Stream On

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about our wedding, and I promised here to share details on the DIY projects that made the day happen.  So, in order to not break promises, today I thought I’d spill the beans on the  big focal point of our reception – the streamer backdrop.

I was actually inspired to do this pretty late in the game, with only a few months left ’til the wedding.  But, this project seemed so simple and inexpensive that I simply couldn’t resist.  First, I’ve got to share my inspiration.

Rachel’s (of Heart of Light) inspirational backdrop. Click on the photo to be taken to the blog article at 100 Layer Cake featuring her amazing instructions.

How beautiful is that?!  When I stumbled upon this photo, I was smitten and knew such a simple decoration would fit right in with our backyard reception, while adding some drama.  Rachel created this backdrop herself and provided very helpful instructions.  Please visit the  source article to view those instructions.

Rachel also directs folks to Oh Happy Day, where she learned to make fringey streamers.  This tutorial was also so helpful.  I also found that I LOVED this blog and fell in love with a number of additional articles featured there.  I highly recommend stopping by.

So, with both tutorials at my fingertips, I got to work.  I purchased my crepe paper from per Rachel’s suggestion.  The online store had great prices.  My husband (or fiance at the time) was tasked with buying wooden dowels from the hardware store. We bought four, 5′ dowels for a total of twenty feet of backdrop.  I also bought silver foil curtains from Amazon (it was the same price on Amazon as at Oriental Trading where Rachel made the purchase, but I got free shipping on Amazon).  And I already had hot glue gun supplies.

After my supplies were gathered, I arranged my crepe paper and prepped all of my streamers.  Then I arranged them by color to make it easier for me to see which colors I wanted to use while I was applying them to the dowels.

My crepe paper ready for dowel attachment.

My crepe paper ready for dowel attachment.

I filled one dowel at a time.  I completed the first dowel at my home, attached the foil curtain to the back, wrapped it in a sheet and transported it to my sister’s house (the reception site) – all per Rachel’s instructions.  When I got to my sister’s, and we unrolled the streamers, we found that the foil backdrop had gotten extremely tangled and it took us quite a while to sort everything out.  I was so concerned because everything felt so delicate and I still had three more dowels to complete.  Then, my sister had a bright idea – why don’t I put everything together at her house.  Then we wouldn’t have to worry about transporting anything.  My sister – so smart!!

I spent the next couple of weekends at her house building the backdrop.  I think my favorite part about this project was getting the extra time with my four-year old nephew and ring bearer, Ricky.  He was very interested in what I was doing.  He was caught up in the excitement of the big event taking place at his house.  He assured me that he was going to have a wedding of his own and he was also rather interested in getting one of the streamer dowels installed in his bedroom.  But, of all of our conversations, I think my favorite went something like this:

Ricky: Auntie, you’re getting married.
Me: Yes, I know.  Are you excited for the wedding?
Ricky: Yes. And I’m going to look handsome and you’re going to be beautiful… Mommy said so.

I think my heart about burst out of my chest at that.

But, back to the streamer project.  We finished everything on time.  When deciding where to hang the dowels we discovered that the foil curtain continued to get tangled up whenever the slightest breeze blew, so I decided not to add anymore of it to the remaining three dowels.  My brother-in-law and his dad hung up the streamers the morning of the wedding and it was and is the hit of the party.

This backdrop helped create some of my favorite photos caught by our photographer.  It served as the backdrop for toasts and the dance floor and over all was the least expensive way to add drama, style, to our wedding celebration.

My favorite photo captured by our photographer.  My husband and I dancing up a storm with the streamer backdrop catching a breeze behind us.

My favorite photo captured by our photographer. My husband and I dancing up a storm with the streamer backdrop catching a breeze behind us.

My beautiful sisters, and matrons of honor, making a toast in front of the streamer project

My beautiful sisters, and matrons of honor, making a toast in front of the streamer project.

