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Monday, February 28, 2011

Dana's Birthday Party and a Visit from Jamie and "Dutch"


 This will be just a quick post with a few pictures from a little party we had for my sister, Dana, on Friday. I had a bunch of more elaborate decorating plans but that all went out the window. As I mentioned earlier we had something unexpected come up on Monday night and so it was a really hectic week. (I will tell you all about it in tomorrow's post). 

My sister, Jamie, and her husband "Dutch" got here late Tuesday night and stayed through yesterday morning. (His name is Josh, but this past summer when Lillie was learning to talk it came out "Dutch" and somehow it stuck and now we all find ourselves calling him that. I am not sure if he appreciates it but he's a good sport.) We had so many other things going on that it wasn't until I put Lillie down for her nap on Friday afternoon that I started working on decorating for Dana's party. Seeing how it was just going to be dessert with us sisters, Lillie, Josh and our cousin, Tamara I knew no one really cared but I had had all of these ideas in my head for something really elegant. I had planned on doing a whole Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany's Party so I went with that idea but just pared it WAY down. When you only have two hours you pretty much just throw together what you have. I had already drawn an Audrey image based off of two of my favorite images of her so I just had to click print and frame it in one of the dollar store frames from our Valentine's project. I also cut two vinyl versions of the image to place on the mirror above the mantel and on the water pitcher. Then using some pearls and Tiffany's boxes and tulips from Trader Joe's I just made three small vignettes in our living room. One on the mantel, one on our coffee table and one on the mirrored chest. That was all I had time for, in fact, Lillie woke up while I was working on the mantel so I never really got to finish it. We still had a wonderful time going out to dinner and then having cake and cupcakes afterwards (yes, we all ate a piece of the cake and then had a cupcake too - we are major chocoholics!)

Anyway, here are a few photos of the little bit of decorating that actually got done =( :








I am seriously addicted to my Silhouette Machine! I peeled the Valentine's image off of the pitcher that I did a couple of weeks ago and replaced it with this one:


I quickly screenprinted this pillow during Lillie nap to go with the theme and put on the sofa but didn't end up having time to actually sew it - whoops! Am hoping I will have time later tonight though so that Dana can actually use it. I screenprinted several more yesterday and as long as I have time to sew them either during Lillie's nap or once she is in bed tonight I will list them in the shop when we reopen tomorrow. I also have a few totes with this image that are finished and will definitely be in our shop tomorrow. I am also hoping to have three or four Je T'aime pillows ready and hopefully a couple of Je T'aime totes as well. I am working on two other pillows too,  but haven't gotten the scripts quite right yet. I keep playing around with the swirls but can't get them how I want them.

Lillie seems to think that every birthday is hers too! 
Happy 26th Birthday, Auntie Dana. We love you!


And here is Lillie with Auntie Jamie and Uncle "Dutch" before we left for our basketball game on Saturday at Old Dominion (that's why Lillie is in her little cheerleading outfit).
We already miss you guys and can't wait for you to come down and visit again!!! Lillie is already suffering from withdrawels.

Well, that is it for now.
Be sure to check back tomorrow as we will be announcing the winner of our latest giveaway!

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Sneak Peek of the Nursery and a GIVEAWAY!!!!

 Wow, it has been another busy week here! I have been working on something I will post about on Tuesday so I haven't been on my computer practically at all for the past several days! And I probably won't be on much again until next week. If you have sent us an e-mail, convo, or facebook message I will get back to you by the middle of next week.  I accidentally hit delete on our entire inbox the other day and had to weed through the deleted box  - which I hadn't emptied in a while - yikes - and attempt to restore everything that was in our inbox but I know I missed a few. So,  if you have sent us something and we haven't responded by Wednesday or so please feel free to send it again!

We officially got the nursery finished today! YAY!!!!! I will do a full post on it next week including a cost breakdown (I have to add it all up, but I think it came to under $150 because we repurposed a lot of items we already owned).  Here is a little sneak peek, though:




Now it's time for another giveaway! 

This time the prize will be for a 
FREE edited photo AND choice of women's or children's screenprinted shirt 
(this applies to our current screenprinted items only, 
we will be doing another giveaway for one of our new pieces as soon as they are available!)

For the edited photo the winner can send us a photo and we will edit it and then send it back with two variations!  Below I will show a few examples of what photoshop can do starting two shots with just very slight altering and two shots that were pretty awful to start with and required a ton of altering.


Here are two shots of Lillie that I just basically ran some actions over because I was pretty happy with the original unedited versions but just wanted to make them "pop" a bit more. 

