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Up-cylcling 101: Yarn VasesOctober 24, 2011

Many years ago I received a giant box of embroidery yarn from my Great Aunt Penny.  In the box were about 50 Ziplock bags of yarn divided according to color.  Each bag had several shades of color in 3-yard lengths.  Since they were so short, they were never good for big-ol’ knitting projects but perfect for accents and smaller craft projects.

I was working on my brother’s wedding flowers and we needed a turquoise element on the tables. (Something we do quite a bit here in New Mexico!)  We had some cheap vases that were pretty “meh” and I thought, “Hey! I can Up-cycle these up with some yarn! I’ve got a ton of it!”  My brother and his fiancé had planned a rustic ranch wedding with many homespun elements, so the yarn would match perfectly into the motifs.

This was such an easy and fast projects, all you need is some hot glue! Start at the bottom of the vase; just dab a little on the glass and quickly press the yarn onto it.  Wrap it around the vase and keep adding dabs of glue here and there to keep the yarn in place.  I decided to change the widths and shades of blue to keep the pattern random and I was just so pleased with the result!

This would be a great project for a Autumn or Winter wedding to bring some warmth to a centerpiece.  Imagine it with a really chunky yarn!  Do note, it is difficult to keep the yarn in place one the vase begins to taper, so this project will work best with cylinder or square vases that are an even width.


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Debauchery, Relaxation and SentimentOctober 12, 2011

Dear lucky readers, you are in for a treat!  Today, we have a lovely guest post from a fantastic woman, Katixa Mercier.  She is a foodie and fellow wheat-tard, can whip up a mean cocktail, and is an amazing (not to mention, hilarious) writer.  I am lucky enough to hang out with her and you are lucky enough to read about her brilliant ideas for hosting a thoughtful and oh, so special bachelorette gathering.  I know many of you have either been to one of these soirees or even hosted one and you’ll know they take a little more thought to make a memorable and incredible experience for all of your besties.  Read on to see how…

From Katixa:

Growing up, some make friends while others are lucky enough to meet soul mates.  My luck came in a group for four girls.  So, when one of them announced she was getting married, it was a big deal.  What would we do?  Where would we go?  This isn’t just some friend having a bachelorette party; this is a kindred spirit of ours that we now had to share with someone else.  What could we do to make her last days as a single lady, unique and memorable?  It started with a destination.

After an eternal email thread debating on where we would go, we decided that since none of them had come to visit me yet, New Mexico was the locale of choice.  This now meant that I as in charge of hosting this landmark event.  I narrowed the elements of the weekend that needed to exist, to three components: debauchery, relaxation and sentiment.

Being Olympians at the sport of debauchery, I wasn’t worried about it.  Relaxation was an easy one too.  It was the “something sentimental” that I really had to think about. Then, a moment of brilliance.  I asked them to think of an item that they love and to purchase four of them; one for each person attending.  It could be anything, so long as it was a favorite of theirs.  This would cover the sentimental element of the weekend.

The girls flew in from across the country and landed in Santa Fe, New Mexico for our bridesmaid exclusive weekend.  We got straight to business: debauchery was effortlessly achieved at the Coyote Cantina, and seemed to follow us to the Jemez Hot Springs (a trademark tendency of this group).

Before we cared to admit it, the last night was upon us.  As we all got ready for the evening, I told the girls to collect the items they brought and bring them with us to the restaurant.  We piled into the car and walked into the Artichoke Café for our dinner reservations.  Wined and dined and laughing about memories past, there was no better moment than to exchange our treasures. 

We pulled out our favorite items and set them on the table.  Then, we distributed each item so every one of us had a favorite item of the other.  This meant that we each ended up with: a miniature of Macallan scotch, bathtub confetti, Himalayan pink salt, Burt’s Bees chapstick and a Frisbee.  Each of us now had a beloved item of the other that would remind us all of this pre-wedding weekend. 

This year, another one in this same group is getting married.  She’s requested that we repeat the same exchange of “something sentimental” for her pre-wedding weekend.

For more of Katixa’s writing, visit her blog, HERE.  You’ll be glad you did!


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Fun with the ol’ chop sawOctober 4, 2011

Last Christmas I received a chop saw.  Let me tell you, I.was.stoked.  I am sort of a tool junkie and the handy woman around the house; so when it comes to spinning blades and the perfect complement to my pink “Ladies Tool”, stop traffic.  Here come the DIY projects!  Recently I made succulent planters out of some Aspen poles I had sitting around.  They were perfect for one of my clients hosting a very woodsy wedding!  Hello UP-CYCLING!!!

