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Fashion Friday with Mondo and Michael C!

As promised, Fashion Friday. I am still so excited about my petite adventure to "the big city" yesterday. MONDO!!! MICAHEL C!!! I love Project Runway. I. LOVE. PROJECT. RUNWAY. So you can imagine my thrill this season while watching local sensation Mondo. Funny quote of the night: "Denver is just dying for a good time." Heck yeah, and so many people were out in force to party like rock stars. So many so that the line was down the street for Beauty Bar. Sigh. It was dress like Mondo night, I had my own twist including a most fabulous sequin bibi, sequin bow tie, sparkly suspenders and print on print. My homage to Mondo. I must say though, suspenders on women can be incredibly awkward.

What are our thoughts on the PR outcome? I thought it was a really good show this season. I think everyone in the finale were true artists with clear visions but they were all so, so different. I adore Mondo's show, I thought it was exciting, dynamic and unique. I agreed with Hiedi's review, that all of Gretchen's clothes were amazing but Mondo's was more "WOW!" Incidentally, I've also met Gretchen briefly. I loved talking to her to find out about show. I think she got harsh reviews for being so critical of other contestants work but after thinking about it last night that's what happens in fashion. One day you're in, the next you're out. I do prefer more constructive reviews though, having gone through plenty in college. For the ultimate PR blog, check out this site and this site for shots of the other shows not featured.

Garden Portfolio

As I was enjoying my planter boxes over the summer I wanted a way to remember them season round. Last year I made a bit of an attempt by keeping a journal (not nearly as detailed as the one featured yesterday) and taking photographs. I really wanted something I could show and share with people that captured the spirit of my planter box designs. Drum roll...check out my slide show below! It includes photographs, drawings, stamps and of course ribbon, it's so quintessentially moi. The gardens were very colorful and I had to bring that playful element in. I wanted to create something very textural that is an experience in and of itself. One of the things I love about starting a project from scratch is once I start working, more and more ideas start coming. I think one of my favorite inventions from this project are the final pages of the book. I included sheets of tear away business cards! Genius? I hope.
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Tomorrow I'll be introducing my new weekly feature: Fashion Friday. I CANNOT FREAKING WAIT TO SHARE! A little hint: Project Runway Party. Yeah. Cheers until tomorrow!

Book of Gardening Memories

I was so into gardening this year I had to capture it all! Over the summer I kept notes on what was in each planter box and how everything grew. It was a very, er, organic process. At first I just wanted to keep track of what plants I bought. I found this crazy notebook that got me started.

Once I started recording what I planted, I just had to put in as much information as I could. This was a great way to learn so many different plants. The first page in my notebook has a diagram of where the planter boxes were, there were over 20!

Each planter box has its own section with information on how many plants I used, where they were placed, what they were and how they grew.

Every box has two tabs, one from earlier in the summer when I started to record everything and the second tab that has information on how all the plants did and whether or not I should do a similar arrangement next year.

This turned out to be a wonderful little project to commemorate this year. Stay tuned for tomorrow to see how I turned all of this into something magical...

Still Green and Growing...For Another Day at Least

As I lay awake listening to the relentless wind last night, I realized that it actually is fall now and that means the glory of my summer garden is going dormant. There hasn't been a frost yet (thanks to the wind) but it's just around the corner. I had such a great year this year, I'm so resistant to "say goodbye." I spent a lot of time and love out there and was lucky enough to be able to enjoy and appreciate everything for nearly 6 months! Here is one of my planter boxes right after it was planted:

And here is a shot of it from late September:

The grasses grew so tall and that vinca vine is everywhere. To see many, many shots of my work check out this slideshow:
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Important to note: I'm available to design planter boxes!!! Stay tuned for tomorrow and Thursday to see the other garden related things I've been working on.

Applefest Continues!

It's sort of changing to fall here and we had another great crop of apples this week. So many that I think I really may have to get a canner. In the meantime I got two new toys! A new pie dish:

And matching rolling pin:

Piping hot out of the oven:

And a special message to make it sweeter:


Thank goodness for Friday and thank goodness for metallics. I know it's "color week" and metallics aren't a color but they are a whole other category. My favorite category. Metallics are simply magical. This includes sequins, obviously. Call it my homage to Tina Turner but I've always loooovvvveeeeddd sequins. On a rainy day, I like to counteract the gloom with a sequin cardi (Mego, you know the one). Since it's Friday, let's all let loose with a little sparkle and cheer!
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Metallics are so much on my mind that I just have to share my favorite new shorts and shoes:

I cannot wait to wear my metallic ensemble. It's my take on menswear. Have a sparkling weekend and fashionably fabulous Friday!

