Ruffles and Bakers Twine Are Friends of Mine

Enjoy the weekend, you beautiful people.

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*Stirring Around*

Ahh, to be this fabulous...

A beautiful wedding that reminds us what this crazy world is all about.

Dear Bride Jessica, I love your wedding. It's perfect.

I got lost in Jen Huang Photography's blog, and realized I had been staring at this bride's elegant dress for the entire morning.

Congrats to Jenna and her mister on the news about a little baby blue!



Baby's Got Back

Morning lovelies! 

I've been spending a lot of time in my little craft room this week, trying to finally figure out a fun and creative design for my business cards. The problem with working at a desk filled with ribbons, washi tape, straws, paper, funky scissors, and colorful bakers twine is you get so easily distracted! Before I knew it, it was dinnertime (my designated time to stop all blog/design related work and spend time with the Huz) and I had managed to make pretty much everything except business cards. Let's just say I have a new found respect for graphic designers and all the amazing and inspiring ideas that float around in their crafty little brains each day. 

Anyways, messing around with little details last night got me thinking about an insanely easy detail you can incorporate into weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, you name it:

Pretty Pretty Chair Decor

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A dainty tissue paper flower garland accented with romantic greenery makes this chair picture perfect.

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Or, pair some greenery with a bright pop of lemons and add some cute initials.
Psst - The couple from this wedding served donuts at their cocktail reception (insert the little voice inside my head screaming "why didn't I push harder to have that at our wedding?").
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Throw some bistro style napkins (or bar towels) over your chairs and call it a day. Brilliant.

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Such a whimsical detail and a wonderful keepsake to hang on your wall after the wedding. 
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Love the idea of making little chalkboards for your chairs. It would also be fun to find two festive chairs for the bride and groom and chalkboard the backs. People could leave little messages for them throughout the night!

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Weave ribbons through the bride and groom chairs, or if you have a bunch of helping hands, weave them throughout the reception chairs for quiet a statement!
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Saved my favorite idea for last. I love ribbons. That's no secret. Why not tie a bunch to the backs of your chairs? If for no other reason than to have a picture like this one. 
Bonus points for adding a cute flower garland.

What other ideas have you lovelies seen floating around? 
Would you design something to hang on the back of your chair for your wedding? 
For your office chair? Would that be silly?



Snip Snip

On a fringe binge today.

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Of course, you can't go wrong when my main squeeze Martha and my gal pal Ashley Meaders are on the same page (top left and bottom right).

Off to find some pretty paper to snip away at and fill my day with fancy fringe.



Christmas in July

Merry Christmas, lovelies! Now that it's finally cooled off to 90 degrees it can finally start feeling like the holidays. What, you didn't know it came early this year? It certainly did! Potter + Butler held their Christmas in July: Handmade Gift Exchange project this month and it could not have been more fun. The idea was this: make something for your assigned gift exchange partner and then make the same gift and give it to someone as a random act of kindness. Can't go wrong with that, right? Little did I know, I'd be partnered up with the lovely Connie Cheng from the crafty/inspirational blog, Daydream in Color; the stakes were high but I felt so lucky to have Connie over for the holidays!

I decided to try my hand at a little dip-dye action so I made Connie some napkins.

If you are lucky duck enough to have laundry in your abode and able to find liquid dye at your local craft store (mine was all out), this process is much quicker. Much quicker.

First, I washed the cotton napkins and hung them up to dry. Before dyeing, I ironed each one and folded it the exact way I wanted the napkin to look when finished. 

Psst - the colors were much lighter in person. I promise I didn't give split pea soup colored napkins to Connie; they were actually a light linen color. Promise.

I was hoping for some blue and hot pink liquid dye, but my craft store only had these color and dye options left in stock. Apparently, dip-dyeing is in! I followed the package instructions but basically I filled a big bowl with really hot water, added some salt, dish soap and then the dye.

 I wanted to achieve a sort of ombre effect so I followed this dip-dyeing tutorial: I quickly dipped the napkin in the dye bath once, about half way up, then dipped it again, this time a little lower on the napkin, and held it in the dye for a minute or so longer. I repeated this step once more, again dipping the napkin in less and less each time.

I rinsed the napkin under cold water to set the color.

Sorry for the blurry photo. It's really hard to hold your craft still with one hand and take a picture of it with the other.  Also, wear gloves. Don't follow my lazy crafter example.

Then I dried the napkins once again and ironed them into place. The best part about this DIY is the more imperfect the dye job, the prettier they look!

Then I sent them off to Santa at his summer workshop (so weird he vacations in Jersey) where his elves wrapped the gift and added some homemade apple butter.

Merry Christmas in July, Connie!

Psst - As my random gift of kindness, I gave the blue dip-dyed napkins to a co-worker of mine. It was such a joy seeing her face light up; I wish every month could be Christmas in July!

But wait, you have to see what the talented Connie made me!

Being a sweet blog reader of mine, she knew I happened to fancy the color pink. She made an adorable clock out of corkboard (how did she know I needed one?!), an even cuter pink gift topper ribbon, and threw in some delicious strawberry candies! They may or may not be all gone by now. Just saying. I loved every little bit of my gift and clearly I need to have Connie over here for a little DIY clock tutorial! 
Thank you so much, Connie!

I had so much fun participating in this project and love hearing the stories of all the other gift exchanges that happened throughout July. Those Potter + Butler ladies certainly know how to spread merriment, don't they? Head over here to read more about the project and check out their story of their random gift of kindness over here (it's a story we can all relate to).

Have you ever given something homemade to someone, simply just because?

Has anyone tried dip-dyeing yet? Any tips you could give me for my second attempt?



Get Roped In.

