Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flower of the Week

Lily of the Valley

Convallaria majalis

We got this beautiful Lily of Valley into the shop and have been happily breathing in its scent all week long. With May almost upon us, what better excuse did we need to feature it as our Flower of the Week?

Traditionally a symbol of the arrival of spring and of the month of May, Lily of the Valley is the subject of multiple cultural legends. In the Christian tradition, these lilies are known as Our Lady's Tears - the flowers having sprung from the Virgin Mary's weeping eyes during the crucifixion of Jesus. In religious artwork, they are a symbol of humility. 

In the Victorian language of flowers,  Lily of the Valley was a symbol of sweetness, humility, happiness, and purity of heart. It is also sometimes carried by brides for luck, in addition to the traditional something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Link Love

1. We're already wistfully thinking of summer getaways, and Costa Rica is our favorite daydream.

2. We love this poem by Dolly Lemke.

3. Can't wait to try new bake shop and beer garden Easy Tiger on East 6th! 

4. This book has been making floral enthusiasts swoon lately - check out Design Sponge's pretty picture post if you don't want to invest in a physical copy. 

5. These TOMS flats are adorable, would go with a ton of the cute summer clothes we're all pulling out, and they're on Jenny's shopping list for the weekend! 

6. Not to miss: King of Cool Sebastien Tellier's interview with Nowness. 

Have a good weekend! 

Ceremony Readings For the Discerning Couple, Part I

Look, we love 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 as much as anyone.  It's a classic wedding reading - but sometimes it's good to give the classics a run for their money, especially if you're a bride who's mixing up her wedding with a fresh take on flowers, themes and the litte personal touches we love so much. There are fragments of beautiful poems, book passages and quotes floating around in LFV's collective brain, things we'd love to share with you guys because we think they'd be perfect for saving one of your always-a-bridesmaid friends from having to recite "Love is patient, love is kind ..." for the fifth time.

First up in this series of posts: a poem whose ending is so beautiful that every one of your guests' hearts will stop, and pieces of which have been stuck with us since the first time we read it, years ago.

The Archipelago of Kisses

We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don't 
grow on trees, like in the old days. So where 
does one find love? When you're sixteen it's easy,
 like being unleashed with a credit card
 in a department store of kisses. There's the first kiss.
 The sloppy kiss. The peck. 
The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The we
 shouldn't be doing this kiss. The but your lips
 taste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.
 The I wish you'd quit smoking kiss.
 The I accept your apology, but you make me really mad
 sometimes kiss. The I know
 your tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you get 
older, kisses become scarce. You'll be driving
 home and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road,
 with its purple thumb out. If you
 were younger, you'd pull over, slide open the mouth's
 red door just to see how it fits. Oh where
 does one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile. 
Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
 Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.
 Now what? Don't invite the kiss over 
and answer the door in your underwear. It'll get suspicious
 and stare at your toes. Don't water the kiss with whiskey. 
It'll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters,
 but in the morning it'll be ashamed and sneak out of 
your body without saying good-bye,
 and you'll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it left
 on the inside of your mouth. You must 
nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it 
illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest 
and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a
 special beach. Place it on the tongue's pillow,
 then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneath 
a Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.
 But one kiss levitates above all the others. The 
intersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.
 The I'll love you through a brick wall kiss.
 Even when I'm dead, I'll swim through the Earth, 
like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.

-Jeffrey McDaniel

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Secret Garden

We never get tired of gazing at pretty spaces - and what's prettier than a lush garden, especially a jewel-boxed-sized one of your very own? Here are some of the photos that keep us dreaming and sighing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Under the Arbor

One afternoon last week while many of our wonderful readers were working or lunching or (maybe, hopefully) relaxing in the sun, we were sweating and hauling a new fixture into our shop: this trillion foot tall, trillion pound birch arbor!

While working at that desk is now a fantastically whimsical experience, what we really want is to drape it in flowers and see one of our lovely couples be married under it! So without further ado, we present our favorite wedding arbor inspiration for your consideration:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Bridesmaids Bouquets

Bonjour you guys! We wanted to share these super pretty bridesmaids bouquets we made for a recent wedding - each one features different flowers and a variety of little vines, ferns and smaller things usually considered "fillers" - but check out how lovely and textural all the little stuff looks when pulled together! 