If you want to do this project, it is super easy…as long as you’re not afraid of chopping your fingers off…a very apparent hazard that I may take too lightly!  Here’s what you’ll need:

First you’ll need wood poles (Aspen, Birch, etc) that are at least 3 inches in diameter.  You’ll need to get your paws on a 1 1/2″ drill bit, a drill, and of course, you’ll need a chop saw. 
One thing you should know about me.  I hate to measure.  I like to eyeball.  This also equals bad baker, but a good cook…and a whole different story.  I digress.  I decided to cut my poles into sections that were between 4-5 inches long.  I wanted them to be proportional with the width of the stump as well as not be too top-heavy once they were planted with the succulents.  This is also where the hand-chopping hazard lies.  Don’t let your fingin’s get too close or you’ll be in the ER and then next 9-fingered bride.

Next, whip out your fancy drill bit, center it on the stump and drill down into the mini stump about 2-3 inches.  Now, I just made that sound way easier than it really was.  Depending on the density of the wood, you’re going to have to put some serious elbow grease into this part.  Also, I should have invested in a vice to hold these puppies in place.  Instead, I recruited the Mister and a friend of his to wedge the stumps against the brick wall and drill with all of their might.  Bless their hearts for falling for my Tom Sawyer ways!

Then comes the fun part!  I had ordered a ba-jillion loose succulents to fill all of my new planters.  First I dropped a bit of gravel at the base of the planter and then filled it in with some nice yummy soil. Then, I snapped off a few succulents…as some of you may already know, they are self-rooting and a fresh stem will grow roots in new soil.  Amazing, I know.  Another sneaky trick: dipping the fresh cut stem in a bit of cinnamon acts as an antiseptic and will keep your succulent healthy.

Finished with a little Reindeer moss and BOOM! You’ve got the most adorable woodsy succulent planters!  I placed them all the way down the reception tables paired with votives sitting on thin wood disks; the whole look was just divine!

For some of my other succulent planter DIY projects, pop on over HERE.


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Open, Unwrap, EnjoySeptember 30, 2011

Hang on to your hose-panties, because you are in for a visual treat!  I’ve been working with a wonderful client for over a year now and we finally received the invite suite that we have been working so hard to perfect!  Nichole of Nic.Roc. Designs created the most fantastic, tactile experience for an invitation, our hearts are all a-flutter! So, sit back and watch the magic unfold!

As you open the mustard colored box decked in custom stamps, an adorable, custom sticker affixed to a delicate Kraft-brown tissue greets you.

Open the tissue to find a hand-sewn pouch (fabric courtesy of Santa Fe Fabrics, woop woop!).

Inside of the pouch is another bundle of goodness…

…tied with a simple jute bow.

Yup, that is a slice of wood, laser-engraved with a beautiful tree and the details for the bride and groom’s special day! My favorite line is “As best friends become husband and wife.”

A heart carved on the tree!  Pinch me, it’s so sweet!

Brightly colored RSVP and Details cards finished with another custom stamp for the reply card.  Like a cherry on top!

Can you imagine if this showed up to your door!?!  What a delightful experience to unfold!  I think it is a great way to let guests know that they are in for a very special wedding, with layers upon layers of beauty to be appreciated throughout the evening! Till soon…


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Thoughts on a “First Look”September 21, 2011

What is a “first look”?, you may ask. Well, it is becoming an increasingly popular way to do portraits of the bride and groom.  Though, instead of the photographer whisking the newly wed couple from the party right after the ceremony, the couple meets before the nuptials, for an intimate and sweet photo sesh of their “first look” at one another.  Now, this is not the best idea for the superstitious, but for the bride and groom that don’t want to miss out on the cocktail reception or the wonderful appetizers they hand picked for their guests, this is the way to go!

Some may worry that this will take away from the first time the groom sees the bride walking down the aisle, but I have heard from my couples that have opted to go for this, that the “first look” is romantic, helps with any jitters and even makes the ceremony that much more special!

The couple pictured above were married at the Gerald Peters Gallery and we planned to have their “First Look” portraits down the street at the Nedra Matteucci Gallery.  They have a lovely garden and if you call ahead of time, you’re welcome to schedule a portrait session there.  We were in luck because the Water Iris were in bloom, along with the Oriental Poppies and Garden Roses!

The couple also opted to do all family portraits prior to the ceremony as well!  This way everyone was present for the party following the beautiful ceremony.

The bride even had a few moments to relax before the “I Do’s”.

