Saturday, December 24, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year

Greetings from La Grange, Texas! Our first Christmas as a Mr. and Mrs. Spending all day in my PJs with my fabulous in laws! Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! Xo-K

Friday, December 23, 2011

A fresh start

Wow. What a year. As you can see, I've taken quite a hiatus from blogging. Granted, starting a blog in the middle of planning a wedding seems good in theory--it was undoubtedly one of the most inspired times in my life--but the time and energy was spent making it happen instead of telling you about it! Sorry!

But in 2012, I'll be back...revamped and ready to give it my all. But for now, a farewell to 2011. The best year so far! I'll share some of the photos from our trip to Sydney, Australia, that we took about this time last year. It was one of those magical trips--one that stays with you, makes you feel alive every time you think of it. One that you can still feel the wind in your hair on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, still taste the salty sea air.
 The corso at Manly Beach.
 Australian street at The Rocks.
 Beautiful Bronte Beach (Where Derek proposed!)
 The "Friendship" at Sydney Harbour.
 That would be kangaroo pizza! Mouthwatering! Kangaroo is the best meat I've ever had in my life! They even sold it at the grocery store on kabobs. Ready to roast on the barbie!

Just seeing those few pictures just make me smile. Well, I'm so excited to get back in the studio over the break to work on a few collections. Check out my Etsy shop next week to see all the new handmade goodness!

Wishing you many blessings in 2012!

Friday, May 13, 2011

To the journey...

I'm getting my bearings back after a weeklong immersion in photography and life lessons (and a whole lot of partying) at Texas School of Professional Photography in Addison. It was the most incredible experience. I went into it with photography as my hobby and side job (I'm a photographer's assistant at the university and I always find myself in his studio, asking questions, fascinated by it all) and I left feeling inspired and empowered. Not to mention, I made wonderful, supportive friends and was completely in awe of our instructor, Steve Kozak. He's simply amazing.

That week also did something to me that made me re-evaluate what I'm doing with my life and what I want my goals to be. During our class, we were asked to write about a favorite image, one you would rescue out of a burning building, and describe the emotion behind it and why it is significant. I don't know if it was the long night before or lack of Diet Dr. Pepper, but I struggled to think of a single image or feel any emotion. I then listened to the stories our class told, of ordinary images with extraordinary back stories and bittersweet feelings of loss and love. It completely transformed the way you looked at things. I, of course, was a bawling mess. I've been a writer for a long time, but I've always written for something or someone else. Never for me. It's such a different style to express what I feel through words. I guess it's a journalist's flaw to only state the facts and news. I literally couldn't feel anything but sadness and I felt crushed. Writing was my chosen career, what I did for a living, but I couldn't put LIFE into my words. Basically, it was a giant reality check.

On the final day of the conference, we were winding down, getting ready to go back to our everyday lives and practice all the new invaluable skills we'd learned. We had become a little family, and Steve warned us, we'd be crying on the day we learned manual flash, the story day and finally the tears were welling up for the final goodbye. There was a final presentation by Jen Hillenga, one of the instructors and a fabulous photographer from Minnesota. She had been hired for a shoot of a woman's parents, both in their eighties, at their family ranch. The woman wanted images of them living their daily lives, nothing pretentious or posed. She documented how two people made a life, grew old together and still love each other and their family without measure. She shared touching stories of the things the two would do together...bake pies and sew quilts for each of their grandchildren (He'd cut the fabric for her and she would put them sweet!) She said it changed her life. Completely unexpectedly. It made me think of my sweet grandparents and how selfless they are. They worked their entire lives, saved every penny, to make sure that their family had a wonderful life.

What brought me to tears, however, was the beautiful poem and music that accompanied the presentation of the images. The power of music, words and photography all in one. Illustrating a life. Telling a story. And then I realized THAT'S what I want to do. I don't know exactly what that means for me right now, but the combination of those skills has the power to move mountains. And maybe even stir up emotions in someone like me.

