Friday, March 25, 2011

30 Before April 30 Project 15 Completed!

Through the years, I have had my share of weddings and bridesmaid dresses to wear. I have traveled to Illinois during Thanksgiving weekend. I have lounged on the beach in Maui before and after a wedding ceremony. And I have always made the commitment that if I can't make it to the wedding, you can count on me for the bachelorette party!

Now that the tables are turned and I get to spoil some ladies, I can't help but think of all the amazing places I've been, the unique dresses I've worn and the heartfelt stories that I can't forget! With 14 weddings as a bridesmaid on my resume, I like to think that I'm pretty ready to go with my own festivities! This may be a spoiler alert for our bridesmaids, but here's what we put together:

- Personalized canvas bags from The Knot
- Not-so-pearl necklaces from Forever 21
- Leather travel jewelry boxes from Banana Republic
- Tissue, nail files, snacks and water


And for the wee program attendants, I made these simple totes and will add the headbands that I made, some snacks, not-so-pearl bracelets, and little gifts.


30 Before April 30 ongoing list ... (this list changes a lot)
- DONE! Totes for the bridesmaids
- Guest bags and all of the pieces that will go inside for out-of-towners
- DONE! Save the dates
- DONE! Wedding invitations
- DONE! Letter pillows for 2 chairs at reception
- Wedding programs
- DONE! Bags for Program Attendants
- DONE! Bridal shower invitations
- DONE! Bridal shower party favors
- DONE! Reserved signs
- DONE! Escort cards for wedding party
- Photobooth props & sign
- DONE! Rehearsal dinner dessert
- Rehearsal dinner invitations
- Rehearsal dinner menus
- DONE! Fabric bunting flags for bridal shower
- DONE! Thank you gifts along the way ...
- Groomsmen gifts
- Door initials
- DONE! Bridal Shower Cake Bunting
- DONE! Dessert bar components
- Sign in *surprise* area (we can't give everything away)
- Bridal Party dinner table monogram runner
- Signs for front of reception site
- Centerpieces for cocktail tables & bars
- DONE! Headbands for program attendants
- Bouquet bling
- Signs for pictures
- Toiletry kits for bathrooms
- Thank you gifts for our generous vendors, family and friends helping on the big day!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Floor

I read that on a shirt once.

Our friends are getting married next weekend in Mazatlan, Mexico and we're excited to get some sun before we walk down the aisle. In true crafter form, I offered to help where I could, and ended up being part of the creative talent behind the bridal shower party favor.

One of the bride's good friends (and super star friend of mine) wanted to create a party favor that included margarita mix and a lime. My original tag idea was a little boring so I was encouraged to rhyme a little. During a short run (which didn't include falling), I came up with the following:


Yes, you are welcome to use for your own projects, and yes, I can send you the template if you're interested. Contact me!

30 Before April 30 Project 14 Completed!

The Blogger dashboard is dangerous - a "quick check" can turn into hours of searching, a longer list of projects and more blogs to follow (it's a vicious cycle). Every once in a while I stumble across a great idea and I can't stop myself from giving it a chance to blossom in my craft room.

Letter Perfect Designs is a creative artist and you can find her amazing button monogrammed pillows on Etsy. Well, you can now find my amazing monogrammed pillows on the couch! But before I continue bragging, let me explain how it's done.

Materials: one half yard sturdy fabric, lots of buttons, hot glue, sewing machine, needle, thread. Start by cutting four rectangles or squares in the desired pillow size.


Print letters that you like and cut them out to make a simple template. To make this easier, I actually hot glued the buttons on the pillow. Note: do not glue the button holes.



To make this look really good, I stitched each button to the fabric and used leftover thread that comes with all of my sweaters. Go green!




I'm not going to bore you with the details of sewing a simple pillow, but if you're really chomping at the bit to learn how, click here (hit it Martha).




We ordered bright white adirondack chairs for the house but have decided to use them at the wedding. These pillows sat on chairs welcoming our wedding guests. Pretty cute, huh?!