Don't miss the larger images of each bouquet after the jump!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flower of the Week: Fritillaria

Fritillaria meleagris

Our current flower of the week might just be one of our coolest ever, with its purple and white checkered pattern! While we couldn't find any associated mythology or symbolic meaning behind fritillaria (other than the origin of its name - meleagris means "spotted like a guinea fowl"), we're not sure a flower this daring needs a symbolic backstory to get us interested. 

This variety of fritillaria comes in a multitude of colors, but the blooms in our shop are a fantastic bright purple. While commonly grown in gardens and available in bulb form for home cultivation, this flower is actually considered an endangered species in some parts of Europe, including France, Slovenia and Romania, due to the fact that it rarely grows in the wild. In addition, it is the national flower of Croatia.

A close-up of the fritillaria's pretty pattern, peeking out from an arrangement created for a charity benefit. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Link Love: See Jane Give Edition

This week's Link Love collection is inspired by the wonderful event we attended last night: See Jane Give. This charity benefit is a night for strong women and business leaders within the Austin community to come together and support local non-profits, and it was both truly inspirational and a great success. Many of the speakers and mentors had personal stories to tell about the charities they've chosen to support, and below are the organizations that touched our hearts the most. 

1. See Jane Give is put on by local organization I Live Here I Give Here, with the goal of encouraging Austinites to give back to the nonprofits doing so much good work in our city. 

2. Austin Symphony OrchestraThe mission of the Austin Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc. is to enhance the cultural quality of life for the adults and young people of Austin and Central Texas by providing excellence in music performance and educational programming.

3. Austin Pets Alive! is an animal rescue organization run almost entirely by volunteers, with the goal of turning Austin into a no-kill city. As of a result of their hard work and dedication to providing safe homes for abandoned and homeless pets, Austin achieved no-kill status in 2011, with 91% of shelter animals being rescued and placed in homes instead of euthanized. 

4.  Austin Children's Shelter provides a safe home and supportive services for children, youth and young adults from birth to 22 who have experienced significant loss, trauma, abuse and/or neglect in their lives. ACS helps combat child abuse and neglect by providing multiple support programs and shelter for children and at-risk youth. 

5. Austin Lighthouse, also known as the Travis Association for the Blind, is a service-oriented nonprofit organization with the mission to assist people who are blind or vision impaired to attain the skills they need to become  gainfully employed in the community. 

Have  a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ribbons and Streamers and Paper DIYS, oh my!

We love fun and festive DIYS for weddings - especially if they're made of paper and ribbon. Streamers, paper flowers, pinwheels, paper cones full of flowers - we love it all. All the textures and all the colors! Getting giddy just thinking about it. Here are some favorites! 

Found here (with a tutorial!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fido the Ring Bearer

After the NY Times recently wrote about nuptials featuring family pets as members of the wedding party, we went wild for the idea. Austin is famously pet-friendly, and this seems like exactly the kind of idea that Austinites would lovingly embrace - after all, we already bring our dogs to work, to lunch, for walks downtown and runs around the lake. Including Fido, a family member you snuggle and kiss every day, in your wedding party is a way to make your wedding ceremony feel fun and personal, and it's awfully darn cute. 

More dashing canine companions after the jump!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


There are an infinite number of beautiful weddings out there - every day we find ourselves gasping and sighing over the latest posts on Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake, Green Wedding Shoes, and the like - but there are a few weddings that stick out in our minds, and this is one has been haunting our collective mind for absolutely ever - we originally came across it on Pinterest and simply couldn't resist sharing it with you. The dress, the giant sash-corsages on the bridesmaids, the tea party and lush reception - this couple got it all exactly right. We will probably never get over it, ever. 

There are a million more breathtaking pictures at the photographer's blog - be sure to check them out and file them all away for inspiration, because holy moly. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Flower of the Week: Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossom
Prunus serrulata

We usually see photos of cherry blossoms en masse, but they're absolutely precious close up!

All around the country, cherry trees are flowering into clouds of pink petals, a beautiful and delightful sight to behold. There are multiple cherry blossom festivals in the United States, the most noteworthy of which is probably the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. Cherry blossoms have a long history and many varied meanings, the most famous of which is the Japanese tradition of hanami - essentially parties organized to view blossoming cherry trees. Originally hanami were philosophical excursions with the purpose of reflecting on the transient nature of life, but have evolved into festive gatherings to enjoy the beauty of nature. 

