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Elegant, Gold and Red Wedding


I’m so excited I get to design an inspiration board and buying guide with an elegant, sophisticated feel to it for my friend and his beautiful bride-to-be! The wedding will be held on the San Gabriel Hilton rooftop underneath a GORGEOUS white gazebo with city skyline views.

The color palette is primarily traditional Chinese wedding colors of gold and red. The bride also loves cherry blossoms, so I’ve carried the delicate pink of cherry blossoms throughout the design.

Here is an inspiration board and buying guide I created for the happy couple!

Here’s how to pull off this look while still sticking to your budget:

Manzanita Trees

1. Make the Manzanita tree centerpieces yourself. California — and indeed many Western states — have abundant Manzanita. Drive out into the country a bit and you’ll see some! Trim the trees of any leaves, wipe down the branches, and finish with some matte or metallic gold spray paint.


While you have the spray paint handy, another inspiring centerpiece idea would be to spray paint regular wine bottles and use them throughout the venue as vases:


Reception Decor

2. Vintage keys hanging from Manzanita branches are another look the bride loves. Find keys to decorate escort cards from Etsy or eBay.


You could also create an amazing wedding favor by tying a vintage key to just about any keepsake or leaving it by itself for guests to use as an ornament.

Try working the vintage key theme into other aspects of your wedding:


Wedding Favor Ideas

3. Since the couple are in need of some other wedding favor inspiration, I came up with these very usable options guests would enjoy:

Soaps in a cherry blossom scent, from the always-elegant L’Occitane

Another cherry blossom soap favor idea:

A bottle of wine with a personalized label:

Remember, this doesn’t have to be an uber-expensive gift. It could be a special favor to give to family members only. Also, many guests will neglect to take favors, so you may not even need a bottle for each guest. Another idea to cut costs is to leave a bottle of wine for each couple attending your wedding (and of course each single, above-21-years-old guest!) Get thee to BevMo quick! They’re having their 5 cent sale. 🙂

A cherry blossom candle:

Or how about something tasty as a favor? Edible favors are always a big hit! You won’t have to worry about left-behind favors with these ideas.

Try cupcakes or cookies decorated with the same cherry blossom motif:


Petal shaped cookies. Yum! And SO totally unique.


For an even more low-cost favor, try slipping a home-baked cookie into a simple favor box or cellophane wrapper and decorating it with a personalized label

or personalized tags!

Ceremony Site Decor

4. The ceremony gazebo would look amazing either draped in florals, or with hundreds of origami cranes:



Pick up some lovely red and gold origami paper and do the folding yourself. Hey, if even I could figure it out after a few shots, I bet anybody could!

Another lovely look would be ribbons and origami cranes, together:


I envision the gazebo’s white columns flanked in rich, red organza fabric, with a border arrangement of flowers along the top, and streams of ribbons and origami cranes making up a backdrop behind the bride and groom. I sort of picture it like this, but imagine the appropriate colors instead of green, and cranes and ribbons instead of crystals:

Source: Designs by Hemingway, LLC

Underneath the gazebo, the table holding unity candles or other ceremony items could be decorated like this:


And finally, for that total “wow” factor that only costs a couple hundred bucks, order rose petals from your florist and have a creative, artistic friend scatter them down the aisle in a beautiful design:


And there you have it! An elegant, red and gold wedding for the lovely bride and groom! Good luck planning, my friends, I know it’s going to be simply gorgeous!

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Giveaway Winners!!!

Yep, you read that correctly, we have not one, but TWO winners of this week’s custom mood board giveaway!

How did that happen?! Let me explain with this picture sequence of my random-drawing method:

1. Write giveaway entry names on pieces of sticky note paper I had lying around and place in a hat:

2. Shake hat around, close eyes, and dip in for the winning folded-up-sticky-note-name:

3. Open eyes to discover this:

Sammie is the winner! Wahoo! But oh wait, what’s this? A tag-along sticky-note-paper:

Nellie won, too! Time for a happy dance! Not too surprising Nellie was a winner as well, since she had a total of four entries in the drawing for tweeting, blogging, subscribing and following–a great way to maximize yo’ chances, girlfriend, and it gave me a boost in readership this week. Thanks to you and to all who entered!

Side note: I clearly hadn’t thought through the whole using-sticky-note-paper thing in my drawing. Those suckers all stuck together after I shook the hat up. Obviously I’m still in the primitive stages on this here ol’ blog of mine. I could have used, but I just thought seeing as how I had a manageable number of entrants this time around, I might as well have a little fun and use the old folded-up-papers-in-a-hat method.

BUT, I definitely don’t regret that the two stuck together. I’m very excited to have two winners, especially in two categories: Flowers and Decorating! This means I’ll be whipping up a DIY-flower-arranging and buying guide for Sammie, a bride-to-be, AND an interior design mood board for Nellie. It’ll be a fun weekend of shopping, planning and mood-boarding to be sure. I just eat this stuff up.

