Thursday, October 24, 2013

Harvest Party

This is Manoah and his mom. This was his first birthday party. We rented a greenhouse at the Plumper Pumpkin patch in Aloah OR.  His mom wanted a harvest theme. The colors she selected were orange, yellow, white, brown and gold. Very fall color scheme.

I painted several chevrron pumpkins and spray painted metallic pumpkins. This is the  reception and gift table.

When guests arrived they were greeted by a chalk board that announced the event.

The flower arrangements were made from pumpkins and dried flowers. Hydrangea, lavender and poppy pods.

Party favors were home made hot chocolate on a stick.
And these really cute lamb cookies.

For the decorations in the rest I the space I made party flags from heavy duty  scrapbook paper. I cut triangles out of solid papers in orange, brown and white. I accented with yellow and white chevrron, stripes and polka dot printed paper. I then glued them to twine. We strung them in a swag stay le throughout the space. They were very festive.

We also ordered chineese lanterns in the party colors several weeks in advance. They provided some colorful pops through out the greenhouse. I hung them with white zip-ties.

The mom wanted a photo booth so that she. Could have a scrap book of the party. I purchased this great  damask printed burlap fabilric. And stacked hay bales in front of it for seating. The accents were this really cute owl and some pumpkins I painted. We also provided props for the guests to use in their photos. A pitchfork a shovel and a cowboy hat.
The farm had a pumpkin patch complete with lots if activities ranging from hay rides and a petting zoo to a maze and  a live band.

We also provided several activities for out guests. Including my favorite part of the party make your own candy apples. Yummm!

The food was a smorgus board of cookies and pies and cakes it was very cute. We also served chili and chicken wings.

Other activities for kids included a pumpkin painting and decorating station, a scrap booking station where guests could write a birthday message for Manoah and decorate a page for the crapbook using their photo from the booth. 

We provided lots if iutdoor seating as well. It was such a nice day.
Below a tractor bulls a barel train.
People selecting pumkins.

What a beautiful view.

There were also pony rides.
Plumper pumpkin patch grows many varieties of pumpkins. This is one if their giant pumpkins. It was carved with sunflowers and a drawing if the owners antique truck.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Festive fall decorations tutorial

It has been said "to be interested in the changing seasons is a much happier state than to be helplessly in love with spring." I am a spring and summer kind of girl, but I appreciate fall. The changing leaves, boots and scarves, hot apple cider. Halloween and thanksgiving are fun holidays. Each year I decorate my home for the changing holidays. This year I am decorating for a harvest themed birthday party for a precious little boy. I will post pictures after the event. But I thought I'd share a tutorial on making chevrron pumpkins and the floral arrangements I made for the party. These decorations will last through the season because they are not carved. I will be able to enjoy them until it is time to decorate for Christmas.

For the chevron pumpkins you'll need spray paint and matching nail polish. (I used white spray paint so I used white nail polish.) You can also use hobby paint. You will also need painters tape, an exacto knife, goo gone, q tips, newspaper and a plastic tarp or drop cloth. If you don't have this just use several garbage bags.

First you will need to scrub your pumpkins and dry them off. let  them sit for a few hours to make sure they are dry.

Next apply tape in a zig zag pattern around your pumpkin. Don't worry if the tape is overlapping or sticking out, you will fix this with the exacto knife after. Once you have placed all the tape for the chevron pattern. Clean it up with the exacto knife. Cut following  the line of the pattern over the parts you don't want and  peel away. The pumpkin may ooze just wipe the moisture away with a cloth.  Press firmly over all the tape and rub to make the seal tight.  Let the tape set for a while. See  photos below.

Next take your plastic lay it down on the ground. Tape some to nearby walls for protection. Then lay your paper down. This absorbs drips and prevents pooling that  would ruin the texture of your paint job. The paper also allows you to turn the pumpkin without touching it.

Bring your pumpkins outside. Place them in the center of the papers. Follow the directions on the spray can. Begin spraying your pumpkin with paint from too to bottom. Let the top dry then flip pumpkin over and paint the bottom and let dry. Spin the pumkin on the paper slowly as you give it a second coat.

Let dry over night or at least 8 hrs. Peel off  the tape. Slowly  at an angle. Hold down painted portion with your fingers as you pull off tape to keep paint from peeling or cracking.

