December 29, 2008

Christmas Wrap Up

B's first Christmas was wonderful, but we don't have one photo on our camera to show for it! They are all on my mom's camera so I will have to grab some from her. He cared more about the boxes of course & didn't really get unwrapping, but it was still fun. He is a very blessed kid to have so many generous grandparents, aunties & uncles.

I'll be continuing my blogging break until the New Year. I have been feeling really overwhelmed & chaotic lately, so for a few more days I'm going to regroup & refresh my spirit. Get it all ready for 2009.

Hope your New Year's Eve is fun-filled & bubbly. Here we are in 2006, when B was just a twinkle in our eyes:

This year may be a little different, but at least the bubbly part will be there, I know that : ) And maybe the fun hats.

December 22, 2008

Home for the Holidays

A few weeks ago I had to go home for a few days & it just happened to coincide with a home tour in Los Gatos, CA called "Home for the Holidays". Two wonderful designers that I know each did a room & I was able to photograph their work for them. The rooms are very different, but equally lovely.

Stacey Costello's "weekend retreat" room:


Colleen Hickey's "grandchildren's room":

The tour was a lot of fun & so many designers participated. The whole thing benefits PACE - Pacific Autism Center for Education & it looks like about $125,000 was raised during this event. Awesome!

(you can see these photos larger in my flickr stream)

December 17, 2008

DIY: No-Sew Tree Skirt


I fully intended to post this last year & I almost let it slip this year too! I was determined to get this on here though & maybe there's one or two of you who don't have a tree skirt yet. Or, you can always file it away as an off-season project & come Christmas '09 you'll have a skirt all ready for your tree.

After looking at tree skirts last year in the range of $50 - $70 from Target & other retailers, I resolved to make my own & do it without a sewing machine (because I was about a week away from getting mine). I was inspired by the felt poodle skirts my mom used to make me as a kid (big circle + little circle in the middle for the waist=hours of dress up fun). Here's a little dress up fun for your tree:

**This is my first tutorial of any kind so hopefully I did not just sabotage my good intentions. I hope this is easy to understand & helpful. Have fun!

Supplies Needed:

1 3/4 Yards felt in color of your choice (72” wide)
1 3/4 Yards contrasting color felt for embellishment (if desired)
Fabric scissors
Chalk or fabric marking pen
String
Circle template for scallops if desired (approx diameter 2”. A spool of thread works well)
Ribbon for ties
Individual hole punch
Yardstick or measuring tape

1. Measure out a piece of string equal to the length you want your tree skirt. The length would be how far you want the circle to spread out around your tree all around. I decided on 30".


2. Tie a piece of chalk to one end of the string. You'll use this to draw your circle.


3. Fold your felt in half so that it is still 72" wide & measure from the fold 2" longer than you measured for the string. Cut your felt along this line, then fold again so that you have a square (like folding a piece of paper in quarters).


4. Now you'll draw a line from which to cut a circle from this square. You'll need to borrow a friend, spouse, little sister, etc..to help you with this part.

Find the corner that is on the fold (no cut edges) & line up the string along one edge. One person holds the end of the string on the corner while the other uses the chalk end to draw a quarter circle. See images below:


Make sure you keep the string pulled taut to draw a perfect line.




5. At this point you can cut along this line, or you can embellish the edge like I've done. I wanted a scallop border so I used a spool of thread & drew half circles all along this line.

If you would rather not do the decorative edge DON'T OPEN UP YOUR CIRCLE YET. YOU STILL NEED TO CUT THE INNER CIRCLE TO FIT AROUND THE TREE TRUNK.

I didn't measure very precisely for this - just did it as quickly & carefully as I could. It helps if you end up with a half circle at the end so the two will match up, but not really necessary. It's going to be at the back of the tree & who really looks there anyway?

Remember: DON'T OPEN UP YOUR CIRCLE YET. Continue to step 6.


6. Now measure for the inner circle the same way you did the larger one. I measured 5", but this gave me a 10" diameter hole & something smaller would have probably been better. This just needs to be slightly larger than the base of your tree.

Trace a line using the same method from step 4 (you can probably do this one all by yourself using two hands) & cut out the corner.


7. Now unfold your piece of felt once so that you have a big half-circle. You'll need to cut up one end to make an opening so you can get it around the tree.

**At this point you'll have a very basic tree skirt & you can skip to step 9 if you don't want to make the overlay. I wanted to give mine a little extra something special so I did a 2nd layer of contrasting felt to go over the top.

8. To make the 2nd layer measure out your felt just like you did for the first layer in step 3. A quick & easy way to get recreate the outer edge is just to lay your 1st layer over & trace with chalk.

