Monday, June 25, 2012

Renovating Ideas: Elevated Envelope

This Spring I participated in a really fun envelope exchange movement called the Elevated Envelope created by the lovely Tara Bliven. But this isn't your average envelope exchange. No way jose! This is an explosion of artistic creativity. Pushing yourself to create a masterpiece within a set number of guidelines and mailing it to the other participants within your assigned group. Here is more background on the Elevated Envelope.

So, I signed up. Why not? I love doing things to stretch myself. There was only one issue and it was a big one. I signed up smack dab in the middle of a legal dispute with numerous court dates with the management company of my apartment building. I also proceeded to begin looking for a new place to live. I had a baby shower to design AND I was working like no tomorrow in my business. But I REALLY REALLY wanted to participate in the exchange and I was committed to make it happen. And make it happen I did. It was something cute and simple with a nod toward my wedding design company's branding. I was quite pleased.

But when the envelopes started rolling in, I knew I needed to BRING IT next time around.

Nevertheless, here is what I created:
Now check out the lovely envelopes I received... LOVE EACH AND EVERYONE!
I had so much fun with this. I am definitely participating again in the near future. How about you join me?

xoxo, tami

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Renovated Lifestyle: Annual Summer Soiree 2012

This year I threw my first Summer Soiree. It's an all ladies intimate themed dinner party with just a few of my dearest friends colleagues and a few family members. This is a time to get together and celebrate being women. I decided to kick off this annual event by honoring Frida Kahlo.

I started off by teasing my guests with Save-the-Date cards intended to set the tone without giving too much of the theme away.
{Sorry about the grainy photo... photo credit: tami briggs}
Next I handcrafted an invitation. The invitations were completely handmade. No printer used. In fact the only machine involved was our wonderful sewing machine. A little fringe, some bright colors and flowers and a handwritten message invited select guests to come out and partake in some good food, great drinks and lots of laughter on the rooftop of my apartment building.
{Photo Credit for invite: Just Wenderful}
{Photo Credit: tami briggs}
All of the ladies were excited. But not nearly as excited as I was because up until now, I am still the only one who knows the theme and menu for the event.

I sewed up my own table runner and table linens, bought a few potted kalanchoe and succulents, hung fringed streamers and lit a few candles and we had a dinner party.
{Photo Credit: tami briggs}
Each guest found their name painted on oil pallets, which I fastened to the chair backs with raffia. And they each received a personal succulent to represent life in a dry spell and a unique card with a photo of Frida Khalo and along with one of her quotes on the back.  Don't you just love the really cool looking light fixture hanging in the gazebo on my rooftop.

I made a BIG batch of sangria {it was a hit}!
{Photo Credit: tami briggs}

I chose to make it a tortilla bowl buffet so that guests could build a bowl or two to their liking. On the menu we had:

Fresh baked tortilla bowls
Cilantro Lime Basmati Rice
Chili Beans
Salsa Fiesta Shredded Chicken
Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)
Carnitas (Shredded Pork)
Sauteed Vegetables
Avocado and Grilled Corn Pico de Gallo
Fire Roasted Salsa
Pineapple Mango Salsa
Sour Cream
Shredded Lettuce
Shredded Cheese
Sweet and Spicy Pepitas
Tres Leche Cake
Spicy Cinnamon Chocolate Brownies
{Photo Credit: tami briggs}

This was about honoring one another as friends, celebrating the power of femininity and embracing our womanhood.
{Photo Credit: tami briggs}

My sister graduated UCLA just the day before and is taking off for Norway to attend the summer program at Oslo University. So it was only fitting that I make a toast in her honor and present her with a beautiful and unique locket from Origami Owl.

We had such a great time and I can't wait to do it again next year!

xoxo, tami

Monday, June 11, 2012

Renovating Ideas: Drop Cloths

We all know how costly fabric can be. There are a lot of great deals to be found in the Los Angeles fabric district, but what if you don't have access to a place like this? If you are looking for a very natural and organic look, I'd like to introduce you to drop cloths.

Yep, I said drop cloths. The fabric cloths that painters use. What makes drop cloths so attractive for home decor is that you can actually do some pretty cool things with them and you get a heck of a lot of fabric for a low investment.

Drop cloths can be found at Home Depot, Lowe's or many other home improvement or paint retailers. They come in a few different sizes and in two different weights. If you choose to work with drop cloths, you don't need to purchase a heavy weight unless you are creating a project that requires a stronger fabric. I hear that drop cloths from Home Depot have a seam down the middle of them and the ones from Lowe's don't. I am not quite sure what that may or may not mean to you but if having a larger piece of fabric is important to you, than it may be wise to purchase yours at Lowe's. A drop cloth of 6'x9' runs approximately $10.00 each. The size is an estimate. Please be sure to check the packaging for the exact measurement in fine print. I want to say a 6'x9' is more like 5 5/8'x8 5/8'. This is important to note if you are looking for exact measurements. Also, these cloths aren't cut in a perfect rectangle. It's very possible that you can lose a few inches in length from one corner to the next. There are red and blue threads that run through the fabric and not all drop cloths are the same shade of beige. Be sure to check all of these small possibilities when selecting your drop cloths.

I traveled around the world wide web to find a few gorgeous home items that were creat with drop cloths. Just look at how lovely drop cloths can be:

What a great way to use an unexpected medium in a really beautiful way!

xoxo, tami

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Bucket List - Family Time

I am so excited that summer is upon us. My youngest daughter is still in school for a few more weeks but that's not stopping us from beginning our summer activities. Every year I plan activities for the kids and I to do fun things but this year we are joining others across the nation in the Happy Family Movement.

We are participating in the Summer Bucket List Challenge! So fun and so exciting! The first thing we did was create a bucket list of things we wanted to do this summer. Collectively we agreed to several activities that were decided upon in our family meeting. Babygirl then took on the job of creating a display for our kitchen where we could visually see what we have planned. She's pretty creative, don't you agree?

Here are the things we have planned:

  • A trip to Universal Studios to celebrate babygirl's 5th grade graduation
  • A day at the beach
  • Buy big fat ice cream sundaes
  • Have a picnic at Griffith Park
  • Visit the Cleopatra Exhibit at the California Science Center
  • Buy Slurpees
  • Train three times a week as a family for The Color Run in San Diego this fall
  • Go bowling
  • Go ice skating
  • Go to the movies
  • Have dinner on the rooftop
We've already started our 5K training and are really enjoying our time spent together.

(all graphics belong to the Happy Family Movement)

What plans do you have with your family this summer? I'd love to know!

xoxo, tami