Thursday, June 7, 2012

Everyday I'm Rufflin': Part 2

Before we started the wedding planning process, I introduced Julie to the greatness that is The Inspiration Board. I spent hours pulling images from the internet to create inspo boards and color schemes for every event for Julie so she could see what I envisioned all these years for her entire wedding weekend.  Luckily, she trusted me.  She knows I am all about the details.  And, luckily, she loved everything.  When we started out, Julie didn't know what an inspo board was.  At the end of it all, she has recommended it to all her friends that are planning their own weddings. Me so proud.  

When I think of Spain, I think ruffles, lace and wrought iron.  I wanted to keep to a literal translation of Spain because it was an Indian event.  I figured if I didn't go all in-your-face Espana, then the whole Spanish theme that Julie wanted would have gotten lost in the sea of salwars and punjabs.  I also wanted a touch of a rustic look since that was the on-going theme of Julie's entire weekend.

The details for the mehndi were pretty fab if I do say so myself. I, once again, convinced my dear friend Mandy to do some dirty work. I really don't know what I'd do without Mandy. Between Julie, myself and Mandy, we knocked this party of out the ballpark.

The location was a spot I'd been to for a friend's sangeet/mehndi night over 6 years ago. It is an old city hall and fire station in a cute part of town.  I saved it in my mental Julie file specifically for her mehdni.  But, I had forgotten about it until Julie started asking me for ideas for spots because she needed a place close to all her events.  Luckily her questions jogged my memory because it was kind of perfect.  Very charming.

After we sent out the invitations, the first order of business was the backdrop, which you've seen already.

I worked on the backdrop when I wasn't working on other things with Julie and Mandy.

The second order of business was the centerpieces.  I fell in love with this photo shoot back in 2010 when Merci featured a tablescape by Rock Paper Scissors.  I'd tucked the idea away for an event, so I selfishly pressured Julie into letting me do this for the mehndi.  Imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered Rock Paper Scissors posted a tutorial on them.  Best.Day.Ever.  Julie wasn't totally convinced because she knew it was going to be very labor intensive, but since cost was a big factor, I talked her into it.  I also was thrilled because even though I'd loved the idea from the get-go, it was a huge coincidence that their photo shoot decor was for a Spanish modern event.  It was meant to be.  Love when that happens.  

I caught a sale at Hobby Lobby and bought all the paper in different shades of oranges, yellows, and red.  I also pulled from my own stash of cardstock leftover from my wedding.  Mandy was our designated tracer.  I had planned for only 50 of them, but Mandy squeezed in an additional 18.  68 in total.  And since I am all about 'more is more', I was ecstatic.

I know Julie felt that her time was best spent on other things than cutting paper, so I only made her cut about a third of them so she could see them at the event and know it was all worth it.

Between Mandy and I, we assembled them all.

Julie and Mr. Bean kept telling me that even though I kept the costs down, I have to look at what our time was worth.  But the impact was pretty amazing.  It was worth it to me.  And I think Mandy agrees.

I had them placed everywhere I could in the space. Every where there was a table, I made sure there were flowers.

The third order of business was the food table.

Since the night was supposed to be an informal event, I didn't spend a lot of time on the banners, but the crafter in me definitely wanted to include a big welcome for everyone that came into the space.  Unfortunately, there was not a good place to hang it, so I had it hung on the food table.  I was hesitant to keep all the banners in Spanish since it was an Indian function, but Julie said to keep it authentic and even came up with the idea of saying "Bienvenidos" instead of just "Welcome".  Too cute.

I stitched rolls of yellow and red crepe paper on my sewing machine to resemble ruffles to use as decor anywhere I could on the food and dessert table.

All the wrought iron decor was literally taken off my sister's walls and off her shelves at home. I literally walked around her house one weekend and took pics of her inventory.  Lucky for me, she could see my vision for everything.  I kept it simple for the most part and excluded any glass so nothing was broken.  She and my BIL were kind enough to drive it down 5 hours for the event.  There is nothing like free decor.  If she hadn't been so sweet as to let me borrow it for this event, some of it might not have made it back.....just sayin'.

I had the paper flowers placed all over the food table and included my new favorite decor item.  A roll of burlap ribbon.  I'm kind of obsessed with burlap anything, so it had to make the table.   

I have a wine crate obsession.  I begged, borrowed, and stole 5 wine crates for this event.  I am not proud of myself.  OK, maybe I am.  

The food table was really festive looking.  I wish I could have decorated it with everything I wanted to, but ultimately, I kept it simple and nothing of my sister's was broken so I can't complain.

Last, but definitely not least, was the last order of business: the dessert table.  I envisioned this dessert table when I was raiding my sister's house.  I am proud to say it looked even cuter than I imagined.

Priti wowed everyone again with her cake-abilities and made some dulce de leche flavored cake pops in red, yellow, and orange for the event.  She's great at creating some insane flavors and colors to coordinate with your event.  These were amazing.  As usual.   If you are in the Dallas/Frisco area, hit me up.  I can  put you in touch with her.  She'll be glad to work on your event with you.  You can see more of her work here and here.  

