Monday, September 2, 2013

Tissue Paper Flower Video Tutorial

Hi Everyone! I'm so excited to introduce a new blog feature- video tutorials!

It's something I've wanted to do for a long time but taking on the feature felt very intimidating. There were so many new things I needed to learn in order to upload a single video, but luckily it all turned out to be a little easier than I thought. More time consuming, but less complicated!

Anyway, there are a lot of details to be ironed out and lots more to learn but I'm on my way and I look forward to making more.
Please click the link below to view and enjoy the video tutorial on how I'm creating all of the tissue paper flowers that are included in our wedding centerpieces.  I hope you like it!


The link will take you to my YouTube channel which will be the home of all my future videos :)





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A French Flower

Although I so rarely find myself buying decor items anymore, I do come across an occasional piece that I know I have to have. A piece I know I will regret not owning when Joe and I move into our house. 
This was one of those pieces.
 I walked past this metal flower sculpture in a showcase at a local antique mall and it was love at first sight.  Standing about about 8 inches tall, I love the nest of roots at the bottom, the details of each leaf, the creamy white paint of the flower itself, and the bud that dangles to one side.  After falling in love with the piece I was relieved to see the $18 price tag and knew that it was meant to come home with me!
 From the moment I saw the flower I felt that it belonged under a glass cloche to create the perfect "specimen" look that is so popular right now! 
For now this beauty will sit on my dresser among my collection of mercury glass and apothecary jars. One day soon I will find the perfect home to display it and I will be so thrilled I didn't walk away from this piece :)
Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Coffee Date

These last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind that have gone by in the blink of an eye.  And the funny thing is; most of the people I've talked to lately are saying the same thing. Maybe it's a strange coincidence, or maybe it's because summer is nearing the end (more likely), but whatever the reason- life just feels chaotic. 

I got back from NYC late last week, and just as I suspected it was mostly work, work, work. I did venture up to time square one night but other then eating at a handful of amazing restaurants most of time time was spent in our lovely Lotus Jewelry Studio booth or inside my awesome Yotel hotel room. 
Luckily, this show was a smashing success and that gave us the extra boost of energy we needed to work the late show hours and talk to all of our customers. 

Mom moved into her new, beautiful home while I was away and I finally got to see it on Friday night. It is a victorian style home and has so much charm! High ceilings, huge mantles, and a magnolia tree in the back yard...  I can't wait to see the place when she's completely settled in and hope there are some shopping trips in our future! So far, it's looking fabulous!

I spent some time today making a back drop for photography at my bench. I feel like space is very limited now, and while we live here I'm not able to make some of the adaptations I'd like to the walls- so I had to get creative and finally found a use for all of the ephemera I've been hoarding for years. I simply started layering and kept going until I like the result!
You can see it in the back drop of this photograph... more on this project later!
Hope you guys have a great week! Maybe it won't go by in a flash we'll get to relax a bit... maybe!





Friday, August 16, 2013

Catching up and I'm off!

Just popping in to say hi and catch up quickly! We'll call it a non-sunday coffee date :)

I've just finished packing my bags for a work trip to NYC. I leave tomorrow very early and I'll be in the big apple all week. These trips to NYC are fairly routine for me now as I go twice a year for the same market show. What makes the summer trips better than winter time is that it's still light out when we leave the convention center at 7pm. It helps me get my second wind and ups the chance that I'll see something other than the Javits Center, my hotel room, and take out restaurants. We'll see, but no promises!

I've been wedding crafting as much as possible and having a great time doing it! I plan on doing a video tutorial of my latest project and you can look for that next weekend.  I've been inspired to do a vlog post since I started watch my youtube video gurus, and now is a great time since I've been DIYing so much for the wedding. Hopefully people want to see it!

Speaking of wedding, we got our first shower gift in the mail yesterday. EXCITING!! Now I get to use some of these beautiful "thank you" notes I've been stashing away! Speaking of wedding gifts, I had a girls night last week with Sue and she prepared both a cheese and chocolate fondue for us. Oh. My. Gosh. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It's such a fun idea and so delicious! I promptly added a fondue set to our registry. :)

My mom is moving into her new house while I'm gone and I can't wait to see it! I feel horrible that I wont be home to help her move but I am looking forward to the "unveiling" next weekend. I know she will do a fabulous job decorating and her excitement is contagious and so well deserved!