Red Hot Wednesday

Red rocks! I was just reading a bit about red on Wikipiedia; fascinating! Basically it can symbolize good and bad, purity and not so pure (The Scarlet Letter), courage, danger, etc. etc.

When I think of red, the first thing that pops in my mind is apple. I think that's because the last three weeks I've been in apple heaven baking pies, making apple pie ice cream and whipping up apple tartes. I like to wear red because it feels bold, so when I'm feeling pretty awesome it's red all the way. Also, I've been organizing my portfolio and a project I worked on this year (and will be sharing soon) has many, many beautiful red poppies.

Thornless hawthorne:

Autumn blaze maple tree:

Stars and stripes:

Vintage biplane (that I got to ride in!!!)

Red alert salvia:

Fourth of July croquet party:

Dinner plate dahlia:

My suede "ruby" slippers:

Swirls and swirls:

Two of My Favorites: Blue and Green

Color week continues! Today, two of my favorite hues: green and blue. When I think of green I think new, fresh, alive, lush. Blue reminds me of the ocean, a clear sky, something soothing, unless it's my bright peacock blue suede shoes, then it just comes down to fun!

I've created sets in my Flickr account by color, it is actually interesting to organize my photos this way and see what I do take shots of.

Here is green:
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Here is blue:
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

You can probably tell from my pictures that I love, love, love being outdoors. When I'm designing something usually I'm thinking of something earthy, even if the design isn't "earthy", per se...

Color, Color and More Color

I took a wonderful fall stroll and what's on my mind this week: color! The leaves are changing here finally, it's been a perpetual summer which I'm all for. My garden is still growing like crazy! But this past week I've loved seeing the daily changes...bright blue sky and golden yellow trees, fiery maple leaves and bright red apples. This week I'll be sharing my current color inspirations. First is this shot I got at sunset, I just love the orange, pink and purple...divine!

Sunday Funday!

Lately, Sundays have turned into my cooking day. This morning I woke up around 5 am with a craving for French Toast. When I finally got out of bed three hours later I referenced my "Joy of Coooking" book and was happy to have three recipes to choose from, one including rum for a little spice:

Cooking it up:

I topped the toast with apricot preserves and a freshly picked apple from the backyard.

Nothing left!

Also on tap today: apple pie ice cream.

After Weeks and Weeks They Finally Arrived!

I decided I'd be extra cute and get a Loveland stamp on the envelopes. Just one little round postmark. I did it mostly for me because as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. I was also curious to see who would notice. Well, if you send ANYTHING out of Loveland around Valentine's day you end up with not one, not two, but three stamps! I would've been fine with just the one but love and poems abound in Colorado!

Opening! Opening! Notice the embossed address at top, yup, I love an embosser.

I wanted all the relevant information to fit on the save the date because the real wow factor was yet to come, in the form of very special invitations...more on those soon!

As loyal reader and awesome friend Jes alluded to yesterday, there was an incident with the Post Office which I dubbed Post Officegate 2010. If you have awesome looking envelopes the people at the Post automatically pull them to the side, triple stamp them, then hold them to send out so they arrive on Valentine's Day. That's fine, except there is no notice about that, nobody shared that information and I dropped these off in January. I just about had a heart attack when they didn't arrive within three days of mailing them. After some phone calls (including to the Denver Postmaster, as mom said always go to the top) I was able to figure out where my precious save the dates had gone. All's well that ends well!

The Post Officegate incident got me thinking of other towns to send things from. I found plenty of options for celebrating love in Colorado, and a few to celebrate...other things.

Bijou- what lady doesn't love some bijou?
Climax- yup, this is on the map
Gold Hill
Gold Park
Divide- some people like to celebrate a separation
Goodnight- great for an evening affair!
Good Pasture- outdoor wedding
Grand Junction
Great Divide- for really big separations
Halfway House- seriously, this was in the atlas
Happy Canyon
Hidden Valley
Independence- see Divide, or maybe to celebrate a first apartment, or living on your own
Last Chance- a little harsh
Mountain View
Pleasant View
Rifle- to celebrate hunting season!
Sparks- I really like this one
Sugar Junction- and this one...CAVITY!
Sugar City
Trails End- eek
Tuckerville- to celebrate successful plastic surgery

Have a beautiful weekend! Cheers!

Ready, Set, Send!

The last day I worked on these save the dates I had to glue the last top piece of paper as well as address them. I knew that getting this shiny envelope in the mail would brighten the winter days! Glue Stick and I are best friends, although when it's nice out and I can open the doors I do prefer spray glue.

I thought about custom stamps but I rather liked the colors and whimsy of the King and Queen. Also, at this point in the design process I wasn't sure what exactly the invitations would be like so I kept it as simple as I could for the stamps.

