Thursday, January 9, 2014

Taking a Break


You may have noticed the sneaky little announcement here about a new position that I have recently taken as Events Coordinator with the beautiful venue WinMock at Kinderton. My first day was Monday, and gosh is my mind in overdrive. With it being a brand-new position to the company, we are still figuring out the best way for me to train and learn the ropes--and with that comes a necessary [short] break for Darling Cashmere.

In this transition period I will be taking a week or two hiatus from blogging to get focused and direct my attention on my day job, which I am very excited about and can't wait to see all the ways it will unfold! I also plan to work behind-the-scenes on some new content, which could prove slightly more difficult now that I am no longer an office away from my bestie/blog photographer and my Mr. (who has been sick for a week now) is not all that fab behind the lens. But with fresh ideas and outfit inspiration swimming around in my head I can't wait to see what will come--so stay tuned!

Check my Instagram and Facebook for updates on new posts and you can always check out the recent DIY projects (Gold Urchin, Gold Glitter Polka Dot Garland, and Pom Pom Drink Stirrers) for some quick, gold decor ideas during the break!

XOXO,
R

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Simply Wood Rings

I have been beyond excited to share this post with my lovely readers! Now that we are married (saying this still makes me all giggly and smiley!) and my Mr. has seen and fallen in love with his ring, I can share it with everyone.

As you may have gathered along the way, the Mr. and I are really into being eco-conscious and green--with a love for God's earth and the amazing plants and trees He has given us. Our wedding celebration in June will be a reflection of this, and Ryan's wedding band is also the epitome of our philosophies.

Ryan and I met when I was interning at Tanglewood Park a couple summers ago. He had been there for years and I was just beginning my career journey with the parks system. In March 2013 a famous and special White Oak fell at Tanglewood Park. Ryan had worked with this tree for years and many couples had even gotten married under it and it was so nicknamed the "Wedding Tree".

We were able to get a bit of wood from the tree for keepsake and Ryan had the neat idea of having his wedding band made out of the wood after exploring the internet and discovering Simply Wood Rings. After getting in touch with the company and working a couple months with Allison, a ring design was produced. We received the ring merely two days before our little ceremony, and it was perfect!

Not only did we have the ring made out of the White Oak, but we had two inlays added--one stripe is quartz and gneiss rock that was used back in the day to strengthen the trunk of the tree in cement; the other stripe is crushed walnut shells from the state champion Black Walnut tree also at Tanglewood Park (still standing, though!) along with melted copper shavings from lightning protection nails left on the White Oak.

So there's our little story--needless to say the ring is incredibly special to us and I was surprisingly moved when I first saw the pictures Allison sent. It is a completely unique and personal ring packed with meaning and love.

Photography by Simply Wood Rings

If you're looking for an alternative option for your wedding bands, engagement ring, or even just a special ring for yourself or a loved one, then the Mr. and I both highly, highly recommend Simply Wood Rings! The customer service was phenomenal, especially considering my hundreds of e-mails and questions along with our tight timeframe, and the ring is even more beautiful than we could have expected!

XOXO,
R

Note: This is not a sponsored blog post.

Monday, January 6, 2014

DIY: Gold Urchin

Time for another DIY! And this one is super simple--but the DIY's I tackle usually are!
First seen here, I pulled inspiration from Pinterest and some favorite bloggers!

Step 1. Cut your styrofoam ball in half. I didn't measure--eyeballing it works just fine. Plus my pack from Michaels came with 6 so I had back-ups. I used a long, serrated knife. Use slow slice movements or it will just crumble.
Step 2. Stick your half-circle with toothpicks. I saw a couple different DIY's using chopped bamboo skewers and even some other spike options found at craft stores, but I stuck with toothpicks. We've had a pack of 1,000 that has lasted for years so I had plenty to spare.