Joe and I have also come up with some moving plans of our own. We have decided that we'll start looking at places for a mid-November/December 1st move in. Yes, it is a mere week away from our wedding date, and yes, things will already be "stressful enough", but it's time. It does mean sacrificing some things we have been really enjoying since living with the inlaws, but that gets outweighed by the happiness of living independently.  I know I'd like to start my married life off on the right, independent foot, and thats ultimately how we arrived at that decision.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and check me out on instagram to see photos from my trip!


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wedding Decor and Favors

I spent part of the weekend at Mares house relaxing, escaping, and catching up with her.  Life is about to get incredibly hectic and I wanted to make sure we got some QT in before my "month of insanity" starts.  Her house is so tranquil, peaceful and calming that getting to spend any time there is truly like an escape from every day life and stress. It's perfection!

In addition to catching up, drinking champagne, and relaxing we did a ton of wedding stuff! Mainly sourcing the supplies we need for centerpieces and favors, as well as completing the trial run for the actual centerpieces.  Take a look at this beauty: 
It features a DIY mercury glass vase (which doesn't show well), fresh evergreens and a variety of hand made flowers. On a whim we decided to add a few silver/pewter glass ornaments to the arrangement, and I love the the way they look.  Not too kitschy- but just right! We will most definitely be adding those to the arrangements! I have many more photos of the two different arrangements we made, but I'd like to share them with you later, when I'm focusing on all of the floral wedding details. 

As I said, we also tackled the wedding favors.  

I must admit- I wasn't even planing on having wedding favors, and here's why; 1. even the "cheapest" favors add up quickly when your buying for 150 people. 2.  I don't want to give cheap wedding favors. 3. Do people really remember what favors they got at each wedding they have attended, or are favors one of the judging factors of a wedding? No.

Anyway, all that went out the window when we realized our decor could do double duty as wedding favors too! Any budget conscious bride will appreciate how wonderful it feels to stay on budget, get the decor look your dreaming up, and send their guest home with a little "thank you"!  
(** if you are attending our wedding and don't want to know what the favor is, then stop reading!**)

Part of our already planned decor includes using a handful of these DIY mercury glassed votives at each table.  I got the clear glass votives here  (for 33 cents each- score!) and we applied the finish ourselves which included rimming the edge with silver german glass glitter which ties in other features of our decor.  I love them, but wasn't thrilled that I'd have to make about 100 votives to be used on the 15 tables we have. Then it hit us... if we make 50 more then we planed the votives can be the favors! YESSSS! Being a very sentimental person, I loved the idea right away, imagining couples burning their very in-right-now mercury glass votives and thinking back to our wedding every time they look at it.  At least that's my hope :)  
Then, it felt like the stars aligned when I realized that months ago my mom had purchased 150 of these so-cute favor boxes for the wedding when we found them on sale at TJ Maxx. (is it obvious yet how much I love a good deal?) And while they they are too small for the votives, they do fit 3 small tea light refills perfectly! Done and done.  We picked up those bulk tea light bags at Hobby Lobby and got to work filling 150 boxes. Then we focused on embellishing the boxes to fit with our wedding theme. 
Each guest will have this sweet little box waiting at their seat which holds three tea lights and a note that thanks them for coming and asks them to please take a glass votive from the table at the end of the night. 

Each of the boxes will be embellished with silver satin ribbon and sprigs of natural boxwood that has been jazzed up with splashes of german glass glitter. 

In the end I still know a favor is just a favor, and many of these may end up in the trash. Mercury glass isn't everyones look and I understand that. Most importantly I think these favors truly represent our wedding and the aesthetic guests will find at our wedding.  We put a lot of love and attention into each of these little favors and I know that will be noted and appreciated. I'm thrilled that while I may not have a lot of money in the "favor" budget, I've certainly got time and love to give and I think these favors highlight that!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mercury Glass

With the wedding quickly approaching we decided it was time to test out the DIY mercury glass techniques we'd seen on pinterest. The mercury glass vase centerpieces and vases are a huge aspect of the romantic, vintage vibe I'm going for with the wedding and I figured it was better to find out sooner than later if I needed to rethink things. 

