Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blue Box Shop at Haystack Antiques

Blue-Box-O-Rama! I thought I'd give you a little peek at our not-so-secret hobby....antiquing right here in Bellevue at Haystack Antiques. Who ever thought you could find treasures in an alley behind Sports Authority! Darling Debbie Nordstrom opened an antique mall - and picked only the most fabulous dealers to lease space to. And Blue Box was one of her picks (aren't we modest??!!).

Opening at Haystack was really a move designed for marital harmony and self-interest. Now when my Deke says to me, "Is that another new purchase? Where is that going?" I can just respond, "Yes, it's new but it's for Blue Box Antiques. We don't get to keep it."  (but sometimes we do...shhh). Having a booth at Haystack has been a great solution- JoAnne, Brooke and I are always stumbling upon amazing finds as we are out looking for clients. It's agonizing to pass on something fabulous because we don't have the perfect home for it. Or... A more likely scenario...our sweet accountant (aka Red Hot) is mad mad mad that we are adding something more to inventory :)

Here's a look at our space before....

And here it is with its build-out....

Super fun treasures all incredibly well-priced. And the other dealers are great. When you have to run in Sports Authority to buy the 3rd pair of cleats this season, slip around behind that big old building and spend 15 minutes for yourself at Haystack.  Located at 144 105th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA 98004.

We wrangled this enormous piece into the space.
This George II mantel is actually part of an entire paneled room!

Time for tea!

Maintenance free pet for your kitchen.

Chinese radish vintage print.

Vintage spools.  Great for pinning notes!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blue Box Hosts a Simple Dinner Party

Hello Blue Boxers,

We are tremendously excited that we are just starting to have a little following on facebook and this blog. Thanks for your support!

Although we have barely recovered from our Florida outing, we had a fun neighborhood gathering on the calendar for last night. So we got our team energized with lattes and quickly pulled together the house....having been a construction zone for the last few months, it was a bit stressful! But my husband is always pushing for an in-home event once a quarter because he knows that then the house DEFINITELY begins to sparkle...

We pulled the Churchill dishes out of the suitcases, gave then an extra run through the dishwasher, grabbed a load of yummies from Whole Foods and made everything pretty! Here are a few pictures...not the best quality. We are trying to master the art of great blog lighting and resolution but we aren't even close yet! We are veering wildly between dark and moody and harsh and bright pics. So sorry! Could we please have a photographer on staff??? yeah, well it will have to be one of us!!

Quick and easy finger foods were required with 40+ guests. Breadsticks wrapped in prosciutto are always a fav- these need to be served fairly quickly or the breadsticks will get soggy. We did ours too soon...or people were socializing too much to eat immediately. A better solution would have been to have passed them.

A salmon and caper bruschetta, a tomato bruschetta, green salad with homemade vinaigrette (good olive oil, tons of lemon juice, a liberal dollop of sea salt- emulsify!),roasted veggies- all easy-peasy and good at room temperature. Another yummy hors d'oeuvres-- thinly sliced roast beef on thick crunchy salt and pepper chips with a daub of good horseradish- delicious.... lots of special cheese - a blue paired with a candied orange was especially interesting - and nuts and olives rounded out our nibbles. A great nut dish: roast raw almonds til they smell nutty, throw them hot into a bowl of olive oil, coarse sea salt, and chopped Rosemary- toss! so aromatic and savory.

On the bar: make it look fun with a few types of beverages and repeat with multiples: five bottles of French lemonade, a bunch of white and red wine, and a healthy grouping of San Pellegrino. If you have leftovers, great!

Finally, homemade cookies were mixed with store bought - no problem there! Don't be sheepish when there are such high quality items available.

Keep in mind the secrets to successful entertaining: make it simple, don't be a fussy host, and laugh a lot! People so appreciate that you made an effort and cared enough to invite them over....they certainly don't need you to be as fabulous as you think you should be:)

Thanks to all the friends who came by....KB, the Saggi wine was fabulous! And it's always wonderful to reconnect with family and pals when we all have so much going on. More upcoming on this blog on interior design- lots of great holiday decorating ideas too!

