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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

{family} Rings Around the World: Our Photo Tradition

You know that list of "must have" wedding photos that most couples give to the photographer in advance of the big day? Things like the bride's mom helping her zip up her dress, the groom's expression as the bride walks down the aisle, the cutting of the cake, and a close up of the wedding bands. 

Yeah...we forgot to make a list like that. We planned every detail of the wedding to a T, but giving the photographer a list of photos didn't even cross our minds. 

Our photographer did a wonderful job of capturing our wedding, but it wasn't until the very end of the night {after the photographer had left}, as Scott and I were getting ready to pull away in my dad's convertible Thunderbird, that we realized that we hadn't taken a single photo of our wedding rings. 

Several friends were taking photos of us as we got into the car to leave the reception, so at the last minute we decided to put our hands in the air to capture at least one ring photo before the night was over. 

That spur of the moment photo is actually one of my favorites of our wedding day...and it was also the start of a photo tradition that has become very special to us!

The day after the wedding we boarded a plane to Greece for our honeymoon, and we spent the first few nights at a hotel in the historic Plaka district of Athens. On our last night in Athens, we were on our balcony enjoying our view of the Parthenon when we decided to take a photo of rings to document our honeymoon. We didn't yet know how to use our fancy camera very well, and we didn't manage to get a very clear photo, but we captured the moment, nonetheless.

A few days later while enjoying a glass of wine and waiting for the sun to set on the island of Mykonos, we again stuck out our hands and snapped a photo of our wedding rings with the iconic Mykonos windmills in the background.

And on the last day of our honeymoon, we captured one final photo of our rings in front of the famous blue domes of Santorini.

 By the time we returned from our trip, ring photos had officially become our thing. I even Photoshopped our three "wedding ring selfies" onto stamps and used them for the cover our our honeymoon photo book.

Ever since then, we have continued this photo tradition on major trips. In 2009, our rings visited the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica.

And in 2010 our rings spent Christmas in Spain, where we captured a ring photo at the top of the castle in the town of Segovia.

Just a week later, our rings enjoyed the red roof topped views of Lisbon, before visiting the limestone arches and grottoes of the Algarve coast in southern Portugal on New Year's Eve.

By this point in time, our ring photo travel tradition had become so near and dear to our hearts that we decided to carry it through to other important life events. In 2011, when I was pregnant with Beckett, we asked for a few shots of our rings with my belly during our maternity photo shoot.

Photo by Technicolor Vision

Photo by Technicolor Vision
When Beckett was born, was asked the hospital's newborn photographer to take a photo with our rings on his itty bitty baby toes.

Photo by Pitter Patter Pix

In the spring of 2013, when we were expecting baby number two, Scott and I took a short babymoon to New York City. While admiring the views from the Top of the Rock, we documented the trip with a photo of our rings with the Empire State Building in the background.

A few weeks before Cooper's arrival, while posing for maternity photos, we again captured our rings in front of my giant belly!

Photo by Technicolor Vision
And just days after Cooper's birth, we slipped our rings on to his teeny tiny newborn toes during his newborn photos.

Most recently, Scott and I celebrated our seventh anniversary with an overnight staycation at the brand new Crawford Hotel in the newly renovated Union Station in downtown Denver. On our way out to dinner, we stopped for a ring selfie in front of the historic train station.

The tradition that began with a spontaneous photo during the last moments of our wedding has become something incredibly special! These ring photos are now a way for us to document all of the momentous occasions in our lives in a way that is fun and unique to us.

Just wait until you see where our rings go next...


Friday, August 29, 2014

{five minute friday} Framed Dish Towel Kitchen Art

I just love repurposing, and I especially like to see the creative things that people repurpose to create unique art for their homes!

I recently came across a post from Jodie of Sypsie Designs in which she talked about here love for utensil art! I also have a thing for the graphic shapes of utensils {I even have some giant utensils that I hope to incorporate into my kitchen soon}, so Jodie's framed utensil art on her kitchen counter really caught my eye... 

via Sypsie Designs

Would you believe that's a tea towel that she framed?! What a great idea, right? So inexpensive and so easy, but just perfect for the kitchen! 

Thanks so much to Jodie for letting me share this great idea for Five Minute Friday! You can all the details about how Jodie fit the towel into the frame here.

This got me thinking about all of the cute dish towels I have seen recently that would look fabulous framed in a kitchen! Here are just a few of my favorites that I spotted at Target...


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

{entertaining with style} How to Make a Tissue Paper Tassel Garland

Tissue paper tassels are all the rage right now! And it's no wonder why - since they are so dang cute and all!

I recently made about 60 tissue paper tassels to decorate for the Stock the Kitchen wedding shower that I hosted for my sister-in-law, and while it took a bit longer than I anticipated {about 2.5 hours with my mom and I working together}, the process of making each tassel is quite easy and I learned some tricks along the way to make it even easier.


Tissue paper in your choice of colors {1 sheet = 2 tassels}
Scissors {alternatively, a rotary cutter speeds up the process}
Decorative washi tape {or clear tape}
String, ribbon or yarn {not pictured}


Begin by folding each individual sheet of tissue paper in half lengthwise, and then fold each again widthwise. Rather than making one tassel at a time, I created a bit of an assembly line {my mom was helping me} by folding all of the tissue paper before moving on to the next step.


