A Seasonal Celebration, Creatives Included by

Issue 46 · Harvest · November 16, 2012

A Seasonal Celebration, Creatives Included

Issue 46 · Harvest · November 16, 2012

When West Elm asked us to feature their new West Elm Market, with its focus on functional design and local production, we saw it as an opportunity to throw a dinner party to celebrate the creative people we've come to know here in the Bay Area.

As we began planning our seasonal celebratory dinner, we quickly nixed the idea of a mailed invitation (too time-consuming); instead we created a handmade Evite. Our mission was to design a one-off card we could photograph and use as our online invitation; to that end, we asked Deepa Natarajan, a gardener who specializes in creating natural dyes from plants, to help us. Armed with greenery, we set up a workshop in our friend Louesa Roebuck's tiny Hayes Valley flower shop, called Louesa, and spent an afternoon dipping and dyeing, using potions made from olives, rosemary, and ornamental plums.

N.B. Stay tuned, we'll be posting photos of the dinner and guests next week.

Photography by Mimi Giboin for Remodelista except where noted.

Remodelista West Elm Dinner Invitation

Above: We used watercolor paper stock for the invitation, which we dip-dyed in the green olive mix; the invite is penned with a charcoal stick.

Remodelista West Elm Invitation Plants for making natural dyes

Above: Natarajan brought a basket of rosemary, olive leaves, and ornamental plum leaves.

Remodelista West Elm Invitation Plant dyes

Above: Natarajan boils the leaves in water to create the color. The rosemary dye was created in an hour on a portable camping stove. The ornamental plum took only 20 minutes, while the olive dye needed several hours to steep.

Remodelista West Elm invitation dying paper

Above: Dying card stock in glass vases. The thicker and more textured the card stock, the better it absorbs the dye.

Remodelista West Elm invitation olive plant dye

Above: Olive leaves, post dye making.

Remodelista West Elm invitation ornamental plum plant dye

Above: The ornamental plum creates a purply gray shade.

Remodelista West Elm dinner name card prep

Above: We dyed white place cards in the ornamental plum mix and used Tree Stamps from Oregon-based architect Brendon Farrell to decorate the cards; we used a charcoal stick to write the guest names. Photograph by Aya Brackett for Remodelista.

Enter the West Elm Market Giveaway to win $250 of clever, hard-working, time-saving, clutter-busting solutions for everyday living.

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