This Year’s Tree, Featuring “A Delicious Mess”

Christmas is 'a rolling here in the nest.  For someone who enjoys ribbons, baking cookies, pumpkin pie, men with beards...this is a magical time of year.  Luckily for me, I am just that kind of person.  One of my absolute favorite things is trimming the tree.  Sadly, as newly weds, Che and I are POOR.  I mean that in the first world sense (of course), but still, 25 bucks is a lot to spend on a tree that will end up (sadly) dead in the alleyway by year's end.  Not this year.  We've gone in an eco and pocket friendly direction this year with:


While I wish I could take credit for this amazing project...it must go to the very crafty and admirable Dottie Angel Blog.  Her gleeful "whatnot" tree is amazing!  So amazing that upon seeing it, I simply had to make one of my own.

I have blissfully termed  it "A Delicious Mess". 

From what I understand, the Gleeful Tree is whatever makes you gleeful.  So naturally, the thing is covered in ribbons, buttons, feathers, birds and cameos. 

The whole project cost under $10.

Branch:  free
Leftover project paint:  free
Gifted Bird Ornaments:  free
flowerpot: $2.49
Brickabrac:  free
Plaster of Paris:  $2.99
Feathers, buttons, doodads from the handmade Wedding Boutonneres:  free
Popcorn garland:  hand crotched by moi (free!)
Ribbons from the  handmade Wedding Corsages and CD/Program Gifts:  (duh) free


How did I do it?  Easy! 
Pick your branch, the curvier the better
Fill your very sturdy pot/container 3/4 full with plaster; it expands so expect some cracking if you use a flower pot. Push your branch down into the plaster within 2-3 minutes of pouring in the plaster.

After the plaster has completely dried, sand all the nubs and bark off of your branch (this is much easier to accomplish when the branch can stand).

Paint your pot and your branch

Let it all dry over night
Decorate it until it resembles something your sewing basket threw up on.

Thanks again to Dottie Angel for the inspiration.


Rubbish and Revolution

Courtney and I just watched a challenging, ambitious documentary called Flow: For Love of Water. The film's broad scope approaches its topic from multiple angles: water sanitation, water distribution, water preservation, resource abuse, water hoarding, river damning, etc. It was the kind of film that made me feel evil for having enjoyed bottled water, yet also powerful because I can, apparently, do something to help create positive change.

This is not a typical night in the Walling nest, at least, not yet. More typically, Courtney and I end up sitting in bed, watching episodes of various TV shows online. As is common with many series followers, we end getting sucked into the characters' lives and will watch the show for hours. While initially fun ("We get to watch TV and snuggle as much as we want!"), Courtney recently lamented, "This is ridiculous. We're addicted to television shows and we don't even have a TV."

Perhaps some of you can relate. You're friend or roommate loans you the first season of a series so that you can "try it out." Giving someone a season of a show is like giving them a bucket of Red Vines licorice. Unless they have no taste in good candy, it will be gone before the week (or weekend) is out.

You know those nights; those near-to-all nigthers during which the phrase, "Just one more episode," is uttered time and again, not unusually from a mouth recently or currently full of some only-to-be-eaten-at-night-because-it's-too-embarrassing-during-the-day snack (say, Twinkies or Ding Dongs or those Zebra Cakes that always taste better in your mind).

We're still trying to figure out how to balance those two types of (to use this word rather liberally) entertainment options. Too much revolution and you can't help but feel guilty, either that or self-righteous. I'm sure my parents can attest most especially to the latter, as I've come home on more than one occasion puffed up with some newly procured information about an obscure social injustice. Was it important? Sure. Did that justify browbeating my father for enjoying a certain kind of burrito? No, I suppose not.

Too much rubbish, on the other hand, and you're left seeing life as a series of punch lines, a long, never-ending sitcom that just needs a backing score and some canned laughter. Do you have those days? Those pleased-with-yourself, self-conscious sitcom days? Days during which you make jokes or statements that are only funny to the audience in your mind? I have those. And that's when I know I've been watching too many episodes of whatever particular show Courtney and I are chowing down on nightly.

