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Work From Home Essentials

3.27.2020

Like many of you, we are working from home here at Elūm. As artists, designers and creators we are spending our work days in front of computer screens and easels, fending off dogs and kids and everything that comes with working from home. We have cats purring at our feet, deliveries arriving at our doors, our moms calling to check on the kids. We all have a lot on our plates right now. Some of us, for the very first time, are having to organize and set up a home office. The family is home. The kids are home. A separate space to work is essential. If we’re lucky it’s a separate room, but even if it’s a corner of the living room or dining room, we need to differentiate it from the rest of the house. At minimum we need a desk and a chair and a vibe that says, “This is the place where I work.” We’ve been given a lot of thought to how to create an effective work-from-home space and have come up with a list of our Home Office Essentials. Read on to see how we’re getting the whole family in on the project.

 

To Speak Or Not To Speak

If the hubs or kids or roomie are at home while you’re working they won’t necessarily know when is and isn’t a good time to speak with you. Even if you’re not on the phone or busy typing away at the keyboard you thoughts could still be in the work zone. A homemade sign that you can hang on your door or the back of your chair can let your homies know when you’re open to convo or when you need to keep your head down and work. This can be a great project for the kids. A chalkboard, a piece of wood drilled with holes for string or even a sturdy piece of cardboard cut hotel door “Do Not Disturb” style can all work. Make it reversible and keep it light-hearted like this sign by Piccadilly Pedler. #OfficeCrafts

 

Chairman Of The Board

We understand the temptations of working from home. Around here we call them the “I’ll justs” as in “I’ll just do the dishes before I begin that report” or “I’ll just put the laundry in the dryer before I call the office” or “I’ll just work in my jammies today.” The single most important message having a dedicated office space in our home conveys is that we’re serious about work. When we’re in our office, we think work not housework! The minimum requirements for a home office space are: a desk, a chair, lighting and a fast internet connection. As artists and designers we live for excellent lighting! We’re also learning that while we can be flexible about desks—we can use counter tops, card tables, dining tables—we are passionate about chairs. We need them to be comfortable yet supportive enough to sit on all day. So our #1 home office investment is a fine chair. #ChairFlare

 

Pretty Paper

Nothing lifts our spirits here at Elūm more than seeing fire paper products on our desks. To us, paper is an affordable way to show off our style, change up the look of our desktops and surround ourselves with beautiful, useful things. Our home desktops are stocked with our Big Stack Note Bars for quick note-taking on the fly, our Paradise Weekly Planners for scheduling our busy work week and our Lemon Peach Thanks notes because now, more than ever, we’re grateful for all the smart, wonderful and understanding people we work with. Thanks, guys! Miss seeing your friendly faces every day! #AllInThisTogether

 

Accessories Make Everything Better

The fantastic thing about creating a home office is that you can totally make it your own. If you want a USB cable with a fish at the end of it, go for it! If you’d like a raccoon holding a lightbulb as your desk light we won’t stop you! And if you fancy planting a geranium in a plant pot shaped like a llama we wont just support you—heck, we’d like to see it! #LlamaLove. Accessories are a fun and affordable way to show your flare and take your home office from drab to fab. Working from home has it challenges, let’s do what we can to counter them with creativity and a little light-hearted whimsy. #HomeOfficeHijinks

 

How are you finding setting up a home office? What’s working for you and what are you finding challenging? Do you have any advice you’d like to share? We’re here. Listening, learning.

Anniversary Milestone GIfting Part II

3.13.2020

Quick quiz. If you receive an emerald necklace from the hubs on your anniversary how long have you been married?

A. Fifty-five years
B. Twenty-five years
C. Fifteen years

If you answered a) Fifty-five years you are correct. However, we checked and no one here would complain if we received an emerald necklace before the half century mark! #NoWrongTimeForEmeralds. Welcome to our Anniversary Gifting Guide, Part 2. Need some ideas about what to give your bae on the big day? We are professional celebrationistas here at Elūm and we’re here to help! Read on to see how were surprising our spouses this year.

 

Ten Year, Tin – Congratulations on reaching your first decade as a married couple!

You guys are doing something right. You’re learning and growing together, building a family and working toward a shared vision for the future. Like a good marriage tin is stable, flexible and grows better with age. Tin is also pretty useful, but we’re not about to suggest you give your spouse a muffin tin, a cheese grater or soldering iron. Not if you want to reach year eleven, that is!  When polished, tin becomes very shiny and as Lizzo says, “If I’m shinin’, everybody gonna shine.” Shine some tin love on your partner with delicious chocolates presented in a collectible tin box, arrange a weekend stay in a classic tin-roofed cottage, and stream the hot and steamy classic Cat On A Hot Tin Roof while you listen to the rain fall. #TinSorted

 

Twelve, Silk – You’re into your second decade. Kids, house, career: you’ve got this! 

