Happy, Happy, Happy!

Happy Halloween Everyone!
This day has already started off on a busy note. I suppose that's what you get when you are raising a 5-year old boy and it's his favorite holiday of the year! We woke up before sunrise just to pack up all the day's necessities. LB is going to be in the annual Halloween parade this afternoon as well as participating in a party at Kindergarten. Needless to say, there were numerous trips to the car to haul all the goodies he needed for school. Now that's he's finally been dropped off safe and sound, I can take a breather and post an update! At least until it's Trick or Treating time...then it all begins again. Lucky me. haha!

Happy Birthday!
I cannot let today go by without mentioning that right this second, as I type this, one of my dearest and bestest friends is giving birth to her new baby girl. So...
I can wait to pinch on her! After so many long years of wishing and hoping and praying for a miracle, today is the day the world is blessed with the new little princess' presence.
And happy, happy me, won the "guess the baby birthday" pool, so I do believe I'm about $20 richer. WhooHoo! Even more reason for celebrating!

Happy to be done!
And, as promised, here are the updated bouquet pics! I just know you were all chomping at the bit to get a look, right?!
You know, when looking at it in person, I feel like it's done. It looks finished. But, the photos still make it look a little bare. I'm toying with the idea of pulling out the picks and using a small floral cone in order to make it smaller and fuller. Am I just plum crazy? What do you all think? Should I add more stems? Maybe a few small beaded flowers? Or should I just leave well enough alone? Oh, and the brooch is just for show. I think I'm going to swap it out with another one, but I wanted to get an idea of what it was going to look like.


Guess what?!?

It's finally official...I have a dress!

After much distress over where, how and how much, I am happy to report I will not be tying the knot in my birthday suit. Although, it is a suprise birthday party wedding, so it would fit the occassion. Okay...bad joke. Sorry.

And the winner is...
Unfortunately for me, the loverly Alan Hannah "Cannes" dress was a tad outside my budget, not to mention virtually impossible to find here in the states. So, I did what any other determined bride-to-be would do...I called a seamstress. Oh, but not just any seamstress, mind you. I called upon the wonders that are Whirling Turban. They are going to create a similar style of dress just for me...made to measure. With a few tweaks here and there, that will make it all my own. A one-of-a-kind!

Have you ever seen a Whirling Turban dress before?! If not, I highly suggest you take a peek at their website for some seriously drool-worthy frocks. I swear, their dresses will transport you back to the late 40's-early 50's birth of the femme fatale. Va-Va-Va-VOOM!

I've been a fan of Katherine Robinson's work for quite a few years. Her dresses have become wardrobe staples of many of the popular modern day pin-ups. Not to mention, she's practically been named the "Official Dress Designer of the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender". An event that I try to attend every year.

Not only are Whirling Turban dresses gorgeous, they are extremely well constructed, using the most amazing fabrics and following the stunning lines of Alfred Shaheen, Kamehameha and other "vintage greats". You will not find a more accurate depiction of those curve-hugging, hourglass shaping, bombshell dresses of the 50's than those that come from Katherine's studio.
I am so in awe of her work, and am over-the-moon excited to be wearing a Whirling Turban creation on my wedding day.

Anyone up for some virtual shoe shopping!?!


A Work in Progress

So, here I sit...fingers numb, almost out of beads, eyes straining to focus...
This is hard work!
Just when you think you've strung your last bead, you realize that you aren't even close to having enough "stuff" to fill this thing. This pic shows 150 "stems". Pretty bare 'eh? I figure I still need at least 200 more. I still need to add the buttons in there as well. I'm hoping they will take up loads of space. I also think I might throw together a few small beaded flowers. My poor fingers are worn out!
I've a new found respect for those who DIY, that's for sure!
But even though it's been trying, I wouldn't trade my bouquet for the world. I'm sooooo loving it! Please excuse the fugly pics these past couple of days. My little Mac is a bit under the weather, so I'm forced to use Bo's dreaded laptop. Say it with me now....Ewwwww!


Still no word on my dress. SniffSniff. I'm growing more and more disappointed by the day. Cross your crossables that I hear something soon, okay?


