I’m totally late on posting this to my actual blog – awhile back you might remember that I had done a bunch of posts on DIY projects that related to my brother in-law’s wedding last year.  It was beautiful, really really beautiful.  SO, I’d love to share the fact that my in-laws were featured on the wedding website, .  The photos really don’t do that day justice, even though they are amazing photos… but I’m biased, what can I say?

Somewhere in there is the cake that I made for them, as well as a name credit for stitch binding all of their programs, and that’s my shameless self promoting plug.  I won’t mention the temperamental antique stove I had to make the cake in, or that I had pre measured all of my ingredients in ziploc bags because we traveled to southern California to be there.  You’ll also see my gorgeous husband, who is giving excellent “face” during the best man’s speech.  It was awesome.  The whole.  Freaking.  Thing.


m+d cake day shot

m+d cake day shot

m+d cake day shot

m+d cake day shot

m+d cake nite time

m+d cake nite time

m+d cake nite time shot

m+d cake nite time shot


Handmade Paper Party Garlands, DIY

I really had no idea that I’d do so many DIY posts, but that’s the way it is sometimes!  So, if you have kept up with my last few posts you’d know that I’m getting ready to throw a bridal shower.  Those that haven’t, go ahead.  I’ll wait.  🙂

This shower will be nothing too fancy, and somewhat small and intimate.  I have most of the favors completed, as well as my gift wrapped and ready.  I’m starting to clean the house, plan the menu and design a seating area in my family room where we’ll be stationed for most of the party.  In doing all of these things, I thought I needed some ‘shtuff’ for the walls and ceiling, as it’s not super festive yet.  I found a few images on pinterest and pinned them to my bridal shower board to try.  The original image inspiration for this party garland is here.  Unfortunately I don’t have a graduated circle cutter or anything like that, but I do have some Creative Memories blades and templates, so I used those.  I chose a bridal themed paper sheet from Paper Source, regular Kraft paper (on hand from the tags I made for candle favors), and a pack of gorgeous shimmery Blush transparent rose printed paper also from Paper Source.  You’ll notice that I cut each image out of the bridal sheet – (insert sarcastic voice here) this was the plan all along and had nothing to do with keeping the costs low.  After cutting what felt like a bazillion circles and ovals in different sizes and in different papers, I sat down at my sewing machine to string them together.  I also had on hand a large scalloped heart punch that I bought for Valentine’s Day, so I punched a few things out with that as well.  I made one horizontal garland with the hearts, and plan to string the rest of the garlands vertically from that.  I promise to take a ton of pictures during set up so that you can all see what I have been working on really come together!

Personalized candy favors, DIY

In event planning, I admit I may be a bit over the top or anal retentive.  Whichever describes the situation, I guess!  I was always taught that a good party has some kind of candy, SOMEWHERE.  🙂  So for the bridal shower I thought I’d look up the personalized M&Ms, because I had ordered them years ago for a friend’s baby shower and they were a huge hit.  I found the website, did a little of the “create yours” section, only to realize that I had to buy a minimum of 3 bags, at a total cost of $41.97 without tax and shipping.  I also know I would need more than 3 bags based on the fact that each one is only 7 oz.  I don’t know about you all, but my wallet hurts these days – so these are kinda out of the picture now.  No matter how frickin cute I made them.  Le sigh.

SO, I decided that there had to be something cheaper I could make.  I found an image on Pinterest of personalized hershey’ s kisses and put it on my board, and decided to try it out today.  It took a bit of trial and error, but I got it right AND now you can do this too!  (PS, the site I found the original idea on was priced at $27.00 for 100 candies without tax or shipping.)

1.  Go to staples or office depot, get Avery labels that are 1 inch circular mailing seals.  (short answer to your question of why mailing seals, because it was the right size and was white.  You can make these any color.)  $7.99 for 600.

2. Go to Michaels and grab a “recollections lever punch” in petite.  They should rename it to the hershey’s kiss punch.  For real.  $3.99 or $2.89 with a 40% off coupon.  Yup.

