Practice bouquet

25 07 2012

LAST DAY OF WORK TODAY! YIPPEE!! Family will be here tomorrow!

One last post before they get here, and then posting may be a bit sporadic during the next few weeks. I don’t want to spend too much time on the computer when my fam is here, as I’m sure you can understand. Plus, we’ll be doing all that last-minute wedding stuff such as baking cupcakes and buying flowers, so there won’t be much time to post anyway!

Speaking of flowers, I didn’t get a chance to post about it, but last week I made a practice bouquet for the wedding. I am making my own bouquet so I figured I should try it out before-hand to have a better idea of what I’m doing. (The more you know, the less stress you have on the day of trying to figure out how to do something new for the first time!)

So I watched this video for some tips, got some flowers, and tried it out! And here’s the finished product!

The verdict?

Colors: Great! I love having a mix of colors so as not to look too much like a color scheme, especially since we don’t have “wedding colors” anyway! I know a lot of brides choose white, which is pretty because it’s classic, but I really want my flowers to POP!

Texture: Great to have a good mix. I love the summery feel of the bouquet and would love to add a bit more wildflowers to the mix next time. Plus, I’ll be adding a succulent in my wedding day bouquet. I also love how the flowers are mixed in together so that it’s not too uniform, but more casual. Adds to that summery feel.

Size: Not quite big enough for my big dress. So I’ll need double the amount of flowers for the big day. However, this size for the courthouse wedding will be perfect!

Wrap: Twine was the look I was going for, as it also corresponds to our wedding décor quite nicely. (The only thing is…the twine smells a bit strange! A bit earthy! But not a deal-breaker.) On my wedding day, I’ve got 2 pins from my grandmothers to add to it.

Those orange flowers are called safflowers. Pretty fun, right? I’m not sure what the green sputnik-lamp-looking flower/plant is called, but that also had a really great texture. It was really fun to make!


Beading a headband

11 06 2012

Remember how I made that elaborate beaded belt that didn’t work out? Well this weekend I took on a smaller beading project, inspired by some beautiful beaded headbands I saw recently at Zara and at Bijou Brigitte, and I had a lot more success.

I also watched about 7 Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episodes while I worked on this project. And you’d better believe I sang along with the theme song every single time.

Next time I’ll make a thinner one with less elastic band showing. But this one is pretty and I’m very happy with it! No pictures of it on my head yet, because I had the craziest topknot yesterday that was perfect for lying on the couch and falling asleep during the Germany vs. Portugal soccer game for the European Championship, but definitely not for going out in public.

I’m still deciding on my accessories for both the church and courthouse weddings, but this one is just so pretty that if I can figure out a hairstyle to go with it, it may just make the cut!

Washi tape = LOVE

19 05 2012

Again, I’m pretty late to the game, but with the opening of the new idee craft store in the shopping center nearby, I finally splurged on some washi tape. I bought my self 3 rolls and then proceeded to fall in love with this stuff immediately. Why didn’t I try this sooner?! I went back today and bought myself 2 more rolls.

You can do all sorts of wonderful things with washi tape! Here are some of the things I’d like to try!

AND, my favorite so far, is making tiny toothpick flags!

I’ve made more than I can count…what can I say…I’m pretty obsessed!

I’m not sure about the colors yet (I may need an excuse to buy more washi tape!) but I am planning on using these as cupcake toppers for our wedding. That’s right – we’ve decided to make cupcakes in lieu of a big cake. It’s easier to manage (plus, my mom is a pro when it comes to baking large batches of cupcakes), and it’s a nice tip of the hat to my American culture and I’m sure our German guests will love it.

Moral of the story: if you haven’t tried this stuff yet, go out and buy yourself a roll! Trust me, you won’t regret it!


Change of plans

5 03 2012

I spent pretty much all my free time for the last 2 weeks making this gorgeous beaded belt to bling up my dress for the courthouse wedding.

We found the dress at Zara last weekend and though I like its simplicity, I decided it also needed a little something to make it more weddingy. Besides, that orange belt didn’t really work with the dress either (we noticed some of the other dresses in the store had a bit of an orange stain on them from the belt!).

So, after gathering inspiration online and designing my own basic pattern, I started on it last Saturday. It was really fun to make — there is something so soothing about hand sewing — and I don’t think I’ve ever made anything as beautiful as this.

But the problem is…I finished it up on Saturday night and tried it on with my dress and…oops. It’s too heavy and pulls the dress down, making it bunch up strangely in the back. And the proportions of the beaded part to the ribbons were off — perhaps a thicker ribbon would have been better. Boo!

So I was quite frustrated that things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. Especially with the way things went with my online dress shopping mishaps, and now this isn’t working either? Dang it!

Tobias tried to cheer me up and came up with other random suggestions on what we could use it for, but nothing felt like it was special enough for something that I had worked so hard on. I eventually tried wrapping it around a candle, and it actually looked pretty good. So Tobias and I thought hey, perhaps it could work for our unity candle!

That could work, couldn’t it? Obviously we’ll be using a new candle, and we may see about wrapping it in a different way (at the top? middle? bottom?) and perhaps wrapping the ribbon around the candle too, but for now that’s the best idea we’ve got as far as how to use my attempt at a beaded bridal belt.

So that’s the story of how I made my beaded wedding belt unity candle embellishment.