30 Before April 30 ongoing list ... (this list changes a lot)
- Homemade totebags for the bridesmaids
- Guest bags and all of the pieces that will go inside for out-of-towners
- DONE! Save the dates
- DONE! Wedding invitations
- DONE! Letter pillows for 2 chairs at reception
- Wedding programs
- DONE! Bags for Program Attendants
- DONE! Bridal shower invitations
- DONE! Bridal shower party favors
- DONE! Reserved signs
- DONE! Escort cards for wedding party
- Photobooth props & sign
- DONE! Rehearsal dinner dessert
- Rehearsal dinner invitations
- Rehearsal dinner menus
- DONE! Fabric bunting flags for bridal shower
- DONE! Thank you gifts along the way ...
- Groomsmen gifts
- Door initials
- DONE! Bridal Shower Cake Bunting
- DONE! Dessert bar components
- Sign in *surprise* area (we can't give everything away)
- Bridal Party dinner table monogram runner
- Signs for front of reception site
- Centerpieces for cocktail tables & bars
- DONE! Headbands for program attendants
- Bouquet bling
- Signs for pictures
- Toiletry kits for bathrooms
- Thank you gifts for our generous vendors, family and friends helping on the big day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

30 Before April 30 Project 13 Completed!

For the sake of simplicity, we decided to not have flower girls or a ring bearer at our wedding next month. Instead, we asked my cousin's little girls to hand out programs at the ceremony and welcome guests at the reception. As a gift, I made the girls little monogram bags that I'll stuff with goodies for the day of the wedding. But I also wanted to get them something that they could wear on the wedding day - with my personal touch!

During late night searches on numerous wedding sites and blogs, I came across this amazing headband on Project Wedding. I was attracted to the natural colors and the smooth satin flowers that stand out. Since I don't have any extra small pieces of fabric hanging around, I instead opted for ribbon.

Materials:
- headbands (5 for $1.50 at Forever 21)
- one yard of 1.5" ribbon in three colors
- two yards of velvet ribbon
- beads, pearls, etc.
- hot glue gun, needle, brown thread

Follow the instructions at Project Wedding on wrapping the headband with velvet ribbon.


First, thread your needle through the ribbon every half inch.


After about half a yard, pull the ribbon so that it bunches to create the look of a flower. Make a few stitches and tie a knot. Instead of sewing the two edges together, I hot-glued the ribbon so that it was transparent.


Make a few more stitches through the flower and wrap the thread around the headband (use the same color thread as the headband). This way, the flower is more secure and you can change the flower's shape in the process.


To affix the beads, use hot glue in the center of the flowers and drop your beads in. Watch your fingers.


Sorry. No cute heads were around to model this adorable headband, so I called on my pilsner glass ...



30 Before April 30 ongoing list ... (this list changes a lot)
- Homemade totebags for the bridesmaids
- Guest bags and all of the pieces that will go inside for out-of-towners
- DONE! Save the dates
- DONE! Wedding invitations
- Letter pillows for 2 chairs at reception
- Wedding programs
- DONE! Bags for Program Attendants
- DONE! Bridal shower invitations
- DONE! Bridal shower party favors
- DONE! Reserved signs
- DONE! Escort cards for wedding party
- Photobooth props & sign
- DONE! Rehearsal dinner dessert
- Rehearsal dinner invitations
- Rehearsal dinner menus
- DONE! Fabric bunting flags for bridal shower
- DONE! Thank you gifts along the way ...
- Groomsmen gifts
- Door initials
- DONE! Bridal Shower Cake Bunting
- DONE! Dessert bar components
- Sign in *surprise* area (we can't give everything away)
- Bridal Party dinner table monogram runner
- Signs for front of reception site
- Centerpieces for cocktail tables & bars
- DONE! Headbands for program attendants
- Bouquet bling
- Signs for pictures
- Toiletry kits for bathrooms
- Thank you gifts for our generous vendors, family and friends helping on the big day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

30 Before April 30 Project 12 Completed!

There are now two instances in my life when I was so overcome with joy to be finished with something: the day I received my graduate degree and the day that I mailed our wedding invitations (which is actually today).

I completely underestimated the amount of time and work that would be needed to finish these. Luckily for this growing perfectionist, we chose our invitations a few months ago, knowing that I would need time to assemble the precious cargo. After months of searching blogs, websites and comparing reasonable prices, we worked with an Etsy designer, Foglio Press, for our invites. Because of the long guest list, we needed to keep cost low and we weren't going to make it too extravagant with letterpress.

Photo by Stephanie Baker Photography

We did splurge a tiny bit with the envelope liners. I picked out a Japanese paper from Paper Source and had the sheets sent to our house. I created the liner template myself and cut out each one. With a $1 stamp from Michaels, I stamped a 'C' on each liner and embossed with white powder.


As always, The Whole EnCHELLEada was on hand to help me with this massive project. She glued the corner edges of each liner and adhered each one to the inner envelope.


Although the invitations were amazing, I did want a little bit more color and weight to the invitation so I glued each invite to Night cardstock from Paper Source. When the invites are stacked, it looks pretty.


Originally, I wanted to personally write each invitation and I actually purchased a calligraphy set to begin practicing. But as the weeks passed me by and one bridal shower led to a second bridal shower, I was out of time. And since printing these took me three evenings, our guests would have never received invitations!



