Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: One more vendor

From the very beginning of our wedding planning, Marc has been asking about cake.  I've been avoiding the dessert decision from the beginning because there are so many wonderful bakers in this town.  Between us, we know quite a few people who make cakes, cupcakes, and all sorts of sweet treats.  It doesn't help that I've been a cupcake fiend since long before cupcakes because fashionable.

On top of the selection of a baker, we have to figure out if we want to go the traditional route (cake for all) or do something a little more contemporary.  These days, dessert tables, candy buffets, cupcakes, and cake pops have become pretty common. 

I haven't really had any "decision fatigue" during this process, but I'm stumped on this one.  While I love the look of a traditional cake, I realize that many people don't even bother eating wedding cake.  Having a little variety might increase the chance of pleasing more people...but it will require more planning and coordination on my part.  I'm also almost positive providing a selection will mean we'll have to reallocate our budget a bit.

This is something about which I am truly undecided.  I don't know what to do!  
Your opinions and experiences would be greatly appreciated!
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shop Tour: Agora Galleries in New Orleans

I couldn't help but share just one more set of pictures from my afternoon on Magazine Street in New Orleans last week.  We had hoped to make our way to the shop where Valorie Hart works, but I couldn't remember the name and it started to rain.

Here are some pictures from Agora Galleries, which is set up like an antique mall in that there are different areas curated by different people.  The selection is a mix of old and now, though.  There was a biedermeier chest steps away from an acyrlic coffee table.  Old lanterns hanging near new chandeliers.  There was eye candy around every corner.

Oh, how I want a pillow in that David Hicks pattern!  

All I could think of was Al Gore when I saw this.

2240 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

At this point, my colleague gently pointed out that there was no way I could carry anything home and that I was torturing myself a little bit with the home stores.  So, we ducked into a charming sweet shop called Sucre and had lattes and macaroons.  Around this time, the rain drops started to fall, but we didn't really care. 

3025 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Shop Tour: perch. in New Orleans

I love New Orleans.  Prior to last week, my visits to that wonderful city have been for the same purpose: JazzFest.  JazzFest is a music lover's equivalent of the Boston Marathon.  It's a test.  There are lots of ways to complete the task, but those who get through it by sacrificing their health a little bit seem to get a lot out of it.  Going to New Orleans for work was a first.  Luckily, a colleague and I got into town a day earlier than most and we decided to head to Magazine Street for lunch and a little shopping.

When we stepped into perch., I couldn't help but pull out my iphone to snap a few pictures.  It's been a while since I did a shop tour and I'm really excited to bring you one from far away.

The animals painted onto this highboy combined with the birch logs made me smile. 

I loved the heft of that frame and the reflection of that gorgeous, turquoise chandelier in the mirror.  

This is the view to the left when you walk in.  Gorgeous!

To the right of the door is a room set as a dining room with this massive, black chandelier.  

Yet another huge light fixture.  This one seemed made for New Orleans.

I thought I was tired of beige, but these beige patterns felt fresh and interesting.

 Striking butterflies...they might have been 3D, not just prints.

 Per the perch. blog, there's a pumpkin shortage due to Hurricane Irene.  Their solution is pretty charming!

 The staff member in the shop said "pardon the mess."  I didn't even see it because of that amazing bed.

Anyone else not tired of acrylic? I like it.

I loved these paper butterflies. There's a DIY project here, for sure. 

2844 Magazine Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Personalized hangers: a partial DIY

Special hangers seem to be a staple for weddings these days.  Wedding blogs are full of beautiful pictures of wedding gowns hanging in quiet elegance, waiting for their owners to put them on.  No matter how many of those images I see, I love them.

I love the special hangers people use in those dress shots.  Apparently, my wedding photographer, Elisa Bricker of Elisa B Photography, does too.  She tweeted that she carries a nice hanger just in case her brides don't have one on their big day

I decided to step things up a notch and make hangers for my dress and my bridesmaids' dresses.  After looking at different Etsy sellers for a while, I realized that there is tremendous potential for these things to look bad.  I decided to do a hybrid DIY.  I ordered the wires alone from the creator of the personalized wire hanger, Lila Frances.  Complete hangers usually run $27 in the Lila Frances shop, but the wires are only $17.  After a bit of a wait (13 weeks during peak wedding season), I picked up one package of wooden hangers from Bed, Bath & Beyond ($6) and I was ready to complete the project.