Aw, Maine, our visits are always too short, don't you think? I was just getting used to early breakfasts on the porch, followed by full days on the beach, topped off with some cocktails and fresh seafood at sunset. I even squeezed in some wedding eavesdropping admiring when two different weddings took place on the harbor across from our inn. Oh, and did I mention I turned down my mom's offer to take me shoe shopping for my birthday, and instead, asked for a shopping spree at Gus & Ruby Letterpress? It was heaven. Oh, the goodies I found! All in all, it was a very successful and relaxing vacation. But, I missed you lovelies. I did. So, I thought I'd ease back into this week by showing you some nautical/seaside inspiration you could use for any gorgeous affair. 

Rope, anyone?

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Wrapping rope around your stems is a simple and elegant way to add texture and beauty to your florals.

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Speaking of florals, how pretty would it be to use this DIY for your centerpieces? You can buy unfinished boxes like this one at craft or hardware stores and fill them up with flowers, succulents, or even fruits and vegetables. 

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Just add some wedding rings and you're in business.

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Move over diamond and flower wedding belts, this baby is going to rock your socks the boat.

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This soft and romantic sea glass effect, paired with simple rope accents, makes me miss nights on the seacoast.

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Get knotted up. 
I really love the idea of using rope for a ceremony, cake table, or photo booth backdrop.

Sigh. The first day back after a lovely vacation is always the hardest. You'll have to bear with me. Thankfully, you lovelies have kept on chuggin' so I have plenty of pretty to distract me today!

So tell me, what's new?



See You on Monday!

Making our annual trip up to the Maine seacoast today.

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Time for some sun, sand, 60 degree ocean, saltwater taffy, sea glass hunting, lobster (sans butter), and just pure fun. After all, it's the way life should be.



Pretty Windows

While I was popping through all the fabulous window display pictures on Gus and Ruby's facebook page I decided I'm going to need a big window on the front of my house (the gorgeous one I'm dreaming of having up on the NE seacoast one day) so I can create fun displays for parties. Or maybe I just need to open up a little shop of my own and finally start the bakery + crafts store I've always wanted. Either way, window displays look like so much fun to create. 
Anthropologie, I'm lookin' at you.

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Totally adaptable for a wedding cake table backdrop. I wonder if you could hire a team from Anthropologie to design a backdrop for your wedding? Hmm...

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The bold patterns paired with white furniture is wicked smart.

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If you put an elephant in the middle of a room, I'm going to stop and stare. And then go in.

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I Love you, too, Tory Burch. And you better be serving some doughnuts when I come visit. 

Do you lovelies stare in awe each season as Anthro changes their displays? I once caught the team changing a display while I was coming up to a traffic light and I almost crashed into the car in front of me; I had to know their secrets!



I Feel Pretty Friday + Stirring Around

Sometimes all it takes is something sweet, bakers twine, and a bit of ruffle to be, well...happy.

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*Enjoy the weekend, you beautiful people.

*Pssst, just in case you didn't notice, I'm combining the "I Feel Pretty" Fridays and usual weekend wrap-ups into one post. Jam packed full of fun, eh?

*Stirring Around*

Fiona's wedding is just as fun and gorgeous as her textiles, which were featured here! And I think we wore the same bridal earrings. Gal's got style.
Fishtail, sleeves, pink skirt, sparkle, white, bride in window, he looks nice, petit bouquet, love

Sandra Downie opened her Etsy shop and my birthday is next Friday. I see this going very well. Mom, I would like the Vintage Mirrored Vanity Tray and the Vintage Sage Green Compote and Bowl. Wrap it up!

My dad is officially a free man today! After 30 years, today is his last day as the Chairman of the Board of Tax and- I'll just say "Land and Tax Judge" because he had the longest job title ever. Now, he's retired!  On to greener pastures on the farm and long walks with Lilly! Congrats, Dad!



Stuck in the Middle With You

Oh you guys, it's just not fair. 

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It shouldn't happen, I know. 
The worst best part is they're super easy to make and make for an adorable presentation. Dessert bar anyone? Did I mention my birthday is coming up next week and I love anything peanut butter + chocolate? Just putting it out there.

Head over to Picky Palate for all the details, but be warned, Jenny has been on a roll with the peanut butter + chocolate combo lately!



Take a Dip

I'm working on a little dip-dyed gift for Potter & Butler's Christmas in July Handmade Gift Exchange. I thought I'd try my hand with the fun trend, especially after seeing all this dip-dying inspiration.

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This looks simple enough and a wonderful way to kick your bag up a bit.

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I'm definitely trying this idea. What a great way to add some pizazz to simple white pillar candles for your wedding. Customize it to your wedding colors!

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Business cards...

I also love the nautical effect this has when applied to white paper. So crisp and clean.

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File this under the category "Now why didn't I think of that?"

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Such a fun idea to liven up your serving utensils for summer entertaining.

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The kid in me loves this to pieces.

So, how 'bout it? What would you dip-dye? 



Esther + Paul = June 11, 2011

I almost jumped out of my britches when Esther sent me these images of her wedding. How could you not when faced with all this pretty? Esther and Paul were married in a gorgeous ceremony at Trinitarian Congregational Church in North Andover, Massachusetts and afterwards, celebrated in true New England country style at Smolak Farms with friends and family. Esther had her DIY hands busy making the "e & p" letters out of a Boston map (love!), jars of honey for the favors, and even the menus! Phew. And, when in doubt, she turned to the lovely Etsy for help with the details. From hayrides to seafood, from a doughnut cake to a country band, this wedding is certainly one for the books and kept my simple country heart smiling. Captured by the talented team at Rebecca Hansen Weddings, this wedding is sure to win over your hearts, as well.

(All images shot by Rebecca Hansen Weddings)

Aren't they the cutest? 
Thank you Esther + Paul for sharing your beautiful day with all of us!