Sunday, August 31, 2008

guilty pleasure

i like doilies. i've always liked doilies. and i will not apologize. no, i'm not 90 years old. i don't know why i like them, i just do. i have bags of them in storage and some on my shelf. i found a few uses for doilies that i thought were clever. here is a doily-like lace bracelet by Grandma Was A Floozy...

or how about this cute diy project to make doily bowls out of those doilies you've always wanted to do something with (design sponge). i actually have a couple of these that i bought at thrift stores.

and my favorite, doily lampshades. aren't they adorable? (craftzine)

Saturday, August 30, 2008


sometimes the best plans are those that are adaptable. i did another run to the thrift store and found some more cute things. but i've expanded my containers to include any white fun vase, any fun shiny vase and also cut or pressed glass. above are just a sampling of the beautiful little vases i bought. and i picked up some red and orange (for contrast) tissue paper to simulate the paper flowers. not my finest job but it was my first go.
i bought the orange paper to give some contrast to the red because i couldn't find a second shade of red or even pink. but i kind of like the orange with the red. what do you think? above is the red and orange and below is the all red. i do like the all red too. i cannot decide. i haven't worked out quite yet where the turquoise is going to come in. any suggestions appreciated.

here are a few more of the little vases. they are all about 2-3 inches high. not big at all. 17 pieces in all for 16 dollars. score!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

more cute shiny things

more cute shiny things. these are refashioned out of vintage jewelry. aren't they awesome? the earrings are my favorite. made by Noaki Jewelry on Etsy. and what about that bracelet.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


check out the site called cake wrecks. it is a blog that pulls together some of the funniest cake wrecks i've ever seen. here is a sampling. but it is funnier if you go see them for yourself and read the text that goes with them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

flowers in the hair

what do you think, can i pull this off? i've always liked the flowers in the hair look and often worn one behind my ear. but on top of the head and oversized? i'm not sure i could pull this one off, although i do have similar hair and a slight dimple in my chin. i reckon her forehead is smaller. i guess i'll have to practice.

spring is near

spring is so coming. we've had about 5 days of sunshine in a row and i can hardly contain myself. here are a few of the aussie beauties in the front yard. there is so much blooming going on, there are flowers on bushes that i didn't even know would bloom.

Monday, August 25, 2008

is it fair to have a backup?

is it fair to have a backup? i think this would be it. if i had known there were knitted wedding dresses. oh well, i'll look it up when i'm ready to renew. found it on nibsblog but it is actually a pattern from Shirley Paden.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"metal and milk glass" is the new "leather and lace"

okay, so if you know me, you know that the fun part of the whole wedding is on the forward end where i get to crawl through all of the local thrift shops for things i can use. the better the bargain, the happier i am! i've contemplated what i would do on the tables for centerpieces since i decided on paper flowers. what containers could i use? i wanted something that was inexpensive and reusable. since i will be throwing away or giving away the paper flowers, i wanted to reduce/reuse/recycle the containers. i've always loved milk glass and these days it is relatively inexpensive to get second-hand. the other thing that you can pick up for a good bargain is aluminum products. i've always had a thing for those aluminum juice glasses.

so the idea combo i came up with is "metal and milk glass" stuffed with paper flowers. the milk glass is a simple, understated and a blank canvas while the aluminum is shiny and will reflect light (and we all know how i feel about shiny things). so check out what i've managed to acquire so far:
5 pedestal bowls, 1 pedestal vase, 2 plates (28 dollars = av. 3.50 per piece)

11 aluminum cups (less than a dollar each!)

and an aluminum tray with roses (5 dollars).

so i brought them home and gave them a good clean and separated them into centerpieces and i got 5 centerpieces out of combining them. that is 8 dollars and 20 cents per centerpiece. if you add the paper flower supplies which will be about two dollars, you are looking at 10 dollars 20 cents a centerpiece. you would be hard pressed to find a florist willing to do a centerpiece for that!

new rule, new challenge = i will not buy another centerpiece item that is more than 3 dollars. the tray was 5 and the pedestal vase was 5 and i think that is just too much. if i want to add a few candles, i'll have to cut back on the container prices. my goal is 10 dollars a centerpiece. at 13 tables that is 130 dollars for flowers/decor.

so here is a picture of a possible centerpiece, you'll have to imagine the flowers (you know, if you put candles in these instead of flowers it would look just as great):

and now for the brilliance of all of this!!! i've achieved my reduce/reuse/recycle goal. i can keep or give away all of these items (i love these things in *real life so i would be very happy to keep them). or i can resell them on one of those wedding resale websites like Recycle Your Wedding or Bride to Bride Boutique.