Here's what I did:

1.  I had Marc use his muscles to clip the wires that were already attached to the hangers.  One clip in the middle allowed me to twist each side out of the hole in the bottom of the hanger.  I then taped the two sides together to use as a template for the personalized wire.

2.  By laying the original hanger wire over the personalized one, I was able to mark where I would need to bend the straight sides to fit into the hanger.

3.  Here's where I was a little nervous.  I used needle nosed pliers to bend each side of the personalized wire to the right shape. 

4.  Relief!  I did it!  I didn't ruin the wire!

Here's the almost finished project.  After I took this picture, I decided to paint the hangers.  I put a few coats of creamy, white paint from the mistint rack at Lowes onto each hanger, then added a clear poly coat.  Once the hangers were dry, I secured the wires in place with a couple drops of glue.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I spy a great deal (Leftover Luxuries sale)

I've mentioned Leftover Luxuries on the blog in the past.  It's a luxury consignment sale that features furniture, art, home decor, and some clothing.  It takes place a couple times each year in Charlottesville, Richmond, and Westport, CT.

The Charlottesville sale is coming up soon and Wendi Smith, the woman behind these fun sales, just posted some pictures of sale items on Facebook this morning.  As I flipped through, I got caught on this image:

This demi-lune table looked so familiar!  I kept flipping back to it, trying to place it.  I started scrolling through old pictures in my blog reader to track it down.  When I got to a post that Bryn Alexandra wrote earlier this month, I found the image for which I was searching.  This is the living room of client of the shop where Bryn works. 

Photo from Bryn Alexandra's and Isabella's blog

I don't know how much the table is selling for at Leftover Luxuries or if there is a pair, but I think it's safe to say that it will be marked below retail or trade prices.

Leftover Luxuries runs from September 23 to October 2 and moves to Albemarle Square this year (I assume it will be the old Circuit City location, where the Lollipop Shop just had its consignment sale.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Crushing on Hicks pendants by Thomas O'Brien

I'm on the road this week and staying in the same brand of hotel in each city on my itinerary (same room each day, different layout) has me craving some design eye candy.  I went to my Pinterest boards for a little break from the bland Marriott interiors and noticed a trend in my kitchen files.

I seem to have a thing for Thomas O'Brien's Hicks pendent, don't I?  Can you blame me?  Don't you love the mix of materials? 

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On the road...

I love Charlottesville, but coming back to Boston is always wonderful.  Love that dirty water.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Shop Tour: Sweethaus

Charlottesville baker (and new mom!) Tara Koenig has been baking delicious, classic cupcakes for years and has made the leap to having a brick and mortar store right on West Main Street here in Charlottesville.  Sweethaus officially opens next Saturday, September 17th, but she is going to have a "sneak peek" tomorrow during a street festival that will have loads of people hanging out in front of the shop.

I stopped into the shop before it was ready to open.  The entrance is even cuter now, with a window, window box, and flowers!

Aren't awnings so cheerful?

Tara's got a mix of classic candies that will bring back memories for adults and current candies that will keep kids happy.  I have to admit that I smiled when I saw button candy on paper.  It's been years since I've had some!

The stuff that would appeal to grown ups in on higher shelves, like the candy cigarettes (I'll admit it, I had them a few times when I was a kid) and the "Gin and Titonic" ice cube trays.

There are colorful wrapping papers, beautiful cake stands, colorful platters, and super cute aprons, too.  There's a lot more than cupcakes in the shop.

I think the candy chandelier is the most fun element of the entire shop.  Isn't that sweet?

Tara is a DIYer who loves a good project.  She built the seating in the store out of old doors.

These cases will have cupcakes in them soon!  Tara's going for classic, natural ingredients here. 

315 West Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Hours (for now, will expand in the future):
Thursday - Saturday 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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