Tuesday, 31 May 2011

I need a long weekend to recover from my long weekend

best. weekend. ever.

More to come when I can form coherent thoughts again (and when people get around to sending me photos from the bachelorette.)

Friday, 27 May 2011


Some photos from Cville, two weeks ago:

Happy Friday!  Wish me luck that my hungover self doesn't act like a fool at my shower on Sunday morning.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Bachelorette weekend here we come!

So excited for the bachelorette party all set for this weekend.  In preparation, my sister and I spent some quality time at the mall this weekend, shopping for cute mini dresses for "my last night of singledom" except that I am not getting married until September - but I digress.  Minidresses.

So this is what I bought, from Bebe (a store I have never so much as entered before. )

Open Stitch Cutout Dress by Bebe

and here is the largest picture I can find of the back.

I thought this was an excellent celebration of the (16.7!!!!) pounds I have lost.  My sister did not think it was scandalous enough.

Then I picked up this little guy, to go with my current trend of large necklaces:

Love.  From Forever 21, a store I will never enter again.  We literally spent 25 minutes waiting to buy this thing.
When I was walking back to my car, I went through Nordstrom, where they were having a Chanel event.  Since I had nothing else to do that afternoon, I had my makeup done, and finally bought some foundation to use at the wedding.  This is what the technician did with me:

At the time I thought, waaaaaaay too much makeup.  And looking at this photo, I am thinking: why did I feel like I had so much makeup on?  I mean sure its more than I usually wear, but it doesn't seem outrageous.... One of those things I will need to work out before the real thing, I suppose.  But I am so happy with the new foundation :)  And I am sure sometime this week I will actually wear some.

Bring on the best girlfriends + drinks.  I am ready.

Monday, 23 May 2011

DIY: Dances with Ladders

Two weekends ago, I spent some quality time in Charlottesville, about 9 and a half feet up in the air.  The ceiling of my parents place new place desperately needed some paint (soot stains are quite distracting, as it turns out.) and Brandon and I volunteered.

This is what the living room looked like before:

To get the ladder we rented back to our house, I literally held onto it through the sunroof:

And these are some goofy shots of us painting:


We spent more than 16 hours painting, over two days, but somehow... halfway through painting, I decided that we MUST paint the end wall some crazy colour.  Brandon's initial response was: "No scope creep!" and I was so impressed by his professional terminology that I almost conceded.  Almost.  No one ever accused me of being that restrained, however.  So we painted one wall blue, too, just for kicks.

After.  With the blue wall.  I don't know that you can tell from this photo, but the ceiling is soooo much lighter than before.
And then when we finished, we treated ourselves to this:

Delicious cheese crackers :)  Good weekend.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Some things I learned from letterpress

In light of my post on APW a week or so ago, I wanted to re-examine how I felt about the process.  Here are some things I have come up with:

I am a teensy bit of an overachiver.  Or as polite people would say, "intense."Also, I have a strong tendency to get cocky once I think I know how to do something.

I really care about paper.  More than I even knew before.

Many things that appear simple are harder than they look.  One of the most difficult parts of the whole process for me was rolling out the ink.

People who you would think would have no interest in letterpress ( and arguably still don't ) (teenage guy cousin) will be fascinated by any process involving handmade machinery.

My father may be way more stubborn than I am.

Bending over a table for 8 hours hurts more now than it did while I was in school.

Most people who receive my invitations will not have an inkling of what I went through to produce them.

You can solve almost any problem by doing enough research on the internet.

A good backup plan is worth its weight in gold, but not having to use it is even better.

I use fancy words without really meaning to.  My sister will continue to mock me for this.

Explaining a process you learned largely through trial and error is tricky.  Doing it in fewer than 10,000 words is extra tricky.

I am my own worst critic.  As it should be.

We will see how this goes, but I am excited to see what happens on the other side of wedding bells.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Sometimes, its best if I take a chill pill.

From Natalie's Killer Cuisine.

Brandon took me for delicious Coldstone tonight, after I worked my butt off in class.  Life is good.

And today, we are officially 4 months away from being husband and wife.  And I am super excited, because I keep referring to him as my hubby by mistake, and getting weird looks.

Last night had an amazing session with Mon and Lisa, planning the bachelorette festivities, and can I just say:  A SCAVENGER HUNT IS BEING PLANNED.

I have the best friends ever.  so. very. excited.

Monday, 16 May 2011

which way is up?

