Friday, July 29, 2011

A Day at the Zoo

Yesterday, thanks to Dakota Electric's free admission ticket, I went to the zoo with my mom and I found oodles of inspiration.
Vincent Camuto bootie, here
Close personal friend to Jim Carrey
Gucci Tuxedo Jacket and Pants, here
Kate Spade New York bow ring, here
Orchids on the Tropics Trail
Padma earrings, here
Shoshana dress, here
Hope you enjoy!  I certainly enjoyed  my day :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Duck, Long Over Due

It has been a while since I posted a new duck picture.  To be honest, it's been quite a while since I've made a new duck painting.  I guess with the wedding planning coming to a head and all the work we've been putting into the house, I haven't had too much time for painting.  At any rate, here is the latest for Duck:

Still on a Paris kick, Duck is visiting the gargoyles on the cathedral of Notre Dame.  I think after doing the Louvre painting, I didn't feel up to painting the actual cathedral.  I plan to paint it eventually, but for now, this will do :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Anchors Away

Here are my two newest pieces:

Both the ring and the earrings are made from vintage buttons.  I think I'm going to have to keep these two for myself  :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Raiding Mom's Jewelry Box

I was at my parents house for lunch the other day and I had brought down a pair of earrings that I needed a new back for.  Looking for an earring back led to looking through the jewelry box . . . which led to looking through the two drawers full of jewelry for things my mom never wears anymore.  I've got to be honest, I'm a lucky girl because I scored some pretty sweet pieces.  Take a gander:
Stone bracelets and faux pearls I plan to shorten
Tiny heart locket, great for layering, faux opal earrings, Norwegian earrings
Leaf cuff and my great grandmother's turquoise ring
I also scored a chunky costume gold bracelet to use in a little project I stumbled across on Pinterest.  Just braid embroidery floss through the side of a large link bracelet!

And here is my own finished product:

It was SUPER easy and I'm so excited to get to wear all my new and fun baubles.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Jewelry

Over the weekend, I made some cute new pieces for my etsy shop.  These "Cute as Buttons" earrings are currently available in my shop:
Get them here!
And here is a sneak peak at a few more items I plan to post later this week:
Gingham button earrings with yellow bows
Necklace with pearl beads and vintage rhinestones
I still have lots more planned for all my vintage buttons.  Stay tuned! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hand Addressing

Not long ago, I chopped hazelnuts until my arm fell off.  Finally back in possession of my arm, I decided to write until my hand fell off addressing our wedding invitations.  We debated for a while about whether we should print on labels, hand write, or print addresses directly on the envelope.  Ultimately, we went with hand addressing the invitations.  We both have a lot of free time and calligraphy pens are cheap enough, so we figured why not?

Here is the final result:
Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  What do you think?  What would YOU have done?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wedding Necklace Update

I bought my wedding necklace, and the feedback really helped!  I ordered one from the wedding shop where I got my dress, but it was too bright of a purple to work with the eggplant bridesmaid dresses.  Instead, I ended up getting one at Kohl's that felt like a good compromise between the outlandish statement piece and the sweet and simple variety.
From Kohl's
I still need to try it on with the dress (second fitting), but *fingers crossed* I think it's going to look great!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wedding Polish Update

I have chosen and purchased my wedding nail polish!  I decided to do my own nails and in an earlier post, I took suggestions on what to use for colors and brands.  Here is my personal wedding polish collection:

Working from the top coat down, I took CK's advice and went with Seche Vite for the top coat.

She warned about the price, but it really wasn't that bad!  Plus, I've done some practicing with non wedding color and the shine is fantastic.  AND, it helps your nails dry super fast!  No more "oops" smudges.

For my fingers, I chose to go with OPI's Coney Island Cotton Candy.

It looks rather pink, but the sales woman, a former manicurist, told me it looks far less pink when applied.  Apparently, it was her color of choice for french manicures.  Stay tuned to see if I right to take her advice.

For toes, I decided to go ahead and add some color with Revlon's Grape.

It's nice and deep, but not so dark as to look black when applied.

Finally, the base coat is OPI's Natural Nail Base Coat.

This was another suggestion from the saleswoman at Ulta, and when I tried it with cherry red toes for the 4th of July, it worked wonderfully.  I usually have to apply two coats of color to get it a nice even and vibrant application, but the base coat made this unnecessary.

Super excited to put these all together for the big day!  Thanks to everyone for the tips!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Flower Power

On top of an awesome cookie exchange and the 4th of July, John and I also set out to finish our yard work to-do list last weekend.  I planted the bushes in the front, but we also had a new flower bed to make.  Of course, I forgot to take a "before" picture until we had already started.
(sort of) before
After we dug the grass up
And after we got the flowers in!
The yard looks so great now.  There are dark purple iris in the back and day lilies in the front.  A white flowering almond bush was already in the yard, so we dug the bed around it and planted the last weigela next to it.  It will be so pretty next year when everything starts blooming.  For now, we have one little day lily in bloom. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garden Sliders

After eating Steak n' Shake and lots of comfort food in Missouri, hosting a cookie exchange, and noshing on s'mores on the 4th of July, I'm feeling the need to do a dietary overhaul.  A 4th of July post on belle maison gave me a great idea to start the health kick: Garden Sliders.

The ingredients are simple and pretty darn healthy: tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, great northern beans, and sliced baguette.  I made the beans into a paste, grilled the squash, and stacked them up for a delicious and healthy dinner!

The recipe called for roma tomatoes, but the ones at the grocery store were literally molding (ew!), so I went with slightly over-sized vine ripened tomatoes instead.  Also, the bean paste was supposed to have Italian Seasoning, but I substituted basil and oregano instead and it turned out quite well.  We have some of the paste left over, and it makes a tasty dip for chips and veggies.

They were a little tricky to eat, but delicious! (added bonus, just 120 calories per slider)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Reason for Food Processors

At the cookie exchange, my cookies were the hazelnut macaroons.  The recipe called for ground, toasted hazelnuts.  Okay, no problem.  But the only hazelnuts I could find at the store were chopped, not ground.  So, how to make ground hazelnuts?
...Chopped until ground
Chopped until my arm falls off

And this is why couples register for food processors.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cookie Exchange

 Happy 4th of July!!

Just in time for the holiday weekend, I hosted a cookie exchange. The idea is that everyone brings one of their favorite cookies for everyone else to try along with the recipe for how to make them.  Then everyone gets to go home with a doggy bag and a new cookbook of recipes.  It was a lot of fun and very delicious!

We had peanut butter cookies (why are they always cross hatched?), Oreo chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies, Russian tea cakes, and ginger macaroons.  Yum!  We also had our fair share of salty snacks to counter the sweets.  Good eats and great company!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Little Trip, Big Plans

I had a nice visit in Missouri and I think I brought the sweltering heat back with me!  While my family was visiting, we fixed my grandma's fence, cut down a bunch of limbs from her trees, and pulled up tons of bulbs and flowers from her yard.  I'm planning on keeping this same can-do attitude going back here at the house now that I'm back.

John must have read my mind because while I was gone, he pulled up an overgrown juniper bush out of the front yard.
Buh bye!
In its place, I planted three java red weigela bushes:

After!  They'll grow to fill the space :)

Also in the plans are expanding a flower bed in the backyard and planting boat loads of iris and day lilies.  Stay tuned!
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