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"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." by William E. Henley

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's in the air...

 Sniff sniff.. Can you smell it?

 Ahhh there it is...

fills lounges with a deep breath of christmas tree scent

Looking kind of skinny you say? 
I promise you we looked at every tree we could find. Every one. 
I am very lucky to have such a patient husband-to-be. 
And he is lucky I am such a great Christmas tree finder...

 See I told you it wasn't really that skinny!
Oh I meant to ask you about the Christmas tree mutilation that is going on in this country...
One of the reasons it took us forever to find one was that almost every single one of them look like they've been pushed into a giant pencil sharpener and gotten all them lovely little branches cut off. 
So they look like a cone. A christmas tree cone. 
It was quite sad actually. I like my trees a little wild.

 It was quite the family gathering around the newcomer. 
They gave him a sniff and decided they would welcome Mr Christmas tree into the family. 
Lisa however made no promises to leave his accessories alone. 
She said if they're red, round and shiny they must be some sort of toy that 
should thoroughly be examined...

Upon closer examination David and I have decided we must add color to our tree. All my ornaments are white and red. Which is very classic and pretty... BUT I feel a need for some color in my life. Purple and gold. Purple and gold and green.. Maybe even some blue... 

Ahhhhh it feels so good to have a tree!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
love ~tess

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

wedding wednesday's

 I told you David is making something amazing for our wedding. He is building a backdrop for the ceremony. So he started this weekend and I am just letting him go nuts with it...

Here's the sketch he made on a receipt when we were out for dinner a couple of months ago.
Looks pretty amazing right?! We're gonna bring the indoor outdoors..

Out of all the things we're making for the wedding this is really the one thing that makes my heart sing. I can't wait to see it completed :o)

love ~tess

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

tuesday thoughts

 I dusted off my little box of Christmas ornaments and decorations I've collected since I moved away from home. It's probably silly but I can't wait to decorate my home. If I could I would buy a tree right now...

I was raised quite nontraditional and we didn't have a lot of traditions around the holidays. Often we didn't have a tree and I think my mother wasn't a fan of doing things the same way most people do it.

But I can see now why I crave it so much. I want to establish traditions. I want routines and stability. I want a big Christmas tree with tons of lights. I want to bake big gingerbread cookies in the shape of hearts and write our names with icing and then hang them in our kitchen window. I want to have my 4 advent candles, where you light one candle every Sunday leading up to Christmas. I want to make my own sweet and spicy mustard to go with that baked ham. I want to make traditional swedish Christmas candy.. All with loud Christmas music playing in the background...

I can't wait to get started!

Lisa just wants to eat the Christmas bird :o)


Monday, November 22, 2010

Scrumptious Pizza Night!

 Saturday night was a date night! On our first Valentine together David treated me to homemade grilled pizza's. We made them on my little balcony in Atlanta. It was so much fun and it tastes amazing! So we decided to make them again. It was a little too chilly to make them on the grill so we used the oven which works just fine.

 The roasted bell pepper sauce is so good I could eat it with a spoon. 

Lisa decided to entertain us for the evening... She likes to explore small spaces... Bless her :o)

For toppings I think we used everything but the kitchen sink... Prosciutto, artichokes, mozzarella cheese, arugula.. Mmm it was so delicious!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too.

lots of love ~tess

Thursday, November 18, 2010

silver babies in the tumbler

This one is making those tiny hairs on my arm stand up... 
It's not even finished and I am already on love...

I "drew" a little frame on this petite necklace. Little weights are swinging below on a chain. It's the first time I've made something with my little hand held engraving tool. I can see more pieces like that in the future...

 A batch of silver babies wouldn't be complete without a little victorian lady...

 Gorgeous ocean jasper necklace in progress... All of my silver babies needs to be finished up and oxidized before they will be presentable and ready for the Etsy shop... Maybe next week.. I don't want to give you an exact date yet..  But soon :o)

Overall I think I had a productive day on the studio.. But I didn't work on the stones I had picked out a few days ago...  I don't know why but sometimes I just get sidetracked and I just go with it.. Too curious not to I guess..  But next metal day I am going to get started on that butterfly piece :o) Promise!

see you later!
love ~tess

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

wedding wednesday's

Last Saturday it was finally time to go cake tasting! I had been looking forward to it for such a long time. I started looking for a bakery a while back. I needed someone who would be willing to make me a wedding cake covered in Marzipan instead of fondant..

