Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shop Tour: The moving sale at Quince

I thought I'd share some pictures from my favorite home store in Charlottesville, Quince.  The store is getting ready to move and owner Sharon Manering has put everything on sale. 

Aside from having great furniture, Quince always has tons of fun gifts that are perfect for hostess gifts.  This is where I sometimes shop for those people who seem to have everything.  There are lots of great, small items.

I don't usually get too excited about candles and reed diffusers, but the line that Quince carries is really wonderful. 

Sharon is also offering 20% off new Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams orders, so you can have some fun with the yummy fabrics on the rack below.

I hope that if you're shopping in Downtown Charlottesville for Small Business Saturday, that you'll stop into Quince!

126 Garrett Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 296-0062 
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The thrill of "oops paint"

Do you know about opps paint? I think oops paint has a magnetic property because I can't keep away from it.

Oops paint is paint that has been rejected or not picked up by a customer at the hardware store.    Some hardware stores, like the Home Depot in which I took the picture above, have their opps paint in a pretty prominent location.  Others, like the Lowes in my town, have it tucked away so you have to do some searching for it.  If you have small projects on your to-do list, you owe it to yourself to find this section. It's a treasure trove of cheap paint.

Lowes generally charges $1 to $1.50 for a sample jar of oops paint (generally called mistint paint there) and about $2.50 to $5 for larger cans.  Home Depot generally charges 50 cents for sample jars and $1 to $2.50 for the small cans.  Over the last few months, I've built up a little stock pile for my wedding projects. 

These are just the cans I still have.  Plenty have been mixed with other colors and used up completely. 

Do you buy oops paint?
For what projects have you used it?
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Friday, November 18, 2011

I am Miss Mink

Last night, I got some amazing news.  Probably the biggest news I've gotten as a blogger in recent years...and you all know this year has been pretty eventful.  I was told that I am joining The Wedding Bee.

If you haven't been planning a wedding, you might not know about "The Bee."  Wedding Bee is a group blog that updates constantly throughout the day with posts from about 20 women who are at different stages in their wedding planning process.  The site also has a wildly popular message board, classifieds area, and galleries.  On average, The Bee gets about 14 million page views per month.  Last June, they had 1.4 absolute unique visitors. 

When I got the word that I was joining the blogging ranks at The Bee, I was stunned.  I assumed I was a bit too old to be interesting to the average bride and that having Bees in Maryland and Richmond would prompt the editors to want someone who would bring more geographic diversity.  I was wrong.

So, I'm a Bee!  All of the Bees blog under special names and avatars that change by "generation."  This generation is "Woodland Creatures" and I was given a few choices from which to pick my identity.  After being momentarily attracted to the opossum (because there is a Phish song called Possom and we love Phish), I decided that the mink was more my style.

So, my wedding planning is about to get a much wider audience.  I'll continue here, as usual, but there will be some other people chiming in over on my posts over on The Bee.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Small action, big step

Edited so you stalkers don't track down my friends and family ;)

Tonight, I mailed our Save the Date envelopes to the woman who is going to address them.  Though we are by no means early in our wedding planning, this very simple action felt like a very big step.  We are actually at a point where we aren't just talking about something that's going to happen in the far off future.  We're actually about to give our guests a somewhat-formal notice that they're invited.  We're *that* close to our wedding.

I found the person who is doing the addressing via Wedding Bee, a message board that's been my very good companion for the last year.  I'm not calling her a calligrapher because I don't want a super old-fashioned font on our Save the Dates.  Suffice it to say, her work has a nice flair and she lives about 25 minutes from my hometown.  It's amazing how often you can find a Jersey connection, even living in Central Virginia.

I have to admit that there's a little voice in the back of my head that wonders if anyone will get our Save the Date notice and wonder why they're invited.  Our guest list is smaller than the average wedding, so that's probably just some insecurity on my part.  I've actually seen other brides-to-be make similar comments on the message boards.  Did anyone else go through this? 

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The story of the Save the Date photo

These days, sending a "Save the Date" announcement before a wedding is standard practice.  It's obviously a nice way to give out of town guests some time to make travel plans, but it's always a way to give a hint about the style of wedding you're planning.

We wound up ordering our Save the Dates much earlier than most.  There was a good reason for it...

As I mentioned yesterday, I started reading wedding blogs pretty regularly a little over a year ago.  Just as the design blogs have giveaways, the wedding blogs have giveaways.  Just as I enter design blog giveaways now and then, I started entering the wedding blog giveaways.  I wound up winning quite a few things.  So many that the women at work started joking that there was a book in my wedding planning experience (not so sure about that).