Annie and the Blue Box team

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rustic Wedding Part III

The wedding cake came completely plain just before the ceremony. Meghan ordered it that way because she was worried about it being too fussy....but failed to tell us it had nothing on it! I was cursing her as I was decorating it in the mad rush to finish before guests arrived:) turned out super cute... must have been meant to be...thankfully had more of those adorable chalk hearts (Etsy-dazzlingdesigns) and we put rosemary EVERYWHERE. Smelled divine..... FYI cake was yum-o-la!

Photo courtesy of

During the reception, the newlyweds did a darling tango - note the hot little dress Mrs. Simonsen threw on!! BTW, Beulah was a phenomenal photographer....many of these are her pics. check out her website,

Photo courtesy of

The tent was warm and inviting, the wind and rain came and went all night....the cigar rollers added a very unexpected fun touch to the evening, the dancing was outrageous, the toasts were heartfelt...everyone was so happy.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Here is Meghan, Connie (mother-of-bride), JoAnne (sister-of-bride), and Stuart (niece-of-bride)!

Many many thanks to Connie and Joe, parents of the bride, for being wonderful, supportive and appreciative. Special thanks to Paul Sr. and Carolyn, parents of the groom, for the flowers (and Paul was a great dishwasher:)) and Paul and Meghan- big hugs for trusting us and letting us be creative!!

annie and team

Rustic Wedding Part II

Meghan and Paul looked incredible and were soooo relaxed....the wind was fierce on the point and we were seconds away from moving the whole event inside the tent but the weather held and the new couple walked up the aisle- Mr. and Mrs. Simonsen - super cute kids in their future!!!

Photo courtesy of

We made a simple chandelier out of plywood wrapped in burlap, rosemary, lavender, grape vines and hydrangea, hung ribbon and mason jar lanterns - lit the candles and strung it up at the very last minute....the sweet DJ Joe helped Mike hoist it - thank goodness for his willingness to jump in!!

Here's Annie serving lemonade with cute striped straws. These are just Starbucks Frappucino bottles cleaned and de-labeled - but they add a festive, casual touch...would be great at any party!

The invites were spectacular letterpress our friend Gail designed. We used the M & P logo and font for the name cards, lavender bags and signage. JoAnne's amazing husband, Mike, recreated the font for all these chalkboards we made - how talented is HE????Mikey can do anything:) will NOT do an event without him!

The darling chalkboard hearts we ordered from Etsy to tuck in our burlap wrapped herbs. These are from a charming couple who UNBELIEVABLY live in Melbourne!! They also supplied us with chalk arrows and chalk-label wine bottles we used for water with the table numbers on them. Meghan LOVES scrabble so we added the cute love words to our herb pots for an added surprise.

Rustic Wedding in Florida

Blue Box had a MAJOR fab event on Saturday. We do very few weddings each year because they are LABOR intensive!! But of course JoAnne's darling sister Meghan got the special Blue Box treatment:) FYI, this was a full-service event. Once our website is up and running, you will be able to see that we have lots of different options available to you to meet your budget needs. Most frequently, we do a design plan FOR you- giving you the whole stylish event and necessary ideas to make your event special- YOU execute all the exciting details. Blue Box Workshop is happy to handle a full-service event if we are available!

JoAnne, Brooke and I flew to Melbourne, Florida for almost a week of set-up. The wedding site was an incredible point of undeveloped land at the end of JoAnne's parents' street. Meghan wanted bohemian, rustic, casual warmth...nothing fussy but with lots of special details. We had SO much fun interpreting her look. And her adorable Paul was supportive of the whole concept- that makes a perfect hubby!

So we came with bags of carry-on dishes for the big event- lots of laughts and help from nice men on our flights trying to get those fragile, HEAVY roller bags up in the overhead compartments---but totally worth the effort. Such pretty dishes....

These are Churchill pink willow from Tuesday Morning- what a deal! FYI World Market has these in chic black and cream right now- but a lot more $$$...

We brought a load of ikea lampshades, made little covers for them, added frayed burlap ribbon and a burlap diffuser. Our girl-friday, Andy, sewed reams of burlap "worms" to cover the cords....
Here they are put together in the bedroom ready to go down to the tent:

and here is JoAnne adding the ribbon detail to the "worms" - yipes! no OSHA coverage...

Blue Box Workshop Arrives!

We are finally up and running on our blog and facebook....just have the Website yet to go. Thanks for your patience as we finally get our technology side put together! We have big plans to bring you lots of pretty pictures of what we do creatively AND pictures of what inspires us. Hoping all the beauty inspires you too!