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More Paper Flowers June 30, 2010

It’s been a long time since my last post, I made the journey to visit my long-distance fiancé so the packing took up a lot of my time. Well, I’m here now and I’m crafting.

Jar of paper spider mums

I’ve been long-intrigued with spider mums and fell in love with the Flowery Swizzle Stick craft on Martha Stewart Weddings. I’m not looking to make swizzle sticks (at the moment, maybe I’ll change my mind later) so I turned it into a faux flower by attaching the flower head to floral wire.

The materials are all available at Walmart and are very inexpensive. For crepe paper, I bought a roll of crepe paper streamers from the party section for $1.25. I purchased the floral wire for $0.77 and floral tape (in a 3-pack) for about $3, both in the floral and craft section. I cut each wire in half because they were much too tall, plus it gives me twice the amount.

The materials: crepe paper party streamers, floral wire, and floral tape

The one note I would make is that Martha’s directions don’t give a good idea of how much crepe paper to use. With the streamer, I used about 10-12 inches per flower. OK, I actually have another note. The thinner you make each cut, the more realistic the flower will look. Check out the work in progress:

The cut piece of crepe paper, ready to be wrapped around the wire


Wrapping the crepe paper


Wrapping the floral tape around the paper and wire


Fluffing the petals

I’m thinking these could be used as reception decor, perhaps as a bouquet or boutonniere if I perfect it. There’s still time, gotta see what else we come up with for decor and such.

 

OMG I fell in love again June 5, 2010

I just nearly peed my pants with excitement. As a crafty bride, I am so excited to have found the Intimate Wedding Blog’s list of tutorials. So many cute DIY projects!

I definitely want to try the paper or fabric fortune cookies, they’d make an adorable gift tag for a small gift in a Chinese food takeout box (which they sell at Michaels.) I’m thinking of packaging my bridesmaids gifts like this (once I figure out what those gifts are, of course!) I also really like the idea of informing guests about a charitable donation in lieu of a favor with these fortune cookies. Heck, I just like the idea of having random fortunes inside them and finding uses for them. Love it!

My other fave is the paper flowers made of cupcake liners. I love paper and fabric flowers and these look nice and easy, as well as cheap and quirky. I’m going to try these soon. They look like carnations, the flower I want to go with for the bouquets and boutonnieres, so perhaps I can make some cute side paper arrangements if they turn out well.

Carnations made of cupcake liners from Intimate Wedding Blog

There’s also a tissue paper version of carnations on Folded Trees.

So basically I’m super excited about this site! I can’t wait to post some of the projects I attempt from this list of tutorials! Have you tried any of these or similar projects? What is your favorite source for wedding craft tutorials?

 

Otherwise Engaged with the Engagement Party May 11, 2010

Long time, no post. I’ve been busy. My fiancé was in town this weekend so I threw our own engagement party. My parents aren’t big on entertaining and haven’t really been following what is traditionally expected of parents of the bride (which really isn’t an issue; the fewer traditions, the easier a time planning we have) so I had to take the engagement party into my own hands.

I forgot to take a lot of photos so I just have a few at the end, but I do have one of the buffet towards the end of the day:

The buffet spread after the party.

It was quite spectacular but I only remembered to bring the camera out after everyone was full and most people had left. Big props to my friends and family; we put out an amazing spread. My sister made a lovely appetizer and homemade truffles; my mom made a Greek salad; my friend Anna made samosas and chocolate-dipped cookies; I started making bruschetta but my sister and Anna finished it; my MOH brought a fruit tray, a vegetable tray, and wine; my former coworker brought some delicious bakery donuts. To personalize it a bit, I made sugar cookies a few days before using maple leaf and star cookie cutters to represent both of us. The night before the party, my wonderful fiancé and I were busy baking cupcakes and the bride cake with a Betty Crocker mix. To keep it simple, I bought frozen spanokopita and mini quiches as well as pre-mixed cocktails (Pomegranate Martini and Mojito.) It saved a lot of prep-time, which was a good idea considering how busy our tiny kitchen was getting that morning.