Lazy Saturday DIY

Happy Saturday, my sweets!
Here I sit with a steaming hot cuppa, playing a board game with LB and watching Bob toodle around the house while our teeny dog nips at his ankles. Pure bliss, I tell ya! I love our little family. I swear, sometimes I think we really are pulled from a Norman Rockwell painting.

...And I love lazy Saturdays.

Although, the day is going to have to get started sometime soon. We are headed out to a Halloween party later this evening with some very good friends. Fun! Fun! LB is so excited to see his friends and don his costume.

In wedding related news....
I started on my Vintage Magpie inspired bouquet! It's turning out way better than I ever expected! I can't wait to be able to show you all the final result. Silly me, forgot to take step-by-step photos. Mid-construction I did remember to whip out the camera and snapped a few in progress. It's still no where close to being finished, but I am squealing with excitement every step of the way. I am so in love with it!

I took inspiration from a few of VM's designs and combined them with our color scheme and the random bits and bobs I had on hand. So far, I've included a bunch of old buttons that I swiped from both mine and my recently passed grandmothers button boxes, a few ivory turkey feathers, oodles of Swarovski crystals that I purchased, some broken pearl necklaces that I've been meaning to have restrung and some gorgeous chocolate brown velvet ribbon that I picked up at a local craft store for 50% off. SCORE! I've used a floral foam cone as the base.

This afternoon I need to run out and pick up some floral pics, as I don't think the wires I am stringing the buttons and beads on are going to hold up in the foam without flopping over. I also still need to locate a pretty brooch to add to the handle. Maybe I can find a pretty bird pin at one of the local antique shops.

I had originally intended on making a practice bouquet first just to get the bugs worked out. But, this one is holding up quite nicely, and is turning out so well, that I think this might be THE one!

Poo! For some reason, my pics aren't being very cooperative this morning. I'm going to try to work the bugs out and post them again this afternoon. In the meantime, take my word for it....the bouquet is lovely! The pics are up, but not in my usual format. I'll make them look pretty sometime later...


So Inviting....and a teeny-tiny decor theme idea.

I'm so torn as to how to go about getting people to actually attend our surprisebirthdaypartywedding. On one hand, I just want to send along conventional birthday party invitations and be done with it, but on the other, I sort of feel as if I am misleading my friends and family a wee bit. After all, we actually ARE misleading them...and more than a little bit, but I'm hoping they will be understanding and genuinely happy for us instead of feeling tricked. I also am finding myself feeling more and more like a bride, and wanting a few keepsakes of the day.

What's a confused birthday bride-to-be to do?

In an effort to compromise with myself, I've come up with the following...
I didn't directly come out and SAY it was a surprise BIRTHDAY party, but I think when Bob hand delivers them, he can make mention of it being a birthday celebration and people will assume. Does this sound feasible? Or are these invites a dead give-away? Should we keep the invite as-is but change the text to mention a surprise BIRTHDAY party instead? Are we being horribly dishonest or just telling a teeny white-lie?

Also, it seems we've started to see a bit of a theme developing in our planning. There will be birds...lovebirds! Not over-the-top, everywhere on everything...just a few scattered here and there. I think it suits us.


PLAN B Update...

I've been meaning to pop in all day and give an update, but it's been a crazy here at the office and I haven't had a moment to catch my breath, let alone take a break. I do apologize. You'll forgive me though, right?!? Of course, you will. Because you're sweet like that. KissKiss.

So, here's the new PLAN B.
My dear, sweet, ever-so-adorable Bob is going to throw me a surprise birthday party at our favorite little jazz club. This should entice all invited to attend...because who wouldn't want to attend MMMMYYYY birthday party, right? Right! Of course, the free swanky dinner, all you can drink booze, and promise of cake might not hurt my chances of getting everyone to the "church" on time.