I used wine crates to give the cake pops some height so they could really show off their cuteness.  I just think food tastes better when it is presented well.  Not that I had anything to do with how good these cake pops were.  :)  

I definitely wanted to include the ruffled crepe paper on the cake pop display.  That was actually why I spent the time to ruffle crepe paper.  The bins for the utensils and the front of the food table was just bonus.

For the banners, I cut the tops of some red heart paper doilies and attached them to jute twine.  Instead of food labels, I made miniature banners to match the other banners and attached them to twine as well.

I don't have a better close up of it, but I draped some rope around the wrought iron.  You can see it here.  It is actually old sari fabric that was made into a rope.  I bought these at the Quilt Festival last year specifically for Julie's mehndi.  I had the color scheme already in my head even then.  

I included some flowers where I could.  You can see the food label banners here as well.  

Again, here was another banner and the sari rope.  Postres in Spanish means desserts.

We included some mango and pineapple empanadas from a local bakery on the dessert table as well as churros.  If you've been to Spain, you know churros y chocolate are a must.

I kept the actual food labels simple with some cardstock left over from the invitations and used the scraps left over from the red paper heart doilies to embellish it.

Unfortunately, I never got a shot of the favors at the event, but I will include a post on all the gift wrapping for the wedding shortly.

All in all, I was extremely proud of this event.  I am usually second guessing myself on every detail and I have to bug my friends and my Seester about everything I am unsure about - which is everything.  I constantly berate myself and constantly worry what people will think.  If it will look cheesy.  Or cheap.  But this time I think I was too busy with all the other details of the wedding to bother myself with second guessing.  So I am proud that I just did it.  It wasn't until the night before the mehndi as I was packing it all up that I thought to myself, "Oh, sh*t.  What am I doing?  Is it enough?"  It was probably the largest event I've styled on the smallest budget.  And besides the money talk, I put a lot of work into making this an event people would be talking about.  And they did.  The biggest compliment I heard was from a friend of the groom that said, "This is not a typical mehndi party.  Nothing about this is typical." That's exactly what I wanted to give Julie.

If you are still with me after this long post, here is the thank you portion of my post.....I can't get by without thanking everyone that helped me.

Thank you, Sarah, for taking pics of all the details you know I wanted.  You're awesome.

Thank you, Julie, for trusting me to pull off an event like this. Your mehndi.  For your wedding.  Crazy.    Also, thanks for sticking it out and cutting those petals.  I purposely didn't give you a ton to do because I was afraid you'd call the whole idea off :) but glad you didn't.  I hope you see it was all worth it.

Thank you, Bhavik, for all your work. Not just that night but all week.  I know it sucks to be a brother when your sister is getting married because you get stuck with so much of the grunt work, but you are awesome for putting up with all of us.  Thank you for always having kind words for me.  I'm sorry I always cry, but you and your family mean the world to me.  Thanks for letting me be a part of it all.  Love you.

Thank you, Seester, for helping me set up and keep sane.  I know we were under a time crunch - which I don't always handle well - but you kept me focused and kept me from losing it.  You are always the best at making me laugh at myself.  And thank you for letting me raid your house for your decor.  You really should just let me keep it all....for my next event.  :)

Thank you, Priti.  You are crazier than I am. :)  Thanks for helping me set up while I was frantic. Thanks for trusting me to display your work. Your cake pops were amazing.  As usual.  We make a good team, me and you. :)

Thank you, Mandy.   I secretly call you for help to get a chance to see you.  I know you stretch yourself thin with all your activities, but you always manage to squeeze in time for some hard core craft labor when I ask it of you.  And you always stay enthusiastic about it - which even I have a hard time doing sometimes.  I really don't know what I'd do without you. 

June Obsessions

I cannot believe it is already June.  I didn't really obsess over too much this time around.  I haven't really been playing around on the internet lately.  I've mostly been catching up on TV and cleaning out the Bean house.  I try to do a good spring clean every year, but sometimes it turns into a summer clean.  This time around, I realized I've let my house go the last few months so I am spending some time reorganizing.  It is a slow process but I think it will be worth it in the long run.  Now, on to my latest obsessions.
{image via Container Store}
Shelf Dividers.  I am a closet neat freak.  I say 'closet' because I tend to jump from completely organized to insanely messy if I don't have enough time to put everything back exactly where it is supposed to go. So Container store is kind of my guilty pleasure shopping spot.  I could spend all of my life savings at Container Store.  Sometimes during lunch, my mom and I will just go and walk the aisles and dream of a perfectly organized Container Store home.  Since I'm doing some reorganizing, I've been hanging out at Container Store a lot more.  These shelf dividers make me smile.  I swear I invented these in my head years ago.  It drives me crazy when my towels and linens get thrown around in the closet.  The shelf dividers maintain my sanity.  It keeps all my towels from spilling over onto my teal towels and my tea towels separate from my napkins.  I couldn't be happier.  They come in tall as well for that very top shelf.

