Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Staged, Photographed, and Boxed

I'll admit I'm kind of a control freak. If I could, I'd set up each and every component of the wedding. However, I know eventually I'll have to hand decorating duties over to other people. I figure I'll try to have it as organized as possible. I'll try to have it labeled and even have a photo attached to boxes, so people know my mindset.
 Reception: Couple's table.
 Close-up of couple's table components
Reception: Guest tables
Guestbook table components
 Close-up of guestbook table left side. I still cannot find my grandmother's wedding photo. I was planning to put it in the frame.
 Close-up of guestbook table right side. One of my favorite elements is the sea shells I saved from Puerto Rico. There's even a tiny crab claw in there...and the tiniest bit of sand. That book on the stand has been painted with chalkboard paint, and I'll write a little note there.

I'm not sure if these will be the plants I keep here, but they were closest...

Labeling for the candy bar

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Down to the Wire...

I imagine there must be some brides who have nothing to do but kick back and wait for their wedding day. Perhaps they have event planners. Perhaps they're wise and buy their decorations. They don't bother with the DIY nonsense. Not me.  Nope. 
 This is the display I made today for behind the candy bar. I still have to sew the ribbons that will hang down from this in curtain form. You'll see these paper fans in another place as well.
 This is Linden's flower girl basket.
 These are the baskets for Shanda's girls. The colors aren't true in this photo.
 And here's a close-up of the fabric flowers I made. The baskets themselves were 60 cents at a thrift store. I spray painted them and added the ribbon and homemade flowers.
 I also made this sign for the front of the building.
And finally, I worked on the logistics of the candy bar. I figured out which candy would fit into which glassware. This is somewhat what it will look like, minus the mess behind it. And there are specific tablecloths for the table. I might also experiment with placing some items on risers, so there's variety in height.

Oh, and I also planted the houseplants this morning. They'll go on the reception tables.  I began working at 6 a.m. and I think I might be finished for the day. I'm feeling kind of wiped out. However, I'm also excited that things are getting organized and that there's now somewhat of a plan for the thrifted and crafted items I've been making and finding for the last year.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

13 Days...

I'll be married in 13 days. The house looks like a hurricane hit. And I've been a bit frenetic. I haven't been sleeping much, and I've been working a little bit on a lot of projects. I need to focus, but my to-do list is longer than it should be. 

 I painted some blocks to say "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry," intending to put them on the buffet table. I came home to find that my roommate had moved the blocks around to create a different (and naughty) message. It made me laugh. Laughing is a good thing right now.

 I've also been gathering plants, as it's my intention to have only living plants at my wedding. I'm hoping to plant them at our house after the big day. I feel blessed that my friends and family have thrown me three separate bridal showers. In lieu of the typical household items one normally registers for, I asked for guests to bring potting soil or pots or flowers. They're a beautiful lot, don't you think? I was also given gift certificates to Home Depot and Northwest Seed and Pet. Last night, Tobe and I went shopping and bought some plants at Home Depot. Today I plan to go to Northwest Seed and Pet. It's been a lovely experience, and I derive a great amount of joy getting up early in the morning and watering them. It's my "me" time.

Notice the cart? It was my grandma's. It used to reside downstairs, in her washing area. I repainted it. It makes me smile to know there will be little nods to her everywhere. It will be a little comfort on a day I wish so much she could witness.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cake Topper

I spent this morning working on tying ribbon around a heart-shaped metal I'd found at a thrift store. I inserted the heart into a thin slit I'd cut on the surface of a gift box. The gift box was originally kraft/cardboard colored. I spray painted it white and then hot glued some red and aqua ribbon.

These vintage long-lashed cuties will sit atop the cake topper I made.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Do-It-Yourself RSVP

In an effort to encourage participation in our big day, I asked those invited to our wedding to decorate the outside of their RSVP before sending it back to us.  The RSVP is due June 30, and so far, we've received 20 (out of about 132 invitations sent out).

Strangely, I think the creative challenge put the fear of Dog in people. Even though I encouraged people not to over think it, I think it has created a roadblock in the RSVP process, which is already fraught with the tendency to procrastinate. 

I've spoken to brides who have tried to circumvent the procrastination problem by eliminating paper invitations and moving to a web-based process, and they have still had troubles getting timely responses. I notice the same phenomenon with friends who use Facebook as a way to set up events like BBQs. It seems like a slick process, but it's still not a fail-proof means of figuring out how many warm bodies to expect or how much food to make.

