(Loving these prints by Jason LaFerrera.)
(My new favorite flickr photostream, by rosemary.)
(It's been a long time since I've visited The Black Apple. I love these new additions.)
(I keep running across these clay creations from corduroy... and I want one!)
How was your weekend? My "bachelorette" weekend in Portland with my maid of honor was very relaxing and yummy. We ate at Cafe Nell (yum: the grilled asparagus rhubarb bruschetta) and The Farm Cafe (yum: the beet carpaccio, as well as the risotto cakes), browsed the farmers market in the rain, spent several hours relaxing at The Dragontree spa, and walked her dog around the neighborhood while catching up.
p.s. some of you asked about the new photo of me in the sidebar. Yes, that's my wedding hair trial! There's a larger version here on Flickr.
(pretty photo by jezico rivera.)
I'm off to Portland for a spa weekend with my maid of honor! Hope you all have a relaxing weekend.
(Photo by anna koshechkina.)
Okay, I lied when I said that wedding posts were done for the week. For those of you who cringe at the sight of these, don't worry, your regularly scheduled programming will return soon....
So. The ring pillow. Why are good ones so hard to find? Almost all of them are frilly and expensive. This is my DIY version. I bought the felt from Felt On The Fly (pure wool felt cuts cleanly and is thicker than regular felt), cut out two 6" squares and sewed some felt leaves on, then added a few tiny translucent seed beads for "sparkle" (these are the same beads I use on the me and you necklaces). The pillow is stuffed with fiberfill, which looks like a hovering cloud in the photo below. Weird, right? It reminds me of one of my favorite movies.
Hope you're having a nice weekend.
(You can never have too many, right? Loving these from sarah foote.)
...and you might need some new jewelry to go with those cute outfits, I'm having a sale in my etsy shop now through June 11th. Just use the code "almostsummer" at checkout and get 20% off your order!
Just one more wedding-related post for this week, okay?
We'll be there in early October for five days, staying in a rental apartment in Le Marais. We don't have an itinerary yet, and I'm sure it will be hard narrowing the choices down because there are so many things to do. Some things that I have my heart set on: the Louvre. The Eiffel Tower. A Seine River cruise. Notre Dame. Jardin des Tuileries. Sacré Coeur. And, of course, lots and lots of macarons and baguettes and café au lait.
Have you ever been to Paris? Do you have any favorite pâtisseries or hidden gardens?
Last night I finished painting these mini versions of us for the top of our wedding cake. We aren't having a traditional cake – it's going to be small, because there will be a selection of other desserts, too – and originally I was just going to put a fresh flower on top and leave it at that. But then I saw these and these and was suddenly dying to make my own.
It took forever, but it was fun. I haven't painted anything in a really long time. If you want to make some for yourself (or as an awesome gift for someone), here's what you need:
- blank wooden couple from wunderkind
- 1/2" mushroom button from s is for supplies (for the bun, but you have to saw off the bottom)
- super glue (for attaching the bun)
- acrylic paint
- various small generic art bushes
Tips & Tricks:
- sketch all the lines on first with pencil, paint over them, then erase any leftover lines after the paint dries
- paint in layers – for instance, I painted stefan's white shirt first, then the tie over it later
- you don't need every paint color in existence – learn how to mix shades to make new colors
- use the tip of an x-acto knife to scratch away any small mistakes
(Lovely photo by Anne Steele.)
Where did the week go? My apologies for the lack of posts the last few days. I've been busy with lots of things, including figuring out our October honeymoon. I would give you hint, but then it would be completely obvious. I'll share more next week.
(I love this idea from ACME Party Box Company: products that can be repurposed after the party's over.)
(...besides fresh strawberries...is Miss Dior Chérie Eau de Toilette. It smells like prettiness in a bottle.)
(...make me happy, like these by katarina of grain and silk.)
(Photo by the talented Bahar Özdemir.)
Thank you for all your kind words about the apple galette and our wedding invitations this week. I really do appreciate them. And what's this? A long weekend? I'll take it. Here's a few loved links for the weekend:
Shirt + necklace combos.
A fun mix of balloons.
Cute baby eggplants.
A simple desert wedding.
A magical place to live.
I've always had my heart set on a wedding invitation with multiple parts to it. (I've also always had this fascination with things that contain several smaller things, like matryoshka dolls.) Our invitation is made up of three flat cards, printed on both sides: one is the actual invitation, another has important details and a detachable RSVP, and a third has a map & directions. Then there's the RSVP envelope and the mini calendar reminder for guests to put in their day planner or on their fridge.
Whew. Can I just say that I'm glad we have a small guest list?
I wanted the invitations to feel personal to the recipients. The whole "suite" is held together by a band that I reverse-printed each invitee's name on. When the band comes off, it reveals the "Love, R&S" on the first card.
The directions card is a smaller, purse-friendly size. Maps are not my favorite thing to design, but I'm happy with how it turned out. On the back are detailed directions.
The last card has the nitty-gritty details and the RSVP, which can be detached. It's hard to see here, but I lightly perforated the "detach here" line with a tracing wheel.
On the back, there's a quote from A.A. Milne, aka Winnie-the-Pooh's author ("Some people care too much. I think it's called love.") and then there's a few lines for guests to write a note to us, if they'd like to. As we're getting these cards back in the mail, it's definitely making them more special to receive.
And here's the miniature calender that I gave you guys a sneak peek of a couple weeks ago. It's meant as a reminder, but a similar design could easily be used for save-the-dates.
Ok, so we're not actually inviting David Bowie. (I wish!) I printed the mailing & return addresses directly onto the envelopes, added a little bit of gold washi tape, and used my favorite stamps. Et voilà!