What do you think?  Do you have any similar backdrops that you’ve created for parties or weddings?


Birds of a Feather

According to, the average wedding now costs $27,800, but this includes those “lucky brides and grooms who get $40,000-and-up weddings thrown for them” so it brings up the average.  Holy schnikies, that’s a lot of dough!  Having just paid for our own modest wedding, I can’t imagine what the brides and grooms in the $20K and up range are spending their money on.  As stated before, I was a frugal bride and in order to practice such frugality, Darrin and I did a lot of the work for our wedding ourselves.

One way we cut major expenses was on flowers.  Also according to, a bride and groom can expect to spend 8-10% of their budget on flowers.  So for those of you keeping track, that’s roughly $2,200 – $2,800 (rounding to the nearest hundred) on flowers for the “average” wedding.  Yowzers!  We decided that 8 – 10% of our limited budget was too much to spend on an item that we felt was a luxury.

While flowers are exceptionally beautiful and add a lot to the decor, we felt we could create the same ambience with less expensive items.  For instance, we used a number of candles for centerpieces at the reception and placed throughout the chapel.

One area, however, where a florist really comes in handy is creating boutonnieres and corsages for wedding attendants and other guests of honor.  This is where I decided to get really crafty and I DIY-ed these items using artificial products so that I could reduce stress by making them well in advance of the wedding.

The Boutonnieres

I had pinned a number of inspiration photos such as this one, this one, and this one and had those on my iPad next to my workstation for easy viewing.  I purchased my supplies from Joanne’s including feathers, seashells, corsage pins, floral wire and spray paint in silver and blue.  At home I already had ribbon, wheat, floral tape and stems, electricians tape, and hot glue.

First, I prepped the wheat and seashells by spray painting them blue and silver, respectively.  The shells came out more of a muted gray which worked out just as well.  I left these items out to cure in the sun for at least 24 hours.  I then hot glued each shell onto a floral stem.

After all items were prepped, I gathered up the rest of my supplies and started to experiment.  I quickly decided that I did not like the look of the wheat – fail #1.  I also found that the floral tape did not play nicely with the feathers.  The glue from the tape left a sticky residue on my fingers that transferred to the feathers and severely disturbed their shape and design – fail #2.

I gave up working with the floral tape and hunted around for an alternative.  I needed something dark that would camouflage behind the color of the ribbons and blend in with the feathers.  Aha!  Electricians tape.  I had it on hand and plenty of it.

Then I experimented with the different elements at hand.  I chose a feather or two, arranged it with a sea shell, wrapped tape around all of the items and finished it by wrapping it in a ribbon and tying it off in a bow.  I then attached each boutonniere to a card with the corsage pins.

The finished product: the groom’s boutonniere, as well as his brother’s and nephew’s.

A father-son combination.

A cool feature with the shells was that I was able to vary them while playing a match game amongst family members.  For instance, both Darrin’s and my nephews were in the wedding along with their fathers.  So, the seashells in the young boys’ boutonnieres matched those belonging to their dads’.

Boutonnieres in action! It’s hard to overlook the adorable ring bearers in this photo, but if you try, you can see two of the boutonnieres in action…not too shabby.

The Corsages

For the corsages, I learned to make fabric flowers by following the tutorial found here.  I had leftover fabric from another wedding project (more on that later).  I also went through my jewelry and selected a couple of old necklaces to scavenge for beads.  I stitched three beads to the center of each flower to create a stamen.

The father of the bride and mother of the bride lapel-wear.

I stitched floral wire to the back of each flower making sure to line-up the center of the wire with the center of the flower.  I bent the wire in half and twisted it to create a stem.  I also reinforced the wire by  wrapping electricians tape (my new favorite tool) around it.  There is probably a more effective way to create a stem for a fabric flower, but I didn’t realize I needed a stem until after I made the flowers, so I had to get creative.

