Oct 03, 2010
OK, so this week we went to Mississippi for our engagement session! FINALLY! After post poning our session twice (it's not easy getting the two of us out of town simultaneously!) the first time due to Steven being sick, the second time because one of my clients asked me to do a last minute photo shoot - we got it on the calendar and WENT.
Why Mississippi? Well, my wedding photographers are good friends of mine from the Pictage community and one lives in MS and one in New Orleans. We decided we would go to MS for the enagement session and NOLA for my bridals. Little did I know WHY it would have been a good idea to do our e-pics back at our original date in April. MS is notoriously Hot, Humid, and Buggy. Oy veh.
Being a wedding photographer myself means two things for our engagement session - I have ideas/wardrobe and want to do two sessions! One for night and one for day with our two furbabies, Duncan & Sophie.
The night look would be shot shortly after we arrived in Cleveland, MS. I chose a retro/kitschy look for me and Steven. My MOH, Katherine, bought me a cute Anthropologie dress I found on eBay. Thank God I lost 20 pounds and it fit me great by the time we had the session. However, the zipper broke as we were zipping it up (not because it was tight but it got "off track" - ugh). I wore high, patent, peep-toe heels and put Steven in complementary black, blue, gray/silver with a wool fedora. I had 20 minutes to "fix" my make up (fake lashes, glam up) and roll my hair. Not sure if I even looked ok! It was too fast!
This part of the Mississppi Delta is home of the blues so we went to some blues joints and some old buildings, etc. It was so much fun! On the way to the fun though, we stopped on the side of the road to shoot near some crops burning (LOTS of farmland here) for rotating the crops. We jumped out and Steven and I are preettty adventurous so we walk right through the soot and go into the center of the fire ring. I'm barefoot and just watching out for embers. Steven suddenly notices we are surrounded by FREAKIN' MILLIONS OF MOSQUITOS!!!! I mean like open-you-mouth-and-you-will-be-eating-mosquitos - that bad. He freaks out and Will (our photographer) reminds us that he warned us 'bout shooting at night because of all the mosquitos. Yeah, we're used to mosquitos - but NOTHING like this! I didn't feel them biting so I just laughed it off and we left....(this would be dramatic foreshadowing in a movie or play). Later, LOL, I noticed my feet were pitch black with soot. EWWWWWW. Had to scrub them with paper towels for the shoot and washed them before I got into bed!
Next day, I got up early to start getting ready and knew it was just going to be miserable hot but JEEZE, Georgia got nothin' on MS humidity and heat! I mean DANG. I was dreading how poufy and frizzy my hair was going to be. I have never primped so much in my LIFE! All day I had to keep powdering my nose and brushing out my bangs so they wouldn't stick to my forehead! Our photo shoots consisted of 15 minutes of shooting then jump back into the air-conditioned Surburban to cool down. And over again! This time the "look" was rustic, country or as I call it "Ralph Lauren" with denim and naturals. I wore a cotton button down and cool embroidered vest with my Frye boots (LOVEZ them). I also later changed into a ruffle lace shirt with a faux suede jacket. Steven was denim with a brown button down and his guitar as a prop occasionally. The pups went along on this one.
We stopped at several places but my favorite two were the abandoned chapel in the corn field and the Windsor ruins. An antebellum ruins with just the columns left of this huge mansion. Just my favorite spot! I also got some great infrared images for myself the whole day.
Ugh, it was just so miserable hot and humid. I'm worried what my hair is going to look like mostly! This one with the furbabies is so "US"! They were panting so loud they sounded like chimpanzees because it was also combined with whining. We started panting with them and Will snapped this one off. Seriously one of my favorites. ;)
Got "home" and took off my boots and socks....my feet started itching - like burning mad itching. I look down and my feet are covered with bites! Hundreds! How is that? A full 24 hours later and the mosquito bites start itching??? I've never heard of this! It's maddening still today as I type this. I couldn't sleep it got so bad so I'm up early this morning...
Pics to come soon!
