Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Journal that I Can Get Behind

I've randomly tried journaling throughout my life, but never last more than two days -- as I do with most things. Sometime in my twenties, I threw away all of my old journals after flipping through them and realizing that I was crying over the same things at age 20-something that I was at age 16. (I was probably just embarrassed because the thing that I was crying about was most likely finding a boy to kiss me (while publicly pretending that I didn't care, of course.)) Maybe committing to a single line a day would be a little easier and/or less embarrassing in the long-term?

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Garden Party Dress

I was so excited about the dress that I found for my friend's wedding this past weekend. I was in working in Atlanta the week before, but was thankfully staying at a hotel that is walking distance to two malls. Isn't  it the perfect dress for an afternoon garden party?

I wouldn't dare go sleeveless in public with the current state of my arms, so I paired it with a black shrug, gray pumps, and my all-time favorite bracelet.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Friend's "Indoor Garden Party" Wedding/My Sewing Debut

My friends, Larry and Janet, were married yesterday morning. Janet planned a beautiful garden party reception at Carmichael's. (Sooooo delish, BTW.) She decided to move the party indoors, as Chicago had been expecting a big heat wave and thunderstorms this weekend.  Thankfully, the severe weather never arrived and her "indoor garden party" was still happy and summer-y.

I busted out my (somewhat) new sewing machine and took on my first big sewing project -- table runners, tablecloths, and cocktail table ties for Janet's reception. The bright, folksy patterns that Janet selected were perfect for Carmichael's Arts & Craft style. I love seeing people's visions come together. Congratulations to my sweet friends.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bachelorette Party Gifts

Making gag gifts for bachelorette parties is one of my all-time favorite party-related hobbies. And, if I say so, I kick total a*s at it. Past hits include:
  • Seasonal A*s Decorations: Paint stirrers with little wooden shapes attached for a friend whose husband would pose with things in his cheeks during his undergrad days. (I know, right?)
  • The "North Shore Bondage Kit for Discreet Lovers:" A box of preppy "toys" for a friend who was marrying someone who grew up on the affluent North Shore of Chicago, including the "'Tennis Anyone?' Ball Gag" with pearl embellishments and "Ribbon Belt" bondage set. (I am from the South Side of Chicago, so her husband and I always engage in playful banter re: being from the wrong vs. right side of the tracks.)

Unfortunately, in true Tina fashion, I am usually making these items as I walk out the door and don't have any  photos of them.

I recently made an alligator thong for a friend who's fiance has a very funny story about a family friend giving him one of these back in the day:

I made a girl version for my friend:

My favorite part might be the eyelashes:

Not too bad for not sewing since I was a Junior Girl Scout, huh? I packaged it with a pink bra from the Delta Burke Intimates line. But I am apparently the only person who thinks that it's funny that Delta Burke has a lingerie line, as no one else has seen the humor in that.

I also gave her a Liberty of London PJ set, but to fun it up, I covered the bag with some sorta naked pictures of her favorite baseball player and namesake of her new kitten. (These photos seriously came out like two days after she stood in our kitchen excitedly telling us about selecting the name for the new kitty she was picking up the next day.)

BTW, the only reason that I have photos of these gifts is that I am a week late in giving them to her. I was stuck at the ATL airport until almost 2 a.m. the night before her party and didn't get to finish making them. I will actually be pulling her aside and giving her these items at a baby shower this morning. I hope that no grandmas see them!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Entryway Table

I'm slowly getting our entryway to a look that I don't hate. The walls are TBD, as we have an open floor plan, so whatever I do would need to flow throughout three rooms. Maybe someday I can wallpaper it or paint it super cool. (No more green paint, though. I promise.)

The wall (seen near the crawling kid) was empty for the first few months that we lived here.

In September, I purchased a dresser on Craig's List to use as an entryway table to store mail, etc. (I practically bought this from under another buyer's feet!)

The accessories took awhile. I received a mirror from CB2 from my in-laws for Christmas. I love it.

I kept our favorite wedding photo on display and added some other FREE prints that I received.

This "May All Beings Be At Ease" print was a surprise that arrived with some others that I purchased from etsy seller lot 9 press. It's the perfect message to greet guests as they walk in the door. The frame, which is way too big, is from CB2.

I received this cool Sears Willis Tower letterpress print (by Sesame Letterpress) and the accompanying frame for free when I purchased a something on the opening weekend of the Chicago west elm store.

My Chinese Laterns from the "during" photo had seen better days, so I swapped them out for some billy balls. I'm planning on picking a few more up to fill out this vase. (Billy Balls are $$$!)

And, finally, this little snack bowl from CB2 makes a great key bowl.

My pretty antique bowl doesn't really fit in here, but I just can't get myself to put it back in storage. One bad thing about having an open floor plan is a lack of surfaces on which to rest pretty things.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crate & Pain-in-the-Barrel

Having survived 14 wedding seasons since my first college friend got hitched back in 1996, I can safely say that Crate & Barrel boxes are my least favorite thing in the world to wrap. I am adamant about leaving on the handles for easy transport, which almost always leads to a botched wrap job. And the sheer size and/or weight of them makes them bulky. Well, I've finally created my C&B pièce de résistance:

Our friends, Janet and Larry, who bought us one of our favorite wedding gifts, are celebrating a garden party wedding in June. Janet's maids of honor threw her the most incredible garden party-themed shower. I am helping Janet out with some wedding projects, so I have access to all of her fabrics, including her stash of "vetoed" fabrics. I photocopied one of the fabrics and cut out the flower pattern. I then lined the Crate & Barrel box in green paper to cover the store name and pasted the photocopied flowers from the fabric all over the box

I photocopied another fabric, which will be used throughout her wedding, to make a pretty envelope for a plain 'ole Paper Source card.

Isn't it cute? I also used the floral fabric to make a table cloth for a Crate & Barrel table in the bag, which I wrapped up with some totally unecessary, but very fun-to-have wine-themed picnic supplies. I think that this is my favorite shower gift yet. I hope my friend thinks so too!