Lovely Crafty Weekend #40

Hi everyone! Welcome to another project filled weekend at Lovely Crafty Home!

You guys love hair tutorials, and this week’s bang styling tips from The Small Things was the most viewed!

{The Small Things}

Kim at Too Much Time On My Hands shared her chalkboard fabric find and some ideas for projects:

{Too Much Time On My Hands}

Jenny at Days of Chalk and Chocolate made this awesome table runner from some napkins. I love the color combo and the ruffle!

{Days of Chalk and Chocolate}

These wooden pumpkins Michelle shared are so cute, check them out at delicateCONSTRUCTION.

{delicateCONSTRUCTION}

Don’t forget to grab a button from the sidebar if you’ve been featured! Now on to this week’s party:

1) Please link to a specific post, not your blog address.

2) Share the love and comment on other people’s blogs! We all love comments!

3) Please join my Google Friend network.

4) Please grab my linky party button from the sidebar and link back so others can join in the fun!

September Sponsors- THANK YOU!

I’d like to wrap up this month with a huge thank you to some new sponsors!!

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CurryDesignsHandmade

Jessica of Curry Designs Handmade is so talented!

{Curry Designs Handmade}

Check out her inventory, but she also does amazing custom work if you have something in mind. She also writes a Home and Garden blog called DIY Style Home where she shares ideas for decorating on a budget and gardening tips (which I need desperately).

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My Button
Amy from This DIY Life shared her chair swing awhile back and you guys loved it! 

{This DIY Life}

Amy shares a bunch of other DIY adventures on her blog, including some great Ana White woodworking projects (you go, girl!). And she loves some ORB which makes her totally awesome in my book :)

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Both of these ladies work really hard and have new blogs, so I would really appreciate it if you’d stop over to their sites and leave some love!

Hot Mess Hair

Have you noticed the trend of hot mess-ness when it comes to hair?

{via Pinterest}

All I have to say is FINALLY :) I’m the queen of the messy hair. I have long wavy, sometimes frizzy hair which often finds itself on top of my head in a messy bun. I’ve been trying some new hair tutorials lately (this is the first time in my adult life that my hair has been this long), which has been really fun. A lot of them look great with a little piece of hair bling, so I thought I’d try to make some accessories of my own. There are so many cute things in the stores, but they are really expensive! With a 30 pc pack of alligator clips from A.C. Moore and a little creativity, I came up with 6 pieces for $10!

You know I love book page projects, so I thought it might be fun to try a large rosette on a clip.

I used a little bit of krazy glue and hot glue to adhere the clips.

I turned a large jewelry pendant and a feather from the kid’s craft section into hair bling.

Then I got really crazy creative and remembered I had this old potpourri with some interesting pieces in it…

The best part is that since I used alligator clips, I can clip these to my hair or on a headband for a different look!

Next I want to try some fabric flowers, like these at Emily’s Little World.

What do you think? Have you made any hair accessories? Are you as relieved as I am that “messy” is in?

Happy Anniversary To Us :)

Today is our 3rd anniversary, so I thought I’d share with you all the story of our wedding day. I did share this over at Truly Lovely a few months ago, but it was never published here because I wanted to save it for today!

I grew up (for the most part) in Asheville, NC and after a 6 year hiatus in DC, moved back here with my then boyfriend Mike. I’ll let you in on a little secret: he hadn’t even proposed when I first contacted my dream venue for information. When the wedding coordinator leaves a message on your machine saying congratulations on your engagement, you know you’ve been busted. But when you want to get married at The Biltmore Estate in the Fall (our tourist season), you have to be on top of things!

Image courtesy of BiltmoreVillage.com

Planning a fairy tale wedding, step 1. Contact the most ridiculous, total long shot, no way in hell venue and ask for wedding information.

No, seriously.

Step 2: Freak out when you get a response and the prices.

Steps 3 and 4: Continue to freak out and wonder why you even asked. Wasn’t it a crime to get your hopes up?

Step 5: Get real. If you wanna do this, you better figure out how. Let’s face it, no place else is even going to compare.

Step 6:  We crunched the numbers. We had conversations with our parents to see if they were planning on contributing and how much. Yes, this can be awkward, but it’s better to know what you’re working with up front. By the time we got married, we had already bought our house and had been living in it for a year and half. Financially, we weren’t really expecting our parents to help. But both sides put in some money, and we had our starting point. I knew for this to work out, we could have only 50 people at the wedding.

Yes, I said 50.

If you’ve ever planned a wedding or are currently planning a wedding, I’m sure you’ve heard this advice before.  It happens to be Step 7: Cut. The. Guest. List.

We were very fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it) to be paying for the wedding mostly on our own. This meant that we (by that I mean me, since Mike had about zero interest in anything except food and cake tasting) had complete control over the guest list. My parents didn’t invite their friends. His parents didn’t invite their friends. Certain friends of ours didn’t get invited unless we had been in contact with them in the past year. No plus ones unless it was a serious boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance/spouse. We were very strict, but not because we wanted it to be some exclusive event. We didn’t want to offend anyone. We just wanted to have our close friends and family around us and show them a good time. Neither Mike nor I like to be in the spotlight, so a small wedding suited us better. I realize this is impossible for some people. We are very lucky.