UNEDITED

AFTER 

UNEDITED

 AFTER


Both of those were pretty crisp and I liked their composition to start with so it made it pretty easy. The next two, though, were pretty awful shots to start with. Abby is the prettiest little thing but I did a horrible job with the composition and it wasn't nearly as sharp or crisp as I wanted to it be.
UNEDITED
 

Thanks to the wonders of Photoshop though this is now one of my favorites!
AFTER

Now this last shot is horrendous. It is normally something I would have hit "delete" on before even uploading it to my computer. However, I knew I was planning on doing an editing giveaway soon when I took this and figured I would give myself a challenge and see if I could make it work. First - poor Lillie was exhausted and NOT in the best mood. Then it was not the right time of day for me to do "window seat pictures" as we now call them. The lighting wasn't right. And then I normally get in closer when I shoot these ones but was too far back for this photo. Plus on top of all of that it was horribly blurry. So, basically just an all around awful shot.
UNEDITED
 

However with some cropping and a bunch of other little tricks I am so much happier with it.
AFTER

 How can you win?

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post!

You don't have to have a blog to enter, either. If you aren't a blogger, just enter a comment and then where it says "comment as" scroll down near the bottom and click on anonymous. However, if you do that, make sure to leave your e-mail address so we can confirm that you are the winner. If we draw the name of someone who doesn't leave any identifying information we will simply draw a new name. Make sure to check back here on the blog to collect your prize!

You can comment each day if you would like to up your chances!

For an extra entry become a follower of our blog!

Just write "follower" as a second comment so it counts as an entry.

You can enter until midnight on Monday evening  and then I will post the winner either Tuesday or Wednesday!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Audrey Hepburn Invitation and Miss Mustard Seed

 (Sorry for the blurry picture...I have been trying to shoot Lillie in our new Calla Tutu for two weeks and she has not been cooperative. 
Sadly, that's the best of the bunch and you can't even see the tutu and it's out of focus.)

Yesterday was one of those nice, relaxing, wonderfully simple days!  Our life has been pretty hectic lately. I am up every night working until anywhere from 2 to 4 am,  and this time of year Jon is gone quite a bit and even when he isn't on the road with games or recruiting there are some LONG days. It has been a particularly exhausting basketball season. Last year was the best year in William and Mary history and I think I bored you all with constant updates of exciting win after exciting win. This year has been the opposite with heartbreaking loss after heartbreaking loss (our last game we were up three and the team we were playing hit a three in the final seconds to send it to overtime and then hit a half court shot at the buzzer in overtime to beat us - that shot actually made it to number two on Sports Centers Top Ten Plays that night - argghhhh! So, needless to say it has been a rather long year). Well, the weekend got off to a great start with the Tribe winning their ESPN Bracketbuster game by 32 on Saturday night. That made for a very happy Jon on Sunday! In fact, after the game was over, Lillie exclaimed that Daddy was "sooooooooooo happy!" Haha! Anyway, after church we decided to just enjoy the day with Lillie instead of worrying about all of the things that needed to get done and it was so much fun. We hadn't had a day like that in so long. I have always loved that quote on the photo above (from one of my favorite books as a child, Anne of Avonlea), and it seemed to fit yesterday perfectly. Unfortunately, now it is back to the grind! Haha!

During Lillie's nap yesterday, I FINALLY got my orders placed with all of my different suppliers for our new spring items. I am hoping they will be in this coming this week and then the screenprinting will begin and then hopefully they will be ready to list in our shop either two weeks from today or three weeks from today. I originally had about 50 new styles but panicked knowing that we were going to be closing our shop in mid April for a little while with the new baby coming so I ended up cutting it down to about half. I also cut out all of the new designs except for one because I felt like I rushed through them and when I have done that in the past I have always ended up not liking those designs. So, instead, I am just printing one new design (on several different styles) and then am printing our most popular designs (like the Fairyland and Jane Austen ones) on a whole bunch of new shirts, tanks, sweatshirts and totes. There are two styles in particular that I am really excited about! I spent three days narrowing down my orders and it was a relief to finally have them sent off to our suppliers. Our shop has been pretty low on stock for a while now so it will be nice to fill it back up with some new items! I am also hoping to have some new pillows available ready to list next week but am not sure yet if I will get them done in time.

Once that was done I had time to photograph the invitation we made for my sister Dana's birthday party. Our sister, Jamie and her husband are coming down later this week for a visit and we would throw a little party for Dana seeing how her birthday is next week. She loves Audrey Hepburn and we thought it would be fun to throw her a Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany's themed party. We started talking about doing this about a month or so ago, and I had a bunch of ideas in my head for it but so far haven't had time to work on any of them. So, it's going to be way more simple than I had planned for but that's alright. It will still be fun and I will show you pictures of whatever projects we do get finished once they are done.

For now, here are the invitations:
 (This is the envelope part - if you pull on the little black velvet loop the actual invitation slides out)









On another note, I am sure you all that read blogs have heard of Marian of Miss Mustard Seed. She is has a fabulous blog and does the most amazing furniture transformations. I have been addicted to her blog since the day I first ran across it. She has had quite a lot of exciting things happening for her lately including being featured in several magazines lately and she also writes for HGTV.com! Anyway, she recently hosted a contest called the "Copy Me Challenge" and we decided to enter. It was the first time we had entered a contest before so I didn't think anything would come of it but figured it would be fun to enter. Well, she announced her top five finalists yesterday and we were one of them! We were so excited and honored to be featured on her blog. So, we just wanted to say a quick thank you to her!

