DIY

Passing on A Traditional Florist

I like flowers.

I really do, but spending a fortune on plants that are flown in from far away and most likely going to be discarded the next day is just not my cup of tea.

So I made the easy decision that a traditional florist is not the route I will be going for my wedding.

Luckily we have a family friend who started Avium Flowers, providing fresh-cut flowers grown right here in Chicago in a sustainable and organic manner.

avium flowers

Right now I am working with them on the flowers and colors that I like. When the time comes, they can then order the appropriate seeds and specifically keep me in mind for the next growing season.

My wedding flowers are legitimately being grown just for me, right here in Chicago.

Seriously, how cool is that?

See some of their amazing work below.

All of the 💗🌸💋🎈💖 for @curtismcassell today. You're fabulous!!!

A post shared by Avium Flowers Co. (@aviumflowers) on

We flexed our design muscles this week! 💪🏼 Congrats Julia and Ryan ❤️🎉 #aviumweddings #farmerflorist

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Remembering these bundles of joy on this brrr day 🌬 #farmerflorist #slowflowers #dahlia #heirloommums #aviumweddings

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Herb Garden: Take 2

We were a little too optimistic when we started growing herbs from seeds earlier this year.

After some promising seed sprouts, they kinda just stopped growing.

Even though we were disappointed that we could not keep a few plants alive, we decided to try again. This time with herbs already grown and ready to go.

herb garden 2

For our herb garden: take 2 we are going to attempt to keep the following alive:

  • Peppermint
  • Sweet basil
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Curly parsley

 

herb garden3

Can you spot the dinosaur amongst all the plants?

 

I have to say, the peppermint plant smells amazing. I did not intend on buying it until I took a sniff and was sold. The night I brought them home, K went ahead and crafted himself a homemade Mint Julep.

Hopefully, we can keep these guys alive long enough to use with some of our local foods we will be eating this summer. Yum yum!

I Keep Flamingos on the Fire Escape

There’s nothing quite as kitschy or screams summer like a plastic lawn flamingo.

I personally think they are hilarious and have always wanted to have one in my future yard, but never really came across any and I didn’t go out of my way to find them.

That was until I found this flamingo pair at a garage sale.

flamingoes

And they are awesome! You can’t help but smile looking at them!

flamingoes2

According to the seller, they are cast-iron from the 1930’s and had recently been repainted. I did an e-bay search when I got home and could not find anything else like them online. They truly are one of a kind!

flamingoes3

Let’s keep in mind that I do not have a yard or any green space for that matter.

All we have is the fire escape.

So until then, the flamingos are going to hang out there with the mini grill and the compost bucket.

Designing Our Kitchen Table

I previously posted about our sad kitchen table and the search for a new table, or at least a table that was new to us.

table2

While I still continue to stalk Craigslist for a good replacement, we have decided to use my dad’s skills and the family woodworking business to our advantage.

And this is not the first time we have.

See below.

IU chairs done

Dad saved the day when my attempt at stripping these chairs proved futile.

entryway6

When the shop had some left over bowling alley lanes from a previous project, we bought some legs and made a bench for our entryway/door.

 

coffee table1

We bought this coffee table on Craigslist and on a slow day, the shop refinished the scratched up top for us.

 

Basically, my dad will solve all of our furniture problems.

Except for chairs, he won’t make those. (Sidenote, new chairs are so expensive!)

The plan is to have him model our table off of the West Elm Lena Mid-Century Dining Table. Except instead of spending $450+ on the West Elm version, we are going to fashion our own out of whatever random leftover wood the shop has lying around.

lena-mid-century-dining-table-large-1-c

West Elm Lena Mid-Century Dining Table

 

Stay tuned!

 

Jean Repair Attempt Failed

I have known for a while that my attempt at patching my jeans was failing, and yesterday they finally bite the dust.

jean rip

There is no saving these babies at this point, but since it is about to be short season, this is something I will probably put off until fall.

Have you made an attempt to repair something, but were met with utter failure?

At least I tried. I got another good 4 months out of my favorite jeans.

Vintage Shopping Schedule

It’s March.

Which means it is almost April.

Which means spring, summer, and warmer, sunny weather are just around the corner.

What better way to get pumped about the season than by planning out which vintage/antique/flea markets you are going to head to?

