Hello New York City! (Update: One Month In!)

Wow, what a month! We officially landed in New York on June 1, around 1am, greeted at JFK by a waiting line for taxis about 200 people deep. We crossed the threshold of our apartment about 2 hours later, and crashed on our air mattress. Welcome to the greatest city in the world! The following morning we started the battle with our moving company over the arrival date of our truck and all our belongings, and I started working out of Manhattan's finest coffee shops (ok, I might not have been in the finest, but I did see some celebrities in my travels!). Two full weeks, and about thirty $5 lattes later, our moving truck finally arrived, and we spent 36 full hours unpacking and getting settled. We were determined to just get it over with so we could start to feel "at home". Since then, life has been a bit of a whirlwind--lots of catching up with family and friends here on the East Coast, a fantastic 4th of July fireworks show from our roof, and a brand new City with lots to get used to.

Running a business out of my home has always had its ups and downs, but never have I felt the highs and lows more than in our new setting. HOLY MOLY its amazing to be able to take a 10am NYC dance class (which I only just started this week!) without "missing" work. And my new studio.. ahhhh, we'll get to that in a minute. In New York City, everything is right at my fingertips, and yet it's not. Shipping packages has been my biggest challenge (Picture me walking down 42nd street with a thirty pound, two foot high stack of packages during rush hour. Because that happened two weeks ago.) BUT, the Post Office at Penn Station is open until 10PM! What?! I'm an East Coast girl, so the pace of life here doesn't shock me. It's actually refreshing and feels a lot more like home than the Midwest did (sorry, STL!) In general, we're absolutely loving it, and are so excited to get comfortable enough to really call it home.

More photos of the apartment will come soon, but since this is my KEEvents blog, I'll start with my studio/home office/(guest room).

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The room is, for the most part, the same set up as my office in St Louis. But the room has more wall space, and is slightly bigger, and somehow it just all works so much better. The desk that Anthony made me folds up and has it's place against the wall for when we have guests (a much more frequent occurrence in NYC!) There is a ton of natural light from the floor to ceiling window, and the closet is a dream.

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In St Louis, we had a bunch of built-in drawers and shelves in a small hallway off my office that I used for supply storage. Before the move, I went through all those "catch-all" spots and decided to come up with some more mobile storage solutions. I hit up the Container Store and organized all my supplies, and then purchased some new cabinets and shelving to house it all. Doing all this before the move was HUGE. I can't even imagine trying to figure all that out in our new space, especially after waiting two weeks for everything to arrive. I was able to unpack the neatly packed bins and boxes and set up the entire office in under an hour!_MG_2520

The view isn't exactly spectacular (we're on the 6th floor) but I can see the Hudson River and the sunset from my window.

_MG_2529My plant is SO happy in that window, and the ledge is perfect for temporary storage when we flip the room for guests!_MG_2526

The accordion doors on the closet is the perfect spot for a small display of my favorite projects. I still have a lot of friends and family who don't really understand what I do for a living, so I like to have a display up that's easy to point to and say, "this is what I do!"

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I love my new studio and our new apartment, and I've loved setting it up and making it feel like home. I'll share some more photos of the whole thing, just as soon as I get a chance to vacuum and take some photos!

Do you (or did you) live in New York? Where/what do we have to do? What's your favorite part of living in the big city?

More updates to come as we take this new adventure by the horns!

All-White Bridal Bouquet - Featured in Anna Pearl's Curiosities!

A couple of months ago, my aunt asked me if I would like to put some of my paper flowers in the front window of her shop. My Aunt Sharon owns a vintage shop on Main Street in Niantic, Connecticut that's just too cute for words. If you're ever in the neighborhood (or driving on I-95 and need a break) definitely stop in and check out Anna Pearl's Curiosities. There is something for everyone, and Sharon is brilliant at finding one of a kind antiques and vintage treasures. The shop window faces Main Street, and for the spring months she installed a wedding-inspired display; vintage jewelry, accessories, veils and even a vintage dress. She thought a bouquet would be a perfect addition, and would give my business some extra exposure (can you tell she's super supportive of me??).

