New Collar Goods

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Setting Your Dining Table for Gatherings

Life Outside the ShopDeana KetchumComment

For this post, I wanted to get a little seasonal and talk about how to gussy up your dining table for the holidays. Typically, a dining table is the centerpiece of a dinner party/holiday and I want to instruct you on how to make it a welcoming and beautiful one for your next gathering.

My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving and we celebrate in our own way, for our own reasons. I love sharing a nourishing and beautiful meal with family and friends. I love taking a pause and expressing gratitude for all of the things, both big and small and I love having a day that is void of gift exchanges and grand expectations. On Thanksgiving at our home, the only expectation is a delicious meal, relaxation and being in the moment with some great people.

So, in celebration of that, let’s talk about how to make your dining table a welcoming one:

1. Think about the role that your table will need to play. Does your table need to house all of the food and dinnerware, or will you have a buffet off to the side?

*Ours will simply be a place to sit and eat with a few essentials.

2. Let it carry the tone and be reflective of the overall vibe of your dinner party. If you're looking for glamor and formality or funky and bold, this might mean incorporating more dedicated dinnerware for each course, or adding  richness or character through bold florals, candles and linens.

If you want your dinner party to have a more simple or down-to-earth feel, consider paring back on items and choose only a couple of thoughtful pieces. For example, light touches of flowers/greenery, linen napkins and some tea lights can create an inviting appeal, while managing to not look over done. You would also want to keep the color palette down to a minimum, or go for a simple tone-on-tone look.

*I am going for down to earth and cozy.

3. Add some dimension with levels/risers to gain space and create more visual interest.

4. Incorporate something from nature to add softness and an organic element. This will help to keep your tablescape from looking too symmetrical or geometric. 

Be sure to think about any heavily scented options and how they might help or hurt the vibe of your feasting table. For example, you wouldn’t want to add in those cinnamon-scented pinecones or huge bouquets of lavender as it could  overwhelm the space and kill the appetite of your guests. Think: A smelly cocktail of cinnamon roasted turkey or lavender garlic mashed potatoes. Ew!

Instead, maybe opt for some ornamental grasses, beautiful little seasonal fruit or veggies (that will remain pretty for hours when out on display), a few twigs/small branches and a splash of color from mums or goldenrod. This will provide a seasonal look that still has life and warmth!

To elevate the look with a little glitz,  spray paint some sticks with a metallic tone such as gold or silver.

*Tip: Wander around your garden or local park to discover interesting (and free!) little branches or plant clippings to incorporate in to your tablescape.

5. Consider the flow, so that once guests are seated, it is comfortable and they have most everything they need. Since the table has an important role, it will need to function appropriately. Be sure that items on the table are not obstructing the view of people sitting across from one another. This is important for comfort and ease of conversation.

6. Create ambiance. Consider some soft lighting overhead, candles for a bit of twinkling glow or a little string of battery operated lights down the center of the table. Incorporating these soft lighting touches can create a cozy feel similar to that of a lit fireplace.

And there you have it, a table that is as inviting as a bowl of warm apple crisp in your hands!

I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season ahead and that you find reasons to be thankful and take time to enjoy the simple moments with the people you hold dear.

 

Until next time,

Deana

 

 

Setting Intentions and Keeping Focus

A Look InsideDeana Ketchum2 Comments

So, here we are ten months later, with blog post number two. Every time I heard someone say the word "blog" over the last year, I cringed. I felt embarrassed that I set such an ambitious goal, one that I couldn’t keep up with.

Over the last month, Jon and I have been working with a friend who is a business coach. She is teaching us a lot about ourselves, how to better understand one another and how to keep a more direct focus day-to-day. Though, if you ask her what she’s doing, she might say couples counseling.

As an entrepreneur, it is easy to (as I like to call it) squirrel all over the place. You learn that jumping from task to task and balancing too many roles within a 7-day workweek is not enjoyable, effective or sustainable.

Our business coach has taught us how to set intentions and recognize when we are squirreling around so that we can get back to center.

These are lessons that couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. We’re realizing that at some point it is most important to make forward progress and avoid over thinking each task. We're getting better at trusting, that with time, we will continue to get better at whatever we put our efforts towards.

Part of my issue in keeping up with the blog was that I was being so choosey about content. I was afraid that most people wouldn't find it interesting. I found myself writing entries, then discarding them. Although now (almost daily) I recite the following Roosevelt quote to myself; "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." This reminds me that we aren't going to hit a home run every time and that perfection isn't realistic. We're doing the best we can within our means, at this very point in time. So with that, we're trying to celebrate victories large or small (I encourage you to do the same)! It feels good and allows you to be a bit more content and present in your day-to-day work.

As we are creeping up on a new year, we hope to continue to be ambitious, but reasonable. We want to give ourselves enough time to do a good job at whatever lies in front of us.

In the past few months we’ve put more effort towards documenting our work, whether through photography or video.

Our intention is to share more about the behind the scenes process with our followers and clients. While this often makes the build go a bit slower and we have more work to do after the item has been delivered, our hope is that you all enjoy seeing what goes in to each piece and that maybe we can get a laugh or two out of you once in a while.

Here is our new video, posted on Youtube. Check out our channel and subscribe if you'd like to see more!

What do you think about this footage, is it interesting to you?  What would you like to see more of?

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Deana

The Value of Community

A Look InsideDeana KetchumComment

Throughout the process of building our business, we've come to have a greater appreciation for the community that surrounds us. Without our community, we would feel as though we are left out in the rain (*sawdust er;whatever.) without a point of reference or validation.

We understand that in order to start a new business or endeavor and build on your own skills in a given field, you need to have a network of folks that you can reach out to. It is so important to acknowledge the people in your community (whether it be local or virtual) who have more wisdom and experience than you. It provides us with encouragement and allows us to push forward in order to improve. Be open-minded and accept criticism as an opportunity to refine your approach to your business or craft. We feel so lucky to have a wonderful network of friends and family who have inspiring entrepreneurial spirits and are also always willing to share what they've learned. 

So, here's a challenge; work on building your community and find people that you can help and who can help you, to stay on the path of growth (business or otherwise).

There is a little book out there by Austin Kleon, called Show Your Work. The theme of it is just that there is so much to gain by sharing. He speaks about how it's so important to teach and share your knowledge with your community and to let go of the fear that your ideas will be compromised. Have confidence in what you know and your assets. Instead of shutting people out, let them in and create a community of sharing rather than just using your network to perpetually pitch what you're trying to sell. 

We can all identify one or two companies out there who spam the living daylights out of your social media feeds and inboxes with sales pitch after sales pitch. At the end of the day we all want to learn something and feel enriched. My favorite point that he makes in this book is that the more you teach the more you learn. He likens ones knowledge base to a tank that becomes depleted when you teach and then forces you to learn more to refill the tank. 

This all being said, Jon and I wanted to start this blog to share some things with you all. We have 3 ideas for blog post types; A Look InsideLife Outside the Shop and Creative Stories

For A Look Inside, we'll share our trials and tribulations of small business, product development, learning a new skill or adapting to a new tool/machine. For our Life Outside the Shop, you'll find lifestyle features. We want to let you in to our world by sharing our adventures and other interests with you. Really, this will be a great kick in the a to get us out of the shop! And lastly, for our Creative Stories, we want to feature some creatives that we know near and far to [hopefully] keep you inspired!

We're setting out to post once or twice a month, so we hope you check back in!

 

All the Best, 

Deana

http://austinkleon.com/show-your-work/