Monday, September 5, 2011

Wedding Invitations & Save the Dates

My husband's sister, Andrea, is getting married in October!  I'm so very excited for her wedding- not just because she asked me to be the maid of honor, but because I have known her since she was 8 years old and have watched her grow into this beautiful woman (I can't go on too much...I have to save the good stuff for my speech!!).  Wanting to help her define her wedding style and make sure her personality came through in her "Save the Date" announcements and wedding invitations, Kenney and I offered to help create something special for her.  She's a very natural girl- loves the outdoors and things that are "green".  She's getting married in the fall, but didn't want an overtly fall themed wedding (read: no pumpkins).  To add a little complexity, Kenney and I also were married in the fall (our anniversary is only 5 days after their wedding day...I'm hoping we can manage to get in some future anniversary trips together!), and we all wanted to make sure this wedding had it's own distinct personality.  Andrea started out choosing a cheerful green and latte (the bridesmaid's dresses are latte) for her colors and, as the wedding planning has progressed, added in orange as an accent.  I researched tons of invitations options that would incorporate the personality of this natural girl, and finally landed on a combination of different inspiration pieces.

Inspiration Pieces (click on pictures to link to the sites they came from):

We all loved the tree image with the carved heart and the kraft paper with pops of color, so we combined our creative powers and created our own version. First, Kenney drew this amazing fall tree with bride & groom's initials carved in the trunk:

Then, with my trusty Canon Rebel in hand, I captured the image digitally (looks pretty good, huh?!) and used it to create the Save the Dates.  I printed them on kraft paper which gave it a very natural feel, and then backed them with Hilary green textured card stock.  I love that the tree has all those roots- such a great metaphor for a wedding!

 We wanted the invitations to incorporate the tree & carving image again, but without using the exact image as before.  Also, my sister-in-law purchased a bird cage recently and fell in love with the idea of bringing birds & a cage into the mix.  After playing around with a few concepts, I captured the winning image:

 The invitation includes a zoomed-in view of the original tree (through the magic of photo editing, I was able to make the branches reach over the top of the invitation instead of in the downward direction they were pointing before), their initials carved into the side of the tree, and a birdcage hanging from one of the branches with two lovebirds sitting inside.

Keeping with the same feel of the invitation, I designed an RSVP postcard, a Directions card (from the ceremony to the reception), and a belly band to package it all together.

 The belly band is comprised of three layers- the base layer is a dark chocolate brown, the next layer is the same Hilary green used as the backer paper on the Save the Dates, and the lace was given to me by my mother-in-law (the bride's mom) to use in the centerpieces, but it looks just amazing as an accent on the belly band, and I think will tie this natural, vintage style together quite nicely!

 Above is the full invitation set.  I am so pleased with how it all came together- it was definitely a labor of love, but I loved every minute of it! I am so happy that we were able to contribute something so special to the wedding!
 Blue was my design assistant throughout the process- never very far from my side, and always happy to observe the process to make sure everything was complete with quality, hehe!!  I also designed the centerpieces for the reception, but that will need to be another post.  I'm so excited about how they have turned out, but I only have the prototype completed right now.  I am going to pull in some local crafting resources to get the other 21 completed (yep, 22 tables! It's crazy!).  And then there are the much crafting to do and so little time with just under 8 weeks until the wedding!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Big Black Dog Syndrome

When Kenney and I were looking to adopt our first greyhound, we fell head over heels in love with the breed and immediately started fantasizing about what our first one would be like.  We read about all 18 official colors recognized by the American Greyhound Operators, and we started dreaming of what a tiny fawn girl would bring to our lives.  The group we applied to discouraged us from making our choice based on color as they try to match based on personality and lifestyle (which makes total sense once you take a step back from the color chart).  Then they mentioned two things that changed our lives forever:

1.  It is more challenging to place black greyhounds due to the "black dog stigma"- some people are just scared of "big black dogs", others don't think they are as cute (for shame!) as their colorful counterparts, and others simply may not be aware that it is challenging to place these sweeties.