*i'm not sure what i meant by "real life"

south-of-the-border inspired

i put together these images for a little bit of inspiration. it almost looks like a turqouise/pink combo instead of a turqouise/red combo. i'll need to be careful.

credits: dress: KT Jean; paper flowers: Barcelona Photoblog; boots: Back at the Ranch; De la Rosa: Manda's Photostream Flickr; suit: JCrew; cookies: Mischief Mari Cookies; clothes line: Melangerie; taco: Coastal Living; monogram: Creative Montage; cake plates: Clara French; ring: Sarah Perlis Jewelry.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

guy's outfit

i like this (jcrew) and so does he. a vest can be formal and casual at the same time. plus this look is timeless. take this photo and make it black and white and you'd be hard pressed to tell if it was one hundred years old or today. forget wearing a jacket in the summer in Louisiana. you'd be mad. besides since i'm wearing a short dress, i cannot be upstaged by a guy in a coat.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


the last time i was in New Orleans for a wedding, we did a little shopping on Magazine St. we happened into Sucre a sweets shop which was like walking into heaven. the counters were stacked with confections, gelato, cupcakes with glitter on them (yes, edible glitter!), and a counter of chocolates in the back. i REALLY thought i had died and gone to heaven. the thought and taste of that shop has never left me. i want to go back there and i also want to find that edible glitter. they do their own marshmallows and french macaroons which are all the hype these days. i wish there were pics of the cupcakes. mmmm. cupcakes...

Monday, August 18, 2008

just a squirrel who found her nut

i showed this cake topper from at Etsy to a friend the other day and told her that i thought it would be cute to use it and put a little sign by the cake that said, "just a squirrel who found her nut." she said it would be cool to use it on a save the date card and as a general theme.

then i found these pins at ohmycavalier at Etsy. they are super cute. you could put a bowl of these out on a table or pin them to the napkin as a favor. according to ohmycavalier, carrying around an acorn is supposed to bring you luck. but look at these sea creature pins.

and this super adorable bear tag. i just want to squeeze the bear. she has stuff on poppytalkhandmade.

here it is

i'm so pleased with the way it turned out! i don't know if you can see but he was able to leave all of the feathery detail on the ring but add strength to the band. i really like the way the setting turned out too. it highlights the diamond even more and does not sit too high which is what i was worried about. for those who may be living in South Australia, Chris Green is who worked on my ring. i would highly recommend him to anyone. he was very perceptive as to what i did want and didn't push me to do anything i didn't want to do. sorry about the pics - poor quality and i should have dusted the lint off ring. yeah! now i just need to get the wedding band sorted.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


today i go pick up my ring from the jewelers. i'm so excited. it got a small face lift. the story of the ring is really sweet and i won't go into it other than to say that it is from Ghana where my guy was working on a project and brought it back as a surprise and it was hidden in my fishing tackle box for me to find when he popped the question. since it was from Ghana and the setting was non-traditional, i just wanted to have it checked for strength and i had noticed the diamond, as of late, seemed loose. so with the idea that after i get married i still want to wear it with the band, combined with the fact that i am VERY hard on equipment (probably me that knocked the diamond loose), i took it in to the jeweler to see what his opinion was. he suggested that i alter the setting slightly to a bezel setting which would, ehhm, protect the diamond better and reinforce the band on the inside with another layer of gold to strengthen the core of the ring since it was very thin and petite. i was super cautious and told him that i did not in any way want to alter the ring so that it no longer reflected the preciousness of being brought all the way home from Africa. he assured me he would be very careful. i'm scared but excited. maybe i'll take pics when i get home with it. crap! i wish i had pics of it before. i wonder if i do somewhere?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


