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Friday, October 30, 2009

Don't Stop....

...believn'! Hold on to that feee...

Sorry, I mean:

...using your wedding colors just because your wedding is over! I am so in love with aqua and red, I would love to have a room in Ryan and I's future home in those colors:


Source

I adore that peacock print on the ottoman. Hopefully Ryan's game!

Do you plan on straying from your wedding colors after your nuptials are over? Or do you love them so much that you want to use them again?

FYI...the version of Don't Stop Believn' from Glee is unfreaking believable. Don't believe me? Then check this out:


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Milk Glass Update

We are less than 10 vases away to having all of the milk glass we need for the wedding! And we still have months and months to gradually pick them up.

Ryan's mom and his best friend and his best friend's wife were kind enough to think of us when they were out thrifting last weekend, and they each picked us up a piece. Ryan and I swung by a Salvation Army Saturday afternoon and picked up 5 pieces....for $1.25. That is $0.25 a piece. I am positively delighted with the fact that we are doing this, because this enables us to spend next to nothing on our centerpieces (I'm thinking it's going to be way under $10 per centerpiece).


We have found though, after the centerpiece mock-up we did a few weekends ago, that some of the vases have really narrow necks and might not work. But, for the price we're paying for them, we can easily pick up a couple extra. The vases that are too narrow for centerpieces can be used in other places, and we're thinking of filling them with carnations or with red fabric flowers.


Did you start a project only to find out later that changes needed to be made? Have any of your wedding projects made your thrifty heart sing with joy?



Also, I need to figure out what we're going to do with all of this milk glass after the wedding! I know we'll keep a couple of our favorite pieces, but there's no way we need 40 vases. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blog Award

Many thanks to Chocolate Lover for passing this on to me...



And now to pass it on to 10 lovely ladies who's stories I love following (in no particular order):

Ladies, pass this on to 10 other bloggers and list 10 things interesting things about yourselves!

Miss Pug's Pawfect Wedding
Lucky in Love
Miss Mojito
The Bride Side of Life
I'm Gonna Marry You Someday
GatorBride
A Bride Again
Burning River Bride
Laylaville
Love and Lace

And now I have to post 10 interesting things about myself, which is unfortunate because I am not particularly interesting...so I called Ryan and he generously came up with 10 interesting things about me. He actually came up with more than 10 (he's a good man). Here's Ryan's list:

1. Stacy likes to shop, if one would let her, she would buy a pair of shoes a day.

2. Stacy wants to envoke in religious studies for her Master's, even though it has nothing to do with her undergraduate degree or career ambitions.

3. Stacy wants to be touched by the people (or dogs) she loves. ALL THE TIME.

4. Stacy loves schnauzers. She likes them a lot, probably more than people.

5. Stacy is a runner and pretty decent at it (even though she claims to be slow).

6. Stacy likes to read. She would rather have a good book than any amount of TV.

7. Stacy is going to marry the most awesome man alive. A total baller.

8. Stacy, interestingly, is one of the least interesting people ever. Interesting because she is now very boring and yet apparently used to have wild times before I met her.

9. Stacy love carbohydrates. And eats stupid amounts of them.

10. Stacy urinates a lot. More than the average male dog on a walk in
a new place.

11. Stacy is going to run a marathon someday.

12. Stacy loves the gays. I dunno, but she really likes to hang out with gay men.

13. Stacy is a sleeper. Naps everyday please!

14. Stacy is drunk off 2 glasses of wine. Terrible lightweight.

Thanks babe! And thank you again to Chocolate Lover...you are such a good friend, I hope we can meet in person someday!

Les Talons Haut

I was a French minor in college, but I still had to look up how to say "high heels" in French. I love that it's "les talons!"

Anyway, shoe wise....I need to get on it. I don't want to be stuck with a ton of stuff to buy 2 months before the wedding. It takes the edge off if you spread it around!

I am still in love with these that Ryan found.


Unfortunately, they don't come in red. I like them so much that I am willing to sacrifice the red shoes and wear ivory ones...but these don't come in ivory. Annoying. Also, they are $150....and the heel is 4.25 inches. What the hell? I mean, who can walk in 4.25 inch heels? That is ridiculous designers! Stop it, immediately. It is unnecessary.

Moving on! Unless these shoes show up in red, I have to find something else.

Right now, I am leaning towards these....