Winners, I’ll be in touch but if you see this post first, give me a holler at and we’ll get started.

If you didn’t win this time, no fear, this will be a weekly feature so be sure to pop back in Tuesday for a chance to win again. Between now and then, keep your eyes peeled for my first-ever fashion mood board. I was just flipping through a four-year-old photo album of ours, and realized I haven’t shopped much since then. I still have all the same clothes in those photos. Realizing that was the jolt I needed to whip up a colorful, late-winter wardrobe shopping guide. If you like shopping at places like Anthropologie, Modcloth and JCrew, I think you’ll like the mood board I’m currently working on.

Stay tuned, lovely readers, and have a wonderful weekend. Colby and I plan to spend some quality time together outdoors. It’s my turn for a piggyback ride.



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Tuesdays With Mor’Money

Yup, I just pulled out a reference to the best-selling novel (and movie) Tuesdays with Morrie. I think Morrie would have been the type of guy who thinks one should not overspend on things, and thus Morrie would approve of this post, which is all about saving money. Creating a wedding, an event and a lifestyle that looks high-end, but in reality is cheaper than my mom-at-the-mall.

See, I grew up in a family that clipped coupons, swapped goods with friends, accepted hand-me-downs and constantly scouted for cheap deals so we could afford a yearly or so extravagant vacation. We’re talking Europe extravagant. So it makes sense I followed the same methods of saving so I could have my Europe-caliber wedding. A $50,000-lookalike-affair for $15,000. (See it here at Style Me Pretty.)

Yes, I caved into my champagne vices while sticking to natty ice prices. (Ooo, I rhymed!) And I’m here to offer my services to help you do the same.

So, let me get to the point: I’m starting a new feature up in he’ah! Each week, I’m going to create a mood board and buying guide for a uniquely beautiful wedding styled by yours truly! Annnnd, my dear readers, you’ll have a chance to have that buying guide and custom wedding design created by me for free, based on your dream wedding, and featured right here.

Furthermore, since I know many of you may have more specific needs, I can customize your buying guide/mood board to not just an overall wedding design, but if you so choose I will create a buying guide for your wedding-or-event floral needs (for those DIYers like me out there) that sticks to both your budget, without sacrificing your floral-dreams. OR, if you’re not currently planning an event, I will create a mood board and buying guide to revamp and redecorate a room in your house or apartment! I’ll source inexpensive-yet-stylish items to tie your room together, all while sticking to a budget. Just specify in your comment below: “Wedding Me!” “Flower Me!” or “Decorate Me!” so I know which you’d like!

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is one of the following: subscribe to my blog, follow me on Twitter, tweet about this giveaway, become a “fan” of Clementine & Clover’s facebook page, or post on your own blog with a link to this giveaway. Come back here and in your comment, tell me what-all you’ve done. You’ll get an entry for each action you take! That’s up to five entries per person!

I’ll announce the winner and be in touch with them this Friday!

Good luck and thanks for entering!!

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A DIY Holiday Doormat Project: The Results!

I had a high school teacher and a college professor describe me as having “moments of pure brilliance.” A nice way of saying those moments were bookended by long periods of pure blunder.

I would like to think that the moment I furiously cut out a santa-and-reindeer stencil, applied it to my mat, and without hesitating to read the directions, shook the can of paint and sprayed away–as a moment of pure brilliance. And the moment shortly thereafter where I inhaled enough fumes to coat my lungs in American Accents smooth finish midnight blue, sadly, one of blunder.

Oh the sacrifices* one must make in order to create great art:

As soon as the spray dust settled in my lungs and caused me to begin to feel high dizzy, I swooped up my beloved cat Tigerlily and booked it outdoors. Then, thinking I was surely dying–I called my Dad, who has a way about him of downplaying any serious situation I may find myself in until I think I’m no longer in any peril. Have a flat tire in skid row right across from a drug deal? No problem! By the time I’ve listened to my Dad talk (and he loves to talk) about everything he has possibly heard on the news or on NPR about skid row, I start to feel as safe and confident in myself as if out for an afternoon stroll in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

Dr. Dad suggested a brisk walk to open up the capillaries in my lungs and unclog the paint that has surely hardened there. I like that about my Dad. Good exercise that makes you sweat is his cure-all remedy. Like the Dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Windex spray.

Do I recommend the project? Yes. It’s cute and if done in a well-ventilated area with a dust mask, non-hazardous.

I do, however, recommend doing it Martha’s way with paper cut outs. I ended up having a hard time cutting out my design from tape a la Young House Love’s way because all the pieces were flopping around trying to stick to each other. The paper die cut snowflakes (made on a Cricut) simply placed on the mat worked just as well as the designs made out of tape stuck to the mat.