Silk is all about luxury. Spoil yourself for your twelfth wedding anniversary. Turn your bedroom into a boudoir with ivory silk sheets, a champagne silk robe and a heart-achingly romantic silk roadmap showing the exact location of where you first met. We are swooning over this love map. Swooning! Seriously, where did you two meet? #RoadToLove 

 

Thirteen, Lace – It must be the spring air around here.

How else can we account for our current obsession with naughty British lingerie? Congratulations on your thirteenth anniversary! Gifts of beautiful and intricate lace traditionally celebrate your big day. Lace is created by weaving delicate threads together over time to produce something magical. Sounds like a pretty good definition of marriage to us! Celebrate with a his-and-her gift of a risque lace corset, a batch of freshly baked and decadent lace cookies, and a week long vacay to the world’s capital of lacemaking Bruges, Belgium. #LuckyThirteen

 

Fifteen, Crystal – Crystals are formed under pressure over decades, often centuries.

Like a fifteen year marriage they are precious, unique, and can’t be made overnight. We’re recommending you give your wife a beautiful ocean-blue Swarovksi crystal necklace and whisk her away to the Bahamas where you can visit the exquisite Crystal Caves. And for him? A bottle of vintage Cristal Champagne of course! #NeverSaidWeCouldSpell

 

Twenty,  Porcelain – We admit it, we struggled with this one.

If you’ve been married twenty years we believe you deserve something better than a teacup! Then we remembered that after twenty years you’ve not just built a marriage and a family, you’ve built a home. Porcelain is all about celebrating the home you’ve made together. Bring something beautiful into it with a gilded gardenia, a rose petal vase and one of our most beloved and romantic cards, the weeping willow of hearts.

 

Twenty Five, Silver

If you’ve been married for twenty-five years you’ve built a lot of great memories together. Let the gift of silver be a chance to create some more. Gift yourselves with a rooftop tent and a couple of weeks with no plans or itinerary. Let the open road be your guide. Give her something exquisite where she can keep a special photo next to her heart. And give him a night he’ll never forget by dressing in intoxicating silver. #SilverFoxAllTheWay

 

Thirty, Pearl – Congratulations on reaching Year 30! 

Spending three amazing decades together deserves to be celebrated in style. It’s time to push out the boat with a big pearl-themed blowout!  A breathtakingly lovely pair of pearl earrings, an international bestseller to read on the plane, and two tickets to The Hague, Holland, to wine and dine in this beautiful and historic city, and see Girl With The Pearl Earring by Vermeer in person. #PearlWhirl

 

Forty, Fifty, Sixty, Ruby, Gold, Diamond – What can we say? You have achieved what most of us dream of in our heart of hearts: a long and successful marriage.

Congratulations! You are our heroes. You deserve to be showered in love and celebrated! A beautiful piece of jewelry is a lasting way to honor the life you’ve built together, but we’d also like to suggest you throw the mother-of-all parties too. Kids, grandkids, family, friends: everyone you love gathered in one spot, celebrating the life you and your spouse have created. A fizzy card, some fun balloons, a little bling: you know the deal. You guys wrote the book on it! #BookOfLove

If it’s your anniversary this month, congratulations to you and your spouse from our family here at Elūm. We’d love to know how you’re planning to celebrate.

Anniversary Milestone Gifting Guide Part I

3.05.2020

Quick quiz. If a couple have been married for ten years do you gift them with:

A. a wood salad bowl
B. a wool blanket
C. a set of baking tins

Congratulations if you answered c, a set of baking tins! A couple’s tenth wedding anniversary is traditionally celebrated with gifts of tin. The wood bowl would be gifted to a couple hitting the five year mark and the wool blanket at seven years. It gets confusing pretty quickly. US couples married for eight years traditionally receive the gift of copper while British couples receive salt (here’s hoping it’s the fancy pink Himalayan kind!). It started us thinking. What should we give our spouses this year on our anniversaries? Milestones in marriage deserve to be celebrated. They represent shared laughter, shared tears, shared responsibilities and shared respect. Finances. In-laws. A new house. Kids. Marriages come with equal amounts of rewards and challenges. Honoring those challenges and celebrating those highs means a lot to us at Elūm, it’s why we created our Anniversary Gifting Guide. Read on to see what we’re gifting our spouses and loves ones on their special days this year.

 

One Year, Paper – You know this is our favorite anniversary, right?

It’s no secret we love paper products, celebrations and weddings. Combining all three is about as good as it gets round here! Celebrate your first wedding anniversary with a card that promises more adventures to come, a notepad that encourages you and your partner to share your dreams, and a ticket to a destination jazz festival. It’s amazing how far a humble piece of paper can take you. A picnic lunch on the lawn, a bottle of wine and Norah Jones at the piano singing love songs. We’re down with that! #ElumPaperLove 

 

Three Year, Leather – Hell yeah, we’re going there!