After folding the tissue paper, begin cutting strips to create a fringe. Cut toward the initial fold line, leave about 1 inch uncut at the fold line. The width of each fringe cut does not need to be exactly the same, so you don't need to measure or be too precise, but the finished tassel will look nicer in the fringed strips are similar in width.

I began cutting the fringe using a regular pair of scissors. After about 10 tassels {and when we realized that it was going to take hours to make all 60}, my mom suggested that we try using her rotary cutter, which made much quicker work of the fringe cutting!

Word of warning - don't ever use fabric scissors or rotary blades for paper! The paper will dull them quickly and they will no longer work well on fabric! My mom sews a lot, and once a rotary blade eventually becomes too dull for cutting fabric, she retires it to paper-cutter status. But don't cut paper with a blade that you intend to use for fabric again!

Once all of the strips are cut, unfold the second fold that you created in the paper {the widthwise fold}, and then cut the tissue paper in half. This will leave you with two separate fringe cut sheets for making two tassels.


After cutting the fringed tissue paper in half, unfold it again, and roll it tightly down the middle crease.

It's easy for the fringe to get tangled up as you roll, so it's helpful to roll slowly, untangling as you go. 

I also discovered that the rolling process can be made quicker and easier by folding the fringed tissue paper in half twice before rolling - this simply reduces the length that you have to roll, but does not change the end appearance of the tassels. I failed to take any pictures after making this discovery, but hopefully this clarifies the directions of the folds.


After you have finished rolling each tassel, fold them in half and twist to create the loop that you'll use to hang the tassels.


To prevent the tassels from coming untwisted, I suggest wrapping some decorative washi tape tightly around the twisted part of the tassel about three or four times.

And just for fun, here's what a pile of 60 completed tassels looks like...


Finally, once your tassels are created, you are ready to string them up and hang them. I chose to use yarn to hang my tassels, but string or a thin ribbon would work just as well.

I tied the ends of the yarn to clear 3M Command hooks that I stuck to the wall.

I used this tissue paper tassel garland to decorate for the Stock the Kitchen wedding shower that I hosted for my sister-in-law. 

There are many more photos of the tassels, as well as the other decorations, in the full wedding shower post. 

For those who are visual, like me, {or if you want to pin these instructions for later} here's one final look at all the steps involved in making tissue paper tassels.

Have fun making your tissue paper tassels! I recommend watching something good on Netflix while you work on this project!

Monday, August 25, 2014

{organizing with style} Do You Hometalk? + 17 Genius Paint Storage Soltuions

I know you Pinterest, but do you Hometalk? Hometalk is the largest social network geared specifically to home and garden topics, with millions of homeowners, bloggers and professionals sharing their knowledge! If you haven't already joined the Hometalk community, I urge you to check it out! 

Hometalk is a great place to start if you are searching for inspiration or seeking answers on how to tackle a project around your home. You can search topics and even post questions for others to answer based on their experiences and expertise.

Similar to the way you "pin" things to your boards on Pinterest, on Hometalk you can create boards and "clip" ideas to those boards for quick, future reference. Best of all, on Hometalk you'll find more than just single photos combined with a few words of description - instead you'll find short articles with multiple project photos and more detailed descriptions!

I recently joined Hometalk and started sharing some of my projects on their site, and I am LOVING it! It's such a great community and so interactive. I have received lots of comments and questions on the projects I have shared, and have been able to provide answers and share tips with other Hometalk members.

Recently Hometalk asked me to curate a board for them, gathering together some of the best paint storage tips that have been shared in the Hometalk community! What I came up with were 17 genius ideas {fair disclosure, some of them are my own} for organizing and storing everything from craft paint, to latex paint, to spray paint. 
Whether you are looking for a solution to organize paint in your craft room, your utility room, or your garage, you'll find a solution that will work for you! I've even included two great options for creating customized paint swatch kits that you can take along when you are shopping for furniture, rugs and accessories!

Of course, when deciding where and how to store your paint, or how to dispose of unwanted paint, it's extremely important to you keep safety in mind. I've got you covered there as well with an article on best practices for paint storage, disposal and recycling.

Friday, August 22, 2014

{five minute friday} Button & Sewing Kit Canisters

TGIF! Today is a big day in our family, as the youngest of my husband's brothers is getting married and I'm gaining another sister-in-law. But before the festivities commence, I wanted to pop in for today's installment of Five Minute Friday. As always, it's a super quick and easy project, but one that has made my life a little easier!

You know those extra buttons you get every time you buy new clothes... what do you do with them? Will you be able to find them if the button falls off of your favorite jacket?! 

If your spare buttons are like mine used to be {in random drawers all around the house}, then here's a tip to keep you organized.

A few years ago I replaced our master bathroom canisters, but rather than getting rid of the old canisters, I found new uses for them in our laundry closet. I filled one with all of our spare buttons, and the other with the small spools of thread and needles from our mini sewing kit.

Now if we lose a button, everyone in the house knows where to look to find its replacement, and everything we need to sew on a new button is close at hand.

I store other clothing care items, like our lint brush and our sweater fuzz shaver in small boxes on the shelf below these canisters. To see all of our laundry room organization solutions and how we make our laundry closet function more like a room, read our the full laundry closet post.

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