Oktoberfest Party

 This was our 3rd year to host our annual OKTOBERFEST!

 2009                           2010                            2011

Here are some of the details from the night:

You can't have an Oktoberfest without the "traditional" German clothing: Lederhosen & Drindl's!
[I use "traditional" lightly since our costumes are from a Halloween store]

We hung German city/region flags we've collected over the years from the ceiling to get that Bavarian brew haus vibe!

Old and new southern Germany region maps, postcards, and flags on the wall

My customized restroom sign

The cardboard cut-out I painted for fun photo ops!

I just love the dachshund with a pretzel in his mouth!

No Oktoberfest is complete without German Brews!

Your pick of authentic german steins, mugs, & glasses

We called many local Liquor stores to make sure we could get German beer in mini 5-liter kegs!
Gomer's on 99th & Holmes was the place to go.

German weight-training:

 Authentic German coasters we collected during our travels abroad were scattered all over


Matt grilled various types of bratwurst on the grill, served with homemade brat buns from the bakery at Hen House- my favorite!

We had sauerkraut, ketchup, mustards, onions, and pickles for toppings
[it was actually my first time ever eating sauerkraut- I know, I'm a horrible german!]

Pretzel dipping station:
Soft pretzels and pumpernickel pretzel sticks were served with Horseradish mustard, Boulevard Pale Ale mustard, honey apple butter, and hot cheese dip in the crockpot(gruyere, peppadew, gouda, cream cheese, white wine)

 Dips were labeled using little ceramic labels you write on with a marker for cheeses that I stuck into slits I cut in mini-pumpkins instead.

There was also:
bacon-wrapped weenies cooked in brown sugar
brat pieces cooked in a beer/mustard/curry sauce
J. Alexander's Mac 'n cheese (my new favorite!)
apples with caramel sauce
popcorn balls
chocolate cupcakes
various cheese and crackers & wrapped baked brie
pumpkin spiced latte's
spiced apple cider
and black licorice!

As a hostess, you have to make sure you enjoy your own party, and at this party - fun was had by all!



Kappa Delta Crest

We've finally started a Kappa Delta mosaic shield!!!

It's about time we made one for our own sorority!  My mom and I were both Kappa Deltas [Vicky at Missouri University and me at Kansas State]

Here is an article about us from 2008:

Keep posted for the finished photos to come soon!


Happy Closets

Matt & I just finished a small project I've been wanting to do for a long time.  We built chunky floating shelves for my studio closet out of mdf board from Home Depot, caulked the edges & seams, and primed and painted them white to pop against the orange background!

Before                                       After

 After we bought the house, we painted this room white with one orange accent wall and across from that, the inside of the open closet.  Previously, the closet had a curtain on a tension rod and everything was beige.  The clothes rod (above left) was already there.  We took advantage of that and built the shelves around the existing pieces.

We left the bottom of the lower shelf open so you can still use the rod for hanging clothes, but it's hidden behind the front panel. (I should probably paint the underside white, although you don't see it unless you're on the floor)

Here are a few other small closets that I find happy and inspiring:

 crafting closets                            kids play area

 vanity area in small closet        closet with patterned wallpaper

 office closet

 reading nooks

 kids retreats

tiny desk area

Let me know if you plan to do something cool with a closet of yours or send me pictures of finished projects!


A Beautiful Life Celebrated with Art

In honor of our dear friend Karen Bullard, who passed away this week, I'm posting about her involvement in my life and the mosaics she commissioned us to do for her gorgeous home.

This is me, Karen, and her sweet mom Beverly (that passed away not that long ago) on our annual "Girl's Lake Trip" to the Ozarks.  We always looked forward to getting together with some good wine and antique shopping!

Karen & her husband Ed collected beautiful and eclectic art from everywhere they went.  Their home is a perfect and warm representation of how all of the things you love and inspire you can come together in one loving, welcoming, and harmonious blend!

Here is the LARGE abstract mosaic she asked my mom to do for a tall niche in her home: [It also includes broken pieces of hand-painted pottery Karen admired]

The mosaic below was a smaller niche on the landing in their stairwell.  Karen & Ed had recently been to Italy and desired something resembling the Tuscan vineyards.  The label on the wine bottle is an actual label from an extremely expensive bottle of wine their friends brought them one night!

 Karen was a part of so many moments in my life I didn't even realize.  She was at many birthday parties, annual lake trips, family get-togethers, many of my bridal showers, my bachelorette party, and our wedding.

Here she is when her & her sister Kathy surprised me for a bridal shower out at an old antique bed & breakfast!

My grandma Bette, Karen, Kathy, and my mom Vicky 

This is a gorgeous one of her dancing with her husband at our wedding

Vintage photo-booth fun with her sister Kathy, daughter Olivia, and husband Ed

She will be incredibly missed by so many people.  I'm rejoicing she will forever know what it's like to live in complete presence of God from this point on.