Everyday Arrangements: The TJD Flower Bar

August 29, 2010

Summer in Sonoma

August 28, 2010

It's been a chilly summer here in the Bay Area. I don't recall a day I left the house without a sweater, shawl or jacket on hand.  We always talk about how temperamental the weather can be. Cool summer days and blustery nights can be disturbed by a sudden surge of heat for an entire weekend.  Just as we were all convinced this season would end without a glimpse of the warm sun, we were blessed with a few days of intense heat that pretty much came as summer was ending. My best friends arrived for a visit and must have brought the heat along with them. It was about time we had a mini-vacay so we took two days from our busy schedules and escaped with a quick trip to wine country during the (last) break of intense sunshine. We visited Auberge du Soleil in Napa for lunch, the Sonoma Farmer's Market, and finished off our first day with dinner at The Girl And The Fig. We enjoyed catching up, eating and drinking up a storm, and checking out the local spots so much that we couldn't be bothered by the 108-degree weather. Sonoma is now our favorite getaway spot, and an amazing source of inspiration for me. I'll be sure to post more photos and details once busy season is over and I round up all the images. In the meantime, here's a peek into our two-day break from reality. Here's to wonderful friends, food, wine, and sunshine!

Photos: Julia Sevilla

Fall Fun DIY: Cupcake Costume

August 16, 2010

Probably not related to flowers, interiors, or weddings - but I am trying to get a head start with Natalie's Halloween costume this  year and would love some suggestions. Really hoping to have a new fun and challenging fall project. It's little crafty projects like this that keep my creative juices flowing, and my sanity in check. Last year's delicious, giant cupcake creation will be hard to beat. I pulled it together in less than a week, and up to now cannot describe exactly how I did it. My inspiration came from the baking hobby (addiction) I developed the year before. I've also been obsessed with cupcakes since I discovered I had a sweet tooth - probably my first birthday party. My sister and I even had a complete collection of "cupcake dolls" that had those skirts that folded up and transformed the doll into a yummy cupcake. Yes, the bake shop version of the Transformers!  Anyhow, it was inevitable I would design something cupcake-related. 

This sweet masterpiece will always be my favorite and most memorable costume. Here are the ingredients:

wire wreath form
pink long sleeved onesie
brown tights or leggings
fiber fill
pink and brown felt
needles, thread
glue gun

I basically used the wreath form as the structural base for the shape. Like a sculpture -I sewed, glued, stuffed, and wrapped felt and fiber fill together until it looked like the cupcake I had in my head. There really is no way to explain the steps, but with a dash of imagination and a sprinkling of determination anyone can create this wearable cupcake sculpture. It turned out great - and was pretty comfortable! Natalie did not want to take it off, and she had fun bouncing off the walls with it.

Here's my little one during her first fitting for the costume's "shell":

I have a few ideas in mind for this year's costume, but would love some suggestions! Please send me a message or leave a comment to inspire AND challenge me for this fall's DIY project!

Photos: Tim De los Reyes

West Elm Goes Back To School

Just in time for the new school year! West Elm - one of my favorite bargain brands, has just released a new line of smart, innovative, chic, and wonderfully green home office furniture. A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of viewing the new Pratt Home Office Collection. 

The line was created by a team of students at the Pratt Design Incubator, part of the renowned Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I'd give this class production a standing ovation. The line has a strong mid-century modern aesthetic that evokes clean lines reminiscent of designers like Eames and Larsen. Each piece has a vintage vibe that can work well in its own, complemented by almost any style of room or furniture. I am particularly loving the desk and the filing cabinet, which i just  might order in all-white. Needless to say, I give this student design work an A+!

For more information and to purchase items in the Pratt Home Office Collection, visit WestElm.
Photos: West Elm

Birthdays: Natalie's Vintage FĂȘte

August 01, 2010

About two years ago, I became a mommy. Wow! How time has just passed us by. While there will be a million life-changing events in our lifetime, having a child is probably the biggest. I am so grateful to have my little Natalie, she really fills our hearts with so much joy!

Her first birthday wasn't a grand bash - but it was a large casual gathering. Determined to host a truly intimate gathering for her second - I opted for a family brunch in my aunt's gorgeous garden. In lieu of gifts, we requested each family contribute a breakfast dish of their choice. Aside from the fact that my plate's been extremely full this year, I really did not want too much fuss. It had to take place a month early, with less than a week to prepare. Birthdays are big in our family and I couldn't let this Sunday brunch for my little princess take place without some designer touches.

I'm big on the look as opposed to a certain theme. I figure I'll save the themes for when she's old enough to tell me what she wants.  For Natalie's second, I wanted a vintage look in bright playful colors - shades of pink and sunshine yellow. For a fresh twist, I used my signature gray color as an accent.

Shades of pink dahlias, garden roses, double tulips, carnations, and hydrangea filled vintage cups, pitchers, and urns. I did without the usual greens in the flower arrangements and opted for dusty miller for its soft grey hue.  My sisters Mandy and Stef got to work and helped me with some crafty decor. We created some banners out of miss-matched ribbons and paper doilies to coordinate with the color scheme. Mandy hand-painted images of flowers and birds onto some of the doilies, and they just turned out so lovely! I created a seating area in the deck that featured vintage dining chairs I found around my aunt's house. Fabric scraps from a previous project turned into table runners. Ribbons adorned swags of crepe paper  as tie-backs and were wrapped around a couple of outdoor pillows. It couldn't have been more perfect! The food was scrumptious, the company was delightful, and the place looked darling. The icing on the cake: how much fun Natalie had being outdoors and riding her new pink bike.