A gift for her, a gift for him, and a gift for both of you! You’ve reached the three year mark, you’re getting the hang of this married thing. You’re a team. And we all know the team that plays together stays together. Under no circumstance give your spouse a leather nut tray (yeah, it’s totally a thing) or key ring. Give them a stunning leather and coral bracelet, a luxe handmade credit card holder, and this saucy leather lingerie set from England. Nothing like a little red leather to help you reach year five!

 

Five Year, Wood – You can’t build a house without wood.

It’s the foundation and framework on which everything else rests. After five years of changing and growing together, of grocery shopping, cooking dinners, resolving disputes and sharing dreams you have that foundation. Spoil your spouse by planning a weekend getaway in a log cabin (built from yours truly, of course), bring cheese and wine and a personalized picnic table engraved with your wedding date, and a box of naughty jenga for those long nights in front of the fire with no TV. Yep, our minds are still there! #DontKnowWhatsGotIntoUs 

 

Six Year, Iron & Sugar – We love a little sugar around here!

You know we’re going to include the UK tradition along with the US tradition on this one! Without molten iron at the earth’s core our compasses would not point true North and the most precious and unique feature of our planet—its atmosphere—would cease to exist. Iron, like a six year anniversary, is a pretty big deal. And without sugar, cookies, cupcakes and the world’s best cocktails would never have happened. We need both sugar and iron to thrive. If you’ve achieved six years of marriage, you know and respect one another. You’re looking at the long game. For your sixth year anniversary take your man for a world class steak (rich in iron, of course). Whisk your wife to Paris to enjoy the best desserts in the world at Pain De Sucre (Sugar Loaf in English), or stay home and buy a cast iron skillet and make a deep-dish chocolate chip cookie. Together you are sugar and iron! #Sweet&Strong

 

Seven Year, Wool – Because well, who wouldn’t love a nice cashmere sweater?

Wool is one of the world’s most resilient fabrics. It’s strong, insulating, resilient and flexible. If that’s not a formula for a long marriage we don’t know what is! We love wool because it’s a renewable and cruelty-free resource. And because we adore newborn lambs.  After seven years you’re heading toward your first decade as a married couple. You’ve overcome obstacles and setbacks and stuck together through thick and thin. You deserve a hug. Give yourself a warm and fluffy one with an heirloom Pendleton blanket. Treat your sweetie to a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New Zealand (we hear they have a whole lot of sheep there), slow down, knit something, drop a few stitches. Get cozy. #NoSevenYearItchHere

 

Check back for our next Anniversary Gifting post where we take it all the way! We’d love to hear how you’re planning to celebrate your next anniversary with your beloved.

Spring Wedding

2.26.2020

A new season means new engagements, new trends in fashion and decor and a chance to create the wedding of our dreams. It’s 2020 and that means we have the freedom to play by the rules or throw those rules out and make our own! This year weddings are all about creating meaningful, sustainable, unique and endearing experiences for our bridal party and our guests. Whether it’s close family in the backyard, a sit down dinner for a hundred at a local vineyard or a blowout destination wedding in Bali the emphasis this spring is on celebrating true love while being truly ourselves.

Our founder Melissa started Elūm to celebrate couples getting married. The very first piece printed on our letterpress was a wedding invitation! For nineteen years we have been thrilled and honored to help couples create the weddings of their dreams. We love, love, love being part of your big day. This year we’re excited that brides and grooms have more options than ever to plan a wedding that captures all the wonderful, diverse, heart-achingly beautiful magic of two people in love. Read on to discover what wedding trends we’re falling for this season.

1. Finesse The Dress

In our humble opinion there has never been a better time to be a bride. We can show off different aspects of our personality and style with a wedding dress and a reception dress (think Megan Markle, Zoë Kravitz and Ellie Goulding). Not to mention the bride and groom’s first dance just got a whole lot easier. Let’s face it a formal full-length fitted gown has never been a gal’s best dance partner. Victorian high ruffled collars and lace sleeves are vibing this spring for the ceremony while flirty numbers with short skirts and full bling are heading to the reception and onto the dance-floor. Another major trend is personalized embroidery. When we saw Hailey Bieber’s “Till Death Us Do Part” veil we swooned.