Guests are all going to arrive sometime around 6:45pm-7-ish. Bob and I will show up around 7:15. After the big surprise (haha!) and we are seated, properly fed and tipsy, our server (who happens to be in on the plan) will present us with a birthday cupcake with a candle. At which time, it's customary in my family to make a wish and blow it out. Someone always pipes up and asks what you wished for, to which I will reply with some sort of quip about how Bob and I should be tying the knot. Then, our dear friend Reverend Horton (names have been changed to protect the innocent remember) will stand up and proceed to marry us in a quick, but sweet ceremony. The cake will be ushered in on a cart and served for dessert. Hopefully everyone will be properly surprised and genuinely happy for us.

Cocktails and appetizers at a different restaurant may still be happening if we can swing it. We're scrapping the idea of having dessert at a separate venue as the particular place we had in mind is closed on Friday nights. Also, the pastry chef at our dinner venue is fantastic and they have been more than easy to work with. I have NO doubts whatsoever that he will come up with a cake that we love. We also may take the party to a local saloon to kick up our heels for a bit afterwards...sort of an after-party. Bob previously worked there as a bouncer, so I'm sure we would get VIP treatment, not to mention it would be fun to have a sort of parade as we walked through downtown.

I do have some smaller details nailed down and I cannot wait to show you all. Unfortunately, that's all the time I have for now, but I'll be back tomorrow with oodles of wedding porn for you all to fawn over. Squeal with me now....EEEEeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!


Traditional Bouquet Alternatives Revisited....

I'm obsessed with nontraditional bouquets at the moment. It's like a disease, I can't stop Googling....and while those I posted a few days ago are absolutely lovely, I've come across so many other creative ideas that I just had to share. Who knows...maybe a few of these pretties will inspire another bride to go with an alternative to the traditional. Don't get me wrong, flowers are classic and lovely. I adore them myself. But, with so many options out there I'm having a hard time choosing my favorites.

Hopefully by the end of the week, I'll have some sort of version of my own DIY nosegay to post, as well as a dress update. In the meantime, check out the websites of some of these swoon-worth bouquets.
How sticky sweet are these button bouquets?! Can't you just imagine them incorporated into a country inspired or picnic themed wedding? These are from Blue Kitty Co. on etsy. C-U-T-E-cutecutecute!

And get a load of these paper Magnolias from UniqueLeighCreated, who is also on etsy. I think they would look amazing with a more contemporary, minimalist or even mod style event.

These feather bouquets would be perfect for a winter wedding. This first version is from Hats N Stuff, which happens to be a UK vendor. They have oodles of other vintage inspired/alternative wedding accessories as well. And their prices appear to be rather reasonable for those on a budget.

The pic on the right is from florist David McConkey. Yet another UK vendor. Whywohwhy am I coming across so many wedding related ideas and inspiration from across the pond? I suppose that even if I am no where close to alot of these great vendors, that they will be flattered to know that I love their work and that they have inspired others. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flatter, am I right? I AM right, aren't I?

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I stumbled across Heirloom Wedding Bouquets many years ago while planning theweddinginwhichimarriedmyson'sfatheranditwasn'tmeanttobe. For some reason I saved the link and am happy to report that even after all these years, they are still in business and handcrafting some of the most beautiful, unique, life-like flowers I've come across. They also make sparkling crystal bouquets, cake toppers, hair accessories...and more.
So, while I'm still over-the-moon in love with my inspiration bouquet, I'm having oodles of fun perusing unique and unconventional wedding ideas. I hope a few of these pictures will have inspired others to think outside of the norm when planning their own special day.
Oh, and I just realized that I never posted about the modifications we've made to PLAN B. Unfortunately, I am out of time for today, so you'll have to wait 'til tomorrow for the update and revisions. Happy Monday my dears!


Is it all suppose to be this easy? WARNING...this is a bit rambling.

Not that I'm complaining...AT ALL, but from what I remember, wedding planning is suppose to be complicated. Isn't it? Full of appointments and planners and decisions. Aren't I suppose to be lugging around a ginormous binder full of contracts and clippings?

I spent a few hours yesterday on the phone. In that short span of time, I managed to book our officiant, cocktail/appetizer venue, as well as reserved the actual dinner party/wedding reception venue. I spoke with a pastry chef and went over the details for our cake. So...


