Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paper Flowers

It was my mom's birthday yesterday (love you mom)!  I decorated her office with flowers to celebrate. Here's some peeks (please forgive the mobile photos):

PS: I was inspired by paper flower artist Eloise Corr Danch, and her beautiful windows:

Obviously mine are not as gorgeous, but it was a good start for a weekend project.  I definitely plan to make more.  For starters, I need to get a thinner art paper.  The only good quality paper I could find was scrapbook cardstock, which was a bit heavy.  Also, now that I have an idea of how to constuct them, I'm hoping the process will go a bit faster.

Do you want to make paper flowers too?  I'll post some links to tutorials soon, but I'm also thinking it's a good excuse for a craft night at my place!

Hostess with the Mostess

I've been thinking of the perfect housewarming gift lately.  I'm not sure why - I don't know anyone moving into a new home - so it must be my ongoing obsession with beautiful housewares:

These sweet smelling lavender wands

These personalized dinner menus from Perideau Designs (at Etsy)

This succulent trough arrangement from Olive and Cocoa

These Lilly Pulitzer water bottles from Lifeguard Press

A Meal-in-a-basket, such as this pasta basket suggested at Real Simple

This rustic cheeseboard from Firewood Furniture (at Etsy)
PS: Don't forget the cheese!

These great cookbook flag set from Spoon Sisters

These stack and grow herb kits are perfect for an apartment balcony

This Home Maintenance Organizer by Knock Knock will help keep all the not-so-fun stuff in check

These Table Topics Conversation Cards would be a great icebreaker at the Housewarming Party.

This Fig Leaf soap by Sweet Petula is a great gender neutral scent - and pretty packaging!

What's better than soap?  Flowers and soap. Satin and Birch's 2-for-1 French Flower Market Soap set would make a beautiful addition to a guest bathroom. 

Last but not least, who doesn't love a substantial, scented candle?  Made with recycled glass and soy wax, this exotically-scented (Aloha and Volcano), Capri Blue Jar Candle from Anthropologie is a great selection for both the stylish and the eco-friendly.

Vintage Travel Party

I am NUTS for this vintage travel inspired dessert bar Amy Atlas just shared.  It was created by Sweets Indeed in So Cal.

I want the hot air balloons SO bad. 

Visit Amy Atlas' blog to see more of the awesome vintage details.

Monday, August 30, 2010


This is my dream:

No exposed brick in my townhouse, and the white isn't happening until the kids are grown. But... a girl can dream, right?

Friday, August 27, 2010


It's been a bad week for posts, guys, sorry!  In addition to my regular work and family duties, I have been job hunting, so the blog is taking a back seat. 

On that note, if anyone knows of anyone looking for a marketing/graphics/communications mid-level role of some sort, send them my way please!

In the meantime, I am working on more posts as we speak, so stay tuned for some Friday love! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Animal Print Shop

If you've been anywhere near the blogs I link to, then you've already seen that animal photographer Sharon Montrose finally has prints availble in her aptly named The Animal Print Shop

Still, I can't help but share if only for this one picture:
Baby. Giraffe.

Fit Your Buns Like a Bra

What if your butt size was measured and fit like a bra size?  Well, apparently, now it can.

Check out this article about Levi's new "Curve ID" system, which matches women to jeans based on shape, not just on size. All jeans sizes for women now come in three shapes - slight curve (straighter figure/flatter fanny), demi curve (evenly proportioned hip and seat) and bold curve (smaller waist, larger seat). The shapes are based on a complex formula developed my Levi by analyzing scans of 60,000.  Very scientific, eh?

I don't know about you, but as a women with a guaranteed "bold curve", I'm pretty excited at the thought of just pulling on a pair of jeans specifically tailored to my body type.  This could open up a whole new world of styles for me. 

What do you think?  Will you be having your "trunk size" measured (hehe)? 

