Friday, April 30, 2010

WIWOT: Hot Summer Nights site part 1

Now that I'm back on a regular schedule, it's much easier to get focused and work. I started this site yesterday, and I'm already making a lot of great progress. In fact, it's coming along in leaps and bounds. I have a really fun new menu option, all those tabs slide open when you roll over them. Fun, no? And I'm really happy with the sleek look of the rest of the page. I can't wait to get the content so I can really get rollin!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

WIWOT: Spring Invitations

Ah, nothing's better than young love, right? Well, what about finding love no matter your age? That's what Yvonne and Bill were lucky enough to do, and they'll be celebrating their nuptials this summer. And I was lucky enough to design their invites. They wanted to feature one of their fabulous engagement photos, as well as include an insert.

We kept it simple and framed out the words with a classic design. Aren't they cute? I love that they're both so excited about their wedding. And that friends who live in their home state of Louisiana will be able to celebrate with them as well!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Back in Business!

There's great news in my house today, I've got my old position back! No more struggling freelance! I'm now a contract worker for Lone Star Marketing. Woohoo!

We've been waiting on this opportunity for nearly a year now, when the economy almost crushed us last May. But we've regrouped and started multiple projects with fabulous long-term clients and now have great opportunities before us! I'm even back on a regular paycheck. No more financial worries, no more burdens. Now back to the old grind.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Invites have arrived!

They're done! Yes, I am that bride who has invitations printed and fully assembled three months before they even need to be mailed. But it's definitely worth it, because this summer is revving up to be an incredibly busy one! And whenever Mr. SD laughs at me and my over-achiever-ness, I just remind him that now I can concentrate on lots of other things, like nagging him to do his laundry. Or better yet, forcing him to allow me to use the table saw.

Here they are in all their glory. And I used my roommate's beer bottle cap table for a prop because it seemed appropriate given the party we're throwin'. We'll be getting our boot-scootin' boogie on!

Once again I was coerced into sewing all the invites onto the backing paper. Punks. I did, however, shave off a lot of time and thread by replacing the zigzag stitch with a straight one. And I may even like this look better. But that could just be the slacker in me talking. If you call designing, printing, cutting, sewing and assembling 100 invitation sets all by your lonesome a slacker tendency. I wouldn't know.

The RSVP's are my favorite. I had a blast coming up with the reply options. I decided to forgo the names line, and just numbered them to figure out who the rsvp was coming from. And I tossed in a little throwback to our save-the-dates on the back with our sweet silhouettes. Honestly I can't say enough how much I love how the suite turned out. Can't wait to get them all in the mail!

*all personal photos

Monday, April 26, 2010

WIWOT: Hot Summer Nights landing page

Summer is heating up work-wise, and what better way to kick it off than with our Rockwall Harbor Revitalization project, Hot Summer Nights? We get to plan three big events this summer to coincide with free music at the Rockwall Harbor District. And believe you me, big plans are in the works! I whipped up a quick landing page for people to sneak a peek at until we launch the full site (which is one of the 49 websites I'll be building this summer, wish me luck!). It's the same template I've been using for my InSwimwear eblasts, and can you tell? Nope! Mind you, it is very simple and not the best looking work I've done, but trust me, the full site will be fabulous!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


You've probably noticed that the blog's been kinda boring lately. I'm the sort that when the work slows down so does my extra creativity, and I've been a bit in "vacation" mode this past month knowing that I was in a transition period. But soon, soon, I'll have loads of new stuff to be posting on. For now... let's take another dose of the Happies, shall we?

Going to the Zoo

A cozy nap after a long day of home improvement

Being Engaged - aka Releasing your Inner DIY Maven

Chips and Salsa, and Daquiris by the pool

Glitter and Sparkles

Chocolate. And sweet little boys to enjoy it with!

Interior Decorating. I can't wait to get going more on our house!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Photoshoot: Bestie C

Being a creative person has its advantages. A couple of friends of mine asked me to photograph their engagement pictures. Since I've never done it before, I asked Bestie C if she would mind being my test dummy. And I think it's safe to say that she's a great subject. It was easy taking great images with someone so pretty!

We played around in a little Old West town behind a local museum. Seems that some time ago they picked up and moved an entire historic village, Saloon and all. We had a blast rambling around finding good compositions.

Everything was in bloom, and the sunlight was just perfect. Plus I got to enjoy the rush of a little trespassing. Sometimes breaking the law has good results!

