Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What I've been working on

Two weeks ago I wrapped up a project for a co-worker. She originally approached me to be her day-of wedding coordinator. I was unable to help on the day-of, but offered my creative services prior to the big day. She hired me to make her place cards, table signs and goody bags. 
When I saw their wedding invites (below), I thought about Debbie's escort cards for her bridal party and how perfectly that stamp matches their invites!

I borrowed the stamp and ink from Debbie and purchased a few other supplies to make some sample cards. I incorporated a few different styles and fonts for the bride to choose from. 

Using bits and pieces from a few of the samples, here is what the final place cards (all 92 of them) looked like: 

Note: the groom is from Israel, so they used cities in Israel as their table names
Materials used - Stamp: Color box ink in lettuce, 
Paper: Puppy Love (purple), Avery small tent cards (white)
Fonts - Scriptina and Garmond (in small caps)

I was working on this project the weekend the Japan earthquake/tsunami occurred. I could not believe (and still can't) the images of destruction of the actual storm and the aftermath. As I was walking to work one day, thinking what I could do with the extra cash I was earning, I decided I should donate it. While there are a plenty of things I could apply it towards (like much needed new laptop or you know put it in savings for the wedding), I knew in my heart others needed it more than me. In addition to participating in the bloggers day of silenceFor Japan with LOVE, I donated my earnings to Shelter Box. I could not be happier with my decision. 

Last week I had an event for work (as in, my full time job). It was a celebration for our HEAL-CHI grantees (healthy eating active living - community health initiatives. yep, welcome to kp...we heart acronyms). Since I love to plan meetings/events, I was happy help! In addition to planning the meeting logistics (venue, food, name tags, etc) I put together the favors. 

Keeping with the HEAL vibe, we ordered herb gardens from our brand store. Wanting to make them more festive (why not?) I made flags to put in each. 

I tried to make flags using the Cricut, but they were a FAIL. Instead I made these colorful flags using good ol' MS Word. I printed them on card stock, trimmed them down and attached each one to a wood stick. 

They made for a really nice favor and doubled as our table centerpieces (in addition to bowls of whole fruit for snacking!). I think they turned out cute and was happy that the guests liked them too. My boss even admitted she was not sure what I meant by "little flags" but was happy with the outcome. I'm glad to know they have faith in my creativity!

Monday, March 28, 2011

his + hers: rain jackets

Last year when we visited Portland, Jess took us to the Columbia employee store. We oohhhed and aaahhhed over several items. The discount was stellar and we do love our outdoor performance gear! The biggest purchase we both were  his + hers Mountain Hardware rain jackets; mine in purple*, B's in green. 

Until moving to the Bay Area I never own a real rain jacket (as in water proof); plenty of ski and pea coats, but no rain jackets. I've never been disappointed about making an outdoor performance gear purchase, and this was no exception. In the last year, and specifically the last few extremely rainy weeks, these jacket have been a staple of our wardrobes. 

We love our jackets, but we also joke that we look like a grapes! 
Cute grapes if I do say so myself :) 

* Funny side story: I could not for the life of me decide between a small and medium. I wasn't sure if you get a rain jacket that fits just right or a little big in-case you are wearing layers? I tried both on at least 10 times (not exaggerating). So happy I went with a small! Just because its rainy and you are suited up in waterproof gear, doesn't mean you can't attempt to still be cute.

Melissa & Parker's Wedding

One month ago Melissa and Parker tied the knot on the beach in Costa Rica! 28 of the bride and groom's closest family and some friends made the journey to Tambor, Costa Rica (as I mentioned here)From sunrise to well past sunset, their wedding day was perfectly relaxed and so beautiful. 

We spent the day relaxing by the pool/beach and in the afternoon cleaned up for the wedding. That usual pre-wedding stress and tension was non existent. 
Prior to the ceremony the ladies helped Melissa get ready and a few last minute details. The guys all made sure Parker stayed upstairs, where he couldn't see Melissa. 

Meanwhile the house coordinator decorated the entire patio and beach where the ceremony took place. The house and beach were beautiful to begin with, but the added details made it into a classy beach wedding. Clouds and light rain threatened but did not dampen the festivities.

Here are the highlights and a few of my favorite photos from the big day...

The Harts ~ February 27
Tambor, Costa Rica

gorgeous black&whites of the groom and bride before they got to see each other!

