About Me

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

Follow Me!

 

Sponsors

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.

ththirtysomethingbride_trulucouturestudio

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.

Sunday
Jan272013

Chinese Doctors, Tub Drains and Yard Treasures

So it’s a Friday afternoon here in gloomy North Carolina. My VP came around and sent us all home at 3:15 pm because it’s icy and rainy here and the world shuts down in The South when the weather turns even the slightest bit nasty. Awesome. I was planning on leaving early anyway, now I had an official dismissal.

I had plans to actually exercise, but with the roads filled with batshit crazy Southerners who have zero ability to drive in inclement weather, The Candyman demanded I come home. So now,I sit at home with wine in hand, writing a blog post because I actually have time.

Go figure.

Let’s catch up, OK? It’s been a while.

So I was sick over our entire Christmas vacation. Awesome.

I left for China on January 4th feeling slightly better having taken a Z-pack and sucked down  tons of codeine-laced cough syrup. I felt OK for about 2 days after I arrived, but had a serious relapse. In China.

Again, awesome.

After I ran out of cough syrup and nearly coughed a chunk of my lung onto a table in the middle of a meeting, I bit the bullet and did the unthinkable.

I went to a Chinese doctor.

*EEEEK!!!*

I’ll admit now, my fear was unfounded. The doctor was more thorough than I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. The appointment, a ‘nasal cleanse’ (don’t ask), direction on what to eat/drink for the next few days AND a slew of drugs? All that cost less than US $100.

Our health care system is fucked.

-------

I still Pin stuff that is wedding related. I still like looking at the pretty. I just don’t want to write about it anymore. Is that really bad? Probably so, considering this is still supposed to be a ‘wedding blog.’ I consider moving it over to something else, but I still get a shit-ton of hits every day because people reference old crap on this blog all the damn time. People love these posts:

This one. Every time they rerun Say Yes to the Dress people flock here. I still get misty just thinking about Erin.

DIY Sweater Love

If you want some help with Shepherd’s Hooks.

DIY Cake in a Jar Favors – always popular.

And thanks to Austin Wedding Blog, I get all kinds of Paper Feather Tutorial love.

------

And then there’s the house. Holy crapballs, the house. The projects are ENDLESS. Something we’ve learned? We have to be VERRRRRRRRRRRRRRY careful about the projects we start. What you THINK will be a piece of cake? Oh no, my friends. Not with an almost-50 year old house. You uncover one thing, you find 100 things UNDER that one thing.

For instance, I wanted a new tub drain. My tub had the old kind of drain that looked like this:

FH02FEB_BATHDR_01

The drain just had a cover because the part that actually plugs the drain is inside the pipe, kind of where that spring thingy is in the pictures above.  When I would take  a bath (which is totally my thing), the water in the horizontal pipe would actually float back up into the tub. Who wants pipe backwash in their tub?

Dude, not me. I mean, look at how disgusting this was once we took the drain cover and overflow plate off. 

IMG_1290 IMG_1297

Now, it didn’t look THAT bad with the covers on and such, but still. Gross me out, to the max.

So I set out to remove and install a new one. I read many an on-line tutorial. I called My Dad, the handyman supreme. I consulted. I made numerous drain-planning trips to Lowe’s. I had this one in the bag.

Oh, so wrong. And damn The Candyman for being right. He knew it wouldn’t be as easy as I thought. He knew he’d be the one to fix what I jacked up. Fucking hate when he’s THAT RIGHT.

But really, it’s not my fault. There is NO WAY I could have known the the standard size of pipe drains in the 1960’s was 1/4” SHORTER than the standard size now. In fact, they are now 1/4” bigger around now too. That was my first problem. When I solved that one (again, after multiple trips to Lowe’s, a privately owned specialty hardware store AND a direct-to-plumbers only supply store) I had to solve the length problem. Whilst trying to solve the drain size issues, we encountered another. The overflow plate. I went to take it off and couldn’t. Why? Because the goddamn screws were actually rusted into the frame of the tub (see above). It’s actually an iron tub from days of yore.

Apparently, there’s a thing called a screw extraction kit. And now we own one. Yeah. So, that took a while to figure out with several trips to Lowe’s. And we still hadn’t figured out the drain thing.

A co-worker who used to work at Lowe’s in the hardware area told me of a specialty vintage plumbing supply shop. So we went. It took us forever to find the place. And it was scary.  There was a sign on the door that said, “BRING THE PART, NOT A PICTURE. NO EXCEPTIONS.” Good thing we had our part. There was a sign inside the store/killing room that said, '”IF YOU DON’T THINK I’M RIGHT, WHY DID YOU ASK?” The lady who worked there was surly and a little filthy. She had the kind of dirty hands/fingernails that you know are just NEVER clean. There are few people who frighten me – she did.

BUT, she was nice and she was smart and she found us our part. We had to special order the damn thing. So my little project that should have taken about 2 hours and $20? Yeah, like 5 weeks and $80. But now I don’t have nasty pipe-water bath backwash and that is nice. I also own a screw extraction kit. 

So take that project and multiply it by 800 billion and that’s how we live right now. I spend most on-line time looking at mirrors (can’t seem to find the right one for the Master Bath). I still can’t find the right size bathroom rug. We need a new washer and dryer. And vacuum. And I want to replace the windows.

It never ends.

