Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pile o' Wedding: Centerpieces

We're back with the next edition of Wedding/Party planning! This time we're going to focus on centerpieces. The equation for this one is pretty simple, and cost effective.  Mason Jars + Candles =Awesome.

Kourtney added some ribbon and paper doilies for some extra charm on our big day, but even on their own they would be perfectly charming. 
Photos via Kimbe Photography

The candles and jars were cute and fun in the daylight:

Photos via Kimbe Photography

And dramatic/romantic once the sun went down:
Photos via Kimbe Photography
Tips for your own candlelit mason jar adventures:

  • Don't limit yourself to the "Mason" brand jars. We hoarded any and all glass jars we could find (pickles, pasta sauce, pigs name it, we saved it), and even got friends to send their leftover glass jars our way.
  • Ikea sells large, longer burning tea lights in their candle section--not available for purchase online. They burn for hours, and are just a few dollars for a pack of twenty.
  • Ikea also sells pillar candles on the cheap. We love Ikea.
  • Have lighters or long matches on hand. Anything that can reach down into those jars to light the wick. You do not want to skip this step.
Here's Mindy the fabulous bridesmaid, soaking up that candle lit glow:

Photo via Holly Larson
Linking up to Donna's at Funky Junk SNS, Centerpiece Edition! Click on over to be inspired.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hey Good Lookin'...Whatcha Got Cookin'?

Many of our new year's resolutions came together to bring you today's crafty.

1) Get Organized, 2) Save money, and my personal favorite 3) Eat better.

Or, the axis of evil, as we like to call it.

Anyway, my first feeble attempt to battle the axis was made with a sad little calendar print out, stuck in a frame. I called it our "experimental meal calendar". The plan was, I'd look in the fridge, see what we had, and plan the meal for two weeks. Sounds real good on paper. Turns out, I hate meal calendars. .I'd look at what I was supposed to make/eat on Thursday night and think: "I would rather die than cook/eat that tonight."

I don't like people telling me what to do...even if its me

But I do like lists. And inventories. And options. And dry erase boards.  

So I rallied the troops:

See that pitiful "Meal Calendar" printout?
A quick coat of off-white spray paint did the trick. Then just a scrap of fabric in the frame and you have a dry erase board!

I looked in our cabinets, and wrote down all the meal ideas that we already had the ingredients for. Then I hung it up in the kitchen, and now it's our "Meal Options Board!"

Seriously...easiest craft ever.

Now, I can ask the husband what he wants for dinner, and REFUSE to accept "I don't know, what do we have?" for an answer! I just erase something once we run out of the stuff for it, and keep track of inventory that way. And when I get bored with yellow, it's easy peasy to switch it out. Love, love, love.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pile o' Wedding: Banners

Alright our dear and darling followers, here's my first wedding post. Yep, I cheated and used something I made for Lindy's wedding, rather than digging out my pictures from my wedding, circa 2007. Hmmm, I feel a scrapbook extravaganza coming on...on to that later.

Lindy called me with her chocolate-coated, sugar-filled, oozing with sweetness voice and I knew a favor was in the works ;). Hey, we are classy girls, we use everything we've got to get what we want need for our events. Lindy had seen some vintage banners and she thought a couple banners would compliment her reception beautifully. It was June 2007, the very beginning of June 2007, the wedding was not until July 2007. Plenty of forward, day before we make the drive from Texas to Florida for the festivities, BANNERS NOT READY!!

1) Cut 35 5x5 black squares utilizing the Accent Essentials cartridge on my Cricut Expression.

2) Get out all different types of vintage blue paper and cut the letters for the banners at 4 inches utilizing the Storybook cartridge.

3)Now get sky blue solid paper and re-cut same letters, but move down a half inch in size (3.5 inches). For an added little pizazz, cut the words 'love' and 'sweet' in 3.5 inch size smaller using glitter paper....oooo, PIZAZZ. Glitter makes every girl just a little hyper.

4) Pack it up in the car, pack the Cricut, cartridges and selected favorite collections of paper, just in case! Make 12 hour trip to Florida. Realize once you are in Alabama, you forgot the brads to connect the banners together. Call Mom and Lindy, fanatically demanding they go to the nearest Michael's and get blue and black brads, any kind at this point. Have husband kindly remind you not to be so fanatical, Lindy did give you at least a month's time to work on the banners, it's not her fault you left the brads at home. Kindly apologize to Mom and Lindy and ask politely for the blue and black brads, if they can't find any or don't have time, we'll figure something else out. Pray they find the time to make a Michael's trip and Michael's will magically have the blue and black brads. (I highly recommend omitting this step from your banner making, but if you must follow directions exactly, feel free to experience step 4 in it's full glory)

5)Now we connect the squares together into banner shape. I punched a 1/8 hole in each corner of what was to be my upper corners of each black square. I then used navy blue eyelets (because I left the black eyelets at home) to connect two squares together. So you would line up the holes (one would be the left side hole of one square and the other would be the right side hole of the other square) and put one eyelet through to connect the squares. Set the eyelet using the crop-a-dile setter, or the good ole fashioned hammer and setter. Repeat until your banner squares are the appropriate length for your phrases, word, name, etc. It's easiest to do two halves of the banner and then join the two halves together in the end.

