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Spiked! A DIY for you!October 24, 2013

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Raise your hand if you want a life-size cactus made out of succulents and moss at your wedding!!  You’d be surprised that this request has come more than once after Reid and Erin popularized the living cactus at their wedding last year and the talented Andrea Soorikian made their vision a reality with the original “Curtis the Cactus”.  This time, I tried my hand at constructing a lil’ Saguaro of my own.  I loved creating it so much, I wanted to show you how!

To make your own (almost) 4 feet tall cactus, here’s what you’ll need:

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One thing you should know about me, I hate measuring, reading directions or anything that will make your life easier.  So for me to record actual measurements, is a really big deal. You’re welcome.  Also, I purchased 3/4″ PVC pipe and just stood in the hardware store fumbling all the fittings, making sure they fit.  I also made sure the PVC fit snugly into the metal pipe base.  Also, with a little elbow grease and the wonderful help of my assistant, Sarah, we were able to cut the PVC pipe into the proper sizes with a regular ol’ hand saw…forgot to draw that.

 

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I found all of these moss-y, foam-y goodies at Hobby Lobby.  The moss is awesome-it comes on a thin, plastic grid that can easily be cut with scissors and molded however you want.

 

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Now, some of you may know that I start every wedding season with a succulent farm.  By the end of the season, it has grown, been used for multiple weddings and I am usually sad that I can’t drag every single one of them in for the winter.  Every time I do, the poor little things get leggy and sad and there’s not much hope for them by the spring.  So, that said, this project was absolutely perfect to use up my 250+ succulents for their last hoo-rah!

 

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So, once you’ve got your PVC pieces cut, as you begin to assemble, stab the foam disks and stack them as you go, securing the PVC fitting with epoxy once the foam is on and the pieces attached.  The parts that go around the elbows and tee fittings were done afterwards by wiring separate pieces.  Then, begin the very satisfying moss wrap.  The moss ribbon is fantastic for the corners and tops of the cactus and the moss sheet easily goes around the base and secured with moss pins.

 

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Now, time for a little personality.  I gave my cactus some cute racer stripes to define where his spikes would go with the brightly colored Spanish moss….yes, I think it’s a “He.”

 

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Then I prepped all of my succulents.  The larger ones I put onto toothpicks (unpainted) and the smaller ones I just used a thin gauge wire.  They were easily stuck into the foam, through the moss.

 

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Once all the succulents were in place….dang it took a LOT!  I put the painted toothpicks in clusters of 3-4 along the moss stripes.  The finishing touch were the paper “flower” blooms placed on top of on the arms. Que cute, no?  I just love this little guy!  He is going on the center of the place card display for this weekend’s wedding.  It is a surprise for the bride and I think she is just going to pee her pants, it’s so cute!


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Erin and Reid featured on Junebug Weddings!August 15, 2013

I’m thrilled to share that Erin and Reid’s romantic cowboy wedding is featured on Junebug weddings.  I just adored working with this couple; they are two of the coolest, most sincere and loving people.  Kitty and Craig of  Twin Lens documented their very special day so beautifully and I can always count on them for photos that give me butterflies.

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One of my favorite projects to create for them was a pair of  portraits that we set above the mantle for their reception at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado.  They brought a personal and rustic flair to the party.  Their wedding also sported a life size cactus made entirely out of succulents!  Reid came up with this amazing idea for the entry table and the talented Andrea Soorikian made his vision come to life!  Click HERE to see the entire feature on Junebug Weddings.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Saving the Date in Style!July 29, 2013

“A hand-crafted paper creation from Maggie & Andrew to you.” from Brandon Ray on Vimeo.

I just love clever couples that get creative when it comes to announcing their wedding!  Maggie and Andrew harnessed the fabulous scissor-snipping talents of Brandon Ray to create a hand-crafted, animated save-the-date to send to their guests.   My favorite part is when they gallop off on a donkey; don’t you just LOVE it?!


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Annie and Will featured on Style Me Pretty!June 19, 2013

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I’m so excited!!! It was just about a year ago that we were putting the finishing touches on this beautiful wedding!  Today it is featured on Style Me Pretty- wahoo! Click HERE to see the post and click HERE to see their event gallery.

 


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Get your galoshes and sell your soul to the weather gods!April 24, 2013

It’s April and here in Santa Fe we’re lucky if we get a glimmer of a spring shower.  I’ve taken to listening to this while I work just to trick my brain and manifest some precipitation around here.

All these thoughts of rain made me think of the important topic…what do you do when it rains on your wedding day?  I feel like the majority of my weddings every season are spent reading doppler radar and skirting weather issues.  Santa Fe weather is fickle, I’ve seen snow in May and Indian Summers in October.  With our clockwork afternoon monsoon showers in July and August, I can’t tell you how many ceremonies I’ve pushed back, relocated and/or tented!

