sweet engagement

29 Jul

Wowsa, it’s been a bit since I’ve posted. My summer is almost over, but I’ve been productive. That’s productive in the way of visiting friends and family and wedding planning, but not so much on keeping up with the blog. So, here’s to kicking off a few new posts to catch you up on what’s been going on and what’s about to go down.

Our dear friend, Addison, took Grant’s and my engagement photos at Shelby Forrest one hot and mosquito-filled day. (Addison painstakingly removed thousands of wicked bugs with her impressive Photoshop skills!) It was a bit awkward for all involved I think, especially for me since I’m usually the one behind the camera in a photo shoot. Still, we got some nice shots!

Grant has been the best through all the stress of wedding planning. He’s almost always up for any ideas I have, and he’s just as excited about the wedding and our future as I am. We’ve opened up more and become better friends, something I didn’t think was possible! So far, I’d say it’s been a pretty sweet engagement.


school’s out!

1 Jun

School is out, summer’s here, and I have so much going on! But before I get into all that, I want to share some photos from my last week of art classes. As some of you may know, I received art easels to use in Keystone’s Outdoor Classroom courtesy of Donors Choose. Since the weather was so lovely, I took the kids outside for a lesson about drawing from observation, where they got to use the easels (and lap boards that I already had) for the first time. They were so captivated by everything around them that I had absolutely no behavior problems and enjoyed some of the best drawing I’ve seen all year!

the most popular drawing subject was the pond

contemplating composition in the Butterfly Garden---so cute!

some chose to draw the storybook characters I painted earlier in the year

so much detail in this (unfinished) drawing by one of my talented second graders

You better believe that I’m overly excited about my summer break, but I’m also looking forward to all the art adventures I’ll have with my students next fall. Til then, look for upcoming posts about my summer adventures, including a road trip to the Outer Banks and my fourth float down the Buffalo River, as well as a few updates on wedding planning!

mask-hunting in the French Quarter

12 May

Last weekend, I took a solo road trip to New Orleans and met up with Manae and baby Cielo. We went to Jazz Fest, ate buttery seafood, and set out on a mission to find wedding inspiration in the French Quarter.  Grant and I are getting married on Halloween weekend (and I never pass up an opportunity to wear a costume), so we’re inviting guests to join us in a masquerade reception. What better place than New Orleans to show us that the possibilities for fun and creative masks are endless!

perfect for a bride, I'd say


I'm looking for a cool tiger mask, perhaps like this one

Mom would like this butterfly

not quite sure about this, but I love the feathers

these leather masks are handmade in the shop

 To find the masks shown here or to have something custome made, check out Maskarade, Royal Mask Man, or the Mask Gallery.

fabric flowers, round 1

18 Apr

It’s time for wedding crafts, ya’ll! Melissa and Tess helped me make these cuties a couple of weeks ago. Each flower is made of 5 to 7 concentric circles that range from 3″ to 2″. It was quite fun mixing and matching the varying patterns of orange, purple, and blue with my modest collection of buttons. Even though it started out as more of an experiment than anything else, I am happy with our assortment of fabric flowers. There’s still a lot more crafting in my future, and I’m looking forward to it.

I’m so thankful that I have friends who are willing and excited to help me with all my upcoming DIY projects. Special thanks to Grant for grilling hamburgers for us ladies while we endeavored with a needle and thread. And anytime you want to join us, we’ll happily fill your belly!

Sunday at the National Ornamental Metal Museum

12 Apr

It was a beautiful day (and weekend, in fact), so Grant and I headed downtown to take a stroll through the Ornamental Metal Museum’s garden. We couldn’t wait to see what our wedding venue would look like with sunshine and flowers in bloom rather than freezing wind and melting snow on the ground (as it was when we first fell in love with it). Upon our arrival, we were surprised to see vendors setting up for a Jewish wedding ceremony. It was neat to see the layout of tables and chairs, giving us a couple of ideas for how (not) to arrange things for our own day. Here are a few of the many photos I took in order to plan the use of space and flow of the reception. Check out all of the incredible metal art! 

(wedding) bell with gazebo in the background

flowers everywhere!

my favorite piece!

can you find the heart pattern??!!

love the way the sculpture plays with the spring greenery

After seeing the sculpture garden again, Grant and I were able to make some decisions on where the ceremony will take place and how we’ll try to work the flow of events after the ceremony. We’re really excited!

I highly recommend checking out the Ornamental Metal Museum. Currently inside is a really great sculpture series by Stacey Lee Webber, with each piece made out of pennies (and a pretty sweet concept too). And outside, if you can’t already tell from these photos, the grounds are lush and covered with dozens of ornately interesting metal sculptures. And there are tables and benches that make picnicking on a Sunday afternoon a very pleasant experience.

spring is here

28 Mar

The weather has finally warmed up, flowers are in bloom, and being outside is beyond inspiring. Spring break has come and gone, and although much of it was spent working on Keystone Elementary’s yearbook, the rest was spent with some of my favorite people enjoying the lovely fresh air.

I visited the Memphis Botanic Garden with Holly, Dylan, and Janie. I finally got some good photos of Janie in My Big Backyard, and I loved holding Dylan’s hand while we explored the Japanese Garden and awed over the huge koi fish.

sweet Janie pie

happy Dylan

Then Friday through Sunday, Grant, Maya, and I left the city behind for a getaway to Shelby Forest. I can’t say enough how awesome it is to have a state park so beautiful and only about a 30 minute drive away. When you’re out there, you feel a thousand miles from the day-to-day trials of reponsibility, work, and stress. There are some great spots for camping, plus some awesome hiking trails that Maya easily conquered. It was just the weekend we needed! (Grant took these photos.)

Maya keeps guard

aaah, nature

While camping, I started cutting out fabric to make flowers for our wedding decor. There is something about thick stacks of colorful print combinations that really makes my heart happy. I hope to soon post progress on actually turning these circles into flowers, but for now, I’ll keep cutting and stacking. <Sigh>


Alas, it’s been a year since I’ve started this blog. It’s been difficult to stay regular with it at times (for example, I am just now posting this even though I wrote it a week ago), but I’ve loved having this outlet to share what I love and what’s going on in my life. In the not-so-distant future, I hope to add more recipes, wedding updates, crafting projects, student artwork, and photos of my Memphis. Thanks for reading!

revisiting the quilted suitcase

5 Mar

I haven’t posted in a while because I have been really busy with procrastination. The final requirement for my master’s degree is to participate in an exhibition of work that was completed during the graduate program. You may recall, nearly a year ago when I started this blog, that I was working on quilting a suitcase as a conceptual piece for a sculpture class. I really had no idea what I was doing, but the learning process was exciting and fun, and I was pretty impressed with myself just for completing it. For the grad show, I planned on re-working the piece so that it was a bit more aesthetically pleasing to me. I also wanted to add a zipper in order to make it easier to stuff. I knew what I needed to do, and I had nearly three months from the completion of my thesis til the deadline for our show. However, this is me we’re talking about, so aside from taking the original suitcase apart about a week prior, I left everything else til the weekend before (dare I say, the day before) my suitcase was due. Sigh. I should have a picture here, but you’ll have to wait til after the show, which closes with a reception on Trolley Night, March 25th, from 6 to 9.

Meanwhile, here is a delicious stack of fabric that I’ve collected from friends and a few quarters I scored at Jo-Ann’s. (Please pardon the iPhone quality). I’m so excited to move on to wedding crafts, and I’m thinking of starting a bi-monthly sewing group. Any takers?

a delightful display of purples, blues, and oranges (oh, my!)

quilting quarters in pretty prints