Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Modern Christmas House Tour

Whew. Yesterday was the first day in over 2 months that I didn't sew anything. Not a single thing. And I must say, it felt really great! I wrapped presents and made a few Christmas treats for my co-workers - all things I don't usually get to do in advance of Christmas Eve!

Now that I'm not sewing, I can catch everyone up on the custom orders I completed this season.  I must say, my customers continue to be my number one source of inspiration - they push me to think outside the box and come up with new ideas for their projects and future products!

Katie from Dallas, Texas was no exception. She found me on Etsy, and she sent in her request for a custom order - complete with computer drawings! Katie is an interior designer and was working with a home that was going to be featured on a house tour in early December.  Based on her drawings, I knew that her client must be uber modern and super fun - I mean the drawings included teal, lime green, bright orange, and pink! I was beyond excited, and then even more so when she told me a photographer would be taking photos!!! I was floored when I saw the photos - I hope you are too!

 Double sided-napkins in Michael Miller Funky Christmas Yule Trees


 Made our first double-sided stockings because of the glass fireplace. I just LOVE how they look!

 Also made a custom tree skirt to match that had a grey 2" border and binding, along with large wedges of the same fabrics you see in the stockings.
Its just too pretty to be real! Don't you just wish you were invited over for Christmas dinner?! I know I do!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

And The Stockings Were Hung

Merry Christmas everyone! I can finally say that, since I am officially DONE with all of my holiday orders! That feels so wonderful to say type out loud! Its been a wonderful season, thank you all!

Since its been so long since I posted, I thought it was about time to post photos of my Christmas decorations. We moved into a new house this summer, so I finally got around to pulling the living room together in time for Christmas. I've never had my VERY OWN mantle before, so I planned on decking the halls with style this year.  Last year, I was so burnt out, I got my tree up and never got around to decorating it. Whomp whomp I know.

However, this year, I started right after Thanksgiving and got the tree up right away, and then I started pulling together the pieces for the mantle - but I painted it white first. I'll share before pics later, but the after is just so elegant and I'm so happy with the final results. I hope you are too!

My happy place at the moment!

 The Christmas Tree skirt that started it all! 

 New stockings! The bf requested a Grinch stocking, and I finally made one to match the tree skirt! I just love the quote from the movie Elf "The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear!" It is a printable from less cake {more frosting}. It is available from Announced Design here.

Newly painted mantle (it was brown before but all of the trim in the whole house is white?!) along with new mantle decorations from Target, which includes the trees and the silver mercury tea light holders. The greenery and the red pieces of flair as I call them are from Pier 1. Love that store! The mirror is also new, from Ikea - got it up right before the tree!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RUFFLES! Christmas Tree Skirt and Pillows

Its been "Christmas Time" around here for a while, so it feels strange that the rest of the world has caught up and is starting to decorate their trees now that the Turkey has digested.  For anyone who hasn't caught the bug to decorate your tree or house for Christmas yet, I thought I would share a custom order for a very LUCKY little girl that is just so girlie, with lots of pink and ruffles - sure to get a swoon from all!

 20"x15" Ruffle Pillow by Love Elaine
 Personalized Ruffle Tree Skirt by Love Elaine


Two, 16x16 square pillows with Christmas Tree applique and ruffle trim by Love Elaine

Isn't this just the cutest ever?! I wish I had girlie Christmas pillows to decorate my bed! I think you all are getting a sneak peak at new products for 2012!! Let me know what you think - do you love them as much as I do?

For those of you in need of new stockings or a tree skirt, check out my shop on Etsy! Orders for Tree Skirts will only be accepted until December 5 so get on the ball!



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Crafty with Design Sponge

Last night I was one of the lucky few who stalked secured a ticket to the Craft Event for the Design Sponge at Home book signing at Anthropologie in Stony Point here in Richmond. And, happy day for me, a few of my friends repeatedly refreshed their browser and stalked secured tickets too! I just love group craftiness!


My station all set up ready to begin! Notice how cute a water bottle looks with a bit of fabric tied around - who knew?!?!

Craft project for the night - make sealing wax stamps! I made a Love Elaine inspired heart within a heart (just check out the logo).  I was worried that the impression on the inside wasn't going to turn out - the wood burning tool is not as easy as it looks! 

Amanda & Meena wielding their wood burning tools with might :) It was SO GREAT to see these ladies! 

My finished product! I think it looks pretty good. This just might show up on my holiday card if I have the patience to do 100!
 
And, because no trip to Anthropologie is complete without a lot of drooling browsing through the super cute items in the store, I spotted a few adorable vases that I MUST own for various rooms in my home. Consider these firmly on my Christmas list for Santa! (Hint... here is the link for easy shopping!)



There are a million other things in the store that were SO CUTE.  Are there any items from Anthropologie that you hope Santa will bring you for Christmas?