If there are drips or smudges. Take a q tip and dip it in goo gone and rub it on smudges. Use your fingernail to get them off. To give the lines more definition or to fill in gaps or holes use the nail polish or hobby paint. 

Let your pumpkin dry. If you plan to have it outside  make sure it is covered by your porch or awning so it is  protected from the rain. If you will have it out in the elements make sure to spay it with a weatherization sealent.

Display your pumkin proudly with candle votives to illuminate it. 

The pumpkin floral arrangements are easy you can use a plain pumpkin or paint a pumpkin any color you wish. Use a  Philips screwdriver to poke holes into the top of the pumpkin place dried flowers in the holes. If you want to use fresh flowers simply carve off the top and scoop out the guts. Fill the pumpkin with water  or place a small vase inside of the pumpkin and place flowers.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The 10 commandments to clear skin

I have struggled with acne and breakouts my whole life. Over the years I've seen doctors that have prescribed pills and creams whose side effects have been worse than the spot they were targeted to treat. The thing is doctors are there to prescribe drugs. They deny that food had any affect on the skin and they deny that there are any homeopathic remedies to acne. That is simply not the case.

I  have learned more from the make up artists and models I work with than western doctors about taking care if my skin. Here are the tricks I have used for years. I get many complements on  my skin despite the fact that I had acne in the past. I know how hard it was for me to feel confident and beautiful when my break outs were out of control. I hope my story and my regimen helps someone to feel beautiful and begin to heal the emotional scars left by acne.

1. Drink lots of water. Your body uses the water you drink to hydrate and  even clean itself to a certain degree if you are dehydrated it can't do its job. Your akin will be dry and tight and itchy making it more prone to breakouts.
2. Don't touch your face your hands are constantly touching objects that are covered in germs, dirt and oil.  They are the dirtiest part of your body. I you need to touch your face go to the bathroom and wash your hands first or if that is not possible use a handkerchief or even a tissue as a barrier between your hands and your face to scratch your nose or sweep your hair from your forehead. if you wear lots of hair products or have oily hair keep your hair off of your face. If your breakouts are centralized around your forehead and you have bangs or on your chin and you have layers framing your face that is a good indication that your natural hair oils or your hair products are the cause.
3. Change your pillow cases often I have three pillows that gives me six surfaces to sleep on before I have to wash and change my bedding. Your hair like we discuses earlier is oily and those oils as well as the sweat from your neck and face collects in your pillowcase and as you sleep for 8 hrs or more those pore clogging contaminants are testing in your face. You can cut down on this by wearing your hair up while you sleep so that your hair is not testing on your face as you reposition yourself at night.
4. If there are foods you eat that you seem to notice you break out after ward take note of them. Doctors deny their is a coronation but if you have food allergies that are in diagnosed they can cause breakouts. There are forms of eccsama that look like acne, there are also deeper zits that are actually cysts that can also be caused by food allergies as well as hormone changes  and stress.  I tend to have breakouts around that time I the month I can't change my hormone levels but I can prepare my skin and my body by getting plenty of rest and drinking water so that I minimize the effects. I also broke out from food allergies to gluten. I gave up wheat and the small tiny bump stopped appearing. Another connection between food and break outs is if you eat greasy food like a hamburger or a taco where the oil touches your face simply wiping with a napkin won't get the oil off of your skin. You'll have to wash your face as soon as possible or at least wash your mouth area so that the oily residue isn't clogging your pores all day.
5. You probably wear make up everyday. As long as you use oil free non cogmegentic make up it should be fine. But take note that if you are still breaking out a lot you may be allergic. I have a friend who is allergic to talc she gets eccema. Another friend is allergic to many of the pigments they use in liquid makeup. You can look for makeuos that you aren't allergic to. I choose to only wear a full face of makeup for special occasions so that my pores can breath as much as possible. Another issue is bacteria. Your makeup I good for a certain amount of time if you keep it longer than that it can spoil and bacteria can grow in the bottle or vial. You also need to notice how you put in your make up. Do you use your fingers? Wash your hands before you apply your makeup. If you use a sponge is it a fresh new one each time. Sponges are a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria. Lastly you need to wash and clean your brushes regularly makeup, oil and bacteria builds up on them over time. You can use any antibiotic soap or dish soap but I like to use MAC® Brush cleanser.