I made the pom poms hanging above the table the night before the party while FH was watching playoff hockey. I used the Martha Stewart instructions for pom poms. They were pretty cute. Otherwise for decor I just threw an old tablecloth on and raided my parents’ storage room for cake stands and pretty glass plates. It was perfect for a low-key, intimate gathering.

There was some pressure for this party, I had a friend ask what games and events I had planned for it. Uhhh, eating, drinking, and conversing. In a long-distance relationship, it can be easy for friends and relatives to feel like they don’t know your significant other well, so the main point of the party was to spend time with loved ones and celebrate that we’re engaged. It was cute, casual, and full of food, just like my fiancé and me. We asked that no one bring gifts, we gave no favors, we had no written invitations. No fuss! The thing I keep repeating is that the point of all of this is to marry the man I love, not impress people. It was an excellent afternoon and, best of all, we’re still enjoying the leftovers.

 

Move over, Cake Boss April 30, 2010

Michaels is supposed to be a happy place where you’re capable of doing any craft and you can buy the materials for them with your handy coupons. When I went there to buy my Wilton Classic Wonder Mold, the cashier looked at it, looked at me, and asked, “have you ever made one of these before? They’re supposed to be really hard.” Thanks for your confidence in me, Michaels cashier.

I get that working with fondant would require a lot more skills than I possess, so I didn’t mess with it. I did my practice cake on the weekend and I’d like the Michaels cashier to take a look at this:

My practice Barbie bride cake

Not bad for my first try, plus I made it myself with a little help from my old friend, Betty Crocker. I used the Betty Crocker Cherry Chip cake mix (the little pink dots inside are so cute) to keep it easy. When I poured the batter into the pan I was very concerned that there wouldn’t be enough, but it does rise. I followed the directions that came with the pan and it turned out perfectly (except it required a knife and some prodding to get the cake out of the pan.) Since I wasn’t going to mess with fondant, I knew icing for a top wouldn’t fly, so I sewed one quickly out of a few layers of tulle. It doesn’t have to be super-sturdy, it won’t be handled much, but it does have to have some tapering because that doll pick has a SUPER skinny waist. I also made a little veil that I sort of sewed into her hair. You’ve got to be very careful with that, pulling too much of her hair in one direction can create a bald spot.

Close up of the Barbie bride practice cake

For the icing on the cake, I used Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese icing (I didn’t know Betty made cream cheese icing!) I went with whipped so that it’d be easier to deal with on the cake, and cream cheese to balance out the sweetness of the cherry cake plus the off-white colour matched the off-white tulle I had sitting at home (and my own ivory dress, actually.) It will never spread completely perfectly and smoothly, but I think that gives it a cute, homemade appeal. It’s not like my loved ones don’t know I’m not a professional cake-icer.

So my icing job isn't perfect, wanna fight about it?

Anyway, I’m pleased and I’m ready to make this for the engagement party. Trust me, if I can make this, you can too. Disregard whatever the Michaels cashier may tell you, you can do this.

 

Succulent Centerpieces April 21, 2010

Have I ever mentioned how much I love succulent centerpieces? Let’s drool over some photos.

A rectangular centerpiece from Succulent Luv

A centerpiece with stones, succulents, and candles from Cactus Jungle.

Succulent centerpieces featured on A Los Angeles Love

Lowe’s even has suggestions on how to make a few.

La pièce de résistance, my personal favorite and the site that made me fall in love with succulent centerpieces, Yes, Please. Succulent favours, succulent centerpieces, I love this wedding. That bride’s got skills. Love love love. She even created SucculentLove, that’s how great she is with succulents. The succulents aren’t the only awesome wedding detail on Yes, Please; I highly recommend trolling around to check out the pompoms and such.

I love the idea of having living centerpieces, people can take them home and have a plant afterward! If you’ve got a green thumb, this is a great way to incorporate your hobby into your wedding. They won’t work so well at mine because many of the guests are traveling and won’t be able to take living plants back, plus the fiancé doesn’t trust himself to keep any plants alive until the wedding (and he’s the one living where the wedding is.) Alright, it might not work for me, but a girl can daydream about succulents.