2. Sustainability

Brides and grooms are bringing their Earth cred to their wedding planning by making a concerted effort to reduce the carbon footprint of their celebrations. Small but powerful changes can include using water pitchers and glasses rather than plastic water bottles, choosing locally grown flowers, donating leftover food and floral displays, and repurposing table fabrics and decorations. Party architect extraordinaire Johnny Roxburgh tells of one client who had her beautiful reception tablecloths made into curtains. You go, girl! Give those curtains a couple of years and they might even become a dress! #ScarlettOhara

3. Precious Paper

A wedding invitation sets the tone for the entire celebration. It speaks to guests about what to expect from your wedding and even more importantly who you will become as a couple. This spring we’re continuing to hand print invitations on soft and beautiful repurposed cotton rag paper with soy-based inks. More than ever we see couples leaning in to invites that shine light on their personalities and hopes for the future, like the effervescent and joyous invitations we created for Matt Farah and his beautiful bride Johanna that were featured in @theknot. We are honored to create a wide variety of invites from our one-of-a-kind couture pieces to our more affordable Umi by Elum options. When we sleep at Elum, we dream of weddings! 💝

4. Grooming

We are all over this British trend that sees the groom and his groomsmen taking an active role in their outfits and grooming choices. We are all for the groom and his ushers spending a day spoiling themselves at the tailors over whiskey and charcuterie! And we are proud supporters of dedicated groomsmen spaces at venues where the male stars of our weddings can shave, dress, primp and moisturize their hearts out! (Okay, we admit it, we’re mostly women around here. We have no idea what guys get up to in front of the mirror. But whatever it is we darn well support it!). #GroomGoals

5. Sensory Delight

We all know weddings are a feast for our eyes and soul, but the latest trend in weddings is seeing them transform into a feast for all our senses. From wedding invites that are soft to the touch, to velvet tablecloths and tall grasses lining the aisle couples are looking for ways to create a touchable experience for their guests. Small things like whisper-soft draping around the arch at the altar, soft cushions and throw blankets, cut crystal glasses and bubbles floating through the air invite guests to touch and enjoy their surroundings. Fresh cut lemons at the drinks bar, vanilla candles in the church, roses at the table: couples are also giving thought to our sense of smell. The more senses we engage the more surprise and delight we create for our guests. Weddings may be a one time event but our senses can help us remember them for a lifetime.

If you’re tying the knot this spring, congratulations from our family at Elūm to yours! We wish you Champagne bubbles and tummy flutters, something old and something blue, one hundred magical moments and a long and nurturing marriage. Let us know if we can help. #ElumLove

Elūm Valentine

1.30.2020

We are hopeful romantics here at Elūm. We believe in red roses, tender kisses, long or short engagements, shared dreams, shared lives and true love. We’d like to hold a big Greek wedding where everyone gets to catch the bouquet. We believe that everyone, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation deserves to be loved and treasured and that with the right person, every day can be Valentine’s Day. It’s in the small everyday acts—cooking dinner, exchanging texts, a hand on the small of our backs as we walk through a door—that true love truly shines. Valentine’s Day allows us to shout at the top of our voices “You are my one and only!” We’re down with that. And lucky for you we are professional celebrationistas (totally a word, right?) who are here to help you slay it on the big day. Read on to discover our Valentine’s dreams.

Our offices in San Diego are an hour’s drive from the World’s Avocado Capital in Fallbrook California so you know we’re going to combine our love of avocados with our love of Valentine’s. Our Truly Avo Half Card is wholly guacamole and packed with heart-healthy nutrients. Now if we could just get a side of toast!

Is there anything more romantic than camping under the stars? A camper van, a campfire, a soft blanket and you. We’ll lie side by side, holding hands, watching the Milky Way. If we’re lucky we’ll see a shooting star and make a wish. Our wish would be to stay forever in this moment with you. We created Our Binge Watching Stars Card to capture all the infinite possibilities of a night sky and two people in love.

 

You don’t have to be a unicorn to be magical. Hedgehogs manage it without rainbows or spirally horns. Hedgehogs are so extra they even have their own cafe. It’s in Tokyo which is a long way to travel for Valentine’s. However we thought we’d create our very own hedgehog hug right here at home. And here’s how we know hedgehogs are magical: When they blow bubbles they turn into hearts. #HedgeHearts

 

If your partner believes the most awesome sauce is soy sauce, that rice was made to be sticky and life has no meaning without wasabi, then our Sushi Cuddles Card is for you. Reserve a table at his or her favorite sushi place this Valentine’s, grab an Uber, don’t tell your love where you’re headed, and then hand them this card halfway. Sushi surprise! That’s how we roll in California. #CaliforniaRoll

We like to think of our Valentine Kits as slam dunks. They are everything you need to spread the love far and wide this Valentine’s. With twenty-four cards in each kit and twenty-four adorable favors, you can send a Hundo P cuteness to teachers, coworkers, family members and just about anyone who catches your fancy.  Our kits come in Football, Space, Wildlife and other fun and delightful themes. You can pick them up at your local TjMaxx, Marshalls or HomeGoods. #ValentineInABox

Warning: Receipt of this card does not guarantee its sender will actually be wearing fancy undies. She reserves the right to switch them out for granny pants without notice.