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Handmade Holiday: Wreaths

As someone who is no stranger to handmade, as well as handmade gifts, I'm kicking of a series of posts about ways to incorporate handmade into your holidays this year! Whether you make it yourself or decide to make a purchase on Etsy, handmade offers your gift recipient something unique, thoughtful and special.  As many of my friends and family know, I am absolutely insane OBSESSIVE about gift giving.  Strolling the aisles of Target and crossing people off my list is not my idea of gift giving.  My list is probably a lot shorter than most, but I've made a conscious decision to only give gifts to those I hold dear - family and special friends.  If I didn't, I would clearly have a coronary and crumble from the pressure.  Don't worry, this is all self inflicted and its not about being "the best gift giver" - its about showing the people close to me that I care enough to give them something I know they'll like - whether I made it or not.

While wreaths might not be thought of as a traditional gift to give someone, when you really think about it, someone can use it all year round if not in holiday colors, if in holiday colors, they will pack it up and pull it out each year and remember that you gave it to them.  Here are a few of my handmade holiday wreath favorites!



 
 
(ps - this matchs the new colors in my living room HINT HINT)


And, did you know that I make custom fabric wreaths to match any room, and for the holidays? I've had a lot of pink and green tree skirts sold this year, so this Pink & Green Fabric Wreath is perfect for the holidays or a princess room!  Check out versions available for sale in my shop. Want something customized? Just send me a message!


So, you tell me, which wreath is your favorite?!

Friday, October 28, 2011

NOVA Trunk Show Recap

Last Sunday, my friends Julie and Jenn hosted a Love Elaine trunk show in Northern Virginia for all of my friends, family and fans of Love Elaine! It was so great to see everyone and catch up with friends I don't get to see that often.  It was my best show yet! A FABULOUS time was had by all - the food was wonderful (although I didn't get to eat any until everyone was gone!) but the company was the best!


 Totes, bags and clutches on display at Julie's Mom's gorgeous home!

Choosing fabric for custom orders! (Don't mind Jenn pulling an eyelash out of her eye!)

Me & my LOVE BUG Miss Sophia! She clearly stole the show, how cute is she?! I get zero credit as she's Julie and Min's daughter, and has the sweetest personality! She's getting SO BIG and I'm just so proud to be "Auntie Christen!" She's going to be one SPOILED little girl, because I have so many things I want to make her! Who could resist those cheeks?


Everyone loves CUPCAKES! Jenn made these amazing confections - do you notice they are in my branding colors?! What could be better than PURPLE frosting?! I was blown away by the cupcakes and the wonderful dips and munchies Julie made! They went all out! Psst - If you are in Northern Virginia, Jenn is starting "Girl Next Door" bakery and her cupcakes are totally amazing.  I even hooked her up with the fabulous Carter (another regular on this blog) for a good ol' fashioned services swap! Jenn made cupcakes for Carter's wedding reception in Richmond in exchange for Carter designing her a logo for the business.  Check out Away We Go Studios on Facebook - I think the logo looks just as delicious as Jenn's cupcakes!

So, I'll use this time to say a huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who came and placed orders! Special thank yous to Julie and Jenn for hosting and to Julie's Mom, Carol Jo for opening up her home.  And, thanks to all my friends and family (and Mom who drove from Jersey to be there) who came to support me - I'm so blessed to have all of you in my life! I couldn't do it without all of you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Pinterest Ode To Halloween

Ok, I'm going to reveal a secret about me that only my friends know - I secretly hate Halloween.  Well, scratch that, I hate the dressing up/costume part of Halloween.  It wasn't always this way, as I have many a fond memory of dressing up in costumes and having a blast at the Halloween parties my mom threw for me and my friends - there was the crab apple toss, bobbing for apples and apples hanging from a string in the garage and you couldn't use your hands to grab a bite! Clearly, my mom knows how to throw a Halloween Par-tay!

Well, all that changed once I got to college.  With Halloween came serious amounts of PRESSURE to think of the most cute/creative/sexy/funny/witty costume, and each year I failed. Miserably.  So, now that there is no group pressure to participate, I have just given up. Which is OK by me, and probably everyone else in the world - see photographic evidence below.


However, there is one thing I like about Halloween - I LOVE handing out candy to Trick or Treaters! LOVE IT! (I promise its not as creepy/crazy as it sounds!) See, I'm not a total Halloween Scrooge.

Anywhoo, this year thanks to Pinterest I came to the realization that I might actually like some things about Halloween - I pinned them without even knowing! Who's surprised that all of them are handmade? Not me.  So, without further ado, here are a few things that are inspiring me to at least think about making a few decor items and actually decorating for Halloween NEXT year.

 Love all of the Black & White Glam decor ideas from Ellie G. at Less Cake {More Frosting}.  
More photos and ideas on her blog!




Just discovered an awesome blog, The House of Smiths, for this great pillow - which includes a tutorial


And finally, every holiday is not complete without rhinestones! How cute is this white pumpkin from BHG.com.

Has anyone created anything fun for Halloween this year? I'd love to see it and get more inspiration! Oh, and please feel free to share your own Halloween horror stories - still can't believe I shared that photo of myself...

ps - Do you like us on Facebook? Stay tuned for an exciting contest on our Facebook page next month! You won't want to miss it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Fabric Wreath and Pumpkin Crisp

Thought I would take a bit of a mental break from all of the Christmas thoughts in my mind to bring you a little bit of Fall.