Source

I know I would wear these again, and I think some vintage shoe clips would look really chic on these. Like these:



They're only $69, which I think is a good price for shoes I would wear again. The shoe clips are $30...which I guess makes them more like $90 shoes?

Also liking these, although I'm more of a flower-on-the-toe girl than a bow-on-the-toe girl. I'm not picky or anything, right? These are on sale for $66.


Those freakishly gorgeous Badgley Mischka white satin shoes have ruined me....I don't know if I'll be happy unless I have those, in red. Guess who doesn't make red shoes? Badgley Mischka. I've seen the same shoe in cranberry, but we're going for more a lipstick/cherry red.

Anyway, I need to work on this....I think they'd make a great Christmas or Birthday present, don't you?

Anyone have more red shoes options for me? I've searched Endless, Zappos and Heels...I don't know where else to go!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eloping

I never seriously considered the idea of eloping. Ryan is so close to his sizable extended family, that it just wasn't an option for us.



Besides, I want the white dress!

Anyway, this weekend we visited with some cousins from out of town that we never get to see, as her husband is in the Navy and they live across the country. Weddings were a good conversation piece with me and another cousin being engaged, so their wedding came up.

They got married when they were 21, after dating for about a month. They went to the jail one day (in Memphis, you get married at the jail), walked through a hallway of jeering prisoners and got hitched! Afterwards, my cousin A had to go and take an Anatomy and Physiology exam. That was it! They recently celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary, and they have such a great relationship. They do want to throw a big party when they are settled and have a house, but that will have to wait until A's husband R is out of the military.

Isn't that a cool story? They wanted to get married...so they did! So simple....I'll have to keep this in mind when I over-complicate matters...I tend to do that quite a bit.

Do you have any unique wedding stories to share? I love a happy ending!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Knot

I joined The Knot shortly after Ryan and I got engaged, mainly for the dress pictures.




The dress pictures were great, even though their selection that fit within my budget was pretty small. The boards were OK, but I'm a much bigger fan of the WeddingBee boards. They are light on the DIY projects, mostly because they seem to be very "buy this" oriented.

Here's my point though. I was watching "Who's Wedding Is It Anyways" a few Sundays ago, I think it was, and their editor-in-chief Carley Don'tKnowHerLastName was doing these little 20 second "advice to brides" pieces. One of her big tips was as follows (not word for word, but this is the gist of it): "Don't serve your guests $9 entrees, cut your guest list so you can serve your guests a proper meal."

Really, lady? I'm slightly offended...the food we're serving our guests is not very far above the $9/person mark. I know for a fact that most of my family and friends would much rather be there and eat cheaper food than not be there so a few people can have a 4 course meal. Ryan and I would much rather serve cheaper food and have everyone there that we care about. Besides the fact that, what the hell is wrong with a $9 entree? As if it being a "mere" $9 makes it bad or something? Because our food is sooo good, and it isn't costing us a freaking fortune.

It just bothers me that materialism over family and friends is being pushed. That a set way to do things is supposed to be followed. I have no problem with people who choose to cut their guest list in favor of a nicer meal or venue. If that's what's going to make you happy, please do it! Having everyone we care about at our wedding is what's going to make us happy, so that's the direction we're going. People shouldn't be made to feel "less" either way, and that woman was making me feel "less."

And their to-do lists? They can suck it. I guess I'm just not a Knot fan.

Has anyone had better experience with the Knot than me?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Band

Tuesday I did not have the greatest day work. You know those days, when you would rather be doing any other job than your own? It was one of those. To cheer myself up, I headed to a jewelery store in town to try to find a wedding band.

Ryan and I sat down a while ago and came up with a budget for my band together and worked it into the wedding budget. I went to the jewelery store where he got my engagement ring, because he was so impressed with the quality of their jewelery. Unfortunately, they had 3 rings within my price range, and they weren't even that close to what I wanted.

I want something small and delicate, and I don't want anything super blingy. I'm not a fan of the channel setting, and I didn't want a plain white gold band, either.

So, back to Tuesday. I headed to a jewelery store in town and gave the lady behind the counter a general idea of what I wanted. She had 2 rings to show me. 2! Luckily, another woman behind the counter had overheard what I was looking for, and she said she had a vintage piece in the back if I was interested.

