January 27, 2010

inspiration for a less-than-inspirational day

It's been a rough day...with two days left in Sonoma County, the reality of this transition is slowly creeping in. For the first time in my life I'm heading into a direction that doesn't involve the predictable, and only includes this vague vision of a life I've dreamt to lead. It's potentially similar to the feeling an NFL player must have..a player who has dreamt throughout their entire life to play the big "superbowl" game. Michael & AnnaCosta (this photograph below is an example of their amazing work) forwarded a link through twitter to an amazing poem posted on OneLovePhoto, and it sort of puts the nerves in perspective...blessed be Marge Piercy!

*Talent is what they say you have after the novel is published and favorably reviewed. Beforehand what you have is a tedious delusion, a hobby like knitting.

*Work is what you have done after the play is produced and the audience claps. Before that friends keep asking when you are planning to go out and get a job.

*Genius is what they know you had after the third volume of remarkable poems. Earlier they accuse you of withdrawing, ask why you don't have a baby, call you a bum.

*The reason people want M.F.A.'s, take workshops with fancy names when all you can really learn is a few techniques, typing instructions and some-body else's mannerisms is that every artist lacks a license to hang on the wall like your optician, your vet proving you may be a clumsy sadist whose fillings fall into the stew but you're certified a dentist.

*The real writer is one who really writes. Talent is an invention like phlogiston after the fact of fire. Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.

~Marge Piercy

January 22, 2010

traditional adjustments

I've mentioned before my love of wedding traditions. In each culture, stories and rituals have been developed for the wedding ceremony, most of which were shaped by the brightest figures in that culture's history. For instance, Queen Victoria began the true "white wedding" trend (contrary to the belief of many a Billy Idol fan). Prior to that, color was the inevitable quest, and the wealthier & more prominent a couple's family was, the more bright colored and finer fabrics were to be had. Today, because of Queen Victoria, western culture has adjusted to seek the most oppulent white (or some version of white) dress available, with the finer fabrics in greater bulk and detail now demonstrating wealth.

I for one love traditions less for their original designation of power and prestige, but more for the simple sentiments that can be found between the lines. As an example, the wedding cake developed from a tradition that involved the wedding guest...each guest would bring a small cake to the ceremony, piling one on top of the other in one magnamimous display. Those with the highest piles of cake were not only honored with the prestige of notoriety, but also were said to hold longer more successful marriages. Rice is another example...viewed now as a symbol of hope to the bride and groom in their quest for wealth and prosperity, rice was once only reserved for those wealthy enough to spare the precious grains for such a celebration.

We have today adjusted many a wedding tradition to fit within our own constructs of love (and within the constructs of a sophisticated society). The cake, now one coherent element of a wedding reception is revered not necessarily for its height or detail, but more for the sharing that occurs between the couple (a demonstration mirroring the shared life they are about to embark on). Rice, as well, has been adjusted into a myriad of different options, including flower petals, confetti and bubbles to name a few...the activity of which is done less to signify wealth and prosperity, but more to outwardly celebrate the public commitment that just occurred. Using rice today is even frowned upon for its disturbance of the ecosphere--so, we've developed eco-friendly and biodegradable products as substitutes (as seen in the picture above from Ecoparti).

For someone so passionate in returning to her roots, these traditional adjustments make it difficult to become creatively in-sync with the past. Then again, as I contemplate the whole point of a wedding ceremony I have to recognize that indeed it's purpose is not to dwell on the past; a wedding ceremony is indeed meant to embrace the future, and all it's yet unknown directions. The wedding ceremony stops in one small moment of time to embrace the love between two individuals, in commitment, to journey through the future. Perhaps THIS is the tradition more worth embracing.

