October 15, 2010

real wedding : cathy + erik

Swoon.

Cathy and Erik were married this past September in La Colle sur Loup, the town I mentioned previously as the home base for our time spent in France. (It was one of the two weddings that Tec went to France to shoot during our recent trip.) Cathy found Tec after our home was featured on Design*Sponge, who had previously featured their home as well!

Cathy, being the gal that she is, wanted to keep some of the wedding business "in the family," so she commissioned me to make a couple chiffon puffs for the celebration. I couldn't have been happier to see such a beautiful woman wear something I'd created for her. And PS--Is her dress not to die for?

For more images of the gorgeous day, head on over to Tec's blog and Design*Sponge.
And many, many blessings to the stunning couple, Erik and Cathy, in your new chapter of life!

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October 13, 2010

our trip in pictures + words // tuscany + florence

Ciao miei amori.

This post is all about our time spent in parts of Tuscany and Florence. Without a doubt, Tec and I enjoyed our travels here more than we could have imagined. Time seemed to move a bit slower, the wine flowed like honey (or maybe olive oil, in this case...), the food was flawless and the land was outrageously beautiful.

Tuscany / Arezzo
L O D G I N G : Villa Fontelunga

Upon arriving in Italy, we drove to the Tuscan town of Arezzo. Here we stayed at the picturesque Villa Fontelunga. Oh. My. Gracious. I don't have the vocabulary or the literary skills to express how much we adored the time we spent there. Philip and Paolo run this villa with kindness and care and we felt welcomed the moment we arrived. Here are some of the highlights of Fontelunga: surrounded by olive groves, gorgeous pool, incredibly private and quiet, deliciously light dinner prepared on site with locally grown and prepared foods, honesty bar (just mark down what you take from the fully stocked kitchen bar), outdoor fireplace and seating... Truly, I can not say enough about the loveliness of of this venue. Looking for a honeymoon local or a spot for your destination wedding? This is your spot, sister. Trust.

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Tuscany / Gaiole in Chianti
L O D G I N G : Badia a Coltibuono
"The Abbey of the Good Harvest"

After a few nights in Arezzo, we traveled west about an hour to Badia a Coltibuono, located in Gaiole in Chianti, Sienna. Originally used as an Abbey, this structure dates back nearly a thousand years! Getting here was tricky (since not much in these parts of Italy seem to have an actual address you can plug into your GPS), but once we wound our way around the narrow roads and seemingly arbitrary signs, we arrived at the top of a gorgeous expanse of land and a sprawling complex. We weren't sure what to expect when we arrived at the medieval abbey, but we were completely blown away by what lied inside the formidable gates. Once inside, you're greeted with courtyards, fountains and the most lovely garden I've ever seen. And Coltibuono is true to their namesake--they have and still do practice sustainable and organic methods of growing their fruits, vegetables and even in their vineyards. The rooms were spacious and very tidy, though not cozy or romantic. But the gardens, the grounds and the history of this location make up for any shortcomings of the room's appeal.

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Florence
L O D G I N G : Black5 / N4U

Florence. Ahhh, Florence. This was our last stop in Italy before we drove back into our little home-away-from-home in La Colle sur Loup. Florence was incredible and so different from our time spent in Tuscany. I'm not sure what I expected, but for those of you who don't know, Florence is a big city! Ha. The two things I enjoyed most about Florence were walking up to the Piazzale Michelangelo (from the Piazzale you see a panoramic view of Florence) and seeing Michelangelo's David. Both were "take your breath away" moments for me.

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Now onto our lodging in Florence. I hesitate to say anything about where we stayed because I'm from the school of if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. But if my cautionary tale saves one of you dearlings from walking in the rain with all of your luggage, then I'm glad I said something. (And no, this story isn't as dramatic as I've set it up to be.) We initially made reservations at N4U, but upon schlepping our suitcases a mile from where we parked and up five flights of stairs, we were told that they'd overbooked and that we would be staying at their sister suits, Black5. Oh, and did I mention it was raining? So fast forward five more blocks and two more flights of stairs, and we were at Black5. The waiting room gave off a very modern feel, but our room was out of a Motel 6 from the '80s. Plus, we'd booked N4U because of its location--three blocks from the Duomo. Now we were further away and staying in pretty bad accommodations. We stayed the two nights we'd already booked because I didn't want to cause a stir. (Dumb, I know. But I'm a people pleaser.) Anyway, all this to say, if you decide to stay at N4U while in Florence--great! Just confirm that's where you'll actually be staying...