Process of creating my doormat:

1. Draw your design on tape or paper placed on your mat (in order to get the right size/positioning). Doesn’t have to be perfect, just get the right size for your mat and a good outline going on.

2. Cut out the design using scissors. There might be circles of negative space that need cutting out, I used a utility knife to poke a hole in those sections and then small scissors to cut out the rest.

3. Place the design back on the mat in the desired position.

4. Put the mat on a protected area like plastic, cardboard, newspapers. Put on a dust mask. Turn on fans and open windows, or take the whole thing outdoors.

5. Apply two coats of spray paint. (You can wait in between coats or just do two at once like I did.)

6. Wait a few minutes for paint to dry then pull off the stencil eagerly–disregarding Martha’s instructions to wait two hours for paint to dry.

Here are some close-up shots:

For next time, I think any tiny, straight lines would be better achieved by just lying some string down on the mat, rather than cutting out tiny lines from paper or tape (hard!)

Like I said, your rough sketch doesn’t have to be perfect. As you are cutting out, you can make adjustments and follow the lines you like best:

Tinier than one-inch, those little paper snowflakes didn’t come out so well:

Close-up of the reindeer:

For part I of this DIY mat-making adventure, click here.

(*Sarcasm. My mat is unfortunately not great art. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to hire a fine artist to do my door mat designs or my swiss buttercream cake designs like Martha does.)

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The Temperature’s Right for this DIY Project!

Yes, folks. I checked and it is currently 69 degrees with humidity at 50 percent, which means perfect conditions in Irvine, California for a certain do-it-yourself project I’ve been dying to try ever since I saw this on Martha:

The project calls for paper stencils that you then pin onto a doormat before spray painting.

Last week, I saw this holiday version over on Young House Love:

I have my own little reindeer-inspired design I’d love to see on a mat in front of my door, from this woodcut I made last Christmas for the cards we sent out to close family and friends:

I apologize for the poor-quality photo (I just snapped it real quick on photo booth on my mac), but you get the idea.

It was inspired by this design from Pottery Barn (my oh-so-similar woodcut version was for personal use and not for any sort of profit, I swear, so it’s less of a rip-off that way):

Since I’m a big fan of jewel tones for Christmas: deep purples, forest green, ruby reds and navy blues, I chose this midnight blue color spray paint to get the job done:

I figure it will also help Santa and his reindeer appear as though they’re flying through a night sky. More so than had I chosen a cherry red backdrop, another very Santa-y color I considered.

I’m going to throw in some snowflake die cuts onto the design as well. I made them on my Cricut last year for some quick and easy Christmas tree ornaments.

Well, enough dilly-dallying I’m off to start a-drawing and a-stenciling and spray paintin’ away! Stay tuned to see the results!

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Make 3 Centerpieces from a Trader Joe’s Bouquet

Right now at Trader Joe’s in the flower section you’ll find peonies in rich pink hues and whites, as well as gorgeous $10 bouquets filled with festive boughs, pine cones, berries and chrysanthemums. By the way, I don’t need to spell check that last one thanks to Anne of Green Gables… (Leave a comment below if you know what I’m talking about!)

I grabbed one such bouquet intent on stretching it as far as it could go — as arrangements for a 15-person winter baby shower last weekend, and after they’d served their purpose there, as centerpieces to last through my husband’s and my holiday entertaining.

While the baby shower pics are coming soon, I promise, in the meantime I wanted to share how the centerpieces are holding up a week later, and go over how I whipped them up.

Excuse my poor photography skills. And excuse my rudimentary backdrop of gold curtains perforated with holes (courtesy of my cat, Tigerlily).

Without further adieu, here are my three centerpieces:

The pine-cone-on-a-stick came in the bouquet!

I used cheap rectangular and square vases from a florists’ store I picked up in downtown L.A. back when planning my own wedding. They come in handy these days for other parties and for centerpieces like these where the flowers need to take center stage.

Just a tip on arranging without using florists’ foam: hold each stem up to the vase in the position and angle you want to place it to cut it to the appropriate length. Use stems woven through and against each other for support as you build each arrangement starting with the largest blooms and ending with the tiny grasses and lightweight flowers, such as the snapdragons.

I would like to note that since this photo session, my cat has eaten all of the grasses. Seriously, they are now stubs.

And the third arrangement. Love the hypericum berries.

Except for maybe the white roses (can’t really see them in these shots–sorry), I’m counting on these flowers lasting me through Christmas. If you want to try what I did, just snip the bottoms of the stems when you first arrange them, and change the water every couple of days. Add a drop of 7-up or flower food to the water. And use room-temp water instead of cold. They like it more. Don’t ask me why. Just do it. (Says the UCCE Master Gardener who should totally remember why they like it, but doesn’t at all.)

