Monday, December 21, 2009

Ornament Inspiration

This ornament is as cute as they come. I found it on the Dancing Gnome etsy shop and I couldn't help but imagine the whimsical woodland wedding that could come out of it. I think the ornaments would make great cake toppers and then a few gnomes could be sprinkled throughout for some fun decorations. Gnome illustrations could be used as table numbers, and those little red hats are the perfect pop of color.
cakebar, invites, illustration, old gnome, bride and groom, lovenest and the random forest/tree pics were taken by me while we were snowshoeing in Sequoia National Park this weekend. So pretty.

And since it's the holiday season and I love wrapping gifts, I thought I'd share a tip on what to do with excess doilies with the hive. Solid paper from Target, various sizes of doilies and raffia from Michael's and cardstock from Paper Source equals too cute gift wrap. You can also see a handy brown paper bag in there.

All of these were wrapped with one roll of paper, 2 packs of doilies and one roll of raffia.

For cylinders (like wine bottles and candles) just make a ribbon of paper and wrap around the perfectly cylindrical part. Cut a long strip of paper and fold over the sides to get neat edges and wrap around. Slap on a doily and some raffia and you're good to go.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ring Bearer Pillow and Mr. MB's Ring

You might remember my ring, from this post, but here's Mr. MB's ring (with mine) on a handkerchief gifted to us at the rehearsal dinner with our names and wedding date embroidered for posterity.
We also found this jeweler on etsy, but then just ordered it over email since it was a special (cheaper) order. We switched out the metal to 10K white gold to get this ring within our reach. Jim Dailing (the jeweler) couldn't have been better to work with, he was lightning fast and didn't make us feel lame about downgrading his beautiful design.

And for fun, here's the ring bearer pillow that Momma MB whipped up in the last days before the wedding. It incorporates the silk and lace used in my dress and a button from my Grandma's dress is in the center.

The back has a handy dandy handle for our ringbearer. We used our old cohabitation rings as stand-ins on the big day (mostly because I forgot to buy some decorative ones).

And for those curious readers out there, here's a quick quilting 101 lesson. Sorry for lack of pictures, this thing got made in the wee hours. But the diagram above can be printed out to whatever size you want for super simple pattern pieces. The grey is where the lace went and it's important to pay attention to the grain of the silk when you're putting this together. It's just for aesthetics, but just make sure you're putting the nubby dupioni silk 'stripes' in the direction you desire.

  • Cut your pieces with the 1/4" seam allowance all the way around (4 squares and 4 triangles out of silk, 2 triangles out of lace).
  • Pin your lace triangles on top of the silk ones and baste together very close to the edges. Sew your lacey triangles to their non-lacey counterparts (along the diagonal) and open into a square. Use a low setting on your iron to press the seams.
  • Sew each of your triangles to their squares, open and iron seams. Sew the two halves to eachother, open and iron seams.
  • Momma MB added a decorative zigzag stitch along the center seams. If you want to do this, just play with your sewing machine settings until you find a decorative stitch (and size) that you like and topstitch over the seams.
  • After that take your large square for the back of the pillow and pin to quilted top, right sides together. Sew together almost all the way around (leave an inch or so open to turn out and stuff).
  • Turn the pillow right side out and be sure to push out corners (the blunt end of a chopstick or something similar would be good).
  • Stuff with poly-fil or whatever you'd like in there (some of you might want to add a lavender sachet).
  • Close up the 1 inch opening by hand stitching (keep your stitches small and unobtrusive).
  • Grab a button and a long needle. Place needle in the center, push through and pull tight to tuft your pillow. Sew on the button.
  • Momma MB handstitched on the handle and ring ties at this point (but it might make more sense to sew those on before you put the two sides of the pillow together).
There you go, pillow done!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gifts For Those That Wore What We Told Them To

Mr. Moonbeam got his guys flasks with their initials monogrammed on them. It's standard, I know, but the guys loved them and used them immediately. We picked up ours at Things Remembered.

Mr. Moonbeam's brother (his best man) got the deluxe kit below. It came in a nice box and we had his first name put on the plaque.

My ladies got some cute little items from Ulta along with some bronze necklaces from Macy's. Ulta was having a sale and you could pick up stocking stuffers at the great price of 5 for $5. They got lotion, a mini make-up brush kit, nail polish, lip gloss and a nail file.
Look at these awesome necklaces, I really should have bought some for myself.
I might have to use some of those leftover gift cards on this.