Check out more about the Curve ID system here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Art + Function = Design

I was so, so excited when I saw this bench-as-coffee-table over at Freshly Picked.  As you know, I am obsessed with redecorating my home (a long process as I look for the right pieces and.or save up for them).  One of my biggest design dilemmas is that we have nowhere to put a beverage glass in our living room - no tables, no nothing.  We pretty much have a couch, and... that's it.  I'd love a coffee table, but with two accident prone children under the age of 3, I worry about sharp corners and head wounds and all that.  An upholstered bench is the perfect solution!  And so stylish.

Read on for more solutions to design dilemmas...

Need a cool save the date? How about a Custom stamp!

Cool kids clothes are so expensive!  Just DIY with a Freezer Stencil Whale (I want one of these for the not-so-wee one).

I don't know about you, but I am SO picky about fabric. Good think I can design my own.
(via Stephmodo)

Another one from Steph, those is search of R&R would also love this perfect reading nook.

Think you are the next Charlotte Bickford-Smith? Make your own hardbound books from old paperbacks.



And this cupcake magnet, too

This dress

Only in my dreams… this sparkly jcrew top! (via OhJoy)

I guess I can make do with this sparkly henley (on sale!)

And of course...
The one that got away, my Mulberry for Target tote. Sigh.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday Winks

Friends, it has not been a good day.  No bueno.  And on top of that, I forgot to post my "Wednesday Winks" yesterday (and last week, oops...).  Let's forgot our troubles and lose ourselves in some excellent design, shall we?

Prettiness. A trip around SF with the iPhone Shake it app sfgirlbybay

A gorgeous Great Gatsby-inspired wedding (the bridge wore grey!) Snippet and Ink
I want to learn letterpress SO bad Oh So Beautiful Paper

Speaking of letterpress, this post’s a bit dated, here is a GREAT idea for recycling those beautiful letterpress cards you receive:  Stephmodo

A cool overview of Grace Bonney (Design*Sponge)’s keynote at IDSA:

Have you seen this? I want to make these so bad (but so much work!) Martha Stewart

Yum! Spring shrimp salad in parmesan bowls. Pizzazzerie

PS: No lie, the fire alarm went off when I was just about to post this.  And then it went twice more.  And then I had to fight an ant invasion.  Bad juju around here...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Provencal Bedroom Makeover

I am dying - dying - to redecorate our house.  We weren't sure how long we were going to be there (having lived in rentals our entire married lives, we never are sure how long we'll be anywhere, really), so we didn't put a lot of thought into decorating.  Decorating with some style also takes time and money, two things we are short of.

But... I am determined.  First up is our bedroom.  We have my parents hand-me-down bed and dresser that we want to eventually replace (hopefully sooner rather than later - the bed is b-u-s-t-e-d).  BUT our bed is framed by two gorgeous 60s-era Ethan Allan drawer/shelving combo pieces in a dark wood that we inherited from the hubby's grandma that we looove. And they would go really, really well with Pottery Barn's latest Provence-themed collection.

There is some lavendar and french ticking in my future, ladies and gentlemen.  The question is whether we will shell out in the next few weeks... or wait for the Craigslist/ebay sales.  Hmm. 

Anyone have any leads on discounted Provencal bedding? Anyone?

Target gets all classy.

I'm sure many of you have seen the latest Target/designer collaboration blowing up the Interwebs - John Dreiman housewares

I myself will be getting this beauty here: 
Dahlias + cupcakes? Holla!

Even more interesting than more beautiful housewares?  The fact that you can get first dibs some of the collection through a Target partnership with the Gilt Groupe.  (I know, it's all fancy with the "e" n'stuff).

Gilt is best know for "discounted" designers duds - and when I say discount, I mean like that Chloe purse is just $1299 instead of $2000 - so it's an interesting choice for a Target partnership.  I'm curious if this will lend even more weight to the growing "discount designer" trend and lead to more hi-end+lo-end partnerships.