We climbed buildings, staircases and trees to get that perfect shot.

Seriously, it was such a fun day! And of course I got to play around more in photoshop to practice post-processing my own engagement photos.

I adore this photo. There's a secret grove of bamboo inside Cameron Park, and trust me that stuff gets huge!

Magazine worthy? I think so!

We even took a little trip over to Baylor's campus for a little more fun. There's some great gardens and architecture there.

Our last shot of the day was behind the local coffee shop, Common Grounds. Sic 'Em Bears!

Thanks so much Bestie C for such a fun afternoon! I have much more confidence in my photography skills now, and I'd love to practice with more fun shoots like this!

Friday, April 23, 2010

WIWOT: InSwimwear A. Che Ads

Are you feeling a little dangerous today? A.Che has some incredibly sexy suits that you can find over at InSwimwear. I like to keep the integrity of the original photoshoot, just playing up the photographer's idea to create a cohesive design.

I know I talk about how much I love these ads all the time, but really I can't get enough. Each photo brings out a different design concept. And now I have three pieces to design, the discount ad.

I hope to stretch my muscles a bit more with these next month, since design work seems to be back on the upswing. Nothing gets the juices flowing more than working on multiple projects.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Colbie for Free!

That's right! This lovely siren will be performing for free tonight on Baylor's campus for Dia Del Oso (Day of the Bear, our campus holiday). I'm planning on meeting up with a friend to enjoy the evening, hopefully the rain will hold off long enough for the outdoor concert. Plus, it's like a five minute walk from my apartment so I won't even have to drive, how's that for convenient? Me and Bestie C may even pile on the Mettie just for kicks! Here's hoping I get some good photos of Colbie Callait!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Last Buys

(personal photo)

I really am getting down to the end of my purchasing for the wedding. We've got pretty much all the ceremony decorations, reception supplies, plates, cups, napkins and a whole lo more all taken care of. Not too shabby eh? And I've already made significant progress towards paying off the card (say, 30%). So I'm feeling pretty accomplished!

(personal photo)

After reading about a lot of bees buying wood cutlery, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. EcoCutlery offers a lot of great options , and they really do look super cute in person. I'm hoping to make cute cutlery and napkin sets a la Poodle and Pretzel. Perhaps raffia? Ribbon? Suggestions?

The last stop was buying loads of lights and mason jars. We've made a lot of progress on the tin-can luminaries, but we've decided to supplement them with mason jar votives as well. I really like the look. And plus, I only shop at Hobby Lobby on 50% off days for what I want, so jars were about 65 cents each with tax, and lights were $3 for 25 feet. Love me a good deal! Plus, now that nearly all the mundane is out of the way, I can have fun putting together all my DIY projects!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


This is the scene in my bedroom today. The pups got neon monkey toys from my mom for Easter, and for some reason they've gotten very attached to them. Normally toys are de-fluffed within minutes, but these have survived destruction for a couple of weeks now. The thing is, Juno loves to "protect" or hoard them while Rory cries off to the side. I find it hilarious. Eventually she'll sneak over and drag one away, which Juno will soon rescue. Oh, the small joys you find when you work at home and no longer have human interaction...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cricut Cake Put to the Test

(personal photo)

Mama Sand Dollar excitedly ordered the Cricut Cake as soon as it was available, and today we got the chance to finally test it out! After watching the HSN demonstration on their show, as well as the dvd that came with the product, we felt we were ready to conquer. Everything seemed like a snap, the demo ladies were whipping out designs left and right. We gathered all our supplies together and started it up. And boy how we failed! They forgot to mention all the freezing that's involved. You roll out the dough on your mat, freeze it, cut it, freeze it again, then remove to put on your cake. Yeah, nothing like that was mentioned anywhere. So we spent about two hours fighting with the machine trying to figure out why everything it was cutting was just being pulled around by the blade. Once we figured out this whole freezing process, things weren't so bad.