Being a crafty girl all my life, I always DIY something either to make it my "own" or because there's no way to find exactly what I'm looking for. A rash of insomnia this week got me bothered enough to write down all my DIY projects for my wedding. Oh....dang it. I wasn't going to DIY very much since I'm so busy but after writing them all down, I got a wee bit worried about my less than four month timeline! It's sneaking up on me now so I need to get busy....
Here is the list I'll cross off as I finish (photos as I can get to them):
BM Necklace & Earrings Sets: Joanna Lynn Alicia Katherine
Peacock Feather Fascinator
"Bride" Cup for Bachelorette Party
Photo Notecard favors (pack of four blank notecards with my photography on the front)
Big One That's Had Me Blocked For A While Now: Bridesmaids' Jewelry
I plan on making each one of my four girls a different gorgeous necklace and earrings set with similar stones and findings. Stones/beads will be: Swarovski Chocolate Pearls, Swarovski Teal bicones, and various Amber glass beads and cabochons. All findings will be copper and my favorite, Vintaj natural brass. I've been working with Vintaj for a few years now and LOVE everything they make!
Joanna's necklace and earrings were the first finished and tha's where I stopped. I had a creative block and I think I was just stressed over business. UPDATE! DONE!!!!!
Sophie's Flower Power Collar & Satin leashes for both dogs:
Sophie, our female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be our flower girl. Duncan, will be the ring bearer. Duncan will wear a white collar and chocolate/peacock feather tie matching the groomsmen. Not much for me to make there. Sophie's collar however, will be made of artificial flowers in shades of orange, copper, brown and coppery tulle (think like a fairy skirt but around her collar). Both dogs will have leads made of satin - I'm thinking of just getting six foot nylon leads and making a chocolate satin sheath to cover it.
Escort Card Frames:
Here's where DIY can be frustrating and result in several big "FAIL"s. I wanted escort card frames that can be taken home by the guest. But like everything in my wedding, I wanted them to be different because I am not using the same ol' color scheme. No silver or gold - or even black! This brings the opportunity to DIY to create something no one else has. I found some dollar frames at Michaels that are ornate squares. Only problem is they are teal (one of my colors) and yellow (not one of my colors). The teal is ok but I want all my teal to be luminescent - meaning, full of light and glowing since that is my signature color. This teal is opaque and glossy but not really pretty.
First idea? Paint dark chocolate brown with teal glitter overlay. Sucked. Major Fail. Looked like an elementary school art project. Second idea to just spraypaint chocolate brown still sucked. They looked just bad. Why is it that black spraypaint on these frames makes them look cool but brown doesn't? I dunno.
Since my main metal colors are bronze/wrought iron brown and copper, for my last attempt to get some use out of the $109 I spent on these dang frames, I decided to try three different copper paints: spraypaint - the most expensive, and two different acrylic paints. I actually like all three! So, now I will be doing 1/3 of the total in each "copper" and they are just pretty enough to make the table sparkle a bit.
Now, how to put the names inside????? UGH, next!
Peacock Feather Fascinator:
After the ceremony, I will have my fabu hairdresser/mau Steve, put my hair all the way up since I know I will get all sweaty from dancing. At the back I want a peacock feather fascinator (NOTE to self: Alicia (BM) forgot to put hers in her hair - I will NOT forget since Steve is putting my hair up for me).
After searching around on Etsy and eBay, I found one I liked but wanted to change out the focal center to a teal stone instead of pearl. Ordered it from the seller and was terribly disappointed: not only did it still have the pearl center, it was HALF the size of the photo in the description. How big does this look? It was only as big as my palm! Not my hand, my palm without fingers - it was only about 3-4" across and I wanted it bigger.
I tried in vain to get a response to my emails and when she finally responded, she was rude and condescending to me. I returned it to her, NEVER got my money back and decided to make my own!
I bought the eyes and "swords" as they call the longish peacock feathers. I kept searching for a brooch or stone to use as the center focal for the fascinator. Then I found my garter set on Etsy and asked the seller if she could also make me another pair of rosettes like my garters will have so I am waiting on these to start making my fascinator!