{image via Fat Quarter Shop}
Mod Century by Jenn Ski.  I've been reading Jenn Ski's blog for a several years now.  Love her mid century aesthetic and I am a huge fan of her artwork.  And her home.  It's Mad Men pimp.  She's now got a fabric line out thru Moda.  And it is pretty fantastic.  I'm going to need 5 yards of every one of those prints, please.

Next to Me, Emeli Sande.   I heard this the other day and couldn't stop singing it in my head.  Love it.  You'll have to click thru to You Tube to hear it, but it's worth the trouble.

That's all I have this month.  I hope everyone is staying cool. It seems like every time I make peace with the summer humidity, it gets hotter and more humid.  Bleh.  But, hopefully, Mr. Bean and I can take a break soon and head to the pacific northwest to cool off.  Hopefully that's very soon.  

Monday, June 4, 2012


I promise I will return to the crafty posts shortly.  I have been busy at work and lazy at home which has been a good combo so far.

I turn 35 this month and it doesn't make me cringe like I thought it would 10 years ago. Maybe that will happen when I turn 40.  Because just typing 40 makes me kind of cringe.  I thought I'd share some things with you that I've learned over these 35 hard-headed years of mine.  From being a bad judge of character.  From being a good judge of character.  From making a lot of mistakes.  From watching my friends make mistakes.  From watching a lot of reality TV.  There are a lot of life lessons to be learned from reality TV.  That should be #36 on the list. This is a growing list, so maybe when I turn 40 I will have a few more to share with you.  But for now, here are 35 things I've learned in 35 years.

 1.  The truth always hurts.

 2.  Listen to your friends.  They see things you don't want to see.

 3.  There is a reason why he is called your first love. There will be others.  Let go and then just be patient.

 4.  Life is short.  Never take your friends or family for granted.  You never know when they will be taken away from you.

 5.  Jealousy = immaturity + insecurity.   

 6.  Some people will never change.

 7.  When you are young, you have a long list of things a guy must be in order for him to be The One. The older you get, the list becomes things the guy must not be in order for him to be The One.  When you meet The One, all lists go out the window.  

  8.  Make sure everything you have on your (above) list of are things you can live up to as well. 

  9.  An Oprah gem:  Kids need to think that you care before they care what you think.  This can also say people need to think that you care before they care what you think. 

10.  'Should of,' 'would of,' 'could of' never gets anyone anywhere.

11.  You can learn a lot from a dog....

    (a).  Always be happy to see your loved ones no matter how long it's been since you've seen them.

    (b).  Even a bump on the road can be a good as a good pillow for a cat nap.

    (c).  Always see the fun in things. Make time to play.

    (d).  Loyalty is underrated.

    (e).  There's nothing like a good walk.
    (f).  There's nothing like a good nap.

    (g).  Love like a dog loves.  Unconditionally.

    (h).  When someone keeps pulling at your tail, don't be afraid to snap at them.  Translation:  You should aim to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek, but at some point you need to just stick up for yourself and not let them keep walking all over you.   

     (i).  Stay hungry. Stay foolish.  Steve jobs said it, but dogs live it everyday. 

12. 'When people show you who they are, believe them.'  Maya Angelou knows what she is talking about.

13.  What goes around always, always, always comes around.

14.  A smile can do wonders.

15.  Your relationship will never mature if both of you choose to keep acting immature. Grow up or get out of it.

16.  If you don't treat him that way, then you shouldn't let him treat you that way.

17.  Self confidence is more beautiful than anything you can buy. Wear it. Show it.

18.  Self respect is better than anything he could pretend to give you.  Respect yourself enough to know when you don't need him in your life.

19.  You can forgive someone, but that doesn't mean you have to forget what they've done to you.

20.  Another gem from Oprah:  You teach people how to treat you. 

21.  Relationships should be simple. You shouldn't have to explain it. If you have to explain it, it's not the right relationship for you. 

22.  If you can't introduce him to your friends, then you are not with the right guy.

23.  Take ownership of your mistakes and say you are sorry.  It's not that hard. 

24.  You are not entitled to anything.  Earn it.  It makes you appreciate what you have in the long run.

25.  He can't read your mind.  Actually, no one can.

26.  Parents actually know what they are talking about. Take their advice more often.

27.  You deserve to be happy everyday.  A gem from Ronnie of Jersey Shore. 

28.  If he tells you he doesn't see himself ever getting married, he really means he doesn't see himself ever marrying you.  See #1.

29.  Regarding worry: All you have is today. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow isn't here yet.  From my pastor, Ben Young.

30.  Believe in something.

31.  If it's not working, you can't always fix it.

32.  When you are always giving and he is always taking, you are the one that always end up empty handed.

33.  'Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.'  A quote by Carrie Fisher that has stuck with me. 

34.  Haters gonna hate. 

35.  Be yourself.  It may take a while to figure out who you are, but once you find out, just be.