What a summer it’s been! It’s already winding down in many parts of the country, although here in Charleston we’ll enjoy the heat for another month at least. Since it’s been a little while since I’ve “talked shop” here on the blog, I thought I’d share a bit about what’s been going on around here.

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Spring wedding season was pretty crazy, with what I think was a record number of wedding program fans leaving our little office in I’on. Kellie and I started to get a little overwhelmed and it was decided the time was right to bring in more help. That way we can get things done more quickly for our clients and everyone can feel a little less pressured.

Laurel started working with us a little over a month ago now, so if you call in or stop by, you just might have the pleasure of meeting her. She is a talented artist and such a great energy to have here in the office. As an entrepreneur who started this whole thing alone in my apartment, I have to admit it’s pretty weird sometimes when all three of us are here and the phone’s ringing and stuff is being made and people are stopping by. Those are sort of pinch-yourself moments – did I really start this whole thing??

At any rate, we are so ready for Fall season now with our little team. Lots and lots of pretty things to be made.

Speaking of upcoming things, I am so excited about the Wedding 101 Workshop we’ve cooked up with Amie from Elizabeth Grace Occasions. Back in January, on a SUPER COLD day when the heat was not cooperating in the office, I met Amie for the first time to network a bit. I mentioned in passing this idea I had about doing a little “general stuff you need to know” workshop for just engaged brides, and Amie was totally into it. I never would have actually gotten around to doing it if it weren’t for her! I guess that’s what makes her such a good event planner, huh? I’m just the designer ;-)

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And even better, we looped in my friend Allison who owns Spacecraft Studios, so we’ll be hosting it there. Have a friend who’s just engaged and wants to pick our brains for advice and work on a vision board? Hopefully, if it’s successful, we’ll do more in the future, but space is limited and right now this is the only one on the calendar! So sign up here if you’re interested.

I also attended the Good Business Summit this week, which was my first sort of “continuing ed” / conference sort of thing I’ve done formally as a business owner. It was hosted by Lowcountry Local First, an organization which we love and support. I’ll do another post about that in the next couple days with all of the amazing vendors speakers we got to meet.

Happy Friday friends!

I am in love with Christina Hewson’s art. I don’t feel I need to say much more than that and show you all of her beautiful images. It was such an honor to work on a clean, crisp website to allow her incredible art to take center stage. Check it out here if you’re interested – she sells prints!

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Spotted Quarter Horse No. 1

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Happy Friday, friends!

These Charleston map save the dates turned out so well! There are so many ways to do a map stylistically and also geographically, but this is probably one of my favorites so far. Watercolor style of just the peninsula, so we were “zoomed in” enough to show some detail but still had fun with sketchy icons and little details.

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And hopefully, it should make something fun for the couple’s guests to stick on the fridge and get excited about their upcoming weekend in Charleston.

During our renovation planning, we had big goals for the kitchen and living room, but the rest of the spaces we were mostly looking to spruce up with fresh paint and fixtures. In the dining room, there was a chair rail existing already, and I decided I really wanted to create more of the feel of moulding by painting the bottom out white and adding some “boxes.” Now that we have a table and chairs in there, too, I am so pleased with how that space has turned out.

So here’s where we started…this is the listing photo and also two photos I snapped.

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First of all, there was a door in between the kitchen and dining room which, in our relatively small living area, made no sense. So we got rid of that. Late one night when we were already so very, very tired, we started painting the top half of the dining room. Bye bye yellow…hello lovely light gray-blue. The new color is called “North Star.”

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A little further on in the project, I painted out the bottom half of the walls in a nice bright white. I think I did two coats of it pre-moulding.

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The moulding we created out of half round, which is really inexpensive and readily available. I measured and drew out all of the boxes carefully. The easiest way I found was to decide how much drop you wanted from the chair rail (I did 4″), do the same on the bottom, and then take each wall individually as far as how wide the boxes are. Things like outlets and trim will have a lot to do with determining that. Once I had them all drawn out, Dad was on the saw and R and I were on leveling and nail gun duty.

