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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Holly & Jamie's Wedding on Style Me Pretty

Holly & Jamie Cochrane's wedding, which I was lucky to be a part of and able to design their paper products, is now featured on the Style Me Pretty blog and the first set of amazing photos by Lily Glass Photography shows some of the extra pieces I did in addition to the wedding invitations. Please check out these fabulous photos by a wonderful photographer of a fantastically fun wedding of two very special friends.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School!

Dorm living is a tight squeeze, but a fun one. It's a challenge to organize a lot of stuff into a tiny space. You have to utilize every inch of space to make it work well. I had lots of under the bed storage, small (very small!) pieces of furniture and lots of places to hang things and hide things on the wall. Shoes were my biggest problem with space. My only solution was a giant rubbermaid box that I had to dig through all the time. When I was in college at Union University, pre-tornado days when the campus looked completely different, we had a nice desk space with shelves that were definitely utilized for books and other gadgets I needed but was also spiced up with some picture frames. Instead of curtains on the windows, I used one big curtain over my closet, which was actually just a cut out square with a rack. I could hide messes behind that curtain easily! I also used cute, flat storage boxes around the small ledge at the ceiling for storage. Use every inch if you have to, but tuck it away in boxes!
When going to college, your dorm room needs to be your sanctuary and comfort. It's a great place to crash and study at the same time. I found that having a rug on the floor made the room seem a little less like a dorm room, and covering the wall with photos and artwork helped as well. When I was a freshman, I chose a bright pink and orange color scheme, and then as college went on, I just added different colors. While I cringe at my color scheme now, it was still fun and youthful. Don't spend a lot on bedding, because once you get in the real world, your tastes will change. Plus, I'm sure you won't be sleeping on an extra-long twin mattress once you graduate. However, do invest in pieces that can grow with you, like some great shelving units, accent pillows, small pieces of furniture or artwork. College is the perfect time to express yourself in your own space, so be practical but have fun with it. A little bit of quirky is a good thing. Go for colors you probably wouldn't want in your future bachelorette (or bachelor, gents, I am not forgetting you) pad or newlywed abode, like my hot pink and orange palette.
If I were to go to college and do the dorm scene again, these would be my choices (all from Urban Outfitters):

This turquoise is a soothing yet punchy color and the frills are perfectly girly for this stage of life. It can even go with you into an apartment after college and toned down with more grown-up neutrals.

A colorful rug is a must for a tiny space, it just adds a little bit of homeyness. Try to avoid pale rugs though, because it can get dirty very fast. Have a box of baking soda on hand for spot cleaning.

Pillows are a comfort and a cute way to block the air from windows, prop up a book comfortably and of course, sleep (if you have time for that)

Small spaces require small furniture, so make sure you find something that has good storage space. Look at thrift stores for a good shaped piece and spray paint it a happy color.

Wall art and a light all in one! I am loving big marquee letters right now. This is definitely an investment that will look cool in your house or apartment later on.

I wish I had this catch-all when I was in college because with the hooks, space for gadgets and memo board, it is such a great organizing accessory. The wood is timeless too.

Another great wood piece, this is a nice little shelf for goodies and storage.

I adore this over the door vanity, it is the perfect little space to put makeup on.

Mom isn't there to do your laundry anymore. Once this frilly little number is full, it's time to gather your quarters and monitor the washer and dryers so no one throws your nice clean undies on the floor. At least you'll have a cute laundry bag while doing so.

There is always something to be plugged up on a computer it seems, so the extra USB ports are a necessity. Why not make it a piece of artwork too? This will still look fun on your desktop when it's not being used.

Monday, August 22, 2011

POST 100!

Just a mere 6 months or so ago, I decided to take a step in my own direction and begin to create my business, Fanciful Ink. I talked about it for a while, researched for a bit and now finally I am official! After creating invitations and stationary for friends and family (and still am), I am hoping to venture into a broader territory with people I actually don't know! So a little update: first, to backtrack a little, I have a lot of invitations and goodies to post on here that I have done this past year. So I will start to showcase those soon. My next step? I have created a profile for Etsy and hope to have some pre-made stationary for sale very soon! I am also working on a few little projects right now that will be future posts. I also will be updating my website soon with current designs, it is long overdue!
I just want to say thank you for taking part in my endeavor and I hope that you will continue to be a loyal reader as I continue to blog more often and grow my little business. I appreciate the time you spend reading this and I hope that this week, since this is a milestone post and all, that you will tell at least two people about the blog and "Like" Fanciful Ink on Facebook!
Thank You!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gallery Wall

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

Gallery walls create an eclectic look for displaying artwork and photographs.

I received a letter from my apartment complex saying that roof replacement was happening yesterday. It's a bit of a mess around there...and needless to say, I had to quickly take down things on the wall yesterday when I realized they would most likely be banged off onto the floor. That would result in a bigger mess than necessary and an even more distraught kitty cat (she hates thunderstorms so I'm pretty sure she's really hating the overhead roof shenanigans). I managed to take everything down in my bedroom and living room quickly and then walked into my guest room/office and walked back out. You see, the largest wall in my apartment is in that room and I created a gallery wall on it. I never accounted for the fact that roofers would come and I would have to take it down. I scanned the wall, realized not much would really break if it did fall due to most pieces not having glass...and I chose my grandmother's needlepoints to take down because I cared if those broke. The rest was left hanging. Hopefully when I go home today it will still be hanging.
I love gallery walls, it is such a great way to hang lots of prized artwork and various items and make it look cohesive. Here are some great examples and a tip that I wish I had known before I created my gallery wall!

