Thursday, August 1, 2013

Once Upon a time....They lived Happily Ever After

Once upon a time, well about 2 years ago now, my mom and I helped my cousin with the decor and cake for her wedding.  My wedding had been  17 years before and was 100% budget conscience and almost 100% DIY.  That was long before blog land or Pinterest.  Not to mention if I posted pictures of it now it would seem tacky and dated (hello it was almost 20 years ago now). 

But back to my cousin's wedding. 

She wanted an autumn theme but wanted it to be classy.  She had a baker picked out and wanted to do sheet cakes that would be cut in the kitchen and brought out on plates but she wanted a cake for the decor and also to "cut".  I used Styrofoam cake rounds and covered them with fondant, added round pearls in a diamond pattern to a couple of the layers as well as burgundy ribbon & some bling.


While the wedding was held at an outdoor venue, the reception was held at a local banquet hall.  They provide everything but the personality for the wedding.  I was just new to Pinterest at the time so I started gathering my ideas, we knew we were going with an autumn theme but wanted to make it classy with burgundy accents.  The autumn theme was great because I always decorate a lot for Thanksgiving, I have hosted every year but 2 for almost 20 years (MIL hosted one year and another year we skipped because I was in the hospital with Pneumonia, but that is another story).

The venue had multiple receptions in different ballrooms so we had a table at the entry so everyone would know who was who.  Here is the table at Kari's wedding.  I created the sign on my computer and framed it.  They displayed one of their engagement photos as well as a floral arrangement done by the florist that did the bouquets.

For table decor Kari found lanterns on sale at Menard's, we found candles in Autumn color and then I  went through my autumn stash for goodies.  For half of the tables, we set the lanterns on my green charger plates and add some fall follage  and potpourri to the charger.

For the other tables we used branches combined with some faux leaves on branches that we placed in glass cylinders that we fill with burgundy floral fill from the Dollar Tree, originally we wanted to use cranberries but the wedding was right before fresh cranberries were readily available and the floral fill was more economical.  Funny story about the branches we used, there had been a storm in our are and it took down a tree behind my house and while the owner was cleaning up the tree we asked him if we could take some of the fallen branches.  I think he thought we were insane.  We weren't but I think creativity sometimes comes close.  I set the vases on mirrors and added small votives that had coordinated ribbons attached.

Here are a few shots of the reception are once the tables were complete.

Kari also requested a candy bar.  I again went through my stash and found all of the glass containers as well as a few autumn themed serving pieces.  We didn't want the candy bar to be full all night so we loaded it after dinner.  I unfornuately did not get a picture of it loaded but all the candies were in autumn colors.  Once filled it was as busy as the dance floor. 

On the gift table instead of using a basket or a bird cage for cards, we used a mailbox which I deorated with some leaves and a little birds.  We craved a faux pumpkin with their initial along with a sign reminding guest not to forget to visit the photo booth in the back of the venue. 

I loved that I was able to help my cousin with her wedding.  It was so much fun.  A wedding should be 100% you and even if you can't afford the wedding of your dreams.  Look around, think outside the box and you might just create a wedding that is even better, more special and more you.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Updating Our SMALL Powder Room

We will have been in our home, which we had semi-custom built, for 12 years in May 2013.  WOW is that really next month?  We have a small powder room off the entry and right across from the garage door next to the laundry room.  It is just a generic 1/2 bath with a pedestal sink and toilet.  The plans for the house originally had a cabinet with a simulated marble top but we "upgraded" to the pedestal as well as upgrading from vinyl floor to tile that matched the entry way.  Here is what the bathroom looked like before redecorating it.

The colors were Taupe, Black & Red and the accessories were dragonflies.  The vinyl on the pedestal sink has been there for about 5 years and is from Uppercase Living.  The mirror was just a builders grade mirror the was an elongated octagon.

First thing I did was paint the walls.  The color we went with was Benjamin Moore Camro White which is a Pottery Barn Spring & Summer 2012 color.  It brightened up the walls and made the room feel bigger.  Here is the after.