I have been to a handful of markets around the area, and I plan on checking the rest off my list this year.

Chicago

Randolph Street Market

Website: http://www.randolphstreetmarket.com/ 

Schedule: May 27-28, June 24-25, July 29-30, August 26-27, September 23-24 (there are markets all year round, but these are the outside ones!)

Admission: $8 (discounted tickets and packages are available)

Have I been there? Yes, and it is awesome. Highly suggested. Just pretend you are on Flea Market Flip.

randolphstreetmarket105

Randolph Street Market, photo: Eric Clarke

 

Vintage Garage Chicago Flea Market

Website: https://www.vintagegaragechicago.com/

Schedule: April 23, May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20, September 17, October 15

Admission: $5

Have I been there?  Yes, the market I went to had some cool stuff, but I did not buy anything. Also, it is held in a parking garage, so be aware that it is much cooler in there than the temperature outside. It was hard to hunt for treasures when my toes were freezing in my sandals.

vintage garage chicago

Vintage Garage Chicago Flea Market, photo: Courtney Laper of Courtney Michelle Photography

 

Wolff’s Flea Market

Website: https://www.wolffs.com/

Schedule: Sundays April through October

Admission: $2

Have I been there? Not yet. I will be making some plans to head over there on an upcoming Sunday.

wolfs fleamarket

Wolff’s Flea Market, photo: www.facebook.com/wolffsfleamarkets/

 

Chicago Suburbs

Kane County Flea Market

Website: http://www.kanecountyfleamarket.com/

Schedule: March 4-5, April 1-2, May 6-7, June 3-4, July 1-2, August 5-6, September 2-3

Admission: $5

Have I been there? Not yet, but I have heard great things!

kane county flea market

Kane County Flea Market, photo: www.facebook.com/KCFMARKET/

 

Grayslake Flea Market

Website: https://www.zurkopromotions.com/grayslake-illinois-vintage-flea-market/

Schedule: April 8-9, May 13-14, June 10-11, July 8-9, August 12-13, September 9-10

Admission: $7

Have I been there? Not yet, but I will be marking my calendar for one of those weekends.

grayslake vintage market

Grayslake Flea Market, photo: www.facebook.com/GrayslakeAntiqueMarket/

 

Southern Wisconsin

Elkhorn Antique Flea Market

Website: https://www.nlpromotionsllc.com/

Schedule: May 21, June 25, August 13, September 24

Admission:$5

Have I been there? Yes, and it is exhausting. Held at the Walworth County Fairgrounds, a map is absolutely necessary to remember where you have been and where you still need to go. Make sure you wear comfy shoes because you need them to keep looking for treasures.

elkhorn flea market

Elkhorn Antique Flea Market, photo: www.facebook.com/NHLPROMOTIONSLLC/

Have you been to any of these markets? Do you have any other suggestions? Please let me know!

Additional resources for shopping in Illinois:

 

Vintage Shop Hoppin’

It is no secret that I love secondhand, thrift and vintage finds. So when I heard about the Vintage Shop Hop, I was all over it.

2 days

300+ stores

Northeastern IL and Southeastern WI

Sign. Me. Up. 

vintage-shop-hop

While I did not get to caravan all over IL  and WI for two days, I did get to spend the entire day with my Mom driving around the Northern suburbs. From 9 AM – 3 PM, we hit approximately 16 different shops (with a quick lunch break).

 

 

I was on the lookout for a number of things:

  • A plant stand for our future herb garden
  • A catch-all for K’s dresser
  • Cake stands for the wedding
  • Vintage house/address numbers for table numbers for the wedding
  • A TV stand
  • Napkins and handkerchiefs

While it was a super amazing day of getting to look at so many different vendors, we did not load up the car like we had hoped.

That is okay because I want my finds to be perfect, not just so-so.

As we finished the winding hallways of an antique mall, I found the perfect plant stand.

I took one look at the chrome and white enamel kitchen cart and said, “This is the one!”

kitchen-cart

It is a beauty and I cannot wait to show you what I end up doing with it. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

DIY: Saving My Favorite Jeans

My jeans always rip in the exact same place. Right in the crotch area.