3. Go to CVS or wherever you can get a “party size” bag of Hershey’s Kisses.  $7.99.

4. Get home with your bounty, download the Avery template for the seals, it should be #5247.

5. Design your template however you wish, fill with color, add a photo or text, whatever your heart desires.  For me it was the bride and groom’s wedding emblem on a white background.  Be aware that you should make your image smaller than the circle because it is too big to affix to the kisses, you will be punching them out of the sheets in a later step.  Copy and paste your first circle to the rest of the sheet, print!  It took me about 15 sheets to do the entire bag.  Minus the four I ate.  Don’t hate.

6. Cut the sheets up into rows, this will be easier for the punch to center on your design.  The seals are actually too big for the kisses, thus the need for a punch.

7. Turn the punch upside down so you can see what you are punching, and punch away.  These are small, so I had a small container on hand to put them all into or risk them running away.

8.  Peel and stick to your heart’s content!  Invite people over to help, bribe your eight-year old or just do this while watching the tube.  It’s a mindless activity.  🙂

Congratulations, you are done!!  And you have something that people will remember for a very, very long time.  All at the total cost of $19.53.

Personalized Matchboxes, DIY

I really couldn’t help myself, I saw an image on Pinterest and pinned it to my bridal shower board.  I had to!  I mean, what better accompaniment to a hand poured candle than a personalized matchbox?  If you should be interested, my board (and some others) are on Pinterest here.

I already had kraft paper on hand from the tags made for the hand poured candle favors, and the bride and groom’s wedding image, so I gave it a go.  A few weeks ago I went with my brother in-law to the Alameda Antiques Market (you HAVE to go here) to gather vintage bottles for centerpieces.  While there, I bought some vintage matchboxes on the cheap – the kind that were kinda faded and weathered.  I printed their image onto the kraft, and cut the new ‘covers’ to size with a paper cutter.  I used a bone folder to get the corners just perfect, and used a glue stick to adhere the paper to the original matchbox.  I should note that I cut the paper to fit around the box, minus the striking side.  No fires, please!  Once the glue started to dry, I pressed firmly, and tied a bit of bakers twine around them.  Viola!  Super easy, try for yourself!

Wedding programs, sewn style!

In keeping true to my new hobby of sewing paper, you all might remember my post about sewing some save -the-dates for my brother in-laws’ upcoming wedding… I have volunteered my services for their programs as well!! Man, my machine performs like a champ so I feel like I can do A LOT. By that, I mean sew through six sheets of 80 weight paper. So we sat down last night, during intermissions for hockey, and did some experimenting with different stitches. We finally settled on a stitch pattern that she liked, and looked like a true book binding.  I think they will be amazing!! Again, I’ll post the final product once I have them finished at the middle of April. Until then!!


Adventures in Sewing Paper…

Geez, neglected since the end of October?  You guys must think I’m lazy… and you might be right on a few occasions!  Well, I got a call from my newest future in-law about her save-the-dates this past Wednesday.  I’m not even sure how this happens, but the artist/company she chose to use LOST them, TWICE.  I just said I don’t know how that happens, because I don’t.  How do legitimate businesses manage to do that, and stay in business??  Seems counterintuitive, right?  That’s when I start saying things like “I could (insert-company-idea-here)…” .  Well, she took matters into her own hands and patched together her vision for the cards.  She had already had custom stickers made, and went and found some great textured A2 cards at Paper Source.  She put those together, and wanted a little more texture by sewing a 3.5mm line across the bottom in a darker thread.  I had seen this technique on a few letterpress cards at Anthropologie and wanted to try this myself, so I was totally in on this.  However, I wasn’t sure how my new machine would take this project, so I googled a similar project and found someone had recommended a 10/70 sharp needle.  You can use a thicker needle, but you run the risk of ripping the paper.  After opening a nice Cabernet, we did a couple of tests with different threads, the tests went swimmingly and she ultimately chose the thread in the photos.  She initially wanted to just leave the thread completely untied, but started to tie a bow on one side, which is how they were ‘finished’.  It was a really fun project, and when we finished the save-the-dates, I took the extra A2 cards and programmed some other stitches to test out.  We ended up making some really great looking stationery!!  I think I may have figured out a few Xmas gifts… ;-D

