Friday, March 30, 2012

Ada's Baby Doll Quilt

For Ada's second birthday I decided to make a quilt for her Stella doll. Every night before Ada goes to bed she puts her baby to bed downstairs in its crib and tells it night night. She was using one of her old blankets to tuck the baby in, but I thought that Ada, and her baby, would appreciate a custom made-to-fit quilt for the space. Ada is not like my children....they would look at this quilt I made and toss it to the ground as soon as the present was opened...not Ada! She knew right away it was for her baby and carried that little quilt around with her for the entirety of the party! She loved it, and I loved that she loved it...makes all the crafting worth it!

 Back to the project....It is a really tiny crib; only like 10 inches wide by 18 inches long so the old blanket looked a bit bulky. At the time, I was cutting a quilt for Nora's new bed (for the carriage house) out of all my scrap material (and Dana's). Anything that was at least an inch and a half wide and 12 inches long I kept to the side to make Ada's baby doll quilt. It was nice having this little deadline (Ada's B-day) to motivate me to finish cutting out the quilt for Nora. Everyone knows that cutting over 200 4 x4 squares is the funnest part of any quilting project! I knew that fabric would be tight for the queen size quilt I was making so I really only wanted to use scraps for Ada's to make sure that I had enough material for my larger project. All that to say...I was motivated!
What I had left over!

I laid out all of the strips that I had saved and started matching them up according to width. They didn't have to be perfect , just close in size. I then cut all of the strips to 11 inches in length and began to work out a pattern.

I decided to alternate between two strips sewn together, not perfectly in the middle but varying in lengths, and a solid strip. I also tried to make sure that I was alternating between a wide strip and a narrow one. I was going for a more abstract/whimsicle pattern.

Almost finished!
As I was sewing I would just take my little project back to the ironing board and line up the next strip/strips. It was really easy and not too precise, I was just choosing what I thought would look the best. I added to the top and the bottom depending on where I wanted the next strip to go.

About to Iron down my Seams
When I was all finished, I ironed down all the seams. I used a larger piece of fabric I had left over to make the backer and I pieced together 2 scraps of batting to use as a filler. I had all of these things left over from making Ada's bedding for her nursery.

It's going to be cute!

I used some leftover strips of fushia fabric to make the binding. I always sew one side of it on then iron the rest in place. I think it looks better to hand sew the other edge of the binding on, but in this case I just used the machine to make it is just a baby doll!

Does this come in a king size?
The back
I was real happy with how the project turned out! Ada seemed really happy too...I just love making gifts for my Niece and makes me feel like they have a part of me with them even when I am not there. I think this took me a total of 3 hours to make (I made it in one evening) and cost me zero dollars....all stuff I had laying around the house!

What about you?? Made any presents for someone special lately? Share some of them here!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'd Like to Thank.....

  1 comment    
the Academy Elle! Any of you entrepreneurs out there who happen to be mothers know how difficult it is to grow your business AND be a mommy to your babies! There are several times in a week that we have to make a meeting before 5:00pm when the relief arrives home from work...enter Elle! She is Awesome!!

Not only is she interning with us (we hope to have her directing a few weddings for C and D in the near future) but she is great with the kiddos! They love it when she comes over...and talk about it for hours/days after she leaves. This past weekend we hired her for the whole weekend to watch the kids while we worked over at the house getting it ready for the market. We could not have done it without her! She spent like 70% of the children's awake time outside playing with them...keeping them out of the way so we could organize, paint, etc...

Picture of Elle holding Henry

Every Mom/business owner needs an Elle in their life! Someone with a can-do attitude that also happens to love your kids! What about you?? Do you have anyone that helps your business run a pinch hitter or maybe a great sitter? Give them a shout out here!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Is there progress?? really....??

We are chomping at the bit over here to get started on those Carriage Houses!  Sometimes it seems when you are really anticipating something it to get it rolling! We are making progress over at la casa, but it seems so slow....I am ready to get this baby on the market and be done with all of the small improvements, organization, cleaning, painting, know all those things you obsess over when trying to entice someone to buy your house!

I am moving at about this pace...

I know if I am feeling anxious....Dana is like 10x more anxious! So, our new goal is to have it listed next Monday...the hubby and I will spend another relaxing weekend working to get it accomplished!

