Kicking it up a notch

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I am a huge fan of printed menus at weddings.  Well, to me, any party seems snazzier with a beautifully coordinated menu offering mouthwatering descriptions of what you’re about to enjoy.

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Not only is it an aesthetic element to punctuate the entire table design, it is also a nice gesture to give guests a sneak peek of what’s in store.  Or, if there are guests with dietary allergies, they can get a jump on letting their server know if there is anything they cannot eat.  I’m gluten-free, so if I can tell my server before my meal comes out, I feel much more comfortable than having something placed in front of me and having to say, “uh, I can’t eat this…” and then sit there awkwardly, wheat-lusting at the plate next to me.

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Back in November I designed an intimate, 16 person wedding.  The focus was on the elaborate meal, so of course I wanted to create a menu that was equally as thoughtful.  I also made place cards that coordinated.  I wanted to share the DIY steps so you too can create these.  But, take note; don’t attempt this if your guest count is over 150…because they are extremely time consuming and you’ll want to stab yourself in the eye after the first 20.

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I found all of the wood at the local craft store…for pretty cheap!

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Leave the stained disks outside for a while, ’cause they will stink!  And nothing set’s off the appetite like wood stain.

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I printed the names and menus on a beautiful opalescent paper.  I sprayed the teal paper that went underneath with a light dusting of gold spray paint…everything had a beautiful glow and contrasted nicely with the rustic wood.

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Because OCD dreams are made of those little details!

Menu-6Then add a dib-dab of hot glue to keep everything in place…

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Que pretty, no?

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The nuptial dinner was held in the Piñon Dining Room at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado.  The extraordinary florals were from Andrea Soorikian Designs and the Chargers, linens and napkins were from Classic Party Rentals. All dining room shots by Ginger Russell Photography…the rest via the ol’ iPhone!

Deep Breath.

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Phew, I made it.

Wedding season has officially come to a close.  2012 was a stellar year filled with more work than I have known and more reward than I have known.  There were challenges, lessons and a whole ton of personal growth.  I now realize I am capable of more than I thought was possible and that I actually made it through the big beast of September…which I convinced myself that I wouldn’t be able to do.  I did not do it alone, there are many friends, family and colleagues that have offered their hands in support and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I look forward to the coming season, one that is swiftly filling up.  But before I do, I have scheduled some much needed rest and time for re-creation.  Yes, that actually needs to be scheduled around here.  I even have a small beach trip in my future.  Standing on the edge of the ocean always opens a sense of awe and wonder and will pave the path for fresh ideas and inspiration.  Of course a few deep breaths of the salty sea air won’t hurt either.

Photo: Nick Abrams

Disco Harvest DIY

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We’re throwing a little bling around here in the studio…in fact, we’re covered in glitter!  I had my amazing assistant Jamie Gordon West whip up these shiny, sparkly pumpkins.  I’ve illustrated a step-by-step so you can jazz up your entry way or add some pizazz to your Thanksgiving table!

Peal off the tape and VOILA! the finished product!

There’s the craft-ninja herself, setting the disco punkin’s out for their beauty shot.

Disco Harvest!

Featured on the Grace Ormonde Blog~ Kim and LB

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I’ve got exciting new folks!  A film by Luminance Pictures documenting Kim and LB’s wedding at Loretto Chapel and the reception I designed at Rio Chama is featured on the Grace Ormonde Blog.  Click HERE to see it all!

Photo by Ginger Russell Photography

¡Día de Los Muertos!

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Here in Santa Fe, we honor many Mexican Folk Art traditions.  With Día De Los Muertos fast approaching, you will see many sugar skulls, marigold garlands, altars for the dead and skeletons around town, gracing windows, cemeteries and homes alike.

Weddings, too, will give a nod to the Día de Los Muertos traditions.  It’s not uncommon to see tiny skeletons in wedding garb perched on top of wedding cakes. (Sometimes out-of-towners are unnerved by the morbid image, but it’s all in good fun!)

This weekend we will be gifting guests with these sweet hand-made sugar skull cookies from Picket Fence Confections.  ¡Qué cute!

Real Wedding~ Melinda and Jim

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Melinda and Jim’s nuptials took place at the beautiful Hacienda Doña Andrea on clear and warm day this Spring.  You may remember their inspiration board that I shared a while back.  Rustic charm with subtle hints of New Mexico tradition were woven throughout the day and culminated with a glowing evening of live musical performances and a rockin’ dance party!

Enjoy a few shots of the lovely details from the talented Jennifer Dudley.