Of course I was interested! I am a thrift shop antique store junky! My entire house is furnished in vintage and antique furniture. I would love a vintage piece.

She went to the back to get it out of the safe, and as soon I slid it onto my finger I was sold. The ring is way, way under the budget, and it's everything I was looking for and then some.

Without further adieu, my wedding band:


This picture gives you a better look at the etching on the ring:


I went in yesterday and put some money down on it. I can put down whatever I want how often I choose, and when it's paid for I can either pick it up or they'll hang on to it until the wedding. I'm going to wait a bit to get it resized....with the weather being colder, my fingers have shrunk quite a bit, and I'd like to be able to get this on my finger when it warms up again! Right now it's a size 6, and I need a size 5, so it isn't that far off. Putting down a little each month means that I can pay for this ring myself, and not take it out of the wedding budget! We added to our centerpieces (the carnations, table overlays and candles all had to be fit into the budget), so the money not spent on my wedding band can be spent on those things.

So, have you all gotten your wedding bands yet? Did you have a hard time finding them?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Conference

Last Thursday, my sister Alli and my dad and I headed to the thriving metropolis of Poplar Bluff, Missouri to watch my little sister Mary compete in her cross country team's conference meet.

I took advantage of the 1 1/2 hour drive to get some flowers knocked out.


This is a luscious red silk I got off of Etsy.


So right before the season started, Mary came down with Mono. She was devastated, because she had been running all summer to prepare for the season and felt that all of her hard work was wasted. The first couple weeks of the season, she had trouble finishing work outs. I felt awful for her, because she loves to run. She was quite the trouper and biked when she couldn't run (her doctor said it was ok...by the time she was diagnosed with mono, she was past the enlarged spleen part). She stuck it out and is now in great shape! Mary's in the middle in the orange jersey.


Mary and another girl were at the front of the varsity race within 3 feet of each other for the entire meet. It was so nerve-racking...when Mary came flying around the last curve 15 feet ahead of anyone else, we freaked out!

Here's me and Alli, professional Cross Country spectators. Alli ran in high school, too.


Me and Alli with Mary, the Conference Champ! She ended up dominating.


Mary and I are wearing the new girl's Cross Country shirts...the back says "running is our long distance relationship." Love that!

I love to watch Mary run, and I couldn't have been more proud of her. She battled through her mono and now she's back, better than before. This weekend is districts, then sectionals, then state!

Do you like to watch friends and family do something they love?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dream

Holy wedding nightmare you guys! I had an incredibly vivid wedding dream last night, and it was awful!

Ryan and I were some random church, not our own where we're getting married, and nothing was done. It was like we got married with the amount of stuff we have done now, with 9 months to go. There were no programs stating why we're getting married Unitarian Universalist, our vows weren't done....and there were a ton of little kids there. Baby strollers were parked in the main aisle, so I could hardly walk down it, and after I walked down the aisle once everyone wasn't ready yet so I had to turn around and do it again!

It was awful. I guess it shows what a control freak I am, that my wedding nightmares consist of a wedding where I can't control anything!

Have you guys had wedding nightmares? I would love to hear about them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Centerpieces, Take 52

Last weekend when I was up in St. Louis, Ryan really wanted to do a centerpiece mock-up. Here are the past posts on our centerpiece saga.

Here's the closest picture I could find for what Ryan was going for:


He had the idea to use carnations, because they're cheap and they actually look pretty cool tightly packed. So, we headed off to Dierburg's and picked up 6 carnations. They didn't have red, so we went with pink!


While I stripped the flowers of their leaves, Ryan headed out to the back yard to spray paint a branch white.



Mad spray painting skills!

After the branches were dry, Ryan and I started to arrange them into one of our milk glass vases. Earlier in the day, way make a stop by Joanne's a picked up half yard of this aqua material to make table overlays with. We cut it to the size we wanted it and stuck it under the vase.

The beads on the overlay are from Ryan's sister's wedding a few years ago.

And here's the finished product!

It won't block any guests from each other, which is a good thing! That's Ryan's parent's cat Casey, by the way. He's really nice but I'm allergic :(.


And here is it with some candles we got at Michael's...with the 40% off coupon, they cost $5.14/dozen.

I am thrilled with the results. I think they are really modern and cool, and very different. But Ryan and I can't agree on if we need the beads sprinkled on the overlay or not! What do you all think? I am also thrilled that I have an involved groom...because I was 100% tapped out on ideas for this! He definitely saved the day.