Sadly, this post excludes the idea that we might be able to entertain ourselves with something other than TV. Sure, Courtney and I sing together a little bit. We cook food together. I read some. She works on projects. But we've yet to go to an art museum in town, yet to walk alongside the river and stare at Indiana, yet to play music at a coffee shop.

So I'm starting us out tomorrow. I've got pre-screening passes to see Invictus, the bio-pic about Nelson Mandela, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon (guess who's playing Mandela). Sure, a movie theater is arguably just a giant television room, but it's a start. And, judging from the film's trailer, it looks to have a healthy balance of rubbish and revolution, which is something to be admired.


Wedding photos

Here they are, arranged neatly in slideshows for you.  Enjoy.

and a little tiny one..

you can check out the whole album by clicking on the sildeshows.

thanks Red, White and Green Photography!


A Suprise Dessert

I've been on a serious frozen yogurt kick lately. Tay's been pretty kind and has indulged me a time or two these past few weeks. Today I realized we have an ice cream maker! La duh. So I broke it out this morning an tried it out for first time. I found a great fro-yo recipe using Greek yogurt. Wow…that Greek stuff doesn’t mess around. Full milk fat, no sweeteners…don’t let your kids play with it unattended. But it sure makes a de-lish frozen treat. I surprised Tay tonight with 1: chicken cordon blu and 2: our own little pinkberry fro-yo station! I put out six toppings- raspberries, linyon berry preserves, blackberries, Mexican chocolate sauce, milk chocolate chunks and whopper pieces. I’m the best wife ever. I seriously suggest trying this for yourself!


The Tour

And now, with no further adue...the long awaited apartment tour:

The Apartment Tour from Courtney Walling on Vimeo.


All I need...

Tay's been up to some good.

Check out his latest contribution to Southeast Christian Church:

All We Need from Courtney Walling on Vimeo.

Tay didn't write it, but was asked to fill in for Kinetic Worship's usual spoken word guy (who isn't touring with them presently). Not bad for a high school worship session, eh?

check out kinetic worship.

Swing Low

A little taste of things from the past.

Brianna's EP Release Party from Courtney Walling on Vimeo.


Look Ma, I'm a Real Adult Now.

Hey folks.
After a month long break, I have returned!

Tay and I came back from the honeymoon (more on that in a future post) and immediately began settling in. Wow what a task that was. Fortunately for us, Tay has great (!) intern friends here at Southeast Christian, where he’s interning. They really pulled through for us- coming all way into town ( a good 20 minutes) at 11 at night and staying till 1:30 am to get everything in the apartment. Thanks you guys! It was also quite the task unpacking. It took a good week and a half to get everything off of the floor and out of boxes. It’s been a little refreshing playing housewife for the past three weeks- making lunch, cleaning, unpacking, painting. I like nesting, go figure. I have several projects going presently:
-cleaning up Louisville’s most over painted bathroom. Pictures to come.
-recovering a junked (and awesome) loveseat. Pictures to come.
-organizing the tiny kitchen. IKEA to the rescue
-finding a job. Oi Vey.

There you have it. Life in a nutshell. Keep checking in for nesting updates.


A Little Wedding Video to Whet Your Whistle

Thanks Ryan G.

In The Nest

Two glorious and exahusting weeks later, our honeymoon has come to a close.  Now it's time to make our cozy little nest in Louisville.  Speaking of which, you may have noticed a new look and title to the formerly "wedding" blog.  Now its our nesting blog. We'll be posting pictures from the wedding, honeymoon and move in soon when we get settled (and internet). 

Hope you've enjoyed our wedding adventure.  Hope you enjoy our life adventure too.

See you soon,


Not Long now

Today is the day.  I woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep.  I think I'll take an early bath instead.

The clouds are hanging overhead and rain is threatening, but regardless of the weather God chooses to send our way, we're getting married one way or another!

So hoping that we can get married here at St. Peters, but if it's Providence Road CoC, I'm sure it will still be a beautiful/fun/I love Jesus/folk-rock fest explosion.

Love to all,  Pray for good weather.