You may remember their creative passport invites

the Hart's bling with a heart shaped drift wood. 
we found the heart while search for larger driftwood for the alter (as seen in ceremony photo)

adorable flower girl dress made by the mother of the bride

wedding ceremony on the beach

father of the bride wrote a song that he preformed during the ceremony. 
as you can imagine, it was a real tear jerker. 

the happy couple!

the poolside reception

In addition to attending their special day, I was able to help with a few of the details. 

Melissa's bouquet and the men's boutonnieres
Melissa and I's friendship really blossomed during the years we worked together at a flower shop. Since then we've both done flowers for other friends weddings. When she asked if I'd help with hers, it was a no-brainer! Although on the day-of things got a little busy and we couldn't do them together, I'm so happy I could be her flower girl. 

For Melissa's bouquet we used all white calla lilies, tied together with rafia. Her grandmother's cross was also tied to the bouquet as her something old. The maid of honor, mother's and grandmother's bouquets included the same calla lilies and orange alstroemeria. They were tied together with the same rafia as Melis' bouquet. 

Parker's boutonniere was one of the white calla lilies. The father's and best man's boutonnieres were two of the alstroemeria flowers. All were tied with rafia.

Melissa's mom made each guest a welcome bag filled with goodies to help enjoy their stay. I put together programs that went in each bag.  

The programs included: welcome letter from the bride and groom, Schedule of Events, How it all began...Melissa and Parker's storyWho are all these people? a blurb from each guest.

The outside of the programs were made with colorful card stock. Using coordinated paper, I made M&P letters on the Cricut. I cut two small holes on the side of each booklet and tied them together with hemp cord. 

While looking for wedding ideas, I came across this Surprise wedding. It reminded me of Melissa because she always talked about having a surprise wedding. I loved many of the sweet details, especially the postcard guest book. Since their wedding was a destination I thought that postcards would make a perfect guestbook! 

After a few online searches, I ordered four different postcard prints from Zazzle.com. The best part about Zazzle is that you can customize the front and back of the postcard. With the help of Jess, I picked the following cards: 

On the back of each card I had M&P's address already printed and a large space for a message. After the ceremony I passed out markers and postcards to each guest to write a message to M&P. I collected them all back to be mailed. I intended for them to be sent from CR, but that was a lot harder than expected. Instead, they traveled from CR to CA and a few put into the mail each day. I hope M&P receive all the cards and will enjoy the sweet message for years to come!

Thank you to Melissa and Parker for allowing me to attend your beautiful wedding and share the details here! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Creative Recycling (thank you cards)

For all the people who tell me they aren't creative (but I know you really are)I'd like to share with you an EASY way to make homemade cards. Think of it more as recycling, than being creative.

When I receive cards, I put them on display on the fridge or my dresser to enjoy. Every few weeks I do a clean sweep and these cards are put in two categories: sentimental cards I save to enjoy reading again at a later date, and a majority of the cards I keep only the front of the card to reuse. 

Here's a batch of thank you cards that I made into a new set of cards.

Original thank you cards

New cards - thanks again!

Here are up-close shots of all the cards and a few details...
For this card I used scalloped scissors to resize the original card.
I used brass brads to mount the card on kraft cardstock.
I used only the 'thank you' portion of the card. I rounded the edges and
mounted it on a piece of  a recycled envelope (similar to this) and attached them to a blank white card.
This was the trickiest card, although not too hard. I carefully cut the 'thank you' out of the card and mounted it on a tag. I then mounted the entire tag on the original card, carefully covering the hole.
I only used the 'thank you' portion of this card. Using a piece of brown paper and brass brads, I attached the thank you to a card made of kraft and patterned paper. 
I simply trimmed the edges and mounted this on light gray cardstock. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan with LOVE

I know I haven't blogged in a few days, but my lack-of-blogging tomorrow will be on purpose. I am joining thousands of other bloggers for a day of silence.

Utterly Engaged and EverOurs teamed up and asked bloggers to participate in a day of silence to just raise awareness, show respect and acknowledge the devastation in Japan.

For more information or to make a donate, please visit: ForJapanWithLove 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tweet Nothings

For the past few months I've been doing a little tweeting. My username is wholenchelleada, so naturally 90% of my tweets are regarding a new blog post. 

I resisted Twitter for so long, thinking ahh another thing to update. Although there is so much I still don't understand, I love it. Rather than feeling bogged down by updating it all the time, I only tweet when I have something really tweeterific to share. Meanwhile I can follow along with dozens of other tweets ranging from news, to blog updates, to celebrity gossip.

