Tuesday, July 26, 2011

{Romantic Winter Wedding Planning}

I love all things wedding... so that is why when my work BFF, Andrea got engaged, I was ecstatic at the thought of helping her plan her winter wedding. I created this inspiration board especially for her. She loves pink and so I suggested a romantic and vintage theme which I thought would suit her personality and the season. 

{Romantic Winter Wedding} Inspiration Board

Inspiration Board Details (from left to right): Reception decor and floral centerpieces in shades of pink roses and hydrangea; one shoulder structured fit and flare wedding dress, White by Vera Wang exclusively for David's Bridal $1200; colors: antique pink, iris, light pink, mint, ivory; candelabra wedding centerpieces with hanging crystals (can be rented from florists); custom wedding invitations by SevenEight; rose vintage cake; baroque table card photo frame from Favor Warehouse $1.75 ea; iris bridesmaid dress by Jim Hjelm Bridesmaids; vintage key to my heart bottle opener favor from Favor Warehouse $1.65 ea.

Will you be my Classic Card DIY by Wedding Chicks Blog
 I must note that I really adore this line from Vera! Super affordable & elegant wedding dresses priced from $800~$1,300. And their bridesmaids dresses... simply stunning! I've added a few pictures of my favorites but I recommend checking out the site for more!

Stay tuned for Andrea's journey to her wedding day! 
All these beautiful things make me want to have a wedding all over again! I just love weddings... {sigh}.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Cards & Invitations Downloads!

I really like receiving cards and LOVE giving them out... i.e. birthday, thank you, or just because. And equally love making & sending invitations. I know most people get these paper goods and may toss them, but I usually save mine {the cuter ones}. But let's face it: stationary is expensive! $3.99 for a birthday card?! You've got to be kidding me; with this recession and knowing that 80% of my friends toss my thoughtful cards and invites, I had to come up with a more cost effective solution. I searched blogs (mostly the How About Orange blog) and have compiled some FREE cards and invites for you to download! 

All you need is: a color printer and a ream of card stock white paper (avg. $15 for 250 sheets can be purchased at any office supply store, Target, or Walmart)

HGTV just posted some free downloads on their site. There are several designs but here are just a few of my favs. Save the PDFs onto your computer, add text via Photoshop or hand write, print & cut out!

These have got to be the cutest DIY {Thank You} cards I've seen by Do-It-Yourself Invitations Blog. For these you'll need double sided tape or any glue. If you are savvy at Photoshop, you can replace the 'Thank You' text with 'Happy Birthday' !
My card! Easy as 1-2-3!
Cottage Industrialist Blog Card

 GreetingIsland.com allows for you to enter the text and print out the greeting cards.

 Hey Susy Blog Printable Card:
 Umm... how cute is this stationary? From: Eat Drink Chic Blog

Note Card from: MUFN Inc

Invite or Misc Card from: ISLY Blog

The Wedding Chicks Blog has lots of freebies and I thought I would throw in this site for anyone who is getting married because it is AWESOME! They have an online template where you just plug in your info, pick your colors and... voila! You get a custom stationary template! I would save the file and take it to a professional printing location such as Kinko's for printing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

An Elephant & Alphabet Theme Baby Shower!

OH BABY! I have yet another opportunity to event plan for a special friend's baby shower. Although I'm not hosting it, I volunteered to be in charge of invites, decor, and favors; my favorite things to create!  I researched some cute themes and absolutely loved the Elephant & Alphabet theme by Fresh Chick Designs. I'm adding my own twist and design with the theme colors being grey, lime green, white, and aqua. After all, it's a BOY! His name will be Matias (isn't that such a cute name??). I can't wait to post pictures after the shower...

Photoshop and some of my own special skills for the email invite.


A friend of a friend of mine just started an awesome catering company that specializes in cake balls. They're the cutest little dessert thingy-ma-jiggers that I've seen since cupcakes!  A down-low on the cake balls:
Reg. Flavors are: devils food, mint devils food (like a thin mint), classic butter cake w/ choc fudge, vanilla, vanilla bean, red velvet w/cream cheese, carrot w/cream cheese, lemon/cream cheese, apple pie spice, German choc, strawberry, cherry.
Premium Flavors are: NY Cheesecake, Peanut Butter/banana, banana cream, peanut butter cookie, peanut butter/choc, fudge brownie banana split, fudge brownie/choc chip cookie, tiramisu, Grandmas Famous Cowboy Cookie (oatmeal/choc. chip), oreo and mint oreo.
All flavors are then coated in your choice of dark, milk or vanilla chocolate. The vanilla coating can be made in almost any color to match your event theme. :) And she delivers or ships!
Have a Ball Catering by Heather Schaper
Silver buckets with Chalkboard paint & Flowers
A sample of what's to come...
Tissue Paper Pom-Poms by Martha Stewart
"Hello Baby" DIY Mini Flag Banner
Table Letters: MATIAS

Diaper Cake

Stay tuned to see how it turned out!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Photography Tips from an Amateur...

I asked a dear friend of mine, Mike Bebenita, to give me some pointers on how to use my fancy -schmancy camera. Got some good pointers and why not share them?

1: Zoom out and never touch the zoom button again. Use your feet to zoom in and out. If you zoom, you will get a crappy picture that is pixelated and out of focus because it's harder to keep the image steady if you're zoomed in.

2: Imagine that your photo is balancing on a scale. You've got to make sure that your photo is balanced, this means you almost never want to put your subject in the middle of the photo, because there will always be something in the background on either side that will make it look unbalanced. So, as a rule of thumb, never put the subject in the middle.

3: Don't take pictures of obviously pretty stuff, the whole point of photography is to express how you feel, or how you see something. So, take pictures that reflect how you feel about things.

4: Six billion people see the world from a 5'6" high perspective. Bend your knees, take photos from a different perspective or angle.

5: Play with black and white. Colors are very difficult to work with because they get in the way of your photo, they hide patterns and texture. Just ask yourself when was the last time you saw a good color photo?

6: If you have a fancier camera, use the A/V (Aperture Priority) mode on a Canon camera. Open the aperture (this is the size of the hole in the camera) as wide as possible (the lower the number the better). It works like your eye ball, the bigger the hole the more light gets in, which means you can take pictures in lower light conditions. Also, if you do that it, you can make the background all blurry which makes the subject look nicer.

7: Hold the camera close to your face; your face doesn't shake as much as your hands do if you extend them out in front of you.

8: Realize the photo button can be pressed half way. ALWAYS ALWAYS pressit HALF WAY first, wait for it to beep, this is how you focus on something. Then, move the camera to get the right composition and press it all the way.
Also, if you don't do this, you will shake the camera when you press the button all the way.

And a few tips of my own... 

9:  Take candid pictures. Ignore the impulse to force your subjects to always pose staring at the camera. Variety is important.

10: Use natural light. Cloudy, overcast days provide the best lighting for pictures of people. Bright sun makes people squint, and it throws harsh shadows on their faces. Indoors, try turning off the flash and use the light coming in from a window to give your subject a soft, almost glowing appearance.

*And for the photographer:  Use the self-timer. Don't forget to get into some of the pictures yourself. Set your camera on a flat surface or a tripod and don't just document photos, be a part of them!