We were ready with the twenty-something glass vessels Joe and I had yard saled, plus another dozen mom and I had picked up at flea markets. (btw- flea markets are a perfect place to find them- again we never paid more that $2) as well as all the supplies they listed in the multiple tutorials I read. And while I was worrying about doing it "just right" when I got started, I quickly learned that it's nearly impossible to mess the process up, and the results we go were  phenomenal.  Like "I can't believe we pay so much for mercury glass in the store" incredible! 
As you can see, we were able to get some very unusually shaped glassware which added so much interest to each pieces. I love that they don't look "cookie cutter" and truly do look old and vintage. 
my favorite!
Each vase can be done in less than 10 minutes and they really do look amazing.  Applying the finish and perfecting each one was almost magical and I was so sad to get to the end of my glass pile. 

You can find countless tutorials for DIYing your own glass on pinterest, many with subtle differences in steps but all achieving the same beautiful results.  My suggestions are this: don't stress when getting started! All you need to know is the vinegar is the resist. It either inhibits the paint from sticking wherever it was sprayed, or it can be used on a paper towel to rub the paint off of areas that were over-sprayed. Anything goes!  Other than that you just need to make sure you are using white vinegar. We tried apple cider vinegar first and it does't work at all!
We also sprayed a handful of vases with a thing layer of matte black spray paint on the interior after the distressing was complete. It gave the pieces much more depth and an older appearance.  I suggest trying this out in light layers on once piece only before you go crazy. It's a different look, and you may not prefer it. 
don't forget to do the base!
I encourage you to give this DIY project a try. I promise you will be amazed, and hopefully have a great time hunting for vintage glass pieces. If flea markets and yard sales aren't your thing then consider hitting up the dollar tree or similar discount stores. 
Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday Coffee Date

The first thing I'd say if we were meeting for a coffee date this week is "I'm sorry for being late", and "thanks for rescheduling" :)

Anyway. This week I've been dealing with all of the things I told you about last week, and slowly getting them taken care off.  Almost there- just one trip to the DMV office that I'm avoiding and last weeks misery will all be in the past. 
This week I've satisfied my urge to be creative again and took up water color painting. This is an entirely new hobby for me and one that is quite surprising!  I took painting 101 in college and never warmed up to the medium, so imagine my confusion when I felt the desire to paint! I think I'm enjoying it now because I can choose my own subject matter and seem to me painting mainly patterns in bright colors. Then I like to go over the dried paint with silver and gold paint markers to make fun details.  

Two really exciting things happened this week. 


First- my parents got an offer on their house. It's been on the market for about two years so this is a gigantic sigh of relief for all of us. Now they can go about making plans and moving forward with their lives. Unfortunately, they settle on August 31st, (yes, as in 33 days from now!)which means I'll be helping out as often as I can to get them ready to move. 

Secondly, wedding shower invitations in my honor arrived! Jacque (future sister in law) and Joe's mom are hosting a family shower here at the house in September and they gave me an invitation. It was a very surreal to see the invitation and I had another "omg I'm getting married?!?!" moment. It's so happy!

We attended a surprise engagement party for Joe's best friend, Ben on Saturday night. Ben proposed to Brittany an hour before the party and surprised his new fiancee with a party full of family and friends who were there to help celebrate! We had a wonderful night with them and I learned the next day that I can no longer drink like I used too. Ughh...

That's about it for us! We're looking forward to a good week with no major plans. Until next time...


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Coffee Date

Hi everyone!
I've decided to start having a regular blog feature called Sunday Coffee Date.  Each Sunday I'll do a quick re-cap of things that are going on in my life that didn't quite make it into a full post. Basically these posts will be a rambling of the things we would talk about if we were sitting down to a coffee date together in person today. Welcome to our first date :)

(Ps- I completely and shamelessly stole this idea from Jenna who writes the blog Eat, Live, Run. I love her blog, and I love her "virtual coffee dates" so I thought I would try that here in my own space.  So here it goes...

