February 25, 2010

SOOLIP recap

So..without further ado, my first major event since the big move: A SOOLIP WEDDING.  Thanks to Sara Wolfram from OneLove Photography, I had an amazing time meet industry professionals, trying amazing new foods, watching gorgeous models parade gorgeous Monique Lhuillier dresses & getting to talk future blog/design projects. All in all, it was one of those days that truly validated my decision to leave higher education and follow my dreams. Here are some of the amazing photographs taken by Sara (be sure to visit her awesome blog!)

The gorgeous alter at Vibianna...gorgeous marble, now that's what I'm talking about!

Vanilla Bake Shop...the most amazing cake you will ever eat.

Succulents. Perfect for a rustic California ranch wedding (See Kelly Oshiro's version here!)
Handmade calligraphy by Soolip's head calligrapher. Amazing!

Panel on Etiquette with some of my favorite wedding professionals.

This is my favorite dress from the fall 2010 collection!

These were the most amazing Sea Salt Carmel donuts you will ever taste! Seriously...divine!
Post-Soolip coffee break at Urth Cafe. Please go here...now!
Mmmmmm....what a perfect way to end the perfect day! Ciao

i am in love with...pillows?

Jonathan Adler is my new god...or, perhaps my new favorite design guru. Either way, I'm in love with his needlepoint pillows. Check them out for yourself...I'm sure you'll agree:

Photos: 1 & 3) apartmentherapy; 2) JohnathanAdler; 4) Whorange

February 23, 2010

working like a mad-"wo"man

Right now I'm working on a few major projects...which means little time for writing time & little time for sleep. To try and stay sane, I'm taking a break from blogging today and tomorrow.

See you again on Thursday! Until then...

February 22, 2010

monday blooms

I had such a phenomenal weekend, and spent most of last night and the better parts of this morning preparing some inspirational elements for my life and new endevours. Much of this inspiration stems from my visit to Soolip this past weekend, and the company of Sara Wolfram from OneLove Photography. I'll be posting a recap of Soolip and all the fun/inspiring things I saw, very very soon! Until then...have a fantastic, blooming Monday!

February 18, 2010

calligraphy for the cost-conscious

Nothing says romance like old school calligraphy! I remember growing up and watching movies like Father of the Bride and thinking how I couldn't wait to one day choose my own gorgeous invitations and envelopes...& almost always in this vision, these gorgeous keepsakes were hand written in whimsical cursive. Over the past couple of years however, in working on tighter budgets with brides and in re-evaluating what my own priorities would be as a bride, my goal has become somewhat affected by a strong desire to save costs and present less detailed invitations (especially since invitations almost always end-up getting thrown in the trash!).

Then...as if to answer my own internal dilemma on saving money & saving tradition, I stumbled across the solution: stamped calligraphy from Barbara Kua! Real calligraphy, from a real calligrapher, with the modern convenience of a handmade stamp! glorious :) 

Visit Barbara Kua's webpage to see more example of her work, or to purchase this amazing stamp.

Countdown to greatness, new items at Herriott Grace today!

Some of you know my obsession with Herriott Grace products...imagine my excitement when I opened my email this morning and discovered that the best-little-homemade-wood-shop-in-america is launching a new selection of products today! Join me and visit their website today at 5pm EST to find out what they've carved up this round!

February 17, 2010

left my {heart} in san francisco

i'm truly a blessed woman to have some pretty amazing and talented friends. One of my closest (referred to as Guac in previous blog posts), Halli Thiel is a truly amazing designer and fellow blogger (36thirty & Goodwifey) up in Seattle, WA. To give you some perspective, Halli is probably my biggest advocate and supporter right now, and truthfully, someone I look up to for great advice and feedback. Her wedding in 2008 (which she and her hubbie designer created from top-to-bottom and was photographed by the amazing Belathee) was featured in Real Simple Weddings and on Style Me Pretty. I'm convinced that most of her amazing talent comes from an inert ability to see a photograph in anything!

The weekend before I left San Francisco, Halli and Nick took a trip south for a fun-little-jaunt in the great city by the bay, and I had the pleasure of joining them for a night. It was a great way to experience one of my favorites cities before I said goodbye...and for that, I will always be greatful. Here are some of Halli's favorite shots from their mini-vacay:

{above} entering the city via the scary bay bridge...watch out for the new S-curve.

{above} our hotel in SOMA...motel 6 was bought and went retro-chic

{above} the lobby...it's pouring outside, and we're pondering our decision to see the night-sights

{above} a beautiful church in bernal heights, across from the most amazing restaurant, Piqueo

{above} an example of the deliciousness

{above} an old glory at night...had the picture been taken from the top looking down, you would have viewed a much sadder scene.

{above} its as if the sign is crying: "please, come eat here! we were once good...I swear!"

{above} breakfast on the embarcadero...one of my favorite things in the entire city! always always always a must!

{above} fruit at the Market Building...stalls and stalls and stalls of amazing food.

