Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Interview with Completely Gail

We simply adore these indie made cards designed by Abigail de Jesus. The unique designs are ideal for letting your loved ones know just how much you care!  Join us for our interview with the creative mind behind Completely Gail.

Can you tell us how Completely Gail got started?
Ever since college, the dream of having my own greeting card / stationery business was always brewing in my mind. I would always make cards for friends out of any kind of paper I could find and they seemed to like them. Completely Gail, however, was officially born in 2009, after a friend of mine recruited me to make her cousin’s wedding programs. Since then, I’ve been doing wedding invitations, greeting cards, and the like.

Describe a typical day for you.
I usually start my day by going to church. Two reasons – it forces me to wake up (mass is at 8am) and gives me a clear head. After mass, I go back to my home office and dream away. =)  Most days I work on filling orders, but I am trying to spend more ‘working’ days out of the house and do more designing.

When you left your previous job to pursure Completely Gail full time, did you face any challenges in the transition?
The biggest challenge I faced (and am still facing) is being my own boss. There’s no one around to tell me what to do and when I should be doing it. I work from home and there are so many things that distract me…the tv, my bed, chores…you’ve got to be self-disciplined and self-motivated to do this kind of thing.

When you’re not busy creating cute new designs or fulfilling orders, what can we find you doing?
There are usually a few places where you’ll find me when I’m not at home…

Church – My husband, Mark, and I are the youth ministers at Holy Family Church in Artesia, so that keeps us busy. We love being able to share our experiences with God & ministry to the youth.

Disneyland - We love to take walks around Disneyland (it’s great to have annual passes!). Whenever either of us is stressed out, we’ll usually make our way over there to loosen up.

Costco – We wander dangerously through the aisles of Costco and love to eat all the samples!

A National Park  - Mark and I are starting to fall in love with the national parks. We plan to visit some this year – Grand Canyon, Zion, etc.  He’s forcing me to hike more! Just kidding, I love it.

With Family & Friends – They’re my biggest supporters so the least I could do is hang out with them as much as I can!

Tell us about your latest collection! What were your inspirations for these designs?
The Toujours  (French for ‘always’) 2012 Collection is one of my favorite collections so far. I did a collection for Valentine’s Day last year, but this one had more focus. I started with a soft, romantic color scheme and from there it blossomed. I was inspired by the French and little quirky things that remind me of my hubby. I love it because you can give them any time of the year!

Coming soon to Ruche! (See here: http://bit.ly/wu89QU)

You also make personalized invitations. Can you tell us more about them? What sort of events do you make invitations for?
I actually started by making personalized wedding invitations & programs. I’ve also made invitations for baby showers, birthdays, baptisms, graduations…anything worth celebrating! The idea behind Completely Gail is making things ‘completely you’ – using what you love and adding that into the design. My inspiration when I design usually comes from personal things and experiences, so I figured why not share that concept with others.

Do you have any advice for people who have hopes to pursuing more creative careers like you did?
It’s never too late to do what you love. I have plenty of friends that don’t figure out their passion until after they’ve spent years in their careers. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I do at this time in my life and best of all, my family and friends support me in it!

Do you adore Completely Gail as much as we do? Follow more of her work here:


Affordable Valentine's Day Dresses

Whether you're going to brunch with friends or enjoying a romantic evening, you will be simply smitten with these affordable Valentine's Day dresses. Every girl needs the perfect dress, after all. ♥


P.S. If you have a love story, we want to hear it! Send your story to blog@shopruche.com for a chance to be featured on our blog during Valentine's Day week!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Picture This: A Vignette Photoshop Tutorial

Learn how to create a vignette photo effect in Photoshop with these simple steps. ♥

1.       Open Image in Photoshop

2.       Select the Elliptical Marquee tool (if it isn’t visible, click and hold the marquee icon which will show a menu of options, including the Elliptical Marquee) and draw an oval shape around the center area of your photo. (Any area you don’t select is going to be shaded.)

3.       Next choose “Select > Select Inverse” in the top Menu. Then enter “Quick Mask” mode by clicking the camera icon on the bottom left.

4.       On the top menu bar, select “Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.” A menu box will appear where you can make your adjustments. The more blur you add, the more smooth the transition of light to dark will be in your vignette. Exit Gaussian Blur (click “Ok”) and Quick Mask (Click the camera icon again) when you’re done. (The edges should already be selected when you exit “Quick Mask.”)