In the past, I have had my grandmother patch them up for me. Sometimes the same pair would get repaired several times like the one below.

While folding my laundry last week, I noticed my newest pair of jeans (over a year and a half old) have finally achieved the dreaded crotch rip. I was not shocked or surprised. This was bound to happen eventually.

jean-patch2

Besides this tiny hole in a not so noticeable spot, the jeans are just fine. There was no need to fret, I was going to patch them myself!

jean-patch1

My sewing skills are even more sub-par than my knitting skills. I can sew buttons and seams together, but nothing this extensive (is this considered extensive?).

Now was my chance to learn a new skill that I could continue to use for years to come!

First, I needed some supplies I did not currently have in my possession.

  1. pinking shears
  2. fusible

I looked up what pinking shears cost and they aren’t too expensive, but so far I have gone my entire life not needing them, so there is no point in making that purchase now. Instead, I chose to borrow a pair from my grandmother. #vintage

After a quick trip to Jo-Anne’s for fusible, I gathered all my supplies and was ready to go.

jean-patch7

First things first, I cut out a patch of denim from my now scrap pair of jeans. My plan was basically just to reinforce the crotch/thigh rub area so it would not rip any further.

 

I figured sewing the patch straight into the seam would help keep the fabric strong. To help, I used fusible, which basically turns your patch into an iron-on. I have never used fusible before and figured it could not hurt my pants any further.

 

Once the patches were ironed on, it was time to start sewing and this took a much longer time than I had thought! If I had a sewing machine this definitely would have been done sooner, but alas I do not. A used sewing machine is on my wish list (hint hint).

jean-patch15

Sewing the patches too frustratingly long. I started this Friday afternoon and did not finish until Sunday evening, but hey, at least I can wear my jeans on Monday!

They aren’t perfect, but I think I did a pretty decent job for my first try and I know I have more to learn.

Have you ever tried to patch your favorite pair of jeans before? Do you have any better suggestions for the next time this happens to me?

 

Introducing “Waste Not Want Not Wedding”

Over the weekend, I got engaged.

Holy Moly!

It has been a crazy whirlwind so far and I am finally feeling the weight of planning such an important life event.

I have been a bridesmaid 5 times already (it will be 6 in July), so I am no stranger to weddings.

bridesmaids

For my own wedding, I am excited to incorporate my eco-friendly lifestyle and chronicle all of it here for you.

However, I do feel that the wedding industry has gotten a little bit out of control (apologies to anyone who has opposite views of me on this topic).

For instance, the perceived need for all of these things:

  • engagement photos
  • engagement parties
  • wedding planners
  • save the dates
  • photo booths
  • over the top centerpieces  and flowers that get thrown out the next day
  • favors no one takes home
  • wedding hashtags #NO
  • matching bridal party shirts you will never wear again
  • “future Mrs. ____” apparel or items you will never wear after getting married

These are not necessities to getting married. Social media (specifically Pinterest) has lead us to believe we need all of these things for a successful and Pinterest-worthy wedding.

Last time I checked, the most important part is the act of getting married.

Going forward with wedding planning, this is what I want:

  • this to be easy
  • this to be simple
  • to avoid unnecessary costs
  • create the least amount of waste as possible
  • do what I can do myself
  • to use local services and goods
  • to use friend’s and family as much as possible

I want my wedding to be an event put together by people who are important to me.

Obviously, I understand as I go through this process, I may change my mind about everything. For now, though, this is my initial stance.

How do you feel about weddings these days? Do you think they can be quite wasteful?

A Succinct Summary of My 2016

2016 is just about over. Hallelujah.

Aside from all the craziness the world had to endure for the past 360-ish days, this was my first full year of blogging.

What started as a tiny creative outlet, has turned into something much more. I get excited about writing new posts and love hearing friends and family talk about my blog.

A lot has happened this year.

I  purged a lot of my belongings before moving downtown,

purge-pile-redo

started composting,

compost container

got a recycling bin for our building,

bluecart1

became a Chicago Conservation Corps leader,

C3 2

cleaned up multiple beaches,

cleanup4

stopped buying new clothes for myself,

levis-jeans

tested out bamboo toothbrushes,

brushwithbamboo2

And crafted up a storm.

 

Look out for my post on what to expect for 2017! Coming soon!