Wedding Week Begins

I have now officially left Montana. The trip to Louisville was long…snowy….windy…and full of semis, but now I’m in Charlotte, tucked up all cozy in the massive guest room bed, and Cathryn has pampered me with some nice hot tea. Sigh. It’s good to be the bride.

Now the real wedding fun begins. Updates coming soon!


Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig.

I'm on my way to my new home and life!  Presently, I'm stationed at the Comfort Inn in Vermillion, South Dakota, though only for the night.  Tomorrow its 13 hours of driving and then I get to see Taylor for the first time in months!



Finally finished the programs (or finished my end of the deal anyway).

To save on costs AND ensure extra awesome-ness, Mom and I went with this idea (which isn't mine at all, and is completely stolen):

They are paperboard CD cases with velum/paper inserts for the program.  Cool eh?

We began our programs with creating a stamp image to emboss on the front (I did it all by myself, thankyou).  I then punched each case and inserted eyelets into each spine.

We then embossed 200 CD cases, which took FOREVER, but was completely worth it.

From there, I printed a velum coversheet and inner paper inserts for each program, also punched twice for spine.

Finally, I strung teal ribbon through the holes and topped it all off with a bow.

Next, Tay's fam will print CD's of our original music to insert in each case slot. 

Love it. 

I love it even more now that its done.


The last of the Bridal Showers has passed, and what a shower!  Not only did I score some great loot (Blender! Microwave! Salad spinner! Bowls! Trays!....you name it!), but I got to spend a few precious hours with some super fun ladies. 

I arrived Saturday morning at the church building to find a tea all laid out.  I love tea parties!  My wonderful hostesses, Donna and Judy really laid out quite the spread, even tiny fancy sandwiches.  It felt very special. 

We played funny wedding word games at the table while sipping tea (all of which I cheated on, and none of which I won).  My personal favorite had to be the fill in the blank love letter using only names of veggies and fruits- I put "leek"  in every blank.

When it came time to open the gifts, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size and number of all the wonderful gifts these generous ladies had laid out for me.  To my surprise, I received not only practical gifts, but also a beautiful pearl necklace from Patrice, and several...shall we say...more private attire-related items.  The most shocking gift of the day? Without a doubt the can of whipped cream and sprinkles from Andrea.  Boy was my face red.  Nice one, Andrea.  Some day, I'll pay you back.... In close second-  the smallest pair of underoos I've ever seen from, even more shockingly, my little sister. 

It all wrapped up with Donna, who (without my knowlege) had been writing down everything I said while opening gifts and who then repeated it out loud to everyone in a very scandolus fashion...

These Church of Christ ladies, they sure can party.



So busy these days!  It seems I have a month's worth of work to do and only 18 days to do it all.  Sigh.  Still, I am getting alot done.

The huppah is almost finished:

The hebrew scroll is finished and has been basted to the main pannel.  I now have to attach cord to the rim of the scroll and finish the lettering on the bottom of the pannel.  Then its attaching the thick canvas borders (for signing!) and the batting/backing then it'll be done.  Really done!

Next on the list:  the programs!  I've finished the first stage of our Program/CD wedding gift - inserting eyelets into the spine of the paperboard CD cases.  I've also completed the image for the front of the program, which is being made into a stamp as we speak.  Next up- embossing the stamp image onto each program...one by one. 

I've also nearly completed my veil/headpeice. 

I'm 95% done with this little puppy.  In fact, I'm hoping to finish it up tonight (while watching the season premeire of HEROES of course).  Once it's all finished, I'll post it!

Back to work.


RSVP Deadline Today

169 and still more to come! RSVP on the knotsite and you'll be my new best friend (Promise!).


Oh Dear!

Tomorrow is the RSVP deadline and I have only 158 Yeses!

You can still mail your RSVPs in and please do!!

Don't forget, you can also RSVP via our knotsite.

Hurry Hurry! Tickets are going fast, and this not one you want to miss!!!!!


Yet Another Shoe Post

Shoes officially done. Though not exactly how I thought....

