Return Address Stamp

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It has been a busy, busy summer indeed. As always, it FLEW by so quickly - I can't believe today was Ava's first day of 2nd grade. Blogging hasn't been much of a priority the past few weeks, but I hope to be posting more regularly in the fall. For now, here is one of my favorite gifts of the summer... a return address stamp I found on Etsy through a shop called Primele. Call me lazy... but I just hate writing my return address over and over when I'm trying to get some thank you notes or Christmas cards out the door. And I'll admit I'm a difficult person to buy gifts for, so I told my mom this would be the perfect birthday present. She agreed and I was thrilled to see the cute little package on my doorstep. 

I just love the calligraphic style! Click here to check out their etsy shop!

Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Memorial Day was a bittersweet one. My dear, sweet grandmother and last grandparent passed away recently and her Memorial Service was held over the weekend. My mom asked me to design her programs and of course I was honored to do so.

This is just one page from her program (my favorite).

My mom worked hard over the past few weeks to organize the 
entire thing and did a beautiful job. We scattered her ashes over 
my Papa's grave while my cousin sang Amazing Grace, then 
the family released 15 butterflies at the cemetery.  

She is definitely missed and... honestly... there are no words 
in these kinds of situations - it's simply a part of life we all 
must deal with at some point I guess... but I found a 
beautiful quote that I think describes it best: 
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal... 
but love leaves a memory no one can steal."

We love you GG.

Baby Owen

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One of my dear friends at work is preggers with her first child so I was super excited to help throw her a baby shower. Addie was in charge of food and did a great job - Mary Jane, Kelly and Joy did a marvelous job helping me set up and Will was so sweet to take photos for us. We have so many great people in our department and it's time like these that we get to see how much we enjoy each other's company. We chose whales based off of some of the accents Mommy is using in Baby Owen's nursery. I think Kristen loved it and I have absolutely no doubt that she's going to be a wonderful (BEYOND wonderful actually) mother.

It took place in our conference room - so try to ignore the chairs!

There's Momma coming in! Surprise!

We decided to go with blue, white and yellow and used a 
burlap table runner

close up of the invitation

We put a slideshow of pictures up on the big screen. "OTB" are his initials.

To the right is a little candy station.

Great job on the cupcakes Addie!

Kristen's little gift basket. (There's more on gifts below.)

Here's sweet Kristen - except for her cute belly, 
you would never even know she's pregnant!

Since this was held the week after the terrible tornadoes, Kristen was 
generous enough to ask that the collective money that would normally be 
put towards her gifts to be used for donations instead. So we also had 
a table full of goodies to put toward a good cause.

It was a great shower - now we can't wait for Baby "O" to get here!

Royal Wedding Mayhem

Friday, April 29, 2011

The thing on most of our minds here in Alabama, or the South really, is the terrible devastation that occurred yesterday. The numbers continue to change, but it looks like this could be the #1 or #2 ranked tornado outbreak in U.S. history. As of now, the death toll is near 200 just in Alabama and hundreds, if not thousands, injured. I ask for everyone's thoughts and prayers during this horrific time. On a much lighter note, however, I started working on this post a couple of days ago. And I think we could all use a little distraction right now.

Being raised by a mother who has always been a little "Diana-obsessed," I can't help but be interested in the Royal Wedding. The combination of tradition, romance and fairytale, plus an amazing dress, should make for one heck of a historical moment. After all, doesn't everyone STILL talk about Diana's wedding dress??? Especially entertaining are all the "goodies" that have surfaced amidst the chaos. Some are absolutely adorable and I might even consider buying (like the mug) and then some, as always, are completely ridiculous and for entertainment purposes only. No matter what style you fancy, the event will be a bloody spectacle indeed. Happy Royal Friday to the estimated 2-3 billion people who will be tuning in! Set your TiVo's!

Clockwise from top/left:

wreath what you sow

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wreaths are such a chic and simple way to decorate your home, but wow... they can cost you an arm and a leg. However, making one yourself can cost MUCH less and you have FULL control of the outcome! Here are a couple wreaths I've made the last few months.

This pink feather boa wreath is great for Valentine's Day or adorable 
for a baby shower! All you need is a styrofoam ring, 2-3 feathers boas 
(I used 3 because my styrofoam ring was a larger size) and a staple gun.

I don't know about you, but this time of year does actually put a "spring" 
in my step! The past couple of weeks I've been spring cleaning at my 
house and this wreath helped me jump-start the process. I used a large, 
sturdy wreath made of twigs and branches. Then gathered some floral 
decoration in pinks, yellows and greens. All you need to do is place and 
wrap your accessories to the wreath and secure with either floral wire 
or hot glue! (Don't be afraid to trim your flowers for easier placement.) 
See if you can spot our precious friends we've named Bumble & Honey! 