 So now that we have talked about positive habits that promote healthy skin and what life style changes need to be made I can give you a skin care regimen that works without gimmicks. I have personally tested this out and been doing it for the past 10 years the four step to healthy skin are to Wash, Exfoliate,
Moisturize and if you have acne treat.

6. First washing your face. There are many facial cleansers available most if them will probably do as long as they are for acne prone skin. Anti aging products may contain oils you do not want on your face because you have issues with oil as it is.  Do not use bar soap unless it is specially formulated for the face. Many soaps leave a waxy residue that clogs your pores more. I use Murad® Clarifying Cleanser Acne face wash. It has an acne treatment product in it. I use a dab and lather it with hot water in the shower and I wash my face thou roily with my finger tips in small circles massaging it into my skin. Then I rinse thoroughly.  I love this face wash because it washes clean there is no residue after. And it has a subtle mentholated effect that helps open pores to get the guck out. After you have rinsed your face splash it with cold water to help close your pores. So that they are not open when you put in your makeup.

7. Once a week or when ever I feel that my skin seems to be dull or has dry patches I exfoliate by adding baking soda to my face wash and washing the same way I do in the shower. There are many exfolient washes for sale out there. They are expensive. The main thing you want to watch out for is the shape of the granuals. They need to be smooth and round with no jagged edges. Because products like st Ives  spoor it scrub use seeds they grind up. The jagged edges actually cause microscopic tears in your skin that  become inflamed or become clogged with makeup and oil and cause more acne. Baking soda is great because it's cheap and each of the granuals are round and small soviet really works on the pores. 

8. Moisturizing is extremely important. Many people with acne think that because their skin is already oily prone that the solution is to strip it and make it as dry as possible. The problem with that is that your skin drys out and begins to crack causing the same issue I explained above. Your skin is tight and uncomfortable and becomes itchy and as your scratch you cause more tears and put more bacteria on your face. It's an ugly cycle. In addition your body produces more oil to counteract the dryness. Moisturizing is important to keep your skin in balance. When you moisturizer your telling your skin I don't need to produce more oil. Also your skin will have a healthy glow and retain the flexibility it needs so you can make facial expressions without causing tears. There are many oil free non cognegenic moisturizers available. You don't want to put body lotion on your face it's to heavy and may have oils or fragrances that clog pores or cause irritation. The best moisturizer I have found is Garnier Nutritioniste® Moisture Rescue Gel-Cream. Clinique has a similar product but it's 3x the cost.

9. Finally if you do have a breakout you can treat it. Don't pick at it or pop it  as that causes scaring and pok marks. There are many effective treatments .  I use a combination. 
Find a product with 1.5% salicylic acid. This is already in the face wash I recommended.  You can also crush up an aspirin and add a little water to make a paste to treat large zits over night. Finally when you are putting on make up you can use a concealer that has salicylic acid in it like the TIGI® concealer stick, The second  tool is Sulfer it takes out redness and lowers the inflammation around the zit. I use a white clay mask sulferbis naturally in clay. Both Murad® And Proactiv® Make a similar product that is affordable. You don't need to apply this to your whole face unless you want to. Just dab a little on all of your zits and they will reduce in size over night. And finally the Thor is Tea Tree Oil. You can get a vial at most grocery stores with a naturopathic or health food section. I buy mine at Fred Meyers. This stuff is great to have on hand it's a powerful antiseptic. I use it on cuts and anything that could get infected it prevents infection. Zits are basically miniature infections where bacteria has begun to grow and your antibodies are fighting off infection which is causing inflammation. In the beginning you'll need to dilute it with water. Put a  drop on a wet cotton ball and dab it on the blemishes. It will help clear the zits and prevent new ones from forming.  I use this when I know I'm going to break out from my cycle as a preventative agent. Since I often break out after wearing a full face if makeup I also use it after my face wash before I moisturizer as a precaution. It keeps me from breaking out. 

10.  Take time  to distress. Live your life. Staying active and spending time with friends, laughing helps lower your stress level.  And stress can cause breakouts. Take time out for yours do something you enjoy and get plenty of sleep.

