30 September 2010

Eight Months To Go...

So this week I received an email titled "8 Months to Go!" from TheKnot.com.  In all of my obsessing and preparing for baby, I had almost completely forgotten about another important upcoming event... our wedding.  Yikes!  And now that I feel as ready as I'll ever be for the little one to arrive, I have once again shifted my attention to wedding details.  Despite the fact that I've already had more than a year to plan, a wedding planner looks like a really good option at this point.  But thanks to my spring planning binge, we have chosen and booked a photographer, a florist and a bakery.  I feel really good about the vendors we've picked, especially our photographer Ashley Brokop.  I am so lucky to have stumbled upon her work and quickly snagged her for our date.  Check out some of her beautiful photographs...

All photos copyright Ashley Brokop. 

Mmm!  I am so excited to finally meet her and see what she does with our wedding.  Her vision is amazing and different for every couple- what a talent! 

We are having the reception at Buck Ridge Plantation in Orangeburg, SC.  I actually won the venue through a promotion on our local FOX station this winter.  I still can't believe it because I've never won anything, but I'm ecstatic- my mom and I visited in the spring and it was just beautiful.  As an added bonus, the chef at Buck Ridge is supposed to be fabulous, which is a huge relief.  Venue, check.  Caterer, check. 

Edisto Manor, the site of our reception, at Buck Ridge Plantation

The next order of business is the all important dress, which I already bought from White on Daniel Island.  I went to White for an Amsale Trunk Show and ended up loving one of store owner and designer Jodi Moylan's one of a kind dresses, which she designed and had made in Barcelona.  I do have a picture, but I am not going to reveal it until the big day.  Jodi was absolutely awesome and White is a fabulous store that I would recommend to anyone.

So, really we're not in bad shape, but I am having trouble organizing the details and narrowing down my vision.  I want something eclectic and vintage, but still elegant, of course.  The venue is kind of country with a definite Southern feeling, so I don't want any of my decorations to compete with that.   Lighting is hugely important and I would LOVE to have lanterns and candles everywhere because the plan is to have the reception outside under a giant tent.

Here is my inspiration board (click to enlarge) with some of my favorite compiled wedding photos from various sources, including TheKnot.com, MarthaStewartWeddings.com, Apartment Therapy, House Beautiful and Veranda.  From the collage, you can clearly see the play between rustic and refined, eclectic and elegant.  I love the color range from warm white to powder pink to coral and orange with yellow accents.  I wanted to do different table runners on each of the round reception tables, which would consist of different floral fabrics in my color range either alternated or trimmed with burlap.  Ideally, I would have the tablecloths made from 3 to 5 of my favorite fabrics and all of the runners in burlap, but that could get kind of pricey, so, unfortunately, I have to compromise, which  is not my speciality. 

I'd like to have flower vessels of varying widths and heights on the tables dotted with votive candles, instead of one large arrangement.  I somehow want to incorporate the moss topiaries because I love them and think they help keep all of the pink and whimsy grounded.  I found the birch covered planters, julep cups, moss balls and chalk boards on Save-On-Crafts.com.   

I dream of a dessert table consisting of ivory, pink, and orange sweets.  We will have a three tier cake decorated simply without any fake fondant or wax.  I want to also have cupcakes from a local shop that makes the most mouth watering treats.  I might be very bold and ask my aunt to make some pies or other deserts that I will put on pedestals both short and tall.  The dessert table will be lined with numerous apothecary jars full of candies and chocolates.  I want it to look as if it just descended from sugar heaven, glowing with warm tones and white frosting.  Ahh! My mind is racing faster than my fingers can type.  I need to lay down.

Please leave any wedding ideas or suggestions... I need all the help I can get.

28 September 2010

Design Icon: Krista Ewart

Perusing my inspiration book the other day, I noticed a familiar name and a common theme: Krista Ewart.  I can't believe I never took notice before, but I have collected many photos of her work over the years and even did a whole post about a home she did in California ( So Inspired! ) without ever realizing that I had been "so inspired" by her quite a few times before.  I just love her ultra feminine, anything goes style.  Enjoy.

Learn more about Krista Ewart and her work at http://www.kristaewart.com/ .

23 September 2010

People Who Inspire Me: Elizabeth Crawford

I feel extremely fortunate to have encountered so many fascinating and talented people in my 24 short years.  It thrills me to meet others who appreciate the ordinary and extraordinary beauty all around us every day.  Lizzy is one of those exceptional people who has the rare talent of capturing that beauty in her always thoughtful and, at times, fabulously melancholy photographs.  I admire her gift immensely as I have little to no photographic prowess and I had great difficulty narrowing down only a few from all of my favorites ... so I didn't.  She was gracious enough to let me have my pick.  Thanks, Liz!

