Tuesday, September 30, 2008

cutest obama button set yet

Look at these from the village, (awesome font shop and producers of the infamous "for like ever" poster)...

I didn't get it at first, thinking each button would say obama, but no they are a set!

To read more about the project and to purchase, go to their site: vllg.com

gocco coasters... check.

Sooooo satisfying to cross a project off my endless pre-wedding list. I swear that it grows in the night while I'm sleeping.

I took the real DIY route, skipped the letterpress, and went into a gocco-ing frenzy yesterday. These coasters are just the first project.


The coasters themselves weren't the best paper stock for gocco... a wee bit too porous so the ink ended up looking a little bleedy. But I think they will be just fine. Yes, 250 coasters later, they will be perfect. I'm thinking of maybe putting one on each plate to dress up the initial table setting. And then the extras will be strewn about the bar area.

Monday, September 29, 2008

bridesmaids totes

I kind of like Keep Calm's new alphabet totes... I think they'd be fun for bm gift totes... yes? or for any other gift or non-gift appropriate occasion. I have such a one track mind these days.

except there are OUT of a crucial letter for me. Investigating re-stocking date via email now...

Also, I like cats.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

very favorite fig jam

Really. This jam is insanely delicious. We have 3 fig trees in our yard that produce an absurd amount of figs, which mostly go to support the extremely healthy avian population in our neighborhood. And I have to admit, the first few years I lived here, I let most of them go to the birds. I tried lots of recipes, I did. But I couldn't find one that I loved enough to be my standard end of summer canning project.

And then a few years ago I did. I found a version of this recipe somewhere on the Internets, not a normal recipe site, just through google. And I made the necessary adjustments to make it as delicious as possible. It's sweet from the figs, floral from the lavender, rich from the pinenuts, and sort of deep from the port. It is amazing with a nutty aged cheese and glass of red wine, but also perfect on toast with butter on a bright fall Saturday morning.

Fig & Lavender Jam with pinenuts and port
(as always, these quantities are a little loose... I'm not so good with the measurements)

1 very large bowl of washed, roughly chopped figs (2-3 lbs)

~3 cups sugar

zest of 1 lemon

6T lemon juice

2 T finely chopped ginger (i use fresh, but i suppose you could use preserved too, it would just be sweeter)

1/8 - 1/4 c (depending on how flowery you want it to taste) tied in muslin or cheesecloth. i buy these little muslin bags from health food stores that they sell in the bulk herb section, but I've used cheesecloth before too, just make sure none of the little flowers can escape and if you use cheesecloth, be aware of strings that get lost in the jam.

1/4 c LIGHTLY toasted pinenuts (you can eyeball this, I just like to make sure that there are enough in there so you always get one when you take a scoop)

1 GENEROUS pour of port (this really makes the jam so try not to leave it out. And pick a decent quality port that you wouldn't mind drinking yourself, I think).

Chop all figs roughly. Put them in a large, broad, heavy saucepan with the sugar, lemon zest and juice, ginger and lavender. Bring them slowly to a boil and then boil quite fast for 20 - 40 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking, I pour in the port. I like to wait until close to the end so all the alcohol doesn't burn off, you know? Just go by feel here.

I like to let the jam go until the figs start to break apart, but not so long as it starts to smell like burning candy. That is bad. If your lavender bag is sort of precariously tied, I might wait until the sugar melts and the mixture gets a little soupy to add it This way the lavender doesn't have to endure so many turns with the spoon.

Once you've determined that the jam is done, take it off the heat, discard the lavender bag, and stir in the pinenuts. and Voila! You can obviously can it at this point, while the jam is piping hot, or just ladle it into big glass jars and keep it in the fridge.

Friday, September 26, 2008

happy weekend, we'll be in palm springs...

where it's only 104 degrees. And we have 4 wedding-related appointments.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, hair and makeup trial. I can't think of anything more hideous than wearing a full face of makeup in 104 degree weather, but the life of a soon-to-be bride is not always glamorous. We work hard, don't we?

Kay so here's the thing. I don't wear makeup and also I am muy low maintenance when it comes to hair. Like, I get it cut every 4 to 8 months depending on how lazy I am. And that's it. Soooo. um, does anyone have any good links to super natural-looking makeup I can bring with me? I am frightfully ill-prepared for this part of the wedding.