I stuck the first toothpick in the top center then went out from there first creating an X then filling in the spaces. I didn't measure, just filled them in where needed.
Step 3. Spray paint! Of course I chose gold, but my Mr. threw out the idea of dipping the ends of the spikes in my black calligraphy ink (ahem..seemed like a bit of a waste of ink that's not all that inexpensive), but I think painting it all black or dipping the ends in some black paint may be cool! And there's always white!

Be aware that the spray paint will eat away at the styrofoam slightly, but not enough to be a big deal.

The final step is to decorate! I chose to add it to my bar cart, but I love the way it looks styled on a coffee table or shelf.

If you're not into DIY'ing then you can purchase gold urchins/starbursts from Furbish or Waiting on Martha plus this fun ceramic version from Zhush! If you do end up making, I'd love for you to share on Instagram--just tag me!

XOXO,
R

Friday, January 3, 2014

DIY: Gold Glitter Polka Dot Garland

Making the gold glitter polka dot garland below is much easier than you may think!
Just follow the simple steps below for a garland you'll be able to use over and over. 
With inspiration from The Glitter Guide I set out to find some twine since I already had all of the other supplies I needed on-hand.

Materials needed:
-Gold glitter paper (I had gold glitter wrapping paper left over from Christmas gifts--purchased at Michaels)
I saw a version a while back where you modge podge glitter onto cardstock but yikes, that seems like a lot more work!
-Cardstock (unless you're using thick gold glitter paper)
-Circular pattern or punch
-Pen/pencil for tracing (unless you're using a punch)
-Scissors
-Hot glue gun
-Glue sticks
-Modge podge and small brush or light adhesive
-Twine or string of your choice

I picked up gold and white baker's twine from the dollar section at Target, but I wasn't sure I'd have enough for this project, so I grabbed the best that Michaels had to offer.
Step 1. Choose a glass or something round to trace for your circles--no need for perfect lines here (they'll be cut off or covered up anyway). I chose a small fruit jar and the size was perfect.
Step 2. Cut out your circles.
Step 3. Trace the same circle or flip the glass over for a slightly smaller circle on cardstock, then cut out (unless you used heavier paper like scrapbook paper and you can skip steps 3-5).
Step 4. Apply a thin layer of Modge Podge or a light adhesive to the cardstock and stick the gold glitter circles on top.
Step 5. Use an X-Acto knife to trim any cardstock edges that may be sticking out.
Step 6. Hot glue gun twine of your choice to the back of the circles. I did a thin line across the middle then stuck the twine on. I spaced my circles about a half-inch apart. Be sure to leave extra string on each end for hanging and tying.
And don't be silly--do all gluing over a safe surface like newspaper.

Glitter Guide tip: Tape a penny just below the twine on the back of any polka dots that don't want to face the right direction. Works like a charm!

And voilĂ  that's it--
Three cheers to gold and glitter!

See the full NYE Bar Cart look here!

XOXO,
R

PS if that seemed like a lot of work for you, you can purchase the fully-made garland from MakeshopNYC!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

DIY: Pom Pom Drink Stirrers

These fancy DIY drink stirrers were my final touch to my NYE Bar Cart!
Follow the steps below for some extra cocktail sparkle!
I may have gotten a little inspiration from my Fourth of July post, but I added the printable stirrers for the NYE look. Printables via Haute Chocolate.

Materials needed:
-Bamboo skewers
-Hot glue gun
-Glue sticks
-Garland of your choice (I picked a pack of 50 feet at the Dollar Tree)
I thought about using lollipop sticks, but after the first couple stirrers using bamboo skewers I was sold on that look.
Step 1. Put a half-inch strip of hot glue on the spiked end of your bamboo skewer.
Step 2. Wrap the garland around going slightly up and down so that it ends up as a nice sphere shape. I used around 20 inches per stirrer.
Step 3. When you have it as full as you'd like, go ahead and snip the garland off and secure with a dab of hot glue
I have also seen adorned stirrers glued onto festive straws, but I thought the bamboo skewers were just as fun!

