Friday, September 28, 2012

DIY for Courtney's Dress

Happy Friday! We are gearing up for one busy, sleepless weekend! We have a wedding Saturday at the lovely Bay Seven and a Brunch wedding Sunday morning in a beautiful backyard in Pittsboro! What that means to us is that we get to go to bed late and wake up early! Onto the the reason for this to make this awesome dress that is blowing Dana's creation out of the water! Visit the "Big Reveal" post to see the landslide yourself!

The find - I spent about 10 dollars on all these items at the local Goodwill- I  was looking for a fabric I liked and found the skirt first - it was made very well with a liner and pockets. I could work with that!

I knew I wanted to add interest to the top with ruffles and make the top sleeveless - so I started by ripping  out the seams that connected the sleeve to the body of the shirt. 

I used scissors to open up the sleeve once it was detached from the shirt - you can see how much fabric we had to work with! Plenty for a ruffle!
Cutting a strip of fabric from the sleeve to make the ruffle. We ended up using three strips of fabric, each the length of the sleeve, to create the ruffle for the top of the dress. 
After cutting off both sleeves we cut the collar off as well --- I decided at this point that I was going to use the ruffle as a collar instead. 

I rolled the collar to give it a finished look.
We cut a slit up the back and added a facing to make the finished seem. We did this because I did not want to change the waistband on the it fit perfectly around the bottom part of my rib cage...and I needed to be able to get in and out of the dress...this seemed like the easiest option...I can still use the button and zipper on the skirt and have my top attached!
We made the ruffle by first making a tube with the sleeve fabric strips. We then used a long basting stitch up the middle to make the ruffle. You gently pull this stitch out of the "tube" and your fabric will begin to ruffle. The more you pull it out the tighter the ruffle will it is really up to you as far as the ruffle "look"
This was the easy part! I wanted to make the skirt a little shorter so we re-hemmed it by first ironing a double fold down.  We then used the blind hem stitch on the machine to make a new finished edge. 
Hemming done!
For some reason, this was the most nerve wracking part to me! We cut the bottom of the shirt off to make it the appropriate length for the dress

Evenly attached the shirt to the skirt - started by making sure the button and zipper on the skirt lined up with both sides of the slit in the back of the dress.

Finished Product! I actually really like the dress and will get tons of use out of it!

So I won't say it was fact my Mother in Law helped me execute several of my ideas to make the outfit come together! Something I did not photograph/mention is it took several try-ons and a couple of darts to get the arm holes just right...After the sleeves came off they were a bit too large so we used two darts to bring them in and make the top fit!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I have not had a lot of time to do much of any projects here lately. We have been rather slammed with our fall wedding season going full force. Today, I thought I would share some "Pinspirations" that one day I hope to actually make! DON'T FORGET to vote! Courtney is kicking my tail at the moment - but I have faith that my true fans will find their way over and vote for the best outfit :)

Here are some of my Pinspirations..
Pallet, foam, table legs, fabric and a staple gun.  This is awesome!
DIY: Pallet ottoman - you use an old wooden pallet, some foam, and some fabric! I actually really love this! I want to try to make this for our kid's playroom using a vinyl cover and then tufting it. Something that can be wiped easily, but still look nice. 