Fondant taste like play-do or cardboard with sugar like a friend said :o)

Nothing that I want in my mouth on my wedding day. In Sweden there is a traditional cake covered on Marzipan called princess cake (you can get it at IKEA in their Swedish Food Market) and it is delicious. Marzipan is like almond paste (it's based on almond paste) but it's easier to shape and doesn't stick to your fingers. It's harder to work with than fondant because it's fresher and more natural. But let me tell you - it tastes GREAT!

So I found this bakery called Bredenbeck and it turns out they are not very far from us which is perfect. They promised me they could make my cake covered in Marzipan. So full of anticipation we headed over there for our scheduled tasting... but when we got there the salesperson told us that BTW they don't work with Marzipan. And I am embarrassed to say that I went straight into bitch mode. I mean I had been emailing back and forth with these people for months. They PROMISED!! I told her that if they couldn't work with it.. well then there was no point for us to taste their cakes. Period. She looked a little frazzled.. And said she was gonna go check witrh someone else at the bakery. 5 minutes later she came back and said it was just a missunderstanding and of course they could make it cobvered with marzipan. PHEW! All was well. I apologized for being short with her. :o)

Got got to try their raspberry swirl, pumpkin (which we both agreed wasn't gonna fit our spring/summer wedding), lemon and chocolate (I know there was more but I can't remember all the flavors!). With the marzipan you have to cover the cake with a fruit puree as opposed to fondant when you cover the cake with butter-cream. We picked a raspberry puree which was very tasty. David started assembling his own little samples by taking a piece of cake putting some raspberry puree on it and top if off with a piece of marzipan. Pretty tasty I must say. We really couldn't decide between the dark chocolate and the lemon one. So today we're getting to actual samples made up so we can get a better idea of the flavors together. I think I am partial to the lemon cake. The flavors were so fresh and perfect for a summer wedding!

The second part pf the tasting was talking about the vision for the cake. This is where it got really dicey. We had brought in a photo of a cake design that we liked. Which was originally a moderns ocean/wave theme. But we also brought in a plate that we found that had beautiful whimsical vines, paisley (not that we necessarily want paisley on the cake). But we figured if we could marry the two it would be the perfect expression for our outdoor, whimsical, romantic, forest fairytale wedding. David and I are both artists. Super picky, extremely difficult custom order customer. We know that. That's why we are doing about 90% of the wedding stuff ourselves.
We know we are crazy...

So as we are talking to the lady at the bakery we realized that we won't be able to just leave the design up the bakery. We HAVE to design it. We have to make a sketch for the cake decorator at the bakery to follow. Not that she isn't a fantastic decorator. It's just that we need the cake to look exactly like it does in our head...

David is fantastic at drawing so he started sketching out different versions of this whimsical forest, nature cake. The idea is that we are two kind of bugs on top of the cake and each tier has whimsical grass/ferns thingies. Very organic and flowing design. With small whimsical elements. The marzipan has kind of a beige color which will be the base of the cake.

We don't have one or two colors picked for the wedding. It's more of a feeling created by using a bunch of complimentary colors. The bridesmaid dresses are peridot. A paler sort of sage green. The center pieces have moss inside of them with the brown grapevine spheres. We will also have some sage table cloths (hanging out under cream/ivory top table cloth) and a bunch of those sage rice lamps/balls hanging from the ceiling of the tent. Lots of green in different but complimentary shades. For my bridesmaids I am also making fabric flower corsages/bracelets in the greens but I am also incorporating those dusty pink/plumes in the flowers so we thought it would be nice to have those colors somewhere on the cake as well. It's important that it has that forest moss green and that playfulness that we have throughout the wedding.

David's major is in sculpture so it makes sense that he would do the cake toppers.
I told you he is fantastic!

He's making two bugs. He said he was going to make me a wasp. Cause I have a curvy figure but I can be a bitch sometimes... ha ha we'll see what he does. I trust him! He did also say that he was going to be a walking stick... and I am not sure how I feel about being up there on the cake holding hands with a stick.. I think a part of me is terrified that he's actually gonna take a little branch and stick it to the cake LOL

I guess this is where I just have to let go and let him do his thing. He has never made anything I didn't like so I just have to let him play with it and we'll see where he lands. I have a feeling they'll be amazing. Just like he is...

and now it's studio time!
lots of love ~tess

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

cluttered mind

Woke up this morning and felt good. Besides the fact that Lisa the snugglebutt was chewing on my toes (in her defense, she was really hungry). So I bounced (read crawled) out of bed and fed the little furballs and made some coffee. I think that is one of the things I love the most about being at home on a week day. I get to brew my own yummy coffee (the coffee at work isn't very tasty..). I made some crips bread sandwiches with hummus and tomatoes. Took out some ground turkey from the freezer. I am thinking I'll surprise David with a lasagna when he comes home today! At lunch I'll walk over to the local produce market and buy some fresh basil and some stuff for a nice salad.