Even small spaces like a bathroom can be filled with frames, as long as they are small. I love all of the silhouettes of this one.

Lighter frames are more dramatic on a darker wall. Don't over think the issue of matching frames either! Just fit them together like a puzzle.

Gallery walls are even cuter for a baby's nursery with family mementos, or like this one, featuring the alphabet and making the focal point the baby's initial.

I like the simplicity of creating a line between the two areas of frames.

This makes placement easier I would imagine! The instructions: Lay out your arrangement on the floor, then flip the frames. Mark the nail spot on several pieces of wax paper taped together, flip, tape to the wall then nail where the marks indicate. Remove the wax paper and hang your photos in order. From Roost by Marissa Waddell.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wedding Invitations: Morgan Neese & Matt Baker

In 2004, when I was a freshman at Union University, I met a wonderful friend in Morgan Neese. We went through recruitment together, and I had seen her before though had never met her since we were cheerleaders at rivaling high schools. It wasn't until we opened our cards on Bid Day and began the run to the Chi Omega house that I really got to know Morgan. Sorority sisters and great friends, I am grateful to have met her and spent so many fun moments with her in college. Once you get in the "real world" it is harder to keep up with friends that were so dear for a long time, but I have been able to keep in touch with Morgan and know that she will be a lifelong friend. I'm lucky to have gotten to work with her on wedding invitations because I love the aesthetic of her wedding, very elegant, rustic and vintage. Her soft colors of grey, pale pink and cream are so beautiful. I can't wait to see how the wedding turns out (future post!).
I think an invitation is an important precursor to the wedding and reception because that is the first "look" of the wedding that guests will see. The days of elegant white invitations with script are gone and thankfully are more creative but just as elegant and unique to the couple.
With Morgan and Matt's invitation, I created an elegant look with a vintage touch. I wanted it to be timeless and romantic. Morgan chose a rectangular grey pocket fold and placed it inside a cream envelope for safer keeping. The inside featured the wedding invitation on the main panel with their overlapping double "M" monogram and a subtle "B" behind it. Their wedding date of September 10, 2011 is unique to be 9-10-11 so I anchored the design at the bottom with the date in the same pale pink of the border so that it blended in. I matched the grey ink to the pocket fold, which has a softer feel than black would. The pocket contained three cards: a long and skinny detailed directions card, an R.S.V.P. postcard of the same width and a a smaller Registry card. Each card fit together to create a pattern, yet were different when the guest pulled it out of the pocket.
Congratulations, Morgan and Matt! I can't wait to celebrate with you in September!
*Couple's photo courtesy of Starla Photography.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Unconventional Coverings

I love exposed brick in anything. Especially somewhere unexpected, like the ceiling.

When I was an active member of Chi Omega in college, I was in charge of a recruitment party. I wanted to create some really cool lounge-type tables that were pub-height and lit from within. I really wish I had kept one of the tables because those were awesome. My dad was the builder to my idea and we created a table out of a wooden framework and wrapped it in corrugated tin, affixed a light inside and placed a piece of red plexiglass for the top. It created a warm glow and turned out to be amazing. I have no idea where pictures are or if one even exists. What I do know is that I love creating things out of unconventional materials, or reusable ones. Using the tin was pretty cost effective and had a very urban look to it. Thus, I love all these spaces where something different is on display in a beautiful way.

Salvaged or new shutters creates a great focal piece and unusually textured wall.

This is amazing. Glitz and glamour shouldn't be spared in a kitchen. While I wouldn't want all the tiling like this, it is pretty spectacular in small areas and with a neutral palette, like whites.

If I could figure out a way to temporarily put this on my nasty apartment dishwasher, I would in a heartbeat. I love love love tin ceiling tile like this.

Mirrors fixed into a pattern to create a wall texture is a great idea for small spaces, it opens up the room more and gives the appearance of a larger space as well as an exotic edge to the whole area.

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

Start saving your pennies now and cheaply lay them on the floor with this how-to. It would be perfect for a small area and would be very warm and shiny. You just couldn't do the "find a penny, pick it up" thing because it's going to be stuck to the floor.

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

Besides being a closet to die for, this space is very unique in that the area allows for wallpaper on the ceiling (or is it a wall in this instance? I'm not sure), a very interesting decorating trick!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Keeping It Cool

Even though summer is winding down and school is starting back up, summer is still in full force. Here in Nashville we are enjoying warm weather rather than scorching heat, which is nice. It is especially nice for outdoor evening gatherings like a vineyard picnic, which is happening this weekend! As I was thinking about what to bring for the picnic, I realized it's still going to be in the 80s so I need to keep some things chilled. So I turned to Pinterest (of course) for inspiration on creative ideas to keep things cool-and tasty! Here are a few ideas for your late summer and upcoming fall picnics.