The first thing I did was stencil the bird on a branch and scroll at the top of the wall.  I love how it turned out.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut vinyl for the image and the placed the vinyl on the wall and used a stencil brush to paint it, the color is also from the Pottery Barn line for Benjamin Moore, Mill Springs Blue.  I hope to have a post with more details on the stencil.  I was pretty proud of myself with how it turned out.  My mom and I removed the original mirror....guess we are expecting 7 years bad luck because we ended up covering the whole thing in tape and prying it off the wall with a putty knife, it was in about a gazillion pieces.  Lots of wall repair followed.  The mirror was something my mom found at was painted exactly like you see was perfect.  I DIYed the artwork.  I found poppy images I liked and then used Mod Podge to seal them onto canvas.  The shelves were a pain...had to call in hubby to help get them just right.  For Christmas a couple years ago my MIL got me the dragonfly toilet flusher...I LOVE IT.  I also broke the toilet seat during painting so it was a perfect time to upgrade to a soft close seat.  Here are some more detailed pictures. 

I found the wire wall hanging at Goodwill it was a dark brown color so I spray painted it black and then dry brushed some of the blue from the stencil onto the birds.  It now hangs directly across from the toilet next to the door.  I am really happy with how it turned out.  It has been brightened up and is more cheerful.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

First Birthday

The end of January was my one and only niece's first birthday.  I wasn't able to travel to see her for her birthday, they had just made a 1/2 cross country move the week before and I didn't have enough time to plan a flight.  I wanted to make sure that she knew how much her auntie loved her, all the clothes I have boughten her that say "my auntie rocks" might not have gotten the point across.  Plus since my kids are older and won't let me make clothes for them anymore, not cute ones anyway, I decided to make part of her present.  Since 1st birthdays are so special I decided she deserved a crown.  I have seen them on but didn't really find a tutuorial that worked, so I just asked her mom to measure her head for me and I used a diet coke box  to make a template.  I used elastic in the back so she should be able to wear the crown for future birthdays or for dress up. 

I knew she was wearing a deep pink tutu but they didn't have anything else picked out when I checked.  I told them that I would make her a shirt, or embelish one anyway.  Here is what I came up with.
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the circles & the number one.  I added ric-rack between the circles and then blanket stitched everything together. 

I wouldn't be doing my job as and aunt if I didn't spoil my niece so I also bought her a JellyCat bunny.  I don't have a picture but it looks like this one I found on-line.  I have since bought her a small JellyCat duckie and have another one saved for the next time I send a gift.  This will be a new tradition of always sending her a JellyCat animal, they are so soft they have so many choose from.

The bunny needed a matching crown.

Although I wasn't able to spend her birthday with her, I was glad that she had something handmade by me that in the future that although I wasn't there that she will know that her Aunt loves her very much and was so happy she was turning one.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Best Friends

We consider ourselves pretty fortunate in the friends department.  My husband has had many of his friends since high school, as have I.  We also have a whole set of friends (or "family" as we call them) that share our obsession with drag racing.  We also have some AWESOME neighbors and I think we live on the BEST street in our neighborhood, we really do, we have people that sell their house in our neighborhood to buy houses on our street.  One of our best friends, hubby has know since high school, lived a few streets away and they sold their house and have now moved across the street from us.  In the summer we can always be found in one of the backyards grilling up dinner.  Some of the best times ever.  Every year for Christmas I try to give them a family gift.  It gets hard because they have a teenage son (from a previous relationship that doesn't live with them full time) and a young daughter.  One thing they always do when they are together is cook as a family.  I wanted to do something to go along with that so I decide to make the girls aprons and the guys chef jackets.  I looked into a pattern for the chef jacket but decided to just buy them from a restaurant supplier and modify them.  It seemed more cost effective.  I purchased the jackets from  I was really happy with the quality, price and they shipped quickly.  I modified them by changing the inside of the cuff to match the contrasting fabric on the aprons and monogrammed their initials on the pockets.  For the girls I made them matching aprons from a pattern I already had on hand. 

In addition to the aprons & jackets I wanted to get them a cookbook.  I thought and thought about it and kept thinking about one time when we were having dinner and Randy started telling us about Kim trying to cook southern food but tried to modify it so it was healthier and Randy told her she needed to leave the southern cooking alone.  I found the perfect cookbook.  Even the color of it worked.
They LOVED them.  I stressed so much over finding the perfect gift for our friends because they would do and have done everything for us.  We are truly blessed to have them in our lives and that they are just a few steps away across the street is even better.  I can not tell you how often we call to borrow, milk or eggs.  I never call Kim for milk though, she will only have Coconut milk.  Gotta love her.