Now we’ve got the legals out of the way, let’s not forget that Valentine’s Day extends all the way to Valentine’s Night. #OohLaLa

We celebrate Gay pride, facial hair and love here at Elūm! We are pro ‘tache. And will defend your right to sport a ‘tache even when you’re drinking a foamy mug of beer (though we may hand you a napkin when you’re done!). We believe in inclusion and fusion and everything that brings us closer together not farther apart. And we proudly design, create and print cards that celebrate all the milestones of same sex love.

Is your honey glued to her phone? Is your bae beside himself when the wifi’s down? If so you may need a Valentine’s card that speaks their language. It’s a special language, first spoken by engineers in Sweden. It’s called Bluetooth. You may have heard of it. This year we’ve created a card that translates Bluetooth into the universal language of love. #TakeThatShakespeare

Okay, we admit it. We’re artists and designers, not writers. We get blushy and tongue-tied when it comes to love. Barry White helps. He wrote the romance playbook: Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Baby, Just The Way You Are, You’re My First, My Last, My Everything. If you’re like us, however, and have something to tell your loved one but can’t seem to find the right words to say it, our No Words Valentine can help. Because sometimes love is as infinite as the stars and to write it down is to lessen it. #BigLoveNoWords

I told you we’re romantics! How do you plan on showing your love this Valentine’s?

Hashtag 2020

1.17.2020

We’re excited here at Elūm. It’s a new year and a new decade, one with the best possible name: 2020! Yep, we have officially entered the Soaring Twenties! Will we have flying cars, teleportation and a lip gloss that actually stays on all day? We don’t think so, but we’re psyched anyway! A new year is a chance for a new beginning, and we believe we can all take small steps to make the world a better place and become our best selves. Now that the New Year’s confetti has been swept away and the Champagne bottles are in the recycling, we’re ready for our New Year’s Revolution. Read on to see how we’re hash-tagging the new decade.

1. #RevolutionNotResolutions

Photo by Catherine Jones on Istock via Getty Images

We are not going to beat ourselves up about breaking our New Year’s resolutions. Missed a workout? Got the old fashioned glazed donut instead of the Egg Bites at Starbucks? Blew your budget on a pair of bougie over-the-knee boots in the January sales? Don’t worry you’re in good company. Over a third of us break our New Year’s resolutions before the end of January and only 10% of us manage to keep our resolutions for an entire year. So let’s start by making 2020 the year we say no unrealistic goals.

2. #KindnessRocks

Photo By Kevin Butz on Unsplash

Kindness matters. We’re pledging to be kinder this year than we were last year. We’re giving up our seats on public transport so someone else can take the weight off for a while. We’re returning our grocery carts to the return receptacle—even when it’s raining. We’re going to actively look for ways to help those around us in the office, at school and at home. We believe small acts of kindness accumulate to make a kinder world. #KindnessRocks

3. #EarthDadsAreExtra

Photo by Lacey Williams on Unsplash

3. We’re going to cherish and sustain our beautiful blue planet. Every day we’re going to be mindful of our choices and the footprints they leave on the earth. We’re going to be recyclers and regifters, and water-wise, plant positive, tree-planting fools! And we pledge to think of our fathers every time we switch off a light or close a door when we leave a room. “No, we weren’t born in a barn, Dad!”

4. #LearnSomethingNew

Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

4. We’re going to learn something new this year. Calligraphy, guitar lessons, line dancing, coding, sign language: when 2020 ends we pledge to have something new to offer the world. We may not be plucking the guitar strings like Eric Clapton by year’s end, but if we can sign “Hello”, “How are you?” and “Thank you” in American Sign Language we can at least start a conversation. #LearnSomethingNew

5. #WomenHelpingWomen

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

5. We’re embracing the mantra, “If one woman succeeds all women succeed.” We believe in women helping women at elūm. We walk the walk every day. This year we’ll be seizing every opportunity we can to encourage, support and elevate the women in our lives. In our workplace, our social circles and the charities we engage with we’ll be actively looking for ways to lend women a hand at home and around the world.

6. #StrongForThoseWeLove

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

6. We’re going to take time for self care. We’re mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, wives, husbands, artists, designers, soccer moms, head cooks and bottle washers. We have a lot on our plates and our natural inclination is to care for others at our own expense. In 2020 we pledge to carve out a couple of hours each week to care for ourselves. Arrange a mammogram, a massage, make it an early night, read a book and recharge. In 2020 we’re going to remind ourselves that in order to be strong for the people we love we need to be strong for ourselves first.