I selected a feather and seashell to arrange with each flower to create a corsage that complimented the boutonnieres.  After all the items were arranged as I wanted them, I secured them in electricians tape and wrapped that in a ribbon which I tied off in a bow.

Like the boutonniere, I attached the corsage to a card with pins.

All of the corsages.

All in all, I spent a solid day working on this project but I saved a ton of cash.  Below is a list of my supplies and expenses.

  • Feathers – 7.99
  • Seashells – 3.99
  • Spray paint (2 cans) – 15.98*
  • Fabric for corsages – already owned
  • Ribbon – already owned
  • Hot glue – already owned
  • Electricians tape – already owned
  • Corsage pins – 4.99
  • Cards for display – already owned
  • Floral wire – 1.99
  • Floral stems – already owned
  • Total: 34.94 (+2.78 tax) = 37.72 for 11 boutonnieres and 4 corsages = 2.51 per item
  • *Total w/ only one can of paint, since I only used one color = 26.95 (+2.14 tax) = $29.09 or $1.94 per item

I found estimates ranging from $5 – $15 for fresh flower boutonnieres and corsages through google searches.  So, I feel pretty good about the savings we generated (even with my mistakes) and I even created some souvenirs for our wedding attendants and special guests.

What do you think?  Have you ever saved big bucks by getting creative?  Did things turn out as you expected?

The Pizza Man Cometh

Darrin has two favorite foods – pizza and burritos.  Before we got engaged, when we just kicked around the idea of a wedding, we talked about having a burrito bar catered by a local taco truck.  But then, every time we turned around, it seemed like everyone was having a taco truck cater a party.

So, when we officially became engaged we went back to the drawing board and thought about what we’d like to see served at our reception.  For longer than I can remember, we’ve been having “Friday Night Pizza” dates.  This involves ordering pizza for delivery and watching our favorite t.v. shows that have been recorded on the DVR.  It’s the perfect end to a hectic work week.  Suddenly, the idea of having pizza at our wedding started to make sense.  Why not?  It’s one of Darrin’s favorite foods and it’s a tradition in our relationship.  Also, who doesn’t love pizza?

I then started to imagine our wedding guests sitting around a table, sharing pizza and a yummy and fresh green salad, pouring each other wine, enjoying good conversation and one another’s company.  I shared this vision with Darrin and he was right on board.  So, I immediately got to work looking for a way to serve pizza at the wedding.

Delivery was a no-go due to the location of the reception (out of delivery bounds).  Also, we wanted something a step up from your standard pizza chains.  We were thinking wood-fired, brick oven creations.  Thanks to some online research, I stumbled upon Mattie’s Mobile Wood Fired Pizza and Catering.  Could this be real?  A mobile wood-fired pizza oven?  Luckily, I discovered that Mattie’s sold pizza at the Clovis Farmer’s Market every Friday night.  So, Darrin and I rounded up some taste testers (i.e. my family) and headed over to the market one sultry evening last September.

Darrin giving his best Tom Colicchio impression.

Sister Jenn & Brother-in-Law Kevan are brought in as professional taste testers.

To our delight, the pizza was delicious!  Mattie’s uses locally sourced and fresh ingredients for his toppings, making for very tasty food.  And, you just can’t beat the flavors created by the smoky wood-fired oven.  I tried a Margherita style pizza and Darrin went for a traditional pepperoni and sausage.  Then, we shared a pesto pizza with fresh heirloom tomatoes.  Words can’t express how delicious that was.  The pesto was so fresh and not too oily.  We got a hearty response from my family as well.

Dad gives Mattie's a thumbs-up on presentation.

A few months later, we finally took the time to sit down with Matt, the owner of the company.  And this was what really sold us on hiring Mattie’s.  Matt took the time to listen to us and understand our vision for the wedding.  He even stopped to ask us how we met and learn about our relationship.  What caterer does that?  He has also been great about working within our budget while still offering a delicious menu.  His personal attention demonstrates to me that his business is about more than making money – but it’s where his passion lies.  That’s probably why the food is so darn good!