5.       At the top menu again, select “Image > Adjustments > Levels.”  In your Levels box, use the top center arrow to darken the outside of the image, making your vignette. Moving the slider to the right will darken the edges, and moving it to the left will lighten it. Make sure “Preview” at the bottom right of your Levels box is selected so you can see what your image will look like.

6.      Hit “Ok”and Deselect the image (“Select > Deselect” or Ctrl + D) and you’re done! Enjoy you’re beautiful vignette image.

Before & After


If RucheWere a Crafty Valentine...

(Source: one, two, and three)

 ...we would look something like this ♥ Have a happy Monday!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spotlight: Amelia Earhart

 "Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others." 
--Amelia Earhart

image sources: Amelia Earhart and Museum of Flight

Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean. Truly inspirational, she was an active women's rights supporter and she wrote captivating books about her experiences. Fun fact: she also created her own fashion line. She is remembered today for her remarkable determination, courage, groundbreaking achievements, and adventurous spirit.

Outfit inspiration: trousers, jacket, scarf, and shoes


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cold Weather Essentials

As a casually fashionable addition to your wardrobe, these comfortable leggings are perfect for early morning tea, quiet afternoons, and cozy weekend getaways. ♥ See more details here and here.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Love Story: From the Shore

Steven and I met in Okinawa, Japan. I was 14, he was 16, and we were neighbors. A year after awkward hellos and high fives in the high school hallways, we exchanged numbers (on myspace, mind you) and out of the blue started talking constantly. Sun-up to sun-down. Our first date was to the sea, where we picked up shells, and I fell asleep for the first time in a boy’s arms next to the crashing waves. And I swore I was falling in love.

However, my family had orders to move to America just a month after we started getting close - and we were scared… so we agreed to just be friends, even though we both (and everyone around us) knew we were unstoppable.

So I ended up moving away, and we couldn't help but to love as deeply as the seas and as tall as the mountains for as long as they separated us. Which was 642 days to be precise. I was blessed enough to visit Japan twice before he joined the military and was stationed just over 60 miles away from me. About a year after he moved to America, we were married surrounded by an ocean of the people we love in the snowy city of Salt Lake.

And today, we are simply newlyweds. Residing in the rolling northern California hills with both a puppy and a kitten, and we are as crazy about each other (and of course a little more) as we were that first night along that Okinawan shore.

love, n'tima
from ntimajoy.blogspot.com

See the previous Love Stories here! If you would like to submit your story and join our Ruche Blogger Family, please send an e-mail to blog@shopruche.com and add photos as attachments. Please try to keep your stories to a 1200 word limit. You will receive an e-mail when your story is selected.

Style File: Blogger Roundup

These fabulous ladies are a constant source of inspiration. Be sure to stop by their blogs for more beautiful photos, creative ideas, and loving adventures. ♥

Mandy from Harpers Happenings in our lace top.

Tieka from Selective Potential in our gray dress and midi skirt.

Mara from M Loves M in our knit cardigan.

For more style inspiration, view our longer length hemlines, pastels collection, and colorful recommendations. ♥ Happy Friday, everyone!


Seasonless Coats

If you're looking for transitional coats to wear from season to season, we have them! Pair these seasonless coats with cozy winter knits and transition them into spring with floral dresses. With a little mix-and-match creativity, these coats will become your go-to gems.  ♥  


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Project DIY: A Dollhouse Suitcase

We stumbled across this charming handmade dollhouse and we simply adore the vintage-inspired aesthetic. Visit Hart & Sew for more photos and detail! ♥


Project DIY: Vintage Book Pomander

Guest post by Shannon

Perfect for wedding decor, this DIY pomander is a must-do project. Simply recycle an old book and follow these simple steps for a gorgeous masterpiece.

--Shannon, from Our Footprints

If you would like to join our Ruche Blogger Family, please send an e-mail to blog@shopruche.com and attach photos. You will receive an e-mail when your post is selected. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Colorful Wedding Dresses

Inspired by our pastels and Jessica Claire's recommendations, we searched for colorful weddings and discovered beautifully unique wedding gowns. Here are two of our favorites:

image sources: one and two

How do you feel about colorful wedding gowns? We'd love to know your thoughts!