French General has some of the best notions around. if you want to be inspired spend about an hour thumbing/clicking through the store looking for little treasures. i looked through most of the store and picked out the turquoise and red things that i could find. how beautiful they are. i put them together in this little inspiration board. if you don't have hours to spend, don't go to the website! once you start clicking you will not stop. it is a little treasure trove of cute, shiny things.

i ordered these serving napkins for what reason i do not know. they are pretty little opaque paper serving napkins with a charming little printed red border. i thought i might be able to use them as save the date cards or some other fun little thing. i could used them as place settings. i could write some quote on them for each setting. i could use them for their purpose, to serve a bit of cake or sweet. help me out - i don't know what to use them for, but i have 150 of them. leave me a comment if you have an idea. need to add to budget expenses if i use them. don't let me forget.
check out this darling set of fisherman and fisherwoman. these would make really cute cake toppers. especially if the couple has a connection to the sea or is getting married by the sea. check out French General's blog, the Warp and the Weft.


in terms of a budget, i'm going to do something i really do not want to do. i am going to make the wedding budget transparent for everyone to see (okay, the one or two people who will read this and the five that accidentally happen upon it for thirty seconds). you may ask why i don't want to make it transparent? for several reasons.
  1. if i put it in writing, i will spend less. it is kind of like the whole idea of keeping a food journal when on a diet. people have a tendency to eat less if they have to write it down. i will be more cautious spending if i have to keep a record and you all will see what i spend.
  2. my guy will be reading this on occasion and will pay careful attention to the budget listing. this means i cannot hide any expenses from him like glitter letters that spell our names.
  3. some of the vendors i use may read this and they will see how much i want to or do not want to spend.

but the whole reason i am doing this is so that others who might find it useful, can see what a real wedding budget looks like. not one dreamt up by the wedding industry with percentages and totals. i find those example budgets they have created confusing and elusive. they give you just enough rope to hang yourself. plus they do not allow for the diy factor. plus, each one is different on what they include in the wedding budget (dress, rings, honeymoon, etc.). when some brides quote their budget, i can never tell what that actually includes. therefore, it means nothing to me.

i've always fancied myself a bargain hunter, diy, homemade, vintage, thrifty gal so i am in a sense challenging myself to do my very best. in a day in age when weddings are AVERAGING 20-25,000 dollars, i and my guy are attempting to throw a wedding of less than 10,000 dollars. depending on what you count towards a "wedding budget" ours will likely range from 6,000 - 10,000 and i am seriously hoping it will be closer to the 6 than the 10!

so here is what i propose to do. in the right hand column, under budget expenses i will list everything that we buy or spend money on. if it was free or hand-made out of materials already on hand, i will list it but not count the amount it would have cost. since we live overseas, i am not counting shipping in the total of purchase only because i think it will throw some off. besides, we may be shipping some things to family in the states so that we can save on shipping internal US shipping. in some instances i will post on my purchases and if i do this, i will link the expense to that post so you can see the goods.

i just want to shout out to the few that inspired me to talk candidly about budget. A $10,000 Wedding (click here for her original post on budget, people gave her lip about it in comments, but i believe), 2000 Dollar Wedding (who actually did it and did it brilliantly-way to go!), and A Practical Wedding who appears to be one of the only ladies keeping it real. when i'm feeling overwhelmed by the wedding industry and budget, i just check out her blog and it gives me the perspective i need.

Friday, August 15, 2008


so i've used a bit of scrap tissue paper that came in my French General package the other day to try my hand a paper flowers. i didn't do too bad. i took this pic for a friend of mine who wanted to see the boots i was talking about wearing for the wedding if i couldn't afford (which i can't!) the day of the dead boots. a really good friend of mine bought these for me years ago at a thrift shop hoping the would fit me and they did. i wear them all the time and they look cute with shortish skirts. i stuck the flower in there to show her what she would be helping me do closer to the date. fold and poof, fold and poof, fold and poof.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

the dress

so choosing a dress for the wedding day is usually a very long and sometimes arduous but often exciting process. it almost always is a happy ending. i have to admit that i've never been one to dream about what kind of wedding dress i would wear, or even dream about getting married. so when we decided to set a date, i thought "sh-t, i need a dress."

