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The Makings Of: Aaron and Johanna’s Wedding InvitationJuly 7, 2014

I’m excited to be sharing a new series called “The Makings Of.”  Here, I will be showcasing behind the scenes tidbits of current projects I’m working on with my clients.  To me, the best part of any creative endeavor is the process and the path which the artist takes to get to the final product.  Today, I’d like to share with you the makings of Aaron and Johanna’s wedding invitation.  What you must know about them first, is that they are hands down, the coolest.  They’ve got style and pizazz and are basically dream clients.  I love that they are looking for something out of the box and are totally cool with my quirky ideas.  Together we have cooked up a modern and whimsical invitation suite that is perfectly unique and totally “them!” Let’s talk paper, shall we?

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I do love a good invitation.  One that screams from the mountain top, “Get ready, this is going to be one AWESOME wedding!”  Well, Johanna and Aaron’s invite screams, “THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST WEDDING EVER! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR PARTY PANTS ON!!”  I must say, since it was designed and printed in-house, I am pretty darn proud of how this turned out.  Johanna and I really turned up the DIY gears on this one…printing, spray painting, wrapping, cutting, calligraphing.  The studio was a-whirl with all things paper!

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Of course we started with a color palette.  To me, any successful design stays tried and true to the original scheme.  It gives consistency and most importantly, will always be the sounding board to which you return when deciding if something matches.

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Once the color palette was solidified we chose our materials.  We ordered pre-cut cover stock paper from Paper Source in the perfect color scheme.  Oh, paper, it’s the best!  Then Johanna gave me a copy of a doodle she used for some notes to her bridesmaids.  Our motif was beginning to take shape.  I scanned the image and loosely copied the design to echo on all pieces of the invite suite.  We chose a font that mirrored the geometric and modern feel and accented with a script font for just a touch of whimsy!

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Then came the details.  To me, this is what OCD dreams are made of!  We got down with some serious spray paint….the backs of the invite were sprayed a fluorescent coral to match the accent on the front of the invite.   The coral reception card was cut on a diagonal and accented with an opaque white triangle to add more depth and the RSVP card got a metallic triangle detail of its own too!  Then, we sprayed one side of the fig paper with a coat of shiny gold and cut giant pieces of confetti!   The entire suite was wrapped with coral and gold thread and placed into a gravel colored envelope.  I calligraphied the names on front to match the script font on the invite.  Did I mention that I LOVE consistency?!?

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One of my most favorite things about this invite suite is the cheeky RSVP.  I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have something other than “Decline with Regret” as an RSVP option. Johanna decided to give her guests three options:

“Will be there with our party pants”

Will be there with no pants”

“Darn, Can’t make it”

Hee hee, I love it!  How stoked would you be if this came in the mail?  I just love that when you see it, you immediately think of Aaron and Johanna and know that one seriously good time is on its way!

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Real Wedding ~ Hanna and ReeceJune 27, 2014

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Hanna and Reece celebrated their nuptials on a crisp spring day in April at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado.  I just absolutely adore the color palette Hannah chose of cobalt blues, dusty shale and a touch of lavender.  We had such a blast designing a classy and elegant celebration!

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Andrea Soorikian Designs provided lush hand-tied bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids.  I just love how they look with those beautiful J.Crew gowns.  Hanna also had the most beautiful cameo pin from her grandmother that was attached to her bouquet as a keepsake for the ceremony.

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We worked with Little Bird Creative to create a custom invitation suite inspired by Ikat patterns with punches of cobalt.  We were able to save a little mula by only having the main invitation letterpressed and the rest of the suite flat-printed.  I think it looks absolutely beautiful, don’t you?

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Hanna and Reece love to concoct fabulous cocktails together when they host dinner parties and serve unique creations.  Recently, Hanna tried her hand at a handmade passion fruit sorbet.  We challenged the Four Seasons to serve a creative cocktail inspired by this.  During our tasting, we sipped on an unique champagne cocktail where they infused a passion fruit sorbet with spicy chiles and then served it in a tall glass of local bubbly.  I must say the result was fantastic; a little sweet with a little heat and they looked adorable with the cobalt stripey straws.

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The reception was elegant and joyous with traditional touches.  I love the simple beauty of this cake by Maggie Faralla.  The spring blooms were the perfect accent to the clean lines of the fondant.  My favorite tradition was the reception attire. Hanna swapped out her ivory sash for a black one and Reece changed into an ivory dinner jacket.  They looked so snazzy!

