Kathy and George: Engaged

I am so lucky to call these guys my friends so when Kathy and George asked me if I could shoot their engagement pictures I was over the moon happy!! :) Anyone who knows them, knows they are perfect for each other. Having pretty much grown up together they blend seamlessly :) They don’t need to finish each other’s sentences – they just know what the other is thinking. We started the session at their old apartment and then wandered around downtown. I realised everywhere we passed has a memory for them – anniversaries on millenium park ice rink, the red doors, theatre shows…I guess that’s what happen after 10 years of being together!

I had SO much fun with you guys and am just so happy I was able to capture this amazing time in your lives! Love you so much and can’t wait for 2013!!!! :)

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Hand Made: Rope Curtains

Finally!! I finished my latest ‘hand made’ which has taken me a while – mainly because of trial and error. But that’s why i’m posting these – no need for you to have the ‘error’ part! :)

This idea came a while ago but I never made it happen. Billy and I love our little apartment, and throughout the year have made it ‘ours’. However, we are currently renting and have plans to buy. So there are some things that I can’t justify putting in our apartment. One of those was curtain rod/curtains. What if the height is different in the new house – they would be a waste! And I love the antiquey looking, anthropology style curtain rods. Well, that will have to wait!

So here we go with our new ‘rope curtain rod’ tutorial:

Things needed:

  •  Real rope – bought at Home Depot, they cut to your measurements
  • Screw hooks – preferably with a ‘pointed’ end so you don’t need a nut or bolt
  • Drill
  • Spray paint
  • Tie back (I bought mine from World Market for $10)
  • Curtains – you have options here!! If your curtains will hang infront of a window/wall then you could use drop cloth and clip rings
  • If your curtains can be seen from both sides this wont work – so I found mine for $20 from Home Goods

This is how your rope will come – it’s off of a spool at Home Depot – I guessed 17ft off the top of my head and it actually worked perfectly! But it’s so cheap just over estimate and it will be fine.


My initial concept was to use painters drop cloth and these clip rings I bought from Amazon. I realised this would be fine if it was backing onto a window where you couldn’t see behind where the clips were and could just see the drop cloth. But as mine is being used as a room divider you can see both sides so went with drapes.

The next step is where I made my second ‘error’. I bought the eye hooks above – that come with a bolt and flat end. These are much harder to drill into the wall and you have to drill the hole first. So I went back to Home Depot and bought the eye hooks you see below. I then spray painted them an ‘oil rubbed bronze’ color – but the silver would look cool for a more modern/industrial look.

This is my tie back I bought from World Market – although Anthropologie have some really cool ones!! Just make sure the rope can twist around it multiple times.

I now turns into ‘we’ :) We drilled 3 of the eye hooks – to make sure the curtains can still fully close!

These were the screws we had laying around – so they got used! :)

If you know how to do fancy knots…then teach me! I just tied the end into a couple of big knots. The rope will naturally fray over time – which is another reason why you should buy more than you need.

Home Goods had a great selection of curtains. I also found that with the painters drop cloth the material was really heaving and it make the rop ‘sag’ a little. So I went with these which are much lighter. But any curtains will do!!


Kaya thinks I’m crazy…..

The finished (and waiting to be ironed) product!…

I actually really like them. Although they were meant as a temporary fix I think I would do these again when we decide to buy! I love the natural rope and the total price came to way under $100 ($75 to be exact) – you can’t beat it! Well maybe you can – I would love to see it!! :)

Happy Wednesday – hope you enjoyed this week’s Hand Made :)

Marek and Morgan: Engaged

After a week MIA with my mum in town from England it’s a day to get back to business…literally!!

So, with that said, here are the GORGEOUS Marek and Morgan’s full engagement session :) We had so much fun roaming around our old campus at U of I in Champaign. Somehow we must have caught the last inch of fall because everywhere else the trees were bare! They make the perfect pair – you can’t fake that laugh of Morgan’s…Marek is constantly making her laugh, so cute! I had the BEST time with you both – I think you know that though from the crazy comments I was making :) Congratulations again and again, Love you guys!


Marek and Morgan: The Proposal

About 4 months ago I got an email from Marek asking me if I was busy on November 11th, around 1 in the afternoon….

I met Marek 4 years ago at U of I  when he played on the same team as Billy. What I do know about him is he loves to plan – and this time I had a sneaky feeling it could be non-tennis related and something waaaaay more exciting ;) And it was!! He confirmed he was planning to propose to his girlfriend, Morgan – and was planning it months in advance!! I was so giddy, this is a totally new concept to me – Billy and I are more of a ‘book our flight the night before’, ‘christmas shopping on christmas eve’ kind of couple :) BUT it meant I had to wait … and be patient. Not so good at that.