January 21, 2010


anyone who truly knows me will tell you that I'm a sucker for symbolism. I've always been fascinated with secret societies, conspiracy theories, and historical unknowns...which is part of the reason I am so passionate about weddings/wedding design. Getting to develop double-meanings out of all those normal, often mundane elements of a wedding is always my goal and challenge, and I love learning new and interesting ways to demonstrate a couple's je ne sais quoi. Today I came across a fascinating double-meaning maker that does just that all while staying "green". Michael and Anna Costa, an amazing wedding photographer couple out of Santa Barbara tweeted this am about PorridgePapers, a small company out of Lincoln Nebraska that prints recyclable/plantable letterpress invitations. Yes...you heard me right...PLANTABLE paper{aka..dampen invite, plant in soil, + water...and watch your request for their presence turn into pure fruit/flower gold}.
Meet your hubbie or wifey while working a community garden? Share a passion for tomatoes? Eat a lemon tart on your first date? Why not plant some of these seeds in your paper and give your guests the opportunity to do the same!

January 20, 2010


It's cold, wet, windy & rainy...but today has been an amazingly great day! I've been on such a fun journey in the last 24 hours (and hope to have more deets to share soon), but I'm mentally and physically exhausted. Since I had a few hours to spare, I went blowsing (aka...blog-browing) and discovered some of the most gorgeous heirloom wooden pieces you'll ever find + all bundled in the fantastic-ness of a truly endearing father-daughter story. Introducing, Herriott Grace!

How gorgeous would one of these pedestals be as the cake or cupcake stand at a bohemian infused or beach inspired wedding?! Here are some additional pictures of their amazing products to cure your newly created sweet tooth:

January 18, 2010

to-die-for anthropologie style DIY favors & gifts

another fantastic anthropologie-style DIY...transferable into everything from wedding favors/seating cards/centerpieces, to housewarming gifts & roommate birthdays! For a wedding, use your theme or logo, your intials, or perhaps even the name of you and your fiancee's favorite landmarks to mark varied mugs, cups, plates, hurricanes, buckets etc. Grab a few bottles of wine + your favorite girlfriends to complete the project, and you've got one fantastic Saturday night! Check out this feature on DesignSponge, and the how-to-guide on Little Old Hat.

finding zen in a poweroutage

12 hours by plane and automobile, and I'm back in California. Nothing like putting on some yoga pants and watching the Bachelor...oh wait, SYKE!

I'm back in California..to rain, thunder, and no POWER! {enter mean reds!} So, I'm at Borders in another part of town, attempting to find that zen-like-bliss I had all weekend by looking at none other than Anthropologie and my endless list of design/wedding blogs. Its working...slowly but surely, the stress and angst are fading away. CHEERS TO THE EVER FAITHFUL MIRACLE CUREs.....

January 16, 2010

soul food

As a woman, I felt empowered for the first time at 18 years old. And...that empowerment... to be a better person, to make an impact, to follow my passions ...all came that sweltering September day when I received a bid from my beloved sorority. More than ten years later, I still find my biggest empowerment moments to come from sharing stories and gaining perspective from the women in my sisterhood who have lived the most strong-willed, passionate, heartbreaking, joyful & fascinating lives' , each of which inevitably brings me one step closer to the woman I see myself to be. I am so grateful for these experiences...and for my sisters' support. Just this past weekend even...sharing the state of my current journey; the hope and joy and excitement my sisters' have in my quest is inspirational and quite timely for the topic of our meeting: women in leadership. {my cup runneth over in gratitude and blessings}

January 14, 2010

drum roll.....

So, without further ado, it is with proud glee and super fantabulousness excitment that I announce Halli and Nick's wedding is currently featured in Real Simple Weddings 2010 edition (now on newstands). The photgrapher, Belathée, has to be one of the most amazing photographers out there (and for someone who's been in a million + weddings, Belathée tops the cake in both overall product and professionalism. Hire them...seriously!) Pick it up at your nearest Borders or Barnes and Noble...Congratulations Halli & Nick, it was an honor to be there on that truly design savy/amazing day!

twinkly lights, oh how I love thee {heart}

For those of you who love twinkly lights, but want to add a little bit of consistency with your overall design, here's a great option! I found this little DIY showcased on one of my favorite designer blogs Twig & Thistle, and have been planning my attempt at this little project ever since. The color and pattern options are endless...weddings, birthdays, parties...Oh my!

the most amazing proposal story I have ever heard...

