Monday, October 25, 2010


I've always had a love of buildings, spaces, design, expression and aesthetic. Early on, it was my love of classical architecture, statues and poetry that led me to major in Classical Civilizations ... I wanted to learn what inspired them to be so great that they in turn became inspirations to the rest of history. When I finished my undergraduate, I looked for a way to apply my focus in history to the buildings themselves. To me spaces and structures spoke, and it was important that those who could hear them would stand up to speak on their behalf. I spent the next two years pursuing my Masters with a focus on Historic Preservation, which has lead me to where I am now, working for a local nonprofit and serving to advocate for the historic built environment.

During my last year in graduate school, I took a class on the History of Furniture ... we took a trip to the Hickory Furniture Market and I was HOOKED. Where had this been all my life when I constantly rearranged my bedroom as a child, when I sketched layouts of every apartment I lived in, and drooled over a side chair in the store window? Needless to say, I've been trying to get more and more daily inspiration (not that I have the money to implement it) but that isn't what matters, right?! Sometimes it's a blending of classical elements that I love, or an unexpected light fixture ...

I mean ... how could you see this chandelier and NOT have something to say about it? More often than not I am just enthralled with modern design that is playful or pays allegiance to historical precedent; whether it's text printed on linen, architectural elements used indoors, even family portraits displayed in all their glory ... love it! 

In my own home, beyond the high end interiors I drool over, my biggest inspiration is surrounding myself with things that mean something to me: from an old wooden cross my aunt brought back from Ethiopia, to a small heart-shaped box filled with memories of my father, to the amazing hand-made bowl my hubby and I picked up on our honeymoon in Ireland.

As I move beyond the excitement of planning a wedding, I'm looking forward to making our house a home together, and continuing the hunt for inspiration!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

All in a day's work ...

Just prior to the wedding and honeymoon, I had another big event - this one for the company I work for. We held our annual awards banquet, known as the Anthemion Awards on September 20th. So much went into the event, it felt like a second wedding (minus the excitement of me being in a big white dress and all that jazz). So much work went into preparing for it! - from the award presentation boards, to setting up the room, preparing the guest list, donation spreadsheets, countless phone calls and one very difficult maneuvering session where I managed to cram 11 full-size professional display easels into my car ... It went very well and everyone enjoyed a great evening, but boy am I glad it's behind us! :) Now, to prepare for next year!!

The presentation boards I made by hand for each award winner ... lots of work but they turned out so well it was worth it! :) 

This is a close up of one of our award winner boards; this little gem was renovated and is now used as a bridal dress shop! (I loved this particular errand! So many pretty things inside and I got to take pictures of it!) 

We had a full house - every seat at the Irregardless Cafe was filled with supporters and award winners! 

The best part of the night is that my sweetie got to join me! He helped out at the front door and then enjoyed the show while I took pictures - it was fun to have him see what I do!

After the party was over and the guests had left ... it was up to Shawn and I to get all of the easels back into the car, but finally - we did it!! 

Irish Fancies

I sat at work today, with my iPod on shuffle and a familiar song came on. "Heave Away" by the Fables isn't known that well to many people, but it ever after we used it during our wedding for the Irish Dollar Dance, the song had etched itself into a favorite memory of mine. After spending our honeymoon in Ireland, the sound of Irish music brings me back to those magical days that Shawn and I spent there.  Here are a few of my favorites memories in no particular order: 

Favorite Memory #1: Arriving in Ireland to find that the rental car Shawn choose was smaller than my Mini Cooper! It actually worked perfectly for us because if Shawn had trouble parking, he could just pick it up and move it to where it needed to be! ... only kidding.

Favorite Memory #2: Taking a "Viking" tour of Dublin ... this included us screeeeeaaaming at a variety of people on the street a) those carrying coffee b) those holding a map [there were a TON of these!] and c) happy couples ... our driver would slowly sneak up behind people and give the signal and the whole bus would give our best Viking yell! ... 

Favorite Memory #3: Napping in St. Stephen's Green in the middle of Dublin. After a sleepless night on the plane, and a full morning of touring, we were exhausted and instead of going back to the B&B ... we decided to do as the locals did - and sleep in the park! Fabulous weather, beautiful view ... great sleep!

 Favorite Memory #4: Dublin in the evening. Every now and then I LOVE to be in the middle of a city, the vibrancy of a downtown like this is just beautiful! 

Favorite Memory #5: Irish Coffee with Berna. Our favorite B&B in Ireland was with the amazing Berna who made us Irish Coffee when we arrived, lit the fire and sat down with us to chat ... Irish hospitality! 

Favorite Memory #6: Carriage ride around Ross Castle. This experience is what I dreamed of when I thought of Ireland, and it didn't disappoint! We enjoy talking with our Irish guide as he drove us around the property and told us about his life in Killarney. 

Favorite Memory #7: Shawn. That's it - just Shawn. He is the best travel companion and always keeps me entertained - the honeymoon was no exception! 

Favorite Memory #8: Horse-back riding on the beach ... There were so many things I loved about this experience - seeing Shawn's face light up when he got on a horse for the first time is one of them! He was grinning and laughing for 2 hours straight on this trip! The views we saw were staggeringly beautiful, the water was a vivd teal and the seagrass that had washed up on the beach was a bold rust color ... everywhere we looked was mother nature in all her glory! 

Favorite Memory #9: An unplanned night in Ennis. After a long day, we decided not to go to the big banquet we had planned on and instead to enjoy a night alone together - what a FABuLOUS decision that was! We ventured into the amazing town of Ennis, where we found this inspiring restaurant called the Cloister ... delicious food, stunning ambience and since it was a weekday - GREAT service because we were one of the only ones there! So romantic! We capped the night with a Guinness in the pub next door and traditional music ... be still my heart! 

Favorite Memory #10: The Cliffs of Moher. This place was the single most beautiful site I've ever seen. Shawn and I spent 2 hours here, just staring at this 800 foot cliff and knowing that pictures would never do it justice. The natural beauty of this place is so powerful it's almost spiritual and truly undefinable. When we finally make it back to Ireland, we've promised ourselves to make a trip here. Can't wait! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween with the Adams Family

As I eagerly await our first pumpkin carving together, I took a little time to practice on one of our "artificial" pumpkins. I thought that without the pumpkin goo mess, it would be soooo much easier ... 2 broken mini-carving knives later ... I realized it can by just as messy as little foam pieces dot our living room floor, and just as frustrating (mistakes happen just the same!) but it's still just as rewarding to see a finished carving all lit up! :)

Wedding Daze

I blinked my eyes and all of the wedding preparation was over. It was time to make some memories that I'd retell for the rest of my life; after 19 months of waiting ... the big day was finally here: September 25th ... our wedding day. For a little taste of the wedding, see the short video below!

Boone Hall Wedding from BRITESIDE PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

It happened in a flurry, in a flash of sparkle and feather. Snapshots of streaming sunshine, ancient oak trees and sweaty friends remain vivid in my mind. It was nothing that I expected and everything I hoped for. I completely enjoyed planning and designing for the wedding, but I am so happy it's all behind me. Now comes the fun of waiting for the wedding pictures and enjoying the holidays with my new hubby. :)