Artwork Display for Children using Cabinet Doors
I really do love this idea for displaying kids art work. I will not paint it blue and pink though, probably black with  a white center so that it looks like a matted picture. I know that Ada would be more then tickled to have her artwork displayed. BTW- what do you do with all their art work and crafts from pre-school? I have TONS and can't seem to just throw it away..
diy burlap pendant
DIY: Burlap lamp shade. I am going to try this real soon to replace our front light before we sell. It could be a cheap update that looks really nice!
Metal mailboxes spray painted...outside kids bedrooms. I really want to do this! And leave them little notes, any mail they get, some treats, etc. Then they can hang their backpack and coat on the hooks! GREAT idea!
a ltitle mailbox outside the kid's room to hang backpacks, coats, and to slip in little notes. I am such a nerd. I love cards, notes, and love to give them. I would really love to get into the habit of leaving the kiddos a little note in the morning encouraging them before they head off to school. I love the idea and the personalization for the them. Since they will be sharing a room, I want to create some things that are just theirs and not shared. 
For ALL Moms: Door Jammer - allows you to open and close baby's door without making a sound. Keeps little ones from shutting themselves in the room. (This would be a great gift for new moms.) Add to scrap fabric ideas! - BRILLIANT!!!
I am actually going to try this real soon! Ada can't open doors yet - oddly enough. So anytime the bathroom is closed and she has to go - it is meltdown central!! This makes it so that all you have to do is push or pull the door open! I love it!

That is all of my Pinspirations here lately. Anything that you all are itching to try out??

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Venue Update

Quick little venue update today! I know we haven't mentioned that project in a we are still in the house selling phase of this venture! Fun times...Fun times...On to the update!

We put a offer in on the neighboring land! This is ideally where the cottages/carriage houses will go and this was the first step toward that goal. We will let you know if/when it gets accepted....and hopefully shortly there after we can let you know the good news about a certain house selling.....

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pew Marker Options

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone had a chance to vote yesterday....and by vote I mean vote for me! (Courtney by the way...) Today's post was inspired by this past weekend where the florist hung vases on shepherd hooks with pretty satin ribbon to act as the pew markers. We then untied the ribbon and used those six pew markers as centerpieces for the reception! It was a great idea...beautiful in the ceremony and cost saving for the reception. That inspired me to look for some other innovative pew marker ideas! Enjoy..

From this past weekend....
You know we love a mason jar!
Love this Initial idea!
Potted plant! Great way to re-use!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Big Reveal!

Good Morning Everyone! We hope everyone had a great weekend relaxing and to all the newlyweds out there - Congratulations! We had the privilege of directing Jessica and Sean's wedding this weekend and it was such a great time! Awesome guests and an even more awesome couple. We will post pics as soon as we get them.

Now here is the moment I know that you all have been DIEING for! The big reveal. We wore our re purposed outfits to the rehearsal on Friday and I think we were both pleasantly surprised at how they turned out. Drum roll please....

Remember: We had $20 and could only use items from Goodwill and the craft store.

Courtney's before:

all goodwill finds!
Courtney's after:
remember: everything is re purposed (other than the shoes) or created. She turned her shirt and skirt into a dress and  made a leather cuff bracelet with gold hoop earrings. 
Dana's Before:

Skirt and black shirt was from goodwill, and white shirt from the depths of her closet :)

Dana's After: 
She sewed the black and white together, dyed it black, and made new straps. She also made a belt and the necklace

Us together:

I think we both had a really good time with this challenge! Now, here is where we need your help! At the top right of the page, there is a poll - vote for who you think had the best outfit and we will announce the winner next Monday!  

What will we win? Oh, just bragging rights. Which for sisters, that is more than enough of a reward :)

PS - be on the lookout for our Friday posts on the DIY of each outfit and accessories. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Anxious, excited?!? I am not sure..

Weddings create a mix of emotions. For the guests, they are usually overjoyed for the couple. There may be a few envious stares, a few sad roommates, and even some sobbing family members. That was me, by the way. At Courtney's wedding I cried the.entire.time! I sobbed, and then hiccuped, and then screeched my way through my MOH speech. I was mess. I was so happy for her, but I knew that life would never be the same, we would never share a room again, and now, I had to share her.

I feel the same way about wedding seasons.We are about to gear up for the fall wedding season and have 13 weddings in 2 months. About last week it hit me. I am going to blink and it will be Thanksgiving. We sat down the other night over a much needed beer and planned out our September and October wedding weekends. It looks...busy..tiring..and thrilling. Sure, one weekend we won't get home until about 1am just to be up and at'em at 5:30 am for the next one, but I know that adrenaline will get me through. We are executing probably one of our biggest designed weddings in October and I am so excited to see it all come together. We will literally be putting together centerpieces all night, but it will be worth it.