(Please note that some of the photographs would not fit as original size and I had to resize them thus losing some clarity.  Please click on the photos to open them in a new window as their original size.)

When did you take your first photograph? Describe, please. Did your parents hand you a camera at a young age or was photography something you discovered later or by accident? Tell me about this...

It wasn’t until a high school trip to France that I really started photographing. My twin brother, John, took great care focusing the shots he took of ancient castle and historic landmarks. My parents framed a few of them and put them up on the mantlepiece.  I had mostly taken photos of silly things like the dirt at Versailles or snap shots of the other students. When I showed them my photos from the trip my mother laughed and called them “people pictures.” I still don’t really know what she meant by that.
When I got back to the U.S. I bought a Nikon powershot camera that looked like it was made out of body armor. Within a year I took 5,000 photos with it. Turns out, it was not made of body armor. The corners were busted in, the whole surface of the body was covered in scratches. I really did a number on that camera carrying it around all the time.

What inspires you? Who inspires you? (People, places, motifs, anything)

Those first 5,000 photos I took in high school are lost because my laptop’s hard drive failed but I’m not totally heartbroken about this. I took photos of everything. Anything that caught my eye, really. I used to keep my powershot on the corner of my desk in class in case anyone did something interesting enough to photograph.
My best friend at the time told me that my camera was more like an extension of my right hand and anytime she saw me without it I was as unhappy as anyone who had just lost a limb.
I’ve studied fine art for the past four years and I’ve learned so much about the history of photography and contemporary themes in blue-chip art. The truth is, when I started photographing my daily life it was really a ferocious attempt to capture every moment so that I wouldn’t forget it.

Has being a photographer changed how you see people and things? For instance, are you always putting a frame around life and situations?

Oh, always. I’ll never forget showing my photos to my high school art teacher for the first time. She flipped through the two hundred thumbnails I gave her and after a few minutes she looked up at me and said, “I wish I could see the world the way you do.”
I am constantly hoping that someday a lens on a camera will produce the same peripheral affects of the human eye. That’s probably why I love my wide angle lens so much.

What is the most interesting/scary/weird dream you've ever had?

I go through phases of dreaming. Last summer I dreamt in action movies. One even had end credits.

Favorite meal ever: where, what, and with whom?

This is a two-hour long story but... I’ll try to condense it. Last spring I studied in France for five months (with Whitney!). My boyfriend David, and I planned a romantic weekend in Avignon for our reunion.  The rendez-vous didn’t go so smoothly. I showed up to the wrong train station with no cell phone and he didn’t speak a word of French. After a long, unfortunate struggle, we finally found each other. The next day was his birthday. After a few flutes of champagne, we wandered into this small square with a bistro hidden around
the corner. When we came back at eight to eat, the whole place was bustling with glamourous French people. We ate outside in front of an old gothic cathedral as the sun set. We savored each bite of beef stew with intense gratification. It’s impossible to describe how good this stew really was. The sad thing is, if you asked me where this place is I probably couldn’t find it again for the life of me. Maybe it was a mirage.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

This is a toss-up between Scottish countryside and the south of France. My family is Scottish and I like colder places where you don’t have to feel guilty about being bundled up inside all day. Then again, Provence is paradise on earth. I miss buying a baguette and knowing that it was made within the hour.
I live in Burlington, Vermont now. It’s called “The French Riviera of the East Coast.” If there were better bakeries, I’d stay here forever.

If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be? Why?

If they weren’t going extinct, I’d say Polar Bear. I really just want a domesticated bear for a pet. Yeah. Imagine a polar bear sleeping at the foot of your bed at night.

Favorite adult beverage?

I recently had a Titanic themed party. We started in first-class with Vivaldi and the drink they served the night the boat went down which is an interesting version of punch romaine.  Here’s a link about it:
By the end of the night we were in steerage, drinking growlers of Magic Hat beer to Irish folk music.

What is your favorite book? Why?

I recently reread “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Dave Eggers. It’s a story about a boy who loses his father on 9/11 then tries to finish the puzzle his father gave him before he died. I’ve never had a book make me laugh and cry before.

Who is your favorite artist? Why?

It changes everyday, nope every minute. For contemporary photographers I love Jeff Wall and Alec Soth. For Northern European Renaissance Painters I love Hans Baldung Grien. For Arte Povera I love Guisseppe Penone. For abstract expressionism I love Helen Frankenthaler. For frescoes I love Botticelli. Ansel Adams always reminds me of my father. I’ll always love the Wyeths. For poets I love Guillaume Apollinaire and W.H. Auden. I’m all over the place.  Usually, if I love an artist it’s because of the finished product and the ideology behind it.

What would the name of your biography be?

It would probably be some play on words about a southern belle in the Northeast because my mother is from southern Mississippi and my father is from Delaware.

For titles of the photographs shown and prints for purchase, you can contact Liz at crawfordcommaliz@gmail.com .