Darrin and I are so excited to have pizza at the wedding.  We know it will be unique, but what’s more, we know it will be something that our guests will love!

What about you?  Did you plan/Are you planning some special treat for your guests?  What was the meaning behind it?

I’m a Bargain Bride

It’s true.  And I’ve got the receipts to prove it.

This month marks the nine-months-to-go-until-the-big-day countdown.  Hooray!  With the wedding date approaching, Darrin and I took some time during our Christmas vacation to complete some planning duties.  One such duty (she said doodie…heehee) was purchasing lighting for our reception site.  Enter the bargain bride.

We budgeted $100 for lighting (not counting candles).  So, the day after Christmas I arrived at my neighborhood Target at 7:00 a.m.  Mind you, I am not a serious shopper and I usually avoid major sales/shopping events (as described here).  But, I was motivated by a greater desire to stay on budget.  Once inside the store, I grabbed a basket and made a beeline for the holiday decor section.  But, to my dismay, there were no lights to be found.  Nooooooo!

I texted an update to my mom and sister, two awesome ladies who agreed to fight the crowds and help me search for lights, and headed off to another Target.  In the mean time, my mom also found empty shelves at two different Targets.  I was starting to feel anxious and worried that we wouldn’t find lights anywhere.  Why-oh-why didn’t I buy them before Christmas when I had the chance?

I arrived at another Target and once again grabbed a basket and rushed off to the back corner of the store where the holiday decor was stowed away.  To my delight, the shelves were stocked with lights galore.  Jackpot!  With only a hand basket in tow, I was able to maneuver easily through the throngs of people to view and select the lights I wanted.  It was when I slipped between two people to gain better access to some shelves that I overheard a woman comment to her friend, “She’s a bargain shopper.”

I thought to myself, “Nope.  I’m a bargain bride.”  And I went right back to my intent analysis of lights – comparing lengths, number of bulbs per strand, bulb brightness, etc.  Eventually, my basket was overflowing and it was time to check-out.  The lights were 50% off.  I spent $78.72 but walked away with over $150 worth of lights!  And, did you notice I came in under budget?  Plus, when the wedding’s over, Darrin and I will have lights for our house.

After I made my purchase, I called my mom and sister off the hunt and let them know that I went ahead and spent my budget at one store given the fact that we’d had bad luck at three previous stores.  My mom, being the generous lady she is,  purchased some more lights for us as a gift anyway.  So, we’re definitely set on lights.

With all this talk on lights, you’re probably wondering what the heck we’re going to do with them.  Well, we’re definitely going to use them to light up the perimeter of our reception site, but there are some other ideas floating around as possibilities.  I found these sources of inspiration on (you guessed it) Pinterest.  What do you think?

While these lights are larger, I love the warm feel of this circus tent-style draping. It creates a beautiful focal point in the outdoor setting.

Photo by Jimena Roquero.

This waterfall effect created with tulle and white lights would be a great way to hide or cordon off areas of the reception site.

The mix of white lights and jars would echo my plan for table centerpieces (candles in jars) nicely.

While recreating a scene like this is not likely, I am inspired by the warmth of this setting.

What I find appealing about white lights is how they can add warmth and a festive feeling all at once.  Additionally, I feel like white lights have a magical quality about them, transporting me to a starry place, safe within the confines of the light.

Now we just have to figure out exactly how we’ll hang all the lights I scored (and received – thanks Mom!) during my bargain hunting.

What about you?  Do you have any great bargains you want to brag about?  What about tips for bargain brides?

Wedding Party Assemble!

Easily one of my top five favorite movies is Anchorman.  I’m pretty sure I could recite that movie word for word.  Right now, I’ve got the part stuck in my head where Ron Burgundy calls his News Team to his side.  Check it out:

With eleven months to-go until the big day, I’ve recently received multiple email reminders from various wedding websites alerting me to all the tasks I should have checked off my list by now.  Such things as booking the reception site (check), booking the ceremony site (check), registering for gifts, and finalizing the wedding party.