…On a different note, one of my favorite things about this wedding was the color palette!  Punchy corals, peaches, oranges and golds were a great choice for this early summer wedding. I also loved that each bridesmaids picked their own dress that suited their own personalities, but they were all in the same color family; it really looked beautiful!

First Look Venue: Nedra Matteucci Gallery, Ceremony and Reception Venue: Gerald Peters Gallery, Florist: Artichokes and Pomegranates, Photos: Stacey Adams Photography, Coordination: MARRIED by Jessie Abrams Baca


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Planning 101: Tiny {Budget} BubblesSeptember 13, 2011

In the words of Don Ho, Tiny bubbles in the wine, make me happy, make me feel fine.  I couldn’t agree more, but let’s get our inner recessionista on and talk dollars and cents.  Is serving champagne for a toast worth it?

Before I go and get all economist on you, let me preface this by saying I love Champagne!  I think there is something so festive and wonderfully sparkly about it, that I completely see why it is an integral part of a wedding celebration.  But, if you want to save some dinero, here’s my two cents.

I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve done where we usually end up clearing away full glasses of champagne after the toast.  Straight down the drain! What a waste, can you believe it?!?  Most people are already drinking their cocktail of choice by time toasts come around.  Therefore, they usually just take a break from their margarita, sip one itty-bitty sip for the toasts but leave the rest to be cleared by the wait staff.  Most people don’t bother to drink both and avoid the headache that is sure to follow….eeesh Tequila and Champagne, that already sounds like a bad idea!  More often than not, most of your guests are just fine to be saying “Salut” with whatever they have in their hand, bubbly or not!

Another way to shave some mula is to offer Prosecco instead of Champagne.  Significantly cheaper, I bet you a dime to a dollar, not many folks will notice the swap!  But, if a snazzy bottle is up your alley, why not have a special bottle just for the bride and groom?  That way you can still have the festive sparkle of Champagne and even use the beautiful set of toasting glasses you have.  You’ll also waste fewer bubbles down the drain and save a boatload of money!

Cheers!


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Something for the ladiesAugust 30, 2011

Above photos Nancy Neil

I love the idea of gifting your bridesmaids with luxurious robes.  While you are all primping for the big day, you can be cozy and comfy in style!  Personally, I’m a huge fan of the robes from Anthropologie…Swoonie McSwoon!  Check these beauties out!


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Something for the dudesAugust 26, 2011

photo via SOLE

I know, as a bride, we can get all wrapped up in the perfect dress, the perfect pair of heels, the perfect jewelry, the perfect undies, the perfect hairstyle and the perfect lipstick color.  Our groom is usually relegated to just match… but he’s gotta look fly, right?  Why not let him and his groomsmen show off a little style with his perfect pair of shoes too!  Well, VANS has done it again by creating a casual, but snazzy, California Era Wingtip. I’d say that is comfort and style, all wrapped into one!

Now since we want them to look dapper from head to toe, let’s talk about bow ties.  Some of your beaus may or may not be the bow-tie sorts, but this video will have you wholeheartedly agree that the bow tie is “no longer for milksops and lily-whites alone!” A must-watch tutorial on how to tie a bow tie:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/26753449]

I just love it!  “Handsome!”

Please visit SantaFe.com, for the most current, interactive platform for events, music, arts, business, dining and lifestyle in Santa Fe.


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On the Air in 5…4…3…2…August 24, 2011

Here I am muggin for the camera after my radio interview on Project 101.5.  I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Scott Matthews about my wedding blog, “The Hitching Post” featured on SantaFe.com Click HERE to listen to the interview and my super smooth microphone voice!

Please visit SantaFe.com, for the most current, interactive platform for events, music, arts, business, dining and lifestyle in Santa Fe.


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O’Keeffe in the Woods: Inspiration BoardAugust 19, 2011

Above is an inspiration board I put together for a couple who will be getting married at the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and then hosting a reception at the Inn of the Anasazi.

With Georgia O’Keeffe as a quintessential part of the Santa Fe experience, we’ve decided to infuse as much of her as we can into the wedding.  Framed black and white portraits of Georgia will be dotted throughout the reception with a few other cameos here and there.

The decor will be chock-full of woodsy elements, a bajillion succulents and even some Aspen logs and Birch poles. (I can’t wait to show you the DIY project that we did with those!).  The bride also found some seriously amazing accessories, like this leather flower belt on Etsy, so we decided to soften the textures with deerskin lace.  It’s Rustic meets Southwest Elegance and I’m bursting at the seams to show you the final product.  Till soon!


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