And we’re off!

I took the opportunity over my spring break to test out some of my ideas regarding wedding decorations, favors, and centerpieces.  DSC00288Much of our décor is DiY, and I knew I’d need to test out my theories and create mockups to see if I actually like the look of what I’m envisioning.  Here’s my first try.

My dad was kind enough to give us this miter box with which to saw straight lines (HAHAHA).  Since I’ve opted to create centerpiece ‘vases’ from 4 and 5 inch diameter PVC pipe, we needed something that would help us cut the bottoms of each vase flat, so they would stand securely (this works out to much cheaper than buying glass vases, which run about $8-10 in the sizes we want.  A ten-foot section of PVC pipe was only $12 and will yield about 7 vases.  This of course only works because I’m covering them with paper).  We discovered how difficult cutting PVC by hand can be when we chopped the ten-foot pipes in half AT Home Depot in order to be able to take them home in the car.  Heh.  DSC00291It was a long process that resulted in a desperately ragged edge.  After that, we knew a miter box would be important to this process.

I also needed to paint the bamboo reeds something other than their original blonde color.  I opted to use the chocolate color from our palette, since it seemed more natural and we happened to have several cans of brown spray paint left from various projects.  I laid out several reeds to use for the test out on paper on the front patio and sprayed away!  I did it in two shots, one for each “side” of the reeds.  It seemed to go okay… until I picked them up to bring them in.  The spray paint was tacky to the touch and refused to stay stuck to the bamboo.  Yuck!  That really made me glad I did the initial test.  Even though the paint job was a failure, I continued on.

I kept going with an attempt to saw a section of the PVC alone.  This was a mistake, as it was too difficult for me to keep the saw straight AND hold down the heavy additional length of the PVC as it hung off the edge of the miter box.  Oops.  The results were rather amusing…

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Haha.  Miter fail.  I will employ Nick to do the sawing next time.

SO MUCH FAIL.  Even so, I had my first test piece pretty well complete, and I’d managed to learn several things NOT to do in the future, which was the point of the exercise after all.  I went ahead and used the sticky reeds in my original test piece vase, a purchased glass vase (nice, but not big enough!).  The look was rather nice, and seems to go alright with the faux mercury glass I’m also making.

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All in all, it’s not looking too bad!  I think a more natural stain will look a lot better on the bamboo reeds (and also be a lot less hassle than trying to spray them), but you can get the general idea of the look.  I really love the paper-covered vase, I think it’s a nice foil to the wood texture of the bamboo and it takes the edge off what could become way too much glass for the more soft, informal look we’re going for.  I’m really enjoying creating and learning as I delve into our DiY wedding projects!

What’s your favorite wedding DiY, yours or someone else’s?

A personal message from…

I had one of those HOLD IT REWIND THAT BLOG moments the other day while going through my Google Reader.  Here’s why:

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OMG PERSONALIZED PENCILS.  I NEED THOSE FOR THE WEDDING.

Sorry for the capslock, but seriously, those are so adorable!  They appeal to me on so many levels!  As a teacher, they’re a staple of my everyday existence.  As a lover of all things text-filled, more cute fonts as a part of our décor and favors is always good.  And hello, would those not make the best favors EVER?  Personal and practical?  With about 4 dozen (in custom colors with custom fonts, HELLO?!?!) at $50 from Explicitly Yours, they’re a pretty reasonable deal.  Even with our limited budget, I’d love to fit these in, just because they’re so fun!

What item has made you do a backflip?

How We Chose Our Colors

Over my “off” week, I did a lot of extra errands that I hadn’t gotten to lately, including picking up paint chips of our wedding colors.  I plan on creating coordination packages with the colors and some of our favorite textures for our wedding party to use as they purchase dresses, suits, and accessories.  Here are our colors!

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Look familiar?  I totally involved the same scheme in the main charmedseed.net website, because I love them so much!  I’ve been having a love affair with grey and teal/robin’s egg/turquoise blue for the last several years, and I love the modern but vintage effect it can have on an event.

The blue-green and grey will be the two main colors (although really it’s just the grey), and we additionally chose a deep chocolate brown accent and at the last moment added a navy as well.  The navy was Nick’s addition, as it’s one of his favorite colors, and it makes a nice compliment to the warmer grey and chocolate.  All these colors together offer us a nice opportunity to choose accessories, flowers, décor, and clothing.  My dress will be an off-white, but Nick is looking at grey suits for himself and the groomsmen.  I initially went after grey dresses for my maids, but recently found a SUPER cute blue-green dress that I’ve ordered to look at.  Surprise!