Here's what I'm thinking:

Now I don't look anything like Mischa Barton, mind you. But I think her makeup is kind of pretty here. I mostly know what i'm doing with my hair... weaing it long, down, and curled loosely. SOMEWHERE in wedding blog land I saw a photo of the girl who plays Blair on gossip girl with a perfect example of the kind of hair I'm going for... except my hair is strawberry blond, and hers is not. but the style was right. and now i've lost it. shooooot.

i can't help but love jcrew

they are doing such a good job right now with their photoshoot stylings...

Long, simple dress with a vintagey brooch... really pretty.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

real wedding: laura and jason II

More pretty details from Laura and Jason's heartfelt, do-it-together, it takes a village wedding.

The always beautiful ring bowl from paloma's nest (courtesy of moi, of course).

And some misc. pretty shots from the celebration. I love the one of the Bride & Groom at dusk with their dog, after the rain has stopped.

More photos coming...

(photo credit: Vanessa, my dad, and me)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

handmade details of laura's georgia wedding

Looking through the r.wood studio site last night motivated me to finally post some pretty details of laura and jason's colorful Georgia wedding. Finally.

Shots include: millinery supplies from our bridesmaid hair pieces; details of Laura's handmade chuppah, the groomsmen carrying the chuppah in and the bridesmaids again, which i know i've already posted but it ties the colors in so nicely! Plus teeny vintage medicinal jars with zinnias and marigolds grown on the farm.

More to come...

photo credits to friends Olivia and Vanessa.

handmade dress to the max

Look at this completely beautious dress made from, ready?, a vintage embroidered sheet. This deserves a "wtf!" don't you think!?

My friend Olivia (friend and member of Laura's Georgia bride tribe as well as one of the brains behind Farm255) sent this over as bridal inspiration last evening. WOW.

This is some unreal DIY. The bride's friend Rebecca found an inspiring antique sheet and, with the help of friends, crafted her wedding dress from it's length. I love the textures and history in vintage textiles. And how amazing are those handmade flowers decorating the neckline of her dress?

r. wood studios, a beautiful ceramics studio in Athens, Georgia, is to thank for sharing this bit of loveliness with the wide world of internets. You can read the story and see more pictures here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

piglets make everyone smile

My friendy Laura, whose beautiful wedding I have yet to post photos of as promised, sent this photo of their new piglets this morning.

10 piglets all lined up next to 450 lb mamma. I do need a farm. In a seriously bad way. Especially after touring Jora's amazing home (complete with raised beds and 9 chickens) on simple lovely yesterday.

Soooo make that a mid-century styled home with farm-like tendencies. And probably no pigs, though they are very cute.

happy little paul smith pouches for our groomsmen

Outside the most excellent Paul Smith store on Melrose. So pink. So perfect.

If you haven't been, they have (along with his amazing line of clothes and especially ties) a beautiful collection of art and design books, new and old. Plus lots of interesting vintage items like globes and suitcases and pottery. Their prices are, shall we say, a little elevated... but the feeling of the store is nice all the same.

We also FINALLY chose brock's shirt and tie to go with his suit. He's going to look sharp, my friends. Good old Paul, never fails.

OH ps. for those of you keeping track, we ditched the dinner jacket thing. After finding the most beautiful amazing perfect Tom Ford number at Neiman's, (which we couldn't afford by any reasonable stretch of the imagination), all others seemed old and stodgy and yellowed with cigar smoke. Sad, but we're both excited about the suit we ended up buying. yay.

Monday, September 22, 2008

my pumpkins

Speaking of little hints of fall... I harvested my pumpkin experiment a few weeks ago. so satisfying! the original inspiration for turning our yard into a pumpkin patch over the summer was to use them for, um, centerpieces for the wedding. OOPS. I made up this story in my head that they would all grow to be perfect LITTLE heirloom pumpkins in muted shades of peach, green, and white. A touch of late october without the overwhelming feeling of halloween.

WELL. They are mostly huge. But I haven't given up hope of incorporating them into wedding decors. I think I might pile the green ones up at 1) the entrance to hotel? 2) the entrance to the ceremony space (like behind the chairs at the start of the aisle? 3) somewhere around the reception?


We're renting a U-haul to go out to Palm Springs anyway (need to take a load of succulent arrangements I've planted for the ceremony and reception) so might as well throw the pumps in and put them to work! Plus then, we can pass them out on Sunday to good homes.

PS. When planting pumpkins, be aware that spiders and at least in our yard, Black Widows, love making their web on the underside of each squash.

We apparently live in the ideal microclimate for Black Widows to thrive. They are everywhere. Very cool looking spiders but unnerving all the same.