My favorite part might be the Twitter app on my phone. Its proving to be a great thing to read while waiting in line at the store, for the elevator or bus. Much more exciting than playing brick breaker or checking Facebook (again)

Do you use twitter? If so, lets be friends! If not, follow my tweet nothings now on my sidebar.

One month later

Today marks one month since we got engaged!  
Sactown 3.12.2011
  The past month was filled with congratulatory messages, celebratory drinks and dinners, cards and fun treats. We are loved.

While we've gone back to our everyday routes, life feels a bit more exciting. Perhaps it's the sparkly ring I get to put on every morning or maybe its the thought that we're that much more committed. Whatever it is, I'm a fan.
As a daily reminder of our engagement, we used pebbles and rocks we collected at Tennessee Cove to update a vase/candle in our bathroom.

Before: Ikea vase, candle and sea glass we collected at Glass Beach last year. In order to adequately fill the vase, I bought some additional sea glass at Michael's (which B says, and i agree, is cheating) .

After: First I rinsed and dried the pebbles and rocks. I emptied the vase and weeded out the impostor sea glass. Then I put it back together by layering the pebbles, authentic sea glass and rocks surrounding the candle. I love how it turned out!

And now that I've waited a month the real fun begins....wedding planning! It hasn't completely hit me that it's our turn to plan a big day. As you can imagine, I'm pretty excited! I've already been marking pages in the new Martha Steward Weddings and consulting with friends. I promise to share details along the way of our stress free wedding planning process.

Please note B's addition to the Real Simple Weddings book

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Adventures in Costa Rica

I traveled to Costa Rica to attend Melissa and Parker's beach wedding. I am fortunate I was able to attend their wedding and visit Costa Rica - it's amazing! As promised, here is a little more about the trip...

On Friday evening, I flew from SFO to Denver where I met up with a majority of the wedding crew. We flew on the red eye Frontier flight into San Jose, Costa Rica (flight is 4.5 hours). Once we arrived in San Jose we took a 25 minute flight in a puddle jumper (whose pint size terrified me and threw my nausea for a loop. my eyes were closed most of the flight.) to Tambor where we stayed during our visit. 

The crew piled in two vans and headed to Tango Mar. A few of us shared a villa at Tango Mar and the bride, groom and their families rented a gorgeous house just down the beach. This is the view from Tango Mar - paradise!

Beautiful flowers everywhere!

In addition to the wedding activities, we spent two days at the pool and beach. This sign is no joke! The waves were fun and relentless. We all got knocked down by a rough wave or two (or three in Layna's case, in addition to her run-in with a jellyfish).

We were able to take pictures in the water thanks to Dave's rad waterproof camera case (which I can't seem to find a link of. He bought it at REI). This is my favorite of the wave photos!

The day after the wedding a few of us went on a Super Tour coordinated by the resort.  The tour took us through mangroves where we also saw lots of birds and a spotted manta ray. We then took a walk through Curu Nature Reserves where we saw tons of animals up close and personal.
Of all the animals we saw, the monkeys were my favorite! Here is a white face monkey:


And here is a spider monkey:

We had a great tour guide, named Layna, who pointed out all the animals (if you ever need to phone-a-friend regarding animals, pick L). We had an official guide who also pointed out animals, trees and plants.

After the nature preserve we got to jump off the boat and snorkel. There were tons of fish! Especially when the guide gave them a little snack, as seen in this picture. 

The last stop on our tour was tortuga island where we had lunch and cervesas while relaxing in the sun. White sand beaches and turquoise water make for a good place to relax! 

Hands down the best part of the trip was spending time with some of my favorite ladies. Amazing how much has changed since our reunion six months ago!

Up next: photos from Melissa and Parker's wedding day!

all photos courtesy of jnelly

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Back to reality with a preview from paradise

 HOLA! I just returned from 5 fabulous days in Costa Rica for Melissa & Parker's wedding. I had such a great time vacationing and attending the wedding festivities! As I ease back into reality, I wanted to share a few photos from the trip. I'll be back next week with full details and photos from the wedding and our excursions! 
view of tambor from the puddle-jumper

poolside pina colada
One of two hammocks on our balcony
Melissa & Parker getting married on the beach!

the talented and always stylish photographer, jnelly