice. Bonus points for fancying it up in a mason jar with a ribbon like in this picture. Amazing!

DIY Apple butter:


Until just now I think I had some vast misconceptions about what apple butter was. Is it of the buttery spread variety? Is it jam? Turns out apple butter doesn't have dairy in it, and is kind of just a smoother and sweeter version of apple sauce, also known as the easiest treat to make ever. Here's a great website that lists recipes and resources for all things apple butter makin'. And, as always, bonus points for the jar.

Chocolate covered pretzel sticks:


This is actually SO easy sounding and looks cool. Plus I finally found something that doesn't require a mason jar. Melt chocolate chips, dip em' in pretzel sticks, roll em' in sprinkles or candy, and let em' cool. DONE! Shout out to Spoonful.com for this crazy easy, fun seeming one.

Honorable Mention: Doctoring up mixes

I know this is kind of lame, but in my cupboard at this very moment sits a box of banana bread mix AND a box of pumpkin bread mix. While it seems a teeny bit sleazy to claim to have made these treats from scratch and gift them off, if I doctor them with dried fruit, nuts or candy and substitute the liquids for liquor, and maaaayyybeee make a frosting, I feel like my innovativeness will surely balance out the part about it being from a box, right? Especially if the presentation is emphasized, I think the purchasing of a sweet little dishtowel to wrap them up in further compensates for the mix factor. Maybe I'll have to save this project for my parent's neighbors who gift me toe socks Every. Single. Year.




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Nov 20, 2012

Fabric Autumn Leaves

I sent off some Thanksgiving gifts the other day and wanted to include a special handmade something that screamed fall when the recipient opened up the box. I started out by rounding up some fabric in rich autumnal hues.
First I printed out a leaf image I found on the internet to use as a pattern. Make sure to print it on to thick paper so it holds up. You can download the one I used here (it's blurry, but you only need it for the shape anyway).
Next I cut squares of fabric to the approximate size of the leaf pattern and fused two different prints together (back to back) with a stem in the middle. I would have used twigs, but it's been so wet here I had to give up on that idea and used plastic grass strands I happened to have in my craft closet.
Up next was cutting out the fused fabric squares into the leaf shape. To add some more detail I fused the interfacing to some of the scrap fabric. I peeled off the interfacing paper and cut thin strips to make the leaf veins. I laid them out on the leaf shapes and ironed them on once they were placed just right.
The last step was to add a tiny drop of fabric glue to the base of the leaf. I used clothespins to keep the leaf crimped the way I wanted it until the fabric glue dried.
I placed the leaf face down so the recipient will get a colorful surprise when the turn it over. I am going to make some more before Thursday so I can decorate my dinner table with them. The only problem with sending them off was separating them. They looked so pretty all together!


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