Miss Mustard Seed's Creative Blog

Also my favorite photographer, Andrea Hallett, sent us this photo yesterday of an adorable little girl wearing a Dear Lillie headband. 

And be sure to check back as our next post will be a 
GIVEAWAY
for some photo editing and a something from our shop! 


I hope you all have a fabulous week!





P.S. And as always, I am behind on e-mails so if you have contacted us with a question we will eventually get back to you, I promise!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lillian Annabel's Almost Finished Room with Three New Projects!


Sorry, I have been completely MIA from my computer these past few days. I am hoping to attempt to get caught up today and tomorrow at some point on e-mails, convos and blog reading, but for now wanted to post some photos of the projects I have finished up for Lillie's room. I finished three of the five of them last weekend and have put the other two on hold while we work on changing the guest bedroom into a nursery and try to get my new spring Dear Lillie items into gear. I still have to do something with the bare wall to the left of Lillie's bed (I know what I am going to do I just haven't had time to do it yet) and then I have a little more work I want to put into the window seat area and then it will be done! I am hoping to get back to it in another week or two but for now here are the three projects that are finished. (I am happy with how two of them turned out but not such a big fan of the third one).


Project 1: New Pillows
My favorite new thing is probably the pillows. They aren't perfect, by any means, but for once a project actually turned out pretty much how I had it in my head. That almost never happens! I made two silhouette pillows and two bolsters - the one on the bed she sleeps on says "lillian" and the other one on the other bed has her middle name "annabel". To keep the cost down I tried to use fabrics that I had left over from other projects. I did buy the bolster inserts, though, and the pink trim. I want to switch out the ribbon in the girl's hair for chiffon but haven't found any in the right shade of pink yet.

Project 2: Branch with Birds
To help fill out the empty space on the far wall Lillie and I found this branch in the woods and gave it a light coat of spray paint so it looks kind of like a branch from a birch tree. Then using the Silhouette machine I cut out a bunch of birds and hung them from the branches. This project was super cheap - pretty much just the cost of the spray paint ($6) and two sheets of the  pink and cream swirl paper ($.99 each). I already had the solid pink and gray cardstock.  I like that for under $8 it helps fill up a whole empty corner!

Project 3: Pretend Window
This project did not turn out at all how I had it in my head =(. I am really disappointed in it as I had something really specific in my mind but it came out WAY worse looking. Oh well. It was easy and inexpensive so I can always go back and try to fix it later or maybe start over. I just used a basic super cheap wood frame and spray painted it white and then added some dowels to the back to make it look like a window. Then I used the leftover fabric and trim from the pillows to make some curtains.

And here are bunch more photos where you can see the projects in their spaces in the room. The little bird picture above her dresser is way too small and I am going to change it out for the mirror that was in our guest bedroom I just haven't gotten to it yet. Hopefully that will get done this weekend. I took these photos on either Thursday or Friday, I think, and by Sunday the dress form was back in our room as Lillie informed me it was "scary" so now the rocking chair is back in there.  I liked how the height of the dress form looked sooooo much better in this corner. Maybe once she is a little older I can try to put it back in there again. =)





A pair of boots from Joyfolie.














 Her little window seat area still needs some work.


I knew this day would come eventually - she now has a little tiny hoop in her room. 

It's not too bad, though, because it's just on a tiny nail and I can remove it easily =).....hopefully Jon won't upgrade this to a bigger version for a while!

Thank you all for your wonderful thoughts and opinions on the nursery! 
A couple of hours after posting that I decided to go ahead with Option 1 and we headed off to Benjamin Moore to pick up the brown paint. Several hours after that I was thinking it was the worst decision I had ever made! Taking down the wallpaper and painting that room turned out to be a nightmare project that took 3 or 4 times longer than I had anticipated. Here is Dana and Jamie helping start on the wallpaper on Monday night. Sadly, I was still working on it late Tuesday afternoon!

 What a mess!
  
Jamie and I spent two nights painting though (here is it midway through) and it is finally done! YAY!!!! We also got the crib set up last night! It was so wonderful having her here to help. I will be so sad to see her leave tomorrow but she is coming back down again next week - yay!!!!!  And I am going to try to not put her to work too hard next time or she may never come again! Haha!

Now to start on all the projects for the nursery! Ahhhhh!!!!! I need to get back to work on some Dear Lillie stuff first, though, so it will probably be another week or two before I start on those.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!




PS - Linking up to The Shabby Nest, My Romantic Home,
French Country Cottage
Tatertots and Jello
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