I hope this helps someone out there. Feel free to share your story leave a comment.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Clearing up the clutter

I always say that if you want a beautiful home you have to let go of the ugly. You have to let go of that ugly blanket with the moth holes and the broken vase that you glued back together, because it was sentimental. As a designer I can create a plan for your space. We can choose the paint for the walls and look for the perfect lamp for the entry way table, but if you insist on keeping the ugly parts of your current home I can't make the plan I've so painstakingly created come together. You can't keep all of the clutter that covered every surface of your home and expect the room to come together according to the plan. No one will notice that you have redesigned the space.

The same philosophy applies to fashion. You can't wear the "IT" dress of the season with a pair of crocs simply because they are the most comfortable things you've ever put on your feet. You miss out on the full design potential of the outfit.

In my time with God over the past year He has been showing me that he is  a designer.  He created the whole universe. He has a master plan and a purpose for everything he created. He even wants to clothe us in the garments of righteousness. He wants to give us a beautiful life full of grace and joy and love. But we have grown accustomed to the clutter in our hearts. We are comfortable with the postmortem remains of broken hearts, broken families, lost dreams, bitterness and the false pearls of sin.

My design philosophy was adopted from my own observations  of the habits of people, but it applies to my spiritual life as well. Beauty for Ashes comes out of the prophecy of Isaiah 61:3 "To all who mourn He will give a crown of beauty for ashes. A joyous blessing instead of mourning and festive praise insead of despair." God wants to trade your ashes for the beauty he has for you. He wants to give you a purpose and a hope, He wants to take your pain and bitterness and replace them with joy and love. It's a promise. It's a philosophy not just for the design of a room but for the heart. For a life lived beautifully.

I have struggled to reconcile my social justice heart with the passion I have for fashion and design. Over the years I have thought one to be frivolous. God has shown me that he created me to be a creative being who loves beauty. The two can be united by a common thread. With this blog I want to inspire beautiful homes not just for the eye, but also for the hearts of the families who live in them and for the friends they welcome. I want to make women look and feel beautiful not just on the outside, But I want them to feel beautiful on the inside so that they can bring beauty into the lives of others. 

I encourage you to get out a bag go to your closet and ask yourself what can I part with? Look on your bookshelf do you really need all of those books?  As you clear the physical clutter from your life ask God if there is any emotional clutter that is holding you back. And let it go so that you can enter into the full plan of what he has for you.

Monday, October 7, 2013

An affair to remember

This summer I had the pleasure if planning a 60th birthday party for twins. It was quite an event. No expense was spared. it took me a month to plan from top to bottom everything was coordinated and placed by the Alean Simone Events, Style and Design team.
This is the buffet table. 

I made a half dozen flower arrangements for the party. 

The entrance to the party was lined with lanterns and balloons. The hostess has a beautiful garden.

Some of the other decorations around the yard included these Pom pins hanging from large yard umbrellas and canopies.

For seating we rented  large tables and lots of chairs. It was beautiful next tithe greenhouse that glowed with candle light in the evening.

We had the event catered. The food was beautifully displayed and delicious.

The cupcakes were delicious and had a lovely assortment of flavors and fillings.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. If you are interested in having me plan an event for you leave a comment or contact me by email at for a consultation and quote.

Fall Trends 2013

This Fall there are so many new items you must incorporate into your wardrobe. The army green jacket, anything with leather or leatherette details, especially a full skirt. Army boots, studded? even better. The plaid dress, hair wraps with bows, blue and green metallic polishes, Colbalt blue anything. Black accessories with gold hardware. Animal print anything especially the cat prints MEOW!!! graphic animal prints, something quilted and something with an eye. I see you standin there, wow nice look girl!Fall Trends 2013

Its a Jungle Out There

Jungle Theme Baby Shower.

I planned helped plan this baby shower for a dear friend who was expecting a boy. We kept it simple.

The decorations were pretty fun. we tried to keep the budget pretty small. using only items that we could purchase at the dollar store. here you see our jungle vines and monkeys hanging from our balloon coconuts.

The host had this wall art so we made dicot letters from the jungle theme cricket cassette and turned it into a sign.

This is the chandelier above the food table. Banana anyone?

we had dozens of monkeys hanging around for this party. Each guest got to take one home.

This is the table where we put gifts. This monkey is waiting for them.
More pictures coming soon.