Saturday, June 27, 2009

More Polyvore!
Here's my idea for my dream outfit for the party tonight(plus, what the dog would wear). But alas, there will be no brand new cute outfit and fabulous accesories for me, and the doggie isn't even invited to the party, so no outfit for her, either. I'll probably be wearing one of the old standby dresses with some fun jewelry to make it look new and fresh.
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Love Summer

My idea board for my summer plans!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Love This

Since I will be away from reliable internet connection, I thought I would compile some polyvore idea boards to post in my absence. Polyvore is a fabulous website that I came across. It allows you to creat these idea boards from tons of images that they have available to search and you can clip some of your own images in, either from your own photos or from some places on the internet. The coolest part to me is, as you mouse over each image, it will tell you where it is from and information on it, like the price. So say you put together a board for a super-cute outdoor party and found the dress and shoes you want to wear, as well as a fab vintage tablecloth. You can include those in your idea board and then refer back to it so you know where to go to buy them! So cool! I love it!
Find me on Polyvore

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Baby Brother's Graduation Party

Hubby and I are going to Chicago to visit my family and to throw my youngest brother a graduation party celebrating his recent graduation from University of Illinois. It's going to be a backyard party at my dad's house. Originally slated as a BBQ, Baby Bro has chosen to have it catered by Brown's Chicken, a Chicagoland oldie but goodie. Since other Little Bro is a professional chef whose specialty happens to be grilling, I wasn't even considering having it catered, but it's Baby Bro's party. Plus, they have super delish coleslaw and it will be easy, so Brown's it is! Pictures of the party and flowers to come soon!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

First Big Project!

Ok, so it's been a couple weeks since summer started for me and I am starting in on my first major project. I am going to tackle the choas that is my office/craft/sewing/storage room. By the many purposes that this room has to serve, one can tell that this will be quite an adventure! But I am confident. I have much creative inspiration and DIY instructions and support from various sites and blogs and equally important, a hubby that is handy.
First, I must reveal the mess. This is the first time that it has been exposed to members outside the immediate family. (I reccommend those who are squeamish cover their eyes and scroll past)
The Room

So there it is. It's a small room (about 10x10 ft) and has to serve multiple purposes. The inspiration for the room is coming from several sources. The beginning came from a fab DIY project by Michelle from 3 Men & a Lady. I love the project, but I especially love the shelving and the colors. In the past, I have been opposed to using adjustable track shelving, but seeing the way she put it together with other elements made me realize that they can be functional while actually looking cute. I love it! The shelves were the only option that made sense for us in terms of function, size and price when we set out to re-do the office in the first place, but I didn't want to use it, so the project stalled. Thanks to this new inspiration, the project is on!
First step.....clear out all the STUFF. And yes, that is a plush deer head on the wall.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I expound my love of Martha Stewart, part 1

When it comes to Martha Stewart, those who have an opinion about her feel adamantly either way. You either love her or can't stand her. Reasons people give for disliking her range from speculations about her personality ("she's a b*tch") to doubts about her domesticity and skills ("I would look like I knew what I was doing, too, if I have a large team of peons doing everything for me."). While it is true that, possibly excluding her time spent in super-minimum security incarceration, she probably could not remember the last time she did such common tasks as dusting, changing litter boxes, laundry, weeding, etc, she knows how to do these things and do them well. And these are the skills upon which she has built her business. In her case, the word "business" does not even begin to describe what she has built, but I will describe it as such. She has done what many of us creative-crafty types dream of doing. She has taken a hobby that she loves to do and built this omni-media empire. Please note that it's "omni-media," not "multi-media." Yes, that's what it is: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Not just some of the media, but ALL of them. Radio, TV, satellite radio, books, magazines. Then there's the products that bear her name: the flowers with 1-800-flowers, the houses with KB homes, the rugs, the paint colors at Lowe's, the line of products at Macy's and the one at K-Mart, the furniture, the lighting, the party supplies, the craft supply line, the flooring. I'm sure that I am leaving something out, but that's a whole lot of stuff right there. In addition to the actual products, there's the brand she's built. It's a feeling and a style. For example, I have a friend who now calls me "mini-Martha" after I coordinated her wedding and did the florals, and I have heard people say, "Oh,that's so Martha," to describe something. I even found a blog, just this morning, by that very name. There are actually a host of blogs that have to do with Martha Stewart, either as a fan or from the other side of the camp. I understand that Martha herself does not design every one of these things. It's quite possible she may not even see some of the designs for these products, but she's still making money off of every single one of them. And since she's making all this money, if she wanted to sit down and hand-make a birthday card for her hairdresser's dog, she could do that. And I'm sure it would be the nicest birthday card that dog's ever seen. Or she could bake said dog (or anyone--the dog's just an example) a birthday cake, or make a crepe paper garland to hang at a party. Or she could have a team of art school interns do it for her--it's her choice. The point is, she started off as just a regular woman, and took what she loves to do and turned it into a VERY successful business for herself.
Like her or dilike her, you have to admit that she is a heck of a businesswoman and she can whip up one heck of a triple-decker gourmet doggie bicuit birthday cake (or whatever) and I consider any comparison to her "a good thing."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

