About Me

I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Saturday
Jul062013

Yard Love vs. Yard Reality

I love our yard, I really do.  But you know how the reality of something is a lot different from the love you might feel for that something? Yeah, makes shit hard, right?

Our yard is a constant space for discovery. There is so much going, it is impossible to keep up. You might go so far as to say that when it comes to yard maintenance, me and The Candyman may have bitten off more than we can chew. Or mow. Or weed. Or prune.

Two months ago I took the below photos (I meant to post them then, but blog technical issues and lack of time have been a bitch). Like much of the Southeast, we had a slow spring. The other thing we’ve had is bucket loads of rain. BUCKET LOADS, I say.

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When I look at these two-month old photos, I laugh. I laugh a maniacal, Count von Count kind of laugh. Why? Because this was just the yard getting started with us. This was the yard waking up, still a little groggy and in need of a cup of coffee.

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Now? Now the yard is proving that it’s had several triple-shot lattes. It’s not screwing around. At all. TheThirtySomethingBrideFlower2

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Last fall, we cut our King Humbert Canna Lilies back to the nubs – because that’s what I read you were supposed to do with Cannas. In March and April, The Candyman and I were nervously waiting for things to bloom. Had we cut them back too far, too late in the season, too early?? I mean, what the hell do we know about Canna Lilies? Nothing, that’s what.

Now? Now the maniacal laugh comes back into play. Those damn Cannas are over 6 feet tall now.

 

See those Elephant Ears just sprouting on the left there? They are now up to my hip.

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These little baby buds exploded into the Confederate Jasmine that covers half of our pergola. The scent was absolutely intoxicating.

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Know what these became? Blackberries. We have freakin’ blackberries. The vine is buried deep in the depths of some backyard brush and I can’t get to them, except for this part that’s grown over the fence.

What I need to get are some wellies to get at those berries, but they are more difficult to find than you would think. They are all over the interwebs, but I want to try that shit on and can’t find them anywhere. How odd is that?

Anyway, there are lots of places I need to get into when it comes to our yard but can’t because I need those wellies. Why? Well, when I first started messing around in the yard for real, I came across not one, but TWO little baby snakes. Both were light brown with little spots. In hindsight, I should killed those little fuckers because now (after freaky internet research), I’ve come to realize they were most likely copperheads. So no, I’m not going traipsing through parts unknown without a little protection.

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Last week I was yanking clover and felt a little crawly something in the ass of my jeans. No biggie, not the first time, so I smacked at my jeans a little and went on with the weed yanking.

Later that day, I was showered and clean and about to leave the house when I felt a horrible stinging pain in the same spot where I had earlier felt crawly things. The stinging was so bad that I ran to the bedroom and ripped my clothes off and literally, poured rubbing alcohol on my ass. Not sure if it was fire ant bites or chigger bites, but the welts and itching are just starting to go away.

Let me tell you how klassy it was digging at my ass all week at the office.

“Yes, I’m totally scratching my ass and I don’t care what you think.”

That’s how bad that shit was itching.

 

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So there’s this whole other side to our house that we have been kind of denying exists. It’s basically all brush and vines and I’m fairly certain it’s where all things creepy, crawly, scary and biting live. Our neighbors recently informed us that one of the trees from our yard is dropping dead branches on their roof. Being the conscientious neighbors we are, we immediately called the arborist to clean up our tree-act.

If you didn’t know it, I’m here to tell you that arborist ain’t cheap. We’ve got a Red Oak, a Post Oak and 5 Pine trees, all on one side of our house. The good news is that if they ever go down in a storm, the arborist told us that they are actually a little too close to our house to do major damage. It’s the neighbors who are screwed!

We’re having massive dead branches removed in the next few weeks. The arborist recommended that I be the one to stay home that day. He was encouraging watching strapping young men climb my trees. This is the kind of arborist I like.

 

We had all sorts of plans to build a raised bed for a garden this year, but with the late spring we had and constant rain, it’s been too hard to get to, so I planted tomatoes, a few herbs and some cucumbers in some pots. The dirt from our yard is so freakin’ fertile that those things are over hip-height and I’m no shorty. Baby cukes and teeny tomatoes are popping out! Fresh food! From our yard! Love it.

So, it’s Saturday and I’m sitting on the couch staring at the clover gone wild in our grass. We haven’t been able to mow in two weeks because of the rain. Honestly, it’s just too early in the morning to think about.