{cheers} to mimosas, great friends, and an amazing city that I will truly miss!

its a beautiful morning for inspiration

While the flexibility of my schedule allows me to pick and choose what I prioritize day-in and day-out, I've been so busy growing my business and networks here in LA that I've not had nearly enough time to devote to my creative side. I have piles and piles of inspirational magazines photographers waiting on standby for a new wall collage...and almost four different inspiration boards on my desktop that look a little like swiss cheese. Part of the problem has been the cluttered remnants of my move...the other part I attribute to my living situation (my brother, his gf, her daughter, my dog, my parents dog, & of course Mom and Dad are all under one roof right now. oye!). But, as the greatest spiritual masters have said, the trick to life is to find peace and serenity in every situation. So, last night I put "clear the clutter" as the biggest priority on my to-do-list, and today is the first time in a long time that I feel ready for a little designer craft session.

Before my boards are finished, though...I wanted to share an inspiration board that I came across on Snippet & Ink, one that I'm encouraging everyone to vote for as the winner of a board-to-shoot challenge. I hope my own wedding to take on this sort of theme one day, so let me know what you think (gorgeous soft pink, with dark/purply blues and gold accents...lovely!):

February 16, 2010

meeting new people means meeting new places

the best part of my new "job" so far, definitely has to be all of the great opportunities that I get to network with the most amazing people ( and to meet some of the greatest places in LA). One of my most recent new friends/colleagues is Sara Wolfram of OneLove Photography. Having recently moved to the LA area from San Francisco, her work is super photojournalistic, and super amazing! We've been planning numerous get togethers, including an upcoming trip to A Soolip Wedding...but our first meeting was in South Pasadena, at this amazing place: Busters Coffee & Ice Cream shop! We had such a blast, and I wanted to share with you some pictures I took from the absolutely darling downtown area surrounding it:

February 14, 2010

February 12, 2010

my obligatory valentines day post

for the past few weeks, I've been slowly watching and reading an ever increasing amount of blogs tackling Valentines Day....arts and crafts ideas, dinner-out options, floral bouquets etc. As someone who loves all thing pretty, it's been a great year of fresh design ideas & inspirations to get a little creative. Here are some of my favorites:

1) Kelly Oshiro's DIY tablescape! Perfect for the couple on a budget who prefers ordering Chinese and watching a movie in. Originally featured on City Sage, this tablescape would be an amazing surprise, especially if put together by your lovee.

2) These sweet "toothy" sentiments from Twig and Thistle are to-die-for. To me, a love note on ANYTHING is the perfect gift, especially when it's the first thing you would see in the morning.

3) JL Designs amazing Valentines Day bouquet collection...it transcends the boring floral norm, and gives you a choice of different designs for different tastes. I choose the California girl--I mean, who wouldn't want to have a few pieces of gorgeous fruit to share at the end of the night!

4) I'm of the camp that thinks chocolates are cheesy...but cookies? That's a different story, especially when they're shaped like hearts. These delectable Sugar Mamas treats are from the Heartbreaker Baker in Brooklyn, New York. Not sure if they ship or not, but I'd take them any day of the week!

5) And last but certainly not least....this lover of shoes found the perfect pair for the holiday from the Spring 2010 Melissa & Vivienne Westwood "Lady Dragon" collection, as originally seen on my newest favorite blog, Just a Girl in a City. They come in 7 different colors, and would be the perfect compliment to any sort of Valentines Day date!


All of the above being said, my objectionable and happy approach to the holiday hasn't always been the case...and in fact, until Valentines 2007, I had never had a "valentine" on the actual day. Even more frustrating, I have had the ominous pleasure of being broken-up with, not once BUT twice on the very day. Thankfully my most recent ex and I had an amazing dinner and snow day to break the cycle! To me now, Valentines Day has become a single girls celebration (not the Single-Awareness-Evil-Depression day as some make it out to be). More than ever, I'm proud to be single at 30...if nothing more than for the simple fact I've never settled, and I have the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want. I'm not saying sometimes it doesn't get lonely, but...for the first time in my life, I'm pretty happy and very content...boyfriend or boyfriend-not.

In the rare has-happened-in-the-movies-case, if for some reason I get a Valentine between now and Sunday, Design Sponge hits the nail on the head for the perfect Valentines Day approach. I love the idea of a Snoop Dog teddy bear filled with cash and diamonds, but I'm OBSESSED with a perfectly bunched bouquet of flowers. Worried about what to say in the card? "Tu sei una stella...la mia stella! Cara mia, ti voglio bene."

Happy Valentines Day everyone! xoxo

February 11, 2010

interrupted sleep

for any of you who've worked retail, or perhaps have been folding laundry and watched a neatly stacked pile of silky or satiny shirts that you've so carefully folded, fall into a pile on the floor in a sudden rush that catches you off-guard...if any of you out there have experienced this annoyance...perhaps, then, can you possibly relate to the flood of thoughts and ideas creeping into my sleep last night.

for almost the entire evening I was in that annoying "half asleep/half awake" haze, tossing and turning...constantly a witness to the stacks of "silky-satiny" ideas slipping and sliding away into giant mush-piles of new "silky-satiny" ideas. It was almost like that enchanting yet taunting melody that can both put you asleep & keep you awake...I tossed and turned all night contemplating a continuous barrage of ideas for blog posts, inspirational boards, and creative projects. What was worse, is that in this half asleep comma...I was insanely trying to solve these design puzzles, only to find myself routinely wandering yet again in a quick rush to another creative thought or idea.

