the wedding chronicles | decision #14

THE WEDDING BANDS

shopping for wedding bands was one of the most fun afternoons for phillip and me.  we returned to the same shop where phillip found my engagement ring and spent a couple of hours browsing rings, putting on rings, taking off rings, the whole enchilada!  the jewelers were patient with us as they explained everything and helped us narrow down our “styles” among the seemingly endless sea of options.  did we want something traditional?  did we want to be trendy?  did we want our rings to “go together?”  did we want yellow gold or white gold or a more non-traditional material entirely?  you see how it can be easy to spend lots of time trying to decide, yes?

we started the day off by looking for a band for me first.  i felt like i was in a dream as i examined case upon case of beautiful diamonds and designs.  i was so lucky to just be there browsing and even more fortunate that one of these gorgeous creations would be mine!  the owner melanie pulled some styles that were good pairings with my engagement ring, ones that matched nicely and others that were a little different but still complementary.  melanie made a good observation, saying that nowadays it’s very common for the wedding band to not necessarily match the engagement ring at all.  sometimes a “set” can be very beautiful but there really are now no rules for what the wedding band must be.  i liked that very much!  there are some things in life about which i am very old school and traditional, but i found that my eye was being drawn to some of the more modern band designs.  how about that!  i could have searched for hours more, but at some point the process gets a little overwhelming honestly.  i found i was stuck between one traditional band and one modern band.  not wanting to rush me, melanie suggested i wear both of them with my engagement ring in between while phillip searched for his ring.  she said that after having them on for a little while i would likely be more drawn to one of them.  well, i cannot argue with an expert, so i kept them both on as we switched gears to look for phillip’s band.

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you get a jewelry dish & you get a jewelry dish!

like many of you fellow creative minds out there, i have been racking my brain the past couple of weeks to try and decide what to get some of the special ladies in my life.  i didn’t really have much of an idea until i came across a post from a pinterest link that just seemed too good to be true.  it looked straightforward, it looked darling, and it looked like something i could actually do myself!  with that confidence, i was off to the local binders art store to stock up on the goods and see what kind of magic i could make.

ready to go, i cleared the dining room table to create some work space, pulled up the instructions, and tore into the supplies.  what would i be attempting to make?  these precious little jewelry dishes!

now, i’m not going to repeat the steps here, for i want the original geniuses elsie and emma to get all the credit.  their instructions are so easy to follow and so accurate that the whole thing is just about stupid-proof.

i will say, though, that i do have some tips from my personal, novice clay knowledge, and they are as follows:

  • make sure you’re not working on a precious surface.  i would never have done this craft on the beautiful wood surface of my table, so i used a flat board (basically tough cardboard) that i have lying around the house for an occasion such as this one.
  • be sure to use a good amount of white clay so that you have enough material to create a whole, sturdy dish.
  • don’t be shy with the colors!  one of the dishes had, i think, six different colors in it, some more than the others.  it all depends on the desired effect.
  • if you want more mixing of the colors to come through in the final product, then yes, as suggested in the original post, pull the ball of clay apart and smoosh it together a few times to get them all intermingled before you roll it out.
  • unless you absolutely want to be like a real artist, there’s no need to buy a little clay-cutting knife like the wooden one you’ll see in my pictures.  any ‘ole knife will do ya just fine.
  • the gold gilding, in my opinion, is a must!  it helps finish the sides nicely and bring a little pizzazz to the dishes.
  • also necessary is the glaze.  i did two coats on mine and i loved the dishes even more after coating them and making them shiny.

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this craft is simple, inexpensive, and quick.  with so many color combinations it was fun to decide which to pick for each girl so that the dish would match their personality perfectly.  a great Christmas gift, birthday gift, or even bridal party gift, this craft is sure to please.  amusez-vous!

san francisco – day 1

folks, it’s time this hard-working lady treated herself to a few days off from work.  where to, you ask?  well, if the title of this post isn’t a hint, i’m headed to san francisco.  yep!  a four and half hour delta flight brought me to this city on the bay for a long weekend to visit my cousin brian.  i know, how exciting!  he’s been living in this fair city for a little while now, and considering i’ve never spent time here, i figured a trip westward was in order.