Step 8: Negotiate. I called up the planner and told her that I really wanted to get married there, but we’d have to work on the pricing. Instead of getting married on the front lawn, we got married in the barn.

Image courtesy of Biltmore.com

Image courtesy of EdwardsNewsUpdates

At 50 guests, there was no way we’d meet their minimum food order for Saturday. I asked if we could lose the minimum and bring the per plate price down if we chose a Sunday. I told her I wanted to leave off the $8/per person passed champagne toast (it was open bar, anyway). We chose a sit down dinner because it was actually the same price as a buffet at that headcount. Be careful of station/serving fees on buffets…for some reason buffets have a reputation of being cheaper but this is not always the case since they have to over prepare food and staff the stations.

{Image courtesy of Castell Photography}

Step 9: Hire vendors. At Biltmore everything was provided through them except music, floral, and photography/videography. I found that when choosing a vendor, price is important, but so is the vision. By that I mean you want to pick someone who you gel with- they get your idea and run with it. You feel like they really understand what you want for your day. If you sacrifice this for price, you may be sorry. If you visit enough people, you will be able to find both elements. Sure I would have loved to have a live band, but I decided to compromise and hire a cellist for the ceremony and a DJ for the reception.  Brie Castell of Castell Photography shot our wedding, check out some pictures here, here, and here. Our florist was Stacey Brown of The Bloom Room who did a fantastic job of taking my “rustic elegance” vision and bringing it to life.

{Image courtesy of Castell Photography}

Step 10: Enjoy your day. Everyone kept telling me to soak it all in, but you really don’t grasp this until it’s happening. Try to eat. Definitely get cake. Say hi to everyone, but skip the receiving line (who invented that, anyway? AWKWARD).

Now I’m sure you’re wondering how we paid for it all. When I tell you what we did you may think twice about the sacrifice, but to me it was worth it. Our parents donation paid for the “down payment” at Biltmore to hold our date. I took a part time job (in addition to my full time engineering job at the time) waiting tables at a diner on the weekend. We rented out a room in our house for 4 months. Every week I wrote checks to Biltmore and our vendors. Sometimes they were large and sometimes they were small. Everything was paid for in cash. We didn’t eat ramen noodles, but anything we had leftover at the end of each pay period went out to one of our vendors. By the time our wedding came around, we didn’t owe anyone money which felt awesome.

We went to Costa Rica on our honeymoon and charged the entire trip (yay, reckless abandon!) to a low interest mileage credit card. We paid it off with our tax refund 4 months later. Today we have been married 3 years, and I still think about our wedding quite a bit. Friends and family who were in attendance still talk about the flowers, the cake, and the fillet mignon. Do I regret spending the same amount on 50 people that some couples would spend on 150? Absolutely not.

Image courtesy of Castell Photography

 

Tomato Soup And Bread Bowls

Does it really get any better? Today’s post is a quickie, sorry for that…but I hope you’ll forgive me when I give you this recipe.

Tomato Basil Soup

  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped or 4 cups canned whole tomatoes (or a mixture)
  • 4 cups tomato juice (or part vegetable or part chicken stock)
  • 12 -14 basil leaves, fresh
  • 1 cup half and half (I’ve used fat free before)
  • 4 tbs butter or part light butter substitute (optional)
  • salt
  • black pepper
Combine tomatoes and juice (or stock) in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Add basil and puree with an immersion blender (or use a regular blender or food processor). Stir in half and half and butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
I served these in Cheddar bread bowls from Artisan Bread, I highly recommend this book!!

Lovely Crafty Weekend #39

Happy Fall and happy weekend! I was so happy to see I had over 100 link ups this week-can we do it again? Let’s see what you’ve been working on this week.

Here are the top 4 from last week:

Kate from The Small Things showed us an elegant half-up ‘do. She even made a video to help you try it!

{The Small Things}

I’m seriously dying over this pallet dresser Kim made at Too Much Time On Mt Hands. You guys know I love a pallet project.

{Too Much Time On My Hands}

Check out these sweet magazine coasters at Saved By Love Creations.

{Saved By Love Creations}

These spooky potion bottles and printables at Polish The Stars are perfect for Halloween!

{Polish The Stars}

Don’t forget to grab a button from the sidebar if you’ve been featured! Now on to this week’s party:

1) Please link to a specific post, not your blog address.

2) Share the love and comment on other people’s blogs! We all love comments!

3) Please join my Google Friend network.

4) Please grab my linky party button from the sidebar and link back so others can join in the fun!

Color Therapy: Metallics

Ok maybe metallics aren’t exactly colors, but I’m loving all the ways they’re being incorporated this year into fall decor.

{Content In A Cottage}

{Country Living}

{Pottery Barn}

{Etsy}

{Martha Stewart}

{Etsy}

Are you using any metallics this year?

