Saturday, February 5, 2011

Loot from Hearts and STARS

This year, Nick and I got our V-Day hearts in a little early.  Our pals Keeva and Lauren volunteer for STARS, the South Trenton Area Residents' Society, and last night was their second annual Hearts and STARS fundraiser.  They have a pretty awesome thing going with this fundraiser.  The locals pick up wooden hearts from various places around town, decorate them however they want, and then STARS hosts an auction to raise money.  It's exciting, gets the residents involved by decorating and then buying each others' art, all while coercing them to the auction at the very awesome ArtWorks, a studio in downtown Trenton that offers art classes and exhibitions.  We had a lot of fun perfecting our auction strategy last year and were super excited for this year's event.  To make it even more fun, we decided to decorate hearts as well.

Having lived in this area all of my life, I have developed a deep love for the Trenton Makes Bridge that connects Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 

Photo courtesy of Point Shoot Edit
 Look how awesome it gets at night.

Photo courtesy of jag9889

So it was obvious to me that my heart needed to be Trenton Makes themed.  The bridge was too small going straight across the heart, so I angled it up a bit.  It was actually pretty simple to make.  I drew the bridge in Illustrator, flipped it horizontally, printed it, traced it with a transfer pen, and then ironed the design onto the fabric below.  The embroidery was done in a night!

Nick went all fancy with his heart.  After picking up some balsa wood, he stained the heart and the wood, and made a special card catalog.

I think they turned out great, even if mine is slightly off-center.  Here they are in the gallery!

We also took away some masterpieces.  Here are last night's (bottom row) and last year's loot (top row).

This year's grand prize for us is this amazing piece of art that we got for an absolute steal.  Only $25!

There was something about this one that I love.  I think it's that the people are approaching the city on a raft of sorts.  It gives me the impression that they're about to embark on a great adventure.  He's going straight to my desk at work on Monday morning.

Peacock is also going to be living on my desk at work.  She's so colorful, plus it's made with puffy paint, which deserves an A in my book any day.

We picked up this guy at last year's Hearts and STARS.  He's made with onion skins.

We snagged this guy last year too.  It's a blueprint of the heart using chalk.  I love it.

Elephant continues to be my absolutely favorite.  Such detail and so calming.  It's brilliant.

The hearts are all displayed around the gallery with a sheet where you place your bids.  After a few hours, bidding closes, you pay what you bid, and take your heart home.  Nick and I have developed a sure-to-win strategy of standing in the general area of the hearts that we really need to leave with, but not too close to alert the others that you are the person who keeps bidding up.  You have to casually approach the heart like you're just taking it in, and when no one is looking, quickly and without causing a scene, up the bid.  It worked like gangbusters last night when I had to keep outbidding one guy for Peacock.  I think he left a little disappointed, but that's how the game goes! 

At the end of the night, Nick's sold for $35 and mine sold for $20.  Pretty good, I'd say!


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