February 14th, 2011

Day of LOVE

I am celebrating this LOVEly day by remembering the most romantic, happy day of this past year for me…..



I did….

Tags Heart


he did….



we did….



….still do!




Beautiful heart photographs by A Creative Mint. Happy Valentines Day everyone! Wishing you all kinds of love…..

September 24th, 2010

Eat. Play. Love.

Married life is SWEET!  Our special day went by in such a fast blur I really appreciate having these photos to relive it and it makes me smile everytime I play this video I created through Animoto….Thank you to all of our wonderful, loving  friends and family who were there, and all who weren’t who sent their love and good wishes.

August 7th, 2010

Walking on Art in Portugal

While pouring back over honeymoon photos to create a slideshow for our wedding reception (yes, I know, VERY backwards!) I came back across my lovely Portuguese pavement pictures, and thought they would be nice to share…Calcada Portuguesa is the art of combining small chiseled and polished pieces of white limestone and black basalt to create beautiful mosaic patterns on wide sidewalks and in stately piazzas. It began in Lisbon in 1849 with a wave design in Rossio Square (4th picture shown below) and soon spread throughout the other major cities of Portugal and even to the colonies. There are literally MILES of this amazing, hand crafted treatment throughout Portugal, and I wish I had shot photos of every one.  Here are but a few…






As you might imagine, this is a painstaking process and a dying art form, but just one of the many delightful things about this small and special country.

April 26th, 2010

Melanie vs the Volcano

I was just shocked to see the date of my last post was almost 6 weeks ago and am now filled with guilty, bloggy remorse that I’ve been away so long. BUT! I have good excuses people!

You see, I was extremely busy with a trade show and hosting Aurastone classes at the studio just leading up to leaving for my 2 week HONEYMOON trip to Portugal and Spain that I cutely decided was going to occur BEFORE the wedding. It WAS a good idea, in theory…. Go on the honeymoon and come home relaxed with lovely photos and stories to share at the wedding reception scheduled to follow a week later.

And then….Bum! Bum! Bum! The volcano erupts, spewing dangerous (or so they purported) ash over Northern Europe. Lucky us, we were ending our trip in Barcelona, Spain and felt quite safe as we packed our bags and headed out for our final, lovely honeymoon dinner at Pla. We returned to frantic text messages about the airport being closed, flights cancelled, chaos erupting (pun intended). We were promised a flight out the following Friday, assuming that planes WOULD be flying, and were forced to extend our stay another 5 days. With so much incertainty we had no choice but to postpone our wedding day, which was a difficult, but necessary decision. The happy ending to this story is that we are home safe, had a lovely, LONG honeymoon, and were able to reschedule our wedding date to August 22 without any problems. You can be sure I will NOT be planning any trips in the weeks leading up to the nuptials!!

Honeymoon photos to follow…..

March 8th, 2010

Feeling Crafty?

My upcoming wedding has me traveling around the internet seeking to find inspiration and affordable decorating ideas in short order. Recently, I found this fabulous website for wedding planners AND people just seeking cool, crafty stuff at great prices, Save On Crafts.


They have TONS of stuff, and it’s all photographed rather nicely, which makes surfing their website all the better. For instance, check out this lasercut filligree cake stand wrapper. I LOVE the delicacy of laser cut paper…..


They have all sorts of silk and paper flower heads in different colors, which would be fun to work into a  wall finish somehow….


These cupcake wrappers are so pretty I almost wish I hadn’t chosen a tiered wedding cake.


Love this pair of pretty partridges!


I have no potential place to put this silk fabric lantern, but wish I did! It’s quite cool…and quite inexpensive.


You may have read my earlier post on wedding floral arrangement inspiration? Well, alas, my budget and time constraints don’t allow me to seek out and purchase all the beautiful porcelain vases I would need to complete THAT look, so it’s on to “Plan B”. I’ve decided to use these inexpensive urns and follow THIS idea with the trailing ivy and focal point flowers. They will be places on patterned and patinated mirror rounds that I hope to complete this coming weekend with the help of some friends, wink, wink…..

February 11th, 2010


Azulejos, traditional Portuguese tiles, are a highly recognizable expression of Portuguese culture and a great contribution to the world’s artistic heritage. The ceramic techniques and glazing methods were adapted during the centuries long ago when Christian and Islamic-Moorish cultures coexisted on the Iberian peninsula on the Western edge of Europe. It was there that the idea of combining large amounts of glazed-tile decor with architecture was adopted and developed with amazing abandon.


I have had this book on Portuguese decorative tiles on my bookshelf for some time now. It is the kind of book where you wish you could just walk right into the pages. Just by looking you can experience the coolness of the glazed tiles under your hand, stand in centuries old rooms, and smell the flowers and orange blossoms in the garden. My wish for this will be coming true this April when I visit the lovely little country of Portugal for the first time while on my honeymoon. I will be visiting many of these very spots in Lisbon and Sintra. I can already smell the old plaster walls and the flowers…..






January 23rd, 2010

Flower Girl

As soon as I became engaged 2 1/2 years ago, the questions started….”So when are you getting married”?, “When’s the big day”?, etc, etc. I haven’t been dragging my heels due to marriage doubts-rather because of wedding planning doubts. Like, when am I going to be able to fit this in to our busy life?? We toyed with the elopement thing and the civil ceremony during lunch thing, but that seems-well-lame. I was just really afraid that planning a “real” wedding would get out of hand. Now, when I say “would get out of hand” what I REALLY mean is that I was afraid “I” would get out of hand. I’m pretty much “hands off” or “all in” about things, you know….

Well, we finally did it! We set a date for April 25. So far, I’m keeping it pretty well in check. Mainly, I think, because I have SO MANY new projects I’ve started (I think that this ecomomy has everyone working harder just to keep up!). To demonstrate HOW busy, I can tell you that we arrived at the date a couple of months ago and I am JUST getting around to posting about it!! So far, my plans haven’t gotten TOO much out of hand. I HAVE gone from thinking about a ceremony in a park to The Rancho Bernado Inn, from a dress from the mall to something custom just for me from Cinderella’s Closet (she’s telling me I’m getting a REALLY late start on this-typical!), from a potluck to an elegant lunch buffet, from iPod tunes to a Spanish guitarist….Now, my thoughts turn to flowers.  My goal is to have a not-completely traditional, traditional wedding  (like that makes ANY sense). My floral “style” leans more toward “a bunch of random flowers randomly stuffed into vases”. So I am loving these looks and the idea of just picking a color scheme of pink, coral, green, and creme and making some informal arrangements in a variety of pretty different containers for the tables. These will be placed on antique mirror rounds, of course… I’m really inspired by these first two photos from the latest Veranda magazine….



…and these pretty pics from a recent post on decor8…

decor8 flowers 1

from Creative Mint….

decor8 flowers 2

and Wood and Wool Stool. I think I need to start hitting some flea markets for some vase shopping!!!