Oh the Places We’ve Been!

I’ve come to realize I really enjoy maps. They are so fascinating. Cities, towns, lakes, rivers although all discovered not all discovered by yours truly. I catch myself staring at them for hours. Thinking about how long it would take me to drive to San Francisco if I fly to Portland. (I mean it’s like RIGHT there relative to Jersey)  I’ve also come to realize I enjoy travel more than I once thought. This combination fueled a fun and forever evolving project.

Upon a semi recent trip to my wonderful college roomie’s house I got pretty jealous she beat me to the punch.  Over at Creating Confidence you can see roomie’s version of her “travel map”.

Because Mr. Fiance and myself have really only ventured to the greater Americas we started simple with a map of North and Central America. I found a really nice vintage map from the 1960’s with gorgeous coloring. Little bit of spray glue, foam core board, and skills from Art School I mounted the map so I had something to pin into.

I then took a quick trip to Office Depot, grabbed some map pins and hurried home. The colors left a lot to be desired. (White, Black, Red)

Quick can of spray paint and I fixed that problem

Future Hubs and I decided that rather than just including trips we went on together we would also include trips we’ve gone alone. Pink represents my travels, blue his, and white is where we’ve been together.

I’m still working on a frame to enclose the whole project but for now it’s just fine hanging raw. He may have significantly more pins West of the Mississippi but I’ve got the East coast dead and buried. He’s got me beat on furthest North, Canada, but I’ve traveled way closer to the equator than he has, Nicaragua. It’s also exciting to see how many white (us) trips we’ve taken.

The most exciting thing about this slightly lovey dovey project is how it will always be evolving. Removing a pink or a blue pin to replace with a white one, adding a new color once our traveling changes from “us” to “all of us” (ie potential future family trips) Just look at all that blank yet to be pinned and conquered map. Looking forward to hitting all 50 states and further.

A True “Shower”

The moment you all have been waiting for, the bridal shower to end all bridal showers. Last weekend was my very good friend Melissa’s Bridal Shower. Very good friend doesn’t quite sum up what this girl means to me.

Us reuniting at the start of Sophomore Year

Quick back store. We met late August, 2003 in a roughly 8’x15′ cell dorm room. Actually our names met before that. Call it fate or divine intervention the computer roommate generating program at good old RIT thankfully paired me with my roommate-soul mate. For 4 years we lived together (this includes the year I had a single and Mis had a triple on the same floor). We laughed together, cried together, did copious amounts of laundry together and ate way more raw cookie dough than 2 girls should consume in their lifetime.

Apparently I paid my dues over those four glorious years together since Melissa found it fit to make me her Maid of Honor in her upcoming wedding this August. Beyond honored and touched doesn’t sum up how I feel about this rather hefty duty she has bestowed on me. Part of my Honoree duties included planning the bridal shower 🙂 Oh that’s right. I pintrested the hell out of that shower. (I know, none of you saw that coming.)

The bridal party (all 9 of us) agreed on a “theme”: summer garden party reflecting the wedding colors of yellow and blue. I called dibs on decorations and went to work. my pinterest board sums up what I was looking for. Fresh, pretty, and fun.

First I made buntings following instructions from Crafete. A description can be found here.

I also made 12″ diameter real working pinwheels to line the driveway and highlight the guest of honor’s table. More on that mini saga here.

Here’s a shot of the tent before we all worked our magic:

another shot of the tent in set up progress:

and completed with everyone really enjoying the stylish party:

The flower arrangements were a mini labor of love. Inspired by cut lemon centerpieces which are floating around pinterest. We attempted our own version. The Bride’s Mama bought super market flower bunches for $40. Then the Matron of Honor and I arranged the flowers and man handled the lemons to create these beauties:

We also went kind of “eco-chic” by borrowing the table runners from a bridesmaid who happened to get married the weekend before and candle holders and plate chargers borrowed from another friend of the family’s wedding. They all helped to add a stunning touch of elegance to the whole affair for a no cost to us price tag.

I still can’t get over how amazing everything came together. Everyone involved busted butt to get things together and I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for embracing my crazy dreams. The Bride most certainly loved everything. It was well worth the work.

The party itself went swimmingly. Literally. While the day started out sunny and summery it ended showery, rainny, windy, tornado warning-y, did I mention it rained? Like, a lot. Like flash flood conditions for 45 minutes lot.

It most certainly made for a memorable shower including (but not limited to) the entire party running for the house using the tablecloths as umbrellas.

All we could say was The Bride received enough inclement weather at wedding related events that we should be all clear, and all smiles, for a sunny and fabulous wedding.

Beautiful Buntings

I have a confession to make. Buntings are popping up everywhere it seems, and I’ve been dying for an excuse to make some. Thankfully, the bridal shower I was quasi in charge of decorating was the perfect venue for such a simple bang for your buck decoration.

I followed directions from crafete and added my own little spin by hand painting Bristol board in a gingham pattern in addition to using scrap book paper.