I received the shoes from Oxford Heaven in the mail today. I was sort of pleased. The overall ideas were cute but weren't really executed very well. For one thing, She spray painted the shoes. Wha? Why? The original grey suede was perfect. The spray painting job is messy at best- the heels are a little puckered from the paint and there are silver fingerprints on the bottom. The glue she used was pretty weak, which in this case was actually fortunate for me. I was able to easily remove the bad ribbon job and pearls without taking any paint off the shoe or ruining the vintage lace (which I LOVE). Without the pearls all over the place, the shoe looks much better. I also removed the plastic leaves on the back since in person they looked a tad cheap. Finally, I removed the extra lace on the heel. It was just too much. Overall as is...a five out of ten. Cute, but not wedding worthy.
Fortunately for me...I'm crafty.
I whipped out my own high quality satin ribbon that is also featured in the boutonnieres and corsages and read: CAREFULLY attached it around the opening of the shoe. This covered up the rough edges of the awesome vintage lace that the wimpy "hand knotted" ribbon was exposing. I then added a little sprig of vintage millinery leaves on the side of each rosette (with ONE pearl and rhinestone each...not a dozen). I also added another leaf on the back of shoe and topped the whole thing off with a huge and superfluous bow in the same satin ribbon. I love them now!
AND they're actually pretty comfortable. Each shoe has extra padding on the inside. I'll still need to add more before the wedding, but its a great start.
The only problem left is what to do with the bubbled heels. The paint just looks bad. The fact that the silver paint is shiny only highlights the mess. I'm thinking of stripping the heels, sanding them smooth then painting them a matte black. Any better ideas?
Don't get me wrong- the price of the shoes, lace, and rosettes alone is probably worth the $40 they cost on Etsy. I'm sure Oxford Heaven makes better shoes when she's not so pressed for time. But I don't think I would consider buying her shoes for special occasions.
What do you think of my shoes?


Satisfaction Reached.

Today I'm multi tasking. I'm currently:
  • soaking my feet as part of a home pedicure
  • eating smoked oysters (my Uncle Terry would be SO proud)
  • Blogging, of course
  • Working on the huppah

And, to top that off, I've just finished my shrug! I had finished the lacy 3/4 cut sleeve one that I began last Christmas. However, I was unsatisfied with the fit. So the search began for a better pattern. I found a great one on etsy that knitted up quick due to the chunky yarn and large gauged needles. It called for crochet sleeves, which I had never done before. I learned this: crochet is really easy. So. Much. Easier. Than. Knitting. And quicker. Once I picked it up, it only took a week to finish the whole shabang.

I originally wanted 3/4 cut sleeves, which the original pattern did not include. Once I did a test sleeve, I found it looked too bulky. In fact, the cap sleeve looks really cute. So I'm keeping it. Here's my very first crochet:

Its hard to believe that this-Turned into this-
Love it!

Now something else occurs to me: A little grey crochet flower for the shrug? Also, the dress needs a belt of some kind. would anyone we willing to knit or crochet a little lacy belt for moi? Or, even direct me to a good pattern? I would be ever so grateful....


The Huppah Sage Continues

Been a while since I showed you any progress on the huppah.
Getting Closer......Good news! I found the backing fabric for the huppah. I had it the whole time! So that saves me a pretty penny. Whew.

I've been thinking of creative guestbook alternatives for a few weeks now. Mom said people don't really look at their own guestbooks very often and that having something for people to sign that we can display would be a more meaningful alternative. Signed picture frames are a little too common for the likes of Tay and I. How about signing the huppah? I've been thinking of sewing a sturdy canvas-like border around the main huppah panel that would signable, but thick enough so that ink wouldn't seep through to the backing. I did some poking around today and spied out some grey canvas at a fabric store that would work. I think we could probably display it before the ceremony on the gift table where people could sign it as they enter, use it during the wedding, then lay it out again at the reception so it can continue to collect signatures.
What do you think?


You May now Kiss the Wedding Shoes

Ladies and Gentlemen (though I doubt men actually read this blog):
My wedding shoes are complete!
I found Oxford Heaven on (again) ETSY. She takes great shoes and works her magic on them using any number of things. In my case, she used grey rosettes, pearls, rhinestones, leaves, hand knotted ribbon, and vintage lace. Aren't they cute?
The base is grey suede, looks pretty silvery, no?

