Do it yourself

NYE Smorgasbord Party

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New Year’s Eve is generally annoying in the Seattle area. This is my blog, so my opinion is fact. You can either spend $100+ per ticket to attend a gala with hundreds of ostentatiously dressed drunk people, or buy your way into a private, deluxe dinner at a restaurant. Or, one of your friends can host a party, which gives you an excuse to dress up in a far more low key environment, with people you actually like.

This year, Tristan and I discovered that the Swedish Club behind our apartment building is hosting a mid-century NYE “ball” with live ABBA music and Swedish pancake breakfast at 12:15 a.m. for a mere $25 per ticket. SIGN. US. UP.

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We have put together a group of friends to go with us, and are hosting a prefunk party at our house just in case our destination is filled with 400 old people. The prefunk party will be Smorgasbord themed in honor of our Swedish destination. Not literally (no herring and beet salad), just in the fact that I’m throwing everything together and hoping it works, both in decor and menu. I don’t have time to go unearth my gold shimmery tablecloth or striped runners from the storage unit, nor do I feel like spending a ton of money on creating some perfectly paired menu with signature cocktails. We bought chips and guac (the essentials), some mixers, and I made fudge. My friend – bless her heart – informed me that she’s bringing cheese…YAY! I bought a really cute garland and hats from Metropolitan Market yesterday. But other than that, we are using what we already have (including a very well stocked bar, thanks to some of Tristan’s work vendors!).

Here is the garland I purchased, to give you an idea of the color scheme I’m locked to, seeing as I have no color in my apartment (unless you count leopard).

NYE Garland 2

NYE Garland

It’s by Meri Meri, a super cute vintage-style party supplies company.

I don’t want the look to be a tidy tablescape; I want it to be jam packed with knick-knacks, sparkles, festive-ness and yummy treats. I love this bubbly bar from La Mia Vita:

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I love this tablescape from Tiffany Pratt in Rue Magazine:

NYE Inspiration 5 NYE Inspiration 6 NYE Inspiration 7 NYE Inspiration 8

And tell me you don’t love this party hat from A Subtle Revelry:

Tulle Poof Hat

Here are some other “crowded” tablescape pics that tickle my fancy…

Studio DIY:

NYE Inspiration 1

Green Wedding Shoes:

NYE Inspiration

Kelly Lee for Rue Magazine:

NYE Inspiration 4

Also Rue Magazine:

NYE Inspiration 3

If I’m lucky, I’ll figure out a way to create cute stir sticks for this party in the next 8 hours! 🙂 As mentioned on this post, I get such fulfillment from re-purposing items and materials I already have. And I’m CONVINCED I won’t be running around stressing out all day. If I can prove to myself (and Tristan, ha!) that I am capable of a low-cost, low-stress party, then it is sure to be a happy new year, filled with lots more parties. 🙂

-t&T

T&T

header image via Studio DIY

Deck the Halls

I thought I’d share a few vignettes of the rest of our holiday decor.

Here is one vignette “in the nude,” before we moved in.

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And here she is in holiday best:

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This was the backdrop for our Cocktail and Cookie Party for Two.

Now for some close ups. I was able to use my “O Come Let Us Adore Him” phrase that I felt was too many letters for this project.

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For the picture to the immediate left, I was able to use one of the leftover fat quarters from the pillow project. Look at the charming metropolitan shoppers!

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On the top left, I threw together one of those obligatory wedding anniversary signs. This will be upgraded to some sort of official Etsy version at some point (I personally love this one), but it’s nice that it’s not Christmas-exclusive. I plan to fill the other frames with wedding photos after the holidays.

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The top right frame was another DIY project. Borrowing the H and O from my Christ Is Born bunting, I traced the letters onto glitter paper, velvet, and felt, cut them out and glued them onto a piece of white scrapbook paper.

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The topiaries received a holiday makeover as well. As seen in this post, they came in simple white terracotta pots. I wrapped each in a leftover holiday fat quarter and tied them with festive plaid ribbon.

Facing away from this wall, you can see remnants from Parisian Christmas motif of years past (swag, metallic candles galore, fur and sequin stockings):

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Side note- taking pictures of candles is hard. My cell phone has about the best camera on the market (which was why I bought it). One day, I might just make the move to a “big girl camera,” but in the mean time, bare with me. Any cell phone photography tips are welcomed :).

Up next – our Christmas card debut! And then we can all take a nap until New Year’s.

-t&T

T&T

A Torie & Tristan Tree!

This year, I was really inspired by the worded bunting trend, and wanted to incorporate it into our tree-scape. I just made up both of those terms – “worded bunting” and “tree-scape” … but you still with me?