Our process has been filled with highs and lows. On one hand, Tobe and I look forward to mail time more than we ever have before. We feel elated that our mentors--my division chair, Okey Goode, and Tobe's art mentor, Marc Boone--are attending.  

It's also sweet to see how our parents responded. My mom went the nostalgic route, including a baby and toddler photo of me.  Tobe's parents went the humor route. They addressed the first trip Tobe and I made to Billings, in which we painted their house. 

A tiny envelope in our mailbox is somehow monumental. It's there among the daily monotony--the bills and glossy mass marketing--and it says, "Yes, this very important day is ACTUALLY happening."

We're bummed out when people can't, for whatever reason, attend. However, even the "no" RSVPs usually come with lovely thoughts and images, as evidenced by the McCullough's sunset image, complete with a tire swing and "congrats" roots.

And then there's the confusion of the blank RSVP. It's strange. It perplexes us. Truth be told, it hurts our feelings. Is the task simply too scary? Or is it passive-aggressive, as in the case of one of Tobe's friends, who not only did not decorate the inside but who didn't even place a check mark in the yes or no boxes? Is it just absent-minded? Too busy? Surely, given a 24-hour day, that individual could take a fraction of one minute to check a box.

Those "no" and blank RSVPs temporarily take the wind out of our sails, but then the wind brings us these treasures: 
* sweet Salome's watercolor
*my friend, Kathy, offered a colored pencil dove
*Sean and Jonquil's abundance of hearts
*Jack and Michelle's dolphins
*Denise's walk down memory lane

I look forward what the next 19 days will bring.

Monday, June 10, 2013

And Miles To Go Before I Sleep...

While I won't say that it hasn't been occasionally frustrating, sewing has brought me a measure of peace. There's something meditative in the constant hum of that little motor. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book Worm Influence

 Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it. I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
-- Emerson

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-- Oscar Wilde

So I found these IKEA frames. They come four to a package. Originally $6.99, I got them for $1.50 per package at a thrift store.  I decided to carry out the book/literary theme and to offer up some of my favorite smushy quotes on the reception tables.

There's a slight inside joke to the book/literary decorations, as Tobe likes to say, "Books are obsolete." Well, they aren't in our house, as evidenced by the crowded bookshelves that occupy every corner.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wedding Prayer Flags

If you're an attentive thrift store shopper like yours truly, you begin to get a sense of what sorts of treasures come in and when.  I noticed awhile back that Goodwill was getting in lots of sample books. I imagine that interior design places get new sample books yearly. And what are they to do with the old sample books? I guess they end up in thrift stores.

To my recycler's mind, it seems incredibly wasteful.  Old tile samples should be used for mosaic making.  Wallpaper has endless uses, including scrapbooking, book making, and card making.  The cloth and upholstery sample books could be used for quilting.

It's a bit like going into an animal shelter.  I want to save them all. Well, I can't rightly bring home all the tile, wallpaper, and cloth sample books I find. I'd end up on a multi-episode of Hoarders.

However, I couldn't resist rescuing a few sample books. The OCD in me--the part of me who feels compelled to organize the bins in Walmart like this guy--likes that the sample books are organized according to color schemes.  There's also tactile pleasure, as there is a lot of variation in texture and fabric type. That variation would be impossible to achieve if one went to a fabric store, or at least incredibly time-consuming and expensive.

Speaking of expensive, did I mention that the sample books sell for $2 - $3? Each cloth sample book contains anywhere between 50 - 75 sheets of fabric.

I'm a sucker for a good deal, but it's only a deal if you USE what you buy. I decided to use the fabric for wedding decorations. If you look on ETSY or really any party or wedding blog, you'll notice banners are really popular these days. You see them everywhere and in every conceivable incarnation.  I thought I'd do a variation. Rather than the pointed triangles, I let the samples dictate shape. In fact, the bottoms are already zig-zag shape.

My inspiration is prayer flags. It seemed like a natural for my shabby chic sensibilities. I'm also a fan of the fluidity--the movement.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Nothing But Blue Skies

 On Friday, Tobe and I drove to Pullman, Washington, in order to meet with the event coordinators for our wedding venue, SEL Event Center. The drive between Spokane and Idaho is one of my favorites, and that's a good thing, considering that I make that trip weekly. I grew up a farm girl, and I love to watch the seasons change via what's going on in the fields. Tobe likes to play the "Where's the Farmer?" game, as he has a theory that they must be inside napping in their recliners and watching TV all year, since he rarely sees them working in the fields. Mainly, of course, he says this because he knows it will infuriate me.