2.  While greyhounds in general tend to be great for people with allergies, black greyhounds in particular are excellent for people with severe allergies (and boy do I have allergies!!).

So, we jumped in with both feet and within just a couple of months we adopted our beautiful black girl, Ana, and a few months after that, we adopted our big black boy, Blue!  These two pups changed our lives in so many wonderful ways, and we are always happy to shout from the rooftops how wonderful greyhounds, and in particular, black greyhounds are!

I was perusing Modern Dog Magazine online today and came across this wonderful article about "Fighting Big Black Dog Syndrome with Flowers".  Immediately, my black dog and crafting interests were piqued, and I clicked through to read more!  The article describes the plight of the black dog in shelters.  Black dogs are often judged by the color of their fur.  It is a struggle to make each black dog stand out to overwhelmed adopters.  The article goes on to describe how shelters have reported an increase in black dog adoptions when they are accessorized with a bandannas, or when they have toys or blankets in their space.  Beyond bandannas, the article discusses how a flower accessory on the collar could make a huge difference- I imagine that it could help "soften" the appearance of a black dog and make them appear more approachable for those who are timid around "big black dogs".  Reading this article makes me wonder if any local shelters are interested in or currently do any accessorizing of their black dogs.  It certainly is a fantastic inspiration for creating some flowers to donate!  Have any of you heard about programs like this at your local shelters?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fantastic Find - Vintage Greyhound Blouse

I stumbled across the most fantastic vintage blouse by Jones New York featuring, you guessed it, greyhounds!  If not for the fact that it's a size small (and a vintage size small at that), I would snap it up for the mere $42 the seller is asking for it!  Adorable!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New "Dressed to the (K)Nines" Accessory collection items added to Etsy!

I'm so excited to present the newest additions to our Dressed to the (K)Nines Accessory collection!  Three new collar/hair clips were just added to the shop- two are Feathers & Flower Clips and one is a one of a kind Vintage-Style Lace Clip!

Let's start with the Vintage-Style Lace Clip / Fascinator- it's my favorite item in the shop!  It is crafted from a teardrop shaped base of soft white lace.  Accenting the lace are hand-selected vintage and new buttons in coral, pearl, gold and a tiny hint of blue.  A small, hand-crafted raw silk flower in ivory is nestled amongst the buttons.  Pricing for this item reflects the uniqueness of the clip/fascinator and the one of a kind vintage accents in addition to being 100% hand-crafted.

Next up, two Feathers & Flower Clips / Fascinators that are also perfect for dressing up an every-day dog collar, to add a splash of fun for special events, or to borrow from your pup to adorn your own hair (the type of clip used makes it very versatile!).

The first Feathers & Flower Clip in Black & White features a hand-crafted flower of layered Black Tulle and Ivory Tully with fine Black Polka-Dots. A stream of white feathers adds to the fullness and fun of the clip!  Feathers, flower and clip are attached to a white felt backing and measures approximately 8 1/2".

The second Feathers & Flower Clip in Purple and Black features a lovely flower is handmade by layering Black Tulle. A stream of purple feathers is the base of this fun and fabulous fascinator/clip!  Feathers, flower and clip are attached to a black felt backing and measures approximately 8 1/2".

I hope you all enjoy the clips as much as I did making them!  I think they are fun and flirty- ready for your hound (or you!) to wear in style!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Warm Winter Pets Photo Contest by Southern States Cooperative

How fun! Southern States is hosting a photo contest!  They are asking that you share your most adorable photos of your pets snuggling up (in their warmest winter coats, with you, or anywhere else!), and you could win a $250 Southern States gift card!  Southern States has over a thousand pet-related items in their Pet Center online, and they also have some great articles with pet-related information that are worth checking out.  A $250 gift card could buy your pup a lot of new toys!!  Basic info on the contest is below, find more details here.  Good luck!