Tag Archives: flowers

Demeter Smiles

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It’s been five months since my last post. How can I explain my absence? The truth is, life just got too hard. (Warning–I’m about to get personal up in here. Trigger warning for those of you who have experienced pregnancy loss.)

About a week after the exterior update, we got some great news: I was pregnant! Though it was a joyous occasion, I didn’t want to share it here because it was so early. But what could I write about when the one thing taking all of my attention was a secret? Then the holidays came and went, and we lost the baby. Just a few days after we heard its heartbeat, the little heart stopped. I didn’t know for a few more weeks. The pain of this loss is something I don’t know how to put in to words; winter consumed me.

Though the start of 2014 was tough for me (probably shouldn’t have made my new year’s resolution “to give birth to a healthy baby”) things are looking decidedly better now. Spring has come. I’ve been making a conscious effort to live a positive life, taking time for myself and doing the things I care about. My mental and physical health have been my focus and through that I have found everything else falls in to place.

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This season is all about rebirth and renewal. As I am feeling the sun shine on me after what feels like ages, I’m going to resume blogging. It will probably be slow to start, but I’m ready to begin sharing again.

First Floor Tour: the Dining Room

DSC_0143Ladies and gentlemen, not only am I (finally) continuing the first floor tour, but this one actually includes a sneak peak of the living room as shown above! Since the dining and living rooms are open to each other, it’s really impossible to show one without the other.

As you can see above, the only alteration that has been made to the actual house is painting one wall navy blue (the other side is also painted, which you will see in the living room post.)

DSC_0144As for the furniture, this dining room needed a larger table than the one we already had. My parents kindly gave us this black table, which can be made smaller by removing two leaves from the middle and dropping the sides down, should we so choose.

DSC_0145The hoop back chairs also came from my mother. I painted them a bright blue to to bring some color in to the room. (Alsoturns out you can see some of that navy in this photo, too! Check it out.)

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That chair in the corner (affectionately named “the dog’s chair” since she is the only one who sits in it) is a side-of-the-road find.

The piano came from Jon’s mother. Sadly I have not been playing it as much as I should, but I am still very happy that we have it in the house!

DSC_0147I decided to try decorating with books for the top of the piano. I chose the books specifically for their colors. They are also pretty good books. That amazing wooden bowl was a wedding gift, and the hand once belonged to a Sak’s Fifth Avenue mannequin (before they closed in the mid-2000s.)

That’s our dining room! Like I said, you will be able to see the other end when I show photos of the living room.

Do you have a piano? How often do you play it? How about side-of-the-road furniture?

Handmade Gowns for Our Wedding Day

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I started my dress search pretty much immediately after we got engaged. My maid of honor set up appointments at several bridal salons in the area, and with no budget or preferences in mind, we went out and tried on everything the world had to offer.

I tried on many lovely dresses, but didn’t fall in love with any of them. I would like one element of this one, a feature on that one, etc. Then, as I started seeing them in bridal magazines, I realized how uncomfortable I would be knowing that my dress could someday be considered fad-ish, dated, or the “it” dress for 2013. Coupled with the fact that I had a tight budget, I realized that I would have to go custom to get what I needed.

When I first heard about Janay A Handmade, I was sure she would be out of my price range. She specializes in eco-friendly fabrics and her dresses are stunning. Finally I decided that it couldn’t hurt to ask. I came to Janay with my budget and to my delight she told me that she could work with it!

Beyond beautiful dresses and a green initiative, Janay is amazing because she works with you every step of the way to ensure your dress is exactly what you want. She was overseas when I contacted her, so we had our first meeting via Skype. I sent her a link to my Pinterest wedding gown board and we talked about what I wanted. She was drawing while we talked, and making changes as I requested them.

Initial Sketch for Lydia by Janay A

Afterwards she sent me an invoice and description. Initially, we planned on organic cotton for the entire thing, but after seeing the fabric in person I felt it wasn’t quite what I wanted. We ended up deciding on organic hemp silk and champagne tulle.

Lydia Sketch with Veil Janay A

Janay’s description:

Lydia’s gown is vintage inspired and elegant. It is created in champagne
tulle over silk/hemp fabric (satin side out).
The bodice of the gown features a wide-set sweetheart neckline that leads
into semi-sheer tulle rouched straps/mini cap sleeves. The bodice drapes
slightly over the belt, with a fitted and structured inner lining for support. A
thin sash accents the smallest part of the waist (sash material tbd)
The back of the gown is cut into a dramatic low V, ending a few inches
above the natural waistline, and has an invisible back zipper. The skirt falls
straight away from the body into a softly flared A-line, and drapes from the
waistband with small pleats (located in side-font and back-center) adding
vertical design lines to elongate the body. Triangle shaped godet inserts of
tulle fabric (two in front and one in back) add more interest to the hemline.
Train of the gown is approximately 1.5 ft in length at the center back, and is
in silk/hemp with an overhang of tulle.
The gown’s skirt has an optional hidden custom dyed tulle underskirt to
add flair and body to the gown (fullness and color tbd at or before first
fitting). Gown is constructed to include boning and bust cups for support. Fully
lined with soft organic cotton. All alterations included.
Includes a floor length veil.

We had multiple fittings throughout the process, making adjustments here and there along the way.

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Marguerite was very excited to be Maid of Honor.

Marguerite was very excited to be Maid of Honor.

Prior to contacting Janay, I had already chosen bridesmaids dresses. They were lovely, but after designing my dress with Janay, I was afraid that they wouldn’t work together because of the different fabrics. I asked Janay if she could make custom bridesmaids dresses for the same price as the ready-made ones I had chosen, and to my delight she said she could. She came up with custom designs for each girl based on what would look best with their body type. I chose pink for their colors and the same champagne tulle overlay that my dress had to tie them together.

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There were times when I was nervous. A dress that isn’t completely made can look a little funny. But when it was done, it was perfect!

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IMG_2896 copyI adored all of the custom elements.

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The veil Janay made had Swarovski crystals added to give it a little bit of extra sparkle.

IMG_2705My maids looked stunning in dresses made just for them.

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The champagne tulle had the glowy effect I wanted that was beautiful in the evening light.

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When we stood all together, it was obvious that these dresses were made to go together.

IMG_3007Ultimately, the most important test was whether they were danceable. Clearly, they were.

And a good time was had by all.

Our Wedding

For this blog’s maiden post, I thought it fitting to share the day we became the DeMontes (read about our name change here). There is so much I want to write about—our amazing venue; the custom, eco-friendly gowns; everything we did ourselves; our custom wedding ale; the music; the photography; convincing everyone to trust my vision; our unconventional schedule; how we managed a “Pinterest-worthy” wedding on a budget; and many more things. But all of those posts will come in time. For now, I would like to share, without words, our wedding:

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Venue: The Bingham-Wagonner Estate Photography: Brandon Forrest Frederick, Cory Hinesley, Colin Joseph Burke, Chris Durr Dresses: Janay A Handmade