Ryan wrote a guest post about the centerpieces, so here he is. Keep in mind that he is incredibly sarcastic!

"So Stacy asked me to write a section in this post as a “guest blogger.” I guess since the centerpiece was my design, I can oblige and write a little bit. I have heard many people talk about how I just need to sit back and let Stacy do all the planning and decision make all on her own. However, I am not the type of person who is able to sit back and keep my opinions to myself. This includes EVERYTHING in the wedding planning process. I am glad she lets me have an opinion, I think it will make it much more enjoyable for both of us and I actually want to be involved. I know this sometimes drives Stacy crazy, but I like to think that most of the time I actually help matters and make her life easier. God knows I am better with rational thinking, numbers, money, and keeping calm…….while she is busy freaking out, I am busy being a baller." (quick note...see what I told you about the sarcasm? He lays it on thick ladies! Back to Ryan) "It works nicely for us. So when she started trying to design the centerpiece, I let her run with her ideas and gave her my opinions and ideas on how to better the original pieces. To me much of the design is an elaborate process, not a single trial (Stacy would rather have immediate satisfaction. Except the whole while I was devising what I thought to be a symmetrical, architecturally sound centerpiece." (Another quick note...who does that. Seriously, an architecturally sound centerpiece? What can I say, he considered architecture school....) "Some might say I am too practical and calculated, however, in this instance I knew I had a good idea. Stacy was actually a bit hesitant and was fairly sure she was not going to like my idea for a while. Reluctantly she said we could try it, and low and behold it was, as far as we are concerned, a masterpiece. I’m a regular Martha F-ing Stewart over here! I am thinking about quitting my career and becoming hellaz full time wedding-centerpiece designer extraordinaire. All in all it was a great experience developing this with Stacy and I am glad it worked out because it is one more thing off our plate and we are both (I think) very happy with the way it turned out.

P.S. - I welcome all comments that tell me how awesome I am. "

So, ladies and gentlemen, that is how we ended up with our centerpieces! Ryan has reminded me numerous times now that he is "Martha F-ing Stewart"....and it's only Tuesday.

Anyway, in terms of cost, these will be cheap. The vases we're getting for $1.50 or less, and we already have about 28. We're planning for 36 tables, so we're almost there! The branches will be free, spray paint to cover them is cheap and the carnations are $0.50/stem from Costco if you order online. We're buying the fabric for the overlay with coupons, so it will be cheap as well.

So what you do you all think? Beads or not beads? Any other thoughts? Comments on how awesome Ryan is (hehehehe, there's his sarcasm again!)?

Monday, October 19, 2009

GiveAways Galore!

Miss Mojito posted about this give away, and I just had to enter. It's so cool, you just zip off an e-mail to VIP@traylorpapers.com and tell them your favorite colors and/or style and they send you a free customized card! Check out Traylor Papers here.

Winners

So the winners of the give away are....

Katerina! She will receive the satin flowers for use in her own fabric flower bouquet (can't wait to see how it turns out my friend!)

and Chocolate Lover! She will receive the hairpins for use on a special date night.

Thanks for being such wonderful readers, writers of blogs and friends you two! If you all could e-mail me your shipping addy's, I can get your flowers in the mail for you this week.

Have a great Monday everyone, I hope it's pretty where you are!

Giving me Away

Do any of you watch the Duggar's "17/18/19/20 Kids and Counting" on TLC? Here's a link to their family website.

I was watching the wedding special, where the oldest Duggar child, Joshua, got married to a girl named Anna. Here's a link to their own personal website. The Duggar family are very hardcore evangelical Christians, as is the family Anna was raised in. When I was watching the wedding special, Anna's dad was explaining the meaning behind the "hand off" of him turning his daughter over the her new husband. He said that it symbolized the passing of the authority over Anna from her father to her husband.


Which is fine, if that's what you believe. I personally disagree on numerous levels, but that's just me. But my point is this....how is that going to go down at my wedding? At the wedding Ryan and I went to last month, the bride was walked down the aisle by her father, and when they got to the altar, the pastor asked, "Who gives this woman to be married?" and her father answered, "I do." Once again, that's fine if that's how you want to do it, because in reality families are changing and that acknowledges it, in a way. But this doesn't sit well with me.