Because I deal with color so much as an artist and seamstress, this was a sort of difficult choice!  There are so many beautiful combinations for wedding colors, so many choices and options of how to express them.  Navy and sunshine yellow were also a contender!  I’m delighted with the subtle result we ended up with, and I can’t wait to keep decorating in this scheme!

How did you choose your wedding colors?

A Forest of DiY

I have about a million DiY ideas for the wedding (ARE YOU SICK OF THIS BANTER YET?  NO?  I DIDN’T THINK SO), so I’m going to take a minute to record them!

image1. Faux mercury glass votives with letter-stamped copper tags (just like my wordspell tags).  This brings in the grey and brown in our color scheme (okay, copper is NOT chocolate, but it’s the closest of the metals).  Best thing about this?  Decorations that double as wedding favors.  Needed?  Votives, mirror spray paint, copper sheeting, glue, and an ampersand stamp.  Expected total?  $50.  I can get about 72 of the votives with candles included for $40.  Spray paint will be about $10, copper I have (or can get cheap), glue and/or epoxy I have, and I have several sizes of ampersand metal stamps (and if I didn’t, sets can be purchased for as little as $10 at places like Harbor Frieght, including numbers!).  I think this is a delightfully classy item to give to friends and family in memory of the event, especially with the handmade touch of the tags.  So this is what it should look like in theory… Photoshop, ahoy!

image2. Centerpieces of dark chocolate bamboo in paper-wrapped ‘vases.’  Remember these bamboo reeds from the wall feature project?  I have TONS of them left.  I really wanted the pretty bunches of branches in vases as a decoration, but manzanita or other branches can be expensive to buy (and for some reason, the park behind our house is always mysteriously clean of any laying around…), and why waste those great bamboo reeds?  They are so perfect, and so FREE.  I also still have the dark brown paint left that we used on the box, and that serves perfectly for our chocolate.  The best part? The vases will not actually be vases, but sections of PVC pipe.  For pennies each, wrapped in old book paper and glazed with our robin’s egg blue color, they’ll be a feature that’ll cost us nearly nothing. Similar to the photo, it’d be a lovely, economical way to decorate our dinner tables.  I hope to add some decorative large letters to the head table – a B, &, and N, of course.

3. Antique book ring holder.  Since Nick and I are voracious readers (we got each other e-readers for birthday and holidays this year) I suggested we go the route of having a book instead of the traditional pillow for the ring bearer.  I sought out Ebay as a good source for vintage and antique books with that pretty, aged look and prayed for the right color… and I think I may have found it (bidding is in process, so I won’t link to it!)! We also went the direction of choosing specifically a Jules Verne book, since we both love sci-fi and fantasy and those make up the bulk of our reading habits.  Loads of blogs have instructions to DiY this project, and hopefully a small splurge of $15-20 won’t be stretching the budget too out of whack.

image4. Super simple baby’s breath bouquets.  This is the SIMPLEST bouquet I’ve ever seen, and I immediately fell in love with it.  It’s simple to create, can be done ahead of time – even with fresh baby’s breath – looks gorgeous, and will be really inexpensive.  This photo from the Sweetest Occasion really illustrates how beautiful, elegant, and timeless this look is.  I’d like to add just a few navy flowers of some kind to my bouquet (probably silk, as navy flowers do not exist in nature, according to the internet!), as navy is the color that Nick chose.

That’s just a short list… I think a lot more things will come up in time, but I also want to keep things simple.  I plan on making my own jewelry, as it’s such an important part of my own life, for one thing.  DiY for me isn’t just about saving money, after all, it’s about expressing who I am and doing what I love: creating.

What are your favorite wedding DiYs?

The budget dilemma

I am home on a sick day from school, trying to stem the flood from my nose and browsing more wedding sites (I really wanted to finally get up a project I’ve been working on but I can’t get off the couch =p).  I’ve picked out items both reasonable and outrageous.  Especially my dress. 