6) Place a different colored brad through each alternating eyelet, leaving the end eyelets empty (you'll use these to hang the banner, and may want to use a larger eyelet, if trying to get anything larger than twine through).

7) Now we place the letters on. I used pop ups. These foam stickers will give the letters a third dimension and make your letters look grand. Put the 4 inch letters on first, then center your 3.5 inch letters atop each corresponding 4 inch letter. Using pop ups on the 3.5 inch letters as well will add to the effect.

8) Spray with scotch guard and pray it does not rain on your parade. Especially with a 60% chance of rain in the forecast, right Lindy? Good thing weathermen were off by a few hours, the rain didn't hit til the last guests had gone home and the party was almost picked up.

9) Breathe sigh of relief, you've made your first party banner! Enjoy the pictures. Ahh, the granduer of love.

Photo via Holly Larson

Photo via Kimbe Photography

Photo via Holly Larson

Pile o' Wedding: Shanty to Chic Inspired Stands

This edition of Pile o' Wedding was actually brought to you by the ladies at Shanty to Chic. These stands that Whitney came up with using candlesticks and hat box lids were perfect for a buffet table. Click here for a link to their step by step tutorial. 

Here's our version:
Photo via Kimbe Photography

We only needed two levels, instead of the three on the original stand, so...we just left the top one off. We also finished it with a top coat of mod podge to keep it somewhat food safe.

Photo via Kimbe Photography

Action shot:

Photo via Kimbe Photography

Thank you Whitney at Shanty to Chic! This idea is pure gold!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pile o' Wedding: We All Scream for Ice Cream Edition

So, there are two schools of thought on the "Icecream at an outdoor reception  in July in Florida" debate. The first response is "Yum!" and is pretty standard. The second is "How are you going to keep it from melting?"

After a lot of thought, this is how we answered that:

Photo via Kimbe Photography

You'll need:
Wooden or galvanized tin buckets (We found ours on clearance at Tuesday Mornings)
Chalkboard paint
Old pot lids

Photos via Kimbe Photography

We made lids for the wooden buckets by cutting plywood into circles. We then cut a hole into the center of our plywood lids to fit the ice cream container into. Note: This works best if your ice cream comes in a cylindrical container. 

We painted our plywood lids with chalkboard paint, with the intention of writing the flavor in chalk. That didn't actually happen, but we liked having the option there.

We found three circular glass pot lids at a thrift store priced at $1.00 about two days before the wedding.  They fit perfectly. It was meant to be.

Dry ice can be purchased at many grocery stores, and can even be ordered online at relatively reasonable rates. Regular ice just won't work for this. It melts quickly, making a huge mess in the process and won't keep your ice cream frozen. Dry ice on the other hand, kept our icecream frozen solid through out the evening, and vaporizes into the air, leaving no huge puddles behind. Do a little research on safety measures (Basically: DON'T TOUCH IT), and it'll make all of your out door ice cream dreams come true.

And, don't forget the toppings!

Photo via Kimbe Photography

Mmmmm. Some old sundae cups from the closet hold sprinkles, pecans and gummy bears. While some oil bottles found at Wal-Mart hold Chocolate and Carmel sauce.

The ice cream bar was a success! Everyone was screaming for ice cream all night long. Well, some of us just hinted around and looked longingly until someone gave in and got him some candy all night long. Who can resist that face?
Photo via Kimbe Photography

Cost Breakdown:
$30.00 for buckets ($10.00 each)
$0.00 left over plywood
$0.00 left over chalkboard paint
$3.00 pot lids
$50.00 for dry ice (we could have been fine with half of what we got)
$40.00 ish for icecream and toppings
$123.00 ish TOTAL

We could have done better if we'd known we'd only need half of the dry ice we purchased, but other than that I feel like this was money well spent on something that I really wanted at the reception. Hey, if you can do better than that, let us know!