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To continue their appreciation for good sips, Hanna and Reece hosted a Scotch and Bourbon Bar after dinner.  They also offered their guests petit jars packaged with a few of their favorite beverages.  There was a beautiful French Earl Grey Tea, African Coffee Beans and a red chile infused drinking chocolate mix from local chocolate house, Kakawa.  Yum!

To see the full gallery of images from Hanna and Reece’s wedding, click HERE
Photos: Articulate Photo


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In Guad We TrustJune 20, 2014

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I love a good welcome bag…one that declares, “we’re gonna party this weekend, get ready!”  This was the case for Tracy and Scott, a fabulous, fun-loving couple with colorful and creative personalities.  Of course, the welcome bag for their wedding weekend had to be equally fabulous.  Enter the Guad bag.  When Tracy asked me to make a funky-Mexican-folk-artsy-crafty-welcome bag inspired by Our Lady of Guadalupe, I was on it!

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I printed custom Our Lady of Guadlupe stickers and purchased kraft colored paper bags.  Then, we got our assembly line cranking with colored pom-poms, sequins and glitter.

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We also assembled an adorable First Aid kit to go into the Guad bag.  Many times guests don’t realize they are at 7, 260 feet above sea-level and that altitude sickness is a real thing!  We stocked colorful paper bags (Sourced from Shop Sweet Lulu) with Chapstick, sunscreen and Advil.  I stitched them closed on the sewing machine with a little tag and boom, ready to party!

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What else was in the bag, you ask? Well, along with some delicious Piñon Toffee from Senor Murphy’s and a locally published Essential Guide,  I sourced bottles of Topo Chico mineral water to go with our Mexican folk-art theme.  They are so authentic and cool looking and we gotta keep folks hydrated.  The only dilemma I ran into was that the tops needed to be opened with a bottle opener, unfortunately they weren’t twist off.  Gooooo!  So, we decided to do another craft project and made custom Guadalupe can openers.  I ordered a bunch of plain can openers from a restaurant supply store, printed mini Guad stickers and jazzed them up with more glitter and rhinestones.  Que cute, no?

 

To see the complete gallery from Tracy and Scott’s wedding, click HERE


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Real Wedding ~ Tracy and ScottJune 16, 2014

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Tracy and Scott have the most contagious smiles!  I was so lucky to have such wonderful clients with which to work.  When Tracy first called, she told me how her parents had honeymooned in Santa Fe years and years ago and that this small and enchanting city was destined to be the spot for her and Scott to tie the knot.

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They were looking for something outdoors for the ceremony as they love to spend their time in nature, mountain biking and hiking.  The Randal Davey Audubon Center was the perfect spot.  They have a beautiful, rolling lawn nestled in the mountains and a historic home on the property.  Mrs. Davey’s boudoir, pictured above, is a very special spot for a bride to get ready!  How amazing are the walls that were painted by Randal Davey himself?!

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Tracy wore the most adorable frock from BHLDN and with sparkly Manolos to match, oohhhieee!

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Artichokes and Pomegranates designed a beautiful and colorful bouquet for Tracy to carry.  It had Coral Charm peonies, Gloriosa Liles, Roses, Hypericum Berries, Dahlias and succulents.  It really set the tone for a lighthearted and festive day!

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I love a good “First Look” portrait session.  Its a great way to calm any jitters and also allows the bride and groom to enjoy cocktail hour with their guests if they can get portraits taken care of before the ceremony.

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Tracy’s daughter, Ruby was the perfect side kick!  This was right after I had told them to carry their bouquets low on the hip during the processional and not to do the “Microphone”!

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Paper flowers and colorful ribbons set the tone for the Mexican folk-art inspired design.

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Tracy and Scott chose to do a “Quaker style” ceremony with many readings, songs and participation from their guests.  I always say programs are a great idea when you want to recognize those involved and keep your guests in the loop.

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The ceremony decor was colorful and quirky with paper flowers and garlands of billy balls.

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A little nod to the Guad….more on that later!

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The ceremony was so special and heartfelt; there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

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I absolutely LOVE this picture.  What a truly special moment!

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Guests were transported from the Audubon Center to Hotel St. Francis via open air trams.  It was such a lovely warm night, perfect for a little downtown tour!

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The mixologists at Hotel St. Francis know a thing or two about cocktails! We served guests the “Sweet Heat” a orange margarita, infused with Green Chile.  Mui Caliente!

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Guests enjoyed the sounds of Savor, specializing in the sounds of Cuban Street music.  I loved how they contributed to the festive and casual atmosphere!