I think I’ll seek out that triple-shot latte my yard consumed a few months back.

Monday
Apr152013

The Little Nooks

I’ve been focusing on a lot of negative energy lately. There’s been too much bad juju floating around me and I am sick of it.

This weekend, I FINALLY had a free moment, several of them, in fact. And they ALL STRUNG TOGETHER! Kick-ass, right? So after I had a girl-friend lunch with two glasses of wine, shoe shopping, a massage AND a facial, I walked around the house and took pictures of the little parts of the house that I love and that are coming together quite nicely, thank you very much. Lookie!

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I love the hallway. It’s 30’ long and I actually found a runner for it. Love the hallway. And we have art picked out for the side walls. We can’t wait to get the pieces, but we have to save the pennies first.

I also love my TJ Maxx special – the orange lamp. I just picked up the cute little succulent plant and it makes me love the lamp even more. And succulents are just SO COOOOOL, right?

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I like where this is going. This is the guest bedroom. The Candyman wants to make it ‘The Nashville Room.” You’ll see why in a second. But I like this little part of the room. The quilt used to be on our bed, but we’ve moved it here because it looks better. The beside table is a family antique.

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The bedframe that I spray painted matte black looks fine, but I think I want a fabric headboard now. So far, I’m OK with this.

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It’s the guitar wall, hence ‘The Nashville Room.”  The Candyman thinks the other bedside table should be a vintage guitar amp. The idea is growing on me. And yes, The Candyman LOVES Johnny Cash.

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We bought a cowhide rug! I just realized that might be inappropriate for my vegan friends. Sorry guys, cuz I love it! It’s a gorgeous brindle color and looks somewhat awkward with our goose-neck couch. Once we get that sucker recovered though, it’s going to look BAD ASS!

We also got three vintage Danish post-modern tables. They are amazeballs. We got them refinished for a song and they look so good with the hardwoods and the rug.

 

The other side of the room has a big ass plant. We love our big ass plant. It brings a really mod feeling into our mid-century house. Love. Love. LOVE!

My last favorite little area is my bathroom. I finally got it all pulled together. I didn’t know what to do with the old ceramic soap and toothbrush holders (there are FOUR), so I bought these little votive holders and planted little kalanchoe plants in them. The just finished flowering and I don’t know if the containers are too small the allow them to flower again, but I still like how they look. The pink flowers? I pulled them off a tree in our backyard. Booya. I stuck them in an old spice jar and voila.

So there are my little nooks of happiness. Where are you finding yours?

Thursday
Apr042013

A Blind Date…Plus Six

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Six years ago today.

I walked into Bosco’s looking for a tall blond man. His on-line pictures (all two of them) were blurry and old, at best. I had prepared myself for a weird, potentially creepy dude. I sat right next to the door and waited. He was late.

About 10 minutes later, a really tall and really thin blonde man came barreling through the door and made a beeline for the bar. He stood a full head amongst  the Nashvillian Bosco beer drinkers. He looked left, he looked right. He looked into the restaurant. I sat right next to the door and watched him with a stupid grin on my face. He finally made eye contact with me and and I smiled. He smiled and coolly walked over to me like he’d been there the whole damn time.

We sat. We spoke. We ordered. I had a portabella salad. He had shrimp and grits that he stirred and stirred and stirred before he finally decided to eat them. I sat with my legs propped up on the booth. He would refer to this as my “S-Shape” for always afterwards. He told me liked the shape of my face.

I grabbed his hands when he mentioned MC Solar. “I like MC Solar TOO!”

Much like this stupid spring, it was cool then too. He walked me to my car and when we were waiting for the light to change, I stepped inside his jacket. What? I was COLD!

At my car, I offered to drive him to his. He accepted. I dropped him off and he turned to me, offered his cheek and said, “Knock me one.”

So I did.

Sunday
Mar242013

Explosions of Tulle

‘Ti s the season for brides!

Even though I’ve got my full-time gig going full tilt, I’m still working with brides when I can. A local bride found me on Etsy and now I’m making her a custom belt and veil! I love working directly with brides. Custom is definitely my thing.

I’ve got her Lazaro gown holding court in my studio right now. We started off our meeting together sipping Chinese tea and talking about her wedding style and what kind of ideas she had. We ended up on the floor together, with all these goodies spread out everywhere, pulling together the bits and pieces of vintage goodies for her belt.  She got really into the sentiment of possibilities and is going to check with her grandma to potentially add to the design with a little borrowed something or other.