For Japan With Love

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan has been in my thoughts and prayers for the last few days and obviously I'm not the only one. As we continue to see more and more devastating photos and video, I'm sure there are many of us who wonder what we can possibly do to help. I recently came across one of my favorite blogs, Twig & Thistle, who, along with at least 200 other bloggers, are silencing their blogs tomorrow in hopes of taking the day to reflect on the disaster in Japan. Now that isn't very significant for my tiny little blog... since I don't even have a blog post every day. But I did want to help promote a fundraising site called "For Japan With Love," created by the wonderful people of Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours. They joined up with ShelterBox, an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. If you'd like to donate or would like more information please visit For Japan With Love and/or ShelterBox. Please consider a donation and encourage others to do the same. Thank you - xoxo

Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Don't you ever want to go back to a time where anything seems possible and all worries are a million miles away? That is the magic of Disney... it seems to be able to bring out the inner child in all of us, doesn't it? Disney Parks recently released three more images as part of their ongoing "Year of a Million Dreams" campaign that continues the series of Disney Dream portraits featuring famous celebrities as Disney characters.

(click to see larger images)

Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen and Alec Baldwin as the Spirit of the Magic Mirror from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. The caption reads, “Where magic speaks, even when you’re not the fairest of them all.”

Queen Latifah as Ursula from ‘The Little Mermaid’, which is captioned, “Where memories take hold and never let go.”

(But in case you would like to know) it all began in 2007 at the request (and paycheck) of Disney. You don't even have to be a fan of photography to have heard of THE Annie Leibovitz, a brilliant portrait photographer who has held chief of photography positions at Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. She was also the last person to professionally photograph John Lennon - as he was killed just five hours after she shot the infamous Rolling Stones cover with a naked Lennon curled around and kissing Yoko Ono in 1980 (which still remains one of the most famous magazine covers of all time).

Each image of the Disney Dream series features a scene with the featured celebrities transformed into the role of a fabled Disney character, expressing their own dreams and imagination. Two of the first images released were inspired by 'Cinderella' and 'Alice in Wonderland.'

As Cinderella, Scarlett Johansson is seen running down a flight of stairs as the clock strikes midnight with her glass slipper unknowingly left behind. The tagline reads, “Where every Cinderella story comes true.”

Beyonce appears as 'Alice in Wonderland,' twirling in a teacup, accompanied by Oliver Platt as the Mad Hatter and Lyle Lovett as the March Hare. The tagline reads, “Where Wonderland is your destiny.”

“It’s two great imaginations coming together — Disney and Annie Leibovitz,” said Lovett. “To be along for the ride really is quite something, just knowing that you’re going to be part of a great Disney character. And then when you step into the imagination of Annie Leibovitz, you know you’re in another world.”

Above Jessica Biel is portrayed as Pocahontas in a photo illustration titled “Where Dreams Run Free.”

For "Fantasea" inspired by 'The Little Mermaid,' Leibovitz worked her mastery on soundstages on both coasts. Fitted in his silvery fishtail, Michael Phelps was lowered into a backlot tank in Los Angeles used for underwater movie scenes. Leibovitz was on the outside, snapping away, communicating her instructions to Phelps via members of her crew. “One of the most complicated shots I have ever done,” said Leibovitz. “I didn’t know if it was going to work, what to expect. I have to tell you, he was beautiful. Michael put on that tail and … he just became like a modern dancer. He just took to it and enjoyed himself and swam through this tank. I was blown away.”

“It was kind of weird to be able to put on a tail and swim around in a tank,” Phelps admitted. “To work with Annie and try these crazy sorts of ideas is really an honor and something I won’t forget.”

At a New York soundstage, Leibovitz perched the fishtailed Julianne Moore on a rock as the starry-eyed Ariel. “There’s a moment in the shoot where Julianne is sitting on a rock in her mermaid tail and her young daughter comes in, and there is not a dry eye in the house,” Leibovitz recalled. “She sat in her mother’s lap. Her jaw just dropped. She could not believe her mother was Ariel..." and THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is the primary reason I felt compelled to devote a post to this project.

These are just a few of my personal favorites from the series. If you would like to see more (including Julie Andrews as a Fairy and Roger Federer as King Arthur), plus some great behind-the-scenes photos, check them out here.

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is it just me or is Easter WAY too close for comfort? Don't get me wrong - I am LOVING this gorgeous Alabama weather and Spring is one of my favorite seasons (Fall is obviously the other). But, besides bringing beautiful temperatures and the concept of rebirth, renewal and regrowth, it also reminds me of a few other lovely "Spring" things:
  • Spring Cleaning
  • Spring Break (even though I no longer take part in this tradition.... aw, pity party for me) 
  • Spring Training
  • Spring Fling
  • Handspring (which I could do... when I was a wee little girl)
  • Spring Forward
  • Offspring (which I guess is more of a negative term for children?)
  • Spring in your step
  • Bruce Springsteen (shout out to Kris and her hubby!!)
  • Jerry Springer (OK - this isn't "lovely" but you can't leave him out of a list with "Spring" in the title!)
One thing I despise most about getting older is how time seems to speed up each year. Can this even be possible? This topic seems to come up pretty often so.... I looked it up.... one theory is this: it has to do with the perception of the "Percentage of Experienced Life." In other words, when a 10 yr. old lives through one year, they are experiencing 1/10th of their lifetime. Which in a concept of reality is quite a large perceived time frame. When say a 50 yr. old lives through one year, they are experiencing 1/50th of their lifetime.... or a much shorter segment of time. So, the perception is as we grow older, time as it is perceived, speeds up.... interesting....