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Escort cards doubled as favors.  I had stuffed colorful paper bags with Biscochitos, a favorite New Mexican Cookie.  Name tags and heart milagros were tied on the outside to guide guests to their tables.

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The tables were a-blaze with color and texture.  There were succulents in planters adorned with gilded lace, cactus terrariums, agate slices, gold mercury glass with floating blooms and billy balls in citron colored bud vases.  I designed arrangements of Peonies, Freesia, Lilies, sweetheart roses and honeysuckle that happened to be blooming at the perfect time outside of my studio.

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Their reception featured a beautiful meal from Tabla, amazing toasts with lots of bubbly and the most rockin’ dance party I had seen in a while!

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Cheers Tracy and Scott!

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Photography~ Vlad Photo  / Programs, Place cards, Menus,~ Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Make-up~ Jess Evans / Bride’s Dress~ BHLDN/ Bride’s Shoes ~ Manolo Blahnik / Ceremony and Cocktail Music ~ Victor Alvarez of Savor / Ceremony Location~ Randal Davey Audubon Center / Bridal Bouquets and Boutonnieres~ Artichokes and Pomegranates / Ceremony Backdrop and Centerpiece Floral Design~ Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Open Air Tram Transportation ~ Custom Tours by Clarice / Reception Location~ Hotel St. Francis / DJ~ Absolute Entertainment DJ Services


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From Rendering to RealityJune 13, 2014

Brainstorming with my clients has got to be one of the best things ever! There’s nothing better than throwing around ideas and letting the creative juices fly! It’s so exciting to get inspired and super pumped for a wedding design!

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That’s exactly how it was with Tracy and Scott. We we’re on the same wavelength right from the get-go! They wanted something colorful, unique, funky and truly Santa Fe and I was ready to deliver. We had a blast sitting in my studio, testing paint chips and succulents, swapping vases and playing with textured linens.

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Once we had an idea of our color scheme and vibe, I went to town and drew up a table rendering. What I love about this us that it helps give the client a visual-especially when we’re brainstorming, this ensures that our levels of expectation are the same.  After seeing the rendering, Tracy asked for more punchy floral and I said, “Oh, heck yes! Yippie!”  It also helps to keep a matching color palette throughout the entire wedding design and maintaining a consistency with our design motifs.

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Then comes the execution of the rendering. The tables were uniquely styled with pincushion Protea, succulents in planters adorned with gilded lace, agate slices, cactus terrariums and gorgeous floral arrangements of Billy Balls, peonies, sweetheart roses and lilies, freesia and honeysuckle, which I was lucky enough to forage as it had bloomed at the perfect time! I’m always amazed at how much it matches our original idea; it’s so wonderful to see it come to life!

To see Tracy and Scott’s full wedding, click HERE.


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Be Cool Baby BashJune 9, 2014

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I am so excited to share the images from my baby shower! This event was a joy to plan…scheming and crafting with the little babe in mind was so thrilling.  I wanted to host a party that not only celebrated Baby Baca, but also honored the women in my life that have been so extremely supportive and loving, especially throughout the pregnancy.

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But first, a little back story to the design inspiration for the baby shower.  We decided to keep Baby Baca’s name a surprise and as a joke we referred to him as “Lou Diamond”.  Naturally when it came time to choose a motif, I thought, “diamonds” as a homage to his fun nickname!  I also love the phrase, “Be Cool Baby”….an obscure Pulp Fiction reference and decided to run with that too!

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I  incorporated the geometric motif throughout the entire event with diamond honeycomb paper products, 3-D geometric paper diamonds, confetti and kept it modern and fresh with a punchy palette of teal, aqua, coral and gold.

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I chose the Teresa Neptune Gallery, a local photography gallery in Santa Fe as the venue.  It was perfect for a brisk February day; cozy and intimate while providing the historical artsy Canyon Road charm at the same time.

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Wood blocks and paint pens were provided for guests to creatively contribute to a set of building blocks that would grace Baby Baca’s nursery.  It is so nice to have a reminder of all the lovely ladies in my life when I look at each block!

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Guests were entertained with metallic (!) temporary tattoos from Flash Tats and I even sported a special diamond tat from Tattly to honor my little man.

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I love that Beaucoup allows you to upload custom calligraphy to print on cocktail napkins…cause every event has gotta have a hashtag!