Check out the most amazing proposal story you will ever know that I just read on Junebug (Plus, it involves one of the north's greatest wedding photographers, Laural McConnell)! I think you are going to cry (I did, and in the middle of Borders nonetheless). It's going to take a lot to top this...
photo by J May Photography

snow angels

my life right now is pure craziness. I officially have 7 days of work at Sonoma left, one complete weekend at home, and 17 million things to do (not to mention 2 trips out of town in the next week--one of which could turn out to be life changing). I'm in desperate need of late night Internet, so here I am at Borders taking advantage of their educational re-investment program (aka, free Internet to those starving higher ed professionals without). But, despite the extra 20 minute drive to Santa Rosa, and the late night arrival back at the humble studio, these next two hours will likely turn out to be my favorite part of the day. When I blog, peruse wedding websites, and view the latest art nouveau of the DIY realm, I feel like a kid making snow angels (or, as I'm sure the bride and groom in the photo above from Jeff Newsom likely felt)--free, happy, and completely one with the natural world! ahh....

January 12, 2010

all my favorite Vera's

I want to do a million photoshoots...starring, noneother than each one of these Vera Wang dresses. I mean...seriously:

This could be the end of my love affair with lace...bring on the big fluffy tulle!

eye heart Vera!

I'm in an inspirational tizzy...all surrounding the gorgeous colors of a dark (almost black) navy blue and soft pale pink, sparked by an Inspiration to Reality challenge on StyleMePretty and an amazing floral bouquet put together by Kelly Oshiro. And, in the process of putting together this inspiration board, I came across a gazillion fantabulous finds, including Louboutin, Stella and Dot, and none other than the goddess herself, Vera Wang! Truthfully, I used to not be a fan of Vera...mostly because my style is more whimsy and less modern, a category I used to file her timeless work. But to my surprise her last few lines, including the spectacular spring 2010 line getting raves all over the blog world, feel nothing but romance & whimsy (so much so that I'm willing to ditch my dreams of lace and start saving for my own Vera heirloom). Here's on of my favorite dresses from her collections, alongside my new favorite color scheme:
clockwise, left to right: Vera Wang, Kelly Oshiro Events, Christian Louboutin, StyleMePretty,WMBoothdraper.Com and Stella & Dot.

January 5, 2010

fur-IFIC tuesday

"Burr...it's cold in here...there must be an air-conditish in the atmosphere"
....ahh, high school cheer movies do truly help to give voice when it's too cold to speak. My office is freezing, the sky is grey, and I'm dreaming of the snow filled trip to Tahoe City I'm taking for work this weekend. And...while I know its somewhat of a faupax, I am dreaming of FUR. I mean, it seems to be everywhere else except on my frigid shoulders right now. And, to top it off...fur is perfect for a winter wedding. Don't take my word for it though-look for yourself:

putting the holidays away + finding balance

My studio sort of looks like this picture I found on She Walks in Beauty...with a few extra boxes and suitcases. In the midst of putting away the holidays, I'm also putting away my life here in northern California. Having been in Los Angeles for two weeks and having stayed in the old room at my parents that will temporarily become my new homely haven, I'm somewhat mourning the glory of having my own space. Just like my passion to make each and every wedding day feel like "home" for my couples, so too do I feel passionately that your living space should make you feel at peace every single day. And I'm worried...despite my best efforts, the room I once relished as a child has now become somewhat of a shell. It feels temporary, small and solitary to the 650 sq feet I've averaged over the last few years. In addition, it is the only space where I feel creative...the rest of my parents house is older, cluttered and filled with everything Mom and Dad (which is great for the occasional visit of nostalgia..but not so great when it comes to my new, more simplified self). I love my parents...and I am so grateful that I have a place to live as I journey into the unknown, but there's alot that can be said to having an inspirational space when you're in the inspirational business. Here's to hoping for a six month "lease"...and finding a new and equally inspirational studio when I'm ready to leave the nest!