So I think whenever my dad walks me down the aisle (quick aside, I was talking to my dad a couple weeks ago and said something like "and you are walking me down the aisle, FYI," and he was touched. I guess he thought that since we are doing so many things differently that I might want to walk myself!), and we get to the altar and the officiant asks "who gives this woman to this man," I need to figure out how we're going to handle that.

It also goes without saying that the word "obey" will be entirely absent from our vows.

How are you all handling this in your weddings? Anything in the ceremony not sit well with you?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Give Away

Happy Friday everyone!

Just a quick reminder that the giveaway I posted about on Monday ends today at noon, so be sure you comment and post for your chance to win!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone, I'll be back with the winner on Monday!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Centerpieces Revisited

I wasn't happy with the last centerpiece mock-up we did, so Alli and I revisited it.

We put 2 branches instead of just one, and added some paper flowers we punched out.






I am much happier with the fullness of the branches, and I think the flowers need to be double sided.

Ryan had a really good idea that we need to do a mock-up of and see how it goes. Here's the closest pic I could find.


Source

Think this with our milk glass vases with a small cluster of flowers at the bottom and sticks shooting out of the flowers, more straight up and down than this picture....and much less big.

He also thinks that an oversized napkin in aqua would be nice for the vases to sit on, and then maybe we can get red napkins from our caterer. We're going to a fabric store in St. Louis this weekend to see what's out there.

Anyway, I am reaching the point where I am sick and tired of talking about centerpieces. I kind of don't care anymore, as long as we have freaking centerpieces!

So, as soon as we do a mock-up of these, you all will be among the first to know...

Did you have any wedding projects that you were thoroughly sick of but drug themselves out?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Engagement

I was sorting through my *ahem* incredibly organized box o'pictures (Ok fine, it's just a white photo box from Hobby Lobby with pictures from the last 5 years thrown in) and found a CD of pictures from our trip to Boston last April (Ryan ran the marathon!). Also on the CD was the video of Ryan proposing to me, so I thought I'd throw it up here in the interest of full disclosure...and because watching it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I think that I am way lucky to have this on video, because my family wasn't there to see it....so in a way, I could make them feel like they were there.

I did a post on how Ryan proposed to me and our trip to Boston here. Maybe I'll repost it on our engage-a-versary, but for now, if you're interested, follow the link to see the whole story.

His best friend Dane took the video...the first 20-30 seconds are seemingly non-eventful, but Dane's commentary is priceless!


video


You can't really see it in the video, but Ryan asked me to marry him right on the start line of the Boston Marathon....after he ran the race earlier that day and PR'd. He's so talented and he ran so well that day. When asked how it felt to get down on one knee after racing 26.2 miles (!! And I think a half marathon hurts!), Ryan replied with, "it hurt."

Needless to say, it was perfect (for us at least, I'm sure non-running geeks wouldn't have been interested), and I never in a lifetime could have dreamed it up myself. Bravo handsome man!

I love hearing engagement stories....so how did your partner ask you to marry him or her?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2-Year Anniversary

So yesterday I celebrated 2 years of being a non-smoker...not 2 years with Ryan. That's in March.

But anyway, quitting smoking was the hardest freaking thing I have ever done, and as much as I enjoyed smoking (yes, it it enjoyable, don't ever try it to find out, just take my word for it), I will never, ever light up again because quitting was so hard. I took Chantix to quit, but I smoked so much (umm, a pack and a half a day...or more) that I had serious physical withdrawal symptoms. I was literally green in the face I was so nauseous for the first 48 hours. I worked in an ER at the time, and one of the docs ordered me the most potent anti-nausea meds they had...and they did not touch me. I have never felt so dreadful in my life.

Needless to say, I quit smoking 2 years and one day ago. I got the prescription for the Chantix in August of 2007, and I held on to it until October, when I started taking it and quit smoking. Oddly enough, 2 weeks after quitting smoking, I met Ryan at my little sister's state Cross Country meet. What runner (and a hardcore one at that) wants to date a heavy smoker?


Ryan "attacking" my little sister at state last year (don't worry, she's smiling!)....same place I met him. My attractive attire was due to the fact that it was so COLD!