I'm having one of those weeks. A week where unexpectedly things are going really wrong.  It all started with my computer, which as I said before, is being repaired right now (which is good news) however I lost a lot of information in the crash and it is costing $310 to have fixed. (btw- why do I never buy extended warranties??) Then last night we had a serious, fully-shredded tire blowout happen on a major highway at approx 11pm.  We were coming home from a housewarming party and it just sorta...happened.  Thankfully Joe was with me and he is a AAA member so they showed up to help us around 12:30am. We were home by 1 am but I was pretty shaken up.  And this morning I treated myself to a brand new pair of tires which also came with a hefty price tag. (thankfully, no damage to my wheel) The icing on the cake of this whole event was when the state trooper who stopped to see if we were ok while waiting for AAA informed my that my tags are suspended. He couldn't exactly tell me why he just mentioned something about the "addresses the car is registered to",  which makes sense because we are in the process of having the title switched over to my name.  But suspended!!??!!?? Really?! It's the kind of thing I just want to ignore and pretend didn't happen. I know I can't, but I really want too. But hey, at least he didn't give me a ticket right...?

As you can see, I'm really trying to look at the positive side of all the events of the last few days.  Mostly I'm mad about all the money that I've worked so hard to save being used up in such large chunks so quickly. Buy hey, on the positive side of that- at least I have the money....? And, they say that bad things happen in 3's, and that was 3. So, universe, it's time to move on and leave me alone!

The housewarming party we went to last night was for my friend Annie. She and her husband just moved into this amazing, fabulous, straight-out-of-HGTV home, and we finally got to tour it last night.  I'm going to convince her to let me do a house tour photo shoot for you because you wouldn't believe how gorgeous this house is! I am so extremely happy for them and have found their new purchase and adventure very inspiring and motivational. I've even started looking through my decorating books and making notes for the home I hope we own one day, too. 

I'm starting to delve back into wedding planning. We only have a few loose ends to tie up, but the clock is ticking away and I'm ready to tackle the jobs. Less than 5 months now! 

Joe's new work schedule is horrible. We have very little time together until the schedule is changed (every two months), and he's usually home just in time for me to be yawning and crawling into bed.

I treated myself to MAC foundation and concealer last week as well as Laura Mercier illuminator,  and have been absolutely loving all of it.  They were a definite splurge I will definitely be using these on my wedding day! I've already gotten compliments on my makeup while wearing them :) yay!

I am getting extremely excited about our honeymoon. As soon as all the wedding planning is over I will be able to turn my attention to our Italian honeymoon. I can't wait to plan and to travel!

It happened- I finally have the itch to craft again!!! It's been months.  I plan on doing something creative as soon as I'm done with this post and I can't wait to share whatever I end up doing with you. Having the desire to be creative makes me feel like myself again. It's funny because I hadn't realized anything was "off", until I snapped out of it. Does that make sense?  New hobbies I want to take up or continue to explore- painting and stained glass, and photography. I also have a renewed urge to keep working on my needlework business.  (why are there only 24 hours in a day?)

And to end on a sappy note- lately I have been feeling extremely lucky to have such an amazing group of friends and family. More than ever before I feel like I have cut away all the drama and toxicity (we've all had it!) and I'm now left with this incredible group of people who love me for who I truly am, and have supported me through so much. They make me a better person and encourage me to thrive. I really love each and every single one of them and can't wait to support them back and make lots of new memories with them. 


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Computer Melt down

Please excuse my absence. My computer was having some problems/crashed and is being repaired by the MAC geniuses as we speak. I should have it back in a few days. 

Until then posts will be limited but I'll do my best :) You can also find me on pinterest (LMvintage), and instagram- LizMathews83! See you there!

I'll leave you with a beautiful image of a necklace my mom; French Sentiments just listed in her shop. Be sure to stop! 

Hope you are all well and if you're in the north east like us, I hope you haven't melted yet!
Saturday, July 13, 2013

Window Shopping

Today I wandered over to Home Goods in search of a few very specific items.  Even though I quickly located what I was there for I couldn't resist a little self torture. As I wondered down each and every single aisle I snapped photos of the items I would buy if money were no object and I had a whole house to decorate.  Although Home Goods has amazing products, and everything I saw was extremely reasonably priced nothing made it's way home with me.  One day though... I'll be back, and I'll be decorating, and my cart will be full.  

