Bella Blu Designs

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble Gobble.... I'm full!

Happy Thanksgiving! We had the nicest, most relaxing day yesterday, just Andy, my mom and me. We cooked for most of the morning (and by "we" I mean mom) and ate around 3:30-ish. After our feast we rolled ourselves to Town Lake (aka, Lady Bird Lake) in downtown Austin and walked the 3 mile loop just before it got dark. It was nice to get out of the house and get moving after so much eating.

We didn't venture out to do any door-busting shopping last night/early this morning but mom and I did take a trip to Jo-Ann for a few supplies and they were having an insane sale. Just about everything in the store was 50% off and then it was 20% off your total order. So we stocked up on some necessities and now we're working on some odds-n-ends projects around the house. Mom is painting the bathroom that was driving me crazy (pick your paint sheen/finish very carefully!) and I've been hanging pictures:

Shortly after I returned from Ireland I had several enlargements made and framed them in good 'ol Ikea Ribba frames. I've been meaning to hang them for nearly 2 months now and I finally made myself take the time to hang this collage down our hallway. I'm pleased with the way it turned out (and am glad it's done!).

We've been talking about the possibility of going to a movie tonight but not sure what the plan is. I think it's safe to say we don't need to eat...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Discover Edge - Take Charge Guide

A few months ago I was contacted by Dana Dratch, a writer for Discover Edge magazine, who interviewed me about how I turned my hobby into a side business. The article is now online and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.

Deck the tree

Today is our office Thanksgiving potluck and to mark the occasion, we're decking our halls with Christmas decorations. I can't believe the holidays are here (especially since it still feels like summer in Austin) but I am going to take some advice I heard recently and "accept it: the holidays are here; just get over it." My mom arrives on Tuesday for Thanksgiving and I think we'll put our tree up while she's here. So I've been looking on Etsy for some fun ornaments and here are a few of my favorites:

Vintage typewriter key Christmas ornament from Joy's Jewels:

Peace dove ornament - Picasso inspired by ooshkapah: good things:

Winter Robin bauble by SnowFish:

Christmas Tree Ornament - Evergreen tree by JMDAY (another Austin seller):

And last but not least, Owly Ornament Set of Three by Needlings (I love this shop!):

I wish I were one of those people who collected unique little interesting ornaments from my travels but unfortunately, I am one of those people who goes to Michael's and buys boxes of plain old frosted glass ornaments. Last year I did a fun pink and orange theme which actually turned out a lot more elegant than I had imagined.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I was just contacted by Starla of Curious Mess on Etsy who let me know she included me in this darling treasury all about pugs! I feel honored to be featured among such adorable pug items!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Glory Four

Today is our 4th wedding anniversary and I've been enjoying a trip down memory lane. We got married in Roswell, GA, a suburb of Atlanta, and the day could not have been more perfect. The best part was being surrounded by all of our dear friends and family.

It was a lively celebration to say the least and a day I will not soon forget. One of my more vivid memories is hand sewing more than 100 invitations out of chocolate brown dupioni silk.... everyone thought I was crazy but lord have mercy, they were beautiful.

Our colors were brown and rust for fall so everything followed suit - including our favors. Each guest got a bottle of dried rosemary, some recipe cards, and a note explaining the significance of rosemary as a symbol of love and remembrance.

We welcomed guests at the hotel with "We're Glad Georgia's on your Mind" themed baskets. Each basket included peanuts, bottles of coca-cola, fruit, candies, bottled water (of course I made my own coordinating labels), and a CD of some of our favorite tunes from Georgia musicians.

Our guests sent us off in style with these coordinating bird seed packets:

It was all so much fun to plan and I had a blast creating all of the individual elements. I can't believe it's been four years!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Super duper Cooper

My friend Jen just posted pics of her new puppy Cooper and he's just too cute not to share. He's a mini doxie and I can't wait to meet him next 4th of July!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fun new fabrics

If we should learn of the end of the world, I am pretty sure I have enough fabric to fashion some sort of a life saving apparatus... I've got us covered. But every now and again I allow myself to give in and order some fun new prints. I had a request for a yellow lab tshirt so while I was ordering some of Heather Bailey's swirly bud fabric in yellow, I picked up a couple more prints from Anna Maria Horner and Alexander Henry. This polka line fabric from Anna Maria Horner is just too cute! I am always looking for more gender neutral prints and this one is simply adorable:

I'm working on a few orders for custom Christmas cards and I am so excited that I finally figured out how to print on 11x17 on my printer. I had no problems before I got my new MacBook last October but the new configurations were a little tricky.
This is good news because it means I can bring back the accordion fold cards, announcements, and invites:

So watch for these in my shop over the next few weeks!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Go speedracer, go!

I am so relieved last week is over but I am happy to report that my big work event went off without a hitch on Thursday & Friday. We were up in Ft. Worth for a two-day program which wrapped with a driving event sponsored by Porsche. They let our group of 40 people spend 4 hours test driving the new Porsche 911 on a series of road courses at a private MotoSport country club outside of Ft. Worth.

And I might I just add that this was one of the most fun things I've ever done! I was actually pretty nervous/apprehensive to get into a $100K car and take off on a race track with minimal instruction and no supervision. But once we got going, there was no stopping us. It was really and truly an incredible experience that I will not soon forget. I am hardly a car enthusiast but let me tell you, if I ever find a spare $100K laying around, I might consider my need for speed.

I am so happy to be home! I've been working so hard on this program since last spring and I am just so relieved it was a total success with only a few minor glitches along the way. I've been enjoying the weekend but still a little sore that I missed Halloween. Hope everyone had loads of fun!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Design Envy: Caroline Gardner

I first discovered Caroline Gardner's work at Avoca in Ireland and was instantly drawn to her whimsical take on modern sophistication. This British designer is able to blend assorted graphic typefaces with fun and quirky illustrations in a style that is all her own.

I received an email promotion from Caroline Gardner Publishing this week and it reminded me to go spend some more time on her site. In addition to her lovely cards, I found some fun dog collars and leashes:

Caroline's boxed letterpress cards are so beautiful:

Caroline Gardner offers online shopping but note that all prices are in British pounds (a little pricey at the moment!). Be sure to check out her site, even if just for some virtual window shopping.
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