9 Fallen Heroes

Today's post will be short. Today is the 2-year anniversary of the fire at the Sofa Super Store in which 9 of Charleston's firefighters were killled. I have so very much to say about how this tragedy was preventable in so many ways and on so many levels and how it took over a decade of purposeful mismanagement of the fire department and blatant dereliction when it came to training and safety, but I will keep them to myself and try to focus on the good that has come from this tragedy. Although those 9 families will never get their husband, father, son, uncle, nephew, cousins back, and the lives of their friends and fellow firefighters will never be the same, this event did finally shed light on what had been going on in the Charleston Fire Department for 16 years plus and things have been changing for the better since then as far as the operation of the department is concerned. Personally, people are still recovering and trying to adjust.

My thoughts and prayers turn to The Charleston 9 every day, but today I am especially reflective of the impact that June 18, 2007 has had on my life and the lives of so many people. When I think of how preventable the entire thing was, I feel angry. I have been trying to let go of that anger and trying to focus on anything positive that has come from it. Nothing I can do can change what has happened, but I can change my reaction to it and the way I think about it. Doing so helps me to find comfort and peace. I hope that the families involved and all others touched by this are able to find a little more or that peace and comfort every day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Folly Beach Wedding in September

This is an idea board that I made using It's a super-fabulous site which I will tell more about later. The idea board is for a wedding that I am doing in September. It will be on Folly Beach and the bride describes it as very laid-back, nothing elaborate. The orange dress is the actual dress that the bride has chosen for the bridesmaids. Everything else are images that I chose to create the board. We are doing sage hydrangeas and orange roses for the bouquets and the boutonnieres will be orange spray roses with green or all green. If we go with all green, I am thinking yoko ono/kermit mums and hypericum berries or small pieces of the sage hydrangea with the berries. We may incorporate sisal or raffia and seashells for a more organic feel or double sided satin and grosgrain ribbon if the bride wants it a little more traditional. The guys will be barefoot and wearing khakis and white shirts, so the flowers they wear will have to be very lightweight. We will use orange rose petals to define the aisle. More on this project as it develops!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Life is a garden and love is in bloom

This past weekend was the wedding celebration of one of my dearest friends, Beth. Since both the bride and groom are from out of town, many of the guests were traveling to be here for the wedding and accompanying festivities. One of the highlights of the week/weekend for me was the beautiful shower that the bride's sister gave for the bride. She chose the theme "A garden party in pink and green," and used that for every element of the party. She also incorporated a lot of Lilly Pulitzer design and products into the party. It was a fabulous afternoon. The bride's sister put much thought and effort into the planning and hosting of this party and I would say that the princess of prep, Lilly herself, would have approved of this fete.

The lunch was at Poogan's Porch, an adorable little restaurant on Queen Street. It's one of those old places that has a cool story and it is even on the list of Charleston's haunted buildings. We had the upstairs room to ourselves (where the ghost is supposed to be!), so we could ooh and ahh and laugh and visit and carry on as much as we want without disturbing anyone. The bride's sister was particularly excited about the decorated umbrella, which is a tradition in the Bahamas. She got a battenburg lace umbrella and decorated it with ribbons and I attached flowers in the colors to the handle. It turned out great!

a close-up

the gift table

The favors were little tins of sweet pea seeds (one of my favorites!) with a little sweet pea on it and a quote: "Love held is the seed, love shared is the flower," which the hostess also put on the place cards. She put one at each place, along with the menu. For the menu, she made up sweet names for the dishes that had to do with happiness, love, etc., and used the same Lilly Pulitzer stationery she did for the invitations--adorable!

I did the flowers for the shower. For the tables, I wanted to keep the arrangements low so that we could see each other over them. I started out with short vase arrangements to keep a garden feeling and not too fussy, but they ended up being taller than I expected, so I went with julep cups (love them!) and little bitty revere bowls for the main table and we used the vase arrangements in other parts of the room.

We had some great food and beverages, some fun shower games and opening of gifts, and it was a fabulous way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

What a Wonderful World

Welcome to my brand-new blog, Sweet Eloise. I plan to use this to chronicle my attempts in all things crafty, culinary and creative. My occupation is teaching, but I enjoy dabbling in so very many things, floral and event design being my main interests. I also enjoy cooking (particularly baking), crafts, quilting and basically anything that requires beign creative and/or resourceful. One of the best things about teaching is the fact that I have summers off to do these great things. So this summer, I am going to use this blog to document my projects and help keep myself on track. Hopefully, the fact that someone else out there would be reading this will hold me accountable to finish my projects before starting in on new ones. I also enjoy finding out about products and designers from other blogs and get inspiration and ideas from those, so I hope that I can provide the same for someone else along the way. Thanks for joining me and welcome to my wonderful world!