I also purchased alot of materials to get started on my Vintage Magpie inspired bouquet. I can't wait to begin putting it all together. Just ogling the pile of sparklies and ribbon is making me wish February was right around the corner.

Bob and I do still need to decide whether or not to just have guests order off the restaurants main dinner menu, or if we're going to do a more limited menu based on the restaurant's current offerings at the time. The bar bill will be an open tab that we will pay at the end of the evening. The actual design and flavor of the cake needs to be chosen as well. So I suppose there is really still alot to do. Oh, and the event coordinator at our dinner venue is such a hoot! I think she was just as excited as Bob and I are when I told her of our plans. Love, love, love her! I can tell she is going to be super fun to work with and totally on board with our vision of what the evening should be like.

And here I thought all I had left to do was throw on a pretty party dress and show up!

Speaking of "THE Dress", I still have no good news to report. Darn it. I promise you'll be the first to find out just as soon as I get the word.

And just so you know, it's not that I don't want to link to the local vendors we have chosen and share all the lovely wedding porn I've collected from them. Bob and I really don't want to compromise on the surprise factor by leaving an internet trail and having it picked up by any of our net savvy friends or family. Seeing as you and I are becoming superfast best friends, I didn't want you to think that I was keeping secrets from you. ;) It's seriously killing me not to be able to share.

So, while I'm rambling does anyone have any ideas on how to slip a photographer into the mix? Our officiant happens to be a friend/acquaintance, so his being there won't be in question, but the photographer might tip off our guests. Or am I just reading too much into this, and most people hire photographers for family birthday parties? We do want to have a few photos to remember the day by. Mostly photo journalistic, as we aren't much into posed formals.


Tying up a few loose ends...

I'm sorry for not returning to post yesterday. I've had a slight glitch with my dress plan, and I didn't want to post the final decision until it all fell properly into place. So for now, I'm still holding off until I get word from the Powers that Be, that all is well and my dream dress will become a reality. I'm so disappointed, but I'm sure it will all work out for the best. I promise to update just as soon as I receive any new news.

On a happier note...
February 29, 2008
Yes, it's a leap year. And a Friday, but we love the idea!

And even more exciting?!?!?
We're going with PLAN B!!!
Bob and I couldn't be happier. It was all decided over a hot bowl of Albondigas soup at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, during a spontaneous lunch date. The plan has been modified a tad, but overall the idea is the same.

So, WOW! It all seems so much more "real" all of the sudden. Could this mean an actual proposal might be right around the corner?!?! It's going to be harder and harder for me to keep this under wraps. I'm SOOOO not good at keeping secrets.

So, I'm off to call an acquaintance of ours who has recently become ordained, as well as find out how to secure all of our venues. Eeeeeee!!!!! Let the planning begin!


Traditional Bouquet Alternatives

Being quite the girlie-girl, I just so happen to love flowers. I do have my favorites...Casablanca Lilies, Gardenias, and Chocolate Cosmos just to name a few. However, in my quest to find the perfect bouquet, I stumbled across so many alternatives to traditional florals, and decided that I simply must post a few. So, while I'm still undecided on whether or not to even have flowers, I'm saving these gorgeous pics and links for future inspiration.

Can you get over how beautiful and realistic looking this bouquet is?!?! Can you believe it's made from coffee filters?! Cassie Mae Chappell is the artist behind these lovelies. Check out her website to see more of her amazing work. Seriously...you have to see it to believe it. It's that good.

A long time ago, in a land far, far away, I once taught myself how to make French beaded flowers. While mine were pretty, they wouldn't have even come close to the intricately detailed creations I've found lately. I know first hand how much time and attention to detail goes into creating just one bloom. I cannot even imagine the effort and genius it would take to create a bouquet as pretty as this one. The Hibiscus bouquet is from Forever Flowers on etsy. The Pink Dahlia is also found on etsy, created by EmeraldArts. There are also quite a few crafty people making and selling beaded flowers on eBay.

Vintage Magpie is the creative genius behind these swoon-worthy crystal and feather bouquets. I'm currently coveting that velvet wrapped nosegay. I think it would look so sweet with my vintage inspired ensemble.
And speaking of my ensemble, a decision has been made as to "THE Dress". But, you'll have to tune in tomorrow for the skinny.