However, when the time came Marek couldn’t have made it any more perfect. Morgan lives up this way and Marek lives in Florida. Without her knowing, and a few fake stories he managed to fly up to Chicago the night before – that’s a surprise in itself right?! With the help of her Mum and amazing friend Terri, they blindsided Morgan by telling her to get ready for an event at their country club. Marek and Morgan’s first date was at a pumpkin patch – but they have all been taken down by now so they decided to set up their own little patch at the club! How cute!!

With Marek hiding behind the wall – and me hiding in the hedges with my 70-200mm waving at the golfers (who totally thought I was a creeper) we waited for Morgan….

We were lucky enough to steal 10 minutes to grab a few pictures – while her family waited for them inside, champagne in hand!

Favorite… what a goofball :)

THAT is totally a heart shaped leaf!!


I’m just so so so happy for you both and it is just clear to see you are perfect for each other! Thank you so much for having me there and letting me be a part of this amazing day :) xxxx

Sneak Peak: Marek and Morgan Engaged

I literally had the BEST day yesterday!! I got to be a part of Marek’s master plan of proposing to Morgan…and it was perfect :) Here is a little sneak peak with the full blog post to follow! I can’t thank you both enough for having me there and treating me to some seriously amaaaaazing lunch, love you guys!! 

Hand Made: Chalkboard Window Frame

Judging by last week my new ‘Hand Made’ series was a hit! woohoo!! So i’ll keep going with this Vintage Window Frame Chalkboard!

I made this frame for our Reception party back in the US….

But decided to clean it up and use it in my office! For now, it stays as a chalkboard but I’ll definitely re-purpose it soon :)

Things needed:

1. ‘Chalk board’ paint spray. You could buy the actual tin of paint but you may end up with brush strokes. You can buy either at Home Depot.

2.  Vintage Window Frame: I realised pretty quickly that it’s quite tough to find one with the glass all still in tact! Luckily I came across this one for $25 at an antique mall. If you do find one that has broken glass you could always get Home Depot to cut the correct size to slot into the frame. I will need to do this if I want to repurpose it as a picture frame.

3. Picture Hooks

You could totally use a frame like this at a wedding to show guests where they are seated – but instead of the chalk you would just write directly onto the glass :) I’m definitely thinking a few fun wedding pictures will go inside this soon!!

I can’t believe it’s Friday already!! Have a great weekend everyone!

Hand Made: A Series of DIY Household Experiments!

Anyone who knows me knows I love crafting, painting, sticking and generally creating something! A while ago I blogged a couple of my experiments like the hand made canvas, some gift ideas and my wedding invitations. They turned out to be a huge hit! I had people finding the ideas on Pinterest and contacting me through my website. It got me thinking – I should probably share a few more of those ideas, even if only a couple of people decide to take on the little challenges :)

So I’m going to kick start this series of blog posts with this ADORABLE vintage book centerpiece. This idea was totally stolen from this gorgeous vintage inspired wedding. I actually wouldn’t have needed to steal the idea as the bride graciously gave us one of her centerpiece’s on our way out! I was so giddy! However, an incident with a honda, highway and a deer occurred…and the poor centerpiece was no longer! It’s something i’ve been meaning to do for so long and decided it would be the perfect start!

Things needed:

1. Vintage books – hardcover (any used bookstore, goodwill, salvation army are full of them!)

2. Super super glue

3. A jigsaw to cut the hole – or in my case a very kind man at Home Depot

4. A mini plant/succulent or yummy smelling candle

As you can see – the supplies are minimal! First things first you need to take one book and measure 3 inches or 10cm diameter for the circle to be cut out. If any of you nifty people have a jigsaw, then I’m jealous! If not just go to Home Depot and the guys will cut out the pages of the book in the 10cm circle – all the way down to the back cover which will be the bottom.

While your at Home Depot pick up some extra super glue! :) You can then mount the book with the hole onto another. This just gives it some weight – if you wanted you could always leave it as one book – or add more!

If you wanted to use your centerpiece with succulents – as shown in the wedding – I would advise to cut the base of a red solo cup so you are able to water it! I have yet to buy one – but when I do i’ll post a picture :)

I actually had a couple of Bath & Body Works candles at home – they smell amazing but look kind of blah by themselves. The smaller 4oz size with 1 wick fits perfectly into the 10cm diameter! I wanted to make sure they would fit but not be ‘floating around’ and out of luck they are the exact size.

At the moment I’m using them with my table centerpiece while I don’t have fresh flowers. However, I think it will look cute on a side table in the living room. For any brides this really is a very inexpensive and non-labor intensive diy decor for your wedding! It could be used on the guest book table, centerpiece or gift table.

So what do you think? Yay or nay? Either way it was SO fun making it and will do my best to make it a weekly update :) Happy Friday everyone – have a wonderful weekend!!