I wanted these to look really rich. That's why I layered the paper and hand stamped everything, these are thick! I wanted people to feel the love when the opened them.

All set to be sent off. Yes, I am so picky as to line up the criss-crossing cross hatching! Above all I wanted to present something that was visually interesting and that left people wanting more. Namely, the invitation!

More to come!

Cutting, Pasting

A lot of the work I do happens late at night, I am just a night owl and I always have been. I like the quiet and I like that there aren't distractions...unless of course I get chit chatting with Shannon, my other fellow night owl. This particular night was a chilly one in January and magic happened! There's something great about being able to spread out and take over a space. I knew when I found this paper I HAD to be used some way, some how:

Since I originally bought it three years ago, finding more was a challenge. I found some on eBay but that amounted to four sheets. I had to be conservative! I used one sheet to make a little band around the invite, that left enough for envelope liners and special wedding day touches.

Once I stamped these I knew it was just the texture I was going for. I wanted each one to feel special.

I love a production line:

And on to assembly, these had a shimmery white back, then a green, then the cross hatch paper, then the top save the date...more coming!

Supplies and Planning

One of my favorite things about starting a new project is the materials; the paper, illustrations, colors, ribbon, concept...all of it! I love how I can start with one idea but by the end it's morphed into something even grander than first thought! It's like the Samples lyric "and every turn became our future..." from "Did You Ever Look So Nice?" Yup, obsessed with the Samples and yes, that makes a pretty sweet wedding song.

These Save the Dates started with a color concept, and there are few places with more fabulous paper choices than The Paper Presentation. Shimmery? Check. Green? Check. I thought I'd originally emboss everything with peacock blue powder (the stamp embossing way) but it wasn't really coming together the way I wanted it to. And from there I moved on to stamping everything minus the embossing.

I knew I needed fabulous wood blocks to make personal feeling, textural invites. I found an amazing set on eBay all the way from London:

Stacks and stacks of green and soft white paper:

An embosser, I highly recommend an embosser for anything you'd like to add a little touch of class to, I had this embosser made with our return address:

More coming...

With Love

I'm going back to the beginning of some very big projects, one of my favorites being my save the date:

The stamps were worth the wait despite the slow delivery. When I first came up with the idea for the save the dates and invitations I knew I wanted shimmery green and peacock blue along with a cross hatch Martha Stewart paper. More coming...

Dining Al Fresco, Bellissimo!

Something I look forward to all day: dinner. Even better: dinner outdoors! I love setting the table a different way every night, it makes every meal seem extra special and it doesn't take long to put out nice glasses, place mats and cloth napkins. I feel so posh and like I'm running my own little restaurant. It's also another way to get creative. This was a quick little setup with awesome linens from my friend Sarah:

Linens and place mats (LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!): Macy's
Glasses and chair cushions: Anthropologie
Bowls: MacKenzie-Childs

Before and After: From Rusty to Ready to Relax In

I've had this chair for quite awhile, true be told I do love the rustic look of it here:

But I could never sit in it because of the rust! Two cans of spray paint for about $10, a new cushion from World Market for about $15 and an hour later...viola:

I really wanted something bright and Bahamian inspired to make every day cheery, it makes me think of a trip I took a couple of years ago. I'm evolving our yard into the most fantastic outdoor living space, if I do say so myself. Sometimes the smallest little touches can make a space beyond magical. Cheers!

It's Glorious Apple Season

There is something so perfect about fresh picked apples in fall. I was feeling very special when I got to go apple picking on Saturday...in my back yard. On top of that it was 80 degrees, this is my idea of fall.

The crisp, cooler morning motivated me to make apple pie from scratch, it just seemed like the fall thing to do, along with watching college football. We have four Harrelson apple trees, the fruit is so sweet and crisp and perfect for baking. For the pie crust, this was the first time I made dough from scratch. The recipe I followed is the one that goes along with Martha Stewart's Mile-High Apple Pie, which I found in the 2003 Annual Recipes book. Making dough is so easy! And it includes one of my favorite ingedients, butter.

Dough into the pie mold:

Apples piled high with more butter:

The pie-prep aftermath, I felt very accomplished at this point. Meanwhile I had already done all of the ice cream prep work and that was cooling in freezer.

Piping hot from the oven:

Savory apple tarte, this made me feel oh-so Francaise for some reason:

While the pie was cooling I put the chilled ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker where all the magic happens. 35 minutes later I had a double batch of vanilla ice cream. Night one of Applefest was traditional pie a la mode.

Night two was the ice cream with cut up apple pie folded in...amazing. I based the recipe on the vanilla ice cream in The Perfect Scoop, a must own recipe book! Night three was warm apple tart with a scoop on the side. I love Applefest.