Friday, September 19, 2008

little pumpkins

How sweet is this?

From Little Blue Love, on greatest site in the world, Etsy.

honeymoon slippers?

They look more like flats to me, but these alleged "slippers" are feeling like a must have.

Their website does an excellent job of preventing users from actually learning where one might purchase the Sue London line. Apparently they are sold in Bel Air, Bev Hills, Marina Del Rey, and Santa Monica. NICE! except um, there are many stores in the above-mentioned neighborhoods. Not giving up yet. Need these for our 14 hour plane ride, among other things.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

i feel a gocco project coming on...

COASTERS. Can't live without. can. not. Here's my preliminary design. Planning to Gocco, because it's so satisfying to really do it yourself. AND I've already ordered 300 blank coasters, thanks to a most excellent tip from Kate over at Kids and Cocktails.

But, I'm going to admit it... I also just asked for a quote from Aardvark to have them letterpressed. It's just that it's so EASY when they do it. And so much fancier. Don't you love letterpressed coasters? I have a whole collection of them from Sesame. Heart.

sweet chairs and general design skills from creme design

My friend Amanda sent this link over this afternoon during one of our therapeutic interoffice IM sessions. Love these multicolored plaid chairs at Distrito in Philly.

And the warm, rustic feeling of the front of Forge in NYC... makes me want a glass of red wine. now.

Lots more inspired interiors at Creme Design.

floating along...

6 weeks to go. This is how I imagine one's wedding day to feel.

From Shorpy... a beautiful catalog of vintage photos from the first half of the 20th century.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

misa jewelry for beachy brides or just every day

I've been meaning to post about Misa Hamamoto's amazing jewelry line since I started this blog, and look at me finally remembering. Misa is a friend who, don't hate her she's the nicest person in the world, quit her 9-5 to do what she really loves... make beautiful and inspired jewelry. I have a few pieces and I can tell you that I SERIOUSLY love mine.

But when she first came over and showed me her collection I was thinking, every single piece would be BEAUTIFUL for a beachy wedding.

You can find her jewelry in (west) Los Angeles only right now, but you should most certainly email her with inquiries. She is, again, the nicest person I've pretty much ever met.

If you're in LA, stop by:

Firefly in Venice
Market in Brentwood Village
Wicati in Westwood
Uzu in Manhattan Beach

If you're lusting from afar, go to her website for the whole collection and contact information: misajewelry.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DIY-ish invites: the hidden pieces

Our reply postcard (which is my favorite part of the whole package) and the reception info insert...

We printed the postcard on 220lb Crane Lettra, which is a big reason why I love it so much. BUT just so you know, it gets totally torn up coming through the mail. It must be the sorting machines or something.

Thanks to Bird and Banner for their inspiring copy, not to mention the most beautiful invites I've ever seen... I may have borrowed a bit for the post card.

Monday, September 15, 2008

meet Stapelia, my most favorite plant

I've been fighting the suspicion that fall is sneakily nudging the warm days of summer out of the air. I love fall. It's by far my favorite season, which is why we're getting married in October. It's just that I'm not really ready to give up on warm nights requiring no sweater. But then again I'm giddy with the subtle change in the light, with the hard squashes piling up at the farmer's market, with that tiny chill that settles over our bed in the early morning.

And of course with the blooming of the coolest succulent on my front porch.

I snipped a little clipping of this guy from a planter in front of a DWP building in Marina Del Rey years ago. I couldn't live without these wild flowers and I decided no one in the public works department would notice a tiny sprig gone missing. The plant part of the Stapelia Gigantea is nothing special, just a regular cactus-y looking thing, but the flowers are bigger than my hand and feel strangely like rubbery flesh. AND they apparently smell like rotting meat in order to attract flies for pollination, but I've never noticed a thing... except for the flies. That part really works.

Isn't it so cool?

Friday, September 12, 2008

bachelorette weekend is here

Heading to santa barbara this weekend for wine, food, girlfriends, and general debauchery! I shall report back with photos, etc.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

DIY-ish invites: 3rd and final chapter

Here they are, all packaged up and ready for send off.

I haven't had a chance to shoot the individual pieces yet, aside from what I already posted from the press check. It's been so overcast in the mornings that the light in my house has been crap, making blog photography an impossibility. I will have to post those when I finally get photos, because the reply postcard is my favorite piece.