April 2012 prep

A big congratulations to my youngest brother in-law and his new fiancée!  (the very same from a few posts ago…)  They picked their wedding date to be at the end of April, on my actual anniversary!  How exciting, honestly I can’t wait.  At their engagement party after-party breakfast, we were looking at a few wedding magazines and she had singled out a gorgeous long reception table outside, very rustic and chic, lined down the center with multiple terrariums.  As I was at my mom’s house this weekend working on baking cookies with my daughters, I was hanging out in the backyard.  I realized that if I cut and planted succulents now, they’d be ready for next April!  So, I took a couple of photos of the plants we have and texted them over to her to see if she was still going to do that, and if I could help.  She said it would be great!  So, I’ll clip them either this next weekend, or the weekend after that.  I cannot wait to see how they ultimately come out – but I know it’ll be great already.  I can’t wait to post that too!

Sister in-law’s wedding

In July we were part of the most beautiful Napa wedding, for one of my Sister in-laws.  The whole thing was gorgeous, and it is always a party when your extended family can make it!!  I volunteered to do the flowers for the event, and a day before the event I got to work on those in my garage.  Each bouquet turned out gorgeous, though I must say I was most proud of the calla lily hand-tied bouquet she carried.  It was simple and stunning, just like her!  🙂  Alas, I need to get better about taking my own photos of my own work.  That way I could’ve shown you all how gorgeous the blue hydrangea-yellow-rose-baby’s breath creations were.

Funny story, well – no, no it wasn’t funny at the time at all.  I devised that I could put the bouquets and boutonierres in clear plastic cups with a slight bit of water, inside a large cooler for transport and overnight storage.  (side note, hydrangeas are high maintenence and need both alum and water or they will wilt immediately.)  It worked brilliantly, until we got to the reception location which also served as the pre-ceremony get-ready spot.  I had leftover flowers, and was greeted by some of the staff in an area that was for event prep.  It housed three refrigerators and a few long tables.  One of the staffers said to me “that fridge is empty, if you’d like to put the flowers there”.  I thought, brilliant, let’s do that.  I adjusted the shelf height, loaded them in, and was off to the rehearsal dinner!  The next morning was interesting.  A last minute bouquet for my oldest daughter/flower girl, a bouquet for the offering, and boutonierres were made right down to the wire.  My parents were attending the wedding, so my mom helps me load stuff up.  I’ll admit it was bright out, and the prep spot wasn’t well-lit.  I load the cooler into the back of our truck, and pop it open to put extra floral tape in it – heyyy, why is that hydrangea looking a little dark?  Open the cooler further and my mouth drops to my feet.  Full panic attack – the plastic cups have ice in them.  Try to remove a bouquet – and a circle of ICE pops out of the cup!  The stems are frozen… breathe.  BREATHE!!  I immediately pull a cardinal sin and put all the flowers in full sun, hoping for a miracle.  What?  It’s time to leave??  But…. then it becomes crystal clear to me that the bouquet for my daughter and the boutonierres are fine since I made them an hour ago.  I just need to focus on the bridesmaids bouquets.  Fortunately the bride’s Callas look amazing, just like yesterday.  So, I start hacking away at the blue hydrangeas that suffered the most damage with a pair of scissors.  All while CURSING that staffer.  I should have just left everything in the cooler like I planned.  Oh well.  Enter: arriving at the church.  I pull the cooler to the front steps and dole out the boutonierres and bouquets, after I have literally reduced them by half and frankensteined them together in some cases.  I believe I literally said to most of the other bridesmaids (yes, I was one), “this is the back of your bouquet – don’t turn it, ever.”  This would be why there are very few flower shots of the bridesmaids.  To top it all off, the wedding coordinator (who I found a little “off”) pinned every groomsman’s boutonierre crooked, and stuck the pin through the actual rose.  Not through the stem like everyone else who attended a prom would have done.  Including the grooms’.  Are you kidding me?  So the rose is really going to like that around 5pm… Almost every picture the flower is tilted sideways.  I mean, I hounded that photographer… “can you just let me fix that please?”  Kind of embarrassed.  But, all in all it was fine.  It was beautiful.  Everything was gorgeous.  Especially after the bar opened up.

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