Anything big going on at your house? Any big projects you are trying to accomplish but it feels like you are just stuck in the mud?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wedding Dress Trends for 2012

I have seen several news clips and magazine articles about the wedding dress trends for 2012...I thought I would share a few that I have seen that have peaked my interest. I don't know if I had to do it all over again if I would change my dress (I loved was a simple A-line, strapless number with tiny pearl details) but these are quite beautiful! I tend to really like the illusion neckline and the lace not too sexy!

What are your thoughts? Any wedding dress trends you are really digging here lately?

A color other than white
Love this all-over lace look. I think it is timeless!
The Illusion Neckline
Lace Sleeves - Made popular by Mrs. Kate

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thank God for Sisters!

Happy Monday....over here it is SORE Monday...We (Me, Dana, Sam, and Mikhail) worked all weekend at our house! We cleaned out every closet and cabinet...organized the laundry room and kid's toys...purged, donated, trashed...for hours on Saturday! Then on Sunday we cleaned every baseboard and washed all 1,000,000 square feet of hardwoods in my house by hand! My back is hating me right now!

She looks way too happy....

The Boys primed the whole upstairs (~1400 sq ft) and started on the trim. We hope to get this baby on the market by next week (Hopefully Monday) so I know there is still some work to do to get there! But...we got a HUGE chunk of it done thanks to our volunteers! Sometimes I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Dana in my life pushing me forward....everyone needs one of those in their lives....yes, they are semi-crazy and a bit fanatical but these types of people really get things done!

I don't have any pics of some pics of the kids will have to do!

Exciting times! I can't wait until the work is done and this baby is finally on the market! Then we can get started on the next leg of this journey!

Friday, March 23, 2012

DIY: Photo Frame Escort Card Display

We had a bride who wanted a different kind of escort display. They traveled a bunch as a couple and we originally had the idea of making a map for the display, but it just was not working out. So I brainstormed and came up with this idea. It was time consuming, but I think it turned out so perfectly!

Materials needed:

  • Plywood the size of the board you will need. we used a 4x4
  • Roll of cork - we used two here
  • Fabric to cover the front and back
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Straight pins
  • Jewelry wire
  • wood pendants (the groom sawed branches for these)
  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Ikea photo frames we used the 4x6 size
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Painters tape
  • Sand paper- any kind will do
  • Velcro tabs
  • sponge brush
  • Pictures!
Okay -so that was a lot of materials!! I am pretty sure I went to the store about a million times for this project!

Line up the cork on the board to make sure it fits

The rolls we got fit perfectly and I went to Michael's 2 weeks in a row with my 50% off coupon so I could save my bride some money - I am so nice!

Staple the cork down, make sure it is nice and tight!

Action shot of Court doing a great job stapling. I am afraid of the staple gun - she always does the job that requires it. 

More stapling

Lay out your fabric and iron. We used felt, it was perfect!

Oh yes - change a diaper in the middle :)

More Ironing

Cheese for the camera!! Staple the fabric to the back side of the board making sure you pull it nice and taught

Make sure to staple it well, people will not see this part, so staple away!

Fold the leftover fabric onto the back and tuck the edges to make a clean  edge and staple. People will see this if you don't have it against a wall, so try to use minimal staples

All done!

Next step is the frames! Tape a box in the bottom part of the frame. Real important note here: Make sure you know the orientation of your photos so you know where to put the chalk box
Sand the box and wipe clean. If you don't sand it the paint will not stick - I tried it :)

Paint! It takes two coats

Let them set for about 5 minutes 

Peel off the tape. Another important note: do not let them dry because the tape will not come off cleanly

Write the table name in the box. They had pictures from all the places they had visited and the tables were city names


A chalk pen works best!

The wood pendants - drill a hole in the top (I used a 1/4 bit) and thread the wire through to make a wine charm. The ends of the wire should form to hooks they can easily hook on and off the glass. You can't see it here but the wires are different colors to represent the different meals the guest ordered
Up close

Hang the frames using the velcro squares. I stapled ( and I really did - Court was not here for this part!) one side of the velcro in the place I wanted the frames and then just stuck the other side on the frame. I made an outline for how it was to go for the day of. Write the person's name on one side of the pendant.

Their table on the other! Hang with a straight pin

The finished product! Some guests had gotten ahold of it before we got the picture!
There it is! Easy? Not really. But super cute? Yes!! Happy Friday all, We hope you have a GREAT weekend. I somehow have been wrangled into helping Court get her house ready to go on the market MONDAY!! Wahoo!! Phase 2 is about to begin...

