Thursday, December 13, 2012

One of the best E-mails of the year came from.........

Emily of Elva Fields!

I think my eyes popped out of my head when I opened an e-mail with the subject line - a new fan!  - from Emily last week.  Emily (in case you don't already know) is the creative genius behind the absolutely gorgeous line of jewelry  - Elva Fields.

I first found her awesomeness in the summer issue of House of Fifty and then again saw her jewelry featured in the September issue of  Country Living Magazine.

The truth is though, I'm late to the party as she's been creating beautiful pieces of jewelry since 2003, and has been featured in countless publications!  Add to that, she does it all from the beautiful state I'm blessed to now call home.  Yep, her studio is right here in Taylorsville, Kentucky!

Which leads me to the reason for her email.  She wanted to let me know that she used my chalkboard panels and chalkboard wall calendar projects (that she found while searching Pinterest) as inspiration for an organization project in her new studio space.  Look what she created!

As we slowly settle in to our new studio space, I realize just how necessary organization is to a growing business.  We jumped from 400 square feet to right around 1600 (I know—still can’t believe it myself!), and with the long-awaited elbow room (literally, we could elbow one another in the old studio as we packed, strung, and photographed necklaces at our adjacent desks) came some unexpected communication challenges.  Long gone are the days of posting a sad little dry-erase board on the wall with the week’s to-do’s listed for the entire team (all seated within 7 feet of its hanging spot) and knowing in mere seconds how our upcoming days looked schedule-wise.
I’m a visual person, and while I am sure that iCal and Google-whatever is awesome for syncing everyone’s activities, I still use an old-school daily planner.  I live for writing lists, filling in events, and seeing my weeks/months/days at a glance.  With a pen.  On paper.  With me everywhere.  Huge dork. 
In any case, in this new studio, we needed something much larger than our old $5 dry-erase dud…like, for instance, a wall-sized calendar that we could all see from across the room.  (Our new roomy room!)  Purchasing giant whiteboards or chalkboards seemed unnecessarily costly.  (Read: I’m entirely too cheap to pay for something I’m sure I can make for myself.)  Couldn’t we just paint a calendar on the wall and fill it in each month?  Here’s where my lukewarm feelings for Pinterest suddenly became much, well, warmer.  Who knew that place could be so handy…and who knew people had so much time to make things?  Gracious…I make things for a living and even I felt like an enormous slacker checking out the endless DIY projects, blogs, and posts out there.  
After a couple of minutes searching, I stumbled upon a genius idea via Pinterest on a charming blog called “Our Fifth House,” (which plenty of you likely already know about, and I’m incredibly late to the party, perhaps…) and when I saw the author, Carmel, was a transplant to the Bluegrass State, I knew I had to pay attention.  A fellow Kentucky gal couldn’t lead me astray.  A giant, see-it-across-the-room calendar crafted in chalkboard paint spanned an entire entry hall wall, allowing her the option of updating events throughout the month, at a glance, in yo face.  Though her enormous calendar was amazing and exactly what I had in mind for the studio, it dawned on me that with exposed brick running the length of our space, painting a grid on that crumbling (but beautiful) surface just wasn’t going to happen here.   Bummer.  But you know how those tricky blogs can be…I kept clicking around to see what else Carmel had been up to in that ol’ Kentucky home of hers, and saw another project that caught my eye and had my gears turning.  
Apparently Carmel had a disaster in her dining room that left a few dings in her wall (I wasn’t nosy enough to get the backstory, but it looked pretty bad,) so she decided to cover them up with a few panels of chalkboard that she made from inexpensive door mirrors.  Jackpot.  I combined two of Carmel’s crafty ideas into one, creating a giant calendar for our exposed brick walls using four long mirrors (from Target…around $5 each), spray-painted with chalkboard paint (easy to find at Lowe’s or Home Depot,) and hanging them horizontally using expandable plate hangers, nailed into the brick.
The OCD, neurotic, dork in me is in heaven.  I love filling in all the dates—two months at a time—and I’m pretty sure the Elva Gals in the studio think it’s nice to know what is going on in this crazy place each week.   Elbow room AND organization…we are living large.
~And, Carmel, if you read this…thank you for the ideas and inspiration…glad to have you in the Bluegrass (and on Pinterest!)
Elva Fields 
Head here to read her full story.    Isn't it just awesome?!  And how yummy do those chalkboard calendar panels look against that exposed brick wall?!  Swoon!  I love how her project turned out, and I was beyond flattered, humbled, honored that my projects provided the inspiration.  That feeling you get when something you made inspires someone else to make something -well, I don't know what you call that - but it's a good feeling - it's why I do this blogging thing.

And the crazier part is, I was just getting ready to email her to tell her what a huge fan I am of hers!  I'm a big believer in small business, and I especially love supporting local businesses!  But apart from that, I also just really, really love what she creates.  To give you a little background, this is directly from Elva Fields site:

Emily scours local and far-flung markets, auctions, and shops for unusual vintage and antique pieces to use in all three of the Elva Fields lines—Elva, June, and Deb—which are named for the artist’s great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother, respectively. The treasured finds are then reconfigured and incorporated in unexpected, timeless designs.

I've always loved vintage jewelry, and Emily has a gift.  She doesn't just create beautiful jewelry; each piece is truly a work of art you can wear!
Have Not Changed

D'argent Dreaming

I'm particularly partial to this necklace.  Who's surprised?  - it's red!  
When Each Gives Greatly
Tied to Rightness
Fresh as a Daisy

I could have featured every single piece here!  These are the pieces you hand down to your daughters.  The pieces that tell a story.  I'm a big fan - can you tell?  ;)

And guess what?!  She's graciously offering a 10% off discount code for Our Fifth House readers!  Enter EFOFH10  at checkout to receive 10% off your total purchase December 13 - 16, 2012.  Add that discount to the free standard shipping already offered and feel good about your purchase knowing  a portion of every online purchase is donated to Backpack Buddies of Spencer County, a program providing school-age children in the company’s local rural community of Taylorsville, Kentucky with healthy meals and snacks each weekend of the academic year.

Thanks Emily for inspiring me to keep doing this blogging thing and for sharing your creative talents with us all (and especially for the discount  - Santa, are you reading?)!


  1. How cool is that! I'm late to the party too, but I love what you have shown. I'm off to check her jewelry out. I'm sure my husband will thank you later!

  2. So absolutely sweet of her to actually send you an email! And I have been obsessed with her necklaces forever...they are so incredible!!!

  3. When I saw Tayorsville, KY my jaw dropped. I have been following your blog and had no idea you were in Taylorsville! Your house is amazing and you are so creative! I am a huge fan of diy and home improvement and am currently trying to give our cookie cutter subdivision house some charm and character.
    I was also shocked that Emily's studio is in Taylorsville and when I looked at the pics I realized she's in the old Spencer Magnet building. My husband was pastor of a small congregation that met in that building just until June of this year! I recognize that brick wall...what a small world! We've since joined with another church and now have a "real" building. lol
    Could you please tell me where you shop around here. Do you do any local thrifting? I would love to know of a good place to get great deals.

    1. I'm actually in Lexington - but Emily is in Taylorsville.

    2. Oh ok, I will be sure to check her store out!


Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C


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