Now I’ve got to figure out something else for my dress…  I wanted something special, something unique, so just putting a ribbon there as a belt seems a little too boring for me. I’m a little afraid of trying to make something else, just to have it end up not working again. Although I do give myself credit — the belt turned out really well and I’m very pleased with it, even though it won’t be used for its intended purpose.

I sure hope this wedding stuff becomes easier at some point, and that something will actually work out soon!

On another happier note, though, today is my parents’ 30th anniversary! Congratulations Mom and Dad, and I’m so happy that you’re still happy together after all these years.


Ribbon & Chiffon

25 01 2012

Tuesdays are my half day of work, so after running some errands, I spent about 5 hours trying out various methods of making fabric flowers.

First, I tried this tutorial from Alisa Burke to make roses out of ribbon. I had gotten some pretty shades of ribbon from Tobi’s sister for Christmas – white, gray, and pewter – and was happy to give that a try. I also used another ribbon I had saved from Christmas wrapping and sewed a fun button in the middle that I got from a flea market.

Next I tried the chiffon flower, via this tutorial over at Project Wedding. Chiffon frays a lot, so it was a little more difficult to work with, but has a much softer, more flowery feel to it. (Does anyone have any ideas on keeping chiffon from fraying? Google told me it’s best with anti-fray glue, but I don’t have any of that.)

Then I modified the pattern and tried cutting out hearts, fanning them out, and sewing them together. They were much smaller, of course. I also tried one with the satin I had.

The last thing I tried was this ranunculus. I’m going to try it with more layers next time to make it a bit fuller. You achieve the curled look with chiffon* when you pass it over an open flame…it’s a pretty neat trick! This is actually my second one, as the first one had a few brown spots from getting too close to the candle. The tutorial came from this awesome girl with an adorable French voice. Even if you don’t understand French, the video explains the process perfectly.

*If you try that method with satin, it will catch on fire. Just sayin’…from experience.

I also started another little project with seed beads and proceeded to dump a bunch of them on the floor. This crafty trick helped me pick them up from the ground a little more easily!


A rainbow of floss

16 01 2012

My mom got me a bunch of craft supplies for Christmas, including this packet of 150 skeins of embroidery floss!

I can’t wait to do some projects with them! I wasn’t exactly sure what to make (although I could always do old-fashioned embroidery, of course!) but Pinterest came to the rescue.

Here are a few things I may try sooner or later:

  1. Friendship bracelets! A basic pattern is something I could do from memory, from all those years ago when I was 11 or 12. But this tutorial jogged my memory on how to make a chevron pattern. Then there’s also a more modern interpretation which is really popular at the moment – friendship bracelet chains. I’d like to try that on a smaller scale.
  2. Wrap around sticks. I have a “bouquet” of sticks in an old olive can that could use some sprucing up, just like this rainbow wrapped wreath seen via Duo Fiberworks.
  3. Clothespin dolls! I made tons of these as a kid, using matchsticks or toothpicks with the ends broken off for arms. I’ll definitely have to make a few more!

And as far as storage goes, I think I’m going to try wrapping them onto clothespins like this:

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Not only is it pretty, but also looks pretty practical! Besides, nobody likes tangled floss!

Did you get any craft supplies for Christmas or for yourself on sale after the holidays? What projects are you itching to try?


Early Christmas presents and a baptism

12 12 2011

Whew! This weekend flew by so fast, and I fell a little bit behind on posting. So before everything becomes just a blur, here comes a big update!


Tobias and I wrapped presents in the morning because my usual morning classes had been canceled that week. Then I had one class in the afternoon and came back to get cleaned up before our company Christmas party later that evening. The party was at the same place as last year (an Italian restaurant right next to the school that has really good food!) but this year it was so much more fun because I knew more people this time around. I even met a few new people and it was a really great time. The last bunch of us left quite late…and I didn’t get back home and in bed until 3:30!


We woke up early the next day to catch a train to Bielefeld for Tobi’s niece’s baptism. Our train got delayed at our stopover in Hannover thanks to a bunch of horses that had gotten loose and apparently were blocking the tracks. So they closed the entire route and had to reroute the trains (and passengers). So we ended up on another train where we all got free drinks for the trouble, and we sat next to some funny girls who were nice enough to share some cookies with us.

The dining car of the train we rode looked very 1950’s somehow!

After a delay of almost 2 hours, we finally got to Bielefeld and met up with Tobi’s family and spent the afternoon eating and relaxing. I gave them my Christmas presents early, which was especially fun because they appreciated my lovely wrapping job! In the evening, we drove over to his cousin’s house for a birthday party which was a lot of fun, even though I went to bed early (at 11:30) because I was so tired from the night before!


The next morning, we all met at the church where Achim and Anna were married and where their first daughter, Clara, was baptized. It was cute because 2-year-old Clara was saying that her sister Frida was here for the “Tauche”, which means “diving” and is really close to “Taufe”, the word for baptism. So Frida (gosh, I keep typing Friday, hah) was baptized and it was a really nice service. Afterward, we headed to a reception hall for a delicious lunch with everyone.

It was really a lot to process, and the most German I’ve had in a while, so it was a somewhat tiring weekend, but it was nevertheless really nice to see Tobi’s family. Especially since I won’t be celebrating Christmas with them there this year.


So now we’re back. We got in late last night so I could work early this morning. This is my last week of classes before Christmas break! Can’t believe how quickly time flies…

Happy Monday to you all!



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