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We served coral-colored cocktails, named “Lou Diamond’s Party Punch” made of Prosecco, Lillet, grapefruit and blood orange with a touch of rosemary simple syrup.  Oh my goodness, even though I was drinking the virgin version, they were so freaking delicious!!  I am so excited to bust these out during our summer time alfresco soirees; they are perfect!

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I worked with Walter Burke Catering and  they did a beautiful job!  Guests dined on a yummy brunch of assorted quiches, obligingly cut into diamond shapes.  I asked for an ombre salad of winter citrus.  Isn’t it beautiful?!? It’s made of grapefruit, blood orange and navel oranges.  The best part was the most delicious kale/frisee salad with roasted butternut squash, spiced pecans and bacon!  Oh it was to die for!

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For dessert we enjoyed a beautiful cake by Maggie Faralla of Maggie’s Cakes.  I had so much fun dreaming up the design with her…and the tasting, oh, I was in pregnant lady heaven!  The “Be Cool Baby” sugar-paste letters were custom created by Sarah of Signe Sugar.  Her work is SOOO beautiful, I even kept the letters and display them in a diorama-style frame in the baby’s nursery!

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Let’s talk about those sparkly table cloths…just pure sequin fabulous-ness from La Tavola!

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More diamonds and glitter!  Yippie!

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On March 31 (10 days late!) we welcomed sweet baby Jay Nicholas Baca, the baby formerly known as “Lou Diamond”!  Now to get started on his first birthday party….

 

Photography: Articulate Photo,  Venue: Teresa Neptune Gallery, Rentals/China: Classic Party Rentals, Linens: La Tavola Linens, Floral: Artichokes and Pomegranates, Cake: Maggie Faralla, Sugar Paste Letters: Signe Sugar, Catering: Walter Burke Catering, Decor and Calligraphy/Signage: Mama, Jessie Baca Weddings and Events, Tattoos: Flash Tats,  and Tattly, Custom Cocktail Napkins: Beaucoup, Mama’s belt (aka: pregnancy definer!): Anthropologie, Mama’s hair and  make-up: Jess Evans,


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Southwest Boho-Baby!March 21, 2014

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I have been spending quite a bit of time in the studio lately…getting my craft on!  It must be the “nesting” instinct that comes along with expecting a babe.  Our little one is due today (!) and I wanted to share a project that I did for his nursery.  I thought this could easily be translated for a wedding or event backdrop, it is such an easy and neat way to jazz up a space…and did I mention cheap!

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I took it back to camp days and decided to work with a giant pile of yarn I had sitting around.  Do you remember making Ojo de Dios or God’s Eyes when you were little?  Basically, you get two dowels and wrap yarn around them to create a kaleidoscope-esque diamond pattern.  I made a bunch of tassels in similar colors and by mounting the Ojo de Dios on painted embroidery hoops, they created a graphic presentation for a wall hanging.  I totally dig the 70’s color palette and the Southwest-boho vibe it brings to our Santa Fe nursery!

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Since this hangs directly above the changing table, my mother-in-law jokes that they are pee-pee targets for the little man, and I’m sure she’s right!  Eeek!  Nonetheless, he will have something funky to stare at whilst getting his tush pampered and who can argue with that!

 


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Sneak Peek ~ Tyler and JoshJanuary 5, 2014

The end of the year always means I finally get my hot little hands on some incredible images from the season’s weddings and boy-oh-boy am I excited to share it ALL!  I am just squealing with delight as I have so much to blog about.  But, one thing at a time.  I thought I’d give you a little sneak peek into Tyler and Josh’s reception set-up.  Marisa of Marisa Millefiori knocked it out of the park with some stellar floral pieces.  We called the grand arrangement for the escort cards (pictured below), “The Mothership”.  Specialty linens, chairs and glassware were provided by Classic Party Rentals.  It was so unbelievably beautiful, the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado chose to document it for their promotional materials.  Here are a few of their shots.

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AND…. that’s not all, behold the most bad-ass wedding video, courtesy of Small Town Moon production studios.  This covers Tyler and Josh’s welcome party at the Coyote Cantina, the ceremony at the Church of the Holy Faith and the reception at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado.  This video has it all, including a sentimental sweetness with the shot of Tyler’s grand entrance to the church and Josh’s reaction–hands down the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!  And just when you think it’s come to a close: a rocking dance party with the talented Party Machine Band at the helm.  Conchita, the tequila shot-bearing donkey even showed up!  You’ll get goosebumps, maybe a tear, and of course, ear-to-ear smiles.  I think the video perfectly captures the amazing spirits of Tyler and Josh, two of the most fabulous people ever made!