The Gilt preview will not only feature the John Dreiman collection, but upcoming collaborations with British it-bag maker Mulberry (oh please let there be leather-like bags), and Tucker (print dresses and blouses).
You can see other quick peeks at some of the merch here.

The catch?  You have to be a "member" of Gilt's email list to access the sale.  You can go to Gilt and sign up for the waiting list, OR... you can go to Target's style blog to get on the list right. now. And get $10 to start you off.  See? I love you.

The Gilt preview starts this Friday, August 20th, at noon, so mark your calendars and take the cards out of the freezer!  As for me, my checkbook might need a 12-step program by the time I'm done. :)

Update: I'm on the Gilt site now and the Target sale is SHUTTING it down.  I finally got my tiered stand - it kept logging me out when I tried to checkout - but the black patent Mulberry tote I wanted was sold out within ONE MINUTE. Literally.  Can only hope Target carries it in-store. Cross your fingers! 

Looking Into the Past

Someone commented on Design Mom with a link to Jason Powell's crazy set of photos called Looking Into the Past:

 Get it?

My husband inherited a TON of old tintypes and b&w photos of the Bay Area that are over 100 years old. I totally want to drive around and follow suit.  What an awesome idea.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This is a very, special edition of Love.Want.Need. I am ever so excited that Creature Comforts introduced me to Basic French, an online French lifestyle store.  You have NO idea. Putting aside all jealousy that they stole my idea of opening a store of all French goods (and thus requiring me to fly to France on a regular basis and deduct it as a business expense, winkwink), I can't help but forgive them. Because they carry...

Vanilla cookie chocolate filling sandwich deliciousness!  Mmm... 

Now if they would only carry Z'Animo, I'd be in heaven. :)

Trendy Tuesday

The best of trends from around the web! Today's trend is...

Vintage Whimsy
The Trend: Kites, Pinwheels, Bright Colors, Playful details, and anything vintage Carnival/Circus (really could be it's own trend, but I'm including it here).

Tuesday Tunes

I am so diggin' the return of the banjo. Check out the banjo fanciness that is Mumford & Sons
(warning: a bit o' British swearing here and there).

Modest Wedding Dresses

I think it's refreshing that with the growing love of all things vintage (and all things "Mad Men") has come a return of the modest dress.  I'm a big fan of dresses with sleeves. 
I recently posted about my own wedding, and while I loved my dress, that might be the one thing I would have changed -  it was so difficult to find a fashionable wedding gown with sleeves that I bought a strapless dress and extra fabric and had the seamstress make sleeves.  I would have much preferred to just find a ready-to-wear dress, with set in sleeves.

Thankfully, I've seen a whole wealth of lovely, sleeved wedding dresses as of late, so I thought I'd share a few...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bohemian Garden Party

It all started with this page from an Instyle magazine in 2004 (yes, I have saved it all these years):

It's from Natasha Gregson Wagner's bohemian themed wedding.  She's an actress. What has she been in lately? Is she still married?  I don't know, neither do I care.  Her wedding was GORGEOUS.  French food, (cheese and crepes), a vintage feel lavender cake, and red velvet couches set out on. the. lawn.  Sigh.

Lately I've been thinking more and more about this beautiful boho event, the more I want a bohemian garden party of my own.  I've put together an inspiration board to help me plan it all out:

You'll probably have to click on the pic above to get the full feel.  I went a bit more exotic and colorful - I love the lavender color palette but I wanted something a bit more bold and jewel-toned, more lanterns than chandeliers.  It's a bit eclectic, a little vintage, a little homey, and lots of color and textures mixed together.  Bohemian can mean SO many styles these days, but this is my version.  I'd still love to do a more "french vintage" type of boho party, but this is what I was feeling at the moment.  I can't wait to see the real thing... hopefully soon!

What do you think? Would you want to join us at this outdoor living room?    