One of the first giveaways I won was for set of custom Save the Date announcements from The Happy Envelope, a fantastic stationary company in Knoxville, TN.  The only problem: we were so early in our wedding planning that we didn't have a picture or wedding website to put on the Save the Dates.  We had a date.  We had a location.  That was it.

We wanted the Save the Date had to be a little quirky and it had to include Baxter.  I started poring through photos to find something that would work.  At some point in looking through photos, a different "take" on American Gothic came to mind.   If you don't remember, this is American Gothic:

That's not exactly the kind of imagine you'd expect to see on a Save the Date, is it?

I tried to explain what I was thinking to some friends, but they weren't quite feeling it.  Everyone seemed to want the very traditional picture of us embracing or canoodling in a popular location.  It didn't feel like us.   So, one afternoon after work, we went to an area of our neighborhood that has a brick sidewalk and a brick wall.  I swept as many cherry blossom petals out of the way as I could and set my camera up on a stool, prepared to use the timer button as many times as needed to get the shot that was in my head.

After the first terrible shot, a graduate student came walking by and offered to snap a few pictures for us.  Luckily, he also had a Nikon and he understood what I was going for when I explained what we were trying to do.  Within a minute, we had the image.

I was giddy.  I uploaded the photo to show some people on a fairly traditional wedding message board and the first response was "your heads are cut off."  I decided to try a different message board that felt a little more creative to me.  Maybe a more diverse group of brides understand what I was doing?  The comments rolled in and they were positive.  I wasn't crazy!  One person even said it reminded her of American Gothic.  Another said "I will be mad if you don't use this."

We changed the color to sepia for the Save the Dates and I hastily put together a bare bones wedding website so we'd have an address for the cards (more on the website on another day). The Happy Envelope had a proof back in a couple days, then sent our finished Save the Dates soon after.  They've been sitting on a shelf for months. I finally took them down last night so I could send the envelopes out to be addressed.

Even though I've had them for months, the idea of actually sending these out is making the wedding feel closer.

If you're married, did you send Save the Dates?  
Do you like receiving them?
Do you expect them to have a picture of the couple on them?
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The rise (and fall?) of the wedding mustache

When I first started blogging, I was aware of wedding blogs, but wasn't too interested in them.  The wedding blogs started making their way into my blog reader about a year and a half ago and I quickly noticed a trend: the wedding mustache.

I did a little research out of curiosity and it seems as though the wedding mustache started showing up on the blogs in 2009.  By 2010, they were everywhere.  I don't think a day went by that I didn't see an image of someone holding a mustache on a stick on one of the wedding blogs. They felt very hip at first, but like many things hipster, I started feeling like they were getting over done.  They went from being part of the hipster weddings...

To being part of more traditional ones...

I always find myself running in the opposite direction from trends (and I have to admit I've been a little sad when things Marc and I thought about having at our wedding became trendy).  When I met with my photographer for the first time, I blurted out "no mustaches!"  She must have thought that was an odd request, but she was fine with it.

I have definitely softened a bit to the mustaches over the last year.  I created a Pinterest board just for mustache pictures so that I'd be excited to see them.  The strategy worked.

In my blog surfing, I found two different takes on the same theme that I think are really, really cool.  The second one is from a wedding that was held in a museum and it reminds me of Breakfast at Tiffanys.  I am not considering doing these myself...I think these couples own these ideas!

I can't tell you how much I love those last two photos.  They crack me up!  I bet that wedding was a blast!

How do you feel about props in wedding photos?  
Are you all about the kitsch or do you like more traditional images?  
Have you ever worn a mustache at a wedding?
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Quince is moving! Big sale starts NOW!

How many times have I posted about Quince, the fabulous home store here in Charlottesville?   I counted.  I think I've mentioned the store 14 times on this blog.  That's probably more than any other shop or company.  The reason is simple.  First, owner Sharon Manering is fabulous.  She's fun, creative, and seems to know when you need a little advice and when you need a little time to browse.  It doesn't hurt that she's an animal lover.  Second, the shop is a curated collection that would interest every design style out there.  Third, Quince is one of the few places in Virginia where you can buy Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams furniture.  I like that company a lot for many reasons (and Baxter likes them, too). 

Well, Quince is moving at the end of the month.  Everything in the shop is on sale from now until the move and she's also offering 20% off new orders of Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams furniture (the 20% sales are usually only once per year, for a limited period of time, so this is a big treat!).  

I'll post pictures of what's in the shop when I get home tonight.  With holiday parties coming up, I might have to run over myself and pick up some hostess gifts!