Artichokes and Pomegranates created a textural floral display using wild flowers, succulents, blue thistle, calla lilies and a few orchids. I really liked the monochromatic and natural palette that echoed the dusky hills after a Santa Fe sunset.

Melinda and Jim incorporated a really special element to their ceremony.  Instead of doing a unity candle or sand ceremony they did something much more symbolic and meaningful.  They each wrote each other love letters and during the ceremony, sealed them in a box with a fabulous bottle of wine.  On their one-year anniversary, they will open the box, drink the bottle of wine and read the love letters to eachother.  So sweet, no?

We also had a great musical twist on typical ceremony music.  Todd Lovato, of the local Santa Fe Band, Todd and the Fox,  graced us with his banjo skills.  Now, you may immediately envision plucked honkey tonk, but Todd played the most beautiful renditions of Vivaldi’s “Spring”  and “Grow Old with Me” by John Lennon!  I love when you hear a familiar song but on an instrument that is a-typical and out of context.

Guests enjoyed lavender champagne cocktails and their potted succulent cards doubled as adorable take-home favors.

I’m always a fan of keeping the kiddos entertained during dinner.  I found these adorable “Goodie” bags and Melinda stocked them with all sorts of distractions.  Needless to say, they were all happy campers!

It was indeed a beautiful night and as the sun set behind the Ortiz mountains, the bistro lights glowed upon the Papel Picado and the happy couple danced the night away under the New Mexico sky.

Let’s get physical.

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Some things you should know about me.  Working out is a chore for me…I hate it.  I need to be severely distracted to do it and fooled into breaking a sweat.

Another thing, I am a stickler for beautiful surroundings…I will leave places because they have crappy lighting,  I hate being inside when I could be outside and gyms usually gross me out.  All that said, when I wandered into Buddha Fitness Club, I was taken aback by the perfect light and thoughtful layout.  I was actually inspired to get a gym membership and thought, “I could work out here.” What!?!

I was actually going to a yoga class that they had sponsored with my favorite Lululemon gals and I noticed they had a spin class set outside, on their beautiful patio…and get this, they had a DJ spinning sweet mellow beats!  (DJ Celeste actually spun one of my recent weddings and she rocks!)

Not a bad view while you’re breaking a sweat, huh?

I thought, any place that has a DJ with a spin class, has to be awesome, right?  Well I stopped to speak with the owner Douglas, who runs the gym with his wife Tara; he offered me a little work-out sesh, and I thought, why not?

But first , let’s talk about how beautiful this gym is.  The furnishings are natural and modern, it is a big loft space with tons of natural light and open doors (no stinky sweat stench), and you get to work out looking over the lush landscaping of the Railyard.

I tried TRX bands for the first time and WOAH, my little pencil arms got a run for their money!  It’s such a cool way to build strength and work your core at the same time! I just might even go back for more!

The gym has free weights, cardio machines, yoga, spin and TRX classes and personal training.  The best part about the personal training is, say if you are a bride and hate working out too, they’ll offer semi-private training sessions for a few more peeps, so you can bring your bridesmaids to get in gear with you!

Personally I love that your mind can feel good in such a beautiful space while your body is getting healthy too!  It makes sense that the Buddha Fitness Club is all about mindful exercise; I like that!

Sneak-y Peek-y

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I wanted to give you a quick glimpse of a few of the goodies for this weekend’s wedding at the CCA.  The aesthetic is modern meets the high mountain desert and I’ve been getting down on some serious crafting here in the studio. I am so over the moon excited for it, I can hardly contain myself!

Personalized Pin Place cards…say that ten times fast!

Fabulous programs attached to….SPIRIT WANDS!!!

Bent wire table numbers. I like that the numbers are spelled out..I think it adds charm!

And, my most favorite project to date, the LIVING WALL!  This will be the stunning backdrop for the ceremony.  Blending the raw, urban elements of metal and wire with native Choya cactus, succulents and air plants has never looked so good.  Can’t wait to show you the short movie we’re making to document the process!
Till soon!

Emmy Inspiration

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Even though I didn’t watch the Emmys (I don’t have TV), I do love catching up on the fashion, like any red-blooded female!  When I opened up the New York times today, I saw this lovely spread of gorgeous ladies:

They are all hotties, but I was more intrigued by the beautiful palette of the photos.  I was so inspired, I decided to create a little party/wedding inspiration board for you!

Confetti Systems honeycombs, Natalia Brilli Necklace, Martha Stewart Sparkle Pom Poms and floral, Handmade hearts by Ashley Meaders/Photo by Our Labor of Love, Marc Jacobs styling, Sugar Paste Hearts by Signe Sugar, Feather Boutonniere

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