Here’s what the space looked like when we were done.

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It looks like the Tulle Monster vomited up his lunch.

  The bride spied a lace she liked and asked if I did veils too. Pfft Do I do veils?  Of course I do veils! And the lace she spied, it’s small, vintage-ish re-embroidered lace that matches her gown so well, it’s a little scary. She’s wanting a mantilla style veil and I love that style of veil! My mom wore a mantilla and I made my veil from her lace.

Oh, and notice the micro-pleating on the gown? I adore it! It totally reminds me of the Mori Lee gown I tried on in one episode of gown shopping. It also reminds me of the Essence of Australia gown with the crazy pleated train that was a contender for a day or two.

I just LOVE micro pleating! And I still love wedding gowns. Now I have to make sure that I make the time to get this stuff MADE! The wedding is in June. It’s going to be all about time management over the next few weeks.

Stay tune for more photos of wedding belt love and mantilla veil madness!

Sunday
Mar032013

Making Wedding Decisions, It Happens In Life. All Da Time…

So there are two (TWO!) women in my department getting married this year. It takes every ounce of strength I can find in the depths of my soul to not to be in their shared cubicle (THEY SHARE THE SAME OFFICE SPACE!) asking about preferred photographer style, flowers, shoes, you know…all the shit.

I’m itching to know all the details, but I’m pacing myself. I’ve offered up my accessories skillz, should they want/need any. I was tickled pink  when my opinion was asked about a potential venue/family timing conflict. I soundly shared my wedding knowledge in what I hoped was a non-biased approach. I was trying to keep the what-I-would-do-versus-socially-accepted-versus-do-what-the-fuck-you-want perspective. I hope I did okay.

It got me to thinking about some of the decisions I made as a bride. The Good. The Bad. The Ugly. The Brilliant.

It got me thinking to my post-wedding decisions. There are so many parallels to the planning world that I’m starting to think that marriage and the road I took to get there (it involved a trip down Wedding Planning Boulevard) don’t parallel life – they are life.

I. Am. Brilliant.

I know, I know.

Sometimes it take me a while, but you know, I get it.

So I’ve been shopping for bath mats for about 3 months now. I’m serious. I have purchased and returned 4 different bath mats and two different colored towel sets. I have been to Bed, Bath and Beyond 9 times in those three months. I’ve been to Anna Linen’s, Front Gate, Pottery Barn, Wal-Mart, Target (at least  5 times), JC Penny, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus (uh huh), and eighty billion other establishments, all of which sell BATH MATS. THE IMPOSSIBLE FUCKING BATH MATS!

Exhausting.

So one Saturday night, I bribed The Candyman to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond with me. I bribed him with the promise of snacks. The Candyman will do anything for good snacks. So we headed to the BB&B and wandered the aisles of what-about-this-in-the-foyer and the endless rows of of-course-we-need-these-OXO-accessories. I dragged him through towels over over to bath mats and pointed out the multitude of flaws in the selection of colors, sizes and pile height. I pointed out how lacking they were in colors to match our shower curtain. The Candyman dutifully agreed. We wandered in and out of vignettes of shower caddies and body poufs. We ended up in shower curtains, looking at prints and noting the color co-ordinations to OTHER BATH MATS.

The Candyman casually says, “Why don’t you get another shower curtain and match to it?”

What? Do WHAT?

Because I have spent so much time trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, I forgot that could change the hole to match a peg. Any ol’ peg. Or in this metaphor, the goddamn shower curtain.

$39.99 later, minus my 20% off coupon, plus tax, I entered into a  new realm of bath mats; shapes, sizes and colors attacked my senses. I don’t have new towels yet, but I do have two perfectly colors and sized BATH MATS, a new shower curtain, a new clock, acrylic canisters that hold cotton balls and cotton swaps. I have a cool new acrylic tissue box.

I got little mercury glass candleholders from West Elm months ago that have been sitting in  that bathroom doing nothing spectacular. But inspiration had taken hold (THANK YOU SHOWER CURTAIN) and I saw these adorable little kalanchoes that I immediately decided to plant in the candleholders. And they look SO FUCKING CUTE in my new bathroom! I have kept them alive for a week so far. I’m hoping to find towels sometime soon and then I’ll show cute pictures.

My whole point in all this is this: sometimes you need to let go of something to find the right thing, be it BATH MATS, bouquets or whatever it is you think you need.Try that and see what happens.