Decide how wide you want your 2nd layer to be & use the chalk-string method to draw the inner line. If you did the scalloped edge you'll have to use your template to draw scallops along this line. Cut along the lines you've drawn.

9. To secure the ends around the tree use a household hole punch & punch three holes on each side of the open end, making sure the holes match up across from each other.

If you made the 2nd layer you'll want to line it up before you punch the holes. You might not be able to punch through both layers, but you can at least make sure you punch in the same place.

10. Now to the tree! Drape the skirt around the base of the tree & secure at the back by threading ribbon through the holes & tying in bows. Spread out the skirt so it is nice & even, cover with presents & you're done!

December 13, 2008

Christmas Flickr Faves


Due to my travel schedule this month our house did not get much holiday decor love. I'm pretty sad about it, but that's just how some years are. To get my fix I spent a few hours on flickr & wanted to share some of my favorites. Be merry, be inspired! Next year I'm starting my decorating the day after Thanksgiving : )

December 12, 2008

I Speak Visual


Hey, that's me! I'm so excited to be part of Nvidia's new campaign on speakvisual.com - they got a great group of creatives together & have produced a fantastic campaign, in my opinion : ) Nvidia makes graphics cards for computers (all new Macs ship with them) & the idea behind this campaign was for us to talk about our art & how computers & Nvidia help our process. I really like how they put it all together with our work as the "words" in the speech bubble - pretty cool.

This was my first experience like this & it was both nerve wracking & really fun. If you click on my face on the site you can see my interview - thanks to the miracle of editing they slowed down my voice so you can actually understand what I'm saying : )

A little inside info: I have really dry/red eyes thanks to allergies so they gave me these blue eye drops & they instantly turned white white. I asked where I could get them & they told me not to use them all the time. A little scary to hear that, but it was nice to not have red eyeballs for a change. And now you know...

December 8, 2008

Peek A Boo


I'm here, I've just been hiding behind this huge leaf for the last week!

I've been going a million miles a minute over here & have so much to blog, but oh where do I find the time. I just wanted to pop in & say hi - I have fun posts planned every day this week including a little no-sew Christmas project I made a tutorial for last year - I've been saving it for 12 months! The holiday decorating is not really going on at our house & we may not even be getting a tree this year due to our travel schedule (I know, so sad!) But I hope you're all getting into the spirit. I do plan on baking cookies next week - I at least have to do that.

Hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving photos - thanks to those who commented! This is the first year I've taken my camera & really documented what is such a wonderful tradition in Forest's family. Already looking forward to next year...

December 7, 2008

Thanksgiving Story

Grandpa Nick, 99 years young.









November 26, 2008

the paper pony on Nesting

We are packing up the car top carrier right now to head out for Thanksgiving, but there is a little interview I did over at Cookie Magazine's Nesting blog today. Ez of Creature Comforts also blogs there & was so nice to feature me. Thank you Ez!

Unfortunately no new pictures of the house in its current state (would like to do that soon) but some really fun questions. Nesting & Creature Comforts are both wonderful blogs if you're new to either of them.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Three things I'm thankful for (from the interview):

1. A healthy, thriving family
2. That I get to stay at home with my son, but also run a business doing something I love.
3. Living within driving distance from both our families. I am so, so thankful for that!

Be back next week!

November 25, 2008

Sarah & Chase's Engagement

Another beautiful day in Santa Barbara - from the Courthouse downtown to Butterfly Beach in Montecito. Sarah & Chase are another super cool couple & I'm looking forward to their wedding in May (gray bridesmaid dresses - love!)








November 21, 2008

Photographers Like These

[images by Mikkel Vang]

I randomly started receiving Gourmet Magazine in the mail last month. Maybe someone bought it for me as a gift, in which case thank you secret-magazine-subscription-giver! The mag has BEAUTIFUL photography & I have been so inspired. In school I stayed far away from the Food classes...all that lighting, ugh. It has always intimidated me even though I really love it. Looking at these photographs make me want to try it more & incorporate even more still life into my wedding photography.

I have two new heroes: Mikkel Vang (who shot the above images as well as these below)

[images by Mikkel Vang]

And Roland Bello:

[images by Roland Bello]

[images by Roland Bello]

Their people photography is wonderful as well, definitely worth a look through if you're so inclined.

Happy Friday everyone!

November 20, 2008

Jenny & Jesse's Engagement

I had such a fun afternoon with Jenny & Jesse in Marina Del Rey. We started at the harbor with their rad dog Bronson & then got some gorgeous light at the beach just before sunset.

After getting to spend some time with them I'm really looking forward to what I'm sure is going to be a fun & gorgeous wedding. Can't wait for April!