126 Garrett Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 296-0062 

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Look at what showed up today

I'm working from home today and got the most wonderful surprise from the UPS man.  A fabric delivery! 

I found this fabric during the summer and debated ordering it.  I even tried to talk myself into ordering a shower curtain from Pottery Barn in a fabric that has a similar feel, but a much lower price.  I waited.  I finally decided that with just a couple yards, I could do some fun, wedding related projects with this gorgeous fabric.

I originally tried to order it locally.  But, after I found out that the local shop I was emailing was no longer local and that I'd have to pay shipping if I ordered the fabric through them, I decided to go online.  I found the fabric for $15 less per yard from Decorator's Best.

I just want to unfurl the roll and stare at the fabric...but I have work to do!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Your vote needed

On a whim, I flew into a local toy store called Shenanigans to see if they had the little Hagen-Renaker figurines that I mentioned seeing on ebay in yesterday's post.  When I was little, a friend of mine collected these little animals and I assumed they weren't being made any more.  They came glued to a piece of ivory card stock.  Do you remember them?

The Shenanigans people had them.  They were in the same display I remember seeing in the gift shops that carried them when I was little!  I couldn't believe my luck!  Even better: they had the golden retriever puppy figurine.  In fact, they had a bunch in stock.  I bought one to use in some "mock ups" and promised to be back for more if things worked out.

Remember, this is kind of what I was going for (with a more whimsical feel):

So, I got to making my first rosette out of ribbon.  My execution wasn't exactly on par with that of Martha Stewart's staff.  Still, I was pretty proud of myself for having something that looked reasonably close to my inspiration...or at least the back of my inspiration. 

I liked it, but thought it needed color.  I would love to find some striped ribbon that had my wedding colors in it, but the local options are pretty limited, so I just had some solid, teal ribbon to use.

Boring. Hate it.  Not cute at all.  The plain, ivory rosette looked better than the version with the teal ribbon laying over it.  It reminded me of the kind of ribbon you wear to raise awareness for a cause.

So, I decided to make a second rosette out of the teal ribbon. The teal ribbon isn't as wide as the ivory, so this rosette didn't "sit" as well as my first one.  I either need thicker ribbon or a looser rosette for the top layer.

Marc thought the ivory alone looked pretty cute.  I didn't think it looked special enough and I think having some color on these ring bearer boutonnieres will be nice.  What do you think?  Do you like the single color idea or the more layered look?

I'll post a tutorial for this little project...once it's actually completed.  :)

P.S. Anyone remember how to get the glue/paper off the feet of those figurines?
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Boutonnieres for the little boys

Did I mention that we are going to have FOUR little boys in our wedding?  We have a gaggle of nieces and nephews and wanted to give all of them a special role that day.  Four of the little guys are going to be ring bearers.  We don't want them to be overly scripted or get too rigid with them, so I envision just sending them all down the aisle as a group to do what little boys do: make noise and make people smile.

I'd love to give the boys boutonnieres, but didn't want to have anything stuffy or formal pinned to their outfits.  I started to look for a cute alternative.  First, I found ribbon badges all over the internet.  My favorite came from the Wedding Bee message boards, but didn't have a source.  I've combed the web, but haven't tracked the origin of this image down.

The button in the middle of the ribbon badge was cute, but not cute enough.  I wanted something that little boys would like.  I also hoped that it would be in some way related to the wedding.  That's when I started looking for little golden retrievers.  In my mind, I was thinking of boutonnieres like these from Fritts Rosenow:

Marc and I combed the scrapbook and jewelry sections of the craft store on Sunday completely expecting to find some little golden retrievers.  We completely struck out.  There were plenty of little dog paws, dog bones, and little cats, but no little dogs!  I wasn't even being picky about breeds...any dog would be fine.  No luck.  We looked at the the Schleich animals and doll house figures at the toy store and didn't see anything there, either.  I tracked down the tiny, porcelain animal figurines that one of my friends collected when we were little (the kind that came glued on a piece of white card Hagen-Renaker), but it might take a while to get four of the same figurine on Ebay.

I thought I'd come home and find what I needed online, but didn't have any luck finding the little dogs (I think they are called chipwood embellishments in the scrapbook worlds). 

So, I had to change my strategy.  I started looking for any sort of golden retriever and found two possible options.  The first was a little golden retriever made out of polymer clay that I found on Etsy.  I might be able to make these myself...