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do i have much planned for my days in san fran?  not much besides a wine tour on saturday.  well, i take that back.  i plan to practically eat my way through the city.  i’ve promised myself i’ll do enough walking to justify the obscene amount of calories i’ll probably be consuming.  that order shouldn’t be too tall to keep since the weather in northern california is forecasted to be pretty gorgeous during my stay.  ah, thank you, mother nature, for your kindness!

but first, where does each cross-country journey begin?  an exhilarating flight across the nation, of course!  i hustled down to the airport this afternoon with my brand spankin’ new luggage (thanks to kari for helping me pick it out at tj maxx), left it at the baggage drop, and then patiently waited my turn in the security line.  i was a bit surprised by the number of fellow travelers this time in the middle of the week.  oh well, i was in no real rush, so i shuffled along and through like a good little guest.

after hitting the ladies’ room and filling my water bottle, i leisurely strolled on over to gate a24.  the gate attendants were getting ready to board first class, so i popped a squat and waited my turn.  i am a lazy boarder, so i usually just hop on at the end.  i mean, what’s the rush to squeeze yourself into a cramped airplane seat?  i always check my luggage since it’s free, so i don’t mind the later boarding.  plus, if you stick around the gate, you can be super touristy and take pictures of relatively boring and typical scenes.

isn’t this well-framed photo of my plane and jetway super interesting?

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and how about this one of the gate and all my fellow flyers?  we’ll be best friends long before touchdown in san fran!  oh, except for this lady on the right of the picture.  i’m sure she’d kill me if she knew i’d gotten this sweet shot of her white-washed jean backside.  hehe.

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oh, and here’s my personal favorite.  isn’t this delta sign just so picturesque with the fire hose totally photo bombing the entire thing?

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you didn’t think the simple act of boarding a plan could be this interesting, did you?  ah, just you wait!  i am a woman of many talents, one of them being the gift to make normally routine and bland life events highly entertaining.  i like to think i get it from my parents.  thanks, mom!  thanks, dad!

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the colors of the wind

okay, it’s no secret that i have a small love for nail polish.  i mean, my whole medicine cabinet is full of nearly every shade you can imagine.  i just cannot help myself when i walk down the cosmetics aisle.  a new color is such an exciting thing and can cheer you right up!  all my ladies out there can certainly relate.  all these shades just remind of “colors of the wind” in pocahontas, which means i just cannot leave this post written without this video to bring back all your childhood disney memories.  you’re welcome.

anyway!  the other night after dinner at bua thai in town brookhaven (which, by the way, might be some of the best thai and sushi i have found in town – it was top notch!), sarah and i took a stroll through publix so i could pick up ingredients for rocky road pie.  i also needed some new facewash, so down the beauty aisle we went and, oh, wouldn’t you know it!  a new nail polish jumped right out at me!  it was the revlon colorstay gel envy line, and the eggplant-plum color called “hold ’em” caught my eye instantly.  it’s a great semi-neutral, just different enough from a brown or nude to get someone’s attention but not so bright or pastel to be a little too much.  the color is rich and saturated and hasn’t chipped in the couple of days that i have had it on my nails.  it will definitely be a keeper, and i suspect i might be coming back for more.

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something else i want to highlight for you all are the lovely bracelets i’m sporting in this picture.  first off, i have my classic alex and ani monogram bracelet that my sweet cousin hannah got for me last summer.  along with it are a couple styles from the stella & dot spring collection.  the horseshoe wishing bracelet is just so dainty and unique that i couldn’t resist.  also there is the amelie sparkle bracelet, which isn’t particularly my style, but i liked the idea of the clear stones with the gold accent; lets me mix and match it with some other pieces.  gotta spice things up every once in a while!

dc – day 2

saturday morning we lounged around in bed, trying to convince ourselves to get our day going.  we eventually freshened up and made the lovely walk to the eastern market area.  the weather was just GORGEOUS.  i could not get over how beautiful it was, and i counted myself quite lucky that we were able to spend the day outside in the sunshine, catching rays and just enjoying everything around us.

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