Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Lovely Shower


On love day weekend this month I was able to spend some time helping shower a sweet, new mom-to-be. It was the cutest ever. Valentine's Day mixed with a little girl baby shower is so perfect! My friend, Colleen, made some of the coolest paper flowers and brought some tasty treats from Magpies Bakery where she works. Tell me this isn't cute.


We had an afternoon shower so our menu was generally desserts. The mom-to-be, Grace, loves tiramisu so we had that. We also had a fruit, cheese and meat tray along with a veggie and hummus dip.

I love hosting little gatherings. If you don't usually host things give it a shot. Nothing has to be over the top. Simple or even quality store-bought food is perfect. Keeping a menu short and sweet (ha!) is easy and perfect. I had a drink station as well complete with hot water for tea or cocoa. We cozied up with our warm drinks, snacks and squealed over the most precious little people items.

-Alison





Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: PB&J Smoothie Bowl



I am a little behind on the smoothie bowl trend, but I'm ok with that. When I can pretty much eat my breakfast like I just went to a Pinkberry, I'm happy. The concept is pretty similar: make a smoothie of your choice then top with fresh fruit, seeds or nuts. Keep your ingredients simple with your smoothie-a little protein powder, milk and fruit with toppings that go along with it. Start your day eating "ice cream" and it should be pretty awesome, right?

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp protein powder
1/2 cup peanut butter

Toppings:
Dry roasted peanuts
Hemp seeds
Strawberries

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender, then top with toppings of choice.

-Laurie

Monday, February 23, 2015

Erica + Greg's Wedding



Last year, I met a vibrant and sweet couple who were interested in a wedding invitation suite. Erica and Greg Thomas got married in August 2014 at the Loveless Barn here in Nashville. Loveless is a very "Nashville" landmark so I wanted to honor that while keeping it elegant. Erica gushed about the chandelier that she wanted to have in the barn that was surrounded by draped lights. I drew out the chandelier with a hint of the draping for the focal design of her invitation suite. Her monogram was a smaller design used throughout each piece as well. She chose a beautiful opal shimmery paper with an accent of ruby-purple in her ink and mat behind the invitation. I was very happy with how her beautiful designs came out. Please take a look at Erica and Greg's beautiful wedding. 

-Laurie









Friday, February 20, 2015

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found White Weddings





It's a great day for a white wedding! Wedding season is getting started, y'all. Trends have gone toward blush, gold and neutrals for a timeless look. Since Tennessee is experiencing a lot of white in the form of snow, we thought some inspiration for all the new brides to be would be a wonderful TGIF theme. I (Laurie) had an all ivory wedding, so I'm pretty partial to that. A soft pallet is beautiful dressed up in a ballroom or dressed down in a barn!

-Laurie & Alison


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bridal Show Recap



This past Sunday I exhibited a booth at the Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show. This time of year is wedding season...people just got engaged around the holidays and Valentine's Day, so it's go time for me. Kudos to my dad who built an 8ft x 8ft wall to display all my pieces on. 2015 has already begun to be a big year for me and I hope it continues. I cannot wait for a new batch of brides, so if you are one of them and you're reading this, welcome to Fanciful Ink!


-Laurie

Thanks Whitney, Mom & Julie for working so hard all day for me!

"For My Groom On Our Wedding Day" & "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" Cards for sale

Virginia & Sue was there too!

The full view of the booth. Thank you to everyone who came by!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thank Goodness I Found: Love of All Kinds


Valentine's Day means a lot of things to a lot of people. Or, or it can mean nothing at all. Just a silly "holiday" that requires spending money on things that vanish in a blink of an eye. To me, it is an excuse to be silly just like the "holiday" but also to remember real love. The love of a best friend. The love of a family member. The love of a man like Martin Luther King, Jr. to a whole host of people (his wife being one). Romantic love. 

I'm here saying, if you hate this "holiday," remember the good, big love in this word. And buy some chocolate on 2.15.15 when it is on sale. 

Oh, one last thing! We send our silly love to you wherever you are. Every day. 

Love, 
Alison & Laurie

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Martha's Chocolate Truffles


As if I need another reason to sneak chocolate into my diet...Thank you Valentine's Day!

So I thought I would try to make truffles. I hate buying chocolates in the store and trying to figure out what all of the unidentifiable ingredients are. These little mini truffles are quite good! I used a Martha Stewart recipe and watched this video before attempting. Might have added a little rosemary simple syrup to mine because you know I love rosemary. 

Try something new this Valentine's Day! This is not a hard recipe at all and you feel so indulgent when you eat them. And so fancy. 

-Alison

Friday, February 6, 2015

First Friday: A Look at Tibet, Travel Photographer Eden Frangipane

Eden Frangipane
Web | Blog | Instagram
About five years ago I met a lovely lady who would share in one of the most memorable days of my short life. Eden was a friend of a friend with a beautiful portfolio of work and an opening on August 28, 2010 (also her birthday). Our first meeting, if I remember correctly, was the day of our engagement photos. Like any typical photographer we took a short hike into the woods for some of our photos. (ha!) It was so fun getting to know her that day. And I'm so glad she has humored me in staying in contact. Her body of work has grown and her travels just the same.

I later found out that the day after our wedding she planned to fly out of Nashville bright and early with her passport in hand. She was going to Vietnam. Really? I said when she told me. From then on out I had to tell everyone because I thought I would be a little cooler for hiring such a one-of-a-kind person to document our big day. I cannot wait to find our forever home (or at least one that we own) so that I can find the perfect spot for a ship photo from her Vietnam trip. It is one of my all time favorites of hers but I keep putting it off because I want it to be really big and I want to know exactly where to put it before I decide on the size. But enough about my decorating...