Lanterns (cannot find for the life of me!  If it's your photo, please let me know!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Wedding

A friend of mine recently commented that looking at all the great wedding details out there makes her want to go back and get married all over again. I totally agree! 

I love looking at dozens of gorgeous, thoughtful weddings each week, but I feel a bit mixed about it.  I compare it to prom - for years after high school I would look at each seasons prom dresses and feel a bit jipped.  Why didn't they have dresses that cute when I was shopping for prom?!

Weddings are the same for me. Every time I look at a beautifully planned wedding I think, "Ooooh, why didn't I do that?"

Since I post on weddings all the time, I thought I'd drag out my wedding pictures to share. And as much as I love all the weddings I see online, in retrospect four years later, mine is still very much me.  I'm so glad. :)

My sister

My shoes and vintage purse (found at a flea market in Seattle)

I loooved my bouquet!

Place cards (brown with gold ink). I wrote them - not perfect calligraphy by any means, but I liked them. :)

Our awesome cake! Two flavors - chocolate with chocolate frosting, and vanilla with apricot. Yum!

My husband made homemade caramels. I ordered the custom labels and cellophane bags online.

My ring. I wanted something flat so I wouldn't hit it on stuff (because I'm a klutz). I still love it!

My beautiful bridesmaids! They had wrist corsages instead or bouquets so they could carry parasols. They walked down the aisle to Madeleine Peyroux's version of La Vie en Rose. 

You may kiss the bride!

Hello hottie.

I call this "cream puff in a car!"

All in all, it was a wonderful affair.  We didn't really have a "theme", per se, but I based our color scheme around a special photo album we had - green, brown and cream.  I don't remember all our sources now, but it was a very "DIY" wedding, long before the DIY wedding movement had really taken off.  It just the easiest way to make sure things were the way I wanted it (hello, OCD), and to keep costs down.  By far the most expensive stuff was the food and site rental, then my dress. Besides that, everything else didn't cost that much.

Here's a few tips if you are planning on a DIY wedding:

1) Decide what is important to you
We really didn't want family to be cleaning up a kitchen post-wedding, so we knew we needed to shell out for a site.  Music was also SUPER important to us, so I made a burned CD of all our obscure songs for the DJ.  AND had a backup! (Besides La Vie En Rose, I walked down the aisle to an Eels cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love", and "All You Need is Love" played when we walked back as husband and wife).

2) Look in uncommon places for your details
Looking for the unique details was one of my favorite parts about planning my wedding. You just have to be willing to find the diamond in the rough (and if you don't have time, use the money for a planner)! I had a great time perusing the flea market for my vintage purse.  A ginormous centerpiece wasn't important to me, so I found some cheap cylinder vases at a craft store and filled them with green apples and some brown ribbon. Voila! The green parasols my bridesmaids carried I found online at The Oriental Trading Company.  I designed my own invites with envelopes from Paper Source, paper from Office Max, and - believe it or not - Microsoft Paint and Publisher (it's what I had at the time).

3) Don't be afraid to use up-and-coming vendors
Our friend Lori from Images by Lori is the BOMB photographer.  At the time, she was an assistant to another photographer and hadn't launched her own business.  WE knew how talented she was, and got her for a steal.  And then told everyone! (Maybe we should have kept our mouths shut, hehe).   Our florist was the wife of a co-worker who did flowers out of her house. We had a couple of glitches, but overall the flowers were exactly what I wanted and gorgeous... and cost me literally a fourth of what I would have spent at the local well-known flower houses.

4) Get a 2-for-1 deal where you can
One of my bridesmaids had gotten married at the same golf course, so I knew that a wedding coordinator was included with the price of rental. And she was good!  Too good to pass up, so I got married there, as well. :) 

5) Roll with the punches
This really is more of a time/emotional saver than a money saver, but trust me - stuff WILL happen. You will wish you had eloped at some point. But ultimately, you're there to get hitched to your lifemate.  So enjoy! The End.