(...over on Snippet & Ink. I love all the details.)
I've always liked the "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" saying. Maybe because I eat a lot of them. Usually, I just munch on apples plain and fresh. But sometimes it's fun to dress them up, too. And the best way to do this, if you ask me? An apple galette. If you've never heard of a galette, it's basically a freeform rustic tart. In other words, it comes out looking perfectly imperfect.
I adapted this recipe from Too Much Food, who adapted it from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Alice Waters & Jacques Pepin of Chez Panisse. (I love how recipes are handed around and reshaped like that.) I made a couple changes and omitted the glaze. The glaze tasted nice, but I didn't think the extra work drastically enhanced the taste of the final dessert. Go ahead and try it from the original recipe if you like.
Enough blabbing! Let's get baking. Watch the video below or here on vimeo.
The Apple Galette (serves 2 to 4, depending on how generous you're feeling)
adapted from Too Much Food
for the dough
1 cup flour (I used a 50/50 mix of white and wheat)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
chilled water, as needed (I used about 6 tbsp)
for the filling
2 medium apples peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar (more or less depending on how tart your apples are)
turbinado sugar for topping (optional)
For the dough, sift flour in a large bowl. Mix in sugar and salt. Cut in butter, working quickly, to prevent it from completely melting. Continue until the biggest pieces of butter are roughly the size of large peas. Add chilled water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just holds together. Gather dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
When the dough is ready, roll out on a floured surface or on plastic wrap to a 14" circle about 1/8" thick. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400°F.
For the filling, place apple slices in a bowl with melted butter and sugar. Toss to coat. Overlap the apples in a circle 2" from the edge of the dough. Continue spiraling inward until you've reached the center. Fold over the edges of the dough, and sprinkle dough edge with turbinado sugar if desired (I do this for added texture more than for sweetness).
Bake on middle rack of oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Rotate the galette every 15 minutes for an evenly baked crust. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
(One of each, please! These cocktail jelly shots almost look too nice to eat.)
Max is visiting this week.
This is pretty much what he & Bodhi do all day. They stare at each other for a while, and sometimes they nap on the same dog bed, and sometimes they jump around or roll on the floor.
(Music is Gone So Long by Wonderful.)
(...is the name of Hound's newest collection, and I'm smitten.)
(I've long been a fan of Restless Things, especially Olivia's white gouache drawings...)
I paid a little visit to the hair salon today. I asked for an ombre effect, meaning that the bottom of my hair was lightened and blended up into my natural dark hair color. (Here's a bunch of lovely examples on Pinterest.) It's lighter than I've ever gone, which is kinda nerve-racking, but I like that it's more of a summer look. Have any of you changed your hair color lately?
I guess I haven't shared many wedding updates, have I?
Okay, my bad. But I did buy a dress that I love. (I should probably stop trying it on so much.)
To be honest, there isn't much else to show. Everything is still in progress, or in bits and pieces. Our invitations aren't quite ready yet. (I'll share them after they've been mailed.) This week I'm meeting with a florist to order bulk flowers. Next weekend we're hoping to buy wedding bands.
If I had any advice to give? Don't feel like you have to do something just because it's what you're "supposed" to do. Our guest list is barely over 35 people. We're having the ceremony and dinner at a nice restaurant. We don't have a traditional wedding party; we just have a maid of honor and a best man. We asked a relative to officiate the ceremony. We're not tossing a bouquet/garter, ordering a big wedding cake, or making a grand entrance. (Not that any of those things are bad, but it's just not us.)
There's only about two months left until the wedding. Not only will it be our wedding day, but it will also be our 9th anniversary of dating. Crazy, right? I was too impatient to wait until our 10th year ;)
You may (or may not) have noticed that I removed my old mixtapes – I decided it was better not to host the files on this blog. My new mixtapes will now be on 8tracks (discovered via Kate).
Anyway, I wanted to throw together a quick mix before April was over. Listen to it above or here!
Where Is My Mind (Maxence Cyrin)
Jump on Stage (Girl Talk)
The World I Know (Collective Soul)
Cherry Blossom Girl (Air)
Walilamdzi (Devendra Banhart)
Big Jet Plane (Angus and Julia Stone)
Once I Had A Love (Blondie)
Everlasting Light / The Mummers Remix (The Black Keys)
We were flipping through channels on TV a couple nights ago and saw a cat on Animal Planet that looked just like Rufus. Not only that, but the Rufus lookalike was revealed to be a specific breed – a nebelung, which I'd never heard of before. Apparently, it's a rare breed. Who knew?
Look at all these nebelungs on Flickr! A few of them look so much like our Rufus that it's scary.
(Lots of lovely fabric in cottonholic's shop. Oh, how I wish I could sew.)
It's been six months since I quit my day job and started running my shop full-time. It's actually turned out pretty much as I imagined it would be. I've gotten into a routine: I get up when Stefan leaves for work, eat a quick breakfast, work on orders and answer emails and take care of all the other things running a small business requires, and then walk the ten blocks to the post office sometime late in the afternoon. That's how it basically goes. Sometimes I work on weekends; sometimes I give myself a day off.
I really enjoy it. I do. But working from home isn't perfect, either. It's easy to get cabin fever. And there's always the unpredictability. What if I get twenty orders today? What if I get zero? All you can do is work your hardest. What about luck? Yes, there's that. But luck, to me, doesn't mean it's brought on simply by chance. As Seneca said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."
Thank you for all your continued support of my shop and this blog. It is, as always, very much appreciated.