(personal photo)

The letters actually look pretty cool. And we played with more shapes after these butterflies. They're not so hot. I also figured out that there's no way I'd be able to bake and fondant my own cake. We're going to test it out on a smoothed-out buttercream cake from a grocer to check if the fondant looks odd on buttercream or not. I'm not too sure on mixing medias. But for now, we're calling it a mild success. Oh, and cutting cookie dough with it? Major fail. We'll experiment again some other time. For now I've had all the frosting I can handle.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In Limbo

Bad news. Very bad news. Seems that a family feud is popping up over the Boy inheriting his grandmother's house. To give the Cliff's Notes version, stepdad is a greedy, grasping mongrel and manipulating the Boy's mom (grandma's only daughter) on why we shouldn't be allowed to move in. Now, we've been trying to be polite by going through mom when really it's between the Boy and his grandmother. We'll try to work things out, but now it seems our chances of moving into the house have fallen from 100% guaranteed down to maybe around 65%. And that's after a lengthy, heated conversation. So please keep your fingers crossed for us. It would be such a blessing for us to move in to this home. He'd be close to family and we'd get a huge head-start on our life together. When we go down again at the first of May everything will be decided. But for now, we wait.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wedding: Supply Closet

That there is my wedding supply closet. It's at the front of my apartment, and is absolutely crammed full of supplies. You can see the poles for the chuppah, the large tall box is butcher paper, boxes of craft supplies and all the disposables for the big party. Oh, and some charcoal, so we can barbecue and make it through these last five months. The Boy thinks I'm crazy to have all this stuff now. But I just tell him that it's superb financial planning. I've paid for everything now (save for the last vendor payments, so it's about half of the wedding expense). Now I can concentrate on a) cashing in on all those stellar credit card points and b) paying off the debt so we can re-rack it up with house improvement charges.

See? I've got all my ducks in a row! This way I no longer have to worry about the wedding this summer, especially since I should have it all paid off in no time (I may have mentioned before our budget is minute, so half of it is very manageable). Plus, my closet is no longer lonely and empty. Everyone's a winner!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wedding: Invite teaser

(personal photo)

I finally finished printing and cutting all my invites and RSVP's. I decided to just go with the home printer route instead of screen printing everything. I just got a little burnt out on that process. They really look good too, everything is crisp and clear. I've realized that they'll still be incredibly handmade and DIY even though I didn't slave for hours over a press. I still printed them (and the RSVPs are even 2-sided!), cut them by hand, and am currently in the process of sewing each invitation to the backer paper. So yeah, it's still been very time-intensive! I'm really happy with the way they're turning out. I've gotten about 30 done, so I'm off to work on the remaining 70...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

WIWOT: InSwimwear Toes on the Nose ads

Woohoo! More ads for! This really is the bright ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy programming day. I love how much fun all these ads are. Plus I get to file away an entire inventory of suits I'll need to order this summer! And we got to change things up a little on the site, too. A new discount banner will appear below the main ad highlighting a new deal each month. Check it!

Fun fun fun! I had a good time with the pink and the fonts and the little sun-flower stamps. Plus I now need to become a fan and pick out my 25% off bikini!

And of course these coverups look fab too. I want to steal her hat. And flower. And bag. So get on over to facebook and sign up so you can pick out a hot new swimsuit from the best etailer in town!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wedding: The Look

My name is Sand Dollar, and I'm a planning addict. I'm the kind of girl who gets things done as soon as the ink is dry on my to-do list. Procrastination is never a problem. But what does that have to do with this post? Well, here I was more than five months away from my wedding day, and I already had my whole look bought and paid for. Now I'm just waiting for the dresses to arrive so I can put it all together and get those suckers altered! Here's what's goin' down:

Dress - "Cleopatra" from the Purely Providential line at Providence Place
(personal photo)
And yes, my face is gone for a reason. It's horrible! And no, the brown tumors will not be on the final product. We were experimenting with a belt option

Hair Combs - lovingly DIY'd by myself. Heart you Hobby Lobby!
(personal photo)
I even have a talented friend doing my hair for the big day. Thanks Bestie C!

Bouquet - Again, DIY. This will be a trend ;)
(personal photo)

Garter - Ribbons and Lace, purchased from Providence Place. Love the camo! There's even a little bear charm on it (I was a Baylor Bear, Sic 'Em!)
(personal photo)
You can even see my full, scribbled-on planner below it. Told you I'm a go-getter!

Boots - Steve Madden, "Phinixx" in red. I so cannot wait to wear these
(personal photo)

Reception Dress - 838 by Mori Lee in Ivory. Yup, I'm a two dress bride!
And no, it will not be this long. You can bet I'm hemming this sucker to scandalous levels!

So there you have it! One snazzy look for one snazzy bride. I'm still in the market for a sparkly ribbon/belt for my ceremony gown, and a statement necklace for my reception dress. I'm highly tempted to wear a chunky turquoise one. We'll see what happens.