The flower girls got these adorable little purses, they match nothing and I didn't care. I picked them up at Claire's for 8 bucks each. They were filled with some Ulta loot as well: sparkly silver nail polish, a mirror, some lip gloss and very pale eyeshadow (don't want those little kiddies looking too made up.) The older girls also got an awesome candy necklace kit and the littlest flower girl got some Dora the Explorer candy. The candy necklace kit was such a big hit, my bridesmaids were a tad jealous.
And the ringbearer got a travel Scrabble set. I simply had no idea what sort of wedding-related gift to get for a boy, so I just got him something he'd like.
Pic by Aunt Annie

Since he made his Grandpa dig right in, I think it was a good choice.

In the end, they were pretty standard gifts, but at that final push, you're too tired to reinvent the wheel and everyone seemed pretty pleased.

Anyone else have trouble gifting boys/men? I never have a clue.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Craft Night!

In the week before the wedding we had some ladies over to help finish up some crafts. Sister MB, Momma MB, Grandma MB, Aunt Eileen, flower girl Abby and Aunt Annie were there to help and so was Mom's friend Linda. Thanks for all of your help ladies!

I felt it was only fair to give my workers provisions. I made panzanella and minestrone, both were a big hit.

Quick recipe, because it's so easy and yummy.

Panzanella (Bread Salad)

1 loaf of bread
Bell Peppers
Dijon Mustard
Olive Oil

Cube and toast the bread.
Dice all your veggies.

Smash some garlic cloves into a bowl or vinaigrette bottle, squeeze in some lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Mix it all up and strain over your veggies. Toss with bread at the last minute.

Top with some grated parmesan (the real stuff, not the can, trust me).

It's my kind of salad (more croƻtons than veggies).

Aunt Annie and flower girl Abby stuffing recipe cards into favor bags.

To make the vases for the reception we gathered a bunch of mason jars. We used the quilted jars. They seemed a bit more appropriate for our family that has made 100's of quilts. Get a bunch of cotton fabric, some ribbon lace, buttons, fabric flowers and hot glue. We ripped the fabric into appropriately sized strips and removed all excess threads. To rip fabric just notch the fabric and rip apart. Important note: you can only properly rip along the lenghtwise grain of the fabric. Lengthwise means parallel to the selvedge. Selvedge is that finished edge that runs along the length of a bolt of fabric. If it's puckering as you rip it and not ripping straight, you're ripping the wrong way.

Then it's really just a matter of hot glue. Wrap your fabric around and glue in place. Wrap ribbon around and glue in place. Attach fabric flower with hot glue and then add the button with, you guessed it, hot glue.

We had two sizes of these cute little vases. Larger for the tables and smaller for filler on random tables. We also had little tiny jars with little tiny plants in them.
Here's the only shot I've got so far of a vase in action. This was either taken by my Aunt Annie (the family shutterbug) or London 'maid. Either way thanks to both of them for taking pictures, especially Aunt Annie, she got a ton of things that we forgot about. And, of course, there were things that didn't make it onto that table. We could not find the tea lights and I wanted squares of the same fabric we used on the vases in the center of the table, but at some point you just let go of things. I try to remind myself that I'm the only one that notices.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Good!

Alright, now that I've got all the bad off my chest, let's get to the good. I won't go into too much detail, so that I can save stuff for the recaps which will be a while from now, when I get the pro pics, but here goes.

The ceremony:
Though it was late and I goofed on the first kiss, it was absolutely perfect. Our priest did an amazing job, it was personal, he got the guests involved and everybody loved it. Even the non-Catholics didn't whine about how long it was. (Though I have no idea how long it was, I'm assuming that a full mass is longer than some are used to.) I couldn't have been happier with our decision to have the whole wedding in the LaCoste/Castroville area solely because of the priest.

My bridesmaids:
Sister MoH was there for me whenever I needed her and made my cake with her friend.
Little Cuz 'maid was a makeup and hair maven for all who needed it and helped me out with last minute projects whenever her class schedule would allow.
London 'maid traveled way far to be there with me and rocked out the dessert table and helped folks out with the photobooth. And a shout out definitely goes to London 'maid's momma, she was such a help.
Seattle 'maid also did some traveling and was there to take care of everything she could think of. This lady gets things done.
I could not have picked a better crew! And even though most of them had never met each other we all got along famously.

All the Ladies:
This is for those ladies that helped so much. Couldn't have pulled this off without Linda, Aunt Kay, Genni and Gerri, Aunt Eileen, Grandma MB and of course our Mom's.

My Dress:
Momma MB had it down to the wire, but she rocked it out and I can't wait to get a really great picture of it to post for you guys.

The BBQ:
Seattle 'maid had never had Texas bbq and was so looking forward to it. It didn't disappoint.

The dessert table:
I love the homespun look and almost everything was homemade. It all tasted fantastic and there was plenty for all.

The Grand March:
A Czech tradition that I was so glad to have included in our big day. Definitely a highlight, but since this deserves it's own post, I'll leave it for another day.