So, I never knew 2 years ago today just how good quitting smoking was going to be for me. Yeah, I feel loads better and I'm not slowly killing myself with sweet sweet nicotine...but I met Ryan. I know for a fact he wouldn't have been attracted to me if I smoked. So quitting smoking was a huge, huge step in my path to my future husband.

Who knew, right? It's stuff like this that makes it impossible for me to believe that this was a coincidence.

By the way, I hope this doesn't offend any smokers. Ryan is a runner, and smoking does not fit in at all with his lifestyle. It's as simple as that.

Did you undertake any major life changes that led you to your future partner?

You Guys are Too Great!

So Katerina over at Girl with a Ring was kind enough to pass this award on to me...


Thank you so much friend, I am honored that you thought of me!

I am excited to pass this on to Chocolate Lover. She is quickly becoming a good friend, and her blog is a great read, so check it out!

I am so lucky to be a part of such an amazing circle!

Give-Away Update

I don't know why I had it stuck in my head to make the deadline today at noon, but now I think that's kind of silly. So, just to give everyone enough time, get your comments in by noon on Friday and I'll pick a winner then!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thank You

You all are the best.

You are so kind and encouraging, supportive....and you have really made this wedding planning process so much better than I ever thought it could be.

So, because you all are the nicest group of folks around these parts.....I thought a give-away might brighten some Mondays!

There are actually 2 give-aways, since you all are so fantastic. The first is a group of 3 satin flowers with pearl bead centers. The satin is a pewter color with polka dots woven into the material. There is 1 big flower and 2 medium-sized flowers.



This picture is very true to color.


Give-away number 2 is a set of 2 bobby pins with an organza flower on them. Jadite beads from a vintage necklace have been sewn in the middle. I glued and sewed the flowers onto the pins, so they should be sturdy.



Here's how it works. Blog about the give-away, and then comment on this post and tell me how you would use them...would you sew the satin flowers onto a bag or belt, or stick a pin on them and wear one on a cardigan? Would you rock the bobby pins to work or save them for a special date night? Leave the link to your blog post in your comment. If you don't have a blog, forget the blog post part, just comment.

I will randomly pick a winner using one of those random number generator deals, and I'll run to the post office on my lunch break on Wednesday and send them off! You all have until tomorrow at noon to enter.

So thank you all. I had no idea when I started this blog what incredible women I was going to "meet!"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Another Good One

Ryan came up with a new face for pictures, and every time I look at this picture I die laughing.



This definitely needs to go into our photo guest book, don't you think?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bouquet

Once I had 50ish fabric flowers lying around, I wanted to put them into a bouquet to see if this was actually going to work...or if I had wasted my time hand-sewing 50ish fabric flowers.

Alli took a break from her never ending homework to help me sew stems on (she's in block 3 this semester of her student teaching, so she is a busy woman!).



Henry was a big help.


He's pretty much got it made.


Alli was kind enough to arrange the flowers into a bouquet after we sewed stems on all of them. The stems we used were simple floral stems from Hobby Lobby. Alli doubled up the stems to give it some substance since we couldn't find any thicker ones and wrapped it tightly in floral tape. The floral tape from Hobby Lobby was sh*t, so Alli pulled some from a Martha paper flower kit that worked much better.


So here's the bouquet!


Another angle.


In one of the milk glass vases.





I think it is so cool. I can't wait to add some pins and more pearls to the centers of flowers. I also think it looks kick *ss in the vase....I think they would make neat centerpieces.

I was afraid this would look cheap or tacky, but I was pleasantly surprised...I think it looks eclectic and different.

This is obviously just a trial run. For the actual bouquets, we'll be using way more satin, organza and taffeta. We'll also have 90% ivory/white and 10% red. Also, we'll have more "centers" sewn into the flowers...pearls, beads, etc. Size wise I think this was good. Some of the fabrics I used looked too casual in the bouquet, so I'll relegate those to table decorations if anything.

What do you all think, am I fooling myself?

By the way, you all have been so wonderful and encouraging about these silly flowers that I have a little giveaway planned for Monday, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Layered Organza Flowers How-To

These look so much harder than they actually are. I like these so much, I'm going to whip up a bouquet made up solely of these flowers and see how it looks.

Step 1. Get some organza. I sucked it up and paid $3.50 for a half yard of this because I was dying to try these and it just couldn't wait, but I found a window sheer at Goodwill for a much better price that will work just find.