I am overjoyed for the couples. And even more overjoyed that we have the privilege of being a part of their big day. I am envious of my husband who gets the cuddles, kisses, and downtime with the kids. I am envious of the people that get at least 6 hours of sleep. And I am sad that it will be over at Thanksgiving. I have truly loved these brides. Some of our full plans this fall have been my favorite to work with and I am sad to see them part with C and D.

So am I anxious or excited for this next 7 weeks? A little bit of both. I am anxious for the season. I always fret over every last detail and weeks before an event I have a running checklist in my head, phone, and e-mail that I am trying to check off. I am anxious on the tasks we have taken on. We are letting go control of a whole wedding and the bride is in such good hands, but it is our name, our business, our livelihood that you put in the hands of someone else. We are stretching our selves to a healthy point, although it will be charting some new territory. I'm anxious about it all. However, with the anxiety comes excitement. I am excited about making ourselves go beyond our comfort zone. I am excited to see one of our planners blossom into a head planner. I am so excited to see all our plans and hard work pay off into a beautiful event. I am so looking forward to the grooms's face when his bride walks down the aisle. I am looking forward to guests oohing and ahhing over the flowers and design that we have put together. But most of all I am excited to see these people make such a wonderful commitment and welcome them into the married club because although it is not always easy, it is worth every second.

I leave you with a picture of a groom seeing his bride for the first time. Follow the link to see all the pictures, but this is by far my favorite :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Feeling Fallish!

Continuing on with our "What a Planner Would Wear" series; I made a little ensemble to reflect how I am feeling right now...ready for the Fall! I think this would work for a fun day of venue shopping or cake tasting on a Fall afternoon. I love sweaters (Dana really doesn't) so I think this is a way to incorporate a sweater without looking frumpy!

Feeling Fallish!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wedding trends: The Veil Alternative

Lately we have been seeing a trend that steers away from the traditional wedding veil and toward a wider variety of super cute hair pieces. No not a toupee (That's what I  think when I hear hair piece) but more like a teal bird (Ala Carrie Bradshaw).

The Bird

I think it looks fresh and modern....and still classic. I don't think you will see a picture with one of these options and think...."That person MUST have been married in 2012..." Enjoy the fruits of my Internet search and let me know what you think of this new trend!

So pretty....
Love this "kind of" veil look
Fresh Flowers
Love this tiara look

Monday, September 17, 2012

Reflections on a Birthday...

So I am now officially 31...not just starting out my 30's....but fully committed! It seems like when you turn thirty you are just flirting with the idea of being in your thirties...testing the waters...trying it on for size; after all it wasn't that long ago that you were wearing your 20's with confidence...owning that decade...walking confidently as you were the upper class man and had it all figured out! Not the case when you turn are the newbie...freshman...youngster in that club!

Not that you really have a choice...there is only one way to go once you enter  can't go back again and revisit those 20's and quite honestly...I wouldn't want to! I look back at my 20 year old self (or 21 year old that is really when your 20's begin) and there is so much I would tell her! I was so lost at the beginning of that decade...confused about where my life was taking me and what my choices were....I was applying to medical school at that time (you can see how close I am to THAT now!) New in my marriage (yes, I got married REALLY young) and thought I had it all figured out! So misguided.....

At Thirty-one I am confident in where my life is going....maybe not confident in the HOW we will get there, but comfortable enough with life to know we WILL get there when we are supposed to! I have learned a lot about "spinning your wheels" and striving unnecessarily toward an outcome...that will come when it wants to, no matter how much effort you expend...enjoy the moments leading up to it.

I am confident in my relatively new role as a mother. I LOVE it, it is the best job! Yes it is frustrating, and I do have a quite destructive toddler...but I would not trade it for any amount of sleep, sanity, alone time, financial security, cleaner house on the planet! They are soooo worth it, and give my life a meaning beyond myself! There is nothing like a toddler to keep you living in today!

