Cortney + Steven’s Elegant Outdoor Wedding

elegant outdoor ceremony and barn reception in southeastern Kansas

Pure light and joy, bright futures and sweet smiles. All of that was there the day Cortney and Steven said “I do.” Their whispered moments, shared with comfortable smiles, betrayed the honest love they hold for one another.

Their day was spent surrounded by those that love them most and punctuated with elegant details that highlighted their personalities and spoke of their regard for each other.

I consider myself honored to witness their day and to have been the one who could celebrate their wedding day by capturing the beauty of it. Their  flowers, the people, but mostly the beautiful emotions on display were all treasure to behold and document.

Thank you, Cortney and Steven for trusting me with your day and allowing me to share it with you.

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Spring Lilacs in a Mason Jar

Am I a Pinterest cliche? I don’t even care.

When we took possession of our new house, I saw the flower gardens, sporting dormant tufts of unknown plant variety. For some reason I just imagined green leafy bushes and ground cover… the occasional rose bush. I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to gardening, so I really didn’t know, for instance, that we had a lilac bush! This was a pleasant and sweet smelling surprise. I’m giddy with the thought of fresh flowers in my back yard and I’m anxious to see what other blooms will jump out and surprise me in the months to come.

Today I took a mason jar, gave it a quick coat of primer and dropped in some lilac blooms. Then I fainted from how much I loved it. Then I regained my composure, ran upstairs for my “big” camera and snapped these tasty images.

Lilacs in a white spray painted mason jar vase Lilacs in a white spray painted mason jar vase Lilacs in a white spray painted mason jar vase  white spray painted mason jar vase full of lilacs

The Kitchen Makeover! Before and After

During the house hunting phase of this new journey in our life, there were things we I always looked for. High ceilings, lots of windows and… the kitchen of my dreams. This house had the high ceilings in the living area, and a decent amount of windows. The kitchen was, however, smaller than I would have hoped. It also feels a little closed off from what seems to be a predominately open floor plan. Faced with limited time and funds,we agreed that a full kitchen remodel would have to wait a year or two (knock out a wall, extend counter space, install a massive island, new errthang).

Meanwhile I felt that some fresh colors would make the space feel like my own and satisfy my need for something updated in the kitchen. I originally wanted to paint the cabinets white because I love the feeling of bright kitchens, but we didn’t plan to replace the counter tops or the appliances, which are an almond, beige color. I used Photoshop to mock up the colors (I’m such a nerd) and felt like white cabinets just made everything else look extra dingy and dirty. So I tried gray (Of course. Why not?) And realized that was the exact answer I wanted. Settling on the “right” gray was tough, but I just ended up using the color I chose for our main bathroom. We used Behr paint colored to Sherwin Williams “Earl Grey” because I had previously painted a room with this color (Sherwin Williams paint that time). Although, it seemed a lot darker than what Home Depot ended up mixing for us this time. That is why my mock up is darker than what we ended up with. I’m still happy with it, though. Because it’s still grey.

I had also originally planned to buy new cabinet hardware, but I decided to save the money and spray paint them instead. I even decided to spray paint the hinges at the last minute. Among the other house items I planned to spray paint were door knobs, some shelves, other handles and knobs, and return air vents. I chose a Rustoleum brushed nickel color that I loved. Some of those projects flopped but I was satisfied with how the cabinet hardware turned out. Although I’m not entirely convinced there is enough contrast between the cabinet color and the hardware color. Oh, well. I’m getting nerdy and particular now.

Overall, I am very very very pleased with how the kitchen turned out. I left the walls yellow,the way they were originally, because it seemed to look good with the gray and it makes it cheery in there. I’m also happy with the way my many red appliances look with everything.

Excuse my lack of fancy language in this post. I haven’t had my Red Bull for the day.

Therefore… Pictures. They speak louder anyway.