Take a peek at the items I'd have purchased today:  (please excuse the photo quality- all images from my i-phone)
 I truly loved this french themed glass walled jewelry box. The text, the blue shade, the ornamentation....perfection!
 I want to put this settee in a sitting room with loads of fluffy, textural pillows on top. I love the ikat patterning too!
 Could these vases be any sweeter? They remind me of vases Anthropologie carries. Delicate,  fresh, and charming.
 This map canvas was taller than I am. It would make a perfect statement piece for an odd space or man cave. If it were a map of Paris this baby would be at home with me right now. 
 Good attention to details meeting functionality. Beautiful.
 Industrial-sweet. Great juxtaposition. 
LLLLLLOOOOOVVVVVEEE. Almost kicking myself for not buying this. Price tag- $40

There you have it... all of the items that did not actually make it into my cart.  In case you're wondering what did, fear not, I have photos of that too!
I splurged on this small paper covered box. The walls are exceptionally sturdy, it's a charming size, and the paper is luxurious with metallic paint. I'd been looking for some sort of "keep sake" box and for $3.99 the price can't be beat. I've already started filling it up with love notes Joe has given me. 
And the entire reason for the trip- "thank you" notecards. Home Goods always has the best!! I've been stocking up every time I'm in the store. 



At this point I have about 6 card sets from the same line; La Petite Presse.  They are simple and sweet with the gold accents I also loved in the keepsake box. I have a feeling I will be sending out several dozen cards over the following months and I'm someone who likes to give pretty and thoughtful cards. Why not get them at a great price whenever I can find them??


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July Market Trip

It'd been months since I'd hit the Sunday antique markets in Pennsylvania with my mom.  Understandably, renting a storage unit which currently holds all of our stuff, and living at the in-laws house in their pre-furnished extra bedrooms didn't leave me inspired to decorate. It's been an interesting transition in which I feel (and quite literally did) like I've boxed up all of my decorating ideas, inspiration, and personality and packed them away for the foreseeable future. Buying more items just to be put into storage right away or moved again shortly seems a little insane.  But never the less, I do miss the thrill of the flea markets and the hunt for treasures,  so when I shot mom a text that said "antiquing this sunday?", she gladly accepted the invitation and we planned our (extremely) early meet up to go hunt and scavenge for treasures. 
Fresh, local produce at a farmers stand that poped up at the flea market- beautiful onions!
We had a fabulous day and I hadn't realized I'd missed the market trips as much as I did.  I was also happy to discover that I didn't actually need to be buying things to enjoy the shopping. Not to imply that I didn't buy anything. Because I did :)
Ladder stands approx. 6.5 feet tall x 1.5 feet wide
I spent a whopping $10 (talked the guy down from $12) on this old, weathered ladder. Yes, it will go into storage right away, but I couldn't resist. I'd been wanting one for quite some time with visions of propping it against our future living room wall and draping our blankets and throws over the rungs.  I especially love this ladder because it has an old metal pulley attached to the top rung. Love!
Inspiration:




I spent $30 on more glass vases and bowls with the intentions of applying the DIY mercury glass finish to them. We had amazing success with the glass pieces Joe and I already collected and I knew I wanted to make more- for both the wedding and personal decorating. (more on that later) For $30 we found about 12 pieces of glass. Not a bad average price!
What treasures have you found lately? 



Friday, July 5, 2013

Miniatures

Lately my interest in beauty and make up products has been re-sparked with the ferocity of a 17 year old girl. While it is an unusual  interest for me I've really enjoyed the confidence that it has brought to my life. I'd gotten into a comfort zone of laziness and ambivalence and it was nice to break out of that rut.  And, I do recognize that I may go around looking like a make-up application novice, or the occasional clown some days, but honestly- I don't really care. It makes me feel really good to spend time on myself, and to put the effort into trying to appear "put together" and beautiful. It makes me feel pretty and confident, and I know for a fact there is nothing more attractive than a girl who feels that way from the inside out. So there! :)

This new interest started with the discovery of Jaclyn Hill's youtube videos through Pinterest and snowballed from there. Through the videos of Jaclyn, Nicole, and Ellie I've learned everything from skin and body care to how to apply cat-eye style eye liner and everything in between. All of their videos are fun to watch and give you step-by-step directions on various different looks. I've spent hours watching dozens of them then trying to recreate the looks I've seen them achieve. 