I love how crazy handmade they are!



Post # 100!

In other news, the bridesmaid corsages are all done. Yes! Mom, Olivia (bridesmaid #3) and I devoted the labor day afternoon to making these little suckers. And they really did take the whole afternoon, believe me.

A little back story: You may be asking "why corsages and not bouquets?" Well, since you asked, the bridesmaids are going to have their hands full. Not only are they my bridesmaids, they are official huppah holders. That is, they will be holding up the four poles of the huppah along with the groomsmen. So, no room for a bouquet in this wedding. Also...I just adore a good wrist corsage, don't you?
It took an hour or so of playing around with the materials to figure how to make them functional. The first hurdle: what to attach them to? Plain old ribbon didn't seem stable enough to really keep them in check. Fortunately for me, I have a super resourceful mom (two, actually, counting Cathryn). She talked a friend/flower lady into selling her some florist corsage bases. It was simple to insert a ribbon over the uggo elastic. From there, it was simply a matter of arranging all the flowers and doo-dads to make them look cohesive. We attempted to tie some elements together- my headpiece, the already completed boutonnieres, the huppah (in progress) and my professionally made paper bouquet. We used the vintage grey millinery leaves from my headpiece, the ribbon and feathers from the boutonnieres, salvage huppah fabric, and of course, the beautiful custom made paper flowers from St. Jude's creations to accomplish this masterful feat. Here's a look at the trio together- the maids on the outside, the maid of honor in the middle.
Yes, those are the vintage broaches I posted so so so long ago. Each of them are detachable so when the wedding is over, my dear sweet bridesmaids can toss the passe corsages and keep the awesome broaches. Booya, bridesmaids gift! I'm a genius. Also chock up another one for a vintage themed wedding.

And yes, mom's shelties did play an integral part in the making of these corsages. Witness:


Keep 'Em Coming

I'm up to 69 yeses so far on the wedding. Thats 30 paper RSPV's and 4-5 via the web. Keep 'em coming! Don't forget, you can RSVP via our knotsite on the top left. Only a very few more invites to send out then I'm all done.

Can't wait to cross it off the list!

In the meantime, what did you think of the invites?


Bridal Shower Numero Dos...Done

Wow. What. A. Haul.

Consider the towels, potholders, and aprons done.

The fabulous church ladies of the Rocky Mountain Church of Christ really outdid themselves on Saturday. We had a very tasty potluck brunch packed with THE BEST artery clogging goodness that church ladies can provide. I modeled my wedding dress, showed off the bouquet and boutonnieres and oh yeah: GOT TONS OF GREAT KITCHEN STUFF.

I got utensils up to my eyelids and its a good thing too- we were in serious need some whisks and wooden spoons! My grandma, the ever talented seamstress, hand made me some awesome one-of-a-kind place mats- our first, a vintage style apron out of vintage fabric and my wedding purse! Also made from a vintage brocade. She really is a super grandma. Brenda also made a really nice, earthy-colored apron. Its just perfect for Tay, and I know he'll love it! I was also showered with gift cards, which will be great for anything in our registries that didn't get purchased. Not to mention the great new recipes and recipe book that Carol gave me. She had all the ladies contribute some of their best recipes. What a creative and ck&tay appropriate gift! I would have gotten pictures but I was a little busy. Does anyone have any from Saturday?


That Darn Bolero.

You might have been wondering lately where's the bolero I've been knitting? Well, I finished it! Sadly, it doesn't have the fit appropriate for the dress itself. It really needs a collar and cuffs. While I did consider knitting those, I soon realized that I didn't have enough matching yarn left to do both. Also, I'd have to create my own color and cuff patterns and I'm just to busy with everything else to experiment with that. Instead, I found a lovely shrug pattern on Etsy (surprised?) It knits up pretty quick as the yarn is on the chunky side and the needle gage is large. I purchased two skeins of lovely Ivory soy wool (so soft!) and when I combine the left over yarn from the previous shrug, it has a nice texture and glow. Here's what the etsy pattern sample picture looks like:I've almost finished knitting up the colar already. Pictures of the real thing to come!