The Kitchen Makeover

Before (on left) and After (on right)

Kitchen Re-do - BeforeCell phone - kitchen after

A note about the above photos (I should have cleaned the floors better, haha)

Here are some photos taking during the process

The spray paint I used. Rustoleum Brushed NickelThree of the cabinet handles after being painted.Hardware after being spray painted How I had the paint and primer setup while I painted the cabinet frontsCabinet front backs ready for primerThe cabinet fronts and drawers lined up for painting How I set up the cabinets on our deck for painting them gray Doorknob Spray painting Setup Kitchen Re-do After - Oven CloseupView through opening to Dining Room

Kitchen Re-do - After CloseupKitchen Re do After - Fridge View

Kitchen Re-do AfterIMAG1500IMAG1499

 

Confessions of: A First-Time Home Owner

Confessions of a Red Bull Addict

That’s right. It’s confessions, home owner edition.

  • A week before the move, I drank my first Red Bull in 2 1/2 years. Then the second… and the third. Today as I sit and type this I am drinking my ninth. Oops.
  • I’m scared to hook up our Wii Fit and weigh myself. After several weeks of “work, Wendy’s, work, pizza, collapse, wake up, work, Wendy’s, work, etc…” I am sure to have put on a few.
  • RIGHT before we moved, Windows crashed on my work computer. I have endured many close calls where Windows is able to self-recover. Not this time, unfortunately. I am, however, blessed with a dad who is a computer genius, so he took my tower home for a couple weeks and worked what magic he could. I’m relieved to say I have not lost any serious data, no current client work or photos were lost. I did, however, lose everything that was on my C drive. I can’t even remember what was on there, but it was predominately personal stuff and some older sessions that have been delivered to clients. I also lost all software installations that were added in the last 3 years. That leaves me online with Adobe at the moment, resolving some things. I’m sad to have lost data. The worst is knowing that over 200 GBs are gone and I don’t even know what they are!!! I imagine myself searching desperately for some hugely necessary file in the future and always wondering “what if that was on my C drive?” I’m trying to stay positive, so here are the positives: My client files are alive and well, Adobe has been helpful in saving my activations, I have learned (another) valuable lesson in backing up (and in learning to control my hoarding tendencies), My computer is fresh and new feeling (seems to fit well with my life now that we’re in a new home). Ok. This was a long and nerdy one, on to the next.
  • I keep second guessing everything about my interior design, my color and layout choices. I feel this overwhelming pressure to make every room in our house absolutely Pinterest perfect. I have decided to invest in some woodworking tools because I have so many pieces of furniture I want to build now. I’m having trouble feeling settled and I’m terrified that this feeling of incompleteness will never go away. I’ve heard home owners say that’s what it’s like. Always something new to buy, fix or do. I suppose it’s a work in progress, really. Plus, we don’t really have the funds to pour into all my artistic visions for our new abode. I’m trying to take small, manageable bites out of the project list. For now these amazing things will have to live inside my head.
  • Finally, I have to say, I LOVE this house more and more each day I wake up in it. Each room we finally get unpacked and every box we’re able to break down and put in the garage makes it feel more like home. We’re hoping to have a housewarming BBQ type event eventually. Stay tuned. :)

New House!!! – Before and After videos

It’s done, it happened, we’ve MOVED!!!

When Steven and I stopped by to look at the house the first time, I took a video on my phone of the inside so I could refer back to it during our days of deliberation. I’m so happy I did, I watched it a number of times to remind myself of what we had seen. There were many wonderful things about this house we would eventually call home, but it wouldn’t be home until we had put our blood, sweat and tears into it. And that we did.

Next came weeks of driving from Overland Park to Leavenworth and back, chasing Miles around this new territory and trying desperately to preserve his clothing (we still lost several pants and shirts to paint splatters) and his life (why to little ones love outlets, knives, hammers and heights so very much?!). Here is a quick rundown of the tasks we tackled: Removed popcorn ceilings in all the rooms, sanded all the trim, washed all the walls and ceilings, primed every ceiling, wall, door, trim, window casing and the occasional elbow, painted all the ceilings, painted all the trim and doors white, and painted the walls (finally).

