what I do

what I do

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Twenty-five candles

We spent the long Thanksgiving weekend with my daughter in her little tiny town. It was everything a Thanksgiving weekend should be ... family and great food and time to sit and relax. And ponder. I took a drive one day into the mountains and soaked in the golden leaves and collected some pine cones and evergreen branches. And I did a little research on Advent. 

When I was growing up we did not talk about Advent. Or if we did, I missed it. Advent to me was opening up little cardboard calendars with chocolates inside ... it was nothing more than a countdown to Christmas.  

I decided that I wanted this year to be more simplified. More about the thought behind this season than the frantic pursuit of gifts and bringing down the boxes and boxes of ornaments. 

I decided I want it to be more about Advent. I read here about the way this family celebrates Advent.

I tried to find an wooden advent "wreath" like they used. But couldn't. So I decided to make my own. 

One candle for each day until Christmas. The tall candles are for the Sundays leading up to Christmas and one for Christmas Day. Each day I will light one candle, read a scripture and say a prayer. It is a way to stop and reflect; to focus on what is important to me. 
I read that the candles represent Hope, and Love, Joy and Peace. Can't we can all use more of those?

"Arise, shine;
  For your light has come!
  And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 
  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
  And deep darkness the people;
  But the LORD will arise over you,
  And His glory will be seen upon you."
                  -Isaiah 60:1-2

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Being Thankful

Are you feeling thankful?

Sometimes it is the simplest of things. A handwritten note left on your desk saying exactly what you needed to hear at that moment ... a card in the mail from a dear friend ... encouraging words spoken kindly ...

A friend dropping by at just the right moment with a sweet gift and a listening ear ...

A beautiful flower greeting you in the early morning ...

Being thankful for the littlest of things is a good place to start. My ongoing prayer is that I will be reminded more of what I do have than what I do not. 

Being thankful is good for the soul. And so is pie! Wishing you a meaningful holiday. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Vintage Barn Wedding at Strawberry Farms

Sarah and Bryan got married at Strawberry Farms Golf Club in Irvine and it was the perfect wedding. 

I loved this wedding. The bride knew exactly what she wanted ... vintage furniture sitting on the lawn, old doors for her altar, bouquets with a few spectacular flowers and a lot of greenery and old bottles for her centerpieces. The guest book table belonged to her great-grandmother. The typewriter is mine and she purchased her guest book from The Paper Walrus on Etsy.

Her dress was ivory lace and her bridesmaids dresses were a gorgeous mint green. I made all the bouquets and arrangements. 

Photo via Facebook

I made a smaller version of the bride's bouquet for her to throw and we used it on the guest book table. 

About a month before the wedding the bride took a calligraphy class. We had some boards made and I helped her make her own signs. 

It was her idea to use the ladders. I was happy to use this one of mine that had never been used. We had planned on placing two large white balloons with tassels - one on either side of the aisle but the wind prevented us from doing so. White rose petals lined the aisle (the photos were taken before they were placed) and the smallest of two flower girls was pulled down the aisle in a red wagon.

A vintage suitcase held the gift cards.

The bride and her father found the doors, hinged them together doors and painted them to match the bridesmaid's dresses. We hung my sister's antique chandelier from a brace on the top.  I painted my side table to match the door and we used it to hold two small posies for the bride and groom's mothers. 

 I borrowed some old vintage windows from a friend and wrote the table assignments on it with a white paint pen.

I brought in my vintage furniture for a seating area next to the barn where the guests enjoyed food and drinks during the cocktail hour. The bride's sister provided the trunk.

We displayed photographs of the coupe between ladders that the bride had found. She saw the idea on Pinterest. We selected the fabric together and I made the banners.

The bride and her mom collected old bottles and votive holders for months. Before the wedding she dropped them off and I added some of mine to make 10 sets; one for each guest table. The day before the wedding I filled them with flowers and then placed them in empty wine boxes to transport them. We rented the brass candle holders - three for each table.

I made the menu cards and printed them on gray cardstock. I hand drew the tags from a sketch the bride texted me of one she had drawn based on her guest book design. I scanned my drawing on to my computer and printed them on white cardstock.  

The bride painted her initials on an old window I found.

The sweetheart table was a console table I found on Craigslist and the settee is mine as well. We used my sister's vintage plates for the bride and groom.  After the ceremony, we moved the altar doors inside the barn and placed them behind the sweetheart table. 

The cakes and small desserts were from Sweet & Saucy Shop in Long Beach and were placed on furniture that belonged to the bride's sister. The vintage plates and pedestals were provided by the bakery.

It was a fabulous wedding ... and so much fun being part of it. Seriously, I have the best job ever!

Photography: Prizler Photography. Thanks sis!