On this particular trip, I was awestruck by the clouds. I'm not sure I've ever seen a sky that looked like this. It looked almost fake, like a movie set.

I'm excited to share the beauty with guests who may not be familiar with the area.

After our meeting, we walked outside and surveyed the ceremony site. The lawn had just been freshly mowed. It had also been recently watered, and I'll have to check with the venue on what their procedure is for lawn care on the day of an event. It was soggy, and I'm sure it would stain my dress and suck in a few high heels.

 I'll be making use of the gazebo. It will be a bit of a challenge to decorate, since the venue allows only Scotch tape or those removable hooks.

 After the ceremony, guests will make their way into the reception by way of these doors on the side of the building.
 There's a bit of a  problem (in my mind) that the package we purchased does not include a room for the grooms.  The bright-eyed coordinator sincerely suggested that the groomsmen could hang out in this little strip of grass around the side of the building...

Tobe actually thought it was a great idea and envisioned a "man tent" and a fire pit and drinking. Oh boy...

 This is, of course, a closer view of the gazebo and its stone work. For my bridal shower, in lieu of registering for things for our home, we asked people to contribute in the way of live flowers, so I'm hoping that request will yield an awesome flower display on and around the gazebo steps.

 This is the view we'll have on that day. Let's hope those clouds are our decorations on that day, eh? Cross your fingers for only blue skies and sunshine, as the Palouse weather is finicky.

And finally, there's this view of the landscaping. It's mainly trees and small shrubs.

We left excited and feeling like everything is coming together. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sewing Up a Storm

33! That's the number of ties I've sewn together in order to make a tablecloth for the cake table. I got the idea from a quilt pattern someone posted to Facebook.  When you follow the link, you actually find this really cool blog all about making things with neckties:

The pattern I found actually made use of 44 ties, but I'm starting to wonder how that's actually done. I've yet to think about how I will create a finished back for the tablecloth or how I will make something for the center. I'm not sure I have those sewing skills.

Several people have asked me what I'll do with the tablecloth after the wedding. I'm thinking it might be a nice thing to pull out on anniversaries, or maybe I'll enlist a quilter's help to make it into a blanket that is of more use.

This won't be my only sewing project. I'm also making prayer flags made of upholstery sample books. I  came across them at my local Goodwill and figured I'd buy them and either make a quilt or something. They were pretty time intensive, as you have to tear apart the book and then remove the informational paper backing.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

In-Progress: Bridesmaid Bouquet

The third photo is the most accurate depiction of color. I still have to wrap the handle with satin. I made the ribbon roses and lace flowers. The rest I purchased at Jo-Ann's with my mad coupon skills for about a dollar apiece. Once I'm done with grading, I'll make the other three.

p.s. Don't you love the random shoe in the photo? Zeke's in the habit of taking Tobe's shoes, so I have to put them up high until he forgets about them.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Those Corsage Things for Boys...

You've worn one. Or you've bought one for someone to wear. We know what they are, but spelling it is the problem:  boutonnière

As such, I'll refer to it as "the b word" from here on out.

I was inspired by a trip to Swede's Fly Shop. Tobe and I visited a few weeks ago, and I couldn't get all those lovely feathers out of my head. The base is a black cardboard star, which is completely obscured by all the stuff on top. In addition to the feathers, I've added a metal pocket watch and a couple buttons. Finally, I personalized it with each grooms person's name. Look at all those M's! There's also one here for Tobe and his father.

Art of the Bargain

I'm finally getting around to altering some of the thrift store purchases I've made.  I'm pretty proud of the price tags. Yes, I know it takes time to craft, and yes, time IS money, but I like doing it.

Some of these things are really hideous and thus worth the $1 or $2 price tag. However, I'm in need of display boards, particularly chalk boards.
 This is our kitchen table turned art space. Before you go feeling sorry for Tobe, I should note that we NEVER eat at this table.
 I'm making some cool serving trays. One will be covered with rulers, and another will be covered with those awesome little wooden bingo numbers.

 Completely unrelated, I'm going to a friend's bridal shower, and so I made this card. I particularly like the "application for marriage" background and the ad for a diamond ring.

I also made this explosion box in her wedding colors. It will house the bride's gift.