Cost was crazy low a few pieces of 49 cent scrap book paper 2 spools of $1.99 ribbon, all other materials I had on hand. All we needed were two runs of buntings to bring the tent from blah to oh yeah!

I’m so happy they turned out as well as they did.

Have You Seen The Pinwheels They’re GINORMOUS!

One of my very bestest friends is getting married. Her shower was last weekend. As Maid of Honor I was bestowed with the task of decorating the little fiesta. A run down on how the shower went is soon to come, but first a little pinterest inspired craft session.

Part one of Bridal Shower decorations: We decided on a summer garden party theme. What’s more summery and gardeny than giant yellow and blue pinwheels? I’m talking 12″ diameter fabulously fun gigantic fully functioning pinwheels.

The pinwheels put up a darn good fight. They might have made me shed a tear or two (or seven) but once finding a tutorial that could support the weight of 12″ diameter pinwheels (and learning how to change a bit on a drill that was last changed by a gorilla strength man) it was smooth sailing. Tutorial was found on Something Borrowed and really was crazy simple, don’t let my tears scare you. It was the first tutorial that wasn’t designed for such colossal pinwheels that caused the tears. Promise.

The tutorial from The Sweetest Occasion  is how I created the paper portion of the fabulous ginormous pinwheels. I strongly recommend following the paper portion from this tutorial as it uses hot glue to hold the paper together. I’m assuming the hot glue also helps to reinforce the paper at the connection of the straight pin. Also, this tutorial is for 6″ diameter pinwheels. Really you can make them any size (within reason) as long as you’re working with a square. I would then follow with the assembly portion from Something Borrowed.

I truly love how they turned out.  Early warning paper is not water proof and after the events of the day these 3 were the only ones that survived. More on that later.

The Big 3-OH! Claims Another

Today is Mr. Fiance’s BIG 3-OH! Saturday was dubbed “Birthday Observance Day”. We had a jam packed day filled with kayaking, friends, dinner, carnival, fireworks, fried dough deliciousness, and of course a camp fire night cap. (It’s not a future hubby party without a campfire.)

The jam packed day caused last minute me to run out of time to get my big birthday present project assembled in time. No worries, he just got to wake up the next morning to more birthday fun.

I found this project MONTHS ago on Pinterest. I absolutely fell in love with it being the shutterbug and memory cherisher that I am. The project was straight forward enough. get 30 balloons, get 30 pictures 1 from each year of the birthday boys life.   Punch a hole in each picture, tie it to the string of each balloon and surprise the lucky birthday recipient. Obviously with precious photo originals I strongly recommend scanning in the pictures. Once scanned, you can dress them up a little. I added a mix of Polaroid and old school photo edges. The white edges also have the added bonus of an area to write the age for each picture.

A few of my absolute favorites:

Future hubs is on the right, one of his closest friends who also happens to be the guy that we met each other through is on the left. His face is classic. Apparently getting sweaters for Christmas is the bestest of all time. YYEEEAAAHHHH!

This fashion statement is probably my favorite of all time. The shirt, the tie (note how it’s tucked into his pants), the watch that could eat his arm, spiked hair and over sized aviators just round out this early 90’s awesomeness.

A slight word of warning. As stated before I was a bit last minute/out of time (as always). I had picked up the balloons on Saturday afternoon. I didn’t have time to attach the pictures until Sunday morning. By the time I attached the pictures to the balloons they didn’t have enough helium left to keep the balloons in the air. (note in the project link “I used the bed for photo support”) I had to change my plan slightly and move the balloons from the hallway to the living room (so i could use the couch as support).

Other than that one minor hick-up the project was a complete success. Thank you Future Mama-in-law for all of your help. I could have never done this without you. Also thank you to the rest of his family who contributed their own little birthday wishes/happy memories which I attached to the back of pictures that featured the both of them. The birthday boy truly loved it. He couldn’t stop talking about it all day. Happy 3-OH Babe. Love you forever and always.

Kissing Gnomes for the Happy Couple

A little follow up to the classy Southern wedding I posted last week. As previously stated the Newlyweds have a soft spot in their hearts for gnomes. I took a fair amount of pictures at the wedding (I can’t help myself wedding’s are my favorites) and wanted to send the happy couple a disc of images for their use.

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I quickly whipped up a little note card to mail out to them featuring love struck kissing gnomes. Quick, simple, cute and I believe enjoyed by the new Mr. and Mrs.

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I also fancied up the envelope a little. I openly confess to ripping off my sister’s “calligraphy”. It’s so simple and really spiffs up regular text. I’ll admit now that I also ripped off her style of drawing roses when we were kids. I’m sorry Erin, sometimes you’re just too cool and way better than me.

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a very diy southern wedding

A few weeks ago us Yankees took the trip south of the Mason-Dixon to welcome the newest member into the family. A family wedding in North Carolina to be exact. Besides the Bride being stunning, the Groom handsome as ever, and the day being picture perfect there were a few other highlights of the event.