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I have two sides to this internal argument.  I have fallen in love with a delightful designer gown that is in the $2000 range.  If it suits my figure and looks attractive, I will splurge on this wonder and move on with the rest of my life.  I deserve it, I figure.  If it doesn’t suit me, I have another picked out in a very reasonable three digit range that will more thoroughly please my parents, who are offering to help me pay for it. I know this less expensive dress suits me, as I’ve tried it on before, and I’d be delighted with it… but only if the one I am desperately in love with doesn’t.

Everything else in the wedding must pass though the veil (hurhur) of “does this make sense to pay money for, and what can it be used for after the wedding?”  My dress, of course, I can rationalize on many levels.  I’m a skilled seamstress after all; why should I not wish for the highest quality, even if it costs more?  But then chimes in the voice that says, “Really, Beverly?  For one day?” A question to which I really have no answer, and constantly grates against my practical, frugal ideals.  I rail against $120 bridesmaid dresses and stomp over to Target.com to find equally nice (better even!  No yucky satin!) dresses for $30, and feel satisfied with my choice.  But why?  Wedding party members have offered to pay some, if not all, their share for their clothing.  Parents on both sides have offered financial support.  Both Nick and I will be working full time and be able to save plenty for our expenditures.  We don’t NEED to stay in a four figure budget, but I’m fighting to do so anyway.  Why is that?

I think it all chalks up to the way I live my life, my nature to be reasonable in spending money, in defining what are ‘needs’ and what are ‘wants.’  It’s always been an important focus for me, and now for Nick and I as a couple.  While we know there will need to be money spent on the wedding, I can’t help but want to do much of the work myself, cut out the non-essential fluff, and make the most of our money.  We’re also saving for a house, a long term investment, and to spend portions of that money on a one-day event takes away from that.  Even so… I know this day is important.  It’s the first celebration of our life, and I want my family and friends to enjoy it… I want Nick and I to enjoy it, too! 

So I continue to seek that fine line between the necessary and the frivolous, wavering here and there, but not falling off the tightrope, and always with  my eyes on the goal of having a beautiful, memorable day with which to start our life together.

Photo from Vaguely Artistic on flickr.

Lookie lookie!

Okay, I admit it!  I have wedding fever!  I did a lot of browsing over the weekend for ideas for a look book, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

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We’re looking at a base of soft dove gray with accents of robin’s egg blue, chocolate, and navy.  I’m looking forward to a lot of DiY projects for favors, décor, flowers, and wedding party gifts.

Where do you find your wedding inspiration?

It’s true… love, that is!

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I expect to be perusing a lot of books and blogs like this one over the next year… that’s right!  Nick and I are engaged, and planning on a wedding in late spring of 2012.  Given my penchant for all things handmade, cobbled, frugal, and DiY, you can bet this is going to be a big time craft love fest!  I’m delighted about that aspect of personalizing our wedding, and looking forward to the event planning portion, as well.

Look for lots more wedding and reception planning in the future!

Oh, and what are your best recommendations for resources?

In love with interiors

There were a ton of gorgeous interior photos in my Google Reader today!  Check this out!

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Top Left: Stylish Storage: Vintage & Antique Armoires at Apartment Therapy.  I love the armoires, but of even more interest to me is the gorgeous slab table in the center of the room.

Top Right: past & present: fireplace history at design*sponge. This reminds me of one of the fun walls from the Sims 3!  Very Versailles!

Bottom Left: Palette & Paints: Blue Painted Fireplace from Myles Henry at Remodelista. There is something just so incredibly charming about this blue fireplace hearth.  Not to mention it’s one of my favorite shades!

Bottom Right: Amy’s Dashing Details House Tour at Apartment Therapy.  I’m a fan of vingettes with photos, paintings, and other accessories, and this one just struch me as so clean and bright.  Love it!

What are you loving out there lately?

Crafty Roundup!

I saw so much cool stuff on the blogosphere this week, I just need to share it!  Here goes!

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Remodelista has a great tutorial on an instant gold painting!  It’s gorgeous, bringing light and sparkle to any room.  What a statement!

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Fantastic DiY on how to make faux Depression glass, beautiful ruby colors!  Great for holidays or just everyday décor!

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And your dose of fashion, a great DiY on the stud cuff, a versatile and classic wardrobe statement!

I love all these projects and hope to try them soon!  What’s popped out at you this week?

Fly away, fly away

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I am ridiculously in love with this ghost chair from Reiko Kaneko, featured on design*sponge.  I bet there’s a way to DiY this!  Maybe I’ll try it!