7. #SingleTasking

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash

7. Be present. Our lives are increasingly crazy and our attention is pulled a dozen ways. Our phones are pinging, our laptops are dinging, our To Do Lists are off the charts, and that report needs to be turned in by Friday. We tell ourselves we’re multitasking, but numerous studies have demonstrated that what we’re actually doing is hopping from task-to-task. A moment here, a few second there. Our attention is divided, and our focus and our passion is diminished. How can we give our full attention to the project we’re working on or the person we’re with while we’re checking facebook for updates? This year we’re pledging to spend less time being in two places at once and more time being in the moment.

8. #SoaringTwenties

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

8. Recognize joy, embrace joy, bring it! We pledge to dance like no one’s watching in 2020, to buy waterproof mascara ‘cos we know we’re going to ugly cry, share smiles with the baristas who make our lattes every morning, laugh with our aunties about the good old days, swap dumb jokes with our nieces and nephews, bake cakes with sprinkles, sing in the shower and send cards to folk just because we can! We’ll stand ready to light up the room but will be just as happy when someone else lights it up instead. Because one way or another 2020 is going to be lit!

These are our hashtags for the new millennium. What are yours?

The Gingerbread Village Guide

12.05.2019

– a little inspiration –
FOR A JOYOUS COLLABORATION

Our very own Melissa Foster is chairing a Gingerbread Village Holiday event! During the event kids come to create a “gingerbread” village for donation to a local Senior Center. This year, there will be about 100 children! This inspiration board serves to encourage the kids to try and think beyond candy canes & gumdrops. In addition, they won’t even be using gingerbread! You can also check out this Pinterest board for more decorating inspo! The structures will be made of things like Amazon boxes, cracker boxes, milk cartons and other recyclables.

This is a photo of the milk carton Melissa and her daughter used to make a tall house while testing the GGB frosting glue recipe. They had so much fun poking through the pantry to see what they could use. And to top it off, they bought NOTHING! (well, except the meringue powder for frosting— who has that?!).

Swap Sweet for Savory!

Nuts, crackers, beans, chips, granola bars, and other earthy-colored savory snacks create the texture and warmth of age-old architecture. Rustic cobblestones and clunky rooftops are the perfectly imperfect finish for a cozy cottage creation.

Pretzels Please!

Pretzels come in so many fun shapes & sizes, and when they all come together they scream one thing; LOG CABIN! Pair them with some bird seed and you can mimic the look of stone columns or wood burning chimneys nestled deep in the woods.

Little Shoppe of Florals!

Every village needs a local florist. Cover your shoppe in garden green for a whimsical standout look. Use pre-made cake decorating sugar flowers and watch your shoppe bloom into something truly unique for this holiday village.

For Chocolate Lovers!

Nearly every type of candy bar is covered in chocolate. Imagine the fun you can have with the different shapes, sizes and textures! Consider making it into the village library, hotel or even the local pub!

Think Outside the House!

Villages need more than just houses, so consider using alternate materials to give our village some height & shape variation. Suggestions: Taller buildings, chapels, retail spaces, a fire house, ice skating rink, or even row house apartments (to name just a few). You can also use different building recyclable materials other than gingerbread like milk cartons or cardboard boxes!

Trees Set the Tone!

Whether you decorate them or leave them with just a dusting of snow, the trees surrounding your structure make a the holiday season sing. Here are inspirational techniques on expert tree-making.

All the Little Things!

The details MAKE the design. And let’s face it, not EVERYONE can be working on the main structure at once, so have some of your fellow TI class members work on those little added extras that make a HUGE difference.

 

That Holiday Glow!

Maybe it’s the village beauty parlor or the local ice cream shoppe? You can use some glitz and non-traditional colors to create a wow-factor in our holiday village. Sparkly metallics, strictly pastels, or even bold bright neons create a burst of utter glee by incorporating the use of materials such as metallic sprinkles, shiny beads, craft glitter, and metallic coated candies.

Up on the Roof Top! (and the siding)

Everything from chewing gum, sour ribbons, sprinkles, and good ‘ol Eggo waffles can be used to coat the surfaces of your roof top and/ or siding. Here are some images to get your creative ideas flowing.

Get Cozy

10.24.2019

Daylight Savings is ending and Fall is here. Crisp mornings, leaves turning, the Holiday Season in our sights: it’s time to bundle up in chunky sweaters, pop marshmallows into our hot chocolate and embrace the cozy. Nothing says fall like a crackling fire, a comfy chair, a plush throw and a romantic movie. Summer can be full of wonderful moments and experiences, but Fall is special. Fall is all about family and comfort. Join us on our search for the coziest, toastiest, dreamiest, creamiest Fall Favorites. We are elum and we believe in sharing hazelnut lattes with friends, butternut squash as a food group, bookclubs, red wine, pinecones and kindness. We are all about the Fall! #WallOfFall

First Things First: Fire

No chimney? No problem. No fireplace? No worries. Today’s advances in coziology (the technology of coziness—yep, we made it up!) mean that we don’t need to own a log cabin or even a house to enjoy the glow of a fire. We can cozy-up an urban loft, an apartment in the city or any room in our home with an electric fireplace. These babies are plug and play. Turn down the lights, click the remote and enjoy gently rolling flames and a toasty glow. We love this infrared electric stove from Duraflame. Seriously, these guys know fire! Flames flicker, logs smolder, warmth radiates. We’d have one in every color if we could.

