Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Collect Junk You Love!

Some of the things in our home that we love, and are authentic to us:

Los Angeles Pottery Co, "Cookies All Over" cookie jar. It's not beautiful, and it's not modern, but it was my grandmother's. It is the cookie jar that I used to steal those little rectangle-shaped waffle cookies with the cream filling from when I was four. And now it's a great spot to store dog treats!

Nescafe Vintage World Mugs. They are not hand-me-downs, but they are vintage. And they are the same as the ones my grandma {my Mamo} used to make chocolate pudding in when my cousin and I were young. I found two sets of four mugs at a vintage sale two years ago. I immediately called my Dad {before leaving the store} to make sure my six-year-old memories were remembering the same mugs. Before I even finished describing the "mugs Mamo used to make pudding in," he responded with "those Nescafe mugs with the World on them!"  I bought both sets, and gave one to my cousin. We use them as espresso cups in our house, and one day, I will serve chocolate pudding in them to our children.

Our styles are a mix of more traditional and rustic (Chad), and more vintage and modern (Me). Our compromises are many, in that we choose most things in our home together. And they are few, in that when we find the perfect piece, neither of us usually feels like we've compromised our own style. Our curtains are an awesome example. We looked for months for the right curtains for the dining room of our previous house. And found nothing. So, I convinced Chad to let me make some, if we could find the perfect fabric. He was apprehensive {admittedly, he'd never seen me sew anything at this point....}, but agreed. And then I went out on a limb and suggested {one of hundreds of suggestions} a fabric I thought he'd hate. He LOVED it! And now, this fabric is the basis of our living and dining room decor:

Oh yeah, we were SO ahead of the trend on the suzani pattern fabric. {and we're humble, too} See that pop of aqua in the fabric? We've pulled out a brighter version of that for our TV stand, and our soon-to-be kitchen island stools. This is our kitchen inspiration {apologies, don't know source, it's from Pinterest}:

The kitchen is a work in progress, but someday we'll get some photos up, so you can see how we're progressing against our inspiration piece, vs. what we've changed to be more authentically "us."

As far as other things we LOVE: white leather couches. Have I mentioned we have three dogs? Oh yeah, we have. And we STILL LOVE white leather couches.  We had these ones in our old house {you get a little peek at our old home before and after}:

And when we moved, the two separate, matching sofas wouldn't fit into the configuration of our new house. Boo!! We loved the setup the previous owners' had, which included a sectional in the corner of the living room. So we got this:

But it just wasn't "us."  It was one of those compromises where we both felt we compromised. And so we sold it, and bought this {whoops, only have photos of it that include the dogs sitting on it. proof that it's durable!! .....and proof that our house is sometimes messy well-lived-in}:

Ahhhh.....so much better. Oh yeah, and we painted the walls gray to make the white trim "pop." And yeah, we have a photo canvas on the wall of our three dogs sitting on the {old} white leather couch. Because we love them. And that photo. And that couch. And they are a huge part of our lives! 

So that's the rundown of just a few of the things that we collect and love around our house. We have moved twice in the last few years, which has provided us a great opportunity to de-clutter and remove the things we don't truly LOVE. Which has led to a house full of things we DO love, and a lot of things that tell our story.

What's your favorite, most-authentically-you, loved item in your home?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Whimsical Vintage-Inspired Rustic Wedding Invitations

Whimsical Rustic Vintage-Inspired-Wedding Invitations. Whew, that's a mouthful. Perhaps our wedding has an identity crisis??  We prefer to think of it as the perfect eclectic mix of "us"-ness, all rolled into one big event!

The wedding is on a farm, with the ceremony taking place outside under a big tree, that will be backed with flag banners (or, bunting, as Etsy calls them). They'll match the ones you see on the top of the invitation and RSVP card below. They'll be made primarily from vintage fabric. And they are the one common theme running through the entire wedding, along with the colors. The bunting will also hang from the ceiling of the barn, where our reception will take place, seated at tables with handmade paper flowers in vintage white milk-glass vases.

So it breaks down a little like this:
Farm/Barn:  Rustic
Materials/Decor: Vintage
Colors/Decor/"Feeling": Whimsical
All of these combined: Chad and Brandy (that's us)!

Here's a little peek at the invitations and RSVP cards we are sending out. 

We had originally intended to just stack them, stamp them, stuff them, and send them off. But that didn't feel like an exciting enough "first look" into the flavor of our wedding, for those who would be receiving the invites. So, I spiced it up a bit, with some yarn left over from the yarn flowers I'm making (more to come on that another day.

Better, but still kind of boring. The color matched, but it was still missing the "rustic" part of the vibe. I was doing this all on the dining room table, and as I took the photo, I looked at the burlap runner sitting next to the invite, and thought, "huh. that could be cool...." and snipped off a corner. Yep, just cut out a square of the dining room table runner. I'm crazy like that.  {side note, we have more burlap than I know what to do with, I can make another.} I cut it just barely larger than the RSVP card. 

Perfect! I showed Chad, he loved it, and then, being all practical-guy-like, said "that's going to be a lot of work to do for EVERY invitation. Is it really worth it?" Ugh, yes. Of course it is. Plus, my momma is going to help stuff the invitations, and she won't mind. 

But I did decide that I needed a way to mass-produce the different pieces. Invitations, check. Smartpress.com mass-produced those for us. We <3 them. Plus, they are local - right in our backyard! {Chaska, MN}

I took the perfect length I'd already cut, and walked around the dining room until I could find something that was the same length as that single piece. I discovered that if I wrapped it around the top portion of the chair, exactly one time around was the same length. So I went to town! I wrapped that whole skein of yarn around the back of the chair, counting for a while until my attention span gave out, until it was approximately 150 turns around the chair. Then I just cut the whole thing in one spot. Voila! ALL of my strings cut at once. See, Chad? It won't be so hard, after all!

Ramsey couldn't figure out what the heck was going on. And how was that ball of string moving all by itself?! Unfortunately, she wasn't much help.

But check this out! Remember the Sola Flower Pomander Ball we posted last week? Check out how the colors match! {look at the oranges and pinks in the little flags below - not the yarn. Fun!}

So there it is! My favorite part?  The cheeky comment at the bottom of the RSVP Card that says, "RSVP by August 1st, or bring a sandwich and a lawn chair."  Haha! And we mean it. 

Oh, P.S. Smartpress.com did our printing, but we got the original templates for our Save the Dates, Invitations, and RSVP cards from Weddingchicks.com. They have some awesome free template downloads - in fact, you can type the info right into their website, and they give you a finished file! We loved the basis of the templates, but wanted to customize our wording a bit more, change up some fonts, etc - and Chad's a photoshop wizard. You won't get exactly what you see here off Weddingchicks.com, but they definitely are a great budget {ie, free} place to start!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I got a new toy! Hamilton Beach Vintage 1940s Stand Mixer.

Whoohoo. I found this at a flea market, and I couldn't wait to get it home!  Who needs a $300 kitchenaid from Macy's, when you could have one of these bad boys?!  And after 60+ years of mixin', it still works. BEAUTIFULLY!

I am seriously jumping up and down. Chad, on the other hand, nearly turned down homemade banana bread when he heard it was going to be mixed with my new toy. Seriously!? He never turns down banana bread (nor anything I make, really....). He was worried it wouldn't be clean. Good news - the bowls have been run through the dishwasher, the mixers scrubbed, and the rest washed down with bleach.

Take a look. Are you as in love as I am?

I think she needs a name. Any suggestions??