Eden is one of those humans you just want to be around. She has a calming nature that puts you at ease and sort of makes you be real in your own skin. Those characteristics are what makes her work so compelling. She connects with complete strangers; most of whom speak another language. And so beautifully. Artistically.

-Alison

P.S. Stop by Dose. in Nashville to see some of Eden's work in person.

Our First Friday artist....Mrs. Eden Frangipane



PP: What made you decide to pick up a camera? 

EF: I'm a pretty nostalgic person and always wanted to capture my experience, my memories and the people I love. I think I learned that at an early age (around 9 or 10 years old) that taking pictures was very important to me.

PP: Did you see a photo that convinced you to choose to document people's lives? 

EF: I wasn't convinced by one photo necessarily but by photo journalism itself. I was fascinated by culture and the stories behind faces I had never seen before. 


I requested this photo and a couple others with the lady in the first picture shown for Christmas...so love them!!



PP: Personally I think there is something about some photographers that allows them to connect with people...they are able to capture the most compelling photographs of strangers on the street. Do you feel like this is a skill you have grown over the years?

Eden's newest friendship
EF: I think it's definitely a skill I've grown in over the years but I do believe some people/photographers just have a way with strangers. I've been in situations where multiple people would be taking pictures of a unique stranger and that stranger would only allow me to photograph them. I used to be terrified of offending people but I began to tell that people can rightly judge someone's intent. I think my subjects are often aware that I don't come as a tourist and they a foreigner but a traveler who is in awe of their culture. 






PP: Where did you travel for your first photography trip? 

EF:My first trip was when I was 23. I spent 4 months traveling through Italy and from there went to Israel, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Switzerland. 

PP: Was it freeing or overwhelming on your first trip? 

EF: Both. I had never travelled alone and when I first got to Italy I remember stepping outside of the place I was staying to call a friend and just cried my eyes out. I was so vulnerable and uncomfortable and had never felt that way before because everything was always so convenient. I knew I was going to feel uncomfortable for a while but I knew it was a good thing, it builds character. There is a beauty in traveling alone because you're challenged in completely different ways. You learn to trust God more and love strangers more because you really don't have anyone else. I've learned to love that same uncomfortable vulnerability, because when you finally accept it, it's freeing. 

PP: Do you approach your trips differently now than you did the first time? 

EF: Not entirely. I do a lot of planning, I would kick myself if I went somewhere and didn't know that the next town over was a photographer's paradise. The only thing I probably do differently is take my husband with me which has been so much fun. 




PP: How have you chosen your destinations? 

EF: Research. I search areas where I've seen inspiring photographs. I often look at my two favorite photographers, Steve McCurry and Eric Valli and get inspired by their past locations.  

PP: What motivates you the most to do travel photography? 

EF: Experience, discovery, culture and vulnerability. My real passion is traveling, photography is only the by-product of my experience.

PP: What has been the most inspiring trip you have taken thus far? 

EF: They're all inspiring in their own way but I'd say my most recent trip to Tibet. I've always been intrigued by nomads and had always wanted to document the nomadic yak herders of the Tibetan Plateau. It by far took the longest to get there and I was so pleased and humbled by my experience with them. 


PP: What has been the most photogenic destination? 

EF: As far as people go, I find Tibetans to be one of the most stunning cultures in the world. Cuba, Vietnam and Israel were also very photogenic places. Milford Sound, New Zealand has the most beautiful and magical scenery of any place I've been.

PP: Do you ever leave a destination with friends you never knew you would make? 

EF: Yes, I'd say one or two in every country I've been. I think I've bonded with quite a few strangers that I'll never forget. I spent 10 days in Norway with friends of friends and met a girl named Kjersti. The moment I met her at 6am at the train station she asked if I wanted to go on a hike. Tired from lack of sleep, or really no sleep at all we went on a hike and instantly we it felt like we had been friends for life. 

PP: How do new relationships or friendships shape your work while you are on location? 

EF: Makes me want to revisit that place!









“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” 
-Cesare Pavese   


18 different countries are represented within my photographs. In their own way, I hope these photographs help bridge a cultural gap that makes the world a little smaller, more tangible and more communal.

instagram: littlefrankie

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Cloche and The Fedora



I am not brave when it comes to wearing hats. I love them on other people, especially cloches and fedoras, but I hesitate to put one on my head. I have a small head and feel like I look lost underneath a hat, but I really love the look. I just have not been woman enough to try one for myself. I did the slouchy beanie and really liked it, got some compliments...I have a cute little tan and leopard cloche but I always end up taking it off. These four beauties above though, I might could get used to!

-Laurie

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Caprese Puffs



I love anything that has to do with caprese. Basil, mozzarella and tomato is such a great combination. I recently made these for our Super Bowl party. The addition of the puff pastry adds a crunch that is nice. Here's what you do:

Ingredients:
mozzarella balls, cut in half
basil leaves
roma tomatoes, diced in chunks
parmesan cheese
frozen puff pastry, thawed
olive oil

Directions:
Roll out the puff pastry, brush with olive oil and bake at 425 for 10-20 minutes or until slightly brown. Take the puff pastry out and sprinkle with parmesan. Add a piece of tomato, basil leaf and mozzarella half. Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and puff pastry is browned more. Serve and enjoy.

-Laurie

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy February!



Happy Groundhog's Day! I think that he saw his shadow, meaning more winter? I never remember which is which. Regardless, we have your new calendar! Photo by Alison, download your new February calendar here!
 

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