Second To No One: The Hot Beverage


We like a hot beverage as much—if not more—than the next person. In fact we love tea and coffee so much we’ve just introduced our very first line of ceramic mugs. We are christening them with delectable chai lattes, hot cocoa made-from-scratch and wickedly good hot toddies. We made our mugs just the way we like them: generously sized and easy on the eye! We cannot possibly comment on whether or not these words also describe our design team! Nope. Our lips are sealed. #elummugshots

Chairman Of The Board

Plush upholstery, rose-colored velvet and room enough for two: welcome to our dream chair, the perfectly named Swagamuffin. It’s made by the British company Loaf and we rate our chances of getting our hands on one as pretty low. But we’re nothing if not dreamers here at elum. We’re picturing our Adulting Mug filled with Irish coffee, a crackling fire and this chair. Yeah, baby! That’s right. We have now officially entered the Cozy Zone. Cue the music, DJ!

Let The Music Play

How do we love thee, Barry White? Let us count the ways. One, you traveled everywhere with your own forty-two piece orchestra. Two, you knew that true love is always unlimited. Three, you are still the man! Your grooves sound as good today as they did twenty years ago. If we’re sitting in a big chair getting cozy with our bae you are the number one artist on our list. #barryforever

We Want What She’s Having


Slut’s Spaghetti is Nigella Lawson’s equivalent of the Italian dish, Puttanesca (puttanesca is Italian for prostitute). It’s quick, easy-to-make and uses ingredients most of us have in our pantries: spaghetti, canned tomatoes, chili flakes and garlic. Cozy for us is one pan dishes: macaroni and cheese, chicken and dumplings, Chinese hot pot. Food that you need a bowl and spoon for. Soup, chilli, pad thai, sticky toffee pudding and custard. We’re still waiting for a chef to invent a cozy salad!

When Harry Met Sally And Emilia Met Henry

You know by now we’re card-carrying, rose-petal-strewing romantic fools, right? If there’s anything we love more than a blank page and a set of colored pencils, it’s a romantic movie. What’s not to like? Boy and girl (or girl and girl, or boy and boy) meet cute, fall in love, hit an insurmountable obstacle, break up, surmount the insurmountable obstacle, get back together and live happily ever after. We love the classics and eagerly await the new crop of rom-coms the season brings. Our Khaleesi as a Holiday Elf who falls in love with dishy doctor? You betcha we are there!

Throw Away The Key


Okay, so we have fire, hot toddies, a comfy chair and our food-in-a-bowl. The only thing left to complete our cozy kingdom is a soft and snuggly throw. I think we all know that what happens beneath the blanket stays beneath the blanket. If you want to snooze, cuddle, bundle into a one-woman cocoon or stage a two person puppet show, we ain’t talking. We just want to make sure you’re comfy, warm and color-coordinated. Lucky for us, Anthropologie has these soft, faux-fur beauties that hit the spot. Carressable clouds of cover: we are in!


We hope you enjoyed hearing about our idea of cozy. What does cozy mean to you?

Halloween Runway

10.09.2019

Pumpkins are in the building. We’re cocooning our walls in spider webs and unpacking our cauldrons. String lights shaped like bats have been strung across our corridors and random ghouls and giant spiders glower from our desks. It’s Halloween and we are ready. Our skeletons are out of the closet, and we heard that someone down in production has whipped up a potent witch’s brew! Halloween, we adore your treacherous and spooky heart! This year we thought we’d pay homage to our blog post Summer Channel Surfin’ where we picked out the best Summer shows to watch for those dreaded Game-of-Throneless days. (We all remember those sad, scary days–oh and let’s not forget about that petition that 1.7 million people signed to re-do the 8th season…) Anyways, this year we thought we’d take a look at the best costumes and costume ideas out there. Just how goofy-cute-scary-sexy can we go? Let’s find out together on our 2019 Halloween Runway Tour.

 

Naughty or Nice?

The classic angel/devil costume is a long time favorite for the ladies. Don’t worry guys, we’ve got you covered! Good Omens is the classic “switched at birth” tale with an unexpected twist when a fumbling order of Satanic nuns mix up a normal baby with Baby Antichrist. Aziraphale (the angel), has a classier dapper look as compared to his devilish counterpart Crowley, who could easily be mistaken by Ozzy Osbourne. So if people don’t recognize you as so, Ozzy is practically the next best thing!