There were many more great things and for most of the evening I was really excited about everything, but I wanted to make sure you guys weren't left with a sour taste after that last post. So, now it will be some last minute projects and as soon as I get those pro pics, I'll start the recaps.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Doubly Married

It's all over and like many brides I've got mixed emotions about the big day. There were things I loved and for most of the evening I was truly in the moment and enjoying myself. But there were some things that keep playing over and over in my head and are keeping me from getting some much-needed shut-eye.

Let's start with the bad (I'm hoping that getting it off my chest will allow me to sleep).

The Venue:
A week before the wedding it sort of hit me that back in October when I dropped off final payment for the venue the owner mentioned that we didn't have Friday set up time anymore as he had rented it out for someone else's rehearsal dinner. We, of course, were at a disadvantage because when we signed the paper work and my Mom asked that the Friday set up time be added to the contract, the owner said 'oh, don't worry I'm marking it in my calendar, my word's good'. Brides don't believe anyone when they say this. Even if it is small town Texas and you can't imagine anyone doing this to you. Nor can you imagine that when you're trying to resolve the situation the week before the wedding that the owner will start yelling at you about how he's 'going to give you back everything but your deposit, not let you have the venue, call his lawyer and sue you and make you pay so much money you wouldn't believe' because you let him know that you'll be writing about your experiences and his dishonesty on every wedding website you can think of (by the way, I was more 'on the verge of tears' upset, not yelling upset). I considered it fair warning, he considered it a reason to ream the bride out. Long story short, avoid the Mary Gray Events Center in Castroville, TX. Everyone we talked to about him in town gave us knowing looks and rolled eyes. I wish I'd listened to Momma MB when she said she wasn't getting a good vibe from him. He also lied about almost everything else. He said 250 people could be seated in the hall (we had 160 and it was jam packed). He said 8-10 people could be seated at each table, 8 barely fit). He told me the room was 100' x 60' when I asked for measurements. That's probably twice as big as reality. The room was so small that the music and dance floor had to be put outside, which seriously hurt my chances of getting anyone onto the dance floor. He said music could be outside until 11 pm, but we found out from anyone else that we talked to that an elderly lady starts filing complaints much earlier than that. And though the venue is very reasonably priced, you have to use their bartenders and alcohol, there are 3 toilets total, and the owner is a 'cut-throat' Los Angeles business-type who came back to Castroville and is doing his best to take over the town by undercutting all the locals. In the end, we got the keys around midnight and a separate storage room (in the building, but not the hall) to set up the large flower wall, so it wouldn't have to be brought in from far away. But I think I should note that we only got the separate room through dealing with his assistant and calling about 5 times to try and get some sort of help.

The Linens:
Because our set up time had been severely shortened, we now needed someone to set up the tables and linens for us. The vendor that the events center works with is Fantastic Flowers, and since they quoted the best prices for round table linens, we caved and went with them. Even though they're closely affiliated with the horrible reception venue owner and we really didn't want to use anyone that could benefit him. Well when I got to the hall I found out why they were cheaper. Their linens were square and only go about 1/3 of the way to the floor. Icky folding table legs were everywhere!

The non-DJ:
Our jazz musicians were great, but turns out that no one dances to jazz. And our laptop set up left for a seriously lacking music situation. I don't care how cheesy the DJ is, there probably won't be any 5 minute pauses after someone decides to cut off the song in the middle of 'Come on Eileen' (remember that's my name) to switch it to some slow, country drinking song. I had finally rallied some people into dancing and then BAM!

The things that didn't happen:
We didn't do a bouquet or garter toss, no anniversary dance, not as many extended family shots as we'd have liked, and some of the decorations I made didn't get used. In the end, I'm only sad about the family shots, but our ceremony started late and we needed to get out of the church for Saturday evening mass. With families as large as ours they never would have been coralled in time.

Alright, the next post will be the beginning of all the wonderful positives and the bjillion last minute things that Momma MB and I did in that final week.

And for listening to my rant, here's a snapshot taken by my aunt.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Less Than a Week

And this is what my dress looks like.

But don't worry, I'm not. I knew that having my Mom make the dress would mean we'd be pushing it out to the last minute, but I know it will be done and beautiful. Every time I get to play 'dress dummy' I get so excited about how it's shaping up.

But, oh my poor mother. Momma Moonbeam is on her 4th version of the top. The pieces above are some of those pieces of what will hopefully be the final version.

And just for fun here are some pictures of a flower girl wearing my Mother's veil and my Grandmother's/Mother's wedding dress.