Here's to safe travels and spending time with those you love.
Arrivederci!

October 11, 2010

our trip in pictures + words | the french riviera

Our time spent in France and Italy was so special and sweet that I feel like I need to pass along all the goodness we encountered on the off-chance that one of you would use any of our recommendations as reference. So start your engines, dearlings... off we go to France! (Italy will be coming your way in a few short days.)

Cote d'Azur / French Riviera
L O D G I N G : La Forge d'Hauterives

Tec and I had a little over a week to spend along the French Riviera. We set up camp at an adorably quaint B & B (La Forge d'Hauterives) while we traveled up and down the coast. We stayed in two of their rooms while we were there: Chambre Bois de Charme and Chambre Bois de Amarante. Both were very nice, with full bathrooms in the room and each with a patio overlooking the back yard. However, if I were to pick, I'd choose the Charme--it had a shower as opposed to only a bath tub, and it was much quieter and felt more secluded than the Amarante. Overall the home is completely perfect, though, with a swimming pool, wireless Internet, a deliciously fresh breakfast, and a kind and helpful owner, Anne d'Hauterives.

The town where this B & B is located is called La Colle sur Loup and is about 10 minutes outside of Nice; staying outside of Nice was the perfect decision for us. We're not huge city people, and La Colle sur Loup was central enough to access any of our destinations easily, but without all the hustle and bustle of a glitzy city like Nice. Our favorite public beach along the coast was the Salis Plage, which is about a five minute car ride down from the Picasso Museum, both of which are in Antibes.

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Stay tuned--Tuscany and Florence are coming your way in a couple of days!
Happy autumnal Monday.

// All images thanks to the handsome Tec Petaja //

October 10, 2010

10 / 10 / 10

Being the numbers gal I am, I thought I'd whip up a fun lil' post full of ten treats, all revolving around the number ten, that I found on Etsy.
Here's to all those decagons, dimes, decades and decennials.

Happy TEN / TEN / TEN !

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October 8, 2010

a pretty pastel party

Like I mentioned yesterday, Elise is the super-cute face behind the blog Pennyweight. That pretty little lady was sweet enough to put together a board of her own for lil' ol' Oh My Deer. Her's is inspired by parties and pretty colors. Wouldn't everything here make for the best bridal or baby shower, luncheon, or just a fun dinner with the girls? And I don't know about you, but I'm seriously crushing on that twig and knot ring...

Here's a snippet from Elise about her board:
This time of year seems to be full of celebrations and I couldn't be more excited to get my hands dirty baking and decorating for Fall. I have several friends getting married soon and have been scouring the web for inspiration for wedding showers and engagement parties [or any party, really!]. I'm totally drawn to this soft color palette right now - which also happens to pair well with beautiful, colorful food. Happy Hosting!

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LINKS:

Thanks for sharing your vision with us, Elise! Three cheers for Pennyweight! Hip, hip, HOORAY!

October 7, 2010

[ wanted this week ] pennyweight

The oh-so-lovely Elise over at Pennyweight features a Wanted this Week column every Thursday on her blog. I'm the guest of this week's Wanted so head on over for all the links to these pieces, inspired by a breezy blue fall afternoon.

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Stay tuned tomorrow for a little somethin'-somethin' Elise put together for us!

PS--I haven't read Player One by Coupland yet. I love nearly everything he touches, though. Have any of you read it? Thoughts?

October 5, 2010

thank you's and water bottle arbors

A few months ago, I showed a bit from Leah and Jon's wedding. As if you could forget the colors and joy that radiated from their images. I was lucky enough to be contacted by Leah again to work up Thank You cards for her and her newlywed. I still think about that ingenious arbor Joy created (the flowers were created by repurposing old water bottles!), so when I was given the freedom to create something "slighty off center" for their cards, I knew immediately that I'd work it into their design.

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Left image of Leah and Jon under arbor shot by David and Kendrick.

October 1, 2010

watercolors under a breezy blue sky

I worked on this wedding certificate while sitting on our back patio.
W E L C O M E - A U T U M N , W E L C O M E - O C T O B E R .

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Shoot me an email at ohmydeerhandmades@gmail.com if you're interested in a custom piece of your own!