JOSH + TYLER from Scott Hussion on Vimeo.


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Holidays at the Hitching PostDecember 21, 2013

Hi All!  I wanted to offer you a glimpse into the rather colorful holiday decorations here at Casa Baca.  I’m rarely one for a traditional red and green Christmas…unless we are referring to New Mexican chile…I’ve been know to have Christmas trees decked out in ALL orange, or ALL even turquoise!  This year, I wanted to get funky and super colorful.  I was feeling a circus-y, Folk art-y handmade Christmas.  My color palette stemmed from bright orange, pink and turquoise with touches of shiny gold tinsel, natural kraft paper and even neon textiles.

 

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I decided that I wanted Circus Zebras to grace the tree.  “Why Circus Zebras?” you ask; I have no idea.  I’m not sure if a Circus Zebra is a real thing, but for a whimsical tree, who cares?!  I made these by painting and scanning an ink drawing, then printing a bunch in black and white on a thick card-stock paper and then got to detailing.  Oh boy, here’s where the fun is!

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The zebras got neon saddle blankets. So fancy, huh?

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Ohhh, and glittered stripes…my kind of zebra!

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Circus/ Folk artsy fart-sy inspiration is never complete without some crepe paper fringe, right?!

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Neon poms and a backing of soft felt.

Apologies, I forgot to take a picture of the tinsel that was sandwiched in between the paper and felt.  It was just some regular ol’ tinsel form the dollar store, trimmed to edge the zebra perfectly.  (Also not pictured: the hot glue burns that came with sandwiching that bling).

VOILA!  The finished zebras!  They were the perfect addition to this year’s wrapping paper scheme.  Let’s talk about that shall we.

I rarely buy wrapping paper as I’ve had a giant roll of kraft paper hanging around for the last 8 years….I might be finally reaching the end!  But I like to start with a neutral palette and then get crafty with the ties and trim that grace a package.  To me, this is the best part, better than the present itself.  I remember on Christmas asking my mom (I mean Santa) just to wrap a bunch of empty boxes because the unwrapping was the most fun to me!

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That said, the pressies were adorned with fringed crepe paper, felt cut-outs, neon yarn and poms, gold paper disks and more gold tinsel!  Call me a total nerd, but I love when the presents under the tree totally match.  It must be from all those years of reading Martha Stewart and seeing the styled Christmas shoots where everything coordinated.  Dang you Martha, I blame you for my OCD/Christmas snobbery!

So yeah, the ornaments match too.  Luckily, I have about a thousand ornaments and I LOVE them all.  But, I would seriously need at least 7 trees in my Casa to display each one, so every year, depending on the tree theme (Geeze, I’m a “themed tree” person, I want to punch myself…ugh) certain ornaments make the cut.  I recently acquired a collection of vintage yarn ornaments from Equador.  They belonged to the mister’s grandmother, making them the best kind of vintage.  I also had a set of felt doves that I made years ago.  With the colorful lights, they are just happy and perfectly Folk-arty

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Oh, the rest of the house, you ask? Well, my goal was to have a bunch of blooming bulbs gracing every square inch. Needless to say, I started my paper whites about a month too late (I’ll be lucky if they make it here by March), but the green-thumbed-I-sing-to-my-bulbs-and-they-bloom-magic Marsia Millefiori gifted me with the most beautiful Amaryllis, making me jumps and squeal with delight!  I stuck two little Christmas Clowns that I made in the pot to hang out.  I smile huge every time I walk past.

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I hope you all have a beautiful holiday season.  I’ve so enjoyed the crafting and prepping for Christmas.  Hopefully I’ll be doing snow angels in a few days…or at least snuggled on the couch watching a Christmas Story on repeat.  xo!

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Southwestern Weddings-Feature on the Four Seasons Wedding BlogNovember 13, 2013

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I am so honored to have a feature on the Four Seasons Wedding blog.  They interviewed me about Southwestern weddings and I shared some fun tips to create a wedding with some festive flair!
From the article:
The desert landscapes, bold sunsets and picture-perfect weather of a Southwestern wedding evoke a drama all their own. And no one understands the locale’s power better than event planner Jessie Baca. She has designed countless ceremonies, receptions and celebrations that are inspired by the region’s scenery and her client’s personal style, including the distinctive affair at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe in the slideshow above. Whether you’re tying the knot in the Southwest or just looking to add Southwestern charm to your wedding, Baca’s wisdom will spice up your décor, menu and more.SEE THE SLIDE SHOW & READ MORE

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