Anything in mason jars is cute and compact. Freeze the jars for 24 hours and fill with ice cream then transfer to an ice-filled bucket. Aluminum keeps things cooler longer.

Hang on to the last few days of summer with a coconut ice cube. Click the original link on how to color these cubes so cutely.

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

Color your cubes with food coloring! It will make for a more festive drink. Just make sure you're ok with having a blue tongue.

Look for a deeper ice tray (or create your own large ice cube with the bottom of a plastic, styrofoam or paper cup) and freeze fresh fruit slices and berries to flavor up water, lemonade or tea.

Create a cooler for a slim bottle by freezing it in an old soda bottle. It's pretty and if you sit it in a bowl once it starts to melt, you'll have flavored water as well!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Landscapes beyond the lines

People are usually surprised that Adolf Hitler painted landscapes. Landscape painting and portraiture are common throughout history all around the world. While it is something that will never become outdate, landscapes have found their way to non-traditional canvases. Rolling hills and vast countrysides in soothing colors no longer have to be limited to a framed space on the wall. Break out of the frame and embrace a landscape scene on another household object, or better yet, yourself! Anthropologie has a few key pieces that are great examples of a landscape beyond the line of a frame.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Artist Alert: Leigh Viner

I have been on the lookout for artists whose work I love lately. I stumbled across Leigh Viner the other day via Pinterest and actually ended up purchasing a small print of the piece I saw (above) and am so incredibly excited about it. I think it will go nicely with the art I purchased the other day against my dark grey bathroom wall. I have been taken with watercolor lately and these from Ms. Viner are so simple and fluid with pops of color and emotional eyes in the beautiful figures. They remind me of designer sketches and artistic Vogue-esque covers.
Here are some of my favorites:

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

*All and more can be purchased on Etsy

Monday, August 8, 2011

Delicious Recipe for You!

Nutella is amazing and it always befuddles me that it is made from hazelnut. Don't get me wrong, I love hazelnut but Nutella just doesn't taste like it. It is of course what better way to eat it than in cookie form? I have left these little guys for my company today and hope that my cat doesn't suddenly take an interest in cookies. I already tested two of these just to make sure they are scrumptious (they are) and then caught my boyfriend in my dark kitchen sneaking an extra cookie. I'm pretty sure he snuck another one as well later on. Which means they must be good, right? The recipe is simple:
1 cup Nutella (I found a hazelnut-cocoa spread that is similar at Whole Foods and used it)
1 egg (I used liquid egg whites because it's all I had and it has more protein)
1/2 cup sugar (I used cane sugar)
1 cup all-purpose flour

Friday, August 5, 2011

Southern Roots & Cowboy Boots

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

I have on cowboy boots today because I read an article last night in the latest issue of Garden and Gun magazine about Southern Women. There of course is the summery song about California Girls and even though there is a shout out to "Southern girls with the way they talk," the focus is particularly on the beachy blonde surfer girls. However, can those girls whip up a good meal out of practically nothing and set it out on a beautifully decorated table for an impromptu dinner? Maybe, but not with the gusto of a Southern lady. She probably has magnolias or those deep, sultry blue hydrangeas growing in her yard that she can go cut and stick in a mason jar and make it look good without even trying. Same goes for the food. I know a lot of awesome grandmothers (mine's the best) who can cook the best meals and pass the skills and secrets down to their daughters and granddaughters (again, mine are the best cooks and decorators) and instill in them a sense of pride and skill unlike any other region of the United States. These women will stay up late into the evening baking something for your birthday to take to school or bake sale just because it is putting forth an effort that says they care enough to create a masterpiece. Because they are Southern and that is what they do. Things are just different with Southern women, we make an effort for things to look good because we believe and know they are good. We are hospitable, not haughty. We want you to enjoy those biscuits and gravy (I only eat my grandfather's, a Southern gentleman...don't get me started on that!) and ice cold sweet tea, cornbread and straight from the farm produce. We like color because the South is colorful with deep greens, harvest yellows, pink roses and blue hydrangeas. Not to mention, it seems like every Southern woman has some red classing up some part of their house because in the South, red is classy.
Each state down here in the sweltering South has its own charm but it's all still the same sweet Southern charm.

My mother collects blue and white ceramics like this and paired with some bright blue hydrangeas, this just emits Southern elegance.

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

Denim always reminds me of the South. It's the fabric of cowboys it seems, and this little dress has so much summery sweet appeal someone should be holding a bundle of sunflowers and a huge glass of sweet tea to complete the look.

It's just a staple shoe when you live in the South. Anywhere else, with the exception of "out west" you'll just look dumb wearing these. Here though, is where these look best. I love boots with dresses.

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

Perfect Southern gentleman styling...a dark vest with plaid, wildflowers and an old Mason jar (probably with whiskey? Real Southern men drink whiskey)

I love the embodiment of the Southern charm even a vampire possesses. True Blood, need I say more?

If you haven't read The Help that is your assignment this weekend to get started on it before the movie comes out next week.


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