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Here’s how it looked after we finished painting the half round, replaced the light, and the floors were redone. About the old light — I know I know, it’s not that bad of a light. But it was super dark and very very yellow (especially when you turned it on) and I just felt like it was so in-congruent with the restful, sophisticated sort of look I was trying to create. So when the right light appeared in front of me and was well priced, we snatched it up.

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It stayed that way – empty – for about the first three months we’ve been here. Luckily we ended up finding a beautiful dining room table that I know we’ll have for many many years. We really wanted to invest in a piece that wasn’t going anywhere for awhile and wouldn’t fall apart when we moved (cough, cough, IKEA). We paired it with simple white Parson’s chairs.

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I’m still missing artwork on all the other walls, but that will come in time I’m sure. In the meantime, it’s a really bright and cheerful space that I love looking in on. I think the addition of the moulding and the new light really make it!

I adore these luggage tag save the dates. For our recent photoshoot with Paige Winn, we decided to present them with fun bright green envelopes and a black and white striped liner that I just love.

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Fresh, vibrant, and unique, just like this fun couple! Can’t wait to do invites next. Happy Monday!

I’ve written before about how a fresh coat of white paint almost always does the trick, but in this case, it was a fresh coat of black paint. When we moved in to our house, we painted all the walls except for one guest bathroom (which I’m making plans for, don’t you worry). Many of the doors and trim still need some work – you never notice how chipped and rough looking those details can become after years of wear and tear.

So on an incredibly hot and 1000% humidity (extra 0 intended, if you were here you know what I mean) Saturday, we decided to work on the front door. It was white, along with all the trim around it, which felt kind of blah and you could really see all the scuff marks and wear from a high traffic area. Terrible relaxers that we are, we put on the music and started painting.

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So here’s the before and the in-the-middle..

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Before we moved, I had painted the handrail of the bannister black, so it was a nice tie-in to that and provided some much needed contrast.

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Photographing black is hard, especially when it seems to be backlit every hour of the day! Oh well, you get the idea :-) I’ll try to blog some more of our house adventures soon. Happy weekend!

I am a huge reader. I have been my whole life – I always had a spot in the house where I would curl up with a book and a big bag of popcorn and everyone knew not to mess with me when that happened. Especially before we had computers and devices in our hands at all times, it was my first choice of entertainment.

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I feel like that’s more important now that we do have all of these other means of entertainment – for me, I so strongly associate them with work, so even when I’m off I start wandering into emails and stressing out all over again. Can’t do that with a book :-)

Between the library book sale and my renewed voracious appetite for good reads, I’ve gotten through quite a few books lately. Here’s a few in my just-read stack in case you’re on the lookout for a beach read or getaway book.

Empty Mansions
A heavier book since it’s a biography but such a good read about the very intriguing life of Huguette Clark. While it is a biography, I didn’t find it dry at all – it was filled with such interesting facts and anecdotes that I read it in only four days.

Bridges of Madison County
Somehow I had never read this book, and what a heart-wrenching story it is! It certainly makes a case for soul mates.

The Time in Between
I’m not done with this one yet, but I love it already. I’m a little over halfway through. It’s a wonderful coming-of-age sort of story about a young girl living through the tumultuous 30′s in war-torn Spain and later war-torn Europe. Love, intrigue, interesting characters. All the good stuff.

The Mayor of Casterbridge
This is an old book, written in the late 19th century by Thomas Hardy. It’s a wonderful read if you enjoy the stories of that era, which are generally my favorite. Of course it is Thomas Hardy, though, so don’t expect happily ever after, at least not entirely.

Have you ready any good books lately?

It’s been three weeks since my last post, and what a busy and fun-filled three weeks it’s been!

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I had the honor of co-hosting a baby shower for a dear friend a few weeks ago, and it was a first in so many ways: her first baby, my first baby shower hostessing experience, our first “large” gathering in our new home. It was also fun for me to engage in some of the other parts of party planning which I don’t see as often – food, entertainment, and decorating. Of course, the paper part was a given for me, and baby Luke already has his very own custom monogram.

