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Archive for November, 2010

Dreamgiving Weekend

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving here at the Dream!  Hosting our first turkey-day turned out great.  Mr. Dreamer is a natural at cooking a bird – something neither of us had ever attempted before!  We hosted nine friends and family around our tables (just one wasn’t big enough!).  The placemats were a hit and a fun thing to tuck into everyone’s leftover bags.  Here are some photos of our day and the fun we had all weekend…

Then… we set out on a CRAZY Black Friday adventure.  Six of us piled into one SUV at 4:00 AM for the four and a half hour trek to the best outlet stores ever – just outside Palm Springs, CA.  We shopped until we dropped – and then made the four and a half hour trek home. WHEW!

Finally, as if one 17 hour shopping marathon wasn’t enough, we topped off the weekend by registering for our mini-Dreamer.  Since we have absolutely not one clue what a babe needs (this munchkin will be the first baby in both families)… we called in reinforcement.  Mrs. Dreamer’s BFF and mom of three, Carrie came to the rescue and helped us scan just the right items so we have what we need approximately five and a half months from now.

after two hours, this is how we felt: overwhelmed!

we can do this, right?!

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Dreamgiving DIY

The DIY-decorating-table-setting-gift-giving-skills over here at The Dream are DIZZYING.  I just can’t keep it to myself anymore – so I’m ruining a surprise for our Turkey Day guests by sharing what I made them this weekend.  There is STILL TIME if you want to steal this idea… 🙂

I was directed to a very cool DIY project over on Pickles and Cheese, which got the creative wheels turning…

Pottery Barn-inspired burlap placemats

The talented folks over at The Lettered Cottage are to thank for getting the wheels turning.  They Tweeted about this fun DIY project, which prompted a phrophetic re-Tweet last week:

follow us on Twitter @ twitter.com/DrmForeclosure

And that’s EXACTLY WHAT I DID!  (Can you sense the pride I have in myself right now?  It’s ridiculous.)  My masterpieces are still drying, but here’s a sneak peak, followed by the DIY steps.

each guest gets a customized placemat with their initials, which they also can take home with them

here are some... still drying

Items needed:

  1. Burlap – I got mine at a local fabric store for $2.99/yard.  1 yard will yield 4 placemats.
  2. Fabric paint – get at any fabric/craft store
  3. Small sponge brush – got mine for $0.57 at Home Depot
  4. Stencils – mine were leftover from last year’s Christmas Dream Skirt project

cut burlap... I measured 16in width and just cut the fabric in half for the length

Before painting, fray the edges by pulling out a few strands until you get the desired amount of fray along all four sides.

I recommend a setup like this... the box allows for extra paint to bleed through and pins to hold the letters in place.

start with the last letter and work from right to left (to make sure you have enough room)

I like the solid, not faded look - so I loaded up my brush with the fabric paint...

...then I sponged it on the stencil - careful not to use brush strokes as that would pull out the "hair" on the burlap and cause a mess!

move on to the next letter and get them as close as you want them

allow 24 hours to dry!

These are a 3-for-1 deal!

  1. Placemats (which are great because I didn’t have any that matched my new Thanksgiving table cloth!)
  2. Fun alternative to place cards
  3. Party favor!  Each guest can take theirs with them when they go (hopefully, there’s not a lot of cranberry-sauce-spillage)

There you have it!  Am I wrong to be so proud?  I’ll do another post later this week to show you how they look on the table.

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Christmas Dreamings

For the last four years, we’ve sent out unique and fun Christmas cards created on Shutterfly – see the collection at http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/holiday-cards.  I’m mildly obsessed with that site and have used it countless times for cards and photo books.  As we prepare this year’s card – we thought we’d look back on the cards of Christmas past…

2006

We started dating in July 2006 – so it was a bit of a gamble to include a “couple” picture on this card, but when ya know, ya know.  Ya know? (This is Michelle’s card if you haven’t figured that out.  I know this is a shocker, but Jason didn’t send out cards in his bachelor years.)  This is when we lived in Maine – so the images alternate with quintessential Maine scenes and personal photos.  This was also back when I was a reporter at WMTW in Portland – so the obligatory “live reporting” shot made it in (complete with a suit and flip flops – that’s reality, folks!).  The photo of the two of us is at Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont – and there’s another of me hiking with my parents when they were visiting.

2007

Christmas in 2007 occurred just one month before our wedding – and this is one of our engagement photos (Jason popped the question in June 2007).  We were tempted to not even send out cards that year.  After all, those near & dear to us just received some very snazzy wedding invites and we were planning a wedding, moving across country, both changing jobs, looking for a place to live – yeah, that was CRAZY.  But we were so, so happy – and this card simply captures that moment in time.

2008

By the time Christmas 2008 rolled around, our wedding was 11 months in the past – so many exciting things happened that year too (getting Bowdoin the bulldog, new jobs, new condo, honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas…).  However, we knew this was our last chance to use one of our AMAZING wedding photos (thanks to our incredible photographer, Jennifer Radack with O’Grace Photography) – so we went ahead and had one last bride & groom hurrah!

