Wednesday, August 22, 2012

what to wear to an engagement photo shoot

happy hump day lovelies! christian + i hired the amazing olivia lee to shoot our engagement photos in september. i am so excited, because we chose some pretty awesome locations in chicago - i'm sure they'll make for a rockin backdrop. i've been wondering what's best to wear to a photoshoot : match but not match too much? bright or subtle colors? skirt or pants? ahh - so many questions. i found this really great style guide by continuum photography, it has some great pointers of what to wear for a fall photo shoot. yay! i think i know what to wear now...  

happy coloring, ladies!

* leah bell

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

finger prints

i assisted a gorgeous wedding at the allerton hotel this past weekend, + the guest book was a finger print tree - amazing! the groom painted a beautiful silhouette of an oak tree + the guests' thumbprints became the leaves of that tree. it turned out beautiful (although i had to monitor the painting closely, especially after cocktail hour!). i'm sure it will make for a gorgeous + memorable artwork in their home. much like their guestbook, there are so many crafty things you can do with finger prints - who would've known? 

green wedding shoes fingerprint tree guestbook.
see what i mean - its amazing!
handmade (literally!) save the date 
wall art
tell a story with your fingerprint.

DIY fingerprint necklace by sarah ortega.

have a great wednesday!

*leah bell

Friday, August 10, 2012

paper garlands

i just bought this circle cutter + i can't stop making paper garlands! there's so much you can do with colorful paper (i've been using old design magazines), cutting tools + string! click on the links below the photos to find tutorials + templates for these awesomely colorful garlands. enjoy!  

paper strip garland
ruffled streamer garland
humbly paper garland
paper flower backdrop garland 
tissue paper garland 
paper heart garland
loopy-loo garland
paper punch heart garland 
pacman garland 
hope you have a lovely friday!

*leah bell

Thursday, August 9, 2012


i helped out with a wedding last weekend + the bride had a very complicated bustle to her dress. after i figured it out (thankfully!) i made a mental note to learn more about bustles so next time a difficult one is thrown at me, i'll be able to handle it! there are several different types of bustles, + all of them serve the same purpose : to get the train + extra fabric out of the way so the bride can be more comfortable at the reception. here are the most common bustle types :
the under bustle : or the french bustle, where hooks + loops are placed inside the dress, + when connected create a layered, more poofy look to the back of the dress.
austrian bustle  : a series of loops are added to the back of the dress in a vertical row, + a long string is put in the end of the dress that connects each loop. when you pull the string, the dress bunches up. this pull system is similar to that in shades or blinds. 
over bustle : also known as the ballroom bustle (picture the evil step sisters' gowns in CInderella, you know where it pooches out at the bootie?). the edge of the train is attached to buttons or hoops along the waste line. 
brides! whichever bustle your seamstress chooses, make sure you take someone else (mom, sister, bridesmaid) with you to your last fitting so the seamstress can explain how the bustle works!

have a great thursday!

*leah bell

Thursday, August 2, 2012

DIY table runners

hey everyone! it has been a while since my last post; we have been busy enjoying visitors, reconnection with old friends, planning our wedding + loving chicago in the summer! although its been a crazy past few weeks, i've managed to set aside some time and make some progress with wedding planning (including purchasing my dress!). i am now down to the details + have been focused on table decor. i am not a fan of the table runners provided by the hotel, so i am seriously  considering making my own table runners. i've done some research on how one goes about making table runners + it seems pretty doable (even for a non sewer)! here are some super creative examples of unique DIY table runners : 
write notes to your guests with this sweet chalkboard runner.
here's a tutorial on how to decorate your table runner with chevron stripes.
why not use wallpaper as a table runner? 
this pinwheel table runner is a perfect alternative for floral centerpieces. 
wouldn't a screen printed burlap runner be great for a rustic wedding?
i adore this vintage book table runner! 
amy atlas is my hero - who else would've thought to make a necco wafer table runner? love it!
this is such a great idea : all you need is burlap, ribbon, hemming tape + an iron.
get busy with some painters tape + make a custom painted table runner.
phew - so many ideas!
have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

*leah bell