Japan and the United States have been exchanging gifts of cherry trees as tokens of friendship since 1910. The first trees from Japan were planted in Sakura Park in Manhattan (sakura being the Japanese name for the cherry tree) and along the shore of the Tidal Basin in Washington DC, and this gift was renewed in 1965 with the planting of an additional 3800 trees. In 1981, a fire destroyed a number of cherry trees in Japan, and the United States was able to reciprocate the kindness of the Japanese by offering cuttings from the original trees planted in Sakura Park to Japanese horticulturalists working to restore the cherry tree population. 

In Japan, the cherry blossom is a symbol for the ephemeral nature of life, extreme beauty, and quick death. In Chinese tradition, the cherry blossom stands for the empowerment of women, beauty, and feminine sexuality.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Link Love

It's that time again, ladies and gents! Enjoy our favorite internet things for the last week (or two .... oops!) and have a wonderful weekend. 

1. We loved this article from the Harvard Business Review on how to quit your day job and go after what you really love. 

2. We're still loving ombre, and so is Preston Bailey - and we definitely love these tights for bridesmaids in a modern wedding. 

3. Everything about this wedding is flawless, but especially delightful is the hand-stitched leather and letterpress invitation suite. Holy cow. 

4.  French cats! We simply cannot. 

5. This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of ill-fated ship of dreams, the Titanic. This gorgeous shoot is actually Downton Abbey themed, but since the sinking of Titanic sets off the events in our favorite deliciously dramatic Edwardian soap opera, we figured it's like a 2-for-1 deal on themes we're obsessed with.  

6. April 15th is also Leonardo DaVinci's birthday - happy 559th, sir. Check out the exhibit entitled "Da Vinci - the Genius" at Lubbock's Science Spectrum before it takes off! 

Happy Friday!

Blue as Your Blood

What with pastels dominating the runways and the onset of spring, some of us here at LFV have cultivated a growing obsession with the palest of blues. This is a great color palette because its versatility can take you from delicate springtime affairs to frothy beach fetes to icy winter weddings. Scroll onward for our inspiration board! 

Clockwise from top left: 1. The most whimsical of dresses, by Claire Pettibone. 2. We couldn't resist these formal cream and ice blue invites. 3. No need for a powder blue tuxedo, gents - seersucker neckwear is a great way to tie-in (har har) your look with the rest of the event. 4. Some say blue foods are unappetizing, we say they're wrong - how lovely is this dessert bar? 5. A DIY ribbon backdrop makes a pretty focal point for the ceremony or reception. 6. Clouds of blue hydrangeas make for dreamy arrangements. 7. Tiers of ruffles and the gentlest hint of ombre - we will never get over this cake. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cat Got Your Tongue?

Chances are, if you're a VIP wedding guest - a close family member, best friend or one half of the newly hitched duo, for example- you'll be giving a toast at the reception. Sometimes when the stars align and the perfect amount of pre-speech champagne is poured down your throat the right words come to mind without a hitch, but more often than not, it's tough to get a wedding toast exactly right. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorites from Paul Dickson's aptly-named Toasts to get you started and inspired:

"Here's to the happy man. All the world loves a lover." [original]

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ceremony Inspiration: Aisles & Arbors

Summer is coming up, and that means lots of outdoor weddings and lush florals! Here are some of our favorite inspiration images for arbors, arches and ceremony backdrops. 

from Brides

from Ruffled

More after the jump!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Little Black Book!

Happy Monday, everyone! We are so happy to announce that you can now find us in Style Me Pretty's vendor guide, the Little Black Book!

You can find us under both Florals and Florals and Event Design for Austin, TX. Here's to the wonderful community of wedding industry professionals Style Me Pretty has built - we're thrilled to be part of it! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Zou bisou bisou!

La Fleur Vintage loves all things French, including the most famous ill-fated queen in history, Marie Antoinette. Not only is she a fascinating historical figure (we highly recommend Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette: the Journey if you're interested - it's the book Sofia Coppola used as inspiration for her beautiful 2006 film) but the aesthetics of the time period she lived in are truly a delicious treat for the eyes. We can't all live a lifestyle convenient to wearing panniers several feet wide and teasing our hair to heights capable of supporting miniature ships, so check out our latest photo board for inspiration on how to capture Marie's mise-en-scene without the life-threateningly over-the-top decadence.