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My most important piece of advice is to be overly prepared.  I always say, “let’s plan for the worst and hope for the best!”  Most tenting companies will allow you to reserve a tent without penalty of a re-stocking fee when you cancel up to 5 days prior to the wedding.  But, that still leaves room for those freak rain showers for which Santa Fe is famous.  Well, I say if it looks like rain, why not take advantage of it?!

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That’s what we did for Ricki and Geoff’s wedding.   (Disclaimer: this wedding took place in Southern California where the weather seems to be perfect 365 days a year, but on this day it wasn’t.  Luckily, I’ve had some practice with finicky Santa Fe weather, making this a piece of cake!) Three days before the wedding when we saw the weather report go from cloudy to steady showers the entire day of the wedding, I secured a huge tent to cover the ceremony space that was going to take place on a large lawn.  Since it was so overcast, the tent was very dark, so we added some amber colored up lighting and lots of lanterns with candles creating a warm and cozy glow.

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One of the dilemmas we ran into was getting the wedding party processional, and most importantly the bride, to the tent.  I had a 20 foot gap in between the room where they were staged and the ceremony tent that couldn’t be tented since it was technically a fire lane.  That is where Bella Umbrella came to the rescue.  I called them three days prior to the wedding and rush-shipped vintage umbrellas in as assortment of colors to match Ricki’s rustic palette.

Thankfully, a quick trip to Target provided mis-matched galoshes for each bridesmaid…because who likes to jump puddles in strappy stilettos?

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Most importantly, we embraced the weather.  Instead of trying to fight and control it, which is impossible to do, we were able to take creative solutions that made the day even better than we could have planned.  Guests were gaga over the twinkly and intimate feeling that the ceremony had, which would have been impossible had it not rained!

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Photos by Chrisman Studios

To see the Ricki and Geoff’s entire wedding, click here.


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Hooray for Swag!April 12, 2013

What better way is there to say, “Hey, thanks for traveling all this way to celebrate with us, we LOVE you!”  Providing welcome bags for you wedding guests is a sure-fire way to kick a destination experience up a notch and keep everyone smiling all weekend long!

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How adorable are these bags for Hanna and Reece?  Wedding Chicks has an amazing array of customizable templates for canvas totes.  Re-usable and snazzy…I’m in!

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I also love when a little note can be included, but even better if an itinerary makes it into the bag.  Often destination wedding weekends are full of activities and events so keeping your guests informed with shuttle departures and of course tips about inclement weather and high altitude are always handy.

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I love to include a copy of The Essential Guide, a beautiful publication with shopping and dining info and also fun articles about Santa Fe.  The best part, they’re free! Also…Water, water, water…you can never hydrate enough here in Santa Fe.

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Local treats are always a must.  Walker’s Red Chile Caramel Popcorn (I’m biased because caramel popcorn is my favorite thing in the whole world) is to die for.  They also have a mui caliente Green Chile Caramel Popcorn, yum!  Hanna and Reece also have a tradition of baking each other pancakes, so the Santa Fe Culinaria’s Blue Corn Pancake mix is delicious and I’m also a huge fan of their packaging.  To go with the pancakes we found the sweetest mini honey bears from Sun Mountain Honey.  Señor Murphy’s, a Santa Fe favorite, made us individually packages Piñon brittle, with raffia to match. I love sharing and supporting local New Mexican vendors!

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We also included a little first-aid kit with sunscreen (we are much closer to the sun here in Santa Fe!), Advil for altitude sickness or hangovers…because those margaritas do hit harder at 7,000 feet, Cowboy-themed Band aids for blisters and adorable custom chap sticks.

I’d say this is a pretty sweet bag of goodies.  Let the fun begin!

 

 


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Sabrina and John featured on 100 Layer Cake!March 14, 2013

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I am over the moon!  Sabrina and John’s spectacular wedding day is featured on 100 Layer Cake!  This was one of my favorite weddings of 2012 and I’m so excited to finally share it with everyone.  Working with Sabrina and John was a dream…we hit it off right from the start and our collaborations were fueled with some serious creativity!

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Sabrina designed her invitation suite and the contemporary aesthetic and neon palette served as the inspiration for the rest of the wedding.  The Center for Contemporary Arts, provided the most incredible raw, urban backdrop with it’s high ceilings and exposed brick walls.  The fact that guests were able to mingle and dine within the actual art exhibit was so unique!

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Sabrina and John got down with some buttons!  Instead of traditional escort cards, the created a pin for each of their guests with a fun fact.  They were great conversation starters and provided such a unique and personal touch from the bride and groom.