Oh la la...la lalalala lahhhh.....


So do you think any one of these might make my dear, sweet Bob a little hot under the collar?

Boy...I'm all over the place these days...from cupcakes to underpinnings! Although, I'd better lay off the sugar infused posts if I want to look enticing in one of these hot numbers.

There is a chance that my beloved and I might be in Las Vegas sometime over the Christmas holidays and I believe we may just have to pay a little visit to Agent Provocateur. Being the girlie-girl that I am, I simply adore pretty lingerie and they have some of the most beautiful things. I'm sure there has got to be other shops in Sin City to find well-made frillies. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where? I'm also a big fan of La Perla, but there new stuff just isn't blowing my skirt up these days.

I had to include this garter pic, because I adore it! It's from Angel Threads. Isn't it lovely?


Mini Cakes, Cupcakes and Croquembouche...oh my!

If I don't blow my diet today, I swear it will be a miracle. You see, I've done nothing but search photo sites for my latest daily obsession....dessert! YUM! There are some beautiful and elaborate confections being created these days, that's for sure. But, in all my hunting, I've fallen in love. With all things sweet and tiny. And no, I don't mean LB...although he is pretty sweet, he's taken to growing alot lately and is no longer all that little anymore. Poo. I'm talking about CUPCAKES! and mini cakes too. Oh, and croquembouche as well. They are tiny once you pull them apart, so in my opinion, they still count. ;)

We have the absolute cutest little authentic French bakery right here in town, who I'm almost certain can whip something up that rivals the above inspiration photos. I'd be more than happy to hire the artist behind those lovely little cupcakes, but sadly she is not local...in fact, she's all the way in Australia. Aren't they gorgeous! I found her here on Flickr, or you can visit her website at www.lecupcake.com.
Is that your tummy or mine that I hear rumbling?!?!


Random ramblings...

Well hello there! I hope everyone had a fantastic and restful weekend. I know I did! Other than a couple of family events on Saturday, the rest of the weekend was spent indoors, nuggled up in my jammies pouring over magazines and catching up on movies. Pure bliss. It was much needed, that's for sure.

As far as wedding/elopement planning goes, not much going on really. My newest obsessions are writing vows and planning our Alaskan honeymoon. Oh...and cupcakes, but those will have to wait for tomorrow's post.

So how on earth does one put into words, all the love and emotions they feel, when words simply don't seem to be enough to tell the other person what they mean to you? I'm having a really hard time with this. I've read through numerous couple's vows on just about every wedding website imaginable in order to be inspired, and while they are all soooo lovely, I can't seem to get anything of my own down on paper. I do realize that I have quite a bit of time to work on it, but honestly, this is one of the most important and personal aspects of wedding planning in my opinion. I've started a bedside journal so that I can document our everyday lives, hoping that this might spark a few ideas. I'm also going to drop a few links to here, here, here and here, so that I can keep track of some of the beautiful words that I've come across in my searching. Can anyone recommend any books or articles that might help me find the words to tell Bob just how much his love and support mean to me? I do have a book on how to write love letters, that I've never even cracked the cover on. I think it might be a good time to dust it off. I'm also planning a trip to the library in the near future.

So, yes, it has been decided, we're off to Alaska in September of 2008 for our honeymoon. I'm sure we will be taking a brief mini-moon just after our elopement, but are saving our pennies for a 5 day independent land tour of the Kenai Peninsula, followed by a 7 day Southbound cruise through the inside passage. I've been dying to see Alaska, for as long as I can remember and with Bob being an avid fisherman and overall lover of the outdoors, it seems the perfect choice. It will also be nice to have an active, adventurous few days, followed by a pampering and relaxing cruise. So far, we've decided on a few excursions... bear watching, a Harley ride, a drive to Emerald Lake, dog sledding and a glacier landing flightseeing trip. We'd also love to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis. As the dates get closer, I'm sure we'll nail down the specifics of the land portion, but I'm definitely anticipating a stay at A Cabin on the Cliff in Seward.