2009

Bring on the funk!  We had so much fun putting this card together last year.  I’m learning how to take “real” photos – so I got all the settings set, picked the perfect spot (just down the street from the Dream), and convinced my dad to snap this shot.  Both Bulldogs behaved, for the most part – Paris was a little camera shy back then (we’d only had her for one month).  We sent the image to Jason’s cousin – who is an amazing photographer with some super-slick editing skills (check out his site – GeoffGreene.com).  He switched it to black & white, popped out the red and edited out the cars at the intersection in the background.  We love the final result!  2009 was a big year for us – it’s the year we bought the Dream, Jason had a birthday ending in “0”, we took our first trip to France together (which has had a huge impact on the Dream), and expanded our family to four!

The 2010 card is still being put together, but I can guarantee these images (or ones similar) will make an appearance:

After all, it’s probably the Bulldog’s last hurrah as next year it will be all about a cute little mini-human-Dreamer. 🙂

We have a couple other vacation photos we’d like to include as well… so here’s our top picks for phototcard designs this year (from http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery):

Sorry the images are small.  You can see the whole collection at http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-cards.  Bloggers can get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly: http://bit.ly/sfly2010 Whoop!

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No, not like that!

I returned from a business trip this weekend to these beauties in our backyard:

I mean, how GORGEOUS is our backyard becoming?

It’s ridiculous when you realize it used to look like this:

We’ve been wanting to put roses in our planter, but had to wait until the right time of year.  This is it.  Mr. Dreamer took full advantage of his bachelor-Saturday and planted 10 rose bushes.

And he also planted this:

An avocado tree!  Holy guacamole – how fun is that?!

In an effort to de-blah the white walls of the fence in our yard – he’s also been hard at work planting some desert favorites along the walls:

Alternating agave and torch bougainvillea. Purrrrdy!

With the grass now finally in – thanks to some sod and overseeding for winter – it’s finally all coming together.

There is one last little “blah” area.  See it there in the back, left corner?

Well, the big bougainviallea is saying adios and we’re putting in some EXCITING new additions.  They’ve been ordered and delivery scheduled the week of Thanksgiving – so stay tuned for that.

You’ll have to wait longer to see all of those rocks disappear.  We’re “holding” that area for a pool.  However, that is years of dreaming away.  For now, it will stay a blank slate – with one new fun addition coming soon… that may or may not increase our ability to enjoy smores.  More later…

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You try coming up with a clever title for this one using the word “Dream” when the obvious choice is “It’s a Wrap!”

The addition of Baby Dreamer to my belly is getting the creative juices flowing – or I’m entering the nesting phase of pregnancy.  Either way, I like it!  I submit the following as evidence:

A co-worker recently had a baby shower (something is in the water over there) and I had a challenge when it came to her gift.

First, the obvious choice was the gift I get for all of my momma-to-be friends… a personalized onesie from Mitetees.  Seriously – how cute is this?

But just one onesie does not a good shower gift make and so off to Babies R Us I went.  That place is crazy overwhelming for a newly preggers gal!  I thought I’d spend hours roaming and dreaming.  Nope!  I wanted to cry.  Too. Much.  I got the registry, a gift, and hit the road faster than you can say “epidural.”

This hamper was a great compliment to the onesie.  The right price and something my almost-new-momma friend wanted for her nursery.  However, how do you WRAP this?!

Cue: crib sheets

My friend also had a couple of fitted crib sheets on her registry – which gave me an idea.

The fitted sheets were a perfect fit to the odd-shaped hamper box.

I stretched two out to cover the box – but then was left with a rather boring, sheet-covered box.

Since I was in my sewing/craft room anyway, I looked around at my options – which all consisted of scrap fabric.

My friend is doing her nursery in green and brown – so the scraps from my still-being-assembled patio cushions were a perfect fit.  I had just the right amount of fabric to cover the awkward box.  Including this one really long piece:

I used straight pins to get everything just right.

Then, I secured the cute onesie in the middle with clothes pins and voila!  We have a cute baby shower gift:

Best part – none of it went to waste as the cute mom said she could even incorporate the fabric scraps into her nursery.

Speaking of nurseries, guess I’d better start dreaming up a creative one for our bun in the oven.

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The Dreamers are beyond pleased to announce the impending arrival of a mini-Dreamer!

We are humbled and blessed by this miracle and thank God for trusting us with one of His amazing creations.

11 weeks along and already the size of a pumpkin!

(In other news, I chopped my hair off – “for real” this time!)

The babe will grace us with his/her presence in May (or June?) 2011.  Until then, we’ve got to get to work on this:

And we already have a plan that includes this fun item.  Oh yes. we’re “those” people!

However, the real Bulldogs have no idea what’s coming.  NO. Idea.

Poor kids.  They’re not going to be “top dogs” for much longer.

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