At the last minute, it was deemed absolutely necessary that our invites include a little monogram-y thing to tie everything together. Of course I was out of Gocco supplies, and they are not easy to come by on the westside of LA. And driving to Blue Rooster on the other side of town just wasn't an option. But LUCKILY my friend Amanda had some extra bulbs tucked away in her closet and bailed me out at the last minute. She owed me though. It was SHE who confirmed (during a marathon envelope-lining night) my brewing suspicions that it was monogram or bust... she was right, of course.

So I chopped up some of Jenna's calligraphy in photoshop and cobbled together an acceptable intertwining BK. And thanks to an emergency trip to Michael's and the genius of the 2 inch wide hole punch, it was business time. We used a bunch of different ribbon, but I actually ended up liking variations of black & white the best. I couldn't ever find the perfect shade of muted, vintagey emerald green I'd imagined, but I think the black was better anyway.

Soooo glad this project is over.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

best chuppah idea ever

I snooped around this beautiful wedding on Once Wed today, and everything is awesome. But the most awesomest idea (imo) is this super personal chuppah. Apparently the couple asked each guest to send in a swatch of fabric and then the groom's mother sewed them all together to create a beautiful little wedding house.

WTF??? That is the greatest, most personal idea I've ever heard! Not to mention, it turned out amazing. Maybe we need a chuppah?

pretty head and hand decor

I just saw these little beauties from House of Telsa on Brooklyn Bride this morning. wow-sa. maybe i need the green one for my hair??? so I match my maids' dresses? though I don't really care about matching... hmm. I was kind of imagining a silk gardenia or something. I am incapable of making decisions.

And love the wristlets. They would make awesome alternatives to flowers for moms, flower girls, and maids. And they double as a pretty, re-wearable keepsake.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

and also i ordered my wedding shoes today

I'm being practical because I ordered a pair of fancy shoes that I will wear (hopefully) 100s of times. The first 3 being our rehearsal dinner, our welcome cocktail party, and the wedding. Yes, I'm wearing black shoes to my wedding... I don't care. I want to love them and wear them all the time. I'm looking for some sort of dress clip/broochy thing I can attach to the toe for the wedding. Any ideas?

or I will buy new ones when I forget my plan of being practical. I already have them all picked out.

shepard fairey solo show for lucky san franciscans

People up north have it all. For starters, they live in the bay area which is reason enough to be jealous, er envious. AND they get to go to the opening of Shepard Fairey's new show over the weekend. Hrrrrumpf.

I love his work, love love love. and he's an extremely talented, thoughtful, inspiring, creative guy. I heard him speak at a design conference last year and was like, "Whoa." This guy is legit.

If you live up there, or happen to be up there, I highly recommend stopping in to see his work at the White Walls Gallery on Larkin Street.

Anyway. I will NOT be in SF, sadly. BUT, I will be frolicking through the vineyards of Santa Barbara with my girlfriends for my Bachelorette party! Which, okay, is totally worth missing the show. (i think). And after we drink wine, during the day, for like 4 hours, I intend to somehow get to the Four Seasons in Montecito to have another of their insanely delicious dirty martinis with truffle cheese-stuffed olives. I shall report back on the hilarity that ensues.

Monday, September 8, 2008

to photobooth or not to photobooth

We'd been debating whether or not to add the photobooth to our already shocking list of wedding expenses. It seemed like a "nice to have," but not necessarily essential. Then we went to the most beautiful, fun wedding of our close friends, Drew & Carly, at the Biltmore Four Seasons in Montecito a few weeks ago. And look how fun:

We learned that we in fact can't live without it. Not only are activities essential for a good party, our guests will get a super fun favor to take away and we'll for sure get pics of everyone at the wedding. Technically our "favors" are going to be homemade cookies set up (hopefully) like this, but I think the photos will be a nice little bonus.

The company we're going with, photoworks interactive, uses a digital booth that prints photos on the spot in either color or b&w, but the best part is that we get a DVD of every single photo taken that night! And the resolution is 1200 dpi so we can blow each photo up to 11 x 17. I have designs to turn our hallway into a photobooth gallery after the wedding.

Friday, September 5, 2008

our envelopes, embellished

I am going to post our finished invite package, I am. But I couldn't resist posting just the finished envelopes first.

I <3 my stamps.

So when I mailed these yesterday at the Santa Monica post office, I felt a little sad and a little nervous. I asked for them to be hand-cancelled, so I'm hoping that increases their chances of making it to their destinations unscathed.

This must be what it feels like to send your children off to college. All 131 of them.

AND PS. Huge thank you to east side bride for posting my invites on her always inspiring site!