I have to guess this is a common outcome for any artistic mind in the flux of opening their life to passion and purpose (and what an exciting array of design ideas these thoughts did create). At the same time, however....THESE THOUGHTS kept me awake almost the entire night! Knowing I had a long day today, I decided to take a short break from this "fake" sleep. I grabbed my nearby journal, its partner red pen, and wrote these few paragraphs to give my mind a break. I'm truly curious though...{one}, does this ever happen to any other artistic minds out there? And {two}...if so (and I'm TRULY not crazy), what are some of the ways you cope with these almost unstoppable parades of ideas from ruining a good nights sleep?

picture by Chris Everard

February 10, 2010

smiles from ear-to-ear

this little girl, photographed by Sara from One-Love Photography seems, to know exactly how I'm feeling right now!

i have been asking the same question of myself almost every day for the last two weeks..WHY THE HECK WAS I SO AFRAID TO START THIS JOURNEY BEFORE? Almost 6 months ago I read an article in Bride and Bloom that chronicled the life of Abby Larson, Style Me Pretty-founder-extraordinaire. I remember that day as if it were now, thinking and dreaming up a similar life for myself, wanting to rule my world and do things like wake up and read blogs/magazines, talk wedding shop all day, and design/design/design. Now, here I am doing just that, and I couldn't be happier.

today I headed down to Pasadena to meet with the amazing photographer, Sara Wolfram of One-Love Photography. Her devotion to capturing the warmth and relationship of love was inspiring, not to mention the fact that our amazing "board room" meeting was held in the cutest little venue: Buster's Coffee and Ice Cream shop. After a tasty iced coffee and some wonderful conversation, I headed out to a site visit for Kelly Oshiro at a gorgeous Tuscan Villa that will hopefully be posted soon on Kelly's blog. I mean seriously... today was an amazing day! At one point, I was standing next to a gorgeous fountain in front of a gorgeous Villa...camera in hand...and couldn't help from tearing up. THIS IS MY LIFE?! For any of you doubting the transition from work to passion, please take my advice: life is too short, and too valuable to settle. Live the life you were meant to lead, and you'll be blissfully happy, like the girl above, every day!

February 9, 2010

Gorgeous Valentines DIY from Kelly Oshiro

Sooo.... some of you knew that last week I was helping Kelly Oshiro put together the finishing touches on an amazing project. Finally, I can share the big event--check out this amazing Valentines DIY, styled by Kelly for one of my favorite blogs, CitySage, and photographed by the amazing Tim Halberg of Halberg Photography. Be sure to visit CitySage throughout the day for details on how to make this tablescape in your own home. (and for those of you wondering, I helped cut out those amazing chair hearts)!

saving=0, splurging=1

so it looks like its about to rain again today...and every single pair of flats that I own is practically ruined from flooding. All I want to do, is grab a cute pair of these, and call it a day! Oh how I need you, Jimmy Choo Hunter Boot!

February 8, 2010

day three

Tomorrow will be my 3rd day working for Kelly Oshiro. It's the second week of life in design, and let me just tell you that despite the odds, I'm much more relaxed and happy and busy than I've ever been. Last week I started my internship and administrative position, and spent my first day on the job touring the downtown LA fabric & prop district!

The picture above is a typical aisle in a typical prop house downtown...now, take this aisle, multiply it by 100, and you've got the amount of sensory overload I experienced. Then, as if that weren't enough, we headed next door to Michael Levine (the Disneyland of fabric stores in downtown). Truly amazing..I mean seriously...anything and everything you could ever imagine was there in one single 4 or 5 block radius! Some of my favorite finds?...

...this gorgeous powder blue cowboy hat (which would have come in hand during my college sorority days!)...
aisles and aisles of glassware with pieces such as this adorable 1950's inspired malt/root beer float glass (made me wish it was 4th of July!)...
...Seer sucker! Don't worry... I immediately sent this picture to my friend Dave in Alabama who owns a few seer suckers suits to ask if he needed any replacement fabric...
...I love all of this! Rows and rows and rows of glittery fabric! and yes Halli and Doreen, some of these fabrics we already own (think kiss from a rose, billy-a-dit, and Joseph and his amazing technicolor dream coat)!
ahhh, downtown on a clear day is truly gorgeous. The day before, it had been pouring rain. For those outside of California, the day after a storm is always the best!
All in all, I had a fantastic week! Tomorrow I head up to Santa Barbara for my second major work day-by-the-sea, and this time we're heading to see a new event venue, visiting a local florist, and prepping for an amazing photo shoot at the end of the month. As my proverbial life question asks: "What would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn't fail?". I think I've found my answer-nothing else but this!