Wedding Wednesday: Birdcage Veils

We're currently swooning over handmade birdcage veils from Etsy. ♥


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Style File: How Bloggers Wear Pastels

Pastels don't have to wait for spring. ♥ Here are two of our favorite bloggers wearing pastels this season:

Perfected with textures, we adore this head-to-toe pastel outfit from Atlantic-Pacific.

With polished layering pieces, The Clothes Horse, wears our Mint Julip Knitted Sweater.

View our Pastel Palette for more outfit inspiration and pastel pieces. Happy styling!


One Week to a New Closet -- $50 Giveaway Winner Announced!

To join us in inspiration, organization, and our "New Closet" project, we asked you to share the image above on any of your social media accounts. By random drawing, the winner is...

Wish Upon This said... Here's my pin! http://pinterest.com/pin/77968637268600236/ Love the organization tips!

Congratulations! And thank you, everyone, for participating in our giveaway! We hope you have all gotten a great start on refreshing your wardrobes. ♥


A Colorful Winter Engagement

Meet Jessica Claire, a fabulous wedding photographer located in southern California. We recently met up with her to discuss winter engagements and her number one tip was color, color, color. View her favorite Ruche items for a colorful winter engagement and take a peek at her interview below too. ♥

When did you become involved with photography? What do you love most about it?

My father has always had a passion for photography, so growing up, there were cameras and lenses around all the time.  For awhile, he and my mother opened up a One Hour Photo, and I loved spending time there looking at the discarded piles of photos that were being adjusted and the negatives drying in the racks.  When I got to college, I realized that all the traditional majors sounded a little bit boring to me, especially within the context of the jobs I'd likely be doing when I graduated.  That was when I decided to get into photography, and I spent the next four years working for a large wedding photography studio in my area.  After graduation, I started my own company and never looked back!  I've now been a professional photographer for over ten years.

How would you describe your artistic aesthetic? 

I think my aesthetic leans towards clean and modern with an overtone of pretty :)  I am always looking for interesting color and contrast to frame the moments I love to capture.  I'm most attracted to situations where I can have a beautifully lit (backlighting is my preference) subject crisp and clear with a colorful background to work with.

People typically associate soft colors with winter. What makes you attracted to bright color?

I've just never been one to blend in with the crowd!  While soft, muted tones stay in the same palette as traditional winter scenes, I love a pop of color in an otherwise dreary world!  I think winter is the BEST time to add a brightly colored scarf, jacket or pair of gloves.  It's so easy during winter to feel bogged down and sad when it can be days or even weeks before you see the sun.  Wearing something that cuts through that bleak day is enough to make even a gloomy girl smile :)

What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me starts at 6 am, which is usually when my five month old baby wakes up!  I take care of him in the morning, and then when he goes down for a nap, I WORK!  Work for me means returning emails, scheduling calls with clients, organizing album or reprint orders for my production assistant to process, and just generally keeping things running smoothly.  Every day, I try to get out to do something fun in the middle of the day, such as have lunch with a client, coordinator, or other vendor, see a friend for a cup of coffee, or take my son for a walk.  In the afternoon, I would typically have a shoot for an engaged couple or a family, and then in the evening, I like to spend time with my husband!  On weekends, I typically have a wedding one of the days, and the other day is strictly for relaxing.  Of course I also make time here and there for online shopping, Pinterest, facebook, twitter and other assorted time wasting :)

Do you ever get to travel to destination weddings?

Yes, I travel frequently for weddings!  Just in the last few years, I've traveled to Russia, Canada, Hawaii, Texas, New York, Greece, Mexico, Atlanta, and a bunch of other places.  To me, traveling to weddings of all kinds and getting to experience how people of other cultures and religions celebrate is the BEST part of my job.  I get to do and see things I would never have gotten to do if I'd followed the line into a more traditional career. 

If you're willing to, tell us about Jeff!

Jeff is my favorite person!  We have so much in common and so many things we like to do together that he really makes being married fun.  Whether it's a spontaneous trip to Vegas, having friends over for dinner or games, or finding interesting offbeat things to do, he's up for anything, any time.  It's been especially fun getting to see him become a father, and I can't imagine a better man to have my son be able to look up to.  I just adore him!

Adore Jessica Claire as much as we do? ♥ See more here:

recommendations: http://bit.ly/zZ8c7P