what i did know was that we would get married outside either under a tree, on the beach or on a porch and that it would occur in the afternoon. i also know that i am a short gal with a decent set of gams (thanks to the years of softball, volleyball and soccer, and good genes) who has never really liked long dresses or skirts. just to prove how clueless i was about wedding dresses - i had NO idea that short dresses were "non-traditional." so when i started looking for dresses via wedding blogs i was disappointed to find so few short dresses. i thought a short dress was perfect for an outdoor wedding. i mean, who wants to drag a dress through grass and dirt?

luckily, i found something on a blog that absolutely made me shout and jump for joy. the dress combined the things i absolutely love: etsy, hand-made, vintage, romantic, flirtatious...and most importantly short. i love, love, love the dress. so i contacted Katie at KT Jean and she was super helpful and sweet and has taken my order. i am beyond excited and cannot wait to see the dress.

i am seriously considering wearing boots with it like the model. i just have to see how the dress and my short little legs will look with the boots. it is crazy but for some reason this dress and boots doesn't seem "non-traditional" to me, just really fun and perfect.

one for the registry

these oyster plates are excellent and simple. it is actually pretty difficult these days to find oyster plates unless they are vintage and they usually cost an arm and a leg. i really love the vintage ones but i don't have the money to purchase one for 39.95 when i can get 4 for 39.95. so why not buy a set of four of these and then a few vintage ones and mix and match them. that of course necessitates a party of 8 who like oysters. i wouldn't have a problem finding 8 who like oysters. and if i couldn't, oh well, more for me. there is nothing more fabulous than sitting a half on the half in front of your guests.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

yes, yes, yes, paper flowers

everytime i see paper flowers i'm going to link to them. technically it is stretching it a bit to call these paper flowers, but i don't care. i am going to be making and using paper flowers for the wedding. i absolutely adore fresh flowers but after having worked in the floral industry for several years i know: 1) that they are overpriced and 2) that i wouldn't want anyone to do them for my wedding but me. so in lieu of the real thing and because the wedding is 'mexican-inspired', i will be folding and poofing paper flowers days before the wedding (hopefully with a little help from my friends). these are from Artfool via Once Wed. check out the making and hanging of these beauties at Artfool's new blog.

these are more what i was thinking for the table decor but there will definitely be some hanging. probably not as artfull as Artfool.

what do you do with all those teacups?

these teacup lights are spectacular. i wonder if you could alter some track lighting with this idea. or i bet these would look sweet all in a single row hanging over a long kitchen table. great idea by Domestic-Construction and thanks for sharing this Constant Gatherer. the Constant Gatherer is running a birthday/thankyou special - oh i do hope that i win the pink/red wreath! i've been eyeing her things for some time now on etsy.

craft is beautiful

just found this blog Crafty Synergy by Patricia. she is doing great work with her interviews and with finding beautiful things to showcase. i just love these whirly/lacey/gears. the colors are super nice.

and this juicer is darling from Lily Pottery. there is more where this comes from. lots of beautiful pots that would make gorgeous containers for bunches of flowers. check out these hairclips. i luvvvv the bright cheery colors. i'd throw a bunch of these in my hair, especially when it is rainy outside.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

turquoise and red

have you ever noticed that once you focus your attention on something that you previously haven't, you begin to see that thing everywhere? kind of like the old game of "punch buggy" where you get to punch your younger brothers or older sister if you see a VW bug. it has been like that for me lately. since i choose turquoise and red as wedding colors, i've been seeing them everywhere. like for example, my bathroom. i didn't even realize that these were the colors of my bathroom until i was in the shower yesterday! so here are two pics of my jewelry dishes sitting on the counter. i wonder where i got the idea that i like turquoise and red together...hmm.

wedding inspiration

oh how i love these. they break my heart. i've thought about these beauties ever since i saw them last year when planning a trip to New Mexico. i went to NM for a conference but the only thing i wanted to do was go to this boot shop, Back at the Ranch. they have the most unbelievable designs. they make you want to cry. not inexpensive but certainly a source of inspiration. when we decided that we would finally get married and i began thinking about what things inspire me, these were the first things that popped into my mind. i like boots! when i tried to explain that i needed a pair of wedding boots to my beloved, i was met with a blank stare and "wedding boots? would you like to tell me what wedding boots are?" some people will just never understand.