Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Asking the Wedding Party

It's been quite some time since I've written a post on Cup of Tea, so I'll start things out with an update to my personal life: I'm engaged! Since the end of April my fiance Dan and I have been starting to plan our wedding. October 1, 2016 here we come! We already have the venue, band and photographer booked. Go us!

What's next? Ask the wedding party! With Pinterest playing such a huge role in wedding inspiration these days, it was extremely tempting to throw down a hundred bucks on some cute but overly extravagant way to "pop the question" to our potential bridesmaids and groomsmen. We instead decided to keep it simple and inexpensive so I created cute little tags to hang on the neck of wine and ale bottles.

The tags must have been a hit because they all agreed to be a part of our wedding! Now let's open one of those bottles of wine and celebrate!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Backyard Plans

Hello blog world! It's me, Julia! I can't believe I haven't posted since last July. What have I been doing since then? Enjoying summer. And then enjoying fall. And now enjoying (that's questionable) winter.

Lately I've been getting inspired to move forward with backyard plans. My backyard is basically an empty rectangle. I don't even have a garage. Last summer's accomplishments included getting my electrical lines buried and the shed built but it ended up taking almost the entire summer to do both. They didn't really do much to improve my empty rectangle issue, aside from providing some storage for my bike (and I'm SO happy I don't have to lug it in and out of my basement anymore).

Yay shed!

This year I am getting a jump on more exciting backyard events. At Christmas I was very fortunate to get a bonus at work, so I used the unexpected money on buying myself a pergola! Two actually. They will sit next to each other and create enough space to set up a table & chairs area and add a chaise lounge as well. Since I have the whitest skin ever I will be making it into a shade space by adding a bamboo roof. Here's the plan:

I purchased two of these from Sears:

And am inspired to do this for shade:
image thanks to Pinterest

Cool right? But first I need a patio to put the pergolas on. Which is why I've already started setting up landscaping companies to come out and give an estimate to create a patio inspired by this:
image thanks to Pinterest

All of this is making me really anxious for it to get warm out. But it's only 5 degrees here in Michigan today. And my entire yard is blanked in a lot of snow. But I'm hoping that getting all my ducks in a row now will pay off. I want to be able to enjoy my upcoming outdoor space as long as possible this year, so I hope to get things moving as soon as the snow is gone!

In other news, I'm FINALLY working on making myself a logo. I've only been procrastinating for YEARS. I have no problem creating designs for other people but when it comes to myself I am so picky and overly inspired by too many things to pick a direction and stick with it. However, I think I am finally on to something. So expect to see a new look soon... oh who am I kidding? Expect to see a new look sometime in the future. Who knows when I'll get around to actually updating my online presence ;)

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Making of Lynn's Lavender

I love DIY projects. I just usually don't have the patience for them. My Pinterest boards are filled with cool things I could make... if only I actually did. So I'm excited to share a crafty thing I actually did do! For Mother's Day this year I decided to put my lettering fun to good use, and paint a cute sign for my mom to put in her lavender garden.

And just for kicks, I documented my steps!

I started by sketching out ideas. I don't know why I always do this part in a lined notebook... maybe because it seems less official than my sketchbook? I usually wait until I have the plan before I recreate it in my sketchbook:

After the new sketch is made, I go over it with ink. I like using Micon pens for this; they have such a clean edge to them! I once tried it with a skinny Sharpie because I didn't have a Micon pen around and that was a huge disaster. Trust me in my saying that Micron pens are awesome.

Then I recreated it again on the sign. I got that little sign at Michaels. Sidenote: I usually hate going to Michaels because they are always understaffed. Always. It's so, so frustrating. But they are the only craft place around. And let's face it, I'd much rather wait in a long checkout line at Michaels than give Hobby Lobby any of my money, right?

Time to test out the paints! You can see I was testing out different ways to do the lavender plants. This step was also important to get a good feel for how the paint was going to work, especially in the fine swoopy strokes of the word "Lavender."


Ta-da! I left out the "Garden" only because when I drew it out in pencil the spacing was off, and I didn't want to re-draw it again.

So there you have it! A rare craft creation from me!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Stylish and Chatty

It's time for a Friday morning review! A girl can never have enough jewelry. This is why I took Nikki, the owner of Beading Stylish, up on her generous offer to provide me with a piece from her shop!

Talk Bracelet - c/o BeadingStylish.com

This is the "Talk" charm bracelet in Pink Multi. I find it funny that she sent me the "talk" charm, since I'm the type of person who is perfectly happy with not talking. I could sit in silence for hours, just going about my thing. Maybe it will serve as a good reminder to chat more? Either way, the bracelet is super cute.

The only drawback I noticed about the bracelet is that it was almost too small to fit my wrist, and I have pretty small wrists. Nikki did ask what length I preferred, but I still found it a tad difficult to fasten because of the length. So make sure to order yours slightly longer than you think you'll need it.

On an unrelated note, take a look at the pansies and Adirondack chairs in these pictures. These are a part of my aesthetically-improved front porch! This spring I've added a sitting area and lots of flowers. It's all about the curb appeal... and being able to sit outside and enjoy the warm weather!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Photographing The Color of Rain Premiere!

It's not every day that you get the opportunity to be two feet away from a celebrity, and last Thursday I was! I had the chance to photograph the red carpet at the Detroit premiere of the Hallmark Movie Channel's The Color of Rain. Lacey Chabert is one of the lead roles in the film (remember Gretchen Wieners from Mean Girls? That's her!) The film is based on the NYT's bestselling book by the same title, authored by Michael & Gina Spehn, and tells the couple's unlikely true-life love story. Lacey plays Gina Kell Spehn. I've have the privilege of working with the ever-so-kind Gina (and occasionally Michael too) on different design aspects of their non-profit foundation, New Day Foundation for Families, which offers hope and assistance to young families affected by cancer.

...I was two feet from Gretchen Wieners! I got to take part in the photographer's role of yelling "over here!" to the actors and guests to have them look over at my camera. Such authority :)

Warren Christie and Lacey Chabert

Gina Kell Spehn and Lacey Chabert

Warren Christie, Lacey Chabert, Gina Kell Spehn and Michael Spehn

The film itself was great (very Hallmark-movie like) and followed the book pretty closely. I'm honored to know these great people.

Since I've spent a long while editing many photographs of Lacey and the event, I think it's time to wind down the weekend with a cup of tea and a viewing of Mean Girls. That movie never gets old.

Happy Sunday!