21 September 2010

Dear Autumn,

Despite my allergic aversion to your fallen leaves, I still like you very much.  Your warm tones and cold winds fill my heart with nostalgia and my mind with wonderful memories of bonfires and Friday night football games.  Unfortunately, here in Columbia, there is absolutely no sign of you and, to be honest, I find that 95 degrees in late September is completely unacceptable, especially when my comrades in the Midwest have long been enjoying cool evenings and brisk mornings, not to mention clear azure skies that only you can provide.  In conclusion, I am asking that you please come to South Carolina promptly because pumpkin patches and corn mazes just aren't the same without you...

When I think of fall, I think of the Ohio "countryside."  Barns, cornfields, colonial farmhouses and the like.  Autumn has long been my favorite time of year and I feel even more fond of this season now that I don't have the luxury of experiencing it. To keep me sane while I wish for autumn to arrive in SC, I have been gathering all of my favorite cozy spaces that call fall to mind.

Image courtesy of Country Living magazine

Image courtesy of Domino Magazine

Image courtesy of Country Living magazine

Image courtesy of Cottage Living

Image courtesy of Country Living

Image courtesy of House Beautiful

Image courtesy of Country Living

Image courtesy of Country Living

Image courtesy of Domino Magazine

Image courtesy of Country Living magazine

Image courtesy of Domino Magazine

Image courtesy of Country Living

Image courtesy of Country Living

17 September 2010

Pink and Gray... So Hot Right Now

Everywhere I look, I see pink and gray paired together and it thrills me.  I can't think of a more romantic and luxurious combination.  My current favorite pink and gray room is from Lonny Magazine.  I've been staring at this picture for months and it has prompted me to rethink everything I thought I wanted for our master bedroom.  Plush gray velvet with powder pink walls and jewel-toned accents... Could you just die?! 

I like to picture a bed in place of the sofa with a gray velvet tufted headboard and pink and white bed linens.  I would wake up every morning bright eyed and ready to start my day in a room like this.  Unfortunately, I've already ordered my Ballard Designs tufted headboard and gray velvet was not an option, so I'm forced to rethink and regroup.  For now, I'm thinking Benjamin Moore's Gentle Butterfly on the walls.  Our bedroom is south-facing and I think pink would be oh so flattering and bright.  For the gray, a charcoal dupioni curtain would be lovely with acrylic window hardware, which I have yet to find.  However, I did spot a fabulous duvet made in India on Overstock.com.  It is suzani-esque and the price is very right.  I could pair it with some sweet pink embroidered sheets or even the solid white that we have now and pink Euro shams.  I picked up some lamps at HomeGoods on our way back from Hilton Head that look like sea urchins (the green background in the picture does them no justice).  I think these would look lovely perched on the Crate & Barrel nightstands that I want.  Here is a preliminary compilation of my pink and gray inspired ideas.

It's pretty unfinished, I know, but I'll keep thinking.  In the meantime, here are some of my favorite pink and gray pairings.

Image courtesy of Lonny Magazine

Image courtesy of Country Living, October 2010

Image courtesy of Lonny Magazine

Image courtesy of Lonny Magazine

Image courtesy of House Beautiful magazine via http://www.housebeautiful.com/

Image courtesy of domino Magazine

Image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

13 September 2010

1000-square-feet of Luxury

Friday was magazine day (aka Christmas) and I received my October Country Living.  I love this publication, but it is generally pretty predictable.  Not this month.  I was so inspired by the interiors that I had to share.  This one comes from Lizzie Carney in Jacksonville, Illinois.  It is dark and dreamy - just how October should be.  Carney achieves the perfect balance of rugged country (french) and luxurious femininity in her 1930s bungalow.  She broke all the right rules and I love it!

She painted her small space a fabulous shade of charcoal and it makes it feel so cozy.  I will be looking for a spot in my own home that I can paint dark gray- it's so chic with the pink!

What a lovely little kitchen!  The blue accents make me so happy and the carved wood back splash is delish.  She has mixed era and styles with abandon and the end result is perfect.

This is one of my favorites- she turned her basement into a wine cellar and dining room.  Brilliant.  It is whimsical and fabulous.  I picture this space lit entirely by candle light, a group of my closest friends, a rich stew with autumn vegetables and lots of wine.  What wonderful conversation would ensue!

And she turned her guest bedroom into a dressing room.  I die.  This might be the most fabulous bachelorette pad I've ever seen.  She covered the ottoman in pink denim she bought at Walmart and spray painted the rug to resemble the Union Jack. 

Pink and gray again.  Love it.  She might be my new design icon.  Check out her design firm Euro Trash.

Pictures courtesy of Country Living Magazine October 2010.  Photographs by Bjorn Wallander.  Styling by Nicola Marc.