Blessed Be The Fruit.

Next up, we can’t forget about The Handmaids Tale, this past season was kind of a stall, but we still love the show nonetheless. June, or shall we say Ofjoseph, is a #badass and we are rooting for her! Hopefully she finds the happy ending she is yearning for, but we won’t know until next season…As for the costume, take a look below at how the red outfits worn by the handmaids were designed for the show.

Hannah Montana Who?

In Netflix’s Black Mirror, Miley Cyrus slays it as pop princess Ashley O, bringing everything she knows about being a former Disney icon to the table. This one’s for all our festival girls out there! All you need to complete this look are those metallic booty shorts you wore to Electric Zoo, a white crop top, and to top it off, pop on a purple wig from Amazon and VOILA.

Have You Been to the Upside Down?

Last, but not least on our TV costume tour, Eleven from stranger things. This one is easy and all the items can be found in your closet…and the freezer. You can also find most items you need for Joyce and Barb right in your closet. Might have to pick up some Mom jeans to be Barb though..

And if TV isn’t your thing, we’ve got plenty of other choices for you that are always a win in our book. Whether it’s cute, scary, or funny, there’s something for everyone!

Lions and Fairies and Delivery Men, Oh My!

We cannot even. The cuteness is killing us! Our very own darling Lion King, the perfect pumpkin fairy, and the doggie in the brown and tan shirt. If dressing up toddlers and pups was a full-time job we’d be first in-line with our resumés. Trends for kids this season follow the year’s breakout movies: Lion King, Toy Story 4, Aladdin, and Spider Man: Far From Home. Get your superhero on, kids!

Hello, Gorgeous!

To use The Bachelor terminology, sometimes you just wanna spend the night in the Fantasy Suite. No questions asked. You want to feel pretty and sparkly. It’s possible you may develop the sudden need to wear thigh-highs and a hat. Whether it’s a flirty Minnine Mouse, a dashing Prince Charming or a Marie Antoninette whose skirt shrunk in the wash we stand behind your right to feel drop dead gorge. #hellapretty 

Keepin’ It Classy, San Diego

Some Halloweens you just need to go there, right? Enough of the cutesy and adorable. You just want to put it out there—whatever “It” is! Ticked off princess with hairy legs? We got you covered. Orange is the New Black kinda day? We got your back. The most excellent news anchorman of all time with the ‘tache and polyester suit to prove it? We’re Elūm and San Diego is where we’ve chosen to make our stand. If you’re considering channeling our city’s favorite fictional son, Ron Burgundy, we are in!

You’re The One That I Want

There is no other day of the year besides Halloween where it is socially acceptable to play couples dress up. For this reason alone, we say go for it! Be the pepper to his salt, the Jay Z to her Beyonce, the Catwoman to his Batman. We are adoring this Robin & Steve Scoops Ahoy duo from Stranger Things, and you can never go wrong with Beauty & The Beast (as long as you make clear early on that you’re the beauty half of this operation!). If you’re looking to kick it up a notch go old-school Sandy in skintight black hanging on the arm of the original bad boy, Danny Z.

For The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors

Halloween is the day we remember the dead and banish the evil forces that lurk in the shadows and walk the earth in the darkest hours after midnight. Let us not go gently into battle. Let us arm ourselves as Demons Nuns and Evil Clowns and that most terrifying of beings: the Zombie Prom Queen. Quick, someone fetch her sash or she is not gonna be happy. Nothing scarier than a high school hissy fit!

Sexy Beast

A little Goth never hurt anyone, right? An undead girl scout, a glow-in-the-dark skeleton, and a little red devil are just some of the naughty but nice offerings from California-cool-girl label Dolls Kill. We love their bad-girl aesthetic and their inclusive “we welcome all sizes and body types” ethos. #yougodolls

Pretty In Pink

We are crushing on pink costumes this Halloween. Pink is playful, sweet, cute and charming. It never takes itself too seriously and is always up for fun. Whether you’re a fluffy honey bun, a donut with sprinkles or Glinda the Good Witch you’ll bring a smile to everyone’s face if you’re channeling p-i-n-k.

Whether you’re trick-or-treating, monster mashing with the girls or apple dunking with the fam, we wish you a horrendously haute Halloween, full of sweet treats, headless horsemen, happy kidlets and pumpkin spice. We believe in sprinkles and dress-up, good witches and bad fairies and expressing ourselves. Any day where you can walk around the neighborhood dressed as a superhero works for us! Halloween marks the start of Holiday Season and we cannot tell you how happy this makes us.

What are your dress up plans this Halloween? We are dying to know!