It kills me to think that we are still a year away from our honeymoon, but all the best things are worth waiting for, right? Right?!


What's that on your head?!?

a Wig!?!
No....actually it's some sort of fascinator/cocktail hat/birdcage veil.
Sorry, I couldn't resist. I'm a child of the 80's and adore the B-52's.

Since I'm pretty much sold on the idea of a vintage style dress, and I'm not a traditional veil girl AT ALL, and since we all know I'm definitely not virginous (is that a real word?), I've decided I'm going to wear something similar to one of these...

Oh, and did I mention that I was going to DIY?! I started googling this morning, and it's become a full blown obsession. I'm putting in an order from Judith M. Hats & Millinery Supplies tomorrow. Sure, you're probably saying to yourself "This is the bride with no wedding date, no dress and not even a proper proposal, but she knows she's wearing a hat?!?".

And to that I say
I pride myself on being a girl who knows how to accessorize. And I've been just dying to use the word "Pshaw!", but that's hardly the point. And if I become a sticky mess of hot glue and feathers, I can always call in the experts at Unveiled Bridal Designs. Check out Julie M...GOR-GEOUS!


"Mrs. Delilah"...has such a lovely ring....

So where were we? Ahhh...RINGS!
Where do I even begin? I'm famous for being indecisive, but when it comes to jewelry, I am a perfectionist...I like what I like and it's VERRRYYY specific. Poor Bob. He will never be able to surprise me with the gift of bling. Okay, just typing the word "bling" is cracking me up! Blingblingblingbling...

I really don't wear much jewelry, if any, on a daily basis. I have a few "signature" pieces, like the ever popular Return to Tiffany bracelet, my Femme Metale Goddess Ring and my diamond solitaire earrings. I also adore the few Victorians rings I wear on dressier occasions, but other than that, my jewelry wardrobe is pretty bare. I would call my style "basic with a vintage twist".

Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I've always been drawn to the significance of eternity rings. I actually had saved and saved before LB was born to buy myself one to mark the momentous occasion, but times got tight and I wound up using that money to survive once the ex left. I still dream of owning one and cannot think of a better occasion to wear that sparklie little band, than as part of my wedding set. I have a few different ideas on how to incorporate the eternity ring...either as part of my engagement ring, or on it's own paired with a solitaire. I also swooning over a few French posey rings that I've come across recently. How sweet are these?!? They are reproductions of the real medieval rings that are now housed in museums. There are oodles of them around the world with different sayings in many languages. the one at the top left says "a ma vie de coeur entier' in French which translates to "my whole heart for my whole life", and the ring on the bottom right reads "vous et nul autre"...You and no other. They can be purchased here.
These are Bob's top contenders at the moment. He tries to be all easy going about the ring thing, constantly stating that as long as it's white gold/platinum and a wider style band, he'll be happy. But, when I show him examples of simple bands I really don't get much reaction. At first he was smitten with alot of the Norse rune rings that are out there....I even caught him googling them once, so that style isn't out of the question, but then I came across that skull band and it quickly became his favorite. I love it too, but then got to thinking about whether or not it's too "trendy", or if it really speaks of his old school punk-ish personality. The ring on the bottom left is actually a monogram ring that would be made up of our initials, and the bottom right is a hammered finish platinum band. Personally, I think all of his ring selections are great...I just wish he'd make a decision so I could go out and purchase one! I've already decided on the inscription, but I'm keeping that a secret until I place that ring on his finger. I'm hoping he'll do the same with mine.


No, I'm not the Runaway Bride...

Just got a little caught up in a project at work, as well as the addition of a Partners in Learning class at LB's school had me a bit short on blog time. Add to that, the fact that I'm a bit frustrated with the whole layout of the blog and cannot seem to figure out how to widen the viewing space and I become a tad flustered with the whole thing and keep putting off my posts. But, those are pretty silly excuses for leaving you hanging isn't it? I promise to be a better blog buddy. Pinky swear. Seriously.

I'll be back tomorrow with more wedding/elopement porn.

Up next? Rings!!! Eeeeeeeee! I just KNOW you're as excited as I am!!!