Over the weekend we worked on the last task on the list and I couldn’t help but fill a little like Ron Burgundy, blowin’ my horn and calling out over the land, “Wedding Party Assembllllllllee!”  While some members of the party are spread out across the land like Ron’s dog Baxter, others are close by like the rest of the team (“We’ve been here literally the entire time you have.”)  Here’s a look at our team so far.

Best Man and Best Woman

Darrin with his best people Melissa and Dererk.

Darrin asked his two siblings Derek and Melissa (the O.G. Melissa in his life) to be co-Bests at the wedding.  Darrin is the oldest of this threesome and I know it means a lot to him to have his brother and sister standing by his side that day.

The Matrons of Honor

My big sisters, Trish and Jenn, at my 30th birthday party a couple of years ago.

When it came to selecting my Matrons of Honor, it was all too easy.  My sisters are my best friends.  We’ve been there for each other through everything.  Our wedding would be incomplete without them by my side.

Man of Honor

My brother-in-law Robbie with his wife (my sister) Trish.

Rounding out my side of the aisle is my brother-in-law, Robbie serving as the Man of Honor.  I’ve known Robbie since I was about eleven and in addition to being an amazing husband to my sister and an awesome father to my nephew, he has long been a steadfast supporter in my life.  I hardly think of him as a brother-in-law and often consider him my “real” brother.  Also, Darrin and I admire and value Trish and Robbie’s marriage and feel it would be quite special to have a couple whose love we believe in standing next to us, affirming our love, as we vow to spend our lives together.

Team Usher

Kevan, my brother-in-law, with is wife & my sister. He likes to take goofy pictures - I love it!

Darrin's brother-in-law Robert (second from right).

For Team Usher, we called on Kevan and Robert, our other brothers-in-law to help us out.  It means a lot to us to have our whole family involved.  We know we can count on these guys to help make this day extra special and set a welcoming and inviting tone for all of our guests.

The Juniors

The Juniors

Darrin’s nieces and nephews (he’s got one of each from both siblings) agreed to be in the wedding as well.  The two boys, Jacob and Nathan, will be junior Groomsmen.  While the two girls, Julie and Mary, will be junior Bridesmaids.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t most excited about picking out/shopping for outfits for and with the girls.

The Ring Bearers

The bearers of the ring.

My nephews, Ricky and Ryan (I’ll give you one guess as to which kid belongs to which sister) will be the bearers of the ring.  I can’t wait to see these boys in a suit.  Too cute!

So, that’s the cast of characters so far.  There are still some decisions to come, but the easiest to make were those involving the family.  We knew we wanted them by our side.  Also, as you can see we decided to break from some traditions (ex. all boys on the groom’s side, all girls on the bride’s side) and do what felt right to us.  The wedding will be an extremely intimate affair (despite the fact that I’m sharing stuff online) and having our siblings and their families close by our side and in the places we want them will make it that much more special.

What about you?  What was your experience like assembling your wedding day team?  What went into your decision making?  Are there any “traditions” or norms you decided to break?

You Got No Vision

This week, Darrin and I will hit the “1-year to go” mark for our wedding.  With the big day getting closer, it’s time to start narrowing down some of our ideas.  For a while now, I’ve been flipping through magazines and websites and taking note of things I like.  What has resulted is a mis-matched-hodge-podge-convoluted collection of ideas ranging from rustic to refined and from vintage to modern.  In order for us to move forward with planning, we need to settle on some sort of general vision or sense of style.