Fear not, I haven’t abandoned my childhood dream theme, I can tie this in! I bought a Hens ‘n’ Chicks succulent at a garage sale in grade 2 and I loved it to death (it and all of its offspring died in an awful home improvement accident 15 years later, but my mom saw how upset I was and found me some another Hens ‘n’ Chicks plant at a garage sale. Thanks Mom!) I’ve had a soft spot for succulents every since, so no wonder I love these centerpieces. There, I saved the childhood dreams theme.

 

My Childhood Dream Cake April 18, 2010

Filed under: cake,diy,events — clln @ 1:07 am
Tags: , , , , ,

My childhood dream cake

What little girl didn’t want to eat a cake-flavored dress as a child? I sure did, and I was always so jealous of my friend down the street whose mom would produce the most amazing birthday cake with a Barbie in or on it each year. My mom always said no. She got excited when they came out with a cake mix that could be made in the microwave (I don’t think I have to tell you, but it was bad.) So I’ve spent the last twenty-odd years wanting one of these cakes made to look like a Barbie’s skirt.

I figured since I’m getting married, I could finally justify a doll cake decorated as a bride. I want cupcakes for the reception and I don’t expect to have control over a bridal shower, so I took matters into my own hands and bought one for the belated engagement party I’ve decided to throw for us so that my side of the family can meet my fiancé. (Side note: We had an engagement party thrown for us by my fiancé’s parents and I got a chance to meet friends and family on his side, but we haven’t done the same here. My parents aren’t big on entertaining, so it’s become clear that I have to throw my own the next time fiancé comes up here. The plus side is that I can have control over my cake!)

I went out on one of my many trips to Michaels and got the Wilton Classic Wonder Mold on sale, of course. I don’t do fondant, so I know I’ll never achieve the insane decorating levels I’ve seen on the internet, but I think I’ll do a practice run with a heck of a lot of buttercream icing and see what happens. No matter what, I get cake. Plus, I like to think my friends and family like me enough to put up with a ghetto-looking homemade bride cake. I have visions of it being ghetto in a cute way, but it could turn out ghetto in an ugly way. I’ll have to keep you posted on how it turns out, sorry to leave you in such suspense. I know you’re practically jumping off of your desk chair in anticipation. Me too. Well, more in excitement over all of the practice cake I’ll get to eat. Plus I’m excited that I can arrange the desserts like this so it looks like the doll is commanding a sugary army:

Barbie commands her cupcake army

Wish me luck!

 

Making the Garter My Own April 17, 2010

Filed under: accessories,crafts,crazy deals,diy — clln @ 2:21 am
Tags: , , ,

I really wasn’t excited about the garter, it wasn’t a priority for me and I really didn’t care what it looked like. That is, until I bought the cheapest one I could find and spent some time looking at it.

I don’t regret buying it, it was $6.99 at Michaels and I used a 40% coupon on it so it worked out to just over $4. Couldn’t go wrong. Couldn’t. Go. Wrong. Plus it was blue and at the time I was still having trouble finding blue shoes to fulfill my blue requirement. And really, how closely are people looking at it anyway? It’ll be hidden for most of the day. It still needed some help though.

Being a crafty kinda gal, I decided that the garter would be my next project. I like simplicity, so the glued-on bow was the first to go, followed by the lace. I just pulled off the bow and then carefully cut the lace off and let me tell you, it was liberating. I was so pleased with the way it looked with no embellishments:

The garter sans embellishments. It's naked!

There’s no way to get the glue remnants off though, so I decided to make two very, very tiny fabric flowers using the same idea as the Martha flowers in the last post. I used scraps from the material for the flowers which were too small to use for anything else, so they were saved from the garbage. Not only did it cover the glue, but it keeps up the fabric flower theme from the rest of my outfit (my dress and hair will feature them.) Plus, I feel like it’s personalized now and that’s important to me. It also puts the “cheap” in Cheap ‘n’ Quirky, my changes didn’t cost a cent because it was made with scraps. The supplies to make my own from scratch would have cost much more.

It’s much more “me.” I’m pleased. What kind of garter are you going with? Has anyone found a cute pattern to DIY?