Step 2. Cut the flower out. Start by cutting a big circle, this will be the back of the flower. Then cut a circle a little bit smaller, this is the next layer. Keep going until you have enough to make up a flower. The smallest layer I made was a little bigger than a quarter, and the biggest layer I made was the size of a cereal bowl. I did find that when I made a particularly large big circle for the back layer, it was way too translucent so I did another circle the same size just to give it some substance.

Step 3. Once you have all of your layers cut out, arrange them from biggest to smallest. Thread your needle and knot one end of the thread. I did a simple cross stitch (it's a stitch that looks like an X) and went over it a couple times for durability sake.

Step 4. Burn baby burn! Ok, this is the fun part.



Hold the edges of each layer over a flame until they curl up. I totally caught one on fire like 5 times, but I just trimmed away the blackened edge and reburned it. How great is a DIY project when it doesn't matter if you catch it on fire?

Step 5. Prettify. I sewed some pearl beads in the center of one flower, some aqua beads in the center of another, and an old pearl button from my Meemaw's handed-down button stash in the middle of another.

And here's the end result:






If you haven't noticed, I only do these in my PJ's (which consist almost entirely of Cross Country t-shirts. Anyone have some affordable lingerie sites I should visit for something pretty to snooze in?).

I can't wait to see how a bouquet made out of these turns out!

Thoughts, tips, something I left out in the tutorial?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fabric Flowers 101

I've been off in la-la land lately, hand sewing 50ish fabric flowers of all shapes and sizes. I was really inspired by that gorgeous bouquet I posted about here, and I've been all over the web finding tutorials, in and out of thrift shops and Etsy stores to find materials, and camped out on my couch watching TV while sewing and sewing.

So, here's my attempt at a tutorial for you lovely ladies and gentlemen! This is all based on trial and error. This is so easy, because there's no measuring or real expertise required.

Step one. Cut a rectangle out of a piece of fabric. You don't have to measure it. A skinny rectangle will make a skinny flower, while a fat rectangle will make a fat flower. The shorter the material, then the smaller and less gathered and full your flower will be. This one was about 4 inches by 12 inches. Also, it doesn't really matter what material you use. This one is cotton, but I've made flowers from satin, taffeta, organza...you name it. You can also use ribbon (wired ribbon is really structured, very cool looking).

So cut your rectangle, and get some matching thread and a needle.


Step 2. Fold said rectangle in half. Cut a length of thread longer than the rectangle. Thread your needle, and knot one end of the thread. On the rough edge where the 2 pieces of material come together, sew a running stitch along the length of the fabric. What's a running stitch? It's the super basic, up and down stitch. You can find a tutorial on that here. Don't bother making your stitches even, it doesn't matter. And make them about a half an inch apart.



Step 3. All done? Take the needle off of the thread, and take ahold of the loose thread and the knot at the beginning of the fabric. Pull, and gather the material until it's bunched up. Tie the 2 ends of thread together until the fabric gathers up into a circle, giving you this:



Step 4. To finish it up, I sew the 2 ends of fabric together. You can make these look really different by varying the fabrics used and the size of the fabrics. If you use a really long piece of material, you can spiral the flower around itself and it makes it more 3D.

Here's a sampling of some of the flowers I've made. I made them all using this technique except for the organza ones. I'll post a tutorial on them soon.


Henry helps me every night.



Poor dog, he was so confused!


So, now I just need to sew a gazillion more! I did make them into a bouquet, and I'll post about that soon as well.

I must say, I am impressed with how these are turning out. I'm not particularly good at anything "crafty." It's so cathartic to chill out in front of the TV and make a dozen or so of these. I know they'd be faster by machine, but this is working for me. I've also cut up yards and yards of fabric, so I can just grab and go and don't have to stop to cut.

This project is also very cheap for me. I ordered 2 pieces of specialty fabric off of Etsy (they haven't come in quite yet), but all of this fabric came from a thrift store like Goodwill or from my grandma's scrap collection. This could be really expensive if you bought all of the fabric at full price.

I've been using pearls from an old junk necklace as the centers of lots of flowers, and I'm going to keep shopping for cheap junk jewelery to cut up and use. Also, I'm on the look out for rhinestone pins to pin on some of the flowers or on the handles of the bouquets. These flowers might make good centerpieces too, but we'll see.

So what do you think? Have you committed yourself to any projects that require a huge time commitment?