The morning of the move, I arrived ahead of the crew along with my friend, Beth and tried to get a video once-over of the house before all our junk was brought in. You will see that there were still some finishing touches that had yet to be completed. Missing doorknobs (missing doors), unfinished kitchen, painters’ tape here and there and paint cans that had yet to be put away. As I finish each room to my liking, I will post blog entries about each one. For now you can just take a look at the bones of the house and what we did with it in the weeks leading up to the move.

I’ll stop talking and show you the videos.

New House – BEFORE

New House – AFTER

New House – BEFORE from silverdoves on Vimeo.

New House – AFTER from silverdoves on Vimeo.

Some photos of the process

VIDEO0216_0000011415IMAG1426IMAG1423IMAG1307IMAG1295IMAG1293IMAG1292Primed Living AreaDen Wall Primed for PaintingBrianna Painting aka TextingPriming the CeilingIMAG1285

We’re Buying a House!!!

The New HouseYes, the next step has arrived.

We are buying a house!

A couple months ago we were given the opportunity to buy a house in Leavenworth, KS. This is important because it is much closer to where Steven works. Right now he’s driving 45 minutes to work each morning (then back at night of course) so having a home in Leavenworth will give us a good two extra hours with him each day and that itself is enough reason for us to take the plunge. Another huge reason we needed this is that we’re running out of space. Better said, we ran out of space months ago and this is exactly what we need. I’m a massive pack-rat / border-line hoarder so this is a great chance for me to get organized and get rid of things I really don’t need anymore.

About the House

Here’s a little about the house we’re buying. It’s in Leavenworth (duh) and a California style split-level with 3 bedrooms and a basement. A basement!!! That is amazing. We also will have an the addition of a family room/den and a yard! Oh, and a garage. It has a cute yard and awesome back decks and updated exterior. Not exactly my style but in fantastic condition. The interior has been kept really clean and well-taken care of. Some of the color and features are a little dated for my taste, but most of the things I want to change are cosmetic, so yay for paint!!!

Getting Ready for the House

This means we are in full swing getting ready for the house! We won’t actually be closing on the house until the end of the month, but we have a lot to do before then. I’ve been trying to slim down our possessions a bit. I went through the contents of our bathroom cabinets and discovered I have at least 15 bottles of spray-on hair color. I got rid of 3. That is progress, right? I have a laundry basket and 3 shopping bags full of garage sale items and the purge has only just begun. I’m having so much trouble knowing where to start. I have a few boxes packed but the place is still a disaster and I literally find myself walking around in circles unsure what my next step should be.

To get the new house ready we are working on a few cosmetic updates. So far we have managed to prep a previously wallpapered wall in the den, remove the painted popcorn ceiling from 1/2 the den (torture) and sanded about 90% of the trim in all the rooms. In the remaining time we have this month we plan to remove the popcorn ceiling from all the rooms with unpainted ceilings, wipe down all the walls and ceilings completely in an attempt to reduce the cigarette smell that still lingers throughout the house, primer EVERYTHING from top to bottom, then paint all the rooms and trim. That’s the fun part. In the coming months we also plan to replace the light fixtures (Ikea can’t arrive soon enough) and possibly replace some flooring in the next 3-6 months.

The plan is to move in the last weekend of March, so that leaves a limited amount of weekend hours to accomplish these tasks. It’s daunting, but I feel confident we can do it. Also, we don’t really have a choice, because we need to be out of the apartment by the end of March. The good news (other good news, I guess) is that I am have finally reached a break in my workload for silverdoves, leaving me free the rest of the month to focus entirely on the move. Once I have my computer set up in the new place (in it’s very own office!) I will resume my activities as usual. I have a few stunning sessions that are hibernating in lightroom and tempting me. Those will be tackled in April.

I hereby announce March 2014 as move-in month and will do my absolute best to update you on the progress. 