Sewing Project: The Reusable Lunch Bag

I’m on a everything-is-cheaper-if-it’s-reusable kick which prompted me to try and make lunch bags for my husband and I.

After a little google-ing, I found this tutorial at Prudent Baby which seemed pretty simple. I wanted to have a little bit of water/leak protection, so I bought some clear vinyl at the fabric store and sandwiched it between two pieces of fabric. All three pieces were cut to 26″ x 9″ and folded in half before sewing, but I think I’ll make Mike’s a little bigger, maybe 28″ x 11″. The instructions on Prudent Baby are very straightforward, so I won’t repeat them, but here is my first try:

I saw the clothes pin idea on pinterest and love it, but you could use velcro or a snap.

Isn’t she cute? I’m planning to use drop cloth for the manly version and also making some snack bags :)

Guest Blogger: Jessica from Balsam Hill

Best Beginner Crafts for the Holiday Season!

Of course crafts are a great way to entertain young children. What mother doesn’t love a simple project to keep toddlers busy on a rainy day? But what if we considered arts and crafts as more than just fun and games? What if we viewed creative projects an integral part in early child development and used them as a fun tool for developing critical skills? This season, we have come up with a few first-time crafts that will directly stimulate your little ones’ growing understanding of themselves and the world around them. With a little guidance, these crafts will certainly blossom into a lot than refrigerator decorations.

Develop Communication Skills with Shape Family Storyboards

When a young child creates a picture, even if it looks like a simple scribble, he or she is learning to communicate visually. Through art, even a very young a child can communicate complex experiences or emotions through colors, shapes, and scribbles. Shape People Storyboards are a fun way to guide your tot through a communicative project, while still giving him or her a lot of creative wiggle room.

Using multi-colored construction paper, cut out a variety of shapes that your child can identify, such as triangles, circles, rectangles, squares, hearts, stars, and moons. Ask your child to select a favorite shape and identify its color. Next, help glue the shape down to a piece of blank paper as the body of your child’s shape person. Ask your child to select a head, and then glue it down. Urge your child to add eyes, ears, nose, and mouth with markers, offering some silly suggestions. Once the first shape person is complete, start developing a story about it. Where does it live? Who is its mommy and daddy? Does it have any babies? What is its favorite cookie? Encourage your child to start building the rest of the Shape Family, try to keep the story going. Don’t be afraid to let the imagination run wild.

Develop Problem-Solving Skills with Kooky Balance Mobiles

When children are exploring craft projects, they often have to try things out, seeing what works and what doesn’t. Building a simple mobile employs more problem-solving skills for a child than we adults make realize, in addition, this craft introduces little ones to the possibilities of new and unusual materials.

Find two sticks that can be adhered in a cross shape for the base of the mobile. You could use two Popsicle sticks, two sticks from a tree, a cut coat hanger, two wooden dowels, something you can find around the house. You should also gather some things to hang from the mobile. Try pipe cleaners, pom poms, light bells, paper cut out shapes, foam die cuts, paper clips, etc. Once you have the cross base made, present the objects to your toddler and ask them to pick out four things he or she likes best. Using yarn and scissors help your child hang one object from each point on the mobile base. Here is where the problem-solving skills come in. Together, you will need to figure out how to balance that mobile. Which side is too heavy? Which side needs more weight? You can hang more objects from the original objects until you have reached a state of balance. Be sure to hang the mobile somewhere for your tot to show it off.

Develop Fine Motor Skills with Furry Fringe Bracelets

Arts and crafts introduce children to fun tools like scissors, tape, glue, and hole punchers. Children always find these tools exciting because of their new possibilities, however it can take a little bit of time to develop the motor skills required to use them. Furry Fringe Bracelets are an excellent craft for practicing using scissors and tape.

Cut a two 2-inch thick strips of colored paper, long enough to wrap around your toddler’s wrist as a bracelet. Draw parallel lines down both edges of the strips where your child will cut the fringe. Introduce your little one to a pair of child-safe scissors and help make a few practice snips on some newspaper. You’re your child is ready, show him or her how to cut along the fringe lines of the bracelet. When finished with both strips, lay them on top of each other and ruffle them up like fur. Wrap around your child’s wrist and secure with tape.

Jessica Phan is a designer for Balsamhill.com a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping.

Fall Foyer v 2.0

Last week I posted about my pumpkin fun day and promised to share details so here they are!

First, my friend Amy and I tracked down some pie pumpkins at the farmer’s market and made pumpkin butter and oatmeal pumpkin seed cranberry bread.

The pumpkin butter recipe came from one of my favorite cooking sites, Gina’s Skinny Taste. I used the oatmeal pumpkin dough recipe from Artisan Bread (read more about this bread technique here).

I got inspired, so I decided to decorate the foyer buffet for fall. Here’s how it looked last year.

This year I added a $5 bunch of bittersweet from the farmer’s market (plus some free bunches from the woods across the street). Everything else is already owned. Gotta love having your own decor store (the middle drawer).

What fall activities have you been up to? This weekend we’re going apple picking, and I’m so excited!