Last Saturday, we were invited to dinner at my sister’s house (aka the reception site) and at the suggestion of my brother-in-law, we arrived around the time of day that we think the reception will start so we could check out the lighting, shade, etc.  I took out Mighty Max (yes, I do carry him everywhere) to show the family two videos that Darrin and I have narrowed down as a major source of inspiration.  The videographers – Shark Pig – are unreal.  It would be amazing to have them on hand for our big day, but they are way out of our price range.  These videos are sick.  Sometimes, I’m just leveled by the talent out there in the world.   Watch both videos.

So, here’s what Darrin and I love about this wedding.  This is what we shared with my sis and bro at dinner the other night.

  • We love the sense of intimacy, and (this is from an outsiders perspective) that it felt like a festive celebration amongst close family and friends
  • We love that it felt like a party, a celebration!  I mean, c’mon – they whipped out a storm-trooper helmet.  Shouldn’t weddings be about celebrating the love?
  • We like the elements of DIY/personal touches – the colorful poms hanging from the trees, and the little hearts on the straws in the drinks.
  • We like the vintage feel – the clothes, the shiny backdrop and decorations that remind us of a retro prom night, and the music used in the films.

While we don’t plan to duplicate this wedding, the elements listed above are helping to shape our vision or sense of style.  I’m pretty sure my sister and her husband understand the vision.  After watching the videos, the four of us went to the backyard, with little Ricky (my 3-year old nephew) riding around on his toy tractor, and started to plan out where to put the tables, the dance floor, where guests would enter the yard, how we would hang lighting, etc.  My sister’s and brother’s enthusiasm was sweet and thoughtful.

Things are definitely moving along.  Having a better understanding of what we want the day to look and feel like will certainly help with making decisions from here on out.

What about you?  Have you had to stop a project mid-way to go back and adjust or recapture the vision?  Or what’s your vision for a new project or new path?  Do share!

Gettin’ Nerdy

I am (quite proudly) a confessed nerd.  Luckily, I am marrying a person who loves nerds.  I’ve described here how I have a slight obsession for emerging technologies (despite my fear of the inevitable robotic uprising).  Anyway, I often get all nerdy over technology.  Even to the point that I’ve seriously considered serenading Darrin with this classic from Napoleon Dynamite on our wedding day:

Being a graphic designer/artist, Darrin is a pretty tech friendly guy.  And, early on in our relationship we knew we were compatible when we discovered that the other person was a mac user.  This has made merging the technologies in our household a lot easier.  However, there are a few things that I just get a little more nerdy over/get more into than does Darrin.  I’d consider myself somewhat of a gamer – Darrin, not so much.  Though, he will throw down on Rock Band.  I’ve been in the cell phone market – moving my way up (and down) through the various models of growing trends and capabilities since 2000.  I finally got an iPhone 4 last winter and everyone once in a while I still marvel at the idea that I’m walking around with a computer in my pocket.  Whaaaaaat?!  Darrin was one of the last hold outs to buy a cell phone for the first time in 2009.  Though when he finally did buy one, he didn’t mess around and went immediately to the iPhone 3.  His brother likes to say he went straight from the stone age to the space age.

Last week, I brought home the latest addition to my tech family – an iPad 2.  Oh my little nerdy heart was about to explode with glee when I finally got my grubby freshly washed hands on it.  I have so many plans for this baby.  First, I should confess that I named it him – Mighty Max.  I also named my iPhone; his name is Maximillian.  It just felt so natural to consider the iPad the alter ego of the phone, thus Mighty Max.

Do you think Stephen names his devices? I bet he's just as nerdy as I am.

Two days after I got Might Max, I had him on the sidelines of my nephew’s very first soccer game and I captured a number of short videos. Eventually, I’ll download iMovie and be able to edit films with the swipe of my fingers.  Not like I’m a movie mogul or anything, but just think how sweet it would be to add a few titles, slow motion, and some music to my nephew’s game and send it over to my sister.