"Bride" Cup for Bachelorette Party:
Went to Rainforest Cafe last Thanksgiving vacation with our family. Bought a [bad, water-downed] drink from the bar in this crazy light-up cup. Thought, "Hmmm, I could cover up the Rainforest Cafe logo and pimp this out to be my "Bride" cup for my bachelorette party." It's cool. I like how it lights up. It's like a disco in a glass.
OK, I am way too excited about each aspect of my wedding. I know that everyone is but seriously? I have been planning some of this for 7 years now! Let's face it, I knew he was the one very shortly after we started dating. ;o)
Any ways, once some of the theme stuff started coming together, I started looking online for patterns and designs in a Moroccan or Arabic theme. [For anyone wondering out there - no, we are not Moroccan or Arabic by any means! I am as "white bread" as you can get: German/Scottish/English/Dutch. Steven is German/Italian - almost an even split, too. We both have a love for the exotic I guess because we are not! LOL!]
I found this Moroccan/Arabic pattern on istockphoto.com - my favorite place to look for vector art (that's high res, sharp-edged camera-ready art to those non-art people out there).
This was just the kind of pattern I was looking for - a little organic, not too floral, definitely NOT damask (there's nothing wrong with damask - I just don't want it for my wedding), and does have an Arabic feel to it. I like it but I was bothered a little bit by the large negative white space around the center medallion. Luckily, I have enough Photoshop and Illustrator skills, I knew I could alter it to fill that space up a tad so I bought it.
About two weeks ago, I visited my friend and invitation designer, Marj Pruitt of DecoMarj, to start our design process. I had recently helped her at a show in the N GA mountains and saw some work of hers that I had not photographed yet. I was immediately drawn to one particular set of invites with a pocket fold and inserts. I began to imagine my inviations with this particular set up but with my colors and design above. Oh, and of course this included the "special" touch inspired by a past client's invitation - a single peacock eye feather tucked in the belly band ribbon of Teal!
Marj and I worked on a mock up (well, she worked while I guided!) and here is the initial mock up!
While we are still working on the technical aspects of how we will do the printing and such, here is the plan now:
The back card stock is a metallic copper. The next and middle layer includes the pocket and design which is converted to a copper (metallic hopefully) on a matte chocolate brown cardstock. Then the top layer is a metallic chocolate brown (slightly lighter than the matte) with the screen printed turquoise blue writing for the invite. A belly band of teal satin ribbon ties at the top with a knot and slipped into the knot is the real peacock eye feather (hard to simulate in the illustration - it's much more beautiful that the monochromatic stamp used above!).
Marj is still working on the tech and ordering print samples this week to try to accomplish my vision! She is excited about the design and hoping to win another Allie Award!
These went out at the first of Februrary (well, more or less - you know how that goes...). I designed them meself in Photoshop. I do these for my clients when they ask for something custom. Once again, going for that "something different"! If you want something different, contact me and I'll be happy to oblige. I'm looking at doing these for others. Mine is a 4x6 magnet I had printed at overnightprints.com and they turned out perfect!
My assistant Alicia took the photos while we were doing her enagement session at a carnival last year. We had been trying to coordinate a day for the four of us to go and some stormy weather kept it getting post poned. Finally, we found one - just in time, too because it was starting to cut it close on time before her wedding. BUT the carnival rides were for kids ONLY. So, we convinced the carnys to let us at least get on the carousel platfrom and hang on to the horses. I shot her and her fiance first and then handed the camera to her to get thes shots of us. We're a little crazy ;):
The idea of the wording started with Steven basically saying he wasn't too keen on my original "poem". It was cheesy, I admit it. So he suggested using three words to describe our wedding but we didn't want to use trite, boring words you hear everday so we plugged the three words into an online thesarus. What we used were:
The first word that jumped out for me was "heteromorphic" under the word different. I was laughing because it was just such a weird word. Then we started looking for other weird words - or silly sounding words - that would make our friends go running to their dictionary. Yeah, we're weird like that. We get off on thinking about a "vocabulary treasure hunt" so if you don't get it, you wouldn't really get us. ;oP
That's what our wedding is going to be like.