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Since the meal was being served family style, we didn’t want too much on the table.  I made cement-looking vessels out of hypertufa and planted them with succulents (if you missed the tutorial, it’s here).  Accented with a script table number, the settings were simple, urban and threw a nice little wink to the Santa Fe landscape.

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To soften things up and to bring the ultimate marriage of modern and organic was the living wall that I built for Sabrina and John’s ceremony backdrop.  Combining elements of rusted re-mesh grids, wire, moss and muslin, we gave a nod to the Southwest with Choya cactus, air plants and succulents.  This was by far my most favorite project of the season.  Here’s a fun lil’ behind the scenes video for you!

Living Wall from Jessie Baca on Vimeo.

Click here to see the feature on 100 Layer Cake, to read about their amazing menu and to see the full photo gallery, click here.

Photo one, Karen Kristian, All others: Articulate Photo


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Holy Hypertufa!March 13, 2013

Hyper-whaaa?  Yeah, you heard right, Hypertufa…a fabulous mixture of peat moss, vermiculite and Portland cement.  Combined together is makes a material that looks like concrete, but comes in at a fraction of the lbs.  My dinky pencil-arms LOVE that!

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I wanted to share a little tutorial for some square planters that I made in which to plant succulents.  They turned out so cute and if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty this project is pretty easy!

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What you’ll need for 8-10 planters: 1 gallon scoop of each Vermiculite, Peat Moss (both found at nurseries or hardware stores if you’re lucky), Portland cement (at hardware stores for sure).

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You’ll also need a bunch of 1/2 gallon milk and OJ gallon containers for your molds and quart and pint-sized containers to create the inside of the mold.  These are usually from half and half or buttermilk, or egg nog..you get the idea)

Dump a scoop of everything into a big bucket.  Add water slowly while you mix..this is where it gets messy.  Use your hands to get everything mixed really well.  You’re looking for the consistency of cottage cheese, not too runny, not too dry.

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Drop a blob of your mixture in the bottom of the larger container and pat it down so it’s about 3/4 of an inch thick.  Place the smaller container inside and press more of your mixture around the sides.  Once all the molds are filled you’ll want to keep them in a cool place so they don’t get too hot, too fast and crack.  Some tutorials recommend placing the molds in a plastic bag and that will work too, it just slows your drying time.

 

Then you wait.

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After about 4-5 days you’ll be able to cut off the molds.  I usually just drop a knife in and slice along the edge of the carton.  Let the molds cure for another day or two and after they are totally dry you plant them!  You can even water them safely without worrying if they will wash away! (Note: this is based on our extremely dry climate in Santa Fe…if you live by the coast, this will take weeks)

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Aren’t these fabulous!  I’ve used the for many-a-centerpiece and I’m excited to show you them in action….coming up tomorrow, a very special post!

 


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Papel Picado Inspired InvitationsFebruary 24, 2013

I am so excited to share a beautiful invite for one of my brides.  Talk about stunning, Avie Designs knocked it out the park with their signature Papel Picado inspired invite suite.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect motif for a wedding in New Mexico!

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The bride, Kinleigh has great taste and a wonderful sense of color.  I just adore her choices. The combo of the cool turquoise, papaya and a chocolate accent just gives me the flutters!

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To save a little dinero, the guests were asked to RSVP online, so we were able to eliminate an additional envelope and postage.

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Get your buns over to Avie Designs!  They’ve got all sorts of lovely stationery in addition to wedding work and their style is just delightful!

 

 

 


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Get out the confetti cannons!January 11, 2013

Since I’ve re-branded with a new logo, website and blog, I think it is time to debut the fabulous new business card.

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Each card is like a present because it comes in a glassine envelope filled with confettii…hello party card!

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Now this isn’t just any ol’, run-of-the-mill confettii.  It’s hand-painted confettii.  And yes, I’m crazy.

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Well, not that crazy, just picky.  The colors on the business card were so carefully picked (from this inspiration board) and I wanted the confetti to match perfectly, so naturally I decided to paint it and punch it myself.  There’s a good chance if you were on the phone with me over the last 4 months, I was probably punching confetti while we were chatting!

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The actual card is printed on the most beautiful textured, heavy-weight stock.  I owe the beautiful design to the ever talented Cameron Johnson of Softground Studio.  She carefully researched my blog for inspiration and when I asked for something colorful, yet simple, modern and playful, artsy yet elegant, she nailed it!  I am absolutely in love with the fonts she found, ooooie!  Bless her heart, she put up with my nit-picky requests, Can we move that dot a millimeter to the left, can the leading be spaced just a hair more, can the blue be bluer? Cameron’s patience and attention to detail is above and beyond and I couldn’t be happier with the end result!


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