This Michael’s Dream Tree from eighteen25 is one example of worded bunting:

Michael's Dream Tree

Here’s another:

Tree Inspiration 1

And Pottery Barn:

Pottery Barn

As I mentioned earlier, I really wanted to spice up my Christmas decor with some red this year; a tree sign like the above being one of the simple DIY ways to accomplish this. Since you need to buy each letter separately ($1-$2 each), I originally was going to do “FA LA LA”  as the words, since less letters equals less $$. But, I wasn’t sure how well that would lay spacially across the tree.

Since Tristan and I are Christians and my shopping/gift-obsessed self can always use a reminder of the Reason For The Season, I thought something Christ-y would be ideal. “O Come Let Us Adore Him” would’ve cost a small fortune in wooden letters, so I ultimately went for the abbreviated “Christ Is Born”:

Tree

Torie & Tristan's Tree

Here’s a close up. The red is a bit brighter and more coral in person, to match the new pillows on the couch.

Torie & Tristan's Tree

For this project, I got the whole family involved. Tristan and I painted two coats on the back and front of each letter, then I hot glued each letter to twine, leaving about a foot on each end of extra twine. I have CHRIST on one strand; IS BORN on the other. It was actually easier than I thought it’d be to affix the sign to the tree; I just tied the extra twine to a branch.The total project cost $20, not including the glittery bow ornaments on each end.

I give this worded tree trend a shelf life of one more year, after which time I will need to find something else to do with the sign. I think hanging the bunting on a mantle, table or piano will be quite charming. Some peeps are already on board:

Etsy:

Tree Inspiration 5

Pottery Barn via Glitter Guide:

Tree Inspiration 4

What do you think of this trend? What holiday trends were you crushing on this year?

I’ll share the rest of our decor in the next post; I’m thisclose to finishing our inaugural Christmas cards as well.

Happy Christmas Week!

-t&T

T&T

Top 5 Newlywed Ornament Ideas

I’m a sucker for “limited time only” crafts. Give me a deadline that will require an action plan spreadsheet and major stress when that plan deviates,  and I’m IN! I can’t seem to muster up the motivation to re-vamp my dresser, despite already determining the colors and hardware required for the end result, and the fact that I’d get to enjoy the new version 365 days a year.

No, instead I obsessively figure out my Christmas decor and all of the ways I can introduce the color red to my normally Parisian palette of metallics, white and ivory… and then take it all down three weeks later. Plus, the deadline of “this is the only year I’ll be able to do all things newlywed,” including make a newlywed ornament, and start all of the traditions that our future children will remember for the restoftheirliiiiiiiiiiiiivessjhdfkhsf!!! I get a little wound up. My poor husband.

So after major Christmas decorating stress the last two weeks, I’ve worn myself out. I’ve now decided that this is the Christmas of “good enough.” Nothing is perfect. But I got it all done and am happy with the results. I spent two hours researching the following newlywed ornament inspiration back in November, then spent about five minutes on the actual execution, which you’ll see at the bottom (it’s “good enough”):

Click on the image for source.

I love the hammered metal/engraved look, and cute wording, no?

Cute Phrasing

Spoon

Cute style

I am not wild about these fonts, but I am interested in DIY etched glass techniques:

Different fonts etched on glass

It looks like they used their save the date on this one … nice matching:

Different style

I love the wrapped look using a wedding invitation (and glitter, obvs), and ultimately went this direction:

Yay Glitter

Wrapped style 2

I think this one is just darling. I didn’t read the instructions, but a mini embroidery hoop would work well:

Monogram!

Here’s my end result. I kid you not – 5 minutes. I took one invitation and cut it into strips, put each slip writing side out in a clear ornament, dumped in some glitter and tied some bows. Then, according to Christmas Murphy’s Law, it took me a week to find my black number stickers. But once I found them, applying the 2013 took 30 seconds.

New Ornament (1)

New Ornament

Hope this post gave you some ideas for your newlywed ornament, or perhaps Baby’s First Ornament, or a gift idea!

-t&T

T&T

Winter Bedroom

I love me a good winter cabin/lodge vacation. I don’t ski or snowboard; when I go up to the mountains, I’m more of a read-a-book-by-the-fireplace-with-wine type of gal. It’s all about the snowy ambiance! This year, we’re planning to go to Lake Chelan’s Winterfest, and there’s a Wine Walk and Ice Lounge – done and DONE! Totally outdoorsy.

Stereotypically, lodge decor primarily consists of a wood and forest green color scheme, moose-shaped accents (such as a soap dispenser) and there must be a bear carved out of a tree trunk, somewhere, with of course accents of leather, plaid, and that tree pattern, and maybe fur (if you’re lucky!). Maybe some wolves, antlers and/or Native American flair as well. I will be the first to admit that these features definitely increase the coziness factor, even if they aren’t my particular style.