Krystle + Cecil’s Wintery Church Wedding

Wedding Rings  Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaThis winter I developed a new-found sense of wonderment when it comes to the beauty winter has to offer. Here I was, obsessed with snow and pinecones and evergreen and the stark beauty of naked tree branches. Even better, I had the opportunity to celebrate this winter wonderment in a special way, by photographing Krystle and Cecil’s winter wedding. It was perfect, from the charm of the quintessential country church, to the way the snow reflected the light dancing in the eyes of the bride and groom as they held each other close, capturing the warmth together. As always, I felt humbled to share in such a special day. Thank you, Krystle and Cecil!

Wedding Photos by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaGetting Dressed Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaCute Moment Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaFirst Look Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaBride and GroomWedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala Bride and Groom Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala Black and white Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaBride and Groom Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaGroom details Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala  Umbrella and Rainboots Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaUmbrella Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala Wedding Party Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaThe ceremony Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaCeremony Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaThe Kiss Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaThe Kiss in Black and white Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala The Cake Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaReception Details Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany TarchalaProgram Wedding Photo by Johnson County Wedding Photographer Brittany Tarchala

Pictures from Krystle + Cecil’s Wintery Church Wedding Photography in southwest Missouri by Johnson county based wedding photographer Brittany Tarchala.

Confessions: of a Monochromatic Soul

I have eliminated one color after another, and what has remained is gray gray gray

Here we go again… (It’s about time. Some of these confessions were self-actualized before Christmas)

  • I’m one of those people who loves the fact that Christmas starts earlier every year. I decorated my tree on my birthday (Nov. 7) and I plan to make it a tradition. We usually end up keeping the tree up until spring, so I figured we might as well put it up earlier and enjoy the anticipation of Christmas in the few extra weeks we gain before the holidays. (Update: I made myself take the tree down in January!!! Mostly because I was sick of guarding the ornaments and I was missing out of space in our livingroom for all the new toys Miles got for Christmas, haha)
  • I drink 3-5 Seagram’s Sparkling Seltzer water each day. Two years ago it was Red Bull, most of my life it has been Dr. Pepper and I feel justified in clearing the “White Peach” flavored sparkling water from the shelves at Price Chopper every two weeks because it’s not as expensive as Red Bull and has no bad sweeteners. (Update: My dentist told me this is also bad because it’s acidic. Will no vice ever be sacred?!?!?)
  • My favorite colors are: Charcoal Gray, Medium gray, gray, gray and GRAY. I get caught buying gray everything and when I add color it’s usually solid and shares it’s space with few or no other colors. I love seeing color elsewhere in the world and marvel at livingrooms full of patterns and colors that somehow GO together. But there is something about white and gray and gray and gray that, when seen together, inspires me. I think being gray on the outside allows me to be more colorful and vibrant on the inside.
    This guy says it well

    • “If I see everything in gray, and in gray all the colors which I experience and which I would like to reproduce, then why should I use any other color? I’ve tried doing so, for it was never my intention to paint only with gray. But in the course of my work I have eliminated one color after another, and what has remained is gray, gray, gray!” — Alberto Giacomettii
      For more monochromity see this Pinterest board of mine.
  • I’ll leave you with this very deep revelation: I prefer the outside of a cinnamon roll to the inside.

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The Prettiest Fall Leaves I’ve Ever Seen!

I seriously think the leaves this fall have been the prettiest I’ve ever seen! Everything just came together, I suppose, to bring all the right varieties of trees to transition at the right times and just the right amount and timing of wind. Here are a few of my leaf images. Can you guess which is my favorite? Maybe the one I decided to keep HUGE even though it’s vertical?

Fall Leaves 2013

The Brooke and Brian Hour

Last Friday my sister, Brooke came through town with her boyfriend, Brian and we got to spend a sweet 60 minutes or so with them, catching up and enjoying the perfect fall weather together. I couldn’t let them leave without snapping some shots of their happy faces a midst the fiery trees outside our apartment complex. I was especially happy that Miles got to be reacquainted with his Aunt Brooke. He also made fast friends with Brian, faster than I have ever seen Miles take to someone, actually. He was sad to see them leave, and so was I. But I have these to keep me company until we meet again.
Brooke and Brian | A hour with my sister

Brooke and Brian | A hour with my sister

Brooke and Brian | A hour with my sister

Brooke and Brian | A hour with my sister