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She suggested an all-white bridal bouquet, to match the white and ivory pieces in the window, and I agreed it was the best option for something that would be appealing to most brides. I was going to include my most popular flowers--roses, calla lilies, hydrangeas and a couple of peonies. But as I got going on the assembly of the bouquet with the mix of ivory and white, I was loving how it looked with just roses and hydrangeas, so I kept it simple:

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The bouquet is finished with ivory satin ribbon and pearl accents, and as always is lightweight, durable, and won't wilt in the summer heat! With some basic care and dusting, it'll last forever--no expensive preservation needed!

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I'm in the process of making a second bouquet that will be more "hands on" for customers so you can feel how lightweight they really are and see the flowers up close and personal. But in the meantime, I think this one looks great in the shop window!

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The listing for the all-white Rose and Hydrangea paper bouquet is live on the Etsy shop, but as always it's just a sample of what you can order. I love working with custom colors and special requests.

And if you're in the Niantic area, go visit my Aunt Sharon and tell her Katie sent you! [googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d2996.330514154921!2d-72.1942835!3d41.323425799999995!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x89e6108950899ef7%3A0xdcb3f8fe31e1f1f8!2s281+Main+St%2C+Niantic%2C+CT+06357!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1433793439665&w=600&h=450]

The one GENIUS idea that makes the home office/guest room combo REALLY WORK.

_MG_1799By a show of hands, how many people out there have a home office that doubles as something else? Is it a guest room? I don't have any statistics on this, but I'd guess there are a lot of hands raised. If you're anything like me (working from a home office, in a relatively small apartment in the city), your office is also your Guest Room. It may act like a home office and feel like a home office, but on most days it looks like a cramped bedroom with a lot of crap lying around. I don't have a picture of it at the "end of the day" because I'd never publicly admit to how much of a slob I can be when I'm busy, so here are a couple pictures of it looking pretty. From the first month we lived in the apartment, in 2013:

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Our Office/Guest Room is 110 square feet (10X11), with four large windows (a MUST for productivity), and two sets of french doors and one more doorway not shown in the above photos. Needless to say, there is really only one wall of the room that can be classified as an office... four pieces of furniture all crammed together to store all my office supplies and equipment for my work.

The bed, which takes up 40% of the square footage, is situated in the center of the room, and really makes the room look and feel like a bedroom. (After a year of working here, I can proudly say I've never given into the urge to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon). The bed is also right across the narrow aisle from the neatly organized shelves and office fixtures, and takes the brunt of the mess (which coincidentally helps fight the nap urges). As I pull freshly inked pieces from my printer, they are placed on throw pillows to dry. I prep my Silhouette mats on the bedspread. When I get a delivery of supplies, reams of paper and stacks of envelopes find refuge at the foot of the bed until they're put to use. Oh, and I forgot to mention--the closet in this room is my husband's. So, when his laundry is lying in wait to be put away, guess where it sits? You got it--the bed.

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My desk in this room would be fantastic if my business was just graphic design. But because my business includes printing and full assembly of stationery and invitation suites, as well as the Paper Florist work, I simply need more work space.

Enter the dining room table. And the encroachment of my "personal" space. One of the biggest challenges of running a business out of your home is keeping your work and personal life in separate spaces. Especially when you're sharing your space with your significant other and/or your family, it is important to draw physical boundaries between "work" and "life", or you run the risk of your work equipment, supplies and product littering the entirety of your home. As my business has grown over the last year, so has the amount of physical space it takes up. Having company over for dinner or even just a drink means I have to sweep the apartment and toss everything back into the Office/Guest Room, which means it lands... dun dun duuuunnnnn... on the BED.

With my business continually growing, something had to be done. About six months ago, I had this idea to find some sort of folding or portable fixture that would fit OVER the guest bed, creating a counter-height island-style surface in the middle of the room. I wanted to be able to have a work space where supplies I use every day (paper cutter, score board, Silhouette mats, adhesive, etc) could stay day to day. Maintaining a tidy apartment meant taking out and putting away these supplies every single day, which may not seem like a lot, but added up to probably 2 hours a week of set-up and clean-up. ("Genuis", as mentioned in the headline of this post, may be a stretch.. but it is a true sanity saver..keep reading!)