BUT ALAS – When researching my 2013 Christmas Decor Master Plan (this is an actual spreadsheet), I stumbled upon two bedrooms that took some of those stereotypical elements and made them quite chic. I don’t typically decorate my bedroom for the holidays, but I might have to start this year!

The first is from Pottery Barn:

Winter Bedroom v 2

I love how there’s actual pine tree branches, cones and birds on the print, yet with the mirrored nightstands, fur blanket, light wood accents, upholstered headboard, and black-edged monogrammed pillowcases, it looks completely modern! I actually have several of those accents already in my home (I’m sure I’m not the only one!), so I could fairly easily recreate the look by just buying the duvet set, which happens to be on sale.

The second is from Ralph Lauren:

Ralph Lauren Home 2

Ralph Lauren Home

They took elements that, combined, are often times too heavy or too boy-ish for my taste, such as dark mahogany, leather and plaid – but add a splash of leopard, red roses, black lacquer and a crystal lamp and all of a sudden, I’m obsessed!

I found these charming DIY monogrammed pillowcases from Sparkle Pants Girl, and LOOK – A tree! 🙂

DIY Pillowcases

I think the secret might be just to layer opulent textures and patterns… maybe it’s not so abstract after all. So many bedrooms these days are monochromatic (mine included!) to “help us unwind” at the end of a long work day. It’s just so nice to look at rooms with different color schemes with prints and patterns – ones that aren’t trying to be all zen-like and airy, but relaxing nonetheless.

What other winter bedroom accents are out there? Bonus points if there’s some sort of hunted animal :). Would love to see and hear about everyone else’s plans/ideas!

-t&T

Monogram

Newlywed Christmas Card Inspiration

I have a unique opportunity this year within the Christmas card realm. Since I just got married in July, I can use a wedding photo in lieu of having a family photo taken, and I already have everyone’s current address. I also have a surplus of card-making supplies left over from wedding invitations. It would almost be a sin to not do Christmas cards.

It all started when one of my friends sent me these two Christmas cards which reminded her of my wedding invitations.

Glitz Christmas 1

Glitz Christmas 2

click on images for source

They do look just my style, I thought to myself. Crap, now I’m obsessed. But they were $2 a pop! I knew I’d have to find a DIY version that I would feasibly have energy to do after a year of wedding crafting. I have been pinning ideas up a storm.

Let’s start with phrasing. I’m pretty sold on something to the affect of Married & Bright. I’ll have to go cliche with the phrase every other year (heck, I’ll probably just say Merry Christmas), so might as well live. it. up.

Merry & Married 2 Merry & Married 3 Merry & Married 4 Merry & Married

In terms of design, I’m sure many other newlywed brides out there have some type of specialty paper or craft supply left over. I have a whole pack of unopened velum paper and a few dozen velum envelopes left over from the wedding. So, I did a search on velum Christmas cards. Perhaps I could overlay the velum in front of a wedding photo with my Married & Bright phrase printed on it?

Velum 1 Velum 2

Now on to content. If you know me, you’ll know that more is more, and I have a hard time letting go of a good idea. I want to do it all, and all at once. I also like to provide useful content to people (hence, the blog). In my searches, I ran across an infographic that acts as a Christmas newsletter, and looked for as many examples as I could find.

Newsletter 1 Newsletter 2 Newsletter 3 Newsletter 4

yearinreview

Newsletter 6

Neat, huh? Totes fridge-worthy.

I’m not sure I can do velum AND photo AND infographic, so I might have to save the infographic for another year … maybe when my life is more interesting – ha! But I am feeling inspired to come up with a list of Top 5 Highlights of 2013 – and freebie #1, we got married! This would go on the inside of the card in a simple, bulleted format (the best format of all time, for all reasons).

Another idea I liked is the semi-homemade photo card. I won’t always have leftover wedding supplies, and will likely want to order a bulk photo card from Costco at some point. I love how this blogger zhushed up her photo cards with a downloadable graphic and some ribbon. Here is the original:

Semi-handmade Christmas Card original

Post-zhush:

Semi-handmade Christmas Card 1

and look, velum!

Semi-handmade Christmas Card 2

I don’t get to start working on these until Tristan and I are done with thank you cards, but sure am excited! I will be sure to share some final shots of the completed card.

What other killer Christmas card ideas are out there? Send me your links! I will have hopefully several decades to try out many different ideas.

Next on my list: the newlywed ornament!

-t&T

Monogram

Leaving Town + Links of the Week

Today after work, Tristan and I are headed to Portland to visit family and some college friends.

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image from [ simplesong ]

It will be great to spend more time with everyone, since the last time we saw them was a brief “hi-bye” at our wedding. And who doesn’t love Portland? Tax-free Forever 21 practically IS free!

Here are some of my favorite links I found this week:

 

And if you are traveling this weekend as well, just remember:

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-t&T

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