Clockwise from top left: 1. Combine sans serif fonts with beautiful script for an updated take on formal invitations. 2. Feathered and be-ribboned masks make fun props for a photobooth, or for turning your reception into a masked ball 3. Ombre is still big right now, and bridesmaids in varying shades of pink tiered ruffles will be pretty as a picture 4. Feathers, garden roses and peonies make for a dramatic bridal bouquet. 5. Go big or go home: this updo captures Marie's spirit without looking costume-y. 6. Love the combination of traditional patterned dinnerware with the modern flatware and place cards. 7. Pink champagne is a must - up the fizzy fun with cake pops or truffles as an extra treat. 8. Can't have a French-inspired party with gorgeous pastries, and this confection from Laduree takes the cake! 

Martha Stewart's Coconut Cake

This is one of Elizabeth's favorite Easter dessert recipes from everyone's favorite lifestyle guru. To make sure it was as good as our fearless leader claims, we made a mini 6-inch version and snacked on it all day in the shop today (we do these things out of love for our readers, obviously). The coconut flavor is light but present, and the whipped Seven Minute Icing is a wonderful choice for those of us who tend to eat in between piles of buttercream and leave cake-slice-shaped layers of frosting on our plates. The only change we made was to add un-toasted coconut flakes to the outside, rather than a layer of toasted coconut. 

Recipe after the jump!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Elizabeth's Expert Advice: DIY Easter Grass

DIY-minded readers, it is your lucky day! Today's double Expert Advice posts go hand-in-hand - first we learned how to blow out eggs and dye the shells. Next up is how to dye your own Easter grass, if you're not particularly fond of the shiny plastic stuff that never. goes. away. once you release it from its packaging. And who IS fond of that stuff, anyway? For an easy alternative, read on!

1. This is another very simple project - you'll need paint, water, a large plastic bucket or similar container, and a neutral colored grass. We picked up this craft grass at Hobby Lobby, but there's an infinite number of materials you could use - go to town! 

2. Mix your blues and yellows until you reach your desired green. We tried going using green paint, but couldn't find the exact spring-y color we were aiming for. Any water mixable paint will work, so use whatever you have on hand! 

3. Once you've got the correct hue ready to go, mix in a little water. You don't need much - you'll notice here that we used just enough to fill a section of this palette. 

4. Pour the water/paint mixture into your bucket o' grass and mix it up! You can continue adding paint and water until your grass is saturated, or just toss it together lightly for a pretty pastel. 

5. Remove the grass and lay out on newspaper to dry for several hours before using. 

What do you guys think? Prettier than the plastic stuff, right?

Elizabeth's Expert Advice: Dying Egg Shells for Easter

Easter is almost here! This means it's time for family dinners, biting the ears off chocolate bunnies (and feeling a little guilty about it), and hunting for Easter eggs - which means you'll love this week's advice on blowing out the insides of eggs and dying them, leaving only a pretty shell to hide amongst your knick knacks. A shell that, if left undiscovered or forgotten, will continue to stay pretty and not a rotting egg mess. Sound good? We think so. 

1. Your supply list is simple: Eggs (make sure they're white), pins or needles, water and containers, and your dye of choice. Here we used Kool-Aid instead of fooling with food coloring or boxes of dye, but the choice is yours. Kool-Aid is simpler than many dyes in that it only requires water - no vinegar. 

2. Using a strong pin or needle, poke a small hole in the top of the egg (the smaller end). The hole should be several millimeters across, but no more.

3. Flip the egg over and on the bottom, poke another, larger hole. This is where the white and yolk will come out, so make sure you give them enough room - perhaps a centimeter or so. Treat your egg very carefully as it's easy to crack or even completely smash the shell during this step. 

4. Holding the egg over a bowl with the smaller hole on top, gently blow into it! Once the whites start to emerge you can just shake the egg until empty. 

5. Carefully, but thoroughly, wash and rinse the shells of any whites or yolk.

6. Mix your dyes! If you're using Kool-Aid, assemble your containers and pour each packet into a different one. Add a cup of water to each container, give or take. Less water will result in more vibrant eggs, more will give you soft pastels. 

7. Drop your egg in! You'll notice that it floats on top because it's hollow - just push it down into the water with a spoon until it fills up and stays put. 

8. Allow your egg to soak, varying times according to desired color saturation. This bright persimmon-colored egg soaked for about a minute. 

9. Pull the egg out with a spoon and let the dye drain out of the bottom.

10. Lay it down to rest and dry, handling it as little as possible until the dye sets. It helps to place a cloth or paper towel under your egg carton, since any remaining water in the egg will drip down. 

11. Let the hiding and hunting begin! 

Happy Wednesday, everyone! 

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