One of my other favorite uses for Mighty Max is using him to take an online Yoga Course offered by Yoga Empowered.  My favorite Yoga teacher is in Seattle.  I’m in Fresno, CA.  With Might Max, I can view and store class videos, download and store articles, and follow the class in an online forum.  And because M.M. is so portable I can work from anywhere in my house without being tethered to the computer or TV.

Finally, I love all the apps.  I can go on for days and days about all the apps, so I’m going to limit myself here, because this post is already running away from me.  My favorite of the moment is Flipboard.  This app turns all my favorite blogs, news feeds, twitter, and facebook, into a magazine.  I’m then able to literally “flip” through everything and choose articles to read at my leisure.  The app also displays news from the day or other topics based on my habits and interests.  It’s so freakin’ cool!

Visions of Flipboard in action. An article from Everyting iPad2 featuring this photo explains the app in full detail. Click the photo to access the article.

So, here I am having had Mighty Max for one-week and my mind is still reeling with all the possibilities. My wish list is ever expanding with apps to buy and apps to search for.  For instance, I wonder if anyone has ever planned a wedding with an iPad.  You know…is there an app for that?

What about all of you?  What do you go nerdy for?  Are any of you iPad/iPhone users?  What are your favorite apps?  More importantly, what are your favorite games?

Gettin’ Crafty

As stated in this post, I’m planning on incorporating jars and candles into our wedding reception decor.  So, I’ve been saving jars from sauces, pickles, peppers – you name it.  I can’t believe how many jars we are amassing in such a short amount of time!  I’ve no doubt that by next October, we’ll have plenty of jars saved and I won’t have spend a single cent from our wedding budget to buy any.  Suh-weet.

In the mean time, I noticed more than a couple of great ideas on (you guessed it) Pinterest of things to do with these jars and I recently decided to give one a try.  First, let’s take a look at the inspiration photo.


The crafty gal who created these adorable votives added a few drops of  food coloring to Mod Podge, painted the concoction on the glass, et voila, pretty colored glass candle holders.  I thought I would test this project out using the colors we want to use for our wedding – green and blue.

Work Station Set-Up

Here’s a glimpse of my work-station set-up and supplies.  I started with two clean jars, some paper trays (left-overs from our engagement party), a paint brush, green and blue gel food coloring, and hard coat Mod Podge.  This was my first time working with Mod Podge and I have to admit I was a little intimidated when I was at the craft store and there were so many types to choose from.  I decided to go with the “hard coat” because the bottle said it works on glass.  But, maybe there’s another crafter out there who would have recommended another type.

Oh wine...what can't you do?

As recommended from the original source, I added a few drops of food coloring and mixed until I reached my desired color.  At first, I held the jar upside down with one hand partially inside the top opening.  However, overtime I found that things would get a little dicey as I had to paint nearer to the top of the jar.  Enter my friend the wine bottle – the perfect stand.

Finished product

After a couple of coats, I noticed that the brush strokes looked streaky.  So, I switched using an X or basket weave pattern.  I think this would have been a good idea from the beginning.  I think the jars look kinda cool, but I don’t think it’s something I would do for all the jars at the wedding.  And here’s why – look at the photo below with the candles lit.  The color really seems to disappear.

Where'd the color go?

The next time I get some fresh flowers, I will put them in these jars and see how that turns out.  There might be a nice affect with water.  Right now, I have the jars placed against a white wall so the colors really pop, and it’s nice.

Poppin' off the wall.

So, what about you?  Do you have any craft projects you’ve undertaken that didn’t turn out exactly as you hoped?  What do you think about the jars?  Would you give these a try?

I Got the Blues…and Greens…

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know my post titles need work.  I’m sure improvements will come with time.  Of course that’s assuming that some of my inherent cheesiness will dissipate with time.  We’ll see.