 

My Martha Stewart Flowers April 16, 2010

Garden roses from the Martha Stewart pattern

I’ve been working on my Martha Stewart fabric flowers for a while now, the ones I mentioned in an earlier blog post. I went a little nuts and made a ton. See, the voile fabric was on sale so I bought a lot. $4 for a meter of green and a meter of ivory. So basically I have enough to use a couple of the large ones (attached to pins/brooches) on my dress and plenty of small ones (attached to bobby pins) in my hair in place of a veil. Since taking that photo, I’ve made many more ivory ones.

I’m kind of concerned about how the petals don’t stay up too well; I’m considering using hairspray to help the petals stiffen, but I’m not sure if it will stain the fabric. Maybe starch?

The large flower on the left is floppin'.

I mentioned that I plan to wear these in my hair and not wear a veil. Well, I tried making the flowers out of tulle to really be a replacement for a veil but let’s just say that I don’t recommend this type of material for this project. As you can see below, the tulle “flower” looks more like a pompom:

The pompom, err, I mean tulle flower.

Now I just have to wait for my dress to come in to make sure it looks decent. Gaaaaaah, I ordered the dress back in November, it should be here any day now. I can’t wait for it to get here!

 

Cutest Cake Topper Ever March 28, 2010

Filed under: cake,crafts,diy,just plain cute — clln @ 2:21 am

As personalized, homemade, and fitting as our Habbo caketoppers are, I feel like these sock monkeys totally blew ours out of the water. Adorable! Props to Yota and Joe and their wedding on Once Wed. Not only did they make them themselves, the monkey bride’s dress is an exact, tiny replica of the human bride’s. Too cute!

It totally wouldn’t fit with anything else at our wedding, but I’d really love to stick sock monkeys everywhere. Amazing.

 

Yeah, I do graphic design too… March 18, 2010

I’m sticking my fingers in many pies for this wedding. Recently, I even dabbled in a little graphic design and now I have some DIY-designed, professionally printed save-the-date postcards. They arrived yesterday, I’m so excited!

I’m not exactly skilled in design, but my post-grad program involved a design course so I have a very basic background. I got to work with Adobe InDesign and I still have the program on my computer, so I put it to good use. I designed a simple postcard with our names, the fact that we’re getting married, the location, and the address for the WordPress blog we started (to act as a wedding site). I’m sure you’re a nice person who won’t stalk us, but still, I’m only posting the censored version for you:
Save the date postcard

I sent it in to Vistaprint. I’d been seeing a lot of people of bridal blogs saying good things about it and I’m impressed with them. They have pre-made save-the-date designs, but at about a dollar a piece (which is comparable to everywhere else I’ve seen), I was determined to submit my own design as a business marketing postcard and only spend $29.99 (plus design uploading fees) for 100. With taxes and delivery and everything, it came to just over $50 and was delivered within 2 weeks (even though I selected the slowest shipping option.) I was wondering why everyone was posting their own random link to Vistaprint on these sites. Turns out you get reward points or something for referring people and they get a discount. Well, I’d be giving them the good review anyway, I’m pleased with them and I’d use them again regardless of the future discounts (which they do have a lot of).

I figured postcards were great because they’re cute, fun, and I don’t have to spend more money on envelopes. Plus I love sending postcards, I try to send postcards from everywhere I travel. I feel like I’m including a little bit of me through the fact that I did it myself and that it’s a postcard. And it’s green, our wedding colour.

Here’s the but: as much as I’ve talked these up, if you don’t already have access to a design program and some background in it, I wouldn’t recommend this. The cost of Adobe Creative Suite is far more than you’d may for other save-the-date cards and it can take a little getting used to before you can use it without wanting to scream at your computer. But hey, if you have access to such a program or a designer friend, this is a great option. There are also plenty of pre-made options in plenty of colours. I just wanted to put this idea out there because I really hadn’t seen a lot of it (or a lot of inexpensive options) on the blogs so far.

Also, did you know they have clear mailing labels now? I didn’t. I am amazed by the advances in mailing labels since I was last down that aisle.

Now if I could just finish the guest list so I can send them out…