My mom actually suggested this little idea a few minutes before I sat down to seal 246 invitations - a Q-tip, water and paper towel.


A paper-crazy girl will often dream of a combination of stamps on her invitation that reflect the couple's interests or the wedding's theme, but have you seen how much those stamps cost? If we were having a small, intimate affair, I would have done a little more research and used California-themed stamps. But since this option was just not financially feasible, our local post office carried these butterfly stamps for 64 cents (and our invitations were 61 cents to mail so I splurged a little after all).


Voila! Completed invitation! Sorry for the blurred image, but I really doubt my catechism teacher would appreciate me placing her home address on this blog.


So on this rainy, stormy day, I passed up public transportation for the comfort of having these invitations in my backseat buckled up and protected from water damage. Plus, I have a dolly at work. *deep sigh*


30 Before April 30 ongoing list ... (this list changes a lot)
- Homemade totebags for the bridesmaids
- Guest bags and all of the pieces that will go inside for out-of-towners
- DONE! Save the dates
- DONE! Wedding invitations
- Letter pillows for 2 chairs at reception
- Wedding programs
- DONE! Bags for Program Attendants
- DONE! Bridal shower invitations
- DONE! Bridal shower party favors
- DONE! Reserved signs
- DONE! Escort cards for wedding party
- Photobooth props & sign
- DONE! Rehearsal dinner dessert
- Rehearsal dinner invitations
- Rehearsal dinner menus
- DONE! Fabric bunting flags for bridal shower
- DONE! Thank you gifts along the way ...- Groomsmen gifts
- Door initials
- DONE! Bridal Shower Cake Bunting
- DONE! Dessert bar components
- Sign in *surprise* area (we can't give everything away)
- Bridal Party dinner table monogram runner
- Signs for front of reception site
- Centerpieces for cocktail tables & bars
- Wedding cake topper
- Bouquet bling
- Signs for pictures
- Toiletry kits for bathrooms
- Thank you gifts for our generous vendors, family and friends helping on the big day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shower Me With Love Part II

Some people celebrate weddings with 150 of their closest family and friends, small intimate affairs where the bride and groom are able to hug and thank every guest.

But then some of us have ourselves a big fat (phat) Portuguese wedding! And where there's a wedding, there's a bridal shower, and this little gathering in honor of my upcoming wedding attracted 140 of my closest family and friends (and my mom's growing social network!).

These party favors were created with a bag of seeds, fabric and a little bit of creativity on a Word document. A zig-zag stitch across the top secured the tag and fabric to the seed bag. See instructions here. Cousin Diane came up with the creative display of the favor standing upright in the napkin.


Centerpieces included a few important items: the succulents were planted by my mom a few months ago so the different varieties actually came from her garden. The pots used for the succulents, the candles and the mossy rocks were purchased for $1 each at Dollar Tree. The ceramic birds were found on craigslist and came from a recent bride who used them at her wedding. The slices of wood were part of a tree that my brother recently cut down in his backyard and had them sliced, "cooked", and sanded. And the metal pot was purchased at Ikea and we placed a potable flower inside.


My mom cut and finished the edges of the blue and green linens in the center of the tables.


This chalkboard sign was another great find on craigslist. My brother changed the bottom of the stand by removing a flat piece of wood and securing the sign to this metal bucket, also purchased at Ikea.


My favorite accessory to this bridal shower was the amazing cake, made by my brother's godmother, a woman who raised me just as much as my own mother. I made the little bunting flags on top of the cake, and three different ribbon patterns were used to add a little flare! Please note the matching fabric bunting flags that I also made and draped around the room.



Say hello to my bridesmaids and a few cute little ladies! I'm related to everyone in this picture but two girls -- and they can still pass as family! Thank you to my bridesmaids, my family and my mom's friends who put in so much time and effort to make an amazing meal, a spread of hearty appetizers and desserts, and everyone who enjoyed a chilly Sunday afternoon with us!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sharing is Caring!

A wonderful friend is getting married in July this year, and she is one of the most beautiful souls I know - inside and out. She has been inspiring me for nearly 10 years, and a trip to Southern California always includes a night with her laughter and stories. She has found a similar soul in her partner, full of life and love, a person that we could only see her with as she creates an amazing life!

When she was first engaged, we texted, emailed and giggled over ideas and plans for our weddings. It was an honor when she reached out to me for advice on how she should make a simple bunting flag for her engagement shoot. I offered a few ideas and she really did a wonderful job. Check out their engagement photos here. Congratulations AM and RC! We are incredibly excited for July!


Photographer: one love photography