The bride (I guess she’s technically my future cousin-in-law?) is a rather crafty gal (excited to have her in the fam for sure). She hand made every flower featured at the wedding. Let me repeat that. She hand made every flower. From the flowers that lined the aisle

to the ones that adorned the tables at the party

Not to mention every bouquet, including her own.

Let’s just say I’ve got some hefty competition.  Thankfully we’re on the same team, as they say, and she was happy to share all of her insider secrets. the folded paper flowers featured in the centerpieces and aisle decorations were found at this website, the paper roses (apparently super easy) tutorial can be found here. For the insider tips to quote the bride “For the rose pomanders, I just bought large Styrofoam balls and covered the heck out of those babies with hot glue and flowers.” For the record this is one of the reasons I absolutely love this girl.

Also The Bride and Groom have a little place in their hearts for garden gnomes culminating in this blog. To pay homage to their little creative baby the Bride’s mother secretly added gnomes in random centerpieces throughout the reception.

Needless to say we had a beyond fabulous time on our mini vacation to the South. The wedding was exquisite, we had a blast and wish all the happiness to the bride and groom.

More Knock Off Designer Curtains

If it hasn’t been assumed yet through following this blog, I’m a cheap, cheap girl. I would rather spend hours and hours of personal time creating an identical piece of anything that is exorbitant in price. Curtains are obviously no exception. I’ve already shared my knock off Waverly pattern that saved me HUNDREDS for our bedroom curtains. The bedroom isn’t the only place knock off designer curtains exist in our house. I also crafted up our dining room curtains. I really wanted these fabulous curtains from West Elm featured on my inspiration board for the dining room. Grayish with Marigold horizontal lines running across them. Lovely. Unfortunately if I remember correctly they were going to be $40 or more a panel. Not a Lizzie price tag at all.

I decided the basic style of the curtains were easy enough to knock off. I started by purchasing basic brownish gray curtains from Ikea for if I remember correctly $18 for the pair. They weren’t satin/silk but for 4 times cheaper cotton would be fine with me. I then enlisted the help of my fabulous Mom to sew the horizontal stripes. We figured out how high we wanted the strips to sit (26″ from top of curtain). I also chose (since I had creative freedom and all) to make 2 stripes instead of 1, spacing them 1 inch apart.

Using Marigold satin ribbon we spaced it, pinned it, and sewed it. If anyone has a cat in their house they know how these darling creatures always want to be front and center helping with any project or activity.

The entire project didn’t take more than an hour or two including the hashing out of how high and how to space. The worst part of the entire endeavor was how wiggly the fabric insisted on being. Well, the wiggling of the ribbon and the lack of pressure on the foot of the sewing machine we were using. None the less I really love how they came out. I would argue that they are better than the originals.

This Post is Brought to You by the Letter “F”

Bored one afternoon, and tired of the “will you change your last name” debate I decided to embrace my potential future name and make a family monogram for our still in process gallery wall. Especially since a “F” has no curves it was surprisingly easy and took roughly an hour (minus glue dry time).

I started with 2 pieces of cardboard. Sketched out an “F” on both pieces and cut with a straight edge and an exact-o knife.

Once I had 2 identical pieces, I cut the “spacer” pieces to give the letter some girth and “3-D” qualities. The spacers are simply strips of cardboard roughly 3/4″ thick cut to the length of each line of the letter.

Then all I  did was glue each spacer piece to the bottom or back “F” piece. I used wood glue because it was handy and gets tackier quicker.

Once all the spacers are glued (and dry-ish) run a bead of glue around the top of the now outlined letter and attach the top face of the monogram. I used rubber bands to hold the entire letter together until it was fully dried.

I let the monogram dry over night and then removed the rubber bands and hung that glorious future initial on our wall. I’m thinking after looking at it for another 2 years I may actually be excited to be EAF.

Danger Ahead

So. A brand spankin’ new Joann’s Fabrics opened in Paramus. Like less than 10 minutes from my parents’ house. I needed supplies to finish  my recently married future sister-in-law Tara’s guest book so I moseyed myself on down. In case you couldn’t tell by the title of the post, Joann’s is a very dangerous place.

And here’s why. Only 3 items are things I needed for the guest book. The rest are things that caught my eye. Thankfully most items had future plans at time of purchase. Only 1 “you’re just too cute I can’t leave it behind”.

Quick break down:

  • Orange felt for a gallery wall project
  • Fabric, sketch book and paper for Tara’s guest book.
  • Sail boat fabric and coral fabric to recover living room pillows. I felt they were very summery and were 40% off if I remember correctly. Double score.
  • Fat quarter of blue almost citrus graphic print. I just thought it was fab. I’ll come up with something to do with it I’m sure.

I think all in all it was a successful trip. With many MANY more dangerous ones to come I’m sure. (PS did I mention it’s right behind the mall…?) I’m sure you all guessed that things pointed out are some super soon up and coming posts. Get excited!