Linking this up to Show and Tell over and Blue Cricket Design. Click on over to see some awesome crafties!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pile o' Wedding: Chandy Edition

Weddings. Who doesn't love them? The summer of 2010 was truly the summer of love as we came together TWICE in less than two months to celebrate the addition of new members to the family. The planning process was fun, intense, and sressful but the challenge to create the look without busting up the budget really stretched us all to the edge of our capabilities. Many hours were spent via long distance phone calls to brainstorm ideas, beg for assistance, and maybe sometimes vent like there was no tommorrow. But we made it through, and even came up with some amazing ideas. Some of them worked, some of them didn't. And so, from these learning experiences we bring you our first ever blogging series....

We're going to showcase some of the crafts that went into the wedding planning last year, give a how-to if necessary, and show you where they are now (because what's the point of all that crafting, if you're not left with awesome stuff to put in your house??) Every project was done with a very specific budget in mind, and will maybe offer you some ideas for your own party planning and decorating self.

To kick things off I'm going to show you one of the first projects: The Trashy Chandy. This project began in the Good Cents store (It's where the Good Will reject items are sent to die) and seeing a beautiful, albeit broken, brass light fixture in the $2.00 bin. It looked much like this one:
Photo via YoungHouseLove

Our lovely little light fixture still had the jagged wiring exposed at the top, as if someone had ripped it from the ceiling in a home reno rage, and most of the little candle light parts (technical term) were broken. It was beautiful. I snatched that bad boy up with plans to give it some TLC and hang it in my bedroom.

Our Dad helped me remove the wiring, the whole thing got a few light coats of Valspar Porcelain spray paint, and we exchanged the broken plastic light bulb candles for the real thing.

Then the perfect opportunity to use it came in the form of our engagement pictures with Kim Brock, and then it was officially a "wedding craft."

Photos via Kimbe Photography
This cute little light also made an appearance at our wedding reception in July. We hung it up over the dessert tables (Stay tuned for the dessert table edition coming soon!) in the arbor at our parent's house. Kourtney added the touch of light blue satin ribbon to fancy things up. It really added a little romance to the table, dontcha think?

Photos via Kimbe Photography

 It held up beautifully to all the wedding abuse, but where is it now you say? Finally hanging up in the corner of the bedroom! Where it was always meant to be. Here's our little $2.00 chandy today:

Photo via yours truly. ( me)
Cost breakdown:
$2.00 Chandalier
$0.00 Left over spray paint
$2.00 Taper candles
$4.00 TOTAL

Tips for spray painting your own chandy:
  • Take a little bit of sandpaper and rough the metal up a little bit before you paint. The paint will stick a little better, and chip less.
  • Hang it up while you paint. It makes coating it evenly a breeze.
  • Light coats. If you spray it on too thick you'll get some nasty runs. It probably took about 7 very light coats to cover it all evenly.
Good luck!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Does the thought still count if it occurs last minute?

I needed to come up with a last minute gift idea for Cory, after accidentally revealing what his real Christmas gift was. It was two days before Christmas, and Cory's only wish was that I wouldn't spend any money on him. My mom, also known as Lord of the Craft, came to the rescue. She helped me whip up a quilt for him, using only scrap fabric she had in her closet.

 We designed each square to portray a part of the story of how we met and fell in love.

1) Cory offered to help us paint our new house. He got a little more than he bargained for that day as he not only helped paint, but also helped clean up a gallon of yellow paint that spilled in my car...
2) He came back for more though, and asked me to play golf with him.
3) Many nights were spent watching movies and...
4) Going out to dinner :)

5) We made Christmas cookies together in December. That was the first time Cory decided to have a serious talk with me about our future together. Aww.
6) We spent our first Christmas on different sides of the country.
7) He took me out on a rainy night and popped an important question!
8) We were married 6 months later.

He was so surprised to open up this gift, and I think I even saw a little teeny tear in his eye (he denies it...). We love hanging out and watching movies and TV together, so it's the perfect thing for us. We use it all the time, and its a sweet reminder of our beginning.

Tips for your own crafty scrap quilt:

  • Give yourself more than two days. It takes time to do it right, especially if you're learning.
  • Have someone with experience to help. I have very little sewing experience, so having my mom there--a veteran seamstress--was invaluable. 
  • Keep it simple.
  • Have lots of spare thread! It took us about 4 spools of thread because of all the little details we had to sew around.
  • Patience. 

I'm planning on doing something similar with the 9 year old girl I watch after school. We're using fabric markers to draw different pictures on each square instead of fabric cut outs, and using simple yarn ties to keep it together rather than quilting it together

If you've been wanting to try something like this, but haven't mustered up the courage, let me reassure you--you can do this! It can be simplified to any skill level and it's so worth it to feel the rush of pride every time we pull it out!


Linking up to Donna's Funky Junk Christmas Story Edition. Coming from 100% junky fabric scraps make me think it fits in well. Check it out to see the other awesome funky junkers.

Also linking up at the Shanty Sister's I Made it Without My Hubby party!
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