I forgot to tell you I got a flat tire last friday! It is so inconvenient. I swear as soon as you manage to save up some money something like this happens. And then David sent me a text this morning saying "Guess who also got a flat tire?"... No NO No NO I don't want to guess!!! Darn poop and crap. But we'll be ok. Things always work out somehow :o)

Mmmm this coffee is SO good. I wish you could have some. After breakfast it's time to play!

I've got some agates, druzy and ocean jasper started. Sometimes I just like to stare at them until I can see what they are supposed to look like when I turn them into one of my silver babies.
Like the agate with the red lines and circles. Hmmmm that one I think I just like to stare at cause it's such a rocking stone.

Butterfly wings, fairies, whimsical and romantic. I just can't stop. I like to create things that make me smile when I look at them. And this fluttering darling does just that. I must have stared at this agate for an hour or so before I could just see it so clearly before me. I showed david and he wasn't too impressed LOL but I am so bad at explaining what I am doing. Usually when he sees the finished design he loves it. So I hope you'll bear with me too. I know it can sometimes be risky to show your work in progress but I really like sharing that part with you guys and I hope you enjoy taking that journey with me. Sometimes they end up exactly like I envisioned them and something they die a horrible death as a melted glob of silver. But that is life I guess.

You never know what's gonna happen next...

thank you for stopping by my fluttering friends!

Monday, November 15, 2010

lisa and the mints

lisa and the mints
Originally uploaded by novadesigns by tess

what can I say?

She likes the same candy as I do...

Friday, November 5, 2010

new finger candy!

new work
Originally uploaded by novadesigns by tess

I am so excited to show you the new rings I have been working on!

A huge seed pod ring
(already spoken for)

Soaring high ring size 9.5

Seed pod flower ring size 8

Bursting ring size 7.5

Coming to my novaofsweden shop later today!

love ~tess

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

wedding wednesday's

wedding bird friendly "rice"
Originally uploaded by novadesigns by tess

I can't believe how quickly time has gone by. It feels like I just got engaged and yet my wedding date is getting closer and closer. Yikes!

David says I took off like a rocket with the planning. But that is just how I work. I have to stay on top of things. I thrive on being efficient and organized. It's one of my strengths.

I feel pretty good with everything. We've booked the tent for the backyard. The chairs, tables, linens and table settings have been selected. We know what we want for the center pieces and David is working on the holders for my little grapevine spheres.

We know what we are doing for the ceremony. It's somewhat of a secret project at the moment. But trust me. It will be something you've never seen before. David is going to build it (and he is amazing so I have no doubt it will reflect that).

I have booked a photographer. A caterer. I booked my hair appointment. The bridesmaid dresses are ordered. My dress is ordered. I have my shoes (still need to add my personal touch to them). I think I know what I am doing for jewelry now... I actually found a vintage rhinestone necklace I bought off Etsy so I will show you when it gets here!

We're going for a cake tasting this Saturday! I found a baker that is willing to do my cake covered in Marzipan instead of that dreaded fondant (I hate fondant. It's like eating play-do. Yuck!).

Last night I was working in our little organza bags with little heart shapes bird friendly "rice". We're going to put them on the chairs for the ceremony so that they can throw them after the I do's. I think I have to make like 75-80 of them so I am about half way done.

We finally decided what to do for the guest book! I bought a gallery style wrapped canvas and some ink pads. David is going to paint the base of a tree. A big gnarly tree trunk with branches. And then we're going to let our guests put their fingerprints as leaves in the tree. It's more personal but it's also something that I would want t o keep and display in our future home. I think it will look cool. I just have to find some ink that doesn't stain my guests fingers ha ha!

I think the only thing I really haven't been on top off is myself.. I haven't had time to go to the gym or treat myself to a long bubble bath. To paint my nails or even do a face mask... My businesses have been keeping me really busy but which I am also incredible grateful for. Without everyone supporting my work, David and I wouldn't be able to afford this wedding. So thank you so much. It truly means the world to me!

love ~tess