-----

And I have found the weirdest things in our yard. Now that it’s winter and the backyard jungle is less Amazonian, I’ve been able to get in to clear out debris, limb up bushes and try to make things a little more landscaped. I found a hanging lantern in a tree. I found an iron tricycle pot holder in some bushes. I found a lovely glass mosaic candle holder buried under pine straw. I found a wire hanging plant holder in another tree. I’ve found 4 paver stones under more pine straw. Just the other day, when I retrieved the hanging plant holder, I walked back into an area I’d never even walked into before. I turned around and noticed something odd. The giant wild jasmine bush that I thought was a bush that I have probably walked past hundreds of times now? It’s not. It’s actually a wrought iron chair that is COVERED by this wild jasmine. A FUCKING CHAIR.

-----

A quick bathroom update. It’s coming along, but still not done. Check out the present day before and after. Still need something for the floor and the window. Trying to figure out what to do with the old, built-in ceramic toothbrush and soap holders. Need new towels. But it’s SO much better than what it was. Check it:

IMG_0642

Before

bathroom

Not quite an After…

I’ve got some little mercury glass candleholders for the toothbrush/soap holder thingies that I might make crazy with some moss. Or air plants. Baby steps.

-----

So there you go. Pile on top of all this house crap my TruLu Couture and work and damn, there’s no time to do anything else. Like blog.

Know that  I miss my blog peeps something awful.

Wednesday
Jan022013

TruLu Couture Does Monique Lhuillier

So do you remember that gorgeous Monique Lhuillier gown my bestie wore in her wedding? No? Here’s a cute little reminder:

mvg3

You can read about Marie & Vic’s Unfake Wedding here, here, here and here.

You might also recall the unfortunate dress disaster that befell Marie and her gorgeous Monique Lhuillier gown.

Marie had the gown professionally cleaned and preserved, spending over $600 to do so and there were still some spots on the gown. Boo. Hiss.

But the smart girl sent the gown to me to see what I could do with it. I’ve been working on the dang thing for FOREVER and with the move and the job, blah, blah, blah. Well, I have FINALLY finished it and it’s up for sale!

So here’s the story….

Wine stains on the skirt. I got them out for the most part, but being the person I am, I couldn't very well sell a gown with spots, for goodness sake. I don't care how light they are.  So I got creative and totally redesigned the dress.

OK, not TOTALLY, but a whole lot. Check it:

 

I redesigned the pick-ups all around the skirt and added hand-bead appliques all around the left side of the skirt.

IMG_5474

Corset Front

I added beading to the silk flowers on the STUNNING corset. Some of the little flowers on the corset now show up on the silk gazar skirt too!

Bustier Back

 

I added pick ups to the back of the gown creating a slightly shorter train with more hand-beaded appliques trailing down and around the back of the skirt.

The French bustle is still the same, just with pretty little appliques now!

Applique

Close-up of one of the appliques.

So now I’m helping Marie sell her gorgeous Monique Lhuillier/TruLu Couture skirt and corset. The woman paid $6800 for the dress, $300 in alterations (corset was lined and bust changed to a C-cup) AND she paid $600 to clean and preserve the gown. AND, it’s been redesigned and updated (couture methods only, natch) my yours truly.

Gown is for sale on my Etsy shop and also over on OnceWed. If you have questions, want to see more pictures or have even a hint of interest, please contact me ASAP! FYI -  since I’m about to go to China day after tomorrow, I won’t be able to send it until January 26th.

So do y’all love? Tell all your engaged friends.

Monday
Dec312012

Happy Fucking New Year

It’s been a while since I’ve bitched. I’m feeling the itch somethin’ powerful.

Here’s the deal. Haven’t seen many posts have you? No, you have not. It’s not that I don’t want to write or don’t have anything to say, it’s just that I am so fucking busing and so fucking tired every goddamn day that I simply can’t find the energy to do more than play a game of Scramble on my iPhone and fall into bed at 9:30pm.

Work has been horrid for both of us. The pressure of both of our jobs is bordering on insanity. Between the three members of my immediate team, there were weeks where at least one of us was crying. Not run-to-a-bathroom-stall-and-silently-sob cry, but at the desk, head-in-hands-bawling.  Not good.

So I was looking forward to my 11 day vacation with MUCH anticipation.

The Candyman and I planned to visit the folks at Christmas for a few short days, then skedaddle back on home for a staycation holiday. We were going to rip down an old fence, take long walks in the woods, go out to eat, see some movies and simply rest ourselves and de-stress.

I also had to do just a little shopping to prep for my trip to China. I leave on January 4th. 

But no. My Dad was sick when we arrived for Christmas. He infected both me and The Candyman. We returned home coughing, snorting, sniffing, blowing, hawking up lung oysters and feeling generally disgusting and miserable.

I have done NOTHING since we got back from Christmas except be sick. I went to the doctor today and now have a fresh stock of drugs to try to beat the mucus uprising in my lungs. All I want is good goddamn night’s sleep.

Unfortunately, I have to finish re-designing a wedding gown for my friend to sell online (hint: a TruLu Couture’d Monique Lhuillier will be posted soon!), find a new overseas suitcase (a most difficult task for a 3-week China sojourn) due to a busted zipped on an old one, pick up travel crap at Sephora, de-Christmas the house, do laundry, pack, try to get my nails done (if I don’t, I chew my nails down to the nubs when I fly) and oh yeah, get healthy.

Seriously? The suckiest ass vacation in the recorded history of all vacation. Has to be.

And here it is New year’s Eve and we’re house-bound watching The Walking Dead Marathon, coughing and hacking our way old episodes. Hooray.

Happy New Year y’all. Despite my sickly surliness, I hope yours is safe and wonderful.

Bah.