Yup, the one we'll be cutting up very soon for all that beautiful lace.
Wish us luck!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hair Flower

I used some scraps of raw silk, silk chiffon, lace and some beads that I had lying around. I ended up not using the pearls pictured.
I took the silk and ironed on the first side of the two-sided iron on stuff.
Then I ironed the silk chiffon onto the other side. Since there is a very loose weave don't hold your iron there too long and let the adhesive seep through. That would get your iron dirty.
Then draw on some basic floral shapes with tailor's chalk.
Cut them out in various shapes and sizes. Snip, fold and pin the lace.
Pin them all in place. The iron on adhesive sort of made everything curl up, which kind of worked well since I was trying to figure out how to give the flower some shape.
Tack down all the layers. It gets kind of thick, so a thimble probably would have been handy.
Sew on some beads, I would put the thread through slip on about 4 or 5 beads and sew it down so that there would be a little bead loop when it was all said and done. This gave it a little bit of dimension.
Then I sewed it onto the birdcage veil that I bought from brenda's bridal veils on etsy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shoes 2

In my last shoe post, I thought I was very into those blue Calvin Klein's, but the bottom had a very 'sturdy' sole. I know it's silly, but I wasn't digging the black rubber. I even found them in person and just didn't love them enough. You do have to kneel at Catholic weddings.

So the search continued, I tried Macy's, because I'm trying to save a few $$ at every step, but was thoroughly unimpressed. So, I headed over to Nordstrom's, my trusty source for super-fun flats. They might be a little pricier, but their junior's shoes are well priced and cute, and if I had to spend a little extra on my wedding shoes, I'd live.

I scoped the website first to see what I had in mind and found some great options.

I love the shoe jewelery look of these. And they're 'something blue'.
These pearls and ruffles are too sweet and romantic to not consider.
These also come in bronze and the jewels on them are a perfect match to my wedding colors. There's even a teal blue jewel in there.

Just an adorable bow to think about.
These jeweled ruffles are so cute and modern when done in metallic.

A fun pop of color and a great jewel.

After my search, I decided that some of my favorite brands are Kelsi Dagger and Jeffrey Campbell.

So, I headed out to Nordstrom's to try these on, I still fear online shoe shopping, I buy so many other things online, but just can't do it with clothes and shoes.

Nordstrom's doesn't carry all of their styles in the stores (like Kelsi Dagger, hmph), but I found three to try on that I loved, I was sitting there staring, calling and texting my Mom and I still came home with 2 pairs. Now I've got to decide. The third that I tried on and didn't buy is that jeweled ruffle metallic above. It fit well and was made well, but I fear elasticized heels, they tend to rub my skin off.

I couldn't find these ruffly ones online but, they're made by BC (because we can) and were $45 (see, junior's shoes). I love how feminine they are and they certainly fulfill my something blue.
These are the bronze versions of the ones shown above. There are purple, mustard and other fall colored jewels, including a dark teal to be my something blue.

So hive, ruffles or jewels?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wedding Cake

I'm not having a big, traditional wedding cake. We'll be having a little cake, made by my sister (who works in a bakery). A groom's cake from a local bakery and a table full of other desserts that family members are making. So, I haven't put a ton of thought into the cake, but I have a few criteria. Not fancy, not too big, and the icing has to be just right. I don't like most icings, especially the white ones. But, luckily, I love cream cheese frosting, and the off-white color is perfect for my fall wedding. For the cake I was thinking red velvet or chocolate. But after testing out recipes for red velvet and not finding one that I'm in love with, I think we'll be going with chocolate. Now onto the look of the cake.

I tried out a red velvet recipe and making a tiered cake. Now remember, my sister works in a bakery and can actually ice a cake, I can't and this was me doing the trial run.

But this was my attempt. I used a 9" layer and a 6" layer for this cake. The decoration is a trace paper ribbon and a flower from my flower wall project. I like the subdued colors, but I think I might incorporate something similar to my belly bands.
For the cake, I would just use 1 fold, with an interesting stitch going all the way around.

I also love this look from Jeff Ruddell at Craftstylish.
How, cool would that be?! I'd have to practice a bit and get some more x-acto blades, but that would definitely be a showstopper. I just am unsure about what color paper to use. Trace paper would be too thin, so I'd have to introduce another color, but I think it could definitely work.

Then there are edible decorations. I'm not too into the pastry bag scalloped edges and such, so my sister has recommended a chocolate ribbon (to which I countered, how about white chocolate?) She said yes, so there's that option, but definitely no bow.source

But, after seeing how this can be when it's not perfect, I'm not sure. I like homemade looking things, when the lines aren't supposed to be straight. If the line is supposed to be straight and isn't (like with a ribbon) I can't get as into it. So, maybe not.

There could also be melted white chocolate drizzled around the edge. Kind of like this, but maybe not so regular, and no flowers.
What do you guys think? Are you averse to non-edible decorations, or does it just go with the wedding territory? Because if it does, I'm definitely going to have to put some real effort into trying out Mr. Ruddell's fabulous cut flower border.