Of course, it puts into perspective the wonderful gift photography can be. I spent the next Saturday at my grandparents' house, sprawled on the living room floor laughing and crying over old photographs of my grandparents' grandparents. I was basking in that love, cherishing those fleeting moments. My grandpa's hands, leathered with age, delicately turning the pages of his tattered baby book. Life's precious moments that we too often take for granted. That's what I want to capture. And to write about.

I also realized that, like anything else, practice makes perfect. I can't expect to sit down at my computer every day and golden words to flow from my fingertips anymore than I can expect to pick up the dusty guitar in the corner and play like Stevie Ray. I'm learning to cut myself a break, but learning and practicing as much as I can. I've always been a good student, mostly because I want to know EVERYTHING. If I can try to learn and absorb some of this knowledge from the amazing mentors and resources I have at my convenience, big things are going to happen. Are happening.

I found this great quote that sums up this crossroads kind of experience I'm having now: It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. -Wendell Berry

Whatever this journey brings, I know I have the love and support of the most amazing family and friends along the way. Cheers to the journey.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Royal inspiration

Ello! In honor of the upcoming Royal Wedding, I’ve made a Kate Middleton-inspired fascinator for a gal on Etsy. I think Friday, I’ll wear a fancy one to work, drink tea and adopt a fancy British accent for the day. Are you watching the Royal Wedding? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Going once, going twice...

Hey y'all!

Take a minute and check out the East Texas Online Auction and look for some of my handmade hair clips! It's put on by my good friends at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and the proceeds benefit their programming and events which help make our town a great place to live!

Made this one Monday, and it was hard to part ways with it! It would look so cute with a birdcage veil <3

I'm in love with the new turquoise and black feathers, too. Go online to bid, or contact me and I'll make ya a copycat. :)

Heading to THE Ranch ( a little shack outside La Grange, for those of you who don't know) for some major wedding planning bidness. Flirting with the idea of a DIY dance floor with a hand-painted monogram (yes, I'm ambitious, but I'm not paying a grand to rent Pergo!)

If I decide to go for it, I'll give a tutorial. It is nowhere to be found on the Web, so someone's gotta do it! We ( and by we, I mean my fiance's handy uncle) are also building an arbor for the big day this weekend. Home Depot, here we come!

Happy hump day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A long time coming

Hi! My name is Kayli and I’m a craftaholic. After threatening to build a blog for years, I’m finally giving in to the undercurrent of creative expression that has been building for years. I have been on a tear lately, oozing with creativity, and I just have to tell someone about it! Hopefully I can provide some inspiration and share what inspires me along the way.
First, a little about me. Since I can remember, I’ve been creating things. When I was in third grade, I got in trouble for having a sewing kit at recess (“Miss!! Kayli has needles and scissors on the playground!”), and by fifth grade, I was skipping recess to decorate my teacher’s bulletin boards. I started my job as a floral designer at 14 and worked in a flower shop through high school and college. There, I fell in love with flowers and the art of floral design, thorns and all. I dabbled as an art student, and eventually received my degree in public relations from Stephen F. Austin State University, where I now work as a writer and marketing specialist.
I do freelance wedding and event florals, photography, home décor and accessories and I started this blog because I couldn’t hide the cuteness that I’ve been creating in my craft room any longer!
I am also a bride-to-be and creating my DIY wedding has been as rewarding as it is challenging.  After making my own veil for THREE DOLLARS (I know!), I figured it was time to share some of my crafty ventures with you guys!
Yesterday was a particularly creative day for me. I made said veil, 10 boutonnières for the groomsman and my Etsy shop, and a few other goodies I will share with you soon.
It’s nice to meet you and keep coming back for tutorials, how-to’s and dos and don’ts of wedding planning!
 One of my favorites! Made of fowl feathers, a silk flower, old buttons, and a scrapbook brad all wrapped up in rustic jute twine. These are for our groomsmen and I can make many, many more if anyone is interested! May do a step-by-step to do it yourself for a bargain!