I've collected inspiration boards but one of the things I think is kinda neat is I see all these "peacock" themed weddings but no one has used my colors - yet. ;o) I planned a wedding oh, about 13 years ago when I was a LOT younger and boy have my tastes changed! It's amazing what traveling around the world will do to ya! So, here are a few inspiration boards that are fun but not quite "IT":
But I don't want just a "peacock" themed wedding - I want a Moroccan themed wedding with the peacock eye feather as an accent. Mostly because it looks so good with my colors.
My favorite colour has always been teal - my version is a dark turquoise, less green, more blue. As an artist, I like chosing colors that are opposite on the colour wheel as it really makes them vibrate against each other. Blue and orange (in this case, copper) are opposites, so they just light each other up! Then add an adjacent color and BAM, you've got a rockin' color scheme:
The biggest challenge I gave all my vendors helping me to design my vision is that I wanted nothing white used in the wedding. Not big on gold or silver accents either so this pushes us to find unusual accents and to think outside the box when it comes to accesorizing the decor! Let's face it, my vendor friends and I have seen it all so I want there to be this "Wow" factor that is about being different but still sophisticated. Exotic, yet not tropical.
Steven has actually been to Morocco (and the only reason we're not going back now is that it's in a really volitile position politically right now. Just not a good time for American tourists to visit, IYNWIM). We have Moroccan rugs in our home and some little touches here and there that he brought back from his holiday in '02. This was part of the inspiration and you know how things just happen? Right after we got engaged, World Market started carrying these lanterns in their holiday decor. They were PERFECT! So, I made it my mission to go to as many stores as I could and buy them ALL:
The small sitting lanterns I actually bought on eBay but they matched the others so well. Not bad at about $5 each! The large hanging lanterns will be on shepards' hooks of varying heights lining the ceremony processional. I may tie some teal, brown, and copper ribbons at the top for movement. The candles won't really show up much in the daytime but the glass will still look pretty in the sun. Later the hanging lanterns will come in for the reception and be hung in different areas - centerpieces and a wrought iron gazebo around the cake table! This is an inspiration for using different lanterns as a centerpiece. Maxine will put them at different heights, too.
These vases I originally saw at Pier One and then wanted more. I bought a second one on eBay (I had a saved search going for the past two years) and just found another one - auction ends tomorrow! They'll be used on two console tables flagging the ballroom doors.
We also have a whole bunch of teal organza from eBay seller of all things wedding linen related, balsacircle. Unfortunately, a "greener" teal (again) than I wanted so I'm going to experiment with dyeing it a little more blue. Looks the right shade on the monitor but it's that dang green-teal:
I have 120 yards of it! The idea is to drape it along the processional and in the pavilion for the ceremony. I like this look at my venue but maybe a little more space in between so you can see the woods in back:
Then at the reception, I would like an archway draped with the organza that everyone passes through to enter the ballroom so it feels almost as if you're entering a tent - or a very special room. ;o) The organza again will be draped on the gazebo around the cake table.
I wish I could see it all now! I know Maxine and Gabrielle will do an amazing job!
So, yes, we got the chocolate brown tuxes - without stripes ;o). But what else? Well, I stumbled across the ties by Etsy seller toybreaker and loved the peacock feather pattern so we got them! The teal is not quite the right shade but we're working on it [NOTE: there definitely seems to be two main shades of teal - a bluer teal (mine) and a greener teal (the tie and some organza we bought) so I'm going to try to dye it a little more blue]. Steven's boutiennier will be an copper orange orchid with a fiddlehead fern and a peacock eye. The guys will not have a calla - I think we decided on a dahlia but each will have a fiddlehead fern and peacock eye as well.
I gave Steven a pair of teal cufflinks for Valentine's this year to wear for the wedding. I just love the way the teal tie looks with the brown tux!