Happy DIY'ing!

XOXO,
R

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back at 2013 + 2014 Goals

SS Print Shop

2013 has been an incredible year. Mostly full of ups, to be perfectly and gratefully honest. I started Darling Cashmere in February, gained new followers and blog friends along the way, had the honor of working with Anchor and Veil Photography for a fun photoshoot, and hosted my very first giveaway. I got engaged and married to my Mr. of two years now with an amazing engagement shoot in-between with Joy Davis Photography! I took time to relax and have fun with vacations to Asheville, Charleston, Bald Head Island, and New York City. My year was full of celebrating loved ones' engagements, marriages, and brand-new babies, reading lots and lots of books, eating countless cupcakes, and spending priceless hours with family. I also have exciting news to finally share publicly--Friday, January 3, is my last day with Forsyth County as I have accepted a position as events coordinator at WinMock at Kinderton! I am beyond thrilled for this new opportunity and feel unbelievably blessed for the perfect timing of all of the Lord's precious gifts.

I am looking forward to 2014 and all that God has planned for me and my new little family. I am praying that His love is made known more in me and through me and that all I do is honoring to His Name.

2014 Goals
(In no particular order--and I have a feeling I'll continue to add to this!)
1. Learn calligraphy--Practice, practice, practice until I feel confident enough to share my work on Darling Cashmere
2. Learn how to turn my calligraphy work into printables on Darling Cashmere
3. Finish reading The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer
4. Take a vacation anywhere (this may be where our honeymoon comes in!)
5. Throw an indoor dinner party for friends
6. Host a themed backyard barbeque
7. Learn and master a new recipe (dessert recipes count!)
8. Carve pumpkins for Halloween (we let this one slide in 2013)--maybe host a carving party!
9. Have a photoshoot with my Mr. and our pup, Cashmere
10. Send out photo Christmas/New Year's cards (preferably gold foil, of course)
11. Invest in a blog re-design and business cards (I may have to revisit this in 6 months to see where priorities lie)
12. Make my own flower crown to wear to our wedding celebration in June
13. Plan and throw a fabulous wedding celebration for our family and friends to enjoy in June
14. Go to the Farmers Market on a more consistent basis (this may be much more doable with the Tanglewood Park Farmers Marketing coming in Spring 2014 yay!)
15. Dress up and/or celebrate at least in some tiny way for every major holiday and even some of the smaller ones (i.e. National Cupcake Day!)
16. Make a different cupcake recipe a month (thanks to my new cupcake recipe kit from my sister)
17. Go hiking at least three times
18. Go overnight tent camping--but this time in warm weather!
19. Get a haircut--not just a trim! I am thinking just past my shoulders maybe? And maybe even curtain bangs too!
20. Remodel our kitchen--with paint swatches already taped to the wall and engineered hand-scraped wood flooring on our minds, we hope to have the kitchen remodel complete in the next couple of months
21. Make a fancy festive Christmas cocktail
22. Give back--although I am already involved in my church's annual 5K which supports and helps fund a local charity, I'd like to do more. Maybe a monthly volunteer opportunity with a charity of choice or a different one each month? I'd love some suggestions!
23. Get involved at church--at my previous church in Greensboro I was all about the Coffee Crew and made gallons and gallons of coffee every Sunday for the congregation. I'd either like to pursue the coffee team at our new church, River Oaks Community Church, or maybe look into working with the high school youth!
24. Remember "Work heartily as for the Lord and not for men.." Colossians 3:23 always
25. Set aside time each day to spend quietly with the Lord--in prayer, in His Word, or just in reflection listening.
26. Keep a bottle of champz at the house at all times for any occasion because technically every day of life is an occasion worth celebrating!
27. Maintain my blog calendar and stick to it

And here's a little 2013 flipagram to end on!
video

XOXO,
R

PS Love how Pretty and Fun shared her 2013!