I just love this new fall fabric wreath - its bold and bright yet subdued, just like the season itself. You can't go wrong with bright orange, deep brown and sage green.

With the change of season and the onset of cooler weather, I've been in the mood to cook and bake wholesome, hearty meals! I thought I'd share a new recipe for a dessert that is sure to be a new favorite in my family - it is boyfriend tested and approved, so enjoy!



Pumpkin Crisp

Prep: 15 min.
Bake: 1 hr., 5 min.
Stand: 10 min.
Yield:  Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (18.25-ounce) package butter-flavored yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts because of a food allergy. These can be optional if you don't like nuts or have other food allergies)
1 cup butter, melted
Ice Cream or Whipped Cream (optional)
Ground nutmeg (optional)

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture; sprinkle evenly with pecans. Drizzle butter evenly over pecans.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with Ice Cream or Whipped Cream, if desired. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

This dessert went together in no time - it is super easy and makes many servings! Perfect for a family gathering or leftovers for those with a sweet tooth! What new recipes are you trying with the change of season?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Announcing the Love Elaine 2011 Holiday Collection

Wow! I can't believe its October already! September as flown by along with the entire summer.  I'm so excited to announce Love Elaine's new Holiday Collection for Christmas 2011.  We've been busy planning and sewing since July.  That's right, in our world, we go straight from summer to Christmas.  It is totally fine by me - I love Christmas and love Christmas Fabric even more!  This year we're bringing you new fabrics in Elf Stockings, traditional Cuffed Stockings and Christmas Tree Skirts in both modern and traditional fabrics sure to bring a twinkle to anyone's eye!


Fun Christmas Tree Skirt - Available in 30" to 72"

Pet Stockings - Available in Large & Small

For more items and to purchase online, visit my Etsy Shop, click here!  Be sure to check back in November, as I have an exciting Facebook contest in the works with a fabulous giveaway! Do you "like" Love Elaine on Facebook yet? Click on over there and like us already - we already love you!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Work Not In Progress

This week's post was supposed to be very different - as I had planned on making a ton of progress and finishing a custom order for a bride by today and sharing lots of amazing photos with everyone! However, Hurricane Irene had much different plans for me, as we are now on day 5 without power. I must say that we fared better than most, as the storm hit the Richmond area harder than we were expecting, and many people are still without power. Some even had trees fall on their homes and cause a lot of damage. And, to make matters worse, the current estimate for power is FRIDAY! By that point we will be a week without power.

Tree down on power lines in our neighborhood.


View from our front porch during the storm - luckily no homes or cars were damaged!

So, no power = no sewing. And no sewing = no finished products to show you. However, I do have this photo as a sneak peak of some linings I was able to cut during the day on Sunday.


Don't you just LOVE the bright colors? I am so in love with all of these patterns! Anyone want to guess what they are going to be?

Hopefully, our power will be on soon and I can get back in the sewing room to finish these custom orders! And with that, I'll leave you with something I did get to finish last week - a gorgeous pink & green fabric wreath!



Hope everyone on the East Coast weathered the storm! Hopefully I'll have some updates on finished projects soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh Baby! Oh Boy!

There has been a lot of baby items flying out the door this summer! I recently had the pleasure of making items for my bestest friend Julie's sister Katie, who is expecting a little boy, Jackson, in early October. Katie smartly put in her request for a baby bag and nursery letters at Julie's shower this past winter - here is the link to Sophia's letters in case you missed those.

The best part is that I was able to see her reaction to the items at the shower! Unfortunately, I was too engrossed with holding Sophia, but I do have photos of the items!



Custom Baby Bag


Jackson Nursery Letters - Custom made to match Pottery Barn Junior Varsity Bedding. For more amazing photos of the letters, check out this blog post at Callie Hardman Photography. Katie used the letters in her maternity photo shoot - and I am just in LOVE with the photos of Katie & Ricky, and the letters too of course!

And finally, because everything on this blog doesn't have to be fabric related, I also provided my "crafty consultation" to Julie on the shower's munchkin cake! Katie requested a munchkin cake, and the night before Julie asked me "So, umm, do you have any ideas on how one would make a munchkin cake?!" Julie made the final product, but it was my idea to use a styrofoam cone from a craft store as the base. Didn't she do a great job? It was very yummy!



Munchkin Cake - made of roughly 200 donut holes

And, we don't want to forget the girls! Here are a couple baby quilts with personalization that have found their way into new homes!




Fabric is Lilly & Will II by Bunny Hill for Moda. Pattern designed by me, quilted by Mom. Don't you just LOVE the Pink, Cream and brown? And the bunnies?!


Love this quilt with the name and birthdate! Fabric from Connecting Threads.

We have lots of new baby quilts on the way! If you have a shower coming up or a baby on the way, I love to do custom orders based on your nursery theme or colors. You can either check out my shop on Etsy or send an email to christen (at) love-elaine (dot) com with your request.


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