Anyway.... back to my ORIGINAL subject: Easter. Here are some fabulous Easter projects.... remember to live in the present and enjoy!

  1. Peeps Easter Decor from The Sweetest Occasion
  2. Homemade Easter wreath by BeaG
  3. Nesting baby bluebird cupcakes from Martha Stewart
  4. Simple spring basket from Maya Made
  5. Bunny brownies in a jar from No Fuss Fabulous
  6. Easter bunny cake pops from Bakerella

Secrets from a Stylist

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This past week was the premiere of Emily Henderson's "Secrets from a Stylist" on HGTV. In case you missed it, you can watch the full episode online! A little about Emily - her new hosting gig can be accredited to the fact that she is a recent winner of a little television competition you may have heard of called Design Star on HGTV (she was totally my favorite that season!). She is an in-demand photo-shoot stylist for top lifestyle and design publications and national retailers. Her style, which she says is a mix of classical and contemporary design, led her to start her own business as a prop, lifestyle and tabletop designer. But she also has a super-charming personality and totally ONE (and yes, there are many) of my imaginary best friends! Oh, and I also follow her blog, of course. Check it out!

And here is one of her recent projects. Cheers to Hollywood Regency!

(photos are from Emily's blog)

color crush

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Color plays a large role in graphic design, well... in all areas of design, because it can be applied to any other element, potentially causing a dramatic change. It can even be used to evoke emotion. Color theory can be applied to all areas of life, really... which is why I've decided to incorporate a periodic color profile (I don't have a set interval but it will probably be monthly). The blog post could be focused on a single color, as this one is, or a cohesive palette of color.

"The first of all single colors is white ... We shall set down white for the representative of light, without which no color can be seen."  - Leonardo Da Vinci

Like black, white works well with almost any color. It has associations of cleanliness, innocence, purity and neutrality. Doctors don white coats, Western brides traditionally wear white gowns, and a white picket fence surrounds a safe and happy home.

White is a neutral color and is most frequently used as a background on the web, and of course in print. There is a misconception that white can be boring, or that choosing white is predictable, but there are many designers who choose and work with white to make beautiful designs. Using white does not mean being “minimalistic”. Minimalism is not dependent on any particular color. In the same way, “white space” does not necessarily mean that the space around any design element must be be white.

  1. Butterfly chandelier from Pottery Barn Kids (this is no longer available but I found a great DIY tutorial at Project Nursery - check it out!)
  2. Paper lanterns at Crafty Nest
  3. White vases are always a great accessory for the kitchen table or at an event, especially if done in multiples. I'm always on the lookout for one that is super-affordable and has a great shape (no matter how horrible the color) because they always look amazing after a few coats of white spray paint (here's the how-to via Ruffled).
  4. Doily bordered mirror DIY at LifeFlix
  5. White interiors - I have a young child, so an all white room isn't an option for me personally, but I love it when they're done well. Since white represents cleanliness and has the ability to make a smaller space feel large and luxurious, I would think the bathroom might be the best choice in a home - BUT I'm not a professional so here are some Nate Berkus tips for adding white in the home.

  • Aids mental clarity
  • Encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles
  • Evokes purification of thoughts or actions
  • Enables fresh beginnings

  • White is the traditional color worn by brides in the western world, as well as in Japan.
  • White is a color of mourning in China and parts of Africa.
  • The color of deepest mourning among medieval European queens was white rather than black. This tradition survived in Spain until the end of the fifteenth century.
  • In Chinese culture, color corresponded with the five primary elements, the directions and the four seasons. White was associated with metal, west and autumn.
  • A white flag is universally recognized as a symbol of truce.
  • The ancient Greeks wore white to bed to ensure pleasant dreams. 

  • According to Pantone Inc., white is the best selling color for the classic American t-shirt. 
  • More shades of white are available commercially than any other color. A few variations include beige, ivory, antique white, cream, linen, vanilla, ghost white, paper, snow, pearl, etc. 
  • The appearance of white in a dream is thought to represent happiness at home. White castles are a symbol of achievement, destiny perfectly fulfilled and spiritual perfection.
  • Originally, scientists wore beige coats. In the late 19th century, medical professionals chose white ones - because of the idea of hope and expectations for healing and recovery that the physicians would bring.
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