Summer Love

Posted on | Thursday, August 30, 2012 | 7 Comments

I love summer - LOVE! Oregon weather during the summer months has been pretty disappointing for the last few years until this summer. I decided before summer even began that we were going to utilize the nice weather as much as we could. I wanted to be outdoors, spend more time with family and really make enjoying life a priority. As crazy busy as it was for the last few months, it was so great to get away many weekends and just have fun. So I apologize for the lack of posts, but I've been out enjoying what little sunshine we get around here and the rest of the time, I've been working. ;) Here are some of this summer's highlights!

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In the beginning, we went to Disneyland...

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And Matt flexed his muscles.

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And we went on many walks to the park with Indy - Bush Pasture Park

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This walk was on our 10 year anniversary - 10 years since we officially became a couple. :)

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Matt surprised me with a weekend getaway to the Zoo and beach... I'm wearing my new Yed Omi jewelry that I purchased from the designer at the Salem Art Fair this July.

20120728_134546 Animal watching...

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We stayed in Astoria at the Cannery Pier Hotel and ate Bosnian food in the town, which was delicious. We also visited the Goonies house. Isn't that so cool?

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Went sightseeing along the coast...

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At Cape Meares...

20120729_170753 Checked out the Octopus Tree.

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Stayed cool in shorts and tanks...

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Rented a beach house with my family at Rockaway Beach for the weekend - which was soooo awesome! We played all day on the beach, got tans, ate great food...

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Played in the sand with my nephew, Gavin, and my mom...

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More playing in the sand...

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I could live at the beach forever with weather like this.

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We went to Enchanted Forest. Here is my mom and dad at the shooting gallery.

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Posing with my sister.

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Log slide! Hubby and my dad...

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Family portraits...

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Making wishes... if you look real close, you can tell it's fake. ;)

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Exploring all the secret spots...

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Strolling...

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Entering the Witch's mouth...

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Eaten alive...

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getting dizzy in the crooked house...

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Slides!!!

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Okay - all four of us crammed into the log ride and made a BIG splash... I LOVE summer! I hope it never ends!!!!

Cake in a Jar

Posted on | Friday, August 3, 2012 | 6 Comments

I've been pinning quite a bit of yummy desserts on our Pinterest lately and love cakes in a jar. I finally decided to make my own for my family - we're going to the beach this weekend! Anyhow, here's how they turned out!

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Chocolate fudge cake with hazelnut cream, cream cheese frosting, caramel sauce and chocolate chips. Nom, nom, nom!

My First Book! :: Adornments :: Part 1

Posted on | Thursday, August 2, 2012 | 5 Comments

I'm so excited to finally and officially announce that I have a new book coming out! Adornments: Sew & Create Accessories with Fabric, Lace & Beads
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There's so much to say about it, but first off, it officially launches on August 21st and it's available for pre-order through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

Second, the stunning photography you'll see on the cover and throughout the book was all done by my amazing friend, Elizabeth Messina.

Overall, the book was a huge undertaking, but I'm so happy with the end results and so excited to share it with everyone. I'll write a lot about it and for this first post, a bit about the book and the beginnings. It took over a year to complete and lots of help from lots of amazing individuals (full credits coming soon!). The book itself is full of accessible projects for both craft enthusiasts and those just getting into creating things. The publishers wanted me to create a range of accessories so the book has a little bit of everything including belts, headbands, earrings and necklaces. There is a lengthy intro chapter that covers all the basics and describes the tools and materials you'll need. The only thing you'll want to know a little about is threading a needle and hand sewing, but I'll show you everything else you need to know to create the projects in the book. Adornments
credits: Elizabeth Messina

It was really important for me that this book be both easy to understand while also being beautiful to look through. I wanted the overall design to match the Twigs & Honey "look" and also Elizabeth's own branding. So when you go through this book, I hope that you love the imagery and feel as much as you love the projects. I tried to come up with projects that were lovely items to wear, give and receive. I wanted the projects to also be adaptable and customizable according to the readers own tastes and style and also access to materials. Someday, I'd love for readers to send photos of the projects they've completed through my book - I think it would be wonderful to see the end results and how they customized the projects! Adornments
credits: Elizabeth Messina

A little more about the making of the book (Part 1):

When I was originally approached by Krause Publications / F+W Media in March of 2011, I remember being super excited but also nervous because I knew that it would be a massive amount of work and right at that time, I was just wrapping up that crazy, big Ann Taylor project, recently launched a new collection, was training new helpers, and was approaching the peak of wedding season. At this time, I literally thought I was at my maximum in terms of workload. My amazing husband, gave me a ton of encouragement, and my wonderful editors (Vanessa Lyman and Rachel Scheller) assured me that they really wanted to make sure the book fit my aesthetic and style. After Elizabeth Messina wonderfully agreed to photograph the book, we were on our way!

During the spring/summer of 2011, I created 20 individual how-to projects all from scratch. I made several extra how-to's that I eventually dropped, but the development of the projects was at times easy and other times tough! It's a challenge to make sure the projects are achievable for a wide range of skill levels while also keeping them interesting and lovely. I'm so used to sourcing really unique and hard to find materials and you have to think completely differently for a book - people need to be able to find the materials and tools! It's taken me years to develop the range of skills and techniques I use daily for Twigs & Honey and trying to insert as much knowledge into 1 book without overwhelming the reader was a tricky balance of enough information but not too much! To prepare for our book shoots, I created all the projects to completion and then created stages of each of the projects. I had to have duplicates of the materials so I could literally recreate each piece in front of the camera. So I had the raw materials, cut fabric, half-way finished pieces, fully finished pieces, etc. Our editor, Rachel, was really great in coaching me and guiding me through this part by letting me know what works best for how-to shoots.

Elizabeth and I started shooting at the Cleaners, at the Ace Hotel in Portland, OR. Our first shoot was a multi-day production in July and was exhausting but rewarding. It was great that our publishers trusted us and gave us the freedom to schedule and coordinate our own shoots, but it also meant that we had a ton of work! We're talking all day shoots, back-to-back. And the first shoot, we got through 4 of the how-to's and a bunch of beauty and detail shots - we still had 16 more how-to's! 

Okay - I have more to write about this book and will have a few "Parts" to follow!

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