Blue has been my favorite color since I was a very young girl.  I love many shades of blue, too.  I don’t know if I can attribute this love to any one thing – maybe it’s how the color reminds me of my dad’s eyes (as well as my grandpa’s, and now my nephew’s and my fiance’s); or maybe it’s how so many shades of blue are played out in different bodies of water whether it be the ocean, a lake, or a swimming pool – I love them all; or maybe it’s how when I look at something that is blue I instantly feel a state of calm.  Regardless, I love the color.

Darrin’s favorite color is green.  And though he likes blue, he takes issue with certain shades.  For instance, navy blue is out of the question for him.

As you can tell from this kitchen cabinet makeover, we’ve already started merging our two favorite colors.  So, it’s no surprise that we’ve settled on the two colors for inspiration for our wedding pallette.  If you’re keeping tally folks, we’ve actually made another official decision (but still no date).

So, now the matter at hand is settling on the shade of blue and green to go with.  Here are some photos I’ve been storing on my Pinterest page and mulling over as possible inspiration.

Exhibit A:

Vibrant shades of blue and green pop out from unlikely (and likely) sources – but not always together.  A blue door left me drooling at the site, and a green peeking-petticoat (one of my favorite new customs) had me ready to switch sides on the blue/green fence.

Forget the wedding! We've got two front doors and they both need this color. Stat! Stat means now!

That green knocks me for a loop and makes me question my blue allegiance.

Exhibit B:

Deeper tones of blue and green from a real-life wedding and a painting found on definitely feel right for a fall wedding.  Plus how awesome does that grey suit look?  Darrin would murder that suit!

These deeper tones are perfect for a fall wedding.

The blues and greens in this painting go so well together. A foreshadowing of the future to come?

Exhibit C:

For our final look at color inspiration today, we turn to nature.  A bouquet of peacock feathers and a grassy cliff overlooking the ocean prove that blue and green are a match made in heaven.

Blue and green co-exist happily in nature.


Blues and greens near the ocean offer tons of inspiration.

So what do you think?  How did you pick the colors for your wedding?  Or if you’re not married, are there any color combinations you’ve seen that you’re crazy about?

Like what you see?  Click on each photograph to get to its original source (or at least as close to its original source as I could take you).



Empty Jars

Darrin and I have made very few plans for the wedding.  We haven’t even picked a date.  We know that we want the big day to take place some time next fall.  We also know that the reception will be held at my sister’s house (thank you sister!).  And, aside from the general sentiment (we want it festive and full of love – a big love-fest, if you will) that’s about it on the decisions.

Except for one other thing.  About a month back I saw the picture below on Pinterest and I fell in love.  How soft!  How romantic!  How simple!

Beautiful DIY table setting found at Chelle Paperie.

I quickly decided that this was a route I wanted to take for my own wedding.  So, I started saving every jar from salsa or Trader Joe’s tikka masala sauce or Thai green curry sauce (Darrin’s favorite).  I also put my family on notice to start saving jars from pickles, and jams, and peanut butter – as long as it’s glass, I want it.

Soon, I found I had a sweet little collection of empty jars.  And I recently decided to put them to use, instead of boxing them up in storage for the next year and a half.

First, I bought a small and inexpensive bouquet of hydrangeas.  I then separated the flowers, trimmed them down, and popped them  into their own glass jar.  I think they look kind of sweet.  I love the comparison of the robust bloom of the flower with the simple, stout jar.

The simple arrangement helped breathe some life into our rock fireplace.

For the rest of the jars, I decided to try out their candle-holding skills.  I placed a tea light in each jar, et voila.  I did find, however, that some of the jars have a little inverted hump at the bottom.  This caused the tea light to sort of slip around the bottom of the jar.  If I were to use a larger candle, I think I would need to try putting some sand or rocks in the bottom of the glass to help stabilize the candle.

My new up-cycled mini-candle garden.

Here's a view of both projects on the mantel.

So what do you think?  What other creative ways can I make use of our new collection of jars?  What items have you “up-cycled” that you’re proud about and want to share?

Top picture found at Chelle Paperie’s blog.