A Public Announcement

I've been getting alot of gift questions lately, mostly along the lines of what we still need. So to help you out I'll let you in on that:

Mostly we need smaller, but essential kitchen and bath things:
  • wooden spoons
  • spatulas
  • kitchen towels
  • potholders (you can never have too many!)
  • a spoon rest
  • cleaning supplies, including broom, mop, bucket, sponges, toilet brush, plunger, duster, etc. (please note: if any of you generous peoples do want to purchase cleaning products, candles or like, be sure they are lightly scented or unscented. I'm unfortunately sensitive to any flower or chemical smells. I'd love to be able to enjoy all of your generous gifts, so please keep that in mind. Scents like vanilla, cucumber, or a very light lavender are usually OK. Thanks for choosing carefully! XOXO)
  • kitchen or bath rugs
  • goofy fridge magnets or magnetic poetry (also, you can never have too many!)
  • trivets
  • soap holder
  • ironing board
  • any organizational tools-boxes, hooks, or the like

Also, feel free to pass on any books (fiction, good marriage books, cook books, or anything!), art, Christmas ornaments, or general house things that you've loved before but needs a new home. Being thrifty is not a crime! Tay and I would love anything with a history. Don't feel you absolutely must stick to the registries. Some of the most heartwarming and memorable gifts have been handmade, pre-loved, or otherwise unusual. Take for example (my personal favorite), a hand knitted pair of Christmas stockings with our names on them (our first as a couple!). How sweet, thoughtful, and will be cherished for years to come. We've also received some lovely Christmas ornaments (I love Christmas!), and even a few thoughtful gifts that are nods to southern and family tradition. Tradition is so important in making a family, so if any of you wonderful church ladies have traditions you'd like to share with or pass onto us, we would be very honored and thankful.

If all else fails, visit our online registries, located to right side of the screen at the tippy top. Macy's is located in Helena, and Charlotte has well...everything in town! I hope this gives you a better idea of what would benefit Tay and I most. Much love!!!



That's One Rustic Cake Stand, Missy.

About a week ago, Mum and I spent the morning scavenging local antique shops for a vintage cake stand. We were successful!

Mom found this "primitive three legged stool" in a back corner. It's great for a few reasons-

It's vintage! The real thing.

It's tall, a least a foot. This should make the relatively short cake stand out much better.

It's wood. It will look great paired with Metal pie tins, glass and ceramic plates and dessert trays and these DIY dessert stands that I've posted before:

With some paper flowers and some mason jar lanterns, it should fit in pretty well.

A bouquet?! For ME?!

Remember that post oh so long ago when I was bride-whining about "oh bouquets are so boring" and "I don't want living flowers" and waaahhhh wah wah? Well, I can cry no longer because I have the bouquet I wanted in paper courtesy of Saint Jude's creations on etsy. You can view her complete blog, including more info about my bouquet here.

I gave her a few guidelines, the overall feel of the wedding and told her to do whatever she wanted (just make it look good). And she delivered:

Those are paper gray poppies and cream colored ranunculus (two of my favorite flowers!) and for added vintage effect, she included some clay orange blossoms. I just love all the little stamens, which it looks like she might have hand painted. Oh and the feathers? Her idea and I think they're perfect! The flowers are all hand made and hand dyed by the artist herself.

The great part about this paper bouquet is that I can keep it around for as long as I want. Maybe someday my little niece or daughter can carry it. The other added benefit is the vast array of colors available. Sure, gray poppies don't exist in nature, nor would many flowers in October. By using paper, I had a much wider selection of flowers and colors available to me. Not to mention, the price for a little, one-of-a-kind piece of art was extremely reasonable!

On top of ordering my bouquet at Saint Jude's Creations, I also ordered an extra dozen of the same flowers to go in the bridesmaids wedding corsages and on the wedding cake. Yay for tying everything together!

Way to go Marie! Thanks for a great wedding nosegay!