The second option was to use buttons with dogs on them, so the boutonnieres would look very similar to the ribbon badges at the top of my post.  I found loads of cute buttons on Etsy.  Here's one example:

I'm a little sad that I can't recreate one of those Fritts Rosenow boutonnieres with a dog on it.  The big question now is whether I settle or keep searching for something that fits the image I have in my dead.  What do you think?

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Cupcakes and champagne

Marc and I went to the Cupcakes & Champagne party at Charlottesville's newest bakery, Sweet Haus, last night (you may remember my post from just before they opened).  We had so much fun trying all of Tara's little cupcakes (if you're local, you have to try her Black-eyed Susan cupcake!) and sampling champagne. 

 nom nom nom

A month ago, I wrote about considering having cupcakes at our wedding.  I have always loved cupcakes, even before cupcake bakeries started popping up.  I also thought it would be a way to please a variety of tastes.  Marc's love of red velvet could be satisfied while I could stick to the classic yellow cake and chocolate frosting.   My sister-in-law suggested that cupcakes might be a fairly messy dessert item and I sort of dropped the thought. 

Sampling all the mini cupcakes last night had us thinking again.  What about mini cupcakes?  They could be eaten in one or two bites and people could try multiple flavors.   I got to googling and found some pretty pictures of cupcakes at weddings...

I have to admit I love the iconic image of a bride and groom cutting a cake, though.  I know some people order a one-tier cake to go with their cupcakes so they can have that photo, but it just doesn't seem like the same thing.  I really like the traditional cake.

The one tier option is cute...

I find the simplicity of these small cakes particularly charming, too.

But the traditional cakes are so beautiful, aren't they?

At least I've taken one step forward since the last time this topic came up: I started collecting information about the local bakers.  Cost wise, cupcakes are less costly and serving them would obviously be faster. 

If you were a wedding guest, do you think you'd have a strong preference for cake over cupcakes?  
Would you miss the cake if there were cupcakes served after the meal?
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Who notices the details?

I've tried to keep the wedding talk to Wednesdays, but since the design of this event is at the forefront of my mind these days, I hope you all will be okay with a few more wedding posts creeping into the blog.  We have plenty of projects and decisions in the works and I'd love your opinions on those just as much as I love your opinions on paint colors.

Early on in our planning process, I told myself that some of the little details about our wedding would only be noticed by me and a handful of others.  I was convinced that most people just see "wedding" at a wedding and don't really notice the details.  I was okay with that.  It also gave me freedom to ignore a couple things that didn't interest me (event matter how subtle, it all looks Jersey to me).  Marc actually changed my mind a few weeks ago.

Last month, we went to the wedding of a colleague at a local vineyard.  It was a beautiful day.  It was my first time attending a wedding since starting to plan my own, which is an interesting experience.  On our way home that night, Marc commented on the napkins.  He thought it was nice that the bride brought in napkins in one of the wedding colors.  We had been planning on using the [very nice] standard linens at our venue, but Marc suggested we look into getting napkins in one of our colors.  That seemed simple enough.

This is where things get kind of interesting.  Remember the dresses I picked out for my bridesmaids?  Well, J. Crew discontinued the color and fabric combination I wanted before I could track down a dress for one of my bridesmaids.  I was prowling multiple websites for her dress and I found a listing on Craigslist for napkins.  The seller had bought napkins specifically to match her bridesmaids' dresses, which were the same color as mine.  There was no way things could be this easy.  I emailed the seller...and never heard back.

But that seller had named the company that made the napkins, so I went to their website and ordered samples that might match.

Amazingly, one of the samples was almost a perfect match.  I was a little shocked.  I didn't think finding these would be so easy.

I've been on the verge of hitting the "confirm" button on an order from the linen website that's carrying these quite a few times.  On one hand, I was convinced that people didn't notice little details like napkins in your colors.  On the other hand, Marc noticed those napkins at the wedding we went to last month.  This isn't a big purchase (probably about $100), but I'm wondering if it's worth it. 

What do you think?  Will adding a little color to the tables, beyond the flowers, look nice or do you think they're such a tiny element that they won't make much of an difference in the room where we'll be having our reception?

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Business of Getting Hitched

I came across this graphic earlier in the week and it reminded me of the Cost of Being a Bridesmaid image I found a while back.  I'm sharing it because I think it's interesting.  Looking at the costs laid out below, we're over on some items, under on a couple, and right on the average with one (possibly two). 

I've learned over the last few months that getting married in a region that is a destination for many sometimes causes the budget to climb.  Being a blogger obsessed with details also tends to have that same effect.

Thoughts? Do you think the budget shown is on target?  I imagine that if you live anywhere near a city, your answer is a very emphatic "no!"

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