Thursday, March 22, 2012


As a kid I was the most disorganized person ever! My room was always in a state of disarray and I was constantly in trouble for not having it in tip top shape. Courtney, on the other hand, was pretty neat. I remember we used to get grounded for our room being a mess and when we moved into a bigger house where we each got our own room, Court was more than thrilled to prove that it was me that was messy, not her. As I got older I became obsessed with the idea of being organized. I tried to use agendas and calendars but never got the hang of it. Then I started college and it was like the organization light turned on. I was using a palm pilot to remind me of assignments and important dates. I was hooked. Things really turned up a notch when I got married and had a place of my own. I was at an all time organization high. I had reason to go get cool dividers for the drawers, bins for the ever growing stack of magazines, and fun little tupperware for the bathroom and office. I seriously almost peed my pants when the container store came to Raleigh. I dragged my husband and 6 month old daughter to the grand opening and drooled over all the bins/buckets/baskets. I was in my own personal heaven.

Organization is key to wedding planning. I am the one that keeps the files and receipts. It is all I can do to get a coffee stained receipt/deposit slip from Court. I pretty much have given up on it and have decided that if we get audited I am sending them to her house. Anyways - with all the brides, it is important to keep detailed notes and to do lists or something inevitably falls through the cracks. One of the exciting things about the venue is a new office! We are planning on using one of the studio spaces for an office that is fully equipped with kid paraphernalia and awesome craft table. Here are some things I really like in office organization..

office in a box
I think this is a great idea for a small space

Love the incorporation of a window seat in the home office! A fun place for the kids to hang out while mom gets some work done!
I love the bench! So cozy!!

Entryway organization #home #organization ...I really like all the pull out drawers - good home office idea too.
I like that filing system! So chic - although I would have them be pull outs

I would kill for an office like this!
I love the IDEA of open shelving, but I am fairly certain it will stress me out to see the mess

double desks... this is a MUST in our office.
I really like this, but I think we have a more L shape design - we each need our own space! 

I do know that we want an all white office - I love the clean and freshness of it. Anyone have any great organization tips/ideas?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Working on the List!

If you will remember this list:

1. Get Property Re-zoned       
2. Purchase rezoned Property  
3. Install a Deer Fence....this was mandated by the appearance commision.          
4. Start Plantings....Very important to do this ASAP for the look we are going for
5. Court sells her house
6. Purchase adjacent lot and get construction loan
7. Build Cottages (yes we want to build them at the same time.....crazy I know....)
8. Dana sells her house
9. Refinance Cottage on main venue property
10. Figure out how to finance the Venue
11. Start Venue Construction
12. Have one kick-ass party (I know I just swore...but that is what it will be!)

from a previous post. We are currently working on item number 5....Court selling her house. This seems simple enough...clean up your junk, stage, and list! However, in the not-so-simple mantra my life seems to take, our list went something like this: finish 1400 square feet, clean up your junk, stage, and list.

We had/have about 1400 square feet of unfinished space that we have been meaning to finish over the past...I don't know...five years or so. Well, when we realized that we were going to have to sell to achieve the next step in the "master plan" we were kind of caught with our pants to speak. We needed to hurry up and finish that square footage so we can sell the house and make a few bucks! So my husband and I (mostly him) have been scrambling trying to get this done to hit the Spring selling season! Well, friends, the end is near, there is light at the end of the tunnel..etc, etc... The drywall is in and this weekend we are having a work-on-the-house extravaganza! We have coerced invited friends, family, and acquaintances to come over to la casa and paint, trim, and pack up.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend we will be ready to list!

Maybe something a little more muted...

What does your weekend look like? Anyone have any good painting/packing/trimming tips out there in the blogosphere?? Please share!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What we did this weekend!

We had a great time at our wedding this weekend! It was a little Irish shebang in honor of St. Patty's day! The wedding party and family really know how to have a good time! Dana and I even got in on one of the dances (that never happens!) We told the couple they should plan a vow renewal every year because the planning process with them was so much fun! Enjoy a few of our "amateur" pics...professional ones to follow! enjoy!

A single hydrangea in a tapered vase makes a good centerpiece for a cocktail table

A dozen green roses for a cocktail table
Centerpieces for main tables - Mix of vases, candles, and flowers!

Bridesmaids and Bride at Duke Gardens
Uh Oh....trouble!
That's Better