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Jeni’s sister, Lizabee, and I teamed up to make fun bunting out of paper and fabric. Lizabee also came up with and set up the adorable onesie decorating station which was a big hit with our very creative guest list. I was also lucky to have my mother in law there to help us with all those last minute details and she also brought along some yummy tea sandwiches.

The inspiration was the idea of “tea for the tot,” so we did a “tea bar” in my mom’s antique baby bath. It was the perfect place to ice down some pretty glass bottles of different teas. I also experimented with making lavender simple syrup, which was a first, and it actually turned out pretty well I think. Little sugar cubes and lemons rounded out the tea bar. We also did a “signature drink” – a delicious and very pretty cucumber sangria.

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Here I am with the mother-to-be and my fellow host…

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It was such a fun day, and so nice to have so many good friends in our new home. Special thanks to the ever-talented Monica of Sablee who made our yummy scones and cupcakes too! Also, thank you to Jordan Tate, one of the new mama’s friends whom I was so happy to meet, and who is a very talented photographer and took these photos while I ran around like a crazy lady ;-)

This summer is flying by in a whirlwind of beautiful events, beach trips, and homeowner adventures.

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Our trip to Amelia Island, Florida, was so wonderfully relaxing. I disconnected almost completely from my phone and the internet and read the entire book Empty Mansions in four days. That’s what I used to do before I had a smartphone glued to my hand – read instead of bounce back and forth between social media outlets. I’m making a concerted effort to get back to picking up a book instead of my phone after our trip because it reminded me how much I love to be engrossed in a story. And by the way, Empty Mansions is a fascinating read.

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All spring and summer we’ve been diving in to various fun homeowner projects – well, not all fun ;-) Yesterday I finally found the perfect placemats and centerpiece for our new dining room table. I feel so oddly grown up to walk by this beautiful dining room and know that it’s ours. I’m not sure my cooking can live up to it – I think my decorating is probably better than my kitchen skills!

As enter the somewhat slower season for Charleston weddings, we have had quite a few fun events around town for us vendors. Cindy from Engaging Events through a wonderful 10 year anniversary party. Just look at that beautiful chandelier and draping in the tent!

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And the Southern Protocol girls threw an all out bash to celebrate the launch of their new space on Market Street. This is going to be fabulous. I had fun getting dressed up for the party and trying to figure out what “construction chic” meant, hehe.

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(photo by Jen Bearden)

I’m looking forward to the long 4th of July weekend, a baby shower I’m throwing the next weekend, and all the other good and wonderful things about summer. Not the least of which is the delicious produce. I bought 4 pounds of strawberries yesterday and I am quite sure I’ll eat them all. Better than 4 pounds of bread or chocolate, right?

How is summer treating you, friends?

And all of a sudden it’s summer. The heat and humidity have arrived in Charleston for sure, and I for one am ready to hit the beach! Wedding season definitely isn’t over yet, though, and we are loving being busy creating so many pretty, unique things for all the different wedding personalities out there.

Since we’ve been a bit distracted by all the programs and projects, it’s been awhile since we caught up on some of the press, and there are some very exciting ones to share!

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Ashlee and Jonathan’s incredibly romantic, intimate wedding from the winter of 2013 popped up on Style Me Pretty. It was a paper-rific wedding too thanks to the talents of Katherine Miller – personalized “placemats” with the menu spelled out in gorgeous calligraphy style writing, sweet escort cards and fun sparkler tags. Not to mention, completely personalized invitations with the guest’s name written on the invitation itself. All in black and white – doesn’t get more classic than that!

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Last summer, my friends Jeni, Sarah, Carly, and I pulled together a really fun “treehouse” photoshoot meant to be for a small, elopement style affair. It was a super hot day but it was fun to hang out with the girls and create something just for the sake of being creative. The pretty photos showed up on A Lowcountry Wed last week!

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Just out in print this past week, Charleston Weddings magazine has a stationery feature of which we were excited to be a part. Jackie and Chris had so much fun paper in their wedding, and their save the dates are still ones we pull out all the time when we meet with new clients!

Happy #WeddingWednesday!