Next up for the new year are some of those glorious Trader Joe’s peonies!

Stay tuned for baby shower coverage as well as some Christmas-y posts on holiday table-top decorating, and a festive DIY project I’m soo-oo-ho-ho-ho excited to try out this weekend!

Have you gone to town with one of those extremely gorgeous bouquets from Trader Joe’s, stretching it into several centerpieces for your home or table?

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A “Wow Factor” Wedding in Pink, Yellow & Orange

One of my brides whom I met with today has not only a killer sense of style–she also has a great sense of color! She’s eager to create a “wow factor” ballroom wedding that screams personality, all in her three favorite bright colors: pink, yellow and orange!

I’ve put her to work coming up with a list of her and her future hubby’s favorite things, so that we might find unique ways to work them into the wedding design and make the whole day even more personal and meaningful. I’m also excited to see her inspiration photos, but I just couldn’t wait for them when I heard what colors she wanted, so I took the opportunity to whip up a board today!

You see, I have been dying to design a wedding in these colors. Together, they are modern, fun and just so cute!!! No to mention, there are just so many wonderful products available in these hues! Scroll down a bit to see a buying guide I’ve created for my bride.

Oh, and it’s also worth mentioning she adores polka dots, so I’ve worked those into the design as well!

Credits from top left to right: source, source, source, source, source, source, source, source

For this wedding, it would be cute and cost-effective to make these free favor boxes by printing out the design template over on Style Me Pretty:

Tie in the pops of yellow over at the drink bar, with an offering of these babies in clear quart-size mason jars (for extra cute-factor) or clear glass cylinder vases (for sleek-factor):

150 striped yellow paper straws, $21.00, from

Set up a cake or candy buffet table a la Amy Atlas’ design in my inspiration board above, using these ADORABLE cake bake cups:

Set of 40, $5.95 from Sur la Table

See the invitation in my board above? They’d look amazing in a bright, saturated yellow envelope from Paper Source like this one aptly named “Sunshine,” with some of that pink polka dotted paper like on the favor boxes above used as envelope liners.


Tie in both pink and orange with these super cute labels stuck on the outside, $3.30 for a sheet of 30, from Zazzle:

Or these pink labels would look great on deep raspberry-pink envelopes. From Zazzle, $3.10 per sheet of 18:

And, although the polka dot invitations are super fun and simple, they can quickly be dressed up by applying small rhinestones off-center in several of the dots.

This is a sweet alternative, too, from Etsy, especially if you convo’d the seller to get some hot pink ribbons in lieu of orange:

OK, now let’s switch gears away from paper goods and over to linens. See the pale taupe-y gray linens in the photos in the board above? With the pops of orange and pink raw silk ties around the napkins? That’s the genius of wedding designer Lisa Vorce. Those linens, I’m pretty sure, are from Wildflower Linen, but a less expensive kind can be found at La Tavola. (Am I biased, though, since I used this company for my own wedding linens? Yes, I am. But they ARE great linens):

In eggshell. Starting at $30 per linen.

Or a linen from La Tavola in grey. Starting at $8 per linen. This one is from their Nuovo line, and I can personally vouch that they are very high-quality feeling/looking.

And to end on a more fun note than linens (although they ARE very important to the overall look of your wedding):

My bride would love to make these do-it-yourself, SUPER cute pom poms from Martha Stewart. We will pair them with a fabric-covered, three-dimensional installation photo backdrop her brother is going to build. Thank goodness for handy brothers!

So you see, a wedding can be playful, fun, energetic AND have that complete and utter wow factor! And not just as in “wow, those are a lot of bright colors!” but as in “wow, how MUCH did they spend on this wedding?!?!” And, much more importantly “wow, this wedding is SO them!!!”

The key, my friends, is to create high-end looking florals with artfully selected hues, avoiding things like those asiatic tiger lilies (OK, yes, I am biased against them), spray roses, carnations and other cheap fillers in a loose and airy arrangement. Opt instead for either airy + architectural, or tightly-packed, arrangements of fully-opened garden roses, mums, dahlias, peonies. And for fillers try billy buttons, white scabiosa, bright pink or white veronica, and for texture add in eucalyptus, scabiosa pods or succulents.

Equally as important are edited-down linens and neutral backdrops that allow the colors to “pop.” Stick with neutrals or white. For your main three bright colors, it’s best to allow one or two of the colors to lead the way, and have the third act as an accent color appearing here and there. Above, I’ve focused on pink and orange with yellow as the accent. Yellow would look great in the envelopes, in a few billy button flowers or mums, or in some pillows thrown across a white or taupe-colored rental chaise in a lounge area.

Do you plan to use bright colors in your wedding or party? Do tell!

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