Flowers from my Toddler! 

I am soooo much more confident in the strength of my relationship with my life partner (No it is not Dana...) Mikhail and I have been married for 10 years now and have weathered quite a few storms along the way! We by no means have it all figured out but have learned so much about marriage, life, love, each other  while walking this journey together! No, it is far from perfect; but you get to a point in a relationship where there is not shock and horror as someone changes and you realize the person you married is not EXACTLY as he/she was when you said "I Do"....but that everyone changes and is a natural part of life...accept those changes, talk about them if you have to, and realize that your partner feels the same way about you! It's what keeps life interesting!

Lunch from the Hubby....Yum!

31 is great! I feel more myself now than I ever have...and I imagine it just gets better! I had a low key huge celebration...but Mason bought me flowers for the first time...and chocolates because he said "Mommy will share those" and Mikhail kept the kids occupied while I watched movies all day in my pajamas! The girlfriend giggled a lot and gave huge kisses, we all ate cake and went to was wonderful!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog Fail!

Blog fail today! Made sure I did my DIY and all and did not have time to post it today! Something to look forward to on Monday....Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Patience? Oh where have you gone?

Patience. I hate this word. It makes me think of my mom telling me to "be patient" for a toy, food, or just her attention. I say it often to my own kiddos and cringe when I do thinking that I sound like my mother! But yes, patience is a virtue. An annoying one, but a good one. We used to have lots of patience. Our business grew organically without us putting a dime into it. It took years and some freebies to get us to where we are. The funny thing is, we never anxiously awaited the next year. We never looked at our business and said, "I wish we were here already." We just patiently waited, knowing that when the time was right, we would boom and we would be right where we were suppose to be. We had loads of patience.

Now, I wonder where our patience has gone. I can't seem to find it anywhere! I am soo ready to move on and start this next venture. It feels like we have been sitting here waiting forever. And it will be a year next month from when we started the actual process. It has not been THAT long - but long enough to be annoyed that we aren't there yet - heck we haven't even started construction. I was whining to my husband about it the other night and he just reminded me how we got here. It was natural and easy - things clicked, jobs led to big clients, and our name became one that people knew. It was by doing our job well, shining in our personalities, and loving what we do. It was not us trying to cram a square into a round hole or giving ourselves ultimatums and dead lines - we just loved what we did and people saw that and wanted to hire us.

Patience he said. You have to be Patient! I rolled my eyes at him. But he was right (how many times will I say that?? It is on record people!). We do have to be patient. Our timeline is off waiting on the house to sell and we could jump start things, start moving, and start trying to make things work. But it is not as natural as our original plan. Now, we are on plan ZZ, but it is a good one, a well thought out one, and honestly the safest for all of our families. And it is what we should do, maybe not what we want to do. All we need is a little bit of patience.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Fall Weekend

Fall is upon us and I am itching to dig out my riding boots and leggings! Here is a little outfit I out together for a fun fall weekend. I am totally obsessed with owls here lately. Be sure to check out our contest - the big reveal is next week!!

Fall Weekend

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Trotter Building: Margaret and Linus

Hey everybody! Sorry this so late today - we are a little busy getting ready for the ridiculousness that is our fall. We had the pleasure of directing Margaret and Linus' wedding this past May. It was seriously the cutest couple ever! They were so trendy and had the cutest wedding! She even did the foot pop on the "you may kiss the bride." They were just too adorable. Here are some pics from their Farmer's Market wedding and Trotter Building Reception..

A beautiful Durham day!


All set up

Pew markers by yours tuly

Her momma made the bouquets!

Can't stand the cuteness!

Centerpieces made by yours truly

Chalkboard seating chart


Love the dress

LOVE the shoes - yes those are the Sex and the City cute!!

Bouquet again

Beautiful shot
Amazing Photographer: F5 photography
Caterers: Core catering