Last week, I looked at the next two months of my production schedule and decided I couldn't wait any longer. If I was to survive March, April and May, I would need to find a table. I did a ton of research and found that nothing of the sort exists out there. Even if I were to build a table top and legs, it was proving difficult to find the right folding legs to fit over a full size bed properly and at the right height. I drafted a plan to build the whole thing out of wood and hinges, and asked Anthony to borrow his truck so I could pick up materials. And there the buck stopped. My husband comes from a family with three generations of talented carpenters--it's in his blood, and he's pretty freakin' handy. So he offered to "think about it" for a couple of days and work on it over the weekend.

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Fast forward to last Sunday morning in St Louis--a sunny 65 degrees, and a perfect day for some outdoor carpentry. He decided on a relatively simple design--a table top with solid boards as sides, on hinges that would fold inward so the whole thing would fold up to a mere 2 1/2 inches thick--perfect thickness to tuck behind a door or lean against a wall when we wanted to use the bed as a bed!

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The table is made to fit perfectly over the bed frame, and he even made it so it can overhang the end of the bed, which created a standing desk for me! It's made out of MDF, so it is not exactly light-weight. But what it lacks in the easy-to-move factor, it more than makes up for in the stability factor. This thing is SOLID. And it's plenty easy to move with two of us. The MDF is dense enough that it can butt up against the perpendicular side with a 90 degree hinge and stand very sturdily. Anthony offset one of the sides so the boards lay flat against each other when folded.

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_MG_1803Long story short, this is a game changer. My office feels like a real, functional design space. I've always loved the natural light in this room, and now I can really work in it. And the best part? We have our dining room table back! Work/Life balance is SO important, especially in a home office. This new work space allows me to truly spread out my work and have a solid surface to work on, all the while staying out of my "living" space. And I'm obsessed with the height of the table. At 3 feet high, I can stand while I work and not have unhealthy back pain at the end of the day, and it's also the perfect height for our bar-height chairs if I need to sit!

What do you think? Comment below if you'd like more information about the construction specs or a tutorial on how this was built! (I'll ask the hubby to write up some instructions) Katherine Elizabeth Events

The Best Kind of Winter Blues: Roses and Calla Lily Bouquet

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_MG_1715 I'm not about to whine about the winter in St. Louis, don't worry. We cannot hold a candle (or a snow shovel?) to the winter they're having up where I'm from in Boston. But, most US cities have experienced some pretty frigid temperatures lately, and St. Louis is certainly among them. As I sit here bundled up inside with a solid winter head cold, it's a brisk "feels like" 8 degrees outside with occasional flurries, and temps are expected to drop to around zero overnight. Lovely.

Luckily, this time of year is what we in the biz like to call "crunch time". (The Breakup reference? Anyone?) Seriously, I'm BUSY. Like, I-forgot-to-brush-my-hair-today kind of busy. Which is amazing for so many reasons that deserve another post entirely. Being swamped with work in the depths of winter means I'm never at a loss for things to do while I'm stuck inside for hours at a time. And for me, that means opportunities to be creative every day, and more and more often it means stepping away from my computer screen to spend time working with my hands on my floral collection. I am so grateful to have made this huge change in my life a year ago--there is nothing like spending the day making a beautiful paper bouquet of flowers to fight off the winter blues.

Check out my most recent bouquet that shipped out this week. I love the color combination! I also did a matching boutonniere, but forgot to snap a pic before it shipped out. Carolyn's wedding isn't until the end of April, but her flowers are already delivered and ready to go!

_MG_1718_MG_1714 _MG_1720I loved this bouquet so much, I listed it as another sample on the Etsy shop!

Need flowers for your wedding or your dining room table? Have you considered paper? Contact me to place your order!

Paper Wreath

So I got the idea for this wreath from the Corner House Blog, but by the time I got around to making it, I didn't follow her instructions, I just did it from memory. I had an Oriental Trading catalog in my recycling bin, and rather than chuck it I decided it would make the perfect paper wreath--so many bright colors! I started by forming a wreath out of paper and duct tape. Then I used my 4 inch circle cutter to cut circles out of the catalog pages. Here's where I faltered from the tutorial that inspired me: I cut each circle in half before I rolled and glued it. It made the cones shallower and the wreath a little smaller and tighter. I made the bow out of the scraps from a bridesmaid dress that I hemmed and just used a pushpin to hold it to the top of the door.