Needless to say, I now have a beauty "wish list" a mile long. These girls use A LOT of products, and they are often not cheap and mostly unavailable in drugstores.  I am more than willing to buy a higher priced item if I KNOW it will work exactly the way I want, but I am not willing to take chances with that. I can't stand looking at something and knowing a threw money away to get it and will probably never use it or even like it. 

Enter sample kits. 

I love, love, love the sample kits I've been finding at local beauty supply stores. They are an awesome way to sample a collection of products for a fraction of the price. I picked the two sample packs you see here up over the last two week-the Josie Maran package came from Sephora, and the Benefits from Ulta. As you can see, they each cost $24 dollars, and offer a sampling of the best sellers. 

I'd heard the beauty guru's raving about Josie Maran products since I started watching the youtube videos and really wanted to try them. They are made of pure Argon Oil which is supposed to be really good for you skin, but left me a little hesitant. Put pure oil on your face = 100% chance of breakouts. After doing a little research and some convincing from Jaclyn I thought I'd give it a try. 
But woah- when I got to the stores I learned the prices for these products are steep!! Like, really steep. Again, if they work like I've been told then great, they'd be worth every penny. But unless I know for sure I'm not willing to spend the money. Call me cheep if you must, but I prefer "thrifty".  That's when I found the sample pack you saw above, which happened to cost less than even one full sized bottle of any of the products included and happened to have the exact items I had come into the store for. I snatched up the last package on the shelf and headed to check out! 

The verdict is still out on these Argon Oil products. Because I have combination/oily skin to start with I've learned that it's best if i only use them at night otherwise I feel a bit too greasy throughout the day. I've also had a few breakout that I can't help but be suspicious about. However, my skin has never felt softer before. It is seriously smooth and silky which is really nice but I'm not sure I would recommend these products to a friend unless they were dry. I'll keep using them and let you know if anything changes :)

Next, there was the Benefits sample package. With six products included for $24 I scooped this up quickly too! The items I was most excited for were the Hoola bronzer, Bad Gal Lash mascara, and the High Beam highlighter. The rest of the products were just a happy bonus if you ask me! Again, the price tags on these individual items are usually around or over $24 so this was a great way for me to try them out.  Did I mention how cute these miniature items are...just adorable! But they also provide enough product to use for at least a week. I also picked up a miniature version of the They're Real mascara by benefit because I've heard everyone rave about it, and wanted to see for myself if it's as good as they say it is without spending $23!!! (another YAY for sample sizes!)
The verdicts on these products are a little more positive. Run, don't walk to pick up your own They're Real mascara. Start with the sample bottle, but know that you will be returning for the full sized bottle. It's amazing.   I suspect I'll also be repurchasing the Hoola bronzer and the Posie Tint lip and cheek stain. The Posie Tint was a real surprise  but I've come to love it and it's something I never would have discovered if it we're for this amazing little package!

I look forward to discovering lots of new products this way, and promise to keep on sharing my experiences and recommendations with you :) 
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Date night

As soon as I got home from work tonight Joe and I headed out for a "date night".  I'd spent last weekend in Dallas, Texas for work, and Joe's work schedule has him working nights lately so a little Q.T. together was long overdue.  And, since we're living with the 'rents right now it was nice to get alone, away-from-the-house time that we needed. 
Tonight "date night" meant a cozy dinner for two and movie in bed (since our couch is in storage), but some of the other ideas we had included trip to the ice cream shop which sells locally produced treats, a walk around a nearby pond, or wine by the pool.  All of these ideas sounded wonderful to me, but since I was starving by the time I got home, dinner definitely won!  

It was so nice to flirt with Joe from across the table, hold hands, giggle and share our dinners. It's too easy to get lost in the day-to- day business and stress we all encounter, but we left all of that at home for the night and our date was just what the doctor ordered. I can't wait to marry that guy and play footsy under the table for the rest of our lives. 

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