I am completely burnt out from the past few weeks. My cumulative to-do list is completely full of things I was supposed to do last week and didn't, and not only do I have more to add this week, I have made plans for every night until Friday already. Sigh.

Yesterday on the drive home from Cville, Brandon and i noticed the following license plates within a 10 minite stretch on Rt. 29N:

West Virginia
South Carolina
North Carolina

Seems to be a hotbed of travel on a Sunday afternoon. After getting home after one intense weekend, we had one of the best relaxing evenings in a while - ordered Chinese takeout (and yes I got the steamed chicken with veggies because I am still on a diet, but I also treated myself to some steamed dumplings bc they are the best), sat on the sofa, and enjoyed watching The King's Speech. I definitely needed that to take on this week.

Here we go...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

DIY: Centerpieces (sortof) or why I love thrift stores

Ha!  The sofa isn't finished in this photo, thats how long ago it was taken.
Many of you have seen these already.  But.  I proudly present, the longest running project of my wedding crafting so far:  the centerpieces.  Not the actual centerpieces yet mind you, just the vessels that will hold the flowers when I finally get there.

Remember when I said I like to bit off more than I can chew?  Well, I wanted to do my own flowers, to save a ton of cash.  But when I looked into buying the vases online, I felt like the cost of the vases meant I wouldn't be saving so much money anymore*.
I didn't paint all of these.  My most recent aquisitions.

This is my attempt at Blue Willow.

So I decided I would go to thrift stores and collect blue and white painted ceramics.  They're all over the place, right?  And even the low quality ones look nice, right?

After about 3 trips to the thrift store, collecting 2 or 3 vases tops, I got impatient.  And decided I would just...paint my own.
The fish and the dragon....probably two of my faves.

And I think (fingers crossed)  I probably have enough now.  Particularly given the fact that I keep adding things to the tables, like candles and lanterns....
No these urns do not contain the ashes of someone in my family, this is just a me going through my urn  phase.  And then I placed them around the photo of my family, because it seemed like a nice pseudo-mantle....

So what do you think?

* I completely acknowledge I have probably invested an equal amount in this plethora of vases.  I know.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Peonies for Mother's Day

Fresh from the garden, with the ants rinsed off.  Love these amazing blooms!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

DIY: Shower Invites

So my mom, sister, and one of my bridesmaids are throwing me a bridal shower, and my one request was that I be allowed to make the invitations (and also that we serve booze.)

So here they are, and I am pretty happy with them.

The invites are printed on the same cotton paper used for the wedding invitations, and the design is based on an early idea I had for the wedding.  I eventually rejected it because the cherry blossoms seemed awfully spring for a fall wedding, and I didn't like how the birds made the invitations so graphic.  But I still get to use all my hard work in the end, so it worked out I think.

The backs of the invitations are printed directly onto the paper using a variety of Japanese yuzen paper patterns.  I love the way printing the design directly onto the paper makes them so clean, but yet is so vibrant that so far no one believed me when I tried to convince them I hadn't glued the real thing onto the back.  I wanted to use a variety of patterns to really showcase the designs, and because I definitely couldn't pick just one.  I know no one will really see more than one invitation each (and some people may not look at the back at all), but I will know.  And sometimes thats whats important.

And also, I love the navy envelopes which I picked up from PaperSource - they really make the labels pop, and gave me a chance for another design facet.

So excited for the point after the wedding where I open up an Etsy shop or something, to hopefully do this more often!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

DIY: Bathroom Decor

For my mom's birthday, we decided we would treat her to a spa-like bathroom decoration, in her new bathroom in Charlottesville.  We ended up only taking one after picture, which doesn't showcase all the new accessories we added, but you'll have to imagine it was I describe it.

Here is the before:  nice little bathroom, little chandelier sconce on either side of the mirror (which both my parents have commented is awesome for shaving/makeup application.  Walls are painted a pleasant grey-green colour, which we kept.
Here is the after, or at least as much as I could get into the picture:

We put up those class shelves, and bought her nice little crackled glass accessories.  Then we bought new grey and white towels, which you can see on the shelf, and the hand towel next to the sink.  We finished it off with a grey fuzzy bathmat and a nice clean white fabric shower curtain with a grey grosgrain ribbon panel detail.  We also bought wicker storage baskets that fit in the shelf unit you can't see, opposite the toilet.

A closeup of the shelves and accessories.
I really like how it turned out - clean, modern, and a little luxurious.  And Mom likes it, so really thats all that matters.